Saturday, June 24, 2017


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


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


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


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


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


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


My mother had sayings that applied to
everyday life.   This poem includes some
of those sayings I remember from my
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


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.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Lillian has provided old photos and
asked us to choose one and write a poem
about it at Poetics.
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
June 13, 2017

Maisie belonged to a group of women
Who battled the wages of sin
Called the Christian Temperance Union
They determined to save their men
From the dreadful jaws of temptation
And influence of men like Capone
The 20’s were times of turmoil
Much moreso than previously known.

It was the advent of the speakeasy
Some called them dens of iniquity
Their lure was forbidden alcohol
For those who had the  proclivity
Here the gentlemen tippled
Gambled and dabbled in crime
Tobacco and prostitution
Became the signs of the time

But Maisie survived the 20’s
Soon considered them times in her past
Women achieved the right to vote
She was proud when her vote was cast
Time moved on, and so did Maisie
No longer in the political foray
Now she and her friends come together
And talk about “back in the day”!


Monday, June 12, 2017


Bjorn requests our haibun/haiku feature sports
this week.  Oh my, sad tale to tell.
Submitted to dVerse
June 12, 2017

My city is most noted for being home to the  internationally known 500 Mile Race.  During the month of May we’re a mecca for racing aficionados, and in excess of 300,000 people attend the race itself.  In addition, we have a major league football team  a major league basketball team, a minor league baseball team, an ECHL ice hockey team, and the Circle City Derby Girls rollerskating team.   In the midst of all this testosterone(and estrogen)-driven activity, I am an island of inertia.  Everything I enjoy is sedentary…BUT all is not lost!  I am an enthusiastic spectator.  You want to talk sports?  I’m your woman.  You want to participate, you’re on your own.  All things considered, I am, however a good sport.
Sporting days are past
But spectatorship abounds
Armchair gymnastics

Saturday, June 10, 2017


Thoughts in chaotic times.
Submitted to Poets United
Poetry Pantry #357
June 11, 2017

Weathered barns in distant places
Sun-kissed fields and open spaces
Tidy gardens weeded and hoed
Little white chapel by the road
Remembered faces, smiling and kind
Childhood lessons come to mind

Now, jet flights and concrete jungles
Internet and traffic tangles
Cacophony of sounds assault my ears
Terrorist threats to whet my fears
Drive-by shootings, prophets of doom
Everywhere, it seems, there’s gloom.

I wish we could bottle those carefree days
Of loving kindness and simple ways
And when we’re burdened and out of cope
We could open the bottle and sip some hope.


Thursday, June 8, 2017


Victoria is hostess this week at
Meet the Bar, and challenges us
to write a lai ... aab with first two
lines 5 syllables, last line two syllables,
and 3 stanzas.   Two came to mind ....
Submitted to dVerse Meet the Bar
June 8, 2017

George was a farmer
A well-known charmer
Plenty rich

May was a looker
Hard-working hooker
Greedy bitch

Both perceived their catch
A natural match
For which?

A lady was Mabel
Seemed to be able
Fred  thought

She revealed on their dates
She’d all the good traits
He sought

And so they were wed
A bad day for Fred
He’s caught

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Submitted to Poets United Midweek
Motif, where the theme is "Oceans"
June 7, 2017

Azure waters and gentle tides
Peaceful lapping on the shore
Hidden deep beneath your waters
Lie civilizations that came before
Wrapped in coral, kelp and seaweed
Silent mysteries of the deep
Lost in wonder, man explores
Delving secrets that they keep.

And deep within the ocean bosom
Lie the hulks of sunken ships
Ancient fortunes, dreams and dreamers
Now no more than radar blips.
Men forever seek the fortunes
That lie beneath, or so they’re told
Pirate ships and Spanish galleons
Filled with artifacts and gold.

