Tuesday, December 12, 2017


I cannot NOT be inspired to write of this life, share my work and the miracles therein. We have been
instructed by Frank at dversepoets.comto write a Haibun today of  something “pleasantly surprising”.


Yesterday was a surprisingly pleasant day. After the fog, sunlight filtered through feathered pink-yellow-grey clouds, spreading a soft bluish blanket of hush across the bluff at Ebey’s Landing. The sea resonated with the sound of string instruments being played in the lighthouse drawing room and Olde English Christmas carols being sung by young people.

She and I spoke of her friend who had lost her husband suddenly that morning. Then, she told me the exciting news of her daughter expecting a baby girl in May.  From a thin frown, her facial expression turned to the most full, radiant smile.  Christmas greetings and hugs were exchanged among the  intimate small crowd of docents gathered for the afternoon holiday event. As we warmed hands over a small brambling fire, a family of deer gathered to feed in the meadow nearby.

I had no idea that morning what the day held.  I could not have imagined such distinctly meaningful moments happening simultaneously and in the particular sequence they unfolded into the evening.  The contrast some days is not as evident, but the enigma is always there for us to reflect on and imbibe.

Pain and joy exist
Everyday bittersweet
Tears part of happiness

Friday, December 8, 2017

Life is a Marx Bros.film....

Symbolism is the prompt for today at dversepoets.
I took a stab at it but have struggled with the difference between it and metaphors, similes, and personification over the years, but it is late now.:-)

As I muster the nerve each day to face
life's realities,
I continue to be taken aback.
No conductor at the wheel,
train out of control,
I am losing track
My mind conflated,
time is suspended,
the pendulum has stopped
Are we free falling,
why is there no feeling inside?

In the name of research, please,
question me twenty years from now.
Tell me then the
ridiculousness has been a bad dream, the news spinning ad nauseam cannot be happening;
say life resembles
banana boats in milky ways, or chickens are falling from the sky.
Truly, it's more like
A Night at the Opera,
than anything real
to you or I.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Thanksgiving Visitor

At dversepoets.com today, we are writing of the word ‘visit’. I recall many memorable visits as well     as having been the visitor on many interesting occasions, but the following story takes the cake and I   was merely the reader/observer.


The Thanksgiving Visitor

“Buddy, you’ll catch your death,”
Aunt Sook chided.
Sixty, yet still childlike,
she’s his distant aunt.
She delivers a warm blanket to him,
an 8 year old, hiding,
seeking comfort in her wood shed.

Others do not understand
their friendship for it transcends
the ordinary realm.
Visiting her country home
for the holiday, Buddy
shares with her the harvesting
of pecans to make fruitcake,
flying kites, laughter
and inside jokes.

Running a risk of being read
much like a book report,
let me say, Truman Capote's
simple trilogy
speaks volumes of the living
Christmas spirit in
heartwarming antidotes
of holiday joy and mirth.
The pair are two peas in a pod,
a mutual admiration
society; the story,
a true treasure trove
of memories.

The Thanksgiving Visitor, One Christmas, and A Christmas Memory, were all made into TV movies.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Ode to flannel pajamas

dVerse poets.com

Ode to Flannel Pajamas

For as long as I can  remember,
they comforted me,
kept me safe, more than toasty warm at night,
reminding me it was fall -
always ready for an early bedtime.
As birthdays passed, I outgrew them quickly.
Mine had cuffs, pockets,
and presented themselves in all colors plaid.

Made from hand picked cotton
grown under a scorching sun,
washed hundreds of times,
flannel summer sheets also kept my body cool.
Napped on one side,the soft fabric,
associated with good horse-sense,
comfortableness, applesauce,
and bologna sandwiches for lunch,
swaddled me.
Snuggling in them with a teddy bear,
I dreamed of sailing boats, pussycats,
and stars in relation to Mars.
When wearing them,
it seemed all was right
in the wide, wide world,
as if it were made of sweet buttery
saltwater taffy.

