Saturday, October 31, 2015


After entering my password too many times I gave in and clicked " forgot my password". This was annoying since I didn't forget my password. Instructions-- check your email and set up a new password. I checked my email and entered the same password twice.

Another email announced that a new password had been entered for my account. I then went on the site and entered my original email password and the site opened up. Abracadabra.

Sometimes I want to sit down and have a conversation with my IPad or computer and explain that they often act in an unreasonable manner, almost dictatorial. They often don't listen, refuse to acknowledge that I do know what I'm talking about, and turn away when I plead to be accepted.

Then when all is finally working properly they act as if nothing had transpired between us -- a lover's quarrel. On Sunday I turn them all off and refuse to be intimidated or seduced.

On that day they understand their dependence upon me to turn them on, to allow them a voice.

Friday, October 30, 2015

It's All in the Telling

The cloth of that story is threadbare with the telling .
    Geraldine Brooks

We repeat some tales until the litany of events blur and a fictive episode emerges. Allow some time to pass and the story metamorphoses into something else.

Each repetition adds or subtracts, half recalled additions appear,  parts disappear as if they never happened.

We finger some stories like amulets, other stories like hoodoos.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


just perhaps
or maybe, just
maybe, the coming winter
reverses itself and ceases to
wail and storm, howl and stomp
revealing a docile side

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Whenever I read Genesis I find myself wondering if Abraham ever thought to himself, "This is some wild journey and I really don't know where I'll end up."

Perhaps he lamented being privy to Sarah's anger, to Hagar taunting Sarah, to agreeing to make his son, Hagar's son, less than the son of Sarah.

Did he ever wonder about the psychological distress he caused Isaac when he bound him to the stone? Did he perceive himself as a puppet or as an obedient follower?

And when his mind wasn't taken with domestic issues did he wonder about the possibility of sandstorms or a ready supply of water?

And he's got chutzpah. Imagine bargaining with God because you disagree with how he plans to attend to a matter involving who lives and who dies.

Switch to now, 2015, and our political landscape. Is there a candidate who wonders about the path to the presidency, laments the dissension between all the ideologies, worries about how the average voter is confused because no one really talks issues, is concerned about the climate, checks to see if he's become a puppet for some group, worries about his ability to withstand the pressure of the party line? If so, please step forward.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Home Town

I'm watching the first game of the World Series and bemoaning the fact that my home town team is presently seated in front of a television watching instead of participating, but what do you expect when your record is at the bottom of the pile-- but it hasn't always been this way , no not at all since I can point to three World Series pennants after nearly a century of looking in on the grand stage --of  course speaking of pennants I grew up in the Bronx and my home team was the Yankees because they played in a stadium three subway stops away and my father usually  listened to the games on the radio or took me  to Yankee Stadium where we sat in the bleachers and rooted for those men in pin stripes while we ate sandwiches prepared by my mother who played Mai Jong with her friends while we sat in the sun and watched tiny men no bigger than my thumb run around the field trying to get home without being tagged just the way I  tried to avert being tagged when I played tag at school where everyone rooted for the Yankees although my best friend Ellen loved the Giants and my cousin rooted for the Brooklyn Dodgers but everyone left the city and now it's only the Mets or the Yankees left and now the Mets are in the World Series and I've reverted to rooting for a New York team.

Monday, October 26, 2015


A  swath of fire red, a sunburst of yellow,
with orange shouldering between
They have only a few weeks to strut,
to demand attention, to grab center stage
Soon they will become trapeze artists,
acrobats spinning and performing
Aerialists descending to the ground

Saturday, October 24, 2015


My grandmother spoke to God. My grandmother spoke to God the way she spoke to our neighbor in apartment 2C. She didn't use any particular address. She just said, "God," as if they met for tea every afternoon.

When we went on the subway or into a store she kept up a silent conversation. I could tell that she and God were conversing by the look on her face. It appeared as if she was listening.

Once while she was chopping vegetables she said God always has time to listen.
" Does he have helpers," I asked. At the time I was in the second grade and I knew the teacher had helpers. For weeks I wanted to take the blackboard erasers out and bang them together, but the teacher always selected boys for that job.

On evening I began tossing Jujubes, a hard gummy candy, into the air and then attempted to catch them in my mouth. The game proceeded quite without incident until I started to choke on a few Jujubes. I  recall being unable to breathe. My grandmother didn't drive and we didn't own a car, my parents were out for the evening, and our Doctor lived three city blocks away.  

My grandmother knew nothing about any maneuvers to dislodge a jujube. While she banged on my back with the palm of her hand she talked to God. She reminded God of how she gave some money to the insurance man to buy shoes, how she never forgot to thank him for her family. Now, she said while I continued to choke, I need help. Now , she said.

" Some things," she said, "I can wait for, but now. I promise she wouldn't do this again." All the while she thumped my back with more and more urgent slaps.

Then out popped three red Jujubes.


Memory is a pinball machine--it messily ricochets around between image, idea, fragments of scenes, stories you've heard.
     Mary Kerr

Pilgrimages in life often aren't linear. They skip around, pause, go at full tilt, step backwards, peer into a void, become buoyant, sidestep, yet keep going toward some destination. The beginning may be hazy, the middle muddled and the end always a bit further. 

