Poems

A Mother and Her Child

A mother and her child. I try to decipher her gaze and, entranced, have fallen under her spell.She could be a Madonna, holding a babe in swaddling clothes, safe inits mother’s arms and not yet aware of the world outside. What are those eyes and that enigmatic smile that lingers…

Keep reading

Embrace The World

The child on the empty beach runs, arms outstretched, to embrace a ball. Her past lies there behind herfor she has felt her mother’s cheek warm against hershas heard her mother sing a ballad at dusk. The child on the empty beach with arms outstretched is running with the wind…

Keep reading

Hats

November 17, 2019 THE HAT THAT GOT AWAY It was a light brown fedora type hat.Worn to protect its wearer from the rain.Worn because the wearer no longer had that mass of lustrous hair of 50 years ago. On her way along the cliff to the elevator and well aware…

Keep reading

Corner of a Room

Captured on the film of memory a corner of a room. Time-bleached photographs are ranged askew against a wall of ghostly patterned stripes. Shadows from the past stare out, pensive self-conscious unawares. A print of a saint, hands clasped in submission hoping for an answer to his prayers, holds the…

Keep reading

Tea For Two On Tuesdays

A great title. Heralding a friendship. One of those some people say can’t happen. Why? Well because I’m over 90. One doesn’t make new friends after a certain age I was told. If I were less of a lady, I’d say Bull… I made new friends when I was 70,…

Keep reading

For Sally’s Grandmother

Written for Sally’s grandmother around 20 years ago “Suddenly there was no more pain. It just stopped. Like when one stops breathing all of a sudden. For a moment, without the pain, she felt lost. So blessedly unaware of the body she had become accustomed to in the long years…

Keep reading

The Cat

  Six a.m. Thump on the bed. Over to the window sill. The cat sits herself down and looks outside. Immobile, she stares out the window. I raise my head and look out too but all is calm. The leaves hang motionless, suspended, waiting for a breeze. Almost imperceptibly dawn…

Keep reading

What’s in a Name

Give me a name and let me tell you what it stands for. A chair is simply a chair. A daffodil just that. But say Wordsworth and it’s daffodils and lake and wind. Say Shakespeare and it’s to be or not to be and the shoemaker’s sole. Robert Burns is…

Keep reading

Masks

Red, white and blue. Or maybe red, green and white. Or any combination you like. In whatever country you like. Here in Orvieto, Italy, masks are mandatory. If you forget to equip yourself when leaving the house, you suddenly realize  you’ve gone out half-dressed, without your trousers. So you stop…

Keep reading

Teah at Blue Bar

Morning walk. Ten o’clock. She, meaning Teah the dog, jumps down from the bed and stands hopefully in the doorway. “Time for my second walk, for that cappuccino, so I can see what’s going on in the street. Besides which I like Anthony and the others who come sit outside…

Keep reading

Christmas Memories

It’s Christmas Eve. After patiently waiting with our mother for the tinkling of the bells telling us the angels had left and the curtain to the living room could be drawn, we stand enchanted by the Christmas tree aglow with lights and the flickering flames of tiny candles.  Our father…

Keep reading

Time

Was there ever a time without time, with what was and is and what will be? It is the clock that tells us that now has given way to past, heedless of the future. Only you and I project ourselves into time as yet unborn as we try to stop…

Keep reading

Winter is a time of skies

Winter is a time of skies   Jan. 15, 1994 Winter is a time of skies of winds that blow through empty trees and pipe their plaintive solo melodies with crevices of house and door as reed. All foliage, excess verbiage, has fallen by the way. The unencumbered beauty of what lies…

Keep reading

Ancestors

ANCESTORS (January 2004) Ancestors I knewand those I never knew.Family trees.They grow and branchbut backwards.We say we’re looking for our roots.So who is branch and who is trunk?I am the end product,the result of endless matingsbut in turn branch out into others.I am the sumthe penultimate answerof a penultimate answer.…

Keep reading

Ghosts III January 11, 2004

The dark of night flows in like water, fills the room, imprisons me, a creature in its burrow. Eyes wide-open turn inwards to a world alive with ghosts that break unbidden through the fragile diaphragm separating out from in. Phantoms of the past exempt from time and space come one by…

