Archive for the ‘poetry’ category


March 18, 2018


my best memory of Ireland,
was the woman outside
Joyce’s Castle, who had just stepped from
the Irish Sea–it was early December-
and whose entire body – rumple
of belly, thigh, brest bobbed
over a gleaming interlace of morn and underwear
like the chill-blossomed cheeks
about her smile– a bright blow
of a woman, her hair a curl of raven against
a fleeting sun–

I kept thinking of the fresh thick milk Stephen Dedalus and his mocked friends pour into their strong tea at the beginning of
Ulysses, and how
I wanted some, me who was not robust
that trip and so cold and so
lonely that I did not take off my wool turtleneck even
to bathe but rather shivered in a shallow tin tub, submerging only
my nether regions.

So many years ago, still, I fear going back–
some memories you do not wish
to replace,
but weave them again and again like an older
Penelope, happy for the feel of familiar warps–
you know the way yarns wave
with re-use.


Draft poem for Brendan’s post on Real Toads stemming from some kind of Irish blarney, or not, on St. Patrick’s Day.  Martello is the little castle James Joyce lived in while beginning his novel, Ulysses, and also where his character Stephen Dedalus lives during the novel.  Pastel is mine – the woman was not quite so shoulder heavy!  


(Apologies – an earlier version of the post misspelled Stephen Dedalus.)

Dear Place

March 15, 2018

Dear Place

Dear place at the back of my brain
where my grandfather straps skates to his shoes
and glides,
a blue wind with rose face,
along a sweep of my mother’s memory—

my mother loved to sweep—hand her a broom
and you kept her happy
for an hour—

I never saw my grandfather to recall—
he is a flash in the grey of old Kodachrome
where I am a shock of pale bang and sparked
round eyes – I must be quiet for some time to find
that horizon where he skates and
where my mother who was so wounded,

smiles, and where what is ice
is only shine and we all stretch out against it
like strings that might make music
when bowed.


Here is a poem for my prompt “Dear Poems” on Real Toads. I am sorry to have been so absent; working a great deal.



February 3, 2018

Circus, Budapest, 19 May 1920 Andre Kersetz


I peeped on one leg
through the hole at the head
of my life
pressing my face to the knots
of future’s would,
as if to squeeze through an eye
and with it drag
a soul,
thinking my “I” a needle
and the fabric of the world something it could pierce
and then re-piece —

It would have been better,
I realized somewhat later,
simply to stand on two feet, forgo
the eyestrain.

Poem of sorts inspired by Kerry O’ Connor’s photographic prompt (the photograph above) on RealToads.

I have two new children’s books out, which I should devote a whole post to–they are Melanie’s Twinkle and Good Light Room.  They are both (I think) pretty cute and I am very proud of them.  Check them out!  Get one!




Ode to the Windowed Hall Where I’ve Not Turned on the Light

September 28, 2017

Ode to the Windowed Hall Where I’ve Not Turned on the Light

It is a bar that is not a barrier but
a passage,
where I pass by the glass of night
that is able to make itself known
in the absence of over-reflection,
the way you made known to me,
I you,
when, in the darkness,
we found something other than walls
to hold on to–



Poem for my own prompt on Real Toads re thinking about the little things.  Check it out. 

Also, if in the mood, check out my two new children’s books, DOGGONE! and DOES MELANIE LIKE MELON?   Or other books! 


What Might Make It Better

September 21, 2017

What Might Make It Better

I want to call you and tell you
that I actually am
losing my vision–so I’ve just
been told–
I want to hear
how worried that makes you,
which would somehow allow me to say, dismissively,
“don’t worry,”
that all
will be okay.

Though actually I wouldn’t tell you
about my troubled vision
if you were still alive,
not wanting to worry you.

Oh, how I miss not telling you
what I would not.





Poem for Fireblossom’s (Shay’s) prompt on Real Toads.. Drawing mine.  Charcoal on paper, all rights reserved. 

And, to change the sad subject, I am also happy to announce that I have published a new children’s novel,  called Doggone! This is a sequel to Dogspell and also involves Seemore, the highly talented dog, and his sidekick, Sally; illustrated by yours truly.   Available on Amazon but am happy to send free copies to anyone who wishes to review!  




Picking Me Up At the Train Station at the end of a Long Week

September 17, 2017

Frederic Chopin Thinking About Sand

Picking Me Up at the Station at the End of a Long Week

He promises as we walk to the car
that the CD is “coming up
on Chopin.”

He says this because he knows I like
the familiar–

And I do like Chopin,
yes, because I’ve heard him many times before,
but more because
the music flows,

and when you are in a dry place–no,
when you are in a place that may be dry or wet
but you yourself are a desert,

and there comes this music that sounds
like walking on water,
waltzing on water,
weeping while walking or waltzing on water,
wanting while walking or waltzing
on water,
music which wells,
the wanting (sometimes)
you (if you are me)
simply wade into
the swim.

Yes, please, let in
the Chopin.



A belated poem for Sanaa’s prompt on Real Toads to write something just taking in the atmosphere.  The pic is an old watercolor of mine of Chopin thinking of Sand (as in Georges).  



Trumping the Lord’s Prayer

September 16, 2017

Trumping the Lord’s Prayer

Oh Donald,
we were never a heaven,
but now hollowed
is our name–
a kingdom of guns
if thy will be done
the earth will have
no haven.
Day-to-day run
by bread,
leaders in bed
with temptation
delivering us to the upheaval
of thine King Dumb, craving
power and gory
hopefully not


Something like that.  For Brendan’s prompt on Real Toads, in part about power.  Pic, such as it is, is mine.  All rights reserved.