Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Readied myself for my big day tomorrow - This is My Brave - Poem: Elegy for an Unhappy Woman

 Got my toenails polished a lovely light pink at a place called Pearl Spa. My server, Tina, kept me under the foot dryer for nearly a hour, while I attempted to nap. Finally I cried out, When will I be done?

The owner looked at me. Oh, you're done.

Bad business!!!

I was worried that my sugar might go low, so I walked down to China Garden and had a great meal - Buddhist's Delight. Walter Straus and I used to go there.

While waiting for my meal, I got up and wandered out to the foyer, looked into the cooler - loads of cans of beer - and then into the vestibule where they had a gift shop. Once ages ago, I bought a couple of bowls.

My server, Michael, and the owner were very alarmed that I was wandering around. What?  I'm gonna sit there after sitting for an hour at the nail salon?

The real reason I was at the Staples shopping center was I needed a new ink cartridge. Friendly Dave helped me. That's what I actually call him

While I waited for him, I wandered down the aisles, enjoying looking at all the things having to do with communication.

Dave said his wife loves wandering in hardware stores. You know, don't you, I said, there's an old-fashion hardware store in Hatboro? He knew.

His wife also likes "feed stores" as she grew up in Texas.

Bucks County, PA, is horse country so she enjoys that.

Listen to Faure's Requiem here on YouTube.

At last night's New Directions' meeting we were shocked to hear of the suicide death of "Silvia."

Today, as one of her many former therapists, I went into my study, and found her "chart," green and scuffed. As always, I put a yellow Post-It note on the front with her name, a phone no. and the date we started therapy. Jan. 19, 2015 thru September 13, 2015.

I told her she never listened to any of my suggestions so there was no point in her seeing me.


"Silvia," you will not hear
hear Faure's poignant Requiem
playing for you, dead of an
overdose at some anonymous
hotel where you couldn't
be found.

As a favor to the man
who would never let you down
I accepted you as a therapy

Our conversations took place
over the phone. You knew me
well, asking how Scott was,
and if I was writing any
short stories.

You were caring, funny, and
beautiful too. That, my dear,
was one side of you, the other
remained hidden like the dark
side of the moon.

When you moved to a less expensive
apartment, I suggested a volunteer
from Seniors Helping Seniors. You
had no knowledge I paid for
a woman to help you get your
things in order.

I congratulated you when you
held your head high and went
into the Hyundai dealership
to give the man hell who had
swindled you.

Your mother had finally unblocked
your phone calls, the two of you
could have been conjoined twins,
both forgetting that love once
dwelt between you.

In the end, love was nowhere
to be found. In your angry state
you cussed at everyone who came near,
o humanity, how could you?

As death came near, lying atop
a bedspread in the hotel, where you
spoke your last words to "Will,"
did you remember your happy days
as a child, your grandmother
reading the once-upon-a-time
stories to you?

What was the meaning of your life,
Silvia? Was it all in vain? Or did
those of us who knew you and hoped
for your deliverance find a new
meaning to our lives: Every child
who is born is precious under
the Eye of Heaven.

Am doing my exercises per Margaret Fitzpatrick, walking at least 20 minutes per day. Scott and I returned our library books, and then walked to A C Moore. He was looking at very sturdy wooden birdhouses. Then we went to Barnes n Noble. Ah, the smell alone!

We napped together during the news and I slept profoundly.

Goodbye Silvia goodbye!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

My back is getting better - Poem: Eating Monterray Jack Cheese in the Dark

When your back is really painful as mine is/was, it's hard to believe it will ever get better.

It is, thanks to Margaret Fitzpatrick.

She worked me really hard today. I was walking backward at her Hatboro office. This is about trust, I told her. We walked up the steps. She had me on a small balancing stool where I had to close my eyes.

Totter totter totter!

My friend G from New Directions was there.

Told Margaret I was gonna go to Wawa across the street for a cuppa coffee. "Tree" gave me a gift card I haven't used up yet.

Carefully crossed the street. Entered the Wawa which looked very strange!!!

The place where you order soups n sandwiches was covered over with a long piece of paper.

The place where the many different kinds of coffee are ... was not there.

What's going on?

Aqua, the water company, is installing new water meters, so they had NO WATER.

When I got home I made my own coffee with Dunkin Donuts original dark roasted.

Delicious! I sat down on Red Couch and simply enjoyed the wonderful flavor. Drank it in my new favorite cup from Helene.

Got one of those requests to contact my State Senator - Stewart Greenleaf - to ask him to not approve a new PA Senate Bill that requires people to work in order to receive Medicaid.

I spoke to Judy and explained why this is a bad idea. We chatted for 45 minutes. Told her my name - people always think they've heard of me - and gave her the website for ND.

Last night Scott said he wanted to watch July 22 on Netflix. Oh, I watched that, I told him, but it was so good I'll watch it again.

Of course he fell asleep, so I left when he did.

This morning, tho, I finished watching it. The end is fantastic. The 'terrorist' in this true movie was given a life sentence. The attorney who represented him was asked by the terrorist if he would come and visit him in prison.

No, said the attorney. Then the terrorist stuck out his hand to be shook. The attorney would not shake it.

You lost, said the attorney. And you will always lose.

Wrote my sister Donna some Netflix films I've enjoyed. Loved the Bruce Willis film Armageddon. How dyou pronounce this word?

Arm a GED don

Wrote Donna in an attempt to make up with her since hanging up on her a week ago.

Image result for monterey jack


After watching the appalling story of a woman
starving to death in a mansion in Vermont
the pit of my stomach started to ache.

What should I eat?
Brought a big slab of Monterey Jack
up to bed. Turned off the light
and munched.

The lights of cars driving by
flickered like waterfalls
- Niagara, Victoria Falls -
through my drapes and onto
the now-black wall.

I was happy.
Thanked God as I always
do, though I'm not a believer
and swallowed the last of
my cheese,

and forbad myself to
leave my warm bed
and burgundy comforter

lay down and must have
fallen asleep as I did
wake up in the morning.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Yes, I'm excited about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex having their first child - Poem: The Queen Ruth Zali Speaks

Prince Harry & Meghan Royal Wedding Mug royal wedding mug prince harry and meghan markle 11oz ceramic mugAs I wrote my sister Donna, since I have my own coffee cup I ordered online when they got married, I can fill it w champagne when the little one comes.

The photos online are fabulous and I'm pleased to show my 8 readers the nicest ones.

I'd forgotten that Meghan's mother is a black woman - and as you know - one drop of black blood and you're considered black - in our hysterical racist country. My late writer/poet friend Elaine Restifo would tell people she was part black. What was her journal called? River Poets.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took a long jump across the pond and landed in Australia for their first royal tour as a married couple.
Other than Australia, the two of them will travel around the region to Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga and New Zealand and will be overseas until Oct. 31. Their visit in Australia coincides with the Invictus Games, which Prince Harry founded in 2014, and will be held Oct. 20-28. It's also a special event for the Duchess of Sussex. The two of them made their first official outing as a couple at the 2017 Games in Toronto.
The royals arrived in a Qantas Airlines plane, which is the main airline for Australia. 

Harry founded The Invictus Games, above.

See Meghan Markle's reaction after royal fan praises mum Doria Ragland Mother and daughter.

Read about Doria Ragland here.

Alas, I must be off. Gonna eat my oatmeal and then go to my volunteer job.


Queen Ruth Zali
produced two fine heirs
Princess Sarah Lynn
and Prince Daniel Paul

They dwelled in fine homes
and loved their work.
The Princess helped
the less fortunate,
while the Prince, with
the guidance of his wife,
Nicole, helped Max and Grace
grow into the best citizens
of our land.

The Queen thinks she's nothing
like the Evil Queen in Snow White
or Isabella who purged her nation
of Jews.

A mezuzah hangs in the doorway
of the Queen's home,
honoring the Almighty
to write the words of God
on the gates and doorposts
of your house. 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Taken by surprise! Poem: Helene's Music Box

Stewart Greenleaf Jr., a Republican attorney, announces he will run for the 12th District state Senate seat his father will vacate; his wife Heather by his side. (Dana DiFilippo/WHYY)

Was upstairs noodling around on my computer when I heard a knock on the door.

It's probly the kids, I thought, wanting to mow the lawn. It's not long enough yet.

Instead, a good-looking guy was standing there in a checked shirt, rather relaxed.

What's he gonna try to sell me?

New windows, was my guess.

It was Stewart Greenleaf, Jr. He introduced himself and I said, Oh, I'm gonna vote for you! Your dad did a great job and I'm sure you will too.

Let's look at his platform. Education and county pension reform are the 39-yo's priorities.


Just came home from Scott's. Fab pizza w cauliflower crust.

Image result for pizza with cauliflower crust

Didn't finish so I'll eat the rest tonight while we're watching TV. Netflix - Kindergarten Cop w Schwartzenegger and Kindergarten Teacher, both recommended by Marcy.

Finally talked to Marcy  from the Los Angeles area. She loves volunteering for the kitty-kat place.

I was eating some ors derves from Giant before dinner. The roasted garlic was delicious, as were the pitted olives. The artichokes literally made me choke.

Kindergarten Teacher was terrible. The woman was obsessed with her 5-yo student Joey, a wonderful actor, as was the teacher. I was in such distress watching the film, fearing she'd kill him.


Went to the kids' this morning. Remember those games I found at the end of the street? Dan, Grace and I played one of the card games.

Also gave her an Alice in Wonderland jig saw puzzle. Dan explained it may take quite a while to finish it, so he suggested she put it in a permanent place until she finishes.

Beatriz from my writing group does dat.

Bc Max and Nicole left to buy groceries, Grace, who is very calm and adultish at 8, watching some YouTube cooking shows.

At Mom's for lunch, she remembered that Aaron Ryesky used to do jigsaw puzzles.

Look at how dark it is at 6:19 pm.


Several people - Keith Shaw - Marcy - Iris - asked me why I went off Facebook.

Primarily bc few people paid any attention to what I posted.

