Sunday, October 11, 2020

The Dark Path Brightens

It occurs to me

That I require an ideal

To summit these peaks. Something more than a patch.

My tenacity shouts above my perception

Shooting over the trees

Soliciting the breeze

Questioning my knees

As the goal sticks out its tongue and then darts

Off like a chipmunk to peek back at me from 

The enduring rocks and ledges that loom ahead.


My companions and I 

Pray to a silent God

Mindful of our mission

And that our bodies not 

Fail us, at least, not today.

The round red footpath signs 

Point diagonally ahead, 

Tree to tree towards

The relentless uphill, and my breathless 

Scramble over the ledges to come. 


The reward still sketchy 

After three hours in; 

When I am eager to drink in the summit. 

Finally, the dark path brightens. 

And I bow to the chipmunk in an

Attempt to feed it an organic potato chip. 

It darts instead behind a bush, 

Then shows me its tail, and informs me to eat 

But not to get too comfortable.

We have another mountain to bag.


Notified later 

By our fearless leader 

That I will have to CLIMB DOWN 

And then up again, for another mile   

Progressing first to the infamous 

Cornell Crack, where 

Mistakes in either direction 

Will not be tolerated. 

The Purple ribbon and I 

Contemplating our virgin review. 


My knees hiss a warning, which I promptly ignore.  

They vow to render their discourse later 

During our descent as they rant about where 

I place my feet, how to steady my stride, 

Harping that the path less taken 

Comes at a precipitous price.

The brilliant sun pierces the canopy, 

As before us, emerges another ledge.

Another feat to capture 

Is the epic as it continues to unfold.


We descend past yet another group of

Masked climbers at three p.m. 

Still on their ascent with their two children, 

An infant strapped to its mother

And the three-year-old

Proclaiming, then bawling 

Over the never-ending mountain ahead, 

His father, a tongueless statue, 

Their progress halted to let us pass.

Miles to go, both ways.


The smug star 

Reclines in the west

Pointing at loose rocks, 

Protruding roots 

Our heel-toe-heel cautious descent, 

My hiking poles that clock-like catch 

Between soft earth and a hard place

Slowing my forward motion

Tipping my resolve. 

My reserve approaching empty. 


The chipmunk scampering ahead 

Turns to salute me as our last steps 

Steer us back to our chariots in

The near-empty lot

To untie shoelaces

Remove mud-caked boots

Release tired toes

From their dark prisons

Slip-on our winged victory to

Toast at the evening feast.





Thursday, April 2, 2020

What About Hugs?

What About Hugs?

I used to love hugs.

It was how I said hello and goodbye
in Hawaii. 
It was an island greeting, a mark of our civilization.

Your quick embrace 
soothed me.
Healed my isolation. 
Set me free
to just be me.  

But, now, a wave from across the room will have to suffice.
So, please keep your distance. Don't think twice
Wear a mask
Don't exhale 
cough or sneeze.
You may infect me. In fact, your hug 
could kill, exponentially.

Please walk away
leave me with a smile
a sweet memory
of that once chaste embrace.

Let us chase
the virus away
that nervous taste
must be erased.

Hard to believe
We were once so pure.

But we'll need to endure
amend the rules
set new trends
to keep our friends
old and new.

Because, a hug, 
once so curative now exposes us, my dear. 
And your touch and your breath
will rip us apart.

We have to reinvent our old greetings
keep ourselves alive to survive another day.
Cast off the old unhealthy ways, 
Just imagine, in the future
what our descendants will say 
Hugs, what's that?

Monday, March 30, 2020

Pandemic Golf

Pandemic Golf

Does not touch flagstick.
Does foursome elbow bump.
Brings their own water.
Doesn't rake bunkers
Doesn't play in leagues
Elevates the hole.
Rides golfcart alone
Stays a safe distance
Washes hands post-game.

So, I started playing golf in March
After a four-year hiatus
After breaking my wrist
Which is better in the warmer climate
And no, it did not improve my game.

I moved in December from the sometimes-frigid Mid-Hudson Valley
90 miles north of NYC, the coronavirus epicenter,
South to sunny Florida
Where the grass is sticky
In the rough
And the greenskeeper is
One of Satan's disciples.
You know what I mean
He purposely fucks
With the cup angles
And there is no way
A human can prevail.

And you need thick skin
like 2 ml. Thick.
It can be devastating without Angel juice.
Angel aka Birdie juice can be had
But requires driving the green and sinking the ball in one putt or less on a par three.

Then along comes a pandemic
And I am seriously wondering
If someone opened the doors
To Hell or you know    Purgatory
where the demons and the angels get together
for Jokes (about humans that are not Michelle Wie or Tiger Woods who choose to play golf) and Spiked Juice.
Talk about rolling thunder
This is where the wings come off
Badass Angels and Demons compete
And no one plays with a punk-ass colored ball.

The winner gets to play 18 holes with a few humans.

It is a random draw, a spin on the roulette table. And only the spirits can win.
Which is why it is so exasperating to humans.  You never know who will show up.  Or inside whom.

The game changes from day-to-day
Week to week
The challenge is real
The stakes are high

And there is no end to the mind games.
 *Free verse poetry is here defined as a poem with no set meter or verse that mimics natural speech patterns. Free verse poems can be short or long, contain sporadic rhymes or none at all, and be conveyed in spoken or written mediums. Because a free verse poem isn't tied to any specific form, poets generally have more room to experiment with structure than they would with other styles.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020



The photo depicts 
The past
A time when words flowed
Like a river into endless
Across great chasms

Ever forward
Relentlessly pushing boundaries
Breaking norms
Exploding into infinity.

Kind of like ejaculation.

Only the waterfall
Ran dry for a time
And the people had to
Find another source
Were forced to improvise
What had already been provided
By our Maker.

And where is that Maker now?

Is he a devil hidden in detail?
Or a stern parent insisting we toe the line
Perhaps the Maker resides in each of us
Within our unique purpose
Maybe, we are the world.

But the world is dying.
Discernment helps
Listening too
In the Noir days, we had filters.

Remember filters?  
And one critical lesson at a time.

Cornelia DeDona 3-24-2020

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Remembering Pauline

How do you say goodbye
recall the fragile faith 

in the eyes of a starfish
before tossed ashore by the careless surf?

Or crack the elegiac code without her light

       She, the zealous muse that lifted you past the stars.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

ridge & TOWER at Roost Art Gallery in New Paltz

Come see my photos this month at Roost Gallery in New Paltz to benefit The New Paltz Amphitheater and NPASA- New Paltz Art in the Schools Association. Sunrise on the Ridge is published in the 2020 Kingston Calendar, copies are available at The Art Society Of Kingston.

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The Dark Path Brightens

It occurs to me That I require an ideal To summit these peaks. Something more than a patch. My tenacity shouts above my perception Shooting ...