I surrendered myself...
a servant to suggestion
blinded by expectation
stripped of inhibiting pride
I revel in my awkwardness...
blushing with fulfillment
nourished by this hunger
peaceful in my solitude
I shall bear an idea
I went on a trip with my folks to Lake Erie,
In Port Clinton, with few people near me.
We saw a car accident as we entered town,
A car crashed into a tree and it was down.
A few blocks later, a sign full of strife,
"Speed kills, slow down, enjoy life."
And obviously that was true where we were
Because in the middle of nowhere, nothing could occur.
We went to Jolly Rogers, to eat some perch,
And on this trip we missed out on church.
The next day, we went to Put-in-Bay,
With our extended family that came that way.
There was uncle Dan, Danielle, Carly and Kyle,
And Melinda, Sean, Annie came for a while.
Aunt Norma was also there included,
Uncle Pete was the only one excluded.
We rode on a ferry boat, across the lake
To the island and the boat would shake.
We got across and caught a boat yonder,
And on the island we started to wander.
Some of the youth went on a carousel,
We wondered the best way to spend the day well.
The kids just wanted to go to the park,
So they played there with Uncle Dave and Uncle Mark.
As I watched the energy of each child,
I couldn't believe how they made us smile.
They wore us out, as children just might,
We all ate dinner, and said good night.
The next day we went on some nature trails
In what was once a black swamp so frail.
We went to see nature but I don't know why
The only thing I saw a butterfly.
We found someone's cell phone and turned it in,
They got it back and left with a grin.
The next day we went to safari park
My mom, my dad, and me, Mark.
The animals would approach the window and look in
You'd feed them some food and they needed some cookin'
A giant bull displayed its horns
Giraffes and zebras were there to forewarn
Of children who loved the creatures so much
They could look but they couldn't touch
The animals were caged like a zoo
Kids got photos with a boa constrictor, too.
All in all it was a great vacation
Seeing my family's younger generation
I look forward to the future to travel
And see other adventures unravel
But in the meantime, I got plenty of which to write,
Lake Erie goodbye, Lake Michigan, good night!
It must have been a Cooper's hawk
that got him mid-air
leaving no tracks of predator or prey,
just blue feathers hatched with black
and white strewn over snowy wet ground.
Perhaps it was the blue jay which called
to other birds from the feeder
or the one often perched on a broken
hemlock near the back door. No telling
what went through his bird brain
the instant of the snatch with sharp talons
and hooked beak in the neck or gut.
Maybe that's the way to go — suddenly
with no time to consider what’s for breakfast
or how to say goodbye.
was spent on a train, l'Ocean,
heading back to Montreal. We
kissed the night before, a tentative
touch as we said goodnight while
crawling into our separate berths.
We are nearing the end of a journey
to the Nova Scotia Highlands, Canadian
national park on Cape Breton Island
At 47 degrees latitude, it's as far north
as people live in continental North America.
We spent one week in a cabin on Aspy Bay,
nestled among wild rose bushes on a deserted
beach. Each headland extends an arm out to sea,
beckoning today's explorers where John Cabot
sighted a new world in 1497. More than 500
years later, the Cape remains a lonesome coast,
pristine virgin forest.
We shared a hiking trail with a moose, heard
scurries of unseen creatures among the ferns
and fog of the coastal bog. We plied a ribbon
of scenic highway watching for whales
at Pleasant Bay, trekked to hidden waterfalls
brown with tannin from the pines covering
the scrabble-top hills. Scrambled the rocky spine
of a volcanic shoreline rich with fossils from
We tried it all, and now we're heading back by train.
"Please close the window shade," you drone politely
as you roll over in your upper bunk, not realizing I sit
dressed in the lower one waiting to breakfast with you
at the dining car. In companionable old age, we remain
lonely individualists. You and I are on our own, alone
in a new era of discovery, seeking the me and you who
met in Indiana forty-five years ago.
(First published in PK's Advocate)
Born into a tenement in the heart of the windy city in the summer of sixty-nine,
Fourth small mouth to be fed and second girl in line.
A time just after the assassinations of Malcolm, Medgar, JFK, and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King
A time when proclamations like "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud," were the in thing.
When Bell-bottomed jeans and afros swayed effortlessly against the wind,
An era when Motown was king and Stax was In!
Our guardians were diligent and always instilled in us the need to get ahead,
Stressing that there is strength in numbers and to stick together no matter what was said.
70', school bells, limited teaching apparatuses and burned out teachers and no recess,
Escaping boredom, through reading autobiographies always held my interest.
Benefiting from RIF (Reading is Fundamental) reading Angelou, Hansberry, Morrison, Moody, X and Cruz.
