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Thursday, March 31, 2011


I have discovered the lipstick prints of my girls' pursed lips around my house, and as bittersweet and monumental as it is, those prints make me smile and realize growth cannot be not be stopped, whether it is the daughter or the mother.

Lips that taste of tears, they say,
are the best for kissing.
~Dorothy Parker


Lip prints forming silent words, ghost
words that make my arms ache to hold you.

Lips painted pink.
Leaning over a bathroom sink, she
stares into an oval reflection; no
more years than a budding teenager.
Chipped fingernails derail a lid
and big eyes gaze at
pink rising from a black lipstick case.
She pushes wind-blown hair from her face
and smears the colored wax and
glycerin on parted lips.
The tip of her tongue tastes vanilla
icing; thoughts examine her stained
satin gloss; fine lines of matted
confidence slip over her defined
lips, yearning to be
grown-up lips of pink, and fire red.

I find faultless lip prints left
abandoned on a bedroom window,
the entertainment cabinet,
a narrow hall mirror, also
discarded school papers--
all used for quick theatrics.
All perfect prints of DNA, all
goodbye kisses to me as I clean.
I imagine whose lips they belong to--
my oldest daughter experimenting,
my youngest daughter mimicking
what a kiss might be.
They press their lips firm against
an obscure surface, a clouded
exhale, a sticky muah, and left behind
is their mark. A signature of sorts,
their picture of what a kiss should say.
Lips pursed, mouth parted, possessing
grooves of identity, each girl growing up.
I leave their majestic blown
kiss for me--their mother.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Feel the divinity of your body, your temple, and the chance your soul has been given to be carried through the clocks of time. It is a privilege that we may only think about when we slip away into sleep or when something exuberant happens in our world. Find a minute today and honor the miracle your body is.

And remember, no matter where you go, there you are. ~Confucius


Caught in a dream,
hills of wine,
ringing iron bells,
molecules of steam,
dancing above her body
as capillaries of rose
heat under her velvet skin.

Invisible bindings restore
sanity and the sacred rhythm
of a crystalline
breathless memory--
juxtaposed to the clock
of her passion
mixed into an earthy love.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


The mortality of life captured in stone, captured in a memory, and captured in the balance of time. We walk on the slack line of adventure, just slightly leaning back so we can see into the future, and there we find the balance of mind and body in the ever present.

In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth. Patti Smith

The Present

Inside my life,
my yesterday is found inside a memory.

In the dark of alleys,
my heart ponders in the silence of night.
In the gray of bridges and skyscrapers,
my shadow resembles words like
past and death.
I breathe in the clock tower of my moment.

Outside in the city,
scriptures of mango vapors streak the sky,
written words of hope
and love illuminate the white.
Curls of rippling flames
parallel the moss of emerging light,
creating shadows as burning
lava looms over a sheet of snow.

Woken by spring,
quiet shivers reveal a life’s
authentic lips,
presses deeply into my face.
My heart beats in sync
with the breast of morning.
The slow change of day,
leaves no shadows looming.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


It is said that everything we need to know we can learn from nature. We know that after a thunderstorm, there is the sun, and on a lucky day, there might be a snow shower on a spring morning with the birds singing in the background. It's the last gasp of winter trying to hold on before mother nature slings off her winter fur and puts on the halter dress! Find the delight in whatever sings to your nature and encourages you to remains true to your art. The moment knows.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Anais Nin


The moment knows
the expansive land,
melting past the mind in the
crowded gypsum room.

The moment knows
slow, dancing snow,
cold rain splashing,
veins of water dripping
down the window pane.

The moment knows
rolling thunderous storms
dancing across verdant fields,
feeding the hidden divine.
The buried soul continues to grow.

The moment knows
lightening, white lighting, illuminating
the mango’s pink hews, an
intervention of light on
a sunrise of clouds.

The moment knows
time floods the truth as
twisting vines grow
up the trellis purposefully.
Dignity will fill your throat

The moment knows
the eclipse of the moon,
the river’s white face and
eyes that are slaves to
memory’s ink.

The moment knows
berry-red wine traveling between
goblet and bottle,
momentarily suspended in time.

The moment knows
time parts to hear a whisper
lost in a second.
Unearthed dirt exposing
an opening to sanction
honey-feathered air.

