Sunday, November 8, 2009

Black Shirts of Love: Sixteen Short Years

in memory of Melody Ross, 16 years old

Who says one person can't
make a difference?
When a stray bullet
cut Melody's life short,
a wave of students
wearing black shirts
in her memory
swept across the nation
reminding those who knew her
and those who didn't
how much her life meant
and what it represented

Melody and I are worlds
apart since she will never reach
old age and I look back
on my youth in high school
as a distant memory
when we never worried
about stray bullets
or our fellow students
having guns

We grew up with different
concerns because then,
as high school students
we wept for a president we
saw as our nation's hope
while her classmates
shed tears for a girl whose
potential remains untapped
for firearms are too easily

Reading the news story today
I wept for Melody's
family and friends who
understood as a result
of her death that life
does not have enough time
to spread love through
sixteen short years

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tearful Way

Awakening from her dream
she cries
that her tears spill
into all grief's stages
as a way to help
its flow
to a place
where she meets
the One who can
soothe the ache
no one can see
or touch

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Moon Ride

She was at my left shoulder
during most of the ride
whispering what I chose
not to believe
You're stronger than you know"
I looked at her

She winked
Yes,it's true

Then she disappeared
hiding in front of the bus
I settled in with my thoughts
and came into the station

Exiting the bus
there she was to greet me
shining over the station entrance

Ok, I agree with you

Sunday, August 2, 2009

first clematis

first clematis

lonely clematis
first one to arrive
grace this unadorned stone wall
before long other blossoms will flourish
craft a blush carpet

along this tall divider
awakened from winter’s
slow sleep opened lilac blooms
brighten fertile vines
in summer’s mirthful rotation

invite into your center’s heart
honey bees and hummingbirds
to feed, to spread your beauty
companionless clematis you live
today and die tomorrow

while you breathe the Lord
loves your provisions
when you expire He will gather
all your companions into His arms
as He does with each cherished creation

Thursday, July 30, 2009

On Becoming a Sexagenarian

On Becoming a Sexagenarian

In my teens, I wanted to be old enough to drive
When I attained that freedom, I didn’t realize
its full responsibility

Before I turned 21, I desired the ability to drink
alcohol legally in NJ; when I did, I could not
comprehend its destructive power in my life

In my thirties, I mourned leaving my twenties
as I was now in the phase of my life
where I once said, “don’t trust anyone over thirty”

When I hit the big four-o, I learned it was not
a fatal condition; I was not as wise or grown-up
as I thought I was in my twenties

Then I became fifty; it was an age people
called “over-the-hill,” so why did I not feel that way?
After all, age was a mental aberration

And now, I reach a milestone to which
I look forward because in the ensuing years
being in your sixties became acceptable

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Different Teacher

A Different Teacher

She never went to school
but she taught lessons
I’ve never learned
in any course

Education I receive
takes time
and is often repeated
I can’t ask this lady questions
since her language and mine
are not distinctly understandable
to each other
Yet, we have our own
kind of communication

In her way
she showed me
that allowing her the choice
of coming
to me without seeking
her first means
more intimate acceptance
of my companionship

My own assignments
I often comprehend with difficulty
that being who I am
is more attractive
than if I seek to be like
those whose company I desire

Monday, June 22, 2009


In that moment
when going from light
to dark where
no vision exists
back into sun again
when sight returns
it’s too late
for defensive moves
to avoid the inevitable

Monday, April 13, 2009

Quite a forgotten blog...

I sometimes can't keep up with my blogs. So I'm just posting something here to let myself know I'm still in the game.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


She’s fast
just by looking at her
body design
It’s evident in the way
nature made her
long, thin legs
deep chest for larger lung capacity
black tears down the face
a longer tail to balance and steer

Such a good mother
to cubs who sometimes don’t
make it to adulthood
as she preys so her cubs
become prey
for lions and hyenas
They are stronger than she
this lonely mother
with no help raising offspring

Still neither of these creatures
chirps and purrs
the way cheetah vocalizes
giving the illusion
she’s not as ferocious
as those who roar
or bark

Friday, February 6, 2009

Centered in Blue

earth is
thirsty for what falls
from above azure
as steely bundles of porous
cotton blot it out
Their undersides form angry
grey masses
Heavy air electrifies
with potential

has no azure crowded out
by massed anger
just falling tears
from earth-tone eyes
Life’s drought
shows in aged skin

Golden leaves lean with invisible
pressure moving through their
branches that fall
when their cycle finishes

branches don’t reach
towering toward the sky
in mute supplication
They don’t sway with
powerful invisible forces
Desires drown in cupped hands
twist into a shapes formed
by concrete boundaries
binding an inconspicuous heart

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Beneath the Corona

Midday the sun's corona shines
on the rich and the poor
Beneath its blaze a jet
flies south banks east
homeward or away
from its comfort

On the ground
a well-dressed woman walks
while chatting with a ragged
homeless man
They sit on a bench inside
a lighting distributor's fence

I check my wallet
already knowing I only have two dollar
bills inside
He needs them more than I do
as I'm on my way to the bank

Impatient for the bus
I choose a favorite song on the iPod
and sing as I walk to the next stop
I'm on my way to get the rent money

On the bus I wonder
if there's a difference
between this man and I
He has no home
I will hand over all but thirty-five
dollars of the deposit I just received
to keep a roof over my head

Yeah, we're both kind of broke

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Arid World

Sun parches its existence
a struggle to stay cool
Water's hidden here
Below the ground
wiggle under

Monday, January 26, 2009

My photo (for today)

I saw this leaf on the ground when I was sitting at a bus stop on the way to the LA Zoo - one of my favorite places to walk and take photos.


Here I am again. This week is a blank slate that I must fill with so many tasks to do. Today, no matter what else I get done or don't, I will go to the gym, or exercise in some way during the day. It's been over 1 1/2 years since I've been there, but with working on my health, when I don't have work, it's to become a priority - exercise.

Another priority is submitting at least (if not more) one poem a month to a publication. It's a line I've been standing at for years and have not crossed - yet.

Before the end of this month/week - only a few days away - I will make rough drafts of curriculum for Upward Bound summer programs and call colleges and universities to see which of them have UB programs. I will apply for them in February or March, whenever the openings are posted. Even though I'm moving to a less expensive place, I want to be in the habit of not sitting back and waiting until the last minute to find

From this moment forward motivation is the key to my life in health, work, or any other area. No New Year's Resolutions, just healthy mind, body, and soul goals.

Cheetahs are not lazy animals. They have to fight for their food. I love cheetahs as a motivational type of animal, so I need to be like one and fight for my survival and forward motion.

Monday, January 19, 2009

In the know...

Now I know what I'm doing here and I've spent several days making some improvements to my site. I will be posting poetry here - my own. When I have time, I will also create a blog for my Lessons from Life - my daily reflection journal. The photos I have on here are for inspiration for you (and I) to write poetry.

I've listed some of my favorite sites on my blog and in my profile. I'm so happy I finally figured how to make a nice blog!