Down and Dirty


Don’t woo me gently –
take me fast and hard,
scorching the skin
in the intensity. the
blaze of your fiery passion.

Please, forget the tender
touching, the quiet communion
of souls, the silent reaching out
for understanding and warmth.
Wrap me in a spinning
inferno of feelings,
rock the ground upon which
my feet tread.
Let me feel those butterflies
of infatuation too soon gone.

Don’t go so slowly
that I come to know
the secret person behind
the mask of illusion.
I don’t want to know
your soul – for if I do
I may never wish
to let it go.

Don’t court me
with flowers and endearments,
for coming to love you
would hurt far more
than burned fingers ever could.

(No – please, take me slowly,
gently – cover me in kisses
sweet with desire, warm me
in your quiet glow –
let me know that love
I so dread feeling –
so achingly seek. Don’t
leave before I can feel
the pain of your embrace
one more time,
and time again.)
Don’t court me

Holding the Pain


Golden tresses softly caressing
a face filled with naivete’
yet her eyes are what draws for
they hold within their luminous depths
all the sorrows of the world.
This is her legacy . . .
to walk down paths
where burrs tear her skirts
and thorns scratch
sensitive, vulnerable skin.
So impressionable yet wise,
carrying the pain
of each crying soul she meets
in the private reaches
of her being.
Ever growing, ever changing,
but one fact remains constant . . .
a child she stays
in the deepest sense
and each tear she sees
becomes a bath for her soul,
a continual renewal of the pain
of her birth, a reaffirmation
of her most primitive essence.

Image courtesy of Danielle Niculescu

General Service Message

Spring is just around the corner,
the birds are peeking about,
sniffing the air – intent to remain
until autumn’s gusty breezes.
Flowers are poking their heads
through moist, pungent earth
beginning to make their presence known
and butterflies are beginning
to unravel their cocoons.

All this is to let you know
that the time has come
to vacate those dark corners
and seek the light breezes
and warm, sunny places
of the glistening morn.

For gloomy thoughts and
reluctant bodies have no place
in the glorious melodies of Spring.
So cast off those winter chains
and break those bonds. . .
become as free as the winds.

A happy mind, makes a happy worker –
be she drone or queen.
And happy people are far more apt
to be productive, content
with their lot, and enthusiastic
regarding their performance.

This is a general service message
for the disheartened, disgruntled,
dismayed, disillusioned, discombobulated
and thoroughly disheveled
peoples of the planet.

Image courtesy of Marty Dugan

Yearning for Glory


You are but a child
yearning for glory
without knowing the
weapons or how best
to use them.
The gift of knowledge,
so slow to attain –
once yours,
remains within forever,
to be pulled forth
when needed.

As with a child,
you will grow . . .
passing stages in
an ever accelerated pace,
on to loftier aims.
But again –
a child learns first
to creeping crawl
close to the ground.
Next tottering precariously
on weaving legs,
quick to buckle down,
with many falls.

He tip-toe teeters forward,
unsteady limbs
propelling him onward
against his will –
crying when defeat
crosses his path.
Running comes last
through the clean, sweet air.
But battle scars
are always won –
before the medal is obtained.



They failed me, built me up
with lies and illusions,
promised visions
far beyond mortal attainment . . .
told me fairy tales
were real and fantasies
were only life turned around.

What am I without them?
Is there substance
behind fabrication?
I cease to know . . . .
I believed in white knights,
castles nestled
in misty hollows,
eternal beauty and
supreme goodness.

Without those illusions,
that tapestry covering
of silvery hues,
is there a being of worth?
Am I enough
without the pretense
of mystery and magic?
What is a spider
without its web?

There is a promise
in some long ago story
that speaks of contentment
with the being
we are contained in . . .
but what of the quest?
Mere flesh and raw emotion
are all that remains
of the fantasy created . . .

… is that enough
to capture respect,
to gain prestige?
If naked I stand
among the masses,
will I be heard
above the moans?

Or will I become
just another frail being,
trudging down her
pathway to hell,
a wasted sacrament
to a parent’s pride . . .

What’s to Know?

There is something I don’t know
that I am supposed to know

I don’t know what it is I don’t know
and yet am supposed to know

and yet I feel I look stupid
if I seem not to know it
and not know what it is
Therefore I pretend I know it

This is nerve-wracking

Since I don’t know what I
must pretend to know
Therefore I pretend to know everything

I feel you know what I am supposed to know
but you can’t tell me what it is
because you don’t know that I don’t know
what it is

You may not know what I don’t know
but not that I don’t know it
and I can’t tell you

So you will have to tell me everything

She Drank


She started to drink
as a way to cope
that makes her less able to cope

the more she drinks
the more frightened
she is of becoming a drunkard

the more drunk
the less frightened of being drunk

the more frightened of being drunk
when not drunk
the more frightened of being
destroyed by him

the more frightened of destroying him
the more she destroys herself

Life in Memory Care


Within the Memory Care unit, life goes on. Maybe not as we know it or even as they knew it, but it is there. As we work with the residents, we know where they came from, the accomplishments they achieved, the people who made up their lives and they are filtered on, layer by layer, to the people they now are. It is regression and progression simultaneously.

They go through cycles – sometimes violent- sometimes sweet, caring, and kind. A lady I work with was a trailblazer for women on Wall Street and opened trade between Brazil and the U.S. She traveled to many parts of the world. The people from her life are devoted to her. They call a couple of times a week as they live 3 hours away. They take care of her needs even though they have medical challenges of their own and are taking care of their own parents. They worked for her and her husband for 30-40 years.

She is mostly a sweetheart. She may not know my name, but she recognizes me even though I might be her husband, am considered often a male, although I look nothing like one. She is trapped in her past childhood and marriage. A child of privilege and wealth, when she eats on her own, she takes “Debutant bites”, itsy-bitsy bites, the way she was taught when training for her “coming out”.

Last night we sat on her sofa, she leaned over and put her head on my shoulder as I rubbed her side, saying “I Love You”. Five minutes later I am toileting and underdressing her for bed. She snarls, “who are you. get away from me.” Then she stands up and has diarrhea all over her clean clothes and the floor. I get her cleaned up, bring her to her room, and she does it again. All in a day’s work. She can’t help it . . . doesn’t really know what is happening. It breaks my heart sometimes.

A wonderfully talented poet lives down the hall, an inventor the other way. Upstairs is a world-traveler writer, a professor of English and publisher of 30 books, a thoroughly obnoxious Broadway man . . . the list goes on. Many of those upstairs should be downstairs, their short term memories are so poor. There just isn’t enough room. Then there are the touching situations. One man feeds his wife, reads to her, cherishes her. A woman was a teacher in a one room schoolhouse.

There are so many wonderful people in Memory. Some have passed on and most times it breaks my heart. I hate this disease – either dementia or Alzheimer’s. It ruins the lives of so many gifted, helpful, generous people. But once in a while, it does an interesting trick . . . someone who was not very nice during their adult lives mellow, their edges fade. When you care for someone 24 hours a day, its a great thing.