October 03, 2004

A sleepless night where my thoughts turned to...

It's another sleepless night where my thoughts turned to poetry. I picked a very well read and threadbare copy of a book of sonnets. I was actually checking my memory to see if I remembered a few of my favorite poems correctly. Here's a few popular ones you might recognize:


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
- William Shakespeare


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, -I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! - and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Dime / Tell Me

Dime por favor donde estás, / Please tell me where you are,
en que rincón puedo no verte, / in which corner can I not see you
dónde puedo dormir sin recordarte / where can I sleep without remembering
y dónde recordar sin que me duela. / and remember without feeling pain.

Dime por favor dónde pueda caminar / Please tell me where I can walk
sin ver tus huellas, / without seeing your footprints
dónde puedo correr sin recordarte / where can I run without remembering
y dónde descansar con mi tristeza. / and find solace with my sadness.


Dime por favor cuál es la noche / Please tell me, which night
en que no vendrás para velar mis sueños... /might your memory not haunt my dreams
Que no puedo vivir porque te extraño /For I cannot live because I miss you
y no puedo morir porque te quiero. /and I cannot die because I love you.

- Jorge Luis Borges

Posted by Michele at 02:45 AM | Comments (1)

February 13, 2005

Dear Cupid

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I am looking forward to celebrating this day for it's pure meaning - the celebration of love. I love the incredible energy that love brings into a person's life. Since the start of the year, I've tried to create a loving atmosphere for myself, so I can share that with those around me, both in the real and virtual world.

This past year, this blog has helped me realize that I've been very shy about meeting new people. I guess I had to truly grieve the death of my friends before I could move on. My grieving had to truly turn the corner into celebrating their presence in my life. They gave me more love and support in the years we were all together, than most people experience in a lifetime.

Valentine's day would be when we would take kids from the local homeless shelter ice skating in Central Park. Afterwards we'd give them little gifts followed by hot chocolate and lots of smiles and hugs. It was always a wonderful day full of happy smiles and great feelings, whether we were involved or not.

Well, tomorrow Dear Cupid, I venture out as your ambassador. I will be spending 2 hrs volunteering with a local kindergarden class helping them create valentine's day cards for their loved ones, reading Valentine day stories, eating heart shaped chocolate cup cakes with sprinkles (I just made) and just having a real fun time. I'm really looking forward to speading some loving smiles and hugs. I just love the hugs I get from these wonderful little angels. They, as you, have truly been a balm for my soul.

Long ago I discovered that loving life, kept me full of joy and wonder, which in turn touched the lives of those around me. I lost that part of me after 9/11 when everyone I loved was taken from me. But now I'm living on for their loving memories, and for the life they taught and gave me to live.

So, in celebration of that love, I hope that everyone experiences more than just the words I love you. I hope everyone experiences the kind of simple loving, such as actions that touch the heart, convey. Those actions carry more weight, depth and meaning than any 3 words could ever offer.
I hope you have a love-filled week!

Posted by Michele at 10:35 PM | Comments (3)

February 14, 2005

Love's Echo

Come to me in the silence of the night;
come in the speaking silence of a dream.
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright
as sunlight on a stream;
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope, love of finished years.

O dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet,
whose awakening should have been in Paradise,
where souls brimfull of love abide and meet;
where thirsting longing eyes
watch the slow door
that opening, letting in, lets out no more.

Yet come to me in dreams that I may live
my very life again though cold in death:
Come back to me in dreams, that I may give
pulse for pulse, breath for breath.
Speak low, lean low,
as long ago, my love, how long ago.
~ Christina Rossetti

Posted by Michele at 08:14 PM | Comments (1)

March 17, 2005

Erin Go Bragh!

As someone who was educated in an Irish Convent for a number of years, I can hardly let today go bye without wishing all a spiritual and reflective St. Patty's Day! Below is one of the first poems I memorized thanks to those wonderful nuns.

When You Are Old and Grey

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

~ William Butler Yeats

Posted by Michele at 12:57 PM | Comments (2)

March 30, 2005


There are times when the depth and intensity of my emotions impede my ability to think or write clearly, until I've come to terms with what I'm feeling. It's during those times, when searching for the words that escape me, they find birth in snipets of a poem that will come to mind. I need these poets words to restore my spirit's flight and order to my soul.

Since midnight these lines have circled on the fringes of my thoughts, and now they've come to fully restore my peace. They are as close to what I can remember Shakespeare's words to be:

Love is not love,
which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Congrats to Frank J. & Sarah K. on their engagement.

Posted by Michele at 08:31 AM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2005

Poetic Interlude I

I'll be blogging about my marathon interview session later. In the interim, I'll leave you with a simple stanza poem I came across during my 5:00am reading this morning.

From the Telephone

Out of the dark cup
Your voice broke like a flower
It trembled, swaying on its taut stem.
The caress in its touch
Made my eyes close farther.

