Unravelling and weaving, sometimes simultaneously

Archive for May, 2015

Requiem (for Mani)

Just imagine this in the voice of Garrison Keillor doing The Writer’s Almanac.

It’s the birthday of Manuel J. Abreu, French-Portuguese native of Lowell, Massachusetts, who said his life was transformed by a near-death experience during surgery in 1984 and spent the following 24 years exploring the realms of spirituality and healing, becoming a Massage Therapist, Hypnotherapist, Tau Chi Chu’an instructor, Chi Lel Qi Gong Practitioner, Reiki Master Teacher, an intuitive healer and seeker, nature photographer, armchair philosopher and sometime guitar and harmonica player. He belonged to a large and loving family, was a Staff Sergeant in the Marines during the Vietnam Conflict and was married three times, having with the first wife a daughter, the second a son, and the third a decade of partnership and adventure. For many years he made his living with computers, from punch cards to software, and was able to bridge that left-right brain gap without problem. He was high strung, slender, smoked like a freight train, often drank, and once in a while indulged in a left-handed cigarette. He was funny, loving, loyal and kind. He didn’t know a stranger. He had three dragon tattoos, a Yin Yang and a monkey with a Marine cap sticking out his tongue. He was simultaneously full of awe and irreverence at all times. There won’t be another White Wing Owl like Mani, so seven years ago, when his body wore out, the Universe put him on retainer and he left on a spiritual sabbatical with the stars. He left behind a lot of people who still think of him often, love him always, and talk with him when they can.

And here is a poem, by his third wife, Caroline, who married him on the beach in Plum Island and later scattered some of his ashes in the surf there, both times surrounded by his family. It is entitled “February, 1997”.

The first time
I lay down with you
and knew you
after having known you
for several years,
we were in your attic bedroom
overlooking the Merrimac River,
and the moon was full,
which was your excuse
for having me in there
peering out the window
after a long cross-country drive
from my southern home
to yours in New England.

We had talked,
and snarled,
and found our corners
in an attempt
to locate the boundaries
of our territories
before you seduced me
with the slight lisp
and broad accent
of a true bullshit artist
into thinking
the whole thing was romantic,
and somehow ended up
with my skirt flipped up
and your pants around your ankles.

If I hadn’t been in love before,
it was listening to your
incessant narration,
occasionally degenerating
into a philosophical rant,
that made me certain
I would never
know anyone
quite the same way again,
so I had no choice
but to love you,
and to hang on tight
as we both cried,
in the afterglow.

(c) RCGA 2015



There is an art inherent in everything. I will admit I have an extraordinarily high standard for texting. That’s not really my fault. I have experienced some outrageous texting partners, but by far my favorite, and perhaps partially because we were somewhat anonymous to each other and never spoke outside the medium, was a Spanish poet from California who texted with me for several months back in 2011. We no longer have any contact with each other, and haven’t since that year. I kept our conversations, and periodically I read them for inspiration. I’ve posted one before, but it’s been a long time, and so here is another, a conversation between a Latino and a Latina separated by many miles who never met one another but had a brief affair via text.

Here, they travel, from miles apart to city streets, into the desert and through a storm, to a jungle where they come together.

Kissing you all over would be heaven.
You make me smile, mio, when you flirt.
You are torturing me from afar.
Your lovely smile..
exciting, enticing..
Your curves…
sensuous & sexy
You have a way with you ~
like spice on the back of my tongue ~
a memory of something that hasn’t happened yet ~
cruising down my spine…
your spine….
oh to kiss it…
your neck, your shoulders…
as I caress you.
Quietly, quietly we breathe
each other’s essence in the dark
learning, knowing
pleasure rising like waves of heat
from summer streets
your passion lights fires within me…
your sensuality makes my heart race
your soft body envelopes me in ecstasy
Your eyes shimmer
a mirage I find myself thirsty for
as if you are the last drink of water
I might ever have
and you will go down so smoothly
soothing me
flowing into all the dry corners of my soul
Your body & soul absorb me
As a cactus inhales desert rain
I, in turn, am nourished…
As u feed me passion & spirit
My sweet kisses dot your lovely face
Your smile kindles the embers of my desire
From afar I feel the storm approach
electric in the air
and then you sweep across me
like passionate rain
your mouth sliding down my skin
and nestling in secret places
your hands urging me
to lift myself into you
and fly
Your taste, your scent drive me wild
Your touch excites
Your every move lets me know…
Your desire, your passion
Our flight… unearthly… known only to the ancient gods
The gods have called us
a sacrifice to love
we flee into the jungle
only to be caught in the net of each other
Our bodies entwined
My lips meet yours
Our heat consumes me
I swell w desire
I feel you against me
firm and determined
our bodies know
there is a joining deeper than skin
and we are bound there

