Friday, June 8, 2018

The Songbird

Chasing and chasing in the whirling wind,
the songbird can not remember her song,
the willow weeps, the running waters waver.
Everything that was once lush, languishes.

Hunters and gatherers, our longing hearts
desire, ravage, and hunt,though some days,
we stay close to the fire gathering what comes.
   
"I will somehow welcome what comes," I whisper.
Hardly are these words out, when the songbird
begins to hum her tune, the willow wipes her tears,
and the wondrous waters flow merrily on their way.




Sunday, May 27, 2018

Angels Sent

After Chemo, surgery, and radiation, my hair
returning, like a silver glaze,
I'm once more on the open road,
traveling home from Boston.

From Harvard Square to South Station,
then up the twenty concrete steps to the
Amtrak area - no escalator this time.

I'm clumping up the concrete steps,
hoisting my copper-colored suitcase,
struggling with each few steps when,
right on cue, as if from Central Casting,
a Sikh man in lavender turban gently
wafts my luggage to the landing.

At the landing, I thank him with "Sat Nam."
At this, his eyes brighten to a golden glow.
As I move on, I feel his gaze
following me.

Our angels, where do they come from, and
how do they know when exactly to appear?

Friday, May 18, 2018

Visit From A Peacock 2


Dear Mummy lay dying in the jungle
amidst fronds, primordials,
birds of paradise in robes
of orange and red, flowering
jasmine, hibiscus, tuberose,
the waving leaves of banana trees.

Dear Mummy lay dying not far
from my brother, but in her own space.
On the morn of her death, I tried
to feed her, but she swallowed
only a spoon of applesauce.

A peacock slept outside her room,
always on the same branch
of the same tree. That morn,
he strode across the threshold
of her room spreading feathers
of indigo and turquoise.
Circling, he screeched his song
and was gone.

When the hospice nurse arrived,
she bathed Mummy; then sweeping
her back and forth in the sheets,
alerted me that her last breaths
were drawing near.

I perched on the bed, holding Mummy,
At that indelible moment,
my brother appeared, grief wrinkled
onto his face.

For all the fury of her life,
Mummy left with radiance.
"Goodbye my sweetheart, my friend,"
I said. The peacock had also
managed to say his goodbye.






Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Many Morrows

I think I have many tomorrows,
to play the cards I've been dealt,
morrows to ride the waves,
to give love I've deeply felt.

But morrows may not be many,
and cards may be hoarded or spent,
and waves may break me asunder,
and love may be borrowed or lent.

I think I have many tomorrows,
but the morrows may not have me,
so I'll find joy in each flower,
and dance with the sun and the sea.

Friday, May 11, 2018

After

My breasts were two, but now just one,
I thought I might despair, but no,
Lopsided and lovely like a pun,
I look upon myself and glow.

I will not wake and be the same,
but am thrilled to be and thrive,
my hair is short, God made her claim,
most essential, I am alive.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Tiger at a Tea Party 2

"You can't take a tiger to a tea party,"
he told me.
"Swear that you won't tell anyone,
not even God."  I swore.

It was a wild tale told that day,
a tale of rescue, murder, escape,
too outlandish to be true.

Somehow, my son had come unhinged.
Time has passed; weeks, months -
It's now seven years since that day

when the moon somersaulted into the light of day,
and the dazzling sun climbed into bed with the night.
And I have not been the same either.


Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Kiwi Green of Spring

I am the kiwi green of spring,
I am the smile of hope lingering
with the wind in treetops mingling.

I am the cherry pink of spring,
I am deep delight dancing
beneath her bridal veil glancing.

I am the dogwood rose of spring,
I am uncanny kindness careening
against a rosy sky preening.




Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Forsythia

Yellow, yellow, yellow, so like the sun,
Forsythia, dazzling and ablaze,
I open to beauty as yet unsung,
Forsythia, you leave my heart a daze.




Monday, April 23, 2018

A Voice


A voice with which to sing,
to prick away the sting,
a voice with which to cry,
cry out against the sky.

A voice to defy harsh passerby,
A voice to redeem, to beam
across a wavering dream.

A voice once lost, now saved
A voice not again betrayed.




Burning

I saw a bush that was burning
but not consumed by flames,
I saw a bush that was yearning
but not entrapped by names.

A burning bush it had become
and God spoke from its midst,
and though I stuttered in reply,
I felt I had been kissed.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Lullaby

I will sing my sorrow a lullaby,
I will sing my pain a tune,
I will soothe my sorrow with a cry,
I will kiss away my wound.

