Friday, June 14, 2024

Treasured











Treasured 


Greeting cards and sentiments

handwritten and signed by those

once children, others now long

gone – letters still somehow un-

yellowed folded pieces of lined

school paper filled with love and

song lyrics passed in the hallway

by a sweaty palm of a lovely boy

eager to move from friend to some

things – these things – photographs

catalogued one winter when dread

assailed and thoughts of a looming

horizon motivated legacy leaving –

ahh the files, the files, manilla tabbed

and computer coded – filled with words

words, words, research, reflection, books

written and in halted progress a pilgrimage

of poems – trapped as data – some escaped

into volumes, stray pieces of printed paper,

handwritten scratches , oh the binders of 

would be novels, that would not breathe, 

and the paraphernalia, jewelry, a diamond

ring of promises made and broken another

of promises kept and delivered evermore,

my mother’s father’s tiny police shield 

mounted on a gold disk that my mother 

wore every day, I broke the chain, 

forget the jewelry, lovely in their own

right but not keepsakes, not worth

reciting gemstones and turquoise,

the baby ring I wore in kindergarten 

chewed through somehow, the 

charm bracelet of childhood, jangling

with small tokens, a parakeet, a bicycle, 

a typewriter, even then…

on and on the things, the things, when a super

storm hit – I packed a plastic container with all

considered vital.. it is in the bottom of a bedroom

closet – I’d leave it now if rains fell..books written

have been writ, poems published have been read, 

jewlery mere stones, sentiments remembered, 

no need to gaze upon handwritings, of children now

no longer adoring nor parents and grandparents whose

adoration remains without a card .. perhaps my grandmother’s

letter where she thanked me for being a wonderful granddaughter

a year or two after my father’s death, or my father’s letter, written

at twenty before heart surgery he did not expect to come through…

maybe, maybe not. What is truly a treasure, tangible and precious- 

a notecard from my analyst and mentor an almost magical woman

who lived in a house with a white arbor lush with pink roses, a sitting

room of chintz and the kindest, wisest eyes ever to look upon me, perhaps, 

her note card – saying that something about her feeling for me, perhaps not – 

Most definitely the wedding bands upon my hands -  if not worn they would certainly be in a 

treasure box, the “wow” one on the occasion of our twenty-fifth when things were good shining 

with my husband’s obvious usually completely unstated pride, the simple gold band, we 

married in, yes these, yes these and the half cut glass bowl that sat on my grandmother’s 

table – that crashed to the floor several years ago … half shattered… a large semi circle 

remaining…still holding in the prism of rainbow reflections the love of a life-time

the rings, and the the broken bowl my legacy, my treasure.  I think of tossing all else and it 

brings me joy and clarity as does the peace that I need not do anything. I know if a storm were 

to come or I simply heeded the call to go… 

I would check my fingers for my rings, wrap the sharp edges of the shimmering remnants of 

my grandmother's cut glass bowl in a piece of her worn soft rose quilted coverlet and walk out 

through the door 


unencumbered. 



Wednesday, June 5, 2024

I am the creation of words




I am the creation of words

 

I am the creation of words

my hair fingered by countless 

lovers .. my skin caressed, 

slapped, cut, imprisoned

and freed by thousands of

hands - calloused, gentle, 

manicured, newborn, aged, 

drenched in filth and courtly 

perfume

I am the creation of words

swallowed in greedy gulps

in childhood beds and 

Caribbean sea shores

on grandmother’s velvet couch 

in university libraries, subways

railroads, and jet planes – 

my eyes fill with cinders of

bodies burnt, squinting in 

rabbit holes, insane asylums

train stations, savannas stretching

I roam - ingest verdant fields,  

slumber in feather-beds, forests, 

city streets, grandfather’s straw bed, 

roll in ecstasy in gardens, 

under brilliant skies, torrential rains

tornadoes, tsunamis, drenched in 

weather, in love, in hate, in pity, in

horror, in exultation, in adoration, in

mysticism, magic and math, mania,

madness, mindfulness, each image

intractably impressed retina to soul

I am the rallying cries, and solitary 

screams for help, for joy, for justice, 

for grief, for pain, for pleasure each 

echoing in the chambers of ear to heart

I taste each swallow- though mere words

may be lost – I am the worded creation - 

the lyric legacy of countless pages has

formed me, informed me, 

terrified, teased, tormented, 

tickled, transformed the 

constant metamorphosis

the shimmering murmuration 

of fluttering leaves digested

whole into my blood, bone,

mind and soul … 

I am so titled 

stamped 

and numbered 

indelible volume 

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Once I had a child




Once I had a child 

 

Once I had a child

born as all children 

come into this world

yet unique this child

my child who swam

within me as I swam

in warm clear waters


Once I had a child

who threw arms 

about me and said

my heart is over-

flowing – as did mine

saturated and soaked

with love sweet and 

unlike any other


Once I had a child

who grew as all

children do 

and flew 

as some do


away…. 

