Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ma resolution pour la nouvelle annee




des résolutions qu'on peut faire,
pas de perdre cinq kilos, ou
d'être plus gentil, celles qui sont
faisables, intéressantes, qui m'intéresse,
qui me motivent vers un but.
quel autre que mieux parler, lire,..
comprendre le français,
chanter dans cette langue
glorieuse.
alors, ma résolution pour 2015 est
d’étudier le français 10 minutes
au moins quatre jours par semaine,
et peut-être plus.
je pense que je pourrai
le faire.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Perfect Pie

the perfect pie
sweet potato pie
all butter crust
for Christmas dinner,
the perfect dinner
at the perfect house
with four bedrooms with  four 
private bathrooms.
stone cold but perfect, but
my perfect pie is warm
and smells divine in my
tiny house, the warm smell
of freshly baked sweet potato
pie does not have to drift 
far to fill the entire house
with warmth.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Playtime

she used to put her nose up at the idea of a dog,
much less actually having one, 
how much they smell, their licking of your hands
and worse, the shedding, the tedium of walking them.
until
bored with filling out postdoc applications,
bored with talking to human beings, 
stiff from sitting,
she bounded up from her seat and 
started playing with an endlessly willing
partner, that little black dog named Bella.
playtime, what could be finer.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Missing: Left Gloves

left gloves missing,
last seen on man's left  hand,
walking dog, driving, holding mine.
more detailed descriptions available,
including color, texture and heft.
the man still has a left hand, now
gone cold, threatening to snatch
the glove off the right in desperation.
we'll look in drawers, on floors,
at work, at home,in the car,
left gloves missing, at least four,
there may be more.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

how much do I hate to drive

when it's 15 degrees and
the roads are covered in ice
it's night and
I ride,
the studded snow tires grip,
my headlamp bright enough to blind
anyone crazy enough to look my way.
I ride
and the fresh air reddens my cheeks,
my breath hangs in the air,
it's a beautiful night,
the clarity that comes with
bitter cold.
my mind is clear
because I ride my bike
in the cold and I am alone
on a starry night, my thoughts
free to roam.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas

 
I made acorn squash stuffed with wild rice and mushrooms,
apple pie with the flakiest crust of all time,
 a bottle of good red wine.
I celebrate time with my children,
sorrow that my beloved is away,
treasuring the many small gifts of love
wrapped in newspaper, 
or well used wrapping paper.
tender like the tears that streamed unbidden
when he saw the photos of him and me,
and  me and him spanning his lifetime.
I hugged him and rubbed his back
until the sobbing stopped and I wondered
at how deeply love runs, 
like a river hidden below the
frigid beauty of a glacier.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve


the pink dinette is the same size
but they have grown, their feet easily
stretching across to my side, they still
need their feet massaged, their shoulders
rubbed, nothing but everything stays the
same, except now I am petite  next to
them, he sports a shadow,
she is tall and graceful.
I'll still take the chance to rub
their feet and shoulders for a bit,
I  know there is nothing like a
mother's love.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Gratitude

she said she would start a gratitude journal.
is it necessary to write it down on paper
I feel it in my bones in the forest,
draped in white, the only sound of snow
dropping from a high up branch as a 
squirrel bounces along the branch.
do I need to write it when I look into 
their eyes, the same eyes that looked
up at me from birth, now looking out
to a larger world with an occasional glance
back to me for support and encouragement.
Gratitude, when I walk the black puppy
in the forest as the clouds burst forth
in oranges, pinks and roses, my eyes
smell them, gratitude, I do not need 
to write it, I see it, I hear it, I read it
I know it.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Offered, not taken

 
clean sheets
the cozy glow of an old lamp
a pink folded washcloth.
my pillow offered,
not taken.
I would wish she was there
with her feet sticking out past the 
white rails, but the sheets will remain
clean, a sterile smell instead of 
that of her, the one whose scent was
intermingled with mine, who was 
once one with me.
time has passed, and unslept beds 
must be carried along with 
the lunchboxes in the basement gathering
dust, the small dresses we save for grandchildren,
the books which floated away in the flood.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cooking dinner

so many choices, the recipe books
overflow with ingredients, flavors, nations.
pots, pans, oil, time.
time.
time spent otherwise
making music, writing poems, 
penning a few phrases in French,
cooking and shopping pale in importance.
and so, and so, deciding on no.
No, to ingredients, countries, oil,
pots, pans, mess and frustration.
yes, to rotisserie chicken, quinoa,
Greek salad and roasted vegetables
perfectly packaged for my basket,
home to music, poetry and 
relaxation.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

