Stay tuned….

I’m working on the final draft of my first book. Crowds are waiting for release:


I’m working as fast as I can.

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Cafe haiku

Floor tiles are mismatched

An old man stands bewildered

Which way to go now?



A woman passes

In the cafe filled with diners –

A breeze melts my skin



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Skeleton Skeltonic Verse


skeleton bones

rattle as they roam

‘til they come back home.

the last time i saw one

he, she or it shone in the sun.

he, she or it was having fun

until he, she or it shouted a curse

it was so much worse…

it’s supposed to be a skeltonic verse,

you dummy old bones,

stop all your groans.

go back to your graves in that thick thick thicket

‘til you find a poet who’s not dyslexic


Skeltonic verse consists of short rhyming lines that just sort of flow on from one rhyme to the next for however long one chooses. 



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Grandma’s Ghost

My grandmother wore a white sheet on Halloween.

Her black oxford stout-heeled shoes poked out from under the hem.

She walked with her familiar rock from side to side.

Her pale blue eyes glinted through the eye holes.


She was not carrying sweet candy;

She carried a loaf of rye bread.

The aroma of weak milky tea surrounded her.


When I ran to her to clasp her in my arms,

She was gone.

So I went home,


And every child, “Trick or Treat!”, got a slice of rye toast

And a hot cup full of tea.



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Catholic High School

They sent us forth under false pretenses.

They sent us forth with the false idea that we knew the world,

knew where we stood,

knew what needed to be done.


In truth, after graduation, we landed like turnips off a turnip truck:

stunned by the world,

confused by reality.


Some of us stood stock still, rigid in the pretenses.

Others floundered, running blindly toward any sacred security.

And what of those trying to collect meaning as a little boy tries to capture frogs?


And me, dumb as a doorpost, hanging onto the strap on a subway car,

Letting the coach sway and shake and screech around me,

waiting for a stop that looks good,

getting off for a while to look around.


Each stop had its own smell, its own dirty tiles,

Its own people to walk past as they slept.

Back Bay, Dorchester, Waltham, Roxbury, Manhattan, the Bronx,

Mexico City, Bangkok, Hanoi….

“Oh the Places You’ll Go” doesn’t begin to cover it.


I settled in a town much like Middlemarch,

surrounded by flower smells, leaf color, neighbors,

far from the madding crowd,

on ground that does not move.


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Hundreds of Ways

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground –



There are hundreds of ways

to touch a leaf

to hear the sea


Hundreds of ways

to breathe

to sigh


There are hundreds of ways

to touch your skin

to want

to melt.


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Here’s Looking at You


Sun’s out,

hummingbirds are humming.


Then one stops,


One eye

Stares at me

Staring at him.


He hovers,

flicks away.

What was his name?



Ruby-throated Hummingbird, or

Nano AeroIvironment Spy Drone,


Which looks and flies

like a hummingbird

with a camera behind its eye.


Either the wild is

Welcoming me back home or


The insurance company is

Ensuring I’m




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The Rockets’ Red Glare

Preaching to the Converted

The Houston flood is killing and destroying. Yes?

The refineries are spewing toxins in the air and water there. Yes?

North Korea blew up a hydrogen bomb. Right? Flew missiles over Japan.

Nazi attempt to squirm out their holes.  Yes?  [Let me hear you say, “Yes.”]

The western forests are burning up.

300,000 Muslims [illegal immigrants, Yes?] are being slaughtered in Myanmar

by Buddhists.





in response,

we will deport 800,000 young Americans as illegal immigrants. Yes?



that will make the waters recede,

the toxins turn sweet;

the bombs will misfire,

the Nazis retreat,

the fires end

and make everything great again.


Oh say can we see through the rockets’ red glare?



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Grandma’s Friends

Maeve and Hugh came from the Old Country

and didn’t smell very good.


My father hid behind a chair

and popped up, “Are they gone?”

while they were still in the doorway.

Mom married him anyway.


With their brogues and silly thoughts,

they were like playthings

after they left down the stairs.


Hugh called and asked for Maeve,

“Me?” said Dad. “I’m me, who are you?”

“I’m Hugh.”

“No,” said Dad. “I’m me, who are you?”

Etcetera, etcetera….


Grandma fed them tea

and listened to their silliness.

They were so far from home and family and good Cashel dirt.

The kitchen floor was covered with newspapers

and at night

she’d roll up the tea crumbs

to keep the floor clean.



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578 million, eight hundred eighty


If a life were a quilt

would I have 67 squares?

or 720 for each hour in each month?

Let’s see

that would be 67 years

times 12 months

times 720.


Life is much longer than I’d previously thought.


No, one square on one quilt.

One big empty square for my niece to scribble on.

(Which would be life square number 345,600 when she was three.)


I’d have to have the 501,120th square with wedding flowers.

And another square for the day my dad died,

And one for the hour of Gregory’s AIDs diagnosis.


For the days I spent watching stupid TV,

too many squares to count.

For the hours of gardening and of making love,

Too happy to quilt.


Friends made a wedding quilt for my husband and I

(Square 233, 280 on my life quilt.)

It had a knee cut out from Allyn’s jeans,

An embroidery of “The Ghoul” who we’d watch stoned,

A swatch of a bridesmaid’s dress,

A peace symbol.

Gregory ruined his square by leaving an iron on it.

I forget the others right now.

They will come to me in a dream.


Blue background with little white flowers.


Yes, my life covers 3,473, 280 square inches of land.

More than enough to garden in, more than enough to wander in,

More than enough to be buried in.

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