Sunday, February 07, 2016

At That Time

Parsha Mishpatim

        All the words that the Lord
        has spoken we will do.
                   Exodus 24:3

they mean to follow
they mean to obey
even words not yet heard
even the hard commands
the ones that ask too much
the ones that test them
in the days that follow
the days they wander

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Mexican Dinner

He peeled two avocados, sliced a tomato,
added onions, and spices to make the
a chunky guacamole. My recipe calls
for a blender and exact measurement.
I follow the written word, tablespoon by
tablespoon, ingredient by ingredient.
Sure mediocrity trumps a possible debacle.

Friday, February 05, 2016

When Did this Happen?

imagine a bulb that lasts for twenty years
imagine that you turned on a light and grew old
imagine that at some point the bulb outlasted you
 imagine that you now leave bulbs in your will
imagine knowing that what wattage was a life decision
imagine when  light bulbs lasted for months not years
 imagine throwing light bulbs away
imagine outliving your light bulbs

Thursday, February 04, 2016

After the Storm

Snow covered
tree limbs
and the sun
added rhinestones

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Two to Forgive

I counted what you did
words you threw my way,
how you slammed the door
I kept a list, wrote down
your hollow silence
Then I found my words,
words that wounded,
doors I closed
Scenarios altered
and I looked in the mirror

Tuesday, February 02, 2016


A spring rain anoints
 and  a pastor dips into holy water
Holy, Holy, Holy

Some waves carve calligraphy on the sand
Some waves bellow and slam into the sand

A  river follows its path
and a woman enters the ritual bath
Kadosh , Kadosh, Kadosh


Monday, February 01, 2016

Iowa Caucus

I'm willing to lick envelopes, call people,
attend rallies, write letters, speak out, if our country turns to someone whose agenda is so restrictive.

I know I'm jumping too quickly. But this is personal. The political is personal. And for many of us we an hear the footsteps.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Slippery Slope

Parsha Yitro

You shall not covet...
     Exodus 20:17

That's it
God warns us
When you start wanting
what someone else has
When you begin to spend time
checking the other for fine clothes,
toned skin with no lines, three bathrooms
in a big house, all the baubles and bells
When you spot the gold teeth
and cars with all leather seats
When you want what others have
you're heading in the wrong direction
God warns us

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Day 30 Thirty-Day Challenge

Out of Control

when the wind snatched
a piece of paper
out of the woman's hand
she chased it down the street
the wind cajoled and teased
until the paper spun
out of control 
and the woman gave up 
I mourned
the lost stories 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Day 29. Thirty-Day Challenge


grass takin' a turn around
and showing some green
while the weather flirts
with unlikely warmth
the kind that knows it's
only for a few days
until cold sets in and
chills the color out again
it's the time of waiting
waiting for bright hues
waiting for daylight to stretch
waiting to hear a serenade
of crickets, waiting to plant

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Day 28. thirty Day Challenge


If you wait long enough everything repeats itself-- or a version of the past. I've been listening to the Serial podcasts while I walk on the treadmill. Yes, I know that this is long-form story telling and it is based on a true ongoing story.

The producers and the reviewers point out the episodic qualities, a full season devoted to one true story and the large audience that waits each week for the next episode.  They are hooked. I am hooked.

Forgive me if I point out some similarities with the radio shows I listened to when I was a youngster. Both the now and the then stories relied on paying attention to a story without any visual clues. I was glued to my radio to hear the story-- rapt attention and nary a blink of the eye. Yes, they were not true stories, but they captivated their listeners. You conjured up the setting from the clues. I created pictures of the characters in my mind.

Is it that the gizmos and tech toys can't meet all our needs.? It's a relief to find out that so many people were mesmerized by a story told without pyrotechnics.

Years ago I waited to hear Tonto say  kemosabe when he spoke to the Lone Ranger. Now I wait to go on the treadmill and listen to the next episode.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Day 27 Thirty Day Challenge


Once I waited  five hours
to see Maya Plisetskaya dance
Swan Lake at the Met
If I close my eyes
she turns into the dying swan
and I return to the theater
to the day when I waited five hours
to see a a stage transformed
into a place of possibilities

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Day 26 Thirty Day Challenge

The Rya Rug

Every evening my father combed
their rya rug until it loosened
stray strands and held its shape
They never owned a home before
He loved the bright kitchen
with its array of overhead lights
Illuminating a small kitchen table
where he drank Postum Coffee
and my mother drank instant coffee
diluted with hot water and milk
They never owned a home before
When I use a carpet sweeper
on our new wood floor or wipe
up splattered water, I see my father
comb the sea green rya rug
until each strand untangled itself
Then he sat and read


Monday, January 25, 2016

Day 25 Thirty-Day Challenge

It Isn't Your Grandmother's Food

If you wait long enough some things you thought were good to eat become suspect. Every week another item makes the list of yes or no. And some items become cult foods-- kale. Kale has attained King of the Hill status shoving broccoli one step lower.

