we are fighters, Jill

Jill,
you and me
explode through our mothers’ thighs
the same year
It is 1963, Jill
you and me
surrounding ourselves with winged creatures
clutching word and song
wisdom and farce
eyries we construct, yes Jill
you and me
where they belong
up high so our children can observe the world
before they depart for earth
It is 2017, Jill
you and me
we are fighters
protecting all those shadowed beneath our extending wings
we spar, laugh, punch, caress, comfort
we are educators
you assist students
I create teaching tools
It is 7 am, March 27, 2017, Jill
“fought a long hard battle…carried husband and family with great courage…love of her husband’s and children’s life”
It is 7:05 am, March 27, 2017, Jill
you and me
we have just met
I promise you, my dear friend
to keep loving and supporting and cherishing and fighting
to live up to your amazing life
God bless you, Jill
the dearest person, I never knew

Advertisements

did I really know her

how well did I really know her
not well enough to know
she taped notes to the underside or back of every holiday decoration
to ensure they returned to their same perfect place each season
I did know her well enough to taste the warmth of her home
before that front door ever opened
how well did I really know her
not well enough to know
she would begin creative endeavors quite seriously
collecting all the necessary supplies
then have a go-at-it for awhile before leaping to another adventure
another collection of precious stuff
I did know she always looked lovely from her smiling eyes to her tiny feet
in perfect shoes
I later found out
she sometimes purchased 2 identical sweaters
just in case
I did know her well enough to sense
her plans were her dreams
I knew her well enough to be a part of her life
and her love
the very same love that kept those big dark eyes of hers speaking
when she could no longer talk
how well did I really know her
well enough to keep her memory
strapped inside my chest
for as long as my heart continues to beat
purple-wild-hair-editscreated this weekend
happy b’day Aunt Nina, forever in our hearts

gazing back

the warm door sweeps across the holiday welcome mat
light spills out the snow-stained windows onto the walkway
it’s cold in the dark
gazing back over her small shoulder
familiar laughter escapes the dried glass seals
happy voices are chimes in the wind
tender images tuck into the deep pockets of her travel coat

the warm door gently closes behind
moonlit bells accompany her slippered feet

she walks above the snow
alone
her thin, petite hands glide into her bulging pockets
caressing the beautiful memories

she slips away into the night
as the walkway disappears

Deer Friends

this post was previously published last year for my Aunt Nina (my Godmother and namesake-Ann)
it has been edited quite a bit this evening, I hope for the better this second time around
she would have turned 83 this Saturday and dancing sweetly on her cake

I hope all the folks along the Atlantic coast, especially FL are spared catastrophic damage as Matthew strengthens

still missing you

This is a post from September of last year. Three weeks after I originally wrote this, Rocky died. The amazing thing for this exceptional animal was that he passed away peacefully in our home right after we all said goodbye that night and the very day before my mother-in-law moved in. His illness would have made a difficult transition for her even more trying. I cannot believe how much he is still missed. The good ones always are.

I think I made you sick after you showed up on my blue canvas. A painting I patted myself on the shoulder for. I’m so very sorry, my dear friend. Did I do that to you? And it is too late now. I can take nothing back. Not one thing. I should have castrated my selfish fingers. You were saying you were sick. I didn’t hear your silent words. I wasn’t listening. For two months, I think it was two months, I can’t remember exactly–I was buried in my meaningful life. You kept hanging around my studio. You hadn’t ever done that before. Well you had, but not to stay. You’d give a gentle hello then return to your usual places, ones of comfort like the sofa by the piano. We called it “your bed,” not our couch. Actually it was a love seat. The couch knew more than I. It knew how to comfort and be there accepting the additional weight of the masses spreading inside you. The casual invaders I’d grown too busy to notice.

And now, I watch your chest breathing up and down. It is your heart saying goodbye. I’m listening now my friend. I am listening now. Please forgive me when I must say my final goodbye to you and mean it from the depth of my selfish soul.