Keep reading

Ahnenpass

The history of my mother’s family is actually rather complicated. My ancestors are remembered, some I knew and loved like my grandmother and aunt Toni. Others remain names in the Ahnenpass. Ahnenpass, a genealogical document required in Nazi Germany  listing birth and death dates, occupations, where lived, who they were…

Keep reading

Museum Hum

Museum. Architecture for people – without people.  (2000 and November 2004) White rooms, doorways leading to other white rooms. Pictures, straight-edged, in the straight-edged architecture of the rooms. Muffled voices in the carpeted room. Intermittent sounds detaching from what should have been the underlying silence. A hum persistent low key…

Keep reading

Paris

Paris November 2004 – Part I Ryanair. Thrill to take-off as it used to be. Roar of motors, lifting off the ground. Paris. Metro. Steps and steps. Circumventing square in search of cab. Lane behind iron gate. Low houses painted sky-blue, pink, yellow. Steep half-width steps winding up (one floor…

Keep reading

Paris II

The days go by, are confounded. Did it rain? Was there sun? Yves Klein blue on cement brick. The white light of Paris. But there’s always inchworm, inchworm, climbing up the wall… Sainte Chapelle. Read the story the stained glass has to tell. Too bad there’s no sun. Baguettes, with…

Keep reading

Paris III

And the movies. My Architect. A moving study of Louis Kahn – of a son and his acceptance of a father, even if he had 3 families. Il Dono. Slow, focusing on textures. Calabria. Christ stopped at Eboli. A desolation of the soul, redeemed by the gift. Good thing I…

Keep reading

Hands

(Feb. 20, 2021) Where has the handshake gone? That sign of trust, of human contact. Strong, firm, fleeting,   Warm, pulsating, limp and cold. Saying more than just a physical contact. Protective, as in Rembrandt’s Jewish Bride. Welcoming, forgiving as in his Return of the Prodigal Son. Clasping, grasping, as with…

Keep reading

Penelope

Penelope (January 1995) – Part I All those things that once you looked at daily, used, took so much for granted you no longer saw them, unaware of their existence, appendages, hands, hammer, knives, tools feet, shoes, carpets vertebras and muscles chairs, tables teeth pots and pans and dishes the…

Keep reading

Penelope II

Boxes. That you had put in storage. Your past life lies scattered in the yard. Their contents, still remembering your touch wrapping each pot and pan each cup and dish with determination, anger at your fate, at false friends, betrayals, rueful yet relieved to leave it all in newspapers now…

Keep reading

Penelope III

A lady. The only word that suits the woman in the picture. Head held high, lips parted, gazing past me, into…what? A fur coat draped around her shoulders, evening gown cut low, a bare arm crosses, clutching white gloves to her breast. One earring glitters half hidden by a wave…

Keep reading

Apple Orchard

McIntosh. An apple of which there is no other.  Surely, that was the apple the wicked witch gave to Snow White. Round, red, perfect. Juicy, asking to be eaten. We had an orchard with over 80 trees on our 98-acre farm in Massachusetts. When harvest time came, my sister and I…

Keep reading

Goats

Our farm was a real farm. Almost a hundred acres with pasturelands, fields and a hemlock grove with a brook.  It was at the end of a dirt road with a big red barn and a white clapboard three-story house with a couple of porches entrances over on the right.…

Keep reading

Tree and Girl

If I had had my camera out If I had had more time If I had been on my own And not running to catch the train to Zurich In the station of Milan. I would have taken at least two photos. One of a scraggly unleafed tree Waiting for…

Keep reading

On a Farm One Makes Hay

Making hay was a story by itself. We used what we called our tractor, but which was actually a pick-up truck painted red, to pull the mowing machine with one of us sitting on it, raising and lowering the double row of blades that moved back and forth cutting the…

Keep reading

The Sound of a Petal Dropping

  Perceptible, but barely. The sound of a petal dropping from the full-blown rose on my computer tower.  We wait a whole year for that one brief moment of beauty, Francesco had said. But what about the other kinds of beauty, the other stages in growth and development, not just…

Keep reading

New York City

I suppose I could have gone to Boston but I think I just wanted to get away from home. Besides which there was really no home any more for my parents had sold the farm and were living in a trailer. Logically, it was NY that beckoned and I had…

Keep reading

California Impressions

1955 I had my degree and it was time to venture into the future. It started with a stint at a museum in Long Beach, California, before taking off for Europe. There wasn’t all that much to do in the town and about the only thing that was interesting was…

