Thursday, February 27, 2014


This poem is for you.

I see you.
I see what happened.
I am sad, and I am angry.
You are enveloped in my comforting hug.

You are one of three children, 
One African American, two Caucasian,
Selected for an interview at Met Opera's
Taped theater format of Rusalka.

Your bright eyes sparkle,
Your smile wide on your brown face,
Evidence of excitement 
About being chosen,
Standing in front row.
Free from frog costume headdress,
Head and face fully visible.
Barely-breathing anticipation,
Almost uncontainable.

Attention finally directed 
Toward breathless, waiting children.
Question asked;
White boy immediately responds;
White girl adds, follow-up interaction.
Interviewer moves on.

This cannot be happening!
This cannot be true!
I am here too!

You realize, once again, you are
Invisible and passed over.
Your face reflects shock and disbelief;
Your eyes lose focus and glaze over; 
Your brilliant smile crumbles and fades;
Your feelings retreat and recede inward.

I see you.
I see what happened.
I am sad, and I am angry.
You are enveloped in my comforting hug.

This poem is for you and you alone.

Ann Beth Blake
(c) February 20, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014


I sometimes make and send Valentine's Day cards, but this year, still tired, I resort to less-creative and less-personal e-mail communication. 
I love you! Our connection and friendship brings unmeasurable richness to my life. You help my heart sing.
Be warmed all day by my love and affection for you. I send you symbolic hearts, flowers, and candy!!
Because love of self is THE foundation, I invite you to also send yourself a Valentine's Day card like I just did.

Saturday, February 8, 2014


Sense of being left out and ignored,
Protective remainder from early childhood, 
Continues to echo in inner caves
Of unconscious becoming conscious.

Frequent lament during adult decades,
 "I don't get much attention from men!"
Recently-heard inner whispered reply,
"I don't give much attention to men."

Avoidance insulates from possible pain,
But huge cost of daily companionship 
And of raising bio children and grandkids,
Self-fulfilling prophesy of orphan image.

Yet accompanying increase in availability for 
Niece, nephew, goddaughter, friends' kids,
And "Nanna" to foster daughter and her daughter.
Largesse and riches galore from new directions.

Unique fate is unexpected and productive,
Offering previously unimagined opportunities
For wealth of connections; for independent
Decisions about unlimited time, money, and energy.

Compounding circles of love.
Expanded definition of love.
Unbounded and unceasing love.
Wider versions of love.

And openness to continued possibilities.

Ann Beth Blake
(c) February 6, 2014


Sitting closer to my cells,
Settling into self,
Heart swings open.

Eyes relaxing,
Aperture expands,
Softening wide-eyed alertness.

In various daily meanderings,
Breathing deepens,
Vistas widen, pace slows.

Breathing rather than panting;
Considering rather than fretting;
Being rather than doing.

Ann Beth Blake
(c) February 8, 2014


Been dutiful, heroic.
Got a lot done.
Useful, at times.

Been frantic and fearful.
Was immobilized and unproductive.
Useful? Necessary, apparently.

Now holding preciousness of each moment,
Acknowledging "Of course!" factor.

Listening to inner voice.
Honoring wants and needs.

Simple, really, though not easy road 
Between there and here.

Ann Beth Blake
(c) February 8, 2014


Instead of stitches or staples,
Recent incision closed with glue,
Which remained for four months;
Now gone, leaving neat, narrow
Line where scalpel entered breast.

Previous incisions left keloid spans,
Wide reminders of several abdominal
Intrusions and removed cyst on arm.
Must be genetic: younger brother has
Similar mark from sitting down on 
Broken glass piggy bank, slipped from
My hands while he played in bathtub.

Also, from after-effects of radiation 
And from new meds, I guess, felt 
Slightly sedated; fiercely fatigued;
Dozily ditzy; one definitive degree 
Removed from alert; tiny pause
Prior to, "Oh, yeah, right, THAT!!"

Last Thursday, awoke to myself;
To real-time processing; to habits,
Reassuring and dependable, formed
By synapses quickly and efficiently
Closing, once again; to sighs of relief.

Two definitive signs of progress and healing,
Markers of moving forward and regrouping.
Winter eventually wanes, and Spring springs.
As much as possible, all is right with the world.

Ann Beth Blake
(c) February 6, 2014