Thursday, December 19, 2013

Heartlines (for Al)

 I have been blessed with an amazing family: parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, cousins of cousins, nieces and name it! Growing up, I remember our "family" was made up of so much more than those people we were connected to by bloodlines. I was in high school before I realized that my Uncle Phillip was not really my dad's brother. Didn't matter, he was still my Uncle Phillip. And so it is with my friend, Al. He's my brother...I just had to move to Maryland to find him.

You touch fire
My skin burns

It goes deep Brother
We’re that deep Friend
Cut me
And you'll be
Crimson stained
Still family

There's a boy inside
You let him out sometimes
Look to the sky Boy
Look up to the sky
Gaze at the stars
Don't you know
Heaven awaits you
To find your way home
Where there are hands to hold
Smiles to cheer
Standing together
We are family

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hommage an meine Schwester

My eldest sister, Irene, was a bit older than me when I was born.  It was so cool having a big sister who had the maturity of a parent figure but the understanding of....well... a sister.  I have countless memories with her and the life lessons she taught me. She taught me to have courage. When I was ill and needed help, I called her and said "Come". She was there in less than 24 hours.  In the maelstrom of my divorce and single parenthood she carried me. I have so many, many more instances of her compassion and dedication, but I hope these words will somehow cover all she has been and still is to us and our family.

She is June's brilliant bloom
In a garden choked by weeds
Golden and shining and proud
Only sunlight may kiss
Let showers caress
's no vessel worthy
Of holding this flower
Blossom whose beauty is power

She is California sunlight
And a Cape Cod breeze
New Awlins dahlin'
More than a peach
She's a plum
The heady Jasmine
On a still humid night
Before the rains
have begun

She's the Queen of Sheba
I reign, I rein  

(Hold it...Hold it...Hold It til It Hurts)   
Oh but her scepter is peace
And the crown that she wears
Of nobility rare
Garnered from
Loss outside grief

She is a place of solace
That bids me welcome
Without a word
She shhh's the roiling tempest
Until calamity has passed
Stilling every raucous wave
Safe harbor from all harm
Not father's face
Nor mother's embrace
But in my sister's arms

She is a balm of healing
Her prayers the Sukkah
Of our lives
Entwined with hope beneath
An arduous sheath
Moments erring or
Comfort is only then derived
Not from lover’s touch
Nor from mere good luck
My sage sister will she rise

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Beltway Dawn

Mournful morning Awning
Vast in blue-black-indigo
Formless and shapeless
Seemingly seamless
Hinting at the dawning
of the world
Mysterious gaping maw
Are you
at the beauty of it all?
at the tyranny of tedium?
Blue-gray-lavender now
While yonder on the horizon lolls the
Slightest shimmer sliver of pink
God’s validation
That darkness will away

For Sunil (7/3/2103)

This summer the very dear friend of my dear friends lost her son to Mental Illness.  I was so touched by the service they had for him which celebrated his life, but also addressed the scourge of his illness.  This is the outpouring of my heart for Marcia and her family.

A sudden summer storm sprang
Up that day
A wonder
The likes of which no one
Had seen before
Unnatural, unique
You count the bright brilliant star
That streaked across the sky
Over New Delhi
Some 20 years earlier
Bringing with it (some said)
The hope of light and promise
Today there is only water
The deepest, darkest blue Heavens cry
Angels weep
Water Oh Water
Wash away the ache, the grief
Wash it well away
Until all that remains is

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Naked body in the mirror
Marked with spots of black and blue
Begs the question, makes one ponder
Is it irony
That the marks are born
From lover's touch
And doctor's too?

Appearing battered
on the surface
But Oh!
What lies beneath
Don't fix your mind to ever wonder
The shell belies her naked truth

Buenos Dias Mundo

As the sun heralds daybreak
Beckoning the world, "Rise!"
To feel the warmth,
See the light
A new day
So rests the promise of
Within us
Bidding welcome
To the dawn


You really did have a choice you know
Standing at the crossroad of me and
I'm not one for uprooting and change
Nor do I see it like some kind of competition
There are no victories, no champions
Not in this match.

Stand on the riverbank and take hold of her hand
As wide as the river is?
Oh, well it's wider than that.
In all its muddy majesty you can't begin to see how deep it is.
Yes, it's deeper than that
And murkier too
that like the river it leads to places
But we are here on the riverbank
Solid ground.

Refute my existence
Remove the arrows pointing in my direction
Well now,
That's quite a sign isn't it?
No, please don't move lest the light fall on
my well worn road
Let it remain cast in shadows
Because that too is so


In this quiet quick selfsame moment
I dare not move because it never lasts
When I can inhale deeply and feel the air
Rush in my lungs
Stirring even the wizened parts
Ever so gently back to life
I exhale slowly so it will last longer
Because it never does for very long
I savor the feeling from head to toe
Like a junkie's first high of the day
Unfamiliar taste of freedom
Wholly whole and holy
But like the addict's euphoria
It doesn't last for very long
So I close my eyes to the now
and escape to the what could be
Ride the wave of the haze
In this blissful abyss
Because it...
It never lasts for long anyway.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

My Sons In Repose #11

I wrote this on the night of the verdict from the Trayvon Martin murder trial.  I was in such pain, but my hurt was nothing to match that of my sons'.  What is the answer?  How can I, as a mother of young brown-skinned men, sleep peacefully at night?