- Florence Martin - late 19th century

Posted by Michele at 08:16 AM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2005

Poetic Interlude II

To Mary

I sleep with thee and wake with thee
And yet thou art not there;
I fill my arms with thoughts of thee
And press the common air.

Thy eyes are gazing upon mine
When thou art out of sight;
My lips are always touching thine
At morning, noon, and night.

I think and speak of other things
To keep my mind at rest
But still to thee my memory clings
Like love in woman's breast.

I hide it from the world's wide eye
And think and speak contrary,
But soft the wind comes from the sky
And whispers tales of Mary.

The night wind whispers in my ear,
The moon shines on my face;
The burden still of chilling fear
I find in every place.

The breeze is whispering in the bush,
The leaves fall from the tree;
All sighing on and will not hush,
Some pleasant tales of thee.

Posted by Michele at 08:35 AM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2005

On Friendship

A special world for you and me
A special bond one cannot see
It wraps us up in its cocoon
And holds us fiercely in its womb.

Its fingers spread like fine spun gold
Gently nestling us in its fold
Like silken thread it holds us fast
Bonds like this are meant to last.

And though at times a thread may break
A new one forms just in its wake
To bind us closer and keep us strong
In a special world, where we belong.

- S. Lennon

Posted by Michele at 01:03 AM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2005

What's YOUR Poetic IQ

I took the General Poetic Knowledge Quiz and this is what I scored:

11 out of a possible 11 correct... [Doing a happy dance w/arms up in the air] Woohoo!

According to poetry.com, this means that I "have an excellent grasp of poetic form, structure, and technique. People at this level have generally taken advanced-level study in literature or have completed advanced poetry courses. They have often spent considerable time writing, developing their own poetic "voice," and their own techniques. People at this level, particularly if they can apply their knowledge of poetic form and structure to their own work, are considered among the most talented of poetic artists."

[blushing a bit] Awww, shucks! It's nice to know that I didn't waste my time (or money) in taking all those literary courses in college!

If you feel like taking the quiz, and testing your poetic knowledge (like HARVEY or one of the Llama Butchers will surely do) click here. Because the test is difficult, I have posted it in the extended entry along with the correct answers and explanation, as a sort of crash course in poetry. Enjoy!

Your general poetic knowledge is determined by your answers to the objective multiple-choice questions and is presented below. This test of general poetic knowledge does not measure your creativity or have anything to do with your present ability or future potential to write good poetry. It assesses your technical knowledge of poetic structure, form, and technique.

The answers to individual questions are as follows:

1. Consider the following poem:

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

The age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.
Robert Herrick, 1591-1674

What is the theme of Herrick's poem?

a. Marriage is most successful when a couple is young.
b. Youth is best spent in ease; there is time enough in later years to accomplish our goals.
c. We must take advantage of the opportunities afforded in our youth because youth is fleeting.
d. Everything eventually dies, thus, nothing we do is truly important.

Answer = C
The theme of Herrick's poem is carpe diem--seize the day. The narrator pleads with the virgins to make the most of their youth. Youth, declares the narrator, is the best age, but once youth is gone, it and all the opportunities afforded by youth are never to be regained. Option B is exactly opposite of Herrick's intended message.

2. "A cement mixer collided with a prison van on the Kingston Pass. Motorists are asked to be on the lookout for 16 hardened criminals" is an example of a:

a. symbol
b. homonym
c. paradox
d. pun

Answer = D
These sentences provide an example of a pun. A pun is a word or phrase, sometimes referred to as a play on words, that suggests multiple meanings or interpretations. The pun in this example is "hardened"; it suggests that the criminals have become stone-like because of the cement and that they are also pitiless and unfeeling. A symbol is an image that stands for or represents something else. A homonym is a word that has the same sound and the same spelling as another word. A paradox is a statement that contains seemingly contradictory elements or appears contradictory to common sense, yet can be true when viewed from another angle.

3. Choose the line that best concludes the following poem. Consider rhythm, rhyme, and meter.

The little town and river grew as one
And played as children on the valley floor
In stormy weather if they scrapped for fun

a. They always liked each other again soon as they did before
b. This only made them like each other more
c. It was because it often rained without measure
d. They did so only when it would pour

Answer = B
Each line of the excerpt is written in iambic pentameter: five iambs per line. An iamb is a metrical foot of two syllables; the first syllable is unstressed and the second syllable is stressed. The only answer choice also written in iambic pentameter is B.

