Tag Archives: Motherhood

Birthday

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By Dana Janine Diamond

 

Echo, play Joni Mitchell

and I’m singing along

back in my college dorm

she cheered my love

nursed my heartbreak

I’m on my green circles couch

in my family room

with my cat and dog

waiting for

the slight scratch of the needle

as it kisses the album

listening to the music

every day after school

I barely remember what I learned

back then

but I know every song I listened to

the lyrics, oh the lyrics

they have filled my mind

for a lifetime

I ran outside in the morning

danced in the afternoon

in my living room

where my family gathered

to host book clubs

and discuss liberal politics,

my french piano in the corner

my brother played guitar

with his friends

I pontificated

about passing the ERA

knocked on doors

won debates

still, still…

gossiped on the phone

for hours with girlfriends

twisting the cord round

and round

and poetry, always poetry

I read Catcher in the Rye

in elementary school

and asked my teacher

in all innocence

what a boner was

he turned bright red

(he’s a bestselling author now

so he turned out okay)

my life is a series

of connections

the night I lost

my virginity in college

I took a long, late night walk

under the stars

in the moonlight

and the first person I saw,

told, was JD Salinger’s daughter

she congratulated me

it all makes sense

in retrospect

of course the feckless

curly, red-haired boy

broke my heart

he wanted to be a chiropractor

to this day I don’t really trust chiropractors

I loved my twenties

married the love of my life

in secret

in a pinky-peach, soft Betsy Johnson dress

he’s back running Greece now

but we talked and kissed

for hours and hours

in Village cafes

for years

I owned the streets of NY

if you ever lived there

you know what I mean

riding in limousines

to deliver champagne

gifts from Steve and Ian

thanks for keeping

them out of jail

we danced and decorated

and celebrated

and I loved Hilly

how not to,

edited stories at MS.

Gloria was luminous

God, my twenties were fun

but then the poetry called

I needed to understand

the mysteries

of this world,

walked that path

with my loyalty

to a fault

escaped, but not before

bruises on my face

on my soul

I look back and wonder

how did I endure that life?

And yet leaving religion

took all of my courage

and then some

I’ve been molested, raped, punched

spat on (fuck you Rabbi ;))

but my glowing spirit

outshines all you

could ever do

because I’m wild and precious

I’m a colorful garden

still growing

my magnificent rose

she is everything

I leave my words as rose petals

my loving gift to you

 

COPYRIGHT 2019 Dana Janine Diamond ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining tothejewishpoetess.wordpress.com

Regrets

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by Dana Janine Diamond

 

The moment of repentance

is nearly upon us

I used to be a good person

maybe

I don’t know anymore

it’s all convoluted and confused

by all the rape and abuse

and maybe I never

thought I was good?

 

After my ex-husband tried

to kill me, I used to wish

I could find some mob guy

and put a hit on him

after all, I was forced to leave

Malibu, my soul’s homeland

and became exiled to New Jersey

that alone, and the pain and sudden,

abject poverty were enough

to wish him dead.

 

Then me and my baby girl

could go back home

to the place that sung to me

by day and romanced me

by night

how I longed for majestic waves and vistas

that filled every nook and cranny of

my being

the shoreline is a distant memory

we have music here… but we’re landlocked.

 

When he died (of natural causes)

I cried for weeks

but then, I rejoiced

every single time I remember

he’s dead, I smile

I no longer live in the same fear

that permeated my life for over

seventeen years.

 

Nothing is as I thought it would be

feels like we’re in a permanent state

of Tisha B’Av

I’ve made some apologies, sure,

but I don’t really know where I am

anymore. We are in

an inside online world

 

Nature is in the distance

I still remember the drive

and optimism

now, contemplating goodness

and fear and anger

goodness, anger is the worst

sin of all

for a woman

it renders us not good

in the eyes of the world

anger and sadness

and fear and happiness

are all mixed up

nearly indiscernible

 

I suppose I’m the quintessential

wandering Jew

from land to land

from spiritual quest

to spiritual journey

from pain

to unimaginable pain

and though the day is close

forgiveness is not a

road I’m traveling on

 

I brew my tea, hold

my dogs, hug

my daughter

for hours of my days

I cook the most delicious, inventive food

I nurture, I write almost endlessly

till writing makes me known,

until it makes me a stranger

all that is in me

seeps out

the wonder-filled good and

loving heart

and the despair,

the hardness

the longing for justice

the frustration and impatience

we are locked in this moment

 

I have no idea where I’m going

what lies ahead

or is waiting to greet me

if only God and love

would meet me

 

COPYRIGHT 2018 Dana Janine Diamond ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining tothejewishpoetess.wordpress.com

Truth and Forgiveness

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by Dana Janine Diamond

This year
I am starting to forgive
my ex-husband
for all the harm
he did
of course, it is not for me
to forgive
his evil deeds
toward others,
against my child.
and what is real
is that the best chance
he gave me
to forgive
him was in
dying young.
he tortured us
for too many years
and I could click my heels
now that he’s gone.
the rest of you
if you’re still alive
I wouldn’t hold my breath
are we supposed to ignore
the vengeful, angry God
who lives on
in all of us
should we pretend
there is only love
or are we meant
to emulate angels
who never move
their feet
are we never meant
to fly
across the horizon
will we ever see
all that is below and above…
we’re not done yet
so forgiveness is not
on the menu
this year
but I will sing
anyway
because I am moving
we are singing
my lips are praying
I have some measure
of happiness
and that is significant.
just one word
to the…
hey, God,
don’t close your eyes
on us
we have traveled
a year
and we are not there
yet
wondering
are you


