Wednesday, December 27, 2017

you are within (lyrics)

you are within    my soul.

I am within     your soul.

you are within    my soul.

I am within    your soul.


I am   you
you are   me
I am   you
you are   me.



when will we love a stranger like we love our lover?

when will we feed the hungry like we feed our daughter?

when will we hold the lonely like we hold our mother?

will I see in your eyes, a little of mine?


I heal for you,
I heal for me.

you hurt for you,
 you hurt for me.

we never end,
we never start.

in this short breath
we're all we've got.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Vignette #2

We had gone to the park to break sticks. The hawk too, had gone to the park, probably to hunt for
squirrels, but I like to think it had been there waiting for us. We didn't know what we were walking into,
only that we had to go. Sam was angry, and I was following his lead, not quite touching my own anger
enough, but I knew it was there too, waiting. We looked for a spot away enough for the ritual, for the
release --in the park, but also in the forest. That's when I saw its eyes peering at me from a high
distant branch. The hawk was watching us. We had arrived.

I remember thinking it would fly away if we got too close, but we kept climbing up the small hill,
nearer and nearer until we were just feet away. The hawk didn't alter its gaze or fly to a different tree.

The ritual began.

Sam found some dead branches and we started stomping and breaking, thrashing and grunting. His
anger fueled mine, and we both let it come flowing forth out of our minds, into our body, out of our body,
into the earth while the hawk watched with steady eyes.
We were lost in our own self importance, grunting like animals,
we didn't even realize that the small boys were watching too.
They kept walking closer, slightly ahead of their mom, gazing up at us
with the same steadiness as the hawk.
Finally, they stumbled up the hill towards us. “Excuse me” the smallest one said, “what are you doing?”
''Oh you know, just breaking sticks." I replied.

Suddenly everything felt incredibly holy and also incredibly silly. I explained to the boys' mother
we were there making weird animal noises and stomping and shaking branches as therapy.
She seemed to understand.
The boys had already understood.


And the hawk was there still staring, wondering -- what took you so long?

Monday, December 18, 2017

Vignette #1


Last night, when stranded in the cold dealing with a debacle after The Moon Show, my phone frozen, my fingers numb, I asked a passerby across the street if he could call me car. He kept walking, looking at my shoes that were not quite on my feet yet (I had been mopping the venue of the moon show) and he said “take the subway.” I was so angry and desperate that I wouldn’t accept his cold lack of empathy. So, I yelled as he continued to walk away. I yelled back his humanity. I told him I couldn’t take a subway, I had too much gear, my phone was dead and I was in a shitty situation, could he help. He paused and said “get a cab then.” I waved my arms pointing to the lack of traffic in any close proximity, still in shock of his indifference to my situation.

Finally he said he’d help me get a car, and he waited for me to collect my things.

I’ve imagined this situation with a lot of different people passing by, and I’d like to think that I could eventually get anyone to stop and help me. Though, even people who consider themselves generous and nice are often in too much of a hurry, or see the sidewalk merely as a means to get to where they’re going, and anyone on that arena, merely as backdrop. But I emerged from the backdrop to plea for help from a stranger, and it took him a while to recognize my need, my humanity, his humanity --the realization that we are interconnected in this world and we have to fucking help each other because in the end that’s all we have --our togetherness. We’re nothing without our connection to others. It’s easy to forget since we all walk around connected to technology instead of what is in front of us. But last night I had no technology to save me. I was alone on a desolate midnight street in Brooklyn. Who else is going to hear my cry for help but the one person walking by? I’d like to think that if someone else is need on the street that I will stop to help. I’d like to think that most people can be woken up out of their haze of disconnection, their lost sense of empathy, their rush to get somewhere. I’m hoping we all wake up soon, because there are some people who have been shouting for help for a while now, and it is fairly easy to not hear the cries of the marginalized.
Will we put down our phones and listen? ---

Beautiful Community

Now is the Time
Love and Protect Each other
Resist and Rise*


*lyrics by Emma Alabaster and myself


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Ten years ago I went to Costa Rica to volunteer on a farm in the jungle, learn spanish, write music, and escape my heart-ache. I brought with me a book of Bartok string quartets to study, my ipod to listen to music, my composition book to write in. Through my 8 week stay, the jungle ate everything I brought there to get done. The moisture from the jungle caused my i-pod to stop working, my composition book got wet and moldy, the Bartok string quartet book eventually couldn’t even open because of all the mildew. I learned that by fully entering the jungle -- this beautiful and powerful force of nature, I couldn’t bring any preconceived ideas, an agenda -- a things-to-do list. The jungle taught me the most valuable lesson I have ever learned --to listen to the world around me. The sounds and music I heard in the Jungle were more incredible than any music I could have heard on my i-pod. I learned to look around and breathe in the sights and sensations of the richly layered eco-system. I learned that the less I did, the more I became.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Step Away My Dear (lyrics)

