Poem: Conversation with my brother on the phone in February


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Conversation with my brother on the phone in February

‘Do you remember Lisa Ramaci ? from across the street ? ’

This is always his line when he calls to talk about our youth.

‘Yeah, sure.  Why are you thinking about her ? ’

‘I was just thinking about that life – I want to go back there.’

And I saw that world where we grew up – I existed there once.  again

and I saw the roads and the houses and people

and I saw, and felt, it evaporate in my own mind.

surreal knowledge that what was once so real, is not.

That world no longer exists.  How can that be ?

was it real ever ?

can real be without enduring ?

that feels  . . . wrong

Poem: widow’s window

widow’s window

My husband has died
a casket applied
with fire collide
death’s mist satisfied.

Thoughts of him brew
they cook and they stew
rains came and storms blew
for years these I knew.

One morning a sun
warm days now begun
life’s strings I can strum
my heart starts to hum.

Betrothed no more
stand at the door
feet on the floor
light shines afore.

My soul feels him still
and wants with a will
that marches the drill
of love’s easy thrill.

But now is my time
the present is mine
a future is prime
and all comes out fine.


My husband died from an aortic dissection at a young age (the inner wall of the artery over his heart broke), and every September on the pier at sunrise I write at least one letter to him in my journals on my life so far. In 2010 I wrote letter after letter until this, my first poem, came on the 8th anniversary. I felt like the poem did not come from me, but wrote itself. I get the feeling of marching when I read it.

Richard Bullock Jr. (12/13/54 to 9/12/02)

Poem: Twenty Years

Twenty years (is not long enough)

Our tall handsome man stands outside the casino –
.     his job is to welcome the guests as they pull up
.             in their shiny new cars.

An ancient pick-up truck slows to a tired stop,
.    the old expressionless driver slowly rolls down his window
.              for a chat.

“I’m going to see your mother…
.        wanna come?”

“Sorry, I can’t today –  maybe some other time.”

with a nod from the driver – the well-worn truck rolls away.

“So what was that about?     What did your father want?”
.          his fellow hostess asks him.

Oh… he’s going to the cemetery to visit
.        my mother’s grave.

.                   She died twenty years ago

.                                 and my father has never moved on.


What this poem means to me:

Around 2003 or 2004 a TV show scene  inspired me.  I wrote this poem 7 years later.    I saw this scene while channel surfing about one and a half years after my husband’s death.  The scene had a special meaning for me and I had an epiphany.  I felt as though the Universe was communicating a message to me –  “This will be you in twenty years if you don’t find a way out of your grief.”

Sound crazy that people on TV were talking directly to me?    Sorry if you think that, but I don’t put any limits on how God and the Universe send messages.  I was watching a lot of TV in those days, so getting a message through that medium makes sense to me.

Fortunately I felt no doubt that I was being told something important.    I wrote this poem in March, 2011 after I’d recovered and was alive again.

Poem: Lion Kitty, Lion Kitty

WHAT'S UP ? !!

WHAT’S UP ? !!

Here’s my favorite cat, Lion Kitty. He adopted me and I didn’t even know it until I saw him in my bedroom closet. I don’t know how long he had been in there. I wrote a poem about our first meeting in 2007. He’s a big Maine Coon, 18 pounds.

Lion Kitty, Lion Kitty,
On a dresser, crouching pretty,
Hidden secret in the closet,
Oh how long lay this deposit?

First surprise, then trepidation.
Meet cat eyes with hesitation.
Who is this?   this animal !
Feral?   Tame?   Implacable?

To it I proposed this question:
Who are you?   Why this possession?
Uttered I, nonplussed but subtle,
Suppressed fear, no wish to startle.

Then slow reaching, (foolish thinking!),
Lightest touching, gentle fondling,
Deeper, smoother, lightly tickling,
Tilted head gives way accepting.

Coarse low sound of downy purring,
Cup its chin, the bone I’m feeling,
Knowing now it can be trusting,
Its new human will be caring.

Now I’m reaching, two hands lifting,
Muscles tense as we are shifting,
Oh so heavy, large and curling,
Over hands, then arms unfurling.

Cat is mine in a few seconds,
It owns me, its stare now beckons.
Feline paws reach and scan,
Stripes of brown – dark and tan.