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.