All that, and I still wondered
about kids who wore nothing to bed
but skivies, walked all day on bare feet,
gunfire and bombs overhead
all through the night,
little food to eat.
I must have led a protected life,
growing up in middle America...
but I think I always knew
it was a perilous world,
not to be taken for granted;
I learned early each Christmas was precious -
and not just because  
there was, under the tree,
another set of flannel pajamas,
or a long red plaid flannel nightie!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Friday night football

Quadrille #44

The visiting football team stayed overnight.
Portland radio news announced 100 mph winds to hurl through the river gorge with an icy bite

Unforgettable, the Columbus Day storm, Oct. 1963,
roofs of homes randomly torn away.
Kick-off time moved to Saturday afternoon
...touchdowns and friendships fade.

We are to use a form of the word "kick" in a 44 word Quadrille....

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

"The Good Old Days" - 1000 word story

    The Good Old Days

He is well known among islanders living along Whidbey's East Harbor Road in Freeland as Santa Claus. With his snowy white beard and hair, twinkling eyes, and build, he is a classic Santa.  One wonders if he were to put his finger aside his nose, it would  follow, "...and up the chimney, he rose"?!

Terry, a Teamster beer truck driver for 33 years,   worked for the original Olympia Brewery and quickly earned the nick-name Terry Tumwater. Judy, his wife,  retired as cook from the Clover Patch Cafe in Bayview.  More often than not, he can be seen riding his lawnmower across his expansive front yard or selling firewood he worked hard to chop from trees fallen on his ten acres. One may catch sight of him listening to a Mariners' game outside or with friends who drop by to discuss the news of the day or simply BS. Many a passer-by waves or honks as they cruise by their home.  It's not unusual to find a gathering around a bonfire where they listen to him and his friend, Caveman, play toe-tapping Bluegrass music, Terry on his old guitar and Caveman plucking his banjo.  His audience, of course, guffaws at his off-colored jokes with his contagious, deep, raucous laugh; they exchange fishing and drinking stories. This pastime is shared while consuming beer or whatever one might bring in a flask from home.

Lately, he has a new story to tell, a tale the 76-year-old man loves to repeat to anyone who cares to listen. His suspenders stretched to the max by his puffed out chest, he recalls with pride the unlikely event that took place last August when he was touched by a moment of fame.

First, to be clear, Terry had few toys as a child. He was one of five brothers, their father a big  Norwegian logger. He grew up fighting dirty with the local boys for fun.  Over the years, he has accumulated time-worn junk, miscellaneous tools of yesteryear, tractors, lawnmower parts, rusty trucks, beer signs, a few antiques.  He built several outbuildings from scratch...a lean-too, tool shed, an outhouse, a shack chock full of collections of old axes, more tools, a locally-carved bear, cast iron frying pans, oil lamps, calendars, an old percolator, and memorabilia from the "Good Old Days". That corner of his backyard is affectionally named "Terry Town".

The tool shed functions as a hideaway for solitude or conversation around a small, wood stove on chilly or rainy evenings. A light above the door guides the way.  In the darker months, I carry a lantern when walking to the secluded shack to light my way to and from my car.  Always, I am guided by the smell of smoke breathing out from the off-kilter chimney, and the radio I hear inside, tuned to the Oldies station, KIXI.

Terry never imagined in his wildest dreams what was about to unfold one weekend this last summer when he heard rap star Macklemore, who hails from Seattle, asked his videographer to tape a music video at just such a location on Whidbey Island. The videographer happens to be Terry's grandson, who recommended the place. For three days, Macklemore's crew of 60 set up camp in his backyard. Multiple vans and cars arrived full of equipment; a makeshift set resembling a festive campsite was erected against the 70's background designed for the rapper by his producer.  An old green upright piano was hauled in, an improvised stage, furniture, pillows, rugs, a dented, bohemian Airstream trailer, lights. Various action scenes were taped of Macklemore rapping.  One afternoon,  female rock star, Kesha, appeared. She and Macklemore created the four-minute video which later would be dubbed in with the music in a studio.  His new album of 16 songs, Gemini, to be released Sept. 22, 2017, includes the one filmed at Terry's called "Good Old Days".

