Tag Archives: Snow

Buffalo

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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

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Country Love Song and Other Journeys

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by Dana Janine Diamond

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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

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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?

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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

On The Trail of The Scent

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By  Dana Janine Diamond

I’m tinder

and I feel frail,

a little tender,

from the spaces

between your lines

I could be reeling

or being reeled in

should be reigned in

I’m kindling

and I feel fine

perched on a bough                                                    

peering this way

and that

to see

which way

our souls

descended

where it was written

we were intended

to meet, to imagine

the subtle flutter

of what could be

and if I climb back down                                                     

and shimmy off this tree

twinkling in fairy lights

because that’s how

this girl will always

see it

I’ll wander off

twigs snapping

beneath my feet

Cavalier king spaniel puppy lapping                                   

in circles by my side.

Seems the dogs

were always destined

to have my scent

and it would not matter

If I’m permeated with vanilla,

birch bark or dewberry,

it’s the me of me                                                                       

the you of you

the shiver inside

I sense

close by

in the distance

COPYRIGHT 2011 Dana Janine Diamond ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com

Wintry Night

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By Dana Janine Diamond

Winter has stolen
life from the trees
she can only admire
the foliage from afar
the vibrant images caught
in so many pictures
hold no meaning,
the family stories
are hidden
under a fallen bed of snow
that blankets the once fertile
her hand shakes as she absently
smooths her hair
like a leaf blowing to and fro
her shy, uncertain smile
takes over
where raucous laughter
used to live
yet her hug can still offer
a firm grip
I will take my solace in
this small comfort
the intermittent moment
when she knows me
her eyes afire
I blink
it’s gone.

I long for the day
when a blank canvas, a white page
was inviting,
an enticing beginning,
not most of her mind
dark, at the end
of a long night.
I know the story
hers to tell
after she went to mikvah
on the eve of her December
wedding, surrounded
by her mother and aunts
smiling, waiting for the rushing train
to take her home
while icicles formed and froze
on her hair.
The way she told it
I felt I was there

Still, her white hair
is remarkably thick and dense,
as if there should be more
to hold onto in her mind.
It is my hair, my eyes,
my humor, my drama,
my music, my destiny?
How she loves to dance

I will walk now,
see the hills and the many trees,
caress my daughter’s hair,
she has learned to arrange
on her own,
marvel at her alacrity,
cherish her sparkling eyes,
sweet voice raised in song
eitz chaim hi lamachazikim boh,
how we love to dance
I am holding on, holding on
Floating above the trees
Floating on a sea of tears

It must be a wintry quiet
a snow globe shaken
until all disappears
yet she finds contentment
we Jewish mothers
are resilient.
Even when we take leave
of memory,
this is our legacy
we carry, we carry
even when our life
leaves our mind
and life leaves
our womb
never let go, never letting go
and your laughter, our laughter
always

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

After the Snow

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by Dana Janine Diamond  

We are dazzled

gazing up

we see You

in the light falling

if we look hard

we see Your gentle

wonder, bursts of Glory,

we are angels

for a time

and when it melts

all the pain and sorrow

with a burning star

we will find

the jewels

waiting to be shown

off.

We trudge, we push,

we lead the sled down

and up again

but You,

You bring the hill

before us,

You cover us

with light

so that it permeates

the center

of our being

so that our breast

is no longer weary

so that our skin glows

with mother’s milk

and honey, Your gift to us.

After the snow,

we remember

if we’re clever,

the manna

melting stars on our tongue

snow like breast milk in song

copper mirrors dancing

drifts of undulating deserts

shtetl mothers milking

praise waiting

to be uttered.

~ written with Ronit’s recovery in mind.

COPYRIGHT 2012 Dana Janine Diamond  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com