Louise Gluck: The End of Winter

Over the still world, a bird calls
waking solitary among black boughs.

You wanted to be born; I let you be born.
When has my grief ever gotten
in the way of your pleasure?

Plunging ahead
into the dark and light at the same time
eager for sensation

as though you were some new thing, wanting
to express yourselves

all brilliance, all vivacity

never thinking
this would cost you anything,
never imagining the sound of my voice
as anything but part of you—

you won’t hear it in the other world,
not clearly again,
not in birdcall or human cry,

not the clear sound, only
persistent echoing
in all sound that means good-bye, good-bye—

the one continuous line
that binds us to each other.

Symphony #5, Call of the Whippoorwill

Symphony #5, Call of the Whippoorwill

By Michele Habel-Coffey

A static breeze floats

full of electric charge and knows

what way it longs to go, meandering

Pushing forward

Pushing back

Closed in, it stays

the twisted path

The aged spine of a wise old man

Crooked but true

The windy rivers passing through

skies and waters blue – touching

Wet lips that graze

Pulsing waves

A humid haze

That rises in the heated atmosphere – stirring

For a moment

Clouds form in between

The natural scene

But in the end the wind does know

Just where to go

It follows the river’s energy


The years have deepened

flowing lines

Now intertwined

Now undertow

Still, they pass through misty mountains

Rushing high

Rushing low

Then at once

Or perhaps at length

The range comes to an end

And the breeze no longer needs

To twist and bend – yearning

I wonder now

When freedom rings

Does the breeze grow wings?

And travel on, outside the lines…

Forever or

For just a time

As a lake comes to gather

And from the river fills

Deep and still


for the nighttime call of the whippoorwill

To announce the breeze has yet returned

To meet the water now still and sure

Some days my wondering

Leads me to the lake

Where I sit and watch

For watching’s sake

As the wind pulls the water

Into waves and breaks

White with crested foam

And I know for sure the breeze

Will always come

To tease the lake

For teasing’s sake

Dancing tempest

Prospero’s ache

A moment there

A lifetime gone

All summed up by the sparrow song

Calling its own name

Symphony #5

We Don’t Need No Thought Control

A Buick in the Land of Lexus


Our kids are in CRISIS.

I work with teenagers in an affluent suburban area.

They don’t comprehend what they read. They use calculators to multiply 10 x 10. The average high school junior has no clue what the word “diligent” means.

They write essays resembling those of a 5th grader. About how Albert Einstein discovered electricity.

In tests administered in reading, science and math to 15 year-olds globally, we are behind TWENTY NINE countries in math. And our kids’ performance in reading and science is  not much better. And yet, American investment in education is unrivaled, globally.

Are you scared yet?

We lead the world in the consumption of illegal recreational drugs. And one of the chief sales outlets?


Our teenage suicide rate is the highest in the world.

EVERY DAY there are over 5,400 suicide attempts by kids in grades 7 – 12.

NOW are you scared?

The two places teenagers…

View original post 1,382 more words

Michele Habel-Coffey: Wine on the Lips


Art Credit: leannelanefineart.com

Wine on the Lips

By: Michele Habel-Coffey

I breathe in deeply and hold

Hoping to stave off the aftertaste

Of cheap wine and dying dreams

But the nine dollar red

Is soft on the palate

A delicious bitter-sweet

It leaves no after taste

It bears no acrid smell


It is yet cheap

I know a treasure when I taste it

Undervalued, underpriced

Underneath me

The world shifts

As the innocent wine envelops me

And sends me off

In a warm blanket of waking dreams

And a smile that arrives

The moments the memories permeate

And bring me back

Wine, you and I

We will see the future bound together

On cheap shelves

Touched by dime-store hands

And we will rise to the occasion

Passing one day around tables

On the lips of giants

Who will smell our vintage

And declare us rare indeed