The moment knows
invisible wind holding hands,
touching rays of truth.
Roots forging into earth,
a tree reaches vertically
for one more breath.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Some say that the face is the mirror of the mind. Does that mean the inside of the mind or the outside perception of our existence? Are we evolving into who we want to be by creating and acting in new ways? I question this concept and ask, when we exchange one idea for another, does this create secrets? Or is it another facet of our personality, discreet and dependable? Live your secrets to become who you are.

He then learns that in going down into the secrets of his own mind he has descended into the secrets of all minds.-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Secret Oma

Under a concave of branches,
cut and perfectly formed
into a dome once filled with sap;
some insignificant was talking to her
but she could only hear her
own blood-filled words, hear
her own secrets embedded in
the spiral of her thumb print,
hijacked into fine lettering,
tattooed in hieroglyphics,
splitting into the
mysteries of her double mind.
Regularly she flees into
a storm of something exhilarating,
a smoking burn of racing tires,
the gas fires; the slow dance
thrills her to the justification
to peruse a hot evacuation,
extenuating the possibilities,
setting up the metaphors inside
her tangle of words. It’s
her preconceived picture,
an actor’s improvised dominion.

Maybe a diary of secrets lives
in her, a track of dualities,
a veiled thread of meaning?

Layer upon layer of mascara,
black lines of distinction,
a crossover between white lies
a master’s artistic interpretation.
Her laced canto voice slips
from another made-up life,
sultry within in her plot, curled
auburn locks hiding half a face,
a solid blood-line, a living statue,
a strong nose on a chiseled profile
suggests something, something
as her gray eyes penetrates you.
What can she have?
What can she have?
At the expense of your signature.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


It is through the connections of life a poet can put words down in ink. It is through these subtle puzzles of unraveling mysteries that we find inspiration and creativity. It is crashing these two worlds together and painting a picture with their images, hence poetry.

In vino veritas [In wine is truth].
Proverb quoted by PLATO,

Ode to the Poet

I spiral down into your porous cork,
releasing your breath--rich
air oxidizing your mouth.

Fingering fine crystal, I lure
you to my lips;
in silence I admire

your soul--the inside of
a forgotten sunset.
Your smell--a mixture of an era.

Your blood—a burning sovereignty
soothing my throat, a tingling
deluge eclipsing my breath.

You commingle your
garnet phenomenon with
my pounding red heart.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Knowing the profound impact of love and the healing powers love can transcend, I find love to be a trellis of vines interconnecting into the mere essence of life. Each breath we have feeding the root of our heart; each shimmering electrical pulse acknowledging the power of what lives between souls. Found in the darkness of the night, our fingertips become our eyes.

"I got lost in the night, without the light
of your eyelids, and when the night surrounded me
I was born again: I was the owner of my own darkness."
— Pablo Neruda

Trestled Lovers

Timeless tantric lovers mold in shadows,
mossy stone archways, a ritual for the

soul; borrowing the energy of night, an
indulgent apparition; fatigued daylight in a

rustic pleasure garden, vines wrapping and
entwining flesh; driven adoration--

black, sanguine, white--love inspires.
Bastions of stability, written auguries,

downpour of delight to the extraordinary creation;
sensitive fingertips stretch, tracing languid hips,

dance of lips, a transporting kiss, tears of resilience,
undiminished grace of passion, relentless breath.

Quiet secret night mirroring life, profound
in precision, emitting honeysuckled fragrance.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Even in times of change, we have to believe we will have a chance at a new sunrise. Negative thoughts can swirl through our minds like a storm leaving a wake of destruction, and in the next howl of wind a positive ray of sunlight can shine--in that beam we will have a moment of clarity. What is it that we can awaken to and change?

If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing. ~Saint Augustine

Rainy Night

Tsunami storms erupting from the earth--
wild raindrops hide from the moon light.
Years of yellow papers piled high on the
side table next to the sagging bedside;
black debris falling from the mind,
scattered across worn-plank floors--
wordless glares, cold fingertips,
sweating palms, smearing lines,
ticking time--a wall of water, and
headlights banging around
her empty bedroom.

