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"  



Thursday, March 21, 2024

Ana Karenina steps under an oncoming train to her death. From Tolstoy’s Novel of the same name….





Ana Karenina steps under an oncoming train to her death. 

From Tolstoy’s Novel of the same name…. 

 

 

The eyes the eyes 

all those eyes -

staring blankly through

me as though not reviled

but worse - invisible  

Impossible - 

Once inconceivable 

His eyes – Those eyes

that flashed capturing

the world in each 

indelible look and now

“What am I doing?’

Recall, the worker – 

that worker crushed 

under wheels as we 

and they watched so 

long ago, long before 

we danced, or loved, 

or fell together in hell

or heaven wrought 

passion that eclipsed all

passion unstoppable

blazing in consummated

conflagration into love

Love, that lit the universe of

my soul and held me

wiling captive – so long

So long ago signifier worker fell

in sacrificial warning supreme  

Writ  this time – of death

in his blood 

As I step from this 

platform of misery alone

the familiar rush, push

Whoosh of the train 

The gentle train, the

vehicle of my love, my life

Step from this platform and

Into the arms of death as the

worker beckoned – leap finally

to be free -I step this final step 

and in the shimmer of mysticism

In the foretelling of engine smoke, 

the veil lifts ironically clears

and I already falling - fall in 

abject clarity exposing me 

to myself -prisoner of irrevocable 

action once again …

too late to reverse the running wheels…

Wonder…

“Where am I?”

“What am I doing?”

“What for” 

 

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Center of the Universe



 I remember when 

you were the center 

of my Universe 

and I the first of the 

new worlds you would 

come to explore 


I remember when 

you were the center 

of my Universe 

and all else spun in 

lazy concentric circles 


I remember when

you were the center 

of my Universe 

mystic, magical and 

more real than any -

thing ever been 

or envisioned 


I remember when 

you were the touchstone 

of my Universe - dazzling 

dancing in a galaxy of your own -

my forever legacy  

sparkling beyond all reason 


I remember when 

you were 

the center of

my Universe 

your future shooting 

celestial starbursts 

to constellations with 

your signature 


 

I remember foretelling 

you as as the center of 

your unborn babies’ 

 Universe - 

carrying sagas of the past 

forward evermore 

through time and space 


I remember 

I remember 

the light that

came with you 

that shone from you 

the light 

that was 

You.  





Remember when we...



Remember when... 


Remember when

we wore daisies

in our hair 

danced and

believed that

all we needed

to do for peace

was love


Remember when 

love was enough 

no explanations needed

trust assured as babies

sprang from our bellies

little ushers of a future of 

peace


Remember when

we snuggled our 

infants and 

loved and laughed

on shores with

tides that gently

lapped in returning

certitude - 

under cerulean skies


Remember when 

each word was 

given and received

as honey on the lips


I do.... 

I do...

Happy Spring... 



Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Tree-dom





Tree-dom 

 

Kindergarten chimes - One, Two, Three

Climb under our desks away from the windows

away from the tall windows where the oak tree branches did sway

majestic guardian, leafed or bare, strong limbed through each day 

Turn your face from the windows teacher shrilly would say – 

Yet, each time I curled in that

silent space – I lifted head over shoulder

and did turn my face - smiled at my tree smiling back at me.

For, it was all quite ridiculous you see – 

to a five-year-old thinker such as was me -

Metal dog tag pressed under clothes against my chest

I spent a good time with grownup slants of process  

Hiding under a desk as a protection from a conflagration 

that made teachers level voices scatter pitchy and high 

But, good child that I was, I disobediently peeked, checked on my 

tree and stayed silent and curled without even a hint of an exasperated sigh. 

Until after a moment or two,  we were released to climb out from under 

 – once again safe, none here torn asunder

and there outside just as always was and would be

Stood the solid, secure open-arms of my wise and awaiting powerful tree

Winking at the foolishness of adults and their blatant pathetic ill-hidden anxiety .  

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Twelve Steps Through Paralytic Existential Depressive Dread




Twelve Steps Through Paralytic Existential Depressive  Dread 


1.         Count up the years spent and the years left to go

                  Reflect on what you have done and what you do not yet know

2.        Feel that little scratchy bump on your back and 

    Wonder if in that innocent persistence lay your final act

3.        Wake from that dream when they’re lowering you and

     Ponder -peace in soft cool earth as your soul flew

4.         Watch the children thin faced and wide eyed silent or screaming 

    Shudder at screens and papers and your impotence beaming

5.        Recall history- bodies swinging from those trees – crematorium – litany 

    Shiver at the same implacable hatred appearing on ceaselessly

6.         Fall back into the arms of your family, the sweet embrace forever lovingly 

            Remember reading poems to still bodies from podiums in chapels with people fuzzy

7.         Sit in stillness and listen to your blood thrum in your ears as on play lows and great highs

    Massage icy fingers on your trembling thighs 

8.        Breathe in to a count and out again in jagged uncertain puff puff after puff 

    Until it is all for heaven's sake enough, enough and enough!  

   Review counting the years spent and the years left to go - 

    Reflect on what you have done and what you do not yet know


9.  See the falling, screaming bodies, of innocents and evil-doers, guns, scythes, knives, lies, pollution, disinterest, genocide, war, failure to protect, rotting limbs of trees and testimony, rising seas and seizures of plague, creatures innocent curling in natural habitats as corporate jaws approach, see the birds fly in a murmuration of  color, watch the snow still sparkle on the highest crest, see the falling, the rising, the killing, the birthing of all creatures in all places on and on and on in brilliant racing images falling one into another piling on another and another and still not quite done -

Know that it shall all end for you and for each and every one 


10. Feel the creepy descent of gray heaviness fall as a curtain on a final act three

11. Worry that that flicker light in the corner of your eye is the final flutter for thee

12. Sit in stillness …lips dry…heart pounding…mind racing through it all .. and just when you feel you cannot take another instant  - just when, just when, just when....

 

                             THEN.....


                            Intone  “Not Now!" 

Say it clearly and firm - step from the chaos, the dark and the gray 

into the hope of the light of life in movement on this a newly dawned day