Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Poet Searches for Words!

I've truly exhausted just about all the words I know to describe the birth of my grandtwins...to the point where I am repeating myself. Nonetheless, I must report that Jonah Ray and Claire Elise arrived on November 30, about 5 weeks early, but healthy and beautiful. Son Scott and the valiant JoAnn have taken to parenthood wonderfully, especially given some severe issues with the end of the pregnancy that were frightening, but now resolved. The babies were in the hospital NICU for two weeks, but are now thriving at home. I was blessed to be able to spend 10 days in their home and share the NICU experience, where Jonah and Claire received such incredibly thorough care.
I had been feeling that the excitement of the new arrivals would overshadow Christmas this year, but as I reflect on it, I think the sweetness and joy of this experience just magnifies the treasures of family. We were gifted with three babies in 2010 (and two different generations!) and another great is expected next July. These little lives have given us all new energy and enthusiasm to be our best selves, to love without limits, and to help in whatever way we can to make their world a joyous place for them to grow. I feel so hopeful, so excited and filled with the Christmas spirit! My wish is for all my dear friends and family to be connected to the people in your life who give you joy this holiday season.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Waiting

I’ve never been good at waiting. I’m a doer, a let’s-tackle-this-problem-and-fix-it kind of person. So when circumstances demand that I just wait, I squirm a bit. Now, I wait for my youngest son Scott’s twins to be born...any minute, but each one seems long indeed. In a year when much of our news has not been good, it is difficult to adequately describe what these babies symbolize for us...hope, courage (it was not easy to create these little ones!), renewed lust for life, and certainly pure joy. I’ve been invited to be there for the birth, which I would dearly love to do, but given the nature of the unknowns, it is unlikely. Still I yearn for the moment when I hold the little boy and girl who will be my next grandchildren and who will be welcomed with such love. Scott and JoAnn will be wonderful parents, and it will be fun to watch this family grow.

I also await the completion of my second book, Dance on a Dirt Road, due any minute. It wasn’t easy to create that either! There are some apt comparisons to giving birth, I suppose, like laboring over each step, many months of anticipation, and finally holding your creation in your hands. Not to be compared in scope or importance, of course, but creation feels good. It feels like Thanksgiving!

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving, and safe travels wherever you may be going. Here’s a poem appropriate to the day.

Thanksgiving

The day is full, food and laughter,
music and games, richly laden tables
and flowing wine.

Before the day is gone, blessings
retired to the back of mind,
look around the room.

It is in the faces you see, the hands
you grasp in love, that bliss resides.
This is what you seek.

Touch tenderly those who gather
this day, remind yourself that it is all
you need – you are rich

beyond your dreams.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Poem I Wish I Had Written

One of my favorite things is to find a poem so beautiful, so elegantly expressed that I want to read it over and over, tasting the delicate combination of words and phrases and feeling it internally like an affirmation. This wonderful poem by Derek Walcott is just such a poem. I think it speaks deeply to a yearning we share to come to a peaceful, loving place where we forgive ourselves for shortcomings and flaws. I especially love the last line. I hope this speaks to you.

Love after Love

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door,
in your own mirror,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread.
Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart,
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate nots,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

--Derek Walcott

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Making Life Happen

Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of our moving into our home, and I spent some time thinking about how events in our lives actually happen. I remember quite clearly the day I spotted a drawing of a home on a "house plans" website. Knowing less than nothing about home building was an advantage in my case, as I suspect I would have been intimidated by the thought of picking a picture off the internet and saying 'this is the home I want to live in for the rest of my life.' But that is essentially what happened, and after about a year of floor plan drawings and 8 months of construction, we moved into a home that really was a dream come true!

My point is this: the realization of a dream always begins with the germ of a thought, a 'what if' speculation  that starts everything. Sometimes it is a change of direction or a change of mind, that leads to an action, perhaps almost too small to seem significant.  Of course, life also has a way of throwing rocks in your path to dissuade you from action. It is often a moment when an inside voice dismisses the thought, ridicules your dream or urges you to be realistic. But that voice can also be ignored in pursuit of what you know is meaningful or important to your life. It requires action, however small, to set wheels in motion.

