Friday, February 19, 2021



Blue sky

Ocean blue

Ocean spray

Wet warm cooling in the breeze

A wave is born

Then it dies

Another is born

Another dies

The ceaseless cycle

Of creation and destruction


Happy to be alive

Bound to the sea for so long

He comes back to

Hear it smell it taste it feel it

Or he feels ungrounded

Funny he thought he’d never 

Want to see it again

It brings up too much of the angst

Can’t live with it

Can’t live without it


A bottle hits the crags

Having ridden the waves across the vast ocean

No one hears it break

A genie escapes

Lissome silent

She walks up the boardwalk

Long muslin dress

Whiter against the blue

Blowing in the inconsistent wind

It clings to her legs on the east

Billowing to the west

Reminding him of ghosts of ships 

He’d seen when lost at sea

Her hair completely tousled

An asymmetrical silhouette


She’s gone

Gone too soon

She did not even turn around once

For him to see if that really was her

Outlines of her face and figure

Leading angels and demons

Is what he sees 

Treading the road to perdition

Is she real?

Who is she?



Castaway like him?



I hear demons getting closer


More dangerous

By their proximity

She returns

She turns the numbers

On a combination lock

Click! The last one’s in place

A trap door opens 

Dark powerful wild

A beast from within his own psyche

Primal forceful strong

Leaps out to meet him

Other beasts come out to greet him

Unleashing a vault of horror

There’s no time to think

Only to react

She shouldn’t have done this

Spiteful bitch

She turns

A half smile

A baby nod

“Catch me if you can”

And disappears again

“I hate her”

In a flash

The anguish of Paradise lost

And the joy of Paradise regained

Melt into one another

Into nothing

Then become more than nothing

Something new is being born

Men are afraid of holding babies sometimes

And babies must sleep while beasts are being dealt with anyways

The archetypal parents make their presence felt

The tap on the shoulder

The “Attaboy!”

The “I told you so”

All come back to comfort and cajole

And seemingly to protect

But somehow it is not the right thing at the right time

The baby wails

“I’m a father now”

There’s no time to think

He can only react

So what will he do?

“When I look back on this

Will I be proud of myself?

Where’s the baby?

Where did she go?

Are they safe?

I’m not safe

I’ve known to fight the enemy

Since the day I was born

But the enemy within

Is a completely different issue”



Blood and flesh

The horrible smell of war

“I’ve become numb

 Toward the simpering baby

Afraid to acknowledge 

He needs me like I needed my father”

A pair of eyes

Like floaters at an opthamologist’s

Distract him

Another pair opens slowly


Full of promise

Little but wise

A choice is born

To protect that which needs to be protected

The world slowly

Falls back in orbit

From where it had strayed

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Silent Scream

Scream if you must

There is a Father Sky 

A Mother Earth

The River Goddesses

The cherubs on their angel wings

That can hear you and hold you

They can hear a heart breaking from a thousand miles away


                                                               ~ Sonali

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Wind-up Toy

Not of the naturally dull variety
Not one of shabbiness, uselessness, or sameness
Ordinariness of the simple utilitarian sort!
That's what I seek
A falling into the rhythm of ordinary living
Ordinary breathing, nothing fancy and yogic
Ordinary eating, no keto no nothing
Ordinary sleeping, no dreaming, no power-napping
That's what the doctor ordered
The world will pull you this way and that way
Yank your hand back and let out an expletive
You should have your very useful ordinariness
Tossed after you as you walk away

Image result for cat sleeping on a pillow

Monday, October 28, 2019


Image may contain: text
· October 25 

Rotten things that were meant to tempt you
But you caught a whiff of the odor before you could reach for a bite
And stopped
Have a way of freezing over like Hell freezes over
Except it doesn't
All you have left is a cold memory tangible enough and yet unreal
These are gifts from Mother Earth and Father Time

                                                                                                      - SDG

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


       Mama had noticed this thing about her daughter, she was restless and then listless unless she was doing something she deemed interesting. It was usually painting, or dancing, or playing with her friends that brought a special light to her eyes. With preschool giving her four whole days away from school she was lost between two worlds. Mama found it harder each week to keep her fully engaged all day in things that had pleased her well enough earlier, simple childhood things like sidewalk chalk and soap bubbles. She needed more entertainment or edutainment than just that. The neighbor’s kids had just started ballet and wore their cute little tutus even to play in the yard. It looked like they really loved ballet lessons and Mama enrolled Ankita in the same dance school hoping she’d enjoy the experience. And thus began a journey into a world of music and movement and storytelling that opened up a whole new dimension of life to a little girl who had been happy enough with her dolls and blocks and rhinestone hair clasps, but intuitively knew there was more to life than just that much.
That summer cousins from Ohio had come to spend a few weeks at their home and had brought her a present – the awesomest present that Ankita had ever received – a skateboard, a shiny pink skateboard you could do tricks with on the curb, send Mama into a tizzy and then leave her awestruck. Ankita was a natural. The cul de sac was where she and her cousins spent most of their summer vacation. There were evenings they would drive to the park and try to find a little track they could skate on where the big bad skaters were.
Rollerblades were the next thing to do and a life path segued into a skating rink nearby. There a mother waiting for her children handed Mama a phone number that belonged to an ice skating camp the last week of summer break. And on that thin thread began a chapter in the life of our protagonist that shaped much of her life.