Terry stayed out of the production, mainly watching, but helped moving pieces on the set in his unique backyard.  After work each day, food was brought in; extras and crew visited with Terry, became acquainted with Bluegrass as he entertained the crowd. He engaged them by teasing them, as a grandfather might his grandchildren.  As host to a very polite and gracious Macklemore, Terry became the center of attention, bathed in the spotlight of a different genre of music for a time.

The secret that Macklemore was shooting a video on the island did not get out until they had wrapped everything up and shipped out the equipment brought in. Otherwise, imagine the onslaught of young people who might have tried to get a glimpse of the star.

For the couple, Judy and Terry's lives are back to normal.  They always had a love-hate marriage, losing patience with one another at times. But two years ago, Judy had a very serious health scare. He nursed her back to health. Now that she is recovered, Terry says everything is back to normal. He knows she is well because, when he is a bit cantankerous,  she again calls him an asshole at least three times a day!!

For both of them, it was an experience they will never forget, a time when strangers came and left their mark in the form of gentle friendships and shared good times. Macklemore promised to visit when he has a break from working and returns to the island where his mother lives in Langley.  After the video was released, the producer returned, deluged the couple with gifts.  Among them were beer, chocolates, Macklemore socks and scarves, lawn chairs and CD's. But the grand prize was a brand new guitar, signed by Macklemore himself.  Now that it has been tuned just right, according to his ear, you can find Terry still picking bluegrass on his new guitar. Now, however, there is the fond memory of his treasured brush with fame when they, generations apart, came together and made music. You might say these are the new "The Good Old Days".

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Wind Dance

Wind Dance

A rising sun plays with intricate handywork created by
dew and garden spiders.
Rain reveals arrays of shimmering rainbows.
Angel hair tresses of fog 
settle thinly in the valley.
In meadows sleeping between
white mountain peaks.

I walk slopes in hues fuchsia, yellow, 
midnight blue and wine.
Ankle deep in wildflowers and

Gusts of wind blow
the scarf around my neck and chin
against my face,
stinging me.
Leaves spiralling perform their wild wind dance
Stunning are the willow trees,
A cold worn barn
fades in the sun,
backdrop to a newly plowed
espresso field.
Neglected Scarecrows wear
shredded blue jeans,
lean on bales of hay.
Birds and brown squirrels scurry to safe places.

Early summer air bears the scent
of berry pie.
Time lags as I watch
the sun complete its daily arc to
set behind the mountain silhouette.
My long shadow cast across the meadow
and disappears in the night.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Earth's Achey Heart

Today, Frank re-introduces the form of the Chaucerian stanza or rhyme royal.

  Earth's Achey Heart

There is danger in our fears lying still,
people trembling in cold  trenches under
tumbling skies, in soaking rain's steady drill,
homes flattened, tattered land torn asunder,
high winds butting heads with rolling thunder
People trying to gather their shredded lives,
ease the pain of scorched flesh, the meaning of shallow lies.

Poltical rhetoric out of date,
promises, burnt to carbon crumpled leaves
Affairs of state we must repudiate
Fiery alcoves melt vinyl memories,
With living trees, replace hypocrisies

What profit a man to know
this is true?
Earth is where I share my loving with you.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Send in the Cavalry

At dversepoets.com today, it's about what is in our refrigerators.....this I painted some time ago, thinking I could use it someday with a poem....

Red leaf lettuce, a lemon, apple, organic peas
Gone are the essential eggs, skim milk, and condiments
Must haves include peanut butter, veggies, and cottage cheese,
fruits, nuts, and non GMO bread

Preoccupied with news of hurricanes, fires, our pernicious President,
I am struck by how much we take  food for granted.
When kneeling is, to my mind, a prayer for change and resilience;
in dire times, it stands for gratitude for volunteers, supplies, water, medicine,
Did our grandparents not  scrimp and save,
rationing during WWII?
What are our plans for surviving disaster, the psychology of salvaging vs prejudice,
not simply making do?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

I Belong to the Tides

For today’s prompt, we are asked to write a poem that includes our birthstone.