I sat before a darkened window one morning and watched the unspeakable beauty of a sunrise that set the sky aflame and felt an urge to write a poem. It opened a place in me that I did not know existed. Since then, I have come to know the voice within that leads me to a deep place where I find expression of my most profound self. Now I await the publication of my second book of poetry, and I wonder what would have happened if I had stayed in bed that morning and missed the sunrise. Such a small thing, but it began a whole new aspect of life for me.

What small action today might make a difference for your life? What is your dream?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Dance on a Dirt Road

In the hushed hour, she emerges from her cocoon
one limb at a time, eases through the cobweb casing
to step into the afterlife of the full moon.
She feels erotic, naked, though she wears a silken gown
the color of spring leaves, and pearls of dew.
A syncopated wind slips over her skin
and she begins to dance, one with sky and earth.

Curls of red dust swirl upward as her feet lift
and twirl, hesitant at first, then fleet and swift,
taking no notice of rocks and ruts, feeling light,
free of her perilous existence, perfect in body,
sinuous with longing, transformed in the lunar glow.
She is fire, wind and luminosity, propelled
on a zephyr, wild with power, creating God.

Nightbirds call in the quiet chaos left by her shadow.
From her hands she unleashes ribbons braided
of fears and failures, laced with heart fragments.
She spins tenaciously, arms spread like wings and dances
for all she has missed in her lonely space.
This road knows her feet, feels the beat she hears
in her head, a concerto for a lone dancer, with grace.

Life's Rough Places

Life can be precarious sometimes, as I'm sure you have noticed. Just when you think you have achieved a balance and are keeping all those plates in the air, you can suddenly find yourself peering over the edge of a dark and daunting place. That is what has happened to me in the last few weeks. What I thought to be a persistent skin rash has been diagnosed as T-Cell Lymphoma. The good news is that it is in the early stage and it is generally considered to be a very slow moving disease. The treatment at this stage is a topical steroidal cream and it may be a long time before anything more aggressive is called for. I have a dermatologist and an oncologist who are in agreement, so for now I think it is under control. Still, it has been frightening and maddening to have to face up to this reality. I am determined to stay informed and simply keep living the best I can and not ask 'why me?' One does not have to look very far to find others who have much more to bear. I am grateful for my wonderful family and friends who have sent me so much love.

And now, I am getting busy on my second book of poetry, "Dance on a Dirt Road, Poems for Life's Rough Places." This has been very motivating as I get deeply absorbed when I write...no room for doom and gloom (I'm a poet, doncha know!). I'm hoping for publication by mid-December and it will be available on Amazon! Better get my backside in gear!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sometimes You Have to Stop Thinking and Just Do It!

As our 25th wedding anniversary approached, we could not decide how we wanted to celebrate the big event. We talked and read and discussed until it almost seemed that it would be way too much trouble. But finally, remembering a camping trip many years ago when we drove down a beautiful highway in Utah, we decided (OK, it was mostly me...Tom said he'd go anywhere!) to book at the Sorrel River Ranch in Moab, Utah. The very long drive to get there and back was completely worth the effort. We had a wonderful few days, the Colorado River on one side of us and massive red buttes and pinnacles all around. Glorious weather, wonderful food, immensely peaceful surroundings...exactly what we wanted. The highlight, however, was a concert in a grotto on the river by 14 outstanding musicians who played Brahms, Tchaikovsky and others in the most awe-inspiring setting imaginable. The notes rang from the 200' high walls and brought tears to our eyes. And the boat ride to and from the grotto was more than spectacular. We felt as though we had touched the ancients, humbled by the sheer magnitude of the world around us.

My dear friends, don't resist the urge to grab every moment of beauty and inspiration you can, even if it involves great effort. This precious life is so damned unpredictable and one never knows when the next curve ball will come along. We need memories such as those I described above to help us through the swampy times of life!

