And for those parts of the world that celebrate the New Year in March, under the aegis of Aries:

“The new year arrived

in utter simplicity —–

and a deep blue sky.”

from the Little Book of Haiku, translated by Sam Hamill.

with love …


The poet Christopher Howell wrote a poem called ,
It opened with 12 lines, a middle part and then, 7 lines.
I’ve pulled out the middle part, here it is:

“What would I have?
Sweet and sour?
Chow mein with little wagon wheels shaped
slices of okra and those crinkly noodles
my father called deep fried worms?
Fried rice?

Among such succulence, what did it matter?
We could eat ’til we were glad and full, the whole
family sighing with the pleasure of it.
And then the tea!
All this for about six bucks, total,
my father, for that once-in-a-while, feeling
flush in the glow of our happy faces
and asking me, “How are you doing, son?”


I sit here and see another story on transparent tissue
overlaid on that poem, and another and another,
without number until the person the boy was
became a man and found he was formed by these bits of life.

When we speak of change now, as the portal to our future,
none of this is lost, only absorbed, a melded mosaic on which
the next tissue forms of another material. still transparent.

The way that boy might throw away the script and write into
another beauty and possibility is to let go of the actual files of
stories and information-in. Maybe the computer is allowing

All of this so I can talk myself into trashing MY physical files!
with love …


“All those years
how easily
you can belong
to everything
simply by listening.

And the slow
of remembering
how everything
is born from
an opposite
and miraculous

Silence and winter
have led me to that

So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.”

……………DAVID WHYTE, an exert from his poem,
A Winter Listening in the book, River Flow.

Just in time for the Vernal Equinox on Friday,
the misty soft green of the willow trees has already
greeted new life. I feel its call within me, even as
I see the bare branches of the trees arcing their last nakedness
before the glow of Spring.

with love …


Many of us put up with minor discomfort. Well, we’re getting on,
as they say. It’s generally at such a low level that we’ve forgotten it’s there!

And then, as in my life right now as I look forward to hip surgery in April,
the discomfort becomes more conscious, even including occasional pain
daily. Around 3 a.m. one morning I picked up a crossword puzzle, titled
Easy Crosswords. Scattered on the title page were these words:


There was something mesmerizing about the common words that sprang up
like weeds as I worked across and down several of the puzzle pages.

… droplets, … snort, …iffy, … prods, …afternoon.

A half-hour later, I realized I was painless. I was relaxed. For a while I had
indeed been Alice-in-Wonderland, following the rabbit down the page. The
power of “distraction” is puzzling. Especially the familiarity of simple words
made a difference.

I’m going to stick with these EASY ones for quite a while. The NYTIMES
challenge is not for me. I’m weeding my garden of thoughts as I clear up
my body’s ills. I could say more, but I think you get what I mean.

I will have to find a haiku that says it in three lines!

with love …


The whole experience of this recent snow from the South calls
for wonder. Has ‘snow’ become a four-letter word?

I went seeking perspective in haiku poems and found this:

“O Great Buddha,

your lap must be filling with

these flowers of snow.”

…………KIKAKU (1661-1707)

Did you notice that the first falls of the snow looked like petals?
The way they floated down with such grace and now pile up in
great mounds over the cars in a row outside my window.

Two by two, the untouched snow mounds on cars looked like
the lap of a giant Buddha.

In the distance I hear the groans of those hardy souls who have
dealt with feet of snow for many months now. I will let this be
my last ode to wintry weather.

with love …


If I were to be snow-bound in New England for days at a time,,
the book that I’d want to have at hand is THE LIVES OF A CELL,
published in 1974 by Lewis Thomas, with a subtitle of
“Notes of a Biology Watcher”.

Here’s what Lewis Thomas had to say about the sky:

“The sky is a miraculous achievement.
It works.
And for what it was designed to accomplish it is as
infallible as anything in nature. I doubt whether any of us
could think of a way to improve on it, beyond maybe shifting
a local cloud from here to there on occasion.

We should credit it for what it is: for sheer size and
perfection of function, it is far and away the grandest product
of collaboration in all of nature.

It breathes for us.
And it does another thing for our pleasure: each day, millions
of meteorites fall against the outer limits of the membrane
and are burned to nothing by the friction.

Without this shelter, our surface would long since have
become the pounded powder of the moon. Even though our
receptors are not sensitive enough to hear it, there is
comfort in knowing that the sound is there overhead,
like the random noise of rain on the roof of night.”

Lewis Thomas was familiar with long words, scientific description
of anything he turned his eye toward. The tiniest atomic structure
became the immensity of a miracle. Yet, his story of our sky
contains no unfamiliar words, no impressive language.

I call that poetry.

It is still dark enough outside to feel like night. I listen.
There is a background rumble. Well, it’s the hum of I-95,
disguising the random noise of rain on the roof of night.

with love …