missing you

for my father

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’tis wrestling season, my eyes close for 2 months


I listened last night
cresting waves
you
a ship
the gymnasium floor
covered in ocean blue and harvesting gold
home advantage
there you were
every time I closed my eyes
imagining the sea
rather than watching you twist and be twisted

my heart opened them
I must be like you
brave
put myself out there
on the mat
face my fear, my folly, my foe, my friend
when did you become so you

my son

the little boy
I must one day
release into a hard world
with no soft wrestling mat beneath
should you fall
maxmy max is on the right, gold-stripe
so very difficult watching these wrestling matches
hoping none of these kids get hurt
but they do
must keep my eyes open

something about

over
under on top
this is it
that was now
wasn’t it
wasn’t it
spiraling
pack pack pack the fucking brain
round the square corners

jump the cycle
break the loop
think outside the box
that was 1990
wasn’t it
business speak
can’t speak anymore
much of anything
who was that glossy chick with the shiny shoes and the matte business card
baby spit on the shoulder
now dirty sports uniforms

something about files or writing
art no it was art
crap family coming this weekend no next
was there a party I was planning for someone I love
it’s the school thing he needs to be at she told you
what? what was I doing

oh yeah
the studio I was filing my art
away for something
wait I’m in the wrong room

where the hell did I put my studio
there’s no food in the fucking fridge
social-ing on social media isn’t always
walk yourself Mojo
I ain’t got the time
I gotta go drop some books by airplane
purple roomI consider my childhood bedroom – my first studio. There at the table is where I pretended to be, Kolchak the Night Stalker. The wall “rainbow” was my first mural. I’d give anything to reclaim my original Breyer horses there on the shelf. My Clairol makeup mirror – geez, I’ll never get that close again to a magnifying mirror with lights, and my little budgie hanging in his little cage – I often let him fly around.

Please pardon, but I’ve been back cleaning old posts. Many I’m not too pleased with, so I’m reworking these older writing pieces while the brain currently in my possession is on vacation.

did I ever tell you this story

did I ever tell you this story
she doesn’t actually ask
if she did, I’d lie anyway
why not
she often relives these moments
snared in an autobiographical time warp
when her smile bared genuine enamel
and her skin was fleshy seashell pink
she flashes through these moments
speaking with an age from back then

the crystal ball stops rolling
arthritis ceases its assault on her worn-down bones
her long gorgeous model’s legs take a catwalk
voted best legs in the class
did I tell you that
yes, but you don’t remember do you
lying for those legs
lying for this woman
she cartwheels back
memories are liquified Ponce de León
bottled water I would steal
she continues
regaling in moments of perfect laughter
with a doctor friend
sharing smokes, drinks
things I can’t share here
I’m driving the highway so I can’t keep looking her way
and nodding in the “newness” of this memory
I’ve heard this particular tale
many times
don’t know if someone will be around to listen
to my stories
I’m glad her beautiful legs aren’t causing her pain now
in this crystallized moment
studio
glossy from one of my mother-in-law’s modelling studio sessions
(can’t recall photographer’s name to give proper credit)

side by side

we hope our children view the world through rose-colored glasses
shades
pray they live well, so their buckets won’t need lists
green bucket
we’ll try to respect their deep-seated thoughts
car leg
and teach them to respect those who have gone before
pray
they must always believe they’re more magical than mermaids
lil mermaid
and understand playing dress-up is fabulous, as long as they remain young at heart
money bat
we’ll tell them it’s okay to think upside down
Caro upside down
and they’re the apples of our eyes
apples
and when the world gets too big, they can hide under a blanket
eyelashes
and that same big world is full of wonderment
max laugh
we’ll let them sit in a red chair and do absolutely nothing
max red chair
and tell them they don’t have to smile all the time
painting image
as long as they keep their heads above water
max head above water
we’ll hope they love each other enough to hang out upside down
upside downand sideways
butt heads
but above all that they’ve learned–
love simply means standing side by side
carmax hugwith Caroline attending college this fall, and Max a high school junior come September, I’ve been waxing nostalgic
I published this post last year but have been thinking about it lately
damn, time wearing his ankle wings and over-priced Nikes sure does fly
xmas 2105

Spirit mural

Riding the Cyclone

cyclone milliethey say you can never go back
she did, at 79
the magic of optimism
in her breast
returning to Coney Island
for the ride of her life
a young man locked her in
brave nana, kneecaps knocking
beneath that padded bar
she didn’t look back
only forward
at the dropping parallel lines
stomach lifting steel
smiling, laughing, screaming
on this Halloween
she leaps another year to the right
considering each 365, a dazzling gift
nothing about her has changed much
her remarkable passion
her boundless spirit
why, in 80 years
the only thing that has changed
is the ticket price
her first ride cost twenty-five cents
last month, the Cyclone was twelve dollars

shy party doghappy birthday, mom
xoxo
millie at 79

I wonder

I wonder if she would’ve been braver
had her heart outrun the difficult years
her courage once supple and new
now evaporated by decades of living

I wonder if she would have been at peace
had she found the time to look ahead
knowing the past was what got her there
and primed her for a long detailed life

I wonder if she will find time now
to admire the heavens
inhale the sunset, exhale the worry
and relax in the beauty
of an eternal sky
sunsetphoto taken yesterday while standing on my front lawn

Aged Smile

Aged Smile

art previously published

The Magical Last Light

I’d like to share something that I’ve selfishly kept to myself for many years. It’s free and it’s beautiful.

My favorite moment occurs when conditions are just right: the sky is a foreboding grey, the sinking sun is well onto closing down for the day, and a gentle wind lifts the tree leaves like fluttering butterflies.

The moment begins when the sun’s last rays illuminate just the tree tops. Then it happens–lasting only a few surreal minutes. Nothing else can describe this sight except magical–the magical last light.
trees ligthIt’s truly spectacular. The interior light in my studio softens even the dogs take notice.
dogs studioIt’s like leaving Kansas for Oz…
color treesI hope you enjoyed this moment as much as I. If you take the time to seek out this light, you too will be reminded that all things are possible–even peace on earth…

Reworked old post from 2014, I thought fitting for today 🙂

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

our blue boys

the mantle has been empty far too long
I’ve been meaning to create another portrait
what else is an empty fireplace wall for?

it seems an eternity has passed
since working with a linen base and liquid pigment
pencil and paper are sometimes sorry replacements

on August 3, I set out my paints
and selected a canvas
large enough for a big dog
yet, not overwhelming
for a little one

our last Shepherd, Chama was a regal type
her stoic beauty typified her grace
I did my best to present these qualities
when I painted her formal portrait in 2002

Appreciating

our current dogs
hmm
Rocky the Shepherd
Mojo the Dachshund
what is it about this dynamic duo
that makes my family laugh often

they are quite goofy
yet, they can be fearless too
as small dogs usually go-
Mojo’s 13 pounds sees 90 in our Pella glass door
and
while a Shepherd cuts an intimidating figure
most times
Rocky acts quite silly

when conceptualizing a portrait
there is but one goal–
doing justice to
the subject(s)
outlook(s) on life
natural as the air they breath

in the case of Rocky and Mojo
I’d say joy
and since purple was not quite right
I chose the colors of a
blissful sky, a wistful ocean,
an icy fruit-sickle on a steamy day

our blue boys…
blue boys.largerBlue Boys, acrylic – 3′ x 2 1/2′
finished a few days ago, in between doing loads of laundry – ah, if only they could help with the chores, now that would be something 😉

Chama (Chama the Shepherd looking at her portrait), oils – 2′ x 1 1/2′
painted in 2002  (sorry for poor photo quality)