Tuesday, July 31, 2018


"Twins!" I said this morning.
The double yolk good omen.
From my bossy hen Dixie
I hope this simple joy
gives you a smile.

Saturday, July 28, 2018



He became a burden. 
No one in the family would ax the canker to save the tree. After the first stroke, a brain stem falters to tap memory, halts at sensory signals, and then tires.

If tissue plasminogen activator is administered immediately, the clot breaks its root-hold on the mind. But, however, unfortunately, the doctors misdiagnosed the stroke as a sinus infection. Harry was sent home with antibiotics until his left side fails him the following morning in the orchard. There he remains on the ground for a day. The heat of the sun blisters his lips until a neighbor driving by notices the crows, the silly creatures he once fed peanuts, sitting vigil with the Golden Retriever. The dog leads the neighbor to Harry's body. The neighbor calls for help.

From respirator to "recovery" in a year, Harry returns home. Doctors warn him: the insurance ran out and he can not live alone. The son cannot move back to Tennessee, and his daughter has children of her own to raise. After visits, the family finds a woman who lives across the creek to bring meals and check on Harry daily. 

He takes to drinking like a sunflower to the light. Gold Scotch was an old friend. Harry curses the son and tells the daughter she's no good. Days after, Harry wonders why he blurts cruel words.  He plans to do better but finds himself screaming at the crows. He no longer can toss the peanuts. His days pass slowly.

The kudzu vines take over the metal roof of the garage. The wind steals shingles from the roof. Harry lets the farm go. 

One afternoon the neighbor crosses the rocks on the stream that divides their properties. She wears a green apron with meandering wildflowers brimming in the pockets. She opens the front door carrying a basket. The smell of creamy garlic and butter noodles escapes from the wicker container. Harry stumbles to his feet to serve himself a bowl. The woman stops him. 
"I brought a tincture for you Harry."
He grunts a negative sound.
"If you try this I'll bring an apple pie tomorrow. Got a new crop."
He nods.
"Put seven drops of the liquid under your tongue seven times a day. IF you touch the dropper to your mouth, rinse it with clean water from the creek and place back in the bottle."
Harry nods again, wishing she leaves him. When the screen door bumps behind her, Harry scoops a bowl of chicken and noodles from the glass dish. The gooey sauce drips on the tile counter. He doesn't stop to clean the spill, he enjoys the warm meal. After making a mess on his shirt, he shuffles to the sink to take a wet sponge to the drips. Then he returns to the basket. There's a note with instructions. A clear glass bottle with emerald colored liquid and a cork stopper. In the basket is a long-nosed eye dropper. He swirls the fluid which has the viscosity of Scotch with the color of moss. What can it hurt? He drops six, then one more underneath his tongue. It is a difficult procedure to hold the applicator and keep his mouth open at the same moment. As soon as the mixture hits his senses he recalls cutting herbs in his Grandmother's garden for the market. The aroma of a waterfall hiking in the army also comes to mind. Thyme and bitter melon touch the parts of his tongue. He collapses on the worn sofa and falls asleep.

Now he dreams of duck hunting a century ago. His younger brother and Uncle jog through the grass to reach the bind before sunrise. In the dream his brother is not shot, he warns him of the impending accident and they live happy lives. Then a gunshot awakens Harry. He sits up on the sofa now damp from sweat. The sound echoes from the road, perhaps it was the noise of a backfire from the backhoe in the cemetery.

Harry finds the elixir bottle and takes seven more drops. This time he takes the directions seriously and places the bottle in the cooler, and rinses the dropper. Harry splashes water from the sink on his face. His cheeks flush. In the light from the kitchen window, he examines his left hand. The fingers curl in a fist, but the thumb moves more flexible.  He continues the regimen but begins exercising his hands on a lime colored tennis ball that Honey offers wet with saliva.

The next day the neighbor arrives with her basket. She brings out a tanned pie with a lattice top. The sugar still bubbling with the cinnamon. 
She smiles when she finds the tincture in the refrigerator down about a half cup.
"I'll bring more. This is enough for two or three more days."
She asks nothing of him today only waves goodbye.
Harry is happy not to try and speak in a funny muffle. He continues the drops and finds improvement in the next two days. He now presses the tennis ball in his bad hand. The dog follows the movement in anticipation of old time fun.
Weeks pass as Harry soaks seeds for the fall garden. He holds the hoe with both hands. A caterpillar crawling on the tomatoes reminds him of his daughter catching butterflies as a girl. Harry invites her and the children to visit. 
The green tincture opens doors, not good as new but alive.

the creek

the cemetery

kudzu vines

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Ash in Orange Boat

Ash Tree With Emerald Borer in Orange Boat

Dying ancient ash trees shade my cabin.
I took a dry leaf to an arborist, 
"doesn't matter, it is green dragon"
No amount of water can re-nourish.

Just cut them down and burn.

He warned the emerald borer persists.
Drop the logs at sea and weigh with concrete.
Napalm, deportation, ICE ~ it resists.
Sorry to inform, hear your last heartbeat.

Just cut them down and burn.
Just cut the tree down, send ashes back to sea.

Images and poem copyright Caroline Gerardo

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


What is practice, production, poem?
How to pronounce an idea of poem?
                                                                             Pile of sticks
                                                                             Finger clicks

 them How to pronounce poem noun in British English
​us How to pronounce poem noun in American English


Copyright July 2018 Caroline Gerardo

Monday, July 16, 2018

Bird Song Poem

Quail Song

Beauty exists at your feet.
The hat of a quail smiles.
Gift love to all you meet.
Songs carry through trials.

thought for the day: unplug network news

Friday, July 6, 2018


oh Claudia 

The path of sunshine is not always the same
life brings brief joy or constant sting of pain
we'll never make sit upons for graceful girl scouts
we failed to finish the embroidery on our huipiles
Ixchel patterns touched by Maya backstrap loom
Nada to machine - made lace collars for a groom
K'iche' who whistle mist around the mountains
conquered by conquistadors, gangsters ~ coins

oh Claudia

In azure lapis and orchid perfume dress
went to college, to escape violent duress
we'll never fix your hair for the wedding night
we failed to protect you with a blouse of white
Man of Ice fired a hole into your head
Mama rocks your tiny body now dead
Everyday myriad of crows beg for seeds
As we recount the rosary prayer beads

oh Claudia

May the waterfall of heaven bring you peace.

Claudia Patricia Gómez González's body was repatriated to her home town of San Juan Ostuncalco in Guatemala. She was shot by Rio Bravo, Texas Ice

oh Claudia El camino de la luz del sol no es siempre el mismo la vida trae una breve alegría o una constante punzada de dolor nunca haremos sentados para niñas exploradoras elegantes no logramos terminar el bordado en nuestros huipiles Patrones de Ixchel tocados por el telar de cintura Maya Nada para collares de encaje hechos a máquina para un novio K'iche 'quien silba niebla alrededor de las montañas conquistado por conquistadores, gangsters, monedas oh Claudia en vestido de perfume de lapislázuli y orquídea azul fue a la universidad, para escapar de la coacción violenta nunca arreglaremos tu cabello para la noche de bodas fallamos en protegerte con una blusa de blanco Hombre de hielo le disparó un agujero en la cabeza Mamá mece tu pequeño cuerpo ahora muerto Todos los días miles de cuervos piden semillas Mientras contamos las cuentas de oración del rosario oh Claudia Que la cascada del cielo te traiga paz.

Caroline Gerardo © copyright July 2018

Monday, July 2, 2018

Harvard Cambridge

Harvard Lampoon Building 44 Bow
Recent trip to Cambridge, as my sister teaches at Harvard Business School and she needed assistance after knee surgery. Summer in Massachusetts has a light feeling. There are tourists on campus and the restaurants with al fresco seating bustle from lunch until dark sundown at nine.
A stroll through the bookstore and the Grolier Poetry Bookshop are the
highlights of my trip.

Walk over the bridge to my sister's offices at H B S, I found myself
as usual turned around and couldn't spot the gold bell tower of
Baker Library among massive construction projects. The surrounding
streets of the other side of the Charles River clatter with
trenching, demolition and new construction. I hope the university
buys up some of the old garages, tire stores and commercial lots for
long term hundred year plans before they are all converted to lofts and
boutique hotels.
I share a couple lovely sites:
Giant allium four feet high swaying like space pom poms.
Jenny Holzer's Marble Bench warning business students to be kind
and the geese remain on campus from the winter.

Harvard Bookstore
English Building Harvard Campus 12 Quincy