Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Tonight

Hi all ... I've heard from many that today was a particularly difficult day - too many are unable to conceptualize unfathomable numbers and the surreality of the current pandemic is raising all sorts of anxieties, fears, and understandable concerns. I'm not going to sugar coat or give a silver lining - however there will be many positive changes that come along as we go through this time. The world itself which had been changing to a more virtual template - has had that time-table escalated - people confined to their homes are discovering new methods of word, interaction and entertainment - more to be said about such things at another time. What we, all do have in abundance is what we have always had, an indeterminate time on this spinning blue marble, and the ability to structure our inner world as we see fit. To that end .. I wrote a quick piece about that malicious fellow who seems to be tapping on our windows and encourage you ... as follows:



Tonight, as all grows quiet and the house is clean and perfumed with disinfectant, denial, and determination
Tonight, as thoughts are corralled away from numbers and predictions, misinformation and unpalatable truths -
Tonight, the ever present fellow waiting at the end of the carousel ride grins and taps on the window and it is up to
each one of us to recognize the face and draw the curtains, lower the shade, or give him but a passing glance as we continue ... the only difference tonight is drawn in our collective shiver...and inhaled in our united deep breath ... as we continue dancing our individual dances, turning from that fellow lightly tapping on the window pane. He has always been out there - Give him no mind when he simply announces his presence - Continue to ride your ride, dance your dance, sing your song...the end for any and all is, as always has been, indeterminate. We are all in this, and always have been, in it together.

Brave New World



Brave New World
I sit in solitude with
the love chosen long
ago – when the world
was an endless horizon
and we young of limb
and longing ready to
leap frog across lily
pads to find our path
I sit in solitude with
the love chosen –
selected now again in
sacrosanct synchronicity
of spirit soaring, cast
as a shimmered fish
line back across the
lake of traversed time
to a simpler time
tasking together
hearing the insistent
and ignoring the
tapping of that
macabre fellow
tapping at the
window – as we
pull our shades
of self sufficiency
sing a song of
what will be
toss aside the
outside, embrace
the within, together
secluded, safe,
basically brave
new once again
locked in
love

Fool on the hill





Fool on the hill

sitting atop the mountain of my own
making lemonade from lemons -
blowing soap bubbles in the air -
sitting atop the mountain of my own
making mouth music humming off
into a forever peace to come ... this
fool on the hill .... resting on velvet
grass - inhaling deep sweet - breaths-
loose limbed, relaxed, and wise
as any fool on a hill
can ever be

Sunday, February 23, 2020

They sang




They Sang 

They sang and shouted danced in the 
streets and in pastures of mud - tore their 
clothes and slung placards, marched barefoot 
flowers in their hair - large guns low on their hips
planted farms, blew buildings to dust, bore babes 
They sang and shouted, sat in, stood up for change 
...and it came ...never fast or furious enough to calm 
the fever dream, never fast enough to comfort the hearts,souls and standard bearers of those who danced and marched and believed with shining eyes, strong bodies, clear vision that the future was theirs... The future is now - ... Now, the singers voices rasp, 
the shouts muted, the dancers tempo misses a step here and there, clothes cover bodies that chill, the ground too sharp or slick for tender aching soles , their flowers are now in gardens, tended with care, the babes born, now grown and flown, the shame 
and passion of violence a misted dream of wonder... They sang and danced and believed with no reason to think other , that the rolling future was theirs ...
The future is now ...and as is the way of all time not
waiting with soft gentle arms to embrace their struggle or cheer their dance  .... 
The future was never theirs, and as they watch others dance and shout and raise their young throats in joyous expectation ...they know, these discarded, silvered sagging soldiers of fortune that the future is always alive, consigned, grabbed and held fast in the now of yesterday, today and tomorrow ...for the future of the present  is the fickle fantasy of believers. The future does not wait. Soon the dancers of the past will nurture the soil - the dancers of the present will miss a 
step or two and still others will take their place ...This is 
the way of the dance, the delusion, the dedication, the 
decision to do ..all one can do whilst one can, to act 
whilst blind to the curtain ever ready to fall in graceful 
folds upon the performance as new actors stretch their legs,  in the wings of time.  Ready to leap into a future they truly believe, in passionate innocence,  will belong to them. Dance, march, fall together in fervent passion ...the changes will come and others will dismiss them as lacking..but that is for later, for now, they all dance, the former sidelined in disillusion, or satisfaction,  abandoned  artifacts revered, reviled or ignored, the current crop gathered  in coalesced linked arm embrace ...the not yet born kicking their heels in their mother’s wombs ...ready to be born to a world they will create and a future they will never own . 

Sunday, January 12, 2020

and the show must go on...



and the show must go on...

Change the channel ...
that low buzz, buzz, 
that bell that buzzes
burrowing beneath bone
that slow burn beneath 
the skull as they file in, bow
heads, sign to each other,
murmur sugar smiles -
this sea of black cloth over
shifting bodies, seated in
style of the living come to 
buzz as the ground bursts 
into the void - they lowering
the plain pine box - as she 
stares - a small fly in the vast 
Universe wrapped in a seemly 
daughter disguise - staring, 
beseeching in silent scream - 
Change the channel ....
Change the damn channel ...
please. 

