Apr 26, 2010


naval station san diego
long lines of young men
drafted into service
going to Chu Lai

stepping my way
through the long green line
of duffel bags
I sensed their fear
and dread

dinner at officers'' club
returning to the ship
two children in tow
the troops seemed surreal
in the dark

above deck
music and drinking
formal officers' mess
below deck
crowded conditions

for me
tending to
lots of throwing up
a dog in a crate
and the unknown

what waited in Hawaii
where would it all end
how many of those boys
would make it
out of the jungle

even now -sorrow

Apr 19, 2010


ten o' clock
it was over at twelve
nights like this were not for a girl like her
white chiffon and little flat slippers
a corsage of gardenias right on  her wrist bone

his crew cut was perfect and he smiled like
a guy all cleaned up should
his chevy had all the cool stuff
the black and white dice 
leathery seats to match

nothing about this would last
tomorrow would be back in the kitchen
caring for her sisters
trying to avoid the yelling

but tonight "a white sports coat and a pink carnation"
and the stuff of teenage dreams

Apr 14, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch

ladies who lunch
no hats big hearts
laments and laughter
little scars big scares
women who perspire
women who inspire
ladies who launch
antipasto platter
no worries

Apr 5, 2010


anthropologists study 
the Pocumtucks * of the Connecticut

living near the Bloody Brook
we farmed tobacco and cucumbers
on their old encampments

silty talc like soil laced with
pottery shards and arrowheads
we treated them like marbles
no true sense of worth

no one told us about these ancients
we had our own troubles
we were spirit children
of the river
with our ancient finds

* " the Pocumtucks dwelt in the middle Connecticut River Valley near today's Deerfield, Massachusetts." Bain, Manring, Mathrews

Apr 4, 2010


grandmother she says
I need to talk to you.

breathless, intense
deep sighs, words spilling out
horses and art
music and history
Paris and pizza
fourteen and ageless
potential and growth

for me
like a jewel box
gems falling out
sparking and precious

her gift to me

for Matilda 2010


Pema says
eat the strawberry
look at the flower
face the tiger
celebrate the sun
easier said than done
my demons
nip at my heels
as I run
surrounded by
strawberries, flowers
and the sun

for Pema Chodron

Sound of Justice


hollow sounds
those peals for freedom
lobbies pork payoffs
the two percent
in charge
the rest scrapping by
for a voice
for a home
for dinner
always hoping this bell
will ring for justice

Apr 1, 2010

My Treasure

everyone was running
from the Russians
from the Germans
from the bombing
mother said go and I did
with my treasure
sewn in my wool jacket
shivering in ditches
under the moon
I kept going
to where I did not know
a few coins in my pocket
a bag of dry bread
some shriveled carrots
finally days, weeks later
a large man pulled me out
from under the bridge
handed me a chocolate bar
smiled and said
the Americans are here

my enameled egg
on the mantle
reminds me of chocolate
and kindness

dedicated to Frau Groelich and her story

This Life

this life

the sound of breathing
the fury of anger
the joy of belonging
the terror of waiting
the comfort of hugging
the beauty of nature
the sweetness of babies
the cry of the owl

the beat of the drum
the mystery of travel
the fear of disease
the triumph of spirit

to be alive
to be part of
this magic