Waiting For Mary

Waiting For Mary

Friday is tomorrow and tomorrow you come home to
winter mornings of rose colored dawns
windy afternoons, sullen evenings,
then star-bright chilled nights when
your breath whitens rising into the universe.

Tomorrow the trees will be one day closer to
their buds leafing out, robins singing,
worms rising in thawed earth; tomato seeds
exploding out of their shells, peppers too.

Tomorrow the garlic tips green a little more.
Red headed finches eye April nesting sites.

Nonetheless, tomorrow feels so far away, because
you are so far away; because
because I cannot fast forward time; because
because we are not there yet and today is
Thursday. Hurry home! My kisses
are waiting for you.

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Mother’s Hand (1st draft)

Mother’s Hand
Jan. 18, 2017
Draft as written in my journal at 6:30 am

So much depends on shaking out the wrinkles
in the clean dry handkerchief,
then laying out the cloth on the ironing board.

So much depends on Mother’s hand on mine
as we lift the steam iron and she helps me
set the point into the corner of the handkerchief and
glide the iron along the seam.

So much depends on Mother lifting away her hand
and the encouraging whisper in my ear to
turn the cloth and repeat the ironing, until she says,
“ that’s perfect,”
and you set down the iron on its metal pad.

So much depends on how you take each corner
and fold the cloth over onto itself and
halve the cloth and again Mother’s hand on mine
and we delicately iron down the fold line and
set down the iron and fold this white rectangle
in half again and Mother lets me
iron down the crease and the steam puffs and
the cotton smells and you hold
the folded handkerchief to your nose and
it smells of Mother.

So much depends on ironing handkerchiefs
when you are five years old and
the whole world is pressed and clean and
Mother’s hand is on yours,

(C) 2017 James Ciletti

I share this first draft just as I had written it this morning so that you can
“edit” it to make it better. And in a few days, after I brood over it, I’ll
share my re-write. Cheers.
“The best poems and stories are the ones you get down on paper.”

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“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” ~Emily Dickinson

7:29 am, Jan 17

So much depends upon pulling
two black socks onto my feet

So much depends on your two hands
buttoning up my shirt

So much depends on your two lips
touching my two lips. . .


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As one who prefers to be a hermit and an introvert, I remain driven to work within my community to advance our cultural resources, literary, artistic, etc.  My mantra is: be an agitator, inspirator, activator, for the arts, especially the arts in education for our children.

Many years ago, I was, on this day, curled inside my mother, “fired up and ready to go.”  Perhaps she had had enough of my kicking and rolling within her, and that’s why she  held her moon-sized belly and got down on the floor and scrubbed and scrubbed, agitating and inspiring and activating until I was born the next day.

Carmela, my Mother, even though I agitate and work to inspirate and activate, I am still curled in the love and grace of your belly —

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To Plant Plum Trees or Garlic, Do Anything, Something

In her book, American Primitive, Mary Oliver has a poem about John Chapman, who, for planting apple trees in Ohio, is known as Johnny Appleseed. Well, apparently, at some point in his life, the bottom fell out, so to speak. I quote the second half of the poem.

Well, the trees he planted or gave away
prospered and he became
the good legend, you do
what you can and if you can; whatever

the secret, and the pain,

there’s a decision: to die,
or to live, to go on
caring about something. In spring, in Ohio,
in the forests that are still left you can find
sign of him: patches
of cold white fire.

NOW, my dear reader, as part of me wants to wallow in anger and grief
over this election fiasco, I tell myself, do something, go out and
plant another plum tree, garlic, anything, something, and your
grief and anger will turn into blossoms and green shoots in spring.

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A Vote for All Women

Women all over the world are waiting, waiting for us to elect the first woman to the U.S. Presidency. All of us can uplift women in this country and all over the world by voting for Hilary Clinton. Do something great, now! Women all over the world are waiting for your vote; you’ll help women all over the world by voting for Hilary Clinton. (Pass it on.) A vote for Hilary is a vote for all women all over the world.

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Rebirthing Storm

Rebirthing Storm
Aug. 29, 2016

Across those dark clouds
jagged zippering lightening

One, one thousand
Two, one thousand
Three one Boooooming
Rumbling bowling ball thunder.

Phew! So close!
Open the window.
Smell — smell the rain.
Earth will live again!

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