Stella! Stella! Stella!

I ~ Stella

The storm becomes her name.
Hey, Stella.
Or should it be Blanche?
Charm is 50% illusion.

I don’t want realism. I want magic!
Haven’t you ever ridden on that streetcar?
that bangs through the Quarter
Why, they told me to take a streetcar named Desire.


II ~ Nuances At Midnight

Yesterday a Spring walk.
Waking to a chiseled morning rides a wild mustang.
A dame that knows she’s good looking.
What kind of a queen do you think you are?

The real cork.
Marie Antoinette meets Blanche DuBois.
They eat cake. Where’s Stella?
She’s out there on the porch.


What is it …


What is it about grace
that tenders an angry moment
into a peaceful movement?

What is it about grace
that yarns hands into hats
and humor?

What is it about grace
that placards profanity
into protest poetry?

What is it about grace
that that takes stutter and slurs
into song?

What is it about grace
that takes blue into azure and sky
henna into meadows with mice?

What is it about grace
that takes a humble haiku
into the history of words?

What is it about grace
that tumbles small stones into
a river wild?

And what is it about grace
in a child’s smile that is no
different than our own?

Summer 2011



Sun and Stone

Solstice View

As I watch the sun set
this late day dusk
over my kitchen sink
I am reminded of all the hard labor
that went into the sacred sighting
of poetic stonework
calibrated so exact as to
capture this very same alignment
of sun and earth ether and rock
perfectly punctuated
through my farmhouse window
as my hands wash dirty dishes
I am joyously reminded once again
of all that hands touch
and all that they cannot.



Fireflies and Fiddleheads

Rain and Rust


Between all the self-talk —
and yearning for a potato chip.

If only I could paint this time
between rain and rust
how would that look?

Once I was a river wild,
whiskey notes, and
summer squalls bending light.

The day you asked
I could not explain
in search of some moment.

Despite all the doubts
it was worth the while
it takes to see fireflies

In the words you whispered,
wearing my wounds,
and the distance of blue.

AG ~ May 2016

A Sunday Stoll In The Rain


A Blue Door

Ode to Diane’s Barn


I saw a blue door today.
It was painted shut on a
purple barn with touches of
pink and green on the roof.
Despite a graying azure sky,
this barn settles into comfort.
The surrounding meadow is
cheddar with a reflection of
sapphire and a hint of almond
floating around its foundation.
It stands thoughtfully alone.

The weathered barn looks so serene
in washes of toasty sun and quiet
shade with a committee of trees
tinting the background. I would like
to step inside its blue door to inhale
the sweet hay and linger in the leftover
heat at day’s end. That of a farm life
breathing in the slow decay of rusty
tools, rafters of swearing, laughter,
tears and prayer in the purple barn
with a pink and green roof.

Uncoiled Knots

I feel so sad. The day uncoiled its knots,
but in the end there was no deliciousness
to savour. I tried to fill in with an elderberry
cocktail and a walk with the dog. The cat
got a good petting, but there was no
dessert mail waiting for me. No special
text wondering how I was doing or just
a reminder that I am an object of desire
and time is our only gatekeeper. Not a
one who begs to flirt with me in a red
dress or freshen my drink. Even though
the day uncoiled its knots I feel so sad.



Creative Fear


To Finish a Painting

~    after “Starting a Poem” by Robert Bly


You think you’re alone.
Until you hear a voice.
It’s a brush stroke calling out
“STOP! Look at me.”

You step back as the
voice grows stronger and
you begin to hear it with
your eyes “THIS matters.”

And soon enough your
heart quickens your hands
twitch sweat beads and you
realize THIS changes everything.

You’ve been waiting
for it, prepared and
practiced over and over,
but now that it’s

here with its own arms
and legs your courage weeps
your identity leaves the room
and you understand.

You are alone
with the voice
with the choice. One more
stroke could be all

the difference
between a flash of
brilliance or sudden death.
To finish a painting.


“Brooklyn Blue” ~ Andrea Grillo ~ Pastel and tissue collage ~ 2016


Laughing Grace

Laughing Grace

is politically neutral

and most assuredly very incorrect

she used to post jokes

with her only phone number

on bathroom stalls

she cusses with made-up words

and listens to the trombone in her spare time


Laughing Grace drinks out of birdbaths

and spits watermelon seeds

rippling water wherever she goes

she dips into the peanut butter jar

at 3:00 am without a spoon

and you can always find her on swingsets

legs and toes pumping for the moon


she dances naturally

and links arms with her cousin Wild Grace

tiger lilies and queen anne’s lace

nod to her as she sweeps by

she always greets you with a “ciao bella”

and when least expected – Laughing Grace visits

the most welcome guest

ag ~ 2012