Discovering and rediscovering, Richard Wright, Countee Cullen and Langston Hughes.
Brown scarred knees from repeatedly falling upon thick blacktop.
Corner stores, liquors stores, ice cream, pickles, Now-n-laters, barber and beauty shops.
Loud sounds blaring to break through red glistening project walls,
Aretha, Chaka, Diana, O'Jays, Jacksons, Curtis Mayfield and Lou Rawls.
Broken elevators, and broken dreams, straightening combs and fade creams.
Mayoral candidates making mockeries out of project residents by handing out
V-necks, turkeys, and miniature Christmas trees in exchange for votes.
Some project residents coming undone and always at each others throats.
Skateboards, hopscotch, jump rope, Red Light Green Light and Mother May I?
Young men masquerading as gangsters on street corners, over already-conquered city turf, why?
Soon childhood laughter is silenced by gunshots and young bodies dropping.
Caskets, tears, sensing my own mortality at 13, anticipating my own heart stopping.
Guardians' tenacity paid off in the spring of '83 they rescued me,
Before our transition out of the ghetto, I noticed young women making spaces in their bellies
for little ones, completely throwing caution to the wind,
Yeah, babies having babies starting the cycle all over again...
I want to move up close
and sense the smell of you
your un-minted breath,
your damp, sweaty pores,
without concealing perfume.
I want to taste and touch,
and feel the mean of you
your trembling mouth,
your rough furrowed brow,
without cosmetic disguise.
I want to comprehend
the very soul of you
your righteous wrath,
your grievous mistakes,
with no evasions or lies.
Then I can come to you
my blundering self
laid bare at your feet,
my affirmation of love.
I know for sure, or do I think I know!
That Sun will rise and set each day
Surely I know moon marks the month
Summer marches like soldier in Khaki garb
Behind the mighty arrogant winter
Why my senses insist my knowing wrong?
Falling snow showers commanding thoughts
To shrivel in to sooty mounds of foam
Winter coats growing shabby, dusty and cold
Hope hopelessly trapped in infinity gray
The forgotten smiles hiding in cheeks
Gushed out of eyes sockets like meteors
The bare and bent trees shed shade thick
Merciful branches helped immense
Fearing streams swell, run away waters freeze
January's cruel desire burning high
Always wanting lusty spring over and over
Orders Daffodils to toss their heads
April maiden to bring showers
Dainty May humped with Lilac loads
Not to mention green skapes sweeping
Earth womb gives myriad births
Seasons run like schools of fish in
confused continuum of ocean depths
measures nor calculators count
or number the rhythmic beat
time is changing, calendar its leaves
surely 'eye' sees earth diastole beat
and upslope of systole eternal
Her blossoms quiver, rivers rush
Knowledge goes to sleep, thoughts
shine in fading misty mystic hues
Intrigue sighs at gloating doubt
Search takes walk in space in time.
When you yawn and moan and sigh,
When it's time for beddy-bye,
When you're off to catch some z's—
Beware of the Creepies!
At your window they will peep
And a crawl and a creep
When you crash and fall asleep—
Fall asleep, sleep, sleep!
They'll creep into your room
When your home is like a tomb.
They'll wait until you snore
To begin their wicked chore.
They'll bite and scratch your toes,
They'll smack your crooked nose
Right when you start to doze—
Start to doze, doze, doze!
They'll punch and pinch your hips,
They'll poke and prick your lips.
When you wake and see the stark,
Empty stillness of the dark,
You'll panic and you'll dread
Every time you go to bed
And you'll wish that you were dead—
You were dead, dead, dead!
When daylight breaks the morn
You'll feel like you're reborn.
You'll think: Was this a dream?
So for real it did seem.
Then I'll dance around in glee
And say: "It was only me!"
You'll cry and I'll laugh: "He!"
I'll laugh: "He-he-he!"
We gather in the Sukkah* a blaze in candle light
Little ones in pj's, Bubbie and Zaidy in snuggy vests
We all squeeze closer till everyone has a seat
Sharing time with family is a yontifdika1 treat
Now that all are present Zaidy welcomes family and guests
And our Bubbie full of emotion sheds happy tears
Happy tears is a Bubbie thing announcing all is well
We talk of Jonah and the whale, the book of Kahalis too
The conversation runs the gamut of what it means to be a Jew
Little ones comment the owl sound makes a hooting rhyme
While teenagers start to grumble waiting for feasting time
And an Abba or an Eema or maybe it was a guest
Offer a song of thanksgiving feeling so very blessed
The little ones don't put up a fuss, when told it's time for bed
Probably thoughts of Sukkah treats are dancing in their heads
We pass the myim makronim2 then berkhat mezonis3 begins
When friends leave, the hour is late, and some head off to bed
While hearty souls stay in the Sukkah for le'chiam and song
It's then that Zayde says to Bubbie, "I think it's just grand
That being together as family is where children belong."
