The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...

Category: Poetry

Acceptance, meet Reluctance

So it happened: this week I turned 50. How the hell did that happen? I don’t really “feel” any different, or more grown up. I keep waiting for wisdom to descend from up on high, but that appears unlikely. Probably for the best. Chasing that need for wisdom, I realize there are a great many things in […]

The poetry of our very flesh

In Walt Whitman’s Preface to Leaves of Grass, Whitman writes: “…and your very flesh shall be a great poem, and have the richest fluency, not only in its words, but in the silent lines of it lips and face, and between the lashes of your eyes and every motion and joint of your body.” Several weeks […]

A Winter of Listening

Right now the thermometer says the outside temperature is 50 degrees and rising. It is warm, too warm for January, and almost unnatural for Winter. Last week a storm threatened us here in New England with temps in the teens and 4-8 inches of snow. The computer models were off a little, by Sunday we ended up with […]

Our World is a Poem

Uncertainty is something we’re driven to live with. This is nothing new. When faced with what seems like monumental and epic uncertainty, we flounder under the unknown weight of some future storm threatening our children, our marriages, our careers or our “lives”. Sometimes we forget that a range of responses are available to us. Uncertainty breeds emotion […]


Across the Adirondacks, sweeping down from Michigan, the emerald ash borer has rapidly devoured 50 million trees reducing forest bark to pulp. Swaths of eastern forest dead and yet the cause for concern is that Rawlings may not be able to make baseball bats for the major leagues when ash trees cease to grow. Gypsy moth caterpillars […]


Between the electric teapot, the mug, and the tea bag wrapped in yellow paper, a strange distance resides. Between the ever fixed mark we know as love and the lover herself settles a strangeness familiar as a favorite quilt. The quilt itself sewn a strange and wondrous patchwork of shapes previously unrealated. Through an opened window a […]


When looking at glass, see sand. When looking at diamonds, see coal. In a flourishing flower garden see the pile of loam. That stone wall right there was once a chaotic pile of rocks. Before the bridge there was an un-passable chasm. Weeds plaguing the front lawn are as green as grass. In the forest dense […]


Morning sun breaks through the slats of a sloppy half closed blind cutting shapes across the master bedroom. A ribbon of light falls over the cat’s purring belly. A bright brilliant burst reflects off the dresser’s mirror obscured only slightly by a pile of folded laundry. The bathroom illuminated brightly as though it’s high noon […]

The Possibility of Pie

To become content with the content of one’s life seems an optimal goal. Many however struggle and bounce from false personae to false personae as rocks skim across the surface of an otherwise calm lake. To build certainty of self, constructed through life’s labor is a task worth toiling over; assembling the facets of being […]

Home Movies

It is an odd thing watching some former, younger version of you – the thin veiled voice, the questionable fashion and longer hair – an earlier version of you trying to be, well, you. “Is that me,” you wonder; a deep and abiding question that plagues few other species aside from our own, who rarely […]

Level 4A, 4B, 5A and 5B…

We are circling, looking for prey just like a shark. “I think I see something,” she says, “Over there.” I accelerate, point and swoop; nothing. “Shoot,” she says. Out of my peripheral, movement, a man’s head, bobbing. “There; there, follow him, follow him,” she urges as I quickly loop around the row only to find myself […]

Speak to me, so I can hear your voice

  Use your words Say it like you mean it Express yourself I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what is wrong…. These are things we try to teach our children when they are learning to communicate and navigate relationships. These are things we say to partners and friends as we try to […]

Roses — flash fiction

So this is in response to a flash fiction challenge prompt by Charli at Carrot Ranch Communications. The challenge was to stay at 99 words and involve the theme of “nurturing”. Roses Stooped in the garden, mulching the fourth rose bush, an elderly woman appears outside my wrought iron fence. “Excuse me,” she says. “May […]

Love Not Love

On April 7 the prompt was to write a love poem ************ We are told this thing we make fits between folded wings of Hallmark stock and yet we know that truth barely expresses the feeble notion which effortlessly slides inside the folded ivory seams of an unglued envelope. A notion which, truthfully, cannot be […]

Vegetable — Prompt for “Poem a Day”

Do Your Body Good Vegetables lack all hypocrisy. No self-respecting vegetable would ever consider a sticker so banal as to declare themselves “Au Naturale”. Fewer still could find the daring to woo you with ads declaring protein levels at a healthy high while also boosting your triglycerides. Statin drugs like Lipitor never were invented for […]

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