Thursday, August 31, 2017


how tenderly he holds her
she melts into his embrace
intense happiness.
there is a ring on her left hand,
a promise in their hearts
he is the one
she is the one
I know this
I recognize this
my heart is in their embrace
as surely as any mother's
who knows that she is the one
for him, he is the one for her.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Passing the Test

with some practice
some dedication and humility,
with passion and perseverence
it's possible to pass the test,
not just barely but with flying colors,
with 92% approval, with a smile
I passed the test
I hugged my mestre
and bounced up and down 
and texted my family
and emailed my friends
and am writing this post.
I passed the test, having gone
from struggling on the ground,
to standing up to kicking up to 
the sky.
it feels good.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The bounty of a single tomato

Heirloom tomato:  1 lb 8 oz, organic,
priced at $5/pound buys enough seeds
for the squash and tomatoes, the tomatillos
and cucumbers.
That's one tomato and we've already eaten
many pounds of squash and tomatoes,
of lemon cucumbers and green cucumbers,
of turnips and peas, of Swiss chard and 
don't forget the many pounds of potatoes 
still hidden under the soil.
When snow is still drifting to the ground
and lettuce seeds sit under a fine layer of
wet soil, remember the bounty of the late
summer where the price of a single tomato,
not purchased, but pulled warm from the vine
saves enough to buy all the seeds you need.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Go for it

all five of them tottered on the edge
not venturing to jump off for the first five countdowns
5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1
only leaning forward without launching
until finally
finally one jumped, 
then another
and another,
the little girl with the ponytail jumped last,
her delicate feet disappearing into the swirl
of the cool water, her smile popping up from
she waved at me.
i missed it with my camera
but her smile is imprinted onto
my memory.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

this is my home

this is my home,
dry and warm, there is no water
running along the floorboards,
I am not perched on a table
helplessly watching water stream by,
watching the levels rise knowing I have 
no where to go, no way to get anywhere,
that I am here amidst millions
isolated in our own homes
without a boat.
My sisters and brothers are huddled
in their waterlogged homes, holding children
and dogs, a warm blanket, waiting and 
and I am here in my cozy home watching
Game of Thrones,
I can only be aware of the
unfairness of the world.
I can only hope they find
and soon.

Friday, August 25, 2017

turnip harvest

turnips never grew in my garden plot
across the street, no amount of fertilizer,
compost, water, love...
would produce a single small turnip.
I held small hopes for my new garden
but put the seeds in the ground in Spring
and forgot about them, enjoying
sauteed greens all summer long
until I looked.
Turnips, huge ones, pressing against
each other, rising from the soil like
breaching whales.
turnips may never have grown across
the street no matter what, but feeling the
weight of huge turnips with their
attendent greens makes me happy,
finally happy.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Young Dancers

a moment ago, they were giggling 
in a random swarm of legs and arms,
the flash of braces and bling,
of wealth and privilege.
and then
bodies aligned and sprang forward and
up in harmony, in perfect discipline
in beauty.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

I will read this to you when you are older

you, my grandchild, are not yet born,
in fact, only a twinkle in the eye of some future
parents, not even married,
yet I think of sitting here with you on my knee,
we'll look at pictures drawn long ago and 
words in a language your parents do not 
understand, stories of flying angels and white
clouds billowing over rocky shores.
I will point out words like "chat" and 
"chien" noting the importance of cats
and dogs in the world, but also "maman"
et "papa" for the two most important people
in your world.
I hope to be the third.
One day.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Looking towards the sun - a solar eclipse

After inhaling the Moon Pies and donning
my snazzy eclipse glasses,
both compliments of my employer,
I gazed up at the sun,
first a small bite at the edge missing,
then sucessively larger dark bites
until only a thin crescent of sun was visible.
the crows did caw in the diminished light
(or perhaps they always do)
in the last hour, the crooked smile of the crescent 
rotated counterclockwise until it finally
opened to a wide grin and the sun reappeared
as round and bright as ever.
Afterwards, we wandered back to our offices
with stiff necks, eclipse glasses in hand,
perhaps wondering if we should have gone
to Wyoming to see the full eclipse.
Maybe next time.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

In the dressing room

don't look too carefully in the dressing room,
a sideways glance is good enough to decide
and I said yes
yes to stripes and corrugation
to red, black and white, to a silky black top
at 40% off, affordable.
it's summer and I'm wearing the same style
of sandal as K, who advised me never to 
wear a T-shirt again
at my age, I guess I should have known better
how difficult and tortuous is the path
to adulthood and beyond.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

on the bus

on the bus home,
really, home, where there's blueberries
in the side yard, and stacks of cucumbers,
tomatoes on the vine,
a black dog who won't bother to greet me.
there will be a husband who will hug me
and a bed covered with his clothing and 
dirty socks and I'll throw them off the other side.
home is where I belong,
in spite of the black dog who never bothers
to say hello, and the clothes
and dirty dishes.
home is where I belong.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


