Class

Swirling organza, lace, floating on
enriched air warmed by 6 foot fireplaces.
A private library with hidden books,
lit by chandeliers.  Melodies filling heated air
from a tuxedoed man at a grand piano.
Grgich vintage wines, rare truffled pastries
Waltz through the rooms by those who serve at great price:
The night’s purpose is to raise funds to cloth children without a shelter, place
simple food in their bellies, secure a lighted place
for study, tutoring, buy school supplies, that
their parents can no longer provide.
But the children are not here, nor their parents.
They are in tents set up in churches, synagogues, temples
In tattered clothes, warmed by space heaters and each other’s bodies
Nourished by spirit, camaraderie, hope,
Listening to street noise and the coughing of neighbors
in tents lined up like barracks.
At the gala , pockets empty mindlessly.
True Golden nuggets are formed in deep veins along a common route
through pressure and time.

Drawing

Charcoal residue on the heel of my hand up to my elbow
tracing a curve onto paper
exhaling, the line follows with an arc
inhaling, the line draws in against a paper rib-cage.

Murmuration

We all want to fly,
like a bird, or an angel
into the unknown.

wing upon the wind
lifting the earth-bound temper
towards redemption

Streaming flock abides
synchronized swooping, arching
seamless, unified

Fill the lightened sky
with a dark fluttering dance
mapping our intents

The Power of the Wind

A windy spring day.
Windows and doors are open.
Large books prop open the doors,
Light airy objects that will blow away weighted down.
The wind whips the curtains through the air
alternately sucking them up snug against windowscreens.
I sit in my soft chair reading my book on light and color
while the wind blows my hair in spirals around my face.
The wind brings the fragrant scent of the magnolia tree
into every crevice of my home.
It cools this hot skin from
time spent in the morning sun.
It billows the edges of my blouse caressing me.
And the sound….is a storm without rain
but with force and fury
that makes me feel alive,
that stirs up every desire
and dilates my eyes wide and dark
to draw you in when you struggle through the door, fighting the wind.

for Phoebe, remembering a conversation

Waiting

The days move along with a normal ebb and flow.
Unexpected moments of delight and panic continue to come.
The rhythm of a day is joyful.
Pace quickens with extra caffeine.
I do not wish these moments were different.
They are defining ones.
Learning how I spend personal energy.
Where I find my center of gravity.
How life is intact alone.
Yet the color of my palette remains muted.
There is a dullness to this world when you are gone.
Though even pedestrian music unexpectedly moves me…
I wont say I miss you.
But there might be such an admission
If I were forced to testify under oath.

Not Just an Instant

Sometimes it happens this way:
a smile captures your eye
a conversation begins
You are sure you might have
known this person before
over lifetimes maybe
across space and time.
…and you have found each other again.
So when I said yes to his proposal
soon after our introduction
it really was an informed decision.
It didn’t happen in an instant.
there was a subverted history.
Our flourishing proved over time
that this was not just a momentary attraction
but that it was a reconciliation of sorts.
A fulfillment of a promise made at some unknown time.
To be together in peace and tenderness.
I wondered if there was a time when we
had done each other wrong, been unkind,
and that over lifetimes we learned,
were learning, how to let love heal us.
Change into something more than our singular selves.
There was awareness that we were more than the sum of our parts.
We learned to let each other be free.
Because it all came so easily with so much love.
What transpired was more than I could imagine, and
unmatched by anything I had ever known before or seen/experienced since.
And I realize now – it was sacred. A rarity. Something extraordinary.
Sometimes it happens that way.
Not often.
But it happened to me.

Say It

Words burn in my veins.
I cannot say them out loud.
Afraid of the sound,
the portent,
the reality.
A swell starts in my solar plexus.
In my throat the words expand,
press at my voice box,
bring tears to my eyes.
In my head, “say it”
but I cant. And then the moment passes.
And no one knows
I had something to say
or why I am standing so still.

Minnesota Winter

Frozen tundra. Minnesota hard freeze.
Pond thick with ice. Glazed top.
Blown snow ripples across the iced prairie.
All is white; the ground, the sky,
the breath hanging in the air.
I listen to the wind, a white noise.
A snow owl sweeps down and focuses on the only movement
in the barren landscape
lifting up into the barren sky
screeching over its kill.
He disappears into the white horizon.

The Yakitori Maker

A Corporate executive sits silently on a private jet
above the earth, in the clouds
people clamoring for decisions that must be made
He quietly decides –
assigning tasks and programs
confidently, mindfully making personnel changes,
being given his itinerary for the next several days
which will keep him in the sky.

A moment of peace allows him to recline,
and daydream of a simple life selling Yakitori
in a little market somewhere to regular customers
from a little cart. He delights in thoughts
of how he would marinate his Yakitori overnight
in his private sauce, fussing with the ingredients
and steaming fresh pots of rice,
rising early to prepare his cart for market
packing his hibachi, coal, wood-chips, rice and marinated morsels.
How the smell of his grilling meats will draw
his regulars and newcomers. How he will chat and sit on his
little wooden stool like his uncle in the tobacco store in Japan.

He is awakened from his daydream, disembarks, is shuttled away in a private car
returning to a city far from home. He answers questions
asks many more, listens intently, makes a new plan and
is shuttled back to the car, to the plane and into the sky.

for Dad

Dream

Flames lick the ivy covered walls
an inner quadrangle is sanctuary to many.
Floating through a flaming archway,
an escape down a walkway with one snarling dog
one friendly…to a cafe
of odd meetings and small menus tucked between
the cushioned chairs.
No nourishment there.
A shop with a crazed close talking woman
taken away by a friend with good people skills-
returning soaked in sweat
to feed me-finally,
with the nourishment I need.

Voice

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I listen
for all these things
trying to hear you.

Sweet Sanctum

A song
A story
A kaddish
An expulsion
A piece of wizardry (crow man)
A liberation

The evening came gently.
In the air, the birds accompanied the human voices.
The city chimed in
with sirens, traffic noise
human background chatter.

We all met under the new moon
with our separate intentions
melding into a group consciousness
that rose in the sky
in a swirl of smoke and manifested
into the night.
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Turning

Turn towards the sun
turn the other cheek
turn the record over
turn the volume down
turn here
turn there
turn around
turn about
overturn
turn over (a new leaf?)
turn under
turn in
turn out
turn into
turn inside out
whatever turns you on
re-turn to sender
turn towards me
turn away
at every turn
turn up (turnip?)
turn down
turning a corner
turn a blind eye
turn a trick
turn of the tide
spoken out of turn
a turn of phrase
toss and turn
turn for the better
turn for the worse
speak out of turn
my turn
your turn
I turn at night
You turn with me
eventually
we will both turn to dust