Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

this Saturday morning

October 15, 2022

this Saturday morning

I woke in the canyon of my mother and
her bedroom wall.  I would sleep there
as a child, from the middle of the night, when I would wake and call
my father, who would shepherd me across the hall
to their dim room, and into
my mother’s slim twin bed. 

The twin beds were a gift
from my grandmother (my dad’s mother). My mother sometimes
laughed about that, though, a child, I did not get the joke.
I saw my parents as a couple, yoked,
but not physical, and was shocked one Saturday morning early
charging their
closed door.

She slept with her back to me; she slumbered
rather than slept, while I, who always slithered to the
inside, danced my feet along the wall.

It was an exterior wall, with a big
picture window and two smaller, a mix
of cold and warmth, what with her pajamaed back, the baseboard heat,
the chill of plaster.

So safe, and yet also
an adventure.  I seemed to feel the bricks
on the other side.  I lost myself too
in the snowy roads of the Grandma Moses drapes, sleighs pulled
over the rough damask by belled horses to a honeycomb
of the same yellow-windowed house, repeated through
the fabric, red-bricked but so different
from our own. 

Maybe part of the adventure was whether my feet would leave marks,
my mother a maniac about smudges—she didn’t ever punish anyone, but to be in the same house with her when she was scrubbing was its own
kind of torture.

Oh, but I missed my mother
this morning.
 I missed her more than I would ever have believed,
 I, who knew how I loved her, missed her even more than that.

I missed her for who she was and also
just because
she was  my mother. 

I missed being a child, me who will always be
a child.

I missed being a child
with a mother beside her. 

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

Kind of a draft poem. The pic, not drawn for the poem, is one from Peter Hristoff’s Inventory Drawing (at SVA.) Thank you all and have a great weekend!

Friday!

October 14, 2022
Weekend Beckons

Thanks for Friday! Have a good one!

Help Is In the Air

October 13, 2022

Hello!  I hope all are well.  

I am okay but have been loaded up with tasks of late, both job and personal, and a fair amount of worry and concern, and haven’t been able to post.  I’ve missed it.

Sometimes one’s mind is too jumbled to send any clear messages.  (Maybe the only word the brain conveys is “agh!”)  

Lately, enmeshed in this jumble, I’ve channeled my determined creative energies into putting together a children’s book. (More on this when it’s ready.)  One great thing about doing a children’s book (for me) is that I don’t worry too much about messages—of course, I can’t help but include something a little bit preachy, but I have to focus mainly on making the book entertaining enough to lure a child through it.  And getting the illustrations to work takes me a huge amount of time.  So, in the last couple of months, when I have had breaks, I’ve focused mainly on a new little children’s book.

But a couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to start taking a drawing class, Inventory Drawing, with Peter Hristoff of SVA.  Peter, a wonderful artist himself, is also a gifted teacher.  Inventory Drawing is a class in which one is forced to draw not only on paper, but from inner resources.  But Peter keeps the pace (and inspiration) moving fast enough that one can’t get too caught up in inner tangles. 

What I like about the quick drawing (which often involves a layering of themes) is that you have to let meaning arise as it will—you don’t have enough time to be too purposeful (or too much in a rut).  Of course, because we are human, some kind of meaning tends to come to our minds whenever we look at something we or another human has made.  

In the case of these fast drawings though, the meaning is not always so easy to encapsulate.  It can go in a lot of different directions, which allows for a kind of breadth.  And breath. 

Anyway, here’s one from a class a couple of weeks ago.  I hope to put some up regularly.  

Thanks for checking in!

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!