Author Archive

Gardening Reflections 1.2





Radioactive Fish


Gardening Reflections 1.1





“From winter’s tomb of lifeless blossoms, thou, O Christ, art resurrected in new buds of roses, marigolds, bluebells, jasmine, and worldful varieties of flowers.  Ever-mutating, multicolored flowers of lifetrons growing in the gardens of the astral land are fragrant thrones of thy Presence” ~  Paramahansa Yogananda

Hallelujah!  He is risen.


Originally posted on Walking with the Alligators:


A bee performing the miracle that keeps the whole world running~
Picture credit: Bob Peterson/ Jacopo Werther

If like us, Spring at your house means working in your garden and/or your yard, here are some things that you may wish to consider before you begin.

In my email this morning was a new round of pleading from one of my favorite sources for  keeping our Planet safe, the Cornucopia Institute.

They are once again, repeating a request for us all to stop using a certain type of insecticides in our yards because of the mortal effects they are having on our bees in America.

Bees and all pollinators are dying by the millions and it is having a ripple effect all across our Planet.

On the Weather Channel this week, a sad example was demonstrated live on the set, bees are being born with crumpled wings and only living a day or  two,  because they cannot fly, the source or cause of this deformity is mites.

Two more…

View original 433 more words

Good Friday Prayer

In death, decay


blurred tears


yet the promise of new life


The Hum of Life

The reverberations of love

jump across time and space

to another receptive heart


The reverberations of suffering

resound around the earth

picked up by open souls in prayer


The reverberations of Aum

most sacred of sounds

pulses through our minds in meditation


Love brings the possibility of loss

Suffering brings a totality of pain

Aum brings the reality of God within

Jeepers, Peepers

Originally posted on MOONSIDE:

Spring Trees at Sunset  (digital photo)

The Vernal Pool Next Door

It is late afternoon and spring by the calendar, although still quite cool.  I have just spent some time at our neighbor’s pond, listening to a form of music that some have likened to the sound to bells.  Others liken it to bird song. And still others with unimaginable disdain, to “some kind of nature noise.”  For me it is one of the happiest of sounds– the act of creation transformed into sound decibels for all to hear.  A sound that comes from the earth and resounds to the heavens, unwittingly praising the Almighty.   It is a form of ecstasy when the sound surrounds me totally, filling my ears every evening with perhaps the single-most highlight of spring for me– the siren song of the Spring Peepers.

How have they cast their spell over so many?   I cannot say except that their song…

View original 497 more words

The Panoply of Spring

Muskrat swimming

Spring Peepers peeping

Red-winged Blackbird joining the Peeper Chorus

“Willow Weep for Me…”


“The Rites of Spring”

 Sap a flowin’


 Ice a goin’


Frogs a croakin’

P1130043_edited-1Turtles snorin’

“Talk to Me!”


What I loved about this horse is that he looks as if he is about to say, “Tell me all about it!”  Actually he is a rescue that became a therapy horse at Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue in Millbrook, New York.  He gives handicapped children rides and companionship so valuable to them.  Like so many animals, he gives so much for mere maintenance in return.  An exceptional soul.  

Alone Together


You stand before me

in total vulnerability

openness spread across your face

how can I resist

I am powerless

before such love

before your open heart

and yet you have to go

live life in your world

after all

though we share so much

we remain alone

 we make love,

or not,

no matter

 our foundation

is deep and strong

how can it be that

our two bodies

though sometimes

joined in union

remain separate


keeping us apart

how can it be that

our bodies

will break my heart

in the end

for we will die


how can it be that

our bodies

vessels of union

will keep us apart

that one day two hearts

that beat as one

will leave this bodily union


Death cannot sever

our binding bond

though it rips us


(Dedicated to Thomas, my husband of almost 25 years, with all I have to give)

International Court victory for whales

Originally posted on Green Living London:


Pic: Paul Hilton/Greenpeace

Japanese whaling in the Antarctic Ocean was ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice this afternoon. This is a landmark ruling which will stop hundreds of whales being killed each year in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica in the name of “research”.