4. In the following excerpt from "Doc Hill," written by Edgar Lee Masters, who is the speaker?

I went up and down the streets
Here and there by day and night,
Through all hours of the night caring for the poor who were sick.
Do you know why?
My wife hated me, my son went to the dogs.

a. Doc Hill
b. Edgar Lee Masters
c. Mrs. Hill
d. An omniscient narrator who does not appear in the poem

Answer = A
The answer must be Doc Hill. The use of "I" eliminates the possibility of an omniscient narrator who does not appear in the poem. Likewise, the mention of "my wife" in the last line eliminates Mrs. Hill as an answer choice. While Edgar Lee Masters wrote this poem, one should never assume that the narrator of a poem is also the poet. The narrator is Doc Hill, a character invented by Masters, who recounts his life through this verse.

5. "A litany of little linnets alighted on the lamppost" is an example of:

a. dissonance
b. consonance
c. alliteration
d. refrain

Answer = C
The repetition of the "L" sound at the beginning of several words in this sentence indicates alliteration. Consonance is also a repetition of consonant sounds, but the consonant repeated appears at the end of words, rather than at the beginning. Dissonance is the mingling of harsh, inharmonious sounds that are grating to the ear. To the contrary, the alliteration used in this example creates a pleasant, rhythmic sound. A refrain is a phrase or line, generally important to a poem's topic, that is repeated word for word at regular intervals throughout the poem.

6. Identify the rhyme scheme in the following poem:

If We Must Die
If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Marking their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen! We must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
Claude McKay, 1889-1948

a. aabbccddeeffgg
b. ababcdcdefefgg
c. aabbaabbcdcdee
d. aabbaabbccddee

Answer = B
Rhyme scheme is determined by assigning the same letter to lines that rhyme with one another. Thus, line 1 ("If we must die, let it not be like hogs") and line 3 ("While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs") are assigned the letter "a." In the same manner, lines 2 and 4 are assigned the letter "b," lines 5 and 7 are assigned the letter "c," and so on.

7. A poem must contain which of the following?

a. rhyme
b. stanzas
c. meter
d. none of the above

Answer = D
A poem need not contain rhyme, meter, or more than one stanza. Free verse, for instance, relies upon natural speech rhythms to convey meaning; few, if any, formal elements are used.

8. Consider the following poem:

Symphony in Yellow
An omnibus across the bridge
Crawls like a yellow butterfly,
And, here and there, a passer-by
Shows like a little restless midge.

Big barges full of yellow hay
Are moored against the shadowy wharf,
And like a yellow silken scarf,
The thick fog hangs along the quay.

The yellow leaves begin to fade
And flutter from the Temple elms,
And at my feet the pale green Thames
Lies like a rod of rippled jade.
Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900

What literary device is used in every stanza?

a. metaphor
b. hyperbole
c. personification
d. simile

Answer = D
A simile is used in every stanza of Wilde's poem. A simile is a comparison between unlike objects using the words "like" or "as." Lines 7 and 8, "And, like a yellow silken scarf, / The thick fog hangs along the quay," provide a good example of a simile. A metaphor is more than a comparison; it equates one object or idea with another. Charles Simic's statement, "Poetry is an orphan of silence," is an example of metaphor. Hyperbole is language characterized by extreme exaggeration ("I could eat a horse."). Personification is a literary technique used to endow inanimate or inhuman objects with human traits. "The wind whistled a tune" would be an example of personification.

9. An antonym for frigid is:

a. cold
b. tepid
c. sweltering
d. freezing

Answer = C
An antonym is a word that is opposite in meaning to another word. Since "frigid" means extreme cold, its antonym is "sweltering," which means extreme heat. "Cold" and "freezing" have meanings similar to "frigid." "Tepid" only means lukewarm, which is not exactly opposite in meaning to "frigid."

10. Consider the following poem:

On My First Son
Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy;
My sin was too much hope of thee, loved boy:
Seven years thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
O could I lose all father now! For why
Will man lament the state he should envy,
To have so soon 'scaped world's and flesh's rage,
And, if no other misery, yet age?
Rest in soft peace, and asked, say, Here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry.
For whose sake henceforth his vows be such
As what he loves may never like too much.
Ben Jonson, 1572-1637

In what style is Jonson's poem written?

a. blank verse
b. sonnet
c. rhyming couplets
d. rhyming tercets

Answer = C
A couplet consists of two rhyming lines, usually of ten syllables each. "Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy; / My sin was too much hope of thee, loved boy" is the first example of a rhyming couplet in Jonson's poem. Blank verse is unrhymed iambic pentameter. A sonnet consists of 14 lines written in iambic pentameter, usually containing one octave and a sestet, or three quatrains and a couplet. A tercet consists of three rhyming lines that work as a unit.

11. Consider the following poem:

When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer
When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.
Walt Whitman, 1819-1892

Whitman's poem is written in what style?

a. sonnet
b. haiku
c. free verse
d. terza rima

Answer = C
Whitman is considered the father of free verse poetry. Rather than employing rhyme or meter, Whitman uses natural speech rhythms to endow his poetry with musicality. A sonnet is a 14-line poem of iambic pentameter, usually broken into an octave and a sestet or three quatrains and a couplet. A haiku is a Japanese poem of only three lines; the first and third lines of a haiku have five syllables while the second line has seven. Terza rima consists of tercets written in iambic pentameter with an interlocking rhyme scheme.

