Monday, December 21, 2009

Long Before


Before I came to be ~
You loved me.
Unadorned in my mother's womb
I was already yours ~
and you were mine.

Love had claimed us ~
long before
we found each other.
Even as we danced as spirits
in the great beyond ~
you were mine.

And in every lifetime
we have found our souls
abiding in that sacred space
tomorrow holds for just a few
bound together for eternity.

Before I came to be ~
You loved me.

Joanne Cucinello © 2008

Monday, November 30, 2009

I Shot An Arrow (revised)

It could be a Love Poem remembered,
or a Psalm in time of need, perhaps
that worn page so often turned to,
that becomes the gifting "word of life"
bursting through barren soil
like an arrow set to fly.

They come to us in whispers,
these words, and even in our dreams,
emerging from the sacred Well of Memory
a bucket filled to quench our thirsty souls.

Some sting the flesh with honesty, like
an unexpected mirror turned to grab the heart
and then, some come tender like
a long forgotten kiss upon the brow
or a smile just in time, from a passing stranger.

Who can tame the flight of words
that spring from tongue or pen?
Who presumes to see their port of call?
No one, not even the Wind

Yet, there are those words
that linger on past dawn,
words that move us
turning inward, searching yet
beyond the common door to find
a reason to believe
a reason to keep loving
a reason . . . to forgive.

Joanne Cucinello

Friday, November 20, 2009



"Brothers" are not born
they are made
from the old vine that
grew wild in the first
primordial desert,
searching for water
as it scoured the earth.

"Brothers" carve their names
on each others' wrists
and mingle blood,
an ancient boyhood ritual
bonding the lives of two
who grew in different wombs.

"Brothers" would sooner
sink to the ocean's bottom
than betray one another.
They will go into the abyss
hand in hand and come up shining.

For all eternity . . . the word, "Brother"
avows a sacred trust, bonded in the heart,
a crown to shine on manhood
and may it always be.

Joanne Cucinello

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What Will We Do?


What will we do
to save our children
from the monsters that hide
not under beds
nor in the shadows on the wall
but prowl the streets
and wait for the yellow bus
and that one last lingering child
who dillydallies
jumping over puddles
skipping down the road
singing silly songs
she only learned today?

What will we do
to hold back mothers and fathers
from taking the law into their hands
when we ourselves have decided
to join them?

How do we turn this world
upside down and inside out again
and will it ever, ever end . . .
the sacrifices of the innocents among us?

What will we do
when the seas dry up
and there is no more salt
left for tears?
What will we do
when poets are no longer needed?

Joanne Cucinello 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Harvest Moon

Harvest moon Pictures, Images and Photos

Harvest Moon
shine upon the fields tonight
and give the farmers
longer light
to pull the crops
to thresh the grain
to shear the sheep
for wool again.

The good grape
is plump and ripe
awaiting oaken cask
and dance begins
the stomping feet
stained purple with the task.

Skirts like fans
with blushing knees
wave the frenzies higher
turning grape to ruby wine
they wait the harvest fire

Crackling corn and roasting pig
turn this night to feast
and earth is blessed
with bounty full . . .
the plows can rest in peace.

Joanne Cucinello 2007

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

We Long To Be


All life springs
from its center
a core stretching
darting out
coaxing the sun
to be benign
and grant its blessings

Fragrant as the morning dew
are we all . . . in our innocence
in our longing just to be.

Joanne Cucinello

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cinderella Lost


Has anyone seen her
my sister
with the tattered skirt?

She was passing through
just a moment ago
with little ones in her arms
and a sack around her hip.

We used to dream together
hiding under the bed with
pretending we were
going to the ball
to meet the Prince.

We said we would share
our slippers made of glass
and take turns baking
bread for him

but he turned out
to be an ordinary man.
Knew nothing of glass slippers,
Can you believe it?!

Joanne Cucinello

Thursday, October 8, 2009

No Season for Peace


In every time, in every
wherever there is
the same wars continue . . .

Young men fight to protect~
old men wave their fists
Women cry to heaven "Why?!!"
Missing limbs lay
scattered on the
bloody fields
crying . . .
"Don't leave me!"

