Full moon strange-exotic hovers

over the desert

Pink silk scarf seashell sky

of Bright October full moon morning

Foreign Radiance on abalone

October moon

October morning



The towns, the cities, the faces, all receded

Silence filled the atmosphere

Silence louder than the roar of a jet engine

It was as quiet as Christmas morning

But this was no holiday

Every inch of the city was empty

All the doors locked

All the businesses shuttered

The loss was yet to hit us

The sun shone on no one

The rain fell alone

The moon rose over the mountain range

Morning came

I went to the store

They were out of freshly baked bread already

The shelves too were all bare

Everything feels wider

But somehow smaller

Fear is everywhere

Some can’t shake the feeling

There is a pandemic

Soon we all wear masks

Glued to our TV’s

We spray our hands constantly with sanitizer

I brush my fingertips across the strings of my guitar

I paint my toes and twirl

Books fall into my lap

It was fine for a while

But days passed

And I missed the cafés filled with people

and the smell of fruit tarts, croissants, and the sound of laughter

Our parks, our schools, our friends

I missed them too 

The governor said to shelter in place again

I looked outside

Then shut the door to

Apartment C-19




Refusing to sleep

I stand by the window and see the moon of Babylon

I imagine it is me

I see myself showered in the light

I assume I came from this place

My cat follows me

We float downstream with the rise of the curtains

The earth is let into our room

A few nights ago, we walked down the spiraling town of Bagdad

Through mosaics and gardens

We do that when we’re sleepless

We pass by our generations

We feel our way through sands and waters

The kisses and caresses of our many lives

We trace the enormous present with our eyes

I put on my red western boots

And walked with angels in Mexico

And by Esarhaddon’s palace

With my birthmarks and love letters

In the center of the room

I turn


I see the mystery of the eternal nocturnal illuminating Face

Breathing rhythmic steps

Across the markers of

Tomorrows diamonds

Inside an oval window

I imagine it is me

I assume I came from this place

Once again

I sleep



I can’t move

without movement

there’s no


As I

don’t move

a plane flew

over the


The clouds







me relief but then it was the


going somewhere

I can’t move

Can I say they


the victims?

or did I

also fall

for the scheme?

If I

don’t move

I’m just now

and now is freedom…

freedom from…

what I created, if I stop

never move

look at the clouds

and wait

never return

then I am






I am nothing

but thoughts and

feelings housed

in a body looking


doing things no one has

ever done before

doing things everyone has



Expanding like

paint spilled


on the floor

never to return

to the

container again

but now being


in a larger





Dog with a club foot

Innkeeper OK


Dog with a club foot

Innkeeper OK


Just because it's true

Doesn’t mean it’s interesting

Said the dog




The blinds are beautiful

with the light shining through

I sit in front

of my Guru

The quiet is surrounding me

and is me

It flows

in a wake

of abundance

as I imagine

the walk

up to the

corpse of a material existence


I don’t want to move

The stillness is so peaceful




Their spirit is in the subtle breeze

the soft raindrops, the golden clouds

They are here for you already

for the essence of us all is one essence

Earth, Sky, Prana

more than energy

Are they calling you?




Why did you forget me?

I can still feel your presence

even though it’s been years

I wait for you

Ring! Ring!

But it never rings

I cannot stand the silence

I must fill it with memory

of your laughter

of your voice

Even your pauses are louder and

fuller than this silence

No, let me say, do you hear yourself and everything?




Close your eyes

Let me direct you

past the living-room





I dream of dancing with you

I spread my wings as far out

As the sunlight


From your eyes

Your heart is a world of spirits

Our dance of beauty





She washes clothes

She cooks beans and tortillas

She is tired

She has a smile that could save the world

She saves it for her son

She is tenderness

She is the foundation

She is the place of love





Them told you that?

Dharma Law say;

 “All things is made of the same thing, which is nothing”

But that’s not Dharma law

…and you went and made something out of it..