My spiritual pilgrimage follows a similar trajectory and I expect the end of the journey won't happen until I see " grass on the other side."

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Walking toward the ends of a gully
wary of stepping on loose stones
round pebbles or cobble rocks or
rain washed mud I step into an arroyo
and meet someone hanging wash
we nod as acquaintances of long
standing and listen to the sun
painting the red rocks
She asks if I want tea brewed this dawn
before the day began its path

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Among the Possibilities

At first you think you're the model of calm and serene demeanor. Then in the middle of the night you wake up thinking about the universe in relation to your life,

It isn't as if you're solving any cosmic mysteries. You wonder if the desk will fit in a new space. You wonder about electric outlets and lamps.

You question the purchase of a matched set of twenty-four paper towels, of extra large boxes of detergent, of bottled water on sale, and of purchasing a two year date book.

You wonder about the courage of the homeless.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Everything is a compromise. All life, give and take. What's important and what can be ignored. And then you take out the scale and weigh what's been removed and what has remained. At that point you make a decision.

Decisions are mixtures of possibilities, potentials, and dreams.

Monday, October 19, 2015


While my friend spotted a hawk on a roof, I checked out a half completed kitchen. So many questions to ask and so much to ponder. Where is my ouija board? My Magic 8 ball? Perhaps Tarot cards or Chi Chi sticks. Should I place myself in the hands of an I Ching reading? Maybe I need to read the runes or tea leaves. Who reads palms?

Perhaps a hanging Chrystal pendulum that  answers yes an no questions by rotating left or right. Should I or should I not?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

My Infatuation with Words

A wide lined black and white marble notebook

Two Ticonderoga pencils 
      tucked into grooved slots
      of  a wood box 
      a flexible red rubber eraser turned into
      a contortionist touching nose to toes

five year diary with a lock
      each entry begins dear diary 
      ball point pens 
      smudged words

hard covered notebooks with numbered pages
       a table of contents
       quotes from books
       lists of words
       trying out style and voice
       looking for a fit
       thin technical pen 

three ring notebooks
       ten minute morning writings
       collections of books on writing
       writing prompts

Selectric typewriter
       white correction tape for typos
       Chicago Manual of Style
       tracking  submissions
       rejections Modge Podged 
       on a metal waste basket

Apple computers
      File folders of poems, essays
      A daily blog
      stats list the number of readers

a Leuchtturm grey softcover notebook 
    an intimate affair
    fountain pens with archival ink

Friday, October 16, 2015

It Will Be

You can't force the universe. It moves along in its predetermined way. At times we tinker too much and the world suffers.

I think it's that way with waiting for something. Don't push the universe. Listen to the small quiet voice and believe that you'll be led. Don't be impatient.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


I don't recall my last closing. It happened quickly. All the events tumbled into one another--divorce, looking for my own place. That's all I wanted --to own my own place free and clear.

The ad for new condos appeared in Sunday's paper and I cut it out and circled the opening. I decided I wanted to live there when I saw the unit. The first building on the right as you came in. It was one of fifteen six unit buildings. Except for the model unit the other five units in that first building were available.

I walked into each unit and went upstairs to the room facing the conservation land and visualized my Selectra electric typewriter on its table in front of the window. Would that be a good place to write and the unit I bought just felt perfect.

By that afternoon I wrote out a five hundred dollar check to hold the unit until I could bring some people to look at it. I brought my friend Mary's husband, Fran.

Fran, who bought old homes and fixed them up, spent an hour going over everything and gave it a thumbs up. I bought the house the next day.

Somehow the actual closing eludes me, but I recall picking out the counter color, tiles, and rugs. Save for one small upgrade I stayed within the allotted amount.

My real estate agent told me to spend the extra money and finish the loft. I did.

I moved in three days before Christmas. A friend drove down from upper New York State to help me with the move. The night before the movers moved me we slept in sleeping bags in the loft.

The first year the builders kept a steady pace of building building after building. Sometimes it was eerie coming home after dark and driving on a nondescript road until I reached my building. We were a small group of homesteaders for months.

In January I met Dorothy and we spent a year going back and forth between Maynard and Cambridge. It didn't take long after she moved in for us to rewrite the deed so that we both owned the unit. I do recall the paper trail for that.

Thirty-two years later and we're seated across the table from Lucy who has bought our unit. She had  been looking for a year and her agent told us that as soon as she entered the house she knew she'd buy it. The house, Lucy told the agent, felt as if it had a spiritual center.

That's good.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Last Day

A sudden assessment at the last moment
Two lawyers working it out
Cleaning out the basement of debris
Six plastic tie bags, three old brooms, a mop, cut-up boxes, one open Glade deodorizer
and one brown grocery bag
left for the new owner

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

We Made It

Moved in. Great movers. Can't believe that all we have left is to unpack. Eureka. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sharing Space

How do we collect so many odd and assorted items? Yes, there are those disciplined souls who refuse to keep the campaign button for the local selectman, handwritten letters, scanned hard copy of articles, and it goes on and on.

