Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Christmas Memory

The following was originally published Christmas 2013.

Remember the lace tablecloth used only on special occasions, the good china, silver, crystal glassware, and the Christmas candles in the center of the table. Dinner will be turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, yams, and cranberry sauce, with a side dish of cucumber salad and an assortment of pies for dessert. Near the dining table, a bridge table is set for the children. Grandparents and aunts and uncles arrive in the afternoon with shopping bags bulging with presents. The Christmas tree is tall and crowned with a marvelous angel.  Everything smells of pine needles, pies, and wrapping paper.

Imagine the manger, before the magi visit, two chubby cows, an old donkey, and one lamb circling Mary and Joseph and little Lord Jesus. All warmed by the breath of the animals and the love within.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Illustration: "Nativity in Stained Glass " © Ewa Mazur/

Saturday, December 3, 2016

An Unfinished Poem

On November 7th, I began writing a poem about a woman I met in a hospital waiting room that morning. Energetic, glad, and eighty-six, Nancy talked about great coffee, shelter dogs, and her son. I didn’t finish the poem that day because too many images and ideas about it were bouncing in my mind – Nancy’s snow white hair, the silver sequins on her blouse, a childhood prayer, and all that blue she was wearing. I needed to let the draft of the poem be a while and return to it another day. It is December 3rd and I have not looked at the poem. After November 8th, it is difficult for me to endow anything I write with a sense of joy and Nancy seemed to me to be all about joy.

Like many other Americans, I am in mourning for the country I thought I lived in. I have not watched television news since 2 am, November 9th when only four additional electoral votes were needed by the Republican nominee. Except for Maryland and Virginia, every southern state went to him. I live in a part of the South where people still preface a woman’s first name with “Miss” when they say it. Every time someone calls me “Miss Barbara” I feel I’ve been transported to the antebellum era or the set of an old Bette Davis movie but there is nothing nostalgic about an unfinished country.

It is difficult for me to write when friends and family members I thought I knew revealed through their vote for the Republican huckster who they really are. And I wonder how Nancy, dear Nancy voted.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Holiday Sale of Ebook Edition of Mirror Talk

Mirror Talk, my award-winning memoir is on sale now through January. Only $0.99 in the US. Click here to purchase a copy. And Happy Holidays!

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Uses of Enchantment

My poem "The Uses of Enchantment" was published today. To read the poem, scroll down a bit after you open this link The Greensilk Journal.

Note: The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales was written by the brilliant child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim.