Dedicated to three of the loveliest ladies in my neighborhood and their dogs.  I'm squeezing this in on the last day of spring just before the summer solstice.  The Magnolia was gorgeous this year.




In the shade of a fragrant Magnolia,

studded with abundant pink blossoms

the Three Graces—

more lovely in advanced years

than self-absorbed youths--

throw back their heads,


cast smiles

towards passers by.



they spin in a circle


by entangled leashes

lowering and lifting.


Mischievous canine cupids

entwine the light-hearted ladies

in a felicitous





Baby Love

Happy Valentine's Day!  This poem I wrote especially for my newest addition who lassoes my heart with his smiles.  If you feel blue, find a baby to give you a smile.  It's a pure shot of unconditional love.

Baby Love


Your cupid-bow mouth

drawn taught with a smile

releases a heart-shaped "Hello!"

Sweet child!


Your coos are love arrows;

Your eyes know the mark--


they hit the bull's eye

with a sweet stinging spark.




Eden Next Door

Gardeners are saints.  Maybe even angels.  Our angel is named Stephen and while he does not wield a flaming sword, he defends the gardens of Tudor City with rake and hoe.

One particular May morning, after I had slung a bag of trash into our aluminum garbage can and clanged it shut, I looked over the fence next door.  The sun was rising over the East River, shining between the buildings that curtain my view of the U.N.  No tourist had posed yet against the rail at the end of our street for a photo.  No city dwellers ambled along the sidewalk.  No one sipped morning coffee in the garden beyond the fence.  Despite this lack of activity it was far from quiet.

The weekday morning sounds of the city had crescendoed since before daybreak.  A cacophony of an industrial orchestra warming up, never to be tuned, rumbled through the neighborhood along with the trucks, their breaks screeching.  Cranes hung erected among the surrounding skyscrapers like giant locusts.  Construction crews jack-hammered, drilled and welded.  The builders of "Babylon" climbed and clambered, banging against the sky for more square footage, higher addresses, and loftier views.

In contrast, the North Garden beyond our fence wore the fresh face of someone who had a full night's rest. The ground appeared well watered and the pebbled paths, freshly combed.  The bushes and trees diffused the fragrance of their blossoms.  The white tulips waited to pop.

Our angel had done his work unseen.  The garden in its order--tended, nurtured, designed--served as an agent of peace in the midst of chaos.  No incongruous noises could be found within the oasis.  Birds chirped, squirrels chattered, and pigeons cooed.

This juxtaposition of chaos and tranquility arrested me.  I could not help wondering which was the foreigner in my sphere: the screeching city or the restful garden?  Along the contrast of these extremes a line was drawn, a fence was run.  Who could be the ambassador between the two? 

Then, as if on cue, back-lit by the sun and framed by flowering bushes, I saw her.  For just a moment, caught mid-stride in my view, I saw a slight feminine form adorned with long tresses of brown hair suspended in an orb of light.  Could it be Eve?  Yes!  She, a vision of the mother of all living, was walking to work in the cool of the morning.

The earthly veil lifted from my eyes and I saw the North Garden as Paradise.  The ache of having once lost it and the joy of finding it shook my soul awake.  I caught a waft of the fragrance of Eden in the perfume of blooming Bridal's Veil and sweet daffodils.  My countenance lifted in delight.

My Eve hustled out of the garden's radiant frame as quickly as she entered it.  But without her crowning glory I wouldn't have seen it: Eden, right next door, in the midst of Babylon.