Dreams – Still Dreaming

I wrote and posted this poem several years ago on a theme of “A Mother’s Dream of Peace.” In light of events in Charlottesville, It’s still relevant.

I dream that differences will be valued, not disdained.
Eye color, hair color, body shapes, and skin shades will be appreciated for their beauty and variety.
Cultural traditions will not disappear, but will thrive and grow together into a rich and fascinating sharing of knowledge and beliefs.
I dream that blindness will be merely a different way of seeing, and deafness impair only the quantity, not the quality of the language ‘heard’.
Children will matter because they own the future. Their education, academic and social, will become and remain of utmost importance.
Mediators and peacemakers will be recognized as the strongest leaders.
Questions will come from curiosity, not ignorance, and the answers will breed respect.
Knowing each other, knowing ourselves, will lead to knowing that fights and conflicts, wars of all kinds, can cease to be of value.


Caretakers of Water

an elemental poem

Wet, clear
Dripping, collecting, pooling
Who owns this water?

The people who pump it into their swimming pool, clean it with cholrine, and swim in it to ease the stress of daily living?
Mr. and Mrs. Mallard who are looking for a place to live?
Those who harness its power for the industries that give us jobs and products to purchase with our pay?
Those who live near it, on it, and in it?
Or those who pum it through miles of desert pipeline to reach their homes?
Those who sail on it?
The companies who bottle it to sell in stores, Or the people who pay for the bottles?

The caretakers
Of all the water on Earth
Those who drink from it
Those who bathe in it
Those who use it, treat it, Return it to its source
All use, and therefore share, ownership and responsibility for this precious resource.

Water isn’t blue

an elemental poem

Water isn’t blue.
It only appears blue in the distance —

— except when it has a high phosphorus content, making it look green, which leades people to name the bay Green and name a city after it and a football team…

But back to water.

Water isn’t blue at all.
Its surface reflects the color of the sky —

— which appears blue because nitrogen is the most prevalent element in Earth’s atmosphere and nitrogen appears blue when the sun’e rays reflect on its molecules

H two O.

Water can look clear
In a tub or shower. —

— The drops cling to the wall until they fall, sliding into one another and joining to puddle at my feet because the drain is clogged and I keep forgetting to treat it…

Oh. Yes. Water.

Water isn’t really blue.
It’s really colorless –.

— but its clarity can still hide micro-organisms that can make you sick even though you can’t see them in the apparently clear mountain spring…

Blue? Not water.

Water isn’t blue.
When a lake freezes, it looks white —

— from the gradually growing ice that spreads across the surface of the lake, insulating the water beneath to house fish and all other kinds of marine life, thickening to hold the shanties of ice fisherman who spear for the sturgeon, prehistoric beast, trophy for walls, provider of fine caviar…

No, water isn’t blue.

A Walk through the Woods

This is a “stolen lines” poem, created from lines “stolen” from a class collection of poems

If something sounds familiar, it probably is.

We stroll past the colors that transform a field
sometimes green and sometimes gray.
Where the sky is a page of water
with an in-your-face honesty to it, a clarity free of reflection.

We search out every horizon
through a veil of distance
in this vast and wondrous land
where everything is clear and still.

Now into the forever shadows,
the canopy lush and thriving above, a carpet beneath our feet
something less tangible courses here,
as we wander through woods that hold no breeze.

The soil is full of marvels and above it,
buckeyes, sycamores, and one black walnut
let their cello depths emerge from the cycle we call life.

Nature, great providder of the rainbow, sends
saffron leaves rusting, cresting into their moment
red-brown pine needles inches thick, a black beetle quick
to burrow back under the rich brown loam.

We listen, we believe,
oh stranger of the future,
oh friend of yesterday,
while a kind of twilight begins to permeate the air

As one hour sweeps into the next,
here it’s proven that time requires
this fleeting moment of eternity be savored — where
fact and fiction are indistinguishable in the moonlit night.



In the garden

I can be me.
I can relax.
I don’t have to pretend to be normal
Or fake happiness.
No plastic smiles stick on my face.
Social skills optional; the tomatoes want water, not conversation.
In the garden
I have no deadlines.
I can slowly pour the water onto the plants
Letting the moisture sink into the soil
Nourishing the plant roots below
Encouraging growth above ground.
In the garden
I can hold entire conversations in my head
No one need know what I’m thinking
Indeed, the talk is quite dull to most.
In the garden, my thoughts are my own
Until I decide to share them, if I share them at all.
A small plot of ground,
My garden is my retreat.
When I need a break.

Beauty in simplicity

My garden isn’t lovely
in the conventional sense.
It is home to vegetables, not flowers.

Shades of green
With an occasional spot of color:
Golden squash blossom, yellow bean, orange and red tomatoes

But the real beauty
Among the deep green of the spinach or the deep rich brown of the composted soil
Is hearing my kids call out, with complete honesty,

“Mom’s playing in the dirt again!”


Blooming Field Drive has neither
nor blooms.

Foxglove Lane is a lane,
If a lane leads to a strip of condominiums
where the closest thing to a foxglove
is the digitalis in a medicine cabinet.

Who had the brilliant idea
to replace a Blooming Field,
a thriving prairie
of diverse and beautiful grasses and flowers
with large boxy houses painted gray
and name it after the previous tenant –
the Field,
with its lovely, now deceased,

Where I’m From

(inspired by a post at The Little Egg Farm)

I’m from city sidewalks, the kind that need shoveling in winter and grow hot enough to blister bare feet in summer.

I’m from four distinct seasons. I’m from vehicles with heat and air-conditioning, in a climate where both need to be in working order.

I’m from trees of all sizes, giving shade in summer, giving leaves in autumn and if we’re lucky, maple sap for sugar and syrup in spring. I’m from climbing thick branches, seeing old behemoths fall in storms to become fuel for the fireplace around which we gather.

I’m from snowmen, snow angels, and dangling icicles, spreading rock salt and litter and sand when walking becomes precarious. I’m from mittens and boots, gloves and scarves, lined jackets thick enough to withstand any wind.

I’m from earth such rich, dark brown it’s almost black, grass so very green when it rains, and flowers of every hue; fresh vegetables in August, rhubarb from the freezer in January, and homegrown basil and thyme in pots on the piano all year round.

I’m from chalkboards, pencils, and multi-colored pens. I’m from reusing papers and copying half sheets on the back of old pages. I’m from books to read, stories to write, experiments to explore.

I’m from the arts, music, drama, storytelling, and the multitudes of venues for self-expression.

I’m from song and dance, stage and scenery, prose and poetry. I’m from rhythm and rhyme, andante to allegro, opera to jazz, vocal to orchestral to symphonic brass.

I’m from the land of Green and Gold, a home with at least one headpiece made of “cheese,” and Sunday afternoons spent with the big screen TV tuned to Lambeau Leaps at the not-so Frozen Tundra.

I’m from a homeland where hearing, seeing, and neurotypical development are never taken for granted.

I’m from a land where all the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and the children are above average. Wait – strike that, it’s one state to the west of mine.

But I am from a changing and evolving local culture, a place where family counts, a neighborhood where neighbors share their cookies and coffee. It’s a great place to visit, and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.


At once
With little warning
The sun leaves us, taking with her the light.
Without stopping at Navy blue,
The moon pulls the lavender blanket from the sky,
Cloaking the Earth in black.