Saturday, May 29, 2021

A Nonet


( The nonet is an awesome 9-line poem whose syllables trickle down in descending order until they are done. The first line has nine syllables and the last line has one.)



It's a mystery still when and why
an entire clan disappeared
into thin air as they say. 
Here today, gone 'morrow.
Contents still in tact.
Clothes, dishes, and
One long lost
baby
gone.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Hotel Adler




Rispetto is a short poetic form of Italian origin comprising of 11 syllables per line. 
It has 8 lines. Rispetto uses the ababccdd rhyme scheme. 
However, you can apply other variations of the rhyme scheme.


Room service cancelled, the switchboard long silenced.

Sulfur baths, live theatre, history condemned.

Vanderbilts, Renssaelaers, there for the finest.

Five splendored stories, an Adirondack gem.


Now a repository for mold and mice,

An investor comes looking to roll the dice.  

Defaced with graffiti, vandals with no clue.

Time has come calling, extracting her cruel due. 



Saturday, May 15, 2021

Cinquain


("Cinq" refers to the number five in French suggesting the properties of this type of poem. The cinquain consists of one stanza with five lines. The first line has two syllables and so does the last line. The following lines have even number of syllables by adding 2 more syllables as you go. Therefore, the second line has 4, the third has 6 and the fourth has 8 syllables. How fun is this?)



A boy 
kneels, bows his head,
turns away from my lens.
Tears fall in boots vacated in
battle. 





Saturday, May 8, 2021

Treasure


"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek." ~Joseph Campbell

What frightens you? What thoughts keep you awake at night? If earth is our schoolroom, and mastering love and banishing fear is the curriculum, what grade would you give yourself? Over the last decade and one half, I have done the hard work on self. I have excavated buried trauma and come to terms with my part in the painful memories. In short, I have become the best version of myself thus far, but make no mistake, I still have a cave to enter, to explore, to make peace with. For me that cave represents financial insecurity, but why? I own my own mortgage-free home, drive a new car without monthly car payments, live debt-free and have safe, long-term investments and holdings. Those family-of-origin tapes are difficult to silence, to mute. I was born into a lower middle class Connecticut family. My father, a roofer all his life, went off to work everyday, but at quitting time could be found throwing beers back at my uncle's bar across town. My mom often worked a factory night job to fill the gap left by my father's alcoholism. While we always had clean clothes and food on the table, I recall an ever-present sense of lack, an undulating fear. When I left home for a state college (financed by my own student loans because my parents failed to plan for my higher education), my head and heart were filled with a fierce determination to do better than my parents, and I did. I got great jobs, married, bought luxury property, and I often sent money and gifts home to my mom. When my marriage ended, I made the decision to navigate life solo, and I have remained single-by-choice. It's just me, and I am wholly responsible for my own financial health and well-being. I long ago rejected a 9-5 existence, choosing instead the life and path of a solopreneur. 

I know that cave of financial insecurity is an illusion. Financially, I have nothing to fear. It's when those demons come knocking in the middle of the night, whispering that I will run out of money before I run out of time on this planet, that my tender heart wants to seize. Instead of hiding, I can look those demons squarely in the eye, throw my head back, laugh, and say, "not today, fear!" 
 

Saturday, May 1, 2021

When I saw the man's outstretched arms in Every Picture Tells a Story, I saw exuberance and excitement! This memory popped into my mind...

ALLELUIA

by Joanie Crocker-Pfeiffer

I could hardly believe what I heard that day! Could it be true? The excitement increased my heart rate, and accompanying happiness soared into the air like beautiful bubbles blown by a delighted child!   My dated Datsun bounced along route 195, as I headed home after a hard day’s work at WMYS FM where I, a woman, performed the weekday Morning Show since 1980.  That in itself was a miracle, as only the other gender was ever hired to handle that prized spot in radio. And now two and a half years later, I had been informed there was a strong possibility I’d also be offered the coveted Program Director’s job as well.  Alleluia!    

I can still picture me in that Datsun driving along with this thrilling possibility sprinting around in my head!  Intense exhilaration lifted my spirits and danced beside me all the way home!  You might wonder, what was the big deal?  In 1974 I had been in the right place at the right time ambling down the hallway one day at WJAR TV-Radio when the General Manager of the radio station inquired, “We have a part-time opening for a music personality.  Interested?” My speechless inner voice did cartwheels while trying to avoid a boxing match with fear.  Finally, cool me lied, “Let me think about it.”  