bang cut disaster

It looks easy when she does it,
wielding her scissors in such a carefree manner,
talking about travels, boyfriends, family,
snip, snip, snip
not too much on the sides,
too little, easy to fix, I can find
some small, once sharp scissors,
and snip, snip, snip
not quite right, let's correct,
snip, snip, snip
until the bangs went up and up
and up and still not quite right,
and up and up..
easy when she does it,
a disaster when I do it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I will not be sad in this world

no matter the news,
the beheadings, the children taken from their homes,
I will not be sad in this world.
I will not add to the sorrow.
By lifting my flute to my lips, I will sing happiness
to the world, and the world will sing back
in so many tones, so many colors from
lands I have never heard of.
They will sing and we will not
be sad in this world.
We will gaze in wonder at the child
learning to speak, the gazelle prancing
across the svelte, dancers swirling to an
African drumbeat,  the small kindnesses
extended to each other, the large
beauty of our Earth,
No, I will not be sad in this world,
I will raise my flute and play.

thanks to Cobus for this prompt.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I followed it

I followed it to Chicago,
New York, Dubai and Paris
climbing the stairs of the Eiffel Tower in the rain.
she was behind me, panting but keeping my pace.
We looked towards le Jardin de Luxembourg,
the Champs Elysee, and finally towards the bridge
where lovers make promises
so often broken,
we went there and found the red lock,
now spray painted in yellow optimism
that no longer existed.
it was no longer here, nor was he,
at least I know, and she took my hand.
it's time to go home to look for it in an
early sunrise, a hot cup of mint tea or
the smile I see in your eyes.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Little Decisions

the only ones we can make alone
shall I wear matching socks today,
chopped almonds or granola on my yogurt,
whether to ride my bike to work
or walk the dog.
shall I smile at you, expecting nothing in return
it depends on you.
no longer a small decision, the connected smiles
reverberate, amplify like a laser in a box
of humanity, is it safe.
it depends on you whether I'll order tea
or we'll write, the little decision of
when we will put down our pens and
you will walk away
that is not my decision
nor whether to walk the dog,
you are leaving in the dark,
nor whether I will eat granola,
you have eaten it all.
my small box of little decisions is so tiny
it would perch on the head of a pin.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Speaking Wine in French

after the champagne, the rose, the cabernet
French comes easier, the Gruyere, the
camembert de chevre, le saucisson, the words
flow easier, the grammar left far behind but
we understand each other through the haze.
Max, Lisa, Michele and me, Stephen
reaching for his share before retreating upstairs
to English, Michele corrects us the 17th
time and we nod agreeably, the Christmas lights
illuminate our happy faces, French is so much
easier in Wine.

Friday, December 12, 2014

No one wants to read about my pet


I avoid reading the posts about their pets,
even more, posts about the grandchildren.
no one wants to read about my pet
the one who comes when called except
when snatching mice from a hawks' claws,
yes, that one who chases tennis balls and
then drops them......
that black dog with the perfect glossy fur,
she chases after small children and barks
at hikers with poles and men with backpacks.
she is the perfect dog in spite of all that,
but you already knew all that.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Nope

 
Nope,
sorry, we have changed centuries
have you not noticed that women 
have their own names now, their own
bank accounts, their own
careers, their own everything,
their own souls and personalities,
possessions, houses, hearts.
we share them as we please
we are not part of a man,
we can stand alone
whatever we choose.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Corona Discharge


the electricity that flows between us
the spark in your eye
cloud to earth and back again.
your rage, my sorrow
the endless threads that connect
daughter to mother, son to father,
the beloveds.
corona discharge, the smell of ozone
fills our nostrils, your lightning
show delights our eyes.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

sunrise with bella

orange and rose colored clouds
billowing over the horizon
peaceful, an occasional car
drives by, we run,
our feet pattering
on pavement

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Poem in Recovery

The 12 step program
1: Correct misspellings
2. Decide where each line should end instead of where the line on the paper runs out
3. Drink a small glass of red wine
4. Maybe bread and cheese would be nice, too
5.  Rewrite poem legibly
6. Try that again.
7. Seek meaning in the jibberish
8. Sleep on it.
9. Think with admiration and disgust of people who love to edit their writing
10. Go to coffee shop, furtively look at other people exuding creativity
11. Recall the Serenity Prayer "grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change"
12. Reread it with love and let it go.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Who's Inside

behind those glasses, that wry smile
who are you, what do you need,
are you attached, or merely performing
the required, being the devoted,
the one who shows up on the outside
but never the inside behind that wry smile,
i wonder who you are, brother,
i know you wonder, too, but no one
ever asked and cared,
until me.

