Tag Archives: Journeys

Buffalo

Standard

By Dana Janine Diamond c1993

What did I know of poetry?
White snow and dreams
empty trees below my window
sledding and screaming in the fresh, cold air
When summer came at last,
we played in the tall, blonde weeds
next to the creek
all the houses were built on swampland
we had lovely duck ponds in the yard

In the years before we wanted fences
they sat out back
in their lawn chairs on the edge
of the yard, sunning themselves
my grandmother spoke only Yiddish
her grandmother understood only Greek
they talked for hours and hours
days without purpose
other than just to be

Jazz in underground clubs
and hippies from Chicago
playing folk guitar
in my polished blue living room
I waited in the wings
while Steve sang
“City of New Orleans”
my brother was alongside him
under the spotlight
I was nine
and that’s what I knew

Manicured suburbia
with movies and Niagara Falls
donuts with powder on top
and shoplifting in shopping malls
Buffalo.
home of the spicy Buffalo wings
we traveled in packs
venturing into basements,
and haunted houses
surreptitiously playing
Spin the Bottle
with rum and coke
I don’t ever remember
liking the boys I kissed

Every summer I drove
to Fantasy Island
with my Dad
to hear Glen Campbell
sing
and see the showgirls
lift their legs
“The Sterile Honeycomb”
he wrote.
Arthur, my brother’s friend. Before
he successfully attempted suicide.
So, I knew that poets died
and that made sense to me

I read everything he wrote
and then I started writing
at fifteen, just when my brother stopped.
he moved back home from California
I thought I could not live here
because my brother left
I thought my spot was in the wings,
waiting for songwriters
to sing
I thought I could not write poetry
and survive
I knew that good poets died
and became better ones.
I write stronger now
for having died

Here, alive in the West
Or there, at that time
Snowdrifts or Western sea line
the smell and feel of summer grass
is the same
resting quietly, close to the ground
the poet is reclaimed.

COPYRIGHT 2017 Dana Janine Diamond ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com

Country Love Song and Other Journeys

Standard

by Dana Janine Diamond

10439668_10152505862936228_1710977269_n

 

I didn’t know I was going to fall in love
I probably should have
when I discovered the legend
of Granny White
who left the Carolinas
in the middle of the night
Lucinda walked here
on foot
through rugged, mountainous terrain
some nine hundred miles
I drove nearly one thousand miles
to get here
through boring, snow-dusted Virginia
not quite the same

1779577_10152224952361228_498619848_n

 

1616427_10152224951976228_1743900556_n

She took her grandchildren
in tow, widowed woman
I don’t know how she survived
yet she arrived
here, at 60, opened up her
apple cake stand and
soon her Inn
where presidents and generals laid their heads
she began anew
well past the prime…

of what king makers believe
women can be
for today’s art and commerce,
men live longer
and women merely age…
perhaps revenge
for our added years
and the miracle of life?
Some people really know
how to hold a grudge.

But I digress,
let no injustice
be done
when the headline is
She ruled this town!
She is a park, a pike,
an historic site
How many women have this
to say
for themselves?

imgres

 

6938111261_b9849b2fe9_z

I think this city
can welcome
a single mother
I surely think
it can
Bless its heart

You see,
I had a vision,
a strong intuition
that I was meant
for the sea.
This place
was part of my pilgrimage
on my way
to County Waterford or Cork
or perhaps The Giant’s Causeway
along the Antrim Coast (or at least perchance Key West.)
My home was to be made
upon the cliffs,
so that each morn
I would breathe
in the salt air
and let the tides
pull words from my soul
to float out
across the ocean
where the poetry of kindness
could flourish and live…

article-2168711-13AE4CF0000005DC-978_634x457

twelvestones

So this was just
my stopping ground
my stomping ground
as I danced away
from constraint
slipped free
of the shackles
I had placed
on myself
some twenty years past.

