Category Archives: Poetry

YOU


YOU

are terrified

by what

makes

America

great.

YOU

want to regulate

my uterus,

but regulating

your gun

is too

personally

invasive.

YOU

white

Christian

Republican

nationalist

who

pathetically

brag

about

revering

Jesus

guns

and

babies

think

YOU

have

power

over

US.

YOU

right-winger,

neo-confederate,

alt-right,

skinhead,

Ku Klux Klanner,

forget that

Jesus

was a

selfless, radical

Jew

who defied

oppressors like

YOU

and protected

the rights and

dignity

of the

oppressed

like

US.

YOU

who violently marched

in Charlottesville

so

YOU

could

save America

by

uniting the

white right,

chanting

“You will not replace us,”

and

“Jew will not replace us.”

YOU

neo-nazi,

anti-semitic,

confederate flag bearer,

dare to expect

Jesus to save

YOU?

Perhaps

Jesus

should send

YOU

to “Camp Auschwitz.”

YOU

care

about

babies in the womb,

but once they’re born

YOU

care not a whit.

YOU

claim

to

love

babies

but

YOU

do nothing

as babies

are shot to death

every minute

of

every day.

YOU

patriots

who despise

Jews,

Blacks,

Democrats,

and

LGBTQ,

fantasize

about

hanging

US.

YOU

are

laughably naïve.

Because

try as

YOU

might,

YOU

are

already

being replaced

by

all

of

US.

The Hourglass

On this day

carved out

for mothers,

motherhood

begets maternal

bonds.

Push,

push,

push

the hourglass

away.

The sand,

the mother,

the child,

all

flowing

down,

down,

down.

And the sand

is boulder heavy,

from brunches that

never happen,

to non-existent flowers

and sentimental

cards that are

never sent

and never

received.

Like an hourglass,

I measure the

intervals of time.

Time left,

the end of time,

the passage of time.

Two fragile bulbs

of glass,

and

free-flowing

sand.

A reminder of

the thing

to come.

This time

shall pass.

Time heals

all wounds,

you’ll see.

But I don’t see

the healing,

just the passing.

And then

a phone call

from the

littlest ones

singing happy

birthday

even though

it’s

Mother’s Day.

There is

nothing,

nothing,

nothing,

that

compares.

As they sing,

the hourglass

fades and

melts away.

This Poem Is for You

This is your birthday poem,

but I was never good at rhyming.

The matchy-matchy timing stunts my creativity,

my wordsmithing,

and forces me to lay down words

where they don’t belong,

stuffed next to other words that

aren’t the right fit.

Timing isn’t always everything,

but maybe in our case, it was.

All those years ago, you told me you were haunted by one looming question.

Who do I want to walk hand-in-hand with along the beach when I get old?

It prompted me to ask myself the same darn thing.

And it haunted me too.

Although you never specified what beach, or how many beaches,

or the beach location.

You, the one who was so prodigious at planning,

had no plan.

Yes, yes, yes,

we chose to walk the beach together for the rest of time,

although time was on our side back then.

And even though I walked Myrtle Beach with you in full burka-like regalia,

we walked it.

Even though you walked way ahead of me in total embarrassment,

I wasn’t far behind.

And admittedly, the sun is not my thing, so the beach only works for me

in the rain,

or the clouds, or the dark.

And okay, I also have a water phobia, which I’m sure

you did not take into account when you asked yourself

that life-altering question.

And neither of us ever expected the life storms that often

engulfed us like tidal waves.

The seismic swells were way more than

we were prepared for.

Those rolling breakers pushed so much water onto the beach,

it was unwalkable and left sand and sediment,

when the waves washed back out.

But we weathered the storms and the tidal waves

didn’t we?

Because yes, the tides transported the sand

and the sediment,

and reshaped the beach,

and the shoreline.

But the terrifying rogue waves also created

unexpected estuaries.

Beautiful and productive watersheds

that protected us

from the full force of the waves

and the winds

and the storms.

Even though I was on one side and

you were on the other,

I realize now, in the twilight of our lives,

that your beach was a dream,

but the answer to the question

was real.