Keep reading

From California to Italy and back to NYC

Apartment for Rent: I had been away almost a year and now needed a place to live. I was outstaying my welcome with a college girfriend and evidently the gods were in my favor. At the time East 71st St. between 1st and 2nd Avenue, with its blind windows barricaded…

Keep reading

Sounds

Sounds March 8, 2021 Sounds that were and no longer are Sounds that are and then were not Velcro The click of the camera shutter The third avenue El. Memories of the past. But then there  is also The wail of a baby crying A sound now lost in yesteryear As the…

Keep reading

Poet

January 2, 2004 Another day begins. Set patterns of behavior govern our every move. Demands, requests, solicitations. Wandering attention is quickly brought back into line. Vines etched against a pallid sky. Golden oaks tossing in the wind. Coffee wafts through the air the cup warming our hands. The chill of…

Keep reading

Bats

On seeing a bat (May 1993?) Feb. 3, 2001 The shadows in the room were layered Like watercolor washes From pale grey to almost black. A flutter – not heard – but seen. The darkness shivered and unloosed a fragment of the deepest shade. It darted silently from left to…

Keep reading

Virtual Photos

Tuesday after Easter, 2021: I go to the villa to see if the lilacs are blossoming. Open the doors to let in air and light. There’s a box on top of the wardrobe. Photos it says. A few albums, a mix of single photos. Openings into a world of the…

Keep reading

Interlude

6 Feb. 2017 Interlude  I’m sitting at my desk, reading Berger. A curious tickle on my wrist distracts me from the page. Perched on my cuff is a small shield-shaped insect – wonder where he came from – his long feelers sounding the terrain. He’s brown, actually quite handsome, but…

Keep reading

Virtual Photos II

Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941. WW II, 1939-45. Fast forward and there I am at 16, walking to Bradford Junior College from high school, along the bridge across the Merrimac River.  (I’ll then go home with my father after he’s finished teaching.) There we are marching down the main street…

Keep reading

Gifts

A chip-carved wooden box, a pin with one blue stone, gifts to hold and touch, evoking a name, a time, a feeling. Other more ephemeral gifts, a poem, a word, a gesture, somehow exquisitely private, live on in memory alone. This is for you, he said, handing me half of…

Keep reading

Clocks

One day, just before Easter, a slight man named Joseph wandered into my shop on Piazza Duomo. Easter, including Easter Monday when the Italians all go out into the country for a picnic, is generally the busiest time of the year. It is the first wave of tourists coming to…

Keep reading

Address Book

The old address book seems to be full. We did once use address books Written on paper, adding and crossing out Our daily contacts. A Royal Horticultural Address Book With a rock rose on the cover. Year after year, names added, names removed. Fingermarks on the cover Cleaned with a…

Keep reading

Ion Bucur

ION BUCUR A poet I was told you are a poet. A poet slowly fading away in a clinic in Rome. But that was years ago, in 1941 or perhaps 1954.  Your portrait, swiftly drawn with brush and ink,  speaks to me out of the past  – and I would surely have fallen…

Keep reading

Nostalgia

Alone. I draw the curtains to shut out the light of a night that refuses to be night. I’ll wake up to what might still be night, or dawn, with time, the hours and the days, always the same.  Alone in the country. The night is black. No city lights.…

Keep reading

Madia

The first thing you see when you come in the side door of my house in the country is the madia. A waist-high box, over a meter long, it’s more elegant than the usual kitchen type for beading frames the front panel and the drawer at the bottom. The hinged…

Keep reading

Shoes

A PAIR OF WORN-OUT SHOES They were sitting on the windowsill in the old house. Honey colored, rather battered, worn-down heels. Soft, misshapen. One lace skipping an eyehole. Still she remembered them as comfortable which was what she now needed in a shoe. A day or two they would still…

Keep reading

The Coffee Pot

I don’t go there any more. Sure, it was cheap and the location handy, but the food was never very good. I guess I only went because of Belle. And Belle isn’t there any more. Where is she now? Nobody seems to know. She’s just gone. The day I first…

Keep reading

Flower Pot Shoes

Four boots set on the cobblestones Outside the shoemaker’s shop. Four boots turned into flower pots. A small shop, full of shoes, piled up everywhere. Boots, sandals, ballerinas, heels, for dancing, or for walking. In the back a woman, hair pulled back, attaching the sole of a well-worn shoe. Years…

