Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Moon in Mind

I couldn't pass by this pregnancy of mind
marking the path with the pitch and clamor
of music gone wild.

No, Couldn't hold my breath long enough
to swim under the clouds
holding the promise of thunder,

or the tree-lined silk of cascading thought,
whose sound-waves troubled the wind
with a harmony that filled the rivers
and drowned the paper and plastic
of more than I know of time,
hiding the glorious moon with its smoldering
wet halo.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Covered with Love....for Jay and Samantha on her twelfth birthday

Covered with Love

Your baby hands were big even then,
big enough to reach out and touch
the place where love is.

You waved them like wings,
trying to capture the light of dust
that slipped around your curved palm.

You opened something with your tiny fingers,
something invisible, made from heaven’s weave,
then you wrapped me in it
and it gave me grace.

Now, with your big blanket of love,
I see you have found the same fabric,
for you cover her with such tenderness that I weep.

I could never find the words to tell you.

Now you know.


My son
I remember when you were two
you tripped over cracks in the cement
with run-down sneakers
sun-drenched hair
the sea in your eyes

you tossed my heart about your youth
as I sang in dance around the room
with you in curl of whirl


time ticks to fast forward

to you still gleam of smile in me
to watch the tender hand you give

for as you watch me with your child
you tell me how you see now
how I was with you

for Love
has come around again

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Love Story...with Sweet William

This is one small part of my novella, Sweet William.  It is about my favorite character, the real life angel of the story, Nell.  Did she never marry because of the pain she felt when her first love was killed in the Viet Nam War?  That is only one of the serious questions asked and answered in the book

I wrote Nell into a poem before I wrote her into Sweet William.  Read the book and then let me know what you think...but first, read the poem. 

A Love Story

One summer day, hot and humid,
she, with windows open, fans going, was standing
letting the air blow an ice cube
up and down her arms, around her neck,
thinking, a man to run his finger up her arm
like this ice cube, making goose bumps 
as a knock on the door made her jump,
feeling guilty somehow for her thoughts.

On the porch was a man looking with a grin
at her feelings, she thought,
selling Bibles, he said.
She watched his face, not listening;
the way his lips moved, the straight line of his teeth,
the crease that appeared, then disappeared
from the corner of his eye.
She had wished for a man and this one had appeared.

He told her about college and selling Bibles door to door
to support himself, to help his family.
He told her about his three young sisters
and one brother, how his mom was sick
his dad having trouble. 

She bought a Bible, of course.
She bought a Bible, even though she already had one.
How could she not buy a Bible from this man?

Usually, words flowed from her like music
from an early morning song- bird. 
How to make him stay, after the Bible was in her hand
and the dull day was threatening return?

The ice melted slowly in her hand
making a wet spot on the bodice of her dress.
She  thought of the heat and this man trudging with his
sacred suitcase full of the Word, and the ice slowly melting 
on her chances.

He  stayed drinking ice tea as shadows fell on the day 
and the afternoon breeze curled the pages 
of the Bible that lay on the table between them.

They were married in the spring
and they had just planted a garden,
when he was drafted.

She kept him safe under her pillow
where his love touched her
with long and passionate letters.

Killing was not in him and he was sick 
from the fear of it, he said.
He had seen his friend turn in the middle of a laugh
into a land mine and disappear.
After that he kept to himself, afraid friendship would breed more pain.

One cool evening as she turned the bed down
and touched the stack of envelops as tenderly as skin,
she was with him in the trenches watching
the quiet of the morning.
She could hear the birds, her love's loud breathing
and a frantic heart-beat.

Was it his?  Was it hers?

Be still, she said,
but,  he was running up the hill
away, away,

then the hill exploded
like red rain.

This poem was published in Reflections on the Web, 2003

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Never Mine

Never mine

I held you once,
a small miracle
attached and expelled
from the most intimate 
part of me,
but you were never mine.

You dreamed beside
a yellow cat,
flailed your tiny arms
beside a warm mouth of 
soft and unafraid

You gave no cry
for attention,
small specks of dust
and wee clenched fist
held your interest,
and the clamor of activity around
absorbed your need.

As you grew 
a map unfolded behind
your green gaze
that passed me
and traveled away
into distant dreams.

you listened and spoke
with many voices 
before you learned your own.
time granted you grace
to fill up the space
your soul occupies.

I watched as you
accepted the miracle
of moon and stars,
made things happen
with your hands,
grasped truth,
were angered by deception,
knew love,
accepted failure
and discovered the strength
of determination.

I held you once,
a small miracle
attached and expelled
from the most intimate
part of me,
but, you were never really mine.

Still, wanting to touch some part of you
I reached out to grasp your hand
and through some trick of time and mind
you had become a man.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Don't Talk to Me of December

Don’t talk to me of December
when the trees 
oh the trees color me
the way I am brown and gold
and I fall still through the air
waiting for wind

The sky is melting
see how it passes the fold
and eases out the wrinkle
like time
swift the night falls

Sundown is like wings now
scraping the edge of the ocean
I can see it beginning the curl
and then darkness haunts the edge
and I wonder where the warm is
hear it slip and unfurl
sail into summer and strip the gauze
from nighttime’s cover and mirage

Sing me spring 
skip February this year
lay me across a desert mound
I’ll not breathe until you wrap with web the storm
then glove and pen erect
whisper midnight into warm 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Meet Faye Rapoport DesPres

I am happy to be part of the welcoming committee

Buddhapuss Ink LLC Announces Cover Reveal—Message From a Blue Jay

October 9, 2013

Buddhapuss Ink LLC, a NJ based book publisher, revealed the cover today for debut author, Faye Rapoport DesPres', Spring 2014 title: Message From a Blue Jay: Love, Loss, and One Writer's Search for Home. The book, a memoir, is beautifully constructed from essays DesPres wrote about her "middle decade," from forty to fifty.

Faye Rapoport DesPres was born in New York City, and grew up in rural upstate New York. Her maternal grandparents emigrated to the US from Eastern Europe in the early 1900s and settled in the South Bronx. Her father, a Holocaust survivor, arrived in New York as a teenager after World War II.
She has spent much of her writing career as a journalist and business/non-profit writer. She earned her MFA from Pine Manor College, where she focused on creative nonfiction. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Animal Life, Trail and Timberline, and other publications. Her personal essays, fiction, and poetry, have been published in Ascent, Superstition Review, and Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, among other journals, magazines, and anthologies. Currently, DesPres is an adjunct first-year writing instructor at Lasell College. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and their rescued cats.

BUDDHAPUSS INK LLC is based in Edison, NJ. Founded in 2009, it is led by Publisher, MaryChris Bradley, a 29 year veteran in the book industry. “Our company mission is to ‘Put readers first’ and we are committed to finding and growing new authors at a time when the major houses seem to have turned their backs on writers who don't already have a well-established track record or movie credits to their name.”
Bradley can be contacted at 732-887-2519 or Publisher@BuddhapussInk.com.
www.BuddhapussInk.com Website
 http://buddhapussink.blogspot.com Company blog
@Buddhapuss on twitter     Buddhapuss Ink LLC on Facebook

From an astonishing blue jay to an encounter with a lone humpback whale, travel with debut author Faye Rapoport DesPres, as she examines a modern life marked by her passion for the natural world, unexpected love, shocking loss, and her search for a place she can finally call home in this beautifully-crafted memoir-in-essays.

Three weeks before DesPres' fortieth birthday, nothing about her life fit the usual mold. She is single, living in a rented house in Boulder, Colorado, and fitting dance classes and nature hikes between workdays at a software start-up that soon won’t exist. While contemplating a sky still hazy from summer wildfires, she decides to take stock of her nomadic life and find the real reasons she never “settled down.” The choices she makes from that moment on lead her to re-trace her steps—in the States and abroad—as she attempts to understand her life. But instead of going back, she finds herself moving forward to new love, shocking loss, and finally, in a way that she never expects, to a place that she can almost call home.
Readers who love the memoirs and personal essays of such rising contemporary writers as Cheryl Strayed, Joy Castro, and Kim Dana Kupperman, will appreciate Faye’s observational eye, her passion for the natural world and the creatures that inhabit it, and her search for the surprising truths behind the events of our daily lives.

A Message From the Author

Imagine arriving at a train station in the middle of nowhere. On your lap lies a suitcase, and in that suitcase you carry your past. Metal brakes screech, the train slows and stops, and you struggle as you carry the suitcase toward the door and down the stairs to the platform. The whistle sounds and the train pulls away as steam rises from the tracks. You survey the landscape beyond the station and think: Where am I? What now? What happens next?
This is how I arrived at what I call my “middle decade,” the decade between forty and fifty. The suitcase I carried was heavy with memories—not just recollections of my youth and adulthood in America, but also inherited memories from an immigrant family splintered by the events of World War II. Born against a backdrop of displacement, loss, and ultimately hope, I was raised in upstate New York. Over the years I moved from New York to Boston, to England,  Israel, Colorado, and eventually back to Boston. I gathered life experiences as if they were pieces of a puzzle and hoped, without realizing it, that those pieces would eventually form some kind of whole. In retrospect I can see that my desire was to find what many of us seek: love, a sense of peace, and a home.
The essays in my book emerged from the pieces of that puzzle that inspired—or haunted—me most. They were crafted in an effort to fashion a big picture from the fragments of a restless life. I examined events in both the present and the past, the history of my family, the start of a second marriage the same year my mother-in-law’s life was drawing to a close, body image, aging, and the passage of time, and the connection I have always felt to animals. I explored these things while at a stage of my life where I had seen a lot of things but still had—as I have now—a great deal more left to see.
You will meet colorful characters (some human, some not), visit places from Canada to Bermuda and the Middle East, and witness the conflict between the desire to examine one’s life and the ultimate need to let go of it all in order to live in the moment. Perhaps you will find, as I did, that the natural world and the creatures who inhabit it—from a humpback whale to an astonishing blue jay—can provide insight in unexpected ways.
As I prepare for the journey toward the next stage of my life, it is time to pack up my suitcase. But because I examined its contents so thoroughly during this phase I feel ready to leave some of the weightier things behind and to move forward with a lighter load.
We’ll see how it goes. The train is pulling in and the whistle is sounding. The future is waiting. Care to join me?
— Faye