Friday, May 31, 2024

in the night




in the night 


There in the corner something

scurry scratching, scrabbling 

my breath coming in short 

pants .. I restrain them .. 

In the sudden stillness

a cricket sings outside 

or closer, always  hard to tell 

There in the corner by the 

ceiling something flutters

wings flicker fast across

my eyes swallowed by 

the navied night 

There in the corner across the room

high up where I cannot see – 

chirrup, chirrup, chirrup, chirrup

rat, mouse, wounded bird .. 

damaged soul?

Its pain screams quietly 

ending all possibility of sleep

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Ask not....





we were children 

at the cusp of puberty

junior high school beginning

childhood tossed behind us

like castaway pigtails, worn

out sneakers, dolls and toys -

A new president held us entranced

when he spoke with long vowels 

and wavy brown hair declaring 

the things that we were taught at home.

He was clearly ours – we learned of Camelot

unsure whether he was creator or symbol

it mattered little – there was talk of moon

shots and stirrings of unity … he sailed a

sailboat hair ruffling in the wind - and we 

were twelve or thereabouts and not yet 

wearing flowers in our hair but in our hearts – 

our open hearts – so tender and open –so very

easily pierced, and bloodied that afternoon when 

school  announced early dismissal… 

of life that we then realized was  

but a dream that we dreamt.

the voice stilled – a real man’s 

skull blown away ….

Ask not...

Ask not...


we were children 

at the cusp of puberty

junior high school beginning

childhood tossed behind us

like castaway pigtails, worn

out sneakers, dolls and toys -

A new president held us entranced

when he spoke with long vowels 

and wavy brown hair declaring 

the things that we were already 

taught at home.

He was clearly ours – we learned of Camelot

unsure whether he was creator or symbol

it mattered little – there was talk of moon

shots and stirrings of unity … and we were

twelve or thereabouts and not yet wearing

flowers in our hair but in our hearts – our

open hearts – so tender and open -so easily 

pierced and bloodied that afternoon when 

school  announced early dismissal 

of life that we realized was  

but a dream that we dreamt.

Friday, April 5, 2024

Tell me everything's going to be all right - Day 5 PAD prompt - "Tell ----- "





Tell me everything's going to be all right

Tell me the children will stop crying
and dying
Tell me indifferent faces will rotate
and smile kindness inviolate
 
Tell me that fields will blossom with
milk and honey enough to feed all
Tell me that hatred will burn itself
to ash and disappear from the winds
Tell me that those white doves will lift,
fly unthreatened, unassailed and high
Tell me that loved ones will never actually die
Tell me that justice for one and all does exist
Tell me that hope, oh hope alive, does persist
 
Tell me, Oh tell me,
 
that every thing is going to be all right.
That war will end, each and every at last
Tell me that the child who has turned away
will, with open arms, return, recalling the past
Tell me that each babe that is born will enjoy
a horizoned future in sparkling sight
Tell me,
 
Oh ...
Tell me that everything's going to be all right
 
Tell me that seas will return to where they belong
that forests will blossom and birds regain song
Tell me, oh tell me that the thoughts in the dark
 
that tear at my sleep - will calm and graze onto
 
Elysian fields, verdant, placid and gentle as sheep
Oh rock, me, yes calm me, buoy me high with your might
Tell me, Oh tell me, that everything's going to be alright

Wrap all your hopes, your wishes, and dreams
in shining certitude, in rhymes, in patterns of light -
 
Wrap me forever in poetry's shimmering vision so bright
Tell me, oh tell me in your own form and idiosyncratic insight
 
Tell me, oh tell me and tell the world from one corner to next
in coffee houses, or screens, in parchment, in old-fashioned text
 
Tell me oh poets each one, yes I call on your unified might -
 
Tell me, oh tell me
Tell me, that every thing is going to be ultimately all right.

 

 




Tuesday, April 2, 2024

PAD Day 2 - Happy/Sad poems

poetry from "The Street" aka Poetic Asides 




 Hi lily Hi lily Hi Lo

Long ago Amy 

kindergarten classmate

sang in pure high contralto

next to the piano in front

of an impossibly large auditorium

sunlight shafted from high windows

and we all kindergarten through grade

six sat transfixed, that voice lifted my

heart - I didn't have the words beyond

happy - never noticed the way the 

light shone through the thinness of

her dress or the pinch of her hungry

cheeks - not until much later - 

came to know that beauty

can sing over sadness 

Oh Amy ..

