Wednesday, October 18, 2017

WHAT MATTERS

As we grow older, we tend to review our
life's journey.  I'm submitting a bit of prose
that reflects my thoughts on the subject.
Submitted to Open Link #206 at dVerse
October 19, 2017
 
 

Funny, it’s not the grand material things that bring lasting pleasure,
but the small things that validate us.   When we’re gone,  it’s not
likely we’ll be remembered for the material things we’ve accrued
in this life,  but for the small kindnesses we’ve extended that linger
in the memory of those whose lives we touched along the way.   It
brings such a rush of pleasure to know, even with all the stumbles
and less than glorious moments during my life journey,  I have left
some fond and positive memories with others.  Nothing pleases me
more than to be with my children and hear them speak fondly of
things I did or said in their childhood;  to hear an ex-employee say
“If it weren’t for you I wouldn’t be where I am today” or “You were
 a good boss” (never mind that their secret nickname for me was
“Old Ironpants”!).  Recently, a long-time dear friend showed me a
note I’d written her long ago during a difficult time.  She'd kept it all
these years.  I was incredibly touched.  I guess you could say my
greatest pleasure is simply knowing that I mattered.

****************

Sunday, October 15, 2017

FAKE NEWS

For the Poetry Pantry #375, wherein
 I dream fake news  (sigh).
Submitted to Poets United
October 14, 2017
************

I had a wonderful dream
Oh!  What a trip it was
All the world’s cares fell away
In that land of just because

As I swung from the brightest star
I was young, and free and wise
I danced on the Milky Way
And frolicked through the skies

I sipped from the Big Dipper
And took a hike on the moon
The skies were filled with music
And it was always a happy tune

It was as I prayed the world to be
Hate, hunger and disease had vanished
It was bitter cold on Outer Mongolia
Where Trump and Kim Jong Un were banished

Where they can continue to swagger and threaten
But they’ll get their justly dues
Oh how I wish this tale were true
But Alas!  It’s just fake news.

*******************


Monday, October 9, 2017

HOPE

De has chosen HOPE for this week’s
quadrille, much needed for her city
of Las Vegas.  As usual this is to be
44 words, excluding the title.
Submitted to dVerse
October 9,  2017
****************


When evil rears its ugly head
And seems to fill our souls with dread
We reach within for ways to cope
And tap our inner store of hope    
With faith we manage to soldier on
After darkest night, there’s always dawn. 
Hope springs eternal.

***********

Saturday, October 7, 2017

CLASS IS AS CLASS DOES

A comment on modern life.
Submitted to Poets United
Poetry Pantry #374
October 8, 2017
********************

We spend much of our modern lifetime
In pursuit of a thing we call class
And status is oh, so important
If society’s test we’re to pass.

We’re hung up on designer labels
That are stitched to the back of our jeans
We think it’s of utmost importance
To appear to be people of means.

We all want to be “beautiful people”
Who belong to some private group
Rub elbows with “movers and shakers”
And move in the “inner loop”.

How I love it when on occasion
I escape from the frantic fray
And return to the home of my childhood
Where they still live the simple way.

For the most part they’re hard-working people
With neither tennis court nor pool
They don’t spend much time on status
Just honor the Golden Rule

They could care less about a label
Or fashion’s twist or turn
But, if a neighbor needs help, they help him
And ask not for pay in return

They always take time to say “howdy”
And to smile at each person they pass
They’re kind and they’re warm and they’re caring
And they have what I’d say is REAL class.

*******************
Photo my original digital art.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

STAN, THE MAN

It’s Open Link at dVerse.  I’m having a
busy week, so here’s a bit of brief
silliness.
Submitted to dVerse Open Link #205
October 4, 2017
*******************

With his healthy libido
And wearing his speedo
He felt quite the ladies man
With his handsome physique
He thought himself really unique
Charming ladies was his big plan.
But the ladies ignored him
In fact they implored him
To just go away …  if he can

*******************

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

NONSENSE IT IS

Poetics by Paul this week, and  he asks us to take
a look at grammar, THE RULES, and how to break
them.  Brief mine is of necessity, scrambled were
my brains!
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
October 2, 2017
***************

Throw Momma from the train her hat.  Here are cookies
for the family that are chocolate in my bag.  I thought not
much, but that photo catches my eye in your hallway. 
On hungry arriving, I got a hamburger from that restaurant
that cost $9.00.  It was an expense up with which I will not
put again.  But, glad to be here I am.

**************

Monday, October 2, 2017

FIRST FROST

Haibun/Haiku Monday at dVerse, and
Victoria has chosen FROST as
our theme.
Submitted to dVerse
October 2, 2017
********************



James Whitcomb Riley said it best … “When the frost
is on the ‘punkin’ and the fodder’s in the shock”.
Autumn is a kaleidoscope of  memories for me.
It was my mother’s favorite time of year, and she
loved to arrange a Fall display by the yard gate.
First she’d bring corn stalks from the field and
fashion them into a shock, then harvest her Indian
corn, pumpkins, and colorful gourds  to gather
about it.  A bale  of straw became a seat for the
scarecrow she fashioned from my father’s old
overalls.   If we were lucky, we had a few weeks
to enjoy the display before that first night when
the temperature plunged and we woke to
sun-sparkled frost crystals.  It was a magic time
of  harvest, hayrides, wiener roasts, apple barns,
burning leaves and the honking of geese overhead. 
In memory still, I breathe in the pure, crisp air of home.
***************
Fodder in the shock
Jack Frost can’t be far behind
Winter’s harbinger

Saturday, September 30, 2017

AUTUMN IN THE CITY


Submitted to Poets United
Poetry Pantry #373
September 30, 2017





****************


Under the highway overpass, sun browned leaves
 skitter across the pavement and gather about the
cardboard castles of those who call them home.
Their residents seek escape from the real world.
Jaded with empty pleasures, haunted by old regrets
and unfulfilled promises, their stories are as varied
as their faces.

A heartbeat away are the glittering hotels, the valet
parking, and the posh pubs where money and liquor
flow freely … and  the beautiful people seek escape
in other ways. 

****************
the road to escape
disparate byways chosen
a dichotomy

Thursday, September 28, 2017

IDIOMATICALLY SPEAKING

Frank has given us SLEEP for the topic at Meet the Bar.
Sleep seems to be the time my brain kicks into high gear.
I close my eyes hopefully, and words, ideas, and images
vie for attention, often in the form of poetry.  They rattle
around my brain endlessly until I turn on the light, reach
for my little bedside journal, and commit them to paper
so I can at last drift off to slumber.   I call them midnight
epiphanies, and what follows is one such, when my midnight
muse suggested I write a poem using exclusively idioms.
It’s actually not about sleep, but a product of the lack thereof!
Forgive me for straying a bit!
Submitted to dVerse
September 28, 2017
***************

You know what they all say
Little Goody Twoshoes
There’s no fool like an old fool
It’s plain as the nose on your face
You’ve fallen for another pretty face
He’s a two-timing man
Who’s all show and no go
His elevator doesn’t go all the way up
And you’re destined for disaster
If you hitch your wagon to that star
You haven’t the ghost of a chance
For happily ever after
Cut to the chase
And quit while you’re ahead
Better days are coming
Keep a stiff upper lip
Your ship will come in
And you’ll have a horse in the race
Keep your chin up
A new broom sweeps clean
There’s light at the end of the tunnel
And everything’s coming up roses
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
But look before you leap
And err on the side of caution
A good man is hard to find
But slow and steady wins the race
All’s well that ends well
And soon you’ll be happy as a pig in mud

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A PRAYER

Midweek Motif  challenge topic this week
Is “Rise Up”.  Pause for thought.
Submitted to Poets United
September 27, 2017
****************

Sometimes in order to rise up
We need a dose of wise up
There are lessons to be learned

From trials and tribulations
The spiteful confabulations
And good intentions spurned

Were it not for times of trial
We’d be lost in self denial
When the good times have returned.

