petals and sugar water

This little guy has been with us all winter. Butterflies always land on me and stay with me like pets. I wonder if there’s a name for this? Do I have a particular taste, maybe like banana or sugar water? I glide around the house in slow motion to make sure I don’t harm it, like Tai…

the boy and the dove

Before Sean and I moved into our home in Oxford together with my daughter, we rented a little attic apartment in a nonexistent village in the middle of nowhere, a village where the local farm has ‘honesty’ stands overflowing with flowers and vegetables. Our nest was situated at the corner of Church St. and Prior’s Lane. Idyllic….

let ‘s go home and cuddle

Our favorite pastime. Our ritual, our retreat, tangle of tears, nude knot; our hibernation, hiding place, our fort, our place of worship and horseplay. Our rest and resuscitation. After the year we’ve had, cuddles are necessary as medicine and manna. The cuddle is our mother. It is home. “Let’s go home and cuddle,” I say,  but…

old fashioned letters to my baby

  I’m sending my baby a handwritten letter each week – with decorated envelopes – to brighten up her institutional post office box at University. We still snapchat and text and FB message and Skype, but there’s something to be said for receiving a handwritten letter in the mail.   Three months more until I…

the weighing of souls

We spent a lovely day last summer getting lost and exploring old churches in the Cotswolds, one of my favorite things to do. I fell in love with the Norman door of St Michael & All Angels church in Great Tew (c.1290). St. Michael’s has a gorgeous fresco of the passion cycle in faded rust tones, crowned by a tableau of…

the ocean in my heart

My oldest daughter lives on one continent, and my youngest lives with me on another.   Boston/ Oxford.   My heart is stretched wide as the ocean, and fills with it. It’s a heaviness, a drowning I carry around with me as I go about trying to stay busy and find purpose and meaning.   My oldest moved to…

adulterous lovers at the blake exhibit

Before I read my poem I gave a quick explanation of Blake’s illustration of Dante’s second circle of hell (Canto V), reserved for adulterous lovers. The flash of light above Virgils’ head encompasses the lovers Francesca and Paolo, granted amnesty from their sins after Dante faints beneath them in pity.   A snippet from my poem:   Hell’s weather…

tourist in my own city

I’ve lived in Oxford longer than I’ve lived anywhere in my entire life. I don’t know if anywhere will ever feel like home – I think people will always be my home – but Oxford feels very close. I’m an incurable romantic, praising Oxford, mumbling sweet nothing into its hidden recesses and alcoves, and getting tears in…

the daphne cutting

By our home along the river they’ve cut down a grand old tree. My daughter and I salvaged a branch and planted it on our dinner table. Now the little pathway that winds to our house from Folly Bridge has a bald blight and our dinner table stands witness.                   Hesse wrote, “For me, trees…

ekphrasis reading program / poetry submissions

      These leaflets are going up around Oxfordshire – very exciting! I can’t wait to see the wealth and breadth of submissions. Please join our Facebook group Submit, submit, Oxfordshire!

a poem inspired by a painting inspired by a poem

     “The Lovers’ Whirlwind” by William Blake; Blake’s whirlwind takes place in the second circle of hell as described in Dante’s Divine Comedy                                         I’ll be reading a poem in front of this painting at the Ashmolean’s Blake exhibit this Saturday, January 24th. I’ll be reading with Oxfordshire poets Julie Forth, Mary Stableford, Merryn Williams, Nick Owen, and Derek Summers. I can’t…