Tuesday, April 9, 2019


The emotionless doctor announced with unquestionable authority, "You will never have children."  

My family decided I needed to go home to New York to heal. Though I resisted, I flew home trying to distance myself from sadness. The visit proved to be like medicine, especially time spent with Mami, the grandmother who raised me. She was a strong woman who clung to her old ways and beliefs.  One of them was Spiritualism. 

I never wanted to know that part of her.  I avoided discussions about her seances, her lighting of candles, burning of incense and whatever other strange things she did.  Most of all I avoided Amelia, the spiritualist medium who told my grandmother about her future, any surrounding evil, how to get rid of it, what spells to perform.  I was clear - I wanted nothing to do with anything Amelia offered. 

One day, as I walked from my room towards the kitchen, my grandmother was talking on the phone. I intended to quietly walk by her, but she enthusiastically stopped me.  "Oh.  Here's Myrna. Come, come talk to Amelia."  I resisted with every fiber, every cell , every thought, with all my spirit.  But I would never disrespect my grandmother and refuse her command.

Amelia was jovial, I was curt.  After the usual social interchange, Amelia was simply rude.  "So, you just lost a baby, I hear.  Don't worry.  As soon as you return to Germany, you'll be pregnant again."  I got off the phone as quickly as possible.  For a long time I sat on my bed to regain my composure while entertaining hostile thoughts of indignation.  How dare Amelia make a prediction I didn't ask for or believe?  

Today I remember Amelia as a mysterious, magical woman.  Often, I've shared this story with my only daughter - born about ten months after my visit home.  

(This is a true story though I've changed the name and condensed some details.  It was fun writing this in prose.  I've written at least one poem based on this story.)    

Wednesday, April 3, 2019


I have an aunt who at 89 still drives. Not only does she laugh at her own silly jokes, but dismisses her ailments as life's inevitable tricks.  She can't resist telling you how young she looks, how old men think she's beautiful.  Then she laughs saying, "Who the hell wants to be bothered with an ugly old man?"  My aunt embodies an artful joy.  She lives her own type of poetry.

But for poets who WRITE their lives, joy is not the only venue in which they live.  They also write their love, their grief, their pain, its healing, what they see and don't, what humans can do but won't.  A poet's words, like magic, magnify the ordinary to extraordinary, weaving observations of this world's beauty or ugliness, making it more real.  A poet writes what must be written the way a heart must pulse to be alive. 

Everyone's life recites a poem.  My aunt's is mostly about laughter, a poet's is about writing with sparkles of light expressed in words.  Not all poems are jewels, but all are precious twinkles born from the poet's little or big bangs of truth partnering with creation, expanding the universe. 

A poet writes about Spring
Words like flowers sprout
Nature knows itself

(For Poets United, where we are prompted to write about 'writing poetry'.)

Sunday, March 31, 2019


My mountains smile proudly like a new parent
They stare at the happy migrants from the east
Swaying, playing, trying to match the sun's yellow
Exuding their purpose by dancing to musical breeze
People from all over came 
To welcome them
To get high merely with the sight of poppy beauty
To become intoxicated by poppy abundance
To soothe the aches of being human
To pause in awe
The poppies rejoice in their being
They know
How to weave a connection between all
Even as they are trampled

(I need to write a poem titled "I wish I were a better photographer, but this is the best I could do with my phone camera and my lack of skill."

Wednesday, March 27, 2019


The blank page stares defiantly
Challenging me to fulfill its nature
By scribbling my ink on its emptiness
It doesn't understand 
No one does
The page is forced to accept my absence
Friends must also surrender
To mystery of my solitude 

Seemingly alone
Outside this noisy world
I ponder
Like a chess player scheming the next move
Studying how this game came to be
Mistakes made by others and me
Futilely asking why 
As if infinity has answers

The page and friends don't understand
I am never alone
I merely retreat inside 
To enjoy company of my questions
Revealing clues 
About the beauty, light, darkness,
Convictions, contradictions
Within my rational, irrational self 

I travel the path of this wild exploration
In solitude's chamber
When ready I spill some ink on blank pages
When ready I share some pieces with friends
I'm inside out

Wednesday, March 13, 2019


So in all that you do, in all of your life, I wish you the strength and the grace to make those choices which will allow you and your neighbor to become the best of whoever you are.”
- Fred Rogers 2002 Commencement Address at Dartmouth College ​(Dartmouth News)


"It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?..."

"Please won't you be my neighbor?"
- Fred Rogers

Dear Mr. Rogers,
The child in me loves you more now
That I better understand
Your simple words of kindness
Outlining ingredients for peace
Transferred from one to another
Based on self acceptance, love, generosity
I realize childishly how everyone is my neighbor
Or could be if they want
I tried to be a good neighbor too
But I stopped listening to you
The adult in me knows fear
Of those who aren't neighborly
Who live independently
Outside the neighborhood you created from dreams.
Too often they rule 
With no regard
For your wise words
"It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood"
My inner child naively nags
Constantly begging me to blindly believe again 
The adult responds with silent tears
It's impossible to explain this world to a child.

For Poets United.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019


Clouds are the whipped cream of the sky
I love whipped cream
So sweet, smooth, puffy
But even when it's a little flat
I love whipped cream's
Irregular edges shape shifting
Turning colors blending
Melting into its liquid host
Transforming itself and me
Who for an instant am high
Floating in my intoxication
So sad that all I can do is 
Swallowing clouds

(For Poets United.)

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


I wear the shades of fun like a painting wears its colors.
At times an explosion of laughter from a tickle that almost hurts,
A smile entangled in the silent absence of thought,
Or a feeling sparked by the joyful elements of simply playing.
It was the same when I was young.
Fun hasn't changed.
What's different now is that I know
The grandiosity of each day I'm living,
The importance of good health,
How I need those colorful shades of fun
Even more than I need medicine.