Wednesday, December 31, 2014

End of year haiku..

Welcome the New Year
Let peace and love be our goals
It's still possible

Winds left broken trees;                                                        
tilted, uprooted, fallen
Sun floods forest floors

Skies break wide open
Stars leap from cold indigo
Reality bites

Fallen from a bluff,
a cottage now is kindling
Rains caused much sadness

Ease racial tensions;
no keeping score anymore
Unarmed can be tazed

Iraqi war toll
take responsibility
for torture, murder

Life is worth living
then brains can  become quite ill,
Most joy slips away

Welcome the New Year
wipe the tears and blood away
Now is the right time

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter retreat...


The last Saturday of the month is Open Link Night  at and we are all writing what we are feeling, thinking, or celebrating this holiday season.  There will be a well deserved break until after the New Year, when the hosts who tend bar will open the doors in again in January 2015.

I've waited for snow laden firs
edged in hunter green,
to see the white owl blend into 
a bank of birch trees
Whose design was it - who opted 
for a palette white,
then threw in blues skies as backdrop,
with bright stars at night? 

I've waited for the wind to brush 
white powder from boughs
cedar, spin it into tempests
that whirl from fence posts
to a newly made white meadow
As I've seen icicles melting,
drip by drip, my heart 
miraculously keeps thumping; 
I breathe in and out

I've waited to hear loud cracks of
ice laden branches 
I have scattered mixed nuts and seeds, 
watched them disappear 
I've seen dried, shriveled
leaves skip across the crusty snow,
turning sharp cartwheels, 
darting in and out crevices
of the broken barn

I've heard a tree fall with a thump
loud in the dark night,
seen acres of shimmering snow
reflecting the sun
I've waited for the fabric of 
chickadee feathers 
that closely mimics a man's suit  -
with a cheery orange 
and chestnut accent on his wing 

I've waited for days of winter
the peace of solstice
warmed by a mulled hot cider mug
and a warm bonfire
Today as the earth is turning,
I'll look out to sea
And I'll be waiting for the spring - 
when my heart flies with butterflies
as they emerge from their retreat

This is your birthday song..

Yesterday was your birthday
I called you long distance
It was good to hear your voice, 
as always
Not long ago, 
you shared Santa's knee with me,
a black and white photo.
I look like a young Jane Wyman; 
and you, wide-eyed, age 3-4
I always felt I knew you best; 
and you pretty much understood me
You were scrawny, skinny, 
yet you were a feisty baseball player -
Speedy Gonzales
I was a beanstalk and plain. 
You stuck up for me;
I was a tattle tale 
We grew up in different directions, 
traveled dissimilar roads.
Little did we know then 
who we would be today.
Our lives were based in fiction, 
a too perfect family 
with secrets
We lived under patriarchal control  
Feelings rarely validated,
we weren't allowed 
to make up our own minds
We learned hard lessons
as teens and adults; real problems arose 
after we had our own families
Struck with facing hard issues with 
incorrect or obsolete information, 
based on wrong premises,
signals sent to us were inherently misleading
Our responses therefore,
way off base
We lacked self-esteem;
day to day life required counseling
or sublimation to one certain something
We've come a long way, 
but our children suffered some 
as we tried to break the cycle
of dysfunctionality. 
Funny looking back, 
how you loved to tease and poke me 
You gave me Indian burns, 
socked me in my upper arm
I chased you out of the bathtub 
we used to share

Then there was space and time 
between us.
We battled to get our equilibrium back.
We admire each other's talent, 
give encouragement and support
We appreciate each other's talents, 
cheer on each other's growth.
We talk things out
Yesterday you turned 65
We have a lot to look forward to still, 
if we just take care.
You with your RiverDance 
and I and my clumsiness, 
will always be friends.
When I'm gone, 
it would be so strange for you;
when you are gone it would seem 
so odd to me
But for now we celebrate, 
have a good time
You tell me your joke and I'll tell you mine,
Happy Birthday, brother.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bread and wine...