blue boys

blue boys

Rocky the Shepherd and Mojo the Dachshund – painted last year, forever hanging above our mantel

oatmeal domination

somewhere in the universe
beastly animatronic appendages
dragging empty buckets the size of blue whales
scoop up wild oats more numerous than grains of sand
they dump these omnipotent hauls 
into two monumental receptacles
the first –
is a sweet, crunchy place decorated in swirly G’s
where smells of cinnamon and dehydrated fruits abound

the second – mind you,
casts a far more intimidating shadow
it is a dark, mysterious warehouse
where rancid pigment and gooey binder can be sniffed for miles
it is deep within the bowels of this cloaked place
that all institutional paint is manufactured
and the nefarious beings behind this demon depository 
have but one scheme in mind
oatmeal domination

these ill-natured possessors will not rest
until the interior of every hospital, recovery outpost and learning facility
has been impossibly plastered in their colorless aberration
depressing, hideous, stomach-churning
oatmeal paint
Karole in St Luketen-minute sketch while my mother-in-law slept in hospital bed yesterday
she survived cancer number 4 – a tumor was removed from her bladder, all seems well
she is home now happy, drinking lots of water and enjoying her colorful walls filled with beautiful things
those oatmeal-colored hospital walls are a thing of the past
but her care – doctors, nurses and all involved – was fantastic – wonderful people

for my cousin

each day her spirit leaps out
from the mirror
into your warm breast
she is there
ever present in those generous eyes of yours
her love of life and family
her passion for art and laughing
undeniable
there is no missing her presence
in your reflection
a smile so deeply connected
even death
cannot hold it captive
lenore and toni anneMy spirited Aunt Lenore and her lovely daughter, Toni Anne pictured here in 1985
Toni Anne’s daughter’s wedding is fast approaching
Lenore would have been front, center and beaming with wedding preparations for her granddaughter, Victoria
Lenore passed away seven years ago after losing a brave battle to cancer

…for my beautiful cousin, Toni Anne who is missing her mom more than ever…

 

party on, Nina

those eyes still haunt me
huge echoing eyes
and that small painful smile
you had so many other smiles
why is it the small one I remember
and the effort you took to make it
just for me
if I focus, I can see the bright smiles
your black shining eyes, icing on the cake
back when you were healthy
before life decided what it wanted to do with you
as it will all of us
God, I miss you still
Glenn Miller helps
singing and swinging up there on a cloud of pasta
and chicken soup with tiny meatballs
party on, Nina
party on

My Charlie

My Charlie

Charlie was a great pink stuffed dog that Nina gave me many Christmases ago…

Nina’s shoulder pads

she adored shoulder pads
tucked beneath her brassiere straps
the eighties rage
her build was delicate
not like her niece
who resembled a linebacker
if she didn’t slice the shoulder pads out of her fashion finds
Nina appreciated how the foam pieces squared-off her petite form
on her body, clothing draped as it was meant to
she had style and a talent for accessorizing
my aunt lived with grace, style and beauty
she remained dignified and lovely
even near the end
her eyes
gorgeous, dark and wide
unlike stacked boxes of jewels
and endless drawers of shoulder pads
irreplaceable gems
I miss their soft, elegant glow
still

Red Wolf

Red Wolf

When I was little, Nina had a little fox stole that sat on the top a cushy chair in her bedroom.
Happy Birthday, Nina. Today, she would have turned 83.

and frolicked in the autumn mist…

Well my friends,
Rocky our loving Shepherd has moved on to that big white kitchen where all are welcome. We are heartbroken, but damn if he didn’t enjoy life. So today my family and Rocky’s sidekick, Mojo the Dachshund are celebrating how he lived. And my friends he lived brightly–that dog lived oh, so very brightly…

Peace, love and light, my sweet canine companion
Rocky.post“Puff the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Hanalei
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Hanalei”

rest now, my furry friend

Holidragon

Please forgive me for not listening

I think I made you sick after you showed up on my blue canvas. A painting I patted my shoulder for. I’m so very sorry, my dear friend. Did I do that to you? And it is too late now. I can take nothing back. Not one thing. I should have castrated my selfish fingers. You were saying you were sick. I didn’t hear the silent words. I wasn’t listening. For two months, I think it was two months, I can’t remember exactly–I was buried in my meaningful life. You kept visiting my studio. You hadn’t ever done that before. Well you had, but not to stay. You’d enter, do a sideswipe visit and leave. A gentle hello then you’d return to the usual places, ones of comfort like the sofa by the piano. We called it “your bed,” not our couch. Actually it is a love seat. The couch knew more than I. It knew how to comfort and be there accepting the additional weight of the masses growing inside you. The casual invaders I was too busy to notice.

And now, I watch your chest heaving up and down. It is your heart saying goodbye. I’m listening now my friend. I am listening now. Please forgive me when I must say my final goodbye to you and mean it from the depth of my selfish soul.

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves