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Showing posts from 2013

The Mask

Behind the mask
she sheds the tears
and feels the racing of her heart
because of his explosions
yet again
bellowing from deep within
because of the dollar bill
that he claims he has not enough
when he makes more than they did together

So she wears the mask
and silently bears the blows that never show
and holds on until 2022
hoping to be alive to live anew
and one day he loves her and says she is great
and the next he is yelling because of the dinner she made
and goes on about a shirt he never wants to wear
anything, everything, always to jab and destroy

her soul

and no one can hear the cries that come

from deep within

because she wears the mask

Drops of Friendship Tears

tears sinking to the floor in a heap
felt momentary despair
like that of Sylvia
empty and sobbing
missing and wanting

wail until the torrent ended
mourning loss like a death
shoulders heaving and body swaying
and drops falling down cheeks

weep no more for what once
decided never meant to last
seasons for everything

sob a last time
over missed chats and presence

cry away a lost friend

Empty Space Once Shared

Twice  asked
Three times implored
wondered what you were doing there
one day, one month, one year, a decade
vacant space, chasm like an ocean expanse
spread wide the gulf
four times turned to the back facing me
no answer to the plea
why leave
why stay
why back
why today
never knew, never got an answer
when you walked out
except that child carried in me
gone a year and eighteen months
not a hug or a glance
then once and another child carried in me
and empty the space again
when pondered and queired
told was crazy
told needed help
while more and more it was you
you you  you
you tore the heart and threw it away
and stomped on the soul
so why now
why back
for you
to say you were there
no touch
just a mound
facing me
back like a wall
no bricks coming down
hard to sleep
wanting answered
silence the night
four times queried
seven times asked
silence met the wind
and the expanse of the sea
grows even wider

Poet-to-Poet Talk With Lori Widmer

Poet-to-Poet Talk With Lori Widmer
Lori, welcome, thank you for chatting with me today. Thanks for inviting me. J
Let me begin by saying we are both explorers of the MOOC platform, having virtually met in Modern and Contemporary Poetry taught byProfessor Al Filries of the University of Pennsylvania.  Tell us what drew you to this ModPo13 class? I’ve had an interest in poetry since I was young. In fact, my first “work” was a poem. It was about a salamander. Hey, it was sixth grade—that’s as creative as I could get!
But I loved the idea of studying poetry formally. When this course appeared on Coursera, I couldn’t avoid it. In fact, this is my second time through the course.
A salamander! My daughter is a writer in 6th grade, that sounds like something she would write about.  Tell us a little more about yourself…are you a professional writer? Poet? What do you do? I’m a freelance writer and editor, and my concentration is business writing. I have over 15 years of experience, mostly working …

Mother's Change by Lori Widmer

The world is a small and beautiful place when the wonders of technology allows two women, both mothers and both writers, to connect in a MOOC called ModPo13 ( and discover a certain beauty in the words they share.  The following is a guest poet from said encounter.
Mother’s Change by Lori Widmer
Maybe it was heat altered her, or maybe it was life led through others, those children Husband to whom she’d given too much. It was Change in her, one revealed loss of her Self heightened by empty spent feeling flashes sweating reminding her Age was winning, her curves now took different Paths.
She fluffed clean sheets over tired bed, beating back heat inside her, wondering if she’d ever feel cool again, if young friend of her daughter, one who flirted shamelessly with her, found her sexy or if he thought her ridiculous for flirting back for wanting to be wanted she having watched her husband relishing his temper in private, channeling energy of their arguments into bed, connec…

Will's Wedding

donning the tuxedo to wait
in anticipation
for her to meet you
hand out
hand in
taking one out to bring in
opening the heart and
keeping the space
that is made


Perhaps I have always been alone
trying to make sense of a world
where I was never meant to be
navigating and triangulating through
space and time
wanting to be seen and heard
in a maze
not my own
voices surrounding me but
deafening the silence of the one
desperately trying to be heard
still sitting there

Standing Still Musing Ten

The world seemed to stand still in the rush of morning activity.

Bookbags were hurriedly stuffed in the car, breakfast barely consumed, jackets hastily donned against the unexpected cold.  The promise of the day was unfolding as the engine made its roar to life and the blast of the car exhaust let out a poof of steam against the wind of this new day.

