Siren of Shooting Stars

dear friends,
it’s been a long week and a longer winter.
i began daydreaming about the warm weather
and the annual vacation we take each August.
we rent a 5 bedroom houseboat on Holly Lake
in Tennessee and find our favorite cove and
tie up for 10 ten days.

this is a repost, i edited the form. it was written
in one sitting at 3am as i sat as i always do, on the
top deck while family and friends were asleep. this song
was playing in my headphones and this poem was inspired by
the incredible shower of shooting stars that crossed the sky.

please play the song and begin reading…ty and i hope you enjoy.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

when

the

S u n

is

busy

elsewhere…..

.
.

and

the

night

descends

upon

your

world…

.
.

in

your

S i l e n c e…

.
.

in

the

S e r e n i t y

of

forgiving

S o l i t u d e…

.
.

cast

away

the

fear,
.
.

just

S u r r e n d e r

your

heart

.
.

and

.
.

L i s t e n.

.
.

beg

your

eyes

to

open,

.
.

to

gaze

so

high

above

the

low

horizon.

.
.

there…

beyond

any

doubt

.
.

behind

the

shadow

of

constant

cloud,

.
.

S h e

can

be

seen

each

night

cajoling

every

S t a r

in

your

S k y.

.
.

B e l i e v e,

.
.

embrace

your

F a i t h.

.
.

S h e

is

O m n i p r e s e n t,

.
.

S h e

is

E v e r l a s t i n g.

.
.

S h e

is

a

daughter

of

the

U n i v e r s e,

.
.

a

S i r e n

of

S h o o t i n g

S t a r s.

.
.

her

voice

a

chorus,

.
.

a

H a r m o n y

of

every

melody

devoted

to

.
.

L o v e.

.
.

her

history

our

yearning,

.
.

the

sum

of

our

forgotten

M e m o r y.

.
.

her

shape,

a

C o s m i c

swirling

of

I n f i n i t e

density.

.
.

S h e

talks

to

S t a r s,

.
.

in

the

U n i v e r s a l

language

of

L o v e,

of

.
.

R e a s s u r a n c e.

.
.

a

S i r e n

offering

C o u r a g e

to

erase

their

fear.

.
.

‘my bashful star,
.
.
ready yourself for the voyage.

.
.

T i m e

is

N o w.’

.
.

‘oh, lovely star
.
.
hear my song,
.
.
my Melody of Love as you fly’

.
.

‘go little star!

.
blaze a trail
.
.
across the midnight sky’

.
.

and

become

N o w,
.
.
what you were always meant to Be.’
.
.
and show this world
.
.
P e r f e c t i o n,
.
.
in your moment of
.
.
E t e r n i t y.’

.
.

shoots and wings, thresholds and thank you’s

.
.
.
i woke today to an earlier light,

slicing sun… between wooden blinds.

Spring soil…it shifts and yearns

in shy murmurs… of shoots and wings.

.

how the wind is alive

with the long forgotten calls

of weary immigrant birds,

floating currents… returning home.

.

and maybe… my day is here

to shed this curfew of skin and doubt,

finally… free myself forward

shutter eyes that lurk behind my head.

.

let my instinct… map a ready sky,

a fragile trust and mysterious as flight.

let unfurl… these inadvertent wings

and surrender my will to each unknown.

.

there is stubborn in my bones

a rain worn feather remains as resolute,

and how much fear… i’ve let fly

oh, sweet wing of creation… take me home.
.
.
.
.
thresholds
.
.
When I began this little blog a year ago, I had such meager and modest expectations that anyone would pay any attention to what was being written here, let alone take the time to leave a comment because of something I happened to write.

I wrote short stories then, a memoir of sorts, recollections of a kid from a troubled family living in a poor and forsaken neighborhood in Brooklyn. And that’s all I had plans to write until I just happened to see a link to a poetry site on someone’s blog. It was the first week of April, and just happened to be the first week of National Poetry Month.

I still can’t explain what compelled me to submit a poem, I’d only written one until then just a few months earlier. But I did, flying by the seat of my proverbial pants, against every fear and anxiety I wrote renewal. I was so heartened and overwhelmed by the response, I wrote another.

And the rest, as they say is history.

But I believe our history is a living thing, and so very humbly here I am… 150 poems later. This past week this little blog surpassed 16,000 page views and recorded its 5000th comment and on days like this when I sit back and reflect on this profound improbability, I have to clunk myself in the head with the heal of my hand in a “I shoulda’ had a V8′ moment to make sure this isn’t a dream.

