Saturday, September 29, 2012


Faithless dreamer:
To be cast out of
The dream pool, harshly
Banished from the gathering,
Scattering and returning
Images. The strength required
To control the night remotely,
Not seeing, not hearing
From the safety of daylight hours.
what tools? What techniques?
Where the lessons?
Who is the teacher?
One dream shallower,
One vision thinner,
One split-second shorter
The length of the night and
All of its shadows
To visit,
To bargain,
To vanquish.
Where is the fun in
Dreamless sleep?
Here to haunt,
Here to taunt,
Here to tickle
And tease
Those words,
The thoughts and
Deeds that
Arise from the id
To be checked by
The superego.
Put the night in the fun,
The fun in the night.
The night gives way
To light,
To sight,
To insight.

Copyright (c)  2012 by the author

Sunday, September 23, 2012



It's the sound of
silver hitting skin,
slap, slap, slap,
fifty coins-- 
atomic number 47,
boiling point 221 degrees--
as previously agreed--
the price of betrayal
too dear to deny,
too high to accept
and the soldier who
only wanted war--
wanted a leader
for a conquest--
left a leader of all leaders
to die between
two common criminals.
silver, shiny silver,
cold silver,
expensive metal
paying for the ultimate
exit from sin
and sorrow and
was this where
triskaidekaphobia took root?
thirteen friends--
twelve disciples and
one teacher
gathered around
a table, breaking
bread, drinking
wine in the final 
hours of 
shared laughter.
malleable men
will take on
final form
before three days
have opened and closed
around them, pledges made,
betrayals foretold come to pass.

Copyright (c) 2012 by the author


the neighbors think
she's crazy: there must be
something wrong.  she never
talks, just walks,
perfectly composed, truly aimed,
words--are there words?--
kept within her head?
she's mad, they are saying.
we have seen the ambulances;
we have seen the police come
(without their sirens)
to collect her. and once,
the neighbors swear it's true,
helicopters hovered, seeking
with a bird's eye view.
when she says hello,
when she stops to pet the dogs,
or to scratch a ferrule cat--
the neighbors don't notice the compassion
or the longing.
or, mostly harmless anyway.
just let her pass.
yield the sidewalk to her: 
she'll be gone in just a few seconds..
what they don't know--
what they don't take time to discover--
is that she is watching,
she is watching everyone,
making notes to herself
in her silent passage each day.
at the second house from the corner, the wife is
always rushing, always panicking, sure
she's forgetting something (or someone).
A few doors away, a man emerges
at the same time each day
to turn on the sprinklers
as if the house were
one large cuckoo clock, and he
has to announce the time.
further down this quiet street, someone
lets out two small dogs no bigger
than squirrels.
the walker notices these things.
she sees everything--
everything the neighbors never 
to notice.
one day,
one door--just one--
may open.
inside the walker's silence,
a dreamer lives,
formulates a response.
"Good morning.  
don't be afraid."

Copyright (*c) 2012 by the author

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Just because I am legally blind, and use a cane, doesn't mean that just anyone can touch me, grab my hand, take me by the arm, without first asking me if I need help.  Still, people do this all the time.  Sure, they think they're doing me a favor.  They're doing a good deed.  As the target of two attempted sexual assaults however, I am very touch sensitive.  No matter what the intent of the person who touches me, if I don't know the intention, I reserve the right to react both verbally and physically if necessary.
Not long ago, I was walking from a bus stop to catch a commuter train.  As I descended the stairs to the train platform, I heard a train approaching.  Suddenly, someone was grabbing me by the arm and hustling me down the stairs.  
Not being able to see the stranger, I shook them off roughly: "Hands off the body!" I had to yell to be heard over the noise of the train and the freeway.   While I might imply that they are trying to help me, they were knocking off my balance, and potentially causing me to fall down the stairs.  And that was the least of my worries at that moment.
Fortunately, the stranger, a woman, was too rushed to be offended.  I let her run for the train.  I decided to wait for the next one.
Five years ago, on an empty Berkeley street, I was walking toward the local BART station after meeting with friends for a few hours.  As I walked, I was approached by a man.
He started asking me questions.  At first, I saw no harm in talking to him as I walked, but then he started touching me, putting his hands on my arms, my breasts.
I shook off his hand.
I brushed off his hands with my own hands.
When I told the man to stop, he pushed me so that I fell against a parked car.
It was then, when someone across the quiet street noticed and shouted for my unwanted companion to stop, that I made a break for it.  I managed to put some distance between us while the two men got into a verbal altercation.
That evening I happened to wear a long dress, which made hurrying through an unfamiliar neighborhood a major challenge.  Even so, I kept moving, kept the stranger at some distance until I reached a major boulevard full of college students and bright lights.    All the while, the man I now knew was intoxicated, shouted at me.  He alternated between pleading for understanding and swearing at me.
I didn't stop to catch my breath until I was safely down the stairs and inside the BART station. Once there, I sought out the station agent, and together we called the police.
There is no reason why a good Samaritan can't ask me first if I need help.  That Berkeley night is always at the back of my mind.  That place will always trigger memories.  That date--it happened to be my daughter's fourteenth birthday--will always be tainted now.
In 2011, while leaving a college campus where I was pursuing my paralegal certificate, there was a nearly identical incident.  This time, the location was southern California.  It was also broad daylight. Leaving the building after meeting with my professor, I was approached by a man who wanted to ask me a question.  (Sound familiar?)  Now, questions I don't mind.  IN fact, I encourage them.  But then he wanted to touch me.  When I forcibly removed his hands and started moving away, his attempts to touch, to grab, me increased.  Only when I pulled my cell phone from my purse--I didn't have one on that first night--did the man melt away.  Whether or not he followed me from the school to the transit mall, I don't know.  My primary concern was seeking the shelter of people.
I entered the 7/Eleven on the corner, and I waited.
The next day, I notified both the building managers and the college about the previous day's event.
these are but two events--the most serious, by far.  There have been others.  Annoying encounters with pranksters.  Would-be Good Samaritans who want to "help" me cross a street--even if I'm just waiting for a bus.
Trust, once broken will not be restored.