Where for Art Thou Mourning Dove

The call of the Mourning Dove
Three times Three times Three times
Then is silent
I listen for its calling to begin
As it does time after time
But now Silence
Just far off rumbling
Of traffic
On El Camino Real

In my craving
To know all of everything
The thoughts and feelings
Even patterns of behavior
Of people I know
I love
Do not know
Only read about
In blurbs of news
From my iPad
And so I do not find it
That in the natural order
Of things
I want to know
The Mourning Dove calls
Three times Three times Three times
Is silent
Then either calls again again again
Or I would guess
Flies away

To Alice (Mother’s Day, 1991)







My mother’s years

Fall around her like a velvet cloak

Cover her with folds of silken thread

Of gold, deep blue, of burgundy

Like the colors of cloth in a painting

By Rubens or Rembrandt

But it has a lining of woven straw

This cloak of velvet

That can scratch and tear the skin

Straw on one side, velvet on the other

The fabric of a life

The way it is, my mother says


And she gave me straight hair

And thin ankles

And she gave me love

She gave me the markets of Guadalajara

And Oaxaca

And she gave me the truth

Of her own self


One July we are very young

We eat lobster bisque together

And watch the seagulls live their lives

On the pier in Monterey

As the sun is going down

Back at the restaurant in the Monterey Hotel

The waiters are on strike

All the others from the tour bus

Cross the picket line

But, my mother says, not us


Now the hawks glide in the wind

Over the roof of my house

This is where my mother has never been

And I tell her how they rise up

And soar

How they dip with their wings outstretched

And sway into the currents of air

And I tell her that her years

Fall around her like a velvet cloak

And she is beautiful



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


California springs brought


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


Mating season for crows


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


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 
As the full moon
Allows earth's shadow
To cover the brilliance
Of her light
Slowly   but not truly
Her white light
As tho a blanket
Were being pulled
Over her naked 

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



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



January cold

Wraps itself around

Southern California

From my window

Three plants

Bitten by frost

In the night

Their leaves shriveled


On emaciated stalks

In shocking contrast

Green leaves on the hibiscus

Live     untouched


You live in my heart

Little girl     little boy

Never forgotten


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


We eat     we sing     we laugh

Until they fly away


And I am left

To sing their songs


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,




I leave my house

With no backward glance

It was time to go

Time to downsize

Others call it

For me     it is letting


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


Of my children     of Mother

My father


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


But is become fertile


For a new life evolving


          –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