Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

I Thought You Could Use A Poem Today

September 15, 2022

I Thought You Could Use A Poem Today

I thought you could use a poem today; here
is what I have on offer. 

Love life, love even
its indignities; don’t worry if you can’t turn them
into masked kindnesses. 

Love too the unmasked kindnesses, do not be afraid to bask
in the freely given.

Love what you have, and accept, if you can’t quite love,
what you don’t. 
Don’t hanker after the price
another has paid, or (to your mind) not paid. 

Love this dawn September air; sigh
over what was July.  Take steps to fight the bad,
but let hate
keep its own company. 

Look up, look around. Get yourself under
some sky.  Feel it
on all the bare places, have some. 

***********************************

Hello!  Have a good day!  The picture above is from my children’s book, The Road I Like, available here

Sleeping Face

September 11, 2022
From Snail Taxi

Sleeping Face

The sleeping face of the child knows no
right angle; it twists straight, skews acutely,
so cutely.

You want to protect that child, you want to keep them
from ever being hurt, you want all lessons learned
to be steps on some friendly ladder, a ladder with
good hand rails that also
bestows wings.

Their eyelids look as velveted as wings, 
the skin softened to sky.  

But what kind of sky could ever
be as soft as that skin? 

The kind you wish for them. 

*************************************

A bit of a draft poem for today.  The pic doesn’t really go with the poem!  But it is a sleeping face, in this case of a snail, and was drawn for children as part of my newly-published children’s book, Snail Taxi.  Available on Amazon.

Finally—to all those who, among all the trouble in the world, remember 9/11 in NYC today, I send love.

To-Do List

September 10, 2022

To-do List

I made a to-do list last week, my job life feeling as scattered
as dried leaves: “check bank statements” — these, of a client (I’d be too scared
to check my own),
“follow up,”
“do time.”

But there are other lists I should make—
if you can ever “should” these things, different
to-do lists:


1. Sit down
in the sun.  Close eyes and look up slightly—feel the warmth
through your eyelids; even for just a second; it should not be
a searing sun in these mountains’ September.

2. Watch deer at dusk. Do not hanker after some screen.
And If there are no deer, watch the apple trees that the deer like to wander beneath.
See how they too bear bend; see how they too find food
in the softening light. 

3. Hold his hand.  Catch it
as you walk, warm as the sun, in your palm. And, like the sun,
you will be able to see it, simply in its feel, without looking.
.
You will be able to see the hand in its warmth, even as you, multi-tasker,
are also watching deer, or trees,
or walking towards a grocery store at the top
of a parking lot, a different list in your head—milk,
crackers—hold his hand, the fingers rooting you,
even as, together, you walk ahead.

4.  Drink tea. (That one’s done, actually.) 

5.  Have another cup. 

****************************************************

A little poem for a Saturday morning.  Have a good one!

The illustration doesn’t completely go with it, although it’s supposed to be a dawn picture.  It is from one of my children’s books called Snail Taxi.  I love the book actually, and I did it a couple of years ago, but only recently got it on Amazon.  Available here. 

In Memoriam

September 9, 2022

The above is a little picture I did for a children’s picture book called Landon in London (available on Blurb.)   The Queen is being as tolerant as one likes to think of her, in this case, happy to have her little guest’s toy dinosaurs at his side, and his pet cat below the table. 

So sad for the death of Queen Elizabeth II. What was she to me? To so many?

That is hard to say. Yet, there she was, someone we cared about. A bridge to the world before World War II, and to the generation that fought so hard in that War.  An exemplar of grace and duty. Someone who held herself to high standard, and yet always maintained humility, showing tolerance and kindness, and most importantly, interest in others.  

She was perhaps most appreciated, most loved, when she became a little old lady–with her unique combination of dignity and sprightliness. Those hats! Those colors!  Those pumps! That smile!

She has made me realize, as I myself become an increasingly little old lady (that is, I’m pretty sure I’m getting shorter), that I should brighten up my color scheme. And that I should hold myself to higher standards. And others to lesser ones.