Keep reading

Then and Now

June 11th, 2021 A bit over a year ago, I walked the streets of Orvieto and glass doors slid open as I passed, to let in —ghosts of the years before. Outside, tables were stacked up, or were simply non-existent. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Now…

Keep reading

Kaleidoscopes

We are all kaleidoscopes, cubist compositions, the sum of our reflections in the eyes of others. We are as others see us. Instant snapshots. Time exposures. Double exposures. All – and none – not one but all. Reflections in the eye of a passerby, reflections in the inner eye of…

Keep reading

Teah

I have a dog. Supposedly she was a guard dog. It started when they broke into the house – it was mid morning and I had gone with my friend to get some supplies at the supermarket in the valley. Coming back, I didn’t notice anything right away but when…

Keep reading

Upupa

June 14th, 1994 Upupa – hoopoe bird. A flash of orange barred with brown and beige darts up from the road. Disturbed but not afraid. A sudden glimpse of joy, untamed and fearless. Too fearless, for now I find you amongst the rocks and weeds cradling the scraggly rosemary outside…

Keep reading

Vetralla

A brown earthenware cylinder, 9 inches high, 4 inches across. An opening cut into one side, all the way down to the bottom. Small triangular holes on either side – most still holding white clay rods, an inch or so long, that protrude towards the inside where shadows reign. It…

Keep reading

Tarquinia

October 17, 2013  Two small grey plastic clogs abandoned helter-skelter on the wet grey sand kicked off by the little boy who couldn’t wait to run into the water. A bolder wave arrives taking one in tow as it retreats. In that decisive pause  when gathering swell and outbound wave…

Keep reading

Vetralla II

Vetralla, though, was on the other side of Orvieto, not far from Viterbo and the lake of Bolsena, on the Via Francigena, the pilgrimage route from France to Rome. We had been told there was a potter in Vetralla, who made traditional red ware, rather coarse, but beloved by the…

Keep reading

Homage to Georgia O’Keeffe

March 29, 1994 Amaryllis. corollas of blood-red petals flaring out immense from deeper darker throats moving out in waves of deepest scarlet lake alizarin and crimson madder. Menacing threatening to draw you in drown drag you down into those vast voracious mouths. From deep within each silken heart seven slender…

Keep reading

The Witch Doctor and the Rosary

I always had trouble remembering how to spell his name. Beppe. Actually, of course, it was Giuseppe. But was it with one p or two? Did I stress that p sound enough?  It really didn’t matter.  Not that we would discuss philosophy or anything, but I might have to ask him not…

Keep reading

Watcher, Giulio, George, Jean

Yes, I am a watcher June 17, 2021 I am a watcher. Have always been. One of my problems in communicating when I should, perhaps, have been more of a participant. But that’s the way I am. I was never the kind to prattle endlessly to my little ones as…

Keep reading

What Did I Do Today?

letter to myself    August, 2004 Six o’clock. What have I done today? Cut some bamboo shoots. Strange dark unlovely spikes, tender, hollow, futile last attempts to grow. Looked out the window. My mountains are still there, but you’re not here to share them with. Looked in a folder and found…

Keep reading

Watcher, Giulio, George, Jean II

Someone asked me – do you have many friends? I stop and think. Friends. Yes, I have a few. But not many. Friends who are there if I need them, or I am there if they need me. Who think more or less as I think, who have some depth…

Keep reading

What Did I Do Today? 2021

Letter to myself, June 29, 2021  What did I do today? Well, let’s see. Today is almost over. Took Teah for her walk, along the cliff. Down below where cars are parked the patch of grass is brown. A haze of yellow stars belies the arid field, where barbed rye…

Keep reading

Watcher, Giulio, George, Jean III

True he had only this small stone house and an old car that had belonged to Barbara and was still covered with all kinds of save the world and environment stickers. I found it curious that there was no bitterness in him, that he had no regrets. I believe it…

Keep reading

High Summer Gold

July 28, 1993 Sirens fraying out along the road, coming closer, farther, round the curve, up on the road above, behind the trees. Not one, but several. Yesterday, the day before, fires had been burning in the woods. It might be wise to find some vantage point and see just…

