My poem “Leavings” was just published by Silver Birch Press. I’ll post the poem here, as well as a link to the Silver Birch site. On the site, I tell a little bit about writing the poem.


Leavings are untidy. Remembering
what you want to say as the car pulls away,
or the cell phone drops into your purse,
restraint in an embrace, the casual

see ya, when you ache for more.
There was that time my mother died—
a stiff, proud woman who did not touch.
She lay in bed, while her brothers and I

hovered. We asked if she needed a blanket,
if she wanted music, if she were hungry,
thirsty. At each offering, she jerked her head
from side to side, tight-lipped, angry.

Then the young, Hispanic hospice aide reached
out and took her hand. She knew what leavings
needed, what my mother couldn’t bring herself
to ask for, what we didn’t understand to give.

My mother sighed and held that gentle,
reassuring hand. The aide leaned in, caressed
a wisp of hair on her forehead. My mother smiled,
and took her last breaths.

Who hoards rain clouds in the desert?

Another wonderful poem by my friend Rajani Radhakrishnan. Instead of reblogging it from her website, I put it here so you could read it uninterrupted. Please leave comments on her site and look around while you’re there. She writes beautiful poetry.

Who hoards rain clouds in the desert?

There the universe stores vats of virgin happiness, doling
it out like a grim faced Scrooge, while we wait, bowl in

hand, wanting more. Always wanting more. We are made
of longing and hunger. And everywhere we look, is a giant

supermarket feeding that emptiness. Everything in excess,
marked down, on luscious display, the seed of the first apple

feverishly multiplying on every shelf of every aisle and our
hands reaching constantly to fill the ever growing void. Except

for happiness. For that, there is a line and a quota and a price.
We pretend not to see each other. Who will admit to such

privation? We study the signs from a distance. Perhaps, it
is another sorrow, another wound, another word that brings

you here. Does my skin turn transparent as I stand? Do you know
the scars inside? You will not turn your head. I will not call. How

much longer? Who hoards rain clouds in the desert? No one
warned me to save my smile. To save the light in your eyes.

– Rajani Radhakrishnan
Rajani’s website
Photo source

Living Too Long

“. . . we learned the cost of attachment.”

David Sloan, a poet from Maine, captures aging and frustration in this poem about chickens.  There’s a great interview with David on The Houseboat — a blog I highly recommend, that has an eclectic assortment of artists and poets.  Read the interview about his writing process here.


Some nights I feel I’ve lived too long,
when the moon’s a squint-eyed mute,

oak branches turn fish bones,
and the wind’s a whimper.

I hobble out to the shed, our old chicken
coop.  How you’d loved those hens,

made the mistake of naming them —
Blackie, Maude, the rest.  We never figured

out how the owl got in, but we learned
the cost of attachment.  The path I cleared

through the woods is overgrown now,
so I lean against the maples in the yard.

How many more tattered moons
will seek me out?  You embrace this waning,

but I can’t find a way to love the less.
You said, Yes, we lose leaves, but we gain sky.

I say, Give me back my legs.  Let me
scale this tree, turn panther, pounce

on an owl under a hatching moon,
pillow the night with a fury of feathers.

– David Sloan
from his book The Irresistible In-Between