Love to you all!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"The Choir" will make you smile!

I was ten years old when I had my first choral music experience. I was picked from my fifth grade class to perform with the famous May Festival Children's Choir in Cincinnati, Ohio. I was just one of several hundred kids but I clearly remember the feeling that this was something I wanted and needed in my life. I've never lost that feeling, the joy of making music as part of a group, creating a beautiful sound together.

That's why I have been transfixed by the BBC America's TV series "The Choir." Not only is it reality television of the finest kind, but each time I watch an episode I realize that I am smiling the whole time, and usually tearing up by the time it ends. (Don't you just love shows that make you cry?) Young choir master, Gareth Malone, takes on blue-collar British schools and towns where no choir has ever existed, where no one thinks they can sing, and changes lives through music. It is magical! His skill as a teacher and musician is in making it accessible and acceptable for people to try singing, and then to allow the experience of choral music to capture them. People of all ages discover a passion and talent they never imagined, and they have great fun. I love the faces of the singers when they perform as a group for the first time. I find it profoundly moving.

If you haven't caught this show, give yourself a treat and tune in. Even if you don't sing, or don't like music (though who could admit to that I can't imagine!) you will find yourself captivated. And if you have never been part of a choir, think about joining one. As you lift your voice, you will lift your heart!

Here's a link to some more information: http://www.bbcamerica.com/content/401/the-choir-videos.jsp

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Look up tonight and ponder...

Star Light

the weight of all those wishes upon the first star
must be difficult to bear, the whole planet
thrumming with desires, mourning broken dreams,
longing to end their longing, to once again
surge with hunger for the life they intended.

star bright, just one small wish is all they ask.
right my boat, let me sail smooth seas, let me float
far from here where I have lost the memories,
lost the answers, the compass --
set me a new course, dear star, set me free.

in the early twilight I see it, a gleaming pearl
alone in the dusky violet, as though it shines
on only me, and I send up a quiet yearning,
keep this small boat on this small sea
on this cherished earth headed toward hope.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Monsoon Colors

I live on a red dirt road which today
the monsoon has made slick as an oil spill.
I am awash in color, so dazzling
it almost hurts to look;

the storms bring clouds like a blinding avalanche
and turn our golden grasses to green
of too many shades to count,
gleaming against the cornflower sky.

night rains saturate the ground,
the sound like the heartbeat of the earth,
lit by distant flicker of lightening.

perilous as life is, it rises to meet me
with a sweetness and generosity
just when my cup needs filling.

A Different Kind of Life

It has been four years since we moved to this village in the grasslands of Arizona. We were both "city folk," accustomed, as most of you are, to running down to the supermarket on the corner for a few items, taking a five-minute drive to the mall to take in a movie or do a little retail therapy. We wondered, as some of you did, if we would adjust and enjoy this very different lifestyle. Well, we did and we do. It is different from anything we had known before. Here are a few examples: the Post Office closes for lunch, as does the pharmacy. Restaurants are not all open every day, and it is tricky to remember the schedules. The UPS man occasionally spots me in town and hails me down to give me a package. There is no trash pickup, so every other week or so we haul our accumulated garbage and trash to the landfill, which is sometimes the highlight of the day! The nearest supermarket is 35 miles away and every trip to a doctor (of which there have been many) is a 100-mile roundtrip. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Right now we are enjoying our beautiful monsoon season, with fabulous clouds and stunning green everywhere we look. Around every bend in the road one encounters such breathtaking scenery that it is impossible not to be filled with gratitude. I often must pull off the road to take pictures...the colors, the cows -- it makes me smile! Oh, and pulling off the road is no problem. There probably isn't another vehicle in sight. Yesterday, after loading up at Costco in Tucson in 98 degree heat and humidity, I headed for home where it was 75 and breezy. Just delicious!

