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November 2023
HP Poet: Lori Jones McCaffery
Age: 84
Country: USA

Question 1: We welcome you to the HP Spotlight, Lori. Please tell us about your background?

Lori: "I was born Loretta Yvonne Spring in a tarpaper shack on Lone Oak Road, Longview Washington, on New Years Day in 1939. That means I’ll soon turn 85. In high School a boyfriend changed my first name to Lori and I kept it. At 29 I married and became Lori Spring Jones. (I signed poems “lsj”) I had one child, a daughter, and when 20 years later I divorced, I kept the Jones name. I married again, in 1988 and became Lori Jones McCaffery, sometimes with a hyphen, sometimes not. I’m still married to that Brit named Colin and I speak “Brit” fluently. I sign everything I write “ljm” (lower case). I didn’t know about handles when I joined HP, so I just used my whole name and then felt I may have seemed uppity for using all of it. If I had a handle, it would likely be POGO. Short for Pogo stick. Long Story. I have an older sister and a younger brother. Both hate my poetry. My parents divorced when I was 12. My mother’s family was originally from No. Carolina. I’m proud of my Hillbilly blood. I went to college on a scholarship. Worked at various jobs since I was in high school. Moved to Los Angeles in 1960 just in time to join the Hippy/summer-of-love/sunset-strip-scene, which I was heavy into until I married. I read my stuff at the now legendary Venice West and Gas House in Venice Beach during that period. I’ve been an Ins. Claims examiner, executive secretary, Spec typist, Detective’s Girl Friday, Bikini Barmaid, Gameshow Contestant Co-ordinator, Folk Club manager, organizational chef, and long time Wedding Director. (I’ve sent 3,300 Brides down the aisle) "

Question 2: How long have you been writing poetry, and for how long have you been a member of Hello Poetry?

Lori: "I wrote my first poem in the 5th grade and never stopped. I had an awakening in 1957 when I worked at a resort during school break and met another poet, who unleashed a need to write that I’ve never been able to quell. I joined Hello Poetry in 2015, I think. Seems like I’ve always been here. I tend to comment on everything I read here. I’ve received no encouragement from my family so I feel compelled to encourage my “family” here. I do consider a large number of fellow writers friends, and value the brief exchanges we have. I don’t know if Eliot intended HP to be a social club but among us regulars, it kind of has been, and I love that."

Question 3: What inspires you? (In other words, how does poetry happen for you).

Lori: "Living inspires me. The intricacies of relationships, and the unpredictability of navigating society. A news story often does it. A song may stir words. Other poetry often sets me off on a quest of my own. I write very well to deadlines and prompts. I adore BLT’s word game and played it a lot in the beginning. Seeing the wonderful job Anais Vionet does with them shamed me away. I have hundreds of yellow lined pages with a few lines of the ‘world’s greatest poem’ on each, all left unfinished because I’m great at starts and not so great on endings. Some day, I tell myself….some day."

Question 4: What does poetry mean to you?

Lori: "Poetry has been a large part of my life as long as I can remember. I would feel amputated without it. I recited the entire “Raven” from memory in Jr. High School. I still remember most of it. More recently I memorized “The Cremation of Sam McGee” Poetry is my refuge - with words I can bandage my hurts, comfort my pain and loss, share my opinions and assure myself that I have value. It is where I laugh and also wail. I would like to think it builds bridges."

Question 5: Who are your favorite poets?

Lori: "My favorite poets include Edgar Allen Poe, Robert W Service, Amy Lowell (I read ‘Patterns’ in a speech contest once), Robert Frost, Shel Silverstein, and Lewis Carroll."

Question 6: What other interests do you have?

Lori: "I’m a collector. Whippet items, vintage everything, I read voraciously: 15 magazine subs, speculative fiction (SF) and anything else with words written on it. I try to read everything every day on HP. I watch Survivor religiously and keep scorecards. Ditto for Dancing with the Stars. I’m a practicing Christian with a devilish side and involved heavily in Methodist church work, which includes cooking for crowds and planning events."

Carlo C. Gomez: “Thank you so much for giving us an opportunity to get to know you, dear Lori! It is an honor to include you in this series!”

Lori: "Thank you so much for this very undeserved honor. This is a wonderful thing you are doing. I know I write with a different voice than many, and it is empowering to be accepted for this recognition. I apologize for being so verbose in answering your questions. When you get to my age you just have so many stories to tell."

Thank you everyone here at HP for taking the time to read this. We hope you enjoyed getting to know Lori better. I learned so much. It is our wish that these spotlights are helping everyone to further discover and appreciate their fellow poets. – Carlo C. Gomez & Mrs. Timetable

We will post Spotlight #10 in December!

Timothy Brown Apr 2013
Usually people will say
happy birthday without
actually caring for the day
I am a lout

I had no idea the 26th was so important
Instead of perusing thoughts I laid dormant
Had I risen from fake wars in Afghanistan
I would have noticed it was the birthday of Lori Callahan!

I apologize for missing such a special date.
I hope it was one that no others can equate
For you deserve a day to yourself
and a special memory to put upon a shelf

Happy Birthday Lori! A friend so sweet.
Happy Birthday Lori! I hope someone massaged your feet.
Happy Birthday Lori! I hope you had a cake with candles.
Happy Birthday Lori! May this year be guided by angels.

Happy Birthday Lori Callahan!
I know this is late and I apologize profusely! This is a poem for you Lori!
© April 29th, 2013 by Timothy Brown. All rights reserved.
Andrew T Apr 2016
I met Lori at a beer pong table. She was tall. A trash talker. Beach blonde hair. Eyes blue, blue as the sky on an afternoon in July, when the weather was cool from a light rain. This was post-college—a house party, for young adults who wanted more from life than the typical 9-5. She wasn’t from NOVA. She was from Weston, FL. Her teammate was a guy she was with at the time—they ended up breaking it off and for a while she was dating Cam, a pro-bass fisher, a long distance relationship, but they loved each other. But at the table, I was competing with her teammate, later on I ended up mentally competing with Cam, which didn’t do any good except to make me chain-smoke jacks and drink bourbon. I had a girlfriend at the time—let’s just call her Voldy. My teammate was Lori’s best friend Erica. This girl had swagger; played beer pong like Dr. J, always got us roll backs. I was tall as **** for a Vietnamese American—still am tall as **** for a Vietnamese American (Don’t worry my guys, my family’s from the Southside)—and in college we had built a beer pong table, at a spot called the pink house. “We,” meaning my roommates and I: CJ, Trevor, and Samuel. The U.N. I had practiced daily, playing before class, playing after class. Height made a difference; some great basketball player once said you need to have game on and off the court. I wasn’t sure what court I was on when I was in that moment. Lori was more than appearance; more body language; more eye contact; more southern twang; and more astuteness, than a TED Talk combined with NPR, combined with The New Yorker, combined with Al-Jazeera and linked with Wikipedia on a ***** binge. I could talk all day about how she looked, how she dressed. But I told you what you need to know. She shot first, her right arm shaped like a swan, the type of swan that sits on a lake in the middle of a spring morning, the type of morning when the sky is blue with the eyes of a girl who has seen too much, been through too much, and has heard too much. She sank the shot. Her teammate roared. But all I could hear was Lori’s voice; soft as the piano notes played by Sakamoto’s right hand, loud as the piano notes played by Sakamoto’s left hand. Blu was not how I was feeling. Or maybe I was.
Because at this table I had to either take a loss,
or seal a win. I didn’t know what I wanted. But I wanted her. Wanted her, like how you wanted a postcard
from Santa when you were 5 years old, and it was opposite day. So you got the address wrong,
and the letter was never received. And your parents told
you to keep trying so you did, you did, and you did,
but you were young and naïve. You didn’t know
what was real and what was not real. And now I was
at a place in time, when the setting didn’t matter,
and the alcohol didn’t matter, and the drugs didn’t matter.
All that mattered was her.
Because when I shot that orange ping-pong ball,
I kept eye-contact with her eyes.
Blue, much more blue
than the water in the red solo cups we were playing with.
I wish it were water from the beaches in Florida,
beaches I could read a Salinger story on,
beaches I could rest on
beaches I could lay on,
lay and take in the sun
that rises above my soul
that aches for something more.
But Lori wasn’t Brett Ashley,
she was more Daisy Buchanan
than anything.
But does that make me Tom or Jay?
Jimmy or Nick?
I didn’t know and I still don’t know.
What I do know, is this;
the ball sank into the
first cup of the triangle.
Lori’s face went from cocky,
to frustrated, from frustrated
to relaxed,
from that
to a smile.
One that I remember, and one,
I won’t forget.
Because all I want to do is forget,
Take my memory and squeeze
the bad **** out,
twist the living **** out of it,
and burn it with a match.
Because she thinks I’m the one,
Who did her wrong, but it wasn’t me.
I put that on my integrity, even if my words don’t mean much to your ears: please listen.
I was inebriated, 3/4ths of the time we chilled.
So I didn’t know what was false and what was real.
You can check my temperature,
Because when you’re in my thoughts I get a fever
And hey, I shouldn’t have made a pass on your roomie
I should have thought before I texted, because now your trust in me has been affected.
We’re not talking. I can keep apologizing for what happened, but you don’t want to listen to a broken record.
I wish the bad memories would pass away and I guess they’re all in the past today.
Look, I don’t have a time machine
strong enough to change all the mistakes that I’ve made.
But take this as a time capsule,
this piece that I’m sharing. Like that piece we were sharing. The one that belonged to you.
The one I wish I could kiss again,
Because your lips touched it,
And mine never touched yours.
Hey, guys this is my first poem. I used to be on Hellopoetry and then I deleted my account a long time ago. But now, I'm back on the site and I'm excited to start reading poetry from others in the community! Hopefully, my creative work is something you can find connect with and find meaning in.
Born Aug 2017
Poem. Call me poetry
Debbie Jean Embrey  ***! how those words spoke to me! Very well done! I love the part about calling you 'Messenger.' Keep inking! :)

