my book published: this little bird’s song

this_little_bird's_s_Cover_for_Kindle

Hello and thank you all for your patient support!  What a busy time, and we are now closing in on the holidays here (my favorite time of the year!)

For anyone who might be interested (feel free to skip over if you are not; I surely understand!), I have a new (little) book out of short poems and micropoetry called this little bird’s song

The book is available at amazon.com, both in old fashioned paperback form and in new-fangled Kindle form!  If I can figure out how to post a link, I will!

Thanks, as always, for your continuing support.  The blogging community is great!

I think this link will work if you are interested in taking a look

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Q06XX0C

tell me again

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tell me again

what’s wrong with me.

I’ll pull up a chair,

like a child listening

to a bedtime story,

while you list all the ways

I will never be enough,

remind me why I am alone,

sing me my failures,

question my abilities,

paint my inferiority,

hum my inadequacy,

strum the notes of my wrongs,

then ask me

why

I don’t

believe

in

myself

anymore

(someone with a brain tumor doesn’t look like that)

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sounds improbable

perhaps made up

even the radiologist

laughed (before):

“everybody thinks

they see a

brain

tumor

on their MRI”

maybe just

for sympathy

or attention, what better

way to make

people feel sorry

for you? really,

who talks about

it? If it was true,

you’d just be silent,

depressed, dying,

figuring out why you,

why YOU? so we’ll

silently nod our heads

in doubtful sympathy,

noting your normal

face, and we’ll keep

our doubts quiet

while

you

are

still

here 

The Music Man and Peace by the Sea

 

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The Music Man, he soothes; he plays all his chords in blue,

leans back his head, eyes closed, fingers of a poet.

He plays out his soul, in sonnets of electrics strings,

harmonies of rain and green. He’s made of music, mountain,

and silence, still searching for his home.  His melody

so sweet that clouds rain words, lift hearts into bloom.

Miles and miles away, she sits in peace by the sea,

and the mountain tells the waves the Music Man’s song.

She hears it all, Music Man’s dreams never sleep; she collects

each note, each word, each dream, two souls – and builds a home for both.

Questions

How did she taste, when I was writing poems for you?

Was her bed warm, did you sing to her, too, while I waited

in silence for you?  Did you look behind or ahead or only

in her eyes?  Was the press of her flesh all you needed

to feel alive?  Were my words tossed aside like last weeks

trash, while you cherished her body, and I walked alone

outside? Did you wonder what it meant as you sighed in

release, the waves of torment you set on the seas?  Or do

you owe nothing to no one and your body is free?  Do you

realize that your body will never claim me?

BORN IN THE USA (we both say)

classified categorized signified

Who am I?

This is where I was born.

You think you know?

We are all….

We are all….

Every one of us, the same

must be geography

blame culture

this, a place no one wants to claim

because every one of us is the same

Right?

Does one voice speak for us all?

cultural assumptions

invisible me, an anomaly

No.

You think you know.

assume

They are that way.

simplify

Yet you with your own national pride

expect respect, are not denied

But those people, the U.S.,

they are THAT way.

Some things never change

(we both say)

honesty

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secrets like a tree torn of leaves,

each one a truth untold, even

the desperate grip of branches

could not stop the fall. sun stares,

demands honesty, reveals deceit

in her glare. his wooden arms

are no match for her golden gaze,

so all of it falls, half-truths and lies,

and he becomes bare, only bony

fingers of regret, reaching out,

as if she would forgive. she covers

her eyes in clouds and turns away.

The Butterfly and the Hail Storm

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In the morning, while the sun knew
and I was time, she drifted to me.  Blue,
floating blue cascade shimmer, she came
to me with whispers of summer still.
Quieted by her dance, I stayed as she
settled upon me, smiled with her indigo
wings, round eyes and watched me
wonder her blue deep through me.
 
And then later, on the mountain, darkness
dropped, as it does with time, sky turning,
mirroring granite below. Rain pelted, soaked,
willed itself to hail. Morning forgotten,
I drew myself closed within the gray, startled
by bolts of lightning on nearby pines.  Hunched
down, arms around knees, head bowed, hurting.
I felt the wings on my back lose their flight.
 

The Hold of Time

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On the balcony, overlooking the sea, inside of time,

they drank their tea.  Blessed by orange and gold,

the sun set slowly, holding every moment,

hand in hand, a dream set on repeat.

 

Yesterday came and went, and the ticket remained

on the shelf.  She folded up the sunset with the tea,

inside the hands, palm lines underneath time.

Today is forever remembering tomorrow.

 

after all

(today I decided to walk out deep into the woods until I came up with answers to the questions I have been pondering. after walking more than 7 miles in the heat, I found myself lying face down in a grove of trees, with no recollection of what had happened. i took this photo then. i was injured, dizzy, and in no shape to walk the remaining 5 miles back to my car, but i realized that, not only did i have no phone reception, but i had no one to call to come help me. somehow i made it out.  i was in the woods for almost 5 hours.  after i got home, i found this poem on my phone. i wrote it today, but i have no recollection at all of writing it. i think that says a lot.)

