jeremiad

it’s unsettled, this thing in our chest
delicate as the velvet underside of lamb’s ear
bellwether of change
preparing to die
in the dark
in the cold
as winter shoves her fingers down its sleepy throat
dormant into the dirt
winter steals beyond the plant
she will claim our hearts with frigid hands 

I am sorry I have no answers
experienced in living
neophyte in death
parse these words gently
it’s unsettled this thing in our chest
delicate as the velvet underside of lamb’s ear

I do apologize for this lamentation
this jeremiad from dust
to dust

oatmeal walls

oatmeal walls

sketched last year-no one died for the writing of this piece-all is well

Sparkling

breath just out of reach
in the lungs
in the soul
her heart was tired
her eyes more so

those lovely fingers
nails thin and yellow
once strung delicate white lights
on every willowy houseplant
claiming the toasted-cream living room

a mechanical bed usurping
the mahogany coffee table
those vertical houseplants
sparkling oxygen
into dying black irises

feathers and leaves usher her
to papa’s homeland
embracing over cobblestones
pattering bustling streets
inhaling baked flour

smiling at
a bouncing soccer ball
little white lights dripping
across canopies
warm bistros and red wine

her breath
whispering
I am home
I am home
I am home

those houseplants
sparkling

Robin's Tree

Robin’s Tree

May you dream of a full, beautiful life…
Tree painted about 2 years ago for Robin

Of Giant Husbands and Little Trees

Dear Friends,
The giant husband is in the ‘green’ business. He knows quite a bit about plants, trees and Latin roots. Every year he works six days a week then for six glorious weeks, beginning Christmas Eve, the nursery closes. He gets a well-earned rest though Rocky the Shepherd, and Mojo the Dachshund usually fail to read the memo.

A few months ago I wrote a story about the giant husband. If you’d oblige, I’d like to share an edited version of it again. Because as the saying goes, “Behind every married woman who blogs, is a giant husband.” –

Back in 2000, after giving birth to the big son son I had some complications. For five days and nights after the big son came into the world, I was hooked up to tubes, monitors and I believe there were a few pots and pans (this is where I lost my dinner preparation zest). I liken the experience to an exotic vacation minus fresh air, warm sun, bright sea or anything else pleasant. Each night when the hospital room grew dark (despite bells, whistles, alarms and flashing lights) there was the giant husband, ‘sleeping’ at the foot of my hospital bed atop two small chairs smooshed together.

Though the giant husband makes things around him appear smaller, he makes anyone around him feel grand. My Christmas gift every year is having him home for the holidays.
BP finalThank you. May you dream of someone who makes you feel grand…
Giant Husband, Delicate Daughter, Tiny Tree rendered today while listening to, It’s a Wonderful Life

A note: The other day I had the amazing fortune of talking to a selfless father and fellow blogger, Simon Tocclo of Liberian Me. The reason I bring this up here is when there are complications during birth, mothers (in the poorer areas of Africa) don’t survive. So when you dream, please dream of hope for those in need around the world…thank you.

 

O Captain! My Captain!

Dear friends,
Years ago, the giant husband worked for a large wholesale plant distributor. Every summer his company held a barbecue on Calf Island, Long Island Sound in Connecticut. As you are aware, a boat is often required when crossing water. It was during one of these barbecue voyages, I met the most ‘Captainish’ looking Captain I ever laid eyes on. His vessel pulled up to the dock and we party-goers hopped aboard. I asked if he wouldn’t mind my taking his picture. I had to paint this introspective face. His ocean eyes twinkled bright beneath his devil-may-care thick brows, his great silver beard shone white in the sun, and his old sea-dog straw hat reflected the brilliant yellow of his fisherman’s slicker-

The Captain/acrylic

The Captain/acrylic

“O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring…”
Walt Whitman penned, “O Captain, my Captain,” a somber yet beautiful poem in homage to Abraham Lincoln. I too admire Abraham Lincoln. Whenever I create a Lincoln portrait, I dress his figure in present-day attire. This makes me feel a bit more connected to Mr. Lincoln-

lincoln full I created this computer image with Adobe Illustrator. Again this was one of my earlier computer efforts so I used the mouse, good old-fashioned hand-eye coordination and a lot of patience…

lincoln closeAfter that barbecue, I never saw the Captain again. I have his stoic, sea-worn painted face to remember him by. As for Abraham Lincoln, I think of him often and wonder what we would have chatted about over tea…