Image result for girl on skateboard drawing


Miss Decryption
Greek & Egyptian
Multilingual stele
She's a rock star
She is Rosetta Stone

Tuesday, September 10, 2019


 Mama was about to drive away after having dropped Ankita off at the skating rink for the day when Mrs. Coach flagged her down, asking if she could possibly stay at the front office and play receptionist and accountant for the day as both had had family emergencies and they had found no replacements yet, “Pleeeeease.”
            “Sure, “said Mama, mentally canceling her hair appointment to cover gray roots a month old, turned around and parked. There really wasn’t much to do. She tidied up her sari some, put a bindi on from the packet of maroon bindis she always kept in the glove compartment for just such emergencies and decided she didn’t look too shabby. A couple of kids came in to get drinks at the soda machine, one needed a band-aid, one had to call her mother, one had lost a baby tooth and asked for a zip lock bag so the tooth fairy could see it. The phone rang perhaps twice. Mama got comfortable in her new role by midday, made herself a pot of coffee, got on the internet to check her email, and even put her feet up. There were notes from family, friends, the usual junk mail to delete, the dentist’s reminder, a newsletter, some chain mail, the usual stuff, and a picture of an exotic pet her new book club friend always sent. This was something that irked Mama even more than chain mail. She had, over the years, met many a decent soul who wanted to make friends by sending her pictures of cute but wild and exotic animals in Santa hats, on treadmills, in swimming pools, and so on. It always cut through the many layers of civil tolerance and made it to the fresh raw core of her being and IRRITATED her. This was perhaps the first time she was able to look past the inartful use of the internet and look into the heart of the person sending out these cute and fuzzy photos of pandas and tigers to see a fellow human being. She replied. They planned to meet for lunch.
            A family walked in. Mama thought a section of a Las Vegas convention of celebrity look-alikes had wandered in. The father was a dead ringer for Evander Holyfield with a Midwestern accent, the mother looked like Oksana Baiul and didn’t say a thing, and the daughter was a little Surya Bonaly. Mama said hello and asked how she might help, in her best imitation of a receptionist doing a great job. The father said he had called earlier in the week to meet Anya (Mrs. Coach) and set up a schedule for his daughter who had been skating now for three years in Minnesota. They had just moved here with a job transfer and he was thrilled to find out they taught figure skating the old fashioned way. His wife seemed very enthusiastic but didn’t speak. In the meantime Mama had surveyed both of ‘Evander’s‘ earlobes and determined he most definitely was a look-alike and not the genuine article, the real deal, sashaying about town using an alias. She got up and went looking for Mrs. Coach.
            Mama finally found Mrs. Coach and walked back to the office with her to introduce to her the new family. She entered the room after Mrs. Coach. Mrs. Coach was rooted to the spot and blocked her way. The father was speaking rapid-fire Russian. The room tilted on its axis. Eventually, they got the paperwork done, Mama brought them coffee and juice, following which they left for a tour of the premises, Mrs. Coach speaking animatedly.
            Later that day Mrs. Coach explained it was the mother who had called her a few days earlier to pick a day to meet her. She said she was from Belarus. And that had been the content of that conversation. Today she told the rest of her story. She had met her husband in Belarus when he was studying Russian and practicing weight lifting, fifteen years ago. Meeting her husband in school was her first time meeting a real American, and over the five years together he had won her heart and her whole family over. They, of course, thought he was the exception to the rule. It was all those Russian lessons and the discipline acquired from years of weight lifting that had made him un-American and almost Russian, for he played the accordion too, and learned to sing along with Raj Kapoor in Awaara like the rest of them. They had moved to the USA three years ago, to Minnesota at first because it was cold enough there to feel like home. Over the years she had become used to the summer heat spending Augusts in Iowa, so when his office made him an offer he couldn’t refuse they moved. Since she was a stay at home mom and they spoke Russian at home and watched Russian T.V. via satellite her English was still shaky. It helped to be able to get the basics of grocery shopping and skating taken care of in Russian. She could hardly believe the town actually had a Russian store and two Russian restaurants. Growing up she had been under the impression that America was very different from what it really is. “People here are so warm and gentle, not the bloodthirsty crooks I had imagined they were”, she had remarked.
            Mama thought about the time she had been to Kenya, before Ankita was born, on a safari vacation with Papa and everywhere they went people addressed them as Mr. and Mrs. Patel. Or that time she had ordered pork fried rice at the mall and two or three people around her keeled over dead. Or the time her niece had sung Lee Ann Rimes’ ‘Blue’ at the talent show at school and nobody clapped at first when she finished. Three seconds later there was much clapping and cheering and a second-place trophy. And that time her cousin who lived on a farm in Montana was visiting with her three-year-old, and they had all gone out for dosas to this large Indian restaurant packed with customers. The little one had dropped the abbronzato bomb in a loud voice,” What are all these peanut butter people doing over here?” completely overlooking the fact he was as brown as the rest of the room. Growing up in the relative isolation of rural Montana he had never seen another brown person outside of family. And maybe he never really looked in the mirror poor baby.