Vday

I remember when you said Happy Valentine’s Day to me
it was in such a tone I felt you already loved me
The way you let it linger from your lips
and a gigantic smile…
You couldn’t really hide it,
then you went back inside and I smiled…
that’s just another thing I’ll never forget.


valentine’s day.
by karen maeby 2/14/12

glitter. scissors. paper. glue.
paper hearts; lots of i love yous.

valentine’s day!

it’s time to put on your happy face!

let’s place our plastic masks
yes, that’ll do –
the fake smiles,
you know those flowers won’t last.

a day of expectancy,
you’re supposed to do this, that, the other
try to impress
whose got the best gift?

compare stories, gossip.
the day just begs to be fed,
but most get too distracted to realize
they shouldn’t feed into that fake garbage.

drink. drink. drink the night away
dinner for two,
valentine’s for all
what else, after all is done, will do?

the day after
we will then have to clean up after you.

folded paper heart
floating in the wind
falls to the ground
as another statistic

a number will break up before valentine’s day
a number will be engaged this day
but after the holiday,
what happens?

love. love. love.
you’re supposed to love all the time.
every day. not just this day.
love unconditionally and all the time, every day.

Let me

by Karen Maeby 1/30/20

let me teach you
whats inside my heart
by the kisses i shall lay on your lips
all the way down to your feet
and let me hold you
in an embrace: spiritually, sensually
in a way that only lovers
hold one another when they’re falling
deeply into the starlight wonder
of love, true love that starts from within
let me show you
the ways of everything i am
and everything we were meant to be
let me show you, let me teach you
all of the lessons that you will inhale
and exhale in mystified sighs of exhilaration
that i am an artist
and you, my darling, are the divine palette
from where i shall create
the most magnificent piece of art
a true masterpiece
that shall win and tug at everyone’s hearts
for years to come
you are the song from which i find the words
to write–so often–my inspiration
you are my poetic sonnet
that i keep perfecting day by day
you are my picture worth a thousand words
the photograph
that never leaves my mind
you are my theatrical prose
that i play, every single day. a new character
or trait or way about me
to keep you always interested and on your toes
i kiss your nose
and bring you back to earth
after you’ve gone away for a bit
for reaching the highest dimension
in G-ds physical and spiritual world
leaving you in awe –
i give you a rose on love’s day
every single day, because i don’t ever
want what we have to die or even rest
to become dormant like so much else
in this materialistic world
i will water our love with the tiny barbie pot
that i kept from my grandma’s house
in the appletree days
let me show you every single day
how to count all the ways
that the little things are what matters most
and my love for you
isn’t just appearing as an absent ghost
let’s meet, and let our souls glide together in song
in peace, in harmony, making our bit of the world
just so much more happy
and delightful to take part in

-inspired by gentleman jack + a crazy dream i had about someone i think i don’t know

Under the Apple Tree (poem)

1/28/2020: I’m already getting emails from Jewish places regarding Tu BiShvat, so naturally, thinking about my grandma’s apple tree is on my mind. Here’s a really old post that I imported in my blog and saved for a moment like this….

Originally posted + written 07/03/2012 

Under the Apple Tree ~

I am saddened to hear about Andy Griffith passing away. I loved his show, so much, and it was the only show that my best/ religious grandma would ever tolerate watching when she was alive. Hence, the reason why this kind of triggered my sense to write this poem that’s been trying to bust out of me forever.. I guess it really wasn’t time yet? Maybe I have written it before. I don’t remember. All I know is that I have struggled long enough to write this…But here goes:

Under the Apple Tree – for dVerse Poets –
by Karen Maeby 7/3/12

A special book lies before her.

It’s a story book – opened – directly to the future.

Years from then – and only – she didn’t know.

She leans up against the trunk of her claimed apple tree.
Not one worry about the ants or little critters around her –
she continues to take tiny bites of her apple
until she’s done and she grabs her Barbie dolls and
continues to play. She fixes to swing on the tiny wooden plank
tied with rope in her apple tree.

A young life is sitting under the apple tree,
swinging-
thinking-

small town
same scents
each and every summer

makes a difference as she’s small.
A small town seemed so big

until she’s grown
and the memories fade
to be nothing more than written on paper.
It’s such a rush to take notes
on the dreams she has to fulfill those memories –
trying to make it last. Trying to share her story.

Years later:

Her fill of the tree is over:
even if she didn’t want it to be – but there’s
so many cores in the ground from so many picked apples.

She’s so close to the Heavens and so close to God.