Poem. She's said II
Terry Jordan  Amazing piece, esp. "It is for us to wash away our painful confusion with tears...." I'm sending a sympathy card today to the mother of a former student of mine, so this really speaks to that most terrible loss that we have no word for it. TFS, Born

Poem. I won't forget that you liked my poetry
Mary-Elizabeth Cotton  Beautiful write! I especially love the lines "When I could barely form words,/that would impress my shadow."

Poem. I'm Born
Pradip Chattopadhyay  your words are fabulous

Poem. Hi(gh)
Kim Johanna  Baker  Great write Born...I must say, you are a great writer and enjoy very much your pieces...this is raw and gets the message across.. tyfs... kimx

Poem. If I told you my story
Law lith iminika Reading this was like observing a preview to a movie, but I didn't pay for it, instead showed up willingly. And I'm hungry for knowledge and inspiration because I was refused popcorn

Poem. Thank you Pamela Rae
Pamela Rae  Please know that you have such talent and your words not only touch me, but so many here--keep writing, expressing and touching our souls, dear Born. You are a gift to this world and deserve to find your way, to embrace peace and tranquility and it will come. Will be sending along good vibes, thoughts for peace and happiness and Room to breathe with ease... (((hugs)))

Poem. Hello poetry
Wolf spirit Wow this a poem . Because Id rather read this than delve on eloquent flattery of wistful words . Honesty expressed with such brevity is still the best policy .

Poem. When my heart pounds a little bit more
Modern Serenity  very well executed! truly deserves to be the poem for atleast a week. freaking fantastic poem. well done. honestly totally jealous of your poem its truly amazing and well said.

Poem. Shantel
---  Superbly penned, echoes of the great Pablo Neruda

Poem. Here we are
K Balachandran  so peaceful and meditative
yet passion filled love and life
chiseled and beautiful...without hiding truth
you have eyes full of love and light

Poem. Virgo 
Star BG  And..... open gateway to healing the are such a master with words. Thank you

Poem. Dusty coin
Pax  there will always be hope, even just a spark, or one candle, it can do many things in the dark..

Poem. My deepest sympathies
South by Southwest  There are answers to every question you pose . Only by a lifetime of searching will you find them .

Poem. Muse dear daughter
Sylvia Frances Chan  A most divine poem, loving and caring words. I have enjoyed this poem very much. God's Blessings be upon thee. Thank you for sharing this divine piece.

Poem. Leonard Cohen
Lazhar Bouazzi  Ah! Wonderful poem about one of my favorite poets/composers/singers of all time! Thank you for sharing

Poem. This poem III
Wyatt  Such a harsh, blunt piece. It hit me right in the gut! Congrats on the daily!

Poem. I won't forget that you liked my poem
patty m  Comments are a wonderful gift. I love your poem and the emotions that surface you are truly gifted.

Sally A Bayan  So much truth in your wondeful, touching words, Born..
I keep coming back to this poem...just had to repost.
Thank you for sharing

Poem. Juliet
Jamie King  I like the flow here the transition from one imagery to the imagery while maintaining the same flow requires a certain degree of finesse. Excellently executed piece

Poem. Un(real) istic
Botan  A high tech emotional intelegence will take over while humans express thier feelings by emoji. good writing
Poem. Poetic flavor
SøułSurvivør An awesome tribute! You're one of the poets I would elect for showing the most growth of any on this site. My heart twinkle with happiness, TOO! Thanks for your heart, Born! ☆♡☆

Lori Jones McCaffery  You make exquisite use of the words you have captured, Born. Keep thirsting. Love

SøułSurvivør Awe! I'm so glad to encourage you... you have such a powerful way with words. An innate talent. I count you as one of my best friends here. Be blessed!

Poem. 5 million am not just a number
Corvus  Wonderfully compassionate. It's so easy to be kind and sympathetic to those on your doorstep. Those further away but in even greater need are often ignored. Brilliant write.
The most important part of posting a poem is the response you get, I'd love to appreciate every single one of  you for the words you offered. For those who didn't make the list, I still appreciate you.

This poem is coming from an emotional place, for the longest time I never believed in myself. But now I do, thanks a lot
Maa ki mamta ko dekh maut v
aage se hat jati hai
gar  maa apmanit hoti
dharti ki chaati fat jaati hai
ghar ko pura jeevan dekar
bechari maa kya pati hai
rukha sukha kha leti hai
paani *** kar soo jati hai

Jo maa jaisi devi ghar ke
mandir me nahi rakh sakte hai
wo lakho punya bhale kar le
inshan nahi ban sakte hai
maa jisko v jal de-de
wo paudha sandal ban jata hai
maa ke charno ko chukar paani
Gangajal ban jata hai

Maa ke anchal ne yugo-yugo se
Bhagwano ko pala hai
maa ke charno me jannat hai
Girijaghar aur Shivala hai
Himgiri jaisi unchai hai
sagar jaisi gahrai hai
dunia me jitni khushboo hai
maa ke anchal se aaye hai

Maa kabira ki sakhi hai
maa tulsi ki chaupai hai
meerabai ki padawali
khusru ki amar rubai hai
maa angan ki tulsi jaisi
pawan bargad ki chaya hai
maa ved richao ki garima
maa mahakavya ki maya hai

Maa maansarovar mamta ka
maa gomukh ki unchai hai
maa parivaro ka sangam hai
maa rishto ki gahrai hai
maa hari dubh hai dharti ki
maa keshar wali kyari hai
maa ki upma kewal maa hai
maa har ghar ki phulwari hai

Saato sur nartan karte jab
koi maa lori gaati hai
maa jis roti ko chu leti hai
wo prasad ban jati hai
maa hasti hai to dharti ka
jarra-jarra muskata hai
dekho to dur kshtiz ambar
dharti ko sheesh jhukata hai

Mana mere ghar ki deewaro me
chanda si murat hai
par mere man ke mandir me
bas kewal maa ki murat hai
maa saraswati lakshmi durga
ansuya mariyam sita hai
maa pawanta me ramcharit
manas me bhagwat geeta hai

Amma teri har baat mujhe
vardaan se badhkar lagti hai
he Maa teri surat mujhko
bhagwan se badhkar lagti hai
saare teerath ke punya jaha
mai un charno me leta hu
jinke koi santan nahi
mai un maawo ka beta hu

Har ghar me Maa ki puja **
Aisa sankalp uthata hu
Mai dunia ki har maa ke
Charno me ye sheesh jhukata hu.....
Copyright© Shashank K Dwivedi
Follow me on Facebook -
Jab aankh khuli to amma ki
godi ka ek sahara tha
uska nanha sa anchal mujhko
bhumandal se v pyara tha.....
uske chehre ki jhalak dekh
chehra phulo sa khilta tha
uske stan ki ek bund se
mujhko jeevan milta tha
haatho se baalo ko noocha
pairo se khoob prahar kia
phir v us maa ne puchkara
humko jee bhar ke pyar kia

Mai uska raja beta tha
wo ankho ka tara kahti thi
mai banu budhape me uska
bas ek sahara kahti thi
ungli ko pakad chalaya tha
padhne vidlaya bheja tha
meri naadani ko v neej
antar me sadasaheja tha

