POEM: Berlin, November 9, 1989

A number of blogs I follow on Tumblr posted images from this date: The destruction of the Berlin Wall. Those images gave me this poem.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.
Our poet said that, Robert Frost, the quintessential
Yank who was born in California
(and what could be more American than that?).
There is a groundswell, a shift in
the tectonics; there are roots, rocks
that freeze and swell and crack.
A wall is a human thing. It means nothing
to the flying crow, the crawling bug,
the leaping fox, to the nature spirit.

Yet the something that doesn’t love a wall
may also be the human spirit: the grandmother
who hasn’t seen her newest grandchild
because she cannot pass the wall; the lover
who has not embraced their beloved
because they cannot pass the wall;
the friends who no longer drink and talk
by night, laughing and discovering,
because the wall rises up between them.
The thing that doesn’t love a wall
may be human hands with shovels,
with sledgehammers, human hands
and human feet, human love and
human rage. The thing that doesn’t love a wall
is love itself, which crosses separations.

They learned that in Berlin, in 1989.
If we put a wall here, where nature only
put a river, if we put stone and steel
or concrete or barbed wire where only
water runs, if we try to build a wall
around the human heart and make it proof
against compassion, against love, against
justice, well, listen to our American poet,
listen to the quintessential Yank:
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.

POEM: To the Queen of Heaven


Let it not be said that there are no goddesses in heaven.

Let it not be said that all goddesses are of earth.

Let no one deny the sovereignty of Juno,

queen of heaven, lady of the sky.

Praise to Juno whose domain is the heavens.

Praise to Juno whose mantle is the clouds.

Praise to Juno whose handmaid is the rainbow.

Praise to Juno who both stirs and calms storms.

Praise to Juno, wife and mother, queen and matron,

protectress of all women whether slave or free, rich or poor.

Praise to Juno, equal to Jove, wise as Minerva,

steadfast as Vesta, free as Diana, beautiful as Venus.

Praise to Juno, protectress of women, shaper of heroes,

guardian of the nation, noblest of goddesses.

Ave Juno Dea!


A poem, inspired by recent events

A voice from the lake

Psst. Hey, sweetheart. Over here, in the lake.
It’s okay. No, you don’t have to get in the water.
Just listen. Listen. I have a sword. Do you like swords?
Some little girls do, I know. They aren’t just for boys.
Nothing is just for boys or just for girls, by the way.
Don’t let them tell you that. Don’t believe them.
I have this sword. It needs some cleaning,
but it’s in pretty good shape. Hasn’t been used in a while.
Would you like to have it? I think you’d take good care of it.
You seem like the type of girl who could be trusted
with a sword. I’ve been keeping it hidden, waiting for
a special person. The right girl. A girl who would be
fair, who wouldn’t just wave the sword around
and smack whoever she wanted. Fair, but strong,
too, strong enough to keep the sword safe from
bullies. Bullies are always trying to take other people’s
things, am I right? You look strong, and smart, and
fair. I’ll give you the sword, and if you get tired of it,
just bring it back here to me, okay? Good luck.

Hey, little girl. Yes, you. Do you like swords?