Monday, April 25, 2016


I recently read City of Thorns by Ben Rawlence and it made a huge impression on me. I have thought about it in some way each day for weeks.

Last night I listened to the first part of The Ted Radio Hour show about Tolerance and how we need diversity. Acceptance of the other isn’t just a thing people do to be thought of as good or kind or open-minded. It is something we do to survive.

Unless our needs aren’t getting met and then we get all tribal.

I submitted a new poem to a contest today. This is the first time I have submitted anything anywhere since Andrew died. It is an occasional poem.

They are so challenging to write because basically you are writing for a group of people who are uncomfortable with poetry. The eventual audience for the winner wants the work to be funny and poignant and approachable and understandable.

Billy Collins or Mary Oliver I am not.

So I wrote something that made sense to me. The exercise was useful.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Fresh Start

It seems a good time to come back here and write a public facing blog.

I need to learn how to be comfortable talking broadly about things that matter to me and expressing opinions. I am quiet, watchful, unless I am teaching yoga or in a room with folks I feel very comfortable with (and then I babble on about all sorts of seemingly unrelated things endlessly).

When I am quiet, people watch my face. It is such an interesting thing us social animals do watching each other’s faces to look for clues. And maybe in the moment I am practicing being non-reactive in a spiritual sense but some fleeting opinion or thought or reaction passes across my face that can be interpreted as something in the end my better judgment or common sense tells me it would be prudent not to express. But someone thinks it is Resting Bitch Face.

So here I am to express what touches me, or moves me or makes me laugh or think.

Last night I watched The Big Short. It is in my wheelhouse as a former broker with a flaming social conscience and someone interested in how money works, a person who discovering that she wasn’t greedy enough to be particularly successful who turned to poetry, which I truly believe is an affliction not a gift.

A quote from the movie sums it up.

Overheard at a Washington, D.C. bar: "Truth is like poetry. And most people fucking hate poetry."

People do like pretty pictures of flowers though…

Friday, March 18, 2016


It has been some time since I have taken a picture I feel really good about. This one today was a lovely surprise.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Through Line Part III 2015

The flowering plum, those dark red leaves
out the side window seems a bit wan these days.
So little rain; jays come looking for peanuts,
search the corner at dawn out where
the teenagers back in the sixties left their
hippy messages carved in wet cement.

My son uses chalk sticks almost too big
for tiny hands as we make pastel patterns
out on the decking. He delights me with stories
that make no sense while I try to figure out
when my mother is coming for her next visit.

This block, so oddly zoned, half historic,
half modern, soon we’ll have to move from this
beautiful old place that once housed a young boy
(like mine) who grew up to become mayor
of this funky old town. With at least one alcoholic

parent, a world of corruption, I suppose you
can’t blame him too much for packing all the Roma
families up and sending them to Texas during
the depression. Everyone was doing similar spot
deportations even them. A hard legacy.

I stand in the library upstairs, my hands
on this sweat burnished wood framing
think about the house, what the walls
have absorbed in sunlight and shadow,
the adventure of the big move
five blocks from where it was built.

A neighborhood spectacle, disabled power lines
everyone came out to see it lifted, transported
reoriented so the bay windows that look out
on the rose mallow now face north instead of south.

Does the house mourn the church that stood
stalwart beside it all those years that recently burned?

Off the brick walk they moved as well
they planted the huge mimosa out front
and it’s siblings seeded two lots down
to be ripped out for transitional housing
going in next year where the old gas station used to be.

That toxic site, leaking and tested repeatedly
will soon house folks who once lived rough
as the immigrants who settled this land lived rough
when they arrived to freezing shacks at the bottom
of the clear cut hill behind us.

I wonder if, when he is grown, my son will pass by
in his solar powered self driving
smart car and remember with a smile
the patterns we laid down together and that
from way back Sunshine does in fact love us all.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

The Through Line Part II 1968

The men have taken the full pot of soup
up to the park again. With this next baby
due so soon I can’t carry much of anything
except the twins. They manage to attach
themselves, as if by magic, to my hips.

Some of the kids that hang out at the Psychedelic
Supermarket after carving “Sunshine
Loves You” complete with curlicues and peace signs
in wet cement on the corner,
and other such pink cheeked high as a kite sentiments,
managed to string a series of extension cords from

Neighborhood House across the street
to the makeshift stage behind the tennis
courts near the Youth Ministries office
they still call the Catacombs even though
the original had to close for lack of space.

This morning I stopped with all the little ones
by the orchard where the stables always
were to chat with the elderly woman who made
her fortune sewing up aprons and selling them
door to door. She was here collecting her rents

shaking her head at the flowered skirts,
headbands all the pale suburban girls draped
over the merry go round next to the wading pool
are wearing. A few too many of them
are pregnant like me.

Joe wants to keep them all warm,
we do what we can to make them eat.
Stan next door has big plans for his natural market
and I have Emery and his big heart.

Even the proposed curfew they’re all
talking about can’t bum him out. He says
we should throw a party, invite the city
commissioner a half hour before the enforcement
starts and make sure the media is there.

We laughed and laughed at that.
I wish the library were still here.
I try to imagine the line of kids
handing one book after another
up Hooker Street from the old building to
the new, the few older folks here
still remember that day as if it were last week.

I hear the Zoo is setting up on stage.
I’ll put the smallest children to bed and try to
get a story read with my swollen feet
propped up before the guitars get
too loud and the whole world sounds
like it is about to break apart.

The Through Line Part 1 1914

At dawn as curtains are drawn
In the children's room I can hear
harnesses clanking as horses
are hitched to their wagons up
at the drayage stables in the next block.

I smell blood from the slaughter
shed downstairs in back as Isaac
starts his day's preparations for the shop.
Dark men speak Yiddish in front of the Shul
as junk peddlers imagine prosperous finds

In the mud. Nothing goes to waste here.
I murmur to the baby in French so she'll know
when she grows the sound of a life more
than a butcher's wife, kosher or otherwise,
a life of thin hips and admiration

From some of the most gifted young painters
on the Continent. Those epic Homeric tales
of wild meaningful journeys, of intricate
detail, the white horse, the blue rose,
your mother one of the models,
a muse, yes, one of those.

It is not the smell of damp ink
or marble chips, this morning
but wood smoke, offal and the salt
we had delivered yesterday. Eloise says
there are a few new books in this week on the ships.

I'll send the boy when we can spare him
to the lending library. I want him to learn
more than how to handle the cleavers
and knives and look for old glass
up where the shacks used to be on the other
side of the trestle over this forsaken hole
in the ground they call a gulch.