Wednesday, March 7, 2018

White Feathers

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I dreamt of a great Storm once.  It rained and snowed for days, and we were housebound, thinking it would never cease.  However, as it began to end, there came strange winds, swirling feathers, white feathers, like the ones from an Angel’s wings.  And they nestled on our house, like a huge white dove, spreading its wings and resting, waiting to take flight again, waiting it seemed, for someone to climb the roof, mount its back and fly.  Was it a vision of the future.  . . for now?

Has it come for my Beloved? Will it stay on our rooftop, patient, cooing, waiting for the sign to come from Heaven? Will the Lord send his whistle in the wind, a note to ring clear and call my Love back to the stars and his home?  And will he rise free from fear and mount the Dove for that glorious ride, knowing all will be good and safe . . . arriving at last to where he came from, knowing I will be joining him soon . . . when White Feathers come to rest again?

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Me Today ~ January 22, 2018

I can’t write anymore. Trying to . . . is like putting an empty pot into the oven, nothing to cook . . . empty, stuck and fearful to know what the filled pot would look like.  I am resisting, walking up to the altar and quickly turning away, as if I never came down the aisle.  Even now, as I write, my heart is beginning to race.  I’m standing on the threshold, a deep crevice in my body’s earth.  Holding onto a wild horse’s mane, running wild, never stopping, no destination in sight . . . except death.  Almost two years since your diagnosis, and you seemed fine, normal, no pain . . . nothing different except not eating very much, not very hungry, but nothing severe . . . some weight loss, but you could afford it back then.

When we heard the words slip through the Doctor’s teeth . . . “Fourth Stage Liver Cancer! Do you have an Oncologist?  Need to see one immediately!”  Stunned is a gentle description of the double whammy that punched a hole in our stomachs and made our heads start pounding as if we’d been in a crash.  “What? What are you saying? What do we do? Who do we see? What’s going to happen to my husband, the love of my life?  Do we put on some armor, polish the swords, get ready to fight? Fight the hardest fight of our lives!  Will the treatments change him . . make him sick, weak, lost and close to death . . . this Man of mine, who seemed happy and fine, so full of life and affection . . . my Lover, my dearest Friend?"

 What horrible road have we taken you on . . . this Golgotha? And no matter how hard I’m trying . . . to keep you alive . . . I feel so insignificant in the face of your great suffering now.  This cross is hard, so hard to help you carry up that hill.
You’ve conquered many demons in your life, overcome difficult illnesses and heartaches. . . but this one is testing you, testing me, to the point of no return at times.  Stay strong, my Love.  Keep fighting the fight, and know I’m here beside you always. 

What if another Miracle is just waiting to happen, like all the others?  What if we walked together to top of that fearful hill and found the Cross had disappeared?  Then we could roll down in the green grass instead . . . and make love once again.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

We Are Dancing the Dance

Here we are now ~ trying to feel the music
trying to find the steps we took so long ago
and that song . . . what was it?

Can’t remember . . . just your arms
around me strong and tender . . . tender still
but strong, my Love, no more.

It is me who’s holding You now
and a new song is playing
teaching us a different dance
moves and turns so unfamiliar

We never saw it coming, did we?
And all the while a storm was brewing
off the coast of Forever ~ whispering our names
warning us to put up the shutters and get ready

Your beautiful eyes are tired now
your limbs so weak, and yet
you smile at me still, with your precious heart
and we’ll hold each other and dance this dance
until one day the music ends.

Joanne Cucinello  2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Life Is Love

 Life is so fragile
we are all waiting to be born
and held forever
in the palm of God

Life is so beautiful
we've been given a heart
that keeps the beat
for all who've come before
and all who have been promised

Life is so magnetic
 attracting, holding fast
the good and bad of humankind
the very best and worst of us

Life is purely gift
forgiving one creation, leaping to another
to please the smiling God whose
only dream is love.

Joanne Cucinello

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Moonlight Praise

O Beauty
that lights the midnight sky,
how faithfully you wax and wane.
I am but one seed sprouted in time
Caught, like those before me,
in the rays of your glowing splendor.
Your rhythm flows through my veins
and all life responds with heartbeat
to your magnetic pull.
You rule the ebb and flow of ancient waters.
All emotions and cycles, comings and goings,
even our dying and our being born,
these things await your perfect timing.

 O Moon,
You have lived in our consciousness
Since our first awakening,
Created to be our gift and comfort,
our promise of the morning sun.
Even as Eve first stepped beyond the Gate
that night in lonely silence,
you were there to shine on Adam’s path
and teach the rhythms of your ever-changing face.
They watched the heavens,
awaiting your return each month
and marked the days of your growing brightness
to light the path for the hunt and their returning
journeys home.

 Your cycle echoes that of our own,
from the darkness of our mother’s womb
Into the dawning of our life.
We travel toward the brightness of our days
and in time fade like summer’s bloom,
back to the dust of our beginnings.

 O glorious faithful Moon,
who signs our destiny and bows before the Sun,
remind us always of our God,
In all life’s changes,
and in all your dances with the stars . . .
For we, like you . . . are made to shine,
each a spark of that One Eternal Light.

Joanne Cucinello

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Rim of Gold (revised)


At the edge of my body lies a rim of gold.
I am encased in light and alive within my soul ~
my soul that holds me close and remembers who I am.

My feet may touch the earth, but the crown
of my head points to where I came from.
I am here to learn from this beautiful earth
and from those who walk beside me. And as I do,
the sky receives the rays of my eternal soul ~
the Thread of my Connection.

When I leave this place, I will shed my skin like an overcoat,
my bones will turn to ash, but I will step out into forever
with all my colors shining, and my true heart ablaze
and ready for the ride back home.

There they will know me, and greet me like a new born child
arrived with gifts wrapped in my swaddling clothes
and I will hand them all the earthly pearls
God’s blessed grace bestowed.

Joanne Cucinello   2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017

I Dreamed a Dream

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I dreamed a dream that took me home to Brooklyn and the home I loved on Linden Street.  You know how dreams are.   Back and forth I traveled in time, colors dark and light, swirling.  A brown wood door stood closed before me and I knocked, listening for feet. They came to the other side shuffling.

A woman, my aunt, old and white haired now, turned the knob and opened it, and I saw a golden light stream into the room and fill it.  I told her I was to meet my Mother here.  She said she'd come at four this afternoon.  All of them, my mother's sisters, were sitting on kitchen chairs shaking their heads and wiping their eyes, saying to each other . . . "She's not coming, poor thing, she never should have said that."

My heart began to sink, another lie, just keep pretending. Then from the corner of my eye, I saw another room, dimly lit and a bed with a worn suitcase on it, opened and strewn with clothes.  There she stood, my Mother, still in her coat and frailer than I remembered.  My Mother, tear stained and seemingly afraid to come to me.  Oh, I was so happy and relieved!

"Mommy!" I cried, and ran to her like a little girl again, wrapping my arms around her saying how much I loved her and missed her for so long.  She held me too and I could feel her hair against my cheek.  The whole room began to fill with that golden light.
She kissed my face all over, just the way she always did when I was small, and she smiled that smile I've waited to see again . . . for all my life.  My gift, my answered prayer . . . She was waiting for me there, and all I had to do was knock.

Joanne Cucinello  2014

Sunday, April 2, 2017

No Regrets

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The years
are filled with stories

stories woven
with a gilded thread
to make a heart.

Silver hairs are falling
soft upon this loom
like feathers ~

pillows touching
slept on through the years
finding comfort  ~

gazing some nights
across the sheets
to that place
where heaven rests

Oh . . . these have been
the best days
the best choice
ever, ever made!


Drop the Oars

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The edge of morning is dark before sunrise
magical and fertile with imagination.
Expectancy and renewal await the dawn
so different from dusk, when the long night begins.

We must let go of the day 
to restore our bodies and walk 
through the door of sleep, but
it can be difficult to surrender 
to the dark subconscious mind. 
It asks us to abandon any thought 
of tomorrow's fate. This is not always easy.  
Ask any insomniac.

To sleep in that cocoon of dreamtime
requires trust ~ trust that we will rest protected.
Anything can happen while we sleep.
The world we know could end!  
We might wake up to hear that war has started
or someone close has died. We fear it could be us.

