August in the City

View from where I wrote this poem. NYC. August 16th, 2019.

I wrote this poem last year on a park bench in Washington Square Park.

I carried an umbrella,
walking down Fifth Avenue,
waiting for the rain to fall.
I held one of Patti Smith’s first
books at the Strand.
I admired Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs
at the Guggenheim.
I told a man from Africa about
Toni Morrison in Central Park.
I was forced to cross the street
due to security in front of
the Flatiron building.
I heard different languages in elevators
and on sidewalks.
I had a conversation about the weather
with a girl from Jersey
who lives in Brooklyn.
I listened to a band play
in Washington Square Park
on a Friday afternoon.
I endured uncomfortable benches
because I wanted to stay outside
for as long as possible.
I tried to be productive
while people watching.
I noted every book I had read
while roaming around the Strand.
I explained to a woman the difference between
the local and express trains going Uptown.

Thoughts While On A Lake

Can I stand up on this paddleboard without falling in?
I'm not the most balanced person. But I can maybe try.
Compromise! I'll get up on my knees for a while
To see how I do. Genius idea. What a lovely morning.
Very few people out on the lake. No strong winds
To push me to shore or towards the dam.
Second time paddleboarding, I can do this.
One foot and then the other. It's not too hard..
I'm up! I'm doing it! Oh, there goes my friends.
They look so small from where I'm standing.
Why does this thing go so slow when I stand?
I'm coming! I'll catch up! Hey! Jumping fish!!
So many bubbles in this lake. I wonder what
Kind of fish live in here. Okay, I'm going to go around
These people who I don't know as best I can.
Don't hit the people! Don't hit the people!
What a lovely morning. Thinking something twice
Just makes it true. And I'm coming up to my friends.
Don't hit them. Slow down. How do I slow this...
Well, I hit them. A small bump. It's fine.
Wow, what a trek to get over here.
How long has it been? Half an hour?
It's calm out on the lake. It's great to enjoy
The view and not be on my phone.
The water feels nice on my legs. A little cold,
But it's a refreshing cold. Perfect for summer.
Oh, no! I'm too close to shore! Must paddle back out!
How do I steer this thing? It just wants to go...
I'm sitting backward. How did I not realize this?
There's a clear way of which is front and which is back
And I somehow got the two confused. Good job.
I'm a natural at paddleboarding. 

An Ode to Double Vision

Ten months without you
vanishes with your unexpected
return in late July. I liked you better
when you lived in my memories.
You came barging in without warning.
Your presence is most obvious
morning and night. I don't know
what you expect me to say,
I literally cannot see because of you.
I cannot read a book or look at my phone
without an interruption from you
telling me my eyes are changing once again.
Well, the migraines already informed me,
but I guess you're another messenger,
a bonus I never expected to see again.
But when I think about it, it makes sense.
Your appearance in my life once again.
If anything, you're a reminder to be
patient with myself. A sign of hope
that you will one day you leave
and never return. The ten months
I spent without you were wonderful.
It made the year you previously
spent with me seem like nothing in hindsight.

Nothing In Particular

Rain begins to fall
in late afternoon.
The summer breeze
is relaxing on my skin.
Solitude to calm the mind
as I sit outside is embraced
like a friend I haven't seen
in a while. A bee flies from
one sunflower to another.
I watch without fear
comforted by the
distance between
the flower and my
computer. Cicadas
chirp softly, the dog
I'm watching keeps watch
on nothing in particular.
I exhale a breath I didn't realize
I was holding. It is quiet,
both mother nature
and my thoughts,
soft and calm
with nothing in 
particular to say.

