Twenty tournaments and yet..


Twenty tournaments

Since that moment when you left us


the world beneath our feet
and its many broken parts
like crumpled sheafs of paper
fragrance in your closets
neither here nor there
scabs on our heart skins
rubbing hope into each other
instead, dripping voids

Trying to illuminate
Twenty tournaments

Counting twenty tournaments
Still bidding farewell

to our life
the queasy stomach
and shaky voice
narrative memory
in longing words
mystified, repetitive efforts

our search for hope
well tried yet opaque
voices in prayer
and stoic silences, stunned
seemingly, collectively
in free fall

It has been a while

since the storm, yet
recovery ever in progress

Twenty tournaments



Will you answer?


When does God make his plan for pairs?

Why do you let me dream unfettered?

Where did you learn your patience?

How can someone promise forever ever?

Which role do you relish the most?

What makes you want to talk to me?


When did you bring tenderness to your songs?

Why do I need you when I cry?

Where do you hide the sound of my laugh?

How do you stay sure at all times?

Which book translated you for you?

What anchors you in us?


When did you start to seek the beyond?

Why does the night stall in your arms?

Where did you abandon the ego?

How will you handover a legacy in diligence?

Which mantra enables your clarity?

What definition of duty will you author?


Will you always be the spring to my winter?

Will you discover me at the cusp of every life?

The (im)perfect journey


They sat to break a breath, at that corner

His silver hair gleamed in a ponytail

She held herself steady at the waist

They leaned forward again, to speak in murmurs


He recalled footsteps that had been firmer

She clutched his arm as she stood in pain

Purposefully, nudging pebbles into a pattern

They sat to break a breath, at that corner


His accumulated medals adorned walls

He drew his life in trace lines on a map

Trembling scribbles of traveled lanes

His silver hair gleamed in a ponytail


Her character spoke through her distinct tastes

She wove the scent of flowers into her colorful throws

Beading baubles on laughter strings

She held herself steady at the waist


Their cherished story is of the party with drummers

They relish their tea as much as arguing over theories

The vastness and vigor that has been acquired together

They lean forward again, to speak in murmurs




Shelling Peanuts


We chase conversations,

Crunching bags of eager peanuts

You dust promises

into spaces between cracked shells

Together we jostle dreams

settling into scattered skin and chaff

Smiling in acknowledgment

Symbiotic glances, like peanut and salt

Bringing stories together

Nutty anecdotes coated in toasty flavors

Seeds break out of their comfort

Nostalgic taste punctuating sentences

Memories become escapades

Smacking salt off our fingers

Relishing a kernel routine

Collecting moments in papery skins

You stoke the fireplace

Empty the sack of  remnants

Crumbling husk settles cautiously

On book jackets and baskets of wool

Before we retreat into ourselves

A cheerful aroma lingers behind





revisiting tchotchke

gaudy colors and tacky textures

strung on tree branches, sitting on shelves

that magnet, the lanyard, those peg measures

toy story like, alive in dreams and adventures

crowding dresser table tops,pinned on scruffy coat lapels

whispering in hesitant shapes, stories and verses

finding tchotchke

a book stand spills over, hiding predictably, in the corner store

repeated shapes, swag statements, in sterile trade fair tents

rows of bling, functional snine, in online carts

logo on a badge, randomness in gifts, editions galore

pretending mutual admiration, promoting collective pretense

aspiring to stockpile connections, that are scrambling and sparse

synthesizing tchotchke

memorabilia, from visits and vistations

finger print stains that glare, nostalgic festivities and cake spills

unwrapping butter paper, conversations on fireplace mantels

mass produced wobbles, incredible yet imitations

catering to inane corporations, employee affiliation at will

redefining tchotchke

mocking each other, emoji like, tentative trinkets

nudge for space, tweet like, on the study ledge

hide in drawers, snapchat like, dead space nuggets


at the bazaar, i shop souvenirs

isolation burnout, emotions at risk

i look for and at, faces not shelves

i strain to hear, voices not bells

i engage in kind words, catalogued as exhibits

i try to fortify connections, rehearsing their pledge

simply tchotchke

the world over, worldly wise, treasures

like rehearsed memories

my tchotchke stood their space, anticipating my free fall

glittering remanants, that slip and stall

as I drift into the mundane and grime

of my daily abyss

enshrined tchotchke

i start to bag, as debris


stop and surrender, and see

years, tears and smiles

symbols of traveled miles

in blushing souvenors – you may mock

 but I will flaunt, again, my daunting collection of tchotchke

*an inexpensive showy trinket(Yiddish)








sandcastles in the sun
are you willing to call it fun?
sandcastles with a moat
does creativity flourish by rote?
sandcastles that glisten pride
may i match the depth of your stride?
sandcastles sculpted with bare handed care
will you knead my heart with similar flare?
sandcastles that repair and replenish
can the aquamarine mirror my tears with similar flourish?
sandcastles that hold secrets in tunnels
why does your touch curdle the blood in my funnels?
sandcastles embellished with starfish and seashells
how you indulge me when I need your shoulder to dwell?
sandcastles with minarets that towards the morning rays rise
are you my embrace before the change of tide?
sandcastles disseminate with the setting sun
would you be the shadow to my tan before it burns?
sandcastles hold rivulets in careful streams
will your arms be the dam to my drowning dreams?
sandcastles caressing the air with the turrets
why do you enchant me with your footprints playing a concert?

remember when


you lay hapless, sterile, quite wanting a hug!

at that moment there was a mother sending a firm message to you and to Him

nothing doing, get your act together

no unclear terms

not another time

she was in control, would have it no other way

He knew it was not going to be easy to cross her path

I gave you your warm hug, you smiled your usual silent way

urging wellness to you always..

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