Sunday, December 14, 2014

Solstice on a New Moon

There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. Leonard Cohen

Why are we given this long night when the world stands still?
If we shadow maples and hickories, our bodies long and reaching,
If we make birds the oracles and sky a Holy Grail,
Make a family feud into crow antics, let worry lift into clouds of starlings.
We might stop dwelling on what holds us down.
Trees in their subterranean sleep, dream of finding a sun.
Of spraying pink dawn with bright leaves.
At midnight we hear deadfall crashing nearby,
                                             and know it’s the old falling off.
Healing, releasing pain, and what remains is green and vital.
Breath and love the magic elixir –
Breathe in crystal melodies, breathe out fever;
Breathe in sandalwood, breathe out mishap.
If we listen to the darkness, beneath roots of winter trees,
There is music humming in the bright silver string
That connects us to the heart of the world and to each other.
Look out and look inward, count our lucky stars,
Our boon of bread and soup, our hot mulled wine.
Steady into Yuletide, we enter with a new cold moon,
On a night rimmed with amethyst, ready to crack open.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Wisdom of Tears Counting Coup behind the Moon

-- for Noah

Your report quickly became epic. It began in a big room filled with strangers, how you had no corner for retreat, how the bus arrived for all to climb aboard – strangers with strangers. You had your doubts. They rested beside the dust of last night’s cobweb, you tried not to get entangled.

In the part about the camp, you explained how they brought everyone together, how the real journey began, how it could end with a brave new world.  So you all embarked, not sure where you were going. Now you know, every hero has to travel through the swamps first, you waded into each other’s bewildering house. You witnessed, you cried, you identified. Tears brought the car around when a truth stumbled out.

You told us the food was lousy and each day was a feast. Wisdom delights most in the fruit plucked from vines rooted in unsavory places. You never went to bed hungry and even added a few concordant inches about the way the world can be. Empathy laid beside its golden retriever, sighing with the Bodhi.

You don’t remember when all the strangers left the room, when you looked inside yourself and only the beloved giggled back. Friendship billowed in that moment like a choir of spring frogs. It was deafening, the whole world in this one place, you at the center.  How many others felt just the same?

Now you want to constellate communities with the new light you brought home in your heart.  Your pledge courts its vision, and your promises want to dance even if they stumble.  You know now that shit makes good compost, makes black soil. You will plant the shining seeds there. 

And we bind our pledge with yours, it is a new spring and the world is brave. Ring around a village that wants no member to be barren or bereft. Ring around a world that pulses with creation, erupting in flashes of love, in beauty, erupting in surrender, in struggle, in courage, in respect.

Yes every corner takes its turn to shine, takes it turn to shadow. You emerged from your hajj more whole because you reconciled with the enemies hunkered within. These are the best of victories, the moments to crow about, and the coup you count crouches behind the moon.  It wants you to come find it. So begins the next chapter.

Monday, July 14, 2014


- for lulu

On the day you were born,
Ell Pond must have brimmed
to tickle all the toes
of elm and fir, their limbs
dripping with dew and finch chatter.

Must have tickled you too.

I want to hear you giggle
like the summer day, you and Ernie
dived for haddock, already hooked once
and tossed out by fisherman
because they loved your laugh.

Like the chowder, necessary nurture -
like the sea to float a family
shore to shore -  see, even life boat.
I imagine it could run with
the tide, maybe even run amok.

Love how it splashes everything.

How it touches us with a light
twinkling like Mars and Jupiter,
chasing the moon.  Let's suppose
there’s no need to dive for fish again,
when the gift is in the giggle.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Feeding Fiona

(As if Fuin Mac Cumhal and the Salmon of Knowledge had a heroine instead.)

Why bury your wild heart?
Honor that rakish salvation 
from soap and Jane Austin.

It’s neither silk purse nor 
sow's ear. Why bother with 
the quest for a perfect way?

Tunnel the worm holes into 
ninth dimension tomorrow. 
These notions for life, for duty -

so quickly they fill with 
dust like puddles in August.
If you neglect the beveled 

lips of agate, framing you 
beside feral kin, proud light 
bends obliquely from miracle.

