These poems are borne of the joy
and pain of a life lived to the fullest.

Diane Mintz writes of hunger and need, loving and living and overcoming. She celebrates intimate moments, the rough patches, the smallest revelations of unsung beauty. These poems abound with tender and compassionate images of the human condition.

I want to write a poem as elegant as old lace,
as simple and airy as a child’s rhyme,
as soft and loved as a stuffed animal,
as welcoming as an old slipper, as easy to slip on.
A poem in which I can open my most tender secrets
to the trusted and compassionate reader who takes in
the words knowingly, securing them inside her secret place
where she will turn to them often for solace....


Published by author Diane Mintz in association with Fearless Literary
64 pages, trade paperback  •  $7.95 print / $4.95 digital  •  ISBN 978-1-7321850-5-0




DIANE MINTZ was born in Newark, New Jersey where she lived until her family moved to California when she was nine. With the exception of graduate school and travel, she has spent her adult life in Berkeley where she got her B.A. from UC Berkeley and raised her two sons. She has worked as a teacher, an editor, a translator, a secretary, a newspaper reporter and a realtor (while founding a nonprofit, YES.Families.org), all while stashing her writings in drawers. This is the first time some of her writing has been allowed the light of day.




Miracles (inspired by Albert Einstein)

Nothing is a miracle or everything is.
Unlike relativity, this idea is graspable.

Alert and awake everything can evoke
wonder. We can be struck with awe
at the caterpillar inching toward a juicy leaf,
at the delicate tracery on the leaf, at the
caterpillar’s tenacity hanging on to the leaf
swaying in the breeze, at its persistence in
pursuit of its goal, at the very existence of
this being and that it knows when and how to
wrap itself into a disguise of its own making
while it magically transforms into another miracle,
a being so unlike the earthbound caterpillar
that we would doubt its origin had we not just
watched it emerge unfolding its nascent wings.


Do Habits Die?

I do not remember beginner’s mind. A tabula rasa
on which to print fresh observations free of punctuation
and excuses. I replay encounters, echoes of conversations
where I missed the point or inadvertently caused hurt.

Sometimes I feel like Lady Macbeth: Will I be
cleansed of worn-out thoughts before I die?
I still chew on old snippets like a mouse nibbling
on a telephone wire until only static remains.

But I am still new to love. I had no practice as a kid,
so it’s hard to get it right. I have hit the wrong chords
so many times that I learned to live with dissonance.
Finally I know that one can learn to stay on pitch.

Doe, a deer, a female deer. Ray, a drop of golden sun.
Mi, a name, a weary me ready to unload vanity and the
need to be right for an afternoon walking down the street
holding hands while licking a mocha chip ice cream cone.



Yesterday I turned 80, still as unthinkable
as borrowing a stranger’s underwear or
getting lost in another country where the
words make no sense. I could have sworn
I didn’t get on that plane: I am still here
where, until yesterday, the future was vast.

But, I do belong right here. I have traveled
all the days and time zones it took to arrive
to this place. I belong to all the life around me,
growing and dying before my eyes. The fragile
blossom borne of the succulent at my backdoor,
the one which lived for only 24 hours is my sister.

I belong because I am alive and moving toward
my own demise. I am a creature not separate
from the squirrels in our yard and the jasmine
covering the trellis. With them I share the
earth and the air we breathe. Without them
I would be bereft.