Turning the corner, hoping to catch the light, coffee sipping and backseat chatting about the hope of seeing friends and discovering new things under the watchful eye of the teacher in the front.  The music softly played, NPR an afterthought, hands turning over wheel, lights on against the dawning mist, a new day of activity forming ahead.

Pulled to the brick edifice of learning, little legs jumping out the door pushed open, grabbing the backback slung over one shoulder, "bye mom," in jubilant excitement, dashing off to 4th grade, waiting and meeting friends to go stand on line until the time to go inside, feeling confident and …

not giving up

wounded my heart
killing my spirit
but I refuse to give up
hunting me down
strangling my soul
because you can not handle my light
doesn't seem fair
not stopping
fighting back with every keystroke
you will repay

Read, Like, Follow, Speak

You, mysterious you, visit my writing
and enter the space of my mind
dwelling in my heart, peaking into my soul

You read the words that tumble from my spirit
hands on keys, pen on paper
and you come back for more

Some one time, some four hundred times
you follow in the shadow, your identity secret
come out, come out, come out
you mysterious one

Open wide the hidden spaces and lend me
the moment, the pleasure of knowing you
you know me, you read me

Come and like the words I utter, follow me
to the places I journey, speak to me
speak back to me,. tell me your name

I've Known Hunger

I've known a hunger so gripping in its vise, so uncaring in its choice
The kind that makes your head pound with the signals your brain can no longer comprehend
When a pack of Ramen Noodles was the meal of the day and you prayed for enough money for Kraft Mac-n-cheese
The kind that makes you sip the last spoonful of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup so your kids will not go to bed starving
Yes, I've know that dread and fear that your stomach was beyond the "oh, I missed lunch" pang and had entered into the truly 40-days-and-40-nights twist and thud of emptiness that made you realize you had entered the world of STARVATION
It has written itself on the doors of a long ago memory
Those days when a box of Rice-a-Roni was split between four people and the treat was Minute Maid for breakfast if it could last the entire week.
Moments when the only concern was food and thinking what you would not do to get it, even as your skinny frame was dropping below 100.
I've known …

I Remember You

I remember not your face
except to look in the mirror
"you look just like her."
But in my mind's eye,
no image conjures

I remember not your voice
except to hear my sisters
"you sound just like her."
But in my heart's ear,
no sound comes

I remember not your hands
except to look at my own
"you write just like her."
But in my soul's touch,
no feeling emerges

I remember you
even as I hardly knew you
Your essence fills my space
touches my face
sings in the shadow place

Poet's note:
Birthday tribute to my late mother
she died when I was only four
Being a motherless child has defined
every moment of my existence for decades
Her born day is May 16

First Love Only Love?

If the loves that last are the first loves
then does that mean there is no more love?
What if the first love is your's and not his
and his heart belongs to another
but you don't know that because you are only seventeen?

If the loves that last are the first loves
and there is no more real love
then is it ok that you simply walk away
from the one who says he loves
but does a few too many tokes of that 70s drug?

If the loves that last are the first loves
so that the real loves are a mystery
and you stop looking and just be
with the one that you love and loves you
but doesn't bring the fire like the others do?

If the loves that last are the first loves
and there is no more love
that the rest of us are not finding
do we just walk away and stop trying?

Freedom Pen

Determined to be free and live authentically.

Writing the way and penning the path.

Others want to silence the voice and the words.

But pushing through the door and breaking down the walls.

Never going to stop reaching up and higher.

Breaking chains that bind and hold.

Speaking a truth through keys and screens.

Love Affair In Bounded Print

More constant than a friend
Satisfying like no other
These cherished tomes set on tables and chairs
Ever present to journey and escape
Intimate treasure and forever companion
Poetic affair to last the years
Sitting waiting open to that favorite spot
Giving living breathing being
Forever admired and deeply experienced
These present lovers in black and white

Myla's Freedom Song

The journey of life has not been an easy one for Myla.  
She knew there was something different about her, about her life, but could never understand the sheer impact of all that she had endured until she stepped out on that stage.
"Hello, my name is Myla and I am a survivor."
The crowd roared into claps before they even heard her raspy voice speak the words and read the passages of her book.  This was her first tour, her first speaking engagement, her first opportunity to take back her power.
"My story is in some ways not unlike the story of many women, many of you sitting in this room right now.  I was born to parents who loved each other and subsequently loved me, their baby girl. I was raised in the praise of their affirmation of my brains and beauty, taught to be tender and caring, to be loving and kind, to believe in the best in all people, and to strive for my dreams.  I was taught of my virtue and my worth and to pursue my education.  My father loved me, my mother r…


