Spring

Today

The first day of spring

Already Sycamore births her

Small green leaves

That will evolve into larger leaves

Adorning her branches

Until far into fall

Then drop     one by one

Slowly to the ground

I cannot remember the song

From the very first robin

Singing its arrival

Early in an Illinois spring

Its song brought me joy

After a long cold snowy

Winter

California springs brought

Mockingbirds

Their songs ringing out

Through the Myoporum

Over the canyons

Then eerily at midnight

Into the early hours

Of the new day

I’d hear their trills

I miss that first robin

I miss the mockingbirds

Heralding spring for me

The air around me feels silent

Save the lone mourning dove

Who calls     calls     calls

No one answers

Then

Mating season for crows

Arrives

Their squawking voices

A different harbinger

That spring is here

I tell myself

They too

Are of the natural world

For I am given

Love everyone everything

Yes

Even noisy crows

The Eclipse Super Blood Moon

 On the driveway 
Of our home
We stand together
Heads back    looking up
Into the black of the 
Sky
As the full moon
Allows earth's shadow
To cover the brilliance
Of her light
Slowly   but not truly
Slow
Her white light
Disappears
As tho a blanket
Were being pulled
Over her naked 
Face

You hold my hand
You keep my feet
Steady
On the cement
They stand upon
It is a closeness
An intimacy I feel
Together
Under the sky
This gift from the natural
World
The Universe Itself
Oh   thank you
Thank you
Thank you


 




Homeless

It is the dark of night
I lie under my quilt warm
Comfortable secure
Listening as wind
Pushes the rain
Against my window

In the cold wet
Of this night
Where do they go

In the dim light
Of next morning
Out the kitchen window
The asphalt street
Glistens like polished silver
Tops of distant palm trees
Sway side to side
In the wind

In the cold wind
Of this wet day
Where do they go

Three Poems – Plus One

The Sycamore’s dried leaves

Of burnished gold

Hang expectantly

From their branches

Ready to fall

Onto the waiting

Ground

***

January cold

Wraps itself around

Southern California

From my window

Three plants

Bitten by frost

In the night

Their leaves shriveled

Browned

On emaciated stalks

In shocking contrast

Green leaves on the hibiscus

Live     untouched

***

You live in my heart

Little girl     little boy

Never forgotten

Children

Walking to freedom

From Guatemala

Die in Mexico

At the border

Denied America     forever

***

Like a flock of songbirds

All colors     all sizes

My children     my grandchildren

Gather around me

A few precious

Hours

We eat     we sing     we laugh

Until they fly away

Again

And I am left

To sing their songs

Alone

Big Blue Part II

*editor’s note: Wendy’s Big Blue post received some fun comments. In response to a friend’s email that arrived in Wendy’s in-box shortly after the post was uploaded, her friend describes her own memoires of a 1960’s, seatbelt-less Buick with her own five children sliding around. Wendy replied with the following email:

“Big Blue” had a vista dome, and I didn’t remember the third back seat at first, but now that you mention it, there was one and it faced forward, unlike other station wagons. Knowing Ronny and Andy’s carsick problems, we didn’t want any of the kids facing backwards. Even Danny and Dina!

Ugh! And isn’t it fun to know we share this Buick Vista Dome experience? I loved “Big Blue.” We sold it to a neighbor on our cul-de- sac when we moved to San Clemente. “Big Blue” had over 200,000 miles and I guess we decided it was time to part. Broke my heart, but there was only us-ins left at home to drive it.

The neighbor bought it and immediately had an accident. They sold it I guess, and that also made me sad! But the worst was yet to come. One afternoon, Steve and I were driving on a back road in San Juan Capistrano; how we managed to get on the road we couldn’t figure out. There was a chain link fence with a canvas like material covering the fence from the inside of what appeared to be a lot with abandoned cars. All of a sudden, I spotted a familiar luggage rack on the roof of a car.

“Stop! Stop!” I yelled. Steve slammed on the breaks, not knowing what I was yelling about. “It’s ‘Big Blue.’” I started to cry. “’Big Blue’s’ ending its life in a junk yard of abandoned and messed up cars.”

We got out to make certain it was indeed “Big Blue”. It was; a telltale color blue was all we could see, but the luggage rack and the vista dome and the color blue was all we needed to verify “Blue’s” identity.

You may wonder, dear Sylvia, how I could get so attached to a car. Never had before, never have since. But so many little trips, so many children, not only ours, had ridden in it. So many drives to my mother and stepfather’s home. So many places we had gone in “Big Blue.” Never should have sold it; but that’s a ridiculous statement. Just maybe not to that particular neighbor. But who knew!