Such a multitude of mysteries
Lie upon the ocean floor
Hidden beneath those azure waters
And peaceful lapping on the shore.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Dancer's Tale

At dVerse Poetics, we're challenged to
write a poem to save lives.  I've written
about a young lady who solved her
career crisis.
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
June 6, 2017


Once upon a time
In a city far away
There lived a comely lass
Who worked hard for her pay

Sadie was a dancer
Some frowned on her profession
And said that it was shameful
And she’d pay for her transgression

But Sadie turned a deaf ear
To the church ladies’ hue and cry
Each time she danced the night away
She put most of her money by

Sadie had a dream, you see
That in a year to come
The money she’d been putting by
Would be a tidy sum

The years went by and still she danced
And so her fortune grew
She knew one day her time would come
And she’d know just what to do

Just as she planned, the day arrived
Her dream came to fruition
I guess you could say what came next
Was a sort of divine retribution

The owner put the club for sale
And, smiling, Sadie bought it
And step by step her dream came true
Exactly as she’d sought it

She immediately proceeded
With an ambitious renovation
The place became a posh ladies’ club
And something of a local sensation

It catered to wealthy women
Of elegance and class
It promised them their boredom
Would be a thing of the past.

For the healthy price of admission
They could watch some young men dance
And fill their heads with fantasies
Of a secret forbidden romance.

Sadie?  She became very rich
A pillar of the community
Hobnobbing with high society
And conducting herself with impunity

But she never forgot from whence she came
Before she achieved her goal
She remembered all those shameful nights
When she’d danced around the pole

And the moral of this story is
If you’re frugal and also wise
You can soar above the ashes
And, like a phoenix, rise

So here’s to the Sadies of the world
With an eye on the straight and narrow
For those with pureness of their soul
His eye is on the sparrow. *

* A line from an old gospel hymn
of the same name.

Monday, June 5, 2017


Our challenge this week is to
write a quadrille of exactly 44 words
using some form of the word “storm”.
Submitted to dVerse  Quadrille #34
June 5, 2017

I long for
your voice to
calm me,
your shoulder
to support me,
your love to
sustain me,
your humor
to entertain me.
I face the storms alone.
Life is good
but not the same .
Our time together
fades in memory.
I miss it still

comes another storm
I’ll withstand the wind
for I know storms pass

Sunday, June 4, 2017


Idle thoughts on a Sunday morning.
Submitted to Poets United
Poetry Pantry #356
June 3, 2017

You may know her.

She snatches defeat from the jaws of

She thrives on depression.

She dwells on the blows life deals,
taking the good for granted.

She approaches each task with
visions of failure.

Success is not on her radar.

Her glass is always half empty.

She draws negative to her as honey
draws bees.

She’s a drama queen who usually gets
just what she expects, because
she expects little.

How do you break the cycle?


Thursday, June 1, 2017


When I was a child, my clothes were made
from print feed sacks.  No small wonder, then,
that the "Who are you wearing?" on the red
carpet leaves me askance.  My poem today
addresses the issue.
Submitted to dVerse  Open Link
June 1, 2017


I think the fashion designers
Must laugh behind closed doors
At the way we dance to their music
As we go about our chores.
We clamor for Jordache
And line up for Calvin Kleins
When K-Mart specials could just as well
Cover our behinds.

Gloria Vanderbilt’s into sheets now
With colors so pretty and bright
She knows we’d sleep just as well
Beneath J.C. Penney white.
The measure of a man, they say,
Is the emblem on his sox.
What possible difference can it make
If it’s an alligator or running fox?

Some live in mortal terror
Of Blackwell’s worst-dressed list
When they could be just as happy
If it simply didn’t exist.
For the proper running wardrobe
The joggers fuss and fret
When an old sweat suit could do the job
Of soaking up the sweat.

We need one wardrobe for tennis
Another one for golf
If we wore tennis whites to the golf course
Do you think we could tee off?
Being well-dressed strains our budgets
But I guess it’s our own fault.
They play the tune, we pay the bucks
And they take them to their vault.

I picture them all in conference,--
Cassini, Bill Blass and Chaus
Coming up with the proper wardrobe
To wear while cleaning the house.
While Pierre Cardin and Christian Dior
Are thinking equally hard
What the well-dressed suburbanite
Should wear while mowing the yard.

I think we should all rebel
And stand firm and strong in our boots
And tell them henceforth we’ve decided
Just to wear our birthday suits.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Lillian is hosting Poetics this
week, and asking us to use
the word “gift”.
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
May 31, 2017

Each day’s a gift, they say
That’s why it’s called the present
And now that I’m retired
Most of them are pleasant

I try to start each new day
Avoiding the morning news
Because if I listen to any of it
I’m sure to get the blues

I look for a good-news station
On my little radio
But all I hear is who got shot
And traffic is awfully slow

I’m afraid to open the refrigerator
Everything in there’s out to get me
I’m sure to succumb, they say
To the non-organic litany

So I toddle off to my computer
I’m sure to find surcease there
Good grief!  He’s tweeted again
And someone wants me to share.

I hasten to my poetry site
To spend some quality time
My friends here know how to escape
And they do it all in rhyme.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Grace is hosting Haibum Monday, and
gives us to think about Kintsugi, the
ancient Japanese art of making something
beautiful from something broken.
Submitted to dVerse
May 30, 2017

I grew up with the Queen of Kintsugi and didn’t know it!   Mother
broadened the art to include anything worn, torn, bent or broken.  
Almost anything in my life as a  child had begun as something else. 
My clothes were made from the print fabric feed sacks which had
contained the grain mix for the chickens, and those that were plain
white were turned into dish towels.  Worn clothing was cut into pieces
and turned into quilts.  Heavy woolens were cut into pieces and
turned into heavy “comforters” for winter bed covers. My father’s
worn overalls were cut into pieces and made into coverlets that we
used to spread under the shade tree for lounging in the shade and
reading in summertime.  Small pieces of fabric were torn into strips
and used to make rag rugs. 

Mother’s talents extended to hammer and saw.  An old window
became the hinged cover for her hand-made hot bed for starting
plants for her garden.   Wood pieces from an old shed were turned
into a doghouse, and plant stands.  A defunct radio cabinet was
turned into a small sideboard.  Broken dishes or leaky pans were
turned into flower containers.  It seemed nothing was ever truly
broken, simply headed toward a new beginning … perhaps a good
lesson to apply to life itself.

Thunder in distance
harbinger of coming rain
riding tumbling clouds

Friday, May 26, 2017


Submitted to Poets United #355
Poetry Pantry
May, 2017


I’ve a quilt of many colors my mother gave to me
She lovingly caressed it as she told its history.
“These pieces”, she said with quivering voice,
“Are from my grandmother’s dress.
I made it in her memory, after she’d been laid to rest.”

I looked at the quilt of colors my mother so carefully made.
Life’s like the quilt, I thought to myself,  with pieces painstakingly laid.
Some colors are bright and happy, others are dark and sad
And the way we arrange the pieces reflects the life we’ve had.

I love my quilt of colors and display it with very great pride.
It’s more than a piece of fabric, it makes me feel good inside.
Very aware of my heritage and my place in the scheme of things.
We’re all keepers of memories, whether we’re paupers or kings.

As my mother passed on the memories of her grandmother to me
So I’ll entrust the memories to my daughter too, you see
She, in turn, will pass them on in an endless living chain
And the hopes and dreams of our ancestors
Will live again and again.

As those before, so those to come
Will encounter both joy and strife
And each generation be given the chance
To piece the quilt of life.


Thursday, May 25, 2017


Frank has challenged us to write a poem
in a form called Ottava rima.
Ottava rima is an old Italian form consisting of
 multiple stanzas each of eight lines using
 iambic meter and having the rhyme
pattern abababcc.
Submitted to dVerse May, 2017

She left in disarray, thoughts scattered
With only vestiges of broken dreams
Betrayed, abused, emotions tattered
She’d lost herself, a victim of his schemes
Escape and freedom all that mattered
She fled with faith alone, or so it seems.
She vowed to find a safe and better place
For regaining strength and renewal of grace.