Mere saare prashno ka wo
fauran jawab ban jaati thi
meri raho ke kaante chun
wo khud gulaab ban jaati thi
mai bada hua to college se
ek rog pyar ka le aaya
jis dil me maa ki murat thi
wo ramkali ko de aaya

shaadi ki pati se papa bana
apne rishto me jhul gya
ab karwa chauth maanta hu
maa ki mamta ko bhul gya
hum bhul gye uski maamta
mere jeevan ki thati thi
hum bhul gye apana jeevan
wo amrit wali chaati thi

Hum bhul gye wo khud bhukhi
rah karke hume khilati thi
humko sukha bistar dekar
khud geele me soo jaati thi
hum bhul gye usne hi
hotho ko bhasha sikhlayi thi
meri neendo ke lie raat bhar
uss maa ne lori gaayi thi

hum bhul gye har galti par
usne danta samjhaya tha
bach jau buri najar se
kala teeka sada lagaya tha
hum bade hue to mamta wale
saare bandhan tod aaye
bangle me kutte paal laye
maa ko vridhaashram chod aaye
apano sapno ka mahal girakar
kankar -kankar been laye
khudgargi me uske suhag ke
aabhushan tak cheen laye

Hum maa ko ghar ke batware ki
abhilasha tak le aaye
usko paawan mandir se
gaali ki bhasha tak le aaye

to be continued ........(next part may be in next week)
Copyright© Shashank K Dwivedi
Follow me on Facebook -
Hilda Apr 2013
I have the sweetest friend who is so dear
Gladdening my life when days are drear
Sparkling sunshine on gloomy days bleak
N'er after her own pleasure does she seek.
Great poetess and cook she makes work fun,
Sure way to win the heart of any one
Intelligent and kind she doth so prove
Honest token of sympathy and love
Wise about government and sundry things
Whenever talking with her my heart sings!
So Happy Birthday Lori, friend so sweet
May you never suffer gloom or defeat!
© April 26, 2013
Invocation Oct 2015
She's strong and wise and sticky fingered
She's squishy and smart and colourful and fun
She's small and quick and shiny
And she's gonna find herself in
Being free
Spread ur wangs leetle gecker.
SøułSurvivør Jun 2015

This will be a long write.
There are so many I wish
to honor and thank.

Please, if you can, pull up
Bruce Cockburn's song
Maybe the Poet on YouTube.
Listen to the words as you read this.
It will greatly add to your enjoyment.

I play no favorites...
you ALL are class acts!

Here's a tribute. Yep. It's long!
But listen to Bruce Cockburn's song.
I want to emulate what's sung
Yes, not miss a poet, one!

ryn has got a range of art
Ded Poet's got a poet's heart
elsa angelica's soul resounds
Bhumika's a dove
with a golden crown!

Wolfspirit's pen can spill his love
Wonderman's ink from up above
sjr...1000 words so wise
Scarlet Pimpernel's talent's
not disguised!

Joe Malgeri's a spiritual gent
Paige Pots' work is heaven sent
Tivonna has love for natural things
Helena's work has roots and wings!

Pradip, in my eyes number one
as is Thomas A Robinson
jeffrey robin's style is loose and bold
Rupal has a heart of gold!

John Stevens has an earthy wit
Pax means peace, his candle's lit
Tryst's ballads are a perfect fit
and I love Lidi Minuet!

donna's sweet as honeydew
Jason Cole fits like a shoe
Prttybrd sings songs with style
Day Wing flies! He has a smile!

Deborah's walking on her beach
her talent has a range and reach
Rapunzel let's her hair way down
Weeping Willow
has a pleasant sound!

Joe Cole loves all fantasy
SSilkenTounge has a mind that's free
Solaces is a very old friend
I hope to see Botan again!

Urmilla writes beyond her years
Chalsey Wilder writes bring tears
Tonya Maria and I share pain
Wise is K Balachandran!

CA Guifoyle lives in my town
Adam Childs' the best around
SE Reimer can put us in the mood
Musfiq us Shaleheen
Is so VERY good!

Richard Riddle honors with poetry
Love my collab, Arcassin B!
Sally A Bayan's good and kind
Hayden Swan's a real find!

Love comments from Joe Adomavicia
zik, I'm always glad to see ya!
TGWLY has a heart that hurts
Erenn Y does heartfelt works...

Elizabeth Squires has classic writes
Frank Ruland's fights
for what is right
And if a scare you want to see
just look up POETIC T!

Oh! There are SO many more!
There are poets by the score!
I don't want to be a bore
But read them ALL! You will be


Lori Jones McCaffery
Niamh Price
Mya Angel
Mike Hauser
Ignatius Hosiana
Frankie J
Chris Green
mark cleavenger
brandon nagley
Puds (Pete)
Deborah Brooks Langford
Harriet Tecumsah Watt
it's gonna make sense
Dark n Beautiful
WL Winter
Pamela Rae
Eddie Starr
Olivia Kent
Brenden Thomas
Raj Arumugam
Jonny Angel
Dylan Mitchell
James M Vines
i am miss brightside
Chris Fracc
Ocean Blue
Phil Lindsay
Mike Hauser
Christi Michaels Moon Flower
Raj Nandy
Makayla Kelly
Paul Gafney
Nan Trapp Messer
Steven Langhorst
Daniel Palmer
Chris Smith Dark Poet Soul
C A Guilfoyle
GitacharYa VedaLa
Rosalind heather Alexander
S R Matts
Paul Gattney
Danny Mak
patty m
liv frances
Gary L
Ngamau Boniface
Earl Jane
Justin G
ste'phanie noir
Aztec Warrior

Last but not least... olestoryteller
and Francie Lynch! Ketoma Rose!
If there's someone I've forgotten

Also please read Hello again, Poets!
I wrote more! Also please read the poem 'diamonds'. There are many tributes to people who i missed in this write.


Arvind Bhardwaj Mar 2016
Main Hindi ..
Kabhi seene se mujhko lagaane waale,
Har geet me mujhe gungunane waale,
Bani jab bhi maa ki lori, meri god me wo so jaane waale,
mujhse ab rishta tod chuke hain..

Jinki har vedna ki main awaaz bani,
Khusi se gungunaye to main saaz bani,
Kabhi sone ke panno me khela karti thi,
Aaj chand harfo ki mohtaaj bani.

Kabhi tarannum me to kabhi tarano me thi,
Pyar me likhe afsaano me thi,
Yovan ke madhur sangeeto me thi,
Ishq me tadpe to main unki zubaano pe thi.

Kranti ke inqlaab me nihit, Har  do took jawab me thi,
Akhbaro ke panne bankar jamghat behisaab me thi,
Vijay Udghosh kiya jab tumne, bankar itihaas kitaab me thi.

Har roop me jinko mamta di, Jinka tha maine varan kiya,
Unhi beto me bhari sabha me tha mera cheer haran kiya,
Itne varsho se jo meri godi me fal fool rahe the,
Tadap uthi main, dekha jab, wo mujhko hi ab bhool rahe the.

Antarvedna ke gehan dard se roti main chitkaar rahi thi,
Har koi anjaan tha mujhse, aur main Bebas nihaar rahi thi..
ruby stains Dec 2014
[eyes gazing out beneath heavy lids]
i've done that a lot lately, walking
[mind twenty-odd miles away]
into doors that haven't been opened
[feet move faster than my head]
yet, fingers clenched around a ****
[nose hits first; check for blood]
that's only been halfway turned.
[won't happen again, sweartofuckinggod]
lokan lori ọrọ : mind over matter in yoruba form
Hilda May 2013
Though miles may separate us dear friend,
And days fly quickly with each irksome chore,
Our bond on such trifles does not depend,
Only serves to enrich our love the more.
Although skies may darken with clouds of grey
Dispelling happiness with blackest gloom,
Glad sunshine dances in sparkling ray
When mem'ries of you flood as sweet perfume.
Melody of robin and woodthrush blend;
Gentle breezes through meadow grasses sigh.
I am reminded of my lovely friend
Causing worries and grief from me to fly.
I am so happy to call you my friend!
Happy Mother's Day Wishes I do send.
Happy Mother's Day to my dear friend Lori Callahan!!!! <3<3
judy smith Sep 2015
It’s been a summer of love for many pairs in the Aspen area who chose to tie the knot near home or with a destination wedding such as these six couples below.

Natasha Lucero and Mike Conklin of Carbondale pinpointed Puerto Aventuras, Mexico, for their May 2 wedding at Hacienda del Mar Resort. Surrounded by nearly 100 friends and family members, they celebrated in the sun with a beach wedding. Though they lead an active lifestyle filled with lots of CrossFit workouts and semi-strict diets, they decided upon a decadent wedding cake (opting for one made of donut holes in lieu of something more traditional). For their honeymoon, the happy couple stayed in Mexico at an all-inclusive resort just down the road from the wedding.