When you giggle madly as 
a pod of girls in skirts blue
and billowing - veils swing open.

Hold this passage like April
holds spring. The earth aches
for each seed and feathered 

song; desires grubby fingers 
to probe the iron laced fissures,
they map our fault line. Follow

the dark thread home; 
nose to wind. Chase every 
sanguine urge. Crave 

the Golden Salmon roasting
on hot coals. The best morsels 
wait for your hungry tongue.

Feed Fiona and croon 
to your wild heart.
Don’t bury her again.

-- rosalynn cimino

Friday, July 4, 2014


Helen holds hands with thunderheads.
It helps when she's weak in the knees,
lightning running down abductors,
running down bones.
Even temple guards succumb to
such days, soft as pillows -
scarlet velveteen on silk sheets. 

Pink cyclamen bells the air,
and Helen cut her traces.

Bridget dreams the summer wind. 
Its susurrate moan rises in waves,
swells with tides of sandalwood
to chariot the night. 
She spins rhapsody around its howl, 

dawns a golden jet stream 
on spangled festoons of cirrus.

Weak knees fly off with yellow wind, 
before Bridget stills the night.
Sicily wets her lips with limoncello,
quells the rabble of heartache,
the clatter of waiting. 
She rings goblets like temple bells,
makes a sound map for lost days.
Her boat of pink sand brims in
blood oranges and cyclamen.

Lightning festoons the rabble,

Sicily finds Helen’s hand.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Michael's Dervish

Let’s whirl across a yellow sky, wind it tight with wonder.

Let’s pledge to shelter the soft and sensitive.
This devotion is flame ready, rendering promise
like blackened fields, seed heads popping in epiphany,
ready to incite a murder of crows, heckle of dragons, a fold of tigers.
Ready to sound the bell that brings back our breath.

Let’s paint the clouds purple, whirl them into billows of prayer.

Let’s imagine a summons for gentle rain,
for gardens breaking open like my heart;
imagine light dancing and dappled under green canopies,
and elephant gods swinging every obstacle sunward.

It is ecstasy we ferry from shadow, out of a  yellow sky.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


- for Evan on his 30th

I might appear decisive.
Ideas resting akimbo, black & white,
The passage to an emerald kingdom.

Can I give you a sure thing?
Some solid ground? 
No need.  Instead, what if 

Enigma rings this moment,
Like sunlight rides a forest?
What if edges already meld, 

Like plaid weds flannel?
Then we can court vibrations,
wind kinship in wavelength.

We lift each other up.

I could rise from sandy sediments
Breast bare as a sycamore,
The one down our gravel drive.

She tugs water droplets
Out of the aquifer,
Rock bound for centuries;

Drags them up
Gives them a penthouse view,
Opens her lips, out they go

To float like lost tribes,
To congregate as cloud-bank.
She craves the rain.

We lift each other up.

I could sit like frog, eyes 
Poking out a rippled surface,
Meditating on his digestion.

When in violet flash, a horny dagger
He never sees coming,
Drags him up and out –

Tosses him down its rose gullet
And he’s cooking beyond done
In the foul yellow juices.

He is digestion - coming apart, the 
Molecules of sleek frog re-mingle:
Shaggy gray feathers, stilted legs.

Now he breaks open the air,
One motion, look
It’s a frog with wings.

