theorangeinkblot

Looking at life through orange colored glasses…

Archive for the tag “poetry”

Just Stop Talking

Just Stop Talking

A Poem

Maybe we should just stop talking- after all, we disagree.

Should I even listen if you don’t agree with me?

When you say those things that go against what I’ve been taught,

It makes me feel these feelings: anger, sadness, and distraught.

 

When feeling these emotions there’s a strong need to defend

my position (which is right) so that you can comprehend.

After all, I must be right-otherwise that means I’m wrong.

How could that be true when my feelings are SO strong.

 

And yet you are the one who thinks you’re clearly in the know.

It seems there’s nothing left to do but argue to and fro.

It doesn’t really matter WHY you’ve come to hold your view-

though if you were to share that I might think of things anew.

 

If you haven’t shared it’s probably ’cause I haven’t asked.

But if I asked that question I might find myself off task.

The task, of course, at hand is to convince you that I’m right

(and make you feel quite foolish that you haven’t seen the light).

 

This might make you angry- you may even think it’s rude

which explains your coming at me with a pissy attitude.

Now you’re storming off because you say, “Enough’s enough!”

I can’t understand why you must leave in such a huff.

 

I was only pointing out the errors in your thoughts.

People are so touchy when they’re not calling the shots.

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Feelings of Gratitude (Sing to the Tune of Changes in Latitudes by Jimmy Buffett)

Feelings of Gratitude (Sing to the Tune of Changes in Latitudes by Jimmy Buffett)

I sat down for a moment last week

to try and reflect on my year.

Food on my table, I’m healthy and able

Surrounded by those I hold dear.

I sometimes ponder the meaning of life.

Does anyone know why we are here?

Life goes by fast so let go of your past

And just hold your family near.

It’s feelings of gratitude that change your attitude

Light up your face with a smile.

You can’t feel hateful if you’re feeling grateful

So make counting blessings part of your lifestyle.

Serve others selflessly and you will have

Warm and fuzzy feelings inside.

Be mindful of living a life that is giving

And keep your mind and heart open wide.

If it all ended- you were gone tomorrow

What legacy would you leave behind?

Love one another. We’re sisters and brothers.

Bear in mind we’re all intertwined.

It’s feelings of gratitude that change your attitude,

Light up your face with a smile.

You can’t be insightful if you’re feeling spiteful-

So make counting  blessings part of your lifestyle.

I Wish I Ate Hay (Sing to the Tune of “Stay” by Rihanna)

The tragic story of a rooster in love with a cow who is looking for greener pastures…

All along it was a heifer

A bovid mammal with no feathers

I perched on a rock, said, “Crow me something,”

She said, “All you cocks think you are so kosher.”

Day after day after day after day you moo.

Couldn’t care less about my cock a doodle doos.

I know you don’t feel the same about me

but something in the way you moo.

Makes me feel like I can’t roost w/o you.

You help me greet each day.

I wish I ate hay.

I think that you are quite amazing

Sometimes I just sit and watch you grazing.

Day after day after day after day you moo.

Couldn’t care less about my cock a doodle doos.

I know you don’t feel the same about me.

but something in the way you moo.

Makes me feel like I can’t roost w/o you

You help me greet each day.

I wish I ate hay.

Oooh, oooh, oooh you’re waiting for a bull.

Oooh, ooooh, oooh but I’m ready and able.

True a hen can lay an egg but you make milk that’s used for cheese and butter.

And I’ve come to realize that for this rooster that there can be no udder.

I know you don’t feel the same about me but something in the way you moo.

Makes me feel like I can’t roost w/o you

You help me greet each day

I wish I ate hay

I wish I ate hay.

All Things Good

All Things Good

It has been more than fifteen years since my grandmother passed away following a long battle with Alzheimer’s.  While I think of her often, this week, for no particular reason, my Grandma Nat has been on my mind more than usual.

My grandma was not your typical Jewish grandmother.  Unlike many Jewish grandmothers, mine was not known for her culinary abilities.  I have no memories of my Grandma Nat frying latkes in the kitchen or making matzobrei.  I never saw her bake or cook anything, though I did once hear a story that she broke a pot while trying to reheat soup.  The only food I remember my Grandmother preparing for me is tuna salad- which happened to be one of her favorites.

My grandma also differed from other Jewish grandmothers in her love for Christmas.  Each holiday season, my grandmother turned her front room into what could have been a department store window display.  A glittery white felt and cotton carpet was topped with a red cardboard chimney and an inflatable Santa Claus.  Placed carefully around the chimney were everyone’s “Chanukah” presents which we opened together during our annual holiday get together (which was catered, I assume).

My grandmother had four grandchildren: three grandsons, and me, the only granddaughter.  She was proud of all of her grandchildren; of this I am sure, but being the only girl I always felt that we had a special relationship.  This was especially true once I reached middle school and would sometimes spend the weekend with my grandmother at her apartment.  My grandmother was a volunteer in the gift shop at Long Island Jewish Hospital.  Part of what she did was decide which items the gift shop should stock.  During my weekends with Grandma Nat, she would bring me with her to volunteer.  We would go through the catalogs together and she would ask my opinion on items that kids would want to see in the shop.  She would take me to lunch in the hospital cafeteria where we would both eat, what else, tuna fish.

