August 2022
RIP Mikhail Gorbachev

"RIP Mikhail Gorbachev" – 8/30/22

I was 15 years old when your mind-bending
Glasnost and Perestroika permitted diminutive
Me to cross the ocean to The Soviet Union
Bittersweet diaspora Mother rooted in so much
Painful history for my family source of so much
Ongoing fear fascination projection rejection

The first few days were like landing
On the moon or Mars we were kids
With dreams as incredible as the idea
That sooner than later the Union would
Fall unceremoniously apart amidst the glorious
Openness the global exhalation the upheaval

A combination of Pulitzer worthy impact
And eventual resentment what must
It have been like in your latter days your
Controversially visible wife undone by illness
Your slow-burning ascent to ultimate authority
Mitigated by your own people's future resentment

Most influential, progressive - revered at first
Most unpredictable of relatively humble birth
Least likely to unwittingly change the world map
Eventually unleashing freedoms beyond Glasnost's
Grasp intentions amuck unruly conflicts' cluster-fuck
The very ideas that repealed oppression bringing

An empire to its knees now you're no longer able
To reflect on the seismic shifts your legacy left
The Green Cross your foundation's laudable purpose
Grammy/Pulitzer legend loved but equally despised
At home your powers were deposed as dramatically
As your prowess was canonized abroad a politician

Has never been as much a part of the global popular
Zeitgeist both young and old tattoo'd by tempestuous
Hope a Cold War's end contained vividly in your vision
Progress met protest, provocation pervaded injustice
I wonder tonight what to think and how to say Yartzeit
How to mourn a foreign leader whose policies led me

To my rebellious beshert all those many years ago
I grieve for your family, and for all of those whose
Spirits wane in one way or another amidst the shadow
Cast long and wide Cold War's revolution-convolution
Glorified, vilified, isolated, deconstructed, resurrected
Man as complicated as devolutions' essence

Rain Prayer

"Rain Prayer" – 8/17/22

Sitting in a London coffee shop
It occurs to me that rain is much more
Than a metaphor for cleansing
It is an indicator of fear, manifested or deflected
Upset people, young and old, cling
Desperately to their umbrellas as if some water
May, like quickest sand, send them stumbling

Into terrain so unknown and so fearsome
That failure is not an option. I look at their darting
Eyes nothing enviable in their worried faces
With utmost sympathy knowing full well I've often at
Times been as consumed with staying dry at all costs
But right now I am excited to almost-run home
Puddles splashing in my midst maskless, grotesque

May the wind blow away my flowers may the Goddess
In Her powers prove merciful providing me however
Perilously the authority to find my way, drenched,
Delirious and driven by some unknown force
To become one with the downpour looking the sky
Square in the clouds throwing up my weary arms
Invigorated, obliterated, reborn, recharged


RIP Olivia Newton-John

“RIP Olivia Newton-John” – 8/09/22

We never met her but didn’t it feel like we all knew her?

She was the most beautiful, glamorous, talented
Her blond svelteness belied her comic brilliance
An ingenue full of surprises owning her power always

At a certain apex it was obvious she was unicornesque no need
“To believe” self-evident Solid Gold Grease Xanadu Physical
Owning a particular extended moment to the point where

Her presence in my young mind became synonymous with
Entertainment I think as a singer she may have been underrated
Like Marilyn perhaps her grace & how easy she made it all look

Distracted from her abilities such is the risk of being preternaturally
Iconic but most importantly she used her celebrity to cast light
On the most personal and universal helping innumerable people

Generous, resilient, focused, a visionary she made a difference
Turning, as the saying goes, poison into medicine refusing
To be constrained by circumstance’s cruelty always underlining

Work to be done her own follow-spot cemented a kind of halo
Status not for any reason other than rare, consistent substance
What more can a gifted woman give than her heartfelt effort, time

And persistence hit songs hailed friendships roller-disco
Reverberations around the globe elegance cheekiness
The leg warmers the excellence a composite of everything

Wonderful in song, dance and classic sex appeal smart real
Dedicated, beloved, determined, an educator, leader, entrepreneur
Groundbreaking, record-breaking, genre-defying, anti-diva

Girl next door-gone-rogue, polished, irrepressible attitude
Disciplined, daring, uplifting, positive, undeniably legendary
Her first name an eventual synonym for exemplary humanitarian

Cancer could never dim her glow around the world through
Every transparent challenge faced she reproved her commitment
To do good amidst illness’ reared head holy is the woman

Who raises others up at every turn championing as she did
The ability of every person on this planet to become less cynical
To love less doubtfully, as playfully as seriously, shimmering soulfully