Friday, December 5, 2014

the recital

i had visualized the whole day
from the first smile as dawn broke
and a black puppy licked my hand
dangling off the bed, the bike ride,
wheels crunching on fallen leaves,
coffee with Andy.
an indifference to work, all energy
and thought to the big event.
when the nerves came on at 2 p.m.
I had known them, and that they would
pass and I drank a glass of wine
to their passing at 6.
when I settled into the church pew,
i knew all would settle and I would
be surrounded in sounds until
I made my own voice heard, and
as I heard my own sound singing
from the flute, i knew it as a
song from my heart, an offering
to all those I love, all those
who listen.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Those are my stilettos hanging from the phone wire


those are my stilettos hanging from the phone wire,
next to the Adidas and boat shoes
that drunken students spend hours lofting
under a full moon at 2 a.m.
when the bars closed.
I know because I look up and count them
every day when I walk by with the dog.
I sought liberation from stilettos while sober
and in broad daylight,
liberation from never being able to run away,
stumbling, only to be captured again in her web.
I sought liberation from heels jamming in cracks
that life had generously opened in front of me.
liberation from money spent foolishly.
at noon, I stood under the phone wire,
stilettos tied together with bailing wire
and flung them skyward until they caught
next to the Adidas and boat shoes
of drunken students.
Whereas I am liberated, they only wonder
what happened to their perfectly good shoes.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

safe places

he asked me to place myself somewhere safe
I chose here, upstairs where I can see the Moon
pass in front of me by night, the sun reflects
off golden walls by day, my bed is soft and warm.
it's this place that is my safe haven, under a warm
comforter, my books close by, old letters,
a fountain pen, the place I write and play
flute each evening, this is my safe haven
where I reflect on the past, experience the present
and dream of the future, where I can imagine
the most perfect notes.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Singing

The voice never lies,
a song sings the truth,
the notes tumble out like
beads on an oscillating string
bouncing off a taut diaphragm.
the tongue slurs an arpeggio in 32nd notes,
sharp staccatto in A minor triplets
from low C to high G without
a single stumble,
I feel the strength of each breath.
the voice knows how to sing
as the heart knows how to
beat.

Monday, December 1, 2014

He dreams sweetness

he dreams of
sweetness and freckles
on her golden face
freckles on her lips,
her arms, kneecaps.
he only knows them from a distance
as far away as Orion at 4 am.
he dreams sweetness in her
mix of words that fall into
poetry, like snow drifting
down from endless stands of
pine,
black dogs chasing mice.
(frozen solid, they crunch
as she chews them, the small
tail finally disappearing down
her gullet).
he dreams of sweetness,
a dream knit alone on airplanes,
the steady hum slowly rocking
him to sleep.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Chihuly Glass at Night

the reds and yellows 
were cold, shining under starlight,
we were bundled so thick we could hardly walk
with big-boy pants and long underwear, 
double gloves and scarves that warmed our breath,
his down coat, my fake leather lined with fur
we were warm under starlight so we
could stop to admire yellows and reds,
then walk in the dark of starlight amongst
the hollow branches of the dead, the 
plants that bloom no more, merely waiting
for spring to come back, more glorious
even than yellow and reds shining in
starlight, in the cold, we are bundled so
cold, we can hardly walk.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Giving Thanks

Giving thanks
for Mary and Shelly,
for Stephen and Susan,
Karen and Daniel, for
Bella, the puppy who makes me laugh out loud,
for Steve, and my warm bed, my gingerbread house,
and the flowers that bloom in summer.
for snow,  for spring and fall.
giving thanks for good health,
natural beauty, music and poetry,
so much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Gluten-Free

three out of seven guests are gluten-free
finally, i give up and buy the impossible
gluten-free flour, what is flour without gluten,
those magical strands that make gravy
taste and smell and feel like gravy...
mashed potatoes without gravy,
is like thanksgiving without turkey,
pressing the spoon into the mashed potatoes
to make a well to pour that gravy in,
that's thanksgiving, so i'll try a gluten
free gravy and hope for the best.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Lonely Mitten

the lonely mitten was once not alone,
nice and cozy covered over with a reindeer mitten
in 4 degree weather, proudly keeping her 
delicate hands and wrists warm against
the cold, we were all happy together
until one fell out of the sleeve of a coat
in a fancy museum, noticed but ignored
by a family member, and left behind
on that shiny black and white tile.
the lonely mitten now lies on the floor
of her room, not of much use, but loved
nonetheless.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Recipe for Disaster

two TV trays loaded with
four plates: baguette,
artisanal cheese, sausage,
sliced heirloom tomatoes
finally ripened,
some cucumber and avocado,
a large glass of red wine.
Door bell, enter neighbor dog,
mix violently with our dog,
all fun, resulting in
turned over TV trays, wine glass
flies across room, shattering
in a thousand pieces, food
scattered, soon to be eaten.
result: very annoyed Jenny,
regretful Stephen,
next time he'll listen before
thinking mixing dogs and food
on flimsy trays is a good idea.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Woman Who Takes Everything and Leaves Nothing

