Love, Hope, Peace and Joy for the Holidays

Wishing you love, hope, peace and joy on Christmas Day.

I offer the poem: AN ODE TO JOY: WHEN GOD LAUGHS

When God laughs, summer breezes stir, cool the skin;

While monarch butterflies twirl displaying majestic wings;

Juniper blossoms fill the air; cicadas chatter, clap and cheer.

Chrysanthemums sway, petals fall;

Hummingbirds flutter scattering pollens’ butter;

Seeds floating in the wind; giggling at nature’s fling.

When God laughs, the Mississippi belches, riverboats lilt;

River Jordan stares as the balm in Gilead now appears.

Warblers sway, sparrows soar; bees make honey soothing souls.

Snow-capped mountains salute the sky, thunders clap, lightning bolts;

Torrents of rain releasing pain; washing away all grime and stain.

When God laughs, basketballers slam-dunk, quarterbacks leap;

Melody of toe-dancing on a searing hot sandy beach.

Chiseled man pumping iron roars aloud like an African lion;

Fearless tumblers in chorus line contorting bodies lithe and pliant.

Seraphims sounding trumpets above,

Panoply of celestial music above your head,

Lullaby for babies sleeping in cribs; swaddled in their parents’ love.

Lovers cuddle arm-in-arm, strolling through the park at night,

Crystal fountain they cast their cares, enchanted by an adoring world.

Metropolis shining in the night, kaleidoscopic network of life;

Bateaus of wood skim the stream; water ripples, gurgles, flows.

When God laughs, Rios Grandes stagger and crawl;

Bamboo rafts flames aglow, unmask dark shadows in mango groves.

Revelers twisting heads and waists entranced by visions, smoke and haze.

Babies coo and puff their cheeks, mothers smile in adoration;

Fathers beam with joyful pride enamored by a novel creation.

When God laughs, birds of prey and fish in water,

Play a game of touch and go; flutter, swim, dive for cover;

Strength or skill or strategy; field made level near land and sea.

The coldest winter yields to spring; moonlit night shines the way;

Red roosters crowing at edge of dawn announce anew the breaking day.

When God laughs, red roses bloom, yellow gladioli shower;

Green ferns and leaves by royal oaks providing full groundcover;

Bougainvillea mounted guards encroach on hibiscus lazing by the river.

Oceans chuckles, rivers burp, fjords sputter geysers to the sky;

Brooks a-idle instigate conspired forces to propagate;

Morning dew with happy tears entwined in perfect harmony;

Mists collide from everywhere, crashing tides again to shore.

When God laughs, it steers the wind, to titillate the air;

Every breath it brings, diamond star illuminates,

Tambourine of energy tickles, a smile, a laugh, a thrill;

Unique life, one renewed; a symphony that’s you.

I sat down on my bedroom floor, an ode of joy to explore.

I stopped to wonder if God truly laughs, to share what’s deep within.

I asked my friends to give their thoughts, to understand the emotion;

Look at life and all its glory, and now I add these words to the story:

Sometimes they say God laughs at us,

Because of conflict, drama, fuss.

Yet, God is awesome to keep us going;

Sense of humor purely divine: constant spring overflowing.

On a sun-drenched street, a child kicks a ball;

Friends skip rope, hula-hoop, hop-scotching near a wall.

Game of chess, cards, dominoes; syncopated drumbeats past twilight.

Gold hairless cat crashes a party, tangos past midnight.

Far deep in a forest glen, fawn waltzes with a mate.

Duck-billed platypus in squared-off tails and patent leather shoes;

Claps its wings, does a jig, and hopes this too its fate.

Blue-footed booby chomps birthday cake teeter-tottering near a lake;

Tinsel twine and sparkling lights adorn a northern fir,

Candles lit in sequence, toys wrapped-up or not at all, counting celebration.

Peace, laughter, music filling hearth and home;

Gingerbread cookies, candy canes perfuming the air;

Big red comfy laced-up chair scattered at a corner;

Pulses frolic, fast extra beats anticipating heart’s desire.

Standing near the fireplace, three women speak of menopause,

Roller-coaster ride bubbling emotion;

One laughs, one cries, one twirls then stands, uncertain what’s at hand.

Infinitely expanding galaxy, brimming with suns, and moons, and stars,

Hoping by next autumn, the swinging tides shall pass.

A maverick that has walked this road beams a youthful smile;

Before you twinkle—one, two, three—

A love, a hope, a peace, a joy: a gift that’s meant to be.





















I offer today the first couple of lines of the poem,

An Ode to Joy: When God Laughs

When God laughs, summer breezes stir cooling the skin;

While monarch butterflies twirl displaying majestic wings;

Juniper blossoms fill the air; cicadas chatter, clap and cheer.

Chrysanthemums sway and petals fall;

Hummingbirds flutter scattering pollens’ butter;

Seeds floating in the wind, giggling at nature’s fling.

When God laughs, the Mississippi belches and riverboats lilt;

River Jordan stares as the balm in Gilead now appears.

Warblers sway and sparrows soar; bees make honey to soothe the soul.

Snow-capped mountains salute the sky, thunders clap, lightning bolts;

Torrents of rain releasing pain, washing away all grime and stain.



