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My Body, My Mother

August 16, 2017

My body is my mother
And I don’t like her.
She’s getting old and fat.
I hide from her, ignore her
And frown at her clothes.
She doesn’t take care of herself.
She wants me to exercise her
And I don’t wanna.
She should take care of herself.
And not bother me.

My body is my mother
And I want to love her.
I want to feed her what she needs
And show her how to move and play.
It’s hard, but I need to feel her love.

August 6, 1945

August 6, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-08-06 at 9.59.46 AM

I was conceived before the atomic bomb, and born after it was dropped, after we humans gained the power to commit species suicide. I weep for those who died and suffered in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.

Things Change

August 5, 2017

Many years ago, I had to take a course in Anglo-Saxon literature. It was intense because I was one of only 3 students so I couldn’t even skip occasionally – and I would have liked to. The only thing I remember from that course was this chorus from a long poem. As I remember it, (not according to the modern translation,) the poem was about feasting at the high table, followed by the chorus – 

“That passed away, so shall this.”

Later, another verse about being in the middle of a storm on the North Sea, followed, of course, by the chorus –

“That passed away, so shall this.”

When I think of the Biblical quote about there being a time for everything, or the Buddhist concept of impermanence, I remember the message of this Anglo-Saxon poem – everything changes; nothing stays the same.

Mothering God

August 3, 2017

Mary holding the crucified Jesus
After reading Sarah Bessey’s Out-of-Sorts

Imagine God offering Her breast, and feeling such relief, such joy, and such pleasure when I latch on;

Imagine the gaze of a smiling God, companionably putting Her arm around my shoulder and listening seriously to me;

Imagine God, whispering a question that unblocks my understanding and my heart;


Imagine God waiting for Her child’s tantrum to lessen, the pounding fists, the bites, the screaming;

Imagine God with yellowing dark bruises and browning bite-marks, patiently, hopefully rocking Her child;

Imagine God gently singing a lullaby to Her exhausting, exhausted child;


Imagine God in a coffeeshop hoping for Her cell to ring;

Imagine God wanting to listen and support me as my life bumps and flows along;

Imagine God watching the sparrows outside and then smiling as Her phone rings;


Writing in the Coffeeshop

July 18, 2017

Coffeeshop & laptops
Safely sitting in Whole Foods, this bastion of the upper middle class, watching all the young singles on their phones, and older singles on their laptops, not raising their eyes or speaking, even to themselves. Like them I’m writing essentially to myself. I wonder if I should text two uncertain connections. I wonder if I’m the same as the others as we all sit at every other single table, careful not to get too close.

Summer Highway, 2017

July 15, 2017

From the highway

Clover pinks the roadside
and wild verdant greens
flood the fields,

while among the distant trees
stand the grey gaunt leafless branches:
silent witnesses and warnings.

Why a Low Birthrate

February 23, 2017

Life was a blur

An immigrant in a Man’s World / Why the Birth Rate is Low

I applied after years of observation in a co-ed public school,
and flew into the world of sexual freedom on the birth control pill.

I revelled in my new land: sex without pregnancy and equal pay;
I had found where I wanted to live.

I honoured my origins with makeup,
with my bra and boots as flag, I declared my background
in this new land I loved.

Then the man who supported his wife spoke to the
“rising young man” who supported his wife
in a language I didn’t understand, and wasn’t supposed to hear.

But this was my place; I had earned my way and arrived here
and I belonged, I insisted.

Then my birthright called, and called.
I decided to see if a child would come
while I stayed in this world
of old men and “rising young men”
(and women who knew their places).

It was a slow gestation and a hard birth.
Women whispered to me and men looked away.
The wives who were supported accused me
of inadequacies, and the old men
reminded me that I had to keep up
to the men who had wives who succoured them.

I had friends and a good mate, but it was a hard land,
a hard time and place, living as a stowaway in a man’s world,
too tired and busy to organize a union with the other stowaways,
to have our citizenship in the world of work
recognized, and our needs as parents honoured.

The nanny was not a wife, good to my daughter
but leaving for her life when I arrived home.
My mate was there, and helped, but we both
I was the mother, with all that had meant
before I’d emigrated
to the man’s world.

So I became neither and both, a mother
living in a man-shaped world –
watching a meeting while breastfeeding,
watching the man who supported his wife scheduling
to help another man who supported his wife,

ignoring my mothering needs requests.

I persisted,
both mother and job-holder,

but blocked the chance
of another child.