Saturday, May 31, 2014

Scent Memories

photo courtesy of Polyvore

They say that the sense of smell is the most sensitive, the most accurately recalled and the most connected to emotions.

Lately, I've been wearing my favorite summer fragrance, Annick Goutal's Eau du Sud, a crisp citrus.  A close friend of mine wore it also, we both found it serendipitously.  She died several years ago.   It evokes vivid memories of her.

I remember her remarkable intelligence, her dry sense of humor, her many and varied talents and interests, her ability to devour books and her style and class.  She was a friend, a co-worker, a mentor and sometimes a mother figure. 

When we worked late and discussed shared cases, now and then, we'd stray into chatting and laughing.  At a certain point, she would dismiss me, "go away, I have reports to write".  On the phone, we exchanged "I love you" at the end of some conversations. We argued, but always made up, even if we did not process the disagreement.  Mostly, we enjoyed each other's company.

At first, I did not realize the severity of her illness; later, I learned it was terminal.  She stopped working and being together was  special.  It was difficult to view the progression of her disease as she lost her edge and as she would say, "decompensated".  Physically, she became weaker.  Her days were limited, good days, bad days.

I only cried twice in the process, unfortunately, both in public and she hated PDAs.  She was in a chemotherapy session, made an abrasive comment to me and I burst into tears.  She responded, "be quiet, other people are dying here".  How true.  At her proper Episcopalian memorial service, I sobbed.  It came from deep within me, hidden for months.  Being raised in an emotive Italian family, this type of expression was not unusual, but at this service, I was alone.

Afterwards, there were times I wanted to share something with her, only to realize she was gone.  It does not happen much these days. Time has passed.

I still miss her, still think about her, especially in the summer, through the scent of Eau du Sud.

photo by author

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

adoption redux

Just when I thought I'd come to terms,
put it in its place,
gained perspective,
all grownup, no emotional baggage left.

Philomena, the film, comes along
and throws me into a tsunami,
rips out my heart,
triggers a driving rain of tears
and wrenching sobs,
washes away my adulthood,
my vulnerability wide and deep.
A powerful current draws me in, tosses me,
and though I emerge for a breath,
I am pulled under again.

One moment a composed woman,
the next, a small child, alone,
abandoned, inconsolable.
It is random, erratic, I have no control.

But it is part of me,
my past, my present, forever,
it is integral to me.

photo by author
courtesy of UNOS Art Gallery


Monday, May 26, 2014

hey, babe....


A late bloomer for sure,
amazed I possessed a certain allure,
it was not expected,
after years of being neglected.

My hair red, short and spikey,
my look edgy and quirky,
body toned, make-up in place
sure that I'd maintain a certain figure and face.

Younger and full of sass,
yet as the days added up, it came to pass,
a wrinkle, a sag,
no longer the woman who had "it",
I considered it might be time to quit.

As I pondered, my mind wandered
to a song,
"Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side..."
So that's my new mantra
I've decided to take it out and ride...

photo by author
                                              lyrics from "Take a walk on the wild side",
                                                             by Lou Reed

Sunday, May 25, 2014

do it, part II

My concentration is shot, my ability to focus gone,
I can not even read a book, a magazine article.
In the interior of my brain, there is a conflict,
a decision to be made and it distracts me.
I am unsettled, edgy, anxious.
The pressure will be reduced when school ends,
no subbing for summer,
so more time though less income.

Perhaps the chunk of time to devote to poetry,
to write as often as I am inspired,
to read my poems aloud in different settings,
to process feedback,
to find out if I have what it takes,
to develop my craft, if indeed I am a poet.

It excites and frightens me.
Do it.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

do it, part I....

What am I doing? where am I going?
this balancing act becomes more difficult each day,
on a tightrope without a net,
to sub, to work at the store, to write poetry,
to write my blog, to take photos, 
splintered, spliced, sliced and diced,
this vego-matic is eating me up
fragmenting me into small pieces.

I am stuck, frozen and running out of time.
If I continue, I will accomplish nothing,
half-assed attempts.
Take a step, a leap, plant my feet
and say this is what I will do
and do it, just do it.

Friday, May 23, 2014

coming soon....

three part poem... still tweaking it... keep checking...

Gallia divisa est in tres partes...

photo by author


Tuesday, May 20, 2014


I'm writing again and decided to organize it,
not realizing that in the past few months,
I have created so much verbiage.

I surprised myself at the amount of words
that I have composed.
Some present themselves with little editing,
other start with one thought
and morph into something else entirely.

Some I have shared, some I have not
(though I may some day),
another group is being
developed, edited, tweaked.

I know when it is finished and when it's not.
The latter makes me anxious,
edgy, waiting for closure.
It usually takes time and patience,
except I want it done well NOW
which is not always possible.

Things get in the way,
like life...

photo by author,
courtesy of UNOS Art Gallery


Sunday, May 18, 2014

rebel, rebel...

on the lighter side...

Last night, my husband thought I was psychic,
not psycho which he thinks more often.

My skills of observation,
reading verbal and non-verbal cues,
my intuitions, honed over many years
of interviewing, assessing, counseling,
Yes, I know my stuff.
I feel complimented when another recognizes this.