10439695_10152505701441228_523932255_n

Each day has been a revelation
each day I awake
to the whisper
I’m free, I’m free
I’m gloriously free
and the air is so sweet
with honeysuckle and arugula
an undefinable mystery…
The leaves sway
the cardinal sings
the bunnies greet me
as I start down
the stone driveway
to come home.

10455398_10152502612131228_297310768_n

10461769_10152502610991228_198269531_n

The trees, the woods
of the country
they see me naked
as I arise each morning
throwing caution and pajamas
to the wind
if someone has a telescope
a few acres away
then I guess they got lucky
unless a woman,
a mother in her prime
is not their idea of lucky
to which I would have to say,
Oh my! Oh me, oh my-ah.
Phenomenal woman.
Because we cannot forget

imgres

in County Galway
they buried 800 children
in a septic tank
some twenty years ago
the Fallen Women were shunned
and punished, by the nuns
for the sin
of having been alive
of having taken
a giant bite
out of life
or maybe for falling victim
it didn’t matter to them the who or why,
the single mothers
and their children
were starved and suffered.
These Irish babies need a resting place.

screen-shot-2014-06-04-at-10-33-04-am-2

10327317_10152505843641228_897014266_n

They say this place
is a good ol’ boy’s town
those are the songs
the world wants
to sing to itself
but I believe in Granny White
and Naomi and Ruth
and in the power
of a mother telling her stories

10437224_10152505701316228_1981488461_n

10514802_10152556208661228_563399617_n

10472197_10152514384001228_1279590671_n

In greeting the wide, open countryside
where farm tables and horses coincide
delectable fresh-grown feasts await,
herb goat cheese salads, avocado popsicles, sate
seemingly effortless
that’s how it’s done here
with music in the air
I sift through jewels
as the old man in the aisle over
picks up a guitar and
picks out a tune
I walk outside,
the gentle summer rain
starts to come down
my child and I
make our way
over the brick cobblestones
the light in the sky
could be grey
or shimmer incandescent,
the endless farm land and luminous
evening stars whisper
I have fallen
in love
with this place
I have fallen in love with this place.

10417147_10152514397276228_131592171_n

 

10449781_10152505862861228_899356564_n

 

 

COPYRIGHT 2014 Dana Janine Diamond ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com

Pearl Seed

Standard

      By Dana Janine Diamond 

                                                                                       

I believe

God needs me

I believe

I am the smoothest pearl

the sweetest juice

the tastiest morsel

on the most Glorious tongue.

I believe

God needs me

I believe

I could be                                                                    

the lightest petal

in the daisy chain

tied up and wished upon,

garland crown scrunched on,

spritely and meadow-free,

a dandelion cradled, held

in the smoothest palm

of the most resonant hand,

puff, poof, I’m gone.

Merely a flimsy whimsy thrown

by the pebbles, to the ground,

skipped over and stepped upon                                                    

precious trinket unseen

glimmering in the sun,

I shimmy and shimmer

to find my treasure,

like so many ships

slipped out of their slip,

circling, lost at sea,

journeys bequeathed,

for one girl or woman,

just like me,

I believe

God needs.                                                                      

As an ivory cameo rests,

her features forever in repose,

perpetually calm,

we carry on.

So, about my song

should I even get started?

on the sound I make

when I give charity

the fluidity of melody

my coins are heralding

in the Heavens

oh, but would if I could

hear the trumpets, the drumbeat,

the insidious rhythm so natural

to the heart of me

would if I could hear

that I believe

God needs me

all that is around me

here in me

and I dance

ever moving, shaking

shaking, shaking

the maracas in my head

can you hear it, too?

Such bliss, the waves,                                                         

the beads, the most

perfect pearl,

prayers rising aglow

freshly dusted like snow

angels’ wings

we make, grow, sing

breathe upon the air

balloons flying off

to nowhere, colors now everywhere,

I believe

there is no telling

where you might find it                                                

in the noise, in the quiet

your essence matters

with form or without it,

your poem-song-need,

the quintessential seed,

Those Loving arms

are yours, hold on now,

you know you’ve got it.

COPYRIGHT 2010 Dana Janine Diamond  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com