I'm looking forward to joining you Faye!!!

Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MessageFromaBlueJay
Publisher's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Buddhapuss
Author's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/faye.rapoport.despres
Publisher's blog: http://buddhapussink.blogspot.com/2013/10/cover-reveal-message-from-blue-jay.html
Publisher's website announcement: http://www.BuddhapussInk.com
Author's website:  http://fayerapoportdespres.com/

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Something of Substance

Something of Substance

I’ve looked long at my fingers
how they touch the air
dispel the dust in light of stair
I’ve seen them catch my fall to ground
and pick up leaves and things around

The mirror is a play along
a friend that makes no sound at all
nor grumbles when I take her toys
I watch with much interest and see
the way it does things just like me

The yard is fabric light and dark
and warm or cool the grass like park
depending on which way I turn
in dip of driveway’s down I see
another laying down piece of me

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Take me Down

Take me down to curled leaf,
autumn falls,
it falls along the edge
and leans from the fence with the warped tomato.

Pull out the weeping end of summer,
its fragrance bites,
though sweet the taste.

Take me down into this cool morning,
oh, sun,  so layered in rising mist,
and touch me sweatered.
The bare shoulder has danced summer brown
into folly’s open fire with a sing along
and I can still hear it echo in the ripple.

I see grace moving now in the rake,
a piece of last October still stuck in its teeth,
leaning against the turn of time
watching the sky for the first dance
of the Liquid Amber.

Take me down with flannel sheets and the window open to cool
the warmth of autumn nights with you.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Santa Monica Sunset and Sweet William

It’s interesting that many of the chapters of my novella, Sweet William, were poems first.  This is one that I’d like to share.

This scene from Sweet William came about on a trip my husband and I took to Santa Monica.  We went there to take a friend to the beach who had never seen the Pacific Ocean.  We got there just before sunset on a warm weekend day.  It seemed as though everyone was out enjoying the end of day.  It had been a long time since I’d been to Santa Monica and I was captured by the people and the atmosphere of exuberance from so many different walks of life mixed together with Sunshine.  

We walked to the end of the pier not knowing we would find bleachers set up for people to sit and watch the sunset.  This experience became a poem and the poem became part of a chapter in Sweet William.  

Santa Monica Sunset

Something about the ocean
brings people together.
A parking lot 
filled with cars.
The day is closing,
people are leaving
toting umbrellas, picnic baskets
and children covered with sand.

One little boy is high footen' it
across the black top with bare feet. 
He pauses for a minute
on a white parking strip
then hurries off again. 

The sun is closing in 
on the horizon
touching many people on the pier
with light and shadow.
There are strolling couples,
families, groups of teenagers
and fishermen with buckets, 
poles slung over their shoulders.

There is the smell of cotton candy
the music from the Marry-go-round
many laughing voices. 

Over the rail
sand becomes ocean waves
where surfers sit gazing
wishes at rising mounds 
passing under them. 

A bate shop,
a restaurant, 
then the end of the pier. 
Fisherman line the railing, 
bleachers face the horizon,
a gallery for gazing.

The sun turns the sky gold
the clouds pink,
then to mauve,
lavender and a dusty red.
There is a reverent quiet
amongst these people
of such diversity.

The brown skinned boy
with a bucket of bait
and bare feet sits next to 
a lady in a silk dress and high heeled shoes
who sits next to a woman
with a baby blanketed against her breast.

All of them watch
the sun sink in the silver sea
and turn the sky magic
then disappear behind
the immense and rolling ocean.
There is a moments silence,
breathing is a sigh.

Everyone claps and cheers
laughs and changes 
back into their ordinary selves 
and moves away into their lives.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Like Birds

Like birds

these poems are wild

going somewhere
anywhere in air
floating on the current
in the waves of battling poles
latched to a tree
they are stinging me

feathers supplicating
fettered by a turbulence of thought
caught in the frightful claws
of hunger and draught

these poems are wild
their whistle is darned to destiny
across the fabric of time
living on vibration and fighting gravity

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Something about Sweet William

A review of Sweet William by Ned Johnson....Thank you!

