Thursday, December 31, 2015

My little loves,

New Year's Eve is coming to a close and it is the first one in quite a while (your whole lives?) when I haven't had you home.  I've missed you and though it may sound strange, I am grateful for the opportunity. Someday, perhaps, you'll come to understand that sentiment.

My heart swells at the memory of your sleepy smiles, energy rallying to toast the New Year and partake in your year's ration of alcohol.  It's funny how the excitement and joy of those moments steal away the natural tendency for introspection the New Year offers up.

This year I am surrounded by (relative) quiet and I have no distraction from my year end reflections. Once again, we weathered a great deal of change, our little family.  We were blessed a great deal by our family, friends and the universe.  We experienced tragedies in our immediate and world communities.  We found ways to connect and move forward and grow even (especially?) when it felt difficult.

I am moved by the daily love we provide one another.  I am so grateful and proud of you three.  I am proud of myself for being able to let you go, to let you grow, to let you know.  I watch in wonder as you prove to me that my best effort has been good enough.  My lack of perfection has not been your downfall, as Fear once told me it would be.  I am infinitely happy to see this.

Here's to a New Year, my heart holds you close though my arms cannot.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

If only...

If I could hold myself
Like a newborn
As though I were
A precious gift
To the world

If I could love myself
Like a toddler
Forgiving mistakes
Expecting only growth
Never perfection

If I could forgive myself
Like a child
Understanding forgiveness
Breeds compassion
And compassion
Breeds understanding

If I could allow myself
The freedom
To feel
To see
To hear
To touch
To speak

Perhaps I would not hold myself
In such contempt

Perhaps I would not be afraid
To accept love

Perhaps I could spend Wednesday nights
In mindfulness



I hate myself

I'm afraid of being loved

And I spent my night seeking mindlessness

Clearly, unsuccessfully.


Monday, October 26, 2015

(I) The leaf

To hear a leaf
It is not
The space around it
Which must be quiet
But your mind

A quiet mind
A special state
Of awareness

How to quiet
The mind?
To the body

The body shares
Earthly intelligence
The mind
So often

To hear a leaf
Share a secret

I'm afraid
To be touched

I allowed
You all
To touch me
That day
In the woods

I watched a leaf
And I saw
Its fearlessness

For what leaf
Is concerned
With its appearance

What leaf
Is concerned
With its past

What leaf
Is concerned
With its future

What leaf
Is concerned
With what the other leaves
Are doing
Or have done
Or will do
With where the other leaves
Are going
Or have gone
Or will go

I watched a leaf
And I sensed
Its euphoria
Wind drunk
But graceful still

Its return to Earth
Nearly defying gravity
With its skips and hops

Returning gently
to Mother
Waiting silently
Equally unafraid
Of an undisturbed rest
The weight of rain
And snow
Or an earthbound journey
Down a river
On a shoe

I watched a leaf
And I opened my heart
To it
And I opened
My heart
To you

(II) The tree

The tree that called to me
Was pale

I went to her
She showed me tenderness
Her smooth trunk
Anxious to be touched.

Her gift to me
Was emptiness
Her advice to me
Was, "Grow!"
My question to her...
Her response...
"Let go.

Be a leaf."

I can't imagine her
More beautiful
Though lush with greenery
And then the brilliant hues of Autumn
She must be quite stunning

It's her wisdom though
That's most attractive
And her willingness to share

I could try
To become a leaf
But perhaps
I am more suited
To be a tree

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Had to post, Ab's first 7th grade poetry assignment...


At first; there was a tunnel and a boy. As the boy grew older, doors appeared and he pondered the little doors. Simply fumbling, giving up, and moving on. The doors grew once more as he was not anymore alone. As he watched others open the doors he endlessly questioned himself,
“Will I ever find it, the door... that calls my name?”.
But still he held on and unlike most things, he didn't give up. He grew older still and found more doors, but heavier, the paths had more depth, and still he failed. He failed to find the door that called his name.
A year passed as even more people opened their doors and he noticed.
He was fading.
He could not see.
Finally as the last light faded from him. He found it. A golden door with his name in bright glowing amber. As his hand reached to open these doors, the light slowly came back to him. To his surprise he found a tree. A huge tree with millions of nests, birds, fruit, branches-
And people.
Finally he began to see.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Odes to Mee

So, I post poems all the time.  The thing is, they are all poems I've written.  Okay, that's a lie, some have been poems written by my children.  But this is different.  In my move I came across some old poems which I apparently saved from my dancing days.  Since it is unlikely they will make it through another move...I will memorialize them here...

a red dress hangs there,
as if you were there,
to fulfill it.
and yet it hangs
and you ignore it.
when you don it,
cinderella fit the finest knit.



The sweetest
smiling eyes;
and supple
as a monkey,
she climbs
to the top,
full of grace,
a circus performer
high above the crowd;
she is free
to be.

We earthbound mortals
in silent admiration
of youth uncouth
and beauty 
and grace.
Pity those
who cannot see
the sanctity
of nudity
and shrink from
life's best,

Uncouth youth
holds us
as we stare
at all there is
or ever could be;
such beauty,
such grace,
such a sweet face;
a mere dollar
seems like an insult,
but like a 
offered on the altar,
it is graciously 
with a knowing

Monday, September 21, 2015

The day the spider captured the sun

The day
The spider
The sun
I was already
To introspection
The morning air
On my bare shoulders
The shadows of the night
Had taken residence
Beneath my eyes
And it's possible
I found the space
To cry

If someone
(a child perhaps)
Were to ask
Could a spider
Spin a web
Around the sun
Before this morning
I would have responded
In the negative

Which is a reminder
To stop thinking
I'm so open minded
When I can't even

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Dear Sleepless Night,

I know
It's not really that late yet
But I feel you
As though the clock reads
5:00 a.m.
And it's time to wake-up
Because I feel
As though there's no escape
From this place
I exist
In this moment
Until the new day

Here's the thing
My mind
Is racing
The truth
Of my heart
Eludes me
And my body
My body
Just asks forgiveness
For what it feels

Here inside my arms
I hold this little girl
And she questions me
And my decisions
Because I question
And hers
And all I can do
Is hold her
And say
It will all be okay
And struggle
To believe it
In a way
That makes a difference
To us both

There is light inside
Or I wouldn't ever
The darkness

But the darkness
My shadow
My comfortable cloak
My cherished companion
At times I call you master
And at times
I call you friend
Then I betray you
Curse you
And call for that light
To chase you away

I will just hold your hand
And remember
My dark places
And watch
The way you change
When I shine the light on you
And question
Your existence
In the current context
Of my life

It's not
That I want us to lose touch
I acknowledge
And embrace
The humanness
Of it all

It's just that,
Fear lurks
In your shadows
And I'm so tired
Of being afraid
Of everything

So tonight
I think I'm going
To do
Some letting go
Maybe even
In time
To get a little sleep


P.S.  I never realized Darkness weighed so much.  I feel lighter already.

Monday, August 31, 2015


It's amazing to remember
How once
I honestly thought
Were the reason
I had endured
All the hardships
In my life

I thought
At one point
Everything bad in my life
Was to teach me
How to be good
For you
How to deserve

And now
Now I know
What you actually are
Is the punishment
For everything
I've ever done
That was bad
Ill intended
Or misguided

You are the reminder
Of my ability
To blind myself
To everything
But love

Are the reason
I cannot see
Beyond mistrust

Are the reason
My conscious mind
Rejects love
Even while
My heart
Cries out
In loneliness

The inescapable
Who broke my wings
Caged me
And then mocked me
As I tried to fly

Who fed me lies
And deceit
Thinking it would sustain me
And turned away
For me to starve
When you realized
It wasn't going to work

If I could remember
How to breathe
Right now
I'd scream.
And you'd hear it
You'd hear it
Ripping a hole
In your soul
Much like the one
I'm working so hard
To repair

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


I wish
I could swallow my pain
Digest it
Excrete it
And be ready
For you
With an open heart
But the heart
Is not like
The digestive tract
And mine
Is so fucking broken

It hurts so much
To try and love you
Half the time
I feel
Like I'm dying

It's so unfair
I know
And really
All I wanted
Was to write
A love
For you

Something pretty
Something kind
But that
Is no longer
The reality
Of my mind

I was demolished
Broken down
Torn apart
Thoroughly smashed

And now...


To try again
To write things
Of which I've written
In the past
And choked upon
In the aftermath

I don't even know how to start
The words
"I love you"
Weigh a thousand pounds
I know I'm strong
But that kind of weight
Is a little ridiculous
Even for me
The queen of ridiculousness

Here upon this page
Soul desecrated
Reborn in rage
Burst into flames
Settled to ash
Now to love again
Is so much to ask

I tell you only this

Each day when I wake up
I think of you
And my whole body smiles

Can that be enough?
For now?

Thought of the Day

I don't need twelve steps
I need a giant leap

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Origin of Pain (Part II)

Nearly three weeks ago, on June 7th, I began to experience a level of physical pain I haven't experienced in a long time.  Because of the sudden onset and intensity, I went to see a physician on June 9th.  I was referred for diagnostic testing.  On June 11th, I suffered from new symptoms and called the doctor's office to report it on Friday.  That weekend was Samurai's ballet recital, so even though the doctor wanted me to come in on Saturday, it was not feasible.  While that symptom resolved by Monday, I woke-up with an additional new symptom.  I emailed the doctor's office about that.  They referred me for additional diagnostic testing.

I continued to work.  I continued to take care of my children.  And because I refuse to take pain medication, I continued to suffer.

Yesterday I was in so much pain, I thought I couldn't take it anymore.  I considered taking pain medication.  Instead, I took my now daily dose of magnesium (natural anti-inflammatory) and continued through my day.

People who love me and had to watch me suffer, or who knew about it and had to think about it, all begged me to take pain medication.  The thing is, I know that there's a message there, in all that pain. And if I dull the pain, I'll never get the message.

So here's the message I was finally able to hear.  

The less I move, the harder it is for me to move.  The more I let the pain slow me down, the more pain I experience.  The longer I dwell in a place of pain, the more the pain immobilizes me.

I realize I said the exact same thing three different ways.  But I came to the realization on three different levels.  

Physically, I stopped going to the gym.  Partly because I have a problem with moderation.  Okay, entirely because I have a problem with moderation.  Doing real damage was actually a possibility. But it also was an integral part of my daily routine.  So "taking it easy" amounted to my body and brain becoming sluggish.  Maybe even lazy.

Mentally, I was also stuck.  In trying to sort out problems I'm currently having and really need to sort out (even more than I realized at the time), the physical pain just screamed out, "I'm here! I'm here!" until I was too exhausted to try and sort out the problems and gave-up.

Emotionally, I am bleeding to death.  My heart is trying to open to someone new, but there is this gaping wound from three years ago that hasn't healed.  As a result, I am bleeding all over the place.  I didn't even fully realize, until the pain immobilized me.

So here I am, with this lesson I've learned from all this pain.  And yeah, everything still hurts, but I know that I'm on the path to healing now.  

I will still finish out my battery of tests.  But when they all come up negative and my pain remains a medical mystery, I will know the origin of my pain.  And what's even better, I know how to make it go away.

I just need to keep growing.


Friday, May 22, 2015

The Origin of Pain

Rain, rain
Come again
Obscure the glare
Of the ancient sun
The Earth
My body
As one

I ask not
For yesterday
Though answers
Lurk like stalkers
In those dark shadows
Of my unexamined past

I ask not
For tomorrow
As they already
Come too fast
Too fast

But today
I cry out
In exquisite pain
As my battered heart
Works to open again

I stand
In judgment
Before no one
Except myself
Anyone else
Would surely
Be easier on me

Except him
Who only
Sees lies
Because his brain
Twists truth
And beauty
With his poison mind
Into an amalgamation
Which can only
Be left

Rain, rain
Come again
Obscure the glare
Of the ancient sun
The Earth
My body
As one

Friday, May 8, 2015


I dream
Of finding
On the tops of mountains
At the bottom
Of the ocean
Through the air

I imagine
Are there
Waiting for me
In your arms

I know
Are not as important
As the questions
The person
Who's asking

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Oops: A Late Birthday Letter

Dear Nexen,

I'm a couple days late on this one.  I apologize, I've been a little distracted.  Someday you'll come to understand the fleeting nature of time.  The game of hide and seek we play with it our entire lives. Anyway, I've found a little for you, for your birthday letter.

You sleep, upstairs, my little bundle of three who still has to remember to put up the third finger when asked how old he is.  It's okay, I also like to think I'm a few fingers younger than I am from time to time.

This year, so much changed.  You, things around you, things in the world, but nothing inside you. Inside you still lives the beautiful, cherished, (fleeting) innocence of a baby.  Your eyes still shine with unbroken, unconditional love and your heart, your heart remains unquestioning, knowing its own value and the value of the connections it has made.  I am very proud of this, because these things are precious and easily lost.  Your mind, your mind is always questioning, growing, becoming stronger. As is your body.  Taller, stronger, faster, more agile.  I will miss the unsteady steps and jumps of two as they fade away in(to) the leaps and bounds of three.     

My birthday wish for you is that this year, your third year, is your best ever.  As our happiness remains intricately interlaced at this early age, I will do my best to pave the way.  A little secret? Great happiness is on the horizon for me, and therefore us, I just have to be open to it.  Unfortunately, my heart is not the same as yours and being open, well, that's not currently my strong suit.  I can't know the future and hope I'm learning from the past but sometimes the line between what is a lesson and what needs to be let go is very blurred.

Maybe I just need to follow your heart, because mine is still in pieces.

Sheesh, this took a depressing turn.

Okay, it's time to get you all up and ready for school.  

I love you birthday boy, two days removed.  I am excited to know you this third year, and I wish us all happiness.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Things I can't say

There are things I can’t say
Or maybe
But I can make you feel it
Can’t I?

If I could bend time
Extract the pain from my heart
I’d meet you
With no reservations

And then
I could answer all your questions
Tell you all
You want to know

But my superpowers
Are too limited
Too relative
And my heart
My poor heart
Is still tender
To the touch

I can feel it
Getting stronger
And my mind
Getting weaker
And my body
My body’s a lost cause
At this point

I don’t know
Where the right place is
But I do know
We’re going the right way

Friday, April 17, 2015

Selflessness is my Survival Technique

In a world where every parenting seminar, book and article espouses self-care, self-care and more self-care as the modern day Mama's mantra, I have to address the selflessness factor.  

I am a single mom.  The number one most common question I am asked in relation to being a single mom?  How do I do it.  It seems impossible.  To accomplish all that I do and still have children that are pleasant to be around AND still want to be around me?

I have a secret.  It is NOT self care.  Could I use more to improve my quality of life? Sure.  To improve my happiness and therefore happiness of my family?  Sure.  But I have no support from a partner, I have no close family (geographically speaking), no network of single moms who call upon each other for support (I did actually try to accomplish this, but shockingly, single parents have little time and energy left over to actually form a group like this).  

Last week I had a girls' night out scheduled TWO MONTHS in advance (which, mind you, was only going to be from 3:30 to 5:00 in the first place, to accommodate, you guessed it, child care issues) and we got to the bar, sat down to order drinks, and my phone rang.  My ex wasn't coming to get the kids.  It was a ballet night so I had to leave immediately, walk 30 minutes to the baby's day care, pick him up, walk to children's after care, pick them up, and try to catch a bus which only comes every 20 minutes, even during rush hour, to take us from South Philly to West Philly for ballet class at 5:00.  (We missed the bus and had to walk to the subway, still made class though).

My ex has cancelled his visitation three times in the last two weeks.  Which always results in me having to leave early from work.  Which results in me having to work on my days off to make-up the hours.  Which results in the days I set aside for house cleaning (for sanity, not some standard of cleanliness I try to maintain because I gave-up on maintaining that around May 4, 2013 - when the baby turned one) and "Mama Time" (the oh so elusive and coveted name of something I think I may have in another 10 years or so, the name has such a nice ring to it though doesn't it?).

Point being, life is hard for me.  The activities of daily living as a single mom with three kids are unending and largely unappreciated.  They are difficult on days when the kids are healthy and happy, so one can only imagine when a two year old is tantruming, a preteen is moody and a tween is missing her Daddy because he keeps cancelling visitation.

Trying to incorporate self-care into my routine is a cosmic joke.  

So, how do I do it?

Simply, it's selflessness.

I'm not saying I didn't cry a little (or want to at least) when I had to walk away from girl's night out.  But my children needed me, and being there for them gives meaning and purpose to my life.  I was a lot lost, pre-children.  I couldn't reconcile the world at large, and my place in it.  My soul sought things I didn't know how to find.  Becoming pregnant with, carrying, birthing and raising Abacus, then Samurai, then Nexen infused this sense of connection with the Earth, humanity and the world at large I don't know how I would have found otherwise.  When they were growing inside of me I felt the moral imperative to grow, to become different, to be ready to accept them, love them and be there for them whenever and however they were to need me.  I believe, from the bottom of my heart, I would not exist today were it not for them.

My therapist says I can't live for only them.  That I have to take care of myself.  But my "self" gets angry and bitter when I plan something for it and have to cancel at the last minute due to a child care issue or another, perfectly timed, child's illness.  My "self" gets impatient and resentful when I can't have "Mama Time".  In those moments, what grounds me and creates a loving space in my heart and being, is selflessness.

Existing for myself left me lost, lonely and reckless.  Existing for others helped me feel meaning, purpose, happiness.  Existing for my children allowed me to feel love, connection and know true and permanent physical, spiritual and emotional growth (well, the physical growth comes and goes).

I could go on a lot longer.  But it would likely get repetitive and way too revealing.  And the baby is up, calling for me.  I feel as though he was always calling for me, I just wasn't ready to hear him.  And once I was, it was selflessness that brought him here, carried him, birthed him and which has sustained him.  Which will nurture him now and prepare him to one day nurture his own.

Here's to selflessness, and my survival.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


My mind
I find
Often enough

I know
Where to find it
And how
To bring it back

Especially now

My mind
Has been
The same space

Again and

I dare not
My secrets

What have I
From you?


I suppose
There are pieces
of Mee
I'm saving
But they're not
Per se

It's hard
For me
To think


It's easy
For me
To feel

How unsightly
To allow
My feelings
To ooze out
All over
This page

I really should
This mess

But then
You haven't minded
My mess
So far

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A message from my tea bag

"Our intuition comes from innocence."
~Yogi Tea Bag

I was innocent
Where was my intuition?
I believed
I believed
I believed it all

How could I not know?
How could I not see?

How can I not regret
When it hurts me every day

It's painful, see
To give it all
To really believe
And find your truth
Was as permanent
As the wind in the trees

Here one moment
Gone the next
And when the wind
Blows hard enough
The very landscape
Is altered forever

How can I blame the wind?
The wind knows not
How to behave any different.

I, on the other hand,
I know better.

I know better than to trust
A summer's breeze

To assign permanency
To the fleeting touch of air
Caressing my body, my hair

I know better than to believe
A storm
Is a safe harbor
Even when
The wind
Is allowing me to fly

In Earth I trust
In solid ground
I stand upon her now
As the wind begins to swirl around

My heart
A kite
Tethered to my soul

My soul
A child
A lifetime to unfold

My brain
The string
Reel it in, reel it in

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

4:46 a.m.

Body:  Hey, brain, can you stop now?  I'm really tired and it would be nice to get some sleep.

Brain:  I'm sorry.  I can't seem to stop.  I blame it on Heart.  I have to be vigilant.  I feel as though if I let my guard down for a single moment, Heart will take over and we know what happens then.

Heart:  Would it really be so bad?  It's been so long since I've felt anything but pain.  We have a chance here, he seems so...

Brain:  STOP IT!  Right now.  Just stop it.  HE'S MARRIED.  Just like the other one.  He knows how to reach you, Heart, through his words, JUST LIKE THE OTHER ONE.  You can't put us through this again.  I will not let you.

Heart:  But Brain, maybe he's different.  Doesn't he deserve a chance?  I'm lonely Brain, I want to be open again.  I want someone to know me.

Body:  Well, as long as we're playing this game...

Brain:  Okay, I concede, we definitely need sleep!  I'll leave you two alone now.  

Body:  Thanks so much, it's time to wake-up now and second alarm goes off in 50 minutes.  Jerk.

Brain:  Well you two are conspiring against me, once again.  I will NOT allow us to fall victim to another man of false intention.  Time will tell, you two just have to be patient, okay?  



Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Path to Happiness

I understand
My path to happiness
Is anything
But straight
And narrow

I've come to understand
My path to happiness
Is not etched in stone
Or even
Permanent marker

But when I use
A pencil
To trace my path
To happiness
There is the danger
Of everything
Being erased

So what
Shall I use
To color
This path?

Pockets of Time

I find
Pockets of time
Used to be
I'd steal them
For me
But now
I think
Of you
And these
Pockets of mine
Feel full
And light
As the days
Are filling
With bright
And now
I only
Have to fight
To give us
A chance
To be right
If only
For one night