Slowly they returned, the things she treasured
Things she scarcely realized she’d lost
Confidence, identity, resolve unmeasured
She came to know how great had been the cost
When she had lived only to see him pleasured
And he, in turn, had cruelly double-crossed.
She put in the past the deceit and degradation
And faced her future, filled with celebration.

        Take the leap of faith
       Find yourself victorious
       Stronger than you know

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


This week's Midweek Motif topic is FLOWERS.

Did you ever take a  country drive and notice flowers
growing beside an abandoned house, and think about
who planted them?  Did you wonder if she knows her
flowers still bloom there?  Such a drive inspired this bit of
digital art and the poem therein. 

Submitted to Poets United Midweek Motif
May, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Paul has asked us to go underground for our
offering for Poetics Tuesday.  I chose to take
him literally. I hope my poet friends do not
tire of hearing my remember-whens!
Here’s another.
Submitted to dVerse Poetics Tuesday
May, 2017

A stone’s throw from the back door of my childhood home was what we called “the cave”.  Actually, it was an underground storm cellar.  Many of the farm homes had one for refuge in event of a tornado, which occurred on occasion in our area.  My mother was an inventive soul,  however, and turned our “cave” into her personal winter storage area.  She built long shelves along one side on which she arranged the food she canned from her extensive garden …  green beans, peas, corn, tomatoes, apple butter, jellies, jams, peaches, apples, pickles, and beets.   On the other wall, she built bins for the root vegetables … potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, and carrots.   Unexpected  company for dinner merely required a trip to “the cave”, and a typical farm meal would be forthcoming.  Guests were usually sent home with a jar or two of her prized jelly.  My mother was a woman of many talents … a hard act to follow!

Monday, May 22, 2017


Today's Quadrille of exactly 44 words
is to use the word "Sound".
Submitted to dVerse
May, 2017

                                   Cardinal issues morning address
                           Instructions for wife and children, no doubt

                           Sound of distant crow committee meeting
                                      Apparently much to discuss

                               Rat-a-tat-tat of pileated woodpecker
                                You’d think he’d have a headache

                                   Small jet landing at little airport
                                          Race driver coming in? *

                                              Must be morning.


Welcome morning sounds
Fall pleasantly on the ears
Time to face the day

*It is May in Indianapolis, home to the vaunted
500 Mile Race.  

Sunday, May 21, 2017


A prose/poem extracted from a
short story I wrote for my writer's group.
Submitted to Poets United
Poetry Pantry
May, 2017

Exploring their newly purchased property, Nathan and Alice came across a cave, and inside was a weathered trunk.  Thinking perhaps it contained treasures untold, they carefully opened the creaking lid.  Inside, they found a yellowed envelope which contained the following poem:

Fiddle de dum, fiddle de dee
There’s a secret to be told
To those who venture here
In search of a pot of gold.

In my lifetime there’s a lesson I’ve learned
Riches aren’t found in money
But in the wildflower meadow
Where the bees collect their honey

In the whispered breezes
Where the old elms stand
All this wealth is yours to hold
On this single piece of land.

Down the hill to the little creek
And the sound of its gurgling tones
As it flows ever so gently
Over time-scarred and weathered stones.

In the distant sight of birds on the wing
And the sound of their warbling trill
As they stop for lunch in the tangle
Of blackberry vines just down the hill

Savor the colors that are yours to see
Grass so green, and sky so blue
These  riches are yours, my friends
More than you ever knew.

So put this back in the weathered trunk
And close the lid on my rhyme
More treasure seekers will visit here
In yet another time. 