For this poem, I was fortunate to have a muse who inspired it – Thank you! Cricket is a sport played worldwide, and Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica, is a premier cricket venue.
Long lines were twisted through thick gates of colorful gray steel,
The masses closely huddled despite the stifling heat.
The last wisp of sunlight promised to wither it away,
That’s when I saw an angel molded in clay,
One slipped out of heaven to come out to play.
She twirled and pranced softly, prima ballerina on her stage,
She jetéd and pivoted slightly,
In time to the music from loudspeakers around,
I felt the emotion to stop to kiss the ground.
In a flash of forward motion, I rushed past the throngs,
Sprinting by to see her before she elegantly fluttered away.
A great big crowd stood and lingered for the start of the game,
That’s when she glanced in my direction, pirouetting to me.
She laughed at me sweetly and pulled on my shirt sleeve,
A piano spews its melody; purple silver dust fills the air,
I languished in pure ecstasy to have her presence near.
She whisked me to a place not so very far away,
Diamond crystal sky-box overlooking the oval field,
Dining on ambrosia, caviar, grapes, and ice-cold Red Stripe beer.
The green landscape before us with players on the cricket field,
The square-leg, the bowlers, the mid-ons, and the wicket in three.
The scent of an aqua-blue ocean breeze tangy with sea salt,
Sweet moisture of teardrops from the treasure I’d found.
She glided ever so lightly like a fresh cool fragrance in air,
Movement slight and fluid, the Blue Nile sparkling with gold.
She waltzed and slow-danced to violins suspended from somewhere,
Squealing in pure delightful joy when her team made a run.
Saying, bat for the century, one hundred is true fun,
A milestone reached, a goal surpassed, a thing that you must feel,
When you’re there, you’ll understand there’s nothing there but glee.
It’s like you’re up in heaven with cherubims abound,
A crescent moon smiling down sprinkling light to the ground.
Seven hummingbirds swarm to her to add to the sound,
More spectators clapping, and rolling with the wave,
As wickets went dropping and balls just knocked away.
She whipped up a frenzy to scream for a team,
A glorious follow the leader, let’s be joyful all around.
Inspired by the pandemonium, I laughed, giggled, and screamed,
The release of the true spirit when love comes around.
How thankful and how grateful, what good fortune I’d found,
Tickling myself a perky pink to have had such a lark,
The day I met an earth angel romping at Sabina Park.

The Phoenix Speaks – A Poem

I wrote this poem yesterday and dedicate it to anyone who is facing a serious challenge right now. It’s sort of long, but I hope it inspires you to hold on.

The PHOENIX Speaks

This thing that you’re facing, a pain that strangles your soul,
It troubles your heart to quiver and quake.
Out of nowhere it came, like a thief in the night,
Steals joy, crushes faith, and splinters all hope.
A deep dank darkness finds a home at your throat,
It smothers your breath, it shatters your bones.
Red roses with thorns, deceptions it bore,
It sprang quickly to prick, then cut deeply to the core.
It beats out a rhythm, drumbeats in your head,
Your eyes now blurry, murky visions instead.
Of where you were going, no path at your feet,
Giant lakes of tears flood your cheeks,
You swipe to remove it, the deluge repeats.
You look to the sky, and wonder out, why?
This turn that you took to a road just to cry.
Is your life now worth nothing?
Just empty and bare,
The others before you, for those that you care?
You saw a bluebird land on a tree,
Flapping its wings and kissing nectarines.
A soft strain of music hovers above,
Tickles your eardrums and pulls out a song.
It spoke of a place, right there at the bend,
Don’t falter, don’t stumble, walk slowly, go on.
A voice softly tells you, just wait and you’ll see,
Candles can flicker but revive with each breeze.
Out of the ashes, you’ll rise and you’ll fly,
Like sparrows and eagles, you’ll soar through the sky.
Look now and see there are doves smiling at you,
Remember go lightly; you’ll get there real soon.
The burden you bear now like feathers in air,
Flutters away carrying high mounds of despair,
The body relaxes and fills up the space.
The warbler points to the Phoenix far up in the sky,
Tweets out its melody and chants its bird call.
If ever you feel a weight holding you down,
Lift up your eyes even through misty blue skies.
Remember the saying; I’ve been there before,
The path you’ve come through by chance or mistake,
Promises you something no one can replace.
His grace and His mercy and His hope just for you,
Equals the love deep inside that God holds for you.
You never need doubt that this too shall pass,
It’s passé, it’s easy-said, it’s clichéd yet true.
But, remember the Phoenix, it’s speaking to you.
Every pain that you bear through guilt and through doubt,
Nothing in life will ever compare,
To His grace and His mercy and His hope just for you.
A love that’s eternal shines brightly in you,
Just remember the Phoenix, it’s speaking to you.

Live Webcast on Mental Health Reform

Live Webcast on Mental Health Reform
includes NAMI Executive Director Mary Giliberti
As part of Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) activities, The National Journal, one of the country’s foremost publications on politics and public policy, will present a live webcast on efforts to pass mental healthcare legislation in Congress

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. ET

U.S. Representative Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) will speak, followed by a panel discussion that will include NAMI Executive Director Mary Giliberti and other experts.

Watch the conversation live here

Join in on Twitter #NJMentalHealth

The panel discussion is expected to begin at approximately 9:50 a.m. ET

Live Stigma Free