And that, unlike books,

we are not headed for a happy ending.

Not because we don’t want it

or don’t deserve it.

But because the waves are churning up our beach,

our circle of life,

and the saga of our ocean.

I know now that our sometimes pebbly,

sometimes sandy shore

is a fateful,

frightful, beautiful mess.

An enduring and extended metaphor

for us.

Butterflies

I heard somewhere
that butterflies are
signs from heaven.
Proof that
our deceased
loved ones
are close by.
So, I designedly
planted
not one
but two
butterfly bushes.
One in the
front of my house
to protect
and one in the
back of my house
to behold.
Front and back
to guide
my
loved ones
to me.

The Secret Sits

Robert Frost’s poem “The Secret Sits” is one of my all-time favorites.

We dance round in a ring and suppose,

But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.

Secret, with a capital S.

It’s a simple couplet; just two lines of poetry that rhyme, but brilliantly speaks volumes to me.

I’m sure it speaks volumes to you as well.

And I’m equally sure that how and why it touches you is entirely different from what Frost’s poem means to me.

Its poetic rhythm is in anapestic trimeter; a rhythmical combination of anapest: (A foot of poetic verse consisting of three syllables) and trimeter: (Three iambic feet within a single line of poetry).

Three.

Tri.

In the middle.

Trading Places


If you try to be me, I’ll try to be you.
Then for each other, we’ll know what to do.

If you look at me through my eyes,
there will be no need to wear my protective disguise.

Because you’ll be able to see that my inner child is in fear.
You’ll be able to see my insecurities quite clear.

You’ll see that I’m not nearly as strong as I appear.
And you’ll see that I feel more and more pain with each passing year.

Then it will be your turn to take off your mask.
And you’ll have no choice but to tell me your true feelings when I ask.

I’ll see that when you want to cry, you scream.
I’ll see that you, like me, are not as tough as you seem.

I’ll see that you’re going over the brink.
You’ll see that I need you to love me much more than you think.

When you look at me reflected in your view.
The picture is distorted by my ego—and yours too.

Look at me without the deep complexes of our past.
Open your heart and relate to me at last.

So let’s open our minds—I’ll become you, and you’ll become me.
And I’m sure we’ll be shocked and saddened by what we both see.

I’ll see that you need significance, and belonging.
You’ll see my dreams for you and my longing.

I’ll see that you are weary of the games we play.
You’ll see that I pray for you to love me and stay.

If I see your pain,
I won’t hurt you again.

If you see why I cry and complain,
you won’t abuse me the same.

And if I am you and you are me,
we can finally end this torture and agree.

To work on improving the relationship
and make it the best it can be.

So we can finally live together
in peace and harmony.

So let’s trade places.

Let’s open our eyes and see
What happens to the two of us

When I become you
and you become me.

International Women’s Day


“This

is

an

alpha male

job,”

he

spewed

with

arrogant

confidence.

“This

business

is

dominated

by

us,”

he boasted.

“What can you

bring

to

the

table?”

He

smirked.

Answer

him

wisely.

Naïve

is

this

man.

A man’s

table?

A man’s

world?

The

Alpha

men.

Brought

here

by

women.

Amidst

hurdles

and

obstacles.

The egg

lies

in wait.

Until

out of

millions

one

finds

its way

in.

The

weakling

girl

transforms.

She

is

now

the

protector.

The fierce

one.

She

discovers

the

beginning

is the

hardest.

The

most

challenging.

The

riskiest.

She’s

petrified

but

undaunted.

She

observes

and

manages.

The

first

sign.

An

awakening.

A

flutter

then

a

thriving

kick.

Internal

strength.

And

power

from

deep

within.

Patiently

waiting

for

months

and

months.

While

nourishing

and

supporting.

Knowing

life

is

resilient

and

sacrifice

is

quiet.

Taking

courage.

Laboring.

Pushing.

Delivering.

Belief

that

survival

is

crucial.

Reassurance

that

all

is

possible.

Cracking.

Shattering.

First

the

table.

