Archive | Poetry

A Mother Braiding Her Daughter’s Hair

The girl stands patient, her head bowed, resigned against the tug, braced against the braiding in the room’s red glow. Mother sings soft words that make no sense. The comb parts the flowing hair diving through the waves in a straight white line. The part leaves the girl’s nape bare to warm sun’s kissing beam […]

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Corfu Light and Shadow

Someday I will travel to distant Corfu And see for myself the house that has no walls only light and shadow inexplicably dancing in planes here and there so as to suggest that maybe once there were walls or one day there might be but today if you are waltzing by the shore what you […]

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Hands Before you were born I tried to imagine your hands– Wee fingers wrapped around mine. Tried to imagine your face. But what mind Could contain the wholeness of your person? Ancient kingdoms, foreign lands Were easier to fathom. Who could imagine the perfect anemone unfolding Grasp how impossibly small!? How could such little fingers […]

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Share I’ve had my share of sorrows. I’ve had my share of joys. Sorrows that swirl like starlings darkening the blue like a noisy cloud. They swoop and overtake a tree, filling its branches with their crying. Then rise together and depart over the houses. Joys that soar and dive like an osprey splashing into […]

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Reading Shakespeare’s Sonnets in Quarantine

Sir Patrick Stewart has embarked on a spontaneous project to read through Shakespeare’s sonnets— so far one of my favorite instances of the outflowing of creativity that is whiling away the time in this season of plague/quarantine/social distancing.* And… to my shame, I’ve never actually sat down and read the sonnets. I know a few […]

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Spread ‘You spread your table before me…’ 
As the sun spreads its warmth on the sleeping land— As the crocus spreads her petals— As the maples unfurl their leaves— As the white pine flings its yellow pollen. . . As the bees forage far and wide seeking nectar for the hive— As the mother duck […]

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Soap Is there anything on earth less poetical than soap? I wonder— as I stare at the lumpy white blob in its pool of scum. How many times a day do I lather my hands counting or singing or playing mind games to stretch the ritual for the appointed duration? As once ancient apothecaries stirred […]

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Patient Be patient as the pines are patient perching on the headland, staring over the sea at the white sails. The birds fly away, the boats sail away, the waves draw away and away and away leaving the pines behind. They lift their silent arms and sigh.   #withdraw2020

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Fever It’s June and the wild roses are in bloom. Amid the proliferation of green their petals glow white after yet another rainstorm has passed. And I am bone tired after keeping all night vigil with my youngest child in the emergency room. As I bundled her burning body into the backseat with her doll […]

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Curve The shell curves in on itself, spiraling deeper and deeper into its own secret recesses, smaller and smaller sanctuaries. If you could crawl inside, retreat into the inner darkness, what would you find in the still heart? A haven? Childhood home? A tight vastness of lost self? Would you find peace? #withdraw2020

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