Monday, December 26, 2011

Can You Believe Me?

Re-posted for new readers:

What if I were to tell you
that the world could never be the same without you?
What if you believed that you were truly priceless?
And what if all the years you’ve lived
were rolled up in a purple ball
and given to a newborn child
who’d grow one day and say to you . . .
"Teach me . . . "
Do you think your life holds lessons to be learned?
And when you sift through the stones and pebbles
you’ve stumbled on,
do you see the gold dust and the crystals too?
What if I were to tell you that you shine,
that when you enter a room and smile . . . .the lights go on?
Can you believe me . . . that you are loved and forgiven
and that you will always be remembered
for the good you have done,
that which you so easily forget?
Would these things make a difference?
Would they help you to breathe in the moments
one by one
that you . . . like all of us . . . take for granted?
And what is life anyway, but a gift . . . .
a pure gift . . .
We can look up and see the stars,
We can dream . . . . we can love.
We can truly live forever . . .
right now.

Joanne Cucinello 2007

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


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Leaves are falling now~
Autumn and her winds
encouraging the trees
to let them go.
Nature is wise
and full of promise
new leaves will return in spring.
Watch me . . . she says
Observe ~
and I will teach you
all you’ll ever need
to know about your life
and how to live it.

Do you not see
what the animals have learned already?
They have neither speech nor reason
and they do not fight me
as you do~
They listen when I call
and do what they must do . . .
each species
true to its purpose.

These, the Innocents
have been with me
long before you walked
this earth
and they have learned
my secrets well.

Those in the wild
must always be
their nature is not
to walk with man
they must be free.
It is their spirits
that reside with you
deep in the hollows
of your consciousness
. . . the ancient mind
that speaks to you in dreams
of times long past
when you were also wild.
Do not destroy their kingdoms
or the suffering and loss they bear
will be yours to own.

They are totems,
portions of the human soul evolving still . . .
Their ways are lessons to be learned.
For the nature of each species
those that swim the oceans,
crawl the desserts, soar the skies
and live among the trees
each in its truth . . .
foretells the course of man.
They are a wondrous prism
reflecting you!
If only you would . . .

Are not all creatures
wild and tame
true to their Creator’s hand?
But what of you, Man?
Have you forgotten who you are?
Made in the image and likeness of God
. . . of all beings . . . ONLY YOU!

Is it time yet?

Are you ready to remember?

You have within you everything you need.
Listen~ the earth is speaking
and all its creatures wild and tame
are restless and afraid
hoping you will choose to remember
before it is too late.
Open your immense heart
and turn away no longer.
Your beautiful spirit, magnificent . . .
is ready to rise!
Make haste . . . the time is near.

Joanne Cucinello 2007

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Outside the Womb

There are things mothers teach
that can't be taught
while swimming in the womb
like how to lie
when you can't keep a promise
like how to smile
when saying canned spinach
tastes good.

Day to day things like brushing teeth
and not picking noses at the table
make for civilized offspring
however, these are not necessities
when living in rural areas
and mothers often overlook such
trivialities while milking cows.

Love, on the other hand,
mysterious and hidden in the dark
emerges at birth with awesome wonder.

That fierce miraculous moment
when mother meets her babe
that first miraculous breath
outside the womb.

Joanne Cucinello

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Peasant's Ode to the Juicy Grape


I have long been a gratified sipper,
tempted by the lingering taste
of that great and affable vine clinging fruit,
those trailing globes of sheer delight . . . the humble
yet succulent, juicy Grapes.

Oh whence hast thou presumed
to live a life
without such aromatic sustenance ?

My friend, you have only to spy on the maidens
stomping and splashing with skirts held high
and catch sight of the fires in the fields
warming the strumming peasants
to understand the beneficent gift
of the juicy grape . . . turned into Wine!

Oh that my tongue could sing of it!
That the artist could dip his brush into
the lush red dew of those ancient goblets
treasured by the lowly poor and paint
the grape that has lifted their spirits and dispelled
any rumors of servitude!

Oh that the rich would rightly share
their oaken barrels, pour them out
into the streets and let our friends,
the animals . . . drink, yes drink! Why not?
Perhaps, like us, they'd learn to dance!

Thou good and comely grape . . .
I salute your bountiful gifts
for I have had my fill this night
and I am . . . truly . . . duly

Joanne Cucinello 2010

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Eve of All Hallows

Eve of All Hallows
walks with the dead
when the gravestone slides
off her sodden bed
of rot and bone
no pillows there
just dried up skin and mottled hair.

The earth is soft and drenched with dew.
This loamy soil from ashes grew
For tranced escape
to make in haste
when the Moon is full
no time to waste.

Night owls screech . . . a creature’s near!
He hides in the crypt
his eyes to peer
as zombies slide through the sunken earth
and rise for the devil
to give them birth.