It is funny to me
How people always want to know
"how long has this been going on?"
When it has been happening
right in front of them.
Are you paying attention?
Can't you see the downcast of the eyes?
The quiet in the answer?
The uncertainty in the thought?
Why does it matter how long?
The very fact that it has been happening
should make them want to help
do something
do not just sit there and say
"I just can not believe he would do that."
When the things she says are stranger than fiction
yes, he did not, he is doing that, he is that


not the housekeeper or maid
or the caricature drawn of me
never will be ever gonna be
the slave you want of me
cleaning your floors
washing your walls
seeing your dirt
know more than you think
wiser than you assume
deeper than your fears
built this house you try to take
greater than the crumbs
wipe that table clean
not your house slave
greater character than you will ever be

Twenty Bags of Chips

Twenty bags of chips in the trash can
Shiny vacant promises in silver lined packages
Crumbs in the bed sound of the crunch
Tasting any of it munch munch munch
Disarray uncontrol stuffing mouth
Twenty bags of chips in the trash can

I am a writer

I am a writer.  I always have been. I always will be. The pen and I are connected, my hand moves with it connected to my digits and spreads out the thoughts in my mind, bringing ink in colors of blue, black, pink, and purple on paper of white.  I am a writer. When I was nine or ten years old, my late father gave me a stack of Big Chief Tablets and a pencil and told me to go write down my stories.  I wish I still had them today because it was one of the purest moments of creativity, my imagination took flight and the words reached paper.  My late father relished in them from my tale of the Irish Potato Famine that took off from me gnawing on a pencil in class to my coming-of-age-story of a young girl in the big city, I wish those stories and my father’s deep baritone was still around to encourage me, all these decades later. I write poetry, essays, and one day, that long awaited memoir.  I also write professionally as a consultant, marketing professional, and educator.  I earned my Ma…

Water Flow

Who can own the sea?
Who can own the waters deep?
Who can own the river's flow?
Who can own the calm of the bay?
Why keep the ocean from me?

A Brother's Plea

A Brother’s Plea
I am sitting here in this cell, afraid and alone,
Can't play my music or talk on my cell phone I wonder how I got here, my personhood assaulted Smart in school, now my possibilities halted My life will never be the same In some ways it is over because of this prison game I cry to myself so the fellas won’t hear Too many years ahead of me in this place without care My life has not been easy, no crystal stair When all I ever wanted was a chance to be someone to live anywhere It was the accident of birth they say I had no control over my DNA My mother tried hard and worked every day My dad paid the bills and with her he stayed My nightmare happened in school you see I had a young blond teacher who was afraid of me I studied hard and turned in my work But she was afraid of me and when I moved, she jerked My friends told me to be careful in high school The cops were always ready and waiting to load you in that van pool Off to juvey or the business man's prison cell To a world that was …

Ski Song

soaring through the sky creating my winter melody snow capped mountains sing to me waiting for me to fly

This poem is dedicated to someone very special to me and his lady love, as well as his snow bunny friends who took it.  Crisp air, singing their ski song.

Standing On The Side Of The Road

"Standing On The Side Of The Road"

I am standing here on the side of the road - 
Trying desperately not to be seen
It is the middle of your busy day
You do not notice me with your latte
Guarding against the cold wind-
Frozen inside outside walking here and there
No mansion or house to put my belongings, no one to care-
I am standing here on the side of the road-
Not the trash you just tossed away
That latte and uneaten muffin, my only meal today
Standing here, shivering in the city alone
No one to shelter and love me in the biting cold
You are busy, I know, but see me please
Life is not pleasurable or one of simple ease
I once had a home and a family too
Rushed through life, busy like you
Forgotten and discarded in the corner cafe
Wishing for more than your morning latte
My only hope, made it last all day
Trying hard not to be in anyone's way
Standing on the side of the road
It is where I live, where I grow old
Please remember when you rush by
That in my eyes are dreams as I cry-
There is more t…