Your General Poetic Knowledge Score is 11 out of a possible 11.

0-3 You do not yet possess enough knowledge of general poetic terms, structure, forms, and techniques to be considered knowledgeable in this form of literature. An Educational course on general poetic techniques would benefit you greatly.

4-7 You have a good knowledge of general poetic terms, structure, forms, and techniques. People at this level have generally taken basic or advanced level poetry courses, or have spent considerable time in studying this form of literary endeavor. Improvement from this level can be achieved relatively easy as you already have a good basic foundation of knowledge.

8-11 You have an excellent grasp of poetic form, structure, and technique. People at this level have generally taken advanced-level study in literature or have completed advanced poetry courses. They have often spent considerable time writing, developing their own poetic "voice," and their own techniques. People at this level, particularly if they can apply their knowledge of poetic form and structure to their own work, are considered among the most talented of poetic artists.

Posted by Michele at 12:04 AM | Comments (1)

May 22, 2005

My Happy Place!

My blog sis Tammi, of Tammi's World, asked for readers to share with her about their happy place. You know the place.... the place we go to when we're seeking solace, refuge and a mood altering shift. As they say in NY, here's the 411 on my happy place.

A Friend Like You

There's lots of things
with which I'm blessed
when life is going blue;
Of all my blessings
there's one that's best,
that's having a friend like you.

In times of trouble some will say,
'I'll be there to help you through';
But you don't wait for me to ask,
You're there and simply do!

I just can't think of something else
that's better for me to do;
than know a friend,
and be a friend,
and love a friend... like you.

Posted by Michele at 12:10 AM | Comments (2)

July 18, 2005

Black Rook in Rainy Weather

As I sat on the edge of the beach under cloudy/rainy skies this weekend, the following portions of Sylvia Plath's poem, 'Black Rook...', was whispered back into my memory via the wind.

On the stiff twig up there
Hunches a wet black rook
Arranging and rearranging its feathers in the rain.
I do not expect a miracle
Or an accident

To set the sight on fire
In my eye, nor seek
Any more in the desultory weather some design,
But let spotted leaves fall as they fall
Without ceremony, or portent.

Although, I admit, I desire,
Occasionally, some backtalk
From the mute sky, I can't honestly complain,
A certain minor light may still
Lean incandescent ...

Of whatever angel any choose to flare
Suddenly at my elbow. I only know that a rook
Ordering its black feathers can so shine
As to seize my senses, haul
My eyelids up, and grant

A brief respite from fear and pain,
and grant total neutrality. With luck,
Trekking stubborn through this season
Of fatigue, I shall
Patch together a content

Of sorts. Miracles occur.
If you care to call those spasmodic
Tricks of radiance
Miracles. The wait's begun again,
The long wait for the angel,

For that rare, random descent.

-- Sylvia Plath

Posted by Michele at 09:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 10, 2005

To My Beloved Friends

For Mike, Jack, Tony, Larry, Amy, Rick & Nancy who died in Tower 1 & 2 on 9/11:

You've been gone for some time now.
Your hugs and laughter are no more,
the memory of your smiles have faded away
and I miss you all the more.

Yes... I miss you.
More than words can ever say,
more than my letters can convey,
in every single way,
since the day you passed away,
I've missed you.

Posted by Michele at 12:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 26, 2005

A Bold Declaration

A few days ago Harvey, my blog dad, posted my all time favorite poem, which was written by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning before she was married. Thanks Harvey, for continuing to publish your wonderful love notes to your wife!

A little known fact about Elizabeth's life, is that Robert Browning, having read her poem -Lady Geraldine's Courtship- finally acknowledged his romantic feelings for her (though they had never met) and penned this beautiful letter to her which I've posted below. Over there 20 month courtship they exchanged nearly 600 letters. I know this probably wouldn't happen today, as her slightly deformed body would be enough to turn off any modern man. Still, I reprint it here because frankly, I'm a sucker and believer in old-fashioned romance, where inner beauty is more highly valued than external beauty.

January 10th, 1845
New Cross, Hatcham, Surrey

I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett, -- and this is no off-hand complimentary letter that I shall write, --whatever else, no prompt matter-of-course recognition of your genius and there a graceful and natural end of the thing: since the day last week when I first read your poems, I quite laugh to remember how I have been turning again in my mind what I should be able to tell you of their effect upon me -- for in the first flush of delight I though I would this once get out of my habit of purely passive enjoyment, when I do really enjoy, and thoroughly justify my admiration -- perhaps even, as a loyal fellow-craftsman should, try and find fault and do you some little good to be proud of herafter! -- but nothing comes of it.

all -- so into me has it gone, and part of me has it become, this great living poetry of yours, not a flower of which but took root and grew ... oh, how different that is from lying to be dried and pressed flat and prized highly and put in a book with a proper account at bottom, and shut up and put away ... and the book called a 'Flora', besides! After all, I need not give up the thought of doing that, too, in time; because even now, talking with whoever is worthy, I can give reason for my faith in one and another excellence, the fresh strange music, the affluent language, the exquisite pathos and true new brave thought -- but in this addressing myself to you, your own self, and for the first time, my feeling rises altogher. I do, as I say, love these Books with all my heart -- and I love you too: do you know I was once seeing you? Mr. Kenyon said to me one morning "would you like to see Miss Barrett?" -- then he went to announce me, -- then he returned ... you were too unwell -- and now it is years ago -- and I feel as at some untorward passage in my travels -- as if I had been close, so close, to some world's-wonder in chapel on crypt, ... only a screen to push and I might have entered -- but there was some slight ... so it now seems ... slight and just-sufficient bar to admission, and the half-opened door shut, and I went home my thousands of miles, and the sight was never to be!

Well, these Poems were to be -- and this true thankful joy and pride with which I feel myself.

Yours ever faithfully,
Robert Browning

Posted by Michele at 09:33 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 28, 2006

The Womb by Robert W. Service

Up from the evil day
Of wattle and of woad,
Along man's weary way
Dark Pain has been the goad.
Back from the age of stone,
Within his brutish brain,
What pleasure he has known
Is ease from Pain.

Behold in Pain the force
That haled Man from the Pit,
And set him such a course
No mind can measure it.
To angel from the ape
No human pang was vain
In that divine escape
To joy through Pain.

See Pain with stoic eyes
And patient fortitude,
A blessing in disguise,
An instrument of good.
Aye, though with hearts forlorn
We to despair be fain,
Believe that Joy is born
From Womb of Pain.

Comments turned off due to spamming.

Posted by Michele at 12:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 05, 2006

To My Muse


I DON”T LOVE YOU... Because I Love you
and from loving you to not loving I arrive
at waiting while not waiting,
all the while, my heart going from ice to fire.

I love only you because it is you I love.
I hate you endlessly and hating plead
to the measure of your temporary love
never to see you or love you blindly.

Perhaps your cruel streak
will consume my heart and inner light
stealing with it my eternal peace.

In this story it is I who die
dying in my love and need of you
loving with passion blood and fire only you.
~ Pablo Neruda, 1959 - Translation my own

NO TE QUIERO sino porque te quiero
y de quererte a no quererte llego
y de esperarte cuando no te espero
pasa mi corazón del frío al fuego.

Te quiero sólo porque a ti te quiero,
te odio sin fin, y odiándote te ruego,
y la medida de mi amor viajero
es no verte y amarte como un ciego.

Tal vez consumirá la luz de enero,
su rayo cruel, mi corazón entero,
robándome la llave del sosiego.

En esta historia sólo yo me muero
y moriré de amor porque te quiero,
porque te quiero, amor, a sangre y fuego.
~ Pablo Neruda, 1959

Posted by Michele at 12:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 24, 2006

Just Because...

A little poetry for the soul. For no other reason than just because I needed a little poetry break on a very "challenging" day of back to backs with only 20 min. scheduled in for lunch. This poem came to mind when I overheard one co-worker say to another "What about God?" during a conversation as they walked passed.

What about God?

From desert cliff and mountaintop we trace the wide design,
Strike-slip fault and overthrust and syn and anticline...
We gaze upon creation where erosion makes it known,
And count the countless aeons in the banding of the stone.
Odd, long-vanished creatures and their tracks & shells are found;
Where truth has left its sketches on the slate below the ground. [1]
The patient stone can speak, if we but listen when it talks.
Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote the rocks.

There are those who name the stars, who watch the sky by night,
Seeking out the darkest place, to better see the light.
Long ago, when torture broke the remnant of his will,
Galileo recanted, but the Earth is moving still [2]
High above the mountaintops, where only distance bars,
The truth has left its footprints in the dust between the stars.
We may watch and study or may shudder and deny,
Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote the sky.

By stem and root and branch we trace, by feather, fang and fur,
How the living things that are descend from things that were.
The moss, the kelp, the zebrafish, the very mice and flies,
These tiny, humble, wordless things -- how shall they tell us lies?
We are kin to beasts; no other answer can we bring.
The truth has left its fingerprints on every living thing.
Remember, should you have to choose between them in the strife,
Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote life.

And we who listen to the stars, or walk the dusty grade [3]
Or break the very atoms down to see how they are made,
Or study cells, or living things, seek truth with open hand.
The profoundest act of worship is to try to understand.
Deep in flower and in flesh, in star and soil and seed,
The truth has left its living word for anyone to read.
So turn and look where best you think the story is unfurled.
Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote the world.

