Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Culinary Flight

     Who cooked and ate an omelette
      midway across Niagara Falls?
              Paul Muldoon

Who savored the softest red roast
beef in a restaurant in Colorado?
Did we count the vegetables
in the nine veggie salad in a cafe
in Torrey, Utah? Or did we eye
the book shelves looking for authentic
western stories? Is that the place I
bought a leather journal cover?
Who cooked a slab of bacon on a
camp stove on the Long Trail?
That's where three of us slept under
a horsehair blanket in a lean to
and woke up smelling coffee.
Who used a copper jello mold to construct
a July 4th lobster in red, white, and blue?
Who climbed a hill to collect blueberries
in tin cans and who planted strawberries
enjoyed by a family of rabbits?
Who ate Zwieback on the deck of a Greek
ship heading toward Europe?
Who broke a matzoh ,wrapped one half
and hid the afikomon in the hall closet?
Who took the communion kit to the nursing
home and shared the wafer and
juice with a woman who once lived in the Bronx?
Who eats a falafel pita across from a man
who wears a kuppah and tzitzits to remind
himself of the Lord's commandments?
And who uses a nut cracker to break
the lobster shell and dig out the meat?
Who mixes meat and milk, but doesn't
eat a yolk with a blood spot?
Who selects a rice cracker to dip
in grape juice?
Who fills the ark with quail's eggs, poultry
shears, a quill, and a sheaf of papers?

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Seeker

instead of trying to find my style
i shall let it seek me out,
but what medium will I enlist?
oils require ventilation, acrylics dry
too fast, pastels create dust,
charcoal gets under my nails,
colored pencils require constant
sharpening, water colors insist
on layers, and i don't sew so
fabric art is out, pen and ink take
time and patience, art drawings
on the computer aren't organic,
collage means pasting and i
dislike getting glue on my hands--
instead of trying to find my style
i shall try squiggles and eyes closed
drawings in the pursuit
i shall eat fancy iced biscuits
i shall drink masala chai from a toadstool
i shall sit as  a seeker
searching for my peculiar style

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Staying in Touch

I look at Instagram photos
and view your lives in small squares
of color and bare bone words
Thousands of followers stop to look
My visit adds to the total of 5,631
for the photo of Mt Fuji
Tomorrow I'll look again
and see your lives played out
in pixels and followers

Saturday, February 25, 2017


a drenching rain split the silence
into before and after

 a tumultuous furor
loosened weak branches

the rain lessened

only mute sounds

Friday, February 24, 2017

Silence is Unacceptable

these times are frightening when some newspapers are not allowed into a news briefing and those that parrot the accepted line are welcomed

these times are frightening when chaos is created so we don't pay attention to what is being slashed or eliminated

these times are frightening when hate speech becomes acceptable and hate crimes increase

we must not be silent
silence is complicity

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Juried Show

tonight my photo collage received a prize--
"a wonderful, layered narrative...it reads
like a tall, skinny graphic novel, with stories
playing out in every window...and a broad
cast of characters-- who seem to be
traveling in both time and space ."
I love art speak.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Art of Counting

Waiting brings its own voice
slows down time and then
rushes to catch up
At the end of the day all
that's possible is moving on
If you count the days
you know that it's predictable,
you let one slip away
and the next one moves up
And you can't skip days

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Back Then

We played the game do you remember
the restaurant that served Swiss fondue
It was diagonally across from a bar
that served poetry along with wine and pretzels
I sat there with a friend from Louisiana
and talked about the Irish poets
and how they played with language
Do you recall the new age stores that sold crystals
or the used bookstore where I purchased
 postcards of women writers and artists
until I had enough to create a collage
Do you remember the man with a straw hat
who sat in front of his chess board
You could play against him for two dollars
I recall the stationary store that sold
hard backed dated lined notebooks
Do you remember all the frozen yogurt stores
or the popcorn store selling fifty varieties
I recall young people attired in goth outfits
and people sitting on the sidewalk holding
signs and a figure wrapped in a blanket
asleep on a bench while people walked by
I remember the man who talked to himself
while people read newspapers and sipped coffee
No one looked his way and he carried on
a conversation with an unseen companion
Do you recall the movie theatre that burned down
and the paper said it started with the popcorn maker
Do you recall the store that replaced a bookstore
and sold organic juices and vegetable drinks
I recall the man who set a toilet down
in the middle of the street
and pitched pennies into the bowl
It's funny about memory
Some things just stick
like the natural grocery store that sold tee shirts
Remember the Emma Goldman tee shirt,
 " If I  can't dance
I don't want to be part of your revolution."
I wore that shirt until the words blurred
If I close my eyes I am still wearing
Emma's words