And in the deepest dark of sorrow,
I feel the drops come pouring down,
There is nothing to beg or borrow,
It feels like I will not rebound.

I will sing my sorrow a lullaby,
I will sing my pain a tune,
I will soothe my sorrow with a cry,
I will kiss away my wound.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Return of Milkshake

When Andy lived in Hollywood,
he had a psychotic break,
he became unhinged, it seems,
it made my poor heart ache.

One day, he saw a beggar with a dog,
a cur so cute and sweet,
being suckled by her pups,
a dog with little feet.

My lad pulled out his wad of cash,
sixty bucks he did pay,
the dog he lifted to his arms,
and carried her away.

He gave her name that very morn,
and Milkshake she was named,
he loved her to the moon and back,
for this, he couldn't be blamed.

He took a cab a hundred miles
to Santa Barbara town,
and walked into a bar that day
his troubles there to drown.

He walked into a bar, I say,
and left Milkshake outside,
He tied her to an iron pole,
then she cried and cried.

A cop found Andy in the bar
and gave to him a fine,
He carted Milkshake away,
Andy was left to pine.

Andy wandered the streets dismayed,
he phoned on borrowed cell,
"Please help," he begged, "my Milkshake
is gone; my heart - a shell."

We were enroute to LAX, but turned
to try to save the day,
we found him with swollen feet,
his broken heart, a sway.

Homeless, he'd been for many a day,
without a single penny,
wandering the streets in despair,
his choices weren't many.

We fed him bread and eggs and tea,
but could not assuage his hurt,
With Milkshake gone, he was adrift
with joy, he could not flirt.

We drove him home a hundred miles
He begged us to restore,
Milkshake his love, his sole desire
to bring her to his door.

We set out a hundred miles,
Milkshake was ensconced
in the pound at Santa Barbara,
we paid the fine and bounced

back one hundred miles, we drove,
I rubbed her little ear
I cradled Milkshake in my arms,
she was so very dear.

We waited down below the stairs,
till Andy bounded down,
Seeing Milkshake, he began to shake,
Tears dropped so very round.

"Milkshake, my love, " he cried in bliss,
kissing her in delight,
he kissed her from head to toe,
hugged her with all his might.

A grown man so enamored,
I was in awe to see,
She was his Cleopatra,
he, her Anthony.










Saturday, March 17, 2018

Tiger at a Tea Party

"You can't take a tiger to a tea party,"
he told me, and indeed he had become
a tiger. "Swear that you won't tell anyone,
not even God, he told me. So I swore.

It was a wild tale, told the day after
his operation. A tale of rescue,
a tale of murder, a tale of escape.
I could almost have believed him, but no,

too outlandish. Somehow, he had become
unhinged. Maybe the anesthesia, maybe
stress of the last months, maybe genetics,
maybe some combination of all these.

Time has passed, weeks, months, years have gone by since
that day when the moon came out into the
light of day and the dazzling sun climbed into
the bed of night. And I have not been the same either.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Visit From a Peacock

Dear mummy lay dying in the jungle
amidst huge frauds and primordial flowers;
birds of paradise in robes of orange and red,
flowering jasmine, hibiscus, tuberose,  
and the waving leaves of banana trees.

She lived not far from my brother, but in
her own dwelling. On the morning of her
last day of life, I tried to feed her, but
she swallowed only one spoon of applesauce,
only three sips of water.

A peacock slept outside Mummy's room,
always on the same branch of the same tree.
Defiantly, that morning, he crossed the
threshold of her room and spreading his feathers
of indigo, turquoise, and bronze, he

approached her bed. Then circling the room,
screeched his sorrowful song, and was gone.
Later, the hospice nurses arrived. They 
washed Mummy, and as they were sweeping her
back and forth in the sheets, the nurse alerted

me that her last breaths were drawing near.
I sat on the bed and held Mummy's forehead
and shoulder. At that indelible moment,
my brother entered the room. I could see
grief wrinkled onto his face.

For all the fury of her life, Mummy
left smoothly and with a radiance -"Goodbye
my sweetheart, my friend," I said. The peacock
had also managed to say his goodbye.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Summer of Water Balloons !!!

I was still wearing undershirts,
though too hefty for them. It was
a summer of water balloons.

One of us would crouch over a faucet,
Another would knot thin ones and plump ones,
plump as a baby's belly. Then we'd lob each other
gleefully and with vengeance.