We climbed the last steps up the hill
carrying a picnic basket
to a clearing of soft green grass
I spread a blanket on the ground
where we lay back comfortably
In the basket, bread she had made
with her loving and winsome hands
She put out the Manchego cheese,
and candied fruit made from her own
spring flowering quince tree

The bread she had kneaded with care,
still warm from the oven's hot fire,
smelled of our home's kitchen and hearth
and tasted of the salty air
of the sea that welcomed us there
Bread that filled places in her heart
relaxed deep lines crossing her face
eased the toll long years had taken,
Almost like something magical -
helped avert the precipice' edge

We opened a bottle of wine
made from loganberries she picked
from wild bushes nearby; now she
writes in purple script in blank sky
her life story with ink from the
loganberry wine
On the horizon, parting clouds,
the color of home made whipped cream,
rise with the help of afternoon steam
Preparation and a giant
leap of faith are necessary
for there are chasms along the way

If the point is to only love,
and relationships are the bread
and butter of life, all that really matters,
she would let there be no voids where
hearts once played, no echoes fading
into the hands of father time
In spite of deep grief and sorrow,
and chimney sweeps have gone away,
She wishes for her family  -
forever mornings of birdsong,
rock candy afternoons, moonbeams
to lead an unfinished opus
for never ending evenings

We are writing about bread today at     dVerse

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Arrived early yesterday in Freetown,
moored the skiff alongside the quay,
where the harbor runs into the long spit -
within sight of the stone bridge
spanning the mouth of the river
There was a high tide as the current surged,
debris had washed ashore
As the tide recedes, it leaves
 a lacework of brown foam
As children we spent long summer days
on the banks making little blue paper boats
with white paper sails,
setting them off to float downstream
...I dozed off as I was daydreaming

Then, it rained for 4 days and 4 nights
As it continued to pour, clearly, 
it became an emergency
I worried the already restless animals 
would be spooked, there would be chaos,
my duties impossible to complete
Inches of rain turned to feet faster than I could measure
Engulfed land became islands, tops of hills, actually
The sea swept up more structures,
fisherman were caught in the wake
By evening all people had evacuated
I tried to not panic, to focus on my mission

As yet I had still to collect the rams, 
chipmunks, gorillas, and reindeer;
nowhere to be found were the kangaroos!
"Two of each", I had heard in my dream,
"you must save as many as you can!"
Had it really come to this... already?!
Suddenly, I'm not worried about the octupi
 and other sea life.  "I will do all I can!", I replied. 
Global changes - everything's happening too fast
Torrents of rain blocked my view as
the downpour continued into the dark night

Upon my last look, rain 
steadily seeped through the plank floors
to the cavernous storage below the cabin
I heard animals bleat, cry, moan and screech 
while being shoved into corners
As the heaving waves rocked the Ark,
mauve and coal black clouds gathered to thunder
My drained body collapsed and when night came, 
I buried my face in my arms;
my soul then fell into slumber
Steady rain rapped on the boat's roof
 I dreamed of my paper boats
floating on and on under a starlit indigo sky

Hours go by, it seems
I awaken to smell the sweet night air
to which I am accustomed
I see tinted light captured in fine silver threads, 
spritzed by water sprites, 
filtered by a rainbow or two
Misty drops become the purple of an arc, 
follow sophic pulses through newly- bathed
half circles of blues 
Somewhere mid spectrum,
between lotus green and soft yellows
they disseminate into the soft clarity
of translucence        
Had I dreamed of a storm,
heavy rain, collected and met with gravity?
Almost weightless, raindrops now touch the
ground in search of new meaning
Randomly made aqueducts
take the water on detours, newly defined,
as it streams into fields and streets, 
eventually flowing into the quay
where I saw glimpses of the sun as the
rain departed
Still a dream, I wondered?

We set out anew, the Ark and I,
on new adventures
I lift the anchor into the small craft
My boots set foot inside and find balance
in the floor of the skiff as it rocks
 in the wake of small waves
I think of how much I love the rain...
how similar we behave
I coax the boat away from the bridge,
steer it toward the channel,
 leaving the shore
 Everything has changed,
yet so  much seems the same
The elements and I constantly change;
 we may even think in the same vein
Thunderstorm or not,
nightmare or dream
I realize life after life goes on
and I know - I could live without
many things, but never without the rain

     Everyone is having fun writing from Claudia's prompt today -                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • something or someone that/who is not real suddenly comes alive
  • a character from a book shows up in your poem
  • someone suddenly disappears and finds themselves in a whole new place….
  • someone who appears out of a book or you put into a book... 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

She's all that...

She's eclectic, 

wears moss and leaves
in her flowing, often tangled hair
She's full of ideas,  
for language and culture, she 
has quite a flair
One gets to know her, slowly, 
to form an opinion worthwhile
I've seen her through only distant eyes;
it's said one either loves her 
or they don't - seems there's 
no middle ground
A sailor will return to her from 
open seas, endure days to just 
reach her elongated throat.
Her eyes dark as the night sky,
her body curves like a highway
along a mountain ridge
Sitting crossed legged, 
her thighs press together like 
layered hills and valleys
Her waist expands or cinches tight
for adjustments needed