please give me a treat 
if I'm good, I'll be good, I'll
walk by your side, I'll do whatever
a dog can do.
please take me for a walk,
I like to pee on the bushes
and  mark where the deer have 
left their scat, I'll come
back whenever you have a treat 
in your hand.
I am a simple soul to love
with my wagging tail and 
liquid eyes, my furry body
and my affectionate for you.
love me, give me a treat,
I'll love you back.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A new phase in life

she will make new friends, she says,
the woman in pink was a private pilot and 
flew all over with her husband, Hank, now 
gone on to his greater rewards.
Florence used to say that.
She's a spritely 90 and will show the way.
Alice in the flowered shirt says she never
did anything interesting but I don't believe her.
they both talk and hear well, 
lunch was delicious.
yes, here she's in her wheelchair but we
left it behind three hours later when she
moved from being Nurse Ratchett's charge
to Samantha who smiles alot.
she's on the move into a new phase,
I hope she finds happiness.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

what happened to my flute practice?

what happened to my 20 minutes
lost on plane rides and reruns, my flute
rests quietly in its case, waiting.
my lips are slack, my lungs lazy and flat,
there is no music.
precious twenty minutes, come back to me!
tomorrow, call to me before others are sleeping
one wall away, before dogs doze and stars
brighten the sky.
twenty minutes, you are but a small sliver
of one day, find me tomorrow or let my
sadness fill my evening!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Velcro de-mate

in your dreams
did you ever ponder the uniform rows and columns
of Velcro loops and hooks, of how they mate
and hold your posters to the wall, or the two
sides of your shoes together?
the unsung heros,
the unnoticed,
the unsullied.
they have a life, you know, their own
trials of broken links, the debris of endless
mates and demates, the reason for which
your poster eventually falls from the wall.
we measure such things in the lab
in our white smocks, hairnets and booties.
we work for you, our countrymen, in the 
pursuit of pure understanding of your

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

old friends

we resumed where we left off,
he's gotten heavy over the years
but his smile is the same infectious one
I remember.
I remind him of the last time I saw him in
a cocaine alcoholic haze and why I looked for him
for so many years just to see if
he survived.
he says I still have the indescribable
we resumed where we left off
taking time to catch up on the last 35 years.
the important stuff and the less so
the stuff of every day, of the daily commute
and the reason why he's gotten so heavy.
there is no reason.
and there's no real reason why I hadn't seen
him in 35 years except that the years
passed by and no one called.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

It takes two

it takes two
to mother a young woman like her.
yes, the one who makes brownies and arranges
flowers for the bedside stand,
the one who only wears Lululemon yoga pants in her garden,
the one who loves her more than anyone in the world,
the one who is always
home and never busy.
but the other,
the one who is busy, who launches satellites
and writes poetry, who swirls in capoeria,
whose own daughter and son study the data from
the space instruments she worked on,
yes, that one whose cookies taste good but
don't look that great, whose yard is a jungle,
who hires a neighbor to tend to the flowers
because she's too busy doing other stuff.

yes, that second mother is needed for this
young lady launching her own career, her
own marriage, her own life.
she needs brownies and career advice,
we'll be there for her.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Tax Turmoil

everyone cringes at the arrival of a letter
from the IRS, there can be no good news
and most likely, very bad.
what year, what deficiency, what fines
are all in our minds, the dutiful taxpayer
who makes honest mistakes,
small mistakes that pale with the uncollected
fees from the rich who juggle loopholes
with ease amidst the many hands of tax
accountants, lawyers and CPAs.
tomorrow the letters will be reopened,
the errors explored, the checkbook opened,
as if I had money to spare.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

alone in the field but not lonely

alone in the field
surrounded by sky and fields of grass
the clouds drift overhead and
birds are singing in the background,
the scent of flowers drifts 
my leaves breathe in deeply and when
the rainfalls, my roots are drenched 
in sweet water,
it is not so lonely here as I stand
alone in the this field
I have the sky, the sun, the birds
and all the Heavens to myself.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Kicking Ass

I have the instinct
honed from years of playing Jass,
no one knew Spades is the American form
of the Swiss National Card Game,
played on so many tables in so many dingy
apartments, in ramshackle houses, but always
with the requisite 36 cards.
I had forgotten that I often won.
I can kick ass in this card game,
saving my daughter from certain defeat
and leaving a grimace on the faces of
my male opponents.
Ah, victory is sweet
when you can get it.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I can trust her now

from here, she could kick me so fast 
I'd fall to the ground not knowing what hit me
she is powerful and only looking to be chillin'
I kept my distance
until she showed me that kicking wasn't her
goal, that she was nervous about showing herself
for the maculele,
she showed me her soft belly, her vulnerable side
she won't kick me
I can trust her now.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

10:18 p.m.

10:18 p.m.
and nothing has been done
having to do with me
it's all about her,
the flight reservation to see her
to hold her hand
to be with her
to listen to her
to watch her journey towards death
we don't speak of such things but
we must
we are all headed down this road
I might as well watch it to be prepared.