Sunday, January 5, 2020

To my fellow worders at at the new Poets and Storytellers United

Hi all - Just wrote a congratulations and happy happy - hmm something is going awry and my comments are not posting.  Nevertheless I am thrilled to have found you and I'm sure this lost soul will be found by you as well. My original glad tidings were a bit more eloquent perhaps but I hit send  and whoosh off they went... Since I see my link up there and I'll try posting my comments here:
Helllooooo ... here I am again... Welcome to the birth of Poets and Story Tellers United - delighted to have found you and the new site. First of all Happy Healthy New Year and looking forward to the whirl of words and wordsmiths and most of all the wonderful camaraderie of sharing, and caring for and about one another our impressions and expressions on and about this wonderful spinning blue marble we all share.  Cheers m'dears.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Last Ride on the Merry Go Round (Poem With A Smile - My teenage warrior mom -












MY MOTHER IRENE KETOVER 7/23/31-11/9/19  (eulogy 11/14/19)



My mother was a realist undoubtedly a force of nature – the perfect 
counterbalance to the dreaminess of my father – between them they balanced my world.  My mother was the center of any gathering and frankly it seems ridiculous surreal downright silly that she is not here nodding her head as I speak. – Then again who amongst us knows for sure. She was certainly the loudest, clearest voice against any injustice personal, political or even in the case of her pond - duck related ..  Others have paid fitting tribute to her sass her strength her joy - her fierce loyalty to family, to the values which she felt in her unshakable moral core was the right thing -  All such tributes are absolutely true .. I stand by them as well .. and yet as children from time immemorial we all see different aspects of our parents.  I wrote something for my mother’s 85th birthday,  a sense of my mother who always had me feeling protective of this woman most viewed correctly as a warrior. I know she wouldn’t mind my sharing this personal take on my teenage mom, as I always thought of her, since she surprised me by reading it at her 85th party – and so with her tacit approval and just a few edits here goes… 







WITH A SMILE   … My teenage warrior mom
I watched as you proudly stood my stiff starched dresses to stand like soldiers in the kitchen - 
and you smiled
I felt your long fingers fumble through my hair twisting white clean strips of rags into wet curls as I stood watching out the window and you smiled
You smiled on your hands and knees scrubbing a floor, tush waggling long toes bare behind you, singing Que Sera Sera
You smiled patting endless perfect balls of chopped meat into magic fricasse
On Friday nights, dishtowel on your head, you struck a match with a shaky finger and lit candles, I watched your arms circling the flame three times, covering hands over your eyes, whispering something I knew had something to do with all of us, and then flung the towel onto the counter, called out Gut Shabbas, with what else – a smile.   
You smiled wiping out kumitz - cleaning heavy cut crystal dishes –until they shone with rainbow prisms, cooking, setting table with good silver, serving, clearing, washing, drying – still you smiled
You smiled singing Frank, and Nat, with my father, sang in your uniquely uniform continuously consistently off key fashion, 
you smiled as we rode off to where I do not recall - standing with me wind whipping your hair in the front car of a swaying wicker-seated-porcelain-railed train - the chain in front of us swinging against the blackness of the rushing tunnels  
You smiled bathing that new beloved-by-you baby brother splashing in a white vinyl bathinette as I stood and watched your face flush with a new softness 
You smiled swinging hands on the way to the park as we pushed that huge carriage - cold steel under my outstretched clinging hand walking in dappled sunlight singing A Tisket a Tasket,   
You smiled at walks end as we slid onto high stools to eat whipped potatoes, a stick pretzel, a chocolate malted – 
the baby asleep outside in his carriage- perfect 
Even if one that time, just that one time, we did forget the baby,
All the way home after running back and retrieving him you panting out of breath and deliriously relieved, smiled –
You smiled, needles flashing and clicking knitting long into the night 
and early at morning breakfast – your hair delightfully mussed, cigarette dangling from your lip you smiled.
Oh yes, you smiled, that mega watted klieg lit smile  
at your parents and inlaws and friends and passerbys and later you smiled at customers and employees that became so much more to you -
One and all individually and collectively they loved that signature smile 
Of course you smiled at my father in a way that set a template that made every Russian romance novel, every love poem, every lusted look and giggled pushaway known and familiar to me when I later met them – 
You smiled as I watched, lucky spectator with the best seat in the house – in the center of the love story that rose to the moon and stars and beyond
I inhaled the love and lust and passionate possibility of you - the dances you danced together, the secret looks, the arms around each other close, the whirl and whisper, the giggle and sighs the very magic of this love of you -