During these weekends, my grandmother taught me how to play various kinds of solitaire (then called it beginners luck when I won the first three hands I played).  We talked about the books I was reading and she took me to “the club” where she introduced me to her friends, let me order sodas on her tab, and I swam in the pool while she sat and kibitzed with the other ladies.  These weekends that I had with my grandmother are some of my best memories of her.

By the time we celebrated her 80th birthday in 1990 Grandma Nat was already showing signs of Alzheimer’s.  She experienced a slow and steady decline between then and her passing in 1997 but there is one more visit with her that I remember very clearly and will always treasure.  During one of my visits home to NY while away at college, I stopped by my grandmother’s apartment to have lunch with her.  She was still having some lucid moments, but got confused easily and couldn’t always differentiate fantasy from reality.  She required a daily nurse to manage her medications, and to make sure that all of her day to day needs were being met.

Luckily, that particular day she was especially lucid.  She knew who I was and was excited to see me.  We had our traditional lunch of tuna fish on rye and pickles and sat and talked on the couch for a long time.  My grandmother told me that she knew she was nearing the end of her life but that she was not afraid of death.  She was afraid, she said, that after she was gone nobody would remember her.  I did my best to assure her that this was not the case- that her memory would live on through our oddly Christmas like Chanukah celebrations, our book discussions, our card games, and our tuna fish lunches, not to mention the countless family gatherings we shared for Thanksgiving, Passover, Mothers and Father’s Day, and other important family events.  I hope I was able to put her mind at ease that day.  When I left her apartment that day, she left me with the same parting words she always said when we said goodbye, “All things good.”

When I got back to college, my creative writing professor assigned our class to write a poem.  I don’t remember what the specification of the assignment was but this is the poem I wrote:

All Things Good

 

The black door swings open.

She stands smiling

With painted face,

Flowery house dress,

Matching slippers.

“Hello Stranger,” she says and holds me in a maternal embrace.

I hold her frail body to mine

Kiss a soft, wrinkled cheek.

 

In the kitchen we eat

On a table of Formica.

Tuna on rye,

Sliced tomatoes,

Sweet pickles.

“How did you know tuna was my favorite?” she asks.

I smile at her contentment

And help her clear the table.

 

We move to the living room

Sit side by side

Stories from long ago,

Childhood tales,

Sincere declarations.

“I’m not afraid of dying,” she says. “My fear is of being forgotten.”

I take a velvet hand in mine

And promise eternal life.

 

The black door swings open

She stands smiling with painted face,

Flowery house dress,

Matching slippers.

“All things good,” she says.

My hands smell like tuna

As I wipe away salty tears.

I have one other memory of my grandmother.  The very last time I saw her was several weeks before she passed away.  I was a graduate student at that point, living in Michigan and it was harder to get home for visits.  Her condition had deteriorated terribly.  She lay in a hospital bed murmuring, “why, why, why, why” over and over again.  She looked distressed and confused and it was unclear if she knew who was there with her.  My parents and I stood at her bedside and I took her hand in mine.  My mother, in an attempt to engage my grandma said to her, “Natalie, did you know that Meryl has a boyfriend?”  My mother held out a picture of the man who two years later would become my husband.  My grandmother looked at the picture, looked right at me and asked in a feeble voice, “is he Jewish?”  I guess my grandmother was a typical Jewish grandmother after all.

I may have the flu, but the flu doesn’t have me.

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

― Abraham Lincoln

 I Choose Happiness

Even though I have the flu and am feeling somewhat crappy

Today, I am choosing to be happy.

True, the flu’s a bummer

I could wallow and be glummer

I could whine away the day

let my thoughts decay to gray

let my mood succumb to nastiness

Instead, I’ll just choose happiness.

 

 

Even though there’s congestion in my chest

Today I am choosing to feel blessed.

True, my cough’s annoying

It’s not something I’m enjoying

I could choose to be depressed

That my immune system’s suppressed

I could sit here and be stressing.

Instead, I’ll count my blessings.

 

 

Even though the gross stuff in my nose is of great magnitude

Today I am choosing to show gratitude.

True, if I run out of tissue

It could become a larger issue

My nose is in need of a soft place to sneeze.

And it’s only request is to breathe with more ease.

About this I could feel quite hateful

Instead I choose to be grateful.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but my kids appear to be immune…

Why is it when I make suggestions,

My kids always respond with questions.

When I say, “Come stand by me.” They respond with “Why?”

When I suggest a piece of fruit, They ask, “can I have pie?”

The questions keep on coming

Every hour of every day.

Sometimes it feels like questions,

Is all they have to say, like…

 

Are we there yet?

Why’s my tongue wet?

Do you want to make a bet?

Can you explain the national debt?

 

Why do you say I’ve had enough?

Why is elbow skin so rough?

Why is 3rd grade math so tough?

