Monday Morning Mary: I Cannot Believe in That God Any More

Beach blanket 2009

I Cannot Believe in That God Any More

that giant man with a biblical beard
looming in the sky
unhappy with my mistakes
sending me bad stuff.

The God I love
is a beach blanket
wild with orange and hot pink patterns
sheer enough for light and air
to drift through,
the kind of blanket
that catches in the sunny beach breeze,
flapping and bubbling,
the blanket I can’t wait to
smooth across the hot sand
and plunk my goofy bones down on
so that I can partake in the full menu
of blissful beach therapies:
sand, salt air, surf, sun, sleep.

On ordinary days, like today,
when God is not a beach blanket,
she picks up her knitting
and settles down next to me on the couch
so I can take a nap without worrying.
As I lose myself in the reverie
of the God/beach-blanket metaphor
and all its possibilities,
she loops her long hair behind her ear,
leans over, all pleased and all,
and kisses my forehead,
right on the third eye.

Our Lady Star of the Sea - 3

Monday Morning Mary: Forgiveness

Magnoia - 3


I’m going to sit
under this tree
and say I love me
a thousand times

Under this tree of a thousand
white blossoms
I say to myself
I love me

I love me
I love me
flowering above me
a crown of white blossoms
to heal me—I love me
and light up—I love me
the night sky—I love me
that joins us together—I love me
I love me
a thousand times
I love me

Magnolia - 1

Magnolia - 4

Magnolia - 2

Our Lady of Mercy


Today marks the end of National Poetry Writing Month. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read my work! I also really appreciated hearing from you through comments, “likes,” or email. Thank you!

I also want to acknowledge my son for pushing me to write this month, especially early in the month. He’d check in every evening and ask where my poem was. If I said, “I got nothin’.” He’d say, “No. You gotta write something.”  “I can’t.” “You can.” You get the idea. His persistence and behind-the-scenes support inspired me, and somehow things flowered.

I’ve written this poem for him, in celebration of his creativity.



you drew this card
from your mother’s deck
then you were born.
you ate its message, your first food.

wild vines sprung from your mind.
ideas the size of watermelons grew
until you cracked each one open.

seeds spilled and more vines grew
and still grow.

this is the way of watermelons.
you are destined to feed the vines
and be fed by them,
extracting for the outer world
the harvest of your inner wildness.




A poem a day for April

What Happens When You Teach a Dog to Speak

I wrote this poem not so long ago, and it’s been published in the most recent issue of The Journal of New Jersey Poets, which will be released in May. I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I enjoy my dog.


What Happens When You Teach a Dog to Speak

I’m eating lunch outside
on a perfect spring day
when my dog pokes her head under my arm
and says,
       Let’s go to the park and memorize poems.

I tell her I can recite poems just fine
right from where we are.
I start with Nye’s Art of Disappearing,
but the first stanza has already vanished
from my memory.

She jumps onto the chaise lounge,
and in my face with earnest says,
       Pack some books in a bag, and let’s go.

She has my attention so she continues.
       You can read out loud to your favorite trees—
       the cedar and the beech—
       brush up on the poems you’ve forgotten.
       Commit to something new and fresh.

       And in the vast field, I’ll memorize my poems—
       the thousand scents between the blades of grass,
       the flight of the white butterfly,
       the drift of dog bones across the sky.

       When I have it all down pat,
       I’ll lay down beside you on the blanket,
       the striped one you keep
       in the trunk of the car,  just for us.



A poem a day for April

I Want This to Be My Best Year

A poem for NaPoWriMo, written today.


I Want This to Be My Best Year

This afternoon I decided
I want this to be
my best year ever

Don’t ask if I mean 2013
or starting now, in April
when the spring leaves are still
small green origami

I want this to be my best year ever
come what may, and go what may,
because we all know loss arrives daily
as a purple sunset, broken glass, stillness

Maybe it’s the sky today, endless and blue
that makes me feel safe and confident
or that pair of pale doves
perched above me, basking as I am,
or the small tickle of sound in the brush

In this vast gentleness, I can’t help but say,
may this be my best year ever,
one that flows directly through my heart,
one in which I notice every possible thing,
a year of birdsong and faces,
music and water,
of angels, saints, and touch



Trees in Spring


A poem a day for April

Hail Mary

Born and raised Catholic, I learned the traditional Hail Mary prayer as a child, and it remains rooted in the heart of my memory. Although I’ve traveled through other religious neighborhoods, I still return to the prayers of my childhood. What follows is my own version of the Hail Mary. It’s my poem and prayer dedicated to the Blessed Mother. 


Hail Mary

Hail Mary, Holy Mary,
Beautiful Mother of God,
Be with me now and always
that I may live in your mercy and grace.


Why do I pray to Mother Mary? It makes me feel better. And she answers.


Mary and Jesus

William-Adolphe Bouguereau






A funny thing happened on the way to samadhi… today’s NaPoWriMo.


sitting crossed-legged to meditate
I had no intention of reaching
anything sublime,
but only of counting my breath
till the timer went off

then without warning
the sun beamed through me
and I was pixelated
just like on star trek

dissolved into grains
suspended in air
in the shape of me

no longer solid
but still fully there
I was filled with light and space

I was me without the heavy
pulsing veins of struggle
I was me with a hole where every
heavy thing inside me,
including the kitchen sink,
had vanished

space and light moved freely
through me, with me
as if it were divinity
and I were just my soul



A poem a day for April