But then comes the morning!  We're alive!!
A new child is born somewhere at daybreak
and our ears are set to hear some joyful news!
That long awaited phone call comes 
a friend is at our doorstep,
a note arrives to say "I'm sorry".  
The blessed light brings hope.

The God who loves us 
guides the boat of our souls in the dark
while we sleep and drop the oars.
A new day breaks filled with possibilities 

and we're reborn to live another day.

Monday, September 5, 2016


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My life will always be an unfinished story ~ a song with no refrain.
I’m a sprinter in the race, tiring before the finish line
always giving birth to something new . . . and fickle as the wind.

I’m like the Bag Lady, pushing her cart down the street
only mine is full of paper scraps ~ poems and fairytales, unfinished
memoirs and writings I’ve promised to publish . . . someday.

I’ve always found a way to excuse myself from writing a novel.
It takes too long ~ my life has too many distractions ~ I don’t live alone!
I’ve probably started at least fifteen novels, some of which turned into short
stories, most of which became my . . . poems.

But then, here’s the non-fiction part of my life, and there’s no Bag Lady to be found.
It’s Motherhood, and I couldn’t find a pushcart big enough to hold five kids!
Giving birth was the easy part.  Labor, with all its pain and fear of death
was a piece of cake compared to raising these “bright ideas” and realizing what’s true.
You can’t sprint through life when it comes to mothering a child . . . since you’ve
already signed on for a Marathon!

Joanne Cucinello © 2016

Thursday, September 1, 2016

It Takes a Lifetime

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Move over soon ~ the young need space to grow.
It’s getting time to pass the torch . . .
And you must pass it on, don’t worry . . . you just
have to let go!  And when you do . . . go find your way
to the top of a hill. Stand there and look out far. 
See how your one life has blessed the earth,
this beautiful earth that has been your home.

Sing your song to the wind ~ let it fly wild once more.
Touch the earth with your hands and feel the pulse
of the soft mother under foot.  This has been your time.
In the span of creation, what footprints will you leave?
How many paths have you carved through the mountain
of struggle?  How many trees have you marked so that others
might find their way?

Then come down and walk on the stones you have laid.
Tell your stories and the things you have learned. 
Tell of the Great Spirit who lit your way so many times
through the dark nights, till you finally opened your eyes.
Tell the Young Ones of hope, and the journey, and not to despair
for it truly does take a lifetime to make a human heart.

Joanne Cucinello© 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Morning’s Here ~ and So Am I

I'm so attached to this world
to the flesh and the stones
all around me ~ things that make me
feel safe.

My grip has always been strong 
even though, as I write now,
“change” is slipping through my fingers ~
and there's no way to stop it.

All that used to be familiar is changing
morphing into forms that are 
hard for me to recognize ~ 
but I'm trying.

I tend to blame the mirror some nights
so I wait for the shifting light that seems
kinder at dawn . . . and hold my breath
as the sun begins to rise with the truth.

But, hey . . . it’s really okay.  Life is "change".
It has to be, and the ride’s been amazing.
Just makes me wonder when I’ll be
brave enough to open my hands ~ and let go.

Joanne 8/30/16

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Finger of God

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So what are we to make
of all this devastation?
Children crushed beneath debris
homes like piles of Pick Up Sticks
empty picture frames and broken glass
everywhere . . . remnants of memories
gone forever. There is pain, there is fear
there is such great suffering.

This ominous funnel, the Finger of God,
dark, swirling, pointing, making ready
to ravish some doomed earthlings
for this cynical game.

What are the rules of engagement anyway
for Mother Nature and her Associates?
Are we chosen on the map, or do they toss the dice
and let it land wherever . . . just for fun?
No one knows, not even the so called "righteous"
who claim to have the inside scoop.
They seem to think they know who’s going up . . .
and who'll be going down,
I say beware of thoughts like that . . .
Many are struck dead by Presumption!

We believe that if we're good
and obey the rules, somehow we'll
be spared and that Finger will not find us
but the truth is . . . some are lucky, some are not
and good doesn't matter, where fate is concerned.
Some of us are made stronger and more human
by disasters, though they bare our bones
and tear our hearts.

We turn to help the bleeding, we turn to search
for answers, but all will turn to dust one day,
and this is our conundrum.                                     

 Joanne Cucinello  2013

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