(c) RCGA


We’re playing with matches
I whisper
and you ask
What do you mean


I can see this
spooling out
as if I am watching it
from some surreal perch
far above
a bird perhaps
or a ghost

or what I am
a survivor
of a previous fire
with memories and scars

We are both
in a dry spell
I say
We are brittle
and exposed
eager as kindling
and full of sap
as fatwood

I agree
you respond
that you make my heart pine
but before you go on
with your analogy
of lucifers
and ashes
I would like
to make an argument
for the fire

I would suggest
you say
that neither one of us
are children
and the element of fire
is a good and glorious thing

but you know that

Didn’t you tell me
stories of fire tending
stories of camp fires
stories of fireplaces
stories of wood stoves
stories of bonfires
stories of fire pits


why should our story
be a house burning down
or the razing of a forest

why can’t our story
be two people
who are full of
goodness and glory
creating a space
to be warm
and maybe
throwing a few sparks
against the stars

rather than

(c) RCGA 2015



I do not create
but I recreate

I eat the world
I gulp it down
all senses open
earth wind
ether sea
lava from the depths
ice from the sky

and all the bits
of cyclic life
from microbe
to humanity

are swallowed
by me

Inside me
they are mixed
and blended
stirred and processed
the chemicals
and elements
of alchemy
within a thinking flask

Then passed to you
by way of words
and images
and sounds

I am a complex filter
what has been served
to me

Not creation
but interpretation
a sharing of my meal
in waves of light

(c) RCGA 2015

Tutus Loco

I miss that look,
that look from soul to soul
that says:

“You mean the world to me.
You are in my blood,
and my breath.

You and I…
you and I are forever.”

There are many kinds of love.
We love our parents,
our children,
our siblings, our friends, our pets…
if we are careful,
we love everyone a little bit.


*That* kind of love.
We call that connection
a mating of souls
for a very good reason.

It’s not that a soul mate
is the only one in the universe
capable of it,

or that we are destined
to have only one great love.

But our mates
offer us something
in their strength
and vulnerability
we aren’t offered
with any other kind of love;

the intimacy
of partnership,
the sharing of the soft belly,
the place to vent,
the place to cheer,
the place to lie down in silence
every night and day
feeling stronger
for being bound

not by circumstance or obligation,
but by that look.

The tutus loco.
The safe place.

(c) RCGA 2015

White Wing Owl

Finishing off NaPoWriMo with a couple of poems… hope to continue the creativity on into the year. Bright Blessings to all my followers, and thank you to the folks who have come by during the month of April. May Day is a rough anniversary for me, the day I lost my husband seven years ago. But where there is tragedy it is the dark reflection of great joy. Each person I mourn deeply had commensurate meaning in my life. Mani’s totem was the snowy owl, and he was a Tai Chi Chu’an student and teacher in the Yang Style, Long Form. We married and lived on the Atlantic coast in Massachusetts, near a nature preserve. In my heart, I imagine him still there, watching his son and granddaughter play with the waves and walk on the sand.

Full moon beams on the salt flat grass
turning it into silver waves
above the shivering strands he flies
white as the night orb glowing

Silent winged
the snowy owl
rides the currents from the sea
as they flow with saline mist
across the flats
to me

The soft control
of lifted wing
of tilted head
of beak and claw

he dances in the wind
like a master in his gi

every motion
full of meaning

He belongs to the earth and sky now
no longer pausing
to brush me
with those feathers
or cast those fierce
dark eyes my way
only his voice reaches me
and the shadow of his dancing
across the argent grasses

(c) RCGA 2015


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