Australia had asked the Court to stop Japan’s annual whaling hunting expedition, claiming their programme is not scientific but commercial, because of its large scale. Japan catches about 1,000 whales each year for what it calls scientific research.

In a statement, the court said: “The special permits granted by Japan for the killing, taking and treating of whales in connection with JARPA II are not ‘for purposes of scientific research’ pursuant to [the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling].”

The court’s decision is considered legally binding and Japan has said in the past that it would abide by the court’s ruling. But this isn’t the end…

View original 102 more words

Overloaded Circuits: a Poem for World Bipolar Day, March 30, 2014


I’m in somnia

with jackhammer brain

a buzzing mind

a humming with emotions

thoughts and pictures

memories of joys

lost to death

spirits close to my heart

seemingly worlds away

guilt, loss and happiness

sickness and death

as well as

breathtaking beauty

a bedfellow with

gnawing worries

and gnashing nerves

fleeting images from films and

music playing at high speed

in the library of my mind

voices of today, yesterday and

fears of tomorrow

vying for an ear

asking me to listen

to them all

all at once

a cacophony of sounds

in the humming silence

of the specter-filled

haunting darkness

with fearsome death dangling

its loathsome threats

before my darting eyes

afraid not for myself

but of losing him

as he lies beside me

breathing noises

breeding worry, sorry

dashing thoughts of love, passion, doubts

a scarily-still lump beside


manic me

finally arising out of

maudlin months

of dismal darkness

and deep, dark despair

when death smelled sweet to me


I get out of bed

to lay my face

upon the windowsill

to gaze at the mystery sky

full of twinkling stars

glittering to the rhythms

of the pulsing universe

my only hope for some

semblance of somnolence

my only chance for peace.

For info on my Bipolar memoir, please see:

Two Different Worlds


I am Bipolar.  I used to think I was two different people.  In the remarkable article below Bipolar Disorder is described as inhabiting two different worlds.

Originally posted on The Bipolar Bum:

#worldbipolarday #bipolar #bipolarbum #manicdepression #endmentalillnessstigma #mania #depression

#worldbipolarday - Get on board everyone.  Share, reblog and make noise!

#worldbipolarday – Get on board everyone. Share, reblog and make noise!

Bipolar: How to be in two places at once

Everywhere we go, we occupy two completely separate places.  One usually takes priority, emboldened by our current mental state, but nevertheless a person with Bipolar occupies two separate worlds.

 Think of it as two narratives being played out on speakers.  Periodically the volume shifts heavily from one to the other but you are left with the sometimes dreadful knowledge that it WILL oscillate at some point in the future.  Just acknowledging this can be a stressor in and of itself and many people with Bipolar require that they are CONSTANTLY vigilant observing their mental garden, and pulling out the weeds as  early as possible.

As white-hot, humming mania begins to recede I become anxious and pre-emptively disheartened at the potential of how low…

View original 720 more words

March Sunrise to Sunset

A tribute to my beloved brother, Tony, who loved this song.


Save the Seals

Save Britain’s Barn Owls

Originally posted on Green Living London:


A petition has been launched to save Britain’s Barn Owls, which are dying off in their thousands. The changing climate and a loss in their natural habitat is part of the picture, but these iconic birds are also being killed by powerful rat poisons used on farms across the country.

In 2013 across Britain, the number of Barn Owl nests varied between 45 and 95% lower than normal. Changing climate and habitat loss is part of the picture but Barn Owls are also being killed by powerful rat poisons used on farms across the country. Indeed, the latest scientific research shows that 84% of Britain’s Barn Owls feed on poisoned prey. Some die as a direct result.

