Red


She is wearing red shoes
Red Converse with black hose
A hole torn at the knee
Tattered jean skirt with a studded belt
An oversized sweatshirt and bangles
That could be me
Twenty years ago
Her headphones are smaller
So is her hair
But her world is larger
We are connected in
So many ways these days
My younger self was more
Isolated
And free
Untethered

Yellow

Prague Old Tramby Yuriy Shevchuk

Yellow railings on the tram, like solid streaks of sun
Yellow triangles repeating patterns on rows of seats
Yellow stripes on the roadside blurred into a continuous stream
Yellow balloon trapped in the branches of a twisting tree
Yellow bird singing atop a red, sloping roof
Yellow car illegally parked with a
Yellow ticket placed on the window
Yellow shirt of a woman clutching her
Yellow purse as she stands to depart
Yellow blanket wrapped around a baby holding a
Yellow rattle shaped like a giraffe
Yellow signs streak by in yellow blurs of light and color
The world is a collage of shapes and colors
When you see it, everything becomes unreal
A replica of the city, like a cardboard set
In a child’s play

Strange Fruit (1939)

by Lewis Allen (aka Abel Meeropol); sung by Billie Holiday
Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the roots
Black bodies swingin’ in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hangin’ from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias sweet and fresh
And the sudden smell of burning flesh

Here is the fruit
For the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather
For the wind to suck
For the sun to rot
For the tree to drop

Here is a strange and bitter crop


Paper Rose

A white rose
Stood alone in a plastic vase,
Inadequate;
Lacking Nature’s vibrant colors,
No perfume
No peachy silk petals to touch,
The rose was
Forlorn, as its petals began
… to drop
One by one
Each with words of smooth, black ink; dark
And beautiful
Some verses were short, others long
Each paper
Permanently engraved with a thought,
A feeling;
As petals fell to the table,
New ideas
Blossomed into the world and
The flower
Beamed with pride from the experience;
Standing alone
In a colorful pool of poetry


“You send me all these roses.
Every time I think the last bouquet has arrived, finally, another turns up.
I’m running out of vases.
I didn’t know roses came in so many colors.
You say they’re the perfect symbols of love because they have thorns and love is pain.
I say life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
And you don’t get it.
You say you love me, but you don’t speak my language.
You don’t even realize I’m an orchid girl.”

— E. Morgenstern

What I want…

“Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled —
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing —
that the light is everything — that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.”

The Ponds – Mary Oliver