Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Deepavali 2015

Gor antha deepam
Konda antha velugu

(a sliver of flame
a mountain of light)


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Meet the Parents

Student event this evening, and the stories they've shared hang around my interactions with their families.

The man with the twinkly eyes lost a child to cancer.

The woman so proud of her daughter's accomplishments is herself a daughter struggling to help her elderly mother stay independent.

 So awed by how wonderful and brave people are.


Monday, November 09, 2015

A Hug for Monday

The dress Anu Pinni sent
is happy camouflage.


Sunday, November 08, 2015

In Perfect Step

The Section Leader is 
particularly handsome.


Saturday, November 07, 2015


At was at the XC Varsity event (filming the Girls' team). I stashed Nu in the UU kitchen, and worked the break room with coffee machine, creamer, and cookies for the homeless 'intake.'

And it was all brave, tidy, and everyone trying to be cheery.

But the family with the backpacks--perhaps the cheeriest of all--was the nub. B joked to the kids that there wasn't room on the bus and they'd be walking; the older one quipped, Again?" They didn't want to play card games but took turns on the phone. Got cookies when mom left the room for a smoke. And I wonder one more time why people like Donald Trump get to have so much cash for their tasteless crap and others don't have enough.


Friday, November 06, 2015


Sometime between ages 16 and 21…

First I fell in love with Ted Hughes. Then I fell in love with Sylvia Plath. Then I hated Ted Hughes,  while being mildly annoyed with Sylvia Plath. Then I took to raving against Hughes, and if you mentioned Plath's name would break down in angry tears. Then I pretended neither of them existed while reading their poetry secretly.

If that sounds exhausting,* how much more exhausting to be those intense, talented people, constantly under scrutiny and the pressure to perform.

Love Frieda Hughes' interview in which she talks about her parents. And I've come a long way from being that impressionable and emotional teenager who took everything personally, but still needed to hear this:
"To me, as a child, my father seemed to blame himself for almost everything. It was awful. A child does not want to see their parents suffer. Thousands of people all over the world every day split up, thousands of people have affairs. Not everyone kills themselves."
* Yes, it also sounds nerdy, but everyone knows that already.




Thursday, November 05, 2015

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Blast from the Past

Yesterday's prom photo extravaganza
made us moms reminisce 

Their playdates and sleepovers,
 their silly sing alongs...


Monday, October 05, 2015

Guess Who's Out of Place?

At and me 
A nine-year-old's 
birthday partayyy.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Nu hasn't eaten her lunch--a wedge of Tortilla EspaƱola from dinner the day before.

Because: "You didn't pack me a fork!"

But: "I ate everything else! Even the sour cream for the tortilla. Although it wouldn't come out and I had to use my fingers."

It's a good thing then that FB sent me a great memory yesterday.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015


I lie
my feet in fetters

I rise
a canopy dweller

Let you
tell me

What I
already see


Monday, September 21, 2015

I forgot...

...I was being filmed for a documentary on rape culture and showed up at work with workout hair and in my non-teaching uniform.

But it was a productive conversation, and I was so outraged by my own talking points that I forgot my customary camera wariness fairly quickly.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

I Need a Tiny Violin

I had a headache from spending an hour in the car with the teen driver today,
and all my mom had to WhatsApp back when I complained, was ":)."


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Little Leslie Hermione Knope

Nu gave up being bossy
at her American Girl 
Cooking Class...

to go show us
how to be bossy 
on the soccer field.

In this picture, she's jabbering 
with her coaches 
she's SO cute!


Friday, September 18, 2015

Up, Up and Away...

This post caught my eye on the sidebar this morning, and I got a little choked up. We don't know where At's friend R is or how he is.

And my own At--the champion of cuddles and calm, sometime spotter of grocery cash, constant companion--is now 16.

Sixteen. Still a champion and companion, but a grown up one. One who has plans to go away for college (no more: 'I'm going to live in the basement'), a critical thinker who questions my social justice outrage (more: 'is that the best way to convince people?'), still somewhat wiser than his years (A lot of: 'Jesus, Mom! I told you not to engage in arguments with hate groups!'). 

And clearly more comfortable with swearing--and every aspect of himself--every day.

I am so incredibly proud.

And so unready.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

And on the Teen Clockmaker...

They never thought he had a bomb- by Andy Illes

I said: it's sad they thought that kid had a bomb.
She said: they didn't think he had a bomb.
I said: yes, they thought he made a bomb and even called the police.
She said: They just wanted to humiliate a little Muslim, African boy. They didn't think he had a bomb.
I said: Don't be a conspiracist. They might be a little prejudiced, but I'm sure they thought he had a bomb.

She said: Ok.

But they didn't evacuate the school, like you do when there's a bomb.
They didn't call a bomb squad - like you do when there's a bomb
They didn't get as far away from him as possible - like you do when there's a bomb.
Then they put him and the clock in an office- not like you do when there's a bomb
Then they waited with him for the police to arrive.
Then they put the clock in the same car as the police.
Then they took pictures of it.
I said: Damn
They never thought he had a bomb.

From here


Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Pic courtesy J C-D

All I can think of is the poet Kambar 
talking about how magnificent 
young Rama's shoulders were:
"Thol kandar; tholey kandar!"
"Those who saw his shoulders,
saw only his shoulders!"
(Those shoulders--so perfect, 
no one could look away AND
so broad that they never got around
to completing the act of looking)


Tuesday, September 15, 2015


The way she says, "forever"
makes it sound like a long word.

