19 March 2014


How to decorate for this feast day
celebrating Ordinary Good Men?
Ask John, he's one. Not that he looked
for a holiday. That's the point isn't it?

He just goes and acts as an ordinary good man-
stays loyal to friends, stays in love with his family, works hard
at work he loves, does all he needs to be good at his work,
fixes broken things around the house, likes to cook, buys cool presents

for his main squeeze when he travels, tells her she's beautiful, tells her she's sexy.
Keeps his interests wider than sports, TV and drinking, lots wider.
Reads, initiates interesting conversations, listens closely, the kind of close that lets
his partner get clearer about what she's thinking. That alone

is worth a full fledged holiday with banners and parades and a day off to celebrate.
But there's more- he likes a good time, likes to play and laugh,
has dreams for the future. And when I think I've reached the end
of all that makes up an ordinary good man he surprises me

and tells me that he likes how my eyes look in my new glasses, how
my whole face looks open and pretty. Then brings me out to the balcony
and gives me the full moon with two planets close by, so bright and lovely.
Bring out the balloons, and streamers and posters

for all to cheer these treasures in our midst who do what they do
with no holiday until now. Sing songs, raise a toast, shout it out-
Here's to Ordinary Good Men! Hip, hip, hooray!

For Izy's Out of Standard over at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads who asked us to invent a new holiday. As for my personal hero for whom the holiday is invented- that's easy, my Honey of 40 years, John. He's leading the parade!

17 March 2014

The Longest Hours of the Day

The longest hours of the day
move like stone, a shared collection
of semi-ruined possibilities
that leave only doubt,

the future more contained, its roof lowered
in the longest hours of the day,
crestfallen cardboard, fragile as dust
with little chance for change save encrypted hope.

What is that refusal deep within
that lures us think 'what if?', 'maybe'
in the longest hours of the day
even as our hearts break open?

Perhaps we humans, illegal aliens on earth,
crave an ever-present sliver of hope
and fail to grasp the despair glimpsed
in the longest hours of the day.

For Open Link Monday but inspired a while ago by a list of words offered by Kenia Cris over at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads.

14 March 2014

A Runner's 55

Finished the Florida half marathon in February
7th out of 47 women in my age group (65-69).
Felt good but I set a new goal: keep running
until 70 when I'm the youngest in the age group
and come in first. This woman of a certain age
likes to have something to aim for.

For G-Man's Friday 55. True story.

On the Jacksonville beach:

At the finish line:

13 March 2014

Times They Were A Changing

It started suddenly at fifteen,
him stretched out on the rug
his ear next to the Hi- Fi speaker
listening to a different kind of music,
it sounded just this side of dangerous- Fever,
Don't, I Beg You, Great Balls of Fire, Hand Jive-
Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry.

1958, I was twelve, on my own verge, stepped over brother's body,
his eyes closed, transported to places I'd not yet gone
but I studied him like an instruction manual
and took in the music's messages. Things were changing
in one house on Rockland Ave. with oldest son, for sure,
middle daughter alerted who whispered cautionary tales to youngest brother,
one young man shifted, one girl altered, acculturated to the larger social upset.

Posted for Kerry at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads who asked us to write about a flashback moment. This strong memory from 1958 presaged my awakening in the turbulence of the 60's.

07 March 2014


He always wore his Boston baseball cap,
loved the game from young,
liked going with friends to watch players lap
the bases as if they were a necklace strung

together, it was the thrill of it all, anthem sung,
hot dogs eaten slathered in mustard and relish,
guys gathered, burdens rested, every moment embellished.

In the last photo of my brother four days before he died two weeks ago, he was with his friends. He was smiling in his baseball cap after going to a game with them. Looking happy. He was on his way to met a friend for coffee when he died. Just living his life. The suddenness is hard on those who loved him but it seems a good way to go. I'm glad for him. Offered for the G-Man's Friday 55 (counting the title).