He was at Pane e Vino, one of our favorite restaurants
and expected me to join him.
But I can't piece a puzzle together without a hint,
a suspicion, a tiny bit of intel
so I failed, eating leftovers solamente,
as my husband wined, dined and chatted,
my evening boring compared to his.

The story goes, I should have texted him,
he would have texted his location, etc.
It's my fault for not divining this info,
plucking it out of the wind.
Perhaps he'll consider texting me next time
Or not.

photo by author,
courtesy of  UNOS Gallery


Saturday, May 17, 2014

the perfect storm...

The challenge presents itself,
what stays, what goes.

Some of it is income,
a bit of money,
also tied to my self worth,
my contribution to the whole.

Can I push that aside
to concentrate on a passion
that brings no dollars or cents?

Fashion, poetry,
can I do both, do both well?

The scales heavy with options,
I do not know the answers.

My days full of anxiety, confusion,
these feelings uncomfortable,
I pace.

My time is limited, valuable,
I do not have the extravagance of youth.

My mind is muddied, clouded,
I await a storm,
thunder, lightning, driving rain,
a sliver of light, a direction.

not enough....

Too much to do, too many jobs, interests,
each day a different schedule,
torn, unable to focus, decide, prioritize,
unable or unwilling
to make a commitment, take a risk,
fear of failing...

I flit from here to there, like a hummingbird,
hovering for nectar,
from one bloom to the next,
constantly in motion,
dividing my attention into bits and bytes,
I've lost track of purpose,
consensus within myself,
my legacy, projects with promise,
but no completion.

I am exhausted, splitting what is inside of me
with too much outside of me.
Not enough to go around...

photo by author, courtesy of Glave Kocen Gallery

Friday, May 16, 2014


I thought it was just a bad dream when I awoke,
But wait, it's reality.
My family wants nothing to do with me,
I have no family.
A crazy way to be today,
when there are so many types of families,
But I have tried to make a family,
without success, it hasn't worked.
No birth family, no adopted family, no friend family.
Me, myself and I,
a very sad, small family.
No sense of being part of a whole,
mostly alone, some loose connections here and there,
but not enough consistency to say I belong,
I am yours and you are mine,
we are together on this journey.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

aha vs. oh no

Today is my birthday, let's not discuss age,
so many years, like mileage on an older model car,
which has its peculiarities.
To open the door, jiggle the key.
To turn on the radio, hit the dash.
After a while, these adjustments become the norm.
Until I drive another car.
These compensations are not necessary.
This is an aha moment.

I am jarred when I look in the mirror
and am faced with what gravity has created without my permission.
I don't recognize this ungracefully older me.
This is an oh no moment.

Quite a difference, it relates to what is within my control.
Aha is teachable, oh no is reachable with lots of cash and a good doc.

Monday, May 12, 2014

My rap/Show the World (L'il Boosie)

Ain't nobody checkin' my blog,
Waas up wit dat? Waas da  prob?
S'all there, wah ya wan?
Holler at me 'cause I care
Wanna communicate, ya know,
conversate, if ya dare.

Lemme get into ya head,
hear wah ya gotta say,
'cause I'll holler back wit no delay,
mo' text, fashion, poetry...

Tryin' t'find my way through da twenty-fivers,
like Aretha, wan R-E-S-P-E-C-T,
oldah, wisah, my view's unique,
leave a footprint fo' eternity.

Model from RVAFW...

A Room with a View..... RVAFW trunk show...

One of the things I love about this trunk show is that it is on the Observation Deck of City Hall in downtown Richmond.  It has the best view of the whole city and I'm there with my camera.  The breezes were blowing through the space, the sun was shining, it was glorious... 
About 40 vendors from the City and surrounding area set up to sell their wares... plus live music to listen to...

beautiful African fabrics...

the New Normal tee shirts....

R U Intrepid?!

Music by duo from Grand Finale at the National...

another finalist from RVA Has Talent...

downtown Richmond, a mix of old and new...

The Rivah...

part of the Richmond skyline...

close-up of the roof of the Coliseum...


John Marshall's old digs...

church view...


one of my favorite pieces of architecture in downtown, the Old City Hall's clock tower...


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dry to the bone...

I feel used up, creativity at zero, consumed during RVAFW,
One small group of photos to edit and post and done.

It seems to have knocked the poetic wind out of me,
I worry that there is no more,
when previously, I could not write fast enough...

I hope it is a pause, that deep within the energy is recharging,
building silently, slowly rising,
and then it will take me by surprise,
words tumbling through my head,
my hand writing quickly to capture the thoughts and feelings.

Creativity takes time, more than I anticipated,
and patience and persistence,
right now, I have exhausted all of that,
no more to give, so for tonight, peace out.


the Grande Finale at the National

The apparel and accessories:
AlterNatives, the Glass Boat, Ten Thousand Villages, Fab'rik,
BCBG, South Moon Under, Cache and 707 Fine Clothing

The girls, the boys, the team...









this gentleman speaks to the camera without a word...



It takes a village... to put together such an amazing show!

Model coordinator, Stefa'nie Thompson

Jimmy Budd, the brains and heart behind RVAFW

Courtney Culbreath (with microphone), organizer extraordinaire
and to all, a goodnight...