Lord,  send me a reminder
To remember to be kinder
And be grateful for the many lessons learned.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

AMYTHEST

It's Poetics Tuesday, and Lillian has asked
us to feature our birthstone in our poem.  I've
added a haiku.
Submitted to dVerse
September 26, 2017
******************



Ancient Greeks wore amythest and carved drinking 
vessels from it, in belief  that it would prevent 
intoxication.   So far it’s worked quite well for me.  
I have no proclivity for intoxicants.   I prefer the 
natural high of skies at dusk threaded with violet 
shades of amythest and cerulean blues, streaked 
with sun-faded gold.   I can get intoxicated by the 
fragrance of lavender and lilacs by the old yard gate, 
got giddy from stealing warm sun-ripened purple 
grapes on the vine by my mother’s clothes line.  
I can drink of the sight of violets planted long ago 
growing still by an old abandoned house.   An 
Aquarian, my best environment is said to be in 
a gathering of people exchanging ideas.  
Looks like I’m in the right place.
*************
Born in winter
Savoring summer sunshine
Happy in autumn

Monday, September 25, 2017

SPICE OF LIFE

It’s Quadrille time at dVerse, and
Mish requests we feature the word
Spice, as always 44 words not including
the title.
Submitted to dVerse
September, 2017
***************





Life's variety
Enhancing satiety
Spice makes our life worthwhile
A dash of curry
When in a hurry
Causes diners to smile  
Rosemary and cardoman
Nutmeg and cinnamon
Add to rank and file
Last of all thyme
Spices up my rhyme
Taking care of chyle

*********************
Chyle:  A digestive agent

Sunday, September 24, 2017

MY LAST $20

Idle thoughts on a sunny Sunday, when
asked what I'd do with my  last $20.
Submitted to Poets United Poetry Pantry #372
September 24, 2017

***************
Ten things I’d do with my last $20
Me, the girl who’s always had plenty?
I learned well at my mother’s knee
To beware of the careless spending spree.
I’m not the trendiest girl on the block
But I’ve a bit more hidden in a well worn sock.

I’d need pen and paper so I could write
And something to read when it got to be night
I’d want a mu-mu, loose and flowing
I won’t wear a bra where I’m going.

I’ll gather my kids and we’ll head for the farm    
The one safe place, free from harm.
I’ll take along some packets of seeds
We’ll grow enough to meet our needs.

We may be down to our very last dime
But we’ll be living in a simpler time.
No electronic tethers, which some will think odd
But we’ll have time again to talk to God.

We’ll breathe fresh air, and dance in the sun
And count our blessings when day is done.
“They sure don’t have much”, some will say
But, then, what good is money anyway?

*********************

Thursday, September 21, 2017

COUNTRY GIRL

It’s Open Link night, and I’ve a poem about
being a farm girl in the city.
Submitted to dVerse Open Link #204
September 20, 2017
************************


I love the old ways and sayings
I’m a country girl at heart
But there are some modern conveniences
With which I couldn’t part

I love it when my garage door
Flies open when I appear.
I wouldn’t have much patience
Getting out in the cold, I fear

I wouldn’t want to have to
Iron each shirt and dress
I always extol the virtues
Of polyester and permanent press

I love my old-time fireplace
It makes me feel so good
But I guess I wouldn’t like it
If I had to chop the wood

My trips to the supermarket
Are a daily event, it seems
I’m sure I’d have to think twice
It I had to hitch up the team

It’s so nice to go to my kitchen
And find milk and eggs right there
I guess it wouldn’t be my forte’
For the hen and the cow to care

Oh, how I love my shower
I enjoy my nightly scrub
I wouldn’t want to exchange it
For carrying water to fill the tub

I adore my coffee grinder
And my stone crock is so pretty to see
But those things are just to look upon
And not to be used by me

I dream of moonlight sleigh rides
In a one horse open sleigh
But, once I arrived at my nice warm house
Who’d feed the horse his hay

I remember the calls of nature
That required a dash down the path
There’s no way I want to go back to that
And give up my nice warm bath

I guess I just like to read stories
Of how it used to be
In my heart, I think I’m country
But I’m as city as I can be
********************

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

QUESTIONS

Tuesday Poetics, and Bjorn asks us to
write a poem of questions.
Submitted to dVerse
September 19, 2017
****************
How are you, we ask …
Do we really want to know
or is it just another way to say hello?
Are we too busy to listen
or merely too self-absorbed?
Could we save someone’s life
merely by listening to words unsaid?
Could we make the world a better place
simply by each taking time to care?
Can we ever learn the power of one?

*********************

Monday, September 18, 2017

WHY?

Haibun/Haiku Monday, and we’re
asked to feature the WHY of our writing
style, and add a classic haiku (not a micro-poem).
Submitted to dVerse
September 18, 2017




Why do I turn to the back page to see if it ends
well before I select a book, and why are most
of my poems the same?  Because I’m an eternal
optimist, honed by lessons learned early on from
sturdy stock, empowered by faith, enamored of
words, inordinately curious, occasionally sarcastic
with a humorous bent, compelled to commit
words to paper,  and hoping to leave positive
footprints in the sands of time.  When my book
of life is written, I trust it ends well.

*********
winter approaches
a clean slate is presented
write a new story

Saturday, September 16, 2017

NAMASTE

This is the result of a midnight epiphany
submitted to Poets United Poetry Pantry
September 17, 2017

In the wee small hours of the night when
insomniacs clutch their remotes, trolling
the airways for diversion, it’s the witching
hour, and darkness, black and velvet, envelops
the alley.  Beneath a tattered blanket, the
homeless man huddles in a doorway.  Soon
the trash trucks will clang their way down
the alley, collecting clotted and fetid debris
from the dumpsters. The man stirs, and draws
from beneath the blanket a stubby pencil and
battered journal.  He opens to a new page and
carefully writes NAMASTE *.  His low tones
break the alley silence as he chants:   “I honor
the place in you in which the entire universe
dwells;  I honor the place in you which is of
love, of truth, of  light and peace.  When you
are in that place in you and I am in that place
in me, we are one.”  Silence returns to the alley
 … but the essence of hope remains. 

************
* Namaste is a Hindu greeting, a salutation and
validation,  usually issued with palms together,
fingers pointing skyward.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

AUTUMN VIGNETTES

It's Meeting the Bar, and Bjorn requests
metaphors, avoiding the use of "like" and
"as", avoiding similes.
Submitted to d'Verse
September 14, 2017



It was a write it on your heart kind of autumn day.
Snowy clouds skittered across topaz skies, white-
petticoated ladies on their way to some grand soiree.
  **************

Bare trees kiss the autumn sky, old ladies with arms
akimbo, their skirts jeweled pools of fallen leaves at their feet.
*************

Distant vees of geese arrowing south,  their honking
splitting the crisp autumn air with news of their departure.