From a wall, we'd drop our watery bombs
on innocent shoppers wheeling carts
in the blazing sun.

That week, I was the only girl not asked
to the sleepover at Louise's house.
But then, as you'd have it, the boys needed me.

I was to merely knock on the door, and
they'd bombard her hall with dripping balloons.
Later, she would upbraid me saying -
"How dare you, you stained my mother's carpet."

By then, my heart had taken another turn.
Same night, I went bike riding with the boys.
My steed, an ancient racer, once grime and webs
in the dank cellar; now brought to life.

We raced past the park, past the stone mouthed
panthers guarding the hollow, panthers roaring
with vengeance and glee.

The sky was oiled an olive black,
the moon slivered in its silver shell,
a sharp wind swept across my face.
And yes,

there was this one lanky Irish kid,
head of the pack, who'd been adopted
by a childless Jewish woman.

At times, he'd ride not holding onto the bars,
like treading water or daring fate. Then,
surprisingly, he rode to the place where
I was - my heart was open.

Back home, my mom squawked,
"Out so late, the four little kids
are still awake. What were you thinking?"

Like four ducklings, I dropped them in the tub,
scrubbed them down, wrapped them in towels,
smoothed their feathers.

Then, I opened the drawer to my pink diary
with its brass lock - I listed the names of all
the boys on the ride and wrote a few lines
about the lanky Irish kid,














Friday, February 16, 2018

Timbrels

No time to think of bread,
how then timbrels?

We were women believing in wonder,
in miracles, believing in life.

Crossing the waves, no longer slaves,
Crossing the deep, with joy did we weep,
Crossing the sea, craving ecstasy.

Gave timbrels to shaking, felt earth quaking,
Gave timbrels to ringing, we began singing,
a great and wondrous song to God.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

His Voice


You never call, you never write.
Well yes, you text, but you never call.

He's scared his voice will reveal misery
Decades, it will take decades
to work through all this.

We've all been there, torn asunder
from our souls.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Grandma

We walked among the violet hills,
she'd point to gull, to rock, to stone,
or to a violet sun ablaze,
and then I'd feel not so alone.
And when the trees called out their song,
I'd feel their tender call of glee,
I walked with grandma, my dear pal,
and somewhere, a song sang in me.



Saturday, February 10, 2018

Grandma Josie ii

At sunset, we walked, the two of us.
With cane in hand, she'd point to a stone,
I'd dust it and drop it in my bag.

Once, she swore she'd seen a hissing snake
at the mouth of a cave. So scared,
swore she'd run all the way down the hill.
.
It was hard to fathom her running.
I'd seen her mainly in slow motion,
at sink or stove stirring mushroom
barley soup or kasha with noodles.

For a tiny moment, I could
almost imagine her running,
in the next breath, it was
unimaginable again.

My heart ached, how I never
wanted anything to happen to her,
not from a hissing snake,
not God-forbid from anything.

That day, I spilled shiny pebbles,
smooth stones and craggy stones
upon the wooden floor.

With cane in hand,
she'd pointed to each stone,
just for me and for me alone.





Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Gifts from the Sea

I went down to a turquoise sea,
because I felt so very bleak,
and flapped and spread a turquoise cloth,
and rubbed some oil upon my cheek,
And when green waves were rolling in,
and monstrous waves were rushing loud,
I poured some oil upon my arms
and gazed up at a vagrant cloud.

When I had dipped into the sea,
I tried to shield myself from cold,
but now I felt a rapturous glee,
and now I felt I could be bold.
But jelly fish were hovering near,
they aimed their harsh harpoons at me,
and left me tingling like a bell,
then faded through the violent sea.

Though I was gifted by the sea
with prickly sting and reddened sting,
I will accept this raspy pain,
like gull accepts its ravished wing.
And I will walk along the shore,
and watch waves dance and dance away,
the violet passage of the clouds
the golden passage of the day.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Grandma Josie

I loved to walk with Grandma Josie,
her cheeks as red as any posy.

With cane in hand, she'd point to a stone
that was meant for me, and for me alone.

I'd drop it in my bag with glee,
a sacred treasure, just for me.

Once, swore she'd seen an ugly knave
rearing his head from mouth of cave.

She'd come upon a hissing snake,
Oh, how it made my small heart ache.

Swore she'd run so fast that day,
like a bear in heat, she'd hav'ta say.

Now grandma hobbled and wobbled, no lie -
could never picture her on the fly.

So I wiggled and giggled; then I swore,
infuriating grandma all the more.

