May 2, 1977

Age: 19

Moving On

Hop on a plane to forever,
jump on a train to remember
the times of joy and laughter that
come and go
in lifetimes
connected by threads of reality
and separated by dreams and illusion.
They leave at sunset - return at sunrise.
"All on board!" shouts the bearded man.
No one arrives.
They can't stand the pain
of living memories taht exist
in Never-Never Land.
when you hear the whistle shout,
pick up your ticket,
hop on a bus to Disneyland
where dreams are reality
in technicolor.

Background: Better to have loved and lost...

April 31, 1977

Age: 19


Waking with a Tequila Sunrise
racing through my head,
shaking me,
leaving me weak and uneasy.
there is no sunrise.
The rain had to come sometime -
Why not today?
The sky is gray
and I'm in a deep blue.
Even my clothes -
Blue jeans.

Background: When I was in college, the drinking age was 18. There were dances with drinks and nearby pubs that all of us took advantage of frequenting on weekends, only to discover the pain of a hangover.

April 30, 1977

Age: 19

Recalling Days

"School days, school days, those good old golden rule days..."
Lines harmonized in h-o-p-s-c-o-t-c-h days
when one plus one equaled two,
and pie was for eating with ice cream.
Adding was counting apples
on John Smith's trees.
Subtracting was
Square was a figure we drew during recess,
whose definition was not bro ken down in to syl la bles
of stress' and non'-stress.
The major novel was Dick and Jane
with Puff and Spot as protagonist and antagonist.
Our time was spent
reading rhymes.
'Iambic' was a foreign word,
'Pentameter', too.
Imagination and colors of red, white and blue
painted the futures of the little people
sitting behind the desks of Kindergarden U.

Background: Recalling simpler days...


April 29, 1977

Age: 19


Why play the song anymore?
The words have grown old.
The record is warped,
the tune not as sweet as it was once before.
The needle keeps skipping
to and fro,
the words become unfamilier,
not connecting in time.
I'd rather be tripping
on white-capsuled candies,
listening to the music of
the leaves and the breeze,
than hear an old-fashioned love song
that can't follow the beat
of syncopated time.

Background: No clue.

April 27, 1977

Age: 19


The Wheel of Fortune
spinning round-and-round,
always speeding up,
never slowing down.
The immortal Hand may stop it anywhere,
bringing good luck, bad luck, or awful despair.
The numbers may change -
sometimes better, sometimes worse -
giving you the feeling of a blessing,
or a curse.
It keeps on spinning -
even now.
I wish I could stop it.
I don't know how.

Background: That was college;-)

April 26, 1977

Age: 19

"To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance..."
Oscar Wilde

The Book

Peace to you my friend.
Though this is not the end,
close the book to the past,
and write a new story.
But, before you begin to write your thoughts
in black
on empty, white paper,
let me flip through the pages of your past,
and feel the guilt-edged beauty
of your mind.
Like a blind man,
I'll touch the bumps and spaces
of your letters, words, and punctuation.
Then, and only then, will I give you my pen,
to take and start writing.

Background: Ricky

April 25, 1977

Age: 19

"I remember what you told me before you went out on your own,
sometimes to keep it together, you've got to leave it alone.
So you can get on with your search, baby,
And I can get on with mine.
Then, maybe, someday we will find...
that it wasn't really wasted time."
The Eagles

Background: Drama, Drama, Drama - fits the age and the times. Loved the Eagles.

April 23, 1977

Age: 19


I'm not in the mood
for Keats and St. Agnes...
it's too hot
and my feet are sweating -
so are my hands.
My mind is wandering through other worlds.
I'm in the sky - high - staring at the world below.
This room is unbearable.
I want to go to my room of blue.
Do my thing...
nails by Andrea, hair by Karen, makeup by Julie.
Want to look good for pictures and snapshots tonight.
Wish my teacher would stop yammering
about sex.
Starts me thinking about what I can't have...

Background: Anticipation for annual Spring Apple Blossom dinner/dance.


April 22, 1977

Age: 19

Happy Birthday, Dad!
You're another year older -
making me another year wiser from the lessons that you've taught me.
I'm no longer your 'little girl' -
I've grown up.
But, I could not have done it without you.
Next month is going to become the summer of my life.
Surely, I'll have problems and difficulties. But they will pass and I will go on.
Thanks to you.
Because you laid the foundation for my character to build on.
And like all good builders, you made it strong/longlasting.
It won't crumble in bad weather, and it won't leak during heavy rain.
It will keep me cool during the heat of the day,
and protect me from the coldness of night.
Thank you, Dad, for making my life sturdy!
I love you.