Why can’t I run ‘round in the buff?

 

Will we ever own a yacht?

Do I have to get a shot?

Could you wipe away my snot?

Do you think my forehead’s hot?

 

Do you wish you were a kid?

Did you see what my sister did?

Why does the toilet have a lid?

Can I go on e-Bay and bid?

 

Can you buy me, give me, take me?

Will you give me my own house key?

Why did daddy grow a goatee?

Do you think that I’m a cutie?

 

See how my nice my skin is glistening?

Does my hair need more conditioning?

Can I start theatre auditioning?

Mommy, are you even listening?

 

Sometimes the answer’s plainly yes,

Other times I just don’t know.

If I’m stuck, I have the choice of:

‘just because’ or ‘no.’

 

Some of their questions make me laugh

Some of them make me sigh,

Some of their inquiries make me shake my head

and wonder why?

 

It seems to me that parents should get an answer key,

cliff notes, or a cheat sheet, to unlock these mysteries.

But alas, having children does not come with a plan,

so I’ll keep fielding questions like only mommy can.

Please Continue to Hold…..

I haven’t written in a while and there’s a reason why.

I have a kind of writer’s block

The minutes pass with a tick and a tock

As I sit and wait for my brain to unlock the words on which I rely.

It’s not that a topic escapes me-

it’s more that I can’t narrow down.

Should I write ‘bout religion?

Or nuclear fission?

I sit in my kitchen, my brain on a mission, my face twisted into a frown.

I could write on the subject of discrimination-

Gay or straight, white or black.

Freedoms under attack.

I am taken aback, by the way our words smack of judgment and condemnation.

Perhaps I should write about all things political

But political words are so shady

Dishonest, and often berating

And not becoming of a lady

or maybe I’m just being cynical.

There are plenty of “wars” that they show on the news.

Wars on women and drugs

Wars on terrorist thugs

And similar slugs.  Even wars on bedbugs

to name only a few.

.

So it’s not that my head is empty, it’s quite full

With news of the day

Close to home, far away

Try to rise ‘bove the fray,

to sort truth from the bull

But when so many thoughts swirl around at one time

There’s a clog in my brain

Like you’d find in a drain,

And I have to abstain from writing these lines.

Eventually chaos will give way to clarity.

The word dam will burst

I’ll be free of this curse

and I’ll jump in headfirst, quenching my thirst,

 enjoying this moment of rarity.

Because when I put pen to paper,

I want to evoke a response.

Whether or laughter or tears

Or thoughts of past years

Even sneers allay fears of cool nonchalance.

My life in verse…

I know I owe you part 2 to my last blog entry. Consider this an intermission.

My brother is the poet in my family, but I was feeling creative this morning and thought I’d give it a shot. Here’s what I came up with (mostly) while I was driving my daughter to preschool this morning They are all a work in progress:

Wake Up Call

I am privy

To a very exclusive

Concierge alarm clock service.

Extremely personalized

And very reliable,

Every morning

At crack of dawn o’clock

I am roused from slumber

By the intermittent,

And increasingly loud

Shouts of

“MOMMY”

Floating across my house-

And there is no snooze button.

A Girl Named Sarah

I know a girl named Sarah who likes to stay in bed;

Morning, noon, and night, with the covers on her head.

“Wake up” says her daddy.

“Wake up” says her mommy.

“Wake up” says her little sister too.

But Sarah says, “that didn’t work, so you’ll have to try something new.”

I know a girl named Sarah, who likes to stay in bed;

Morning, noon, and night, with the covers on her head.

“Tickle Tickle” says her daddy.

“Tickle Tickle” says her mommy.

“Tickle Tickle” says her little sister too.

But Sarah says, “That didn’t work, so you’ll have to try something new.”

I know a girl named Sarah, who likes to stay in bed;

Morning, noon, and night, with the covers on her head.

Daddy takes the legs,

Mommy takes the arms,

Sister smiles sweetly, turning up the charm.

“I guess we’ll have to throw her” little sister starts to say.

“I’m up, I’m up” yells Sarah. “I guess I’ll start my day.”

Crayons

Crayon scribbles in the hall,

On the floor and on the wall,

They’d mark the ceiling I suppose

If she could reach on tippy toes.

I guess it’s better than last year,

When she stuck one in her ear.

And according to her tummy,

Periwinkle is quite yummy.

Cereal, It’s What’s for Dinner

Perhaps, instead of ‘mommy,’ they should call me “Cap’n Crunch.”

I eat cereal for breakfast.

I eat cereal for lunch.

At dinner time, cereal appears on the menu too.

There’s just not time to cook with all the running ’round I do.

My Town – A Haiku

(I wrote this yesterday in response to a Haiku challenge issued by my brother. The challenge was to describe an unusual addiction or obsession using Haiku or rhyming verse.)

My digital town

Has turkeys that roam the street.

No one seems to care.

Photo credit: Original filename: alarm_clock.jpg, added February 12, 2009 by Credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit link: http://photo-dictionary.com/phrase/409/alarm-clock.html#ixzz1hDFoB3wZ

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