Saturday, January 29, 2011

In the Cover of Snow

Like a mother
Blanketing her child
The snow fell
Over cars, houses, streets
Buildings where workers
Packed up their belongings
And trudged to their cars

Day after day the snow came
And when I woke the cars
Were not visible
Except as mounds
Like soft animals in slumber
All along Queensberry Street

Eric and I wrapped up warmly
And got the dogs
Corn and Blue
Their Beagle noses questing
Toward the outside
Where excitement always happened
Whether they created it or not

The whir of helicopters overhead
But otherwise the quiet
Buried under snow
The tops of street lamps showing
We made our way to the street
And walked, the dogs our companions

We saw some students on their skis
Whizzing by the empty streets
Laughter was in the air
Those few of us out for a stroll
Over mounds of hard packed snow
The dogs had visions of pizza
In their heads but even the garbage
Was buried

At last we reached Chinatown
My legs were tired
Feet were frozen
Laughter silenced by the trek
Eric never got tired
Fueled by methadone
And he stopped to watch
The dragon dance in the street
Because it was Chinese New Year
Of the Horse

And one café was open
Offering free dim sum to
Anyone hardy enough to be out
Cooked over Bunsen burners
Because all electricity would be
Out for two more days

We tipped them (I tipped them
Because Eric never had any money)
And then went out and bought
A dozen white candles
And a comic book for Miles
Who was visiting his grandparents
In Connecticut

And finally, back in the Fens, it
Was late afternoon and we took
The candles over to the old folks
Across the street where the
Famous radical pacifist lived
Who always wore a wool cap
A Sandown cap
That made him look rakish
Belying his compassionate heart

And we gave the candles to
The old woman who lived upstairs
And asked her to share with her
Neighbor in Apartment #1 who
Was deaf and never let anybody in
When they pressed the buzzer

That night the helicopters were gone
And even the dogs snored quietly
In the silence of the city
Under the blanket of snow.


(Poem based on the Blizzard of 1978 in Boston.)

Monday, January 24, 2011


The twig is so brave

No matter how much snow or ice

It puts forth a shoot

Takes the risk of life

The tree itself reproducing

Despite the cold, the chill

With faith that spring will come

The twig emerges strong

even sprouts a berry

for the hardy birds.


I've been taking long walks almost every day, except when the snow is falling hard. This has given me a chance to see so much more of the natural world.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Rock

Through the lawn between the flower beds

To the summer house

Stone tea house with its winged roof

And open windows

There I sat imagining I was a gypsy

In the woods, my horse somewhere grazing

There I would have the fireplace

And there, my bed and table

There the shelves for food and clothes

Maybe one box for sheets and blankets

I had it all figured out back then

And beyond, just over the fence

Our rock sat half as high as a man and wide as a bed

At the top of the field

Surrounded by tall grass

Climbing up on the rock

My brother and I would sit and dream

Looking down the hill all the way down

To the road, to the trickling stream

That elsewhere was a river or a tumbling falls

We’d talk of who we were in our past lives

He was a prince in one life,

A blue djinn in another

I was a fairy nestled in my flying bubble

That made all the world look magical

The waving grass surrounded us like a sea

Caressed by the warm wind

Our rock where we could always

Tell the truth.