****************

(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

REUNIONS

We’re to feature REUNIONs in this
week’s Midweek Motif .   It occasioned
me to muse and philosophize.
Submitted to Poets United Midweek Motif
September 13, 2017


In a conversation with my father, not long before he passed
into the Great Beyond, I asked “Do you believe in a life
hereafter, Dad?”   My father (descended from a long line
of God-fearing ancestors with names like Bishop, Lot and
Absolam), who had attended our little country church faithfully
with my mother and who had taught the young couples’ Sunday
School class, said “Of course I do” …. and, after a long
hesitation said “if there is such a thing”.   We, each of us,
form our own particular beliefs, which change as we grow
older and wiser.  I’m sure we’ve all had experiences of déjà vu
or met some kindred spirit it seems we’ve always known.  
Perhaps these ARE reunions with someone we’ve known
in a past life.   I like to think  I will see my loved ones and
friends again, and that Dad and I will have a chance to
continue our conversation!

*********************

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A MAIDEN'S WISH

Poetics Tuesday, and we’re to write
an upbeat poem using the word  rain, rein,
or reign … or all three.  Here’s a bit
of silliness.
Submitted to dVerse September 12, 2017




There once was a fair maiden
Daughter of the king (long may he reign)
“I’m at a loss“, he said, “to control her
No matter how tight the rein”
So he set out to explore his kingdom
Through sun, sheets of sleet, and rain
To find a knight for his daughter
Who’d become such a very great pain.

At last he found the perfect knight
And soon the girl was wed
“You’ll find her quite a challenge”
To her groom, the knight, he said
But now his daughter was smiling
At last he’d got it quite right
All she ever really wanted
Was for  him to find her a knight.

***************************

Saturday, September 9, 2017

THE GAME OF LIFE

Poignant thoughts at the loss of
a friend, and a senryu.  Submitted to
Poets United Poetry Pantry #370
September 10, 2017

A light went out this week, and the world is a lesser place.  A dear friend lost her battle with cancer.  I am left with 57 years of memories of spirited card games, autumn vacations to the Smoky Mountains, lunches and camaraderie.  We raised our children together, we lost our husbands together,  we lost our two travel companions, we laughed and cried together and our friendship carried on.  To know her was to be enriched by her presence, and I was honored to be her friend.    A sorrow of aging is losing  friends one by one.  Today the sun is shining, the sky is azure with puffy white clouds .  It is a perfect autumn day.  I am reminded how fleeting our time can be, but I am reassured there’s a place for me with my friends at the heavenly card table, and I’ll be along when it’s my turn to deal.

*************
we are but actors
and we choose the role we play
in this game called life.

***********************

Thursday, September 7, 2017

THE LITTLE CHAPEL

I ’d pass a little deserted country
church on trips to visit my parents.  The
sight always left me musing about its
history, hence this poem.

Submitted to Open Link Night #203 at dVerse
September 7, 2017


It’s just a little chapel that sits beside the way
But I wondered what it could tell me, if it could speak today.
The tower is now empty, where the beckoning bell once rang.
And only dusty silence, where the little congregation sang.
The windows are now vacant, and the pews are long since gone.
But it seems I hear the echoes of ice cream socials on the lawn.
I imagine all the faithful who have talked here with their God
While outside their forefathers rested, deep beneath prairie sod.
I see all the bridal couples who have here exchanged their vows
And think of long-ago sermons soothing furrowed brows.
How many babes were christened, how many old folks laid to rest?
How many Sunday mornings, with folks dressed in Sunday best?

I feel God all about me, as I stand beside the door
And listen to the voices of those who’ve passed before
One day I’ll be like them, when this life has passed me by
And my voice be but an echo to some dreamer such as I.
May I live my life with honor in my short time here on earth
And touch the lives of others with love, and joy and mirth.
May there always be a moment, when day follows busy day
For echoes like the chapel’s, and what it has to say.

******************

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

MEMORY



It’s Midweek Motif at Poets United
and we’re asked to feature MEMORY.
I consider it from a senior perspective.
Submitted to Poets United
September 5, 2017



Our minds used to be razor sharp
A name came to mind in a nonce
Somehow those days seem over
We’re not as sharp as we were once

But we become a formidable force
When we’re together in a group
We each contribute a piece of solution
That at first seemed to be word soup.

“He was tall”, says one; “A cowboy” says another
“That knock-kneed fellow, his name rhymed with pain”
And in no time at all, we’ve solved the dilemma
“Of course” we all shout, “His name was John Wayne!”

We enter a room and forget why we’re there
We park the car, then can’t remember where
A lifetime of memories are filed in our brain
And “It’ll come in a moment” is a common refrain

Put us together, we’re sharp as a tack
Alone we recall it, but it takes longer to come back
We’re happy together with our walkers and canes
Looking forward  to tomorrow and the time that remains.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

MAGIC

Paul has asked us to set aside somber issues and
consider magic for Poetics Tuesday.  I am "blissed"
with nature's magic daily by visiting hummingbirds. 
Submitted to dVerse Poetics Tuesday.
September 4, 2017

Magic outside my window again today.  The hummingbirds
have come to call.  These magical little creatures, with emerald
green backs and ruby red throats are no bigger than the pad
of my thumb.  They dart through the air with what seems the
speed of light, suspend for a moment over the feeder, then settle
and drink deep of the nectar.  Their eggs are smaller than jelly beans. 
It’s said their average heart rate is 1200 beats a minute, and
during migration, they fly 500 miles nonstop across the Gulf
of Mexico.  Now THAT’S magic! 

Monday, September 4, 2017

AUTUMN SPLENDOR

Haibun/haiku Monday. We are asked
to feature the change of seasons, our
experiences, etc.
Submitted to dVerse
September 4, 2017



The very word autumn brings a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds and scents to me.  There are childhood memories of hayrides, V’s of southbound geese overhead, fall displays of gourds, corn shocks and pumpkins, trips to the apple and peach orchards, the sounds of harvest in the fields, bonfires, and wiener roasts.  After marriage and children there are memories of football games, marching bands, fall festivals, the state fair and girlfriend getaway trips to the Smokey Mountains.  And always, always, nature’s backdrop of the glorious palette of autumn, when the hardwoods of the Midwest don their glorious wardrobes of crimson, gold, russet, and orange; when the birds flock for migration and busy squirrels can be seen burying their winter stores.  In September, there’s a subtle change in the air, and the occasional crisp morning offers a harbinger of the season to come.  I’m reminded of the words in Ecclesiastes “To every thing there is a season…” 

**************
feast of the senses
savor the gifts of autumn
gratitude abounds

Saturday, September 2, 2017

THE SPIDER AND THE FLY

A bit of fun inspired by a photo taken by
a friend.  (Thanks, Bev Lloyd).
Submitted to Poetry Pantry #368
September 2, 2017

Consider the talented spider
Who, with nothing but genetics to guide her
Creates delicate lace filigree

Her industrious endeavor
Is devilishly clever
For she has a plan, you see.

When a curious fly
Comes cruising by
He’ll be headed for eternity

Before time can ebb
He’s caught in her web
There’s no hope for the fly to flee

For all of her spinning
She’s accustomed to winning
An anticipated gourmet repast

And the ill-fated fly
Who came wandering by
Will find the journey his last.
**************

Thursday, August 31, 2017

IMAGINE ALL THE PEOPLE


Frank has requested our Midweek Motif  be in
acrostic form.   The recent hurricane in Texas
has reminded me so much of John Lennon’s
song “Imagine” … hence my acrostic is
Imagine All The People
Submitted to dVerse Midweek Motif
August 31, 2017


It was  a storm of dreadful fury
Making landfall, pounding highways
And turning streets to  rivers 
Growing deeper minute by minute.
In desperation people fled
Not knowing whereto or how
Each praying for survival.

