Friday, October 25, 2013

October Street

It's raining copper in the sun!
Pouring gold and amber!
Dazzled by the riches,
I scamper through the wealth
breathe in the smoke
of the leaves lying down,
life dying down for the winter.

A dervish whirling on a vibrant pyre,
laughing down the darkness
in an avalanche of fire!

©2013 Joanne Tenenbaum

Monday, September 30, 2013


Those who loved me are dying
falling like dry leaves
in the autumn of my life.

©2013 Joanne Tenenbaum

Monday, April 22, 2013


Icons of commerce have supplanted
the enchanted pigs and random bananafish
that once demarcated one realm
from another.

Homespun mystics, once solitary,
chant panting prose, tartly and smartly.
They are now jumbled up with
gift-giving children who, evading
aftershocks and playing concertinas,
take flight with silk parachutes
and swim through the air.

Two doorways intersect:
one leads to mermaids,
the other to the street. Sweet.

©2013 Joanne Tenenbaum

Sunday, April 14, 2013

God Smites me and I Reel

I am a bell ashiver at the clapper’s thud
a door flung open to the swimming stars
a silver ribbon dancing in invisible wind
a footfall stamping the earth in dance
I am that place where hand and drum collide
I am the eye of the cat in which resides
An image of the allinall
dancing singing birthing bleeding
growing, groaning, dying, and whole.

I am a breath.

I am darkness cracked open to expose
the light the light the unquenchable light
inside the most charred or bleeding heart.
I am the light gushed forth from the Ark first seen.

Silenced by its golden fire, newly sacred,
I move carefully, trembling lest I spill the light
that filled me then and sings in me still
thirty years and so much darkness later.

©2013 Joanne Tenenbaum

Missing Geshela

When I see photos of Tibetans
I scan them for a glimpse
of my teacher's face
hoping to stumble across
a face in the crowd
a lama at the table
some image from the past
to comfort me.

Empty exercise.
My teacher is no more.
Useless to seek him now
Whose face I could not see

©2013 Joanne Tenenbaum

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Strange Christmas: Remembering the Newtown Children

Strange Christmas. Twenty-six beloved little ones are being buried in Newtown, CT, where a madman whose name should be consigned to oblivion ruthlessly gunned them down. I want to know everything about these children.
  • Their full names
  • Their  birthdays
  • Their favorite colors
  • Their favorite story
  • Their personalities
  • Their hopes
  • What they wondered about
  • What they loved
I want to remember these children always. I pray that their horrific loss will be the turning point in the fight to get automatic weapons off American streets and out of the hands of civilians.

I grieve with their parents, whose pain I cannot even imagine.

How strange and terrible it is that in a free society our children are not safe, despite the best efforts and personal sacrifices of their parents.

This is a Christmas for mourning and remembering this outrage. This is a Christmas for blessing the families of these little ones and  the journeys of their children, who are also our children.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bicyclists and Fear

I wonder whether people who ride bicycles ever think about how frightened some of us drivers are of hitting them. I can understand that it's harder to stop and start up again on a bicycle than it is in a car, but most bicyclists I encounter don't follow the traffic laws at all. They don't signal, and they don't stop at stop signs. Hence my fear.

A person I know just had the terrible misfortune of accidentally killing a bicyclist who careened around a corner and into his windshield despite the stop sign that would have protected the bicyclist had he heeded it. This is a grievous loss of a human being, and a terrible burden for the motorist who now has to live with having killed someone.

If you ride a bike, please be mindful of the traffic signs and laws. We'll keep watching out for you, but please help us out by watching out for yourself as well.