Me, who feared poetry all his life… is now obsessed with its writing.
.
.
shoots and wings
.
.
And now I think it’s time to ‘unfurl these inadvertent wings’, cast aside the fear and doubt and accept the gifts that are being presented. In the coming weeks and months I’ll be busy with some collaborations and personal projects I wanted to tell you about.

A dear friend and most talented writer Bianca (B.G. Bowers) is dedicating her blog for the entire month of April to invited guest poets and challenges. She has very graciously asked me to participate, and I was honored to accept. On April 20th my poems will be featured and I’m really excited at the prospect. Thank you again Bianca.

In the next few weeks, 3 poets who are held in very high regard for personal and important reasons, and I will be working on co written poems. The themes of each of these poems are so dramatically different, the challenges will likely take us all to places we haven’t been before. With the enormous energy and talent these poets possess, I have no doubt co writing these poems will be an exciting and rewarding creative experience and I thank them all for this opportunity.

When you have a chance please visit
Melanie (Wordifull) Chloe (Sirena Tales) and teardropsofink

And lastly, many of you might remember that this past summer I was invited to apply for residency to the Ragdale Artist Retreat. Considering the prestigious alumni that have and still spend time there, it is an honor for me to even be considered. I’ve hesitated to apply because the one requisite the board asks you to have, is a worthy goal, something you can or want to achieve while you are there. I didn’t…until now.

In a recent comment thread with my wonderful new poet friend Nomzi (Nomzi Kumalo), she mentioned that she’d like to have a collection or a book of some of her favorite poems of mine. And of course I gave her my standard ‘oh I’ve never had the dream or desire to be published’ response. She hasn’t been the first friend to tell me this…

well… I finally got the courage to ask ‘why not a book?’

So I will apply now and whether I get accepted to Ragdale or not, a book will be self published in the coming months. I do have a tentative title ‘poems of Hope from a wounded heart‘, and dear Chloe has so graciously accepted to write an introduction. Thank you Nomzi for the spark and thank you Chloe for being generous with your valuable time. Love and Hugs to you both!
.
.
thank you all
.
.
And of course none of this would have or could have happened without all of you, who have read this poetry of mine and written so many profoundly heartfelt and encouraging comments. And a very special thanks to Melissa Hassard and the 20 Lines a Day community.

What an incredible gift this Circle of Encouragement is!

so ty, ty, ty, from the bottom of this very grateful heart.

Love and Hugs to you all!

echoes of Autumn…Tanka/Haiku

.
.
.
echoes of Autumn…
.
voices like leaves rustle and
.
scatter to the wind,
.
yet another poet’s pen
.
has sadly been set aside.
.
.
windy-leaves

.
.
a wordless farewell…

like the brightest leaves they fall
.
when their season calls.
.
but just as the memories

of true love always lingers,
.
.
.
creativity
.
and their inspired poetry
.
forever remain.
.
.
.
dedicated to thesilentfingers, Tanumoy Biswas,
Memoirs of a Dragon, cubby and Tiffany Coffman. ty, all.

Friday Repost…..petals open slowly


Friday Repost

for my new friends,
a little dig in the
archives for you.
.
.
.


.
.
.
.
petals open slowly

.
.
.

across undulating fields of truthful wheat
across the window walled skyscraper cities
across churning surf and miles of embattled shore
and a mother’s loving comfort hearing her baby’s cry

know your nourishing and loyal day will arrive
an infinite Sky in her kindness and healing grace
offering all its patient memory and forgiveness
and a wisdom knowing that all petals open slowly

and renewal and its reinvention begin the day
because a child’s heart is a truth we can’t deny
my dearest friend the sun is warming at your window
and our new world awaiting to hear your hopeful reply
.
.

Who is of smiling face
Bestower of all fortunes
Whose hands are ready to
Rescue anyone from fear

It is the child in us
.
.
my morning music and a beautiful video::::enjoy::::

a wish come true

dear new friends and old,

it isn’t often that a difficult issue, especially one that involves family, is resolved in precisely the way you hoped it would, that everything might just fall into place, and everyone might play their part according to a perfect but unwritten script. navigating family resolutions, at least in my experience, is like living in a colorless, flat landscape of unsatisfsctory compromises.

that absolute ideal, what you really hope could happen, rarely does.

well, i will tell you today that everything did fall into place, everyone did play their part perfectly, without rancor, without a single voice raised, with empathy and resolve and a single minded, selfless purpose.