I Belong to the Tides

I belong to the tides,
I am the sea,
I am crystal clear Aquamarine,
my transparency,
symbol of my fidelity

I awake on distant shores,
carry birdsong to places unforseen,
I offer tranquility
and spiritual healing

Minding the hourglass
for mariners who keen,
I promise a safe
journey home
I am known for setting the tone
for lovers re-uniting

Companion to the
ubiquitous Bloodstone,
steady and serene...
believed it bled for their strength
and well-being.

Together we fight
the good fight, float
with the moon
and starlight

I am Aquamarine...
Forever seventeen,
I am blue tinged with green

Sugar and Spice


Ar dversepoets.com today, the Monday Quadrille #41..in 44 words, use the word spice or a derivative of  it.

      Sugar & Spice

DNA gave her cheeks of
peaches and vanilla ice cream,                      
hazelnut eyes, saffron hair,
a temperament of
earthy, solemn juniper,
easy as soft rosewater...
allspice true
 ...she is not the person she
was before, easy
to take for granted,
not hard to read,

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Unnswered questions..

The prompt for today is posing "questions" without giving answers. This has been revised as at first I gave answers.

Who gathers of an evening taking in the new moon and Mars?

What is it about words and pictures?

When will I be loved again?.

Where does the scent of drying flowers come from?

Why, won't you please come in?

How many solitary meals sitting in the chair by the wood stove remain?

Mostly, I wonder, why isn't everything  fair under Heaven?

Monday, September 18, 2017

All there is...

We are writing haibuns today at dversepoets.com about the "Why" behind our writing, what our style of writing is.

All there is..

Born under the Aries constellation, writing for me fulfills a need to express emotions.  Words rooted in passion, pain, sadness and joy are seeds from which grow stems of my  stories,  blossoming into scenarios of love under a pale moon, or blades of grass pushing up excruciating growth, or a meadow of amazing realization. My flowers reveal how we love, cry, ache, or dream,  how it feels to live the days of our lives.  In my garden grow verses descrbing experiences we share as humans, unleashing basic instincts as we react to the world around us, encompassing all there is.

Planted deep within,
a plethora of feelings -
compost of our souls

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Free verse - flip flop weather

Words 'rain, reign, rein' in a prose poem.

    Free verse - flip - flop weather

Flip flops made it difficult
to run across the street to
buy ice cream
The heat was stifling,
my face and arms burned
a hot rosey red...
eighty days without rain...
Then, thunder rolled in,
clouds unreined
a welcome downpour.
My face lifted to the sky,
I wallowed in the cooling shower, raised my arms high,
finished the last of the waffle cookie cone.
In another part of the world, hurricanes.
Reigning angels hearing prayers rushed in, sent ships with water, food, and supplies.
Millions of less fortunate
after the storms, suffering,
wishing, waiting for torrents
of compassion to keep
flooding in.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

End of August...

Acrostic poem today @

End of August

Embers blink back at me amidst grey smoke
Nothing else on my mind but you and me
Dancing flames speak of summer's fickle end

Of building sand castles on future shores
Forever pink clouds grace your silhouette

Amber shadows bleed from a crying sun
Undulating waves invite us to wade
Gusts of a north wind rustle the sea grass
Upon sunset we fall into starlight
Slowly cease coos of doves in bushes blue
Together, in vintage photos we fade

Monday, August 28, 2017

Quadrille #39 Blissfullness



Pale rainbow palette above,
face in sea's air,
raindrops sashay down upon my face.
A fledgling's feather falls against my cheek.
I drink the fine wine of blissful miracles;
nature sings love notes to my senses
From a rainstorm afar,
bells toll a concierto

Friday, August 25, 2017

Ask the moon...

It's Open Link Night over at dversepoets.com  Find lots of good poetry for reading over the weekend. Mine is prose poetry.

I asked the moon,
 "what shall I do
when I want to just hide?"
Must I bare all, unlike you,
a total eclipse of the soul?
When people want to see only
one side, how long will it take
for the earth to turn to coal?

I ask the stars how and when
they will fall, for how
long they will look down on us.
Why is our journey so toiled and jagged,
such a short haul?
And, it's dangerous
venturing out
The sun is split, filters divided

Today I ask the heavens,
"Is life all by chance
or is it destiny? I
want to know why,
to understand why my life
is longer and better
than others', who live with drought,
disease and tyranny.

