31 July 2012

We Are One

If we begin to surrender to ourselves —begin to drop the story line and experience what all this messy stuff behind the story line feels like— we begin to find bodhichitta, the tenderness that’s underneath all the harshness. By being kind to ourselves, we become kind to others. By being kind to others— if it’s done properly, with proper understanding we benefit as well.
So the first point is that we are completely interrelated. What you do to others, you do to yourself. What you do to yourself, you do to others.
(Pema Chodron)

I'm thinking on and loving this thought lately and striving to practice it in my everyday life. And reveling in our summer abundance.

27 July 2012


"It's all a matter of balance", he said as he looked around.
Easy for him to say as he sashays through his days,
no toddlers tugging him off balance, no
array of tasks to keep home and hearth running
and babies thriving, endless chores for ones too small
for independence. Even the way he said it was a
rebuke, censure embedded in his words.

"Balance", I muttered. "I'll show you balance."
Babies awakened with song, danced around, kissed on both cheeks, (Always
kiss on both cheeks for balance. It shapes them right.),
dressed in colorful clothes, fed farm food cut small for them,
caught doing things right and fed delight in large doses,
freed to spend their days in what catches their fancy and
those who might criticize or castigate kept at bay, far away.
I don't tell them to have balance, I let them
find their balance and stand enthralled when they do.
That's balance.

This is in response to Victoria Slotto's excellent info and prompt on Balance over at dVerse Poets in Meeting the Bar: Critique and Craft. Check it out and join in.

26 July 2012

Three Word Thursday

Our neighbor's olive- oil:

(Yes, this was harvested last fall but we just ran out of our previous oil and picked up a new five liters of this gorgeous olive oil from our neighbor. Can olive oil be beautiful? It tastes of the earth and trees and sun of this place and carries their combined color. I can feel it making my heart healthy and happy.
p.s. These words don't count since they're in parenthesis!)

22 July 2012

Love Poem

make your voice 

created wavecrests
track your inner geography
in spikes and troughs

convey you
a  long hollow 
in my earth

your elongated regions
 shaped curves
of variation re-encode

your harmonic
and tumble
over me seized

if this is sound
you're releasing

I visited the soundcloud.com website yesterday for the first time after hearing the collaborative poem on dVerse Poets read on their device. The prompt today is to describe something common from my everyday experience in a new way. What could be more familiar than the sound of my Honey's voice? Our 39th anniversary is in a couple of weeks and their words well describe my experience as an auditory lover. I used some of the very words from soundcloud since I found their process compelling, even fantastic, and immediately poetic. Happy Anniversary, my love.

21 July 2012

All That Remains

My grandson returned to his home in Trinidad today. He left the house too quiet, the space where he dropped his flip- flops when he came into the house too empty and two souvenir foot prints that I'm now reluctant to clean up. 

Oh, and lots of pizza boxes to recycle. That boy scarfed down pizza on every possible occasion in the month he visited!

I'm feeling melancholy already but so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to know and love him more in all his boy exuberance. 
Grow well and prosper, sweet prince!

19 July 2012

The Sunlit Hill


12 July 2012

When Poems Write Themselves

Sometimes they emerge whole cloth unbidden,
other times they bubble up in response to a prompt, emerging
from underground springs unremembered up to then.

Sometimes they flow from fingertips as if encoded in muscle and bone,
bypassing barriers in one swift leap to tell their story.

Words jump hurdles without help to have themselves heard,
run helter skelter to find the precise order that brings
recognition, consonance, the inner sigh of aha.

Might they have a life of their own apart from us
and seek a channel to sluice through and be spoken?

Might it be that I don't write some poems but rather
they write themselves and sing aloud to find their lovers while I
stand dumbfounded, shocked into remembrance, a re-collection of ancestors echos?