because sometimes it isn’t about us, sometimes it’s about letting ‘us’ go, about being a conduit for what someone else needs because that person is counting on you to help make it happen, because they can’t themselves. and i will tell you i am proud of every single person involved because when i wrote ‘every single word, each reassuring gesture is crucial’ in ‘one of those moments’, i realized this wasn’t just a reminder to myself, it was a necessity for everyone else involved as well.

and so a wish was made…. and that wish came true.

yes…our lives will change significantly, everyone’s will, in the small day to day details and in profound, unknown ways. yet, as i sit here writing this and despite my weariness and emotional exhaustion, i am incredibly hopeful for what the future holds for us all, here in our family. this week will be a week of transition, and my singular resolve and commitment is no less important now, than it was getting to this point. i’m not ready to write just yet, but expect me on your pages as i catch up with what i’ve been missing.

this experience has certainly crystallized many of my long held beliefs, that our tragic history does not have to be repeated, that there is a pure universal truth in selflessness, that empathy and patience and love are by far, the most important human attributes.

that if we all work together… we can achieve anything.

i will also tell you there were days i lost my bliss, that anxiety held it’s grip and would not let go, that fear ruled the day, fear that this might not be resolved as perfectly as it was.

and each time i felt i might sink a little lower, i would get yet another encouraging e mail from one of you, from so many of you, or another wonderful comment would appear, some from new friends and old i have never spoken to, and about a dozen new friends arrived to remind me that i was being thought of even in my absence. and on days like this i think about how incredible this community is, and how lucky i am to be here among all of you. i consider you all part of my exteneded family.

there are seven words i hold dear to my heart in the English language, words that to me, are the most important words we can say to one another in certain moments.

‘i’m sorry’…’i love you’…and ‘thank you’.

thank you, thank you, thank you all.
.
.
images (31)

everyday……….Bucket of Glads

everyday will be a random
posting of daily events or
memories of my daily life
that don’t translate
well into poetry
.
.
.
.
.
‘How are you feeling, Cbear?’

‘Not so well, I’m just getting so tired.’

“Hhmm…..yeah, you feel a little warm. Why don’t you put your homework aside for now and we’ll hang out and watch some ‘Office?’

And as I suspected this suggestion was accepted like a person in water much too deep, reaching with outstretched hands for a life preserver. Relieved, she gathered all her papers and textbooks and set them in a perfectly aligned pile on the coffee table, (she’s neat that way) and in a quick second had the remote in her hand sliding through The Office episodes on Netflix.

She was getting sick, I could see it in the drawn, grey look on her face; after 13 years I can recognize her signs immediately

‘Ya Know, that usually happens to me when the seasons change, I end up getting sick too.

‘Really?’

‘Yup…I’m not sick now but I am sleeping an awful lot lately, so which episode are we watching?’

The Office, along with Sherlock are Cbear’s current viewing obsession. She’s seen and can recite in remarkable recall and minute detail the what, why and who in each show of all the eight seasons she’s watched. So I assumed my comfy horizontal position on my favorite couch and she curled up on hers, and we did what we’ve always done, we just hung out together.

When she was much younger and when this habit of ours began, it was Spongebob that was the must see show for both of us. I realized then, that she was like me in so many ways, that she needed alone time to recharge and lots of it.

She arrives Wednesday’s and every other Friday for her weekend sleepovers and in this second home of hers, Saturday quickly became our designated ‘go away world we need to be alone now’ day. It still is.

And in my second home, enscosed on my couch which is placed at the far end of our huge apartment, beneath a gently curved wall of three enormous, west facing windows, I can see clear through the long narrow hallway, to the back end of this third floor condo. That last bedroom became Scout’s office and the door to the rear deck and parking lot is almost visible, from where my head is.

I’ll admit to dozing off occasionaly, especially during the late afternoon hour of 4pm, and it’s through this sleepy haze that I heard the commotion the dogs make before Scout even opens the door, before she trundles up the the three flights of stairs, before she’s even closed the door to our Honda Element, there they are at attention, yelping at the door.

So I turned my head to look down the hall, to eventually say hi and in the dimly lit, shadowy hallway I heard the dogs both jumping up and down, flanking Scout and I expected to see her small framed silhouette as i usually would.

But I didn’t.

