Posted tagged ‘manicddaily’

About Face

April 7, 2022

About Face

The man is angry; his face looks like it just
spat a slur,
the face looks that way a lot, sneer-shaped,
chin a smear—seriously, his chin is blurred in its firm set,
like the tip of something spray-painted
on a concrete

How do you smooth
such a face? With cash?
With fear? 

How do you whisper in a way that it will hear:
you were a baby once,
you will die some day,
you are causing
terrible suffering. 

Can you only threaten, tell the face it too
will suffer?

I don’t know, I don’t know. 

Can you remind the face of beauty? 
That it belonged to a baby once, a child (this feels somehow
that geese fly in incredible Vs;
that an unwounded sky pearls wonder.


Another draft poem for April. The pic doesn’t really go with the poem, but I don’t have a lot of drawings of angry faces, or couldn’t find one on the fly. I’m not sure that this picture depicts the figure in the poem, but it felt okay to use. All rights reserved. Take care.


April 1, 2022


In Pablo Casals’ recordings, you can hear him singing along
with his cello—a gravely hum accompanying Beethoven and
his bow—don’t even get me started on
Glenn Gould—

Great musicians aren’t always great singers,
yet there is a delight we take
in their voices, the presumably unconscious drone seeming to show
how much they love the music, that they are playing
rather than performing,
their whole self
the instrument.

I suppose the hums could be considered “unmindful’,
and yet I wouldn’t mind living like that,
singing softly,
singing along.


Happy April!  I don’t yet know if I will write a poem a day for this month of April poetry, but this one came to mind today. Pic and poem are mine; all rights reserved.

Same Sun

March 21, 2022

Same Sun 

I am told that when my grandfather went back to Sweden,
after fifty years gone,
he pointed up to the sky.

“Same sun,” he said,
and his brothers, looking up, nodded, knowing they’d have
that sun—even as they did not see each again.

There’s a morning moon today, brilliant, though just
past full, and I think of my grandfather, only now I think
“same moon”,
imagining it shining
over the world, in swathes of abandoned sky
above the Sudan or Rajasthan—the way
the moon glows
over a desert—
through grey black screws of smoke in the Ukraine, 
a hard chill in Red Square,
by the dome of the Capitol, my hometown DC,
and reflected in so many tides
of so many
wine-dark seas. 

I can see it too
in the cores of trees that have fallen
across this road, the  trunks sawed through, pushed
to the side, the rounds at the wood’s heart bared—

and in the oh’s that a baby’s mouth forms, rooting—this picture
in my head—

I knew my grandfather, but can’t really remember him (or only as I’ve seen him
in photographs), he having a heart attack
when I was making my own oh’s, those
of a toddler—

There’s so much suffering in just having a body—
yet, people add to it, heap it on, as if to cause suffering in others
somehow allows them to control it
in themselves—

same sun.  


Another draft poem—yes, it could use more time!  But writing and posting quickly is lifting me up right now and I hope of interest to you.  Thanks.  (All rights reserved in poem and pic, as always. And sorry that I am using drawings from my own archive–they are not always exactly right for the poem!)

Mid-March in North Country

March 20, 2022

Mid-March in North Country

We are in the brown season here.
Winter wilting; my husband no longer even trying
to enforce inventory control—(that, the rule
of using up the old
before starting the new.) 

So, I reach into the fridge
for one of my two open almond butters, also
a peanut butter, started (nonetheless) yesterday—
sometimes you just prefer peanuts—

A cancer patient is sleeping
down the hall. I have learned of late
that you cannot fix someone, make them happy,
you can only try not to make them unhappy,
or more unhappy—
and to comfort, keep
them company—

I could expound, but this brown season
doesn’t brook more redundancy—
all those taupe barks on ochre fields, 
brown bared earth—

It’s a landscape that doesn’t bother
to assert its right-now beauty—
though it’s there all right, a backdrop
of birds back, great tan puddles pearling
lengthened light.


Another draft poem of sorts. Bear with me! I think of myself as more of a prose/fiction writer, but am in a hard place for extended narrative, so am returning to poetry–and have decided just to post rather freely, even if some things could probably use a bit more editing! Thanks much for your visits and kind comments. Have a good day–

ps – pic doesn’t fit so well, but is one of mine. All rights to poem and illustration reserved.

pps – this is a poem, i.e. somewhat a work of fiction–people in my life are remarkably happy even under difficult circumstances–


March 16, 2022


After being woken early by the ring on a monitor
at the other side of a cancer patient, who is
in pain;
after the temp is taken, the meds given, 

I step into the slippery cold to see a moon, which is not floating
on the single dome of cloud that hugs, like a fantasy of snowcap,
a low mountainside
on the opposite half of this valley.

No, the moon does not float
on that cloud, above that mountainside, but seemingly holds
a fixed place, more solid than either cloud
or mountain, looking

as  if it were not suddenly full, though I swear
in the course of this one night
it has rounded,
and as if it were not setting, which it does,
on that side of the sky.  

