Keep writing and keep submitting

This has been a good couple of months for my poem submissions. Story Circle Network accepted my poem, “Reaching for a Star,” to include in its 2018 anthology, Real Women Write: Sharing Our Stories, Sharing Our Lives to be published in January;  three of my poems  – “Stop and Go,” “The Lesson,” and “Underarm Dingle-Dangle” will appear in the Poetry Salon anthology to also be published in January, and Story Circle Network’s True Words section in its December journal accepted my poem, “The Wishing Dream,” to be published this month.

The main lesson is – keep submitting your writing. That’s the only way to make sure your words get out there and get noticed.

I won’t publish any poems here that haven’t been published elsewhere before, but since the Poetry Salon asked for previously published work (highly unusual), I can share a couple of those.

I wrote Stop and Go while at Esalen at Big Sur, California a couple of years ago and edited it extensively while in a Poetry Salon workshop the following year. It was originally published by Yellow Chair Review’s In the Words of Womyn International Anthology in 2016.

Stop and Go 

On the drive up the coast
I pass through Vista del Mar
with the Pacific Ocean
on my left.
This morning it looks like silver glass.
I get on the 405 chugging along
through the construction at Sunset
the Getty, Skirball and the depths of
the San Fernando Valley.
It is alternating stop and go
with bursts of 80 mile an hour straight-aways.
My mind wanders, not paying enough
attention to my audio book,
Mary Coin, about that
iconic Oakie lady,
gaunt and gray,
taking a sit-down
by the side of the road
while photographed
by my favorite Dorothea Lange.
But this is fiction.
No one knows the real Mary,
or even if her name was Mary.
I keep going
moving my feet about the floor
one pushing down on the pedal
the other pumping in and out
trying to soothe the vague pain
in my left calf.
I press my hands on the ceiling
one after the other
but my car has no room
for a full stretch.
Once I pass Santa Barbara
the hills are vast with mustard,
the sky stormy,
overcast with lingering clouds.
I turn off the radio
relish the silence
of driving alone thinking
about getting to Big Sur,
my calming and writing place
and try to forget last week.
I had a blood clot ruled out.
The same day my husband had
carpel tunnel surgery,
the next, a seven-foot hole
that looked like a grave
was dug in my garden
to replace a broken pipe.
Saturday night I served dinner
for ten friends.
We ate sushi, tzatziki, chicken,
swordfish and my mother’s peach ping recipe
made from this season’s sweetest fruit.
We talked about six degrees of separation,
who do you know,
what a small world this is
while I tried desperately
not to think of Cynthia’s
recurring cancer,
her sad, scared eyes,
gazing at the white lilies
adorning the table,
her thin body looking thinner yet
in all black,
as I hope someone
somewhere will find
her a miracle cure.

Here is a poem I wrote entirely while attending a Poetry Salon workshop. It was originally published in the True Words section of a Story Circle Network quarterly journal in 2016.

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.




Speak Your Mind