She walks alone in dreams, a
silver river of broken mirrors,
doorways to bitter moments; roads
of worn black asphalt assaulting
her soul back to pounding rain.

Breath, pulse, beating rain, breathe--

Swirling through dense thorny words,
staring wildly in the eye of the storm,
a weary clouded mind begs
her weeping willow for forgiveness,

breath, pulse, beating rain, breathe--

Wrapping beating fingers around burdens,
a blank stare of questions,
emotions melting across bare shoulders,
black words are tattooed tombstones,
sharp wounds that keep bleeding, and
shattering small scarlet scars,
seeping blue in sadness.

And so it goes—
the sun creeps,
the day breaks--she
picks up another paper story,
reads words of a woman roaring,
and redirects her scheduled prose.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I wrote Is This Seat Taken? after hearing a elderly woman at a poetry conference talk of her life. Her story began as young woman and her first trip to New York. She spoke of her experiences through war, depression, technology, love, and of course, poetry. I took a snap shot of her younger years and fit her character to this black and white photo of a woman in Europe (the photographer is unknown). I created a persona in a poem.

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.
Dorothy Parker

Is This Seat Taken?

It is 3:30 a.m.; she is thirty one and
questions the thoughts dangling
over her misery; 3:32 a.m. and alone.

It was a script of questions,
it was open season, a nest of hornets,
one more trip around the personals.
She drove her car to New York,
one way streets, concrete to velvet rope,
a zoo of mania. She did not know
Manhattan; she only knew
how glamorous she was.

She thinks of having a cigarette,
searches with her hand
over silvery satin sheets,
glistening like the ocean;
she finds the red and white
Marlboro pack,
hidden inside her gray pillow case
with a half-used matchbook
embossed from
a trendy French restaurant.
The night is over.
It was a dream she once had, a flame,
red and hot--A man.

He burned like her heart,
it lasted no longer
than thirty minutes and the scar singed.
Pain lies. Love is a concept of the mind,
she thought--
lost and found in no
more than one hour.

Shackled to a ghost of her fantasies;
the blood of love slips past her lips
like rings of gray smoke.
The venery of her escape is hunting
for black and white
photos; she says, as the sun is rising,
it shadows her reoccurring stories.
A pain howls from inside her
for someone to save her.
Therein lies her war.

Monday, March 7, 2011


We should be intimate with the invisible energy living inside our bodies; even as we depart, the energy gracefully departs with us. Do we care for our soul the way we would care for a broken limb? Do we sit in peace under a tree and listen to our soul's message? Do we open ourselves enough to hear, and then have the ability to act upon our truths? I have been lain victim to this neglect at times, but nothing can stop the spring from opening her petals.
Mark Twain said:
Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.


filling the inside
of your lungs—full,

A heart burning
of your fire--trust,

Light forcing
of your life--breath,

A gold river
moving under
your skin,

the divinity
of a kiss,

shadows lightly
on the back
of your neck,

all languishing in
your body that is
intimate, intimate
to your soul.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Bloodlines flow through the integrity of every seam of our lives, and we take with us through life the laughter, tears, and memories of family. We look at family and we see the past in their experience, we feel the truth of their present, and we learn the future by their mistakes. We are a revolving, spiraling mirror, and with persistence we can change for the better the flow of our bloodlines through example.

“I hold this to be the highest task for a bond between two people: that each protects the solitude of the other” Rainer Maria Rilke


Fabric place mats, the color of sage, are
miniature versions of the rectangular
kitchen table my grandmother and I sit at.
She sits in her armless chair; I across in the other,
silently, I am weathered, a doubtful teenager.
I stare at her aged manicured hands--her ten
fingers flawlessly fold and unfold the coffee-stained napkin.
Her Parliament hard pack and her monogrammed Zippo lighter,
a present from her deceased husband, is
stacked perfectly on top, waiting for her craving.

Rose seems folded with memories, as we sit remembering --
A childhood sledding accident leaving her with
Tic de Leroux; three brain surgeries to alleviate the
pain paralysis, leaving her blind in one eye, masked like the
Phantom of the Opera, a widow still living, and out-living her son.
Her perfectly folded napkin squared to the place mat, out the
window leaves fall from the oak tree like her falling empire,
the tree my father once climbed, and click the zippo lighter opens,
butane fluid fills the pink air, her thumb rolls the flint and a
flame burns the end of her white filter cigarette.

