Disaster/Relief

  On Monday evening, which happened to be the evening of my 43rd birthday, my husband came home with the mail and dropped it on the desk as usual. And it was the usual pile of bills and holiday catalogs and appeals for end-of-year donations. And the Princeton Alumni Weekly. For years, when this magazine…

Hawk/Mountain/Cry

This post is an adaptation of a talk I gave at the Santa Rosa Creek Zen Center on May 11, 2015.   I. There’s an old, well-known haiku by the poet Basho that goes like this: Even in Kyoto— hearing the cuckoo cry, I long for Kyoto. In koan practice with the Pacific Zen Institute,…

Walking through Waste

I spent the weekend raging. Beginning on Friday night, glued to the links I’d followed from Facebook about the Charlie Hebdo murders, I raged against the simplicity of media analysis, raged against hatred, and then, at midnight, sitting up in bed, I raged against my husband for not “getting” politics and race in precisely the…

Standing in His Shoes

My grandfather Robert was a large man, in many ways. He drank Coca-Cola, smoked too much, adored candy, ate liverwurst sandwiches with potato chips on top. He died of emphysema when I was in high school, before I got to the age when I could have straight-up conversations with him about the world. He was…

An Ordinary Day

  A poem for Flood Wall Street and the People’s Climate March September 21-22, 2014   Today I’m staying in my pajamas because I can. I’m curling back in bed with my computer and checking Facebook, not one time, not two times, but eighteen times while my children are at school. I might bake cookies.…