Wednesday, June 13, 2018


How we all change day to day, year to year.
If I met the person I was sixty years ago, would I like her?
Forty? Twenty? Yesterday?

Talking with my seatmate on the plane
I tapped into the universal language –
Commonality is a lingua franca
Last night on the dance floor, each of us shone
Like individual moonbeams

I liked the women in sequined dresses, all silver and gold
And the tipsy girl in tulle
My aging muscles remembered the steps
Knees complaining afterward
Like proud, exhausted athletes
Who didn’t shoot the winning basket, but helped

Our moonbeams flashed
With the same kind fire
Into the welcoming night

And fifty years ago
My hips could telegraph and tease
My arms could play a talking drum
Of anxious youth
Striving for a clear opening to victory
On the racecourse of world peace

Would that girl recognize this queen of leisure
Tuning her senses to each sentient being without a qualm?
Anxiety is a burden not to be borne
Oneness is our Blood Type O
And will I take this knowing into tomorrow?

Perhaps my consciousness is a layered dress –
Sequins, tulle and silk
Over clean, soft cotton
All the layers pressed together imprint the soul
Like a leaf from under the microscope

Note: Koinonia means a spiritual communion. This was the winning word correctly spelled by the winner of the National Spelling Bee, 14-year old Karthik Nemmani. This poem is a reflection on layers of self, after attending a wedding and reception of my dear nephew. Traveling cross-country to be with family brings up a lot of feelings. Who am I? Which I?

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Approach of Twilight

The slate blue clouds layer across the sky above the last remnants of gold clinging to the tops of the trees. It’s that melancholy time of day that I love so much.

It reminds me of the summer after my freshman year of college, when I was walking on the lawn at Rockdale, my Grandmother’s house, with my beau Langley, a fellow poet. We were discussing the book I’d just finished for English class and the report I had to write that weekend.

It was Faulkner’s “Sound and the Fury” and Langley felt it was a real story that exposed the underbelly of true Southern life. He had grown up in Culpepper, Virginia, and ought to know. He wrote poetry about cows and drying tobacco, then.

Somehow that stroll across the lawn is how I always feel about twilight. The fireflies are just about to come out. The air is warm. It's early summer, and you can hear the distant barking of a dog.

Now it’s only April, but already I feel the approach of summer. I’m ready for those languid days of drinking lemonade and watching the bees looking for clover and alfalfa. I’m ready for whatever inspiration may come.

Why are we artists so prone to melancholy? That’s a question for another day, but I put it out there. It’s always haunted me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Life, this precarious
walk the line muthafucker

Life, a knife blade
through the consciousness
The oceanic plasma
enfolding, obliterating self

Life, that sweet
notion of a hundred senses
drawn into seven

Life, the essence,
the effervescence,
the endless, the
storm before the calm

We all have
high standards
We expect a lot

We've put in the time
We've counted the years
We think, okay,
can I relax?

Life, the great
You never know
But you have faith

Your heart beats
Your lungs take in air
Your lips carry the smile
from your eyes

Your human love
was crafted from
the Big love

It's an assignment,
for sure, and you're
doing your best