A Couple of Kids Grow Old & Other Poetry by Michael H. Brownstein

Carpe Diem Series

What a gift it is to ponder of love and existence surrounding us! Michael H. Brownstein is here to help us do just that. His poetry holds the perfect descriptions to draw our minds to these small luxuries, and encourages us to embrace them for all that they are.

My Favorite Line: ” A lust for love,
not a love of lust.”


They were not a young couple
with a love of lust,
but elderly,
with a lust of love.
Do you know the difference?
I was there once,
and I am older now,
much older,
and I can truthfully say I do not.

At what point did hand holding
become a tangling of tongues,
horizontal made more sense,
and then
somewhere personality exposed itself,
imagination, creativity, intellect–
two talking heads waking together,
snow raining outside,
the temperature falling from 50 to 6 below,
a wraparound wind,
neither one so uncomfortable they need to turn on the furnace.

Whew–that was a long line.

A lust for love,
not a love of lust.
Thirty years of marriage.
It does get better.


All winter the lilies broke through earth,
an easy winter,
splashes of snow now and then,
a few mosaics of frost,
houseflies did not know to die,
ground hogs did not know to hibernate,
everywhere great bald eagles over the Missouri,
the early caw of crows,
a grand scheme of geese,
ponds did not freeze,
and today a worm surfaced,
a robin dropped from a tree
and the wonder of life began its renovations.


This morning I entered
a world of orange rust,
no dreams of the living,
no keepsakes of the dead–
into the graying of snow.

You think this a poem of depression,
a storm of mold and disinterest–
but a songbird sings from her nest,
a cardinal flashes red.

Some mornings the world is a piss storm,
without sound and then a squirrel
runs one branch to another full of glee.


But what do you call the weather that comes off your skin?
The earnest glow of hard work? Soil that sews itself
Into your fingernails? Is there a name for the bent back,
The need to comprehend the inner workings of a garden,
An orange wall, stained glass, the reconfiguration of water,
The simple companionship of a dog resting on your lap?


Michael H. Brownstein

Jo Anne Robinson – Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

The Heroines Among Us

Michael H. Brownstein recognizes a heroine that is not quite so well known, Jo Anne Robinson! An inspiring reminder that all great things achieved through history are not from one person and one person alone, but built in a collective action, and each person deserves recognition for their part.

Jo Anne Robinson

Once when I was teaching school,
the request was made of me to create
a lesson plan for Women’s History Month,
and I got right on it beginning
with famous women of color, but–
too many took their fifteen minutes
and made them into Jesse Jackson time.
Rosa Parks was not the first to get arrested
for not giving up her seat, just the luckiest:
Jo Ann Robinson, literate and intelligent,
made her into the icon she became
and we forgot the others, some who died,
for refusing to move. and then there were the
Harriet Tubmans’, smart and original,
his story denied them their true place
and found them another. She became
the head of the underground railroad,
a woman with headaches who could not read,
but really one of our greatest spies
who could memorized Confederate orders
and pass them on word for word to Sherman.
Other women of color freed thousands of slaves,
but his story could not let Tubman be
and she became somebody else.
His story is his story, personality
of the ones he wants us to know.
Let it go: Without Jo Ann Robinson
there would never have been a Rosa Parks,
a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a truth about choices..


Michael H. Brownstein

Shade of Blue and Other Poems by Michael H. Brownstein

Still Shining

Roll with the Sunday vibes that bring color and expression into your next week with Michael H. Brownstein! His work can help lead you to that right kind of relaxation, giving fuel for motivation.

Shade of Blue

A constellation of sky,
the continuum of well-lit light,
a great sparkle and burst–
everywhere a line converges
diverges, re configures,
digests, ingests, links its fingers
as if a ball of music can be so rich,
solemn, full of this much restraint:

Everywhere nothing is heard,
but crystals can form into orbs,
glitter can transform into healing,
the energy of the muse, sodalite
binds itself with arrows of kyanite
and the hidden universe
of galaxies sighs within its walls
a music of one finger caressing
the palm of another, a light touch–

the tickle of Antigua blue, indigo,
cobalt, cyan, the shadow of what
might have been purple–a silent
kora with broken strings
and no one, no thing,
hears anyone, anything, breath.


When the storm came
it did not come with rain or hail,
nor did it bring wind and snow.
It less loose a lack of possibility,
an understatement of what was to come.

That was the day we really needed toilet paper
and the building we were considering
fell to a structural fire. That day
bleach vanished as did flour,
all kinds of facial masks, eggs and cheese.

When we made it to the checkout,
the cashier did not ask if we found everything OK,
but remained stoic, accepted our money
with a tired sigh. and told us, I didn’t ask
because I knew that you didn’t.

The fire was put out in ten minutes,
but the building was lost to us,
its perfect commercial kitchen,
its room of antiques and its suit of armor,
the bright lit stained glass near the entrance.

We have a song we sing that always begins,
Everything is coming undone, and we sang it
not understanding its importance
until the lockdown was mandated
and businesses became essential of nonessential.

Everyday beyond that day we took one walk,
the air fresher and fresher, the sounds of spring,
flowers turning into hues of blue and white,
yellow and pink. We designed the game
Incoming, an obstacle course of avoidance.

Last might another storm reeled over our house,
let loose a thunder of rain and wind,
the mulberry tree held on, but the dogwood
let a branch crack and the Japanese plum
bowed a few feet closer to the ground.


How powerful to swim into your arms,
how steadfast and stubborn,
my fingers gathering yours
like the glorious crown of a tree
reaching beyond a fence of goldenrod
and silver dust to lay a hand of leaf
upon another branch of hope
and discover whatever wonder lives in the wind,
the brightest day, a cool evening,
the murmur of doves, squirrels at play.
a warmth that turns everything into faith.


Michael H. Brownstein’s latest volumes of poetry, A Slipknot to Somewhere Else (2018) and How Do We Create Love? (2019), were recently released (Cholla Needles Press).