Keep reading

Watcher, Giulio, George, Jean IV

George and Jean In the beginning, before Giulio, before those others, who then became part of my life, there was George. Golden jade dragons: George was, perhaps, the first of the people who had meant something to me. I had never had a crush on my high school classmates –…

Keep reading

August in Italy

August 4, 1994 Cerulean chickory still lines the road, ragged flecks torn from the sky. Spikes of yellow mullein branch into menorahs of golden stars with hearts of flame. Vanguards of creeping dwarf convolvulus insinuate their way between the stones encroach on asphalt, dot shorn roadside banks. Pale rosy faces…

Keep reading

Erika Shop

There was once a shop in an alley near the fantastic cathedral of Orvieto. It was called Erika, after the lady whose spirit it reflected. Most people probably discovered it by chance. Maybe it was when they saw that at the beginning of the alley the stone head of some…

Keep reading

Camping Out

There’s a suitcase on either side the bureau. There’a suitcase on either side the bed. The apartment is small – no room for storage. Suitcases must make do. A life, once full, keeps shrinking. My life. Your life. Camping out, now. Waiting for the end. Our baggage of earthly remains. Carry-ons…

Keep reading

Erika Shop II

Year in year out, there was a turnover of objects in the shop. Gualverio might have discovered wooden begging bowls, or someone who made botanical prints. Once he brought two Sicilian puppets. An artist friend asked me to help out a struggling Rumanian artist who did traditional under-glass paintings of…

Keep reading

Words

(1995 – rewritten    2017) Words, words, words. Written, spoken, whispered, murmured, shouted, modem, internet. Ways to know each other. Words engender words. Grow like a vine around a thought. Define its shape, explore, insinuate, envelop. A word – an offshoot – of the word that came before. But there was touch…

Keep reading

Early Sunday

Early Sunday morning on the Corso. (with thanks to Rabindranath Tagore) The streetlights are still on, and a fresh morning breeze keeps me company as I walk along the Corso. Not a soul in sight, yet I’m not alone. Light laughter echoes up the street, turns into the lane with…

Keep reading

All over

All she had was a photo of 60 years ago. A young soldier holding a gun, on the bank of a river. And then there were the letters. These were the man she had learned to love. His last letter was dated September 2001. He had wheeled himself into the…

Keep reading

Glass Doors

Did the owner think of the apartment I’m in now as a sort of gatehouse, with concierge services? The entrance door is glass, although it’s clouded glass. The small window at one side offers a glimpse into the room I inhabit,  and I have hung a Chinese scarf there to…

Keep reading

Remnant

October 17, 2013 Leopard spotted flannel Hand printed potato die Left over remnant of my two-year old’s pjs. What happened to the leopard suit? What happened to the little boy? The suit has gone the way of things outgrown. The little boy given way to the man. 

Keep reading

Fabric Scraps

I can hear them conversing, comparing, arguing. Oh, I’ve had quite a life. As befits nobility like me. A golden robe no less. You others all pale by comparison. Don’t be so sure of yourself. You may date to 1930, but were made for a rather self-centered man who thought…

Keep reading

One Never Knows

The past is never   “past”, suddenly without warning it may surface like a rubbing of indented writing, indelible traces of bygone days, although often specific recollections of who and what elude me. A young man accosts me in the piazza of a hill town where I had gone in search…

Keep reading

Or, If, Perhaps, If Only

Monday, any Monday, summer or winter It was not yet eight. The worn wooden door, it really needed painting, opened to let a dog on a leash and a cane appear, followed by an elderly lady, a fedora covering her grey hair and the elastics of that mandatory mask. She…

Keep reading

Anywhere, Elsewhere, Nowhere

I could be anywhere, you said. Anywhere, or nowhere.  You can only walk back and forth along a corridor, a ambulation to be precise. I think of a church and its ambulatory. Where one perambulated in the chancel behind the high altar. Off bounds. Past a door to the world…

Keep reading

Worth Keeping

There are closets and cupboards, storerooms and glass cases, where one keeps one’s relics, the things that tie one to yesterday. They may sometimes have an intrinsic value of their own, sometimes, divorced from their surroundings, they may seem to be pieces of junk. One forgets they have a history,…

Keep reading

October

In the year 1052 Ou-Yang in his study heard a pattering and rustling, that broke into a great churning and crashing, like the noise of waves, or of soldiers going to battle.  Sent out to see what it was, his boy returned declaring he had seen no men and that…