All I could see was the shadowy outline of an enormous bunch of stems, so tall they were almost brushing against the low hallway ceiling. And then through and from behind this almost dense hedge of flowers came the multi syllabic bullet word train moving at speeds so fast, I’m not able to decipher her words in real time,

‘syytbg jgjjg ghg ghdffweii stelcbg fhg fyksmdb gjguu!!! ggfm ghh
sdelvbt htsk fgopnj fhhfhjkd vf erhrlsjs!!! tylklkch gfnh tysgvcaw ng ftakdbg!!! bxkirytf bnjg fgwllfg gkk kuoioko gsrtkm gjj gjjhkuihj!!!…..

and if I’ve learned anything in the almost 12 years Scout and I have been together, it’s not to try and halt this train midstream. This is her speaking in, ‘I’m so happy and excited I did something new and I brought you something and I have so many stories to tell you!’ voice, it’s better to just let it whooshwhiz!!! by, like a commuter standing on the platform and ask questions later.

So I get up and meet her in the kitchen, just as she gets there,

‘ddgfonnvj gjh ryydvhmmebbnh htyf nsrrdf gfjhj
ghysk nghf iiyhhfgwl mbjg ghakkrnvb ghgdr hjly
Well…Doyoulikethem!!!????

014
click to enlarge
.
.
‘Well yes, of course.
I love them but wha….’

‘You need to arrange them
in a vase, like you always do’

And as she was saying this, she lifted two reusable shopping bags I didn’t realize she was holding, onto the counter and let them down with a thud, a very heavy thud. All I could do is shake my head in disbelief and be reminded why her second nickname is Ant.

‘Uh… Scout, I think you’re looking at the vase, we don’t have anything close to the size of that bucket.’

Now…you need to realize that Scout is a shade over 5’3, the gladiolas were almost 3′ tall, and there were almost 2 dozen of these dense heavy stems in a plastic bucket filled 3/4 of the way to the top, with water.

‘I stopped at T’s and gave her a dozen, V downstairs got a dozen too. There’s all kinds of fruit for Cbear, Cbear come and eat some of this fruit!’

She began unloading the bags, and piled onto the counter was an enormous variety of fresh fruit from Michigan and a cardboard flat of homemade jams in glass mason jars (keep thinking heavy) from a booth at the Farmer’s Market she visited that morning. All of this stuff was carried up 3 flights of stairs, by herself! ( ant ) finally arriving in the kitchen with a smile and breathless, ready with stories to recite.

Hearing fresh fruit being mentioned, Cbear came in to the kitchen and assembled herself a healthy snack, perfect food for the cold she was coming down with.

‘Yum!, why didn’t you call us to help?’

So as it turns out, the booth that Scout visited wss manned by a parent who, over the many years Scout taught her son violin, had become a good friend. She sold Scout the flowers and fruits, at an end of the day discount. She is also an influential member on a board of directors, that founded and runs an artist’s retreat. Some time ago Scout gave her the link to this blog and I guess they talked about me applying for one of their grants to stay there, free, and do nothing but write.

The residencies begin at 2 weeks up to a few months, and the only requirement beyond a serious commitment to create, is joining in the communal dinner every night.

‘You need to do this, you need to apply right away!’

‘It sounds unbelievable, but how are we…’

‘Just apply, I don’t know. You just need to apply!’

Now…please understand, this is the same person who help put the pieces of my broken life back together, the same person who told me years ago that I should be writing and did not let up, until I began. And at every obstacle we’ve encountered, and we’ve had some significant one’s, her response has always the same,

‘I don’t know, but we’ll figure it out!….’

About.com
Ants are capable of carrying objects 50 times their own body weight with their mandibles. Ants use their diminutive size to their advantage. Relative to their size, their muscles are thicker than those of larger animals or even humans. This ratio enables them to produce more force and carry larger objects. If we had muscles in the proportions of ants, we’d be able to heave a Hyundai over our heads!

Or Honda Elements or a bucket of Glads or the one’s they love.

i shine with her

070902 Half-moon rising over Bosporus Peninsula. DH
.
.
and as the sun
eyes its sneaky peek
above the flat line low horizon
golden shine the willowy frays, slow swaying
atop our sturdy fields of endless corn
.
.
.
i consider joining a sudden chorus,
three distant roosters crow echoing
their complaint to any who will listen,
that this too early hour expects
so much responsibility
.
.
.
a boisterous sun
needs little coaxing to
bless this world with another day but,
my humble, half moon companion retreats silent
behind her lacey veil of early day, as she is oft to do
.
.
.
roosters crowing earnest skyward
in star light tongues only she deciphers,
persuade the moon her return night after night
I take up the call, pleading with my demure sister of night,
for it is the midnight hours ‘til dawn, that I shine with her

.
.
.
.
.
Return to Me
i am here, calling your name
i am here, calling you back
return to me…return to me
i am here, return to me
.
.