"There are many "laws" of writing style. Among the few that stand out as preeminent are, "Write what you know about," and "You can't write about what you don't see in your mind." In her novella Sweet William, Martie Odell Ingebretsen violates the first and proves the latter, both with brilliance. Those are two of several keys to her unique and powerful style.

As to the first law, the one that she violates, all she does is prove that a vivid and attentive imagination is equal to, or better than, direct experience. Martie herself has never been homeless. Yet she has insight into the soul of the experience that some who have lived it lack. She displays this mainly through details: a refusal to use a shopping cart, because of what it symbolizes; having a "safe place" to store possessions when you're not around; tips and tricks about professional dumpster diving. Her insight into the nature of the lifestyle is revealed in countless little details that put the reader right there with the character--alive and well.

She applies the same technique to other situations, ones with which she is, at least to some degree, more personally familiar. But it all cases, it is her ability to first envision, then to describe a scene or a feeling or a sensation. And describe it she does. Sumptuously.

Which brings up another of her best attributes: her style of delivery. Martie has a unique talent for putting words together that are under most circumstances strange bedfellows, to say the least. Yet she yokes them together for her own purposes, and they find ways of making wonderful sense together. Besides being a delight to stumble upon in the course of reading, these little gems also have the side effect of focusing the reader's attention quite unconsciously and spontaneously. It is a sly, beneficial, and quite effective knack.

The next most powerful asset she brings to the party is her compassion. That, along with her insight into the inner workings of her characters (and by extension, humanity), are potent storytelling tools.

She understands the thoughts and feelings that form the fabric of our experience, and she knows where they come from. This provides her with the ability to present the thoughts, feelings, actions, and development of her characters sensibly and precisely. They don't always do what you expect them to, but they always do something that they would do. Not every author can say that with a straight face.

Her story is one that spans the gamut of human experience, from the depths of tragedy to the apex of elation, with many stops along the way. She accomplishes this through the use of the techniques above, along with her choice of characters, a credible and rewarding storyline, and a finish you can (happily) live with.

For a first novella--it is an achievement to be proud of. I certainly would be if I had written it. No doubt I have plenty of company in that respect."

You might ask how I know about the things in Williams life as Ned did in the above review.  Yes,  I  experienced the loss and the devastation that William did when my daughter died at 8 years.   William lost a child and wife...everything he held dear was gone in a blink.  I understood the horror and the guilt and I knew the anger that needed to explode at something or someone.  The man with the mean eyes was that someone in the story.  Read Sweet William and you will ask as William does, is there any blame?  

Have I ever been homeless....No.  At least not in the sense that William was homeless.  I moved from the home I had lived in for 30 years and spent 4 months in a motel before finding another home.  


Around the corner and down the block
heavy with memory, I walk on sidewalks
torn by cracks and littered with the sunshine
of the ache in the gate that was home.

Barefooted across the paved heat of the streets
where the leaves of autumn still fall and call,
all my lost thoughts flood the gutters and tombs
as the birds and I thrum with the clock.
A white linen blouse on a January day
writes its song on the shoulders of trees,
then stays like the strings of a familiar love,
lost in the culverts unseen but by me.

The smile of the child at the door I can't block
from the threshold that used to be mine;
I hope that he feels all the goodness I've known
for the place called my home now is his.

In every experience there can be learning and growth and also a story that can be told.  Is the story fiction or truth?  Maybe it is both.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dissected by the Moon

It was last night when across the floor    
a slice of white came through the door
I was dissected by the moon
into variegated delight of room

As from my sleep I woke to see
all of me rumpled satin cream
as the movement of the galaxies
crossed the valley of my dreams

I turned to dimensions more than three
and even through the screen this beam
kissed my breath to sharp intake
and made of me a shadowed gate

It mattered not that warm sweet wind
came with the slice that cut me thin
I knew the breath was born from bone
that crossed through veil of time unknown

So bitter sweet the touch of rare
in ancient Greece my youth so fair
that spilled from out this mouth of pearl
and left me never more a girl

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Roller in the Grass of Playful

I'm thinking of you Michelle

warming past the tree

where we frolicked with the day

memory takes me to that hill

All the year I've worn my heart

in comfort drawn to wait

the times that bring you near

just not expecting now and so dear

But here you are wrapping around my years

growing with me not tears

but moments spent in learning trees

and little pieces of poured cement

with your name that lasts

it's just not fair how living

can't be cast

The dog's bark is for you too

and the jasmine hanging on the fence by me

a roller in the grass of playful came to be

itched with laughter until the tears were only mine

So this day I know you see the pool we built

the year you died

as if to hide in the joyous splash

your brothers made into what was a hill

where dogs remarked

yet still

I miss the way your gleeful filled the day

and colored the empty place in me with play

Friday, August 2, 2013

On Mariam Kobras and Song of the Storm

I met Mariam Kobras on Twitter.  She quickly became one of my favorite peeps.  We were brought together by our mutual love of writing.  She introduced me to her publisher, Buddhapuss Inc, who became my publisher.  Serendipity works that way some times.  I read Mariam's first two books of the Stone Trilogy and became interested in the lives of Jon, the rock star and his independent and beautiful lady love, Naomi.  Their lives are far different from mine, but I can relate to them because Mariam wrote them into humanness.  I found myself wanting to interact with them, to listen to their life stories, know their quirks and  foibles and the details of their love.  I wondered how Mariam could possibly write another book about the same people, but she did and I have to say that book, Song of the Storm, is my favorite. 

This third book not only made me want to know about Naomi and Jon and their friends and family and what happened to make them who they are, but I found myself liking them.  I was still caught in the emotion of the ending when I wrote Mariam this email.

Dear Mariam

I've just finished Song of the Storm.  My eyes filled with tears, remembering, as I'm sure everyone does remember, 9/11.  You wrote of it with heart and compassion.  Now I understand that the event didn't just effect the people of the USA, but all people.  I went into my old poems to find the poem I wrote after 9/11 because I wanted to share it with you.  I remember the time after as so quiet because there were no airplanes allowed.  Families cozied up together and the streets were empty.  I could here the news channels streaming again and again the horrible truth.  


As the first breath squirms,
then sirens
across the lap of beginning,
hear the fragile power
that is life. 

a candle’s flame
blown out in dark clouds
of hatred’s careless and despicable.

the spirit that began
before time cut the umbilical cord
and freedom became a feeling.

Fragile falls,
it bends and melts
and will never be again
the way it was.
But, the life force,
the spirit that builds joy
from a foundation that hugs compassion,
grows stronger.

And when a circle is formed
of hand touching hand,
there is no measure of its strength,
for it is indestructible.

From the open door
the crows argue with the sky
and I listen in awe
as an airplane softly roars
into my understanding
that life goes on.

I hear commitment,
it feels like the breath of spirit,
it feels like power.

In Song of the Storm I felt love and understanding grow,  the music build into families of tenderness, the ache of missing and the terrible lament of why.  You wrote this book as an artist would draw a precious piece of art.

Thank you for being an author.

Love, Martie

You can find the link to Song of a Storm at Amazon,  HERE

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

In the Between

Summer is drying up and blowing,
it has withered and drained the moisture
from all the blooming,
but the sunflowers still hold their heads erect,
they have had their dip and bow,
now time is waiting to seed
and the bees hover around their dignity.

Each minute is crisp with waiting
the crunch of falling,
and it happens so fast,
this precious movement into dry leaves
and the ending of nights under stars
covered only with mosquito netting.

To splash in midnight’s pool
with stars to watch
and the moon portraying
the curved breast of frolic
where fairies hide their winsome wings,
quietly behind the lattice
they entwine their pointy toes
to capture bliss.

And in the between
I dare dream of falling
and turning gravity’s pull,
falling into the stars
like a wish to dance with destiny
in candle light,
a dream weaves threads that stitch me
to the fabric of my reverie,
its truth is nebulous
and a whim can send it crashing
to shatter all the pretty pieces.

How quiet this minute
that gathers me
and waits to see what happens,
and it happens so fast,
this precious movement into dry leaves
and the ending of nights under stars
covered only with mosquito netting.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

While Waiting for Clarity

Waiting for clarity watching the tide
listening for lessons from time left behind
is this how I spend the mid day of heat
beginning the ache of a thought’s incomplete

I’m drowning in dignity lost in the fog
searching for magical mystical cog
that will catch the yearning with tenderness’ hook
and wee bit of joyful that fell in the brook

You think I’m just messy but the clutter’s defined
in the pathway I take to the place that is mine
there lashes fall dangerously close to asleep
and my dire state of mind does not make me sweep

Oh lethargy leave me some jumping around
for my feet yearn for dancing  and playing the clown
often my lips burn with hot state of allure
when I think of time wasted on waiting breeze stir

I’m taking the slow road to round and about
and have figured the distance is making me pout
so if you should see some red shoes and blue jeans
you can bet its my bippy walking out of your screen

If  you think this is nonsense your reading your right
for my fingers just needed to get out of uptight
the seriousness of this wanting to shout
is to help me determine what life is about

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


The fish like silver wishes flash
behind the rock,
a slither of a dance.
More than this dream
a fisherman’s chance
to contemplate the day.

Beyond the place of pool's cold
this poet told
of a fisherman's strong and steady hold
and what she thought to spin of gold
was a fiber pure and unafraid
made from peace and love.

So from her chair she cast
with pole and filament naught
a line of words with nimble fingers fast
across a keyboard the letters sought
to find connection in this pool vast

the fisherman's heart was caught.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Where is the Spider?