NY ‘75


Day one


The minute we stepped up to the street


in March

We flew to an Irish pub

The whiskey was warm

The food was hardy

And we were welcomed

We sat in the belly of the beast

Comfortable and warm

Unknowing what was next

Our trunks at Penn Station

Missed the Broadway Limited

You had no intention of staying, did you?

Oh, at that time I did not know

that you had no intention of staying

You called Julie

You called Julie

Were you telling her of your great adventure?

(And how you had no intention of staying?)

And how you were on some illuminated Village Voice,


Or were you telling her you missed her and you were coming back?

Years later she was to say to you at the

Vagabond life

sucks doesn’t it?







I went into your church

Cinnamon mud walls

Clay Madonna

Murals cracking

Blood red candle glass aglow

Chorus of ancestral spirits sang comfort to me

I lit a candle for my mother

They say it was cancer

But I knew it was grief

Jesus’ eyes confirmed me

Rose petals assured me

Do you remember the gold roses, Mother?

And the wraps upon the door?

Signs, Mother

Like the fallen sparrow

It’s quiet and safe in here

Thousands of hearts have come before

So much dust and roses





The grass grows

over the grave

I am life











The yard sale sign melted

Its ink ran down

Streaming like blue tears

It was rain again in Portland

And I had to put a sweater on in June


Did I ever think that my sandals

would be glued to the floorboards?

Toes seeking refuge in boots?





And I had to put a sweater on in June


Lopsided porches under

Grey sky

Inevitable depression

Chipped paint

Swallows of liquor



And I had to put on a sweater in June


There is nothing more gripping

then walking and wondering

Is it possible?

Standing in

looking through

wet delirium

Rain again, Portland

And I had to put on a sweater in June


If the sun ever comes out

Crammed endeavors

Orphaned and fragile

As a rainbow

Can we step out

of our black coffee

grey clothes

and amber ale?

Rain, Portland

I had to put a sweater on in June


I deliberated on leaving

Rummaging through Powell’s

Maybe a copy of a positively

Elegant work but…

Cabin fever

Time passing

Rain again, Portland

And I had to put a sweater on in June


Forest Floor





I sat in front of my bookcase all day and read poetry

As the beautiful fall sunshine fell upon the floor

It started out a good day

Later I fell silent as if in a forest


To be found

on the floor

It started out as a good day

It started out with reading about surrealist art

I went for a walk

I had a cappuccino

A man screamed

you bitch

I thought he was screaming at me but I probably just

Imagined that

But I know he was screaming

It was sad

I crossed the railroad tracks

I finally made my way home

To my bookcase and my poetry and my











It’s not that I have anything against curry but

My god! Krishna!


Can they smile?

Would it kill them to smile?


While they grab money


I always paid our rent on time each day

Why did they treat me like a murderer?

Twenty-two on weekdays and twenty-five on weekends


Poor you

With that strange blue and white plaid cap

Sitting at that broken table

You were in a box of emptiness

With a cap on


I tried to reach you

But it was as worn out as the rug

You couldn’t respond

You were incapable of cracking

Since you were already cracked


But still you sat

I could rhyme

But still you sat

I could fall asleep with me feet in a bucket of water

But still you sat



You sat

Cooking tuna melts on a coffee burner

You still sat                                                                                                                

And on it went like that

Curry and frowns

Twenty-two, Twenty-five

Curry and frowns

Week after week

Fading into ourselves

Roaches and filth

Sucking the flesh from our dreams


I’m sorry you can’t go back to your country

I’m sorry America isn’t what you expected

How do you think we feel?


This land is my land this land is your land?

All that crap!

How do you think we feel?


You have curry

We have dry bread

And empty hands

And look at him!

He sits

For god’s sake

Would it kill you to smile?

All works contained here are the original work by

Shirley Obitz


(c) 2020 Shirley Obitz All Rights Reserved










































Dog with a club foot

Innkeeper OK





















































Dog with a club foot

Innkeeper OK


Just because it's true

Doesn’t mean it’s interesting

Said the dog



I Had To Put a Sweater On In June - Shirley Obitz
00:00 / 00:00
Forest Floor - Shirley Obitz
00:00 / 00:00
You Have Curry - Shirley Obitz
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