a boat gliding on the water

A boat gliding on the water

a boat

gliding

on the water

My tears fall like raindrops 

The depth of my sadness

Is reflected in the ever widening circles

They make in the still water

 

This morning I slipped under your covers 

And shaped my body to yours 

And we lay in our embrace

Your hand resting on mine

 

Last night you held and squeezed my hand

As the nurse hurt you

Trying in vain to find a vein 

 

I dream of times past

A beautiful day In Central Park 

On a boat gliding on the water

Instead of tears I see 

The beauty of your smile in our reflection 

In the stillness of the water

As we drift across the lake

 

Let’s dream of future times

And that the times we are enduring 

the tears i shed as I stand helpless 

Watching as you suffer

The treatments that ravage you as they 

Clumsily seek to battle the tumors within

I hope and pray that our sacrifices 

Will give us back some time 

 

Time for you and I to

Stroll hand in hand through the 

galleries and museums 

share meals, quips and laughter

As we people watch in the city

Take walks in the park 

And sail across the lake 

On a boat gliding on the water

A boat

Gliding

On the water

To Have and to Hold

Under a maple tree

in the afternoon sun

on a beautiful day in May

We said our vows

To have to hold …

To love and to cherish

Didn’t have a clue about

The roller coaster

We had boarded

Without the faintest glimmer of

what the future would hold

But that day in May

When I looked into your eyes

I said to myself

There is no place on earth

That I would rather be

Those early days

On any given Sunday

Sleeping in

New York Times sections

spread across the bed

Picking the movies

we would see later that day

I would say to myself

There is no place on earth

That I would rather be

There were rough times

Early on…..

I could have lost you

My grandmother nursed you back to health

No thank you required

it’s what I do

She would say

And as I wept, grateful for

your safe return to my arms

I would say to myself

there is no place on earth

that I would rather be

Since those days there have been

Times of joy so sweet

Mixed with times of pain and suffering

Together we lost so much and so many

Together our children and grandchildren

Have grown and flourished.

And through those times

I would say to myself

There is no place on earth

That I would rather be

And today

Decades from that day in May

No matter what life tosses our way

I repeat our vows

Knowing full well

The depth and breadth of their meaning

Knowing what I couldn’t have even imagined

When they first passed my lips

And say to myself

there is no place on earth

that I would rather be

To have and to hold

And to love and cherish you.

Gratitude

I write this note of gratitude 

From the eye of the storm 

My humble prayers

and words of gratefulness 

A shelter will form 

I am grateful for the love of my bride 

I am grateful we can share

I am grateful that I can carry

Those things she can not bear. 

Grateful for the knowledge 

I have gained along the way

The kindness of recent strangers 

Whose shoulders Ive leaned on

Whose stories are mirrors

Whose signposts keep us all

from going astray

These words I have written

And those I will write

Help me cherish the gifts I’ve been given

And to acknowledge the light

They give me the strength and the courage 

To seek the brightness of morning 

In the darkness of night.

Just Sad

I sit and listen to the cicadas and feel comforted by their lullaby and watch a black squirrel navigate the thin branch before it leaps from one tree to another in the morning light.

As I sit on my deck overlooking my backyard and the wooded trail behind me I keep coming back to the immutable facts of my sadness.

The “us” that we became more than four decades ago will become two I’s on separate paths that travel through unmapped regions charted only by myths and legends.

The legacy we hoped to leave won’t grow in size, shape or impact. The legacy we hoped to leave will only grow dimmer in the eyes of our beloved, our loved ones.

In the seven decades of my time I have sat on the hard pews of many temples, churches and cathedrals, listened to the eulogies of those that bore me, that carried me in their arms and kissed my brow, Those that fed me and who’s knee’s I’ve learned at and Those I have admired and sought to be like and there are few still standing who know me as they did and loved me in their way.

In the not to distant future one of us will join them and I will either be the picture on an easel or be standing at the podium.

My morning coffee has grown cold while I have wrestled with these thoughts, a rabbit has joined the menagerie and feasts on the clover and grass in my backyard. It is late summer and the maple tree is filed with seeds wrapped in wings that will magically sail through the air and find their way to the ground and Mother Nature in her wisdom will help seeds to become seedlings and will keep them warm beneath the snow and bath them in the spring rain and new growth will replace old and all will continue.

The cicadas keep me company as I watch a leaf fall on the new mown grass. August has always been a bittersweet month, dog days of summer, time to get ready for the new school year while planning to squeeze the most one can out of the freedom of the summertime.

This August feels like sand slipping through my fingers. The tighter I grasp the faster the sand slips away.

Ode to Tikun Olam

Tikun Olam 


Those of you who know me,
know that I have devoted my life
to helping those that help others

The Talmud states,
Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief.
Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now.
You are not obligated to complete the work,
but neither are you free to abandon it.