I too enjoyed all those smiles 
But there was more, seen in stolen moments when a slipped glimpse caught the shimmer of your bright tears 
those times in the quiet of a still afternoon 
those times in the dark of night when on bare feet I was drawn to the golden light of you sitting there in a cool room as you let your knitting drop into your lap and just for a moment let silent tears fall onto a doll’s dress or a sweater for the baby, – as I watched quietly and tiptoed back to bed-  
those times of quiet hidden tears, that I came to know –
the shimmering beauty of your courage – confronting and besting that Fellow, Death that, silent, shunned, and hidden boarder who lived with us. 
I remember and acknowledge and celebrate along with all the dazzle of your dancing smile- 
I came to know early on, consecrated in one precious singular sacred moment so very long ago when I approached you, and reached out and dared to touch a single tear easing its way toward your mouth – 
When that little girl me intoned "Don't cry Mommy" I came to know – 
the nature of my teenage mommy - 
the true majestic nature of those smiles 
that manifesting mystic magic, born and borne as a shining talisman protecting us all.
So long ago, in that cool darkened living room, the click of knitting needles, quieted , stroking the soft wool in your lap, the wetness of that brave secreted tear on my finger, you, my teen warrior woman, the powerful mother I adored, was revealed in all your vulnerable shuttered glory.
Then, now and forever as years float, tumble tossed through life and death  – I feel that smile, that chosen strength scored, seared, branded in my soul, side by side with my protectiveness of that secret girl under the smile, my love sealed forever and a day, for the who you were and the majesty of the who you chose to be, then, now and forever ...
And now the ride you both spoke about on the merry-go-round has stilled – the calliope quieted and yet I still feel the whirl, the wonder, the whisper and wallop of the girl who for a few short days lay with me alone in a quiet hospital room in a foreign state and chose to hold me close before going out to face the world with a smile 
The mold is now broken – 
The lessons remain –
The meaning of the song and the flash of your actual Smile 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

I Sing the song of my father


I Sing the song of my father *

I sing the song of my father
every particle of my being
today infused with him as
though he stands beside me
and has never left – though
he did vanish one hot
August morning - sunlight
burning through white
coverlets – though I felt
His heart beat three times
Once – Twice – Thrice
under my palm and
then stop – he did not die

I sing the song of my father
Who left with black hair
glinted with silver in his
Sixtieth year – slipped from
any coil mortal or otherwise
but for the coil that holds my
heart pounding my soul still –

I sing the song of my father
He turned my head to
the first cloud in my first
sky - to the wind in the shimmer
of sun filigreed leaves to the
sea rippling – as he drifted sand
through fingers and we sat
Together watching a tiny flag
on the top of a curlicued  
Castle tilt and fall into the
Onrushing tide. 

I sing the song of my father
In the eyes of all who work hard
and deserve respect and those
who cannot find work through
limitation or exclusion.  In the
wonder of all that sprang natural
and all that rose from the mind
of men and women –

I sing
The song of my father who turned
my face to cobalt and burnt sienna
the shock of turpentine on a clear
morning a blank canvas holding all
possibility. 

I sing the song of my father
in the crabs that poked from
the mud on the day on the pier
while he painted and the sun
began to slip below gilding all
In that silent sacred place to
Which he granted me entrance.

I sing the song of my father – to
Sun burnt ribs that rippled under
Young flesh – to his ebony hair
To the taste of salt on his young
Flesh as he carried me far out
Into the sea. 

I sing the song of my father
to that crinkle nose secret
smile he passed to my mother
as they sang from song-sheets
To his eyes closed in ecstasy as
Music shook the walls around
and I peeked from my own
encouraged experience to see
A tear trailing at crescendo

I sing the song of my father as
I feel his hand in mine strong
Ever present – singing in the
Shimmer of leaves in a willow
Rustling in chestnut blossoms
Soaring on the velvet tip of
A blued jay on a clear day
Returning caw for call

I sing the song of my father
As he stood watching my ride
On a carousel light slanting
Through high window – calliope
Playing waiting for me with
Open arms to jump – I jump
I sing – the song of my father
Holding my newborn son
in aquamarine waters high
above his head – diamond
droplets falling about them
I sing the song of my father
Coffee cups before us
Words flying as red cardinals
soaring from- between –above

I sing the song of my father
I sing in memory, in reflection
In honor, in dedication and
In love – I feel his presence in
the air that brushes my cheek
In every particle of my being
and though I thought it a wonder
that he left when his hair was
mostly black and his back straight
when he could bend and rise
From the earth of his gardens hands
rich with fragrant loam – Left still
young enough
I see him now – hair white –
The slightest stoop as he stands
Shining in the blaze of sun
Beams shooting dancing rays
For it is from
His lips - I sing his song
Forever with the life he
Lent to me.












published in Bards Annual Anthology 


the ketchup wars

the ketchup wars 


whooping warriors of bloodless pretend wars

we ran, mugging fierce faces at each other as

we fell, graceless as bowling pins in faked suffering
the kind seen in the silence of marble chilled cinemas 

the kind of ketchup killing 

where rugged men rode ranges of firing rifles
stuffed with celluloid splendor of grace and always 
always lived to ride home with clean hands 
to some sweet lady holding her hair off her face
and their cows safe in the fence she had fixed 





SCISSORS AND SPACKLE 

Cat on windowsill - A Haiku






Cat on windowsill 
Folding boneless in sunlight
Origami breathes


















HAIKU JOURNAL 5-29-12