Time spins a web from the tree of life
and we are caught.
Blown like a feather, we cling
as our need gives us strength.

We touch the lazy leaf in awe,
smell the tangy edge of fruited laughter
and long for truth.

Days are sometimes our slow enemy.
The dullness of them
seeps into our lust
and inhibits our exuberance.

Many times a manic dance
spins us out of control,
before we can think of a purpose
we have passed ourselves
and must seek again
what we never found.

We are the umbilicated
tied to the past by a severed cord,
phantom pains 
keep us from forgetting
our beginning.
We are chained to the future
by the microscope of eternity
found in our children.

We throw out a life line
and glean
through the unbearable
coupling of our bodies, destiny.

From the depth of this beauty
we recognize youth
far back on the road.

The mirror mimics our exterior
when inside we realize that youth
has only become less frivolous
and more kind.

There are signs along the path we travel,
these are some I’ve seen:

Singing when your heart is full 
brings sweetness to your voice.

Holding the hand of one
who walks along the river
leads to the appreciation of
little things.

Listening to the message
of the sea,
humbles an overripe opinion.

Embracing in love sets a fire
that will not be extinguished.

Looking inward for the teacher
calms the trembling fingers
of your grasping search.

Laughter emptying into your
troubled soup
sweetens the bitterness and strengthens 
all the essential ingredients.

To struggle against the web
is to be caught more fiercely.
If we are still, listening and open,
we can appreciate the glistening 
of its craftsmanship
and the touch of air
surrounding it.

Peace is fleeting,
found in an instant
when eyelash meets the cheek.

Does the tree of life
concern itself with our struggle?

Tall and sure it holds the web,
but can it protect it from what is
or what will be?

I still have not seen
the spider.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Growing, So Sweet and Treacherous

The tree and that crack
in the sidewalk may be gone,
where I flew like a small creature
made from wind and hair and scabbed knee
down and over the small bump that the root
curved just so for my delight.

I would stop and pull the corked bark
out a little and it seemed it opened
just for me to hide treasures in;
pieces of polished glass,
a lovely smooth pebble,
a four leaf clover.
Somehow I thought as I drove by
they might still be there
waiting my charge
into a new adventure.

The house where I grew up
still stands with dormer window eyes
and a door that is red.
The green lawn, so good for running,
was where I broke my arm tripping on the sprinkler.
Now there is a hill there
with a jungle of delicious flowering plants
and although it is the same
it is many years different.

I wanted to knock and proclaim myself the person
who put love notes to someone not yet arrived
under the eves outside my bedroom window,
I was the one who pretended to eat sandwiches outside,
but instead, hid them in that hedge out front
and made great friends with a cat that liked tuna fish.

Above the garage now
is a beautiful room with lovely windows,
when before it held my butterfly collection.
It was there where my brother sent my first admirer
up the ladder, then pulled it away and made him stay
‘til he was done with following me,
for I was twelve and knew nothing of my sexual power
or the burgeoning heat that had attracted him.

You are soaking my heart with memory...
house…dear house, where growing
was so sweet and treacherous.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

These Three and Me

Within the morning dove’s lament
across the line of sky where time stops,
in the bend to light of tulip face,
I feel embrace of love
not stab or wounded wide
in cry, no,
at peace from misery’s last sigh
and hallowed by the places it has been.

A mother's grace of smile to child
in open arms now warmth displays to little me,
so fragile strong in run across the lawn of time
to grasp her skirt again
and feel some safety there at last from past.

And father young and captured in
the sandy beaches of my heart, still ebbs, is gone
yet flows to teach the steps to take past fear
with open arms the beacon, into the depth so lit,
to experience beyond the fear, the joy.

Even winter with love just broken
and child by death newly taken from me,
I knew the white light around the place,
this corner of grace was where to go
to hold myself within my arms
and know even past my sight
that everything would be all right.

And so those three with some of me
have stayed
in places they knew not,
to break the chain that held me tight
so I could fly
within the mourning dove’s lament
across the line of sky where time stops
to meet them once again.
5-26-02 (In memory of my mother, Marian; my father, Vincent, and my daughter, Michelle)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

From the Bathroom Window

The old hose ran through it like a river
creasing the meadow grass of the back back yard
blooming wheat weed like last year’s candles
and a butterfly took root on the smallest pale flower
weaving light into the movement of air.

I am little and climb on the clothes hamper
to see the acacia tree
for it is spring from the bathroom window
and the yellow is like a smudge of joy
caught within the plum’s prolific fragrance  
and I clamor for the time of bare feet.

Flutter flap the sheets are sunning
and mother is a flowered skirt that twirls
although I don’t think she did really
except only in my gypsy feelings from this high place
looking down on her arms bare then and brown
a clothespin in her teeth and the wind her sail.

Was safely far upstairs hanging out there
as if I could see secrets
little dart of blond brother grim with starched legs
and some old dusty car with running board
posing there on the oil slick of the driveway.