Kelly Ann McColm and Daniel Conal McCarthy of Aspen chose a mountain wedding for their June 6 event. The ceremony was on the wedding deck at the top of Aspen Mountain with a reception in the beautifully decorated Sundeck. Kelly Ann’s favorite part about the wedding was the weather. “All four seasons in an hour! We started up the gondola with rain, got to the top of Ajax with snow and as I came out to walk down the aisle, the clouds parted and the sun came out for a beautiful summer sunset. The McCarthys are beach-bound for their honeymoon with a trip to Bora Bora.

Lori Augustine and Bill Small of Aspen tied the knot on June 14 on Aspen Mountain. They and their guests enjoyed beautiful summer weather for the ceremony at 11,212 feet. They’ve just set off for a honeymoon through Europe, spending the month of September in Venice, Milan, Lake Como, Capri, Positano, Rome, Tuscany, Monaco and St. Tropez.

Molly Elizabeth Eckrich and Charles Barclay Dodge of Aspen exchanged vows amidst friends and family on June 26. The Snowmass Chapel performed the ceremony in the John Denver Sanctuary in Old Snowmass. The bride noted, “We were the first wedding out there and I hope more people will use it because it was the most perfect setting.” Their reception took place at Tempranillo in Basalt. And their long awaited honeymoon will be spent in St. Bart’s and Cuba in November.

Katie Kowalski and Mickey Krentz of Aspen were married on a beautiful summer afternoon at Aspen Center for Environmental Studies at Rock Bottom Ranch near Emma on Aug. 8. “We supported a farm to table dinner there last year and both knew instantly, that is where we wanted to get married,” the bride noted. “It represented out love of the outdoors and love for good, local food, in a relaxed and beautiful setting. The atmosphere the day of our wedding couldn’t have been more perfect with the roosters crowing, ducks waddling, pigs lounging, the warm glow of the sun.” Next spring, they’ll honeymoon in Italy and France.

Maggi Whitmer and Ryan Thompson of Aspen tied the knot on Aug. 15 at Elk Camp in Snowmass under clear blue skies. “We loved being one of the first weddings in this location,” explained the bride. “Ryan and I both grew up in the valley and are passionate about skiing so having it on the mountain with chairlifts in the backdrop was special.” Sparklers, a food truck and the gondola were all little details that made it especially unique. For their honeymoon, they’re heading to Croatia and Italy in October.

Nat Lipstadt Aug 2013
If you come to my funeral,
Come by train.
Even if inconvenient.

Take the time
To come slow.

Read my poems,
Read yours,
Mash them up,
So they become better
When joined at the hip.

So be ready,
Be Cub or Girl Scout prepared,
To laugh with crinkly eyes
At private memories,
Recalled stories.

Yes, one can cry and laugh simultaneously,
Perfectly sensible, when on,
Especially when on,
A slow, aglow, train ride,
On the way to a beloved's funeral.

*But this trip don't involve any travels
Its your heart that I am trying to reach
To touch it and fill it with a
Feeling so sweet
Where heartache and pain
Can no longer dwell
So your heart can smile
And only feel well
To find love
For every living thing
And for yourself
And of course for ME
Train Ride (For Lori Callahan).
Dedicated to her, every letter and syllable.

The last stanza in italics, excerpted from Lori's poem,
Without her permission, but with
Loving admiration, openly acknowledged.

Lori Callahan · Jul 31
Pack Your Bags.
Marian May 2013
L* Is for love
O Is for Onyx and you're my Onyx gem
R Rare You are a Rare gem
I is for I love YOU, and for incredible

C  Cute and cuddly
A  Always love you
L is for lovely
L is for lovable
A is for I Apreciate you
H always honest
A Always adorable
N Always nice and noble