Half of her soul sits in the light, remembering silent movies
of her life, and again she folds and unfolds the paper napkin,
gray smoke curls from two long fingers, one eye looks at me.
I ask her again.
“Tell me the story of how you came here from Germany. Tell me how
Pop asked you to marry and the dances you went to every Saturday.
Her wrinkles began to disappear, as the two of us just sit,
and fold and unfold her memories. Her memories of leaving school
at 16 to work in her father’s office to make money during the depression.

Her heroism empowers the child left in me, her love folds over me, makes
me forget a bloodline of histories, not a choice of ancestry. I believe
I have something courageous that she sees in me, I memorize her folding.
My grandmother, a compass rose of women, replaces the memories
living in my head, all while her past is replacing her present dread.
She carefully opens her pack of Parliament and pulls out another cigarette,
a yellow flame perfectly arched disappears into that moment of her life.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Yesterday was the anniversary of my fathers death, and today is the birthday of my 16 year old son. My heart is filled with memories, beautiful and tragic, my soul knowing our generations will continue to create and move forward. I wrote How I Knew I Knew about my father. At times, I see my father in my son's face; it is odd because my father's face stopped changing the day he died in 1976, stopping  my memories of him. Cherish your family and Happy 16th Birthday to my son, Vaughn Joseph.  This poem was published in the Fox Chase Review.
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” Dr. Seuss

How I Knew I Knew…

I didn’t know what you knew,
I just didn’t know you.

I couldn’t have know this was the last car ride,
in your new-blue Cadillac, with smooth-white leather seats,
automatic windows and me.

I didn’t know it would be our last drink, together,
at the bar named the Brandy Iron on the
south side of the Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia.

I should have know the car wash and the promise
of a sugary-cinnamon treat as a reward was our last stop,
while waiting patiently for you to finish your full drink.

I didn’t know what you knew,
I just didn’t know you.

It was me on Saturday morning that sat with you,
you and I in our Lucky Strike and sulfur filled room,
maraschino cherry juice trapped under clear bubbles.

You made me memorize the wisdom of football
life never stayed the same, health and wealth,
your time played the odds on your mysterious game.

And you died leaving a bereaving family,
crying icy tears, year after year,
an ephemeral question of impending trust.

I didn’t know what you knew,
I just didn’t know you,

as we cruised your yacht down the Chesapeake River
with so called friends wiping memories from your children’s
wind burned fears, Frank Sinatra’s sorrowful plea

echoing over your cremated skin and bones.
Your charred vessel coating the top of a quiet Still Pond
tempting the bellies of hungry fish.

I will never forget the whisper of your last I love you,
a full moon lulled me to sleep in my four poster bed,
I was hugging my worn-brown, warrior teddy bear.

I didn’t know what you knew,
I just didn’t know you,

Visceral memories revisit through the weight of one
cherry, sinking so slowly to the bottom of my tall glass,
your drink is finished, memorial red roses long wilted.

All I could think of as a child,
I knew you where food for a
tiny starving fish.

All I can think of as a woman
I didn’t know what you knew, and
I don’t think you knew either.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


It's wonderful to watch a pretty woman with character grow beautiful. ~Mignon McLaughlin

We teach each other. We help each other. We admire each other . We encourage each other. Let us each be the phenomenal woman we are meant to be. As a mother, I teaching my daughters how to become strong women, even if it is in the simple act of hanging clothes. We all have our purpose no matter the simplicity or the difficulty. Ultimately, I, too, grow as woman as I teach and learn with my daughters.

My Locus

Clothes pins of sanded wood and metal,
white plastic-coated clothes line,
a purple basket of mangled wet clothes.

A woman bending and stretching,
heat sucking the wet from hung fabric,
a breeze competing with the kissing sun.

A beautiful movement, the shirt
applauds with the wind in an orchestrated
dance of her strong back and graceful chore.

Locust sing in harmony with the summer.
She is a woman, uncommon among
hung dry clothes, regretfully unnoticed.

Wrapped in the heat of time, a woman
knows the power of her mind, as the
water knows it will slip from wet fabric.