You Are Always Awake Even If You Don’t Know It

jessica's son

A brilliant great-nephew’s recent homework: “You are always awake even if you don’t know it. I felt a lot in 60 seconds. I felt tingling like nerves bumping me. I saw stars. Light was still in, which caused shapes. My stomach tightened, because the diaphram moved down. I also felt my blood rushing.”

My Take On Christmas, 2012

As many of you know, I recently became a grandma…

In my 58 years, I’ve been Presbyterian, Unitarian, Methodist, Reconstructionist Judaism, Reform Judaism. And here’s what I’m thinking tonight, Christmas Eve:


This grandma LOVES it that Christmas reminds us to cherish an infant…

Happy sigh…

A thought about . . . my day yesterday

Yesterday I played guitar and sang songs with young children celebrating Sukkot, a jewish holiday. Then I had amazing french toast made by a wonderful friend. We had ice cream for lunch. Napped. Had dinner with neighbors who are cherished friends. Watched a movie that was beautiful to view, with a mysterious and unsatisfying ending (Meer’s Cut Off).

For most of my fairly long life, I would’ve felt irritated with myself about that day. Didn’t get any creative work done. Didn’t try to “make it” as a songwriter, as a poet, as an artist… Believe it; I can be Extreme in that way.

As a friend recently put it, yesterday I was a “human being” not a “human doing.” And it was a wonderful day!

A day’s small activities, though each one may seem insignificant, can add up to a really great day. Just sayin’

I Was Once the Boy’s Bunny

Hello. I used to lie down with my boy. We’d sleep. And he carried me around with him. We’d do stuff together. Climb up and down the stairs. Eat ice cream. Now my boy’s mother has me and keeps me because I was once the boy’s bunny.

The Beauty in the Decay Series
is attentive to the intersection of nature with human-built things;
how nature will have its way.
The captivating presence of the process.

First Corny Tangerine Sunbeams

For You, Honey

The others in this house
sleep while the night
is erased. Give a name
to everything, even
this moment.
For what I hold in my hand
call it Coffee & Solemn.

My World’s Best Mom mug
warms my 5 a.m. face.
A dreamcatcher’s
wrapped in black and white yarn,
lopsided clay candlesticks and a bottle
of streaked sand art.
For families
sleeping everywhere
call this an A+ Diorama.

Parents lift washed-thin blankets
allowing warm baby skin
to feel a new day’s air.
For their lustful cries
eager to be born again
each morning, for the slight
imprint of size
their bodies leave behind
on smooth sheets
christen it Cry & Caress.

I wrap it around me
this last covered
moment of the skies.
My afghan hides me as I lean back
sleepyhead. For all the sizes
we’ve tried on, washed
bleached tumbled dried
for all clothing fallen gracefully
to the floor, call this fabric
Cotton & Wool.

Such willing surrender
of what covers us.
For the shorn of sheep falling
bare skin baptized into dry air
for our own sloughing off
of dead cells, a multitude
of microscopic stars
trailing behind us as we move
through space, reveal it
as Ashes and Dust.

Here now – the sun
tenderly lifts the quilt
which crazies our dreams.
The dark pulls away
like angel wings. So there it goes
wish it, name this dark thought
then stretch and wiggle your toes
and say hello (go ahead!) (hi!)
to the first corny
tangerine sunbeams.

Oil painting/tissue paper assemblage  and poem by Mary MacGowan, an earlier version published in Licking River Review, Vol.30, 1998-99