Thursday, May 17, 2012


Spring unsure of which way to go
slides between two seasons.

One day with the torrid breath
of summer, the next day with
a cold shiver.

I, too, waver
between places,
unwilling to commit.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Blind Contour Drawing

Pick up a pencil or pen
or if you feel abandonment
coursing through your hands
select a brush. Now without
staring at your sketchbook,
without checking for place marks,
without wanting to seek a similarity,
look hard at the other and begin to draw
the person across the room. Think
of your drawing tool as a hand
caressing each in and out. Don't
worry about where each eye is placed,
or whether the mouth is caught open
or whether it's in a grimace
or the lips don't meet.
Simply allow your hand to learn
another's face, the way your eyes meet.
When you're done, lift your pencil
and look. Be captivated.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Waiting for Sun

 Despite the continual rain and the dank smell of dampness, 
the dirt turned to mud, the sound of water rushing through 
a down-sprout, I know that this will end. A deluge of catastrophic 
proportions won't happen this year. How can I remain in this 
state of safety when darkness descends without a blink of sunlight, 
when waters take silt and creep beyond boundaries, when flash 
floods approach within a roar and gnaw and devour sand, 
when the prediction is for more rain. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Small Boy

He emptied his pockets, one pebble,
two worms, a baseball card, two rubber-bands,
gum wrapped in its wrapper, and one soda cap.

She looked over his treasures, the way his
baseball cap covered his new haircut,
and wondered what his pockets might hold someday.

Monday, April 30, 2012

To Forget, To Remember

When my grandmother forgot how
to brush her hair and twist it into a bun
my grandfather combed her hair.

Once he said it was red like fire.

When my grandmother remembered
yesterday and lost today
my grandfather spread photos
on their claw footed dining room table.
They revisited the past,
a tableau of scenes.

Once he said we fished
for silver bream in the Don River.

For a year my grandmother forgot
and my grandfather remembered.
Day after day they returned
to Russian words.

Ya tebya lyublyu, he said.
I love you.

Poetic Asides prompt*

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Found on the Phrontistery

I admit to an addiction
to arcane words and
convoluted play on words.
Once I adopted the word obrumpent
and promised to use it once a day,
to cleanse it of tarnish and rust.
After two days of seeking where to
add an adjective meaning bursting
and thinking that balloons might work
and soap bubbles and bubble gum
I simply ran out of places without
losing a sense of decorum.

Poetic Asides prompt

Saturday, April 28, 2012

What to Eat

Do I want the lobster salad
or the broiled fish? How about the scallops
in olive oil and garlic, sopping, drenched
with the taste of Italy where I ate
fried calamari in an outdoor cafe
and drank chianti while discussing Dante
until dessert obliterated all talk.

Poetry Asides prompt

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Trouble With Nostalgia

Hang in the past and you miss the now
while hankering for what happened.
Recalling isn't the same as lamenting
for what went before, nostalgia is bittersweet--
makes one add layers to a memory,
a pastiche of sentiments, shadows.
Nostalgia can be a noose, a rope, a place
where warts disappear and store bought
glitter covers yesterday. Plaintive glances
behind close the blinds on today.

Poetic Asides prompt

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Forgot the Treat

Siamese cat
waits at my
front door for me to
return home, and then raises
his back and lets me know he's annoyed.

Poetic Asides prompt

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An Ace Ball

My father wore a black glove to hit a black ball
against a concrete wall. Open handball where the ball
richocheted faster than the speed of light and the men
met on Saturday morning to continue the game
begun the week before when Gus and Phil
won for "the first time" my father said.
I watched them run back and forth
jockeying for position, for the right to be
the winners for a week.

"Old men, " the teen jocks yelled, " want a challenge?"
I remember my father and Gus
taking them up. They played the jocks

back and forth to win points- with slices, fist balls,
fly shots, killers, spikes. They put them away
with balls that hit the cracks and a roller and a slicey
so close to the ground that Gus yelled,

" That shot is called a sonic boom."

"Old men, " said my father, " have tricks and footwork."

Poetic Asides prompt