she comes in late,
breeezing in with her large bag
with nothing inside,
her red cashmere scarf wrapped loosely
around her small shoulders, her carefully
coiffed blonde curls, her immaculate make-up.
how lovely the table has been set already
with the finest bread, cheese and sausages,
shrimp, pate and wine, she indulges herself
while correcting us on cinema and theatre
only to leave abruptly upon finishing her wine,
she blows kisses our way, leaving us
to pay the teacher with gratitude
for what she brings us.
this woman goes home
with $20 in her purse, but
so much poorer.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Laughter and Tears

i spotted her across the table
in tears, then laughter, a smile,
it was like watching a tornado
blocking out a blue sky for a moment
before passing on, a cloud
shadowing a green field.
the field is no longer green under
moonlight, the sky is no longer
blue when a tornado crossed.
her smile sagged as the
thunderstorm moved
across her face, i know she is
raining inside.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Frog Prince

he called to me from a tree
at the Atlanta Botanical Garden,
my frog prince, the one who would
hold me on a cold winter night
in his green froggy arms, the jewels 
on his arms and legs would sparkle
in the firelight and his eyes would
gaze at me lovingly.  
when I kiss him, he will turn into
a handsome prince...
for one of my
lonely girlfriends.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Talking Poems

along the snow covered path
i talk poems, a bird calls and i respond in poetry.
\the crunch of the snow under my boots
releases another poem which floats up
into the trees, i leave ashes and glorious
flames behind me.
the words flow from me like the river
next to me, each molecule of water
bouncing against a neighbor, only to find
another like the words that lift into the air
from my lungs, i forget them as soon as
they are spoken but the weight of
their truth stays with me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Writing French through the generations

he said he'd write back in French,
she never would, the one who knows French better
than both of us, him and me, we struggle
to remember the right words, the tense...
is it the subjunctive or passe compose, or maybe
just plain present or future, she would know,
the native speaker who happens to be my mother,
but she won't write in French.  I will,
stumbling in translation, making mistakes,
laughing at his and my own, we trip over
verb tenses and forget accents, no matter,
we do it together, that's all that matters.



Monday, November 17, 2014

Saying Good-bye

i say good-bye, my backpack slung over my shoulder,
raincoat buttoned, i reach up to hug him, down to hug her
small body, wrapping my arms tight around her.
it's time to say good-bye, to get on a train, a plane,
a bus, a car and head home.
some of my heart is torn away, wanting to stay,
knowing i have to leave, unwilling and willing
in the same moment as i must go home,
they are ready for me to go home and resume
their life together, i hold in my heart our life
together, you as a little boy in my arms, now
in the arms of another
as it should be
as it must be
but i leave a little of my heart behind
a small tear, half of happiness
half of sad.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Slacking in Atlanta

when the sun shines in Atlanta,
find a hammock and face the sun.
let each ray find its place, 
stretch your arms, palms up, 
neck back so the warmth finds
your neglected neck, your chin raised
skyward, erasing the  many hours
facing down towards the tasks 
that accompany daily life.  
we do not relax enough, so when the
sun shines in winter down south, 
stretch, release and relax.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Looking at the sky


I think of you every time I look at the sky.
You reminded me when we were walking to coffee
that we so often don't, just staring ahead on the sidewalk,
watching our shoelaces flop up and down.
I remembered that even though you did not.
in the morning, I look up at the trees with the light
just touching the highest branches.
I watch the clouds hanging over the mountains
and when the wind is blowing fiercely as I ride home,
I watch the darkness in the sky move towards me
and I ride a little faster.
you didn't remember telling me to look at the sky
so I reminded you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Stephen's car

it doesn't slide in snow and the windshield wipers
wipe clean, no long smudges of ice mixed with dirt.
the lights illuminate the street like they are supposed to
so I can actually see, and it just feels solid and secure.
I can see over the bushes at the corner to see if cars are coming
and if I happened to miscalculate, the air bags would
activate, keeping me from hitting my head on the steering wheel.
Stephen's car is so much better than my car with
the fabric on the ceiling drooping so low that it
brushes against your head, the cracked and pitted windshield,
even the safety belt is in two pieces, the old one
you pull over your lap, and the newfangled part
that secures your upper body, I wonder if it would
hold in an accident, it slips on ice; she's an
old girl is the truth, but she and I just don't travel
much together so I let her be.
I just wish she had heated seats.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Change of State


