I recently began reading my first parenting book and it’s blowing my mind. Granted this one is more of a spiritual guide, and what sold me is that its introduction is by the Dalai Lama. 

The book is called “The Conscious Parent,” written by Dr. Shefali Tsabary. Its basic philosophy is summarized above and in the passages below. 

We are not here to carve our children into superior molds of ourselves, much less to elbow out a place for them in society. Rather, they arrive to teach us how to be better at life, at listening, at accepting. 

For me it’s been a great relief to find this book because something felt wrong about consistently fighting with my energetic two-year-old. Now that I’ve relaxed, so has he. Sure he misbehaves but, as long as he’s not hurting anyone or himself, I watch him be. And he is nothing if not pure, as yet unADULTered, joy. 


May’s Poet of the Month

poet photograph Every couple of months I like to feature a poem by a gifted emerging writer. This month, I would like to feature a poet and several of his poems. His name is G.M. Melvin and here is his bio, in his words:

For creature comforts (& the cold cash necessary to trade for them) I work nights at an all night govt. factory (USPS) here in Southwest Florida, but come dawn, I truly awaken to my real job. I (SavingGracefully) take up a pen.
Love & mercy, G.R. Melvin

Below is the first of three poem I will be sharing by Mr. Melvin. Enjoy!


When I don’t hear from her
When we don’t talk
Instead of what might
just happen in late night
screwball comedies,
A black & white
Where he keeps
Just missing her,
& unknown to her, her one & only is so near,
& you watch & wait for them to wise up,
For when their timing improves.
When I don’t hear from her
When we don’t talk
Instead of just sitting tight,
& trusting the plot twists,
& trusting our protagonists,
& holding still for all that insignificant subterfuge
Until it all plays out that
They can finally take cuts in the
Everything’s-Fine waiting line/
Instead of that
He keeps just missing her.
Yesterday at the yoga class
I was asked to exhale out
All the inside I saw as unsettled.
And all this matter turned to air.
Then, to take in a new air. A More awake. A More aware

Seen and Felt


Poetry bears witness to events that surround it, sure. But it is not the news. It is not an opinion column either. It dips its slippery toe into telling, showing, and expressing so as to permit each reader to recreate the very event over and over anew and on a personal basis.

Such a feat is perhaps simpler to accomplish when the events in question are household, such as a divorce, a child, aging. But when the event relates to the fate of political prisoners held captive by a ruthless dictatorship, generating personal connections with a poem is more difficult.

But, for Carolyn Forché (b. 1950) the task seems easy. Her book “The Country Between Us (1981),” published thanks to Margaret Atwood’s helping hand, shares her experiences as a human rights worker during El Salvador’s dictatorship in the 1970’s. It won numerous prizes, including the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and was also the Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets.

Below is a short poem from the book, one of my favorite. I have a soft spot for short poems with a punch, and this one is precisely that. I love how specific it is to one man’s plight, but still transmits a sense of hope and gentleness that is very much the author’s, yet very much the world’s.

The Visitor

In Spanish he whispers there is no time left.
It is the sound of scythes arcing in wheat,
the ache of some field song in Salvador.
The wind along the prison, cautious
as Francisco’s hands on the inside, touching
the walls as he walks, it is his wife’s breath
slipping into his cell each night while he
imagines his hand to be hers. It is a small country.


There is nothing one man will not do to another.

Photo Credit: BriYZZ from Toronto, Canada

Oh Yes, He Did


I confess I am one of those people who never took Truman Capote seriously. Or, maybe, I am just the only person who failed to do so. 

Either way, those days are now over. 

“A Diamond Guitar” might be my favorite short story ever. As simple, but perhaps sweeter, than anything Hemingway ever wrote. 

The passage above is one of many breathtaking moments in Capote’s very brief piece. 

How It Sounds



I was quite surprised last Sunday when a few readers wrote me asking how the mantra I posted that day is supposed to sound.  So, I did something I normally avoid at all costs, sing out loud.

Here is a recording of me saying the mantra. I learned it to a lovely rhythm, which I feel makes the words flow right out of my mouth and into…heaven? One can only hope.

Mantra for the Divine Momma


In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to share a mantra that invokes all the abundance of the Divine Mother, the female energy of joy, spontaneity and creativity.  This is a mantra whose practice dissolves fear and negative thought patterns. 

Lather, rinse and repeat. For at least forty days and forty nights for best results.