-- Catherine Faber

Posted by Michele at 01:17 PM | Comments (2)

January 26, 2007



May you find healing and comfort in the memories you have and in the words of your favorite poet. (((Hug)))

Dark Trinity

Said I to Pain: "You would not dare
Do ill to me."
Said Pain: "Poor fool! Why should I care
Whom you may be?
To clown and king alike I bring
My meed of bane;
Why should you shirk my chastening?"
Said Pain.

Said I to Grief: "No tears have I,
Go on your way."
Said Grief: "Why should I pass you by,
While others pay?
All men must know the way of woe,
From saint to thief,
And tears were meant to overflow,"
Said Grief.

Said I to Death: "From ail and fret
Grant me relief."
Said Death: "I know you are beset
By Pain and Grief.
But my good will you must await
Since human breath
To suffering is consecrate,"
Said Death.

Said I to God: "Pale Sister Grief,
Bleak Brother Pain,
Bedevil me beyond belief,
And Death's unfain . . ."
Said God: "Curse not that blessed Three,
Poor human clod!
Have faith! Believe the One with Me,"
Said God.

~ Robert W. Service

Posted by Michele at 01:11 AM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2007

Like a River

Grief is Like a River by By Cinthia G. Kelley

My grief is like a river,
I have to let it flow,
but I myself determine
the banks that it will go.

Some days the current takes me
in waves of guilt and pain,
but there are always quiet pools
where I can rest again.

I crash on rocks of anger;
my faith seems faint indeed,
but there are some blessed swimmers
who know exactly what I need

some loving hands to hold me
when the waters are too swift,
and someone kind to listen
when I just seem to go adrift.

Grief's river is a process
of relinquishing the past.
By swimming in Hope's channels,
I'll reach the shore at last.

Posted by Michele at 01:10 AM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2007

Battle Weary - A Work in Healing

My battle weary body
collapses... tired.
Sleep escaping...
sad thoughts
like a train
aiming for
my brain.

Im gripped,
by age old fears,
while shedding tears
through all these years
which never end.

If only this were:
a bad dream;
a tired scream
thats dying
from within.

But its not,
a hurting soul
not yet whole
a high cost.
with life & thoughts
for caring
and loving
when it should have not.

Its new pain
like an old refrain
playing endlessly
without restrain.

Comfort cant be found
in memories,
nor in those that live
for they so easily
can deceive.

I turn to God,
my source for all,
who provides,
healing love,
and patience
from above.

~ me ~ 1.31.07

Posted by Michele at 04:43 PM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2007

Beyond Repair

Your watch stopped five minutes after you did.
A year later I've brought it out its drawer
where your things languish in disrepair,
(eye shadow, cell phone and receipts,
a scarf to hide a head without hair),
placing it on my healthy wrist,
I'm forced to adjust its link, and think,
unlike you, I have time before I leave.
Then I wait, hoping that with each stride I've taken,
with each beating of my pulse and hand that's shaken,
it will receive energy and be brought to life again.

This morning I awoke and saw there was no change,
shaking it in anger once again, I will it on.
Nervous, I sat in a repair shop,
giving anxious glances towards the back.
The attendant, finally returns it and
with an air of disappointment and despair,
confirms your watch is definitely beyond repair.
"Somehow its coils and springs were tossed about,
pushing them all inside-out."
The news of this violence affects me,
tearing at my own mechanism greatly.

I hurry home, dead watch in hand,
saddened by its passing
and sit in wonder, how you,
struggled for 3 years
against time & frame of mind
to wrench some seconds
with great might
hoping in the end
you wouldn't lose your fight.

~ me 2/7/07
On the anniversary of my friend's death to breast cancer

Posted by Michele at 11:52 PM | Comments (4)

February 22, 2007

A Declaration of Love

Bridegroom, dear to my heart,
Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet. . . .
You have captivated me,
Let me stand tremblingly before you.
Bridegroom, I would be taken by you to the bedchamber.


That is how the oldest love poem in the world begins as inscribed in the above tablets. It is an expression of love from a woman, and given to her betrothed before their wedding, to signal her acceptance of him. The above tablet was discovered over a hundred years ago, buried in the ancient sands of Iraq by British scholars.

The tablet is believed to have been created sometime around 2030 BC by a Sumerian scribe, whose handiwork has served to preserve the bride's passionate declaration for over 40 centuries. This ritualistic practice, scholars say, was part of a Mesopotamian festival of fertility and power called "Sacred Marriage". Every year around the spring equinox, the Sumerian king would "marry", taking as his wife Inanna [the Sumerian goddess of love and war], to renew the land's fertility and affirm his own potency.

