Mar 26, 2012

What you can Live Without

You'd be amazed at the things you can live without
some of them we agree on out loud
you can live with out that extra croissant
or at least that third pat of butter
we can agree on that

that one-day sale coupon which you noticed the day after said sale -
you can live without that too
but still you want to complain to someone

you can live without the lights changing to green faster -
on the one morning that you left two minutes late
you can live without that
though you may find your fist placing a hostile thump on the steering wheel.

you can live without the potions, and illuminators and "product"
to preserve your best self - or create it - if you're not convinced
you've had it yet
 - product  -  an article or substance that is manufactured or refined for sale -
evidently this particular subset of manufactured items is so exemplary as to be the product
never mind items that create light - dull pain - or give pleasure to  multitudes of men, women, and children  -
if your hair is free of waxy build you would have the product to thank
But you can live without these things
though you are not so sure

you can live without the compliments you were accustomed to
five - ten years ago - though you're riled -
and you'll probably get some product that makes you glow - or radiate - or sparkle -
or some other thing that sounds like a red flag for a visit from the local fire department

you can live without having more years ahead of you than behind you now
after all if you"re just going to be descending into some gray, unilluminated entity, with too little French pastry, and barely an admirer left in the crowd
well then - you can live with this

and though you wont believe it
that one thing -  that laugh that lifts the night -
that brightest of lights that makes your soul race at the end of  ordinary days -
shutting out the cravings -
for comforts - and sweetness -
and fire
you will live without that too

Mar 25, 2012

Of all Things

The sermon was lovely -
it was -
but  the day was lovelier
and what was just early spring
had burst open with vigor and certainty
and I had taken note, on the long path up - of daffodil
after daffodil
The hot yellow ones and the soft buttery ones -
not to mention the sea of periwinkle something or other
and so pushed through the crowd not wanting to miss the point
what was the point?
and looking lost - as so often is the case - but not lost
never to the day
when some words were spoken about a poem - not my poem of course
but some other soul's - lost too in the days - and the poem -
of all things - about daffodils.

Mar 18, 2012


The Magnolia buds are plump and furry
like the Pussy Willows we would find in the marsh -
by the stream, off Beechview Lane.

fatter though, and they call you to
stay - because last Spring you didn't
and there was so much to say you know -

and before you knew what had happened
those blossoms, lush and violet, had littered the land
and you stood - finally still -

pretending that was the beautiful part
or beautiful enough -who wouldn't want
the purple carpet rolled out?

yet what you yearned for was the cool
plum canopy, ripe and full before you -
triumphant against the Spring haze - and far too glorious
for stillness

Mar 5, 2012

Things I did for You

This morning I made your favorite cookies - because I miss you - and was excited about spending 10 minutes with you while you shoveled them down
I made two cakes - because sometimes you like all chocolate - sometimes white but still with chocolate frosting (and you're so skinny anyway)
I picked up some steak and grilled chicken, sour cream, guacamole, and 3 kinds of cheese for tacos - you're always happy with a taco - (and it gives me tremendous pleasure to see you happy!)
I left a package of double stuff oreos in your room for your SAT practice breaks
I put out a platter of your favorite fruits and made them pretty on the plate - berries, melons, bananas - berries, melons, bananas, - in a pattern just like that - from the center out - like a blooming fruity flower - and with a bowl of whipped cream - and I grated real vanilla bean with that new grater from William Sonoma - which is really a Nutmeg grater (but it worked  nicely anyway)

I didn't realize you had other plans today.
Tomorrow I will go out buy myself some larger clothes

Mar 4, 2012

The House Two Corners Over

For years I have wanted to take a picture - the perfect picture of the house two corners over
Its white picket fence canopied by a fountain of spring pink
A house small - and square - and clean
That I have only noticed for one pink week each spring
And have thought to run back and get the camera

An awkward place to park though
Its narrow streets and private driveways uninviting to a stranger two blocks over
I could walk - twenty minutes over - twenty back (long streets)
Hoping that when I arrived the light would be just right still
Warm and hazy - not too much glare

Close again - the pink is to falling
I stop again - taking in what is left of the lushness - against squarness -
against stillness
The white spreading  - clean and clear
Looking for the patterns I crave

I longed for that picture this spring
The perfect picture before the pink had fallen
Next spring I will leave my camera by the door - then park close -
ignoring the rules of this stranger's place

One Autumn

I breathe in these last gifts of Fall.
The way the sun caresses the golden tops of trees so warm
That it reminds you of things you meant to say
Last year
Or the year before
When you passed crimson trees so perfect
You stood and longed to tell the person you loved most about it
Even the dog stops for a moment with you - in awe

And now so much gold and amber flutters before you
In patterns you know so well
That you can only be close to - and never close enough

Do you have fewer Autumns ahead than behind - you wonder
And what of the end of this dance of light and heat
The struggle of this living world to stay with us
Or die out - in flights of color and fancy
After its glory

This Day a Different Perfect

Thick haze hangs over the green and white striped canopy
And I wait with you
Yesterday, the sun glared hot, and hurt
And we lamented over and over how tomorrow would be worse
But it is only heavy - and covered with a summer yellow grayness, which eases the sun's sting
And the breeze passes through consolingly

"It is still bad", you say
"Yes", I concede with a nod

You had longed for the more gentle side of the season, I know
And have not yet learned to find your own shade
You sit beside me waiting
Not telling me something you want to say

I ask in my subdued, partial sentences about what is wrong - and what you need
Just right - I think - for your age and sex -
Knowing how quickly I say too much these days

You just look ahead
Still and low
"It's hot", you say

Mar 2, 2012

Winslow Park

for Liv and Will

I am going to Winslow Park to stroll with the dogs -
come with me
I have bills to pay, and calls overdue
But I am going to Winslow Park.

I am going to the park to laugh against the breeze
Where we giggled our summers away 
I'll be by the bench where we romped in the sun
- come with me.

I'll bring orange slices and peppermint patties
and  wont say a word about wrappers in the car
I am going to the park to fly down the hills
- come with me.

I'm going to the park to sing and to wander
The songs that we sang before you were cool
I'm going to Winslow - to find us again
- come with me.

Mar 1, 2012

Second Chance

There's a second chance when the days grow long, and the yellow heat bathes your cells
And you almost forgot you were meant to be part of the world
Everything you meant to do, or be, comes back again
Because when it was cold
When it was dark and you hurt -  for a moment it felt like there would be no heat again
And your skin would never feel moist with life and speed and running to get where you probably don't need to be
But still - you are running - and you do want to get somewhere, and you are grateful
Because even if it doesn't matter
You know you may never feel this way again.


You must have known George, even from that first brushstroke -
that premier splattering of pixels -
that perfection would be the end of you

that so much splendor could do you in
send you back to the chaos
again and again

that you would be granted one sigh only - of satisfaction
one divine sigh
breathless and full
one gratified chill

a single gasp to revel in - and then back to the chaos

to the drudgery of reinvention
back to the fire that first called forth the will to labor.

and what kind of ungrateful God would deny you George
that lingering moment of revelry?

or a lifetime -
after such toil and passion

after the light so lovingly placed  - dot by dot
the blue/gray haze spread soft and still
blanketing that perfect Sunday - that resplendent afternoon

the world as it should have been, George
had the creator had such a vision as yours

back to the chaos
to the ladies - with their parasoles
again and again

not for lack of thanks George
you've struck the world with awe
but it's back again

to the muck and confusion
to that splattering of pixels
imploring you
ceaslessly -  to give them life
over and over again

after all - it's what you do George
and surely you know -
it's not about the painting

but the painter.