art, writing, aikido and the universe


Web of deceit where
spider waits to ambush,
pounces on a fly,
wraps silk around
so carefully
like a ladies’ dressmaker.
The insect briefly struggles,
goes ominously limp.
Unless you’re the spider,
then dinner is waiting,
a fly smoothie.

In the morning
dew drops
decorate the web strands
reflecting an
upside down world.

Rocs, manticores, and spiders,
magical predators
all dream
of blood.

Photo taken at Jack’s land, Catskills, 2019.



sunlight against shadows

birdsong wakes the day

cat and me

curl in the armchair

i stroke his silky fur

his ears perk

at a sparrow hopping nearF44DE3F8-5EFE-416F-9E7B-54119398D67B_1_201_a


stands proud guard
gazes over lush land and
glittering city
She squints with stern eyes
into gleaming sun
as it descends into crimson clouds.
She sharpens beak
on gnarled oak
sniffs the scent on the air
claws tucked away
as assassins hide daggers.
watches for evil
creeping across the valley,
She wrenches from earth
a black mist of madness
and tosses the demon high in the twilight sky,
tears that fiend into pieces with beak and claws,
devours each segment with relish.
Now sated,
she flies back to her perch
stretches incandescent wings and
protecting us
through the moonlit night.


My Children

My lovely children,


they hum or sing

but do not talk.

They reach out

to grab forcefully

and will scrape their fingernails

down my arm if I let them,

leaving red hieroglyphs

of their inner life

and sorrows.


I hold them closely,

squeeze shoulders,

and direct with my hips.

We walk together

down the school hallway

arm in arm

like guiding the blind,

though which one of us is blind

I am not sure.

Certainly, they don’t see their way into our world

and I can only glimpse into theirs.


We will sing

and taste the world,

look for confirmation

or challenge.

I will proffer words,

holding them out

like Theseus’ rope

guiding them

to the love of others.

For love is communication

and words travel through air

to vibrate and tickle

another person’s ears.

We will seek each other

through fingertips

and song

and sometimes even

a picture or two

or a collection of distinct sound waves

moving between us.


Parent Pamphlet for Enhancing Language Skills

IMG_6319 (1)PARENT BOOKLET pages in order

Story Grammar parent booklet insert


I hate trumpets.

Their blaring voices


loud and assertive,

demanding that I listen,

announcing arrogant kings

and the gleeful start of wars.

City Sestina

Dawn lays golden light across rooftops in the city
The cool air brushes cobalt sky
The almost empty streets
Today have hardly any wrapped up sleeping people
A few bees whir to break the quiet
at the placid harbor.

Ferries plow the harbor
in the stirring city
footsteps and chatter break the quiet
brilliant sun scales the turquoise sky
clutter the streets

safe from the streets
mothers show their young children floating ducks in the harbor
construction workers sit on T-beams and eat lunch. other people
swamp the coffee shops and benches munching the noonday break in the city
cumulous clouds decorate the sky
cars honk, trucks rumble and there is no quiet

school children are bursting with noise, certainly not quiet
as they energize the streets
look at the royal blue sky
wander to the welcoming harbor
scatter over the city
mingling with friends and anonymous people

weary people
plod homeward in quiet
ships come into harbor
rose and tangerine light in the sky

lampposts obscure stars in the sky
bands playing in clubs filled with people
ships moored in the harbor
artists work in contemplative quiet
laughing young people strut in streets
colored lights shine from buildings in our city

Moon reflected on harbor water from ebony sky
city people asleep in their beds
quiet streets


Baltimore Buddy

When I took my cat, Buddy, to the vet for his annual check-up I found out he had kidney disease. He wasn’t showing any signs of this, aside from barfing a lot, which I thought is normal for cats. The vet recommended daily medicine and a special cat food formulated for cats with kidney disease. Great, no problem. We just mix the medicine in with the new food. Buddy had other ideas.

Well, he tried the food once and then decided the servants were remiss. As a day, then two, then three went by, I became disturbed by his refusal to eat. I called the vet and she said to administer the medicine directly into his mouth. I held Buddy down while my husband lifted his lip and pushed down the plunger. This was not popular. Buddy ran and hid under the kitchen table, looking highly offended. We tried mixing the kidney food with his regular food and giving him treats whenever he got medicine. He picks at his food and still hates the medicine.

Since his disease is accompanied by eventual weight loss, I am deeply concerned. I decide I’ll provide him with natural food. He loves hunting crickets in the basement and periodically I pick up cricket legs or bodies off the living room floor. Insects are great protein! So I go to the pet store and pick up a box of crickets. It’s food. It’s entertainment. I put the crickets in a large cardboard box. After all, how high can they really jump? I show Buddy the box. He is enthusiastic. So are the crickets. The crickets have a jumping contest urged on by a desire to run for their lives, sort of like running the bulls in Spain. They spread themselves throughout the house. I will be finding them for a long time to come. And finding their body parts. That could have worked better.

Okay, what else do cats like? Birds! We have lots of pigeons in the city. I get a fishing net from the boating store. I cast bread on my door stoop and sidewalk. The pigeons come like sheep to a shepherd. I pull the net strings quickly and although most get away I am left with 6 plump pigeons. I carry them triumphantly inside. Buddy is excited. I pluck one from the net and put the rest away in a cage. Buddy chases the bird all over the house. The bird is not happy. It shits a lot. All over the house. Buddy goes to sleep. The bird calms down, tucks its head under its wing and rests on my living room lamp next to the couch. I take a break and watch TV. Suddenly Buddy is crouching on the other side of the couch. With one great leap he tackles the bird which is now screaming in my ears. Buddy holds on. Who knew birds had so much red blood. Feathers scatter everywhere. Buddy is in heaven. He knows he is a true hunter. I know I must find another way to feed him.

What else do cats eat, I ponder. Google knows everything and tells me they eat mice. Of course. But here in Baltimore we don’t have mice. The rats have all eaten them. Just ask our president. Now, rats should be pretty easy to catch. Just leave out some nice smelly garbage. I wait for night, I put out the garbage. A flashlight assists my endeavors.I am equipped with a stun gun from a hunter friend. Here they come, a whole family. Mom is the size of a small tank. I figure I’ll take out the adolescents. No one really likes adolescents anyway. Having been in girl scouts finally comes in handy – I shoot quickly and accurately. Bingo! Three down and now I can put my garbage back in the can. I carry the rats by their tails and place them on the living room floor. Buddy comes to sniff them. He paws one of them a little. Then it wakes up and gives an ear piercing shriek. Staring with its little beady eyes the rat stands up. Buddy backs down. You cannot intimidate a Baltimore rat. The rat gives chase and Buddy runs frantically, jumping onto bookshelves and counters. The rat shimmies up the T.V. cord. Bleh! I aim and shoot the stun gun. The other rats wake up and charge down to the basement. When I go down, they are eating Buddy’s cat food. As they are fixated on the food, I chase them down with the stun gun. They escape through a hole in the side of my house. Darn, I didn’t know about the hole but now I have to fix it. Clearly, rats are not on Buddy’s list as a gourmet item.

Maybe YouTube will have ideas on what to feed Buddy. Youtube has plenty of kitty videos chowing down on everything from a chicken leg to a banana served with chopsticks. But I’m still pretty clueless about what might be a natural diet. What about larger cats, I wonder. I look up lions. They are enjoying hunting and killing a zebra. I’m sure the Baltimore zoo has a zebra.


Sonnet to my Cat

Black and white fur, green eyes and pink nose
At the first light he bites bare, tender toes
Pushes coins clinking from drawers to wood floor
I turn over and attempt to ignore.

He pitifully meows when he wants some food;
He’s a little lion with attitude.
If he wants to play he sits by his toy
I fling it around and he leaps for joy.

He sits on the window watching the birds
He calls to them but they only make turds.
He crouches and jumps to catch flying bugs
Tortures and tears them apart on my rugs.

Black and white fur, green eyes, and pink nose
On my computer he curls in repose.


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