the soft spot

photo of my beautiful mom with my kiddies many moons ago…

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maternal nightmares

scary baby masklittle witch babies and tormenting black skies
gusting wind
long dark dresses swinging like death bells

a frail newborn with antlers growing
crying out as it tries to lift its weak neck
ocean-deep in salted sweat
those early months

panicking…

a pink infant
without bony deciduous growth
or skull-sunken cheeks

seventeen Halloween moons gone by since,
those first seconds
one more fall harvest
until her
perfect little face departs

dreaming…

scary baby mask, mixed media rendered a few weeks back…
the first time I was pregnant: during the first trimester, I had many bizarre dreams–some were nightmarish, others surreal like Dali paintings…my oldest is now 17 and college planning is on, lots of positive dreaming 🙂

Happy B’earthday

squeezed to point of pain
between plates of hard glass
body facing east
breast facing west
lying on cold, aqua-blue vinyl
covered with white tissue wrap
lower extremes spread
invasive metal instruments
sitting in bare, beige room
upper arm cuffed and pumped
tongue extended
ears plundered
I do this for you
I wouldn’t do this for me
if there are soft infants
in your bright future
in healthy arms
I’d love to embrace them

Caroline baby/oil

Caroline baby/oil

Caroline in oil, painted 16 years ago.
My delicate daughter turns 17 on Earth Day
Happy B’earthday, Caroline
Happy Earth Day, too 🙂

The Magical Slumber

Dear Friends,
A sleeping baby is magical. His flawless face bestows peace. His satin skin softens hearts. His bowed lips know only love…
Baby ElfThank you. May you sleep in the arms of sweet peace.
Baby Elf sketched in pencil last night and charcoal detailed today

Earth logo for blog

ALL is Not Divisible by Two

Dear Friends,
Sixteen short years ago, I left my career. It was a surprise even to me. I had planned on working right through the whole mom thing. Why not? I could multitask with the best of them. I had color-coding down to a science. I was not only a list maker, I was a List Master.

corp galGo ahead, throw in that new baby ’cause there was nothing I couldn’t do. Besides, all the women I worked with returned after having babies so would I. I adored my career. I loved walking into my big office, (though I didn’t appreciate the kitchenette location if someone was microwaving broccoli). Creating 4/C textbooks and their ancillary components required a small planet of talented people. My staff was terrific and I had a fabulous administrative assistant. After months of arduous work, I always loved having a tangible product to shove proudly into someone’s hands.

coverinside credit pageI only knew how to do my job one way – ALL. I worked many hours often and always. It was how my parents raised me. You give your ALL so ALL was what I gave. I was Atlas – the weight of the publishing planet upon my back.

ball backEight months after the delicate daughter entered my autobiography, I gave notice. I only knew ALL and ALL was not divisible by two. For many months afterward I color-coded toy baskets, made infinite to-do-lists and wrote about a little alien in my house…

Thank you and goodnight. May your dreams be weightless and pain-free this evening…

(I rendered fashion gal in pen and ink, ball on back girl is pencil, Prentice Hall cover design and interior design by me. Skeletal System in Motion cover illustration by the talented illustrator: Keith Kasnot )