Turning into our Mothers through Kitchen Windows
It took me well into my twenties and my mother’s sister to tell me the truth, because in my family, secrets were locked into drawers and tucked under hooded eyes and they had a wall of shame built around them, so they were hard to break into.
Four Days on a Deserted Island
I was a hummingbird living in an intoxicating city. Even the smell of the exhaust fumes of the cars thrilled me. It was all heady – the museums, the history, the concrete and the sizzling dance club.
A Plane Crash and Living Your Best Life
In the chaos, my whole body became calm – like I was in the eye of a hurricane. There was screaming and noise, but I was like a sleeping dog in front of a fireplace, telling the woman across the aisle from me, who had grabbed my hand and cut off the circulation in my fingers…. that everything would be alright.
Learning to see with less
Not having enough becomes a mantra, a creed, an ode – and you hear it everywhere – in church when the shove the basket toward your father, in your home, your friend’s homes, businesses, relatives, the women in line at the bank with small pieces of paper, numbers not adding up to need.
Sky of You
Miss you in a body with a too thick waist
and flaming red hair out of a box,
and one overlapping tooth
and the laugh that could crack an Easter egg.
Sharing the Weight of a Too Heavy Box
The three of us shared a diary that year, a black composition book, and we’d pass it back and forth, hating and loving our parents, falling in love with eighth grade boys and math teachers and each other’s brothers – with Bruce and E. Street Band and John Lennon.
The Church of the Dolphin
So here we were. – me and a DJ from Brooklyn, in a hot tub over the Pacific Ocean hanging off a cliff – the milky way over us, the night inky black with no moon, laughing and coughing and laughing when she said, “Holy fuck. What the fuck is that?”
Grief in the Eyes of a Hundred Turkeys
I was in a landslide of my own making, and I lived as if I was dying. Until I went to Italy, and I threw a coin into Trevi fountain, the muscled cement gods staring at me. I made a wish for all of it to stop, right after that wish, it did stop.
Kauai is a Tough Love Mother
I wanted to say, Kauai’s going to fuck you so hard now, I wanted to warn her – take the words back, but I knew it was too late.
Finding Your Voice in Dark Times
The three of us shared a diary that year, a black composition book, and we’d pass it back and forth, hating and loving our parents, falling in love with eighth grade boys and math teachers and each other’s brothers – with Bruce Springsteen and John Lennon.
Together, the three of us were discovering our voices.
Each year the undertow took us farther out to sea, while we tread water, a graveyard beneath our feet, the waves grinding us down like sea glass.
How the Universe Talks to Me
When I am most brave, I look up at the night sky, and it gazes back.
We are all every age we have ever been
Now when I look in the mirror my mother and grandmother and great mother and even my daughter and granddaughter are staring back at me, and I’m so grateful for all of us, it helps me understand time is not linear.
Angels Have Been Assigned to You
And I know the whole night Makena was with my father she didn’t see his racism, his privilege, or the young boy who had lost his mother at five years old. She didn’t have his history.
She just saw the soul of him.
The gateway to the soul has one billion parts
I was throwing out my kitchen for generations of women who couldn’t be contained by a home or a traditional marriage.
If something didn’t happen to you, it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen
Denial is a powerful tool. We can forgive the people who prefer to live inside a bubble of denial, until it touches their lives.
Love Big, then Let Go (it’s the plan)
We are learning how to release the people we love, the homes we love, even the land, as the oceans rise and the weather shifts.
When the World is Falling Apart
This is how we use our words, how we love against hate, how we know we are alive in between breaths.
We are each other’s angels on earth
I yelled his name again, loudly into his left ear. Do you want to live or are you ready to die?
Because my left shoulder hurts from my grandfather’s violin. Because my knees belong to my mother.
This is not a poem about love – it’s how we find the compass to truth north in an old pocket in a dusty closet.
The Math of Love is Infinity
Falling in love is directional, a going down, a spiral, but perhaps instead of falling in love we need to rise in love.
Ground Zero: How Grief is deeply connected to love
Grief and love are two of three braids – the third braid is forgiveness. We cannot love unless we are first able to forgive.
Song of Desire
My song becomes a prayer – that my family and friends withstand the isolation and overcome their fear of death.
Instructions for the Journey
Don’t fly – you’ll miss the valleys, the abandoned cars, the Indians, the coyotes, the intersections and the signs.
My mother, gardening her way toward God
I thought of all the miles by brother pedaled trying to hold onto my mother’s faith for all of us.
Desire, a poem
My hands are bloody from taking blackberries off reluctant vines and I have woke in the night to wild pigs.
When a dead friend showed up in my car
Ben lived in an abandoned upstairs apartment that smelled of stale cigarettes, whiskey, and oil paint.
One Person’s Grief is All of Our Grief
And the Rabbi pulled me onto his lap and told me about his God. “If you are still alive,” he said “you must be alive.”
Don’t Let Anyone Keep you Small
Though my mother was the writer, this over the shoulder scrutiny by my father taught me how to write.
Our bodies are not our souls
Yes, we are souls having an experience in human bodies, connected by an intricate, endless web of love.
Ho’oponopono – forgiveness Hawaiian style
But after my father died, after I moved to Kauai and began to write, I didn’t understand Ho’oponopono is not about changing someone else.
You are Dying, and it’s Okay
My 2-year old grandson turned to me in his gravelly toddler voice and said, “Grandma – you are dying, and it’s okay”
How anger taught me to slow down.
I pedaled my bike with fury. Past children on bicycles, past thumb suckers and hunger and dogs off leash, past Nene birds and Shama birds and a school.
For a Thanksgiving in Dark Times, a poem
Your ancestors want to remind you they were also citizens of dark times.
Loving the Haters – wisdom from a Rabbi who survived the holocaust
Going into the future, I want a Mt. Saint Helen’s of love, a Pacific Ocean of Love. I want a planet, a galaxy and a universe of love.
How a killer flu in Italy taught me how to live
The old Italian women created a circle and prayed for me, put water to my lips, stripped me naked and put cool towels on me, their rosaries brushing against my young skin.
Magical Thinking – I forgot about the Pandemic
Before this moment I was light, I was song, I was throat and love, I was the breeze that blew my thin pink curtain and woke me this morning, and then I realized I didn’t have a mask on.
Life is fun, don’t waste it
I discovered by accident I had a knack for shooting pool one night, which came as a surprise, since I failed geometry and physics.
Broken Wing by Laura Lentz
You kneel down to get closer to the suffering –
extend your finger,
the one that accuses.
Prayer for 2021
May you love harder, slower and unconditionally.
May you honor those who dreamt you into being.
Find your Silence in the Chaos
I began to reject the noise, and became a refugee from sound, moving toward silence to heal my body and spirit.