Exasperated, she raised up her cane,
said of her existence, I was the bane.












Saturday, February 3, 2018

For Ten Different Reasons

"Not something my parents would have done
for ten different reasons,"  he said.

Chicks galore, in all colors, lime, blue, pink,
chirping away under florescent light,
we'd buy them at Woolworths every Easter.

Being Jewish did not make this taboo
for my parents, but for his - no way.
Later, our chicks shed their dyed feathers.

Released into the living room, they'd fly
round in gay abandon - one chick, Snowy,
ever perching on my brother's shoulder.

With sticky seeds, feathers, spilled water, things
could get messy. Another reason his parents
would have said, "No thanks." Not to mention,
you could pick up all kinds of disease.

We grew up wild and wooly, helping my
dad run his business out of the house, but
we were granted freedom, like buying chicks

at Woolworths. As Frost said of his road,
"And that has made all the difference."




Lillikoi, Oh My Joy

I went down my love to stir
in gardens of spice and myhrr.
Lillkoi, oh my joy,
Guava, my darlin'.

Underneath the banyan tree,
there he slept so peacefully.
Papaya, oohlala,
Guava, my darlin'.

It was in the mornin' mist,
when we first began to kiss.
Banana, nanana
Guava, my darlin'.

Do ya, do ya love me true,
Do ya swear it through and through?
Prickly pear, do I dare?
Guava, my darlin.

Reframing the Story

Joseph umasked himself. Drawing them close, he said,
"I am Joseph, your brother. Does my father still live?"
His brothers stood there, stunned, speechless,
ridden with guilt.

Joseph was desperate to reframe things.
He told them that they may have meant him harm,
but all along, God had another plan in mind.
All along, God was figuring out a

way to to get a jump start in Egypt, so
that when famine came, they'd have a way to
survive. That's the narrative Joseph spun,
reframing, so his family could knit together,

and move on. If Joseph, thrown into a
pit by his brothers and sold into
slavery, could reframe a story; then
anyone can; surely the two of us.


A Strawberry

When Grandpa Morris was a boy,
he'd go off to the sun-crazed fields
to seed and plough, and if he saw
a strawberry, ripe and ready,

he'd pick it, cradle it in his
hands when not at work, a gift for
mother. At sunset, he'd present
the strawberry for her sweet smile.

When he came to these golden shores,
he'd patch elbows of his sweaters,
and send dollars back home wrapped in
sheets of carbon paper to fool

the censors. This, before all turned
to ash, except for one niece. Tales
told mouth to mouth of man and boy,
of strawberry and sweater.



Friday, February 2, 2018

Take Her To Saks II

When Blanche Bauman of Beverley Hills strolled
into the room, all heads turned. She crossed her
long legs, and gave the judge her full attention.

There I was at the national Bible contest,
struggling to answer the next question
for the crusty judge, when Blanche strolled in

full of razzle dazzle. Blanche, Mom's second
cousin, visiting New York, figured she'd
swing by, and lend her support.

That day, I didn't win the grand prize,
a trip to Israel, I came in third which
was kinda' sad, but I'd live with it.

"Jean, why didn't you dress her up more? Then
maybe the judges would've noticed her more."
Blanche inquired of my Mom.

Her words rebounded inside me. In my
cotton black suit and white blouse, I felt like
a church mouse in need of a meal, scrounging

around for a morsel here, a morsel there.
I'd been holed up in an attic, studying
away. dutifully prim and proper.

Next day, Mom confessed that we'd traipsed around
all day and found nothing for my big party.
"Jean, what's the problem? Take her to Saks."

Never saw Blanche after that day, but Blanche,
in her silks and alligator heels, had
advocated for me and opened a certain door.


Fishke The Lame

Fishke, the lame, schlepped coals, lugged water,
guarded clothing in his shtetle bathhouse,
begged for bread if he had to. Behold one day,

he met his hunchback girl, they talked endlessly.
She'd been abandoned as a child, then
abducted by a gang of thieves who beat
her, and set her to begging for them.

His hunchback girl would look at Fishke with
such tenderness that he said to himself,
"Fishke, you are not alone in the world, no
you are not, not anymore."

"She sees you, she sees your pain,
You see her, her pain, as well.
Enough to bring two souls
together and so be glad."

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Tal, My Tal II

Tel Aviv dressed in white, the sea
her sequined scarf. I imagine how
I could as easily have stayed here, carved
out a life. Had a child named Tal like

the Tal from El Al, red head, tough and sweet
blushingly beautiful, Tal, my Tal,
early morning dew on bougainvillea.
I hear her calling me, whispering my name.