Background: Speaks for itself.

April 21, 1977

A note from my friend, Julie.

"On this National Food Day, April 21, I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate you on your finally being able to see the opposite side and dealing with it. Congratulations."

April 19, 1977

Age: 19

'on a night of insight'

The Jokers

Two of a kind.
A double in a deck of brightly colored cards.
The jokers.
Not really needed in the deck.
But lucky.
They're wild.
They're special.
They add luck to the unmatched hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades.
Everyone loves the jokers -
The Kings,
The Queens.
They are the jesters in the royal courts.
They make you laugh when you win -
Cry when you lose.
But, they always return to the deck once the game is over.
So, take your belled cap and pointed shoes.
Play another hand and give those card players luck, Mr. Joker.
I'll try the next round alone.

Background: Early love was hard to understand when the object of my affections wanted no ties or commitments. Then again, looking back... neither did I. I just didn't know it then.


April 13, 1977

"You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a want and a grief, but rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound."
Kahlil Gibran

Age: 19

A worm can crawl,
A bird can sing,
A star can fall -
Oh heart! Take wing and
fly to the moon, then back again.
And tell me what treasures the Milky Way holds.
Is there cream inside?
Just an empty mold?
Do the stars really shine forever and a day?
Is there passion in Mars?
Or just clay upon layer of clay?
Does our spherical world turn from West to East?
Does the Sun look upon it as an untrained beast?
Does Mercury poke fun at this slow-paced Earth?
Does it move too fast? Can't it have mirth?
Just be sure, my heart, to return to me...
Let this body know the feeing of 'free'.

Background: No clue...

April 12, 1977

A friend's (Julie Eaton) note to me.

Age: 19

"from one of us who is not afraid to write on the opposite side - and upside-down at that (afterall, who puts regulations down when it's your own book...)
This thing you've probably heard alot, and I really think it's the way it is:
'If you love something very, very much; set it free. If it does not come back, it was never meant to be yours. But if it does, love it forever.'
So many things going for you, Andrea - your smile alone lights up my head like a shot of ginger brandy. I'd hate to think of you going through two more years of Westfield without even realizing who you are. Start looking around at all the positive stuff. Start liking it when you sense people liking you. Enough excuses from you to cover you till your 74 (then you can claim wrinkles, arthritis and senility - it's legitimate) Now's your time to shine...

If you love it, set it free, and if it never returns, something else will. Honest to shit (even on good friday) and if it does come back, I'll be so happy for you.

You mean so much to me that anything that could make you happy - I wish it for you. (drawings of sun, moom and stars) Happy Springtime"

Talking into winebottles - empty wine bottles -
Making noises - hollow noises -
Devoid of notes - no familiar tune -
Only the dust,
the glass,
the crushed grapes
keep me company.
Mr. Fermenter,
don't you know that grapes need love and care to ripen?

Background: Wow, this takes me back... Julie and I were both English majors. We would often study together during the week and use the extra time to read each others 'Nothing Book' entries. I had just written the Fermenter verse above, she grabbed the book, and pulled the book away from me and started to write upside down on the opposite side of the page I had written on. When I read her words, it was that friendship slap to tell me to 'Snap out of it!'...it's nice to see her words again today.

April 5, 1977

Age: 19

Don't conform to the inner walls of your soul.
Break through those granite barriers
of pain/misfortune.
Release the electric current that flows to the heart.
Bottle it. (I know you can)
Seal it.
Wrap it in sky blue ribbons
give it to a metal heart.
Then listen.
It will begin to waken.
tick, tick, tick...
The tin man of Oz was lucky.
He knew a giver.

Background: No clue.

April 4, 1977

Leaves fall...
Grass grows...
Moon rises...
Sun sets...
Cyclical nature...
Circular visions of eternal motions
Connected in time/space/matter.
No past.
Only future exists in this realm.
A future of...
...Isn't life a drag?

Background: Must have been a boring Spring semester.

April 3, 1977

"Your friend is your needs answered. He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving. And he is your board and fireside. For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace."
Kahlil Gibran

Age: 19

walk over
be my cane -
I'll be your guide.
help me over this bridge
called Life.
hold me up -
these tears are heavy.
watch them flow
to the distant
called Lethe.
help me fill this empty void
buried deep
within my chest.
give me a cane.
support my body
when I am crippled.
I will show you the sun.
just stand beside me.
be my cane.

