Christmas Poem

Christmas Poem


I have been alone on Christmas.

I have leaned my forehead on the kitchen window

Melting the frost outside until the water  

Ran down the glass in rivulets.

Sick with grief, I could only think if I’d been better

Christmas would not have escaped me.

Years later, I am still fragile,

But I am now stronger than the night,

And my heart burns brighter than Venus

In the early morning sky.

I know now, I am not alone. 

The heart of the Christ child will 

Always guide me and point me to

The Star of Bethlehem. 


Note to ALL my Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Wiccan, and LGBQ readers: I wish you safety, joy, good health, peace, prosperity, a million belly-laughs for 2017, and the joy of creativity. Most of all, I wish you love. xoxo




An Open Apology To Dolly Parton 

I’ve always loved Dolly. She is an example of all that is good in humanity.


Dear Dolly,

10040291_300x300I’ll be honest. I used to think you were a bimbo. I used to think you flaunted your big boobs, teased hair, tiny waist, and your syrupy-sweet southern accent just to sell yourself and your brand as a country singer. Granted, I was raised in the Midwest and lived as an adult for many years in the Northeast. I didn’t get you, much less the South.

For example, I’d heard about your origins as a poor girl from the hills of East Tennessee, and when I learned you’d created a theme park in your native Sevier County I rolled my eyes. “Really, a theme park?” I thought. “As if rollercoasters will really help the people of rural Appalachia. Why not create something truly useful to give back to your community, like a library.”


You have created a library, actually, and possibly in a bigger and more…

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I Want to Ride a Butterfly to the Moon

My friend and mentor, B. Aline Blanchard’s poem, I Want to Ride a Butterfly to the Moon, inspired composer G. Paul Naeger to write this wonderful orchestral piece. Here, Aline recites the poem with the Orchestra on the Hill behind her. Such beauty!


Composer G. Paul Naeger
Performed by Orchestra on the Hill

Poetry, Narration and Photographs by B. Aline Blanchard

Animation by Chris Florio and Caleb Owen

“Non-Racist Trump Voters” Have a Moral Obligation to Stand Up to Hate

Dear Trump Voters, I’ve seen a lot of you being very angry at being assumed a racist. I’ve seen you claiming you love everybody and believe your “rough around the edges” candidate really does too, …

Source: “Non-Racist Trump Voters” Have a Moral Obligation to Stand Up to Hate

The Inky Binky Spider…

The Inky Binky Spider…

With weeks to go until the election, I’m wandering the globe, shaking my head.

I took the photo of this spider today, and of course, I put it through the hoops of cropping, and processing.

I wanted to see the spider–the one I dreaded falling onto my arm as I extended my camera–because I’m not sure that once this election is done, I’ll be able to differentiate between the spider and its web.

Have You Met My Friend, Proust?

Have You Met My Friend, Proust?

Proust was a man of many words.
If you could say it in five,
He’d say the same thing in 50,
and I loved every line.

So often, I find myself
staring at the empty page
seeing a polar bear
in a blizzard eating snow.

My words become
Lightning bugs
Signaling in the night;
only to disappear
as I draw close –
twisting my ankles
on the roots of despair.

Hats off to you, Marcel.
It took you 54 pages
to give your mother
a kiss goodnight and
It took me 30 years to read
Remembrances of Things Past.

I suppose somewhere in
the Universe, that makes us
Even Steven.

Just one thing before you go
back on the shelf–
May I borrow your pen?



The photo is of my great-great-grandfather, John George Stubenbord (1844-1914). He was 27 when Marcel Proust was born, and from the buzz handed down in the family, he was a good man. i have no idea how many words he’d have used to describe my poem. 

9/11 -On the 15th Anniversary

9/11 -On the 15th Anniversary

The photo of this NYPD officer was taken on October 20, 2001. He stopped traffic so that I could cross the street – he saw how utterly distressed I was, and near tears, so he held out his hand and beckoned me to come toward him. The air was choked with a heavy chemical smell and it felt like time had collapsed into and on itself. It felt unreal. The officer gently said, “It’ll be okay. You’re good.” And I stopped, in the middle of the street and asked if I could take his photo. I don’t know why. I just had my camera in my hands and he had been so calm while every fiber in my being was firing out of control.

Over the years, I’ve made several attempts to provide the officer with a copy of this photo, and I have never published it before. Now, 15 years later, I would like to publicly thank him for his kindness to me. Unbeknownst to him, I was on my way to the wreckage to look for a friend of mine…a totally irrational action, but one that I couldn’t stop myself from undertaking. My friend was never found.

The officer’s name is #Matos  #Shield 3035, #30th Precinct.

In all sincerity, 9/11 was the worst day of my life, with the exception of losing my grandmother. I would like to ask everyone to be kind to each other on this sad anniversary, and go out of your way to perform random acts of kindness. Let us take away from the pain, rather than adding to it.

I am reminded of the Emily Dickinson poem that said, “If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.” That is my goal, and my prayer.