Medals turn to rust
in dusty closets
undisturbed small tokens
of remembrance for the brave
who wake at night
in terror still.

Few have pity
when the gun points
and so the Earthly Mother,
rocks her orphans
one more time . . . one more time.

Mercy . . . Mercy
cry the stars!

Joanne Cucinello 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I wrote this in 2004 after the Tsunami struck Sri Lanka
but sadly I am re-posting it in memory of those
lost this week in the Samoan Islands.

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Death came this morning
even as the Sun was shining on little children,
even as their tiny hands sifted sand at the ocean’s shore.
Death came
like the Beast that was promised
from ages past,
up from the deep,
cracking the shell of the ocean floor
reaching its fierce tentacles out . . . out
over land,
over houses,
crashing steel and wood and glass,
raging salted terror and devastation
like a holocaust called forth
from the bowels of the earth.
Bodies are floating like dead trees
washing up on the shore
and above the waves . . . the sound of wailing mothers.

Where are you, my father?
Where is the house that you built with your hands?
Where are you, my sweet baby,
torn from my arms by the hungry devil sea?
I cannot find you,
your small body to lay in the ground
that I’ve covered with flowers.
I want to remember the life I once knew,
but instead I will dream forever
of the raging ocean wall
that rose and tore you from my arms.
I could not hold you, little one,
the waves, so strong, took you away
and I am alone now without my heart
without even a smile for the Sun
who lied that morning saying, “All is well.”

Joanne Cucinello 12/26/2004

Monday, September 28, 2009

It Was Amy

She turns around
now and then
to look, to gaze
behind her
at something eternally
the beating heart
the stillborn image
floating free...
catching up in time
to touch her soul
reminding her
once she had a child
named Amy.

That quiet giggle
passing sometimes
in a breeze
across the lawn
scented with her
sunlit hair . . . dancing

could have been a butterfly
perhaps, but no.

And then that young man
who returns each year
the day in May
when she was born

to find her spirit
at the water's edge
around the cove
where she stands again
with pebbles shining
in her hands . . . Amy.

Joanne Cucinello

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Even In the Rain

rainy night Pictures, Images and Photos
My Love
some nights
in my dreams
I am all alone
down lonely streets
in the rain.
I hear your voice
far in the distance
and even though
I shiver with cold
your voice
keeps calling me
begging me
not to be afraid . . .
You are there
your warm blanket
of love
an umbrella
your arms and lips
my home.

Joanne Cucinello 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

May I Never Forget


Lord . . . what can I say to you?
How can I look through the doors
of heaven and still be standing?
You wrapped me in a blanket of comfort
and hid me from the shadow of darkness.
You lifted me, surrounded me
with angel's wings.

What could have been my ending
the last thought in my head
the last tear from my eye
became a pillow filled
with gladness and my heart
a blooming rose.

Lord . . . you thought of me
remembered me
said that my body was not
to walk among the dead
but to walk hand in hand with the living.
You knew I had more to give
and stayed the hand of the Reaper.

May I never forget this day
and the mercy poured upon me
the feathers of the angels
white and pure
and the faces of those
who wept with smiles for me.

Joanne Cucinello

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

He's Gone

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The sun
now ending its long walk
across the sky
peeks again through the willow.
It’s quiet now.
She sits by the window
looking at the garden
and this aging man
who once she knew
as lover mate . . .
now more like a child
a lost one at that
but still a man in form
the man she loved
for all these years
who calls her Sally now,
Sally . . . some girl he knew
when he was young.
Sally doesn’t live here
and this is not his home
in West Virginia.

He keeps looking for his dog
long dead . . . calling out
“Scotty! Come here, boy.”
And she sits and watches
as he clips the branches
of the small bush
that sits alone at the back
of the yard.
She’s thinking how like branches
his mind
is being clipped away each day.

he’ll come through the door
yelling and asking why
she’s sitting in his house
. . . . and where’s Sally?
And the wedding pictures
on the bureau
stare back at him
like strangers
toasting ghosts.

She sits by the window
holding screams
beneath her breath
of frozen tears
and weeps silent
even as the fireflies
begin their dance.

He’s lost
the man she loved
locked in some forbidden space
within his mind
growing deeper and deeper away
lost to all who called him friend
and father and . . . Darling.

“ I can’t find Scotty” he mumbles
teary-eyed through the door
and she cups his face in her tender hands
trying to find him . . . somewhere.
Night begins its close around them
as he smiles and pats her hair
and plants his small kiss upon her cheek
. . . “ I love you, Sally.”

Joanne Cucinello 2007

~ "He's Gone" received the Award of Excellence in the Winter 2007 Poet’s Sanctuary Excellence Award Competition and has been published in “Splash of Verse 2007”~

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I Want To Live!

I want to fly tonight
leave this body
and fly!

I want to hold
my breath
and swim with whales!

I want to follow
the mountain goats
to Everest

and find an eagle's
feather there.

I want to lie in
the den of the Great
Black Bear and
nuzzle with her cubs.

I want to find
that place of promise
where my name is
carved in stone.

I want to never
forget that
I was here.

I want to live!

Joanne Cucinello

And You Are the Man I Love

soulmates Pictures, Images and Photos

Warm and tender, you look into my eyes
speaking your truth to my soul.
You speak it, because you love me
and want nothing less of our lives together.
Patient and waiting, you give me time
to come around and miss you.
And miss you, I do so often
when we live our separate days.

You are home to me
your voice, your smile, your being.
You are my ground . . .
my reason to stop and think of why
I want to live.

So many times, we've run the race
your hand in mine
one heart cheering for the other.
So many times, we've licked the wounds
and kissed the remnants
of our war torn fleeting triumphs.

Aren't we the lucky ones to have
found the piece that fits?
Aren't we the blessed ones,
entwined like vines around an old oak tree,
dying and being born again so many times together?

Oh, how I love you, Lord of My Heart!
You are my husband, my brother, my dearest friend.
There has been no greater gift in my life.
You were the beginning of all good things to come,
the mating of our spirits
that brought new life, new shining Beings
into this world, our Children
so fragile, so strong, so beautiful . . .
like you, my Precious Love.

Joanne Cucinello

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Must I Stay A Human?

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I’m wondering where that cat went.
All day she was prowling around my yard.
First swatting at beetles
then prodding the earth for that pink worm’s head.

Cats are so oblivious to anything
but their own whims and desires
they fascinate with twitches . . .
They are the lovers of pounce!

Someday, I might like to return as one
soft pawed and green eyed
filled with lusty desire to discover
all things . . . moveable and flittering

I might like to ogle at goldfish
in the neighbors pond
and dream of cleaning bones with my raspy tongue
swallowing their last bits of salty flesh.

Yes, I would like to be a cat
full of purrs and curled up limbs
bewitching glances and arched back tilting
towards the one who fluffs my bed on the windowsill.

God, make me a cat!
I promise I’ll be kind to little finches in the bush
just a feather or two for old times sake
just a small devilish twist in air to remind me

. . . I’m a cat!

Joanne Cucinello 2007

I Shot An Arrow


A love poem remembered,
a psalm in time of need
that worn page so often turned to
words of life that
burst through barren soil
like arrows plucked from their quiver.

They emerge in time
from the sacred well
drawn from memories deep
and quench the thirsty soul.

Some hit their mark
and sting the flesh with honesty
while others barely brush
in passing.

Who can tame the flight
of words that spring from
tongue or pen?
Who presumes to see
their port of call?
No one . . . not even the Wind

Yet, there are words that move us
turn us inward to search
beyond the common door
to find a reason to go on
a reason for this unrelenting quest.

Joanne Cucinello

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


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"Live!" . . . said the Moon on her perch
in the black sea of heaven.
"Fully ". . . she whispered
to the children of the earth
who were making love and waging war
eating and starving, dying and being born.

Live!! . . . she shouted, as they stumbled
and fell, trying over and over to walk
in their shoes of immortality.
Live!! . . . she cried, as they pulled their hair
in disbelief that they could in fact . . . live forever.
"Nothing lives forever" . . . they sobbed
"all things surely must die!"