She is eccentric,

beyond belief!
She's winsome, enchanting, 
sexy, and endearing;
but many think her cruel and 
full of greed and guile
I imagine her to be benevolent,
tolerant, open-minded -
in spite of all the lies,
I think all the while,
she feels loss and gain with 
all her heart,
in a very personal way,
She fight corruption,
tries to keep hatred at bay,
has the power and will to change 
direction, make the next chess play
She has flaws and woes, 
can be driven to fury,
yet compassion is her strong suit
One side of her is cold, even numb, 
but she eases her wounds, goes on
by pursuing the best rule of thumb -
striving to be the best of 
what she can be...
she is tough, but she still 
can steal your heart anyway

She is electric -
her dress a resplendent array
of flickering lights;
her poise is unquestionable; 
it's the voices she hears
that try to break her soul,
her colorful lifestyle
Her investments come from
her center, reaching afar
Although her skirts hide the 
darker side of things,
she is demure and bubbly champagne, 
above par
People of all walks of life 
yield and bow to her
She's a caretaker for all;
her Native American history 
goes deep into the hills,
yet she designs dreams for the future,
new pathways to follow
She is built like a formidable ship
ready for battle, yet as a woman 
she is whole, and dynamic;
delicate when it comes to the 
slightest details
She knows-
She's New York - 
her rich history is the vigor
in her blood that fills her veins
and makes her body tick every day,
every year, with new excitement 
There's so much more to her 
than room here to write,
Ric Burns did a nice job on PBS

We are writing poems about cities today at

Monday, December 1, 2014

To a discouraged heart...

When we were young, we did not know 

how much things could change
We heard the phrase "on a dime"
and  "people grow in different ways" 
different directions, at varying speeds over time

We learned tough challenges,
get in our way, continually
Yet when one knows his or her own true self, 
strength and courage will come 
and we face them with power 
from deep within, repeatedly

Anything is possible, they say,

a phrase I never quite believed,
I guess it is meant to be taken
metaphorically - one door 
closes, another opens,
"there is a season for everything"
So many cliches

Answers are not always 
what we want, expect, or dream
but if there were no rocks or branches
obstructing a pretty stream, 
there would be no babble and splash - 
and no one would hear its sweet melody  Today we are writing about winning or losing in any way, shape or form.

Friday, November 28, 2014


Thankfulness and gratitude are the subject for today's prompt at

On this morning's ferry ride to meet family..
...sun shone on the passage                                                                                      
 as a seagull gliding I did see

Slow cooked apples with caramel,
cranberries, walnuts, turkey roast -
pass before my eyes,
under my nose

Pine cones sitting by a fire,
winds take my breath away -
Our cups runneth over
especially today

And I stop the car
to take in this beautiful sight -
a rainbow now by the river
on my way

Three signs for me that shout out -
it's Thanksgiving Day,
so take notice of all earthly delights

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Christmas lists..

Today we write a poem using a list of nouns, a list of adjectives without using abstract words - love, jealousy, passion, hate

Deep silence,
twinkling stars are out,
respectful trees look upward,
then down at me
A wintry cold night,
skies crystal clear
easier to see dainty Pleides
I'm wearing long wool socks,
put my gray hair up with a red clip
Pot of strong coffee brewed,
I take a tasty sip
Aroma of orange biscuits
emanates from the oven,
purring cat on my lap

Sometimes when I want
time to slow, it flies
like leftover scents
of extinguished candles
On the carpet floor lie
pieces of a jigsaw puzzle
The straw broom propped
in the corner waits to finish
its work, gas furnace
... what more do I hear?
Pages in a book turning,
volutions of a rolling pen
Louder purring as I comb
her white fur again

On my mind,
holiday meetups
It will be very simple here;
white lights in the front windows
Christmas carols, sleigh bells
greens and thoughtful deeds
Making a gift list -
French soaps, gum drop bread;
something woven,
something up-cycled,
something tweed,
books I hope people will read
I check the calendar,
hope we get 5 feet of snow
before New Year's Eve

Christmastime, years ago,
I worked long tiring hours;
but at the Post Office
it was all convivial fun
Now, the season is slower,
more about watching growing
smiles, long awaited embraces,
eggnog with rum
I think of families -
all different kinds, shapes
and sizes, more defined now
by human kindness
I check the supply of ribbon,
homemade tags, wrapping
paper, birdseed

I contemplate past merriment,
think of all who are not here
Things are tense in Ferguson,
the President will act on
immigration, climate change
As I watch the new day
break, I see the skin of trees
Quiet and still, no need to rake
more crinkled dry leaves
I think of the female deer
found trapped in barbed wire
yesterday - frightened she was,
her eyes were afire,
yet when set free,
she calmly blinked at me

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Swirl puzzle # 187

Today's wordle:


When wind blows the leaves of toasty palate
and wood-smoke fingerlings float slowly by,
those not so subtle hints of winter's kiss
drive away the short sleeves of summer's sky
Trees cease to yield fresh flavors lingering
Gentle breezes give way to frosty air
tended by a moisture mix from the north
Warm winter fires stir sexual desires,
feeling closer means there is more to share,
intimacy is healing for the soul -
next year expect another child in tow

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Life is never boring...for there is art..

