If the dance of a leaf in the wind

is not a woman in disguise,

then I am not a man

and know nothing of holiness.


If the wind is not a plea

to change my ways,

the sap of maple

not an expression of mother’s milk,

the autumn rain

not a lament for Adam;

If papers dropped by strangers

are only papers,

and not reminders,

and peeling paint not portent;

If dreams are only dreams,

and not stories my father neglected,

what’ll I do?


~ Ted Eisenberg, Signs and Wonders

when I was her age

hippy kit

When I was Kit’s age, my father used to make a great show of the burden of having daughters. He’d say, “Do you think I’ll ever get her married off?” right after introducing me to a buddy of his. It was a twisted display–deriving from the same “pride” he felt in my younger brother that manifested with wrestling matches he’d spontaneously stage. As the relatives all gathered at my grandparents  for the holidays, “OK, let’s see if Jack can take Tim this year,” was usually out of my dad’s mouth before the presents were under the tree.

me . . . then

I told Jack that it explains a lot when you think about it. He said how about let’s not think about it.




Gabriel . . . ode to the road

cityscape with Gabriel

Both guitars run trebly. One noodles

over a groove.  The other slushes chords.

Then they switch.  It’s quite an earnest affair.

They close my eyes. I close their eyes. A horn

blares its inner air to brass. A girl shakes

her ass. Some dude does the same. The music’s

gone moot.


. . . don’t give up on it yet: the scenario.

You know that it’s just as tired of you

as you are of it. Still, there’s much more to it

than that. It does not not get you quite wrong.


~ Rowan Ricardo Phillips, from Little Song


’til the day he died


The day Peter died, I had the feeling that he was straddling both worlds and inhabiting my consciousness. He was large in me so I tried to think profound and worthy things. I opened my mind so he could see the love and respect I had felt for him with a montage of memories—me borrowing his tux shirt for the cocktail party (which delighted him entirely), me gently dusting the myriad of trinkets in his cottage where I first stayed a few years ago, then the warm comfort of being a true “muttel” (family) in his beloved ancient home in the Highlands of Scotland when I was there last fall.

Before I climbed the stairs to “my” room, I would say goodnight to him in the kitchen where he was setting the table for the next day’s breakfast, his nightly ritual. Almost everything happened in the kitchen because it was in the warmest room of the big, drafty house. On the day Peter died, I closed my eyes and saw us there.  We were having tea.  I showed him the reverence I felt as I watched him make cheese straws (from his mother’s recipe) while he told me what it was like to be at Normandy Beach on D-Day.

Peter gave me new words because he knew I needed them . . . he didn’t have to ask why. How did he do that? Sometimes he would talk to me about his first wife, the one who really loved him, and other times about the second wife, who really didn’t, but only when she was out of earshot.  The people in your life are epochal, he explained.  There were so many more things I wanted to know from him.  A man of 95 years has a lot of life figured out . . . especially the part where right up until the day he died, he could still let himself love someone even though he knew it would break his heart in the end.

Peter and me


© 8/27/14


then the thunder woke me

In the night, the lake’s familiar noises share my bed

drift in through the window and touch my forehead

checking my fever  . . . cricket crooning

lying beside me whispering and spooning

What if I make it rain without clouds?

What if sixty mute swans singing loud?

What if a blue canoe? What if the pleading Muse?

What if everything you dream comes true?

What if I promise you?


© 8/14

with the Voice of the Moon

MoonYou’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional Love – that is where you came from and where you will return. You came here to learn personal Love.  Universal Love.  Messy Love . . . sweaty Love . . . crazy Love.  Broken Love.  Whole Love . . . infused with Divinity. Lived through the Grace of stumbling . . . demonstrated through the beauty of . . . messing up.  Often.taliswomenYou didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous.  And then to rise again into remembering.
pearlzJane gave me this piece during the August Moon, and said she didn’t know who wrote it. But I do.

as pearl to oyster

the last fence postFor a long while I sat with my dog by the last fencepost and thought, well,
here it is, the last fence post.
I wrote my name in the sooty sand thinking of what Tewi told me about my dream of the burning beach.
A lyric has been added to the song the sea teaches the gulls . . . I heard my name in it clearly.
mosquito bitIMG_9450
Loch Nessy
When it was time, and it was, I got up and walked farther forever, right on the edge of water
and land . . . my footprints covered by the waves tatting loose, lacey patterns in the sand.


© 2014 Liana, excerpted from “As Pearl to Oyster”