author books poetry about audio/ site map submit Tea Leaves: mothers & daughters links/contact

readings/appearances ('s) featured writer:
Al Tacconelli -- poet and artist

check out Janet Mason's author blog -- Tea Leaves( Bella Books) is now available!

read Janet Mason's latest piece in The Huffington Post --Chick-fil-A: What Would Gandhi Do If He Were Gay?

Tea Leaves: a memoir of mothers and daughters by Janet Mason (Bella Books April 2012) is now available -- click here for more info

Fastidious Religiosity

for my mother

Fastidious religiosity unclasped
your hand's firm grip, fingers
clinging around my forearm

intensive care unit to evening
mass I went -- futile prayers for my
dying mother's recovery.

Why didn't I understand, we,
dying mother, powerless son,
were mass.




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As I Raked And Swept

for my mother

The mystery is we suffer
without deliverance,
and love suffers what's real.
--W. S. Piero

Under shedding holly tree I raked,
along the neglected curb I swept --
slowly, imperceptibly

every unkind word, love rejected,
opportunity squandered, squeezed tight
my dry throat.

I remembered you doing chores --
thankless, taken for granted -- times
when you were especially silent;
unspoken unhappiness.

In a bed of sorrows you slept,
migraines, high blood pressure,
lastly, your enlarged heart
stopped beating --
death, I pray,
disclosed a happier place -- we
didn't know how to love you.



Al Tacconelli

Poet and artist, Al Tacconelli has read at Robin’s Bookstore, The Free Library Of Philadelphia, and Hofstra University. Al’s poems have appeared in The Endicott Review, and Mad Poets Review. His chapbooks are; Two Countries, One Heart, and The Laurenzi Poems. Included in the permanent collection of contemporary art at Passaic County Community College are several of Al’s paintings and prints.














































I Always Knew

I always knew my mother was a saint,
certainly when she told me of a hungry,
old homeless man who knocked at the kitchen door.
She invited him in to sit at the small blue
wooden table with its two blue wooden chairs;
gratefully he ate the sandwich she prepared.
My mother said he was a good man because
in his coat pocket he kept a rosary.