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March 2018

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Maria Remedios "Dette" Kaplan-Brown

This month’s issue of “Poet of the Month” is a special tribute to Maria Remedios “Dette” Kaplan-Brown, a UPLI member and sister of UPLI President Gil Yuzon, who recently passed away on January 31, 2017. Maria was a multi-talented artist. She was an accomplished painter who held well-received exhibits in recent years, as well as being a poet and a writer.

Maria leaves behind her loving and devoted husband Reuben D. Brown. She is survived by her daughter Thea and Stasha who married to Jonathan Bye and their child Elliott Joshua Bye. Her other sibling is Marie Lourdes “Manette” Y. Cortes, a younger sister.

Below are several of her poems from her collection of poetry which she had intended to publish this year. The first poem titled “Don’t Stop Dreaming” was written sometime last year when she had realized that she had very limited time left in her life on this earth due to her illness.

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Love Poem

I swept the earth

on wings of joy

that laughed

As I to heaven soared.

Your star sped past

on wheels of love

that turned

As you to me I called.

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I touch the lines on your face

Examine every feature

This is all I have of you

A memory and a picture.

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Is the world wrapped in mystery

when first we live upon it?

Can neither ear nor vision clear

It’s heaped up dark inside bit?

Need we wander in a memorial mist

In a senseless, childish wilderness

Or fantasy moons and endless noons?

For a vague sometime, I guess.

Suddenly a touch, a burst of wonder

The sky stands proud, well-lit.

Does the world blush with happiness

When first we love upon it?

Give me more of world and more of sun

More of this joy that to me was shown

Revel with me in a glorious spree

For now I am grown, I am grown.

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ENIGMA (for Angar Mora)

How he became an icon in my creative psyche

I can’t recall.

At first encounter, I thought

Certainly a young beaujolais he wasn’t.

More like a Bordeaux, seasoned and complex.

The stooped presence, the quiet manner

The fading voice subdued by time

Belied the explosive colors on the walls

Born from years of work, dogged dedication.

Monday night salons catapulted imaginations

But the mountains of mail they generated

Matched by his unyielding resistance to email

Gave one pause and reason to wonder:

Is this a joke, is he for real?

Hanging the art has its own dictum.

Bring the hammer, the leveler, lots of Uhu.

Follow measurements to the eighth of an inch.

Endless instructions, always in writing,

Were by turns, amusing and infuriating.

Yet, altogether inspiring.

As the mailing escalated

And the Monday night salons captivated

Arrivederci sparkled like never before.

He left then, it seems,

When the place was at its vibrant most.

Was that also planned?

With him, nothing was accidental.

Always. An enigma to the end.

Why? Was there a reason? A lesson ma

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I need you

to help me see the sunrise

To paint green

my darkened landscape

To hold my hand

in unkind hours

And when

a rainy day comes

I need you

to tell me you need me.

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