Then

the

world.

Brick by Brick

One brick

two bricks

three bricks.

Coming

at me.

One

right

after

the other.

Brick

after brick

after brick.

All in ABC’s.

Abandoned * abused * accused * afflicted * afraid * aggressive * alarmed * alienated * an-accident * anguished * angry * anxious * apprehensive * argumentative * awful * awkward * bad * banished * banned * belligerent * below-average * berated * betrayed * bitch * bitter * black-sheep * blamed * blocked * boney * bossy * bothersome *brainwashed * break-up * breakdown * bridgeport * broke * broken * broken-hearted * browbeat * bruised * bugs * bullied * burden * burns * burned * can’t  * careless * catastrophe * chaos * cheated-on * cheater * chicken * clingy * clueless * clumsy * cockroaches * cold * combative *competitive * compulsive* conceited * condemned * condescending * conflicted * confused * conned * consumed * contentious * court * coward * crazy * critical * criticized * cruelty * crushed * crybaby * cutoff * cut-out * cynical * damaged * damned * dark * dark-skinned * defective * defensive * defiant * deficient * delicate * delusional * demons * depressed * deprived * deserted * detached * destroyed * destructive * detested * devalued * devastated * devil * different * difficult * disappointed * disappointment * disapproved-of * disbelieved * discarded * disconnected * disgruntled * disgust * disliked * disloyalty * dismal * disobedient * displaced * disposable * disrespected * dissed * distant * distraught * distressed * disturbed * disrespectful * dizzy * dominated * don’t * doomed * doubtful * drained * dreamer *  dreary * drop-out * dropped-off * drunk * dumb * duped * eliminated * elusive * embarrassed * emotional * enabler * engulfed * enraged * entrapped * estranged * evil * exaggerator * exasperated * excluded * excommunicated * failure * fake * fatherless * fat * fear * fearful * feeble * fire * fired * flawed * flee * forgotten * forsaken * fragile * frightened * frigid * foolish * forgettable * from-a-broken-home * frustrated * furious * gawky * ghetto * get lost * goodbye * graceless * greaser * guarded * guilt * guilty * gutter * half-sister * harassed * hard-hearted * harmed * hassled * hated * havoc * heartbreak * heartache *hell * hidden * hindered * hindrance * homely * hopeless * horrible *hungry * huron-street * hurt * hurtful * hyper * hysterical * illegal * illegitimate * immune * imperfect * impossible * imperfect * incapable * incompetent * inconvenient * indifferent * ineffective * inept * inexperienced * inferior *infested * infected *  injured * insecure * insensitive * insignificant * insolent * instigator * insubordinate * intense * in-the-way * intimidating * invader * invisible *isolated * jaded * jealous * jeered * jew-lover * jittery * jumpy * judged * joyless * kept-apart * kept-away * Kept-in * kept-out * kept-quiet * lanky * left-out * let-down * liar *lied-about * lied-to * lonely * loner * lonesome * loser * lost * loud * mad * made-fun-of * malicious * mangled * man-handled * manipulated * marginalized * messed-with * messed-up * misbehaved * miserable * mistake * misunderstood * mixed-up * mocked * mod-martian * molested * money-hungry * mouse-traps * muzzled * naïve * needy * negative * neglected * nervous * never * no * nobody * numb * nuts * objectified * obsessed * only-child * opportunistic * out-of-place * out-of-touch * over-controlled * ambitious * overlooked * overwhelmed * overly-sensitive * overwhelmed * pain * panicky * paranoid * pathetic * persecuted * persistent * pessimistic * pests * petrified * picked-on * plain * played-with * pock-marked * poor * powerless * pressured * problematic * pulled-apart * pulled-back * punished * puppet * pushed * pushed-away * put-down * quiet * questioned * quirky * rage * rambunctious * rats * rattled * reckless * reject * rejected * rejection * restless * reticent * reluctant * repulsed * repulsive * resented * resentful * retaliatory * retard * revengeful * ridiculed * ridiculous * rodents * rogue * rollercoaster * rude * ruined * sacrificed * sad * scape-goat * scared * scaredy-cat * * scarred * scary * scolded * screwed * screwed-over * screwed-up * second-class * self-destructive * sensitive * set-up * shame * shamed * shameful * shipwreck * shouldn’t * shouted-at * shunned * shy * sickly * silly * singled-out * sinner * skeptical * skinny * smothered * snapped-at * step-daughter * stereotyped * stop * stressed * stressed-out * stuck * stuck-up * stupid * sub-par * substandard * suffocated * suicidal * suppressed * suspicious * swarthy * tattle-tale * tense * terrified * terry * theresa-the-greaser * threatened * timid * tormented * troublemaker * ugly * unable * unapologetic * unappreciative * unattractive * uncaring * underestimated * underdog * undermined * underpaid * uneducated * unequal * unforgiving * unfriendly * unhappy * unhealthy * unjust * unlovable * unlucky * unneeded * unlovable *unqualified * unwanted * unwanted-advances * unrealistic * unrelentless *unruly * untalented * untrusting unwelcome * unworthy * upset * used * useless * vermin * victimized * violated * violence * volatile * vulnerable * wary * weak * weary * wedge * weeds * weepy * weird * wicked * wild * won’t * worthless * written-off * written-out * wrong *  zero