For several days preceding this event, the king's people would engage in the Sumerian equivalent of Mardi Gras. At the festival's peak, the king would pursue Inanna's high priestess, who would play the part of Inanna. The priestess, woed by his offerings, would pen a poem to the King as a gift that signaled her acceptance of the king into her bed. The poem featured here, was addressed to the Sumerian king Shu-Sin, and is the oldest love poem known to date. In the extended entry you will find the complete poem, translated by Michael Himick of the Museums of Istanbul, where the tablets are on display.

Bridegroom, dear to my heart, Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet, Lion, dear to my heart, Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet. You have captivated me, Let me stand tremblingly before you. Bridegroom, I would be taken by you to the bedchamber, You have captivated me, Let me stand tremblingly before you. Lion, I would be taken by you to the bedchamber. Bridegroom, let me caress you, My precious caress is more savory than honey, In the bedchamber, honey-filled, Let me enjoy your goodly beauty, Lion, let me caress you, My precious caress is more savory than honey. Bridegroom, you have taken your pleasure of me, Tell my mother, she will give you delicacies, My father, he will give you gifts. Your spirit, I know where to cheer your spirit, Bridegroom, sleep in our house until dawn, Your heart, I know where to gladden your heart, Lion, sleep in our house until dawn. You, because you love me, Give me pray of your caresses, My lord god, my lord protector, My Shu-Sin, who gladdens Enlil's heart, Give my pray of your caresses. Your place goodly as honey, pray lay your hand on it, Bring your hand over like a gishban-garment, Cup your hand over it like a gishban-sikin-garment.

Posted by Michele at 12:49 AM | Comments (1)

March 27, 2007

Night after night...


Night after night her purple traffic
Strews the landing with opal bales;
Merchantmen poise upon horizons,
Dip, and vanish with fairy sails."

~ Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886 ~

Photo credit: JSK Lee

Posted by Michele at 11:55 PM | Comments (10)

April 25, 2007

In Honor of National Poetry Month

An amusing poem by the Canadian Poet Laureate Raymound Souster:

The Response

The trees branches
knocked against our window:
It wanted to be friends
and come in.

My answer was to open my window
reach out and hack off
its two longest arms.

Posted by Michele at 03:38 PM | Comments (2)

April 26, 2007

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

I woke up this morning from a deep sleep/dream, in which I was reciting the following Dylan Thomas poem. It has been with me all day, so I share it with you now hoping it will finally leave me.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Posted by Michele at 05:39 PM | Comments (8)

April 28, 2007

Dad's Will

In the morning I will be leaving to visit with family and to deal with the reading of my father's will.

I willl bring this poem to recite, as a reminder that though my relationship with my father was not easy, I am who I am today as a result of who he was. It was his love of politics, broadcasting, music and sports that have shaped who I am. It was his lessons and his work ethic who have influenced my sense of responsibility and the fact that I have always been gainfully employed. Thanks Dad, for molding me into who I am.


Those we hold most dear
Never truly leave us
They live on in the kindness they showed,
The comfort they shared and the love
they brought into our lives.
~ by Isabel Norton

Posted by Michele at 12:43 AM | Comments (7)

May 20, 2007

Alone Can Be

Reading other poets often inspires me, for in their poetic self-revelation I often find threads or remnants of myself. And while in that place I often find their words imbue my creativity. Jean's poem inspired me to write the words below:

Alone can be
and uncomfortable.

That is,
until you find
and create
a space for
and healing.

Alone can be
a time for:
and reflection.

Its an adventure
to see
how far
this me
can stretch

Its a time
for me
to explore
and expand
my soul
and creatively,

Its always
a time
and growing.

is simply
the best time
for me
to become
the best ME
I can possibly

Thanks Jean, for sharing so openly and willingly and for your wonderful inspiration!

Posted by Michele at 12:55 PM | Comments (7)

July 11, 2007


The More Loving One ~ W. H. Auden

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

[Thanks for visiting but comments are still closed]

Posted by Michele at 10:08 AM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2007

Cheri, do I love you?

Do I love you because you're beautiful, or are you beautiful because I love you? Am I making believe I see in you, a [man] too perfect to be really true? Do I want you because you're wonderful, or are you wonderful because I want you? Are you the sweet invention of a lover's dream, or are you really as beautiful as you seem?
~ Oscar Hammerstein II

Posted by Michele at 03:15 PM | Comments (2)

October 12, 2007

Long distance

I long for you
In stillness of night
Dreaming your arms
Are holding me tight.
I whisper softly
And call your name
It's your voice I hear
Again and again.
My heart is full
Yet empty too
Because I long
And want just you.

~ ME

I"ll be away this weekend, going to the mountains to see the colors of God. Comments are closed while I revel in memories of a most beautiful phone call.

Posted by Michele at 02:30 AM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2007

My Sweet

Between me and the world
you are a calendar, a compass.
A ray of light that slips through the gloom.
You are a biographical sketch, a bookmark,
a preface that comes at the end.