Happy Mother's Day, Lori Lovable!!! :) ~<3
Alexander Klein Jun 2016
Indigo. A dream of the color, and the sound of soft rain. Bathing birds babbled among pines beyond her window, and morning light was warm on her closed face. An ache in the spine. Creaking knees. Shoulders cold cliff-rock. Complaining muscles knotted tight as wood. The wooden house around her also creaked in the wind. Smelled wet. And somewhere echoing through her fields Edgar barked three times, then once more in playful affirmation. Today maybe the last today. In her mind’s eye, falling almost back into dream, Nora surveyed the long acres surrounding her cold home: untended wheat, alfalfa, cattle-corn, all woven through untold ecosystems of weeds. Stray indigo flowers and violets. Scattered dust-filled barns. What the place might look like after all this time. With her right hand she sought the frame of the bed, found it, rough chips of paint flaking. Slowly exhaling at once Nora lifted her iron legs over the edge, thin-socked feet found the bedroom’s planks. Cold air. November hopelessness. With spider-sensitive fingers she plucked her way around the room, imagining violet dawn spilling through her screen window. Stood before the poker-faced mirror out of habit, ran her brush through hair that must now be silver. She felt the satisfying tug on her scalp and loudly past her ears. If her dresser was in front of her, to her right was the window and the pine-scented boxes where she kept his clothes, behind was her rumpled bed, and to her left then was the bathroom. She felt along the door-frame, the sink, the toilet, and sighingly she settled onto its seat. Relief.
Rain drops on her roof were like the “shh” breathed to an infant. Warm blanket of rain over the cold farm. The breathy wind was driving the rain towards her house, cranky knees told of a storm to come. The boisterous wind had the sound of laughter and strife, of voices: the twins arguing somewhere, Edgar probably with them over-enthusiasticly ******* their footsteps. The bellowing wind made the house creak more than usual, but there was something else. A distinctive groan from the foundation up the east wall to the roof-tiles. Someone was in the kitchen. Constance, just like it used to be. Connie was here and the twins were outside: they had arrived closer to dawn than Nora expected. Heavy truck’s tires in mud, headlights had pioneered dawn darkness. Smell of soil. Massaged her own back, kneaded the the flesh on either side of her spine, then wiped and stood from the seat letting her nightgown fall all down around her knotted ankles. Washed herself, and a short shower before the water turned cold. Dried her wrinkles feelingly, smelling soap, and pulled her soft nightgown back on. Socks.
Always a joy whenever Constance came to call — less frequently these days it seemed — always a joy to be with her grandchildren though little Bastian was still mistrustful of her. Always a joy to see her daughter’s family… but she never got to see Matt’s. An image of her son’s face, a red haired ghost of the past, flickered in Nora’s memory. He couldn’t stand this place since he was young, hated his full name “Matthias,” maybe hated Nora too. No reason to stay after his father died. He fled to the city. Must have a wife, several children by now. Well. At least Constance kept coming by. The rain grew heavier, played on the roof like the roll of a snare drum.
Out of the bathroom and bedroom, feeling the planks of floorboard with her soles, hand by hand and foot by foot she traced her steps down the rickety stairs. Uneven. Nora knew the chandelier she once hung here was red; she pictured the color as hard as she could to envision its reflection on each surface of the stairwell. Smell of pine. Like the smell of his clothes safely preserved in the boxes by the window. Jagged nostalgia. Nora had met dear Rowan back in another world: a world of whirling sights and colors and beautiful ugliness and ugliest beauty all. To America when she was nineteen, leaving behind all Germany and studying her new tongue. Had still devoured books then, was able to become a school teacher. When twenty-three, met in a chance cafe Rowan who worked the docks. Red hair. Scottish but of many American generations. Nora grabbed blindly at a face just out of memory’s reach. Her hold on the bannister revealed the places where varnish had been rubbed away by her wringing hands. From the kitchen, acrid cigarette stench and shuffling. Inflamed knees hating her meticulous descent, but better this ordeal each day than to abandon the bedroom they had shared. When the two met, Rowan still sent money to his agricultural folks in New York (“Upstate,” he protested more than once, “Not that awful city, but in the countryside!” and he’d pantomime a deep breath) because of the expenses of running their farm. Nora’s now. From the cafe he had bought her an almond pastry, triangular, smaller than a palm, its sweet crisp flakes made her think of Mediterranean forests, and when the two were married they worked this hereditary farm. Nora knew all the animals, when they still kept livestock. Now Nora’s farm, whose after? When her little Matthias was born they had praised him as the farm’s inheritor. Unwise.
Last step. Sound from the kitchen of Connie shifting in her seat, rustling papers. Smell of strong coffee. Strong cigarettes. Composed herself, quietly cleared throat. Sauntered down the hallway, monitoring expression and tone. Nora said, “Hello Constance. When did you three get here?”
“Hey ma,” said the woman’s voice when the elder crossed into the kitchen. “For christ’s sake don’t call me that.”
“For christ’s sake, don’t take his name,” Ma scolded, but then traced her way past the table to the countertop and felt about for utensils. “I’ll make you something Connie.” The counter was in front of her, bathroom to the left, stove to her right and along that same wall was the back door. ”How about some nice eggs and toast like how you like.”
“No ma, I handled it already.”
“And what color is that hair of yours this time?” Ma asked, carefully inserting slices of bread into the toaster. “Seems like months you haven’t been by.”
A patronising, sarcastic chuckle. “…it’s orange, ma.
“That is so nice. Your father’s hair was just that shade of orange.” Felt around inside the refrigerator. The styrofoam carton. Small and cold and round, her fingers seized four of them. “Do you remember?”
Pause. “I remember, ma.”
“What I don’t understand,” said Ma swallowing a cough, expertly igniting one gas burner as practiced and putting on hot water for tea, “is why you don’t fix to keep it natural. I love our nice fair hair, very blonde, very pretty.” Back home in Germany Nora had been the favorite of two men, but many years since engaging in the frivolous antics she in those days entertained. “Best to flaunt your natural hair color while it’s still there: orange like Matt and dear Rowan, or fair like you and Lorelai got.” Memories of her own face as she remembered it. Relatively young the last time she had seen. What wrinkles there must be. What a mask to wear. No wonder Bastian. Nora ignited another burner. Tick tick tick fwoosh. Smelled gas. Sound of the almost boiling water complaining against its kettle. Phantom taste of anticipated tea. Regret. The contents of the vial hidden on the top shelf. Today maybe the. Sound of heavy rain. “And how are your bundles of mischief?”
Connie sighed. “I told Lorelai to get her little **** inside the house, as if she hears a word. She’s playing with Ed somewhere in the fields I don’t wonder, rain be ******. That girl is such a little — well she’d better not be down by the creek anyhow. Could get flooded in a downpour like this. Bastian was out with her, but he’s playing in his room now. You know we don’t have time to stay long today, it’s just that you and I got to finally square this business away. No more deliberating, ok?”
Swallowed. “Course, Constance. Just nice to hear your voice. You’re taking care?”
“Care enough. Last time I was — oh! Jesus, ma!”
Ma’s egg missed the pan’s edge. She felt herself shatter the shell into the stove top, in her mind’s eye saw the bright orange yolk squeezed into the albumen. The burner hissed against liquid intrusion. Connie made a strained noise and scooped her mother into a seat at the table. Movement. Crisply, the sound of two fresh eggs being broken and sizzling on the pan. Scrambled as orange as Connie’s guarded temper. The table’s cool surface. Phantom smell of pine wood polish and recollections of Rowan at his woodworking tools building this table once. Other breakfasts. Young Constance, young Matthias. Young self. Her left hand massaged her aching right shoulder, then she switched. The sound of plates being readjusted with unnecessary force.
“You know,” said her daughter, “living in one of them places might even be fun. Might be good for you instead of moping about this place. But like I’ve been saying, we got to make our decision today: sell this place or pass it on. I know you don’t take no walk, cause where would you go? What’s the point in keeping all this **** land if you’re not gonna do nothing with it? You can’t even ******* see it!”
“Constance! Language!”
“Come on ma, just cut it out! This is great property, and you’ve let it get so it’s bleeding money.”
“…But Constance I can’t sell it, not like your brother wants me to do. He’s always trying to get rid of this place and turn a profit, but someone needs to take care of it! You know that this is the house that your f—“
“‘That your grandparents lived in where your father and I raised you…’ Yeah I know, ma. And I get it. Believe me. But what you’re doing is just plain impractical, why don’t you think about it? All you’re doing is haunting this place like a ghost. Wouldn’t you rather live somewhere where you can make friends? Things can’t go on like this.” A plate was placed softly on the table and it slid in front of Ma. Can’t go on like this. Egg smell. Salted. Toast, margarine. A cup of tea appeared nearby. “Anything else you want? Here’s a fork.”
“What will you eat, Constance?”
“I ate, ma, I ate already. Have your breakfast, then we can talking about this for real. Ok?” Then, the sound of her daughter’s body shifting in surprise, a pleasant unexpected, “Oh,” before Connie said low and matronly, “Hi baby, how you doing? Are you hungry?” But only the sound of the downpour. Orange eggs still softly sizzled. The wind pushed the creaking house. “Sweetie, you don’t have to hide behind the door, it’s ok. Come say hi to grandma… don’t you want some scrambled eggs?” Refrigerator’s hum. Barking echoed, coming over the hill. But not even the little boy’s breathing. Grandma had met the twins two years ago, following the **** of Constance’s rebellious years and independence. Nora was reminded of her german gentlemen and her own amply tumultuous adolescence. She could forgive. Two years ago Lorelai and Bastian had already been too big to cradle and fawn over, but they were discovered to be just starting school and already bright pupils. Grandma hung her head. Warm steam from where the uneaten eggs waited patiently. Edgar’s approaching yapping. And, fleeing from the doorway, a scampering of feet so light they might have been moth wings. Down the hallway back into his room. “Sorry ma,” said Constance.
Shrugged. A nerve flared in pain up her neck but she didn’t react. Only fork scrape. Ate eggs. On introduction, poor little Bastian had burst into tears and refused to go near her. Connie had consoled: “It’s ok baby, she’s just Grandma Nora! She’s my mother.” But poor little Bastian inconsolable: “No, no, no! She’s not!” What a wrinkled mask it must be. How hideous unkempt with silver hair. How horrible unflinching eyes. “She’s not,” would sob the quiet boy in earnest, “she’s a witch! Don’t you see?” And he never would let Grandma hold him. Lorelai was always polite, hugged warmly, looked after her pitiable brother, but her mind too was far elsewhere. Edgar alone loved them all unconditionally and was equally beloved. Barking. Yowling. Scratches at the door. Downpour. Door and screen door opened, wet dog happy dog entered, shook, and droplets on her cheek.
And there appeared Lorelai, a star out of sight. “Hey mom. Hi grandma!”
Grandma swiveled for cosmetic reasons to face where the door. Grinned, “Hello Lorelai. Wet?” Envisioned yellow sunlight entering with the excitable girl in spite of the deluge.
“Oh it’s so rainy out there grandma, I found little streams through your fields and big mud puddles and Edgar showed me where your secret treasure was, we found it!”
“Stop right there, missy!” commanded Constance. “For christ’s sake you look like you took a bath in the mud and the **** dog with you. Come on, your filthy coat needs to be on the rack, right? Now your boots.”
Warm nose found Nora’s palm, excited lapping. Slimy fur, smelly fur. A cold piece of egg dangled in her fingers, then dog breath came hot and licked it up. Satisfied, he trotted off elsewhere, collar jingling out of the kitchen and down the hall.
Little Lorelai lamented, “I couldn’t help it mom, the mud was all over the place! When we got past the motor barn and the one alfalfa field that looks like a big marsh frogs went ‘croak croak croak’ but Edgar growled and chased them and then we made it all the way in the rain to the creek and it’s so much—”
“Now you just hold on. Hold still!” Sounds of wrestling. Grunts of a struggle. “That creek must have been overflowing! Didn’t I tell you not to? You didn’t take your new phone out there did you, Lori?”
“No ma’am.”
“**** right you didn’t, cause I sure ain’t buying you a new one. Didn’t I tell you not to go all the way out there? Didn’t I? Now you get into that bathroom and wash your **** hands!”
“But I’m telling Grandma a story!” huffed little yellow haired Lorelai.
“Well wash your hands first and then we’ll hear it, Grandma don’t listen to misbehaving girls who are all muddy and gross. Not a squeak from you till you look like you come from heaven instead of that nasty creek.”
A profound sigh, a condescending, “Fine,” a door closing and a squeaky faucet running. Muffled hands splashed, dampened off-key ‘la la la’s.
“Who knows what the hell that one is ever talking about,” said Connie. “It’s everything I can do to get her to shut up for five ******* minutes. You done with your eggs?”
Ma fidgeted. The plate was scraped away, and a clunk by the sink. Licked her lips, mouthed a syllable, about to speak. But then her house creaked three strong along the east wall. From deeper within bubbled a suppressed sob: “Mom,” little Bastian wailed, “Mom, come quick!” Constance sighed, Constance cursed, and Constance swept off down the hallway struggling to refrain from stomping.
Sound of washing. Wind. Rain. Alone. Cold. Picking out the paint for this room, listed in gloss as ‘golden straw yellow.’ Rowan hadn’t liked it and chose himself the bedroom’s color in retaliation. The loss of the home they had built together. The contents of the vial hidden on the top shelf: do they see it? Bathroom sink stopped flowing, door wrenched open. Smell of soap, clean smell. Grandma said to her, “Your mother went to check on Bastian,” Taste of eggs still yellow on her tongue.
“What a *****!”
Stunned. “Lorelai!” she snapped. “Don’t you dare take that language!”
“But mom does it all the time.”
“Then Lorelai, it’s up to you to be better than your mother. When I’m not around any more, and your mother neither, you’ll be the one who keeps us alive.”
“But as long as you’re alive you’ll always be around, you’re not a ***** like mom. And remember? I got all the mud off so can I finally tell you can I what we found? Well actually it was Edgar found it. Oh and I’ll describe it real good for you grandma just like you could see it: when we pulled up we were just wandering in the blue rain, Bastian and me, and silly Edgar joined us but Mom tried to make us come back of course but I told Bastian to stay with us at first, but later I changed my mind on it. It was he and me and Edgar were hiding in the old motor barn where it smells like a gas station remember grandma and he was so excited to see the sun when it rose and made the morning violet sky he started clapping and Edgar got excited too and was barking ‘bark bark’ and howling so I told Bastian to go back even
for Lori, Riley and Kendrick

the questioning words jump off the page,
into two hands transforming,
words shape shifting into
multicolored ink stained fingers,
now, all a chokehold on my brain,
my throaty gasps rasping from
a simplistic convolution -
single questioning deserving an answer

what are you made of?