I ran this morning in a T-shirt
and shivered on the way home.
such a precipice at noon, I fell off
the cliff like when I met you
and the world changed in a matter
of hours,this time from chilly and
lonesome to warm and cuddly.
I love that direction, but not this
one when I know that tomorrow
will be 14 degrees when I pull
on my running clothes, leash in
hand and head out the door.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

too tired to write..

too tired to write
trop fatiguee d'ecrire
apres trois heures et demi de francais
merde de putain, je suis fatiguee
apres le film, du vin, du pain, la tartine
how incredibly delicious!
I drove home in a fog and will soon
collapse on command, he says I
will do nothing and so I hide up here
to write something, a little
nothing to mark the day.
Vive la langue française!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

On the move until he sees a fish


they carry their voices
cross country, from stage to stage,
city to city, one running path
blends into the next until this one,
where he sees a man fishing downtown,
he pauses in amazement and spots a trout.
this  man, this singer, zigzagging across
the country stops in his tracks when he sees a
fish,
its silver back flashing the sun into his eyes
and when he walks on stage tonight,
he tells us of the fish, his amazement,
how lucky we are to be able
to fish downtown.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Paying off Old Bets

It's 1974, I'm all of 16 years old
but I KNOW, I know my future and 
it will not include ankle-biting brats
who will cramp my style, cry, get in
the way, why would I ever..
do that crazy thing called childbirth,
sure to hurt like hell, for a lifetime of 
misery to follow, that's what my mother
said, didn't she, ok, so I didn't see
the future, I went and did that twice,
Daniel and Karen and I guess I'll
have to pay the bet, all $25.  
It's worth it.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dinner

it was yummy 15 years ago
when kids didn't eat anything,
after a full day at work, mommy
had no energy, she could put a bit
of cottage cheese and sliced fruit
on the side, a few colors, a few textures
they would not starve after all.
my daughter might call it organic junk food
now, accusing me of bad parenting,
since when did basic nourishment
deserve the label of bad parenting
because it was not home-grown,
lovingly cooked and served
by a mom in a pink apron and cheerful 
smile, I might say that we mothers
deserve a medal for earning the money
to buy the food and then even having
the energy to cook the food, serve it
and do the clean-up.
how difficult to be a mother,
our reward to see our son healthy
enough to dead-lift 250 pounds,
and our daughter's brain sufficiently
nourished to receive faculty invitations
at top universities.
I think I did ok, even serving Annie's
on occasion, we all survived.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Reading the World

I read The New York Times
and listen to National Public Radio
on my way to work,
nothing else..so I can cite my sources.
Respectable sources except for the Fox News
crowd, or Republicans.
Did you hear about the Russian rocket that exploded
or that the quarantined nurse was released-
she got her dog back, such bliss.
I'd rather read the color
of the leaves across the creek, or try to
decipher the call of the crows that gather there,
why some mornings they stand at rivers edge,
other mornings perched high in the branches.
The NYT does not carry this and I admit
to spending more time listening to the crunch
of leaves under my bike tires.
It's fall now and the air has a crispness
not captured by the black and white text
on the Weather pages.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Political System

I can't really watch the results come in,
I admit I almost don't care anymore.
the ones that vote against their interests
after viewing too many ads, the ones
who don't vote, the ones who are in the
middle, uncertain of which side to trust.
I understand all this, and turn away as
the results roll in, admitting in defeat
that I'm not sure it matters anymore.
how sad.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Receipt

A receipt, crumpled on the table.
"Keep it with you at all times."
I know the clientele here, not always
the most honest types, like me
who just picked up a chai, by mistake.
My receipt is for a decaf cappuccino,
but I'll admit the chai was more delicious.
when the barrista approached me just
as I took the first sip, I volunteered
to keep it, but she took it away because
my receipt was for a decaf cappuccino.
I watched her pour it down the drain,
such a tragic waste.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Shopping

why not
twelve rolls of toilet paper
a couple six packs of Pelegrino 
dinner, breakfast
it all fits
why not
get out of the car,
feel the wind caress your face
your legs pumping 
your life force moving
you with your groceries
so much better than a car.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Searching for a Pumpkin


It's Halloween
ghosts and goblins scurry past
small ones, tall ones,
big ones, little ones,
parents in tow.
I have candy but  no pumpkin.
Safeway, Sprouts, King Soopers,
no pumpkins to be found
until I spotted a wire cage
with pumpkins trapped inside,
crying to be let out!
Finally, we were both happy,
the pumpkin and I!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

an evening hike

the sun has fallen below the hillsides
as we drive up to the parking lot,
there is a chill in the air and I
pull my sweater around my shoulders,
weaving my arms into the sleeve of the
other arm to get warm as I march 
up the trail, pulling the dog behind me
until suddenly its warm and the sun
is on my face and the rocks are lit up
as if for my own personal lightshow.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Running out of discipline

it's only 8:30.
the French text stares at me
balefully yellow print;
uncashed checks, bills,
responsibilities and habits worth
forming, but nothing gels.
the bed is not too far away and
looks soft and welcoming.
I know my friend is working,
but I don't have his discipline,
I throw the last crumbs to
the dog and go lie down
with my book.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

