About My Work

I’m a poet, a mom. A daughter, a wife, a sister. A nurse. Privilege granted me the life of a white California-born woman, and I have worked over the past 50+ years to take my place as a feminist. I am working on being an ally for the so many less fortunate than I, work my grown kids help keep me focused on. A cultural WASP, I am an agnostic, curiouser and curiouser, praying my secular prayers every day. I love the ocean and my husband’s garden. Those grown up kids. I read more books than anyone I know except my mother. I used to be a good swimmer, I’m working toward that again. I used to run and would love to walk more but my left hip has been uncooperative since I injured it doing yoga (some ill-advised combination of the frog and locked lotus poses.) Not yoga’s fault, chalk it up to overconfidence and an inexperienced teacher. I learned to knit, crochet and sew when I was a good girl (Brownies and Girl Scouts) in the ’60s, and I still knit, as they say, so I won’t kill people. I was a singer my whole life, but turned in my soprano for poems after my kids were born and time was dearer. I love Maine in August. I lived in Switzerland when I was 17 and wish my German were still as good as it was. My favorite colors are lemon, lime, orange and vodka. A mental health professional once told me I was a good candidate for mindfulness training, so that’s on the list.

As a writer, I find blogging is a good way to “put my stuff” out there without having to really “be” out there too aggressively. When I started this blog in 2013, I was pretty over-extended, so blogging was just fine. I’d rather be writing poems, but blogging is easier and that’s a pretty pale excuse.

I first came up with the idea of “twirlyword” in the mid-1990s. My friends have known me by that moniker ever since. The name of this blog is a nod to The Grateful Dead. I love their music, and went to a dozen concerts in my twenties before Jerry died. “When in doubt twirl” was an (one of many) unofficial trope for Deadheads. Anyway, it applies to me. When I’m feeling down and blue (see posts about mental illness and depression), dancing is a good thing to do. Hard to do as vigorously now as previously (see above re. locked lotus + frog pose).

I like to write poems when I’m driving in my car – for some reason that’s when inspiration comes. I probably should listen to the Dead when I’m driving instead, but it’s hard to twirl and drive at the same time, which might be the only thing worse than writing and driving.

(I have a day job, but it’s not always as interesting as poetry.)

The photo used in the blog background (my hand painting the word poem) is by David Perez. The headshot photo is by Hannah Jenny.


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