Asking only for dry shelter 
Leaving all they had behind 
Looking for someone to help them

To reach the higher ground.
Help wore many hats
Each selflessly determined.

Pouring rain continued
Everywhere the water rose
Overwhelming homes and byways
Pummeling all within its path
Leaving lives upturned, disrupted 
Ending catastrophe at last.

**************************

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

MAGIC SLIPPERS

Kim has asked us to consider SHOES
for Tuesday Poetics.   This is a
reprise, but it SO fits the niche!
Posted to dVerse Poetics
August 29, 2017
********************************

I found the sparkly  slippers
In a battered treasure chest
“Magic slippers”, the genie said
I said “Surely you speak in jest”.

But I took them out and put them on
Convinced it was all for naught.
It’s silly to believe in magic…
At least that’s what I thought.

But the minute I buckled those beauties on
They changed my life, it’s safe to say
My aches and pains just were no more
Unbelievably, they’d gone away.

Well, I’ll be darned, I said to myself
I can probably dance and skip
If these things are really working
I’m off on a pleasure trip.

So I went to Bora Bora
And danced with the natives there
Then off to Hawaii to surf for a while
With the sea and sand in my hair.

I shopped til I dropped on the streets of Paris
And climbed the Eiffel Tower
I took a gondola ride in Venice
There was no end to my staying power!

I climbed the heights of Machu Pichu
On the high plains of Peru
I saw the Taj Mahal and Angkor Wat
And Thailand before I was through.

I saw the terra cotta soldiers
And danced on China’s Great Wall
I stopped in Dubai for a game of roulette
I was determined to see it all.

I was off to Easter Island
(Those heads are mysterious, methinks)
Then I traveled on to the pyramids
And marveled at the sphinx.

In Italy I saw the coliseum
And castles in the land of Eire
I visited the Cotswolds in England
And learned to pronounce Staffordshire

I saw the white cliffs of Dover,
Budapest, Hong Kong and Singapore
Berlin, the Alps and Sicily
And oh, so many more.

Then on we went to Jerusalem
And the shores of Galilee
There wasn’t a place we didn’t go
My magic slippers and me.

I wore out those magic slippers
But, oh what a ride it was
Do I believe in magic now?
Yes I do, because … well just because!

**************************

Monday, August 28, 2017

BLISS

Quadrille Monday, and our theme
word is BLISS…and don’t we all
need some of that right now?  With heavy
heart for the people of Texas, I offer
this blissing.
Submitted to dVerse Quadrille #39
August 28, 2017





May blisskrieg settle
upon your household
as mists enfold crisp
autumn mornings.  

May you be blissed
with loving family
and good friends.  

May your muse be
beblissed with profound
and reassuring words.   

May your spirit be lifted
with blissipation each
and every new day.

******************

Photo: My great grandsons in
Eagle Creek Park (with
Photoshopped friend).

Saturday, August 26, 2017

YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW

This poem was written shortly before
my retirement.  I am reminded of the
frantic pace of my life at that time, and
grateful I have reached the age to savor.
Submitted to Poets United Poetry Pantry #368
August 27, 2017



As I speed along the freeway
in the usual morning race,
my thoughts turn back to other times
when life had a slower pace...
when there was time for dreaming
and wriggling my toes in the mud,
and close examination
of each leaf, and flower and bud;
for listening to autumn breezes
as they rustled through fields of grain;
and for smelling the wonderful fresh bouquet
of a late Spring evening rain;
for idling under a shade tree
when no one knew where I was
and studying the intricate mechanics
of what makes bumblebees buzz;
for listening to trills of songbirds
as they flitted from tree to tree;
for looking for four-leaf clovers
in grass like a great, green sea.

It seems now my days are so busy
these pleasures are things of the past
I try to find time for dreaming,
but the time hurries by too fast.
I think of the time when I'm older,
and time on my hands again,
how I'll treasure these special moments
much moreso than I did then.
God in his infinite wisdom
has bestowed a very great favor
What in youth we take for granted
In age we will have time to savor.

**************************
*Photo is my digital art, image credit
to Jesse Wilcox Smith

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

GOOD MORNING, WORLD

Idle thoughts on a new day and the
sights, scents and sounds of Nature.
Submitted to Poets United Midweek Motif
August 23, 2017


Awakening to the sound of gentle rolling
thunder and the patter of raindrops on
the leaves of the snowball bush outside
my bedroom, a wisp of air carries the
scent of new rain through my open window
and I  inhale deeply of its fragrance.  
The trees beside nearby Eagle Creek
resonate with the morning gathering of crows. 
I am always amused at their agenda.  First
a single voice addresses the group, then there’s
a great cacophony as everyone speaks at
once, much like a meeting of  the ladies’
auxiliary when they discuss a new project. 
Then they all fly away, as if having received
their daily assignments. Nature at work. Our
boy cat meanders into my  room to assure
himself I live to fight another  day, then wanders
off to get the rest of the household in order so
he can settle down  for his morning nap.  Good
morning, world!  Thank you, Lord, for granting
me yet another day.

********************************

Monday, August 21, 2017

MISSISSIPPI CRUISE

It's Haibun/Haiku Monday, and we're asked
to write about a memorable summer vacation.
Submitted to dVerse
August 21, 2017



One of my favorite trips was a cruise on the mighty Mississippi with friends.  We drove from Indianapolis to LeClaire, Illinois, where we boarded the little Riverboat Starlight for our two-day cruise.  Along the way we saw the huge barge trains of 15 (3 abreast and 5 long) pushed along by the powerful little tugs.  Northbound trains carried coal to the nuclear power plant, southbound trains carried grain.  We learned an empty barge sits 12 feet above water level, but, when loaded, 9 feet submerge.  Who knew? We passed what was left of the little village of Comanche which was destroyed in a powerful tornado in 1908, said to be the greatest natural disaster in the states.  Debris from this storm was found 90 miles away in the city of Peoria, Illinois, and 232 perished, many never found and presumed to be swept away in the Mississippi.  

The Starlight followed a circuitous route marked by red buoys on the right and green on the left.  We went through the locks, which are a fascinating process of changing water levels.  The Mississippi is majestic, at times so wide it seemed to be a lake.  We were entertained along the way by a folk singer and a calliopist and arrived at our destination of Galena, Illinois, ready for a day shopping in that historic little town, once a busy lead mining center.  It is said to be possible to drive underground from Galena to Wisconsin, so extensive are the tunnels that remain.   After a wonderful day of shopping and restful evening at the Chestnut Resort, we reboarded the Starlight for our return trip to LeClaire.  On our return trip, we passed the largest river cruise ship, American Queen, which dwarfed our little Starlight.  She greeted us with a mighty blast of her  foghorn, and our little Starlight responded with its calliope.  We arrived safely back at LeClaire, with a new appreciation for the Mississippi, which rises from northern Minnesota and meanders southward to the Gulf of Mexico at New Orleans.   It was a memorable trip.

