Monday, July 29, 2013

MAGPIE...Prompt #179

THANK YOU, Tess, for Magpie Tales...


Taking a deep breath
like a comedian high
on inhaled helium
filling a red balloon,

I'm nesting in
a new-fangled identity.

Changing my voice,
fooled my lover,
kissing a new Spiderman
on the web.

What's the matter
if there is no matter,
Einstein's laughing,
just as lofty as me.

Playing games
with the gravity of it all,
double entendres
all over the place.

I leap frog
over poetic impediments,
craft is empty,

invisible me
steering a skill
full of hot air.

Forgotten all together
the witty driver
of yesterday.
Monday morning,
me, dimly plotting.

Copyright/ all rights reserved/ 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013


HOLDING A PERFECT, RIPE PEACH, right now.  Is there perfection in this world? 

Mother Nature takes care of that.  The bounty of the earth.  Not us..we're here to mess up, spot karma along the way, try to make amends.

But Mother?  At the bottom of all mischief, all temptation.  Be tempted now.  Easily assemble tonight's dessert.  Find a peach as sweet as mine, with real fuzz on it, rosy as a baby's it now, or slice into it...that's right another slice, and another.  Falling into your most precious crystal..the one you drink champs from.  Or the one your grandmother brought over from the old country.

Pour some excellent red wine over the peaches.  They seem to crave it, but not too much...this isn't Sangria.  It's dessert.  So put it on the sideboard.  Go about dinner.  Drink what you wish.  Then get a silver spoon.  Yes, silver and crystal, peaches and wine.  No sugar, no spice, scoop the peaches past your lips, swirl the wine.  Ahhh.....

Here's the ending of a poem that I wrote several years ago.  It's included in a book of poetry, "Two Ghosts"...(aha!)...about a visit to Saint-Paul de Vence.

From "The Peaches of Saint-Paul" :

"A vender's cart,
just wheeled into the shade,
displayed avacados
alongside daisies.

Melons were cut open,
their pale green flesh
too pungent,
summoning a rush of fruit flies.

A dozen peaches
ripened to a dazzling pink.
One glowed with a fever
in my cupped hands.

I brushed its pre-pubescent fuzz
against your cheek.
It became a secret kiss
that no one saw.

But I saved
the first bite
for me."

Copyright/ all rights reserved/ 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


NADEZHDA POPOVA...Dec. 27, 1921/ July 8, 2013
                         World War ll, "Night Witch", in Moscow, age 91.

"I sometimes stare into the blackness and close my eyes", Ms. Popova said in 2010.  "I can still imagine myself as a young girl, up there in my little bomber.  And I ask myself, 'Nadia, how did you do it?"

To the Nazis, they were the Night Witches.  The noise their canvas and plywood planes made had the sound of a witch on a broomstick.  So they said.

This was a compliment to the Russian women who piloted these planes, which previously were crop dusters.  They flew 30,000 missions over four years, dropped 23 tons of bombs on the German invaders of Russia, forcing them back to Berlin. 

The volunteers were mostly young women in their teens and early 20's.  They became legends, but now mostly forgotten.  They flew only at night, had no parachutes or radios.  Because they flew in open cockpits, they could count on frozen faces. If hit, their planes burned like paper.

Nadezhda Popova, one of the first volunteers, was inspired by revenge and patriotism.  Shortly after the Nazis invaded Russia, her brother and father were killed.  She flew 852 missions, and became a deputy commander of what was the 588th Night Bomber Regiment.  When Ms. Popova first volunteered she was turned down, as women were.  But an order was issued in 1941 to deploy three regiments of female pilots. Thus were born the Night Witches.

Their ability caused the Nazis to spread rumors that they were given pills and injections to give them "a feline's perfect vision at night", Ms. Popova said.  "This, of course, was nonsense."

To read more about Nadia, and the Night Witches, refer to "Flying For Her Country: The American and Soviet Women Military Pilots of World War ll. "  by Amy Goodpaster Strebe (2007).

Thanks to The New York Times for info in an article by Douglas Martin.


                            NADIA, standing amidst the "Night Witches".

COPYRIGHT/ All rights reserved/ 2013

Sunday, July 7, 2013

MAGPIE...Prompt #176

                                                  SUPERMOON 2013/ Julio Cortez/ AP

THANK YOU, Magpie Tales...


Today, July 7th, I'm saluting my father.  Who died on this day in 2001.  At the steadfast age of 95.  The beginning of days of reckoning, both national and personal.  2001.

He never knew...that his granddaughter gets cancer.  That the World Trade Center in his beloved New York becomes the apocalypse.  And he, Carl Golden, origin name Koppel Goldendrut, will go to heaven to find his mother.  Again.

Minnie Goldendrut lived and died in the shtetl of Roshkov in the Ukraine when he was ten.  My father was moved from one mean Russian street to the next, relatives just able to provide stale bread, thin soup.

My grandfather, as was done in those old days, abandoned the Czar's army, went to America, to New York, to find the assured streets of gold.  My grandmother, my father and three other sons were left behind.  But all to be sent for...whenever.

At the age of twelve, Koppel, useful to no one, Revolution over, starts the trek of the emigre'.  Money sewn into clothes, gets rowed across the Dnieper by a friend.  Romania and Russia shooting over his head.  Steps foot on Romania.  Let's go. 

A year of wandering, becoming a little man.  Ship departs for America from Trieste, Italy.  Steerage, thin soup, dry bread.  He's Koppel Goldendrut.  Here he comes!

There she is, in the harbor, his mother!  Holding a torch, calling herself Liberty.  "Momma it's me, I'm here.  Don't ever go away again.  I'll find Poppa, and then we'll go home!" 

Poppa seems to own Ellis Island, pushing his boy here and there.  Pulls Koppel's hat off, looks at his scalp..."If you have lice, they'll send you back.  Don't scratch.

" And you have a new name, Carl Golden.  I'm Morris Golden now, just a bootlegger.  Gin, in the bathtub.  You'll see."

Golden?  Familiar name?  Yes, that Golden.  Snapple sound familiar to you?  Streets of Gold, indeed.

Rest In Peace, my loving Dad.

COPYRIGHT/ all rights reserved/ 2013


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