Category Archives: poetry

Poems, prayers and promises

When the weather is tropical and everywhere you look you see green, life starts to feel like an epic poem written by Mother Nature. There’s so much happening around us with things growing and water puddling and smells that define a season – flowers, bar-b-q and chlorine. I know how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to sit and walk and run and just appreciate these things. I take the responsibility of being an observer pretty seriously and know it’s an incredible luxury.

I’m generally not much of a pray-er, other than to give thanks, but I’ve been working the prayer thing a little harder as my kids continue to extend their reach. Health and safety. No cobras. Safe driving. That sort of thing.

Promises? What do I know about those? Hmmm…I’d have to go with that they’re important and meaningful and should not be made lightly. Like that promise I made a few days ago to share some impressions from recent live music shows I’ve seen.

First up are some pics from the concert Liam and I attended in Vienna. We bought the tickets from a guy selling them near a park and I was pretty convinced he was going to steal my credit card information and cost me a bundle, but happily it was legit and he was a total professional.


The show, at Schoenbrunn Palace, was a “fine selection of masterful music by Mozart and Strauss…” it lasted about 90 minutes with an intermission and it was lovely. I didn’t grab a video because they asked guests not to and that’s a rule I can respect, even with my regret at not sneaking a single photo at the Sistine Chapel.

My son and I also attended a classical concert in a gorgeous chapel in Prague. I did take a video there and I’m sharing it


I love Vivaldi (not that I know sh*t about classical music) and I felt quite moved by the experience. Wonderful.

Also wonderful in a different and much closer to home way are the Monday night jazz offerings at Lucas Confectionary. I’ve been twice so far, once on the back terrace and once indoors and air-conditioned, and have loved it. Great wine choices (A Pigato?! A gruner from Oregon?! Wow!), a cool vibe indoors or out, and a capable and into it band really makes for an excellent way to start the week.

As for what I’m sharing below – my youngest listens to music that I can usually really respect. Recently he’s been on a John Denver kick, which I find pretty amusing. While doing a little searching online, this song came up and it spoke to me. Do you think it reads as more a poem, a prayer or promise?

I’ve been lately thinking
About my life’s time
All the things I’ve done
And how it’s been
And I can’t help believing
In my own mind
I know I’m gonna hate to see it end
I’ve seen a lot of sunshine
Slept out in the rain
Spent a night or two all on my own
I’ve known my lady’s pleasures
Had myself some friends
And spent a time or two in my own home
And I have to say it now
It’s been a good life all in all
It’s really fine
To have a chance to hang around
And lie there by the fire
And watch the evening tire
While all my friends and my old lady
Sit and pass the pipe around
And talk of poems and prayers and promises
And things that we believe in
How sweet it is to love someone
How right it is to care
How long it’s been since yesterday
And what about tomorrow
And what about our dreams
And all the memories we share
The days they pass so quickly now
Nights are seldom long
And time around me whispers when it’s cold
The changes somehow frighten me
Still I have to smile
It turns me on to think of growing old
For though my life’s been good to me
There’s still so much to do…


Filed under aging, Albany, art, Austria, beauty, concerts, Czech Republic, DelSo, Europe, Events, favorites, love, Music, musings, Observations, poetry, Summer, Troy, Uncategorized, upstate New York, vacation

Girlbomb Birthday Party

Me and Janice!!

Ever since I read Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl, I’ve been a fan of the memoir.  The ability of a person to chronicle and express their experiences never fails to touch me – and perhaps is the reason why I find myself sharing my own life as freely as I do here on DelSo.  A number of years ago, I read a review for a newly published autobiography, Girlbomb (A Halfway Homeless Memoir), written by  NYC native, Janice Erlbaum.  Based upon the review, I purchased the title for the high school library where I worked and when it arrived, I immediately devoured it.  Although Janice is a couple of years younger than I am, I completely identified with her experiences as a smart-beyond-her-years teen growing up with limited parental involvement during the early ’80’s.  Our situations certainly weren’t identical, but I very much shared her experience of being “underprivileged, underage and underdressed.”  When I finished the book, I visited her website, and sent her an email:

             “…So much of your book described my own self-medicated adolescence in the 80’s.
              I also had a life with limited stability and your memoir brought so much of the     
              confusion  and contradiction right back to me in a breath-taking way.”

Janice and Rachel!!

She graciously responded and through the years we’ve exchanged an occasional email and are, of course, requisite Facebook friends.  A couple of months ago she posted an event to celebrate the 5th birthday of Girlbomb to be held at the Bowery Poetry Club and I just knew I had to go.  Despite having lived in Albany for 20+ years, I was still somehow able to resurrect that hip, East Village, undergraduate, English major vibe, a result I’m sure of my company (my former Chelsea roomie, writer Rachel Aydt) and my attire (primarily black).  I can’t describe, without gushing in a way that would completely dissolve my street creed, how excited I was to finally meet Janice and hear the words which had leaped from the page, actually fall from her lips – it was fantastic!  The club was everything you ever imagine a poetry club to be – dark, curtained off and with an appropriately creative graffiti-filled bathroom.  In addition to Janice, a number of other fabulously talented women read their work and performed for the crowd of appreciative fans.  Here’s the official event notice:

          Girlbomb’s fifth birthday party! Celebrating five years since the publication
           of GIRLBOMB: A  Halfway Homeless Memoir. Readings and performances
           by author Koren Zailckas, GEMS founder Rachel Lloyd, and biffles Dana
           Piccoli and Melissa Saunders; dancing and schmoozing also on the agenda.
It was a great event and I thoroughly enjoyed feeling as if I was a part of a “scene” in NYC, if only for one night.  Thanks, Janice for an inspirational evening – and especially for writing.

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Until the sun finally comes out again…


                                                   Oh! To be a flower
                                                   Nodding in the sun,
                                                   Bending, then upspringing
                                                   As the breezes run;
                                                   Holding up
                                                   A scentbrimmed cup,
                                                   Full of summer’s fragrance to the summer sun…

                                                                                  Amy Lowell

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Filed under poetry