*****************
Mississippi lore
A summer magic byway
With stories to tell


Saturday, August 19, 2017

13 WAYS OF LOOKING AT A ROCK

In the spirit of Wallace Stevens’
“13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”,
I’ve taken a look at famous rocks.
Submitted to Poets United Poetry Pantry #367
August 20, 2017




Ancient Phoenician landmark
Pillar of Hercules
Rock of Gibraltar

Aboriginal sacred site
Uluru, red behemoth
in Australia’s outback

Giant head on Easter Island
standing silently in mystery
through the centuries

Endless task of Sisyphus
pushed onto the hilltop
falling again to valley floor

Stone of Blarney
kissed by many
famous bit of Irish lore

Plymouth Rock beside the shore
welcome sight to Pilgrims
arriving to new land

Imposing Devil’s Tower
thrusting upward
from Wyoming’s vast expanse

Signature Rock on westward trail
where steadfast pioneers
left their marks for history

Rosetta stone
that cracked the code
of Egypt’s ancient hieroglyphs

Rushmore’s rock of faces
countenances of history
worn smooth by wind and rain

Part of Stonehenge Circle
holding fast the secrets
of ancient druids

Haystack Rock of Oregon
legacy of ancient lava
sentinel at Pacific shore

Faithful voices raised in chorus
“On Christ, the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand.”

*******************
*Photo is my own digital art.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

THE LAST TIME

It’s Meet the Bar at dVerse, and Bjorn has
asked us to write a sonnet without rhyme, without
meter …a volta (two quatrains and two tercets)..
ala Pablo Nuerda.
Submitted to dVerse Meet the Bar
August 17, 2017
**************


The pages of life’s calendar turn inexorably onward
and I find the phrase “the last time” plays often in
my mind.   A dear one passes into the Great Perhaps
and my thoughts turn to our last words to each other.

It is easy to suffer some minor offense, stuff it in our
backpack and carry it with us.  How much lighter our
backpack if we take the time to make peace, and know
each night, if it’s our last, we’ve left no words unsaid.

Life unfolds by startling circumstance that sometimes plunders
opportunities to make our “last times” what we  might wish
them to be, and we find ourselves left full of words.

If  we approach each instance as “the last time“, how different
our demeanor, whether it’s a kind word or simply taking
the time to notice a sunrise, a sunset, a shower, or a birdsong.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

FINAL JOURNEY

Time for Midweek Motif at Poets United
and we’re asked to feature the word Flood.
Submitted to Midweek Motif
August 16, 2017




When I was a child, there was a burbling little creek a mile or so from our farm.  It was  the kind of stream that meandered through the meadows, shallow enough that one could wade across it at any point.  But, in the Spring heavy rains, it became a raging torrent, quickly rising beyond its banks, flooding fields and galloping on its way south, where it eventually emptied into the Mississippi River and thence into the Gulf of Mexico and ultimately into the Atlantic Ocean.   Someone once wrote “All the waters of the world are one”, and so I think perhaps a flooding rain drains from the fields into the ditches, into the rivulets, into the streams, into the creeks and into the rivers, then rushes to the ocean, where moisture is drawn up into the clouds until their fat bellies are filled with rain and the cycle repeats itself.  The power of floods is the stuff of legends.  Many years ago, when working on family history, I discovered that the cemetery where many of my ancestors were buried was swept away by massive flooding of the Mississippi.   They were hardy pioneers who made their way from Virginia to Kentucky and into Indiana.  Strange to think that, dressed in their funeral finery, they took yet another journey to heaven knows where. 

***************
Photo is my own surreal
digital art creation.

Monday, August 14, 2017

MANO A MANO

This week’s Quadrille #38 is to feature
a form of the word DREAM in exactly
44 words.   I don’t usually write 
political rants, but one seemed due.
Submitted to dVerse
August 14, 2017


The world dreams in fear and trembling
as two deranged world leaders
who drank from the poison well of power  
engage in a juvenile game of mano a mano,
their missiles phallic symbols of their
insecurities in their game of “mine’s
bigger than yours.”

*************

Saturday, August 12, 2017

THE VAGABOND

Armchair travels for this week's
Poetry Pantry #366
Posted to Poets United
August 13, 2017

Arthur was a vagabond
On whom travel cast a spell
He set off adventuring,
A story we will tell
He spent some time in Africa
On a mission to help the needy
Lived in an underground hotel
And mined opals in Coober-Pedy
In temples deep in Thailand
He consorted with the monks
He met the royal elephants
And rode upon their trunks
He stopped at Machu Pichu
On the high plains of Peru
In Nepal he stayed with Sherpas
And met their llamas too.
Then on he went to Egypt
And boated down the Nile
Paying a visit to the Valley of Kings
Where he spent a little while
Arthur traveled onward
A victim of his desires
To Ireland, Scotland and England
Visiting local shires
He journeyed on to India
Visiting  the Taj Mahal
And small islands in the Pacific
Whose names I can’t recall
The seven wonders of the world
Were on his bucket list
He traveled on  to see them all
Assuring none were missed
At long last the day arrived
When Arthur said “I’m done”
And he packed his bags and set off
For the place where he’d begun
He told his friends, “Yes, I admit
I had an urge to roam
But that’s all over now
There is no place like home!”

*********************

Thursday, August 10, 2017

OF PRINCES AND FROGS

It's Open Link Night #201 at
dVerse where we enter a
poem of our choice.  I'm submitting
an idle musing.
Submitted August 10, 2017


Ah, I was your Scheherazade
You were my handsome prince
Passion burned within my heart
I’ve not seen the likes of since

My friends just shook their heads
They thought I’d slipped a cog
They all knew before I did
That you were just a frog

****************************

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

MIDNIGHT EPIPHANIES

Lillian challenges us to use the
word SHADE in our poetic
endeavor today at dVerse.
I've added a bonus haiku.
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
August 8, 2017

I’m a dreamer by day and a thinker by night and,
when I lay me down to sleep, will-o-the-whispers
wander in and out of my thoughts in a rustle of
satin and silken swish, flinging words and phrases
like tangled skeins spun by some shape-shifter’s
loom. Carousels and chapel bells, cowboy boots
and vagabond’s loot, lamp shades and nines of spades,
ballet slippers and champagne sippers, smooth talkers
and sky walkers drift through my mind on their way
to some future poetic adventure.  Occasionally there
springs from this abyss of word salad a midnight
epiphany worth recording in my bedside journal. 
Once words are committed to paper,  the nightly
marathon ends and I’m allowed to drift into blessed
slumber.  Ah, the glorious sleep of an octogenarian
would-be poet!  Bliss.


***********
Sleep is slow to come
Slumber is inhibited
Til midnight epiphany   
***********************

Monday, August 7, 2017

IMPERFECTION


Victoria asks that we consider
Wabi-sabi (the beauty of imperfection)
 for our Haibun this Week.
Submitted to dVerse
August 7, 2017





Eloquent with age
secrets lie within
your chipped porcelain
of lips that drank
from your communal cup
cool, clear water
from some unknown well
I drink from your beauty
enhanced by the scars of time
My thirst is slaked
with your eloquence.

