when days were long and I was saddened

your kind sweet words were the best med

just knowing you were near by

brought a smile and no tears

friends for many years

are hard to find

we are two

it’s true



September 11th

the heavens spread out filled with

glowing sunshine and billowing clouds

painted on a periwinkle canvas

the needle like roofs of towering  skyscrapers

played peek-a-boo behind alabaster low floating clouds


but that glorious September day

ended too quickly

the noise too loud for words

the heavens spread out with black smoke

the periwinkle sky filled with ash

the sun shone an eerie glare

the  clouds floated like evil dark shadows

the skyscrapers crumbled

lives changed forever

September 11, 2001

never to be forgotten






don’t let the lights go out

winter’s early darkness

shouts out let there be light

and there it is nine candles

flickering, wax dripping

radiantly glowing into the night

menorah burning bright

reminding us that miracles

did and do happen






oliver twist

the door slammed shut

on the lad who asked for more

as he was thrown into the

cold cruel world

only to have other doors open

leading to new friends,new foes

new adventures of life

from boyhood to manhood

in not so merry old  England

waiting for normal

who sets the standard for normal

as a child your parents

it is not normal:

to hate peas

to wear your hair like that

to  like be alone

to like girls instead of boys


in college your peers determine

it is normal to

be not normal


In marriage your spouse determines

its  normal to be

my idea of a wife

And on and on


I am still working on defining my normal  but

I hope my daughters have decided

for themselves what is theirs  perhaps

to live to please yourself first and then others

to be true to yourself

to be confident

to go to the beat of your own drummer


Or is that my normal?








stiletto feet

I saw them in the thrift store

black suede six inch heels

looking almost like new

I knew what I had to do

buy them


it took practice practice

to strut my stuff

posture erect, head held high

wobble, slow, tip-toe

move forward, backward

side to side

stiletto feet moving with pride



the entire 200 year old house

was a  time capsule

and if it’s walls could talk

the tales they’d tell

listen you can imagine the voices of

plantation owners

slave  workers

rebel soldiers

brother against brother

the civil war

history tucked away in every corner

a history that had many stories

all truths to be heard



















remember—–from Ted Kooser -lights on a ground of darkness

Spring comes with the retelling of the same story.

The irises return, overwhelming eyes and nose

with their wonder and memories.

These flowers my namesake

grew abundantly in grandma’s garden

despite the heat and poor soil.

It must have been her sheer will

and speaking to them in a stern voice

that did it.

Years have passed

they still grow and

“An iris offers its beauty and fragrance

as if nothing has changed

as if no one were gone”


getting focused

my 35 mm camera

still uses film

still uses manual focus

still takes the best photo

still makes me think before

i shoot those  photos

of travel

of family

of friends

of memories


it’s a reliable old workhorse

similar to me

a little scratched

a little worn

a little slow

but keeps focusing on life