Tag Archive | POETRY

It can’t rain all the time


This jumbo jet is taking off

In the bleary rain
Shear be damned
It’s taking off
Into that wild
Looking high to the sky
Into the nimbus
Past those heavy molecules
Crossing the grit and grimy
Gassy ion particles
This aero flight
Seeks the invisible light
And the untouched horizon
Pot o’ gold
Red to violet
That vast array
Aurora borealis
Or bust
That sparkle in the eye
This biplane is outta here
Through the hung over sleaze
Past the sleet
And dreary haze
Of thunderheads past
Trip up, or is it down?
Either way
It can’t rain all the time

Down My Mangled Mind


Down my mangled mind
You haunt the reaches
Of each tear
Each cut
Each bruising wound
You force the memories

Down my mangled breast
Your shrieking breath awaits
Scorching wind

Down my mangled hip
I fear your wrath
Punishing, blistering fright

Down my mangled thigh
You ease up
It’s cool
I try

Down my mangled foot
We start again
Hold me close
Loop back
To that stained mind
That grey cut
That unforgettable dismal place
Open, sucking torment



A Tale of Two Davids


I’d heard all about the statue of David, of course. The magnificence of the carving, the perfection of form. Its compelling presence. Michelangelo’s greatest work, perhaps. Florentine, uniquely Italian, yet universal. A statement of the human condition.

When I saw David this summer in person, right up close, I fell in love. It was the same with Van Gogh’s paintings in the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. I never knew how much I admired and cared for Van Gogh’s work until I saw them for myself some seven years ago. One can read and study and memorize every detail of a photograph of an art work, but seeing it for real is a whole different experience.

The same is true about violence and death. One can read about it in the newspaper or watch the nightly TV newscast, and feel almost nothing. Over and over, we hear about war and battles, bombs and sniper attacks, until it seems we become immune to their true horrors. The biblical David was famous for his victory over Goliath. He epitomizes the intelligence of the Hebrew people. Yet he killed. Perhaps too much time has gone by for us to feel the violence of his act.

When my brother David committed suicide some 25 years ago, the anguish of it was too much to bear. All I could feel was anger. I held back love, compassion, pity. I froze out understanding. I couldn’t allow acceptance or any contemplation of the human condition that my brother’s act of self-inflicted violence might have represented.

But when I saw the David of Michelangelo, in the company of my sister who endured the same anguish and agony as I had 25 years ago, my heart began to open. In the presence of the master sculpture, I let compassion in. I tried to understand, and in doing so, began to heal. I waited too many years. I should have visited him long ago.


A Tale of Two Davids

After 25 years
I’m finally ready to talk about David

There are two Davids
One cast in stone
In the Accademia museum in Italy
The other cast into the ground in a coffin

David the rock carved of solid marble,
Form of a god
David the weak
Composed of decomposing human flesh,
Probably all bones by now

One symbolizes heroism
The other was cowardly
One slew the giant
The other slew himself

One had the intelligence
To outwit an enemy many times his size
The other had intelligence too
But couldn’t find his own strengths

Rock David is perfect
Cut from the stone by a master
Flesh David is perfect too
Perfect in his anger against himself

David the Florentine statue
Admired for courage and artistry
The world will remember
David my brother
Reviled for his inhuman loveless act
We try to forget

David born of the Hebrews and Michelangelo
Lives in beloved eternity
David born of the Hebrews Joyce and Herb
Died in despair and disgrace

A tale of two Davids

Birth Song

I came screeching into life

On a frigid snowy evening

Winter day in Massachusetts

Winter day in Massachusetts

Not unlike this one
But oh, so many years past
And mother almost dropped me
Right in the car
While father panicked
Sliding down the road with
Rear wheel drive
Another beat up old black Buick
Skating on invisible ice
But she held on
My mother, strong
Determined to control the night
Swearing, carrying the pain of humankind
In her slim and tired form
She held tight
While Dad steered the way
Through the gloomy woods
And cloud laden fields
Cow pastures locked in white
Flakes as big as a baby’s fist
Shielding the murky sullen way
But through the frozen gloom
A wonder world appeared
An oasis in the bitter storm
And the hospital cheered us on,
Praise be!
Or so it seemed
Its glaring bright lights
Full-lit windows
Bigger than any moon
Starred, dotted with smiling faces
And helpful welcoming hands
They took us in

Thus was I born


Winter Blog



I’m taking a respite from a short story I’m writing to talk about winter. Specifically, winter in Massachusetts. Now, this winter has been quite a mild one. The only snow my little town has seen was on Halloween. At the time, it seemed a portent of doom, this early snowfall at the end of October. A sign that the climate gods were unhappy and frustrated. A statement of mistrust and disapproval from ye gods on high. Often we can get a dusting of snow in October, but not generally this type of significant storm that causes power outages, downed tree limbs, and all the other usual accoutrements of winter. A weariness set upon many; those of us who intensely dislike clearing our cars of ice and snow, those who have long commutes to work, who aren’t skiers or snowmobilers, we who get little joy out of the white stuff. We anticipated a long, dreadfully difficult season.

Turns out though, we got depressed prematurely. Because since that October storm, we’ve had nothing more than a few flakes of snow in the air. We’ve experienced some very warm days when not only didn’t we need boots, hats, and mittens, but we didn’t even need jackets. This is freaky, I tell you. It is not usual. I had to ask my virtual friend from Canada to write a poem about snow for me, because I can’t write about what I don’t see. I told him: write about the starkness of the trees in winter, your breath clinging to the atoms of air in front of you, the moss peaking up from under the snow. Of course he didn’t (I don’t have much luck with persuading people to do my bidding.)