As a child I grew up
in the shadow of a burning cross
In a town along the Hudson
Where the factories had gone dark

The bullies in the playgrounds
Told me that Jews were
just Negroes turned inside out

The nice kids
dressed in white shirts and dress pants
on their way to church
told me Jews had killed Jesus

I learned a few lessons along the way
had a few bloody noses and shared a few

My father a man for all seasons
told me that one’s character
was measured by the extent
that one’s actions and principles aligned.

My father died
a few months before I turned fourteen
A few months before he turned forty four

Imagine the mushroom cloud of an A-bomb
Arising from our chimney
The fallout lasting for decades
We moved away

I spent the sixties variously
As James Dean, Dylan,
Siddhartha and the Mad Hatter

Somewhere In the middle of the seventies
I surfacedmy vision cleared
I met the one
We settled down
And I got to work

Son of a social worker and a science teacher,
A mix of pop’s logic
and my mom’s empathy and insight
The blend served me well
Supporting those that help others

My work although behind the scenes
has always been in support of a mission

In my lifetime the missions have;
attacked racism through shared experiences
Found safe homes for kids in foster care
Bathed, fed, dressed and cared for
those children who through disease or a twist of fate were incapable of caring for themselves

I have worked with amazing people, leaders in their fields
Who helped families under siege from Crack and HIV
find medical and mental health services, find housing and support.

I am most proud of the work I have done to bring disparate members of a federation together to leverage their resources and to serve the healthcare needs of woman, children and families through emerging technologies.

I was fortunate to find myself in the world of conservation, brought back lost memories of my father leading us down trails under canopies of trees, past waterfalls, sometimes on hands and knees up bouldersfinally to summit the crest of the mountainto find the hawks and eagles elegantly gliding below us.

When I look back over the last three score and 10 years I am very grateful that I have had the opportunities I’ve had. 
The opportunity to construct and realize a shared vision of new ways to; empower and care for those in need, enlighten, educate, inspire and engage those few with the means and desire to support the missions the missions that have helped so many.
This life has been in pursuit of righting the wrongs I have witnessed and by helping others to align their actions with their principles and by these efforts have contributed to work to repair the world. 


Tikun Olam 

Through the Haze


Seven decades into this thing called life,

I am just beginning to see through the haze

Chained to the rigors of a long commute, down to the tip of Manhattan.  

I haven’t spent much quiet time, listening for and listening to the whispers of my muse.

My dreams of painting her portrait,  sculpting her form or singing her praises

have lain dormant, her guidance unheard against the din of the 6 train

My chosen profession has kept me at the mercy

of those that boast

 they are cyber challenged,

 Can’t Word

Can’t Excel

Can’t logon

 Won’t boot

Got no mail

Can’t work

lions and tigers and bears, oh no

And at the other end of the spectrum

The barbarians are truly at the gates

 The black hats are hammering against the walls

 The walls setup to keep those within

safe from fires without

It’s phishing and malware and bots oh, no

Yes, phishing and malware and bots


Otherwise occupied

As tech villain for failure to help them compute

or hero for turning off their cap lock

And boy with his finger in the firewall

 Keeping the bad guys out

I haven’t spent much quiet time

 Listening for or listening to the whispers of my muse

My dreams of painting her portrait, sculpting her form, or singing her praises

Have lain dormant, unheard through the Cacophony of noise of daily living

and the roar of the 6 train


This past year I have been able to spend a few minutes
Culled from the absence of rushing to and fro
To see that the haze has cleared and cacophony been silenced

To see her beautiful form and hear the wisdom of her musings 
And with her hand on mine

transcribe her whispers into song.

My Shadow and A Cardinal

My shadow and a cardinal, kept me company on the ride
The frogs are sleeping for the season, the winter sun is in the sky
I rode past Yorktown, my usual stopping place
I’ve missed the sweat of a hard ride, and had to up my pace

I felt my pain rewarded when a white tail deer appeared just as I had crested the rise. She stared at me for what seemed like an eternity and I braked hard and began to slide. She bolted at the screech of my brakes, into the woods, her tail visible as she raced. I rode hard after I saw her, heart pumping, muscles aching, a smile upon my face.

 A few minutes later, mindful of the traffic, I stopped to walk my bike across the road. A car stopped to let me pass, when I saw another’s fast approach. 
It’s breaks squealed, it swerved to avoid my Good Samaritan and stopped along side

 I waved my gratitude. It was so clear to me that if she hadn’t stopped and waved me on I would have been the deer in the headlights of that fast approaching car.

My shadow and a cardinal, kept me company on the ride
The frogs are sleeping for the season, the winter sun lights the sky,
I am so lucky to be living
So lucky to be alive.

%d bloggers like this: