From: “The Union” (Elton John & Leon Russell)


Mom’s Trip to Germany…

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Just Luther…

Why are the only men like this in real life gay? Because to this day this song brings me to my knees. And I know I am not the only one…

Two for Today


He’s gone, and all our plans

Are useless indeed.

We’ll walk no more on Cotswold

Where the sheep feed

Quietly and take no heed.

His body that was so quick

It not as you

Knew it, on Severn River

Under the blue

Driving our small boat through.

You would not know him now…

But still he died

Nobly, so cover him over

With violets of pride

Purple from Severn side.

Cover him, cover him soon!

And with thick-set

Masses of memoried flowers

Hide that red wet

Thing I must somehow forget.

(Ivor Guerney)




DEATH come to me in my dreams:

A little girl in her first party dress,

a black balloon in her fist.

She smiles when she sees me –

an open smile of recognition.

She’s not afraid of me.

The little girl with the angel eyes

has come to take me home.

DEATH come to me in a nightmare:

Lucifer sits by my bed

to sedate me if I scream.

Drop by drop he dilutes my blood

until I’m totally transfused.

“Hush, hush, hush…don’t you cry!”

He scolds as he watches me

shrink into the counterpane.

DEATH come to me in my bed:

He’s brought flowers for the nightstand.

The linen is fresh and my nightgown sheer.

A bottle of good Rhine wine…

He’ll help me climb just as

I’ve helped him climb –

each of us in search of

our own little DEATH.

©Trina Roach

“The Red Wheelbarrow”

When I was in junior high school I had two favorite teachers. One of them was my English teacher. Looking back, it still difficult to see it as just just your normal schoolgirl crush, and as one of the fortunate side-effects this teacher also further fanned the flames of my love of literature. (Actually, both of them did, though the other one taught biology.)

I remember very well how parents veto’d his idea of our reading things like Kurt Vonnegut‘s “Slaughterhouse 5“, Joseph Heller‘s “Catch-22” or  Tom Wolfe’s* “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” in class, deeming their content much too advanced and controversial for our impressionable 9th grade intellects. Although we ended up reading John Knowles‘ “A Separate Peace” in class, he established an after-school reading club for those of us who (with parental permission) felt ready and willing to tackle something a bit headier.

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Angel: if there were a place we know nothing of…

Paula Modersohn-Becker

Rainer Marie Rilke (by: Paula Modersohn-Becker)

Learning a new language is a funny thing. In our native language we tend to swallow words whole; giving little or no thought to their etymological source. But when you learn a foreign language – syllable by syllable – you savour each vowel, each consonant, as though it were the seed of a fruit from some exotic tree.

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Georgia Douglas Johnson (1886-1966)


I want to die while you love me,

While yet you hold me fair,

While laughter lies upon my lips

And lights are in my hair.

I want to die while you love me,

And bear to that still bed,

Your kisses turbulent, unspent,

To warm me when I’m dead.

I want to die while you love me,

Oh, who would care to live

Till love has nothing more to ask

And nothing more to give!

I want to die while you love me

And never, never see

The glory of this perfect day

Grow dim and cease to be.

Poem – Derek Walcott

Spring 2009 064

I haven’t thought about the fact that I don’t copy any of my own poetry here. Except one. A long time ago. I had planned to do just that and comment on how I remember my frame of mind when I wrote it and/or what the poem means to me today.

But just now I looked over at the window sill behind me and a poem I framed several years ago caught my eye. I framed it because it resonated with me then. It resonated with my soul’s best intentions. It used to hang on the wall in my apartment in Düsseldorf; now it sits in its frame on my window sill along with a statuette of a dancer, a small plant, a candle and some cards.

This poem is taken from Derek Walcott‘s “Collected Poems 1948 – 1984”

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome.

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, who you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the lover letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

4 November 2008

Rosa sat, so Martin could walk;

Martin walked, so Barack could run;

Barack ran, so we all can FLY!

Pix My Sister Sent


I had the good fortune of growing up in an intact black middle class neighborhood till I was nine years old. We played safely outside on our street. Though we lived in a city, there was plenty of green in our neighborhood, and many a lazy summer afternoon was spent riding our bikes, picking (and eating!) berries,  or playing some sort of outdoor game. Neighborhood mothers (and fathers!) had an eye out for you – and Lord help you, if someone else had call to discipline you. You got it both coming (from them) and going (from your parents).

We also lived two doors down from my aunt and uncle (Dad’s 2nd youngest brother) and two cousins.

My sister has been photo-raiding with my dearest Aunt Henrietta. The following are pix Aunt Henriette (abovementioned aunt; formerly two doors down) sent my sister after a weekend they spent going through some of her Polaroid memories (click to enlarge).

Yes, those were really certainly The Good Old Days!

Pix 1: Our Grandpop. The patriarch of our family. Definitely ‘Old School’ when it came to discipline and other family values!

Pix 2: Me with my two cousins on our bikes

Pix 3: Four cousins

Pix 4: My sister and my younger cousin

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