Mindful Summer

From garden to garden, ridge to ridge, I drifted enchanted, . . . gazing afar over domes and peaks, lakes and woods, and the billowy glaciated fields . . . In the midst of such beauty, pierced with its rays, one’s body is all one tingling palate. Who wouldn’t want to be a mountaineer! – John Muir

5Hello Dear Reader,

I hope this finds you well.

My trip to Yosemite National Park last month was pretty spectacular. It was the perfect way to start the summer. We swam in the river, visited a 2000 year old Sequoia Tree, hiked a total of 24 miles without getting blisters, built epic camp fires, ate great food, and slept like babies despite the two bears we saw and countless bears we heard. Best camping trip ever!

However, it didn’t start out that great. Maybe you’ve experienced stress while spending time outside your comfort zone? I sure did. I was reminded of the wide range of emotions I have as a human being. I had to deal with anger in a major way the first day of the adventure. I was quick to call the anger out as fear, but it was too late, and I took some of my frustration out on my beloved travel companion. It was like I’d forgotten all my hours and hours of meditation on and off the yoga mat. Poof! my Serenity vanished for over an hour as we drove around the park–in traffic–looking for the perfect place to camp. I didn’t know there were going to be so many people in Yosemite National Park! We never thought to make a camping reservation! Suddenly, we were winging it under the intense pressure to find a good camp spot in one of the two “first come first serve” campgrounds.

Thank God my consciousness shifted once I expressed my emotions (anger, frustration, annoyance, anxiety = the f-word) and gave myself an attitude adjustment. After that, all was well and we soon found a perfect camp spot in the mountains–far away from the crowds.


I practice mindfulness everyday–even if it’s only for a minute. The more I practice meditation the better I feel. I am able to let internal and external distractions go much easier than before.  I am able to laugh at myself as I observe my idiosyncrasies as part of my Self.

When you know your own breath, nobody can steal your peace.

Life always gives us
exactly the teacher we need
at every moment.
This includes every mosquito,
every misfortune,
every red light,
every traffic jam,
every obnoxious supervisor (or employee),
every illness, every loss,
every moment of joy or depression,
every addiction,
every piece of garbage,
every breath.   – Charlotte Joko Beck

May your summer be filled with Peace & Joy…

Love & Light,


P.S. Keep in touch!


Photos by Nisa and Jane Wertz




The sleeping passenger feels cold—shivers to wake, at dawn—discovering light coming in through the window—cool light at dawn. Another sleeping passenger feels cold—jerks to wake at the same time, at dawn—discovering light coming in through the window—cool light at dawn.

Both passengers are awake now, and realize they are looking at each other sitting across from one another   at dawn.

Two passengers wake up and realize they are looking at each other, sitting across from one another at dawn—February eighth, the day before a giant storm two passengers find themselves awake on a train, in the wee hours of the morning.

The passenger turns his head to the side facing the window, and discovering light coming in    through the window,   yawns. The other passenger turns his head to the side facing the window, and discovering light coming in through the window,   hears the other passenger yawn. The passenger turns back to face forward. The other passenger turns back to face forward.

Both passengers are awake now, and realize they are looking at each other, sitting across from one another anxious to start a conversation, at dawn—as light is coming in through the window—cool light at dawn.

Originally Published by Burningword Literary Journal 2013  http://burningword.com/2013/04/morning-train/


I hear Kai’s little person voice & wonder how to respond to such Beauty & Light—pure Love / nephew with flippers & blue trunks & little gashes or wounds here & there. I wouldn’t be surprised if he used the word, “cicatrize” as his little belly sticks out / childlike in the saltwater pool. I attempt to swim laps in the overcast cool—thinking about the imagination I have left. But soon we play / save all the insects floating on top of the water. No Bees— just Dragon fly, Fire fly, Horse fly, Mosquito & Flea. He wants to save all of them & so the game begins / we become Super Heros. He tells me his name is to be Red Surfer and mine will be Lisa—I want to say, “No, I’m Nisa because that’s what they call me in Mexico. Niça from water—from Zapotec.” But I don’t, “O.K.,” I say & look at his big frog appearance underwater surrounded by concrete. The image of him underwater: His face & arms & legs & his eyes look back at me through buggley goggles / submarine portholes to his soul / an Innocent baby surviving—exciting but scary at the same time—just learning how to hold his breath, nicely. We both come up for air, I say, “A jellyfish needs saving too!” He says, “She or he?”  I say, “What?” “She or he?”  “Huh? . . . Oh, he.”  It’s a male jellyfish. I didn’t understand the question at first. Kai & me—his name also means water—saved a jellyfish from drowning; & we now believe it can breathe—just like all the other creatures in the water we want to save.



weaving & cackling


descendant of Egypt

you traded

wagons for steel
where you picked

violins, earth

& bones

buried in soil

there remains:
memories & song
des corbeaux

recorded in stone

you rose roses

shape shifted



take thrones!

Familia Anclada

Do Something About the Children Slain

Dusty blood flows in the road, red rivers pool in graphics, casting crimson shadows on cement walls: “Twenty-Four Dead Just South of El Paso”

The super-market execution taped off yellow. Her downcast eyes in remorse, not strong— Just a necessity. Living in cardboard houses behind wooden pallet fences, unsolved murders of their sisters and husbands, waiting for the maquiladora to boom again.

She cannot cross the desert with her babies. The able kids are throwing gang signs in the alleys littered in crime scenes,

Aye Güey,

No honest money, only assimilation to the cartels, leaving her in warfare—
Prostitution. Normalcy. Borders push men back for slaughter, time in mourning: To struggle, to pray, to stay for the factory line up.

Federal planes flew overhead during the last soccer game.

Originally published in San Diego Writers Ink Anthology in 2011