Some bricks

broke my

bones.

Others

broke my

spirit.

Then I heard

him

speak

on TV.

About building

with bricks.

Don’t

be afraid.

Pick them up.

Each and

every

one.

Pick them up.

And then

build.

You can

do it.

Construct

a firm foundation.

Brick by brick.

But how?

That was my

question.

So many bricks.

Too many

bricks

to handle.

And even

If I could.

Pick them all up.

Brick by brick.

What to use.

To build and

protect.

Maybe mortar.

Lots and

lots

of

binding

mortar.

Let me try.

Able * abide * ability *accept * accomplished * accountable * achieve * adapt * adjust * admired * adore * adored * advocate * affectionate * agile * agreeable * alert * alive * always * amazed * ambition * amen * analytical * angel * appreciated * appreciative * approachable * ariel * aspire * assemble * assent * assert * atone * attract * audacious * aunt * authentic * available * awakened * awed * babies * backbone * balance * barb * beginnings * believing * belonging * beloved * benchmark * blessed * bliss * blossom * bold * boy * brain * bravery * breakthrough * brilliance * builder * buoyant * busy * caleb * calm * can * candor * capability * carefree * careful * caring * celebrate * centered * certainty * chances * change * charity * charm * charmed * cheer * cheered * chief-operating-officer *  child * child-like * choice * chosen * clarity * climb * coequal * cogent * cohesion * comfort * comforting * comfortable * commitment * communicate * community * companion * compassion *  competence * complete * complimentary * composed * conciliatory * concise *   concrete * confidence * connect * consensual * considerate * consideration * consistent * consoling * constructive * content * continuity * contributive * conviction * cooperation * cornerstone * courage * courtesy * creativity * credible * cuddling *  curiosity * cutting-edge * daring * darling *  dauntless * dawn * decency * decisiveness * dedicated * deep * defend * defiant * definitive * deft * deliberate * demonstrative *   dependable * deserving * desired * destined * determined * devoted * dignity * diligence * diverse * doting * dreamer * dreams * durable * dutiful * dynamic * eagerness * earnestness * eloquent * empathy * empowerment * emulate * encouraged * enduring * engaging * enthusiasm * epic * equal * everlasting * example * exceed * excel * excellence *  factual * fair * faithful * family * fearless * feisty * flexibility * focus * forever * forgiveness * freedom * friends * fritzi * funny * future * garden * generosity * gentlemanly * genuine * gianna * giddy * give * glad * god * goodness * grace * graceful * gracious * grandma* grateful * grounded * guided * happy * harmless * harmonious * hazel * healing * healthful * healthy * heartfelt * heaven * hello * hero * honesty * honor * hope * hopeful * hospitality * humanitarian * humility * humor * husband * imagination * impartial * important * impression * impressive * improvement * improvise *  inclusive * indefatigable * independent * indestructible * indispensable * infant * insight * inspiration * interconnected * ipod * jovial * joy * jubilance * just * kindness * kindred * lasting * laugh * lead * leader * lean * learn * legal * legitimate * lenient * life * light * lila * * little man * live * lou * love * loved * loyalty *   lucky * mammy * magic * mate * maternal * melodious * mercy * merit * mindful * miracle * modesty * moral * motivated * moved * mulberry * music * mutuality * newborn * noble * normal * nurturing * objective * open *  open-handed * open-hearted * open-minded * optimist *  organized * original * pam * paradigm * paradise * parent * partner * passion * patience * peace * peacekeeper * permanent * perseverance * persistence * peter * playful * poetic * poise * positivity * possibility * potential * presence * pride * principled * productive * proficient * promising * protected * protector * proud * provider * purpose * quick * quiet * rainbow * real * realistic * reasoned * reasonable * reassured * reborn * reconciled * reliability * relief * resolute * resolve * respect * responsible * responsive * restorative * safe * safety * satisfied * selfless * sensible * sentimental * serene * serenity * settled * simplicity * sincerity * sister * smile * snuggle * soothing * sorry * soulmate * special * stable * strength * substantive * subtle * successful * sunshine * support * survivor * sympathy, symphony *  talent * teamwork * tenderness * teri * thankful * thoughtfulness * tireless * together * tolerance * tome * touching * tough * tranquility * triumph, trusting, trustworthy * truth * truthful * unafraid * unbeaten * unbroken * uncle * unconditional * undefeated * understanding * understood * unflappable * unicorns * unified * unique * unfazed * unlimited * unshakable * unstoppable *  validated * valued * victorious * vivacious * vivid * vocal * vulnerable * warm * welcome * wes * whimsical * whole * wife * wishful * witty * writer * worthy * yes * youthful * zany * zealous * zestful