"All things but You" . . . she whispered now
alone in her heaven, without the Sun,
who rises when she falls, who shines when she is dark.
"All things but You!" . . . echoed the Stars,
and they wept for the Moon in her loneliness.
"You are not like us, set adrift to light the heavens
exalted in your poetry, fading into darkness at the end.

Listen and truly live . . . Mankind
before the Sun and Moon have run their course.
Learn that it is YOU who are immortal,
You, the beings who can dream and yearn and love
and You who will shine long after our light is gone.
There is more to Man than flesh and bone.
You are the children of God, and though you inhabit
the Earth, you are Spirit.
Listen! . . . it is You . . . who will live forever."

Joanne Cucinello

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lullaby for the Hunter's Son

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Close your eyes, My little Son
rest now calm
against my breast.
Winter is coming
and the great bear
goes back to her den
with her young.
The elk
will forage in the deep woods
where your father’s
arrow flies to find its mark.

Our people
will harvest what is left
of the corn and wild berries
the squash, the pumpkin
and the brown nuts
the trees bring forth.
Wakan Tanka, Great Spirit
watches over our people
this night
and all will be well.

Do not cry, my Son.
The fire will warm us
and you and I will sit
with the others as the smoke rises
and the soft drum begins its call.
Your father will speak this night
for it is the night of the Hunter’s Moon.
He will stand in the circle
and tell of his dreams.
He has seen the white buffalo
and the herds grazing on the plains
far north.
They will listen and I will be proud.

Soon you will grow strong
and leave my arms.
You will follow your father
and become a man.
I will not see you for many moons
when the hunt is long
but for tonight under these stars
you are mine
and my heart beats with mother’s love.
I will kiss your tiny hands
and stroke your raven hair.
I will blow my spirit through your heart
as yours has blown through mine
and you will know of love
that never dies.
for tonight, my little Son
. . . you are mine.

Joanne Cucinello 2007

Feather In the Wind


You ride the winds of time my child, like a feather
preened from eagles wings, gentle and protected.

But the time will come, after many harvest moons
have shed their light upon your face,
that the northern winds will howl and call your name.
They will sweep across the plains and tame your flight.
They will lead you to your spirit.

Listen for the heartbeat of
the Ancient One whose voice whispers
from beyond the sun . . .
You will no longer be a child and you will understand.

I will know when you are ready and I will
call you to my side and tell you:
"It has come, Little Feather, the time
to sing the song I gave your heart
when you were born.
Your time of flight is over, and all
that you have learned will serve you well.

Now comes the shining truth,
the blessings from your Father's heart.
You will wear the Hunter's Feather now
and ride with me to the North where
the White Buffalo hides, as he did in my dream.
It is you, who will find him . . . you,
who will lead your Father
You . . . whose time has come."

Joanne Cucinello © 2007

Monday, July 6, 2009

Purple Quilt


She bought a purple quilt
satin soft and welcoming
a purple river flowing on their bed.
We little ones would run our hands
across it when we walked into that room.
It felt like love.

And sometimes, if a thunder storm was near
she'd bundle us together by the window
and open it wide to see and feel it all
the green and orange awnings flapping wildly
in the wind. Then like a banshee she'd grab
that quilt and slide it off the bed
dancing and twirling till she snatched
us up in it safe and warm
and cuddled us like little birds beneath
her wings . . . and suddenly we were brave.
There we could feel the raindrops
spray as they hit the sidewalk
listen close to rolling thunder in the heavens
and see the lightening flash across the sky.
She'd stand right in the middle telling of the angels
up there bowling strikes with every clash
and there we were . . . a purple quilted bundle,
leaning on the window sill, giggling and squealing
till every fear was gone beneath
that purple quilt and my mother's
arms as if they both were one . . .

Now I wonder, as I'm growing old
if she kept it on that bed to hide
not us . . . but her
and did she see her life untangling
evolving strange and different
moving far away from Dad and us
far away from what was coming
hiding from those demons
who began to dance their madness
in her head and pull her screaming through the door.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Where Tiger Lily Blooms


I tiptoed into the forest
looking for something
other than green

and I found such happiness
blooming, sprouting
lovely orange kisses

tiger lilies . . .
shouting up to the treetops
"Look at us . . . we're alive!"

Joanne Cucinello
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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Enter Now . . . the Prophesy


A Renaissance is brewing.
There are Weavers . . . great Artists
in the wings
playing harps of discontent
waiting . . .
waiting . . .
for the fine strings to unravel.
Crystal clarity envelops them
but the path they seek to ride
is cluttered with confusion and debris.

Old thought must die now
all that can survive
must come from spirit minds
cloned with highest
visions for mankind.
The noise that rises from the earth
is deafening to gentle stars
adrift in velvet darkness.
They are praying . . .
praying for us
to remember
who we are. . .
to remember the great and
valiant call . . .
the echoes of the great chiefs
and saints and humble spirits
whose sobs reverberate
stirring the dark black hole
that leads to our redemption.

How will we continue?
This quest is not political
no partisans are welcome here
when our humanity is at stake.

Look! . . . They approach now!
There! In the sky . . . a great omen.

There . . . see! They come . . .glorious
Three stallions . . . riding on the clouds with wild
and furious manes unfurled
they charge with giant hooves of sapphire.

The first is midnight black
the smoke of all lost tribes
surging through his raging nostrils.
“Why?” he asks, in voice of thunder.
“Why . . . have you not listened?”

And now another sound
of great wind howling through the skies
advancing wild and raptured
an ancient Appaloosa upon whose back
the horseman rides.
“When . . . When?” he cries with loud
uproarious voice.
“We are waiting!!”

And then a sudden stillness parts the skies
No sound escapes the silence . . . silence
and in the distance
a red-hued sun begins to rise,
the firmament
encased with brilliance.
And then . . .
Oh Glory!
Oh Majesty!
He comes,
He comes!
The great White Spirit Horse
with eyes of fire and legs of alabaster
his silver mane aloft, alive
with lightening flashing through
the heavens
and on his back . . . the Holy One
the Ageless One . . . but see
He wears no plate of armor
no sword is reeled
yet He is shining . . . shining
brighter than the sun . . .
the God-Child comes
and in his hands
red glowing embers
of his flaming heart.
“Who will carry this?”
“Who will take my burden?”

And from his heart
Red glowing tears . . . embers
shooting stars
Falling . . . falling
to the earth like manna
come to rest on those with
outstretched hands
and the burden of the God-Child
was received,
the burden of the earth and all
its creatures
and mankind wept
tears of gold . . .
as the ancient ones departed and
the winds ceased to roar
the sheath of heaven closed
to find a renaissance beginning

and see . . . the earth is turning green again.

Joanne Cucinello 2007

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Visit


“I saved these just for you” she said.
“I knew you’d come one day to find them.”
Bending to her bureau drawer,
the moonlight swept across her face
and there ‘neath tattered wings I saw
a form familiar.

She picked up bits of ivory
with her musing fingertips
worn now from the years.
A smile, soft and lovely,
graced her frail and shallow face
and flash-backs
just like shreds of lightening . . .
flooded me.

“It was you, wasn’t it?" I gasped.
“All the while it was you . . .
tiptoeing past my bed
like a thief who’d stolen jewels.
I thought that I was dreaming . . .
swore I saw those wings . . .
yes, and that fairy scent you always wore.
You lived with us back then, Grandma,
and all the while . . .
I thought that thief was Mom!”

She bid me, “Close your eyes
and open up your hand”,
as if I were standing small again
and I anxiously obeyed.
Then she dropped them,
my tiny ivory tooth buds
saved since childhood
toppled in the center of my palm,
"treasures, jewels" she said
. . . her memories.

And there we lay that evening
recalling heart-soaked lullabies
rocking in the dark
till all the breath of
all the years
dissolved into my arms
and the long cord of Grandma's love
~ wrapped my heart with gold.

Joanne Cucinello 2007

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


fetus Pictures, Images and Photos

In the warm dark waters
of my mother's womb
I swam alive and innocent
unaware that in my universe
of darkness, simple cells
were multiplying and I
would soon be filled with light.

Moment by moment
I blossomed into being
caught in the current
of pulse and rhythm
my mother's blood
pumping through tributaries
gushing and swirling like
one great river and I,
safe inside my burrowed
nest of softness.