****************

faded porcelain
for everything a season
your beauty remains

*****************


Friday, August 4, 2017

MODERN FAIRY TALE


Sometimes I think fairy tales should
have happier endings, so I've revised
the story of Little Red Riding Hood to
suit my fancy.
Submitted to Poets United Poetry Pantry #367
August 6, 2017
 Related image

The little girl with cloak of red
Tucked in her basket a loaf of bread
Set off through the woods with a hop & a skip
She always enjoyed the forest trip
To her grandma’s house, all snug and warm
With never a thought of fear or harm.
The wolf himself was in the woods
Seeking his dinner and other goods
He stalked through the trees with heavy tread
Until he saw the cloak of red.
She skipped so happily it warmed his heart
And he ceased the mischief he’d thought to start.
Smiling to himself, he said
“I think I’ll not bother the girl in red.
It’s elsewhere I’ll look for what I seek
I’ll let her pass by with only a peek.
Her smile made for me a brighter day
So I’ll not bother her on her way."

And so it is, and the rule is thus
What we give to others, comes back to us.

************************

Thursday, August 3, 2017

TRIMETER

It's Meet the Bar at dVerse, and Frank would
have us try trimeter.   Apparently the dog
ate my homework.  I seem to be at a loss.
Here's my tongue-in-cheek excuse, submitted
with abject apology.
Submitted August 3, 2017

****************
My muse has gone away
I hope just for today
What caused this wild foray
I’m afraid I cannot say
Perhaps the feet and metre
Were likely to defeat her
She didn’t tell me why
Or stop to say goodbye.
Without her I’m bereft, alas
Simply put, I have to pass.

****************

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

THE END?

Paul at dVerse has asked us to contemplate
"The End" and its meaning to us.  For
once, I didn't think in rhyme!
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
August 1, 2017
Related image

 We equate the end with death … but we don’t like to call it dying.  We say a dear one has “passed”, or we use euphemisms like “drop off the perch”, “take a dirt nap”, “meet your maker”, or “enter into the long sleep”.   I’ve always felt we live our life in chapters.  When one chapter ends, another begins … the end of childhood is the beginning of being an adult; the end of being single is the beginning of being married; the end of a job is the beginning of retirement; and so on. Every ending is a new beginning.  My father was much revered by all in his family.  When he died, we were all gathered in his hospital room to say our last goodbyes, and when he took his final breath we went to the hospital nursery to see the new babies, to remind us of the circle of life.  At times in my life when I’ve felt a bit depressed, I’ve sought a new interest to rejuvenate my spirit.   A new beginning never fails to spark enthusiasm.   So, when my life reaches an end and I pass into the Great Perhaps,  I’ve told my children I want my epitaph to be “What’s Next?”

*********************
*  The question mark at the end of the title is NOT a typographical error.

Monday, July 31, 2017

FEAR

Victoria hosts Monday night's
quadrille of exactly 44 words
to include the word FEAR.
Submitted to dVerse Quadrille #37
July 31, 2017

I couldn't decide whether to be hopeful,
or  succumb to it, so I've written
two quadrilles.  Bear with me!

***************************
#1:
Catastrophes and chaos
Calamity and disaster
Clamor with intention
To capture us in fear  

If we let them overtake us
And let our faith forsake us 
We miss all the good things
In the short time we are here.

Believe faith can conquer all.

*****************
#2:
I heard the rustle beneath my bed
I clung to my pillowcase in dread
I’m glad I wore my underwear
I should’ve brought along a spare 
It’s black as pitch, I cannot see
Is it a monster after me?  
Helplessly, I wait in fear
…and now ,,, it’s HERE!

*******************

Thursday, July 27, 2017

ALPHA AND OMEGA

Submitted to dVerse
Open Link Thursday #200
July 27, 2017

**********************

Joy reigned in the beginning
When love had just begun
One selfish, careless act
And a piece of love was gone.

A door was closed to closeness
That could not be regained
But love is slow to disappear
And still some of it remained.

One final breech of trust
More thoughtless than before
No need to discuss forgiveness
For now love is no more.

****************

SANCTUARY

Poets United Midweek Motif  asks us
to find a sanctuary.  Also submitted to
Poetry Pantry #364
Submitted  July 30, 2017
**************

In my home there’s a room where I spend my days
And the hours pass in a pleasant daze
In the corner a chair, all plump and comfy
For reading or napping, if it strikes my fancy
A big L-shaped desk for my computer and such
A sewing machine I don’t use much
Paints and pencils and things for my art
Happy pastimes that are dear to my heart.
There’s a bookcase wall with shelves for my treasures
Photos of loved ones and mementos of pleasures
A pocket watch my father carried
Photo of a niece on the day she married
A cage with glass birds my mother collected
Favorite books, of course, as might be expected
Books that transport me to exotic places
I travel the world,  just in my bookcases
From a trip to the Smokey’s, an arrogant duck
A carnival clock my father won with some luck
Painted by granddaughter, a colorful plate
A pair of brass swans from Tennessee state
A cross-stitched Welcome from my daughter, Lori
A shelf of art journals that record my life’s story
Special keepsakes from my friends who are arty
A photoshopped Sinatra from a long ago card party
From Germany a domed clock, a gift from my son
A small oil painting on glass I did just for fun
Notebooks of essays and poems I write
And outside my window, a pleasant sight
Feeders where feathered friends come to call
Such a blessing to see them all
This is my sanctuary, my safe place to be
With a heart full of happy, I’m glad to be me.

***********************

Monday, July 24, 2017

SEASONS

It's Haibun Monday at dVerse, subject
of our choice.
Submitted July 24, 2017



She was never the same after he was gone.
In the last few years of their 55 years together,
it was he who reminded her of the day, the
week, the names of their grandchildren, and
the many miscellaneous facts that had faded
from her memory as snowflakes disappear
when they fall on a warm surface. When he
was gone, she spent her days in a gentle state
of bewilderment. Sometimes she tried to retain
her grasp on time and place. I know this,
because I saw written on her calendar
“This is today.”  Now she’s joined him in
the great what-comes-after.  They’re together
again,  no longer solitary halves of a pair
honed and weathered by the passage of time. 
What a comforting thought.

The seasons of life
Parted for a moment in time
Together again

****************************
*Photo is my parents' hands on their
50th anniversary.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

NEVERNESS

My muse hit the road, and I fell
into some sort of celestial Brigadoon.
Submitted to Poets United
Poetry Pantry
July 23, 2017



I dreamed I rode a rainbow to
just beyond Somewhere, in the
land called Neverness.  

In my skiff with gossamer silken sails,
I skimmed  the River of Forgiveness
to the shore of Lake Serenity at the
foot of the Contemplation Mountains.  

I hiked up Mount Awareness and stood
at the  peak,  surveying the Valley of
Wisdom. 

On the way down, I had a sip from
Compassion Falls and partook of the 
fruit from the Tree of Success.  

I  heard the melodious call of the Bird
of Paradise and …… WAIT! It’s not
the bird, it’s my alarm clock. 

Well, damn!
********************

* Picture is my own digital art.


Friday, July 21, 2017

THE CLOWN

Meeting the Bar brings us a
challenge from Frank to
write a “minute” poem. Truly
a challenge!
Submitted to dVerse 
July 20, 2017


I’m Roberto, the circus clown,
the best, hands down,
star of the show,
laughter to go.

I excel at playing the fool,
follow the rule,
play for my pay,
day after day.

But behind my greasepaint I hide
pain inside.
Star of the show,
heartbreak to go.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

MASKS

Over at Poets United, our
Theme for Midweek Motif
Is MASKS
Submitted  July 19, 2017
**********

We hide behind the cheerful façade
Lest hurt be known, now isn’t that odd?
Our hearts are pierced by verbal thrusts
Unkind deeds and broken trust
And yet we smile, our lips are sealed
So … is it a mask, or is it a shield?