Lots of mortar.

In ABC’s.

A

beautiful

castle.

A mighty

fortress.

To protect

and defend.

Now I’m

safe

and sound.

Fortified against

attacks.

All

bricked up

within

and

without.

My

safehold.

Bless Me Father

Bless-me-Father-AB

Your mother
is a sinner.

And so are you.

Go now
and confess.

The girl
was terrified.

Not sure what
to say.

She just had
her
First Communion.

But never confessed
any sins.

The confessional
was dark.

And she hated
it.

The dark
was always
merciless.

The priest
was barely
visible.

Bless me father
for I have sinned.

How long since your
last confession
he asked.

Never.

What have you
to confess
my child?

Adultery.

Lord please have
mercy
on my soul.

The priest
moved
swiftly.

And opened
the curtain
to reveal
himself.

She knew him and
he knew her.

He sat the girl
in a pew
and held her hand.

It was still wet
from blessing herself
with the holy water.

Why would you
confess such a thing
my little one?

Because Mother Superior
ordered me
to
beg for
mercy
and repent.

He took her hand
and they walked
to the school.

In silence.

She was in trouble.

Maybe she was supposed
to genuflect when
she came into
the church.

Who would ask a child
to confess such a thing
asked the priest of
the nun.

Her mother is
excommunicated.

She pointed at the girl.

And she doesn’t belong here.

Perhaps it is you
who doesn’t belong
here, he fumed.

The mother arrived
quickly.

Dressed in a yellow
mini dress
and fake pearls.

Her hair in a bee hive
her cheeks a rosy pink.

Her heels high
and her scent lovely.

The nun was dismissive
and merciless.

But the mother
was fierce.

Protective.

And ready to
rumble.

Adulteress?

This is what you call
my daughter?

You are a sinner,
and so is she
the nun spat out.

The priest gasped.

The mother moved in
for the kill.

And cut the nun to size
with her biting
humiliating
words.

No mercy.

The nun was quiet
humbled and ashamed.

The mother was triumphant.

Vindicated.

The priest was pleased.

He did his best to
hide his smile.

The child trudged back to class
knowing the
consequences
would be merciless.

Bless me father