Thursday, May 24, 2018

Getting to know Parkinson's

 A Room Of Our Own

We have been given a room of our own
For a few hours
While we wait for the next phase of the test
A test that is likely to lead nowhere

We are spinning tops and tests
With no answers
Nowhere to turn

We spin with our friendly brain expert
It is something to do
While we wait for the neurons to die
A hundred or a thousand at a time

I am practicing kindness
Practicing patience
Practicing vulnerability, helplessness, love

At least there is not much pain for him

Still he worries and watches
As the stiffening continues
As the limbs harden
Until there is nowhere to go

What a strange unfolding is this
What a quiet trail we are following now
Shall I ask him for guidance

What do you want
Now and now and now

Shall we simply stay in this room till the end
Silent and patient
Without expectations
Waiting for endings that now and then come

- March 29, 2018

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

At The Thrift Store

A man told me
At the thrift store
Where I volunteer
Where I run the cash register
Where we chat about what people buy
What a lovely color
That shirt or vase or trinket

The man told me
About his pig
Now seven years old
Likely to live no more than twelve

Used to sleep at the foot of the man's bed
Now he lives in a converted garage
Sleeps on memory foam cushions
The pig -- not the man

I marvel at what people love
Anything loved is a good thing - no?
Anything that lets us give with ease to another being

When that pig closes his eyes for the last time
Without a grunt or complaint
In five years -- if that
The man will mourn
Call his name

A piece of him will break off
Drop into an ocean of loss
Be swirled and absorbed

For now the man cherishes his pig
'They grow up so fast
Love them while you can'

He smiles and waves goodbye


- February 18 2015

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A poem written shortly after turning 70


Life wonders if there will be more
A dollop of some dear addition
Beauty, riches, fame not required
A hint of soft cat's paw will do
A clever bit of humor
            to light up the human face

Cream - the pleasure that denies nothing
It comes in forms so simple, so serene
The clotted cream of English teas
The frothy whipped variety
            that sits atop an angel pie
The generous spoonful that blends with coffee perfectly

With seven decades now gone
Swirled down the tube of life
What is left to wait for, to strive for
Must our days by now be ship shape
Arranged in perfect time and place
Knowing where the start and where the end
Swinging the cudgel at our disappointing dreams
Meandering towards solemn death

Time is lost
It waves its white flag
Not knowing whom to blame
Or where to perch for the next eternity

Best go with cream
A known hypnotic
A softener of disappointments
Demanding no more than a mouth and tongue
            to lap it up
Knowing when to try
And when to simply lean back and enjoy


- February 27, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

Poem: Colors - March 14, 2014 - Miriam Raabe

 I will be including on this blog, among other things, some of my poems. 

This one may have been inspired by the time of year, the anticipation of spring. 
Maybe, maybe not.  


Is amarillo the color of an angel
Aquamarine a saucy soothing blend
            of swimming pool and sunrise sky
Bring me the green of sea foam and moss
And I will hold your hand forever

Why do colors touch our hearts
Even when they are filled with pretense
            and false glamour
Even when they promote hordes of matter
            and worthless debris

We are charmed, drawn in, kidnapped
By hues and blooms
Whether natural or dyed and stirred
Whether the tawny coat of a mountain range
Or the silken textures of a chickadee

Much like music
Colors pull us towards the dance
They strum our insides
Make our eyelids tingle
Storm the rafters of our senses
And stroke us till we purr

-  March 14 2014

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Happy Birthday, mom!

Tuesday, March 22, was my mom's birthday. My mom passed away in June of 2010.
So this year, 2011, is the first time I cannot not wish her a happy birthday in person.
This post is a tribute to her.  

                  Today is Mama's Birthday

It is the first happy birthday morning with no mama to blow a kiss to
The first when I sing only to myself

She would be 98 today
Hard of hearing
Hard of short-term memory
Hard of walking
Or of standing without pain

I want to feel her life force hurled my way once more
Hear her deep raspy voice complain of age
Of cramping calves
Feel the strength of her embrace
Stare into her eager tender look
Hear the rhythm and the scrape of her walker
Making its way from bed to bath and back

I want to find her at the kitchen table
Poring over German magazines
Working crossword puzzles
Keeping up with gossip about European royalty

Where the greatest tragedy is the final episode of her favorite soap opera
Her 'holy hour'
Where the big decision is what to eat for dinner --
Grilled cheese and tomato or leftover spinach casserole
And later - more decisions
To play Rummi-Kub or watch German crime TV
Enjoy an Irish Cream or go directly to a sleeping pill

I miss you much, mama...