The Boundaries of Pain

when pain burns bright, stirs up a clamor
shuts out the sights of glitz and glamour

when mind and body face exhaustion
fatigued and weary — take precaution

let lights of grief shine bright around you
let noise of horrors’ cries surround you

let in no person, words or thoughts,
who’ll only worsen worries’ knots

set doors and walls to keep you sane
until you’re ready to rise again

and when you rise to meet the day
when you’ve recovered, chased fears away

your friends will be here greeting you
with smiles and cheers awaiting you

blackout poem in green and purple with image of butterfly atop a glass stoppered bottle
les lumières et les bruits de douleur // the lights and the noises of pain
blackout poem in shades of pink with a bird perched on stalks of wheat carrying a half-moon in its beak, and a border of glittering dark pink
il se leva et fleurs étaient à la porte // he rose and flowers were at the door

For Magaly’s Trinkets and Armor 3: Boundaries Save Lives (and teeth).

Images from Hanna Karlzon’s coloring book Seasons.

I Mourn

איכה ישבה בדד, העיר רבתי עם היתה כאלמנה

How can a city
Once bustling and joyous
Become so divided
So hateful and dark

How can a people
Once loving and smiling
Be splintered and fractured
And closed off alone

אם אשכחך
Oh I will not forget you
My brothers and sisters
Shut out all alone

תשכך ימיני
My right and my left hands
Must join now together
Bring all of us home

—–

Today is Tisha b’Av, the ninth day of the Jewish month of Av – the day when the destruction of the Temple is mourned. But we don’t need to go back in time 2000 years to find reason to mourn. We can find it here and now in the exclusion and hatred being perpetuated in Jerusalem in the name of religion. So today, I rewrote Eicha. Today, I pledge not to forget Jerusalem – the Jerusalem that belongs to everyone, not only to Jews.

Four years ago, in the summer of 2014, my mother expressed her pain at my non-observance by saying “it hurts to know Tisha b’Av will be just like any other day for you, that you won’t be feeling connection with Judaism by mourning the destruction of Jews.” But Mommy, I do feel connection with Judaism – by mourning the destruction perpetuated in the name of continuity, by mourning the methods of dealing with pain that fight hatred with hatred – and I pledge to fight hatred with love.

Normal Changing

teach me,
i begged,
teach me to be normal.

show me,
i pleaded,
how i can be normal.

you did and then
normal –

a transitory thing,
normal began to change

and when normal changes
i change my normal

i beg no more
i plead no more
i ask no more
to be taught

teach myself, I do —
show myself, I do —
change myself, I do —
and my normal changes with me


For the second week of Magaly’s Trinkets and Armor: “How do you hold on to your Self when life continues changing the rules of the game without warning?” Hop over to her blog and check out all the ways we hold onto Selves amidst changing rules!

Trading Shadows

walking in sun
we are
throwing shadows

my shadow and your shadow
meld into one for a moment
and separate as we part
but know we’ll come together again

walking in sun
we are
dancing shadows

i take your shadow
you take my shadow
i’ll carry yours awhile
you’ll carry mine awhile

walking in sun
we are
trading shadows


I wrote a version of this on Facebook three years ago today, and it came up in my Facebook Memories. I had been walking with a friend and her daughter, and our shadows kept crossing over as the little girls skipped around us.

The photo is from a trip I took to Newport, Rhode Island with some friends in the summer of 2011.

Becoming the Dance

crescendos of passion
rose and crashed
assaulted my ears –
i heard the music

twirling partners
hand to waist and
hip to hip –
i felt the touch

swell of music, whirl
of joy, pain dissolved
in swirls of color –
i was the dance


For Magaly’s first Trinkets and Armor prompt.

There are so many things I do to “soothe or smack [my] unwanted monsters.” Watching dance videos is one of them!

Revamped Patreon Page!

My second attempt at a Patreon page is so much better, with patron-only posts featuring the Alice in Wonderland art-poem series I’ve recently started – more manageable for me, more affordable for you!

The first patron-only Alice in Wonderland post will go live tonight! Get your pledges in to have immediate access!

When I reach 500 patrons, I will be printing a full-color book of the Alice in Wonderland art-poem series for all of my patrons 🙂

My pre-patron-only Alice in Wonderland art-poems:

to see the garden

I tried a new style for my blackout poetry / art-poems. I messed up a fair few times, but I love the result and the style, and I’ll try again with some lessons I’ve learned!

she was going
into that lovely garden
“for it might end, you know”
she alas found
on going into the garden 
she could see but
she had tired herself out
with tears 


The process: I first found my words the way I always do. Then I found an image that paired well with it. Using a lamp placed underneath a glass-surface desk, I lined up the text-page on top of the image, and then painstakingly traced the image (backlit by the lamp) onto the text-page. Up until this step, everything was fine. When I got to applying marker, I didn’t think about how the lines from the image would cut through the boxes of text until it was too late for the boxes up at the top of the page 🙂 When I realized what I had done, I boxed in the rest of the words I wanted to remain uncolored, and then continued with the coloring.

Image from Twilight Garden Coloring Book by Maria Trolle.

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In the process: image traced, ready for ink!

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