Background: I'm really mot sure.


March 31, 1977

"Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Much of your pain is self-chosen. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility;...the cup hebrings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears."
Kahlil Gibran

Age: 19

The boardwalk squeaks loudly
this dismal evening,
recalling the sun
and laughter of the season.
But, I walk alone
like a scepter in the night
recalling the taste of beer -
a silver can of Lite.
A tear falls silently,
melting into the wood.
I can hear far off laughter...
How I wish I could.
And far out on the open sea,
a ship sails alone.
Oh, how I pray
That its travelling home.

Background: Who knows? ok - way too 'drama'. I thought of removing this from the list; but, it was part of my emotional stream at that time in life. Keep the barf bag close;-)

March 30, 1977

Age: 19

Mr. Jack-in-the-box
Took me by surprise -
Popping into the air,
Staring into my eyes.

His smiling face
And curling hair
Made me think of childhood -
when life was fair.

He clowns around -
As all clowns should.
And makes me happy
As I knew he would.

Please don't go -
Just stay awhile.
'Cause when you're with me,
I always smile.

As you pop into my life,
Time after Time,
I'd like to believe
That you're really mine.

For, I have you here
When I need you most,
Like a jester
In the court of a Royal Host.

Background: A young love? Perhaps... Heavy on the 'corny' side, but apparently that's where my heart was at 19.

March 23, 1977

Age: 19

Sing soft, sing low,
sing forever...
catch my eye with your
and play all night.
The sun will rise tomorrow,
and the birds can carry the tunes
from the sound waves of the preceding night.

Background: Daytona. Spring break. A great band.

March 16, 1977

Age: 19

Her name is music to my ears...
Whistling winds on the waves,
Shouting seagulls on the shore,
Crashing waves against the rocks,
A moaning foghorn sounding deeply in the grey blankets of dusk.
A time for understanding
my head,
my heart.
Sandcastles emerge from shapeless sand,
as I cleanse my spirit in the ocean mist.
Walking along the beach at night - twilight -
listening to the darkened noises of nature...

Background: Daytona. Spring break.

March 12, 1977

Age: 19

You appear when needed,
building my strength just by walking beside me
in my dreams.
You smile in gratitude
for the years of faith I have given you.
I know you're there -
somewhere -
And, I know you care when I hurt.
Thank you.

Background: ...'nuf said

March 11, 1977

"Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.
If either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas.
For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction."
Kahlil Gibran

Age: 19

She danced upon the white sands of eternity,
Kicking the foaming waves of life back to the sea.
The burning rays of the summer sun
followed her along the shore,
while she sang to the wind.
Her hair blew carelessly in the breeze -
curling locks upon her forehead.
She was happy.
Why can't it be me?

Background: Long winter...

February 7, 1977

Age: 19

Drifting snow,
cast against the wall -
no chance of escape.
Snow transported to the walkway
is walked on and scarred
with footsteps.
Snow carried to the street
is blackened and stained by
fuel exhaust.
Snow resting on the limbs of trees
is beautiful for a second...
the sun and wind take it away.
But, the snow laying onthe forest floor
remains white and pure
until the birth of Spring.

Background: Must have been an ugly Winter day at college.

February 5, 1977

Age: 19

Please help me.
Help me turn off this song and dance routine.
The words are too familiar,
And my feet always ache when it's over.
No! Stay away!
Don't touch me there -
It's breaking...
Please don't lean on me.
I bend too easily.
Please, just rest your body
against the far wall.
It's made of stone.

Background: Love gone wrong...

February 3, 1977

"If you would indeed behold the Spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one."
Kahlil Gibran

Age: 19

I knew a woman, once,
long ago,
when I was but a child.
She stood straight and tall.
Dark hair, dark eyes.
She was her mother's sunshine.
Sturdy, gentle hands.
Heart full of laughter and love.
She had children - four in all,
Loving each for themselves.
She retold stories of her youth on snowy nights,
When all was quiet.
She spoke of distant lands,
Mountains and Castles.
She sang sweet melodies in a foreign tongue.
She listened with attentiveness and insight,
Soothing inner wounds with a comforting hand.
Yes, I knew a woman, once.
Long ago.
She watches me grow
From a place above the clouds.
My mother.

Background: In my life, there were moments when I felt her absence so keenly. I still do.

