Category Archives: Poetry Wednesday

My Funny Valentine …

red heart





Sweet Comic Valentine …

Wherever you may be … be warned.

I am a woman on the edge. I wax and wane on the topic of love and romance.

Alas, The Day of Love is upon us and I must do my part.

Love and romance …

And the mere possibility of finding them. The chance encounter … that fleeting glance across a crowded room … when eyes meet and fates mingle.

 I’ve been thinking about you
And where you might be. 

Late at night I see your face
In the light of the moon
Behind the clouds racing across the sky 

In the early morning hours
I hear your voice.
The sounds of rain on the roof
The gentle swaying of leaves in the breeze


On the other hand …

Being in love is like a train wreck. You never know if you’ll walk away with all your body parts.

maxine on love.02

Romance is the most popular theme in much of the music we love … the hand that strokes the strings of our heart … the lilting melody that circles in our brain all day and makes us smile.

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return”


love quote

Funny love quotes


My ex was not such a funny guy. He spent most of his adult life with a grimace. Late in life he developed an aneurysm which required brain surgery. They drilled a hole in his head and he’s been smiling ever since. Go figure.

Excerpts from … Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me
As good belongs to you

I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them
They will ot let me off till I go with them,
Respond to them,
And discorrupt them,
And charge them full with the charge of the soul



love poem

   Love quote 


Part of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s 43rd Sonnet …

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light

A bit of Gwendolyn Brooks’ To Be In Love …

 To be in love
Is to touch with a lighter hand.

In yourself you stretch, you are well.
You look at things
Through his eyes.
A cardinal is red.
A sky is blue.
Suddenly you know he knows too.



love quotes.02

Funny love quotes


My first love was Petie. He was a slight, wiry street kid with dark curls circling his round face and soft mink eyes that wrapped around me and kept me warm. I loved him unconditionally as much as a seven-year-old knows of love.

I have learned since that in that short time of innocence … a seven-year-old can know more of love than a seventeen-year-old … or a grown woman.

first love

  First love 

He gave me my first sweet kiss. It tasted like strawberry ice cream.

He fought with and for me. He was my best friend.

I wish Pete and his wife of 45 years, his two girls and four granddaughters … a Happy Day of Love. I’d like to believe he thinks of me once in a while and that he told her about me … his first love … his first kiss.

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And there you have it … my special comic Valentine to you. The two sides of my humorous/serious self … the reflection of all that is good and right and some of the flash backs of what might not be so good.

Love is not perfect and in that it is all it needs to be for anyone at any time. It takes the very best and worst of who we are and mixes it with strange exotic ingredients and becomes a delightful treat.

On this annual day of love … I’d like to know …
Are you with the one you love?
Do you remember your first love
Or your forever love with a smile?

  fOIS In The City


maxine on love




Maxine graphic


Filed under Poetry Wednesday

The Blessed Event …

This week I announce the blessed event of the birth of my fourth grandchild. My son and his wife have seventeen year old boy/girl twins and an almost eleven-year-old boy. I have selected some of my humble poetic angst and interspersed them with the pictures of our family.


The hopes and dreams I held as the single mother of a three-year old boy and a five month old girl, are the hopes and dreams I wish for my children and their children. They are the lucky ones, to raise a brave, new generation … I am luckier … I have lived to see them grow into wonderful adults.


When at last I left my beloved Brooklyn for the hills of Northern Manhattan, my babes were at my knees. Each took a hand which became symbolic of our unity and strength. All was possible, all waited around the next bend in the road … and all these possibilities wait for my daughter and son-in-law and their beloved new baby girl.




April, 1976

The children outside my window …

In the quiet of dusk
the sun slips slowly
behind the trees

I sit and listen
while the children
outside the window
strut along the avenue
laugh aloud
and sing strange melodies
I cannot comprehend

I am content as I sit here
Smile quietly and watch
The hurried traffic below

Could I transform the branch of a tree
The blade of grass
To reach out long, cool limbs
To hold them close to me

I am so peaceful here
Feel the warm blue mist
Of night settle next to me
A loyal companion

And the children outside the window
Raise merry voices to the sky
They run mad circles and chase down
The setting sun
As I hasten to give them
The song I hold near


The last forty-eight hours have been the most magical hours of my life, compared only to the hours I spent waiting for my baby boy and baby girl to arrive. He came with a soft murmur and she with wide-eyes greeting her domain. He was my old soul, she my eternal optimist, his head in a book, hers in a cloud, the reader and the dreamer, they are opposites in so many ways.

