People and Places: poems and haiku
Hope: Outside a laundromat, a girl leans
against a wall in
the rain read-
ing a travel book.
The first time you walked through the door
I thought you were your mother.
You corrected me kindly, and I apologized,
but looking at your face,
I knew why I had said it.
Already your delicate being was
weary with the world,
the circumstances and decisions of your life
tied your inner being in knots
until the overgrowth choked out your life.
In the arms of your strong and beautiful sister,
you shed this awkward mortal veil,
passing to a land that will heal you.
So we gathered in the hot house,
a jumble of sweaty, tired bodies on the couch
facing the piano,
the air spiced with English, Czech, and music.
Your beautiful self was the reason for our meeting, and your gentle Pisces spirit wafted overhead,
reminding us what the dead learn and come back to tell us:
That we already hold the jewel: we are alive.
Thank, lovely Lucie.
A Birthday Poem for Ralph
Neighbors for almost seventeen years:
I read your New York Times every day
before you get up,
put my New Yorkers and TLS on your porch
early every Sunday.
You borrow my rake and push mower;
I borrow your t.v. the one day a year
that I need one.
Remember the time you backed up down the street
and rolled down your window
to tell me a Norwegian joke?
You drove me to the E.R. in August of 2007;
I saw you right before you drove off to
the saddest funeral of your life.
Sometimes we talk for a few minutes on the sidewalk,
usually about music.
And several times each day, I stop my work and
look up from the table and out the window
to make sure your car is parked
safely next door
I feel a little safer, too.
She went to France to find her art,
instead the swans told
her, “This is
the shape of your heart.”
Bird at the Window
Bringing news of death,
how to live her life.
(not a haiku)
With slammed drumsticks, pounding fingers, and hard-bitten poems,
Paul grabs hold
of death’s neck
until he has coerced
the only confession
he deems acceptable:
Engine 6 on the Way to Fight a Fire
Gerry’s son sits in
front off to
help the world she loved.
Brave, rhythmic heart, full
of life: his
mother sees and smiles.
She walks in the dark;
her soul spreads
its brave light for all.
A Haiku in honor of Present Music’s 30th Anniversary Concert
The Cast of Thousands:
Kevin’s mind and soul.
Picture of D.
What can the smiles of
teach us about life?
How are you?” I ask.
answers this so well.
St. James Park, Toronto, Canada
In a dress and hat
she threw a
party for the birds.
Rain: with so many
-ly small umbrellas.
City that holds my
soul, that heals
my soul: sweet safety.
Musikverein, Vienna, Austria
My music is fed
by the throb
of your cared for heart