Slowly,  Nathan and Alice returned the envelope to the trunk, closed the lid, and left the cave.  They walked back to the house in silence,  through the wildflower meadow and the stand of elms, past the gurgling little creek and the tangle of  blackberry vines, each with a new appreciation for the riches that surrounded them, more than they ever knew.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


It’s Open Link at dVerse
Time for a little introspection.
Submitted to Open Link 196
May, 2017

It’s wonderful to be older,
And oh, so very wise
…but I observe I have acquired
    some bags beneath my eyes.

My years of diligent labor
Have made me efficient about the house
…but now, when I look in the mirror
   my knees appear to blouse.

After all my years of practice,
I know quite the proper thing to say
…but I note on close inspection,
   my hair is turning gray.

Seniority has its privileges
Of travel beneath foreign flags
…but, when I check my silhouette,
    I believe my bottom sags.

When youth defers to me,
I think it’s really sweet
…but along with that, it’s sad to see
   my skin’s begun to pleat.

I’m now  loaded with self-confidence
When before a group I speak
…but, as I leave the podium,
   I hear my joints begin to creak.

Yes, aging has its privileges
And all in all they’re not so bad
…but they would really please me
   with that youthful body I had.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Susan has chosen  Bicycles, Tricycles or Unicycles
for this week’s Midweek Motif.   The subject
conjures sweet memories of my favorite
childhood pastime.
Submitted to Poets United Midweek Motif
May, 2017

Sweet memories of bicycle rides at dusk
pedaling down lonely country roads
lost in summer fragrance
only the sound of gravel under wheels
meadowlarks perched on fenceposts
cattle grazing in the fields.

Once around the four mile square
a time for dreams and youthful plans
home in sight, and mother’s garden
tidy rows of vegetables, edged by flowers
bicycle parked, stop by the old grapevine
for reward of sweet purple grapes
watch out for evil bantam rooster

Open the screen door to HOME.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Mish is hosting Poetics today, and
asks us to engage in abstract use
of the senses.   I’m not sure I hit the
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
May, 2017

A late Spring day sends shade songs
from the overhanging maples. I sit
on the deck, my latest novel ("Sold Down
the River") at hand,  and find myself lost in
soft Cajun patois, spicy jambalaya calling
my name, a visiting  jay casting voodoo spells
and dark promises.  I taste pipe smoke, chalks,
oil paints, euphoria and despair of artists who
display their wares on the wrought iron fences
of Jackson Square.   I inhale New Orleans
from the pages of my novel.   The day is
lush with green, and I am blush with happy.

Monday, May 15, 2017


Bjorn hosts the Haibun/haiku at dVerse today
and asks us to include a recipe.
Submitted to dVerse
May, 2017

Chocolate … the panacea of the masses!   The very word is
soothing to the spirit.   On a cold winter’s night there’s nothing
like wrapping your hands around a mug of steaming hot chocolate,
the fragrance  drifting upward on the trails of steam.   Conversely,
on a hot summer day, there’s nothing like a trip to the local
ice cream store for a hot fudge sundae, the combination of hot
and cold a glorious  celebration of the tongue.   But when
I REALLY want chocolate, I  grab my favorite microwave safe
bowl, pour in a 12 ounce package of chocolate chips, a 6 ounce
package of butterscotch chips,  and one 14 ounce can of sweetened
condensed milk.   Stir it up a bit and pop it in the microwave
for about a minute and a half or until the chips are melted.  Remove
from the microwave,  stir vigorously, add a teaspoon of vanilla
and a handful of nuts.  Pour it into an 8 x 8 pan and allow to cool. 
Instant melt-in-your-mouth fudge.   Ah, bliss!

drifting from window
chocolate scent on spring breeze
titillating appetite

Saturday, May 13, 2017


I try not to politicize my poetry, but on
occasion my muse overpowers me.  Such
is the case with this poem, submitted to
Poets United Poet Pantry
May, 2017


Consider the right-fighter
We’ve one in the White House today
If you dare to disagree with  him
There’s sure to be hell to pay

When he speaks he shows his ignorance
And embarrassing lack of knowledge
One wonders if he obtained his degree
From Kindergarten College.

He tells us Andy Jackson
Tried to avert the Civil War
Never mind that poor old Jackson
Had died many years before.

No sooner has he filled his staff
And everyone is hired
Than someone dares to disagree
And he’s shouting “You’re Fired!”

I try to hope for the future
But anxieties linger
If only there were a greater distance
Between “the button” and his finger!

Thursday, May 11, 2017


Victoria Slotto is hosting Meeting the Bar
at dVerse.  She’s requested “List Poetry”, which
 neatly squelched my poetic urges!   What follows,
I fear, is a bit grumpy. 
Submitted May, 2017

I’m basically a happy person
Positive, I guess you’d say
But there are some things that annoy me
And fail to make my day

      Such as

Alarm clocks
Rearranged grocery shelves
Slow drivers in the fast lane
    And lists

People who are perpetually late
Mechanics who move my car seat
Shredded lettuce on my hamburgers
Unloading the dishwasher
    And lists

Wet morning newspaper
Unmade beds and clutter
Dishes in the sink
Donald J. Trump
    And lists

There, now, I've made an effort
And tried to be a sport
This comes with my apology
I'll work on my comport.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Poets United Midweek Motif
features childbirth this week.
Such a special time!
Submitted 5-9-2017

“It’s a boy!”  they told me that morning
What joy it brought to my heart!
And when they placed you beside me
I examined each small, perfect part.

I prayed for wisdom to guide you
To your manhood straight and strong
I prayed you’d always have courage
To separate right from wrong.

That’s you’d know real jewels are in sunsets
And true riches are not in the bank
And if you lost sight of those values
You’d only yourself to thank.

I prayed for your days filled with laughter
And life’s riches your lot day by day
For those riches are found in the loving
Of souls touched along the way.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Poetics:  Soil
Dverse Poetics Tuesday
Submitted  May 8, 2017

Black dust carried on prairie winds
God’s gift to middle Illinois
Rich, black, fertile loam
Nurtures crops and nature’s bounty
Tidy gardens, winter’s sustenance
Rippling waves of golden wheat
Fields of sweet and fragrant clover
Holding fast the hardwood forests
Carried by rivers to the sea
Bless this soil on which we stand
Lord, we’re grateful for this land.

Monday, May 8, 2017


Quadrille #32  requires exactly 44 words
using the word echo
Submitted to dVerse
May 8, 2017

Abandoned and forlorn
Secrets kept within
Children’s voices echo
And play remember when

Someone’s cherished home
In days of long ago
Their voices speak to me
In echoes soft and low.

Simple days passed
Dreams were dreamed
Their memories remained
Or so it seemed.

Sunday, May 7, 2017


Careful what you wish for, is what they say.
This poem is about just that.
Submitted to Poets United Poets Pantry
May 7, 2017


When I was small, I was very fat
And I thought skinny was where it’s at
And during the years of my single life
I knew I’d be happy if I just were a wife.

Then I was married and the children came
And I knew when they were grown
I’d be ahead of the game.
When my babies had flown the nest
I thought working women had life the best.

Now I was working and accepting the pay
But I thought I’d give anything for one leisure day
Sure, I was married, as I’d wanted to be
But my single friends all seemed so free.

Time turned the pages, I was single again
And freedom not so great as I thought it had been.
When it’s over, I wonder, on that final day
Will I have lived my life, or just wished it away?
(I would not want anyone to think I've led a life of discontent,
as that is most definitely not the case.  It has been, and is, a
happy journey.)

Thursday, May 4, 2017


Written a few years back, but
still so timely, I think.
Submitted to dVerse
Open Link #195
May 3, 2017

It’s the “me” generation
It’s in vogue to please yourself
The idea is highly touted
In the books upon the shelf.
Self-fulfillment, self-enrichment
Look out for number one
If it works so well, I wonder
Where happiness has gone?