the obvious answers left in the slow lane,
bone, tissue, rivers and arteries of blue bloods,
just oil and fuel of a containership,
but the cargo carried, that’s the real stuff

you have insight inside that cannot be seen,
self-survival instincts that morph into morals,
our shared air affects you differently,
a sense of defending, caring,
costless  and costliest simultaneously,
spaghetti strands strong sinewed intertwining,
into a better human than most

to call you hero is wrongly insufficient,
but the thesaurus lends me no substitute,
weep, I do,
as the spring and summer blushing green
will not be seen by you at all, and by me,
seen now so differently,
when thinking of
soil-born courage instinctual that has no name,
but grows only in nature

what are you made of?

we know now, but knew not well,
that thing that makes you leap first,
was all you, the entirety of the best,
that exists, existed, as reminders to us,
to mine it, wear it,
medal it upon our fabric

you three,
breathe it back, exhale it from where ever you are,
that trace chemical odor in our atmosphere,
of life-giving sweetness, a rebirthing chlorophyll freedom
that we humans all desperately need,
even just to know it exists,
and inform us

what we need to be made of
“As shots fired inside a synagogue outside San Diego last month, Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, put herself in between the shooter and the rabbi and died as a result.
Riley Howell, 21, charged a gunman who burst last week into a University of North Carolina-Charlotte lecture room carrying a pistol. He too lost his life to save others.
And Tuesday inside a STEM school in Denver, Kendrick Castillo, 18, lunged at a fellow student who had pulled a gun in class, giving his classmates time to take cover. He was the lone student killed in the attack.”
Ben Meraki Mar 2018
We grew up on the block.
Torn clothes, holed shoes, no socks.
Young boys tryna make it to the top.
On the corner selling flake and pushing rock.

Each morning another body drops.
Street soldiers; battle never stops.
No warning; raided by the cops.
Little sister screaming in her cot.

Life goes on. Get over the shock.
Loose lips get silenced by the glock.
Ain't no-one speaking on the dock.
Need green so we hustle round the clock.

Quick raid but we didn't get a lot.
Hear voices tellin' us to stop.
Look back, see my brother gettin' shot.
No choices. This is all we got.

We grew up on the block.

Now as our brothers lay dead,
as the world burns around us
just like my father said
and the fighting surrounds us.
We cover our heads
from the cops as they pound us.
But unbroken, we swear
that we'll never back down.
We will not live in fear.
We shall never be bound.
We're the kingmakers here.
We're still running this town!
So whilst we shed a tear
for the ones in the ground,
we'll make the rivers run red
and the bullets rain down.


But as we lie here tonight
still sleeping on the floor
I just can't help but think that
there must be something more.
You ask if Mummy's come home...
just bailffs at the door.
Little sister I'll protect you.
You're the one thing I adore.
You can't be living like this.
You're just a little girl,
I swear I'll find a way out.
I'll build a whole new world
where you can be anything.
You'll be incredible!
We'll make our mark in history.
We'll be indelible.

- - -

But right now I gotta go.
Don't let anybody in.
Got a hook-up for the blow
and another little thing:
We got raided at the grow.
They think Micky's gonna sing.
So we're putting on a show
and we're taking care of him.
They got him in the van
but it's gonna be OK
Uncle Sammy's got a plan.
They ain't gonna get away.
Gonna light the ****** up.
Muthafuckers better pray!
Ain't nobody going down.
He won't see another day.

- - -

So little sister don't you fear.
Not long til I'll be here.
I know you're hungry baby.
I hear you loud and clear.
I'm always right beside you
even when you think I'm not.
I'll always come back for you
baby you're all I've got

cos we grew up on the block.

Hey little sister can you hear me?
Oh baby, please don't cry.
You know it hurts me so much
to see tears in your eyes.
I know you can't forgive me
but I swear I didn't lie.
I was gonna change things for you,
build us a brand new life.

I never saw it coming,
thought Luther had my back.
I turned and saw him running
before the world turned black.
I'm glad you got some money.
I knew you'd find my stack.
You know it's kinda funny...
it says 'Brother' on my plaque.


Cos that's a joke, right?
It should say 'Failure' or something.
It's up in smoke.
Life's ****** up for you, I bailed on you.

Running with those guys was stupid.
I should've stayed home with you kid.
Now you're grown up and your new kid
cries cos there's still no food!
It's all my fault. I'm sorry.
I know that doesn't help.
Words can't buy clothes for Lori
or put food on the shelf.

I wish I'd held you longer
before I went away.
It might have made you stronger
to fight another day.
You tried to stand on your feet.
Tried to pay your own way.
Working two jobs with no sleep.
I'm so proud of you!

Hey, don't be so ******* yourself
cos you got back in the game.
You were born into this hell.
You didn't cause all this pain.
I loved you so much baby
since I stood by your cot.
I'm still right here beside you
even though you think I'm not.

I wish that we could just find
a way to turn back the clock
but still the cycle continues...

cos we grew up on the block.

/ /
Please help me promote myself by following my facebook page - search @BenMerakiMusic or visit
Paul Glottaman Aug 2010
There is a part of me that loves it
when you haven't washed your hair
in four days, loves the smell of it.
There is a part of me that doesn't understand
your playful nature about ******,
but loves you for it regardless.
There is a part of me that watches you
play your video game even though I'm
pretending to be caught up in my book.

You told me that your eyes are blue
when you are happy.
I confess that at first I never noticed,
that is until the day they weren't.
Eyes like a mood ring, we are
a curious species, and you a prime
specimen of the lot.

Your weight is so slight to me, even though
you never seem to be happy with it.
Beating your hands against your thighs,
complaining that most girls aren't so
thick. I don't understand how you can't
just look in the mirror and see that you're
I don't understand that you can't see your
life swelling to burst, infecting the world
with laughter, and with joy.
It seems so obvious to me.

Five years into the experiment of us,
and I am utterly captivated by you.
This is not a freak occurrence, not some
strange collection of lies and comfort,
every time I see you, I can feel my cold,
cynical outlook melt into the
living, breathing, screaming word of hope
you create around you.
Your own personal bubble of paradise.

I have green eyes always. Dull and uninspired.
But you can see the storm there,
just behind these eyes, these old man's
eyes on a young man's face.
(Remember when they said that?)
You, of all people, can see through the disguise
of my eyes, you can see into the heart
of me.

I stand in awe of your movement.
Did you know that?
I suppose not. You're every move is a
miracle to me.
When I freeze, so struck by you,
I see the slow smile spread, the giddy
joy that moves from your lips to
your limbs. That compels you to
run for me, across crowded rooms,
empty hallways, and filthy bedrooms.

My god are your eyes blue today.
judy smith Jul 2015
Getting married on a beach, mountaintop, remote villa or rustic rural setting is a romantic ideal for many brides.

But what does that mean for the wedding dress?

Should you go formal or footloose? Will your gown fit in your suitcase?

A bride having a "destination wedding" should think about versatility when choosing a gown. She must be "concerned about being comfortable, more so than your typical bride. She has to contend with weather and terrain, making her gown choice critical to how at-ease she feels on her special day," says Lori Conley, senior buyer for David's Bridal.

Christine Pagulayan of Toronto and her fiancé, Ian McIntyre, jetted to Costa Rica in 2013 for a resort wedding.

"I had a (dress) style in mind: strapless, low back, white with ruching. Initially, I thought about going short, since we were going to get married on a beach, but I then realized that even if it may be heavy or sweaty, I wanted a real wedding dress. So we found one that had a gorgeous train, but it also had a bustle so I could dance," Pagulayan says.