February 4, 1977

"Love has no desire but to fulfill itself.
But, if you love and must needs have desires,
Let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love; and to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of living.
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstacy.
To return home at eventide with gratitude
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart
And a song of praise upon your lips."
Kahlil Gibran

January 16, 1977

"If in your thoughts you must measure time into seasons, let each season encircle all the other seasonss, and let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing."
Kahlil Gibran

Age: 19


Slow down Father Time.
Rest awhile.
Lay your sickle beneath the Weeping Willow
and sleep.
Let your sons rest their weary arms.
Let them unwind.
Take them away from the ticking and tocking
and ringing.
Find your Grandfather, Father Time.
Take him out of his corner.
Stop his pendullum from swinging.
Let him hear the peace and serenity
of Death.
Slow down Father Time.
And Live.

Background: The beginning of my awareness that time was speeding through my life.

March 11, 2011

Riding on the Amtrak

It's a misty March morning juggling on the rails from MA to PA. The winter has not yet released its grip on the land, but it has given up holding us captive to low temperatures and snowstorms. It's 55 degrees outside. Green has not yet found life within the landscape. That is still to come. But, snow is no longer the star. The earth is brandishing brown highlights - the soft contours of mud can easily be seen on the edges of the rail pathways.
The sky is a good backdrop today: grey with no spot of blue on its face. Neutral with no hint of the changing winds.
In contrast, the sounds of the train hints at something grander - a change it is 'a comin' - it seems to scream this fact through each town it lumbers through. It's an old sound that echoes the history of the rails. It carries memories of dirt and hammers and chisles and wood. Rail songs and sweat and horse hooves and pain. It carries the screech of presidential rail trains and the applause of the towns people. It captures the hope of a better day.
Each generation carries a new story forward. The iron highway: it activates my memory banks with old and new memories - both here and in my faraway land of lederhosen and schnitzle where the rails have been my carpet ride to family and adventure.
It is a beautiful day. I'm living in the moments and visually inhaling the upcoming transition to Spring.

January 15, 1977

"In much of your talking, thinking is half murdered."
Kahlil Gibran

Age: 19

Paul Bunyan

You smile when you're with me...
Did you know that Paul Bunyan?
It's as if you're remembering finer days
with Babe the Blue Ox.
Are you in search of a world your size?
Are you searching for a place to rest your head?
I hate seeing you out there, Paul Bunyan.
You gaze down upon others with a look
of contempt.
Your smile remains locked
inside my four walls,
waiting for your return.

Background: The mis-directed attractions of first love.


June 16, 1977

Age: 19 years

Neon nights.
Bright lights.
Sweet soul music
the new moon is rising...
invisible to the eye
but, it creeps high into the sky
behind the veil of black.
And the neon lights of yesterday
come back to mind
with dim lights and the sweet soul music.
The lights are lit on main street
signalling me to a greater neon night.
better than the day-old one that lies stale in my mind.

Background: Thoughtful ramblings in a Hyannis pub at midnight.

June 16, 1977

Age: 19 years

And it's blue-jeep afternoons
with red roses
on cement sidewalks,
and clear blue skies
like pools of blue and white.
Warm brown bodies walk along footprintless sand,
eyes travel in circles
scanning the tanning products
toasting golden brown.
A circle of swimming trunks
and bathyingsuit tops and bottoms
talk beyond the borders of readersville,
while the sea looks on in silence
and the gulls shake the slimy eals in their beaks.
Afternoon delight.
And, there's gold dust in the air.
The world spins in circles
of multi-colored rhymes,
wind-blow-dried hair
and curling locks of baby-softness
seem to match the blown out trio
of gold dust and white papers.

Background: Beach days on the Cape.

June 28, 1977

Can love exist in a turnaround world
where brightly colored merry-go-rounds follow their predetermined paths
of circle
after circle
after circle...

Background: Not a clue...

June 28, 1977

Age: 19

Your sunset brings on a new day.
The rainbow colors at dusk
will paint the sky again.
For with you, there will always be
a tomorrow...

Background: Sunset on the Cape.

June 28, 1977

A friend's (Julie Eaton) note to me.

Remember the hardest when you remember me
the details remember
the doors we closed
all the words i've left unspoken
(but I guess you know)
sometimes it felt like you and me
against everything
...and weren't we losing!
but those unspoken words
never needed speaking
we understand each other.

remember the hardest when you remember me
and don't throw out the ugly thoughts
(like hiding pieces to an eventual jigsaw puzzle)
because when I'm remembering you
it'll all fit together someday.

Background: Julie was a dear college friend who was a tremendous writer. I started writing because of her enthusiasm and coaching. She passed away before her time. I still miss her beautiful words and how she wove them together like silk.

