Monday, June 25, 2007


Chemotherapists all shout, "Hooray"!
Healing cancer with four pills a day!!
Ellen, however, has a bad belly ache:
Must hurt more than when she delivered Jake.
"Oy vay," she'll say an awful lot. And pray.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

BLUEBIRD, by Aileen Fisher

In the woods a piece of sky
fell down, a piece of blue.
"It must have come from very high,"
I said. "It looks so new."

It landed on a leafy tree
and there it seemed to cling,
and when I squinted up to see,
I saw it had a wing
and then a head, and suddenly
I heard a bluebird sing!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


If you want to know how to do a thing, you must first have a complete desire to do that thing. Then go to kindred spirits - others who have wanted to do that thing - and study their ways and means, learn from their successes and failures and add your quota. Thus you may acquire from the experience of the race. And with this technical knowledge you may go forward, expressing through the play of forms the music that is in you and which is very personal to you.

- Chaim Potok

Summer Villanelle, for Greg, 1990

If only, my love, I would forgive you,
We'd grow heady then heavy in evening mist
Then wake and see it's fallen as morning dew.

We'd see the burning flowers that are new
With spikey bursts of deepest amethyst
If only, my love, I would forgive you.

But being true to what I know is true
I fill these nights with swollen tears instead
Then wake and see them fall as morning dew.

How much better to see the richest blue
Of hydrangeas spreading as full as the moon
If only, my love, I would forgive you.

And better, my dear, to lie beside you
And smell the ancent smells of ocean's mist
Then wake and see it's fallen as morning dew.

If only we were garden plants that grew
And grew together on a summer trellis -
If only, my love, I would forgive you -
We'd wake and see the morning dew.


Monday, June 11, 2007

A CT Scan's More Wonderful the Second Tme Around

Here's why: barium to drink; just some iodine stuff in water
2.i already knew the doctor who administered the dye wasn't snowing outside today
4.the little "breathe in" and "breathe out" faces did not seem at all funny anymore; they were, in fact, rather useful
5.i noticed there was a digital countdown from 20 to 0 for holding your breath; almost seemed like a contest between me and the silly little breathe in face
6.the big cat scan machine seems now like a friend, not an enemy diseased kidney is gone (where is it, by the way?)
8.i had so many other worrisome things to think about, the tests seemed the least of my problems (hope i still think so when i get the results)
9.a technician had an infant that she was showing off, so i guess the waiting area isn't radioactive
10. the manic actor from Life Is Beautiful walked (or rather raced) me in and out of the imaging place.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

I Heard a Petey, Petey, Petey Bird Today

I never paid much attention to the voices of birds, but now I do. One of my literary idols, E.B. White, was very good at it:

Early summer days are a jubilee time for birds. In the fields, around the house, in the barn, in the woods, in the
swamp - everywhere love and songs and nests and eggs. From the edge of the woods, the white-throated sparrow
(which must come all the way from Boston) calls, "Oh, Peabody, Peabody, Peabody!" On an apple bough, the phoebe
teeters and wags its tail and says, "Phoebe, phoe-bee!" The song sparrow, who knows how brief and lovely life is, says,
"Sweet. sweet, sweet interlude; sweet, sweet interlude." If you enter the barn, the swallows swoop down from their
nests and scold. "Cheeky, cheeky!" they say.

- from "Charlotte's Web"

Who can say it better than that?

Monday, June 4, 2007

Rain, 22 April 1972

Rain; but are the cliches all the same? I hold on
to the present with rainy-wet fingers
slipping, slipping - will I fall? Oh tears, tears
go away - come again another day
when I've grown brave enough to cry; when my eyes
have had a time in which to dry - ceaseless,
the rain has fallen since early morniing; and now
into night - I feel no promise or hope
of spring, nor see a new year's growth or life
renewed. Each flower that grows comes out of sod
and mocks this life, this flesh but less than a flower,
I will some day lie as nothing beneeath
this very ground - Rain. While I still live but once - just once -
wash the muddy horror of death away -