Thursday, April 30, 2015

Without Racism

in the morning we walk through this tent city,
a mowed lawn ringed with beds of tulips, 
the fragrance of lilacs hangs in the air,
a black security guard listens to his portable radio.
we chat while the dog methodically clears the area
of left over crumbs from last night's pizza party.
I'm not sure what Naropa looks like without racism,
nor do I know what it looks like anywhere.
we don't live in that world.
I only suspect that every sleeping student is white,
guarded over by a lone black man listening to his
portable radio.
he has been there all night and is ready to go home.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

coughing on the man next to me

i said I had allergies when i knew it was probably a lie
but i'm not sure so i hope for the best
he still cringed as i munched on cataloupe and scratched my throat.
he doesn't believe me as i go through a packet of kleenex
only to leave half way through talks so i can cough
in the corridor until the spasms eventually subside
the talk was dull anyway and my coughing gave me
an excuse to get away from his incessant keyboard tapping;
does he really have to write code during the whole conference.
yes i coughed on him, i'm sure and maybe he will fall ill
and he won't be able to code after all.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Why after all

why after all.
so many men in suits, not women in dresses
so many white shirts, a lack of diversity
no color, no style,
why not purple shoes and striped socks,
long luxurious curls, high heels
fishnet stockings to catch them
as they wander aimlessly downstream
we will capture them all.

Monday, April 27, 2015

She's a Ph.D. now

no talking back now,
she has her Ph.D., from Harvard
there is no logic to love and she'll always
have it, through ups and down, thicks and thins,
asking advice or rejecting it,
she's my Dr. Karen now
and I love her for it.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

No longer a mere Ms

Tomorrow at 3 p.m. Eastern time
she will no longer be a mere Ms.
her suffix will grow to Ms., Ph.D.
or Dr. Karen to those who love her.
soon I will never be right.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Lost Poem

yesterday's poem disappeared into the cloud,
I hope she found rainbows, no longer tethered to the ground.
perhaps the flute quartet launched her, no telling
but she was no longer here on this page, she was
written but never read,
we are so seldom read, we browse the title
page and make our decision whether to look
deeper or not, often we decide it's too much trouble
and we drink a glass and move on.
how many stories and poems are unread
like yesterday's that was never read, much
lesss reread.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Looking for Sunshine

it was here a minute ago
I had to put on my shades so as not to go blind
only the freckles get the sun.
only the bold leave when there is only rain,
two left today, leaving their pink umbrellas behind
for the next ones to occupy their offices,
the ones with gruffer voices and thicker skins,
a tolerance for politics and inefficiency,
they are likely white and male.
I could put on my sunglasses to hide my
sadness, but freckles keep on smiling.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

my favorite kind of store

it relates to food, 
has colorful items aligned in white ceramic pots
like the one stuffed in my cabinet.
I love them, even though I have no need for them.
Cool is as cool does, whatever that means.
I'm not a fan of plastic, in spite of the colors,
cooks love silicone, space telescopes don't
and I have to pay attention to such things.
we would not want a blue spatula obscuring
images of Pluto or Mars, let them
eat cookies instead.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Not in the mood

not in the mood for something.
usually something that requires focus
but no motivation, relationships fall into that bucket
maybe a walk outside when it's raining and grey,
jump starting an old car with a dead battery,
a limited motivation for the subjunctive, or
even less for putting away laundry,
doing housework of any description.
I'd rather pay cash.
Not in the mood for something that
isn't fun or fulfilling, I'd play
flute anyday.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

short words

what would we do without them
makes all the difference to have them
who am so tired I can barely think, much less write
il faut dormir

Friday, April 17, 2015

Making conversation

she looks down at her soup
after flashing me a wide-mouthed open smile,
no words emerge, though.
I marvel at how white her teeth are
against her dark skin, the glitter in
her lipstick is just enough to be
I wish she would talk to me.
she tells me her soup is good
and checks the bill carefully, noting
that she was not charged for her tea.
I hope I would have told the waitress,
I think she counts her money carefully.
When I dropped her off, she said she
enjoyed her lunch and thanked me
for inviting her.
One never knows.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

One thing to love about flute lesson day

there are many things
but this one may be the best,
not having to practice that night
having suffered and sweated,
learned and lamented
for an hour that day,
one deserves a rest after
such effort, some relaxation
of the mind and lips, a
justification that all this must
settle in, make its new home
tomorrow when I lift my flute to
my lips, they will play differently
having rested and learned.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Looking back in time

I remember walking down the Infinite Corridor at M.I.T
hand in hand with my current love,
(oh, how quickly they sour, only later do we realize
how stupid we were, so young)
a camera caught my smile, the tilt of the head,
the optimism
(oh, how I wanted to escape my past, to no longer
be poor, to not have to live in the closet I was living
in at that moment)
The light still shines through that captured moment
some 35 years later, I will catch that optimism
if mine is flagging, and that smile when I'm
feeling down.