*a temporary outdoor booth many Jews eat in during the harvest festival
2*a bit of water to pour over finger tips after eating
3*after meal prayer of thanksgiving
It is just dawn
The night's mist
The first bird's call
A dove's mournful tune
A blue jay's cry
Flights of sparrows
Going out on patrol
And yet it is silence
That still pervades
The chilled colored air
As if clinging to a dream
Before it fades away
Is your father
Calm and strong
A few yards off
In the somber trees
He looks at you
Nods his head
Then points up
With a single finger
Toward the growing sky
And acorn shells
That fell so
Many years ago
Echo in your ear
Fairest Virgin Mary do you have a lovely Poem for me
On a Friday night in December by the Christmas Tree,
Oh Holy Mom just give me one little sign so I'll know
As I go out side to see her mysterious light show,
I saw her Orb in the Lightening of the Skies is December
Wondering what causes such a display as I'll remember,
To hear her foot steps on the green florescent Fire Fox
That illuminate the Ground, Trees, and even the Mail Box,
See her smiling eyes in the round white Marfa Lights
Jumping, bouncing, playing in the cold December nights,
The Aurora Borealis red and blue are glowing mysteriously
How beautiful they show Mary's face looking so cheerfully,
Scanning the Horizon I see her Astronomical Twilights
Until the Earth and Sky are one in my mythological sights,
The full moon is wearing a Rainbow Halo from its heights,
In its center is the Queen's praying Hands as her poet writes,
It seems that the Virgin Mary and I sure love Christmas
She gives me wonderful feelings I can not explain to us,
There she is glowing with her blue Cloak and white Veil
In her long pink Gown wearing a golden Sash so so Frail,
She had a crimson colored Rose on both her Holy feet
Out side my door is the greatest Mother I'd love to meet,
Madam you are the Christmas wish that I have dreamed of
Thank you Holy Mother for coming back to me from above,
It's her natural Lights that decorate this Christmas Card
Mary wishing you all the best of love from my front Yard
"Idle tears, I know not what they mean,
from the depths of some divine despair"...
I knew You would come
that night in my absolute darkness,
for I am Your child tired out from
loneliness, my eyes burning from years
trudging idle deserts.
You stood before me, rescued me
from the blurring effects of unrelenting storms.
Your being, serene as a summer's smile
warmed my dark silhouette,
You transformed me into a star
ablaze with flooding light
before Your majesty.
I opened my arms high in an arc, reaching—
I know I was created for You alone,
no one understands our secret language,
only You can decode the riddle
of our deep love.
We share the wind's song,
the sculpture of clouds,
a sacredness sublime.
I reach for Your hand, a wisp of tenderness,
as Your gaze and mine intersect in
that space behind the sun.
I hold in my heart such a hate
for that heap of flesh less a Soul!
And though he did not penetrate
way back in my mind there's a hole
that's just aching to swallow me whole!
I lifted and dragged Da into
Davey's room the second floor's all
we got left When the flood came through
it took the rest of our home call
it lucky that the house is so tall
That dead weight punk splashed down the stairs
I couldn't leave him where he lay
He's floating by the wooden chairs
and though some cushions float away
his corpse seems determined to stay
It's been three long days of hunger
since that maniac came four nights
of living in Hell With my anger
gut pain and this damn wetness that bites
I've thought of blowing out my lights
But today I heard whirlybirds
whopping coming to the rescue
or so I thought I had hard words
when I realized that they flew
away then cried that's nothing new
The worst thing about the dark deep
of night is all that's left is smell
and damned sounds that won't let you sleep
like being trapped inside a well
with nightmares I'm too scared to tell
Sometimes I hear gun shots ring out
in the distance a kitten's cry
as it floats somewhere and I shout
loud as I can "I'm gone to die
in here! Help me! Don't pass me by!"
So freaked my imagination
that it's hard to tell what is real
the creeping contamination
a ghost I can reach out and feel!
I am savoring my next meal!
No Stop All Go
Dance Dragon Fly Dance.
A method To Your Madness
Perhaps Survival's More Than Pure Chance?
So Dance Dragon Fly Dance
people, people everywhere
no more seats
can't close doors
Crowded all over
except the place
where I actually have
some extra space
All alone each night
I lay down my head
It's not crowded
in my bed
A baseball player has a lonely job.
Matching his talents against the white ball,
He watches closely not to let it rob
His bright spring-summer to an early fall.