It is so like a photo
what I've captured here in mind
from perhaps a Sunday of a long ago April
where the creak of the porch swing
the steady rhythm of it like time itself
is following me or has stopped long enough
for the click of the shutter.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

For My Mother


She left her mark within my cheekbones
as sure as summer her shape is mine
I even think within the lining
of my heart she left her sign

The shaded place of back yard peace
like open book is where she stays
sometimes she is in the humming
of mourning dove upon her grave

I see the skirt of many colors
circle round her sun tanned legs
I see her reach across the chasm
place four leaf clovers on the page

So fragile is the lip of time
that death has left upon my heart
in the evening dwells the perfumed
evening breeze her fragrance’s part

Gather round her all the wild flowers
oceans place her in their fold
captured are the star night feathers
that fall upon her heavenly stroll

I see her in my mirror smiling
she shades her eyes within my own
and in the sand of summer’s footprints
she is not walking all alone

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dawn Comes Dog Day Wars to Evening Peace Rightly

Quiet the morning takes the birds to sing
and strings the leaves a fallen
in sound of autumn’s approach and more
the cool is coming through some door
within the sky a change

Walking the Precious sniff-a-long good leash
along the path so often ours  
another sound tore the air with sudden rip of fabric
unto the fur and gentle ankle bare it gnashed
a surprising growl and teeth attack

A dog with black lip curled back
leashed to terrible
the back gate come loose
in ripe voice of rage it screamed
at us a peaceful walking

Avocado torn in mock toss of thought
too smashed and gone the green away
into the angry gravel I cannot throw
or find a weapon save in me
though in fear I hear the crunch
of teeth and slash to air
I cry my louder thunder

Hold the safety breast-side carry
not torn oh wag come shelter
like some wild woolly alpha song
I hear the heart a pound then kick
and see how I am strong

Dog follows us with a lonesome war
my back I turn and growl me too
I’m holding reverent good I say
along the alley home don’t dare
disturb the place where we abide

Come afternoon
the very same of day
a tarrying with some friends
with a gracious lick and saunter
came another smile so gentle dog to yard
with playful good that even the Precious-good-leash
came from off her doubt and gave good chase

and the sky came dark though lit in me
was the warm again to good-sleep

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Conversation with a Tree

Wings of light,
free, not tethered to the bend of rock,
I hear a sound like clapping and laughter
and running tap shoed feet.

A shadow pauses on a rock,
I touch it with my own.
It is a tree of questionable name
but green just the same
on this hill
where I thought black stubs only remained.

A shadow is proof of substance,
I tell the tree,
with all this ethereal sound and light
proof that you and I are real.

Folly drawn my love, the tree replied,
the blue is always changing.
Now it curves upon the mountain
not held tight against my breast,
see it take on gravity.

I see, I say to tree.
So many places hurt now gone
like shadows on the rock now turned to sun,
and caught within the memory
a tree becomes a song.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Reverence

the dripping rain at night
upon the back of an old trash can
sound bites    I am
percussive proclamation
of hearing

In the morning
like jewels the grass and leaves beget
a thousand reflections of the sky

who cannot believe in that

The air is fulsome filling flight
of birds who watch the water swell
and wait until first light
the serpent's slither silver
slippery delight of catching

Oh the weight of waiting is sweet
as time ticks the clouds closed
and the wind wipes the sky clean
filling space with spirit air
there where God sleeps

Within the patterns of the broken fragments
of light reflected in corners and doorways barefoot
even crushed beneath the raging breath of earth
almost cursed      we are blessed

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Wrapped Around the Thought

I've been asked many times since Sweet William was published, what inspired me to become a writer.  Here is one "what" that is a "who"... my father.

Wrapped Around the Thought

See that curl of hair on forehead
under the jaunt of cap,
grinning yes
and leaning into the sun
with a tease of freckles?

Oh, he could write a minute
if you asked him,
could tell you carefully facts
of newsprint and time
with his face somber and his long fingers
wrapped around the thought.

Stories were in him, some fashioned
with laughter, his small quips
sang across the Post on Saturday Evening.
I didn’t know then to be proud.

Ships were always landing in pairs, he wrote,
on the yellow paper that falls apart
and drops pieces of time on the hardwood floor.
I see how it was l932 by an envelope
tucked inside the book called War Aces
with a bill requesting three dollars
for a doctor’s visit.

The address is one that tells me
that he lived before I knew him,
before I was his sweet pea,
he lived this piece of time
without me.

