Saturday, March 30, 2013

My Mother's Orchid

Dear Mom,

Today is your 87th birthday.
When you turn 87, there aren't a whole lot of birthday presents

You want health and happiness for
Yourself and all of those
You love

The one I bought you a year

A few months ago
all the blossoms
had disappeared
and Dad said, let's
get rid of
that plant it's just three bare sticks.

But no, Mom,
despite your vision issues,
you saw something
tiny and green budding there
on one of those bare branches
something wonderful
four or five new pink blossoms appeared!
So eager you were to visit
the sun room
each morning
each week, on Tuesday,
you put two ice cubes in the pot
not a drop more water.

You were just adorable
caring for your orchid.

So today, your day, it
wasn't difficult to know
what to buy you
I ought to get my mother
another orchid I said
I did.

We Love You So Much,

Monday, March 25, 2013

Can You Believe It? A Poem

By Camincha

The            stomach hangs
            the gut retrieves
the            heart skips a beat
            the tongue still spills
the            words of yesteryears
            the message lost
the            now not what it was
            the young man not
the            man today in here
            the bags under the eyes
the            sadness lurks behind
            the glasses that cover
the            once bright blue eyes
            the woman also not the
the            girl he knew hidden by
            the thick waist
the            dry, pale skin
            the bags under the eyes
the            lines in skin that was
            the freshness, suppleness in
the            memory only
            the long years
the            body punished but
            the heart that now skips a beat
the            heart is young still
            the one that whispers
the            heart that, cries out
            the words of love that
the            lad caught and held
            the one who smiled with
the            fresh, moist lips
             the one without grey or
the            lines that confuse
            the one she ran off with while
the            glasses hide his tears.

“...Camincha wants to take in continents and hemispheres. She is a woman of extraordinary vitality, passion and has a hunger for life. Read her, enjoy her.” Michael Krasny   KQED-FM
                   Camincha is a pen name for a writer living in California. 

Friday, March 08, 2013


so white so snow
so softly so softly
snow falling as clean as fresh
as white as a sheet of paper the
flakes coming down,
steady steady
all of them slanted at the same angle
almost exactly the angle at which you would
hold a pen to write a poem about that clean
clean sheet that keeps coming
until the fallen snow becomes itself a white poem
its lines curved
its shape thick and sculpted
a landscape
billowing in
all directions, all edges rounded and so so white,
and so so soft
and no no sound except for the occasional whipsaw of
wind that blows fine powdery sheets wild every which way.

And inside, we remain in our
pajamas until after noon, warm, sipping hot drinks, thinking how
delighted we are by the winter scene out the window and by
the cozy warmth inside.

Friday, March 01, 2013

New Paintings

In January, I started an abstract painting class with a wonderful teacher, Arthur Yanoff. I was a little embarrassed to tell him about my painting technique. I apply paint (acrylic) and then I wash off part or all of the canvas, wipe it dry, and keep painting. Sometimes I think I might lose a good painting in this process. But for now, that is how I paint. I have this feeling that a painting knows what it wants to be and it's up to me to help give birth to that image. Crazy, perhaps, but fun, too.

The painting below is one I did in class. Beneath that painting is the version that emerged after I applied my "wash it off and keep painting" technique. My painting teacher, Arthur, whose work is stunning (he has had some 75 shows, including a one-person exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston) was very receptive to my technique. In fact, he told me that Matisse used to wash down his paintings each night with turpentine, and then resume painting in the morning. 

It's reassuring to know I'm in good company. 

It's wonderful to have such a wonderfully encouraging teacher.  
The painting below was for Jocelyn and Evan, to honor their new home in Boston.

The painting below was the first version, which I did in class. The painting below that was the second (final) version. Finally, the last painting, is one I did in class yesterday. I have taken Arthur's advice and not washed it off. At least not so far.