Bravo for those souls. They will not be confronted with endless boxes of odd neighbors bearing no resemblance to one another.

My Purell advanced hand lotion shares a plastic container with  Duracell batteries, a scrubber, a plastic duck won at the Easter Bunny Golf Tournament for being the first person to land in the water, two ball point pens, and an old address book. Each item important.

All importance pales when moving and you pine for simplicity.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Movin' On

doesy doe your partner
curl around the boxes 
step over newsprint paper
dance on bubble wrap
movin' on
roll the tapes 
close the box cutter
mark each box
with a destination
call it movin' on

Friday, October 09, 2015


A wide lined black and white marble notebook
       Two Ticonderoga pencils
       tucked into grooved slots
       of  a wood box
       a flexible red rubber eraser turned into
       a contortionist touching nose to toes

five year diary with a lock
       each entry begins dear diary
       ball point pens
       smudged words

hard covered notebooks with numbered pages
        a table of contents
        quotes from books
        lists of words
        trying out style and voice
        looking for a fit
        thin technical pen

three ring notebooks
        ten minute morning writings
        collections of books on writing
        writing prompts

Selectric typewriter
        white correction tape for typos
        Chicago Manual of Style
        tracking  submissions
        rejections Modge Podged
        on a metal waste basket

Apple computers
       File folders of poems, essays
       A daily blog
       stats list the number of readers

a Leuchtturm grey softcover notebook
     an intimate affair
     fountain pens with archival ink



Thursday, October 08, 2015

Unrequited Love

why do some things hide
in the closet or in drawers
for years, unheralded, never
used, forgotten and unneeded?
they only appear when packing
and demand answers-- am I
of any use, if not what happens
to me, do you intend to consign
me to that garbage along with
yesterday's avocado skins, or
am I resurrected for someone else?
why did you buy me, did we ever
form a relationship? did you ever
look upon me with favor? 

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Long Live The Pencil

I don’t want to sound like a curmudgeon, but after speaking to an Apple Support person for forty minutes I am exhausted.
Give me a pencil and paper. Do away with passwords, security questions, and emails. Let’s return to the Pony Express era and letters sealed with wax.
Instead of enjoying the wild card game I am entrenched in verification emails, multiple verification emails, and requests to assure that I am who I say I am.
And who is the person on the other end of my computer who decrees whether my password is strong enough? Is there a troll sitting inside my computer? A tyrant who says—rejected, use numbers, symbols, at least two capitals and one lower case letter.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

No More

last box
but I said that yesterday
one lost packing tape
one fourteen inch desk caddy
in one thirteen inch box
build a tent over the protruding
drawer, a yurt, a chuppah
for a new beginning
I need extra cardboard 
to cover the corners, butwhat
a question remains
what's really in each box?

Monday, October 05, 2015

Before Moving In

we measured walls, windows,
where doors intruded
and drew it out on graph paper
taking care to use a ruler
to create straight edges
we measured bureaus, bookcases,
a bed, a dining table, and tables
to hold lamps, books, and a cup of tea,
we checked the closets, the place
to put a toothbrush, whether our
big pot fit, the view outside,
and where to sit to read
we dimmed the light in the kitchen
until it barely lit up the counter
at home we measured the length
and width of bureaus, one bookcase,
a bed, the dining room table, side 
tables, and made little graph cutouts
to move around the graph paper rooms
seeking a perfect fit 

Saturday, October 03, 2015

The Beat Goes On

You can't expect perfection when you pack, especially if some items go into storage while others travel to your new location. 

Then there's a third pile which I dubbed junk or Good Will. Actually that makes four distinct piles. Errors happen, despite great care and meticulous organization. 

Perhaps the organization needs some tweaking. Today I discovered that a new pair of golf shoes had disappeared, vanished, evaporated.

The junk man came on Thursday and on Friday we made yet another trip to Goodwill. 

My investigative nature, as well as my reading of convoluted mysteries, prepared me to ascertain the answer to this conundrum. The golf shoes are gone. 

Perhaps the junk man's wife wears the same size. May she hit the ball long and straight. Or some woman walks into Good Will, buys the shoes,and embarks on a successful career on the LPGA  tour. May her wins be many.

Now that I'm viewing my magnanimous side the loss of the golf shoes feels less traumatic.  

Friday, October 02, 2015

Letting Go

Twenty-three years ago I bought a seriously warm coat. Save for three days when the temperature dipped below zero, the coat spent its life in my closet.

Why keep it?  Nostalgia?

I recalled buying the coat in Provincetown. That was the weekend I braved a stiff wind, wore heavy wool socks, and thick wool hats. I also pulled the scarf I wore around my neck-- high enough to include my nose. 

Nostalgia lost and the coat joined other clothes. 

If the temperature dips below zero I'll wear a sweater under a jacket. You gotta take a chance in life.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Another School Shooting

more shootings
more dead
more headlines 
more vigils 
more questions
more headlines
more shootings
more dead
a loop repeats
a möbius