Oh, he could write a minute
if you asked him,
could tell you carefully facts
of newsprint and time
with his face somber and his long fingers
wrapped around the thought.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Music from the Corner of Spring

I can feel the dirt is moving
On the tips of green I see it
As the sun fills sky with morning
It is building bone on skin now

And the deepening of darkness
Is because the day is lighter
as the ducks flying to summer
Find my open morning window

I can see the breath of springtime
In the creeping warmth of breezes
And the shaking of the rooftops
Is the scattered raindrops drying

I can feel my skin get lighter
And its cloth makes silk from flannel
For the window will be softened
Chill be taken from the curtains 

And I want to travel seaward 
Across the nape towards summer
Fill my buckets with the fragrant
Seaweed shells and sandy dollars

And I know the snow of fresh fall
Will be melting on the mountains
And the apple painted sunsets
Will swallow whole the day in lovely

For the winter now is over
Its cold sheets of curled sleeping
Leaving shadows to delight in
Fine for feather-pillowed nighttime

As I feel the warming fire
From the hands across the seasons
Fill my cart with favorites
Walking with me into April

No matter what the season's heart-song
It is the window that opens inward
That is the music from the corner
of going home

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Where Shuddered Mystery Breaks its Fast

Come to my face sunning sky,
tease this arm faint breeze
like you do the trees.

I have a song that won’t let loose,
like leaf
it clings to the inner branch 
of truth.

I’ve sighed long 
as the moon watched 
and showed me how to change
a little every night.

“Soon the door will open
and tomorrow will be here”,
the nagging minutes whisper.
All's right, says my inner ear.

I am neither afraid nor out of date,
my stamp of time is faded,
not made of clay. 

Bright, what road this one,
dappled light or shade
or filled with sun?

I’ll take the one in weep of tree,
where holes are made in dirt light free.
Each step I’ll place within the path
where shuddered mystery breaks its fast

and lets me know the way at last.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Winter Thoughts in the Yard

Winter Thoughts in the Yard

The clover belongs here in winter,
decorating the lawn next door,
cavorting with the slip and fall
of the seed pods from the Liquid Amber.

It is brave to stand up
wearing morning dew
on rain slicker’s yellow hue
in the middle of a winter day,
as a pile of leaves become ordinary
chaotic art made by a rake,
holding fast to the trash can
labeled, yard waste.

Swimming in the pool out back,
the children of the Golden Rain Tree
are floating, pale and assuming
the same lightness of being as the bee
twisting frantically, trying to fly.
Each leaf takes a chance on passing the filter,
like naughty children playing dare.

The bee is calm now
and floats peacefully into the vortex.

Watching is heavy with acceptance.

The deflated rubber raft that held glee ...
(was it that long ago
that I pushed giggling girls out
into the deep end?),
lays silent and empty.

Why does it have more power NOW
to touch me,
as it lays beside the empty chair?

The citrus trees are exploding.
I give a bow and wonder
about the word divine
in the back yard temple of appreciation
where so many small things have been
blessed then forgotten,  like girl scout cookies,
until they suddenly appear one day at the door
and ask if I want more.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

February 21, Every Year

February 21, Every Year

Today you emerged
from hibernation
and tapped my shoulder.

Look, you said,
I am
swept under the heartbeat
of your memory, sleeping;
covered by hours,
then by days,
finally by years,
until my laughter
fades from memory
and the sound of my voice
is lost.

I am only noticed
when February cuts into
your heart
or in my picture
one-sided and posed.

You look for me
across the mountain's top
as if my ashes are what
seed the ground.
I can feel
the pilgrimage
of your feet
upon my soul.

You know by now
that your heart beat
is me
and the ache
in womb,
the full blue-veined
breast of remembering
is where you can find me.

I will always be there,
trust your tears.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dear Love


Dear love, 

Where you nested 
my heart grows lithe, 
as with my own whim 
I've flown away from solitude 
and found breach of delight within. 

I can't love you into stillness, 
like rain you come refreshed 
as I weep for what was ravaged 
I keep the harvest's goal, 
Oh, significant wonder, 
girl's gone beautiful soul. 

I can gently part the curtain now 
on what I thought that I should dread, 
and find in truth a grace amazed 
by my own light, wavy threads. 

I have no doubt my sigh and cry 
weighed heavy on your placement 
with time's perfect patience, 
so I threw them in the brier 
I thought I held for you 
to soften a girl's bad dream come true. 

To question is my degree, 
so I ask miraculously 
significant wonder touching grace, 
and though flesh is an unworthy tool, 
I see you smiling in my face. 

I see the pages turn, 
hear the sound of paper, 
know the end has such integrity 
that I want to skip a page or two 
to see what happens later. 

Keep well, this home of heart 
has been growing from the start 
from a chain anchoring one into the other, 
where there is no end to the devotion 
from you, my daughter 
forever in the lasting of me, your mother. 

Could I but see the distance 
plague the stone so I could fly, 
curiosity would lick the slurry 
until the sap in me was dry. 

So, my love I have a feeling 
on the page that says, the end, 
when I've eaten apples to the core 
there will be a light in me, not dim,
that still will want for more.