The howl of wolf cries across the moon
and Eve takes flight
on her ragged broom
while the crypt door opens
and the black-winged creeps
pushing and pulling
till he finally leaps.

Past the graveyard off in flight
He catches up with Eve tonight
“Darling, haven’t seen you since when?
New broom, I see . . . mmmmm . . . very Zen! “

Joanne Cucinello

Friday, October 7, 2011

She Walks the Shore at Twilight

She is no ordinary woman
this anyone can see

Somewhere in time, angels
came to visit her . . . in numbers

Their feathers began appearing everywhere
lightly falling in the darkest places

Little did she know back then
that she would come to change her name
once the suffering began

Seeing angels and finding feathers
does change one, you know

Experiences like these are always preparation
for the coming transformation

Leaving an aperture in the heart
for a time when the Great Love can enter.

She is no ordinary woman
just an ordinary saint
who utters prayers of love for our broken world
as she walks the shore at twilight.

Joanne Cucinello 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Where to Begin


I've been warned it's time to start packing
time to begin sifting through all my
the years full of memories I've been saving
thinking they are pieces of my life
I can't abandon
perhaps afraid to let them go
in case the day comes when I can't remember.

I guess we've lived in one place for too long
never had to do this before
but soon it will be forty years full
of our lives in this house
let alone the years before, that tagged along.
I don't know where to begin,
but Reality keeps knocking on my door
and it's time to let her in.

When I was young, I thought about my death
too often . . . such fear of my annihilation!
Now that I have aged and ripened
watching my own body, my beauty
slip slowly through the keyhole
into the room of my acceptance,
I am no longer afraid
since there is less and less to lose.

Enough said about the inevitable!
I am still alive and full of spirit and I must
get on with this task of sifting out, giving away
making my circumference smaller
consolidating those belongings I need only
to survive and keep a happy disposition
while I wait with my Darling
for that golden coin to flip and settle . . .
who'll be sailing first to Never Never Land!

Joanne Cucinello © 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Very Wet Tryst


the withered oaken tree
she stands
tendrils dripping
warm September rain.
The tryst
all but comical now
and he
approaching with his
makeshift thatch umbrella.

The scene unfolding . . .
he in leather soaked,
she in soggy denim,
a novel Romeo and Juliet
dappled in sooty charcoal
remnants of their wet and weepy
campfire gone awry
and bed of nosegays
now ~
a spongy pallet.

But love not lost to folly
yet revived by laughter
will prove, alas, to set
the tone for future
merry jaunts!

Joanne Cucinello 2007

( This was written in answer to a challenge
at Musemongers Motel, where certain words
had to be incorporated into your poem. )

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

So Familiar Now

holding hands Pictures, Images and Photos

I lie beside you every night so blessed
that I am not alone here in this bed,
that you and I still have each other.

I've come to know the sounds
of your sleeping body
your soft breathing

the shifting of your legs
beneath the sheets
as you turn again to face me

and touch my skin,
your nightly reassurance that
I'm still here.

We are lovers growing old
so familiar now with every hair
and every look that passes
back and forth throughout the day.

At times we read each other's mind
so clearly that I wonder
if we've melded into one new life form
but no . . . we are really just
so familiar.

Joanne Cucinello

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Patricia Fair of Heart


I have seen you enter
that space reserved for few,
silent, protected by the Light.

On your palms, the stars rest
a token mark that claims you
for the good of all.

You have journeyed with the cross
mountains high and rivers deep
furrowed places in your heart.

Echoes of the goddess song
are resonating deep within waiting
to unravel your spirit ribbons.

Can you see now?
The time is near, the season has arrived
for blessings of the Holy One.

Long enough this walk on stone
long enough the yearning to be free
and light as the heron . . .

Muse bird of the gods
the long legged one who slices water
unannounced with mystic dance.

So for you, the gift of healing
for you, the gift of light
for you, this song on heron's wings.

Joanne Cucinello © 2007

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Coming

There is a place within each heart
where Spirit dwells
swaddled in a gold cocoon.
Awaiting your arrival
it trembles with expectation, listening
for the sound of the turning key.
To find this place may take a lifetime,
for the road is rough and strewn
with shadows, rocks and crumbling statues,
the old and useless gods that have no voice.
Yet, it is the journey you were born for
the journey to the still small
center of your being.

One day your eyes will see
all that was hidden in twilight
and your ears will hear the words of life.
All things will soften into knowing.
Time and seasons and half-known
reasons will blossom with purpose
and the promise
that bliss will surely find you.

The Coming . . . when dawn reveals
the memories we've locked away for years,
and touches them with kindness and forgiveness.
The Coming . . . it will lure you on
to hear the precious sound of your own name.
Say it, whisper it and place it in your heart.
It sounds so simple, but it's so profound
to say your given name with love,
to truly love yourself and turn the key.

