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
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


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.
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


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


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 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 

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


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


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

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
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.