Watching my sons in repose
-only asleep, because rest is elusive-
Who can know
that we spoke of
Creole seasoning in breakfast potatoes
(Too much is overkill)
And the significance of symbolism in Steinbeck,
The accompanying perils of prosperity
The origin of Kaiju (they schooled me)
Homophobia and of
Divergent thinking
Artistic ability and

Who would know of
The late night excursion
To feed a cat
Taking extra time to pet it
Because it looked like he hadn't been held
In a while

Caramel to Cocoa
But that only speaks of the skin
Who would know
Of the depths
Do my sons somehow have less value?
Deficient DNA?
The scream wells up in me
Without release
(I dare not raise my voice,
Don't want to create a scene....
God forbid my sons come to my aid
And give someone cause for alarm)

Who would know
I weep as I watch
My sons in repose


Oh, love me, do
Didn't I ask it of you?
Not as you wish with
Flowery gestures
Utterances of fidelity
Mad scrubbing as if soil removal
removes maladies too
Curses hurled at God
About the unfairness
Of. It. All.
And casseroles

Love me with your
Fingers curled round mine
Sitting in companionable silence
Or swimming through some tune
Arresting the present
Not contesting my freedom
To fight...
Or not
Because I've already won
This game

#9 the Trip

Not worried, but wanting
Not beaten, but bruised
Not pining, but panting
Unloved, overused.

No dining, just dancing
Enthralled and bemused
Don't ponder, just passion!
Notes playing, now lyrics
Crescendo ensues

Down, Down
Ever downward the spiral
Destination approaching
Not sated, but spent
Tickets stamped
Checking baggage
Leaving nothing behind
Extra care disembarking
It's been a perilous climb.


I’m closing my legs
To the touch sublime
Hanging a sign
Closed for business
Drawing the drapes
Pulling the shades
A fast of another sort.

Lips shut against
Liquid relief
Imbibed without thought
Only to escape
Every pain of the everyday
Sipped slowly
Now fast

No balm awaits
To ease the ache
What lies in the wake
While lying awake.

Bid the unwanted visitor
Feast and behold
The beholden
To the fast.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Royal Mile

It never before occurred to me how difficult it is for some people to have dinner out by themselves.  I try to check in with my ego from time to time to make sure I'm okay with it myself....and I am usually just fine:

It's okay alone.
Time with my thoughts to reflect to create
I did a check to be sure
Not missing love or words or debate

Bailey's on my right side
Angry Orchard on th'other
Sip sip chug gal
See I'm that one gal
Can handle the good stuff
Unlike any other

Smile in my heart
To match the smirk on my face
No honey, you heard right
Table for one
There'll be no date
Well....not now at any rate

Cuz I'm licking my lips
And sucking on bones
Fully engaging my appetite
When one observes me
He thinks he deserves me
But that ain't happening
No not tonight.

Because tonight I am solo
Not Han; as in only
Dining alone
But in no way lonely.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


It's easy to wake smiling

When you've visited
my dreams

We laughed
And were so close

I kissed your cheek goodbye
Before morning because I had to leave early

Maybe it was me
Visiting you.

Autumn Benediction #‎movingforward

#‎movingforward‬ I have to thank all of you ladies and our praying leaders  for helping me to move forward this week. Last night I took some time and prayed for all of the people who I have given myself to in the past...trying to meet my needs and get approval from people other than God. It was a beautiful autumn evening and I took the scenic route home so I could gaze on the beauty of the colored leaves and changing scenery. I released each person, asked God to bless their lives and then RECLAIMED the many, many pieces of myself I had given away. I asked God to restore me to wholeness mind, body, heart and soul. This was the result:


It is fitting that I released you in the autumn
The season of impending death
In nature.
I wished you well and blessed your life;

Praying for light and love.
Releasing you into the hand of God.

Then I prayed for myself…

A different kind of blessing
Please oh please
Like the blooms that fade in fall
Then die...
I beseech the Almighty to
Shrink your hold on me
In much the same way;

Restore the fragments of me
To me
So that I am whole;
So that I am free.

Matter Tree Monie

Watch the vows
You take, now honey

Life's sweet now
But bitters coming

Tangled in
The net of cunning

Standing there
In silky white
Eyes affixed

Weigh the words girl
World's the weight girl


While the city slumbers
Another world awakes
Teeming with lifesavers
The servers
somber faced few.
those for whom
Slumber is an unrealized promise.

These nightfolk search for
A well lit place
Some blinking sign
In search of sustenance
To help maintain the night way.
Doing their duty and covering shifts.

The light of day greets them
Bleary eyed
Checking the clock
Waiting for relief
To pass the baton
And numbly stumble
To daylight filled rest.

Por Que (for Enrique)

He looks in my eyes
Then asks, “Why?”
Why him? Why now?
What is the fascination?
This “Why?”
On the heels of being called Beautiful
With no expectation
No promise
‘Save the companionship
Of two like minded souls
When he has opened a window
Allowed the unsullied breeze to
Drift in
And the sun
Whose rays warm those frosted
Forlorn corners
And bring light to
That which was only in shadow.
He opened the door
And gave entry to Serenades
Of passion, wit
And wonder.
Honored my lineage with song.
Is there a “Why” in these actions?
No… There is simply the compassion and comfort
Found in a true friend.
Why, in deed.

Friday, October 25, 2013


One Won One
Is equal to the days left 
To celebrate my birth!

Wasn’t this the year

I meant to….

Do something….anything




Change things up a bit?

I forget

Hoping it’s not too late

Can I still plan?

To pick up the pace

Or paste up the picks

Pen a few words

Summon a muse

Amuse some someones

And I’ll wager that if I waiver or

Wait then the weight of delay

Will be too much to carry

So I must not tarry

Here goes…

One won one!