Lying under the apple tree one last time
in the dirt and muck, nothing but a piece of clothing
coming between her and the ground. She feels closer to them –
the ones that are gone. The ones who are buried there.

The ones she never knew – but the ones she’s much closer to.
She holds the hand of those that died.
She holds the hand of every single one of the ones that have died. 
It’s a special gift that only she has and very few has heard.
– something she can mention but no one will understand
and they will call her crazy.

“They’re cutting down my apple tree?” Was the last thing she said,
in a questionable manner.

She’s trying her best to put her story together
and it’s so very hard to do. Feelings from every where.
But as every good thing – it must come to an end.
But she keeps holding on, as at one point,
the alive must meet the dead.. in the center… and settle in.

Tears

JUST A MOMENT AGO
I had to excuse myself 
to hide in the bathroom 
for a moment of clarity 
while I cried a bucket full of tears 
an intense burst of tears 
stronger than I’ve felt in a long time

for no reason, but every reason 
you can imagine
and it just kept going 
and it’s still pouring out 
of my heart, my soul, my mind 
my emotions are going crazy 
like a tornado moody as fuck 
coming out of absolutely no where 
like a waterfall that doesn’t stop 
or a river that doesn’t stop flowing
it’s going 
why? I miss you
and I can feel you miss me too
you’re sending the waves 
across the waters, across the parted seas 
g-d is sending the message to me 
there’s no hiding it 
our first meeting, that’s what lingers 
it was the opening of the can of worms 
it was the moment 
that changed absolutely everything 
only to lie to yourself that it didn’t matter 
when all you can think about
is why it hurts you too
and what everything means  
but you’re just going to continue to run 
I can feel it
and your energy is pushing me to take off too
to pack my bags like a gypsy to try to forget
the memory of everything about you

you’re in denial, even though you’re struggling 
and you want to throw in the towel 
eventually, it’ll happen, but not until you’re stripped of your ego 
with all your walls down and you’re vulnerable  
to LOVE with an open heart and mind 
and you finally come face to face with the mirror your reflection, me:
everything that you are afraid of in this life
because I am the challenge you don’t want to face.

Dreaming

dreaming by Karen Maeby ©️ 1/24/20

I’m dreaming of the she 
who would be my mirrored reflection 
definitely different, but the other half of me 
that–in essence–would feel everything I’m feeling 
even miles apart, even if we’re not speaking, 
or perhaps–even if we’ve never spoken
and have yet to meet…. 
she would see my most desirable thoughts 
it would play like a marquee in her mind, thoughts…
that would unravel the towel up against her bare skin 
and send a single chill deeply down her spine 
as I run my fingernails lightly then digging them in her skin
never letting her go, to save her,
like a vamp in the night…a kiss on the neck
leaving her absolutely speechless, and wanting more. 
To dream of that moment to be able to 
push her hard up against the wall
and kiss….until a minute turns into forever, 
so very deeply until we’d fall 
into a galaxy where time and space have no meaning
and no ending where love is a true soul thing 
and we reunite as one into an explosion 
of angst, relief and a meeting of what life 
love and everything holy could ever mean. 
Enough that the feeling 
would never be able to be described
in words or poetry or writing…..but felt, 
enough that many tears of every emotion are wept 
and so many expressions are exchanged 
but words remain silent 
as two hearts embrace and tangle their weave 
into a forevermore sort of situation. 

Chasing Ghosts Around the Corridor

Chasing Ghosts Around the Corridor
by Karen Maeby © 1/20/20

I’m chasing ghosts around the corridor
hoping to receive my life’s report
I’m pay-phoning Buffalo Bill with the old wild west
trying to catch a ride on the Pony Express,

I spy one piece of glitter in the dusty road
among a thousand stories that are told
and nothing that’ll grow old as we journey along.

I’m chasing ghosts around the corridor
I’m chasing ghosts around the corridor

And then there’s Mary: she carried letters
that became a part of history. The usual story…
Burdened with the age of life, she fell
and now lies at the bottom of the Sea.

A quarter past midnight
a haunting feeling sends chills down my spine
as the clock ticks
and we’re almost out of time

Out with history, out with history.
I’m chasing ghosts around the corridor.

I’m chasing the ghosts down the track
following the past dream’s path,
feeling the wrath of emotions.