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eight miles out i fall

black out, wake up

stones edge tree lean

ask. no reception here

no one to call. leaks

from knees, red, and eyes,

clear drops of alone

air crush with know. no

breath. out of focus all.

lost. alone. maybe here

home after all. 

Navy family

DSC_0207 - Copy

He is a hero
so many stripes on his shoulders
and medals on his chest
salute
Commander, aviator, protector of the free,
danger, deployments, tours of duty,
then accolades, parades, promotions.
Back at home, we
crumbled
in silence, while he was gone.
No one noticed,
not even him.
memorial
days

When Mother Gets Angry

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When Mother gets angry, the children are not safe,

clinging to walls that collapse around them, crushing

childhood beneath her wrath.  She roars at us, and throws

our things about, for they mean nothing to Mother

when she is mad.  She’ll unleash torrents, and we will try

to hide, but Mother knows all the hiding places.

She will knock them down or flood them with her rage, until

we are gasping for air, begging Mother to forgive us.

And when she calms again, Mother is nearly silent.

She never apologizes, only watches us through cloudy eyes

as we try to pick up broken pieces of Mother’s fury.

We hold the children and shake, and try to explain, but

we can’t.  Haunted by the cruelty Mother has unleashed

on some, we whisper and hope, and glance up warily.

Do not make Mother angry.

 

 

Two Times across the Tappan Zee Bridge

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The first time was at dusk.  The Hudson River stretched

like an invitation in the gentlest glow, both banks’

forest green arms holding me, as I rose with the bridge.

And at the top, nightfall’s vision sang, and I held,

floated there, watching the city catch the river.

Her skyscrapers gathered and huddled and whispered

of the night to come, and began to switch on spots

of bright into the fading light.  And beside, tiny, immense

Liberty stood, knowing the city and flowing the river,

and lifted us all across the bridge.

 

When I returned, it was morning.  The light was harsher,

less forgiving.  The climb to the top of the bridge seemed

steeper, somehow, for us all.  And I saw signs, along

the railings, read them.  “Don’t give up. There is hope.

Call the hotline.”  Street signs. Bridge signs. Signs.

At the top: “Do not jump.”  On this, the North side, only

the river, the fall.  And the ghosts that had put all the signs

on the bridge.  I could still see them jumping.  And my car

would not float but wanted to stop and fling its doors

open for me.  But the sign said, “Do not jump.”

 

 

 

Lessons

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On the Sun’s day, she called for a walk,

so I obliged, and listened to the birds of Spring.

They sang to each other, but left me out of their songs.

My steps were slow, while walking, to know.

And back in the woods, so far that I was alone,

they began to come, each at a different place

on my path:  those that I fear most –

the snakes.  They wound right to me, looked through

my eyes, never stopping – though I could not

move.  They each wore different clothes, but none

feared me;  they approached.  Stopped.

Spoke their silence.  Froze me in the leafy moment.

Seven times, seven snakes, seven silences,

each of them with something to say.

 

 

The Girl in the Purple Dress (for June)

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Her name was June, but she left in May,

before the sunflowers could bloom and ask

for more days.  In the stone church, whispers

spoke of the claim: cancer, a brain tumor.

Stolen summer laid her cold, draped in flowers

taken in their bloom. They would die soon. 

I kept my head bowed, listened for June,

waited for the preaching, sobbing, and hymns to end.

In the front of the church, in a purple dress

with a black bow in her hair, June’s daughter sat;

I knew her well. She looked straight ahead and made

no sound, and that is why I kept my head down.

And when the cars were gone, and I was alone

I wept, and I wept to the church and through June.

The last months of her life, when the brain tumor

grasped and haunted her head, June had changed.

And her daughter, so many days, so many different

colored bows, would tell stories of the crazy things

her mom would do and stay. And it wasn’t June.

It wasn’t your Mom. I cry because we have lost

part of summer, but I weep for her girl in the purple dress,

and the June she remembered as she sat on those steps.

Silent with Wonder

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In the tenderness of morning, the fog

wraps the horses in promise and paints

the yellow blanket soft.  The horses

speak their quiet, feel their Spring,

dance their velvet noses in flowered field.

Silent are the pines, watching

through dew drop eyes, hanging

their needled peace in the foggy morning.

Early morning hoof prints mark time,

yellow daybreak, flowery fog of pineful watch,

and I am silent with wonder.

Conversations (with Sylvia)

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(wake up) not asleep, but reading,

(write) she sits the edge of my bed,

tilts her head, waits. silence. (think it

to know). Sylvia, i am tired.

