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Some of you have just returned from a trip to Oaxaca and Puebla with our friend, Joanna. We took a similar trip with her a few years back. Near the end of the trip, Joanna received the unpleasant news that a close friend had died. This poem was written in the hotel in Oaxaca late one afternoon.

Just recently, another acquaintance’s wife died back in the US. This brought back to mind that day in Oaxaca…



In our lives,

We are surrounded by predictions,

Some of which come true.

Even so, there are events

Which cannot be predicted,

Beginning with life and ending in death.


The exact moment when death will occur

Is rarely known, as are the circumstances

Which lead up to it.


As surely as the seasons change,

Death awaits all of us from day one,

And when it occurs,

We are never really prepared.

Whether it be an adult or a child,

A friend or a family member,

Time stands still – a mortal pause.


Tears flow –

Yet, insufficient to erase the memories

Of the one who has made their transition.

We carry those special moments in our hearts and minds –

Never knowing when it will be our time –

Our transition.


It is always interesting to look back over what one has written. In so doing I see another poem which resonates with the one I last posted. It is certainly a reoccurring them with me for those who have been following this blog since its inception. Maybe what I am experiencing is what we all experience from time to time…??

Feel free to post your thoughts back to me about this or any other poem you have seen here…

Overwhelmed by Life

There are times albeit,
When we are overwhelmed by life,
When the mind races
From one activity, one thought,
To another –
Each ‘bubble’ bursting spontaneously,
Only to be replaced by another…
Just like in comic books –
Bubbles of thoughts, often incomplete.

On bad days,
The switches in the brain
Randomly turn the bubbles off and on,
Off and on, on and off,
Leaving us to feel disconnected,
Unsure of our abilities to cope
For one more day.

And then without realizing it,
The last bubble bursts.
The sun appears on the horizon,
First physically, then mentally,
The air smells fresher,
Flowers fill the air with their fragrances,
Birds sing harmoniously from the trees,
A complete stranger smiles as we pass on the street.
We breathe in the moment,
And we are overwhelmed once again,

How I hate waking up at 630 a.m. every morning when I would rather be sleeping in! As is my usual style, when that happens I lay there flipping through what has to be done that particular day. Now that I am officially unemployed, I still find myself waking early, but the question has become – “What am I going to do today?” For those of you still working…I understand where you are!


Mind Racers

Ever so,
Before the sun appears in the eastern sky,
The mind, if not the body,

In those minutes, sometimes hours,
The mind races,
Veering from one place to another,
Perusing the day’s events,
Much as one does
With the daily newspaper.

Headlines first –
Suggesting people and events
Needing to be followed up on page four,
With further actions, meetings,
Telephone calls and emails,
Mental checklists.

The mind bounces from one ‘column’ to another,
Sometimes backwards, sideways,
Little ‘dodgem cars’,
Careening in the brain,
Until, fitfully,
The body awakens,
A new workday begins,
Time to rise and shine!

This piece was written at a time when both Larry and I were facing some challenges with one of our children. I hope it resonates with all of you parents out there.


Power of Children


From the moment

Of those first movements –

Inside the womb,

Our children become a force

To be reckoned with.

Even in silence – even when absent.


Childhood tantrums

Give way to adolescent angst,

As we, the parents,

Are simultaneously

Pulled and pushed,

Willingly and unwillingly,

Into their lives, out of their lives,

As they struggle,

To achieve independence –

In a larger world, outside their family homes.


Ideally, they become

Responsible adults,

With careers and families

Of their own,

Coming to know,

As did we,

The power of their own children

To control and manipulate their lives.

No matter what age,

No matter how far away.


Children continue

To exert power over us

Until our last dying breath.

There can be no respite.


In our darkest moments,

We must remember –

The awe, the joy, the laughter,

The proud moments

As parents –

The first words, first steps,

First day of school, etc.

It is in these moments

That parenthood is all worthwhile.


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February 2011
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