From DC (oh country mine)

Posted February 4, 2017 by ManicDdaily
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From DC

Oh country of the frozen chair,
so blue in 1960 air
that January asking not DC–
oh country I was barely three–

oh country of the stallion bearing
the backward boots
but three years

country of resurrection city
that muddy sea, that peaceful sea,
my childhood Washington, DC,
oh dream that clamored its own name
oh country of the flames

oh country mine that I have loved
that we’ve so wanted to be good
oh country we believed
so good
oh country of my green

oh country mine


Draftish sort of poem for Shay Simmon’s (Fireblossom’s) prompt on Real Toads to write something of indirect focus.  (I’m not phrasing that correctly.)  I did grow up in Washington, D.C., and attended both JFK’s inauguration and funeral.  Resurrection City was a large civil rights protest in DC in the spring of 1968; also called the Poor People’s March on Washington–

Gag Order

Posted January 29, 2017 by ManicDdaily
Categories: news, poetry, Uncategorized

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Gag Order

After the tide
took care, there were left

Their metal jetter
than jackdaw–how sharply
they gyred.

The men urging the tide,
the men who’d made
pity less, used only
wooden hangers, fit for an artifice
of shoulder, patting down empty suits
in ceremonies
of shiny serge

while the women’s insides tattered,
poor women.

Draft poem for Kerry O’ Connor’s Get Listed prompt on With Real Toads to use certain words from Yeats.  

Voice Calling For Personal Change

Posted January 24, 2017 by ManicDdaily
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Voice Calling for Personal Change

The voice in my head does not
cry wolf,
still it despairs
of being listened to,
though its timbre’s sharp
as glisten on fresh snow–

but oh how it carps,
and always on a per diem–
so, I pay it

no mind,
until its call fades to shadow
in a cave,
if shadows were furred, fanged, clawed,
if caves flattened
into fields,
and as if fresh snow
still glistened somewhere
which it surely does
at least for a little longer,

as if, too, my personal change
could actually affect all that–things
like snow
and glisten
and wolves.


drafty sort of poem for Brendan’s prompt on Real Toads about voices in our heads, and also for open link night.  Drawing is mine but based on diorama at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.  

Night Voice

Posted January 22, 2017 by ManicDdaily
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Night Voice

It recites repeatedly The Lord’s Prayer,
sometimes The Lake Isle of Innisfree,
but mostly a simple Dear God,
pleas to carry this clay,
and all its wattles,
through the purple glow
to the next eye opening.


Short poem for Brendan’s prompt on Real Toads to write about voices one hears.  The Lake Isle of Innisfree is one of my favorite poems in the world, by W.B. Yeats; it begins, “I will arise and go now.”  Pic is mine; all rights reserved.

What to do?

Posted January 21, 2017 by ManicDdaily
Categories: elephants, news, Uncategorized

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Keep faith.

What My 18-Year Old Self Would Have Thought – Another Reason I’m With Her

Posted November 6, 2016 by ManicDdaily
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I keep trying to remember what my 18 year old self would have thought of a woman running for President.

It is hard for my nearly 60-year old self to recreate. There’s only one thing I am sure of.

If someone had told me that the U.S. would NOT have woman president,for the next forty years, I would not have believed it. Because I knew, of course, a woman could  be president; i.e. that women were certainly able enough.  I had gone to a girls’ high school, where all offices within the school–as in student council–were held by incredibly able young women. The administrators of the school were very able older women, though, we had, of course, a male head.

Yes, I also knew that my girls’ school had far far less funding than the partnering boy’s school–female alumnae just couldn’t give as much as male alumnae. But still, at the girls’ school, we were convinced that our actual academic and other achievements equaled or surpassed the achievements of those at the boys’ school, and that we too would use that education to do important things in the world.

Of course, many of my classmates have done such things, including having wonderful and informed children (one of the most important  things you can do for the world, and the only one I’m sure I’ve done.)

But the point is that I never, back then, would have believed that there would be so few women in high national office for so many many years.

I say this to those who think that it’s not a big deal that an able woman is finally in reach of high office.  I say this to those who don’t like Hillary because of her baggage (not understanding that women candidates especially of my generation carry a kind of baggage, women coming from days when they did not have much economic or political power, women who even now are deemed to carry the baggage of their families/spouses  in ways that men are not).  I say this to those that think,  of course, there will be other women coming to fill high office, other better women.

Another thing my 18-year old self never imagined:  that in this 21st century, to be a woman with any national exposure in the United States, you have to be as made-up i.e. cosmeticized as a fashion model.  That a woman would have to have styled hair and styled eyes to maintain a place on the national scene.  This is especially the case of many female newscasters, unfortunately, the most visible women in national prominence– (The only ones that seem to get a break are gay women.)

Geez.  What happened to the old (as in young) Barbara Walters and Jane Pauley?
I think I can safely say that Shirley Chisolm and Bella Abzug did not take a lot of time over their make-up.

So, what is the point of this post?

  1.  I am so sick of women having to fit into those heels and those eyes.
  2. Do not underestimate the type of squeezing and carrying that women have to undertake to qualify for prominence in this country.
  3. Don’t assume that, of course, there will be a woman president soon (as in, but just not Hillary Clinton.)
  4. Vote.  And more than vote, support.  At least for the next few days.  For this now, let go of the back-biting.  Make it happen.


Posted October 27, 2016 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry, Uncategorized

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I call her earlier than normal, mid-day, to tell her we’ve not been hurt in the explosion.

I can tell when she answers that she’s been awake, though her voice still wears sleep like a nightgown,

but, before I can deliver my news, keep her from worrying–

“tell me,” she asks, “is our family all dead?”

I walk out to the porch, sit in a dilapidated rocking chair. It is the rocking chair where I nursed my first child, though, of course, it was indoors then, Brooklyn.

I want to say, Mom!  Mom, are you okay!? But her voice is too subdued, serious, for me to remonstrate.

“Do you mean your family?” I ask at last.

“Yes, you know–” She names a sister, brother.

“Yes,” I say, “yes, they are.”

She is quiet.  Then talks of how that was what she thought, how she realized that she hadn’t heard from them. “It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?”

I tell her that for some, it has been many years–”how, you know, they smoked.”

She admits, one of the first times ever, that her memory’s just not so good anymore.

Though I can be hard as nails against her bragging, I dispute that. I tell her how she couldn’t get to some of the funerals, how, because she took such incredible care of my dad back then, she just couldn’t travel.  No wonder the deaths might not seem very real, I say.

She thanks me for going through it all.

I don’t usually rock this chair, the cushion completely shot, but feeling now the edge of the board at my thigh, I rock, as I tell her about New York City, the homemade bomb, how she will hear of it on TV,

but how none of us was even there this weekend, how, thankfully, no one died–

“Oh yes,” she says. (She thinks she did see something.)  “Oh good,” she says. “Thanks
for letting me know.”

As we talk, I think of how her dearest sister died the day my first child was born, how my mother went from one hospital to another, how that was a funeral that I couldn’t make, what with the baby.

I think of how she’d complained, later, about the pink gown they’d dressed her sister in, her sister who would never have been seen in such a pink gown, she said, her sister who worked out in the world, her sister, who, whenever she dressed up, would wear a suit–

the gown as real to me in that instant as if I had been there, my aunt’s still, pale, face above its folds. I want to say, “You remember, right?  That pink gown?”

But I can’t do that to her, even if it would trigger something, her sister–


Draft short story of sorts for Real Toads Open Link.  Pic is of a sculpture made of foil, cardboard, by Jason Martin.