I did get a couple readers for my poems and Stephen Stahl would always welcome his fans with a message about coffee. And he would answer every single response he received.

Let's give him a standing ovation right now!

I'm clapping by tapping on my laptop.


Grace felt very disappted, she told me, that she wasn't chosen in school to play the violin.

"I'm sorry to hear that," I said.

The cats were about - Doober, the fat cat - and Nudge the yellow calico.



At the picking at Helene's in Rydal Park
I chose a lovely black beaded bag.
Inside was a music box.

When I asked Grace if she wanted it
she paused far too long. I want it
to be loved, cherished, for
once belonging to my friend Helene.

It's tiny, like a fragrant soap,
and sings Send in the Clowns.

Made in Japan, the clown
is sad-looking, strange-
looking. Rubbery red
lips and ears and an
enormous ruffled collar
like fluffy clouds
protecting us from harm.


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Just one Sniff - two poems, same name


Just before dawn
pulled open the drapes
and there it was

The rain pouring down.
I could smell the worms
come out of their holes,
the slick street with
water running down

Our brain's made mostly
of water. I stuck my
head back in, clumb
back in bed, and sipped
on my bedside wawa
captured from my
bathroom sink
in an azure blue
cup with water.


I was aboard the Arc
Lo, those many years ago,
Great-Grandpapa was not
to know his little
Abigail found the
stench intolerable.


I would sink my
face, with boils
and filth, and
long black braids
into the thick fleece
of Nora, who accepted
me. Her curly wool
heaved as I wept
salty tears, praying
the dry land would
soon be ours.


  Photo taken years ago when The Fleischers drove us to the Pennysylvania State Fair.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Margaret Fitzpatrick to the Rescue - Starry Night

This morning I sent Z great Margaret Fitzpatrick an email asking if I could see her soon.

She told me to come over at 1 pm.

Hurray! I don't want my leg to be in pain during THIS IS MY BRAVE, which is coming up on Thursday, October 18.

I titled my talk What a Long Strange Trip This Has Been.

She gave me loads of exercises to do, many of which had to do with Balance. Told her when Scott and I ride our bikes and there are other folks coming the other way, my bike wobbles.

She and I went for a walk outdoors. She told me when my leg starts to hurt I should bend from the waist down.

It's always such a pleasure being with her.

When I left I carefully crossed the street - the Nascar race drivers were out in full force - and went to Silvio's Deli - which finally got A/C - and bought Scott and me a large tuna hoagie.

We walked nearly three miles down the Pennypack Trail, not the usual trail, but the one across the street where the original dedication took place.

Here's my blog post about the dedication.

We walked until we got to the Bryn Athyn PA post office. I went indoors and asked when will the bridge be fixed.


At home, we wolfed down our tuna hoagies and then repaired to his bedroom to watch the PBS Evening News, snoozing a bit as we watched.

Al Gore was interviewed by Judy Woodruff about climate change.

What's with his hair, I asked Scott.

To me it looked golden.

It's white.

Al Gore, please show yourself. He had no wedding ring on.

He won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his work on Climate Change.

Read more about Gore, who is 70,

Here on his own website or on


Marcy had recommended a Netflix film, which, apparently, hasn't been posted, so we watched a film called PRIVATE LIFE, about a married couple trying to get pregnant.

His private life concerned his one testicle and her oocytes which weren't producing. A woman is born with all her ovum. Hold on and we'll find out together how many there are.

Good Lord, this is complicated. Click here or not.

Sitting in my front window sill is a marvelous jack-o-lantern I bought this morning at The Giant. I also bought 5 tiny punkins.

Two are missing. We blame everything on the squirrels.

What a beautiful night this is.

Scuse me a sec, and I'll write a poem about it, after I take out my flask of  Ernest Hemingway whiskey. Just joshin.


Yes, van Gogh at Arles looked up and saw it, too
I've got a reprint in my bedroom
But none of these count.
The thing you must do
is go outside, in the dark night,
no matter what the weather,
no matter what pressing issues
and stand head held high
to see the majesty of
the night sky.

River Poets special edition of Immigrants just arrived - Poem: The Buddhist in Me

Sent out an email to New Directions about two Americas we barely know.

Trapped: Sex workers, Massage Parlors, and Questionable Cops

Read it here.

The other is The Underbelly of Philadelphia.

Read it here.


As the winds howl and hundreds
of leaves race like marathoners
down the street, then stop...
for rest

I remove the clothes from my
Lady Kenmore and fold them
over my new white drying
rack. Why, I wonder,
does this feel so good?

Is it because I'm seeing
Margaret today? Margaret
at 1 pm?

Everything impinges on
everything else. Yesterday
I retired from Facebook.

Freedom is mine. For as
long as I want it.
How about forever?


Judith Lawrence did a great job with her new book River Poets Journal 2018 Special Edition THE IMMIGRANTS.

As I told her in my thank-you note, I read the entire short story Letter from My Great-Grandmother Bella (total fiction) to Scott and my voice broke, the story was so emotional.

I'll continue writing a poem a day, just not for Facebook.