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 -