Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

End of semester

July 17, 2018
End of semester
3 hours of sleep
all is graded
assignments, essays
and extra credit,
Finals await the morning sun,
They sit in my office
all alone,
Soon they will come
to do their best
the last jokes, laughter,
and second guesses,
Then all disperse
to worlds unknown
while ghosts of their words
No more required
for those who came
to ever meet again.
      cfblack 07-17-2018

This you will not be forgiven for

June 19, 2018

This you will not be forgiven for.

Not this.

Nor will any one of us who does not speak up for them.

This. Butchering of hearts.

This lack of compassion.

This unthinkable act of human barbarity.

We did this once.

We sold children from their mothers.

This bragging of idiots defending atrocity.

This little one. Right here. She is everything we stand for.

She is the world come crashing down on us.

She will never be the same.

Nor will I.

cfblack  06-19-2018



June 6, 2018


You know this feeling,

it comes after you go back to work.

Body aches to go to bed,

but you just finished

loading dishwasher,

pulling chicken off bone,

making soup,

lunches for tomorrow.

What shall it be?

Chapter 1 review,

or head hitting pillow immediately?

Half hour of reading,

Clock hits midnight,

Coach turns to pumpkin,

Good night.

cfblack 06-05-18


to my mother

May 18, 2018

I try to imagine, being you,

born in the roaring twenties,

Taking out seams to make clothes fit

during the Great Depression.

Your parents quit school at age 12,

to earn money to help out at home,

They didn’t want you to suffer their fate,

so no matter what,

you felt blessed.

You met my father at age 16,

he was 4 years older than you,

and from that day on,

your life became

whatever it took to advance HIS career.

You never balanced a checkbook,

never worked outside the home,

Your friends were his academic colleagues,

never a friend of your own.

You never advanced past high school,

while he earned a PhD,

No one thought in the “baby boom”

a woman could advance herself.

My father’s career took off

and the poor boy became a Dean,

while you kept house, raised kids, and cleaned,

gave dinner parties on weekends.

But once he died so early,

at 50, was suddenly gone,

His friends dropped you like a hot potato,

and were not there for you.

Your life did not foster within you

a sense of your own strength,

Your life was focused on his success,

and now you were alone.

The next years were all a blur

as you turned to alcohol,

your kids all had to fend for themselves

to make it as they could.

To succeed in your recovery,

as any addict knows,

you have to center on yourself

because you have one goal.

At age 63 you did this,

and never once relapsed,

this, in itself, showed us all

how truly strong you were.

Mothering is never perfect,

neither mine, nor yours,

One thing that I always knew

was that I was deeply loved.

It helps me to imagine

all the things that you went through,

I hope you had enough time

to develop who you were,

Our lives were very different,

but what I learned from you

is a woman can do anything

she sets her own mind to.

I balance my own checkbook,

I work outside the home,

so another thing you taught me

is to have a backup plan.

Mother/Daughter connections

are always complicated,

I also know the Love we share

continues unabated.

cfblack    05-17-2018














Late at night

April 18, 2018

Late at night

as the moon travels

on its path across the sky,

the world asleep

the quietness

the calm and solitude,

the body screaming tired

but still awake,

the spirit lifts

above the noise

and peace sets in.

The bed now calls

and I will dream

until the morning comes.

cfblack  04-18-2018 1am




for my mother-in-law

April 3, 2018

She was the oldest

She was the oldest,

mother to her siblings,

her mother 16 at her birth,


Two brothers, 4 sisters,

born after her,

She mothered them

as she grew,


when that handsome service man came along,

she picked up and left what she knew,


Being together as long as they were,

sharing a lifetime of years,

raising 6 children and seeing theirs too,

sharing much laughter, and tears,


But what is left when he is gone,

your house, and all that you saved?

when everything familiar to you,

has all been given away,


Unable to visit or travel

or go to a funeral,

Your brothers pass before you,

two sisters now are gone,


You hear him talking with you now,

His voice is calling you home,

You hear him saying your work here is done,

so “Come on Alice, let’s go!”

cfblack 04-03-2018

Poem to the rain

January 28, 2018

A day without sunshine,

only clouds,

and muted light from gray cloud skies,

until this hour,

when water is released

like a furiously falling waterfall.

I want to lay in the dark


lulled to sleep by the lullaby,

but my clothes are drying

and need hung tonight

or the wrinkles will set for eternity,

so I sit at my desk

grade some papers,

and write this poem,

to the falling rain.

cfblack  01-28-18




Travels home to Indiana

December 21, 2017

I think our car will find the way,
It knows this trip
from South to North,
where the Mountains rise before us,
Ancient beings, asleep but alive,
They breathe and sigh as we drive through
their winding curves and valleys,
to the rolling hills of Tennessee,
and then on to Kentucky.
I feel almost home
when we reach the rolling waters
of the Ohio,
where the waters stretch wide,
and slaves crossed over
to the beckoning arms of freedom.
A church now sits on the other side
my great-grandfather’s wife attended,
a stop on the Underground Railroad
in the time she was a member.
I love the South, the Palmetto trees,
the fresh smell of pine forest,
The Sun that greets me every day,
the artists and the people,
but I can’t help feeling a sense of pride
when I cross the great Ohio,
and know that my great-grandfather
wore a uniform of blue,
and once the lands lay flat on their back
and the Sky reaches down to kiss them,
when I see the corn and soybean fields,
then I know how much I missed them.
                            — cfblack 12-21-17

Child Within

December 18, 2017

Child Within

This child within,

if you could know, right now,

Would it better prepare you

to love him or her,

to know if this fetus were boy, or girl?

This child, within,

if you could know, right now,

would you want to know who this child will love,

and if they are gay or lesbian?

Does it make you feel vulnerable?

Does it make you sad?

Does it make you worried,

or make you glad?

As parents, we are not entitled to choose

who are children will become,

Science-based learning cannot pre-select

hetero, transgendered, or intersexed,

We can’t punch a card and order us

a musician, athlete, or architect,

If we allow research to freely pursue

knowledge of us that is evidence-based,

we clearly see our complexity,

the beauty of human diversity,

and our capacity to love unconditionally

the child who is born to us.

cfblack 12-18-17          Based on the decision of our administration to ban these words from use by the Center for Disease Control and other health agencies: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

Nowhere to Hide

November 6, 2017

I want to call all my kids

Tell them I love them

Tell them to drive safe

Wear their seatbelt

And don’t go sit in a theater,

Walk on a sidewalk,

Or go to school.

It is too dangerous

to ride your bike

walk the streets of Times Square

or go to a music festival

held outdoors.

I want to tell them

Not to attend church

Not to invite a stranger

Into your prayer meeting

because he might be a terrorist

a delusional white supremacist

or someone who was in the military

(which doesn’t seem to bode well

for your mental health these days).

I want to tell them

to be safe, always,

Because if I had to go through

what hundreds of other parents are going through right now,

I don’t know how I would survive.

I want to tell the NRA

to go hide in a cave somewhere

and take all their guns with them

because no one needs any kind of gun

that can take 26 lives in 15 seconds

because they were angry at the world that day,

And the person who shot back

Couldn’t fire fast enough

to save them.

No one could.

And I want to write my Congressmen and women

to demand gun control

But I feel they are already bought out

Lock stock and barrel

and nothing will change.

I do it anyway

but it’s getting a little difficult to breathe in here

a little challenging to hope.

Why can’t we love each other?

Where does this hate come from?

“Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust?
That no one should exalt himself over the other.”*

cfblack  11-06-2017

*Writings of Baha’u’llah