Waves wash the Tel Aviv coast, I see an
Ethiopian girl, thin as a stick,
jumping in and out of the water.
"Eema, count for me, see how long I stay under.

I see a blond of four, born in Frankfurt,
having a tea party with herself,
tiny cup, tiny pitcher, visiting grandpa.

A couple from Paris lotioning a
baby, placing him in inflated tub,
pushing him along with help of sea and sky.

All of us, like Yehuda, part here, part
there, glimpsing past, present, and
what may still be ours to have.

Russian River

A Russian river, maybe the Volga,
overhead, three ravens cross the wintery sky,
then swoop down on an ice glazed branch -
Three princes: two Muslim, one a Jew,
while earth's red shadow eclipses a satin moon.

We trudge up fifteen steps, freshly shoveled.
A lit candelabra welcomes us.
Inside guests gather. I greet paintings
from other walls, carpets from other planks,
piano hauled from home to home.

A gaggle of students huddle on a couch,
quacking, quacking, flipping cards
across a cedar chest, when down swoop -
Three princes: two Muslim, one a Jew,
while earth's red shadow eclipses a satin moon.

One Pakistani, one Afghani, one from Iran,
"These three always hang together," he says.
An Indian woman with diamond studs joins them,
also a one-legged lad; half Chinese, half white, and
Daniel, son of Survivors, his wife, Tova, their son, Levi.

All here to celebrate Andy's birthday
come round like a full moon.
Against all odds, he's alive.
The piano has traveled, as have I.
Raising my glass of Russian River, I toast
the heart - by far, the most ancient traveler.

I'm enraptured by the moon come round
for one more birthday in late February.
From an ice glazed branch, three ravens swoop down -
Three princes: two Muslim, one a Jew,
while earth's red shadow eclipses a satin moon.

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Stork Dropped Us

That night, we slept with distant cousins,
lost our luggage en route to Tel Aviv.
Shifra wasn't terribly glad to see us.
We gave her Nina Ricci from Air France.

"Best hit the road as soon as sun is up,"
Shifra says. "Start interviewing early."
First kibbutznick will not have my sister,
"Too young, too much responsibility."

Next agrees to take her; he's a Communist.
"Fine, even a girl of fourteen can work."
Orders Egged driver to drop us at Sde Yoav.
"Never heard of it, my friend," the driver shrugs.
"Cross the road from Negba, you know Negba."

By a weepy willow, he drops us off.
We trudge down a long dusty trail. With
little fanfare, they put us to clearing
a field, bending, tossing rocks of all sizes

into a pile. As I bend down yet again,
I see before me a flapping of wings.
A stork has opened her beak and dropped us
down on this God forsaken plot of earth.

For three days, we toil under the hot sun.
Watery blisters sprout on our arms and faces.
"Listen, sisters, this is not for you.
 Try making yourselves useful in the dining hall."

Blissfully, we mop. Out on back porch, we
peel potatoes seated on plastic tubs,
dice cucumbers, refill salt and pepper.
My sister says, "'Nuff of this drudgery.

I've gotta move, see what's going on here."
"You can't just go wandering off," I say.
"Yes, I can," she blithely replies.
She phones a family that I'd stayed with years

ago, they say they'll take her for a while.
Days pass, maybe weeks, I'm picking pears.
A strident sun roils the sky, when
in the distance, a silhouette, a woman

from the days of Abraham, our father,
balancing an urn on her head, walking
our way, only now, my sister's wearing a
dusty blue tank top and white Israeli sandals,

her smile victorious, satisfied, and
in that moment, the stork opens her beak
once more, and drops down a streak of red
envy that enters my heart.





Sunday, January 28, 2018

Summer of Water Balloons II

That summer, we heaved water balloons at
each other. I was wearing undershirts, though
too hefty for them, I barely knew myself.

One of us was crouching over a facet,
another was knotting long ones and plump ones,
plump as a baby's belly. Then we'd lob

each other gleefully and with vengeance.
From high embankments, we'd lob innocent
shoppers, their sole sin, wheeling carts to cars.

That week, I was the only girl not asked
to Louise's sleepover. But then as
you'd have it, the boys needed my help.

I was to knock on the door - and they'd blast
her hall with scads of dripping balloons.
Later, she would upbraid me, saying,

"How dare you - you stained my mother's carpet."
 By then, my hurt had taken another turn.
Same night, I went bike riding with the boys.