I thank you, Elizabeth, and send the very best luck to Charles.

Ps—sorry to be so absent of late. Hopefully, in light bright clothes, but (perhaps without big hats) I can post more regularly soon!

No Shortcut

July 28, 2022

No Shortcut

It took her some time to realize that she could not stand upon the bridge she was building.  That is, she could not work on unsupported spans while standing, even kneeling, on the bits just laid.  

She could not stop herself from trying though—from jabbing cantilevered planks towards the other bank, aiming for some depression in the rock or dirt, trying, at least, for a moment of teeter. Until, at last, came the collapse.

She tumbled then into what was turned out to be only a gully. Yes, she was bruised, even bleeding—a rivulet down one knee, a a pinpoint bloom on the other. Still, it wasn’t so bad. 

But it did make her understand that there was no short cut for bridge building, that she probably had to start from below, to step in all those places she’d hoped to just pass over.

Being someone who read the news each day, she couldn’t help but think about how this might apply to people. She realized then that you couldn’t—at least not successfully—just shove a plank over them, or push a rampart into their sides.  People didn’t like planks, ramparts, not just pushed into their sides.

But how then would you go about it? 

*********************************************

A sort of little story for today.  Have a good one. 

After the Storm

July 26, 2022

After the storm

The morning, washed, but still July’s,
feels like a flannel just retrieved
from the air fluff cycle—

soft, humid, warmish, but not
like something baked
in Auto Dry.

And not linen, not silk, and not percale—

The clusters of faded roses bob like babies
on the breeze’s knees;
the leaves wave
at me.

while last evening’s tempest
feels like the tantrum
of a mother who’s simply had it, 
been pushed way past
her limit, finally, cried heavily,

and yes, here she is today, 
soothing us softly, here she is—
back to something sort of like
a norm, but maybe she needs some help
maybe, you know, we should think about her
for a little while, actually do something. 

*********************************

A poem I wrote yesterday after major storm clearing a bit of the heat out.  Cooler yet today.  Have a good one. 

Dream Morning

July 24, 2022

Dream Morning

The  lawn mowed professionally of late, I notice
how robins, who I always thought bobbed (as in,
hopped), actually walk with the quick two-step
of a keystone cop, or a migrant
from Benny HIll.

Only now I see—the short grass shows all—that this morning’s robin
also hops.

I wonder then if anyone knows the reason
why robins sometimes hop and sometimes walk,
and whether, if I watched them for a long time—probably years—I’d understand it—

Or maybe robins just sometimes likes to hop and other times
to walk, sort of like my dream self last night, when I, in the guise of a young girl, ran away
from a yoga school—it wasn’t a class but a whole
school and an incredibly cliquey place—though first, I went to tell them,
the teachers and all
the hip students,
that they would never
see me again—

As I left, I skipped—
out through an amber hall towards an
emerald night,
until I noticed this other girl (one of the super hip ones)
following, and turned towards her,
so that I had to skip backwards to keep up my
departure.

She’d been sent, ostensibly, out of concern that I would harm myself,
or at the very least, fall
into harm’s way.
Though, of course, there was also an element of control—
the school did not like anyone
to abscond—

But I told her that they didn’t need to worry, that I wasn’t
actually going to leave home, at least not yet,
that I was only
leaving them.
 

In the dream, this announcement was kind of a surprise for me
as well as the other girl,
my declaration inside the yoga school had been
so extreme, so animated
by rejection that I too thought I was skipping away
from all I knew; that I too worried
about coming to
some harm.

Now, a gold finch, actually lemon yellow, darts in a zing
of small bell curves, towards the black-eyed susans, which
are truly golden, also brown-eyed,
and I notice that the robin’s now bobbed elsewhere,
and also, that the leaves of the trees just across
caress the light breeze like fingers assessing
a precious fabric, and I think about breezes
of light, as if the light were flickering through the leaves,
only truly, it’s the leaves themselves that flicker, while the light,
despite its endlessly moving arc, is quite fixed
in the moment.

