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November Wind

Posted By Gail Ostrow on November 23rd, 2014

2007-leaves

This is the wind that
strips the trees naked
baring their outlines
to the coming winter.

This is the wind that
shreds the leaves
blowing branches and
garbage can lids
down the street
clanging against
car doors and stoops.

This is the wind that
rips the clappers
from the wind chimes
and tears my Peace flag
from the back porch
bending every growing thing over
and sending all that’s left of summer
careening around the yard
with the lawn chairs.

In honor of “I’m bossy!” I revised my “Golden Child” poem

Posted By Gail Ostrow on April 22nd, 2014

I must have been born willful,
strong, independent
maybe defiant
looking like my Dad
such a disappointment

How else to explain
the beating down
the not encouraging
the relegation to
Jewish Cinderella

Clean the house
cook the dinner
wash the dishes
take care of my brother
and then my sister

who was the golden child
blond curly hair
just beautiful
loving, like the doll
my mother wanted the first time

My brother cowered
when they hit him
I hit back and ran away
even in my sleep
I was always running away

At night, in the summer,
in the Catskills,
they nailed the windows shut
and locked the door, but
I still ran down the country roads

Away from them
toward my own
willful, strong,
independent,
maybe defiant, self!

© Gail Ostrow, revised 2014

 

Posted in Poetry, WISDOM
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“I Happened To Be Standing” by Mary Oliver

Posted By Gail Ostrow on April 22nd, 2014
I don’t know where prayers go,
     or what they do.
Do cats pray, while they sleep
half-asleep in the sun?
Does the opossum pray as it
crosses the street?
The sunflowers? The old black oak
growing older every year?
I know I can walk through the world,
along the shore or under the trees,
with my mind filled with things
of little importance, in full
self-attendance. A condition I can’t really
call being alive.
Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,
or does it matter?
The sunflowers blaze, maybe that’s their way.
Maybe the cats are sound asleep. Maybe not.While I was thinking this I happened to be standing
just outside my door, with my notebook open,
which is the way I begin every morning.
Then a wren in the privet began to sing.
He was positively drenched in enthusiasm,
I don’t know why. And yet, why not.
I wouldn’t persuade you from whatever you believe
or whatever you don’t. That’s your business.
But I thought, of the wren’s singing, what could this be
if it isn’t a prayer?
So I just listened, my pen in the air.

Posted in Poetry
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Kaddish for Mom

Posted By Gail Ostrow on February 7th, 2014

shiva-candle copyMy mother died and I am so surprised
that I am so surprised.
This singular event like no other,
except perhaps my own death or the death
of my children or grandchildren.

Mom’s shiva candle will go out tonight.
Seven days since she died.
Where to put her picture?
It doesn’t matter, nothing does,
except that Dad died and then Mom died
and I am no longer a daughter
of anyone in this world.

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The Buddha in the Snow

Posted By Gail Ostrow on February 5th, 2014

2007-winter-buddhaHis eyes and lips shut
as if in soundless sleep
silent as the snow
that embroiders the old oak leaves
covering the ground
and spreads a cloth across his lap
as he cradles a nest of frost
as if fledglings lie beneath
protected from the cold
protected by the unheard hum of Om
and the strength of his presence
beyond the permanence of stone.

by Janet Krauss

 

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November poem…

Posted By Gail Ostrow on November 9th, 2013

This is the wind
that strips the trees
baring their outlines
to the coming winter.

This is the wind
that shreds the leaves
blowing branches and
garbage can lids
down the street
clanging against
cars and stoops.

This is the wind
that rips the clappers
from the wind chimes
and tears my peace flags
from the back porch
bending every growing thing
and sending all that’s left of summer
careening around the yard.

Posted in Poetry
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The Dove by Yehuda Amichai

Posted By Gail Ostrow on August 13th, 2013

The dove brought news
of the end of the flood, an olive leaf
in her mouth, like a man holding a letter
in his mouth as he searches for something
with both hands
or like a girl holding pins
in her mouth as she repairs her dress.

Translated from Hebrew by Bernard Horn

Posted in Poetry, WISDOM
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