Poetry & Prose



Suddenly, long after I believed I had released them from my grasp, my tame adult children leapt out of hiding, roaring like a tornado through my tidy life, upsetting the crockery

My son, unmasking himself, nearly gave me a heart attack as I watched him launch himself into the Void, tender, valiant and hard as steel, soaring away into perilous galaxies where no mere man has gone before 

My daughter, in a wild freedom dance, flung Revelation all over my lovely period furniture, burning holes in the upholstery and liberating me from all the false hopes I had so proudly hung along the walls. Then she disappeared into the forest to learn from the wild animals

And I all withered in a corner had to be reborn, a naked babe, and grow up all over again

Now at last the Change is over, like a natural disaster that lays bare the raw earth, opening its beating heart of diamonds and rubies and molten gold

Now at last, I get to loll in bed in the late morning, catching my breath and wondering what to do with this new, unruly treasure


This Round and Shining Day


I did not weep today

When you flew away 

After bringing

Your young cats

Home to my house

And spending 

Three precious days 


With me

Not profundities

But little things

Kitty coddling

Endless movies

Cooking and laughing.


After those days ended

And your dear image 

Vanished behind 

The revolving glass 

Then, when my bliss

Should have fled,

I refused to let it go.



I kept you with me.

All the way home

I carried you 

In my heart

And you are still 

Right here,

Alive and real

And sweet 

As honeydew.



This I promise

This I swear

And only this

Is true:


The essence 

Of you

Is in me

And the essence

Of me

Is in you.


That is why

No matter how

Things appear


Is illusion

And even Death


To fear.


In the Light 

Of this 

Round and Shining Day,

His trickster’s knees 

Go wobbly

And he slips 

Like a shadow away.


And only now

That I have told you this

Only now

Am I weeping.



Confessions of a Widow 

Venturing into Online Dating


After galloping out

On my toy horse

Like a knight for his lady

Setting out

On the intrepid quest to

‘Learn to love without fear

or attachment’

I have learned instead

These humbling facts:

I NEED people!

And I am subject

To the moods of the Sun:

Happy in the morning

Gloomy in the evening

Or in any place of shadows.

In the gloom especially

I need PEOPLE!

Need my kids

Need a true companion,

Need a warm hand in mine,

Need a massage, need


Need to Understand

Need Faith

Need Hope

Need the Future bright and shiny

Need to Someone to Love.


It’s not the way I thought

After going through the worst 

of the Grief:

That I’ll be Fine

On my own, and that’s that.

Yes I know I carry the Sun

Within me

But it has its risings

And its settings...

I can stand the dark

If I hold my breath

And count to a zillion

And beg God to save me,

And I can imagine

And even feel

That warm Companion

Inside me

In my Heart of Light.


But I also need them


In this real

Sweaty fragrant flesh and blood

Illusion of a World

With the illusion of suffering

So strong in my bones

I can’t stand it.

I am part of it.

It is part of me.

We are one

In humility.




Standing Need on its Head


So, being in Need,

I languished 

In the slathering dark of self-obsession

Trying to satiate my emptiness

Sucking my entire self into my stomach

In hopes that someone 

Would fill the vacuum 

Until I just couldn’t hold my breath 

Any longer.


When I let it out

And began to breathe again

I discovered 

That the only way to fulfill my Need

Was to stand it on its head

Spin it around ‘til it fell over dizzy

And struggled to its feet all confused

And bumbled off accidentally

In the right direction.


Need has to fulfill itself

Need has to give what it lacks

Need has to act 

As if it is rich and full of love 

and all good things.

It has to give away every last penny

And every last hug

Until it does a double-take

And sees

With a gasp

That it is far from empty


That it truly is

Wealthy in every regard

Though it owns nothing 

Because it gives

And gives

And gives

Until there’s nothing left

But a flicker of Light

That finally passes 

From this shadow world


Leaving only

The gift 

Of its memory.

Getting Unstuck from the Past


In my dream

I was pouring over a thick old book 

Of cartoons

Its pale pages covered in plastic 

Like an old photo album

The black ink faded to murky blue

In thousands upon thousands

Of detailed drawings

Of mundane moments with my family

Including my dead husband 

Who was looking over my shoulder


Apparently, I marveled to myself,

Once upon a time

I had drawn all these.

How could I possibly

Have spent so many hours

So long ago?

They weren’t bad,

It must have taken me forever…

I turned the pages 

Completely entranced

Until my husband asked me why

Was I keeping all that?


When I woke up

I had the thought that

Maybe I need

A colonic.

Maybe that

Would loosen up and dislodge

All those pounds and pounds

Of impacted memories

That are stopping the flow

Of living my life

Plugging the pipes

Of just being me.


For a dear one                                                          


O Being 

Who graced my womb

And then tumbled 

Fierce and eager

Into the light of day

Ready to blaze your way

Into the lovely wilds

Where you might 

Drop your guard

And be at peace

With Nature and Humanity

In the breathing stillness

Of the woods


I kept you

In the city

Pinned under my own fear

Behind walls built

To keep you 

From escaping

Like the wild thing

You were.