June 29, 1977

Age: 19

Mornings come
mornings go
travelling into afternoon and sunshine (for about two hours).
and it's time to be 'Friendly'
the hands on the clock face the sky.
bedtme, dreamtime, restime
until the crack of dawn breaks
along with the eggs
in my frying pan.

Background: Living on Cape Cod with my friends, working two jobs, and trying to squeeze in summer sun.

November 1975

Age: 17 years

Tin Soldier

There existed a child
full of love and life.
She found a tin soldier
one day
in the forest.
He was beatiful.
She dared not disturb him.
Yet, she overcame her fear,
holding him close to her heart.
He smiled.
But, she knew
She could not keep him.
So, she returned him to the forest.
It was raining.

Background: First semester of college...Life was a drama.

December 1975

Age: 18


The evening
Dark yet florescent
Lying peacefully
in the moonlit sky.
The day
Bright yet compelling
Sleeping innocently
behind the universe.
They met for but a second.
The day departed
leaving the evening
hopelessly lying
in the darkness.

Background: Just turned 18...

December 1975

Age: 18 years

Winter's Ice

Icde grows thickly
upon the windowpane -
a misty haze cast
upon tired eyes.
Trying to capture
a lasting image
of your beaty.
I recall the precious smile.
Eyes - blue diamonds alive with expresion.
Within daydreams you live,
Holding me tenderly
within your white wings.
So strong and warm.
I tremble
beneath your touch.
The pane will soon clear.
The frost will dissolve into water -
the essence of life.
for the moment
it remains frozen.
Cracks destroying
the winter's ice.

Background: no idea...

February 1976

Age: 18 years

Are you happy?
How could you ask
that jarring question?
I must have concealed my thoughts
quite well
behind a flashing smile,
beneath Christmas clothes.
My smile disguises
a broken heart.
the wind howls.
And you asked
if I was happy?
Love hurts -
answer enough?

Background: College dating...

May 1976

Age: 18 years


You smile
and shake my hand.
I almost think
you're a friend
who comforts and consoles me.
Sit upon my bed.
Touch my shaking frame,
you bastard.
How long are you staying
this time?

Background: This poem is by Rich Zwicker.

November 1976

Age: 18 years

Give and Take

Wait, now.
Listen for a minute
I want to know what hurt
you feed inside you?
What scar or canker bleeds
your heart?

Someone must have touched there
I suppose
it hurt very much
These things always do.
Come on out.
I don't think it's like that
Come on -
Stop this show!
You don't have to play the fool
with me.
I can see through all of your pretending.
And since your brightest jester's motley
cannoy hide a tarnished heart,
the only thing to do
take it out and give it
to another.
I think those belled and pointed shoes
of yours
have grown too small.

Background: Bernadette Bosky poem.

November 1976

Age: 18 years

Starry Night

I needed you then.
You appeared at twilight,
took my hand,
and showed me
the way to the stars.
Taking me away
from the heartaches
and sorrows
of my yesterdays.
But, you left me there.
Above the Milky Way
with nothing to cling to.
A falling star.

Background: College angst...

December 1976

Age: 19 years

"Seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line. For self is a sea boundless and measureless." - Kahlil Gibran


Above the world
Knowing myself,
Realizing my potentials
My limits
My ideals (are they impossibe?)
Aiming for the stars
The seagull
above the world,
for higher currents.

Background: Somewhere on the beach watching the gulls fly by.

January 1977

Age: 19 years

Sensing the Universe

I'd like to hold
a piece of Heaven
just for awhile.
I'd like to feel
the stars and galaxies
witin my hands.
I'd like to see them
grow and die -
only to be created again.
I'd like to smell eternity
just for awhile.
I'd like to hear a falling star
break the limits of space and time.
I'd like to taste the universe,
savor the juices
within my mouth.
Just for awhile.

Background: One of those days looking at the sea;-)

June 15, 1977

19 years old

on the road to find out.
the 'Cat' put it so well.
where does life begin
and where does it end
and how does the middle fare
while driving through extremes?
and I'm on the road to find out
about the fast lane and the breakdown lane
and the rest stops in between...
which route to take?
Let the highwayman guide your way.
he knows the bumps and divots
of the asphalt,
the bends and curves
that approach suddenly
in the dark.
for he knows that we're all
on the road to find out
his beams of light will guide us
on our way.

I was living on Cape Cod during the summer after my 2nd year in college.