This is Why (Y)

This is Y, or A or B, but not E.
please, not E, with its shrill sound
that still emanates from my flute, irregardless
of hours of cajoling, bargaining, even begging.
this is why playing the fluteis so challenging,
one note born and raised in hell,
only surfacing to torment the amateur like me.
that's Y I'm still here years later cursing the E
Y every night I go upstairs to practice.
I close the door behind me.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Riding on a beautiful fall day


summer has arrived
it's called fall with red and yellow leaves
crunching under our wheels.
it's so hot we sit outside drinking
mojitos and eating fish tacos;
we know this is precious, this 80
degree day in October.
we did not ride swiftly today
regardless of the markings on
my jersey, we rode as if strolling
on a warm summer day.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Happiness


happiness
is walking down the path of life
with someone you love,
with a beautiful young woman
who used to hang onto the hem
of my skirt and cry to be picked up.
now she lifts me up with her smile,
she does my hair so I, too, can
be beautiful on this special day.

Friday, October 24, 2014

wanting

wanting
maybe not needing
maybe not necessary for happiness
but needling in the back of your mind
this wanting.
wanting to be seen
wanting to be heard
wanting to be included
wanting to be
valued,
not because you are an old boy,
or part of the club, the right gender,
the right height, the right class and race,
but because
you just are.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

reach for the glow

it's dark except for the glow at the horizon
an orangey, reddish, yellowish splotch of color,
we jog along the sidewalk together until I release her
to  bound like a rabbit through the grass, pausing to
pull worms out from their sleepy nests underground.
I hate to get up early, the darkness lingering over us,
pulling a coat over my small shoulders,
until we get out and can cross the road,
normally so busy, now empty and run
towards the grass, then crossing the creek
she disappears to find unmentionables to eat
and I admire the trees and the glow of
the sun high up there, the fallen leaves
that crunch under my feet.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

one note at a time

so many notes
crescendo and decrescendo,
so many to mess up, too shrill, the vibrato
not quite right, it's faster than the pulse of nature
the audience turns away.
one note at a time, the perfect note
that shows up one day, and lingers a couple more
only to disappear at the weekend when another
note pops up beautifully and fades away
until in three weeks, three notes show up
together, and in another month, there
are four, then five, and a full line
of music speaks to them and they
turn towards the musician
and she turns towards them.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The sounds of Io


in the darkness of space
we hear the groans of Io
perhaps complaining of neglect,
only a small group of scientists
admires her beauty.
the rest of us gaze at computer
screens and listen to Cold Play
or the Rolling Stones,
we are lost under our street
lights, ignorant of the sounds
and sights of the unknown.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bride and Groom and Pup


I can put away the books
on wedding vows and bridal planning,
save a soft copy of the wedding ceremony,
return the foldable tables and punch bowl.
it's official, bride and groom and pup
all joined into one family,
a happy family with room for friends
and family, poetry, flute and saxophone,
only what to do with all the extra beer
and buns...
another party
sans white dress and tux.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Two bouquets

two bouquets, one for the bride, 
one for the maiden of honor,
now the day is gone, the sun has set
but I smell the roses in my study
and remember the softness of her voice,
the warmth of her skin, her smile,
her curls, all of my daughter, my
maiden of honor, roses to remember
her by as she flies over darkened plains
to her home, so far away from me.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Beautiful in Burgundy

she's beautiful in burgundy, eggplant
is delicious when she makes it,
sweet and tender, the salt takes away
the bitterness.
look at her shoes, the color of pale roses
and pearls caress her collar bones.
she is of me, this one, this beauty
and she will lead the way this time,
I will trail her in a beautiful 
white gown.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Plates and Pellegrino

the last errand I plan
for plates and Pelligrino
I plan to sleep in late tomorrow
and play with Karen, perusing
dress racks, picking up that one,
maybe purchasing the prettiest one.
a perfect day of pleasure.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Just in time

 
a wedding without a ring
would be like a bicycle without wheels
yet I waited until the last minute,
so relieved to see a small package in the
mailbox, a small ring that fits me perfectly.
a simple ring, silver, not gold, 
a small stone, white topaz, not diamond,
a little jewel for a little hand.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fall mornings

it's that time when leaves
drift downwards to form a soft blanket
of warmth for the coming winter.
we stroll along the path as
the golden reflection of sun
descends from the highest leaves
down towards the forest floor.
so peaceful, only the sound
of the creek and the crush
of stones under my feet.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mostly tuckered out

twin sheets
Japanese screen
help a friend
walk the dog
make chicken soup
take a nap
cough
cough
bake some granola
send out lots of emails
call a few people
change the time
cough
cough
do the laundry
make mental notes
go to bed
all tuckered out

Friday, October 10, 2014

reminded of extraordinary


I was reminded of what extraordinary is.
tonight, in a packed auditorium, twenty seven
minutes of Scott captured by another
extraordinary who could capture his essence
on film, a lanky, dark haired artist who only
met Scott strapped in a wheelchair nine
days before he passed on.
Scott, the physicist turned photographer,
turned graphic artist, turned woodworker,
sculpting metal into ribbons reaching towards the sky,
smoothing and cutting rocks,  combining them
all into art that crawls inside you somehow
and makes you feel alive.
that was Scott, I was reminded of what
extraordinary is.
thank you, Scott.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

paw prints

I know who has been outside,
digging new holes and mixing
falling raindrops with dirt.
she then tromps back in, tail wagging,
her whole body gives a good shake,
spraying everything within 4 feet
with a fine layer of water.
I can tell she snooped around for food
by the extensive set of tracks around
where the food is stored, finally tiring
of fruitless effort and strolling
across the newly cleaned wooden
floor to her nice soft bed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Coughing


I'll lie in bed and cough,
I'll wake and gaze starry-eyed as the
earth's shadow moves across the moon
finally revealing a golden orb suspended
above my bed where I lie
coughing.
there are advantages to coughing,
I can check what's happening in
the world often, then reach for a cough
drop and doze off until I wake
for the next great adventure.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

silence kills

silence
kills, words that hurt would be better,
the vacuum where sound does not travel,
silence.
let us speak to one another
from heart to heart, do not
leave me alone here
now.
silence kills love
always
speak.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ah, Youth!

ah youth!
flowing wavy hair and freckles
hidden away amidst scholarly books
and file cabinets.
youth and beauty wasted on the young
who do not recognize how fleeting
are these moments that seem to
stretch towards infinity, not
realizing that freckles will merge
with age spots, and that as the
years spin by, hair thins and breaks.
ah, youth, enjoy its luxuriousness
while you can, 
it is so fleeting!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Dear Mommy


the sweetness of a young boy
away from his mother,
such transparent and precious expressions
of love captured on a postcard that
she kept for years,
today she
opened the box and saw his heart
spread out in front of her, this boy
is now a man, but she knows that
the same heart is beating inside
his broad chest, even if
he does not reveal his love
so plainly. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Three Cheers for Volunteers

three cheers for volunteers,
the ones who design, build and install
on time and under budget.
the rare birds who stick their necks out
and walk their talk, the ones who smile
instead of looking away, their eyes
meet your pleading gaze, their lips
form the word, "yes". 
thank goodness for volunteers!


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Listening to Football

the announcements bounce off houses,
amplified into this bedroom on the second floor,
I hear all the plays and pause for half time antics.
the fall darkness waits for the stadium lights
to dim and finally extinguish when the hush
of night will rush in just as the fans shuffle
off onto buses and the sound of car ignitions
tapers into the soft whirr of tires rolling
out of the high school parking lot.
Silence will replace the blare of the loudspeaker
just as I lean over the lamp and extinguish
its light. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Scarcity

the opposite of scarcity is not abundance,
it's just enough, forget the big expensive cars.
a modest paycheck pays the bills, French and
flute every week to feed the soul, to practice
mastery in each moment, forget abundance,
its insistence on more, bigger, better, just enough
is enough, scarcity only exists in the
search for bigger, better and more.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Painted Posts



posts, bollards on ships used to moor,
on streets to block traffic, black, caked with mud
and soot, worn by many years of ropes
sliding around the metallic circumference.
we painted these bollards the colors
of lollipops and rainbows, the artists
dressed in black, covering black
chains now sprayed in baby blue,
our faces once black from life
now sparkling with life.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Picking Cakes


so many choices in life,
some sweet, some bitter, some sour, but
cakes are sweet and wonderful;
one will come my way.
it's chocolate, or lemon, or peanut butter,
maybe carrot or butter or red velvet,
all wonderful, imagine a bite
melting in your mouth, its
sweetness filtering into your
open heart.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Girls Night Out


For a moment, I sat silently watching
my friends in conversation with one another,
having only met or met many times,
we formed this spiders web of connection.
a poet, a scientist, an entrepreneur, a dancer,
a healer, an artist, a linguist and other
beautiful souls celebrating with me.
I wonder at my good fortune
so thankful.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Late at night

a motorcycle roars down the street
I hear the high laughter of a college girl
I stare at words.
words that must say the most important
words that must convey in not too many.
it's late at night here, the moon is hiding
behind some clouds, the streetlamp
is busy lighting the garden across the way.
it's late, I stare at these words knowing
they must convey the power of
love.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thoughts while meditating