(Thanks to S.B. for sending me this photo while visiting MIT)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Paying taxes

will they pause before spending it,
wondering first if they really need it,
the rocket launchers and new Navy ships,
tax breaks for oil companies and General Electric,
fences at the Mexican-U.S. border.
I pause before I spend money
for a new pair of jeans when the old
ones only have small holes that don't show,
I pause before buying organic food which
is more than twice as expensive as conventional,
although I might end up buying it to save
someone from pesticides and herbicides.
At least I think about it.
Those dollars I sent were hard-earned,
I hope they are well spent.

Monday, April 13, 2015

taxing taxes

too tired to tackle taxes,
tedious, tyrannical, try

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Lunar Trainers

I'm ready for the Moon with my lunar trainers,
we'll light up the lunar sky with pink reflections
from my shoes,
flowers bloom from my new shoes, and the blue
background doubles as sky.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Running into my friend

truly an accident and completely my fault,
my right turn into a her bike heading straight, a crash,
our bikes twisted into a 3-d sculpture of wheels
in the air, locked pedals, handlebars facing downwards,
our bodies splayed on the ground.
passers-by rush in.
we think we're physically ok, the bikes seem to work
I'm horrified that this was all my fault.
we brush ourselves off, she looks down at
her right thigh and muses that it will be sore,
she's a good sport, my friend, I could have
expected her to punch me, but she's not that
sort so I wandered home looking for penanace.
thank goodness there was someone at home who
could and did the job, I stand chastised
and chagrined.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

a reason to dislike cats

a small feathered body,
so beautiful in flight,
a lovely song,
now broken on the ground.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Flood warning

the loudspeaker blared over and over,
earsplitting air horns and sirens resonate
in our bodies as we sit on the bench
is it not
a test of our intelligence, wit and creativity
we need to navigate this labyrinth,
the myriad nooks and crannies,
this stream of life with its coves and rapids.
I'm sitting here at creeks' edge
my teeth are edge
my ears are ringing
yes, no need to remind me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Reflections for my son, Daniel, on his 29th birthday

boston, boulder, berkeley,
Santa..atlanta, barbara
cities you called home.
mother, father, sister, friends and lovers,
we have all shared you.
indefatigiable, persistent, 
dauntless, endlessly energetic.
you have always been this way
as you crawled, walked, biked,
skied, dribbled and raced on
your way to independence.
Patience may not be your strong suit.
it comes with age,
you have plenty of time
carry on to the stars.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

What could be better

beautiful flowers for Easter.
beautiful children strong and smart
beautiful countryside to ride a bicycle
beautiful relationship that nurtures and supports
beautiful friendships, laughter shared over a 
delicious dinner, much wine, and sweets at the end.
I don't need the religious side of Easter to 
be grateful for a life dredged from poor beginnings
to the richness of life.

Friday, April 3, 2015


icy cold on blooms,
white on pink, 
a walk broken up into pieces,
crowns of snow on red blooms,
coexistence in transition, we move forward
into spring, away from the embrace of winter,
soon to shed our coats only to reach for them again.
thus is the change of seasons
we reach back only to find the past 
has left us and we are forced into
the future, let us smile at 
its arrival.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Playing dirty

a pure singing tone doesn't match
a dirty tango, a woman and a man sweating,
twirling, their bodies rubbing against each other,
a dramatic swoop at the end,
the beat swirls them in endless circles,
sharp steps, his legs between hers,
hers between his, cheeks to lips
to hips, legs high, she is over him
now and this is no place for
a delicate, sweet sound.
dirty dancing deserves a
dirty sound.

an awesome tango dance

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

More advice

Learn to play a musical instrument
Ask lots of questions since no one person can know very much,
Write a poem every day about something you saw or heard,
smelled or touched, 
Taste something delicious at lunch time.
Don't read too much of the paper, it only repeats
itself over and over,
you may only wallow in sadness and despair.
go do something to help the world,
have a glass of red wine and a piece of good cheese,
don't work too hard
work is overrated.