We lift each other up.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Arpeggio in Fifths

- "and in my wild heart what did I most wish to happen to me." - Sappho

Swing you heavy door behind teeth and tongue
Slip into Habibe
You song of Veronica
Tupelo rose of mad
Ecstatic lyric in fifths
In lazy samba
Gather skirt 'tween fingers and thumb
Climb each rung
As slick in shadow
As in summer fog
Rise in adagio

Shimmer you elegant orchid canopy
You sweet capitulation
Net this shy cosset
Like swallowtail and birdwing
Mercy give mercy
Quake calm
 Under heaps of tight curls
Under heavy lids
I run for cover as
Your eyes find mine
Dive for andante 

Ring you tangerine canyon
You seismic syncopation
Rock my hips my shoulders
Tremble in Richter scale
A fluted pulse to slake thirst
Like apples and tea
And amethyst and filigree
And Saturday half past ten
Deep deeper
I delve a velvet interlude
Surge in allegro 

Spin you endless of dance and stumble
You dark Rati Maa
Dispel dilemma like cats
Shake off calamity
Soaking sheets, salty lips
Temerity of cobalt
You complete me
With mirror perfection
Folded beneath jasmine
Behind myrrh
Ascend to presto 

Echo you silhouette of  blue heron
You rising moon
You Pegasus climbing
One two three
Simple evidence
Honeyed day
Life's palace delectu
 I ripple in red tides and rain
Habibe is sundogs and
Fingers along backbone
Divinely legato

Saturday, May 17, 2014


It could be like chocolate milk
Like Yoohoo soda
Lay on the tongue
Find bubble of heart dance
Use the recipe
Easy as pecan pie
Forget the sugar
Just be good to me

Today there are only buck-thorns
To bring the pennies from heaven

Who who who
Says now for then
For this place on the good red road
Around the corner
Between the coffee spills
Wednesday brings Sunday

Maybe five seasons cold
Is all you need to see Shiva
Loud with light and laughter
Maybe the sleep of seven moons
Is all the dark one need weep
For gardens to break with bounty

We run with the hounds
Of curiosity for the bulls
Howling like coyote 
Crooning in barred owl
Even so

Waves of goose-flesh
Kiss 5 AM
Awakened between chapters
Ground to azurite dust
The very gravel of first borns
The very sass to climb Gibraltar
To gaze back
Survey our progress
Bringing water home

Turn now
Open permission.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Motherswell of Love Dance

-- to our progeny

It seems a plausible imperative,
(she tells us) 
trust yourself  -  ride the intuition.

It will wake you at 3 am, mercurial
as an infant still in womb time.

Unannounced - it can take your breath
like the Tower card from Waite Ryder,

all those flames and falling bodies.

Trust yourself to just exhale.
See, winter passes,

(she’s rolling now)

it's 85 outside - we're between jet streams.
Trust yourself – just be naked sometimes –
turn up in a favorite dream.
lead with your belly, walk with Ursula
rising from nap time. She's ravenous, grumpy.
(so are we)
When we lumber into the stars of summer,
we'll suck on bones of worry -a marrow that kicks like sin.
(she pauses)

Trust yourself - it's in the water,
this love dance of fractals, this swirling Troposphere
weeping mercy onto deserts of Somalia and Djibouti.

Its gift is fresh gumption -
lifts wings and floods flight paths with all the usual suspects -
poets and children, red knots and butterflies.

And oh! The horseshoe crabs -
such ceremony in a May arrival,
their motherhood, blind treasure of foam born
in neap tides washing up in an endless line.

Just like that 
(snaps her fingers)

trust yourself to be in step with our critical mass.
You - pebble launching a thousand avalanches,
                                   a thousand miracles.

Now ride Sally ride! 

Friday, April 25, 2014


Mickey’s Bradford is blooming
deep in Central Harlem
deep in the place
where even weeds are named
where precious is knowing who lives here
who is fat with fruit and seed
who died yesterday
who lost the nerve to flower
today - precious
Mickey’s Bradford is brave and blooming
maybe there are no dandelions now
sacrificed to salad – see where
brave got them
monocot clones muscle apart 
the concrete pads
tethering Mickey’s front door
to the pulse of big apple
stealth never sleeps
somewhere a dogwood winter
has wolfed a billion blossoms
casualties noted, precious
but not in Central Harlem
bloom Bradford bloom!

Thursday, April 17, 2014


The blood moon needs attention.

She bangs the glass panel by panel
as she passes through the naked canopy

of oak and ash - she's desperate for praise,
for veneration, for the long moments of worship

like the early days: a world lit only by fire.

It's not until she pours those globs of gold
into the amber goblets in a south window,

that I notice six little lanterns of moonlight, 
flush with her fire, ringing like sonorous treasure,

like a suspended chord, a perfect 4th
in salty satin harmony with the sky.

I devour the scene with my eyes, my ears,
my skin, my tongue, my heart - a feast of Indian ragas.  

And just as my body shivers in its own light,
the showboat glides behind a cloud.

 "Shalom, Shalom," she sighs.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Between What and Where

if we go now
beyond forest into carnival
surely nothing grows lost
like they told you
all things pass even
the great blue skimming the canopy
dragging my line of sight with it
all things bang for deeper understanding
a breeze to toss each breakthrough
dog with a bone 
they told me 
it doesn't have to look any
particular way
leave palms open to go

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Smashed Hands

(from Serrano Peppers by Jane Hirschfield after my uncle was hit headon by a teen texting)

Remorse as with smashed hands
first there is adrenaline, then just anguish,
what urgent message, pressing call,
what thief of presence, slothful larceny
exacts such unkind toll: the wherewithal
to hold a wrench, tie a shoe;
plunder rendered to wanton absence;
lightning strikes a cherry in bloom,
so weeps the wind.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Charm for Sleep at Four

From open windows, sip deep breaths,
Count your blessings, no kidding
Count them. Croon a mantra of
Yes and thank you.

Still awake at half past?
Make it a monk’s rising,
Rock and pray with favorite song
or poem; finish that chapter

with a cup of peace.
Still awake at five?
Roll out in goddess stretch or child’s pose,
Chant deep desires as pranayama.

Still awake at five thirty?
Swaddle worry in lavender.
Open a beautiful journal,
From nib of favorite pen,

bleed out a list of ways to laugh.
Drink a glass of bubbly. 
Burp up busy mind, and
let dawn slumber take you.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bless This Mess

This day wants to wear a pink badge and
be naked as the faces women post on Facebook

honoring women who struggle with a chemo hell
that kills their cancer that takes their breasts 

that teased a lover's lust that fed babies that
sobbed like the gasp of first light that speaks 

to a wobbly body as it emerges battered
from the wages of slumber before seven

from wonky dreams --- holding bird sculpture --
villages waving with alarm -- timid lovers

learning to dance together while thinking 
about fucking -- even the cakes were delicious 

without being eaten -- this day breathes in 
second grade and bad jokes -- making me blush 

for I can feel it comb private recesses behind 
my heart -- already it has found the secrets 

I keep from myself. Ahimsa, tender day
-- ahimsa, and bless this mess of rising.

Pick one

Filmy blue,
heaven vaults these dreams,
hairballs and high wire fences,
loses its voice under 
a tight curl of rose petals, inside
a stiff chrysalis, coated in sand -

Pick one 
before breathing again -


There is always soft patter,
knocking like April rain -
its pulse irregular.

Raw and weepy 
this month swings in
lavender and snow peas -
finds its voice among
spring peepers, inside
a waxing snore, screwed down 
with jar lids -

Pick one
without looking -


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Secret Big Top

“A secret about the One who has made us all – nuts” –Hafiz

Have you seen her?
Not the one foam born,
yes, center pole for our family big top
rising from the froth of babies
born from the cosmic swirl
of our clan’s own creation myth,
wherein it is told
Lilith and Eve took Adam
and Lucy teased Ricky
and Jane hung out with Tarzan
and Amelia courted Alphonse.
Our creator is a late bloomer
full of holly berries and turmeric
crusty with November mud
wafting long in moments
of frying onions and cedar shavings
of vanilla and Chanel.