He plays the outfields; he mans the bases.
Standing alone, surrounded by sharp eyes,
He hears their shouts but can't see their faces.
He ignores their insults, their boos and cries.
He sits in the dugout, chewing, waiting.
He rubs his nervous hands and wipes his face.
Closing all his senses to their baiting,
He takes his turn to bat, hit, get on base.
Cold isolation he hopes to break down.
He slugs the ball and hears a roaring sound!
(First published by The Rockford Review, Vol. XXIX - No. 2)
My friend is outstanding attacker
of our street team of a soccer
I'm ,too,trying playing like a pro.
but yet the score is zero,a draw;
playing the game of the day...
Now my friend makes it all the way.
Their goalkeeper plays his role
Trying intercepting the ball.
But my friend's move is bright :
kicks the ball to me , to the right
Although I'm about to fall,
Hey you,nightdreams, it is known to all :
it takes more than one attack beams to make a goal.
Hey you,nightdreams' string
You glanced the breathing of the Spring ?
The tired snow that lost whiteness?
The new season of the brightness ?
In the seas,skies,different soiles
the help that's coming to the freezing soles ?
(freezing ?!- such a pity...)
this help,as well, is of your native city.
The meaning of nativity...
accompanied by memories, sensitivity... .
Everyone got a native place,
A sort of your own space
To me to KNOW the native city
is to KNOW its elite—
those tops of the pyramid
and all city's times, sights, events,
Let's say, here a city,as I guess,
saves somehow the US
is the society's protection
("more or less",if an objection)
The city's walkroads, marches
the boulevards on nights
-I'm selling these brights-
unususal sights that all over in lights...
Also to KNOW the fall offs the pyramid-
also accents and languages of different tences
also sunrises and the lights of the nights,
rules,orders and...borders... .
MY(!) native city's like a dream
MY native city 's like a beam
To me its scale is a surprise
Its cast,its past gives her a rise
MY native city is uniqueness
Free from bureaucratic blickness,
from selling citizens to foreign buyers
free from propaganda liers
Hey you nightdreams,
Why wouldn"t you get creativity
and stop usurpation of my nativity ?!
Right now I'm in a foreign range
Even the air that I breath here's strange
The stars in skies 're same but pilling,
Looking at me, winkling,smiling
at my modernism, my patriotism
Well,however, I do remember
lillacks of MY native Moscow's September
there that special rule
of always back to school
With limitless perceptions,as it seems
limitless perceptions ?
Hey you nightdreams...
Water washes down
not to clear away
or Saturday sins—
but because little fountains
from a broken water main
pushed through the street
between paving stones.
The sidewalk is so slick
I may fall into myself.
A poem bursts
through my skin.
(Previously published in
Chocolate Covered: Poems
by Members of the Arbor Hill
Gang in West Suburban Chicago,
ed. Marilyn Peretti (Glen Ellyn IL:
Splendid Press, 2010), p. 7.
the higher the window
everytime I pass underneath
I always have a funny feeling
something is going to land on my head
a cigarette butt
a flower pot
or a man
spreading his arms
learning to fly
like a bird
As I was noticing the things of God, walking
the beach in the summer sand as every sparkle
of sand flows through my fingertips, I began
looking at the sun and the rays of splendor.
The touch of his presence the feel of it,
so tender. The scent of roses with a
touch of rain. Look! The rose opens again.
The purity of white doves. The yearning feeling
of being in love. The redness of the cresent moon.
The daylight savings time; as summer ends soon.
The wind that blows. Where did it go? Nobody knows.
Birds flying in the form of a soaring arrow.
The stars dancing in all directions, North, South,
East and West, revolving equally dividing the seasons
of the earth.
The shimmer of the seawaters, and creatures
captured beneath. The softness of the clouds
formed into a marshmallow fluff, and mountains
peaked with white stuff.
But in the beauty of things that we see, it all boils
down to you and me. God spoke into an empty galaxy,
and all of this became a reality and a sight to see.
My brown cow
lives in the now.
Quantity and time and hay slide
through her unnoticed. She
doesn't count her stomachs
or her breaths or her days.
She seeks no acupuncture
treatments, nor does she
brew herbal teas.
Being the best she can be
holds no interest for her as
she grazingly meditates with
slow-moving hooves and jaws
over a grassy pasture.
Her Buddhic eyes see
out and in all the way.
My cow knows an old, old mantra
that she neither flaunts nor hides—
when the world needs a moo,
she gives it one.
As her swishing tail
with Zen precision
scatters a bunch of flies
like unwelcome thoughts,
my brown cow's gaze is
inly intimating to me,
"No how is there to now."
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