This is the gallery of us at odd times … and Oh what wonderful times they have been.

mike.01cronin familyme and mikekids.05




Fire Island … August, 1976
A vacation without the children

Soft murmurs of the night
Soft as a baby’s sigh
Like my baby girl’s cry
My little boy’s goodbye

Alone I walk down the lane
Towards the sea
and hear the sounds of night

The busy hind legs of
The cricket
As he beckons his mate
from a darkened bush

I miss their particular noises
Her curly head on my chest
His short legs as they run to
Catch me at play

I sit and watch waves
Move in low tide
Crash land against the white sand
Of the lonely shore

I see their happy faces
As the bright red sun
Falls to the ocean floor

The sounds of small noises
Faint like a gentle rain
bathed in the twilight of
This night

I am missing my
Two mufflers against the outside world
And my nightly visit to the
Electric silent “E”
The mad search for lost socks
forgotten pajama bottoms

I miss their plea for just
One more show
One more story
One more glass of water

While I walk along this
Pristine beach
They happily drive their dad
Steadily up the wall
He’s out of practice

Damn, I miss their noises
And hasten from this
Sun drenched island
To be with my babies once more


A Christmas present to myself

It’s Christmas Eve and the children
Anxious and gay play around
The tree
Waiting for the bottom to fill up

It is a joy to have children
On this night of all

Their eyes shine with
The lights of the tree
Holding the gleam ’till morning

And all the day long we
Baked and fixed and sang
Silly songs

Stuffing me like the
Holiday turkey
Spicy and full of wonder

Oh, what is it that makes
Children tick?

What little mechanism
Twinkles like Christmas stars
In their tiny heads?

What red, blue, sun-yellow
Roll inside their bellies?

Oh, what magic could
I steal
Were I to find the secret
Of the grand machinery
Of childhood

Quiet now …

They are up in their beds
Cuddle soft and candy

Crackle fire and
Peppermint spy
Fat ole’ Santa blankets
The bottom of the tree

Leaving behind the gay
Assortment of trinket and doll
And ribbon wrap array

Of little presents to bring
So much pleasure to the
Biggest child



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Welcome to our world my 7 lb 8 oz bouncing baby girl. How I wish I could be there this minute to squeeze you and look into the eyes of the future.

What possible question can I ask today ?

Shall I say all of this goes without question  …

but with marvel ?

fOIS In The City

Note: For so many reasons, the main one being I would be bludgeoned with a wet noodle, I do not give the names of my children and grandchildren. They know who they are and all you need is their wonderful faces.


Filed under Poetry Wednesday, Random Thoughts

Words are our friends …

Not just for those of us who write, but for the millions who read them. When on that cold and stormy night of legend, we feel alone and unloved, words come to warm us, to remind us that we always have a friend to lean on.

Today, I would like to do a tribute to a woman whose words have warmed many a cold night.

There are hundreds of thousands of words written by her and about her. It would be impossible to try to capture them all here in one of my humble weekly moments.

Love Liberates

Wherever you were raised, wherever you are now, whatever you believed or believe now, gather some of those thousands of words, hold them tight to your heart, let them seep into your soul … and for this … your life will be enriched.  You will be in a happy place. You will believe in yourself and to do what you love.

The first time, I was a late bloomer, in college at thirty-something. I was terrified to walk out the door, intimidated by the new and strange life I had chosen. And like so many gems I have mined in my life, I found her on 18th Street in Manhattan at the original Barnes & Noble.

“I make writing as much a part of my life

as I do eating or listening to music.”

It was on one of those days when I wanted to find more women poets. I had already fallen in love with so many of them. But on this day, I needed the comfort of another woman’s words to warm me. And I found I Know Why The Caged Bird Sing.


Amazon Link

Did you know that words can wrap around you and hold you steady? They can protect you, fill your heart and soul with wonder, and they can liberate.

Words kept me from harm’s way and guided me along the path. Even with the knowing I was a half-decent person  and a half-competent mother, words opened my mind to see all that was good in this imperfect world we live in.

Do Right

Still, there are days when I think back on that young woman in her tattered jeans and her high hopes, and I smile. Did she find her way? Did she learn enough to raise good humans, those two humans she pushed into the world? What happened to her high hopes and her day dreams? Did she leave the path and lose her way?

Words came with me on a serpentine path that wove in and out my life. They were the pivotal crossroad where I might have taken the wrong turn. They were the many stops along the road, to rest, to find new adventure, to settle for a while before moving around the next bend in the road.

I love words because they are my only constant. From the toddler who was taken to Story Book Hour by her big brother, to the late blooming, senior citizen that I have become. Words have been my best friends and they have taught me much about who I am and who I will become before I take my last voyage.

What she was to me was a voice in the wilderness when I was lost, the whisper of a promise to keep, the courage to start over, even after I failed more than succeeded.

“To grow up is to stop putting blame on parents.”

In her honor, we will read I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings in our book club for next season. We had already selected our line-up of books when a member called and wanted to substitute one selection for Maya.

My good buddy and BETA reader called and asked what I thought. I was thrilled. Perhaps there are members of our club who have never read her, or listened to her recite poetry, perhaps she will be a new voice for some. Yet, for those of us who knew her for a very long time, reading her again can only bring back fond memories.

Rereading a book you love is like visiting an old friend. Someone once asked me why I reread some of my books, often a dozen times. I’ve read my favorite poems hundreds of time, and like music I need to hear again and again, those words are a reminder that in another time, I found a friend who guided me along the way.

Make Maya’s words your friend. Visit YouTube and listen to the many videos of her, read about her life. You’ll be glad you did.

What books do you need to reread?

To remind yourself of other times?

To take you to a new place?

fOIS In The City


Filed under Poetry Wednesday, Random Thoughts