Not all touches me
in my corner of the world,
yet I feel diminished by
each misdeed against
I fail in my small
to effect a stream
of consciousness, help  raise the
world above its searing ignorance
and dissonance

I miss our innocence,
even its trial and strife;
the canary's song not startled,
a grazing flock of  deer,
Misty-eyed, I ponder
Orion's prism lights,
asking from whence
comes our happenstance
of being

I can't escape the cold reality -
or is this ugliness a dream?
Whose truth leads us out,
keeps us from falling into an abyss?
Certainly not by a man's whim,
a casual glance
or sneer over the shoulder,
or a barbaric
swoop of arms that miss,

Solutions are hard to come by
without a leader who knows
how to use the bully pulpit -
to enhance
the world we live in,
rather than subtract
its democracy,
and take along with it,
the beauty of this earth
Divine guidance appears
to be in evil hands.
Where are our morals and mirth?

Friday, August 18, 2017

Summer Nights

After a July break we are back to writing over at  dversepoets.com  and we are writing sonnets today.

 Summer Nights

In this burning summer of new love unfolding,
I watch you waist deep in water cobalt blue
Swimming, you wrap coconut oiled arms around me
We hide behind tall rocks and kiss 

Across the sky you will fly, and I could die
missing you, just days away from leaves turning color
Stamped with damp sand, my hair smothers your face
Ocean foam ripples down my spine

It isn't fair clouds move more rapidly on our beachwalk
Remembering smokey warm summer nights
I'll find you in my dreams of yesterday

The light in my eyes will never reach you
when you leave me sitting here on a driftwood log
Thoughts of your lemon drop kisses hang in mid air


Thursday, July 20, 2017

FYI...The Minute Poem


While I was in the nail salon
all was foegone
for today's curse
keeps getting worse

Gals spoke of suicide among
the very young
Preyed upon
by anyone

It happens almost anywhere
they wait in lair
to bully those
in fragile throws


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Window with a view..

The prompt for dversepoets  
 is to write about windows.

                       by klr 2013

I love windows with a view -
spend much of my life observing from them,   daydreaming through them,
in my mind's eye from within them...
of one day..
sitting, looking out at a rainy Paris street scene.
I've never been there, you see... to look out a castle window at white cliffs towering by a foggy Irish sea.
I loved the ordinary backyard view of chickens in old Mexico, hearing mariachis, a lovely rose garden and caves in Extramadura. I've opened a window to hear the soothing song of Hawaii's waves, to see her sunsets.
I remember looking through old wavy glass windows of an old homestead house, could see history, the memories residing therein...a Christmas dinner cooking on a stove, potato peelings, jarred pickles, and quince preserves on the table. Candles in the windows welcomed carolers from the cold.
Stories are embedded in those wavy glass windows and thick walls, of births, birthdays, illness and death. They do not distort the truth.
I used to look out my upstairs bedroom window with a sash, see bold visions of myself climbing into the Big Dipper, sailing boats of nursury rhymes in the night skies.
From the kitchen window with Twinings tea, cup in hand, I've seen raindrops hit, fall, and puddle together over and over again, cats sleeping on their sills.

Windows open to many worlds, their framework a place for masterpieces of art in everyday living theater in the round.
Through the portals of windows, doors, the keyhole of my imagination is unlocked,
leading me beyond the beyond to the unknown yet uncannily familiar future.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Wings of grace... Quadrille #36

Having gifted himself to the world, not racing to win
...finishing his journey...
arriving fulfilled,
he bravely hurdled obstacles
...in stout rusty under-armor,
character true.
His weary wings lift off
life's end post....
flickering into paradise's mystery hush,
weeping hearts
letting him go.

For the first prompt after a two week break, I wrote a 44 word Quadrille using the word "flicker".



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Summer- Haibun #40

Sun enters my soul's open window. The melon pallet precedes the blooming of honeysuckle and drinking of wine.  Ms. Cecil Brunner’s rose volunteers higher, wrapping its branches around the garden trellis.  