She's never heard of "never"
it falls behind her mind's hedge

The sun peers into my eyes
today, the way she used to--

Tugging my eyelids open
saying, "you're awake now?"


Monday, September 14, 2015

Twins: The International and Anachronistic Edition

"I had the same glasses 
and headband at seven,
and I still love that book."


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Matchy, matchy, matchy

And you can tell the weather has turned…


Friday, September 11, 2015


Among all the stories circulating around today,
this was the one that made me cry (first).
The story of the last living 

And the 2,976 American,
 48,644 Afghani, 
1,690,930 Iraqi, 
3,500 Pakistani,

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ode to August

Memories of mud
of being handled
by sun

Peonies peeling so
dense, opulent,

Earth unevened by
legions of night

I rule lying in wait
waiting to be

Until, we ourselves
O love, are unruly


Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Some Mornings

The sky is full of faces
we greet them
at breakfast

While the wind fumbles
sighing, tired
at the door


Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Monday, September 07, 2015


The day may never end
its intimacy with salty

As if I'm someone else
reading backwards--


Saturday, September 05, 2015

Friday, September 04, 2015


Tiny pine seedlings
from the Traditions dinner. 
Hope to see how big they grow--
and how far my students can go.


Thursday, September 03, 2015

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Dad's big birthday today
We're just too far away.
But we get
an archana and a pattu
veshti for Ganesha.

And for ourselves,
lunch (with Mimosas).
Now we''re celebrating
(Even though
the birthday boy is teetotal.)


Saturday, August 29, 2015


Happy Raksha Bandan, little ones
May you always love each other
and be each other's protection.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Monday, July 06, 2015

From Dinosaurs to Diner

These two are the best.
(We went to Jurassic World before lunch.)


Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015

Saturday, June 20, 2015

At Yellowstone...

I had visions of puppies playing in the water.
But they were convinced the wavelets were foe.


Friday, June 19, 2015

I Just Can't Get Enough

 The Grand Tetons...
More like the GRANDEST.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Doll + Baby

Clem got glasses too
like Nu
(in New York).


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

For these things...

for the window,
and for it being okay
to leave it open today


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Another Two-Puppy Night

You'd have thought that 
we were safely in the warm.
But tonight, it's time once again
to break out the big comforters
and both the puppies...


Monday, March 16, 2015

Second Chances

It was really At's second chance
(he'd forgotten his algebra packet
and I was taking it to him...)
But going down that road again
The sun beaming down on me,
It felt like mine too.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


This is not a still from A Beautiful Mind.
We painted the kids' closets 
with blackboard paint 
when we moved in
And Nu loves it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

One Stew to Carry it all and Cure Us

At's sick… he wanted...

something hot and soothing for dinner.
Behold our soup 
with every ingredient known to help colds:

Chicken, mackerel, 
ginger root, garlic, tomatoes,
cabbage, broccoli,

black pepper, turmeric, 
mint and jalapeƱos,
sprinkles of salt

Then a bit of limon and C's salsa 
from the summer of 2014 for heat.
It's delicious and magical.


Monday, March 09, 2015

My Monday Challenge

My Monday Challenge is basically... trying not to claw my arms off or take my shirt off in the office. The sweater I have on is miraculously comfy on my torso, but sososo itchy on my arms!

For the first time since I've had a job--practically--I'm counting down the hours before I can go home.


Monday, March 02, 2015


Wrestling an ocean of sky
the lyrics of whited valleys,
I crave the salt of the wind

the taste of words whipped
with sea air (hold the snow).
This land calls me by all names

But holds itself cold and aloof 
hushing with remembered formality
calculations, welcomes, and reunions.


Sunday, March 01, 2015

A Warming Trend

Finally making it out of the negative double digits...


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Twice as Nice

The "Railway Clock" 
my parents gave us is finally up.
(Now we can panic about school drop off
coming down AND going up the hallway…)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Seeing Clearly

And suddenly… she needed heavy glasses.
All the times signboards went unread or 
wildlife stayed invisible now makes sense :/.


Monday, February 09, 2015

Midday/Half a World Away

These names are written under my skin
Their faces are painted on every mirror.


Sunday, February 08, 2015


I've climbed a tree
and I'm talking down

to you.
The moon,

stony-faced, circles the empty basketball net,
is reflected in a crescent of watermelon.


Saturday, February 07, 2015


Their sister
is at retreat/
long camp

Then when
they took tests
to see if they too
were dependent

they found only
two options:
dependent OR
very dependent


Friday, February 06, 2015

On the Night it Comes

You're calm, sleeping
with the lights on
between both parents

growing ghosts
for the thrill of it

blankets in a clutch
with a firm hold
of yourself

in the old silence
in the odd silence

are layered
with prayers
in the shadows

just beyond
the frame
of side vision

darkness strays.
It reads you
and then stays

at the waist
from far away

and if it doesn't
come further,
or get too close

you could still love it


Thursday, February 05, 2015


these fingers twin
from shaping time
your hair sinuous
works its way alive

this gaze is like god's--
absolutely no concern
marking a jigsaw world
blowing a heady wind

the song rises
but the dance clings
fears and errors tell
warnings and knells


Wednesday, February 04, 2015


Rigged myself a standing desk.
(Then sat down at the computer to post about it.)


Tuesday, February 03, 2015


 The family portrait my mom so desired
turns out a bit Jindalesque?


Monday, February 02, 2015

Sunday, February 01, 2015


Is this a reasonable time to come home?
We've been waiting up for you.