And you bore it

As best you could, 

And I pretended 

Everything was fine

All the while knowing

You longed 

For freedom.


But now -

Now that you’ve long since

Broken free of me

“It’s time,”

I told myself,

“To let regrets dissolve

And see them for the walls

They are –

Walls of Illusion.”

Oh, true

I sometimes still

Find myself building walls

Just out of habit

But now I know 

Something more, 

Something greater

That renders all walls

A mirage of dust


For in those moments

Dying for true love

I hurl myself

Over the mountain

Of my fear

I know

That in the Real World

Beyond all imagining

We are together – 

Not apart -

Beating as one

With the most free

And joyful Heart:

The bird winging

The singing of dawn

The smile 

Of the waterfall

And the sweet, sweet earth.

For June 


When we knocked

- how many years ago? -

You hid behind your door

Ready to slam it

On our fingers

Should we prove

Strangers of bad tidings

In the night

In the night


But then 

The bird of possibility

Lit on your shoulder

And said

What the heck, 

You can always grab a frying pan

And bonk them on the noodle


And so

You opened the door

And much to your surprise

And our delight

You welcomed us 

Like long lost friends.

 Indignant stander-up for 

The Rights of Idiots and Gods


On the full exposure 

of Creeps


of bright bridges

To the sky

You keep

Your vault of hidden memory

Sealed away in your bedroom

And peak into it each night

To keep it safe


And night and day

You love and love and love


The irreplaceable gift

Of Your Self

Opening your heart

Like a great crimson flower


In the forest of your doubt

Tending it

In all weathers

With the gentlest of hands.

God is driving


When it’s raining like this, 

long and calm and steady, 

I feel like I used to feel 

riding home at night 

in Quincy, the old Plymouth,

with my parents 

in the dark front seat

talking softly,

my father driving 

my mother holding the baby, 

and me lying lulled 

on the worn vinyl in the back, 

no seat belts

and all is well.

Only now 

God is driving.


The only solution

It’s subtle.

You and I are necessary, we and our little illusory separate selves.

We have to be open, willing, waiting, ready, so great things can come through us.

The trouble is we almost always get it all wrong, and stop everything from happening, because of our shining pride and joy: the little i.

Drunk on all the great things it’s going to do, has to do, must must must do, 

Wheels spinning in a hopeless sinkhole of agitation and excitement over how much everyone will love it for its prowess, 

the little i gets overwhelmed by expectation and clenches itself up in a knot of pure paralysis 

and of course nothing happens! 

The chi can’t flow thru a knot.

But like the President, the i has just one ace in the hole: the veto power.

Just by wanting so much, it can stop everything dead in its tracks, or at least slow things down catastrophically. 

So the only solution is to abdicate.

Quit, give up, let go

abandon the illusion of control, 

and accept your humble role

as an empty vehicle.

So that way 

maybe the Power and the Glory

can at last get through

and do what needs to be done.


Moon Feast


There are the regular times

Of peace:


When I wake up before the world

And catch it

Just sitting there

Not going anywhere.

And bedtime

When I finally give it all up

And stop Running.


It’s in between

That the going gets to me –

Doing doing doing

One thing after another

Always on deadline

Seeking some






Once in a while

Sanity hits me

And I walk

In the evening

To the end of town

And sit on a bench

And just look

While the sun goes down.


There are the valley oaks

Their brown trunks

Wearing gold brocade

The magpies flouncing

And scolding

Flaring their flamboyant tails

From tree to tree


And the Moon

Almost round

But not quite

Like a ball of white

Potter’s clay

In the fumbling hands

Of some genius

Still learning

To make the world


Then God feeds me

Placing the unfinished Moon

Perfect in its imperfection

Just there

On the blue plate of the sky

Between the sprigs of tree-parsley

A feast to quiet

The heart.



I spent the holidays with my son

and his childbearing-age girlfriend

A long zone-out 

of cooking and cleaning 

watching TV and

fantasizing grandchildren

and when I came home

I was depressed for two days

missing them.

Then last night 

I took windowpane acid

a little rectangle of clear plastic

you could actually see through

I took it two days in a row

in my dream

just to make sure

and it revealed the same both times:


secreted abundantly 

in the presence of offspring

and during sex,

is a blissful addiction

but not necessarily 

the whole meaning of the world.




Oh enigmatic child

Wild daughter of my heart

You strike me dumb

Like the sacred Redwood

With whom

If only my neck

Were up to it

I could spend hours


Hands on her warm bark


Of her language

Arching backward

Casting my gaze high

Into her gold-green



In tongue-tied





I spent the holidays with my son

and his childbearing-age girlfriend

A long zone-out 

of cooking and cleaning 

watching TV and

fantasizing grandchildren

and when I came home

I was depressed for two days

missing them.