Joanne Cucinello

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Just Like That

Who Am I?

To be alive today
while the whole world is crumbling
makes one start to wonder . . .
how much time is left?

I know I'm not alone
in thinking this
and the possibility . . .
that some of us might even survive.

Still, I contemplate the end
and how it might come
while we're mowing lawns
and cooking dinner.

I'm here, just being myself and breathing
kind of like the children, that morning,
playing on the sunny shore, when just . . . like . . . that
the monstrous Tsunami reared and took their lives away.

It would be foolishness
to watch for signs of doom
and wasting precious time . . .
when you and I both know the end will come, no matter
just . . . like . . . that!

Joanne Cucinello © 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

Behind Closed Doors

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

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Stained Glass Reflection


The repetition of a long lost mantra
sits on the wall of a church
calling minds to enter
and not question.

Yet, these are different days.
We, the people, do question
and are ready
with stones in hand

to smash the icons that
no longer represent
the truth of our lives
and the joy
of our new found freedom.

Joanne Cucinello 2009

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Even As We Sleep


I sit and peer long
into the dark night sometimes
wondering how it is that those of us
who do not live in constant fear
can sleep assured that somehow we will wake
to see the sun rise in the east come morning
even while those who are the hunted
never make it through the night.

Somehow yet, we manage to sleep secure
beneath our blankets, while far across the seas
the Hunters stomp through darkened streets
smashing doors and windows
pulling out the innocents with lies.

Unannounced they come and take them
dragging through the night in terror
locking them away on cold dirt floors
with filth and excrement for their beds
their blood stained garments torn for sheets.

We live so disconnected, and still the nightmares come
horrors traveling across the globe.
We hear of things like this and shake inside.
It looms so dark, this paralysis, this inability
to make it stop

and so we yearn to find that land called Camelot
praying that the visions of their pain will go away,
that somehow God would wield His mighty sword
and slay the merciless, strike them down!

But no, He does not come this night . . .
they scream and we are helpless
knowing that this brutal sin was born with Cain
and someday he could find us too.
Will you and I become the hunted next?

Joanne Cucinello 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lazarus, Come Forth

I originally posted this Narrative Poem in 2010 . . . recirculating for new readers.


He comes for me, my friend, my brother, but I am four days dead in this tomb.
The weeping of my sisters, their pleading and tears, has pulled him to this place
where my flesh already rots behind the stones. I can hear him weeping too.
Why does he weep? He promised me eternal life. Why does he weep, this God-man
when he said I will be with him in Paradise?
Can it be that Paradise is not enough to quench the thirst for human touch?
Can it be that this earth has become the desire of angels? That man himself has swallowed heaven and it is . . . no more?
I have not yet passed beyond the veil, even as the light called me to move on.
I have waited on my sisters' pleas to "stay until he comes." And now he comes, parched from the dust of his journey. He comes now, his sandals worn, his hair bleached by the sun and stands before the stones, his voice roaring like that day he commanded the waves to cease for Peter. Only once, he says it "Lazarus! . . . Come Forth!!"
and I feel his breath irradiate the stones that house me in. My whole being shakes with terror as my iced heart begins to warm and pump. . . My blood flows red again!
Oh . . . I hold my ears; you are no longer my friend, rousing me from my dark sleep, bringing me back to only die once more! Have you no pity? No mercy?
I rise . . . I am alive! I see my own hands move before my face in the dim light of this tomb. I rise . . . I walk again with shuffled feet out into the blinding sun. I reach for him and stumble. So many are there, crying with my sisters, but all I see is eyes . . . his eyes, and the hand that reaches out to me. Somehow he needs me, I know not why, but he still needs me.
The day would come and it did, when he, who raised me from the dead, would be nailed on a cross to die. And in his silent painful suffering, I would hear those words again. . . "Lazarus . . . Come Forth!" And I, the one he raised from death, would go to him with these hands that live again, and touch and hold his broken feet and look into his dying eyes and give to him my human touch. The Son of God . . . who rules the stars and all the heavens. . . no more to live in human flesh, no more to walk the earth or feel the wind blow through his hair. "Lazarus, Lazarus, one last touch before Paradise."

Joanne Cucinello 2007

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Slow Down


How many
days will we waste?

How many
nights will we spend
talking to cobwebs on the ceiling

sighing . . .

"Tomorrow is another day"?

And how many times will we go
from house to car
and car to work
then back again at night

never once stopping
to look at the evening sky . . .
never pausing . . . to take a conscious breath?

Just rushing on to the next moment
without lifting our heads

to gaze at the stars and the moon
that fill the sky with silent light

waiting, waiting . . . to bless us.

Joanne Cucinello 2010

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