Do I actually miss the snow? No, that can’t be. But perhaps I miss writing about it. So, here’s a first draft on a winter poem. Be kind – I have nothing to go on this year.


Winter poem

Turkeys drenched in frozen rain
Peck at the desolate, rock hard ground
Crowd around the tiny patch of moss green
Peaking up from under the snow
Flutter and run at the sound
Of the garage door opener

And before you drive through the doors
Stop at the mailbox at the side of the road
Step onto the ice pavement
Brave the storm, the sloppy snow
And watch your breath cling to the atoms of air
In front of you
Collect the junk mail flyers
And discount magazine offers
Back in the car, honk at the birds
And drive through the gates of heavenly warmth
The blessed garage

While the turkeys
Fly confused up into the lacy trees
Stark nude, with their brown twilight dress
And hunker down for more

I Find the World a Wonder



I find the world a wonder

A place of suspect substance
No weighty exchanges
Only smiles
Wheezing, joking, tickling
Aching sides, laughing
Cameras clicking
Documenting joy
Eyes shining in disbelief
Craving to stand together
To be
To live
And touches of happy caresses
Such touches
Transcendent bliss
Most wondrous of all, authentic talk
A marvel, unheard of
In this modern age
Of strategies
Meant to disarm and conquer

None of that

Sorrow and melancholy revealed

Mellowed, rounded
With unselfish consideration
With humanity
With tender kindness
None of the horrors of the times
Only a return
To the garden
To desire
To ecstasy
These surreal moments
Of myth-like legend and confident faith
Can’t be real
I must be dreaming
Or wishing
Desperate for the click click
Of the clock to mean anything

Beyond the misery

Wanting this world to exist

Searching for wonder
Poet’s fancy

Trevi Fountain


I’m home! Back from a fabulous two weeks in Greece and Rome. This trip was not without adventure. I will be writing about it ad nauseam, I’m sure. Meanwhile, here is a poem I wrote on the airplane ride home. Other poems I wrote while half asleep on the plane: Temple Athena, Athens Metro, Suitcase Woes, A Tale of Two Davids.

It’s good to be back, and yet, if any of you want to take me with you to Greece, or Italy, or anywhere in Europe, just let me know as soon as possible!


Trevi Fountain

I made two wishes at Trevi Fountain
Turned my back to Neptune, the watery colossus
And tossed in a couple of small coins.

Why wish for what I can’t have?
What’s the point, I think.
So I make my desires more mundane
Less dramatic
No utopias
Nothing epic
No riches, nothing Romanesque
No god-like dreams

Just regular stuff
Human wishes
You know.


Finding Fury


What is hell but the fury in me? The hatred that can explode without warning. That self-immolation, that despicable, vile loathing that imprints an image into my cerebral cortex. I am not good enough, insists the graven image, that revolting torture carved on my flesh. I will always be less than I desire. Never happy. Unworthy. I turn to golden calves for wanton relief. But the truth is there for the remembering. It can cut me down at the knees. Its relentless driven message – directed, precise. It permits no escapes. I am useless. I am a waste of a human being, a waste of a living being. Let me descend into my own rot, make my appalling mistakes. Let the faults speak as loudly as my tattooed skin shrieks foul to a sick universe. This hell, this fury, this determined rip, this unyielding tear. This afflicted place.

The Mistake
Soak your pride in acid rain
Clip past the quick
Silence sentiment
Scrape the evidence from your fingertips
Drown uniqueness in categorical denial
Burn the prints
Gut a jealous turn
Cut and let fall your naiveté
Down, down
Till the budding branches
And all hell is happy

Wishing and Waiting

                                                             TIME AND OTHER NONSENSE

I wish for world peace. I wait for a kind word.

I want a spring day. I wait for February to end.

I desire long legs. I can wait all I want but that will never happen.

I hope for joy. I wait for a friend to help me laugh.

I anticipate six more weeks of winter. I wait for the first crocus to bloom.

I hope to win the lottery. I wait in line for a ticket.

I desire love. I wait for my kids to call.

I want to be rich. I wait for my biweekly paycheck.

I expect uniqueness. I may wait my entire life for this expectation.

I wish for acknowledgment. Still waiting.



Why prefer a sunny day?rain

When the rain
Is infinitely more interesting
Wets the window sills
If you’re brave enough to leave the gaps open
If you won’t care that the flooring below gets damp
Tap taps sound on the gable, on the shingles, on the asphalt
On the wood dormers and eaves
All the better to hear the beauty raps
Rap, tap

Smells of natural effects
Earth worms reaching out for air
(Otherwise you never see them)
And shiny spider webs
Invisible in the dry
That pop from the lawn like tiny pinwheels
In crystal post-shower light
Oily slick spots on the pavement
Form psychedelic rainbows

The rain pulls color up from every leaf
And stick of grassy cover
Every surface more vivid
Recalling the green of Ireland

Grabs the sorrow up from me
Deposits it on my arms and thighs
My wet, prickly, sensitive layer
Clear water thoughts apparent
Vulnerable, questioning
Sitting on my skin

And there’s usually some wind accompanying the drops
The majestic wind
Rap, tap, wild howls
Branches swaying, leaves blowing
Sometimes a downpour
Pelting rain

Or drowsy, dreary, dripping melancholy
My frequent friend

Always mesmerizing
Always enchanting
Never dull like the sun
That relentless boring bright