Then last night 

I took windowpane acid

a little rectangle of clear plastic

you could actually see through

I took it two days in a row

in my dream

just to make sure

and it revealed the same both times:


secreted abundantly 

in the presence of offspring

and during sex,

is a blissful addiction

but not necessarily 

the whole meaning of the world.


Too rare air


I asked to see 

what was real

and for the merest instant

the curtain was drawn aside 

revealing to my eye 

and every sense 

Intricate structures of purest Light

reaming, all-knowing Beauty

to slaughter the illusive mind,

a baby's laughter and delight...


And then I was back, 

sobbing and gasping for breath 

in this old dear world, 

thankful to have been spared – 

a fish thrown back 

into the cool depths 

after a dazzling glimpse 

of Sunlight

and a harrowing gulp 

of too-rare Air


Transformation of Sorrow


When I am all but lost

In Sorrow

A Kindness tells me

That this sadness

This inescapable loneliness

That weighs my days

Heavy in my chest

Is not my own

It is the Sorrow of the World.


And This is my Purpose:

To vanquish that Sorrow

To quell it

With the balm of tears

and laughter 

and the sea of Love 

Pouring endlessly through me



Shiny red trucks

come barreling

down the mountainside

with their cargo

of emergency

then turn right

and disappear

in clouds of dust


Old Wo-Man

with shaved white head

and coat of golden flowers

pushing shopping cart of many colors

takes the path to the left

knowing not where it goes

only that is the right one

Whoa! I fell down!

Yesterday was alarming. I woke up at 5 and couldn’t get back to sleep, as often happens these days. Exhausted, I drank mate which completely spazzed me out – I was a wreck for the whole day. 

Finally I went on a walk, which was refreshing in the beautiful warm sunshine with the blossoms coming everywhere. I sat in my meadow and enjoyed the sun, the air, every detail of the grasses and flowers. Earlier I had done my meditation, and I thought, this is the moment to call Mr. Twinkle. Something I’ve been planning to do since he suggested I get that book. So I called him.

After a bit of whee-style chatting about this and that, laughing and talking, I got up my nerve. 

“I got the book you recommended – the Mantak Chia book.” 

“Oh, the Multiorgasmic Woman or man or couple…?” 

“Yes, the couple one.” 

“Isn’t it a great book?” 

“Yes, and I’ve been doing some really interesting work with images...” 


“…about the sexual thing… and it occurred to me that it might be interesting to do some tantric exploration together. What do you think?” 

“No – no, I don’t feel that right now,” he says reflectively, “but we should hold the possibility open.” 

“Oh, ok.”

I am crestfallen, but of course don’t want to show it. We continue talking about sex and tantra and he invites me to go to a tantra workshop – which doesn’t really intrigue me very much. Finally we hang up, me with a feeling of humiliation and embarrassment, but of course I had known that might happen.

It's not that I'm in love with the guy – but I just had to ask, since I still find him oddly attractive, even at 70. And there was the revived memory of how really gorgeous he used to be… we both used to be…

Then I get a call from my friend Jim – and he warns me that my plan to visit my tenants, to make ‘human contact’ before the System squishes them out of my existence with the eviction, might backfire. They might just get angry, thinking I am somehow trying to use them for my own emotional ends… And I see the point. And I think no, he’s right, it’s not a good idea. Who do I think I am, some angel of benevolence? Maybe I do just want to assuage my guilt for being comparatively well off, while they might even go homeless...

So I go wandering off into the beautiful afternoon in my jet lag, careful not to stumble on the sidewalk and skin my knee like I did last week in a similar fog. 

I begin thinking about all my failures. Sleep being one of them. But that’s nothing compared to my unflagging attempts to possess my now dead husband and all my now grown kids, and all the vanished people I ever loved…

I walk and daydream and carefully plod homeward. I'm a few blocks away, taking one of the cul-de-sacs with the nice suburban homes and the safe empty asphalt for the children to play on, when I hear a little voice.

“Whoa! I fell down!” The voice speaks almost as if marveling in wonder – not at all upset. I turn to look.

It's a little boy, maybe five years old, with his big brother. They are on roller blades, the big boy rolling along nonchalantly, the little one just learning. The little one is wearing a huge helmet, the big one’s blond crewcut is exposed defiantly to fate. The little one is already struggling back to his feet. He stands up, wobbles forward, and his feet fly right out from under him and down he goes.

“Whoa!” he marvels a second time, “I fell down!” Just amazed at the wonderful things that happen in this interesting thing called life…

And I smile, and laugh inside me. What a lovely little messenger. That’s the attitude – that spirit of playful wonder. That’s what attracts me to Mr. Twinkle – his lightness. Maybe he’s trying too hard – imagine calling yourself “Mr. Twinkle,” after all – but he’s a work in progress on being light. 

To enjoy being with him, or anyone else for that matter, one has to take life lightly, and at the same time seriously. The Sacred and the Profane in a quirky, unpredictable ever-changing mix.

And there really is nothing else you can do but bumble through, laugh, and let go…