I’m chasing ghosts around the corridor
hoping to find time, but there is no more.
I’m chasing ghosts around the corridor
hoping to find time, but there is no more.

x

As the Train Goes By
by Karen Maeby © 1/20/20

she watches
as the train blows past…
the trees sway
the dust flies
and she lies there
kicking her feet to the sky
wondering if she should jump
across the train tracks
and hop on
when it stops
and run away to see the world
like a natural born gypsy
to see the lights
to be on the stage
the night life that she was meant to have
she wonders and
she dreams, watching as the train goes by…

Shabbat – a couple of poems, update, OBR stuff – edit

Riddle Song
by Karen Maeby © 1/17/2020

do i write in riddle, or do i write in song?
i have always felt like it was you all along
it’s like – dreaming about someone that is never there
and wondering if they’ll ever be
in present day, in the physical
before death takes us away and we move on
to whatever G-d has planned for us in the future
could the moon, the sun, and the planets
capture the stars that align into place
so we can meet, our eyes–first glance–greet
one another with such pure love, we have know
it was meant to be in some form … future or past
but not the present day, it wouldn’t last
there’s baggage to be gone through,
tossed away, buried, thought about and analyzed
for anything to work… our souls must be clear..
i wish for you, by the genie in the bottle, by G-d’s prayer
i wish for you in every which way and here
i swear, i wish for you my darling, i wish for you
to kiss your lips of pure joy,
to see that beautiful smile again,
intense eye contact that would take anyone’s breath away,
and a hug that would last forever and two million days….

x

I have to give thanks to Rachael Sage for my writing above because I’ve been listening nonstop to her music and it’s taking me to a place I haven’t been in a long time. I’ve read a majority of her poems on her website and it’s like reading my own writing. There were several times I had to catch my breath. I’m going to put out in the universe that I hope that one day we can meet. I want her to produce / write the music to She’s My Jewish Song… one of my most favorite poems I’ve ever written. But anyway, I’ve become very much inspired in writing poetry again… and just generally writing.

Speaking of Jewish… it’s Shabbat–my favorite day–and well I miss, I just miss….. I feel so far away from my own soul’s belonging… how’d it even come down to that? I’m sure it’s going to be that way until I leave. Just a few more months, if not just one. I still haven’t decided yet. It’s a really big decision and it’s all depending on the remainder of this month and what exactly I want to do and can do with what I am given at the moment. Either way, I need to get back in the habit of reading my emails from the Talmud-Jewish Learning, Alma, Aish, Kveller and others… I just had to literally cut out everything due to working this show. I don’t even get to go to Shabbat services again this week due to Fri night performance. I hope there’s some upcoming events or something there, maybe the food festival coming up or that same class day from Jan last year. I know I’ve RSVPed to go to Anne Frank’s Let Me Be Myself life story opening at the Holocaust Museum. I can’t wait to go, experience, and write about it.

And speaking of the show…. We went to V’s again last night. I guess it’s much easier to go have a drink Thursday whereas if we did Friday, we have two shows on Saturday, and it’s not exactly easy to recover for…. so, in the future, I’m going to stick with that schedule. Speaking of drinks, our pianist whispered to me, “Is it okay if I bring champagne to our cast party Sunday?” Oh! AB-SO-LUTE-LY…. we will drink all the drinks. We deserve it. Not only were there a lot of problematic things we had to conquer through, but we have had SOLD OUT SHOWS (or very near to) and this is a huge brand new record for us…!!!! Much deserved.

It is day 5 of being on CBD Oil and I really honestly think it’s working. I am feeling a lot less cloudy than when I had to take (otc-headache/ibp/Tylenol) pain pills every day. For the amount I was taking, it literally makes me sick just thinking about it. What was wrong with me? I hate pills. I was never for them. I can’t believe I was in so much pain that I had to take them as often as I did. With weening off them, and on to CBD oil, I feel my real personality coming back and creativity and not being so blocked off. I don’t have any side effects. Not tired after taking it. I almost feel like I think I felt in 2018 – very energetic and ready to go, go, go and do, do, do. I really hope this continues…because it’s going to be a win for me to get back to the glittery feeling of 2018. I have missed that me… the me that had a ball full of endless energy where I slept very few hours and could get so much done. In another route to become more energetic and hopefully pure – I found a few items like bath wash, hair oil, face wash, oil / serum for face – all with hemp. The bath wash seems to work well along with hot water. I’ve gone green tea, hemp/cbd and coconut oil.

I mentioned in one of the previous entries that I was going to draw a trailer and put one of our actor’s names on it. I did, and he loved it. He put on the dressing room door and then kept moving it around because everyone would sit where he’d place it. It was just hilarious. I just found my notes on my phone of what “continuing” story I was going to write for everyone involved in the OBR. I hope I have time to work on it. It won’t be a real story with correct wording, punctuation and the like… it’ll be something like the character stories I develop during the SOAs but in a little bit different way. I am a little more comfy being backstage and not so nervous waiting for the next scene, so I guess I can start writing then.

by Karen Maeby © 2020

those red lips
i kiss
taste of cherry lipgloss
and you’re wearing a green dress
you’re like.. an unwrapped
christmas present just waiting to be explored
those red lips
there’s a treasure map
i have to follow
every inch of your body
connect the dots, connect to the stars
i wait
and you say i’m ready
and we explore
each others minds on a psychic level
where we never touch
but use our minds
to move around the matter
around us, the Universe, and such
we each smile and we can feel it
we stare across ten thousand miles of ocean
and we can feel each other
as we breath…. as deeply as we can…

Remember the poem I wrote about Mary – the ship – a few entries back titled My Bonafacio? Well. I am so very creeped out … I did some more in depth research today and I found out that THAT VERY SHIP WAS SOLD TO THE ORANGE BELT RAILROAD. How in *THE* world did the FIRST piece of history I ever had a SOULFUL connection to in Gulfport turn out to be a part of THE MUSICAL I AM STAGE MANAGING RIGHT NOW? I’m beyond a little freaked out. THERE ARE NO COINCIDENCES!!!!!!????? WHAT. But what does it all mean???????????

And, I say “soulful connection” because right where the ship Mary Disston sank is where I had many bouts of inspiration and feelings. Every time I walk that pier. I felt drawn to it. Superbly.

THERE ARE SIGNS ABSOLUTELY EVERY WHERE.

Pay.

Attention.

(I’m going to be a little on edge the rest of the day.)

A Toast 
by Karen Maeby © 1/17/20 
written/dedicated to our pianist & writer of OBR 

We make a toast – 
with champagne, wine, bourbon and beer 
as our talented pianist plays some familiar tune 
that everyone starts singing and dancing to… 

As we have arrived in the 20s again 
we’re in the neighborhood corner bar 
and there’s a million stories just waiting 
to be written about the ghosts buried in the walls. 

There’s a sense of historical value 
placed on our meeting time and place 
and the era of which we’ve fallen back 
to live and breathe for one last weekend. 

We’ve taken a journey to the past 
where the history books got around fast 
and the characters develop over time 
leaving their words of poetic value to rhyme. 

Our pianist delivers–in distinguished ratings–
and our playwright smiles proud of his work 
coming alive before him on the stage–
lights up: the story begins, and will soon end. 

We make a toast – 
with champagne, wine, bourbon and beer 
as our talented pianist plays some familiar tune 
To the Orange Belt Railroad! 

PS – I have some definite gray hair coming in at the direct front of my hair. I am going to blame the group tomorrow and see what they say. ha.

Shoe to Drop (poem)

Shoe to Drop
by Karen Maeby © 1/16/20

Waiting for the other shoe to drop–
will it be from Dorothy, a ballet slipper or a strippers?
Asked the psychic next door,
and she told me to consult my dreams:
That the truth lies deep in my intuition. 

I wrap my mind with a cloak these days
as it’s been nothing beyond a cloudy day,
hoping for the sun to shine with glitter again.
Flipping through the book of knowledge, hanging on
to every word and trying to make sense of it all. 

Lyrics stay stuck in my mind–constantly on repeat–
and I stay there instead.
I compare the books of the last few decades
Why is it that the truth of the statement is always there?
Repeating history repeats history. 

Lost the color in my life, it got stuck in the 50s
between the black and white.
My photos are that of sepia
and my words are of operatic value
being sung by sopranos deep in the classical era. 

Ballroom gowns and proper attire,
I play the harpsichord but I’m no Mozart.
I’m just living in his requiem…
Waiting for the other shoe to drop–
will it be from Dorothy, a ballet slipper or a strippers? 

Pick the dance: square, hip hop, jazz, waltz.
It doesn’t matter, I’ll get lost any way.
I’m just waiting…patiently
to steal the key and unlock that lock
to live freely again inside your heart. 

Waiting for the other shoe to drop–
will it be from Dorothy, a ballet slipper or a strippers?
Asked the psychic next door,
and she told me to consult my dreams:
That if I keep to my soul: I can make anything happen. 

Gone Fishing

I only tried gefilte fish once 
at Passover with a million other dishes. 
I was later introduced to nova through nachos,
and then came the lox 
with bread: the addictive Hawaiian rolls or challah 
Cuz challahbackgirl…..it’s Shabbat!!! 
Nova and lox and lox and nova 
a simple yet complex Jewish staple. 
Enter all those fishes from my past 
yet none of them on my plate would ever last. 
Yummy. Blackened is my favorite way, 
Shabbat is my favorite day. 
I am trying to rhyme like Hemingway. 
“Gone fishing” is what my sign say, 
but it’s not what you think. 

