Awakening of a Septuagenarian

I am a product of white privilege.
I hula-hooped and pogo-sticked through youth
scholarshipped through college on the debate team
married, bought a house, and had two children.
We had two dogs who roamed our big back yard.
a vegetable garden and raspberry bushes.
Our kids had good friends, played board games
took music lessons, learned to drive,
went to high school swing choir competitions.
They went to college, married,
bought a house, and had kids
who took music lessons and walked to school.
None of us had the proverbial picket fence,
but sure seemed we had everything else.
I had no idea there was a Green Book.

At seventy-three, I am appalled, frightened,
and petrified for this country.
I applaud all who take a knee
and decry the knee that pressed,
without mercy, on George Floyd’s neck –
8 minutes and 15 seconds of deliberate hell.
I decry the lack of justice for Breonna Taylor.
I decry the narcissistic occupant
whose utter disregard for science,
truth, the environment, the letter of the law,
sacrifices made by our armed forces,
has decimated the moral fiber of this country,
left us with 200,000 lives lost to Covid.
And the number grows.
Yet people follow this self-centered prat,
gather in enclosed spaces
no masks, no social distance,
cheer on this person
masquerading as our president.
The occupant who doesn’t give a rip about them ~
except to keep him in power.
I write, I speak, I donate to senate contests,
and I WILL VOTE.
I maintain hope in the good.
That is my protest.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe, where today Grace asks us to consider protest poetry.

Provincetown Farewell

Day dallies before night,
languorous not angry.
No streaks of orange-red.
No temper tantrum flares.
No sinking glaring half-orb
stamping her rays.

This evening she dabbles,
pastel palette en plein aire.

Blushing, she rouges blue sky.
Sun butter yellows upon her brush,
delicately blend into rosey hues.
Bending closer, stroking more,
soft kisses touch ocean calm
till violet hues meld into scene.

She pauses quietly in her beauty,
then softly fades farewell.

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Originally published a number of years ago. Publishing again today as we return to Boston. Instead of our usual two weeks, with walks into town to meander galleries, shops and eat at restaurants, in this age of Covid, we spent just 8 days in hibernation at our rental by the ocean. But, Provincetown, even without all the hoopla and town attractions, never disappoints.

Sunset photos taken in Provincetown, at the very tip of Cape Cod. No photoshopping; no edits. Just pointed my phone and clicked. Breathtaking evening as you can see. Easy to understand why artists and poets (including Mary Oliver) flock to Provincetown.

Ancient Artist’s Final Days

Alone his last weeks,
squirreled away in abandoned dune shack
sole window open to ocean’s ebb and flow.
Easel, sawhorse-table, canned goods,
sleeping bag and brushes. Minimal décor.

She’d left him years ago,
but each day she came closer.
Porcelain skin, barely blushed cheeks
velvet brown eyes as he remembered them,
brimming love.

Pale coral tinted mouth,
retouched each day.
Gently he brushes her lips,
moistens them as mornings dawn,
heart searing, needing her.

Ribboned strapless sheath
painted to reveal sultry throat, soft shoulders.
Delicate fingers hold blooming vine.
Each rose carefully painted,
petaled to life.

Until at last he smells her scent,
roses permeate his soul.
One last rose lovingly placed
centered within her crowning hair,
her essence complete.

And so he sleeps his final sleep
as gulls squall in the distance
and waves create his elegy.
His bluing lips smile in repose,
knowing she is nearby.

I am hosting at dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. I’m delighted to have reconnected with artist Catrin Welz-Stein who is graciously allowing us to select one of four provided images as motivation for our poetic creations today. I’ve chosen the beautiful image above – it was hard to choose as all four are magical in my opinion. You can find more of her work here: Catrin Welz-Stein, Join us today to see art-inspired poetry – what is called ekphrastic poetry.

Celestial Journal

Eyes spy these skies.
Robin’s egg blue ‘round brilliant yolk.
Dreary gloom leaking drizzly days.
Snowflake cutouts fairy-floating.
Impressionist pinks and mauves.
Ominous grey turning dark,
thunderclap cymbals crashing loud.
Cantankerous clouds tango dipping.
Firecracker sun fizzling out,
begrudgingly cedes to starry starry night.

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the world. Today, De asks us to write a quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words, sans title) that includes the word “sky” or a form of the word. Photos are from various years in our beloved Provincetown, except for Van Gogh’s Starry Starry Night (one of my favorite paintings of all time).

Provincetown Good Night

Early fall breeze wisps over me
touches my brow, my nose,
swirls ’round the room.
Plastic window blinds plink a tune.

Lying, just barely awake,
my hand touches yours.
Fifty years together,
twenty years enjoying this place.

Provincetown’s oceanic lullabies,
gull squalls and answering calls,
raucous Commercial street walks,
and paint-brushed skies to end the days.

Lying next to me, this year’s fourth night,
your fingers curve round mine.
Your lips puff out some snoozing air
and I smile.

Eye lids heavy,
I imagine us young again.
Dancing in the stars
riding on moonbeam tails,
and I grin myself to sleep.

Photo taken in Provincetown from our deck, BC (before Covid) in 2019. This year we are hunkered down, still enjoying the ocean and beautiful scenes similar to this, but maintaining our Covid-bubble. We are not walking in to town to galleries, restaurants, and shops. Here’s hoping next year will find us on raucous Commercial street again!

Ledger of Life

In the wee hours of the morning
my mind tumbles faces, places, memories.
Little aches ping.
Hand holds pen to write,
conduit for black words
birthed on white unlined page.
What is this but a ledger of life?

Dids and dones
undones and shoulda-dones
woulda-dones, coulda-dones.
Little ones raised to move on
to raise little ones to move on
to raise little ones to move on.
Where in this pattern will I cease?

Dawn rises, stains sky in fiery reds
oranges, glaring orange-reds.
No sorbet pastel hues today.
Yesterday’s clouds only wisps today.
If they dissipate tomorrow,
will their essence still exist
somewhere in that indigo sky?

Someday,
I shall no longer walk this earth.
How many little ones raised to move on
to raise little ones raised to move on
will recall my name?
Know where to find my words,
poems once so thoughtfully scribed.

Perhaps I shall be a faded photo
in an antique frame,
dusty but shelved with someone’s knickknacks
between Kahil Gibran’s The Prophet
and James Patterson’s final mystery.
And when I think about it,
listening to the ocean roll in,
I’m okay with that.


Click on link above to see video…takes a second to run.
Written for Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. OLN means folks can post any one poem of their choosing; no prompts given. Video taken Wednesday, September 16 in the age of Covid….from our deck in Provincetown.

Seasonal Scenes

Summer tourist ignores gawking stares,
is scantily clad
leaving little to imagination.
Too intent on catching season’s last rays
exchanging working haze for lazy days.

Its transition, felled by floral war of sorts,
gold dipped sunflowers droop defeated.
For autumn’s hearty mums,
brass and bragadocious, now gleam victorious.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse. Today Laura asks us to write a nine line poem. To make it more challenging, she asks that it incorporate a specific line from a poem she’s cited; and that line just happens to be exactly nine words long! Each of these nine words then, in that order, become the first word in each of the nine lines of my poem. Confused?
Here’s the line: “Summer is leaving too, exchanging its gold for brass” from Dorothy Lawrenson’s September. Now, look just at the first word in each of the nine lines of my poem Seasonal Scenes. And now read those first words from top to bottom and voila, they say Summer is leaving too, exchanging its gold for brass!

Photo from pixabay.com