Joanne Cucinello

Saturday, May 16, 2009

We Were Very Good

We stood at a window . . .
cousins, you and I
while our parents talked
about the everyday things
parents talk about.

We weren't listening
just looking for fairies
to spring up in the grass
expectant, waiting
for we had been told

if we were very good
and very still
with squinted eyes
we'd see them.

A small leaf rustled
in the ivy
one and then another
and we burst into giggles
as children do . . . when they see fairies.

Joanne Cucinello

Friday, May 15, 2009


There is a sinister energy
roaming the earth . . .
Its one intent:
the destruction of your heart.
It has no real preference
its victims are faceless . . .

Its grave design is
to convince you
that you are powerless . . .
that you are worth nothing.

Do not believe it!

The target is your heart . . .
your heart that believes in freedom
and that we are all created equal.

Those who have hope,
those who encourage the thought
of a free people, who value human life
and the pursuit of happiness ~
are threatening its survival.

So hold fast to freedom
for this evil will try in vain
to squeeze out every hope
and crush your hearts with despair.

It will even attempt to convince you
that there is another god
unknown to you . . .
who will reward those who kill you.

Do not believe it!

There is only One
who loves you and gave you life . . .

Believe the whispers . . . freedom is rising!

Joanne Cucinello

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

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

Thursday, May 7, 2009

In Beatrice's Room

Beatrice Turner, artist

For the hauntingly beautiful artist Beatrice Turner (1888-1948)
whose Spirit, I believe, prompted me to write this poetic tale
one night when I stayed in Beatrice's Room at the Cliffside Inn in Newport, R.I.

In Beatrice's Room

Someone long ago, sat at this window,
cushions plumped, pillows strewn.
The morning mist floated
down the road
to the sea.
Newport's Cliff Walk beckoned~
a young man waited.
She could barely see him through the trees
waving, "Come!"

"There is no such thing as walks with beaus
here in this captive house
they will soon paint black.
There is only Father and Mother
the easel and me.

Today, I will not paint
another portrait of myself
and gaze into my mirrors.
Today I will escape on the catwalk
outside my window.
There is a railing, I can do it
. . . and he is waiting!

Just one day~ this day
before they find me
and lock the door forever!
Just one day~ to see myself
my eyes, my face
in the eyes of another~
reflected, smiling, speaking
sweet exchange of beings~ real.

Just this day
before he locks me in
and keeps me from the world,
before I dip the brush
to paint myself a thousand times
~ one thousand portraits
and leave them to burn
with this house.

My Father,
when your day comes
and the hooded shadow
I will prop you in your chair~
cold and stiff
and you will sit for me . . .
. . . painting
a portrait ~ for your tombstone
like the proper daughter
you will have raised
and honed
in this room
for yourself . . .
while my dearest mother
turned her eyes away.

Joanne Cucinello 2008

Note: Beatrice Turner painted over 1,000 self portaits. Her life is a haunting tale and you can find more about it on the internet.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Blooms Ago


This is lilac time
lavender purple painting
the park each spring.

That sweet perfume rising
reminds me of my childhood
and your smile.

It was your favorite flower . . .
a Mother's Day wish

I remember how you buried
your soft face, nuzzling
in those sweet-scented blooms

Your brown eyes ecstatic
as if I'd handed you jewels
amethysts . . .
those simple purple blossoms

a transport to heaven
with just one sniff!

Joanne Cucinello 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

To Never Never Land


Keeper of Childhood Memories, come and visit me today.
Bring with you my pillow, where once
I lay my head in slumber, sweet and pure . . .
perhaps that long forgotten toy I held and cherished.

Let me touch them once again with searching fingertips,
recalling childhood comforts buried there.
Whisper in the long forgotten voices of my brothers and sisters,
small like me, so that their sounds might ring
a chime of recollection . . . echoes of our laughter long ago.

Bring me back the scent of home, my bed,
that favorite little chair or corner where I played . . .
my mother’s laughter and her lullabies,
the softness of her fingers on my heated brow.

Just one look at my reflection in my father’s eyes,
the smile upon his face and hands so strong
that lifted me high upon his shoulders,
where I could see the world.