I set the Meditation Timer for 10 minutes,
the first chime started at 10 seconds and I watched
my thoughts drift by, occasionally snagging on roots
before continuing along the stream of consciousness.
Oh, what a wonder of how many thoughts, how many
topics we cover in so few minutes, from weddings to
work, sister to Stephen, orbital debris to the nature of
obsession, summer to daughter, I ponder the productiveness
of such journeys, it opens my eyes to how hard it
is to be here
now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Red Boat

the red boat holds the cloud's reflections
after a long rain, gusts that beat against
doorways and windows seeking entrance.
I'd sit in the silent water, buoyant and light
enough to reflect myself on this stark
landscape where hills disappear in the
distance enveloped in clouds.
the red boat will be drained on a sunny day
and the hillsides will stretch into the distance,
I wonder if I will see so clearly.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tomato soup

they grew and ripened the two and  half weeks we were gone,
the tiny green ones now exploded, the large ones splitting at the seams.
it's time for Karen to come home and pluck them off the vines,
it's time for Stephen to slice and chop for tomato soup,
it's time for Jenny to eat tomatoes drenched in salad dressing for lunch.
it's time to eat tomatoes or give them away.
winter is coming, they will freeze on the vines
then we will miss their sweet taste on 
our tongues.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

La fin de France...prochain pays, Iceland et finit.






le  18 septembre
Les jours de voyage…partir Menée a voiture, monter la Col de Menée en se demandant si le Tour de France y a traverse, passer par Grenoble, arriver à Lyon pour prendre le TGV a Paris. Stephen tousse toujours.  J’attends son toux chaque minute.  Et j’attends jusqu’au arrêt.  Nous avons acheté des sandwiches pour notre voyage en train.  Heureusement parce que le queue pour acheter quelque chose sur le train était long et ne bouge pas trop vite. 
Nous sommes arrivés vers 16h a Paris.  Au moment que nous avons sorti du Metro, nous avons vu les Jardins du Luxembourg.  Quels beaux jardins !  Notre hôtel était très proche et nous y avons marche toute suite.
Quoi faire a Paris quand nous avions si peu d’heures ?  Se promener dans les jardins et au bord du Rivière Seine, et manger et boire.  Un serveur nous avons attiré au restaurant pour manger de la fondue, du  fromage (délicieux) et de bœuf (liquide : huile). 
le 19 septembre
Même que nous nous avons promis de nous réveiller tôt pour « faire Paris », nous avons dormi jusqu’à 9 h avec peu de temps avant partir en train pour l’aéroport.  Zut alors !  Nous nous sommes souvenus que l’alcool se coute cher à Iceland et nous avons acheté deux bouteilles de vin et une  bouteille de cognac dans le « duty-free store » avant notre départ.   Pendant le vol, nous avons aussi appris qu’il y’a très peu de magasins pour acheter la nourriture et nous avons dépensé 50,000 Kroners ($40) pour très peu – du lox, du fromage, dix fraise, du pain, quelque petits tomates, un concombre…ils importent presque tout leur nourriture. 
Apres que nous avons trouvé notre voiture et avons acheté la nourriture, nous avons conduit à notre petite maison dans la campagne en dehors de Reykjavik.  Premier travail…faire la chasse du mouton de notre jardin avant qu’elle détruit notre voiture ! 
le 20 septembre
Iceland est vide.  Quelques villages dispersent dans la campagne, entre des champs de lave noire.  Des restaurants occasionnels. Beau mais désole.  Mais les piscines chauffées avec de l’eau du géothermal sont agréables !  Nous avons trouvé un dans le village de H…(et je ne le trouve pas sur Google Maps).  Peu de routes goudronnée.  Nous avons prévu de faire un randonnée au glacier, un effort de 5 – 6 h.  Il va sans dire que nous n’avons pas fait.  Stephen tousse toujours et apres un nage chaud, nous n’avons plus la motivation de monter 3 h.  Un autre jour !  (ou année).
Stephen et moi lisons le même livre qu’il a choisi, après notre dernier livre écrit sur le deuxième guerre mondiale (très bon livre).  Ce livre est entre un « Harlequin romance » et quelque chose intéressante au sujet de la première guerre mondiale.  Le livre est un peu comme Downton Abbey sur le télé.  
le 21 septembre
La pluie et du vent ce matin.  Nous nous évadons le temps chez nous pour Reyjkavik ou on peut au moins trouver l’accès à l’internet, un bon café et un déjeuner cuit.  Demain nous partirons.  C’était des vacances magnifiques !!