For Cathy

On a cold November day,

Your favorite month,

I’m at my desk —

Unsettled, out of sorts..


The calm grey skies

Shattered by senseless violence.

Our leaders’ calculated opportunism

In service of political advantage is

Reflected in cruel indifference

Rationalized as the pursuit of happiness.


You and I have worked to build a

Life fueled by warmth

And decency and love.


With our friends

We take steps

To continue the conversation

That leads to a better world


Not always easy,

Sometimes silly,

Often fun.


November 16, 2017


For Emily

by Caroline Donnola


Emily Dickinson
said it all—

Of time
And timid hope
Though Wrought of Sterner Stuff.
Absent any normalcy
The punctuation—
Like a



With a pierced heart
That bleeds at every pump.
She had the gift
That no one loved
Until her own mortality was spun.
A footnote to her troubled life
A fire to every would-be poet
Or half-lived dream.
Telling us how much
And where
And in what ways
We are—

We humans

We birds

We streams.
In slant rhyme—
In whispered moans.
Until we, like her,
Are leaching poetry
From our bones.

(Thank you Caroline for this beautiful poem)