Rather, it glows with certainty; it feels as if it were a sure thing, the one
sure thing,
even as I know that when I go out later, which is now, 
it will be gone.

Also not gone. 


I am thinking of getting back into poetry again.  Here’s a draft poem written this morning.  I’m not sure I have a great pic for it, the mountains in this pic based on a Chinese painting, which are a bit more vertical—have a great day—

(As nearly always, the illustration and text are mine. All rights reserved.)


March 1, 2022

Still inspired, moved, terrified by the bravery and unity of the Ukrainian people and what they are confronting.  Zelinsky’s video speech before the EU is worth watching.  He is so articulate, and unscripted.  Granted, he is not talking about detailed policy points; he speaks simply of right, truth, courage, and need. He is compelling. Zelinsky speaks so movingly, in fact, that though he is composed and resolute, the EU translator breaks into tears.

Here is a link from NPR to charities supporting the Ukraine. 

Of course, I worry in looking at the coverage that the GOP in the U.S. will be motivated for their own “freedom fights.”  I am not sure they understand the difference between standing up to a foreign aggressor and negotiating differences of opinion with fellow citizens; the difference between invading tanks and public health measures.  I try not to worry about this (it feels beyond any action of mine right now) but to focus on the moment at hand, daily work, daily helping of others (that I can help), and whatever my personal and unique role in the world seems to have become. That seems at the moment to involve making little pictures and books. Above is one.

Thank you. Take care.

Horse (Sonnet)

August 28, 2021
Horse Lying Down in Field


You see an old horse lying in a field
and after the alarm–is he okay?
think of your grandmother, how she wielded,
you were told, frayed rope and a cock-eyed pulley–
nothing that they owned worked right–to try
to keep a beloved horse on all fours,
believing that if he laid down, he would die,
but if they kept him up the night and more,
up, upon his hooves, all would be well. 

First, she swayed him high with her own arms,
but he was a horse. So, as he knelt,
she resorted to the hoists, as if charms
against gravity could ward off death.
How she wept, you were told, at his last breath. 


Here’s a little sonnet about a horse resting in a field and also about my grandmother, who loved horses.  A few years ago, I wrote another poem about this same story, called Colonel, that may be found here

Global Sadness

August 27, 2021

Dear all, 

Another week nearly done.  A hard one. The world flooding with calamity, need, storms; the world aflame with arms, anger, fire. 

If you are in a physically quiet place, it feels like a good time to just sit still.  Although one also feels guilty, just sitting still.  

But the daily flow of events is overwhelming–a part of me tries to limit some of obsession with news, but that’s almost impossible.  There’s a part that just that–obsession.  But one also feels the importance of knowing what is going on in such difficult times; that the times deserve one’s attention. 

Those lost in Kabul yesterday deserve sadness, even as some of us would like to just not think about it. Those lost currently to Covid deserve sadness, even though some are tempted to opt for blame rather than pain.

It can feel particularly strange to grieve for others when one is conscious of great personal luck; when one feels almost artificial to feel sadness from a perch of relative stability, contentment. (Though, of course, even the luckiest among us has, or will have, or has had, some deep personal pain.  It’s how life is.)  

I don’t know what to say next, only that I don’t think it’s artificial to feel that collective sadness; I don’t know how else connection happens. 

Special Cow Training

August 26, 2021
(Moon Jump)

As always, all rights reserved–Have a good day!


August 25, 2021

This morning feet crossed my mind. Slightly aching feet. 

The pandemic has not been kind to my feet–not because I have walked so much more than normal, but because my online shoe shopping has proved less and less successful. (Feet feel trivial, I know, until they’re your feet.) 

To tell the truth, my foot problems started before the pandemic. Try the fifth grade, when my feet became size 10.

My feet also, at that time, became officially persona non grata.  I did not, in other words, even try to make them feel welcome.

I mean, come on.  Even if stores back then carried a nice style in size 10, the style would somehow lose its elan (especially when attached to fifth grade ankles.)

As time passed, my feet only grew stranger.  I discovered that they had extra bones; also, that, when combined with my favorite exercise programs, they were prone to bruised metatarsals, pulled tendons, plantar fascitis, bunions, split-skinned heels, the source of knee problems. 

Then, at last, I found a shoe that worked. Yes, they made my feet look like hooves. But I could wear them with dresses!  And walk miles!  

The company quickly went out of business. 

Okay, okay, but this was already the age of the internet! I bought up every pair I could find. Six or seven years worth!

That, sadly, was about ten years ago. 

Which brings me to the present. 

Suffice it to say that I now have enough ill-fitting shoes that I can rotate them over a few days. Which means I can move on to the next bad pair before whatever is wrong with this one becomes incapacitating.

And when I am really really in trouble, I wear some thick red boots that I bought mainly to use around Christmas, but now wear in August.  They are not great for walking miles, but…well, we manage. I would not call them ruby slippers, but they do make me feel a little bit witchy, and that can feel just right some times.    

Have a good day.

(As always, all rights reserved, 2021.)