What more can I say? I love it here! Come sit on our patio, share a glass of local wine and enjoy the beautiful view.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Last night at my writer's group, I was dazzled (not too strong a word!) by my friend Kate Tirion's announcement of the ambitious (not strong enough word!) project she has taken on with another woman. It is world-changing. I cannot possibly due it justice here but it has been on my mind ever since. They have conceived a plan that will help bring Haiti back from the total devestation of the earthquake disaster by building sustainable and perpetually renewable systems and community-centered villages, anchored by a living environment that will encourage responsible growth, entrepreneurship and healthy practices by the Haitian people. It is both beautifully simple and tremendously complex, and it will be a challenge to their immense creativity to deal with governmental bureaucracies and other interested entitities. However it turns out, the wheels have been set in motion to generate positive energy around a country whose traumatized people have all but given up hope to ever live even a modestly healthy existence. And it has implications for any country or area who has suffered natural (or manmade) disasters and needs to 'start from scratch'. I don't know what the outcome will be, but I am filled with admiration for these women and their determination to create change, to meet needs and to believe that it is all possible. My suggestion to the governmental agencies and consulting firms they will have to deal with:  don't mess with these formidable women...they are on a mission!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Butterfly Bush


Under a corrugated morning sky
purple spikes flutter to life.

They quiver on perfect silent wings
in an effortless jazz ballet,
kissing flower, branch and blossom.

It is all they do, the sacred mystery
of single purpose creatures,
faint brushstrokes on a summer canvas,

moving the air, transforming everything
into light, weightless and faultless.
They live in transparency, feed on fragrance.

I press myself inside their world,
to be lifted here and there by a mere breath,
to feel powerful with divine intention.

I want to live in a flower.

Oh, How We Grow!

A wonderful advantage of being the family's oldest generation is the perspective you gain as you watch your children and their children, and their children's children grow and nurture their offspring. We have just welcomed a (fifth) great grandchild and it is so exciting, so full of grace and promise. The birth of a new baby is a mystical glimpse into the wonder of life. Just look into the eyes of a newborn if you have any doubt about miracles.

But wait, there's more! A few weeks ago we received a huge surprise from son Scott and his wife, JoAnn. Married twelve years and parents to their 'furkids', two Whippets...turns out they (not the Whippets) are expecting TWINS! Boy/girl on Christmas day, no less. In his own inimitable way, Scott created a graphic and hysterical way of announcing the news. You can check it out at http://321jo.com/simpstews.

I feel blessed beyond measure.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

She's Here! Seven pounds, four ounces of little pink great-granddaughter!

Welcome to the world, Alyssa! Your arrival prompted a poem, written in your honor.

For Alyssa

Sweet child,
far-staring eyes so wise,
what do you know
that we must learn?

Do you know the joy your birth
has coursed into our lives,
filling us with splendid purpose,
giving us brighter dreams,

washing us with fresh hope,
that everything we do
we will strive to do better
because of you.

We are your family, your teachers,
your defenders, your guardians,
all of us, on your side...
forever.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Never Satisfied

when it was mid summer and relentless
sun filled every corner, the slow afternoons
ablaze with heat-induced lethargy,

my mother yearned for the feel
of a thick warm sweater and cold mornings,
coffee by the fireplace, feet clad in wool.

when it was dead of winter, barren and brittle
with a fretwork of low shadows on the snow
she could only shiver and talk of summer’s glory.

in the dry season, where was the rain?
when it poured, would it ever stop?
and the discontented hours grew to years.

no wonder I was afraid when she was happy,
strangely at ease when all hell broke loose
and never quite content in the moment.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Over the Hill...what? where? What hill???

I won't say that I was dragged kicking and scratching into my birthday, but I must admit the idea of turning 70 was daunting. So it was a lovely surprise to find the "crossing over" was delightfully easy, and a great deal of fun, mainly due to the friends and family who made it such a wonderful and loving weekend. We enjoyed a Saturday night dinner party at Canela, under the twinkling lights of the patio, with some of the world's best people, some of whom had never met but clearly found their connections right away. I love when that happens! I looked around the table and realized how grateful I am for the love and friendship of these incredible individuals who have added such fullness to my life.