Once upon a time I saved whatever part of the onion I had left after making a salad, but then I read that saved cut onions are a source of food poisoning. So now I've been purchasing the smallest onion. I pass by those large sweet onions with a longing and yearning.

Chickens are suspect. What about their eggs? How is my fish caught? Poles? Is my tuna can BPA free

Now I'm drinking Almond Milk. I felt good about that until I read that it needed to be Organic Almond Milk. On and on.

Don't eat wheat? Rice is suspect because of arsenic. Ah-- what have we done with our food supply?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Day 24 Thirty-Day Challenge

Parshah Beshalach

...for God thought, " If the people face war, they
may change their minds and return to Egypt."
     Exodus 13:17


After the escape
after the pursuit
after they really left behind
their status as slaves, of waiting
for the next burden, the next  curt word,
they wanted room to breathe, a place
where they walked with long strides
They chafed under difficult conditions
and wondered if they should have stayed,
but they complained with their own words
unfettered and raucous, but still they questioned

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Day 23 Thirty-Day Challenge

A Given Day

Sun melted ice,
 a moving rivulet
inching down the asphalt
joins other tributaries
from the neighbor's driveway
A braided communion of water

Friday, January 22, 2016

Day 22 Thirty Day Challenge

Upon Re-Reading

I found an old journal and spent an hour reading the words of my nineteen year old self. On some pages I really liked this person, on other pages I wondered who I was and just caught glimpses of me. My memory of several events differed from my journal entry. 

How many times does an event alter? Remembering is falling down a rabbit hole. Each time you try to climb back up you take a slightly different route.

This remembering is a fictive trip.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Day 21 Thirty-Day Challenge

Winter as Usual

Is it hype?
Is it science?
Is it a fair possibility?
Do they ever know?
Is this their job?
These shamans who predict. 
These magicians who consult
 weather patterns, these seers who superseded
 the farmers who read the weather,
who consulted the clouds,
listened to the wind, and asked
for divine intervention.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Day 20 Thirty Day Challenge

Sated on Politicians

Are purple potatoes purple all the way to their center? If not I feel cheated. I expected the inside to match the outside. It's akin to politics. They say one thing and mean another thing. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Day 19 Thirty Day Challenge

To Know Another

Today I drew an aardvark
and discovered an aardwolf
I expect the two know one another
or is it akin to someone saying
Do you know my cousin Clyde?
He also lives in Brooklyn

Monday, January 18, 2016

Day 18 Thirty Day Challenge


to eat ice cream in your car
when the wind howls
and the temperature
is below freezing
requires imagination


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Day 17 Thirty Day Challenge

The Metiorologist Reads Computer Models

The weather is traveling
 from way out there, from
a land once farmed by homesteaders
who watched the sky to read the weather
who knew drifts silo high
who heard the hard winds drifting 
across the plains in winter

Soon the snow will pick herself up
and travel east, stopping along the way
to gather herself before she sidles
across concrete and asphalt roads

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Day 16 Thirty-Day Challenge

Parsha  Bo

          You shall tell your child on that day,
          'It is because of what the Lord did for me
          when I came out of Egypt.'
                           -- Genesis 13:8

Remember this Story

 waters turned to blood
frogs swarmed the country
bugs crawled over the land
covering everything in their path
wild animals went on a rampage
a pestilence struck down cattle and wild horses
an agony of boils infected people and animals
a hail storm descended with ferocious winds and
 lightning split the sky apart and danced
on the earth like a fire gone amok
locusts, so plentiful that they denied the sun
and ate everything green
darkness descended so impenetrable
that it seemed like a burial
and the last plague must be a metaphor not a reality
for all the first born of the Egyptians were struck down
only then did Pharaoh agree to let the Hebrews leave
he chased them out of his land
with bread not yet risen, with sleep still in their eyes

remember, God says, to tell this story
to your children forever

Day 15 Thirty Day Challenge

Inertia as a Reaction

to procrastinate
doesn't mean to refuse
to do something, to turn
your back on the task at hand
It is instead a response to time
and to gain control of when
When to respond and when to wait

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Day 14. Thirty-Day Challenge

The Grace of the Ordinary

A thin veneer of ice edges out to where
a heron balanced stock still last summer.
Cat tails edge the pond      I hold a small twig
and coax a lotus pod toward the shore. When
dry I shall shake it and listen to the seeds'
rattle,      a  Singing Bowl for the winter.