Gay is host today at the dVerse Poets Pub  with a wonderful post, Ars Poetica- Poems About Poetry to celebrate one year of poetry at the Pub. For information, inspiration and all round great poetry, check it out.
And a grateful thanks to Claudia over at Jaywalking the Moon for her wonderful "how i write my poetry" that sparked this poem of my experience when poems take over to birth themselves.

10 July 2012


My grandson, as you know, is visiting me and my Honey here in Italy for a month. He's far from his home in the rain forest of Trinidad for the first time and is gobbling up this slice of life in our little corner of the world. Here are some snippets of his time so far.

He's learned some new games, like Sequence, that all of us enjoy:

and old ones that he's become better at, like Rummy Kub:

and introduced some new games to us, like Bakugan, Battle Brawlers, that go from this:

to this, thanks to magnets in the cards and clever design:

He, outside with our neighbors, watched the European Football (soccer) semis and finals wherein Italy beat Germany in the semis but lost to Spain in the finals. His t-shirt says Italia, much to our neighbor's delight:

He's a gamer and has higher speed access here than at home, much to his delight:

But this gamer also likes tea parties, much to his grandmother's delight. Our summer variation serves ice tea, home brewed on our balcony, rather than hot:

The days have been hot and dry so the beach nearby offers a welcome respite, to relax:

or to discharge some sheer boy exuberance:

Up to now, encouraged by my grandson, activities have been mostly close to home. Good way to start.

08 July 2012


She sat at the window in the straight back chair
and stared out. Just that image remains.
She wore her gray sweater and plaid skirt, her hands lost
in the deep pleats. I saw her face from the side and the rain just beyond
as it poured down the window pane.
"What are you looking at?" I asked.
"Oh, nothing." she answered.
I knew somehow, young as I was,
not to ask more questions, knew there was a truer
answer than "nothing", although
I couldn't know what it might be. She seemed so
far away, her stillness absolute, the rain constant.
At levels below words the rain drummed answers.

This was posted in response to a prompt about weather from Stu McPherson at dVerse Poets.

05 July 2012

Single Grandparent of Small Boy Maturing By The Day

We returned from our vacation in FL accompanied by our grandson, age 10 next month. This is his first extended excursion away from his family so this month-long visit is a grand adventure for us all. After a few difficult days of missing his family, especially his Mom, and adjusting to a new time zone he's now off expanding his horizons in this land were kids speak a language not his own. My Honey is gone for five days on business so I'm a single grandparent and felt daunted by the prospect.

Two boys upstairs in our apartment building became his first playmates and he's worked out some ways of negotiating the language hurdle. The older boy studies English at school and can do fine if speech is slow. The younger one has very little English so when playing games on their iPads they downloaded a translation app to talk back and forth. Good idea!

Yesterday we went to a beach with plenty of kids but no English speakers. My grandson, on his own, came up with a few clever ways to engage and end up playing with the locals. He was flying his uber cool bat kite and, when other kids looked interested, he helped them fly it as well. A steady light breeze off the water made it easy. But the kayak rides topped that. He reveled for awhile in being captain of his own boat and, after paddling around himself, he soon drew other eager young sailors for guided rides, either pulled along or as passengers.  No surf in the Adriatic and shallow waters even 30 feet from shore makes it possible and safe. And later, his pump action squirt guns scored big with the boys his age.

We had a grand day topped off with pizza and his other favorite local dish, arrosticini, at a restaurant with a play area. As soon as he headed over to play, a boy joined him for see-saw rides and swing competitions with accompanying hoots.  Can you tell he didn't want to take time out for photos?

He stepped cautiously, even reluctantly, at first but now I watch his confidence grow, his stride surer as he succeeds. Our neighbor and friend next door introduced my grandson to a boy who lives just one street over and who wants to practice his fledgeling English. My grandson came back from a visit to his house breathless: "I met his family and his mother invited me to come for pizza tomorrow evening the very first time she met me. Wow!"

As he told his mother on Skype later: "I'm really expanding my social network!" Indeed he is. I'm proud of him but more importantly, he's proud of himself.