Mixed bachelor buttons grow tall amid green grass and amber yarrow, mirror themselves in aqua inlets of a the sea. Wetland bogs drown out the torches of evening sunsets. Cool tea invites bees to go barefoot in the the June rain. Solstice lingers in its own afterglow. And, somewhere between strawberries and hydrangea skies, the sun is preserved in mason jars for August flamboyant show of gladioli. 
Brides feel summer breezes billowing their gowns quietly. Lustrous mornings gradually flow into long evenings of summer’s soft soundtrack.  Only a slight movement betrays the steps of a baby deer coming out of the forest.  Summer’s hues begin to change to almond muesli and faded yellows.  Where the river rounds the bend, one smells wood-smoked barbecue, and perhaps hears the owls and elephants, or the cheers from a football game.


Blessings in trying times...

Today we are to write blessings poems, offerings to uplift and create better energy during these tumultuous days.

Blessings to those who 
harbor no hate, try to make 
the world a better place
May your hearts enter other hearts, 
chase out what evil there exists
replace with unconditional love

May your compassion 
spread on wings of gaggles of 
geese, as weather moves 
around the globe, touching faces 
with summer soft rains,
loosening roots of anger and fear

May angels ride on sunlight's 
slender beams, uplift 
you when all seems lost and bleak
offering you liquid stairs 
to ascend, overcoming 
obstacles in your way

May forests green raise 
your consciousness as you walk
proudly in truth across the
 liberal grass of freedom
growing on playgrounds
choking out moods of despair

Blessings to those who 
nonviolently fight for 
dignity, clean air,
human rights and medicare
May jeweled dragonflies skip
by, wanting to know your face

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Peppermint oil on my temples..


dversepoets.com  Quadrille #35


....awakening in
meadow yellow green,
lavender floral notes astound
Time sweetens memories;
my soul, rooted to the ground
Peppermint oil on
my temples
cools my mind;
love is soft, and when he
comes along, he will
taste like the poetry I
wish to write

Friday, June 9, 2017

Periwinkle skies

Victoria has asked us to write using the Lai form of poetry today, a nine line stanza or verse with the short 5 or 2 syllable lines. I expanded it to several more lines.
Image result for images periwinkle sky

With my hazel eyes
I see the sunrise

and I theorize
the Universe' size.

silken moons arise;

immortalized in
periwinkle skies

stories of our lives, 
hopes, dreams realized

stars found, a surprise
novas rhapsodize

mourns, decries the why's
of lost butterflies

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Engagement

dversepoets.com  The rhyme form this week is Ottava Rima, of Italian form used by many poets, including Yeats. It is supposed to be iambic pentameter.

The Cedar Waxwing blurts his song of love,
kismet resonates in my tight heartstrings.
He sweeps near to me fluttering above,
lands in deep blue-green foliage, folds his wings.
His bride-to-be dips and dives, clings to a yellow foxglove.
Head turned, she listens as he tweets and sings.
She lights on the same branch, cuddles closer.
He prays she'll accept his erstwhile proposal.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

I escaped the news last week...

I Escaped the News Last Weekend

I escaped the news
last weekend, wanting a world
  with everything
set right; I returned to the
sleepy beach hideaway of
  my youth
Tumultuous waves
rolled over one other,
going nowhere really -

Cold rain slapped my face,
drops ran down my neck;
the wind meowed around me.
Unoccupied worn
cedar-shake homes welcomed me,
  the hamlet asleep,
but for a blurred red street light

The drive was well worth 
the time to capture 
one quintessential sunset, 
one to ride horses
straight into!
Unyielding dunes clung 
to sea grass. I breathed in so
deeply the salty sea air

Theoretically, my
fearful thunderous 
thoughts subsided and I felt 
beyond carefree.
Feet to a fire, a cup of
mulled apple cider 
added to the ambient quiet

Conceived of literature
and art in my heart,
I channeled Hemingway and
 Picasso; I wrote, sketched and
painted through the night 
I am taken aback how 
truly, I now see, 
birth overcomes death 
...every day
and I am the only one
in my way

This Friday is Open Link Night over at dversepoets.com   Click if you would like to read more poetry
from the group.