And I am so happy that things are not always
as they seem and that my dream self
did not leave home, not yet anyway.

******************************************

Another drafty sort of poem!  Have a good week!

Stele

July 23, 2022

Stele

Nose knocked off, chin slightly
abraded, the flow of her robe stanched
mid-stream, plein air below the lap—
but the essence of her intact,
the essence
glowing.

How alive she is, her neck so long
and strong, jawline lifting, a lilt
to her lips (though she’s part
of a grave marker), and an archetype more
than a portrait. Still, her shoulders are a certain woman’s,
her face one person’s.

The fingers of her hand curl
towards the jut of mouth/chin,
as if to help her to think, to remember,
in the way hands do. 

The blank eyes half look over at me,
feeling my stare,
but she is determined
not to be disturbed—to think, to remember—
yet even through that marble composure,
I feel her telegraph: “don’t you have something
you should be thinking about?”

I am embarrassed, not sure of what to say.
I look harder, knowing that she gives me something,
but I don’t know what
to call it.
It makes me come outside at last,
to sit myself in the plein air, the flow
of here and there, 
and, for a minute, to think
and not think,
to remember
and not remember,
and then, to smile, that smile in spite
of everything.  I can feel the lilt
in my own lips. 

 ***********************

A sort of draft poem for a Saturday morning, based on looking at a Greek sculpture, a marble stele (grave marker) from the 4th Century B.C.  A quick drawing of it above—doesn’t look Greek at all, I know!  But I don’t want to infringe copyrights!


Here’s a link to a photograph of the actual sculpture I’ve been looking at (thanks to Alice Schwarz, curator at the Met, and a co-teacher with Peter Hristoff of a drawing/art history course I am taking online at SVA.)

As It Happens (Fire)

July 21, 2022

As It Happens  (Fire)

The gods are determined
that we should learn our lesson:
that the cup we are drinking from
is already broken: that is, that nothing can be held forever,
not whole, or not, at least,
as is. 

The fire was an exuberant teacher,
though it did not care
about method or reviews; there were no sample
exercises, no walking us through
the steps. It focused only
on what it did, which was to burn red, burn black,
burn hot, burn fast—it was totally
in the moment, as it were,  

while we, who were learning about impermanence, yet again,
kept telling ourselves
to stand back
farther.

***********************

Sad fire yesterday, but, wonderfully, no person or animal hurt.

A Dobbs Poem

July 19, 2022

A Dobbs Poem (One of Many) 

I get it.  
As a child I too wished
that my mother didn’t work. ( I mean,
at a job.) 

But what I really wanted
was not for my mother not to work–all mothers work–
but for my mother to just
be quiet, to not complain
about the house (how no one helped her);
to not go on about money—
(because she made some, she seemed to feel
she should have a say in how it was spent.)

I just didn’t want to hear her voice sometimes,
especially the way it sounded when she thought
that she had rights, or when she knew
she had opinions.

I mean, a part of me was also proud of her:
that she asserted rights, that she spouted
opinions,
the many ways in which she seemed so free,
compared to the women on our block
who did not work at jobs, who seemed so stuck
in their houses.


But if only she’d just
be quieter.

So, I get it.  People can talk of babies all they want—
who doesn’t love
babies?—but a lot of what they really want
is for women to just
shut up. 

And in this culture (whether it’s fair or not)
people who make their own money
are harder to just 
shut up
(even if they don’t make
that much money.)

What so many want from women
is dependence, and if that means destroying
young children, whose dependence has already been
abused, and if it means destroying women who are sick
with the child their bodies can’t carry, so
be it. 

For, if only women’s bodies can be controlled,
that will surely
control their tongues.

But here’s the thing—my mother
would not be shut up (believe me, I know).
So, here we go;
here we go—

*************************************

Thanks be to my mother and so many many like her who were feminists before they knew the word. I have written many Dobbs poems, so far.  They are not so good—I am just too angry—but I did finally want to get at least one of them out there.