By Gloria Monaghan


The road is waiting for you to walk

into the open air

into the slightly grey day

with the sliver of sun just over the clouds

orange and unpredictable

we are in God’s way

each of us golden

and waiting

where does it come from

this amazing day with the low clouds

the fallen small oval yellow leaves

wet on the path to your home

the invitation is waiting for you to come out

and explore the  early frost  on the green grass

encompassing a deeper green than even you

never thought of

something fell away

and it is time now for you to leave your desk.


The light in Provincetown is fading.  It is very grey. 

My favorite color that moves from light to shallow darkness.

You have shown me lightness in fallow, you have shown me humility. 

At the restaurant, with barely perceptual move you went to the back of the line. 

You showed me grace.

The light darkens and I like it better. 

You are not afraid, of verb tense, or tragedy.

You read mystics, children, and lunatics. 

You have your palm read and you read others.  It is all the same this reading.

But what astonishes me more than any of these things is your steady and careful walk to the boat in the pouring rain,

your thin coat and careful paper fingers, your delicate blue eyes. 

You walk on the plank to the fast ferry, only it is a slow walk and the rain is falling all around you. 

And you persist like a plover, like a willful bird ready for the morning. 

Practical, bewitching and exquisite.

Meditation One

“Let us suppose, then, that we are dreaming, and that all these particulars–namely, the opening of the eyes, the motion of the head, the forth- putting of the hands–are merely illusions; and even that we really possess neither an entire body nor hands such as we see”.


I am letting sadness seep in

to the corners of my brittle body.

I wake to adolescent children talking

and fall in the air.

A praying mantis came into the living room

and stared at my daughter and myself

huge soft eyes; so kind

what to do about that?

It was teaching me about stillness.

It was a hard lesson.

I can’t let go of summer.

Meditation Two

I lost a thread of myself

in a Bill Evans song-

no matter the title

you get the picture.

Slow unraveling of smoke


like the smattering cigar ash.

When someone holds your hand,

try and remember it,

not like the rain,

try to remember how easy and casual the whole thing was.

Don’t assume it will happen again,

and just shrug off the connection

feel the lines of the person’s hand

the slow energy of their hair

between the nape of the neck and the collar bone

the small isolated brown dot just below the hairline

take in where they place their hands

the weight of the hand on your hip.

Don’t try and imagine how your hands feel on them

notice where the hair from the scalp ends

and the neck recedes into slow movement

like a song

that leaves you transparent and lost

the road forgotten

the flowers you saw only yesterday, now are brown

there is still that feeling.

About the Author:


Gloria Monaghan is a Professor of Humanities at Wentworth Institute in Boston. She is a published author and poet.  She has two books of poetry, Flawed (Finishing Line Press, 2011) and The Garden (Flutter Press 2015).  She has published in Blue Max Review, Slope, Adelaide, Aurorean, and 2River among others.  She currently live south of Boston.