Some dress trends for destination brides:

• LIGHT FABRICS AND SHORT HEMS: Many traveling brides favor lightweight, airy fabrics.

"Chiffon and organza are always favorites. Full trains can be cumbersome if you're navigating sand or grass," says Conley, of David's.

"A lot of brides opt for the ease of a sweep train," which just grazes the floor.

David's destination-friendly dresses include styles in full or tea-length tulle, soft lace or chiffon, Conley says. Fabrics that travel well for brides wanting a more structured gown include silk gazar, georgette and crepe, which are "lighter-weight versions of silk faille and Mikado," says Carrie Goldberg, associate fashion editor for Martha Stewart Weddings.

J. Crew's Karina short dress, for instance, has a flapper-esque fringe, and is covered in corded lace. • SEPARATES: "Tops and bottoms are not only easier to pack, they allow for mixing and matching fabric and fit to get a silhouette that feels unique to your personal style," says Goldberg.

Separates work for any destination, she says: "A full organza skirt may appeal to a bride getting married on the beach; pairing it with a delicate silk camisole suits the location. The same skirt would suit a mountaintop affair when paired with a fur bolero or a fine knit."

J.Crew's Sloane poly-cotton long skirt has a simple, draped profile; a silk cami top embellished with beads, crystals, sequins and paillettes in a floral motif creates a dressy look.

At David's Bridal, there's the crisp Mikado cropped top balanced by a flowing, organza ball-gown skirt, creating a modern silhouette.

• COLOR: Let the venue inform your choice of hue, Goldberg says.

"A sunset wedding in Napa pairs beautifully with a blush gown, while the colors of an Amalfi Coast wedding may inspire the bride to opt for something blue."

• VERSATILITY: For bridesmaids — or perhaps even the bride — White House Black Market has a clever option: a short or long pull-on gown with a customizable top. You can adjust the straps on the "Genius" dress to make a halter, one-shoulder or cap-sleeved version. Easy to pack, affordable and available in a range of colors, these might be a good option for a group of bridesmaids.

• FOOTWEAR: Flats or wedges are ideal for beach or garden: "The more surface area the sole of your shoes have, the easier it will be to walk," says Conley.

Keep in mind that satin or grosgrain might get stained by grass or sand.

Another option for beach brides is "foot jewelry," an accessory that does away with the need for an actual shoe.

Nat Lipstadt Aug 2013
I posted this poem  a few days after I joined HP.  As  is oft the case, poems you are especially proud of, fall to the wayside, under the onslaught of the constant waterfall of new submissions.  With the usual exception of Ms. Lori C., one of the two unofficial High Priestesses of HP, in my estimation, this one, was pretty much overlooked.  Despite some comical jaunts of late re bras and beds, real inspiration has escaped me ever nice I penned "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay (Razor Blades, Pills, & Shotguns" last week.  So, with your hoped for solicitude, I resubmit it, hoping it finds a wider audience and dedicate it to those of you who I number as friends (you know who you are!), despite the fact that our only shared embraces have been techno~electronic, and yet the quality of your kindness is beyond measure.

The Numerical Quality of Friendship

The quality of friendship is non-quantitative.
Yet, I ask you to number it, and me, this way.

With tape measure, determine that:
The length of my arm's embrace will always be
longer than long enough, and when distance magnifies sorrow's gains,
my shoulders measure wide enough to pillow your wearied head.

The depth of my pocket is finite for by definition,
a pocket is but an open doored, three walled shelter.
My pocket of shelter is forever open, forever deep,
and forever is infinite.

Trust that when bowed and bent,
upon my shoulders climb and together we will be tall enough
to touch the season's new fruit upon the tree of life,
and with one tongue, taste the unimaginable!

Do u think that mercury can measure
the warmth of my tears when love sears my heart,
or the heat of thy skin when it heals and cauterizes
wounds salted by the mistreatment, by the bitters of the weak ones,
who rejoice when they scald others?

Size me up.
What is my volume?
What are the boundaries that
length X depth X height
state must limit my capacity to cherish, to heal,
and even to forgive those who deserve no forgiveness?

If you measure me well and proper,
if I meet the standards that qualify me to be called friend,
then friend me here, friend me now,
friend me for the qualities I posses,
and number us a unity among the few
who are truly blessed
by a quality of friendship that cannot be measured,
for there is no scientific instrument that can quantify

March 2012
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2020
In Their Own Words:

“All I’ve ever learned from love is....”

So come, my friends, be not afraid.  We are so lightly here.
It is in love that we are made.  In love we disappear.  Tho’ all the maps of blood and flesh are posted on the door,  there’s no one who has told us yet what Boogie Street is for.                                     Leonard Cohen

All I've learned from love that it appears on its own timetable,
and, all I've learned from love is, it is the purpose. Harlon Rivers

“is crazy and this is infinite and ever so sobering wondrous possible"

It is a paradox of two people - in debit to one another though each may never realise;
and neither one of whom would ever consider recalling the debt. Gideon

A headlong charge into a vast unknown that promises fufillment of every lacy, perfumed dream, but may instead deliver wrenching wounds that only another love can heal. Lori Jones McCaffery

every fantastic mistake I ever really made! Drunk in shallow bar light with a woman of my wicked dreams who laughed as loud as me at our shared ****** jokes we both got. We loved for awhile and then wandered and still loved forever as we found other dim bars with more wicked dreams.                                        gray dot (unknown)

All I have learned from love is to give more than one receives unconditionally.                                                ­K Balachandran

"love is the great equalizer: ignoring age, race, education, wealth, religion, disability, and sanity... simultaneously capable of lifting all to the highest highs and dragging all into the deepest depths. In love there is no pride or ego." forgotten

that just beyond is a hidden trail, where a magical river of the purest water flows free. Here and only here, my heart can be revived, and my mind is stilled by the silence I find. Love’s call is gentle. Joey

“that love is as love does.”

All I ever learned from love is the meaning of the word, "unconditional!”.           SE Reimer

Sometimes we fall in love, and sometimes love falls on us.
Stephen E. Yocum

it is gentle rage, come like sun through clouds, to feed parched word to set life a tingle, the first smile of a golden
boy's day.  The last caress before sleep, the letting go of a dying
friends hand and the gathering together of companions for food
and laughter, love comes in many guises, has many faces and is
lifeblood to the soul hiding within.                   betterdays

where the beginnings end and the ends begin.    Elizabeth J.

The burial of fear and all we’ve ever known In hope for a new flourishment.    Dante Rocio

that life flows in abundance of peace, harmony and balance when I
surrender to live in love.                                                            ­    Cné

that love assuages hurt and heals the rings with melody
and dances to the heavens.  It’s the divine giving over of body and mind;  it's mystic transcendence an overwhelming feeling of pure ecstasy.                                                         ­                              patty m

that love is a dunghill, and I'm a crow that stands on it and caws.
                                                           ­                           Thomas W Case

Acceptance.  Acceptance of myself and of the ones I love.
                                                           ­                                    Kelly Rose

It is easier to give love than to accept it.         Walter W Hoelbling

was what I learned from her...Love is above, beyond what we all wish, we had to touch the sun, the moon, the stars; everything we have.                                                                            Temporal Fugue

that it is unique; it makes the softest body, hard, and softens the hardest heart.                                                           ­     poetontheroof

Our hearts tied but I don't know how.                       Anonymous

Love has the ability to surpass life. Even though you are gone I still can’t stop loving you. “Love leaves more behind than death ever takes away. “ -unknown.                                        Love Storytelling

to never go searching for it. That's it, I guess.                      Aparna

has been gleamed through the sacrifice and service of a few extraordinary souls.  For true love is borne of sacrifice, and
it compels us to serve.  Without those elements, it cannot exist.
                                                                 J Klein and Sons Pen Parish

it requires curiosity to truly uncover; it is an emotion
that makes us uniquely human.                                        Angelique

that sometimes it hurts and sometimes it thrills, but
love that kills your pain is always worth the dying for.                 r

it is a gift from God, most precious and not to be abused or taken
for granted.                                                         ­ South by Southwest

how to hurt.                                                           Andrew Crawford

is that, it comes like jolts, it makes, or breaks a future;
it hangs around, no matter what, if it's meant to be...yours...
all i've learned from love made me a tree, with fruits
with a blend of sour and honeyed truths, it is heaven...
when bared, shared... reciprocated.                            Sally A Bayan

that it is hard and it hurts but we cannot live without it... there is no storybook endings. You take the good and bad and make it what you need.                                                            ­                     Melissa S.

