Poems for Winter Days

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As the year comes to an end, we are grateful for our Tomato poets. Here are new words from Marjorie Levine, Nicole Freezer Rubens, Madlyn Epstein Steinhart, and Carol Ostrow. Enjoy!


The Answer My Friend

The idea of ashes to ashes

has always intrigued me.

Ashes to ashes

dust to dust in the wind,

we are only temporarily whole.

In the eternity before

the house and the car,

we are all just part of the flimsy ether

and solid earth.

While in our bodies

we are captured capsules.

We bear children

to create, invent and prolong

so we can abandon our vessels

and return to being

trees and leaves,

streams and rocks,

clouds and rain,

grass and dirt.

It is much easier to reside

in wind and song,

to be the lyric and not the poet.

It is hard to leave an impression

that can be seen

from the galactic abyss

above and below.

Maybe it’s a relief to know

that our time on earth

is only a coarse grain of sand

in the castle being built

in every sandbox,

in every playground


~Nicole Freezer Rubens, author The Long Pause and the Short Breath



As the grey comes in

Shades turn to crisp clarity

And shine old to new


Signs point to one way

And it was the only place

To find memories


Alone in body

Who am I to determine

The sweet soul of self


Driving south one day

Miles spill over shoulders

I was almost home

~ Marjorie J. Levine, author Road Trips

It is Very Clear

Some despite the need refuse to learn
They dont think and stopped learning when school ended
School is not a building in fact it is all around you
Reading is not only fundamental it is as important as breathing
Communicating face to face or in a group is getting away from us
Technology lets us reach out but the contact is the reach in
You wonder why people talk at each other and not
talk to each other
While we are at it
When was the last tine you listened and not heard
It is very clear
Or is it?

~ Madlyn Epstein Steinhart, author of Put Your Boots on and Dance in the Rain

The Joy of Living!

The thing is, I absolutely love so many things in my life!

Actually, the things I love are not necessarily possessions, such as something tactile, that you can touch or even smell. That too, of course. They may be the color of the fallen leaves that have turned gold and red to remind me that winter is not far away. I love how the air feels crisp with a slight chill, reminding me to take out the warm coats stored in cloth bags all summer long, as well as the woolen sweaters resting so quietly, neatly folded in my bedroom closet.

I love to cuddle with my cat, Destri, in the morning when she quietly strolls up to my head just peeking out of a warm blanket in my bed, not quite ready to face the day. She gently rubs my exposed skin to remind me that she wishes to be shown affection and it is time to feed her. I pet her soft, black and gray striped fur, listening intently to her purring. She is the best companion and I love her dearly.

I love when the phone rings, at a reasonable hour, of course, and hear the voice of a dear friend chatting away about his/her activities for the day. I join in, so glad to have a schedule, interesting plans to perhaps see a brand-new Broadway musical that has had a buzz in the news and marvelous reviews in the Times. It is such a joyful feeling to have good friends, share information about our daily lives. I love that, even the non-hurtful gossip about who said what to whom.

I love the ritual of deciding what clothes to wear to the office that would have to be appropriate for any evening plans as well. Should I wear those chocolate leather pants I bought on sale at Ralph Lauren last year with a simple, beige satin blouse?

I love going to my favorite restaurants where the Maitre D’ knows my name. Then, after being seated at a quiet table in the corner of the crowded dining room, brings a glass of Prosecco to say thank you for my being there. My friends love this too. Who wouldn’t?

I could go on and on about smelling the sweet fragrance of red roses in a bouquet received on my birthday or being pleasantly surprised by a letter from a relative who wishes to spend time in New York and would like to be with me. There is, after all, so much to love and be grateful for.

I do love my life and those I share it with. None of us knows how much time we have on earth. So, what I would like to share with you is: love every minute you have. As long as we have love, we have everything and that includes loving yourself most of all.

~Carol Ostrow, author of Poems from My Pandemic Pen


  • Poet Laureats

    Poetry is back in vogue and through The Three Tomatoes Book Publishing we have the honor of publishing books by five poets—Madlyn Epstein Steinhart, Stephanie Sloane, Nicole Freezer Rubens, Marjorie Levine and Carol Ostrow. Check out their poetry submissions each month.

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