The Barn Owl Trust has launched a petition which calls on the Government Minister responsible for the review, Mike Penning, and the Health and Safety Executive to impose stricter controls on these powerful poisons, restricting…

View original 36 more words

Cowboys and the “Dallas Buyer’s Club”

About three minutes into “Dallas Buyers Club” I just knew I was going to love it.  Well, I more than loved it. I absolutely adored it and watched it twice. Why? Apart from being a highly meaningful piece of art with political overtones with which I concur, here was a film about the cowboy in my life. My brother.
No, my brother didn’t die of AIDS or HIV. He was not a drug addict and he was as straight as they come. I was the one with the homosexual experiences in my family.  My brother didn’t even die of cirrhosis of the liver, though God knows he drank enough. No, my brother died of lung cancer at age 57.
Let me back up and give a synopsis of the film from Wikipedia for those of you who are not familiar with it: ‘”Dallas Buyers Club” is a 2013 American biographical drama film, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack. Matthew McConaughey stars as the real-life AIDS patient Ron Woodroof, who smuggled unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into Texas when he found them effective at improving his symptoms, distributing them to fellow sufferers by establishing the “Dallas Buyers Club” while facing opposition from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”
Like Woodroof, Tony was a hard drinking, hard-living, tough-as-nails cowboy who worked on thoroughbred horse farms for awhile as a groom. He got into trouble from time to time but he was blessed with a good, big heart. And, unlike Ron he lived long enough to turn his life around and live an exemplary life I cannot begin to touch.  He married, settled down, became a wheelchair artisan and adopted three kids. He wound up doing volunteer work, too, therapeutic riding with handicapped kids. Things Ron might have done had he had the chance. Ron has a line in the film where he talks about wanting a family. But he died too young.
So did Tony. His cowboy life in Michigan was cut short when he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer at age 54.  He was given 4 months to live. Dead set on fighting and aiming to win, he had chemo and radiation.  I sent him doo-rags when his hair fell out. I did Reiki on him.  And he did his God-damnedest to stay alive. All for his kids. He dropped down to 90 pounds, walked and looked like a dark-skinned, Latino Ron Woodroof at his most emaciated. It was heartbreaking to see this once rugged, handsome cowboy wearing long sleeves in the middle of a blistering summer so as not to scare people with his stick-insect arms.
Damn, the movie had guts! Power, too, in spades. Just like Ron Woodroof and his beautiful transvestite partner in business, Rayon. Just like my brother, and just like so many fighting for their lives.  Ron outlived the 30 day sentence the doctors gave him when he was first diagnosed HIV, and he lived some seven more years.  Tony lived three years after the initial prediction of four months. Chemo was hell for one week out of the month followed by three relatively good weeks. Relative is the word here. Tony told me time and again he was doing all this for the kids.
The Rons, the Rayons and the Tonys of the world– they are the unknown, unsung heroes of daily life. Ron Woodroof became famous  thanks to the producers, writers, actors and all who made this movie jump from the page to the screen to brilliant, vibrant life.  I thank them for telling the stories of Ron and Rayon. Stories that needed desperately to be told. Ron Woodroof made good in his own hustling way. So did my brother.
It was great seeing Tony again, even if only in metaphor. I cried plenty from the get-go and again the second time around, but even aside from my brother, would have anyhow. The characters, the movie was THAT poignant, counterpointed by humor, too. What a fantastic whirlwind of a life was portrayed in this outstanding, almost phantasmagorical film.

Denizens of the Deep


The marsh is melting


all the turtles in their hibernacula

deep down under the melting ice

will soon emerge

and the marsh will sing

the chorus of the Spring Peeper

and the salamanders will emerge

with the urge to murge

and joy and the life force

will fill the air

and lift the fog

enveloping my soul.


