Friday, September 5, 2014

Change in Plans

I planned for solitude this morning:
To use every moment to the fullest,
Quiet moments with no pleas for help, permission or attention.

But when I kissed the little one goodbye
and watched him walk his uncertain way up the path to his new school, 
my stomach clutched and I mourned instead.

I want them all home again to tell me what I missed
As they lived in their worlds out there.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Keeping House

First, never think you may finish the task.
As you close one door, the next will reveal
Detritus of such proportions
You will need to stop and catch your breath.

Reparation here will cause engulfing damage elsewhere.
You may find that items you had righted
Are now, once again, upside down,
And the paintings you have straightened on the wall
Have slipped and are off kilter.

Plan carefully, but be prepared -
Your plans will come to nothing.
Your daily agenda is subject to sudden and
Abstract revision.
Remain flexible and nimble.
Be present at all times, but do not stand in the way of progress.

Today you will address those issues
You thought were last week’s, and 
Tomorrow’s should have been seen to yesterday.
You will prepare that which will be consumed and
You will consume that which has been prepared.

Be patient and calm at all times.
Exult at small victories,

Take note of blessings.

Monday, June 9, 2014

New Barn

The new barn still presents as sticks from afar,
Though up close a palpable blueprint
Of rooms and stalls is emerging.
It grows on the impression of the old hay barn,
Whose main use, (to the best of my recollection)
Was giant playhouse.

Looking down across the fields filled with
Lunching cows and the
Two mares with their new foals,
The barn is a signpost:
Turn slight right at the foot of the hill, it reads,
For the next chapter.
This farm has not yet finished with all of us.

Each in our own way - with astonishment, excitement,
And some with consternation, will
Accustom ourselves to that which,
One day,
Will be what always was.
The rafters of the new barn will need to be replaced one day,
And it will need a fresh coat of paint.
The great-great grandchildren of the new baby foals
Will taste the freshly mown hay,
Brought as their caretaker’s feet
Wear ever-deeper grooves in the path.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Hello old friend -
I thought I’d never see your face again;
Never know if you married, if you had children -
Where you live, what you do, who you became.
I thought you would live forever caught in time -
A child with glasses; the pen pal from the days when people
Wrote letters instead of posts.
But then you posted that photo, and tagged
Another old friend I had
Thought I’d never see again.
Even if I had seen her face – if we had passed on the street,
I would not have recognized her.
I would not have known her with the new last name.
But she popped up when
Another old friend commented on something she had posted.
I see my old friends’ parents, now frail and broken
But still celebrating occasions.
I mourn their dead
(thus briefly revived, though long gone to me).
I see them re-created in their children’s faces.
I remember, now,
That mean thing I didn’t mean to say to you;
And the late-night insights.
Worlds collide and circle around each other,
Connecting, missing, disconnecting. 
Threads of memories
That might otherwise have frayed completely.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


The first sip slips down my throat:

Ambrosia in a dark roast.
Just hot enough to give me pause,

It is better than every subsequent sip will be today.
The touch of milk
Tempers the bitter, soaked grounds,
And the last residue of sleep falls away.

This, my bequest from the goddess,
Imbues me with her wisdom
And an irresistible taste of her immortality.
Reanimated, I surface and begin.

Astonishing that someone thought
To roast those awful beans and create this nectar,
This therapeutic juice.

To find the use in something useless – undeniably,

A god-like competence.

Friday, January 24, 2014

One More Thing

Yes, I’m going to bed, but before I go -
Just one more thing I’d like you to consider,
Yes, on top of the fourteen things I’ve asked you to consider
Within the past forty-five minutes,
Remembering that you have asked me to let you be for a while,
To let your mind settle after a long day of considering

All that I have placed before you.
Some of those particulars
Could have waited for
Another day or been edited out altogether.
I appreciate they were passing phenomena,
Anomalous phantasms
I should never have allowed to linger or be
Processed and delivered.

But this one thing –
Its just a small one, vital.
This one thing could be the difference between 
Light and darkness, could be the one thing that 
Finally catches that spark and bursts into full, outrageous flame
And the light, the colors will be amazing –
I see it,
I feel the heat,
The power that could be generated by that one small spark
Of an idea,
If you have just enough left of what you have

To consider just one more thing.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Frozen Dogwood

Today, under the frozen dogwood,
A blue jay searched for seeds
Exposed by melting snow.

Elegant and business-like
His crest perfectly groomed and at just such a rakish angle,
He moves with purpose, certain of reward for his efforts.
He wears a warm black scarf around his neck,
Ready to walk the city streets with the other bankers in their
Cashmere coats and cashmere scarfs.

The young jays often migrate,
But this middle-aged gent knows the value of experience.
His expertise and proficiency may have value if
Predators emerge.
I will rely on him to sound the alarm.
I will rely on his intelligence
And good ideas to see us through the dark days
Under the frozen dogwood.