She's breaking hearts now
wailing in C# to see if
the world is still vulnerable to her charms
yowling at Venus instead of the moon
stirring dreams like they were typhoons
of fractals hatched from the push of blue wings.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

First Snowfall

with minute focus
the sun finds me
it's a mirror I can't ignore
first snowfall 
extols the glory of winter
and sunrise explodes into
a billion shining moments 
snowy limb to limb
I am the trampoline 
learning to find resilience
in the synergy of 10 am 
when radiance
is bucking its boundaries
erupting with an ode to joy
pretending it's just an avalanche
surging sunward
on tiny feathered engines
if I resort to chasing the jet-streams
I'll never learn the art
of making my road authentic 
and bringing us home

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Move Over

This life is big, room for everything
generations long, incarnations deep.
We'll be the echo bouncing
between first moment and what's possible.

Imagine how remarkable this encounter,
my newest granddaughter, Maia
with her crystal dreams of me 
in the holy mire of 12th century Wales.

I am amused, for even in such a boundless home
our stuff tends to eddy as clutter
close around us, the grand piano,
the chiffonier, the waterbed and the bookcases.

If I grouse about my stranding on some imagined island, 
audaciously feeling hemmed in, it's on me.
The epic frontier waits here, just beyond 
the edge of convention or the morning mirror.

And the March winds are right on time,
ready to rise in our bellies, open our hearts, 
sweep out the cobwebs, the dead limbs.
Blackberry winter, sprawling as New Jersey, wants in.

Friday, February 7, 2014

How to Rouse a Pewter Sky

Start at the edges
where it begins to fold 
into frozen pond,
run your fingers slowly 
between that tiny seam of earth and sky,
warm gradually,
feel for the ember,
it's under thin ice,
press it to your palm
allow that cool rind of doubt to soften
wrap it thrice around
your first thought after waking,
blow them both a kiss
with swish of swallow
it can scatter stupid notions
about brittle and hope and winter. 
there, already
this steely mood shifts,
pewter sky to morning robe;
the rest is duck soup.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


"Mirabai says, 
my Beloved is a steeped herb,
he has cured me for life."

Twenty three thousand times today
my lungs will collude with my heart to find you.
A sandalwood base note, a silk rug 
wants to carry us another day 
but it grows thin. I drag the air 
for passage beyond  this time and place 
with a drift of apricot and amber.
Like chambered nautilus, I'll curl
around the last molecules 
of your scent mingled with mine.

Look, the ground shimmers in ghost trails,
and breath implores its caravan.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Hang my heart in a southeast corner
to catch the morning breeze.
You mind the wind, strumming its canopy 
with a contagious lament. I know
love is no private matter, more like 
a circus or Sunday parade. So 
let it feel brilliant and raise holy fuss,
you know where that can lead. 
We'll drift as this heart bongs on and on, 
a metronome echoing rubies.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Nothing fits
feet in the wrong shoes
face squinched
ribs shrunk
something grew overnight
push! said the radicle

Monday, February 3, 2014


What purrs in the belly
opens a way to my heart
makes obsession promise
to carry me tightly
one day at a time
promise a hejira
soul journey 
no maps
just follow the stars
that rise as earth turns 
that billow within finch chatter
that shine in my eyes, in yours
in dreams of babies with flaxen curls,
within the ache of Ariadne.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Flat Water

like flat water 
sweet is somber is stillness
rest today
I dreamed of vining tendrils, 
each nested in a vibration
 liquid song like baby's breath
outside the morning wears white 

Shakti Rising 1

Angel in my back pocket
Pokes me like a rare penstemon
Crimson rising from ivory
To whisper - no answers today
Golden twine, next pocket
Threads our magnificence
Mind each moment
The labyrinth pulls us in

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bull Market

They’re selling everything -
What good these mottled wings of swallowtail
Or elastic reach of a morning sun?
Make it fit a pocket or purse
beside the loose change or make it gone….
Can’t neatly tuck away forty acre lakes and rose gardens,
fit them behind a green sofa – Ka-ching!
They’re selling everything…
Summer afternoons and the dreams of sleeping babies.
Put enough zeros behind a tenner or twenty,
heaven finds a new home in Malibu.
They’re selling everything….
When it comes time to take a breath of night air,
follow the peregrine to the end of the rainbow
Uh–oh, they’re wrapped in brown paper,
headed south in a panel van.

Bull market - they sold everything.