Viral gratitude ~ 5.18.20

Susan Leslie Moore has captured my heart with her words in her poem,

I Have Tried Hard to Have Appropriate Feelings.

It is personal and honest, and at the same time casts a poetic spell in the very best way poetry zings to the soul and spirit of life itself. Yes–zing and sing. Her line about the polar bears touched a deep chord, and reminds me that I/we are connected to all life, and that tears are meant to heal us.

The highest compliment that I can give another poet is, “I wish that I wrote this very poem.” They are few and far between, but oh so satisfying when they grace our being.

This poem was selected by Naomi Shihab Nye and published in the NYT Magazine section. The poem is from Ms. Moore’s (book),
That Place Where You Opened Your Hands


I Have Tried Hard to Have Appropriate Feelings

By Susan Leslie Moore

I have folded them away like sweaters.
Kept my distance from the moon, visited the sick.
I am proud of the life in my head. Nobody knows
the garden I’ve seen. I am tender with the suburb.
Some days even the ceiling worries me, the way
it keeps the roof on.
I only cry when the polar bears get to me.
The ones stranded on the melting ice.
Otherwise I’m kept in line by the steady curve
of my driveway, the tight fists of the roses. I can easily
about the sweet peas and our eventual disintegration.
The sky has more to say to me than I could
ever hear, given the restricted space between
houses. Frogs sing at night and the whine of the train.


Viral Gratitude ~ 4.10.20

We, of a certain age, are learning about computer apps and opportunities rather quickly these days, and Zoom–the popular group video-chat is but one.


until the virus just another hotrod
speeding by


the camera and I


there’s always one
talking forehead

Viral Gratitude ~ 4.7.20

Tonight the full Pink Moon sweeps across the sky. So named by Native Americans, not for its rose blush, but for heralding the appearance of the moss pink, or wild phlox—one of the first spring flowers. It’s also a supermoon–largest in appearance, because it coincides with lunar perigee—the moon’s closest point to Earth in the year 2020. Will you notice that the moon is larger than usual? Probably not… however if you moon-gaze as it begins to rise above the horizon, it will appear so. April’s full moon has also been known as the “sprouting grass moon” or “egg moon” trumpeting other first signs of spring. 

The moon is lovely in all her phases and a muse for artists and poets throughout the ages. Enjoy her show tonight and welcoming spring.

once I asked a spider
“will you silk a stairway
to the moon?”


offering hand-stitched wings
the moon invites me
to tea


so that clouds slipper
my way to the moon


Viral Gratitude ~ 3.28.20

Grateful today for poetry and haiku and for friends sharing poems. 

My own today, a little sombre and a little light:


Venus and a young moon couple the late sunset sky


mubblefuddle—walking depression into poetry


Sunday quiet on Friday the forest floor stirs violaceous



The Newark Riots ~ 50 Years Later

This week marks the 50th anniversary of a very sad time – the Newark riots. I remember them well. There was a curfew, and when I looked out our apartment window – National Guardsmen rode by in a jeep with rifles leaning against their chests. I was nowhere near the terror-stricken interior but inhaled the tension. This was my home city, and I was 14 years old. I wrote these tanka poems in hindsight and they were published by Modern English Tanka Press in 2009, 40 years after the fact. Newark still suffers:
forty years
after the riots
three students slain
“no apparent cause”
again, this blistering heat
born to love
born to hunt
we do what we do…
all the songs all the poems
nothing changes this
coming in on
a soft summer breeze
tickling my necking
and dropping down low —
this sadness for what
warm nights
I undress by an open
window   wondering
what is freely given
               freely taken
© Andrea Grillo