East meets west…


New York Subway

by Hilda Morley

The beauty of people in the subway

that evening, Saturday, holding the door for whoever

was slower or

left behind
(even with

all that Saturday-night

& the high-school boys from Queens, boasting,

joking together

proudly in their expectations

& power, young frolicsome


& the three office-girls

each strangely beautiful, the Indian

with dark skin & the girl with her haircut

very short and fringed, like Joan

at the stake, the corners

of her mouth laughing

& the black girl delicate

as a doe, dark-brown in pale-brown clothes

& the tall woman in a long caftan, the other day,

serene & serious & the Puerto Rican

holding the door for more than 3 minutes for

the feeble, crippled, hunched little man who

could not raise his head,

whose hand I held, to

help him into the subway-car—

so we were

joined in helping him & someone,

seeing us, gives up his seat,

from us what we had learned from each other.

Hilda Morley, “New York Subway” from To Hold My Hand: Selected Poems 1955-1983. © 1983 Hilda Morley published by The Sheep Meadow Press.



cartoon by Jeanne of Jeanne for Jeanne


finished being super-girl

running marathons

flying man child on my back

through catastrophes


finished being hyper

drained of energy

never safe, never whole,

empty, dark, alone.


finished being “go-to-girl”

“organizing force”

feed ‘m, clothe ‘m, bed ‘m, then

line  ‘m up to bathe.


finished being super-girl

running man-child’s needs!

man-up! grow up! fellow man!

come with love, engage!

Definition #340 War


William Timothy O’Brien
From The Things They Carried (1990):

How do you generalize?

War is hell, but that’s not the half of it, because war is mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love. War is nasty; war is fun. War is thrilling; war is drudgery. War makes you a man; war makes you dead.

The truths are contradictory. It can be argued, for instance, that war is grotesque. But in truth war is also beauty. For all its horror, you can’t help but gape at the awful majesty of combat. You stare out at tracer rounds unwinding through the dark like brilliant red ribbons. You crouch in ambush as a cool, impassive moon rises over the nighttime paddies. You admire the fluid symmetries of troops on the move, the great sheets of metal-fire streaming down from a gunship, the illumination rounds, the white phosphorus, the purply orange glow of napalm, the rocket’s red glare. It’s not pretty, exactly. It’s astonishing. It fills the eye. It commands you. You hate it, yes, but your eyes do not. Like a killer forest fire, like cancer under a microscope, any battle or bombing raid or artillery barrage has the aesthetic purity of absolute moral indifference — a powerful, implacable beauty — and a true war story will tell the truth about this, though the truth is ugly.

To generalize about war is like generalizing about peace. Almost everything is true. Almost nothing is true. Though it’s odd, you’re never more alive than when you’re almost dead. You recognize what’s valuable. Freshly, as if for the first time, you love what’s best in yourself and in the world, all that might be lost. At the hour of dusk you sit at your foxhole and look out on a wide river turning pinkish red, and at the mountains beyond, and although in the morning you must cross the river and go into the mountains and do terrible things and maybe die, even so, you find yourself studying the fine colors on the river, you feel wonder and awe at the setting of the sun, and you are filled with a hard, aching love for how the world could be and always should be, but now is not.

Facetime with Owen, Annika and Oliver


If I could design my own planet, there would be this triumvirate of people.
Triangular energy would propel synergy round and round until it radiated throughout to kin and beyond. Rays to embrace the world and its rainbows of many colors.
The future is not the dark; but the golden hue of possibilities!


Sunglasses Disguise

“You’re too bright for me! I’m just a baby!

“Just because I’m in the dark, doesn’t mean you get to be on top all the time!

“Black and white movies in my eyes: before the talkies came calling…”

My eyes
are not for you to see;
but me to be
a she or he:
a dark-eyed

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