Thanks to the FCC who was putting pressure on media to hire women, that first offer came and I accepted.  My muse was ready!  I was determined to succeed in spite of negativity expressed by a few male peers, in spite of being blackballed by the CEO of a broadcasting company, in spite of my own ‘me, too’ experiences.  My supervisor even let me know, “I don’t believe women should be on the air, but if we have to have you, you’re going to be good!”  With robust effort, four years and three radio stations later, resolute me landed the plumb morning job on a 50,000-watt FM in a medium market station—a big deal in those days!  And I was the market’s only woman!

In addition to my on-air job, was I offered the Program Director’s job?  You bet I was!  And did I do a good job?  Oh, yes, I did, and I kept it going for seven more fruitful years until it was time to move on again!!!  Though now long ago, that memory of exuberance and excitement heading home in my Datsun that day brings comfort and a warm smile and glow.



Friday, April 30, 2021

Good News


 Overwhelmed India running short of COVID-19 vaccines.

Rare chunks of Earth's mantle found exposed in Maryland. 

Dozens killed amid chaos at religious festival in Israel.

These were the headlines I read when I signed on to receive my email on the last Friday in April. If those messages weren't enough to sink my tender, open heart, a pop-up warning appeared, uninvited, on my laptop screen.

Every 2 seconds someone new becomes a victim of identity theft. Don't be next.

Fear. Destruction. Chaos. Geez, Louise, the whole world has, indeed, gone mad. I have a split second to respond to the toxicity of today's headlines, and so do you. Be honest, do you devour the blow-by-blow details? Do you bristle at my implication? If you are giving extended attention to these headlines, you are participating in the darkness, the madness. News is a big industry; it can't exist without your participation.

I get it. Shit happens. Good people become victims of random violence, but do you really need to read about, and watch, another vehicle, in the same week, plow into innocent bystanders? Here's what I fervently believe. We invite, absorb, and become what we put our attention on, and every minute counts. Do not waste a single one of your life's precise moments focusing on negativity. Have you ever had a strand of hair land on an exposed layer of your skin? You can feel it, right? A thin, lightweight piece of hair. Imagine that. Imagine then what dark and negative thoughts can do to you at a cellular level. Food for thought. (Check out medical intuitive, Caroline Myss, if you don't believe me.) What images, messages, and thoughts do you want your body, your cells, to absorb?

Choose the newsmakers who are genuinely making a difference. GoodNewsNetwork.org shared these headlines this morning.

Artist takes twigs and turns them into dancing figures.

Twitter swoons over Biden's romantic gesture.

19 of the most gorgeous small towns on Earth.

These are some of the people and issues worthy of making headlines, and the more you focus on them, the more of them you will see. Dig deeper. Your body and world will thank you.


Friday, April 23, 2021

Inside Out


There was a time, not that long ago, when my outside---those external things that the world recognized me for---my marriage, my residence, and my job, looked pretty impressive indeed. Successful, handsome, entrepreneurial husband. An award-winning, historically-restored homestead with a center chimney for Santa to slide down every December. A circular drive with a new luxury vehicle parked in it every year. Exotic vacations to faraway lands. Boxes of designer clothing that would arrive weekly on the backs of rumbling UPS trucks. Shoes. Lots and lots of shoes. (Ironic, considering that I've been a barefoot/sandal kinda girl all along.) A freeform, in-ground pool. Professionally landscaped and manicured acres. A potting shed with a wood stove hook-up. A second home in the mountains. Horses, barns, pastures, and a riding ring to rival any Olympic arena. All the trappings of an upper middle class, successful married life. To any outsider looking in on the charmed world I actively built and inhabited, it looked like a modern-day fairy tale. But like the alcohol I used daily to self-medicate, self will had run riot, and in reality, the stuff just created a bigger wall between me and God. My inside suffered mightily. My family imploded. My marriage failed. No amount of home improvement, world travel, and fancy parties were ever going to fill that God-shaped hole deep within my heart. 

For me, recovery didn't come because of the things I lost. Recovery came because I could no longer deny the fact that my inside and my outside worlds simply did not match. Today, I bring my imperfect, spiritually evolving and authentic self to every part of my life. What you see is what you get. That smile on my face? The way I am willing to look you in the eye? My eagerness to engage with you, grab a coffee, listen deeply, share heart-to-heart?  Yup. It's the same honesty and openness I extend to all--trusted friends, family members, clients, and here on the page. If you are willing to bring your authentic self to the table, I promise to bring mine. And if you can't, or won't, don't be surprised if I see through your outside to the inside waiting to be released and recognized.