I give myself
permission to drift
with a breeze that bends
the tip of a limb 

to float on 
the high and low notes 
of birdsong at dusk
and pink clouds of a day’s yawn

to listen to a blade
of grass whistle its green
or to know what a stone 
takes for granted

I give myself permission
to daisy dream of roots 
tickled by the soil
while tickling it back

wherin the wings
of a hummingbird’s hum
would I hide feeding
on the nectar of honeysuckle vine

I give myself permission

ag / 2012


Just because I can’t have it…

I started a gluten-free diet about six months ago for health reasons, and I do feel better.  I believed that the hardest parting would be with my beloved pasta (macaroni as a-way-of-life growing up as a kid).  But I’m really ok losing the pasta mainly because after all these years – it’s the sauce that really matters.   I continue to eat and cook chicken, seafood and yes even brown rice with a wholesome tomato, basil and garlic sauce.

However after seeing a nicely browned grilled cheese sandwich with the cheese oozing out of the pocket on Pinterest, my craving for this basic sandwich came as such a surprise.  Actually, I rarely ate it before I embarked on the gluten-free diet.  Every once in awhile though, I would treat myself to this comfort food and guilty pleasure made with a hearty fontina or havarti cheese and slathered with some butter on the outside for pan or grill frying.  Simply gooey cheese – no tomato – I am a purist in some traditions!  I would happily endure the non heart-healthy guilt for such a simple meal with a pickle and glass of iced tea on the side.  But in a serious and delayed effort to acknowledge and deal with high cholesterol and coronary artery disease, honestly called Andrea finally and begrudgingly decides to grow up  (a little), I gave myself over to a newer and more sustainable and sensible way of life and diet.  Funny how the small stuff gets to you after all.  The one other food that I would add to my “sorry to see it go list”  is spicy noodles in peanut sauce, again a once-in-awhile fun food. 

Aha, maybe that’s it more than just the taste it’s the fun in these foods that I really miss!  Maybe, just maybe it’s all really worth it as long as I can enjoy and indulge in my beloved dark and darker chocolate.  I am so happy that dark chocolate (in small amounts) is now considered “good for you” and heart-healthy.  Honestly though, it would not matter.  Chocolate and me forever.  You cannot say that about too many things, so choose carefully those life-rich indulgences and heartily enjoy!!!

                                                              pining for you
                                                              on my new diet
                                                              mac and cheese*   
*ag/2012 ~ published in Modern Haiku ~ winter 2012

Color ku

Color ku are haiku and senryu inspired by the name of a paint color labeled on paint chips by Martha Stewart, Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore etc.  Most of these names have little to do with traditional color names and everything to do with imagination and whimsy.  In the following haiku and senryu, the paint chip name is used and italicized within each of the color ku.  All of these poems were recently published in  Modern Haiku 42.1.

spring violet                                                                                          touch of nectar

a doe nibbles                                                                                         the baby dimples

the newness                                                                                           a smile

~~~~~~~~~~                                                                                       ~~~~~~~~~~

morning walk                                                                                       egg yolk

a wood pecker starts                                                                             the day jiggles

its workday                                                                                             its light

~~~~~~~~~~                                                                                       ~~~~~~~~~~

wild honey                                                                                             lost

two dragonflies                                                                                      in the glass of milk

dip and swirl                                                                                           a taste of summer grass



picnic basket                                                                                          thatched cottage 

our plans                                                                                                 heirloom tomatoes

on hold                                                                                                    almost ripe

~~~~~~~~~~                                                                                        ~~~~~~~~~~

willow branch                                                                                       cavern                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

the winding tics                                                                                     I growl at the dog

of my Twitter stream                                                                            through a paper towel roll


Winter Wood Eyes

It’s been a winter without snow here in New Jersey.  Therefore, I get to focus much more closely on the brush and stone, moss and lichen.  The colors, although a bit more subtle than spring and summer blooms, are vibrant just the same.  When I traipse through the winter woodland  I never feel alone.  Somehow eyes peek out at me and spy with a curious countenance.  The expressions are priceless and lest anyone think that I am losing it (like my brother) – see for yourself.
Wintergreen face

Puddingstone with a smile

Feigning sleep
Mouse eyes with a lichen and leaf beret.
The only one with sharp looking teeth!

I like this happy guy.  A sweet bark face.
This one looks a little confused – I can relate.
I always smile back.
You lookin’ at me?
winter hike
stopping often  to catch
a backwards glance