Sweet Apples & Honey

The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are a time for prayer, good deeds, reflecting on past mistakes and making amends with others.


Diving into the layers of color that are my life
Painting a vision of the year to come
Honoring my past

My father passed away on September 12, Rosh Hashanah in 1988. I used to say, Wow, two days a year to feel like crap. I was younger in understanding when I said that.  Now I wonder if his timing wasn’t part of the gift


Sweet apples & honey


Honoring what I have released
Has released me


Wants wishes dreams

Ah you’ve let go of dreams, one might ask.

Yes, I might answer

Let go of needing, pushing, pulling,
the angst that wraps itself
tangles, knots, ties itself
tightening around my delights
Wooosh, throw them to the water

Like a cloud
Or a bird that glides on the winds that come off the ocean
The bird launches into the strong gusts

A time to relax
A time to play
A time to drift
Riding the wind-wave

I will
I have
let go and I will be carried
I will

I saw the box
resting on the brown table
I was sitting in a waiting room
this wasn’t the first time
in this room
on this day
I Looked at the box
other days, the many times before, I picked up a magazine about Running
this day
the picture painted on the box
the blues and the greens
caught my eye
this day
I opened the box
a deck of cards
I picked up the card on top

Don’t take it personally
One  of  The Four Agreements

I turned the card over in my hand
I read

If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you.  If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her.  Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal.


stitching together fabric too worn to seam
isn’t useful
words are just words
threaded together
to create a cloak
no matter how coarse and uncomfortable
I chose to drape it over my shoulders
let it create rash
scratching, itching, burning
rub my skin raw

Y is just a crooked letter


Sweet apples & honey




Tomorrow I’ll remember
40 years ago, 40 months ago, 40 days ago

this moment
the one after that

honoring those who have come and gone

through the windows, peep holes, cracks, nooks, crannies,
slipped in-between
swirled in through the front door
lifted out the back


Sweet apples & honey

Bread on the water


Poetry About Horror Movies?

I was on the radio last night.  Speak and Be Heard  

Remember "The Shining"?

That famous scary scene from “The Shining”

I was asked to write a poem about horror movies.
I was curious and needed more details, (I almost always need more).

The topic exactly:  Do the producers of horror movies make these movies to keep us living in fear?

Interesting topic.
I wasn’t alone in my perspective, although I had to bring serial killers into the conversation (see Fright Night below), I mean why not?

The host, Barry, was alone in his position that these films are meant to keep us living in fear.  Consensus around the table was, Then don’t go, no one forces us into the theatre.  Except maybe our own twisted desires… (Insert spooky laugh here).

About half way through my poem the line dropped out.  They called me back laughing, ahhhhhh the supernatural has stepped in, taken control, let us know we are not alone. Cue paranormal music here.

What a blast.  The whole process. Writing on topic.  Writing about something I would have never thought to write.   Writing to read on air.  Writing to share.  What a blast. I look forward to coming back, (I’ve been invited).  Next time, I’ll be in studio.  What a blast. What a push.  Pushing beyond where I feel comfortable, pushing myself to write something in poetic form ON TOPIC, pushing myself to dive in deeper, deeper deeper.  Ahhhhhhhh

Here’s to mainstreaming poetry!  More and more and more poetry being shared in the media.  Using poetry to bring us a new perspective on the topic, to bring us inside ourselves, to bring us to the heart of the matter, to connect us with our own hearts and thus with others.  Cheers I say!  (Listen to the show here in their archive.)

Here’s my poem:


Fright Night

We wait
Leaning forward
Breath held tight in our chests
Twisting with anticipation
Squirming with glee
In delicious dread
For the unveiling of horrors
Chasing chill up and down our spines.

Does life imitate art?
Or does art write life?
Coursing plasma
winding through words
a scarlet splash
splattering thick crimson blotches
projected through light
on the big screen
Over-Exposing whose demented truth?

Disturbed minds
predate modern emulsion
Vlad the impaler
George Chapman
Jack The Ripper
are just a few

What motivated these hollowed out
haunted souls
shadowed by Hell
to hover above shallow graves?

Who’s obsessed with whom?
We recreate
the hunt
the kill
the capture
the buzz.
Over and again
new grim fairy tales
track their clues
uncover their hints
dissect their moves.

Is it for thrill?
Is it to prevent repeat?
Is it answers we seek?
We are the characters
giving our life
to resuscitate these spirits.

The Delberate Stranger
Helter Skelter
To Catch a Killer
The Boston Strangler
Son of Sam
Citizen X

Into the dark we stare
watching gruesome scenes
anticipating our scare
our eyes open wide
as we step inside
dark twisted minds…



Carolyn Ziel September 10, 2012

Speak and Be Heard



August Morning

I love hot August mornings. Early. Before 7am when it’s quiet and still.  Before the heat rises and swells.

I listen to the occasional car on another street,
a lawnmower,
mumbling voices
my neighbors walking dogs
that bark at birds, squirrels, or the sky,
the hum of a humid summer morning.
Still, hot, thick, breezeless, stirrings.
our late season tomatoes ripen on the vine,
the strawberries in my back yard waiting to be picked from the ground
planted on my tongue
their sweet red flesh
seeding my day

I sip my coffee.
a branch
in the tree in our front yard
stretches, arches up
to meet the blue expanding sky
I swell with memory

Somewhere in my Mom’s condo in Marina Del Rey, there is a box, containing snippets from my Dad’s life.

In black faux leather-bound Week-at-a-Glance notebooks,
pages filled with movies, scripts written in blue, red, purple, orange, pink, yellow and shades of green flair pen block print.
Pages read like scenes,
stolen moments from decades, years like 1972, or 1975.
a dinner party hosted,
a movie wrapped,
a birthday celebrated,
a friend mourned.

My Father’s voice calling to me from the page.

I have sheets filled with sepia tone memories
Beginnings seed, flowers bloom,
vines grow leafy,
they wrap and wind,
draping reality,
cloaking truth.
Memory yarns and stories are told.

Jeffrey Scott, the boy with two first names, a laughing ghost shimmering in my backyard, hovering over the ripples in the kidney shaped pool. He’s wearing a football jersey, I can see the black block numbers, but can’t make them out. A leaf floating through the autumn skies of my freshman year, swept up, blown elsewhere by spring.

No questions asked and none answered.

I’ve been the phantom. I’ve vanished. I’ve pushed beyond circles in which I once sat, cross-legged and eager, seeds planted, never thinking I’d need more room. That my roots would drive through the soil, exhausting the land we had cultivated together.  I extended beyond the iridescent round of abalone shells that adorned its border.  I moved to a dark, rich, new territory, fertile, soil untouched by deduction.  I stepped off the well-worn path littered with twigs, leaves and broken branches.

No questions asked and none answered.

What about So and So? Bill might ask, Why don’t you hear from her anymore?

I don’t know, I might answer.

I don’t know. It could be something I said, or did, or a birthday I forgot, or it could be that I got as busy as she was. Now there was no one left.   I don’t know. We didn’t call to find out.

No questions asked and none answered.

What can I do? Open.  Time embraces me; warm arms rock me, pull me close into a heartbeat, a soul, a moment, memory. Open.  Open to the promise of an August morning.


 August 7, 2012