*****************



Monday, July 17, 2017

IT'S TRADITION

Time for a quadrille.  The word
is "flicker".
Submitted to dVerse Quadrille #36
July 17, 2017
Related image





Evening campfire.

Amid night sounds
the flames flicker
and memories unfold
family stories of
those long gone
but remembered still .

Young ones listen.
One day they’ll tell
the next generation
the campfire stories
of who we are, and
from whence we came.

It’s tradition
****************************

Saturday, July 15, 2017

PERSPECTIVE



Reminding myself to keep things
in perspective.
Submitted to Poets United
Poetry Pantry #362
July 16, 2017



I flew on the great silver bird
High aloft in the sky
It was wonderful for my perspective
As I thought “How small am I”

I gazed down on a crazy-quilt landscape
Spread richly to left and right
And I guessed that all of life’s spectrum
Must lie there below in my sight.

Somewhere hearts were happy
As they shared the miracle of birth
While other hearts were heavy
As a loved one passed from this earth.

Some were amassing great riches
Others struggling just to survive
Some contemplating suicide
Others rejoicing to be alive.

Somewhere babies were crying
Young folks were falling in love
And farmers were tilling the soil
As I viewed from my seat above.

I thought to myself, “Remember,
When you question the path you’ve trod
Others are facing life’s challenges
You’re but one of the children of God."

***********************

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

BLESSINGS

Submitted to Poets United
Midweek Motif, where we’re asked
to contemplate movement.  I
chose to submit a haibun.
July 12, 2017




**********
I refuse to dwell on political upheaval,
death, environmental problems, and
despair in general.  I choose to dwell
on the gentle breeze and the graceful
dance of the leaves on the large maple
in my view,  and the lazy, drifting clouds in
a sky of softest blue.   I savor the sight
of the cardinal, the dove, and the finches
at my bird buffet, companionably having
their lunch side by side, while bees are
stopping in flight to visit the lilies blooming
by the front walk.   I am blessed. 
****
Soothing gentle breeze
Reminds me to count blessings
Dwell on what is good

Saturday, July 8, 2017

LAST CALL


Submitted to Poets United
Poetry Pantry #361
July 9, 2017


On most any night in some local pub
Regulars show up to their private club
Seeking libation for broken dreams
Enough to quiet their silent screams
A shot of inspiration, a bottle of hope
A cure-all, they think, to help them cope.
Familiar faces tell the same old war stories
And the same listeners hear of long ago glories
Smoky haze hangs like tattered gauze
Over shallow smiles and drooping jaws
Speaking of what almost was and might have been
And how they wish they could start again
The friendly bartender orchestrates it all
And bides his time til he issues last call
The cast of characters leaves, having silenced their din
… but they return the next night to do it again
**********************

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

INDEPENDENCE

Submitted to Poets United Midweek Motif,
where we’re asked to write of independence.
July 5, 2017


As he was helping draft the Declaration of Independence
of the United States of America, Abigail Adams wrote to
her husband, John, “I desire that you would remember
the ladies and be more generous to them than your  ancestors”.  
And John replied, “Depend on it.  We know better than
to repeal our masculine systems”, and they did not. 
John expressed that giving up their role as masters would
"subject men to the despotism of the petticoat”.   


I am woman
I am wife and partner
I am mistress and courtesan
I am laundress
I am cook and dishwasher
I am housekeeper and confidant
I am fashion consultant
I am cheerleader
I am bookkeeper
I am assistant breadwinner
I am social secretary
I am finder of lost things (Honey, where is …?)

I am petticoat.

************************

Sunday, July 2, 2017

SOLILOQUY






Some melancholy thoughts on a sunny
Sunday afternoon. 
Submitted to Poets United
Poetry Pantry
July 2, 2017


For more than 30 years, my three good friends and I spent a week every autumn in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.  Creatures of habit, we stayed in the same room in the same lodge for all those years.  We spent long hours on the little balcony over the mountain river, and slept listening to the sound of its tumbling progress over the rocks below.   We shared our lives, our joys and tribulations, and marked those long hours with sometime tears, but always with much laughter.  The years passed, and two of our foursome  passed on to what comes after.  Last year, a careless spark ignited a dreadful fire that swept down the mountainside and burned to the ground the lodge we loved so much.  I was bereft.  One day soon, I thought, the last two of us shall follow our friends, and we’ll all be gone … the four of us, the lodge, and the balcony where we shared our lives.  We’ll all be but a blip in the passage of time.  A new lodge will replace the old, and new young housewives will come for their annual girlfriend getaway.  But I wonder, I just wonder,  if our spirits may not linger in the green hills above,  the sound of our laughter be heard faintly as the water tumbles over the rocks below, and our names be written in the smoky mists that hang over the mountains.

Smoky Mountain autumn
spirits linger in green hills
laughter in the air

**************************

Thursday, June 29, 2017

AN ODE

Submitted to dVerse Poetics
June 28, 2017
******************

I salute you, my hero in blue.
You carry me where I wish to go.
We enjoy our solitude, you and I.
and yet our togetherness brings us joy.
Together we savor country lanes,
visits to deserted cemeteries, quaint
villages and shops filled with ephemera.
Our camaraderie improves with the years
We both ripen with age, like fine wine.
If I have not remembered to tell you,
I tell you now,----your faithfulness enriches me.
Of them all, you are my stouthearted favorite
my own dependable, reliable Buick LeSabre. *

**********
*  For those not from the U.S., the Buick
LeSabre is my automobile, which I've
had since 2001 !

WAR ... AND PEACE

Submitted to Poets United Midweek Motif
where we're asked to write of
War and Peace.
June 28, 2017


WAR …. AND PEACE

In the 1700’s
it was the Revolutionary War, and we
fought for freedom from the English.
…and young men went to war and died.

In the 1800’s
We went to war with ourselves and the
North fought the South
…and young men went to war and died.

In the 1900’s
We went to war with Germany and the madman
who planned to conquer all of Europe, and the
Japanese, who destroyed half our navy at
Pearl Harbor
…and young men went to war and  died.

Today, the Germans, the Japanese, and the
English are our friends and allies.
Does anyone see the irony in that?
Why do men make war?   Could we just
make peace?
*******************************

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

BLESSINGS

Paul has asked us to write a blessing
poem for Tuesday Poetics this week.
What a wonderful idea to put blessings
and positive thoughts out into the
universe!
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
June 27, 2017
****************************

May you know the blessing of each
new day, and remember those who are
denied that gift.

May you know the blessing of family love,
and share it generously and gratefully.

May you appreciate the blessing of a roof
over your head and a warm bed, and remember
those for whom these are only dreams.

May you be blessed with gratitude for enough,
and not be greedy for too much.

May you be blessed to see the beauty of nature,
and  learn to treat it well.

May you be blessed with respect for those who
are irksome, and remember you don’t walk
in their shoes.

May you be blessed with friends, and remember
to be a good and thoughtful friend.

May you be blessed with the art of kindness,
and leave it wherever you go.