Child Days in Vermont


Long ago, when I was very young, we used to go visit my great grandfather in Vermont. “Pop,” we called him, was a minister.  He was a minister at Riverside Church in New York City, just two blocks from where my husband and I have lived for the past 25 years. Pop and Nana, my great grandmother, spent summers in Greensboro, Vermont, right on a lake, facing the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The lake was pristine. So clean you could drink the water. So cold even in summer, you had to wait until afternoon to swim.  So cold fires burned in the fireplace in the mornings.  I was scared of fire back then and remember crying and Pop took me back to his little office in the woods where he often had a fire going, to give me a lecture about fear.  He told me if you were careful and knew what you were doing and had respect for it, fire was safe in the fireplace and I should not be afraid.

Early in the mornings my Dad and Pop and a neighbor would go fishing for perch for breakfast. They would come home with many fish and then would clean the scales into a bucket off the kitchen. Nana would cook them and serve the fish with fluffy eggs, and soft, buttered toast.  And there was sweet, home-made marmalade with bits of peel to relish. We would eat out on the sun porch at a long table in the warm, but not hot, bright yellow sun.

Usually I went to Greensboro with my parents but sometimes Pop would  drive me up at nighttime.  Twelve hours on old back roads, passing through dark, sleeping towns. There were no highways then. I loved Vermont, and Nana and Pop’s house on the lake. I loved walking along the brook that flowed through their backyard.  I loved looking at the blood-red poppies in their garden. But I didn’t like the swarms of gnats that hung in the fresh, warm air. Nor the snakes. Neither did Nana.  I remember Nana using a garden tool to cut a garter snake in half.  This seemed horrific and puzzling at the time, and seems even more grizzly today. I didn’t understand why we had to kill the snakes.

eyelocks_612x792 - Copy_edited-1

Nana was very strict, an old New England schoolmarm.  My pajamas had to be neatly folded under my bed pillow or else they wound up in the “pound”, a big wooden chest, filled with other untidy things. A child had to pay money to get things out of the pound. I had almost no money then so this was a very effective form of punishment.  It is true I was given a modest sum of money when we went to the general store in town. With it I would buy colorful fake wax miniature soda bottles. You would bite off the waxy top and drink the sweet liquid inside the pretend soda bottle. I learned a valuable lesson. The liquid was gone in a second– there was a flash of intense pleasure– and then you were left broke, with an unpleasant wad of wax in your mouth.

Town was miles away. The mail boxes were far away but you could walk to them along the driveway.   And the nearest neighbors were far away, too.   You had to walk along the lake, through the woods, to get to their house.  Upon arrival, the grown-ups would have drinks and play cards and talk about this disease you got in the winter when the snow would cover the front door. It was called “cabin fever.” My mother tried to explain to me what kind of sickness it was but I never understood.

The neighbors had a young teenage boy named Andy and I had a crush on him, declaring him my boyfriend. He barely spoke to me but nevertheless when Nana gave me chocolates, I saved them and brought the bag of chocolates through the woods to the neighbors’ house for Andy.  The gift went unacknowledged.  Even in those days of relative innocence, I had found my first of many love obsessions. It would be several failed relationships and 30 long years spent in pursuit of love before I would find someone I loved.  Someone who has loved me back, mental illness and all, in a marriage of almost 25 years. Not that long in the scheme of things.

Pop dying was the first loss I experienced. I remember not understanding death at all, sitting on Nana’s lap and asking where he had gone.  She could not answer me.  Nana and I corresponded by letter after that until she died many years later.

It was in those days of cool summers that I fell in love with nature and the countryside, although as a city girl, I was scared of the pitch black nights.  It would take me 50 years before I would escape the city when my husband and I got a little barn in rural upstate New York.

As I sit recuperating from a recent illness, I ponder the turns my life has taken and wonder what lies ahead, not without fear, but with growing equanimity.

For memoir continuing the above click on:

“Eye-locks and Other Fearsome Things”


How Wolves Change Rivers

Last Weeks of Winter



Winter is weary

and we are wary

of forecasts

of yet more snow

and ice to come



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,522 other followers