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Simple Life

We sat reading in our car
warmed by the early afternoon sun
People parked, went inside
to order their latte, frappuccino
cappuccino, macchiato, caffe mocha,
espresso con panna, americano--
who needs more than water

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Be Discerning

       You shall not side with the majority
        so as to pervert justice
                   Exodus 23:2

An open letter to those who cite
Biblical passages
The Bible says, God decrees,
We're living our testimony
They pick through scripture
parsing verses, assured of
being on the right side
Too often they run with the pack--
too often they pass right by
the yield sign

Saturday, February 18, 2017

When One Becomes Many

listen, i say to myself,
listen you can't read every story,
all the op ed pieces,
every single headline,
 listen, i say to myself,
 you can't sign every petition,
give to each place asking for a donation
listen, i say to myself,
you better follow everything with care

 I say to everyone with ears to hear,
put on your marching shoes,
grab a placard,
take care of what you have,
share it,
 don't hoard it,
don't fall asleep,
there are wolves outside

Friday, February 17, 2017

Meeting the Surgeon

I listen
and try and remember
all my questions, but
the diagram captures
my attention, an interior
schematic of the body
I've always been interested
in the unmapped interior
where words find a meaning
I think of phrases to describe
the twists and turns, the blood
following ancient pathways,
connections forged before
petroglyphs told stories, and
myths explained the seen
I pick up my pen and ask
a simple question

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Good Read

I confess a deep dark mystery has me in its grip
The author drags me into night black basements
where danger lurks behind every shadow
Every creak, each sound means danger
I jump when I hear the refrigerator hum
I investigate the slant of light on the floor
Night sweats       Silhouettes on the Wall
A page turner
Teeth chattering
I'll take out the next in the series tomorrow

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Inhale and Exhale

I watch a drop of water slide down an icicle,
stop for a moment--an aerialist about to leap--
 then drop to a bank of snow
Another droplet gathers at the tip of the ice
ready to take flight
This meditation continues-- until I tire

Monday, February 13, 2017

A Shiviti

Two lines from a psalm
carved on an ancient amulet
or written on parchment paper
Two lines from a psalm—repeated over
and over until the shape of a design,
a candelabra or the Tablets of Law
emerges— a reminder, a meditation
I place God before me always

I have placed Hashem before me always

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Way of Memory

Snow--the confetti at the end of a parade--
piles up on the snow just shoveled
I measure inches on banisters, a sign
in the front yard, and a whirligig
that stilled by snow stands as a yardstick
Today steps turn into slides
and trees wear white nightgowns
I look out the window and recall the taste
of snow--not sweet or bitter-- short lived,
only savored once before it dissolves

Saturday, February 11, 2017


the magician found three dimes, one quarter, and a multi-colored scarf behind the ear of a man who never suspected that he harbored those treasures for he accepted himself as ordinary

that same magician found a pigeon nesting on the hat of a woman who screamed when she realized that a pigeon was disturbing the decorative cluster of flowers attached to her hat

this same magician swallowed a saber, a flaming torch, and a rotund man's large tub of popcorn

with all those qualifications i asked the man of magic if he could stop time

the magician pondered, scratched his head, consulted a document written on papyrus, cleared his throat and said,  " magic is only adroit words and actions, and your desire to believe."

he then opened his mouth,  pulled out a parasol, opened it, and exited the stage

Friday, February 10, 2017

A Wild Pursuit

       Go to the Limits of Your Longing
             Rainer Maria Rilke

Can we name the longing
that stayed beyond
a finger's grasp
Was it too far away,
too demanding
or is the frenzied push only
granted to dreamers

Thursday, February 09, 2017

A Snowstorm

i walked with moonlight as a companion
and silence accompanied us

Wednesday, February 08, 2017


I confess. I am not someone who enjoys cooking. It all seems like a waste-- spend forever cooking, eat, and then it's gone.  Since I enjoy eating, I need to confront the notion of cooking. Recipes must yield two or three meals.

And another drawback to cooking entails clean-up. Perhaps it's me. I don't like cleaning up. It's messy.

My mother never used the oven-- she was in love with her broiler. She also adored canned mixed fruit and fresh grapefruit. She never baked a cookie or made a pie, but knew where they sold the best bread and desserts. Her signature dish contained Campbell's creamed mushroom soup , frozen string beans and a can of fried onions.

I do enjoy making baked apples.


Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Thursday's Forecast

It begins when a forecast of ten inches of snow sends droves of us to the grocery store to stock up lest we starve, can't get out or are marooned in the house for days--a primal urge to gather food prods us to act. Bread and water disappear from the shelves. Gallons of milk find their way into grocery carts alongside snacks lest we lose electricity and need comfort food. And every cart must contain the what if food. Suppose the snow drags down the electrical wires for days? Better select cans of tuna, extra peanut butter, extra batteries. The list grows as the forecasters, dismayed with the meager amount of snow last winter and thus far this winter, rev up and promise to be there all day and night keeping you posted. "We will be here throughout the day."

The snow is coming on Thursday so that will give the maddening hoards time tomorrow to gather and store.

Of course the snow line may move a bit to one side or to the other which will alter all the early predictions.

And of course you must remember to charge up all your devices lest you lose contact with the outside world.

An aside: April 14-15, 1921 Silver Lake, Colorado experienced an eighty-seven inch snowfall.

Monday, February 06, 2017

What I Need to Hear

Talk to me about thin sheets of ice
so translucent that submerged branches
reach toward the surface-
Talk to me of the pin-prick cold
and the way the sun strives to melt
ice encased leaves
Speak to me of how tree branches
wait for their leaves, how two boys
on skateboards ride the top of a railing,
of how our orchid loves the sun
entering the kitchen, of the woman
whose two large dogs take her for a walk
Speak to me of climbing a mountain
and tasting the salt of sweat, of collecting
sea glass, of looking for mermaid's purses
on Provincetown's beaches, of flying
a kite so high that it mingles with clouds
I need to hear the wind and sing the wind
I need to hear an echo in a wind tunnel
Talk to me of how a poet makes words holy
Talk to me of the holy, of how it is found
on a city street, a spinney of birches, between
the cracks, while eating a sandwich, pulling
on a taffy bar, listening to the ice cream truck,
recalling the peddler who sold old clothes,
or the man who sharpened knives and scissors
Talk to me while the tea steeps
and the night begins its hours
Talk to me of daylight
of the spring seed catalogue,
of tomorrow's weather

Sunday, February 05, 2017

What Now

When you tell
your story aloud
each telling adds girth,
clothes the words
with flesh
It's harder to hide
behind a mask

Saturday, February 04, 2017

A Cautionary Tale

Read world history
Who holds the reins,
strangles other voices,
insists on one voice
Who creates a manifesto
and declares a new truth
Who erases other voices,
neuters the fourth estate
muzzles opinions
Who fears the other

Friday, February 03, 2017

Another Reality

Some days you need to create another reality
hang on to a bouquet of helium balloons
and ride over a countryside colored with palate box hues.
Some days you need to dress up in leather chaps,
a wide brimmed ten gallon hat, boots, and a red bandana.
Some days you need to sit on a toad stool and recite
every nursery rhyme and fairy tale you recall
and if you can't remember endings you can
find new endings--weave them out of spun sugar.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

B is for Julianna Buhring

When Juliana Buhring loses the love of her life in a kayaking trip in Africa— he was pulled into the water by an African Crocodile—she decides to embark on circumnavigating the world on a bicycle. She came to this decision despite the fact that she was not a cyclist, did not know how to repair a bike, and no long distance woman cyclist had succeeded. Her book The Road I Ride details her trip —18,000 miles, nineteen countries, and 152 days Naples to Naples.

This , my B book in my 2017 challenge, was found on the new book shelf. Prior to selecting the book—I was actually looking for an A author— I had never heard of the author or the feat.

The saga is so out of my comfort zone, but it makes me wonder what I might have attempted if I had more nerve and a strong constitution. I always wanted to walk the Appalachian Trail, but obviously not enough to quit my job , buy new hiking shoes, and a frame backpack. So I settled for hiking bits and pieces—small sections—with old boots and a fanny pack. Nothing extraordinary—tame. I did hike Mt Katahdan, the northern end of the trail—but that doesn't count and I did have a pack.

Looking backwards I can't find anything. Perhaps the time has passed for me to attempt something heroic, dramatic, and other worldly. I will vicariously follow those who run in the World Marathon Challenge—seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. That's 168 hours.
And it includes all your flight times from continent to continent. The cost $45,000 dollars.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Using Permanent Ink

My new notebook
is ready for this unexpected
journey into a new vocabulary,
ready for words that
carry the weight of unsaid
thoughts, words hidden
behind an exterior that moves
on a flat surface, unaware
of fault lines, of crevasses
and uphill climbs
This notebook accepts
my black fountain pen ink,
doesn't bleed through the page
leaving a shadow print,
a ghost of words written.