The burial of fear and all we’ve ever known
In hope for a new flourishment. Dante Rocio

that I can’t, won’t, don’t want to ever live life without Love! ♥️ Feeling Love Sparks everyday forever and always ♥️ Loving Love Glass Slipper Girl

to accept it when it is given, to share it when it is felt, to cherish it because it is a gift and that whether it hurts or it heals, it is far better to have experienced it than to not have.                                  BLT

that love is...forever studied; gravity, it is akin to the sense of gravity;
it can never be explained, felt, or experienced, but never grasped in ones hand.                                                            ­              wordvango

that if you have it, you should give it.                                  amanda

how to turn up my face and surrender to the rain.  
                                                         ­             Clementine Valerie Black

that God is love expressed by Jesus, and I'm my best when I imitate Christ.   Christos Victor

the most over analyzed, overwrought word that remains after thousands of years, completely
inexplicable.                                                   ­             onlylovepoetry                  

it's a strength and weakness, ecstasy and agony, a belief and fear (of losing), emotional contradictions yet so intrinsically precious to be worth living and dying for.                          Pradip Chattopadhyay

the emptiness of smothering empathy for all that lives, feels and needs.  It's to bear eternal suffering...                                   Traveler

red.                                                                                                     Fog

to give, far outweighs the take.                                        Mike Hauser

that it lifts open our minds' eyes, overturns our fears in this vast expanse of the unknown - it etherally reveals our connection

how deep is my ignorance.                                              Joel M Frye

that love has nothing to do with ***. It has everything to do with sick kids at 3am and holding back your friends hair when she pukes in the gutter crying over some ******* who just dumped her. It's selfless.
                                                       ­                                                 Acme

noth­ing compared to what I've learned from pain.                 v V v

the things I’ve never learned.                                               M-E

that is the cancer and the cure; the detour and the straight line; proof of reincarnation and death everlasting; the intersection where extreme selflessness and selfishness meet, becoming indistinguishable; it’s shapeless, nearly invisible, and yet known to everyone; a verb, a noun, a conjunction between and a preposition to a beginning and a dead end.
                                                            ­                               Nat Lipstadt

thanks to all the participants, so far...(see the note below)
This is an open, living poem; anyone should feel free to message me to add, amend, or delete; just message me directly; won’t modify if you just comment.

one more thing don’t ask me to add an old poem that is only tangentially related: write a max of two or  three sentences that
clearly and directly responds to the title...

format is.deliberately sloppy, just like the subject    

and the original version (2017)
Nat Lipstadt Jan 30
~for Lori Jones McCaffery who wrote me of:
“Her hands lay gently joined”

So tenderly put

So sweet and tenderly put this trilateral phrase, a complement,
So sweet and tenderly put this lovely, geometrical compliment,
thus birthing this missive that was delivered in a mere 9 minutes,
a simple re-tribute to a poem scraped from eyelids, leaked from
my heart  
of what
I Witnessed,
of what
I Emoted

as my woman,
rustled besides me in the early morning sheets,
stirring my heart, as she astirring slowly awake.

love this title Lori has gifted me, for so few and far
are the in-betweens of the people, places and things,
that are so tenderly inserted in this banged up humdrum,
football game of daily living, pierced by primary moments,
even secondary seconds, of heart~glows that pierce the noise,
even-in-silence put a suffusion of the chest, kissing of the brain,
colored kernels that dare not go unnoticed, this eloquent, perfect,
thank you is a whispering tremolo note that

wakes me up again, with scents of gratitude, for those
who take care, those who give care, who value tenderness
in soft spoken gestures, brash and bold, smartly wisdomed,
so to honor her, to honor this moment of grateful inspiration,
I insert the exact moment these senses imploded in my chest,
ordering me to give thanks, take care, validate the valuation of words,

so tenderly put

2:10pm Mon Jan 30 2023
Sakshi goyal Oct 2020
Aa ab laut chalein apne ghar
Aa ab laut chalein apne ghar
Bht lamba hogaya yeh safar

Jaha teri shetaniyon ka manzar tha
Jaha pyar ka samndar tha
Jaha thak kar sona ata tha
Jaha har kona muskurata tha
Jaha beeta har din yadgaar tha
Jaha ka har pal suhana khwab tha

Aa laut chalein apne ghar
ab bht taay kar liya yeh safar

jaha khul kar tu bhi hansti thi
jaha muskura mein bhi leta tha
jaha teri badmashiyo mein
bacha me bhi bann leta tha
jaha naachti tu thi aur jhumta me tha
jaha bachon si ladhai aur dil ka mehal tha
jaha na kabhi dur hone ka dar
na adhuri koi aas thi
jaha sath beshumar tha aur poori har saans thi
jaha rote rote hans dete the hum
na koi fikar ki bat thi
jaha ghanton batein karte the hum
ghadi ki sui na humare sath thi

Aa laut chalein apne ghar
Bht lamba hogaya yeh safar

Jaha tera kam se ana tha
Phr mujhko gale lagana tha
Jaha teri bematlab ki baton me
Mera kahn gum hojana tha
jaha har sapna jee rahe the hum
jaha nahi thi kisi ki koi sharam
jaha dikhawa koso tak na tha
har jagah tha bass pagal pan

Aa laut chalein apne ghar
Bht lamba hogaya yeh safar

jaha jhagde bhi suljhe se the
jaha ansun bhi uljhe se the
jaha hothon pe muskan bhi thi
jaha ankhein kuch naadan bhi thi
jaha nanhe kadmon ki awaz bhi thi
jaha lori ki chankar bhi thi
jaha ghungru si tumari payal bhi thi
jaha kangan ki awaz bhi thi
jaha hansta hua tera chehra bhi tha
jaha ghurti meri ankhein bhi thi
jaha band woh darwaze bhi the
jaha do **** ek jaan bhi the

Aa laut chalein na apne ghar
waqai bht lamba ** gaya yeh safar....
waqai bht lamba hogaya yeh safar..!!!

Emily Larrabee Jan 2014
Bundled under her black and white comforter knowing her alarm will ring any second. Wraps the blanket around herself and rocks herself out of bed. Right as she does the alarm starts to ring. She tells it to shut up as she turns the switch to off. She goes out into the kitchen no one is up yet. Grabs herself a packet of oatmeal (Always strawberries and cream) She likes it thick and lukewarm with a glass of milk. While shes out there her dad comes out makes his coffee then leaves.After she eats her breakfast she slowly makes her way to her bedroom. The night before she lied out an outfit. Skinny Jeans and a purple button down shirt. She looks at herself in the body mirror by her dresser and pinches the fat around her hips and stomach. She takes off her fleece shirt and pants. She puts deodorant on and sprays herself with "Our moment" she put her shirt then her pants on. Goes into the bathroom. And brushes her red hair back into a messy bun. She applies her favorite makeup on her freckled face and her favorite lip balm on her small lips. She brushes her teeth with one of her eight toothbrushes and Colgate toothpaste. She runs into her room and puts her black flats on. Puts on her red jacket with the fur trim and walks out the door.  "Oh ****" she thinks "I forgot my back pack" She runs inside and grabs it. She makes her way to the bus stop. By the time she gets there everyone is there. About five minutes later the bus shows up. The bus is freeeezzzinnggg because the bus driver doesn't heat the bus. She sits in the seat still bundled up. A little later Aaron and Lori get on the bus. Aaron pushes her over and lies on top of her. Soon after the baybridge kids get on and it gets extremely loud. She talks to Brandie Logan Hannah and Aaron until the bus comes to her highschool. She walks off the bus and into the school. She walks to the cafeteria and puts her stuff down. She sees her best friend and walks around the school for what seemed like an hour. She sees her crush by his locker and tries to hide but he sees her and waves. She smiles and waves back shily. Soon after her class starts. Then she has lunch with him. She sits on her friends lap because there are no seats left. She checks her pockets for a dollar for a bagel but has none. One more class left. She finishes her school day and gets on the bus. (Pretty much the same thing but this time They have to pick the Jr high kids up) She gets to the bus stop and gets off of the bus. HOLY CRAP its freezing she thinks as she starts to walk home. Once she gets to her house she opens the door. She throws her stuff down and runs to the bathroom because she really has to go. Once shes done that she watches t.v. for a few hours. While procrastinating doing any homework or chores.  Finally at about 5 she decides to get some **** done... After dinner she washes the dishes and this one day asks to go on facebook. Her dad says yes so she goes on. She continuously sees Jessica's picture on facebook and tries to hold the tears in. After awhile she can't anymore. She asks her dad to take a shower but the real reason she wants to take a shower is so she can sob without people hearing her. Her dad says no though. She goes into her room and tries to find a razor.... nothing. She grabs a rock that for some reason appeared on her night stand.She srapes her arms over and over. She scratches fat into her stomach. she outlines the word Jess into her arm then crosses it out. Jess is gone she thought. She lies on her bed under the covers and silently cries until she falls asleep.

— The End —