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


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

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 fran├žaise!

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
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


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 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


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


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.