Take me to that place where childhood past is kept,
safe from toil and fear . . .
the place where children’s spirits go to romp and play,
where every word once spoken still lives on
and floats through stars . . .
to Never Never Land.

Joanne Cucinello 1998

Friday, March 27, 2009

Must I Answer?

insomnia Pictures, Images and Photos

There are moments
in the early still dark
when saints and sinners
come to call . . .
voices floating
in the misty fog
of twilight.

"Who are you"they ask,
with ears extended.
"What is it you've
come to accomplish
here with your
feet dug into the ground?"

"Nothing" I say.
"Nothing?" they ask.
"Nothing" I say again.
"I just want to sleep!"

Joanne Cucinello 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Sandbox Pictures, Images and Photos
So what do I say?
Does it even matter now that
all the sand is gone?
I never played there anyway.

So what . . .
if I heard things I wasn't supposed to?
So what . . .
if I knew the world was going to end
when I was only seven?

How do you carry the sins of your mother
and one day say no more
and one day say . . . go away
and don't come back!?

What do you say to God?
Where were you???
I know . . . I know . . . but I really don't know
even though I was supposed to
even though I thought all children were forgiven.

Joanne Cucinello 2008

Thursday, February 12, 2009

On That Day

There was a day
when I was young
just a flash in time
a moment . . . stirring like the wind
to take my breath away
and it was You.

I walked into a room of people
but only you were there.
A sun tanned face turned to me
wide eyed and chiseled . . . a strong
face full of questions so intense
and then . . . that smile
that absolutely perfect smile . . .
sunshine and heartache all in one.

Stranger . . .
you brushed against me
in my dreams a thousand times
but on that day your flesh was real.
Little did I know
you would still be here
in my bed today.

Joanne Cucinello 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

They Do Not Lie

hands and shadows Pictures, Images and Photos

See how they move
when someone speaks or sits to listen?
Hands ~ they tell the stories.
Fingers with their length and flexibility
or rigid tightness ~ tell of life spent living.
Some flow freely with expression
some close tight in solid fists . . . hiding.

The worker, the poet,
the mother in her tenderness,
the clumsy, the delicate
~ the fierce,
I watch them all
moving ~
while everything else is
motionless and still ~
gestures from the soul
that speak, despite the silence.

Tonight ~
will they comfort someone
in the dark?
Tomorrow ~
will they feed the poor?
Or are they planning

to destroy and tear to shreds
some dark illusion that I'll read about
tomorrow when I wake?

Joanne Cucinello 2008

Saturday, January 24, 2009

We the People

Humanity healing Pictures, Images and Photos

Must we look in the mirror of time once again
to see the struggles of mankind?
Shall we look in crystal balls to see our future?

Does history not show us
that ours is a journey
fraught with obstacles
and illusions?

Have we not learned the lessons
of this rugged earth we walk,
its crust of mountains and valleys?

We are still carving paths through rock and forest
looking for a way home.

Do not believe such folly
that dictates we have found it.
Many before believed they
held the key.

"The longest journey is the journey inward"
once a wise man said.
And here is where our future lies . . .
in the deep dark caverns of the soul.

This is the journey that will prove our mettle.
This alone transcends all others.
Leaders will come and go and some may follow
but the solitary man must rise or fall
in the light of his own heart
or the darkness of his own soul.

Joanne Cucinello

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Behind Closed Doors

As we mourn for Caylee Anthony . . .

legs Pictures, Images and Photos

Out in the street
chalk lines, half-erased,
echo a child's brief laughter.

A rag doll
once her bedtime friend
lies faceless in an empty lot
waterlogged by endless rain.

Behind closed doors
a mother plays a deadly game
full of smiles and flashing eyes.
Two years of baby hugs quite enough now
~ for the young and beautiful.

Behind closed doors
the muffled cries that no one heard
cries that no one listened for
except the toys ~ who were her only witness.

Pictures on the evening news
flash across the screen tonight. . .
A precious package found. . .
broken, torn and dirty
food for animals,
strewn like treats among debris
pieces of a stranger's child
we knew not ~

~ Yet we mourn together
this little life
as if she were our own.

Joanne Cucinello

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