Though I received many beautiful gifts (and you know how I love gifts!)I must mention one in particular, because it was the most unique and personal gift that I have ever received. My dear friend, Christina Wilhelm, whose musical talents are legendary, presented me with a song she has composed to a poem of mine, "The Music." I was left nearly speechless, something that rarely happens to me, as some of you know. It is a beautiful piece of music, but the time and effort it took to produce it is an amazing gift in itself. I am so honored by this incredible gesture of love! Christina's commitment to bringing great music to every corner of her world has truly transformed our community and enriched the lives of us all. She has also demonstrated that one must not get between a woman and her dream! I am so grateful to have her in my life.

My children and friends sent me so much love, plus flowers, candy and songs via phone, that I can only count myself as a very lucky woman indeed. Today, 70 doesn't seem so bad at all. I think I can do this!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Some Days Are Just Uphill...(both ways!)

On a day when energy was low, hills were steep and my mind seemed stuck on losses rather than gains, this poem emerged:

Awareness

it’s music you didn’t know
you knew until, one day,
you find yourself singing
a song of surrender,
while you push
a wheelbarrow
full of rocks
uphill.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Hummers Are Back!

I've missed our hummingbirds over the winter. Now, as I sit here at the desk, I can look out and see one or two almost all day long. They are such wonders! These miniscule creatures with the micro-motors and massive metabolisms...I never tire of watching them. It is the triumph of creation over impossibility!

Yesterday, while the garage door was up, one flew in, attracted by the large window, and was desperately beating itself against the glass. I carefully held my hand under him until I could finally close around his tiny body. I almost gasped at the absolute weightlessness. He lost no time returning to the air when I opened my hand but I had held magic for a moment. I found myself thinking about that moment throughout the day and later came upon these facts, some of which I did not know...maybe they will surprise you too.
• They can fly up, down, right, left, backwards, upside down and even loop-de-loops! Amazing!
• Hummers can starve to death in about an hour. (I feel like that sometimes!)
• They consume up to 50% of their body weight in a day. (Me, again!)
• They have tiny little feet that are only good for perching, scratching or preening. This means if they wish to move, even a few inches, they must fly. (Is there a lesson in there for us?)

A riot of hot pink penstemon in my front yard, mostly volunteer, are encouraging the little guys to visit and it is such fun to watch them probing the little trumpets for that all important nectar. Think I'll go have a snack before I starve to death. Yeah, right!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Voices

As I sit at my window this morning, looking at some very hopeful signs of spring, I am feeling disturbed at the news reports of the heated rhetoric that is rampant in the country. It saddens me terribly that we are so divided and unable to hear another's point of view without threatening responses. When did we become convinced that there is only one way to think, believe and behave? Intolerance is a poison that can destroy all the things we cherish about this country. This poem, though it is still a work in progress, is a reflection on these things and I felt moved to share it with you.


Voices

because someone must speak
for those who have not found their voices

because some echo in the silence, unobtrusive
as a cold desert night

because my churning passion is not yours
though I am convinced of its value

I need to hear your voice, alive
with the alarm you hear in your darkness

because you may hate what I worship
and your fervor drive me mad

because smoke and angels and oblivion
are all figments of our own creation

because childhood, love, death, pain
joy and fear are our universal bonds

I need to hear your raucous voice, though it
breaks through my cherished convictions and rips

apart my own prejudice and terror
the face in the mirror alarmingly like mine

because we cannot exist as one reflection,
one ambition, one monolith of similarity

because we would die of our sameness
melting into the silence of solitary thought

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Thrill of Victory

Everyone who knows me knows that I am no athlete. The most exercise I get is jumping to conclusions or running a temperature. And as for sports, I like curling…up with a good book! But the Olympics are another matter altogether. It is beyond thrilling to watch these young athletes compete, where the difference between their scores is measured in hundredths of a second! And heartbreaking when a figure skater misses a jump that she has executed perfectly a thousand times in practice.