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

Day of Silent Shouting 

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By Dana Janine Diamond 

Every year I pray
think positive, good
thoughts
so that the head
day
of my year
will shed light
on the rest
this year I
tried something different
told God he was
a mother-fucker
didn’t edit
or narrate
or sing
Our Father, our King
because he done
fell off his throne
just me in the corner
finding my religion
trusting intuition
maybe since his head
is lolling and rolling
around on the ground
with the rest of us
or at least just
beneath my feet
it will be good and sweet
taking a bite
out of these apples
waiting
perhaps in vain
for his apologies
to me and Eve.
He had to close
his eyes
perhaps he’s just
a coward
after all
I’ve got mine
open
still
sitting vigil by the windowsill
anticipating light
every day


COPYRIGHT 2016 Dana Janine Diamond ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com

Tides Against the Shoreline 

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By Dana Janine Diamond 

Katie in
The Way We Were
was the first time
I saw myself on screen
my kindred spirit 
in passionate
politics and yearning
for a more fair
and just world
11, about to champion
Feminism
in a big, door to door way

Now we are fighting
a war
we never knew
would be upon us
and I long for
just 
one of Hawkeye’s
wry, comforting smiles
I’m crawling through
the mud, gasping
for any pebble
or lambent bead of light
any way of carrying
on

My daughter
is writing
another book, rich
with friendships and heart
struggles and triumphs
true
love
the imagination gifts us
when memories
collide
and I’m still
so still
writing poems
just as I first did when I was 14

I dreamed of bequeathing
my daughter a heroine
an explorer
a wild water tamer
in a country of poetry
I wanted to gather in
the ocean
just for her
wade through wildflowers
in the tidal marshes
untouched
bathe in incandescence
climbing
strewn on sun-warmed rocks
basking in
southernmost sunlight
sense the salt
in an air with no loneliness

once we swam
the night away
under the moonlight
now we want
to travel the world
away from the deep dolor
of nostalgia
we played Marco Polo
but you grew silent
my heart
is too heavy
with all the myths
lost at sea
where do we belong
longing for passage
home


COPYRIGHT 2016 Dana Janine Diamond ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com

Four Mothers

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             by  Dana Janine Diamond  

                                                                        painting woman writing thomas faed

A mother is always writing

a new line

even when it seems

we are merely repeating

the same utterances

every single morning.

girl_lying_in_meadow

I never dreamt

when sliding through

blades of grass,

confiding in friends in the open

expanse of green, varied fields,      images

(escaping such chores as hanging

laundry to billow on the lines)

that life might might turn,

like birdsong, and other random notes

sounding in the distance.

We absentmindedly chose

daisies and dandelions,

gathering small bouquets,

as if we could direct life

into the palm of our young hands.

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We speculated with bold determination

and a hint of wonder

on how we wanted

our lives

to unfold

like rose petals

falling out of a love note.

6--1064008-Falling rose petals- looped animation 02

We were flowers, we were kaleidoscopes,

we got married, we were loved,

we were beaten, got divorced,

got religion, got wise to ourselves.

We were allegories, we were epic,

We loved women, loved men,                                smart_women_read_between_the_lines

held educated places in society,

gave birth, gave love, adopted, expanded.

Between us, we swam the oceans,

traveled the continents,

embraced sun-glorious skies,

spoke our truth, found contentment.

We were challenged

by children

with their unique view of the world,

we grew children

like spectacular gardens.

9351347-large

We taught the world to sing.

We grew into heroines,

standing in front of new lines,                                  marching-women

throwing out the lines

we had learned by rote,

to bring about changes

we could never

have foreseen

back when we

were sixteen and dreaming,

when we thought

our mothers had a lot to learn

about mothering.

 

COPYRIGHT 2013 Dana Janine Diamond ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com

 

Butter cup

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               by  Dana Janine Diamond 

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In you, sweet, elegant baby,

I pour my love,

last year’s stored up anguish,

old worries and longings,

keen delight, new hope,

in you, sweet, loyal baby,

I find a protector, sensitive,                         20130414_161748_1-1-1-1

someone to watch over

my child with me.

 

 

With you, I stand at

attention, ready to

listen, for the birds

who sing their love

song, so high, bright and clear,

for the rustle of the grass,

as some unknown something

rustles through,

swish, swish, hum, hum

to see and hear

the world, with you.                               images

Your sweet face, so soft,

creamy skin, wise ears,

you take a bite out of this earth,

you take a run at life

with prowess and grace,

free to roll in open

meadows, chew on grass,

as you meditate,

seem to levitate,

with endless patience

for hearing my baby talk,

pillow talk, and occasional,

unusual sense

of humor, you creature

of infinite beauty,             20130430_135500 (1)

sweet baby Buttercup,

who frees my heart,

comforts this Jewish mother, daughter,

fills my cup.

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COPYRIGHT 2013 Dana Janine Diamond ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com