Hi Lily - Hi Lily 

Hi Lo ....


The Old Man and Israel

I recall an old man with a long black coat
a snow-white beard who came to the house
once in a while and collected a small tin 
box - blue and white where we put coins
for Israel a fledging place of bible story 
a magical place far off that had come
to life - where there were young people
dancing in circles with flowers in their
hair - free from the horror of family 
ash - I recall the old man - I learned
the anthem, saw pictures of a blue
and white flag and draped it all 
around the stories heard of 
crematorium and genocide 
hatred and those iconic 
piles of shoes and suitcases
Israel - tucked away -
a just in case place -
a place of Sunday stories
somehow come to life
in unconflicted shining
moral standing - 
standing now
in sadness that
should never 
can never be 
the old man long gone 
I no longer that little girl 
and yet I hold the dream 
of the just-in-case 
next to nightmares 
what was and could be 
a cacophany of clanging 
images clattering - 
imprinted early in my 
heart - the succor and
safety of Israel of 
Yisrael - fledging 
nation now powerful
needing the coins of
belief dropping still 
into tin cans of 
blue and white as
she struggles to be
the flower of hope 
sanctuary and safety 
in the center of pain 
Oh how I yearn for that little girl - 
for the mystical old man in his
long black coat and beard 
who took my coins to help



Armfuls of flowers 

armfuls of flowers tossed in the air

falling about her as he ruffles her hair

giggling at nothing and everything where

they run in elysian fields without care

armfuls of flowers of peace, puppies

and such - at twenty or so it takes not very much - 

as decades fold and

flowers and lovers fall to the ground

and peace seems a dream, a child's tale once told- 

the ravage of time

the downside of growing so old


Beyond

Oh all mothers or most think their babes are special
but he was - 

he was turning at two days and 

on and on and on - each day 

sprinkled with new joy and love

oh the love - 

all mothers or most think their babies are
special - most mothers or all expect that they 

shall be loved forever - most are - some are not - 

and the sadness that follows is beyond the realm of poetry



Oh My Papa

I sang this song 
standing on a chair
where they would
lift me under my arms
My father never did -
My father and I drifted
on magical air whether
we were in company 
or alone - the others 
curled my hair in 
white rags and 
dressed me in 
starchy petticoats - 
My father lay with
me under the willow
tree showing me the
shadows dappling on
our shirts as sunshine
sparkled - 
my father sat with me
in our little living room
eyes closed on our 
couch small red records
playing at roaring volume
violin concertos - Pathetique 
The New World Symphony - 
sitting curled against his side - 
eyes closed - 
feeling stories in sound 
pounding through my tiny chest 
The others had me read, chattered 
flatteringly about how quick I was 
smiling with bright red lipstick
My father painted oil pictures 
on an easel on a rickety wooden pier 
I sat at the edge and as sun fell 
watched the crabs blow bubbles
where did it go - 
where did it go... 
Oh my papa 
I hum ...
I hum ...

 

2024 APRIL PAD DAY 2


 


April PAD Day 2 - prompt - happy and sad💫


Happy as a clam I am -

washed up on the shore -

ready to be tossed into a bucket -

shucked and slurped away forevermore

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Leonard Cohen - Anthem (Live in London) .... Searching for the light....




Leonard Cohen - Anthem (Live in London) - YouTubeYouTube · LeonardCohenVEVO5.1M+ views · 5 years ago

 

I’m searching for the light 

in spring … but there in the 

dove gray of pre-dawn 

I  find my soul light flickers

too small a flame -

spirit wakes damp and broken running

streams of unending travails 

broken winged doves 

bells stilled - hope grounded - 

cracked dreams and promises

I seek, the succor of spring 

but the flame is too tiny

 not enough to  light the way 

without help -

 a candle, a flashlight, a tiny torch, a poem, a song

 memory   

something - to brighten

the unrelenting threat

of gloom …for even though

spring sashays her way 

outside – winter still chills

my blood -in the broken dove 

gray of pre-dawn waking 

I search memories in that flat dove gray

until I find the feel of an infant  

in my arms, satin skin  

against my breast

and as the sun rises 

I  suckle myself in this

sudden conflagration 

light rising from within 

reborn  in the memory 

of milk and honeyed 

days of frangipani and

endless sunlight

shimmering … 

as sudden bells chime 

doves lift skyward  

 yes, oh joyous yes, 

"there is a crack in everything" 

tis true "that's how the light gets in"