Got poem?

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my poetry with you. The following pieces have been published in the Story Circle Network‘s True Words section of their quarterly journal. I’ve had a wonderful response to my poems from Story Circle, certainly motivating me to keep submitting.

And, as I’ve said before, I’ll only post  poems here that have been already published so as not to lose an opportunity to get any unpublished ones accepted. So many contests and journals won’t accept poems if they have been published elsewhere – even on a personal blog like this.

I hope you enjoy these four:


We sat across the table
covered with a crisp white cloth.
Her face glowed in the light,
her radiant smile punctuated
by deep, long dimples in each cheek.
Simply dressed in black slacks and a white sweater
she looked comfortable in her own skin.
She spoke confidently in English.
And, when speaking her native Italian,
she spoke slowly so we could
understand her words.
At this first meeting
in the quiet La Casa Volpi Ristorante
just outside the city,
eating bread dipped in oil
from olives grown and pressed nearby,
and drinking smooth, dark Chianti,
it was clear we would be friends.
Her warmth and love oozed from every pore.
We lingered over contuccis and vin santo,
not wanting to end this evening
and our time in Arezzo in northern Tuscany.
Then, before parting, we hugged
so tight I knew she would forever
have a place in my heart.
She must have thought so too.
The next day, as we were leaving her city,
she gave me a piece of herself –
lavender picked from her garden
neatly packed in a heart-shaped bouquet.

I loved reading Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry while growing up.

A True Master at Work

Three thousand miles separate Shanksville, PA
and the El Segundo CA gem shop
where the tall elegant proprietor,
has restored, repaired, or polished
over one hundred watch and bracelet parts,
gold chains, silver metals and white
and yellow gold rings
retrieved from the ground
after the crash of Flight 93.

“Look at this,” she said over and over,
not able to grasp the force
that had reduced these keepsakes
to flat pancakes.
She sifted through the bottom of the baggie
through the dirt, holding up:
a single pearl, a few purple beads
on a short piece of string, a quarter.
“There’s nothing to be done with these,
absolutely nothing,” she said,
her bright eyes brimming with tears.

She did manage to repair
Andrew Sonny Garcia’s
gold wedding band,
identified by the inscription
all my love, 8-2-69,
that Dorothy Garcia now wears
on the middle finger of her right hand.

The Secret Is Out

Invasive sounds roar constantly between my ears,
sometimes sounding like ocean waves,
calm static hums, or the high-pitched whistle
of an approaching train.
These sounds overshadow and divert music
and voices meant to be heard.
I’ve lost touch with the sound of silence
Silence is over, caput.

This malady, called tinnitus,
is the first sign of my hearing problem.
There, I’ve said it. I’m hard of hearing.

I ask Google, why hard?
The answer: in early days, it described
all kinds of difficulties: hard to learn,
hard to sleep, hard to conceive.
I also Googled for guidance on cures.
Some say try: Ginkgo bebola,
lipo flavonoid, a special ear-ringing drop,
though more of the oily goop flows
out of my ears than remains.
Some advocate therapy cranial-sacral
or neck and head massage.
Others say: keep my mouth open permanently
just like a lipstick model or utter humming sounds
from the back of my tongue
and express long, deep, rolling sighs.

The truth is the whole list is a bunch of hooey.
Nothing works. There’s no known cure.
I have to learn to live with it
and not to go stone deaf as my husband fears.

Sylvia Plath is still my favorite

Underarm Dingle-Dangle

Semi-inflated balloons
hang under my upper arms.
My friend June used to call this
flapping-in-the-wind phenomena
kimono arms, or, to get right to the point,
underarm dingle-dangle.
They resist every try
to firm them up. I can’t bear heavy weights,
and sissy little three-pounders do no good.
Yet I do my puny triceps and biceps moves
at least three times a week anyway.
I’ve exercised like a fiend
most of my life: playing tennis, running,
practicing Pilates and Yoga,
and now walking miles
along the ocean.
My obsession keeps me sane –
it saved my life and
out of the psych ward after my son died –
and trim enough to defy
those who called me fatso
when I was a little girl.
No, I can’t get rid of the dingle-dangle –
I won’t it cut off
as once suggested.
Nor will I expose it in public
wearing halter and tank tops
and strapless gowns.
But I can suck it into
a tight-fitting long-sleeved tee.

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