Love you, dearest friend,

Wendy

Beginning

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I leave my house

With no backward glance

It was time to go

Time to downsize

Others call it

For me     it is letting

Go

Of things     of rooms

No longer needed

I take the memory

Of its sheltering

With me

The memory

Of those I love

Around my table

On the sofa

The fireplace ablaze

On winter days

I take pictures

Gathered over years

And store them in my

Mind

Of my children     of Mother

My father

Friends

Some now gone

Some still here

It doesn’t matter

Where I am

They live in my heart

Live in a memory

Of what was left behind

Yesterday

But is become fertile

Ground

For a new life evolving

Today

          –Dedicated with love to Esta and Harvey Nelson, August 2014

*Photo Credit

Author Bio

WendyWendy Wolff Blumberg was born in Chicago, Illinois. She and her husband, Stephen, lived in his hometown of Waukegan, Illinois, until they moved to Manhattan Beach, California, in 1970 with their four children and two dogs. Wendy studied poetry with the well-known poet and actor Jack Grapes, in his workshops at Beyond Baroque in Venice, California. In 2012, she and Stephen moved to the retirement community of La Costa Glen in Carlsbad, California, where they live happily and gratefully being with new friends.

March 29, 2014

Hello everyone! This is so new to me, exciting and somewhat overwhelming; but thanks to my daughter, Dina Rose McQueen—my wonderful editor—I am dipping my toes into the 21st Century. Whoo Hoo!

Since this is a Memoir Journal, I’ll relate to you my very first memory! I lived on the second floor of a three-story apartment building. I think I could not have been more than three or four years old. The front door of our apartment opened close to the stairway. One afternoon I was alone in the apartment with our housekeeper, my parents being at work. They had not yet divorced and my father was at his studio painting, my mother working as a social worker at the Jewish Children’ Bureau. This was in Chicago. I remember the apartment was quiet. Our dog, a Scottish terrier who didn’t like me, was asleep under the piano that was near the front door. He was waiting for my mother to return home. When I would get down on my hands and knees to look at him close to his face, he would growl at me. Never bit me though.

Well to get my to my first memory, as Chummy the Scotch terrier was an on going memory—I even had to take him out to do his “business” when I got old enough, which was probably around five or six—Chummy would run off and I would have to chase after him down the street. Life was very different in the l930’s; kids could go out by themselves and no one worried.

Well, to get back to my very first memory—again—I opened the front door of our apartment, looked out at the stairway and the hallway—very dim light—and said to myself: From this time on I am going to remember! And that is my first memory!

Be safe … be well … be happy.

Love, Wendy

March 30, 2014

Hello again, everyone! I just remembered something that occurred at my fourth birthday party. So, opening my apartment door and saying to myself, From this time on I will remember had to have been when I was three or younger.

Anyway, my grandmother made my favorite strawberry ice cream. It was so fantastically delicious. I adored it and it was served at the party. I remember sitting at a rather long rectangular table. All the little friends were seated with me around the table. I don’t remember any of them, except one little boy who sat two seats down from me to my right. As we were eating my grandmother’s incredibly delicious strawberry ice cream, I suddenly heard from my right, “MORE! MORE”. I bent my head to look around the child directly on my right, and there he was, demanding, “MORE MORE”. I remember being furious with this kid; how dare he want more of my precious strawberry ice cream. I wanted it all to myself. At least what was left of it after everyone had been served. This party could have been at the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Pavilion that was rented out for such events like kid’s birthday parties. What has not remained in my memory of my fourth birthday party is: did the little boy get more of my strawberry ice cream? And was there any left for me to take home? Most likely not for both questions!

Be safe … be well … be happy.

Love, Wendy

Johann and Me

March 23, 2014

Making my bed on a Monday
Morning
No sun appears through a curtain
Of low clouds
Inland from the sea
The classical music station
Broadcasts just noisy
Static
When it’s music I need
On this gray sunless
Day
I insert a CD
Into the CD player
Preludes and fugues
Of Johann Sebastian Bach
And at this moment for me
It is the sun
Breaking through the clouds
Songs of the wind
The roar of thunder
It is the love     the joy
The beauty from
ALL THAT IS
Channeled through the genius
of a human soul
And the fingers of a man
Who lived on earth
With me

Oh the glory     the magnificence
Of this music
Fills me with the majesty
The wonder of everything
Beautiful
In this world
As the brilliance of
Another
Four centuries later
Brings Johann Sebastian Bach
To Life
I am at

Peace