(the write will you), but how,

(ask the sky). and she stays,

to feel, asking cry (I know). pulls

what i push down (inside rain),

closing windows on day (tumble words),

and in sleep of dark, my name, cloud

whisper, pen gripped unwritten (Sylvia),

fly, write us both home (again). 

 

 

gone

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has words for all, gather and follow,

crowd me to the corner, unseen.

what do they mean? what do they

mean? words you’ve already given,

taken, turned, used, played, bestowed,

i don’t want them. i take silence,

shelter here, covered in real. alone,

away from crowds of more to claim

you, to pull, hold, own the words.

spread your imprint, your follow,

pieces for each, exchanged for devotion,

fill you up, adore. I, alone, more, silent,

 

gone.

 

the path

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the path leads
whispers unknowing,
draws you, pines,
tomorrows to follow.
walk it with tender feet,
mild heart, searching
blind corners.
the path speaks
silent tones of hanging moss,
fallen logs, pine cones,
hear with your eyes,
color the symphony,
of so many days
walking ups and downs.
the path follows,
shadows of feel,
learned and passed,
crunch of golden pine
needles, fallen back down,
looked sweetly upon
by the sun, and the long
path, and always, you.

 

wildflower days

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and then there was you,

and shadows bowed and carried daisies,

for the sun returned and sung the sky

to my blue.  maples and oaks whispered,

wove their leaves in the breeze, throwing

dancing dapples of sunlight around me.

and i laid my wildflower days in your music,

wrapped like summer and water’s float,

ten thousand balloons, each one called hope,

stayed floating in my new sky,

because there was you.

 

Liability

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Doctor:  I saw how you tossed my file

across the desk, and all of the papers

spilled out onto the floor. Symbolic.

But you, you were annoyed, that you

had to pick up my pieces and jam them

back in the file, weren’t you? I know.

I heard your annoyed sigh as I walked

away, and you reminded me, again,

that I could find another doctor.

 

And all I was trying to do was make it

out the door without letting slip

the torrent of tears that began to build

back in your office, when you said,

“You make my job difficult.”  I lost

my words then, so you continued:

“And how I am supposed to work

around this eating disorder thing,

or whatever it is?”  My eyes were

on the floor, but I still saw your look

of disgust at my 100 pound body.

 

And did I even care how hard it was

on you that I didn’t want to take more pills,

but for God’s sake did I realize I have

a brain tumor, a divorce, no family here,

I am not sleeping or eating….and, you, doctor,

said five prescriptions are what I need.

When I said I just needed time and support,

you said I was difficult and uncooperative.

 

And I stopped speaking because,

what could I say?  And you called me

noncompliant, that I was tying your hands

behind your back in attempt to gain power,

and my mind whispered……no, i am trying

to survive.  But you didn’t hear, because

you were drawing up a document for me

to sign that said if I kill myself, you are not

legally liable.  I signed it.

 

so I could leave.  you never looked

at my face. or you might

have known

 

the damage

 

you

 

did

 

to

 

me

 

 

valentine’s day, 2013

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i got on a plane (i didn’t)

to look you in the eyes (you said don’t come)

and the sun danced with me (it was raining)

flowers floating, tender embrace (lying alone)

you wouldn’t let go, you breathed me (sobbing silence)

and held, and held, and held (let go)

waiting turned to love (wait)

we are one (alone)

under the oak tree

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little boy and little girl

met under the oak tree.

he gave her the sky

and an empty box.

she put them inside.

closing her eyes, she

smelled blue and heard

light linger by the boy.

and she gave him wind

and float of tomorrows.

gravity listened and smiled,

dreams of then and now

remembered, and within

embrace stayed.  and the

core of all was poetry.

For Sylvia, on the Day You Left

For Sylvia, on the Day You Left

This day the glass cracked blue,
the mirror was a window, no longer
empty space looking back into churning seas.
I hear you shriek, and shriek again,
this time it’s real: the uncut grass,
the bees and balloons, the shadows
and the moon. And you, you are the embryo,
the gift, the color of the sky that blooms.
There is a space for love.

But you haven’t gone, Sylvia.
You still whisper to me in colors, and when
I say “not good enough,” you turn my mirror
into a window. The words you send I write. You know.
I feel. You sent me lost, so I could be found. Sending
me your darkness, so I have hollow bones and cry
shadow tears, and you say ~ write. I try, Sylvia.
Don’t swirl me lost.

(lost)

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when will you be real? (who are you now?) 

i knew you once. we talked while the moon smiled

(she was listening).  but i don’t know who

you are now (does the moon know?) i ask you

to talk to me and you hide (you go inside). you lock

the doors, create someone new (i’m still here).

and silence (silence speaks). i walk into the sky

to search for you (that’s where you would hide), but

(still) you won’t be found. i was here (i think i was),

but you turned me into lost, too (lost).