When light’s too bright, you cannot see
A sound too loud, you cannot hear
Plants too close, cannot grow


Step away, step away my dear
Step away, step away my dear


When we think we know, we know nothing
When we are too close, we cannot see
When we say it all, we say nothing


Step away, step away my dear
Step away, step away my dear


Watch me as you watch the moon
Give me space to disappear
I’ll wax and wane but never leave
I’ll stay the same but always change


Step away, step away my dear


The moon knows the earth from miles away
Please see my whole self, not just my sides
Please see my whole self, not just my sides


The moon stirs the tides by pulling towards itself
You pull inwards, and I’ll pull inwards,
And our tide will rise


The moon sees the earth from miles away.
Their love is as clear, as it is far.
Please see my whole self, not just my sides.
Please see my whole self, not just my sides.


Watch me as you watch the moon
Give me space to disappear
I’ll wax and wane but never leave
I’ll stay the same but always change

Step away, step away my dear

Sunday, July 16, 2017

a poem for later


I am learning

That love can come in

Not like a thunderstorm 

But soft, like a drizzle.

You're slowly and steadily drinking it in.

Or it's drinking you.

By the time you realize it's rain...

You're drenched.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

we are (lyrics)

we are enough
we are enough

we are everything
we are everything

we are the Winter's quilt
we are the Poet's tongue
we are the roots of a tree
we are its leaves falling

we are the Summer's rain
we are the Child's laugh
we are the Elder's cane
we are everything
we are everything

we are the silenced people's cry
we are the one who stands up
we bring the key to the cage
we sew the wings to their sleeves

and we sing and we sing for their lives
and we sing and we sing for our lives

oh----we are the ocean
oh----we are a drop

oh----we are the mountain
oh----we are a rock

oh----we are a flower
oh----we are the seed

oh----we are the Seeker
oh----we are found.

even when we forget we are, we are
even when we forget we are, we are
even when we forget we are, we are
even when we forget we are, we are

we are a star, a firefly, the moon's rise, the wind's fall
we are everything, we are everything


more than enough
we are



listen to the song here

Monday, May 29, 2017

when I became the blue




most times I think I've escaped you.



but then

water rushes in

and I remember that night
where we melted into each other

the wind, rain, waves
sounding behind, beneath -- through us

you painted me in every different kind of blue --
all the blues from your drawings

the only moments of color
in your ink of black and white

these were the colors that became me.

but was it you who did the painting,
or me who did the dreaming?

did i paint you painting me?

and were the blues from your drawings
the one splash
you allowed yourself to feel?


the splash dried up--


black and white remains.





Tuesday, April 25, 2017

oh say can you see

Is it bombs bursting in air
Or the rockets red glare
That proves in the night
That our flag is still there?

Or is it the way we resist
And the way we persist
The way we defend our immigrants

The way we stand up
Or take a knee
We raise our voices
Or refuse to sing
An anthem steeped in slavery

Oh say can you see, oh say can you see
A future of peace and equity?

Oh say can you see, oh say can you see
A future of peace and equity?

Our anthem was written by Francis Scott Key
A white man, a slave owner
Why is this what we sing?

In the 3rd verse our anthem does gallantly boast:
“No refuge could save, the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.”

( And you wonder why Kaepernick does take a knee? )

Oh say can you see, oh say can you see
There’s nothing patriotic about slavery
Oh say can you see, oh say can you see
There’s nothing patriotic about slavery

So, we’ll write a new song
Till the stars and the stripes
And the red white and blue
Mean freedom for black folks
Muslims too

For what kind of flag only waves for some?
The few and the rich and the white and the male? ---
Let’s wash the flag from its stains of blood
Let’s change the song so we can proudly hail--

A freedom that means everyone
A freedom that means everyone

Oh say can you see, oh say can you see
A future of peace and equity?
Oh say can you see, oh say can you see
A future of peace and equity?

Monday, January 9, 2017

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