Keep reading

Carolyn’s Rome

Remembered September, 2021 Rome? For me Rome was Carolyn, it was Monteverde Vecchio.  It was going to the station in Orvieto, through streets that were still empty where blinds had been thrown open only here and there and the only sign of life might be a man in his undershirt…

Keep reading

Moving Sidewalk / Conveyor Belt

We come into this world on an endlessly moving stream, a moving sidewalk if you like, carrying us to our final port of call. Apparently alone, a host of others, on their individual conveyor belts, follow along as we continue our relentless journey through the tunnel of life. In passing,…

Keep reading

Finnish Crystal Glass

Shattered. Shards of glass  lie scattered underfoot. All I had meant to do was dust it. Finnish, it was, you said. A small crystal goblet gifted by a special friend. It slipped from my hand and is now in fragments. Meant to contain a cordial or a shot of whisky,…

Keep reading

Pots and Pans

I’ve written on Canes and Clocks and Chairs. On porcelain teacups, on a wooden ale-bowl. On New Year’s Eve and a game we played. So now what can I write about? Something that is universal, something that includes yesterday, today and tomorrow. What better perhaps than pots and pans, humble…

Keep reading

Rubaiyat

 “Shapes of all Sorts and Sizes, great and small, That stood along the floor and by the wall; And some loquacious Vessels were; and some Listen’d perhaps, but never talk’d at all.” Rubaiyat A tattered faded fragment of brown suede with Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam impressed in letters of gold. The…

Keep reading

Contacts

Contacts with real people, October 16, 2021 This morning on our first walk. As we turn into the street that leads towards home, I see two people sitting on a bench. Laughing and talking with each other. LIVE! How lovely. Not an iPhone in sight. Time passes and it’s now…

Keep reading

A Letter

A letter. Hand-written on a piece of paper, folded and put into an envelope, consigned to the posts where it will be put into a bin or a canvas bag with others, destination overseas. A hand-written letter. Surely not from yesterday. Too old-fashioned. Too time consuming. Taking too long to…

Keep reading

Vaphio Cup

My Vaphio cup and memories The Vaphio cup with its scene of the domestication of wild bulls. The one I have is of course a reproduction of the over 3000-year old original in the museum in Athens and is not gold and I doubt that any metal cleaner would make…

Keep reading

On Finding a Fragment

On finding a fragment of an “Etruscan” vase. In digging up my garden, I unearth a fragment of what was once a vessel of some sort. As I wipe away the earth, an enormous eye in black gloss paint stares up at me. Thin-walled, subtly curving, one edge softly rounded,…

Keep reading

Nennella’s Teapots

Teapots, like books, sit quietly on their shelves throughout the day. At least Nennella’s teapots do. Oh my, you remark when you enter the day room. There they are, next to the fireplace, next to the French window, next to the door that leads to the hall. Oh my. Porcelain,…

Keep reading

Every Room

Every room has a story to tell.  Four walls, a floor and a ceiling, delineate, define a cube of space, home to memories of lives lived and now forgotten. Forgotten you say? You overlook the fact that the walls, layer upon layer, retain what they have seen, what they have…

Keep reading

Edna St. Vincent Millay Poem

A friend teaching retired professionals asked them to write their own versions of a well-known poem. I chose the poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, a long-time favorite. Written over a hundred years ago, is it still valid? And mine, does it mirror what the world might be like  in…

Keep reading

Chairs

Chairs. Can you imagine your house without chairs? A seat, with a back, generally meant for one person. A chair must have been one of the first things our Stone Age ancestors invented. Or let us say found useful. Perhaps just a boulder. Or a tree stump. Just something they…

Keep reading

Chairs Poem

A chair is made to be sat in. A chair presupposes a sitter. Straight-backed, enveloping, soft or hard, a chair has a personality all its own. That may or may not be that of its sitter. Chairs also sit and wait lined up against the wall or grouped around a…

Keep reading

Revelations

Four photos: Revelations 1. Hemlock grove. Sun filtering through the towering trees. Danae, child of the earth, stands there alone, arms raised in adoration, welcoming this unearthly shower of gold. 2. It is still dark as he makes his way to the top of a mountain, with the sea down…