Worst Critic

I've been posting for so long I can no longer tell
if I'm good at what I'm doing.
Hello? Anyone out there?
I write these poems to share.
To share how my life is going,
What I'm thinking and feeling.
When I read some these poems back,
I'm unfamiliar with who wrote them.
I no longer occupy the same space
I did last week, last month, or year.
What year are we in?
It feels like many years this year.
I'm writing this on a Wednesday,
who knows when you will read it.
I've been writing all day,
I didn't know I had a lot to say,
until I began typing on my keyboard
and words appeared on the screen.
This is the magic of writing.
I'm still uncertain I am any good.
Like most writers, I am my own worst critic.

Wear A Mask

A message from a woman with compromised lungs on the importance of wearing a mask. 

As a woman with compromised lungs and other health issues, I cannot even begin to express to you how important it is to wear a mask. I rarely leave the house these days, but when I do, I always wear a mask. I normally don’t post things like this but I need to say something. This isn’t a political matter, this is a public health matter. We’re still in a pandemic and masks help control the spread of this virus. When you cover your nose and mouth, you’re doing your part to keep those who you come in close contact with from getting sick. It’s only common courtesy to be respectful to those you know and to those you do not know. The more we can do our part as human beings by wearing a mask and washing our hands, the less of a chance there is to have another lockdown. Yes, it can be inconvenient or uncomfortable to wear something over your nose and mouth, but it’s better than getting sick or getting those you come near sick. Be smart. Be safe. Wear a mask.

Allergic to the Heat

Remember when I raved about going on walks every day?
I laugh when I read those poems back now.
Walking in spring is a delight,
the weather is still slightly cool at all hours of the day.
Walking in summer is hell,
the heat feels like walking in an oven.
There's a small window in the evening
where there's potential for a cool down,
which rarely comes in the middle of July.
I'm a night owl, not an early bird.
Rising before most people are awake
to walk sounds less than appealing to me.
Instead, I've come to appreciate the shade.
I love summer outside in the shade.
I could sit outside in the shade for hours
and be perfectly content.
Any opportunity I get to sit outside
and appreciate nature now, I take it. 

Hello

This is your weekly reminder to wear a mask.
It's the least you can do when venturing outside your house.
You are protecting those around you when you do so.
It's become common courtesy to wear one.
Wash your hands, cover your mouth
When cough or sneeze, and please
Stay at least six feet apart when around other people.
This virus has not gone away and will not go away for a while.
If you have anyone in your life who needs a reminder,
Feel free to send this blog post to them.
It's more important than ever before
To keep your germs to yourself.
Be safe out there. 

PS – I promise not all of my blog posts will be like this. I just had to say something because cases are rising as people are continuing to disobey the rules. Throwing fits in Target isn’t the answer. For those of you who are wearing a mask and staying socially distanced, thank you for doing your part.

Take care!

Howls Quietly in the Distance

Summer rolls in, we're still dealing with the problems
we've been facing for most of the year.
A virus appearing uncontrollable
can be lessened if people wear a mask.
You may not want to wear something
over your mouth and nose.
No one's doing it for their own enjoyment.
It's not like this is normal life and face
masks have become the new fall trend.
Everyone's wearing one! It's fashion!!
If you're not wearing one, you're not cool.
No, if you're not wearing a mask
you could be spreading this virus
you do not know your carrying
to those who are more vulnerable, like me.
It's basic human distancy to wear
something over your nose and mouth.
It's called being respectful
to those around you.
I said a few months ago, don't be stupid.
You want to go out, wear a mask.
Stay socially distanced in public.
Meet outside instead of indoors.
It shouldn't be hard to comprehend.
I still hear howling quietly in the distance
in the evening, howling for our healthcare
workers who are still dealing with this virus.
New season, same problems. 
Stay safe.



Coldplay at Dusk

No Filter
I watch the sky turn from light yellow
to cotton-candy pink within a matter of minutes
The evening air is neither hot nor cold
I'm comfortable in a sweater
It slides down my left shoulder
I don't bother to fix it
I listen to Coldplay's Yellow, Orphans, & Fix You
I watch the light fade
In the field behind my house
Cotton-candy clouds above the trees darken
One song changes to another