he was there

he smiled encouragement a man of honor
representing family ethics
white collar
mourned the 6 million
they were martyrs
Baruch atoi adanoi-as we light the candelabra
a holy man who hadn’t been to shule
schools of thought fishes swimming opposite in twos
upon the Larchmont lawn the morning dew
he was there but seldom home, were you?
the evening papers Adli Stevenson
he believed in him like no other mothers son
righteous indignation bright external gifts
all that money could buy-two dollar tips
cars boats colleges trips
faithful never able to come to grips
how he loved horseradish on his gefilte fish.


when the painting keeps you from fainting
paintbrush in the hand
hand me down from mama
and the intrepid man
slight of hand
onions around the lamb
makes me feel so humble
truth is that I can
right the wrongs of stumble
across the crooked land
cook for me a summer feast
sweet the orange yam
counterfeit a smile
for everything I am
to look on till tomorrow
for love is felt more than
the swelter of a lie
may helpers never die
remembered Queenie’s apple pie
a flaky a crust am I.

his furrowed brow

carry my body back to France
if only he would sing
or stand up on his feet the way
he danced the night away
vital and alive at 25
freed from childhood dark and grim
married his sweetheart
from the company of the king
draped her in mink
taught her to drink
baked Alaska made her sick
on a train from New York to Mexico
Penny beautiful naive
Harold passionate extreme
sports cars travel business
2 kids and a dog best wishes
with help to wash the dishes
6 boxes of cigars at a time
Mouton Rothschild vintage wine
that was a good year
when we were 12 and 9
and mother would cook
her shrimp Kap-lan
spilling in a little of her Miller
and Queen’s southern fried chicken
mashed potatoes and gravy
Granny Smith apple pie and
lemon meringue
I was a fat little kid-still am
The Rani June 1-2-and 3
Driftwood Lane the cottage by the bay
mom catching every sunrise
with her camera, many moons flashed
before her eyes
and dad became quiet
relieving doubt and strain
to sooth his furrowed brow
he made all our dreams possible
i coiling ropes salute you
on your bow
sail on, Dyer Dow.

the morning after

fried chicken smothered in gravy
lives put on hold unheard
to grieve would make me regret her
conceived to help her feel better
relieved to see the beauty in a girl
her eyes the bluest seas
to walk the grounds with tulip trees
how high the mighty graceful branches
caught the light swaying in prayer
for mama and papa and two baby bears
the dining room formal the Beacon Hill Chairs-
a china birdcage without a bird hanging on a heavy chain in front of
the bay window
told of life on Devonshire a family doing well
bitter herbs were Harold’s words fell apart our world
we weren’t doing too well-the tin man had no heart
a man who cannot love will not be well nor smart
we had cars vacations yachts expectations
Glenfiddish imported from Scotland
Dimple scotch from the UK
Tanqurey gin the best martini
Boodles gin don’t forget the olive
will never forgive the olive
Mouton Rothschild
red like his blood curdling screams
Dom Perignon-
how fortunate we felt we’d been
as ducks take to water
as Christ changed water into wine
dad should have drunk the holy water
and not have drowned his sorrows
for his lifetime
it wouldn’t have been so bad
but for the prescription drugs
the combination turned him insane
on a nighty basis a life too pained
never asked for help
it was too late he couldn’t stop blaming
the abused became the abuser
his mother the accused
dazed dementia he smiles and waves
forgetting a past
he never remembered
the morning after.

5 & 8

we have nothing without love
she is my mother like no other
blessed with her the day I was born
those sunny happy perfect days
trees in the breeze reached the sky
the grass grew tall about my thighs
the sun shined our hearts were light
dad smiled a lot when we were little tots
celebrate the holidays the snow
was three feet deep
sledding down the driveway
into the snowbound street
icy patches we would slip
fall down go boom with laughter
giggles and grins
cracking off icicles from the roof
crunching and munching them
with gusto-mom would call us in
for hot chocolate stripping off
our snow suits soaked to the skin-
then she would towel dry us-it was
the snowstorm of ’56-what a great
time to be 5 & 8 when we were
young and innocent in a world
where everything was great!

the prologue:

you can see the mountains and the moon,
through clouds the vision
sounds the senses to a tune,
yet for haste there would be no stone
left unturned, take a chance with
me and I will see to it you won’t
get burned.
having said the length of time to tell
thoughts wishes dreams-love the
answer to it all-what does it all mean?
chasing rainbows into past
prophets fallen angels, guided by
sophists sophisticates and suffrage,
raging on eating my ruff-age.

I asked God for a penny-He gave me
my mother-a Goddess from Heaven
in beauty and manner she lifts me
out of chaos and mends my
embattled bruised ego-
with wit whimsy politic mom runs
her ship easily polite with no thought
for grief, by the power invested in me
I now pronounce us mother and daughter.
She is my power of example.
I follow with baby steps
into her footsteps.

Dad suffers dementia-business man
entrepreneur always provided for
his family-he is comfortable at home
with mom. He taught me how to tie my
shoelaces when I was 5. Dad steadied the back wheels of my new bike
running with me down Larchwood Road teaching me how to ride. He
kicked the football to the top of the tulip trees.
He took me to my first Yankee game.
Mom and Dad introduced my sister and I
to the theater-Broadway and all
the New York restaurants-we traveled to Cuba
when I was 5, Cuernavaca when I
was 7-we had 3 consecutive boats-
stinkpots-Long Island Sound was
our playground. Dad would always
sing to us on the car trips back to
Westchester from The City-did
well for a man who couldn’t carry
a tune.

Rani my sister – I was 2 -I was peddling my scooter-the door
to the cellar was left open-I was barreling down the steps- Rani-4 1/2
grabbed hold of the back wheels
screaming “daddy daddy daddy”!!!
dad came running-Rani saved my
Years later-Rye Playland-in a ride
called The teacup-I was 7, Rani
was 9 1/2, the ride went berserk-
up and down ferociously-my sister
was about to fly out of the teacup-
I sunk to the floor grabbed her
legs kept saying “get down get down”!!
mom was on the ground screaming to the carnie “stop
this thing”! and as you may have guessed, he did.
So Rani and I have a special bond,
because we’re sisters, because
we walked away.

Family and friends have enabled me
to keep sane in these uncertain
times-I am grateful for their
love and support. I dedicate
“paintings and poems” to them.