The Olympics plays with our emotions, to be sure. We cheer passionately for our American teams, of course, but when a small country fields a team of one or two, we rarely know the depth of sacrifice and commitment that has gone into that entry. On the playing field, or the ice, in one way they all look alike: the fire that drives them to excel…in spite of injury, family tragedies, or national politics…is intensely powerful!

There is a story behind every athlete’s competitive drive which I think compels us to watch and, perhaps, makes us all a little envious. What might each of us have achieved if we had committed to something so totally at a young age? I always wonder what it was that grabbed them early on and made them know that this was what they were meant to do. (And why is it so seldom math or science that grabs a kid?)

Well, the U.S. has done extremely well in this Olympics. I sincerely congratulate each of them, and the other competitors as well. It has been joyful and inspiring to watch.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Jolt of Wonderful News

Sometime last summer, I heard Dr. Maya Angelou speak on the radio about the ways in which women often surprise themselves by stepping out of the boxes to which they are accustomed. I thought to myself that she was telling my story. I was deeply into writing poetry for the first time in my life, surprising myself almost daily, and I decided that if I ever published a book, I would send her a copy.

So in November ‘09, that is exactly what I did, along with a letter that told a bit about my path to poetry. I sent it with very little expectation that she would ever even see it. So you can imagine the shock I felt when the phone rang this morning and the caller ID said “Maya Angelou”! With her beautiful, distinctive voice she introduced herself (as if that were necessary!) and said she had just received the book and letter, had read some of the poems and liked them very much, then asked my permission to send it to her publisher! I’m sure I babbled something only slightly coherent, but she seemed to understand that I was stunned! She made a few more lovely and gracious comments and wished me well. What will happen next I do not know. For now, it is enough. I am filled with joy and excitement…and deep gratitude. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for all your support.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Good Cheer in February!

I was planning to post a few thoughts today, but something more important has developed. My great-grandson, James, is in remission from his leukemia! What a great and wonderful relief! He has undergone chemo and radiation since his diagnosis on Dec. 23, but his bone marrow biopsy this week showed no cancer cells! More treatment will be needed for a while, but the big victory has been won! That is all I have to report - what else is there? A six-year-old child has beaten the monster, and I feel like dancing! Thanks so much for all your thoughts and prayers.

The Future

a small child
conquers a biological system
gone haywire
with chemistry and courage;

a real-life super hero
fighting an unseen enemy
on a sterile battlefield,
captures the flag

and stares into the future
of magical opportunity.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Musings from the Snow

Yesterday morning, while it was still dark, I stood with my nose almost touching the glass door to better make out the white cover on the ground. Finally, and gradually, as the light grew, it was a breathtaking moment of sheer ecstasy. Four inches of snow lay on the ground, pristine, crystalline, exquisite. Some years we get no snow at all, so it's an event when our beautiful grasslands and mountains get a heavy snowfall. I could barely look away from the window. And the dogs were wild with joy. Gracie, who almost disappears in the snow, pounced and bounced, thrilled when she could make the snow fly with her feet. Such fun. It didn't take long, however, for the melt to begin, and by late afternoon, most of it was gone. But oh, how magical while it lasted!

This quote came to my attention recently: "Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal into the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo." It does feel a little like that sometimes, but more often I feel as though I have been given an astounding gift when I receive feedback from someone who has been touched by one of my poems. Poetry is not everyone's cup of tea, of course, and for many years it was only a casual interest of mine. But I have come to love and respect the impact that a well-written poem can have on one's perspective on life. It allows us to look at something familiar in a whole new way, and to let the marvelous language we share open us to new emotion and understanding. What I attempt to do in all my work is to make poetry accessible and enlightening. Otherwise, why bother?

I'm going back to gaze at the mountain, all dressed in white! Cheers.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cycle

having let go
her brittle autumn glitter
the sycamore shivers
in a winter dress
white bones bleak
as a ribcage
waiting in the void
for the turned-in earth
to waken and dress itself
once more

Friday, January 15, 2010

Please help!