***********************

Monday, June 26, 2017

SUMMER TRAGEDY

Many of us are enjoying summer activities and
festivities, but my heart is in Ohio with the parents
of Otto Warmbier.
Submitted to dVerse Haibun/Haiku #50
June 25, 2017

********************
Otto Warmbier came home last week.  He was detained in
North Korea for a year and a half for the supposed infraction
of taking a political poster, for which he was sentenced to
15 years hard labor.  No one knows what torture he endured
during this time under the harsh and cruel regime of this country. 
Suffice to say when he was returned to the U.S. his body was
but a shell of the robust athletic body it had been, and he was,
for all intents and purposes, brain dead.   He died shortly after
his return home.  Two short years ago he was graduating high
school, second in his class,  a handsome, popular and adventurous
young man with plans for an exciting summer trip to North Korea
before entering the University of Virginia in the fall.  Now another
summer, and he lies beneath the prairie sod of Ohio, his ready
laughter and bright voice forever stilled.   What a tragedy.


Summer excitement
Sunshine and travel abroad
Tragedy ensues
 ********************************

Saturday, June 24, 2017

PUBERTY AT 45

Just when we think we have life figured out, it has a
way of throwing us a curve ball.  This poem was written
at just such a time in my life.
Submitted to Poets United Poetry Pantry #359
June 25, 2017
***************

I approached forty-five in a manner quite staid
The children were grown, the mortgage almost paid
I had all the answers, I knew what came next
Retirement, grandchildren, just like in the text.

Then Fate shuffled the cards and dealt a new hand
“You’re alone now”, Fate said, “Just where do you stand?”
“I don’t know”, I shouted, as I dealt with my sorrow,
“But somehow I’ll manage to plan for tomorrow”.

So I set out to consider just where I’d belong
“You’ll do fine”, people said, “You’ve always been strong”.
Didn’t they know it was scary out there
Facing life as a single when you’d been half of a pair?

And I, who only yesterday had seemed to know it all,
In my single encounters felt exceedingly small.
Suddenly, in my middle years, thanks to fickle Fate,
To my utter amazement I accepted a date.

And the wizard of the PTA felt once again quite stupid
As now once more, as at sixteen, she’s targeted by cupid.
My thoughts turned back to the late-night talks
When my daughter sat on my bed.
So wise I was then, so opposite now
What great thing was it I’d said?

“Mother’s doing quite well”, said daughter to son.
“It’s good she’s found life still can be fun.”
And they, whom I’d counseled in this, that and the other
Now took up the task of bringing up mother.

“Remember our talks, Mom, when you expected the worst?
They’re the same now”, said daughter,
“But the roles are reversed“.
I’m grateful, Lord, you’ve let me know
It’s still good to be alive.
But, is there some way that we could forego
This puberty at forty-five?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A VILLANELLE

Frank meets us at the bar with a request for a villanelle,
which I consider to be a rather Machiavellian format,
akin to the dreaded "story problems" I abhored in school,
which, after circuitous route, ended in "How many people
were on the bus when it reached Topeka?" or some such. 
Nonetheless, I offer my feeble attempt ... my first villanelle.

Submitted to dVerse Poetics
June 22, 2017

*************
So many gods, so many creeds
So many ways to go astray
When love is all this old world needs.

Men fall victim to misdeeds
Power and money call their name
So many gods, so many creeds

Careless for the urge he feeds
Man  seems powerless to resist
When love is all this old world needs

Never guessing where it leads
The chosen path, the destiny
So many gods, so many creeds.

Wanting only to fill his needs
With no regard for implications
When love is all this old world needs.

Careless of the voice he heeds
Stumbling onward  toward his plight
So many gods, so many creeds
When love is all this old world needs.
****************

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

YOGA DROPOUT

In honor of the International Day of Yoga, we’re
asked to consider yoga in our Wednesday writing.
I’m sharing my shortcomings (sigh)!
Submitted to Poets United Midweek Motif
June 21, 2017

************
“Picture a hammock between two trees“,  the
hypnotist said.  The office was quiet, the
reclining chair was comfortable, the clock was
softly ticking, and I …I was wondering what
I’d fix for dinner.  Onward he soldiered, determined
to get me in touch with my inner self. I felt myself
sinking into deep relaxation … then my brain kicked in.
Was this hypnosis?  How was I supposed to react?
I wondered if he hypnotized his wife, ….and I
wondered what I’d fix for dinner.

Having failed hypnosis, I considered yoga, with similar
result. My work involved a good bit of auto travel.  I
never played the radio, but considered my travel to be
“think tank time”, and let my mind wander in many
directions as I motored in silence.  It was during this
time I wrote a lot of poetry, and drew a lot of conclusions
about life in general.  In retrospect, I think I engaged in
automobile yoga!  At any rate, I find myself ill prepared
to write a poem about yoga.  Were I to attempt the lotus
position at this point in my life, it would take two strong
men and a derrick to get me unbent and upright.  I look
forward to reading of the yoga experiences of my
fellow poets, however.

**************

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

DEAD END

Mish has asked us to feature a
road sign this Tuesday.
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
June 20, 2017



There once was a guy named Fred
Wherever he went, he sped
When his foot hit the floor
He thought there'd be more
Alas!  Now Fast Freddy's dead.

*********************


Monday, June 19, 2017

PEPPER ME

Kim asks us to  write a poem of exactly 44 words
(not counting title), including the word pepper
for this week's quadrille. 
Submitted to dVerse Quadrille #24
June 19, 2017

**************


Pepper me some kindness
Pepper me some joy
Hide daily papers
They only annoy     

Pepper me some happy
Pepper me serenity
A modicum of peace
A dose of tranquility     

Pepper me some calm
In the midst of madness
Pepper me whatever
Brings on  gladness.


***************


Sunday, June 18, 2017

MAN OF COURAGE

In honor of Father's Day in the U.S.
I submit this poem to
Poets United Poetry Pantry #358
June 18, 2017

**********************

As we rode through summer breezes
The man of courage and I
He taught me still another lesson
As he had since I was just so high.

For the years had left their burden
And now he walked with a cane
And the body once strong and strapping
Now faltered and gave much pain.

I heard him not once complaining
As we passed fields of grain on our drive
But commenting on God’s bounty and sunshine
Saying, “It’s a good day to be alive”.

When I find I’m feeling sorry
For the problems and troubles I’ve had
I look to my model of courage
With humble gratitude…I love you, Dad.
**************

Thursday, June 15, 2017

WHAT MAMA KNEW

My mother had sayings that applied to
everyday life.   This poem includes some
of those sayings I remember from my
childhood.
Submitted to dVerse Open Link #198
June 15, 2017



Mama says “Stupid is as stupid does”
My Mama said a lot.
She always had a saying
For every bad habit I’d got.

When I made a pouty face
When I didn’t get my way
“Your face is sure to freeze like that”
I’d hear my Mama say.

When I forgot to change my clothes
And keep all nice and neat
I was sure to hear my Mama say
“Remember, soap is cheap”.

When I was feeling lazy
Pretending the work was done.
There she was, and Mama’d say
“Hard work never hurt anyone!”

The years have passed so quickly
Before my very eyes
And it’s only now I’ve come to know
That Mama was so wise.

*****************

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

EXTRAORDINARY

Midweek Motif asks us to find the extraordinary
in the ordinary.
Submitted to Poets United Midweek Motif
June 14, 2017


                                    What’s more ordinary than a tree?
                                In a small town in Indiana, there grows a most
                                                  extraordinary tree.
                                  It grows from the top of the courthouse.
                                             How it came to be there
                                               is purely conjecture.
                                       Where its roots find sustenance
                                                   is a mystery.
                                  It has given Greensburg a claim to fame,
                                         and visitors marvel at the sight
                               of the solitary tree clinging to the rooftop.
                                         It’s really quite extraordinary.
**********************