She Slaps a Homeless Man

It took a while to notice

A world so filled with pain

To look around and truly see

The bitterness of rain

I looked around, I wondered

Where do they find a meal?

No shoes

No coat

No gloves

No home

How do they really feel?

What happened to our country?

Full of dreams that one could fly

You remind yourself in whispers

There…

but for the grace of God, go I

Then keep on walking by.

You turn your head, but

Pretend that you don’t see

Get in your fancy four wheel drive

And plant another tree.

Cross yourself with fingers

Palms confessing all your sins

Beg the Lord’s forgiveness,

Then journal all your wins.

Ralph Lauren flowered linens

Martha Stewart tablecloths

Ellen Tracy in the closet

Laura Ashley covered walls

You light a little candle

Throw a penny on a plate

Gently in staccato,

Please God I need your grace

Before it is too late.

 

*Twenty years ago I was walking in downtown Los Angeles with my son’s girlfriend and she slapped a gentle soul who had his hand out.

Lashon Hara

 

hawk

Lashon Hara (the Hebrew term for defamatory speech or gossip)*

They stood under the southern live oak,

Who had heard every story told under her canopy of branches with leaves,

Living amongst these exterior walls for more than forty years.

Three angry women from various lives

Who daily congregate in the shade of the oak

To pick apart strangers as sporting game.

Without comprehending other’s lives or their own.

More than fifty years have vanished,

There they are, as if in a high school bathroom

Openly denying access

To those that are not members of the “in crowd.”

I stare at my wise beloved oak

That makes the world right, answering a multitude of questions.

The lowest branch holding a fledgling cooper hawk

Tearing apart its recently caught prey.

I smile and keep walking with my lesson for the day.

Nature is so truthful, so honest it hurts

Watching a species rip apart another for the hunger of survival

Unlike humans who rip each other apart for nothing more than sport.

*the halakhic term for derogatory speech (true speech for a wrongful purpose i.e. gossip)

All rights reserved. ©2016 by Sara Fryd

Automatic Weapons

Army-Gun-Woman-Stock-Photo-girl

she used words as bullets

when she felt weak or powerless

as she fired one insult in rapid succession

following another

watching him cringe

as if struck in slow motion

by hollow points

bleeding pools of aching tears

profusely all over the red oak floors

smiling

she felt she’d won this battle

not comprehending

ultimately

she’d lost all the wars yet to come

on the horizon

for all his pecks, his huge muscles

given him to protect his body

his heart was surely as vulnerable as hers

and words can kill as surely as bullets

though the death toll is slower

taking

an interminable amount of time

to die

 

 

 

All rights reserved. ©2016 by Sara Fryd

There are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves

Dad

For Berek Nathan on Father’s Day this incredible poem by James Kavanaugh from his book of the same name…  Benny would have been 99 this September had he lived.

“There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who prey upon them with IBM eyes
And sell their hearts and guts for martinis at noon.
There are men to gentle for a savage world
Who dream instead of snow and children and Halloween
And wonder if the leaves will change their color soon.

There are men to gentle to live among wolves
Who anoint them for burial with greedy claws
And murder them for a merchant’s profit and gain.
There are men to gentle for a corporate world
Who dream instead of Easter eggs and fragrant grass
And pause to hear the distant whistle of a train.

There are men to gentle too live amount wolves
Who devour them with appetite and search
For other men to prey upon and such their childhood dry.
There are men to gentle for an accountant’s world
Who dream instead of Easter eggs and fragrant grass
And search for beauty in the mystery of the sky.

There are men to gentle too live among wolves
Who toss them like a lost and wounded dove
Such gentle men are lonely in a merchant’s world
Unless they have a gentle one to love.”

  © by James Kavanaugh

A Little Wisdom

double rainbow

My wisdom comes in short bursts

Of learning out loud

And in silent contemplation.

A sprinter I am

A marathon runner not so much.

Learned to hear with my heart

To feel with my navel

To listen with my eyes

To let my soul nourish me.

My very own soul

With its own character is enough

When others are unavailable

Are involved in their own lives.

I learned to demand less

To request more

Of myself, not of them.

Learned a little blue Agave syrup

Goes a long way to sweeten the pot

That has always been sweet

If only I had noticed along the way

Those rainbows will always have colors

That I can devour for breakfast.

All rights reserved.  ©2010 by Sara Fryd

A Painter’s Daughter

blue ford

Before I knew the words to describe a rainbow,

I could mix the colors of heaven,

of mountains; of Arizona in the spring.

Each morning in darkness before the molten Phoenix sun

would crest the parched desert,

Papa would sneak out the door

quiet as a whisper

to paint this house or that castle.

Peeking…

With one eye around the blinds covering the window

I heard more than I saw.

Sounds my Papa made loading his royal blue

1948 Ford pick-up [truck] with ladders and brushes,

turpentine, putty, tarps and cans.

Oh, those magical cans of paint

that could change the heart of a room

from sullen to sunlight

from dreary to delicious.

Some knights ride into a little girl’s heart

on horseback or steed

large, tall, strong with white mane flowing.

My knight drove a short, wide blue ‘48 pick-up

with a three-speed stick shift on the column

and white wall tires;

pulling a bed filled with cans of colors streaming

for all the rainbows that surprised us after a desert storm.

For all the saguaros, yuccas, Joshua trees in need of renewal.

Mostly though…

for one little girl

who wanted her room the blue of the sky

after angels washed it with an August storm.

After Shave

aftershave

The car engulfed
with waves of mulled citrus mist
warmed by your face watching mine
in the mirror from the hallway
as I lacquer on deep burgundy
candy apple lipstick
before the sun awakes early
April morning.

Memories of orange blossoms
permeating the night sky
on Route 66…
the beige top down on
the old black convertible with red leather seats
When I was eighteen and Steven French kissed me
behind Paradise Mountain
where the sheriff watched
with the gigantic flashlight
and I was told “good girls” never go
alone.

Underneath the auburn henna
graying hair peeks.
Longer jackets of fine silk smooth the hips
and lengthen the torso.
Longer skirts cover the knees.

And still…

I am overwhelmed by emotions
that smother my driving
North on the 605
with one whiff of warm mulled citrus
transferred from your face
to my sheerest pink silk blouse
during our dark, early morning embraces
that still make my knees week an hour later
my heart pound.
Remembering again how it felt
to be wide-eyed, eighteen
and waiting for my prince.