I’m stuck in a realm of spoken text 
and music with lyrics 
I dream about it every single night—
Go to bed with one song 
wake up with another….
Over and over and over and over again.  
Back and fourth.
One song then the next.
Where is it taking me? What is the destination? 
The space station? 
The train. On a train. A rust-bucket train. 
So many lyrics inside my brain. 
The train. A train. What train? 
I’m stage managing a musical about a train and 
all these lyrics are stuck so far deep inside my brain. 
I write-I’ve gone fishing-
but not for nova or lox or gefilte fish. 
I’ve hung up my sign I’ve gone fishing,
due to responsibilities to do with a train. 

xoxo 

Happy New Year 2020, everyone! I hope you have a fabulous one and I’ll see you on the flip side. I need to start letting some things go so that I can solely focus on stage managing so I probably won’t be writing on this blog for a few weeks… check back every once in a while just in case… I might not even do the socials for a while. We’ll see. Oh and do yourself a favor and see Knives Out – it is a very delicious film of artistic value and a whole lot more.

Call, text or email if you absolutely need me. DO NOT rely on sending me messages on Facebook, FB messenger, Instagram or Twitter… I probably will not answer.

Until next time…..!

Hanukkah-Based Poems

Burning That Midnight Oil 
12/22/2019 by Karen Maeby


Joy, pure joy…that’s what I feel. 
I write–to heal–to share 
to keep my flame flickering longer. 
A writer’s gotta write. The constant need to inspire 
has my spirits running bright. 

Hanukah, Chanukah, Hanukkah
Two thousand spellings 
(well, maybe not that many) 
but enough that I feel like having a full-on discussion 
with Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain or say 
Scott Fitzgerald…. 
as we’re about to enter the roaring 20s again. 

Jazz and romance and glitter and all the glam 
I can just see it now…. 
I’m burning that midnight oil 
sitting here, day dreaming 
about being in a place like France 
where everything has flair and there’s some kind of 
decadence that isn’t where I’ve been before. 

Where there’s style and culture…
Where not everything is the same.. 
Where elegance is part of the vocabulary 
and proper suits and ballroom gowns 
seem kind of normal in this day and age. 
Where being modest isn’t called prude 
but embraced just like being practically nude. 

I can just taste it now: 
Breakfast at Tiffany’s 
black dresses and pearls 
red hair and glitter on all the girls. 
Top hats and pianos and radio voices 
adding up the day’s artistic value 
in a song that would later become famous. 

Oh Chanuka, embrace me tightly, 
the way you’ve always done with the days of eight… 
Throw the fuel to my flame 
and permanent joy within 
to get me through the rest of the year. 

Entanglement of the Soul  
12/22/2019 by Karen Maeby

chocolate rich and in love
the sun 
the moon 
the stars

and the candle that’s being lit 
that brightens up the world 
and lights up the soul 


a music box sings somewhere 
as all Jews pray 
to a new day 
to a new day 
to a new day 
latkes and gelt 
and dreidel playing too 
i like both sour cream and applesauce
what about you? 

the clock ticks and the candle burns out 
another night, another night 
we do this all again the next night…..
dreams and dreams, overnight dreams 
about being waking in the world of pure light 
and rescuing you from the darkness
of the entanglement of your own soul… 

i dream i dream i dream 
too much, it seems. 
to a new day, to a new night 
cheers to the candle light 
that’s saved many souls… 
let’s find the ones flickering in the night 
and put the flame back in their light. 

Mixed Feelings 
12/22/2019 by Karen Maeby


Sometimes… eight days is just not enough 
for the flame to keep flickering inside my soul
for the rest of the year. 

I resonate with the 1% battery example 
lasting for the 8 days, a true miracle, 
(the meme to explain how Hanukkah feels… 
to those who don’t know or celebrate) 
I only know, because I’ve been there before.

I have learned– 
we humans cannot survive like that. 
I am thankful we are given Shabbat each week 
to rest, recharge, unplug 
even though it’s sometimes hard to do so… 
it’s the only way to survive. 

I have learned 
that stretching myself so thin 
and running out of fuel before I even begin 
yet another project
without taking care of myself first
is a true injustice to G-d. 

I’ve been yearning for the first night 
for twenty days now: 
that same light that changed me two years ago. 
I was almost too exhausted soulfully to enjoy 
the lights being lit before me–the message– 
bringing me to realize a lot needs to change.