Rockabye Baby

maryrose smyth


I let my son, 6, have it, tell him something someone told me once, a lie to stem his fret, not a lie, more an “unsure,” but say it like I believe it.

“All good boys go to heaven,” I tell him.

The sunset taking too long, my son’s room storybook rosy.  The next minute he puts me in my place, hope diamonds flow from pale silk, “Mama,” he wails, standing on his bed, my face between his tiny orchid palms, “I don’t wanna die, don’t wanna get old, don’t wanna be a grandpa.  I wanna play.  I don’t want my toys to miss me, don’t want to give my toys to kids who have none. Are there toys in heaven? Any sand toys up there?”


“God’s got it all worked out,” I tell him, “Got his share of toys and then some. Heaven’s full of toys, sand toys…

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Don’t Text and Hike-u

Like, what was I thinking this morning on my clear out of the blue get with it hike. One cliffhanging thought before the other on the side of a mountain no less. One smartie word wising up the other. A look mom no hands no helmet moment, stepping back so the trail bikes coming downhill don’t hit me. My knees shaking a finger at me at this brand new ‘new start day,’ saying, “let’s start tomorrow, let’s sit and have a listen up to the birds.” So I listen, sitting on a niche carved with the perfect shape of my imperfect, I’m thinking, this is perfect, time to wonder, time to enjoy. All the time in the world wondering, wondering deep and wide, wondering how’s it gonna turn out. Wondering God, are you out there, are we gonna be okay? No one answering me, me talking all the talking just the same, wondering should I maybe take some extra underwear in the great beyond? Will there be somewhere to wash out a few things? Maybe an electric outlet no one’s using, so I can keep up with Mad Men, tabs on my kids, up with my was-tow-head one, Mr. precious all 18 all grown up already, my second chance at pretty good, Mr. I’m not so sure about, he not so sure either, Mr. Between bi-moodals, Mr. So so, so afraid of being six.

Like who’s gonna put up with this set of petunia kids I got going on if and when I check out? This kid racket double sink full life, who gonna teach them to call home, separate the shouldas from the couldas, the whites from darks? From the do it now’s cuz I said so. Like who’s gonna remind them these are the good old days? So welcome home, shut up and eat your organic kale before it gets all commingled, cold, alpha omega 3s don’t grow on trees, and pass me the milk while you’re at it, and, thank God while your at it, thank God us being so lucky, us being us, thank God us being so well shod standing on gods green warming, us standing on someone else’s dime being so alive on the peeling back I’ve wanted to change all my granite years, thank God and bless Him, bless my own mom and dad while He’s at it, me, myself and I while He’s at it, and bless the mister, the mister kids, bless this head, this heart, these hands, until forever, until the 10th of forever, until the 10th of forever wondering.

Are the kids brushing right? Are they flossing and whining between meals?
Today, like all the rest, I quit it. Quit it about being lost in the lost in found, say ‘I love you,’ first and tell my kids there’s no more, no more better than this, no more there there, never was anyway, all smoke mirrors, no thing as lost, no thing as found, unless you decide, (no Oz, no Auntie Em, no clicking heels, TV for you.) I tell my kids, this would be a good time to write something down so I can remember I had half a brain once, somebody got a pen? I’m telling you what I knew too late to save you the google of it later. Mom, Dad, if you can see my face I love you, if you got one, I’m ready for it, I’ll take one, give one, I’ll take a hug for the road. 🙂








A clamshell rises from watery depths,
she’s a beauty, her strawberry blonde adorned
by rosebuds wrapping her waist.
The museum label reads: Botticelli, “Venus,” this what must be meant by peaches and cream. Her face, that
pure. I count three eyes, knowing people will call her special too.

Moon Wolf

The color of the midnight fell into my lap just now,
filling my fear places,
my irises with the color of fire,
a moon wolf racing ahead,
my bloodline remembered in a moment’s flare,
the color of reckoning,
a redux later at the make up counter,
the color on my lips,
a torch secret,
of here and there,
staining your cheek, collar,
a neon wretch letting loose on your flannel cheek,
the color of spent,
the color of cherished,
the color of sup, the color of nocturnal,
eternal enough for me.


Hambone Hammett aka Pecan Bill by Thom Smyth

Pecan Bill who knew?

Pecan Bill who knew?

Regarding Bill, a dear friend of my brother’s passed years ago, this, a note written by my brother today, alas, another poet slash creative (T., the greater) in the family)….a commemoration:

“Aka Bill Clyde Benton the third (and several affectionate labels only close friends would dare to utter) today a funny thing struck me, this is the anniversary of his passing, and my becoming focused on acknowledging to myself publicly that this terrific guy friend lover partner was REALLY here 22 years ago and that we made a difference . It occurred to me how silent I have become about
this and decided to find a ribbon – symbols are so powerful and this one
has been in my life very personally since May 22 1992. Funny thing I didn’t have a ribbon anymore and, as I was passing a “notions” shop ( what are the chances on Madison Ave in the 50’s near Bloomies) I went in and there nestled atop all kinds of ribbons striped laced and taffetaesque was a spool of the most perfect red ribbon $1.35/yd could buy. What happened next took me by surprise. I told the counter matron that I wanted a small piece. At first quick to outline the parameters of 1 yard minimums she paused as I said I would buy the yard and take …..( I folded the ribbon around itself to form that all too familiar symbol of a pinned ribbon) . Before I could finish she clipped 4 inches and gave it to me , thanking her I said I lost a very special man 22 years ago. Without saying more she took out a pin came around the counter and asked if I’d like a pin. She folded the ribbon and placed it on my jacket lapel. Thanking her as I left I was touched by this act of kindness from someone to help me witness that I knew a man by the name of Hammett and today I remember. Xo you all and cheers to Bill. Treat yourselves to a L’ll cocktail or piece of pecan pie today -Bill would like that!

Or Words to That Effect

Today, I work on my pretend musical, working the lyrics in my head until they’re chill, shiblywitz’ a-chukunderiz’ sonder-asunder Steven Sondheiming them with a high step routine.
My feet buckling at plan B, twisty turning, reaching back for Plan A, a floppy disc of wishful thinking, I sing out “Lordy, Lordy, save me Jesus,” Ethel-style, a from the throat sound mixing Bacall with aTara of tomorrows. God, or someone, laughing up daisies in the wings, someone always there, singing me home, “Sing out Louise, deal the cards your dealt, play more, and play some more pickeled-pinocle while your at it kid,”
(or words to that effect), I ask myself, my angels, my God, to just one more time get my back and He and his hosts do just that!


Ranch House

When we first bought the house we put blinds in all the windows,
a rainbow over the mantel,
buffalos out in the yard,
I stood at the dutch door wearing gingham clicking the picture until there was no more anything — no more film,
no more Wells Fargo, no more Blue Cross, no more Von’s,
no more AT&T.
All this wanting,
the first thing I will pack.

Was Love


Was love between us, a scent of danger, of linger, of orange and lemon, of salt and sand, of time dare not, of leave not please, of please come back, of one minute more, of one minute more, then gone.

Exhibition: ‘From the Village to Vogue: The Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith’ at the Cincinnati Art Museum

Fantabulous metalwork!!!

Art Blart

Exhibition dates: 22nd February – 18th May 2014

Very much of their time, these beautiful, understated pieces of anamorphic jewellery are exquisitely designed objets d’art.

Many thankx to the Cincinnati Art Museum for allowing me to publish the art work in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the art.

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982) '"Modern Cuff" Bracelet' designed c. 1948

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982)
“Modern Cuff” Bracelet
designed c. 1948
1 5/8 x 2 1/2 x 4 in. (4.1 x 6.4 x 10.2 cm)
Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles L. Russell

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982) '"Lava" Bracelet' designed c. 1946

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982)
“Lava” Bracelet
designed c. 1946
2 1/2 x 2 5/8 x 5 3/4 in. (6.4 x 6.7 x 14.6 cm)
Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles L. Russell

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982) 'Autumn Leaves Brooch' 1974

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982)
Autumn Leaves Brooch
Gold, jade
1/2 x 3 x 1 3/4 in. (1.3 x 7.6 x 4.4 cm)
Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles L. Russell

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Big as Life, Wife as Bold


Every day, something bigger, 

this my thought, as my head and I lay on my pillow and I cast two lines between my hands, 

one for the what the hell pay it forward, do the next thing, just in case somebody’s listening, 

the other, for the ‘take one for the gipper,’

on the chin, family, I’m a giver life,

next guy gal up, my turn.  

An eek shadows between for later,

IDK why,

maybe a secret love,

for me, myself and I, for a life lived between what-fors,

for so much praying in in-breaths all these years,

for my having a fondness for mental athletics, for flashbacks, for remembering,

clouds clear, smoke clears, 

the screaming one will stop screaming,

an oasis minute just ahead in the ‘if-you-call-this-living’ living room,

where I remember how to spell,

consciousness is spelled with both big “C’s” and little “c’s,”

times I remember this too will pass,

someday when I will imagine missing the little “c” consciousnesses too, (this, in the moment middle of an “un,”)

life, too full of herself as big as she can get,

tomorrow she’ll want more,

times, she and I looking back pretty picturing ourselves, saying,

“Wasn’t life great then? See, life isn’t so hard after all?”  

Can you see me now mom?

Forward, backward, look no hands,

I’m a wisher from way back,

wishing for a lookie-see life,

no hands on the handlebars (where no one gets hurt),

wishing to hear once more, “See you later alligator,” kidding boomeranging ringtones as I pull away from the front lawn,

next day ready,

hands out, peacable,

a Walmart Greeter,

doing what big people, greeting life, moving on do,

greeting her big as life, wife as bold,

singing, see Mom, no hands.



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