My steed, an ancient racer, once grime and
webs in the dank cellar, now brought to life.
At last, I could escape.

We raced past the park, past the stone mouthed panthers
guarding the hollow, panthers roaring with
vengeance and glee. The sky was oiled an
olive black; moon slivered in its silver shell.

A sharp wind swept across my face and yes,
there was this one lanky Irish kid,
head of the pack, who'd been adopted by
a childless Jewish woman, whom I knew.

At times, he'd ride without holding the bars,
like treading water, or daring fate. Then
surprisingly, he rode to the place where
I was. We chatted - my heart was open.

Home, mom scolded me, "Out so late, four kids
still up, what were you thinking?" Like four ducklings,
I gathered them into the tub, scrubbed them down,
wrapped them in towels, smoothed their feathers.

Then, I opened the drawer to my pink
diary with its brass lock - I listed
the names of all the boys on the ride, and
wrote a few lines about the lanky Irish kid.








Wedding Cake II

A new bride at twenty four, married
on the rebound, I'd have to say.

We moved to a place on the wrong side of town.
Venetian blinds clung to the windows. I'd
replace them with curtains from Sears, both blue
and flowery, but too short for the windows -
like kids in hand-me-downs.

Three months go by. Ivan's asked to be
best man at his friend's wedding in St. Louis.
Then suddenly, his grandfather, a Pittsburgh
icon, dies and now Ivan has to choose:
funeral or wedding.

What goes 'round, comes 'round, Karma you'd call it.
Ivan makes his choice, and I acquiesce.
We leave the smokey city behind us
on the windy Thursday of Thanksgiving.
I'm glad for a break from my screeching
seventh graders.

I take along my basket with patterns and pins.
Howard and Ellen welcome us into
their drafty flat. Saturday, we'll all be
dancing at the wedding.

That night, trying to sleep, I hear a tip-tapping,
the undeniable tapping of roaches
on tented tin foil covering the turkey,
tip-tapping their own wedding dance.

Once home, two roaches boldly waltz
from my basket. They colonize.
The red-headed landlady refuses to help.

I'm cleaning on a Sunday afternoon.
Ivan has once again gone off with Bill
to chase trains, to shoot them comin' round a bend.

We'd stashed the plastic bride 'n groom from off
the wedding cake high up on a kitchen shelf.
As I swipe my rag, half dozen roaches scatter

north, south, east 'n west from the folds of her gown.
Stayed in that marriage nineteen long years.
Whys and wherefores, don't ask.










Friday, January 19, 2018

Into The Sea

Fleeing from Egypt,
Nachshon Ben Amichai was the first
to march into the Sea,

Before Moses with his staff,
before Aaron with his rod,
before Miriam with her timbral,
before the waves themselves
had parted.

Where did he get the chutzpah?
From where the nerve, the verve?
You have to wonder - when
it's so difficult, sometimes,
To make a simple decision.

Maybe he could hear
The Divine pounding
Pounding inside.


Monday, January 8, 2018

Does Anyone Have A Tissue?

"Does anyone have a tissue?",  asks Miriam.
Easy, straight forward, yet, for me, it's not
easy to ask for favors, even small ones.

My brother says, "Thank God I can receive love
from the birds." Not easy for him to be with
people, but birds are fine.



Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Frying Eggs on the Sidewalk

In Tucson, you can scorch your hand
on the handle of a car door,
or fry an egg on the sidewalk.

In New York, beware of black ice,
you can slip, not difficult at all,
take it from me.

So easy to get fried or iced,
a moment's inattention,
a willing suspension, and
all that misery - so unwanted.



Tuesday, January 2, 2018

These Bare Limbs


Staring at trees has become my daily
ritual, deciding if a tree is male,
female, old young, strong, feeble,
intelligent, fearful.

Second day of January, out walking.
Will I meet a friend for my soul,
will we exchange names,
converse?

Will these bare limbs remind me
of someone from my past, someone
I haven't seen in years?

Will we continue our discourse
from long ago?






Monday, January 1, 2018

Threads of Saffron

I'd drizzled the sky with threads of saffron
to mark the new year. Air still very still,
only the tip tops of trees stirred and
my cheeks burned to a burnt sienna.

If only I had a baklava, I'd
traipse across the tundra like a Russian
peasant. I'd feed salt to spotted deer.
I'd drizzle the sky with threads of saffron.
.