Dear friends, I trust you have been as moved as I, watching the horrible news from Haiti. If you have not already done so, I urge you to help the relief effort in whatever way you are able. There are many fine charities, American Red Cross, UNICEF, church aid programs (just be sure that when you give it is through a legitimate channel) but money is what is most needed now. You've probably seen "Text 90999" advertised to donate $10 through your cell phone bill. Please join me in sending whatever you can to help this devastated country begin the terrible task of recovery. Thanks. The poem below woke me in the night, though mere words cannot convey the reality.

Lament

the ground twists
sickeningly
with timeless equanimity,
a natural occurrence
in the planetary construct,
unconcerned
that we will not be able
to comprehend, the devastation
too complete.

the family of earth weeps
that all has been taken
from those who had nothing,
to heap upon the afflicted
a new portion of torment,
leaving an ocean of primal grief
to lap at a crumbled shore
as though nothing had changed,

don’t look away –
stare into the fractured night
where even the trees cry out,
heartbroken.
watch in silent disbelief,
as if the earth had disowned
a whole people
where forever only suffering
will survive.

don’t turn away –
look, you recognize them,
they are us, they are us.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

OK, I admit it. For all the years that I taught classes and seminars in "Change Management", I have become more change-averse than I ever thought possible. Today really confirmed that. Tom and I went to Best Buy, and though I won't bore you with the ugly details, there were alien words like "router", "wireless" and "network" involved. We, of course, ended up buying more than we planned, but only because the nice boy in the blue shirt assured us that we wouldn't be happy settling for less. At any moment, I expected to hear a PA announcement say "Geezer-assist on aisle 3!" Now, in a former life, Tom was a computer wizard, but now not so much, and though I have never been even close, I do have a nubbin of knowledge that just lets me mess up at a deeper level. It's positively frightening! We'll see if our new high-speed router improves our lives in every imaginable way. I'm running as fast as I can, but my high-speed days are behind me...of this I'm pretty certain!

End of whine!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Still Perfect After All These Years

moon sometimes known as blue,
held above by the barest thread
of spider web silk
setting my window ablaze
with the hopeless perfection I so envy,
just as thin and beautiful as ever
inspiring romance even in your
old age

no one tires of looking at you,
though by now we should be jaded
with your predictable appearance,
mirrored on water, gleaming over
a field of snow, teetering on
a mountain edge, you make us breathless
each time just as the first

no one cries ‘can’t we have a newer moon?’
no one deplores your sameness
or wishes you just a bit larger or smaller
you have not become irrelevant to our lives
just because we know you so well.
no one needs more than one moon,
do they?

Another Year Packed Away

Well, the tree is undecorated and bagged and stored once again in the garage, looking a little like Darth Vader in it's all-encompassing black bag. The precious ornaments lovingly hand-painted so many years ago by Tom's mother are carefully padded in their coffee cans and put away. Most of the traces of the holidays are gone, except for a container of evil cookies that I feel obligated to get rid of asap!

What lives on are the little moments that made this year unique from all the others. It was quieter than usual, no guests on Christmas Day, but daughter Linda and her husband, Gene, came a few days later. They are photographic artists, quite extraordinary in their talent (check out their website: socalsunshineproductions.com) and we spent most of a day driving around to some beautiful venues in our area where they took many pictures of Tom and me. It was fun, and they were able to make us look pretty good! Pure genius!

Unfortunately, not every memory of this year will be a good one. Christmas Eve my great-grandson James, (Linda's son Matt's little six year old) was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and is in Loma Linda Medical Center receiving chemo for the next 5-6 weeks. The prognosis is pretty good, although this is an unusual type for a child to have. It's a hard road for such a little guy to walk, and I would appreciate you keeping him in your thoughts.

The quiet nature of this holiday has allowed me to spend time writing, which is so nourishing to me. One recent poem is here...hope you enjoy it.