Today Victoria's turn to suggest a prompt - we are writing about what form of art we are especially drawn to, engage or dapple in besides writing poetry.  Check out what others say over at: 

If drawing is the more formal approach to sketching,
then I am somewhere in between -
and when I add paint, watercolors speak to me
I whirl the color wheel around, become embedded in its sea,
riding a transparent wave,
collapsing into a pool where I swim
in every color, shades that gently push and pull nudging against each other, blending,
never really coming to a stop - except when dry
Clear water cascading mixes with earth's origins,                                                                                     minerals and clay

I am in awe of watercolor's ancient tapestry,
humbled by its beginnings -
mpressionistic, picturesque landscape paintings
by Turner, Fielding, and Collier
to paintings by Sargent, Hassam and Homer -
all fine hands, with a passion to explore,
desire to share their perceptions of their world
I've learned to focus in on my world,
gained a higher degree of fulfillment 
Like writing, sculpting or designing,
the action soothes the soul,
more important than excelling

Brushes of sable I have not tried;
I do like the natural squirrel
How you hold or tilt the brush determines what emerges,
like putting one's hand on the Ouija board
Guided by the breadth and depth of one's own heart;
it finds it's way through my veins, hands, to paper
Pleasing to the senses, like transferring an image with
the touch of a butterfly's lightness of being or
a hummingbird's touching down for an instant,
on my hand, to leave tiny footprints

I've learned to not dominate it, let it happen,
for the welcome surprise of what develops
For poetic's sake there are new labels for colors -
not as true as indigo or raw umber, yellow ochre
There is quinacridone rose, sap green,
opalescent white - for stirring the imagination;
or perhaps a certain turn of phrase sends
a more precise intuitive connection
Texture of watercolor paints is lighter than butter,
smoother than honey, can be glazed or granulated;
pigments are suspended, cool and warm hues,
like a rainbow upon a white cloud

There are secrets in the layers,
a tale in signature tones, or between the lines
Whether it's pain I've forgotten, fondness of things
remembered, the ultimate anguish or joy,
it's all broken down
Instead of finger painting like a child,
one finally puts things in their right place
No underlying science to drawing
or painting a fantasy, reality, or telling a story;
it's like walking on a divinely empowered
landscape of color

Whatever gift we have, natural or otherwise,
it is up to each of us to find it
Forget trivial things, align your whole being;
only treasures of truth can set you free;
you will see where God resides
in the phenomena of this beautiful life
Thank goodness now, no one decides
what label to put on art you create..
respond to the force in you that compels
expression, reveals your compassion, inner beauty
Anything can be a work of art -  song, music,
any creative release
Let your own true colors shine
your unique version of the world, for life itself
is a work of art, a masterpiece

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hunger games..

Nothing to eat or drink,
rations depleted -
perhaps a kind farmer's 
wife nearby
would offer goat's milk,  
porridge or potatoes with rye soak in water from a pump -
life savers for fatigued men 
miles from home, 
bombs burst in air 
Veterans' Day, D-day
old movies play,

Soldiers gone to battlefields 
on the other side of the globe, 
where every day 
futures end in hunger, 
of aids, or war 
thirst for a free land - 
Somalia...not even 
stone soup to survive..
days before they perish, 
less if dysentery, 
takes longer sometimes, 
to run a touchdown play 

Meager portions, 
not enough to go around;
a stranger can become a friend found
But for no good reason
they can't get away
..for lack of sustenance..
They used to say - all the rice in China,
was nourishment enough,
might even decide 
the outcome of a war

Sometimes life has little 
chance at all..doctors say 
when there's no appetite,
it takes time to die,
months, weeks, 
could be days, 
Pot eases the cancer,
hugs the pain,
but for no reason, it's kept away
A body tortured for days on end,
bleeds, swells.. it's too much
How do you measure life, 
a candle snuffed...
how many will die of old age..

A spider weaves for food,
a scorpion stings
In America, however, 
SOME sit daintily on pillows, 
dressed in lace, 
wearing fine hats...
unlimited food and drink
Do they know fasting..
of  Ramadan..
Do they think ...?  of scant
clothing or food of hungry babes?
The grapes of love wait..
to be picked and fed to all...
not politically withheld 
....for no good reason.