Keep reading

Foraging for Memories

Once upon a time  little old ladies foraged for wild salad greens in the fallow fields along the road. Defined as weeds by many,  crowding out more urbane peers, these humble plants gave spice and flavor to what otherwise    would have been a more pedestrian dish. The little old ladies…

Keep reading

Erika High School Essay, Age 15

September 11, 1944 About Myself First, I would like to introduce you to my family and give you a picture of my home. There are only four of us, my gifted, exacting father, my sweet, ever-busy mother, my impish, nature-loving sister and myself. During the summer we all worked harder than…

Keep reading

Two O’Clock

I lie in bed. Night has settled in. Taken over. Darkness flows into all corners, laps all objects in its embrace. I lie there. A web of words, whispering, wailing,  insinuates itself into my conscious, my unconscious as I wait for sleep. I look at my clock. Luminescent numbers say…

Keep reading

Christmas

Now that I’m 92 and don’t have other responsibilities, I start wondering what Christmas meant to me when I was a child, what it meant to my children and to my grandchild. Questions arise as to what Christmas really was for my Jewish friends (it is only recently that I…

Keep reading

Christmas Greetings

So All Good Wishes For a Peaceful Christmas and Promises of a Better 2022, from all of us in Orvieto, whether just temporarily here for the Holidays or thinking of the future, from Costanza, Claudio and Lamberto and his five cats and, of course, from me and Teah, the dog.…

Keep reading

Farm Reminiscences

Reminiscences Recollections Once upon a time Time for nostalgia There was once a farm, once upon a time many years ago, that now existed only in her memories. It, too, had a story of its own, a life story of a home and of a hill. And of the young…

Keep reading

Marino Moretti

An internationally recognized potter, a ceramic artist, whose background is Orvieto and its tradition of medieval pottery and whose family roots are in this town, where he has a workshop in a castle outside the city, lovingly restored by his father and by himself. A family friend, for me and…

Keep reading

Why Are We Here?

Why are we here? What are we here for? This was the question asked by his grandson of a grandfather who had recently lost his wife of 60 years.  How can one answer a question like that? All he could say was that we are here to help one another. Which,…

Keep reading

I Remember When

When you had a run in your nylon stockings and you took them to a lady who repaired them by picking up the thread and reweaving it. When you had your threadbare winter coat taken apart, turned inside out, buttonholes closed up, and voilà you had a new coat. When…

Keep reading

Reflections and Reality

A curving staircase banister sweeps down a silhouette against a daylit window. Curves, straight lines, two dimensions as in a drawing. On either side a reflection moving back into space adds a third dimension. But also moving back in time it adds a fourth dimension. Yesterday, today. A reflection that…

Keep reading

Reflections in a Pool of Water

Reflections in a pool of water bring heaven down to earth, Fragments of blue sky hover over cobblestones. Dark walls of a building sink down upside down, annihilating tangible reality. A patchwork quilt of paving stones reflects the luminescent light of day, frames that topsy turvy world  where what is…

Keep reading

Reflections on Water or a Window

Reflections can be dangerous whether in the mind, a shiny surface, a pool of water, or on a pane of glass. Take the cardinal or the swallow deceived into thinking the reflection in a window was a rival leading to an untimely death. A reflection on a shiny surface can…

Keep reading

Requiem for Gandalf

Nov. 26, 1993 They telephoned to say he was no more. The laughter at the supper table died – no one said a word and then the sounds came haltingly. Last night – Gandalf was his name. The Grey Eminence. Gandalf the Grey Wizard (thanks to Tolkien). Each of us…

Keep reading

Portraits

Sometimes a photograph, a chance remark, will spark a post for my weekly blog. Particularly when I think I am running out of subjects to write about. I can also draw from a store of things written over the years, but that may not be fair. Sometimes it may be…

Keep reading

Reflections on a Train

Once upon a time we traveled by train. In compartments seating maybe eight people, four facing another four. Sometimes there would be conversation, even intimate confessions, as if the speaker were talking to her therapist, convinced none of the other would ever see each other again. It was persons interacting…

Keep reading

New York Days — Snippets

Snippet I A day in NYC, when I was young, perhaps 1950 The day was bright and sunny. At least I think it was. It certainly wasn’t raining. Briskly I set off across town with a little trepidation at my boldness doing its best to keep up with me. My…

Keep reading

%d bloggers like this: