art, writing, aikido and the universe


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.



My fierce friend

Dangerous hunter

That fly better look around the bend

Or he’ll be torn asunder.



Day Opens Up

Work is over

and day opens

even though it is dusk,

red and purple in the sky.

I return home

to light

and warmth.


I wait for my love

in silence,

the porch light on,

cat across my lap,

the night traveling through time.





Dear Laura

Dear Laura

I thought of a poem

to write because

it’s a lovely rain

splashing off 95

making the trees

extra special green

like I could lick them

and they’d taste of spring

and wild animals

as I try to escape

this life of work and laundry.



Placid waves

wash warm

Over toes, knees,

belly to breasts.

Drink in sun.


cotton-candy clouds






DSC04746 3

Mongolian Desert Sunrise

sun rises
at first
sky’s merely a
lighter blue,
stars fade
as lemon and pale tangerine
glow on the horizon.
softly call,
distant motorcycles.
dark outlines change
pale peach-ochre land
studded with
quartz and granite and
chocolate rocky outcrops.
stunted and uneven
grass glows
viridian tipped
with silver-gold
seed kernels
and sheath.

6/27/17, revised 9/25/18

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