Between me and the world
you are a gauze curtain, a mist.
A lamp shining into my dreams.
You are a bamboo flute, a song without words,
a closed eyelid carved in stone.

by Bei Dao
as translated by Bonnie McDougall

Posted by Michele at 04:50 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2007

Mail Bag

I got home from a busy, fun weekend (of hikes, apple picking, and taking my son to his first county fair) to find lots of wonderful emails in my inbox. That's a first for me! The sentiments ran the gamut and since I am pressed for time I will post a quick response here with individual emails to follow.

A few of you wrote asking for lots of interesting details on how my romance is going. Sorry folks, but I don't like to kiss-N-tell.

Several more wrote urging me to be careful and proceed cautiously. I am nothing if not very careful. So careful in fact that guys usually get tired of waiting for me to come around, they give up and eventually walk away. That suits me just fine because it's only over time that a person's true nature is revealed.

Some of you urged me to stop the torture and get it over with and jump his bones and share the details. One person in particular wanted pictures. No Lisa, I will not put a hidden webcam in his bathroom. I think your bathroom fetish is going too far now and you need to consider getting some professional help.

The jumping of the bones is fine for most people but not yet for me. Fortunately, my erogenous zone is somewhere in my brain, so the jumping of bones is for after the fact, or should I say after that act. Besides, you know what the Supremes say: You can't hurry love. No, you just have to wait...", but in the meantime, its a wonderful journey.

To those who are wishing me well, a heart felt Thank YOU! I am truly touched by your caring and thoughtfulness. I especially liked the email I received from Eric (Norway), which contained his wonderful wishes wrapped in the beautiful poem below. I am sharing it for our mutual enjoyment.

Again, a heart felt thank you to all.

Love One Another by Khalil Gibran

Love one another, but make not a yoke of love
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other's cup, but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous,
but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone
though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping;
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together;
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

Posted by Michele at 11:28 PM | Comments (2)

October 17, 2007

Yes My Love, I Want You

I want you when the shades of eve are falling
And purple shadows drift across the land,
When sleepy birds to loving mates are calling -
I want the soothing softness of your hand.

I want you when the stars shine up above me,
And Heanven's flooded with the bright moonlight
I want you with your arms and lips to love me
Throughout the wonder watches of the night.

I want you when in dreams I still remember
The ling'ring of your kiss - for old times sake -
With all your gentle ways, so sweetly tender,
I want you in the morning when I wake.

I want you when the day is at its noontime,
Sun steeped and quiet, or drenched with sheets of rain
I want you when the roses bloom in June-time;
I want you when the violets come again.

I want you when my soul is thrilled with passion;
I want you when I'm weary and depressed;
I want you when in lazy, slumbrous fashion
My senses need the haven of your breast.

I want you when through field and wood I'm roaming;
I want you when I 'm standing on the shore;
I want you when the summer birds are homing -
And when they've flown - I want you more and more.

I want you, dear through every changing season;
I want you with a tear or with a smile;
I want you more than any rhyme or reason -
I want you want you want you all the while.

--- Arthur L. Gillom

Posted by Michele at 12:26 AM | Comments (0)

October 09, 2010

Bittersweet Passion

Poems by Rumi; Translated by Deepak Chopra; Reading by Chopra & Madonna

~ My Burning Heart ~
My heart is burning with love
All can see this flame
My heart is pulsing with passion
like waves on an ocean

My friends have become strangers
and Im surrounded by enemies
But Im free as the wind
no longer hurt by those who reproach me

Im at home wherever I am
And in the room of lovers
I can see with closed eyes
the beauty that dances

Behind the veils
intoxicated with love
I too dance the rhythm
of this moving world
I have lost my senses
in my world of lovers

~ Bittersweet ~
In my hallucination
I saw my beloved's flower garden
In my vertigo, in my dizziness
In my drunken haze
Whirling and dancing like a spinning wheel

I saw myself as the source of existence
I was there in the beginning
And I was the spirit of love
Now I am sober
There is only the hangover
And the memory of love
And only the sorrow

I yearn for happiness
I ask for help
I want mercy
And my love says:

Look at me and hear me
Because I am here
Just for that

I am your moon and your moonlight too
I am your flower garden and your water too
I have come all this way, eager for you
Without shoes or shawl

I want you to laugh
To kill all your worries
To love you
To nourish you

Oh sweet bitterness
I will soothe you and heal you
I will bring you roses
I, too, have been covered with thorns

~ Intoxicated by Love ~
Because of your love
I have lost my sobriety
I am intoxicated
by the madness of love

In this fog
I have become a stranger to myself
I'm so drunk
I've lost the way to my house

In the garden
I see only your face
From trees and blossoms
I inhale only your fragrance

Drunk with the ecstasy of love
I can no longer tell the difference
between drunkard and drink
Between lover and Beloved

Posted by Michele at 12:12 AM | Comments (0)