The divorce rate is steadily climbing
And many are at the end of their rope
Are we so busy feeding our egos
We’re running out of cope?
Our houses are growing larger
At quite an alarming rate
First we have to find one another
Before we can communicate.

Our children grow up with a sitter
Who has problems of her own
When we decide to spend time with them
We find they’re nearly grown.
The men are at the golf course
And the women at the pool.
And the children leave the sitter’s
And go to nursery school.

The husbands go to the men’s clubs
The wives go to the spas.
Are they so busy self-developing
They forget the way it was
When love was new and joyous
And each lived for the other
And finding time together
Wasn’t such an awful bother?

Could it be we had the answer
In the not so long ago
When we weren’t hung up on possessions
And what we had for show?

When our concern was more for others
And we loved our fellow man
And we weren’t too busy self-developing
To lend a helping hand?

Could self-denial be fulfilling
And self-control enriching too?
Is it just we have the self misplaced.
I wonder, is that true?

There’s a very great difference
Between what we want and what we need
And what we call desire to achieve
Is perilously close to greed.

It seems what we wear not who we are
Is what it’s all about
But ugly is still ugly
If it comes from inside out.

We’re all looking for the answers
And there’s little else to say
But, if we reassessed our values
Would happy come back one day?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


News Media ,,,
A nostalgic look at news as it used to be.
I don't think there's enough paper for me to
discuss what it is today.

Submitted to Poets United  Midweek Motif
 May 3, 2017

After supper, my father sat hunched in his old rocking chair
beside the console radio, dialed to the evening news.  It was
World War II, and  I can still hear the sonorous tones of
Gabriel Heater reporting on “our boys on the Western Front”.
This was our contact with the world beyond our rural part of
north central Illinois.  When the news reported a need for
blood for “our boys”, my father and a few of the neighboring
farmers, all of whom were above age for the draft, drove the
100 miles north to Chicago to donate blood. The country was
united in patriotism and support for our military.  Stars hung
in the windows of those who had fathers or sons in service.
Sadly, gold stars hung in the windows of those who’d lost that
father or son.  The newscasts on the old radio were never
questioned, but taken as gospel truth.

How I wish we could rely upon truth in our journalism today.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


Kim has issued a challenging challenge for
Tuesday Poetics.   Write a dramatic monologue,
she asks, and thrill her and chill her with our evil plans.
What’s more, we’re to do this in rhyming couplets
and anapestic format.   Forgive me for foregoing
Submitted to dVerse Tuesday Poetics
May 2, 2017 
I am happy for this chance to vent
My modicum of murderous intent
I fear it has potential, you see
To become a regular killing spree.

I want to dispose of more than one
Oh, many will go before I’m done
I’ll watch them fall like dominoes
And go the way of all my foes

A poisonous spray will do the task
I won’t inhale, I’ll wear a mask
It won’t take long til it’s all complete
And my victory will be so sweet.

Then. sitting back in my easy chair
I’ll cherish my view beyond compare
Free of the blight of those yellow scions
Oh, how I hate those dandelions. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

The River

Haibun Monday
Submitted to dVerse
May 1, 2017
Garth Brooks - The River

It was there, in the attic of my brain … “The River” … the lyric that had been meaningful to me in trying times … the lyric that inspired me to push forward when courage flagged.  Some songs speak to us, and linger in our memory like an old friend,  to be encountered once again with a rekindling of emotion.  I raise my glass to the musical poets who pen lyrics that mark the events in our lives ... a few notes of which, even years later,  can transport us back to that moment in time.  It seems contemporary lyrics often lack substance, and become a single repetitive phrase interspersed with "oh baby, baby."  Two lines from “The River” pop immediately to mind … “I will sail my vessel ’til the river runs dry.  I’ll never reach my destination if I never try”.    Ah, words to live by, Garth Brooks.   Thank you!

Turn the volume up
Sing me some inspiration
Music is my bliss


Saturday, April 29, 2017


The Bermuda Triangle has always held a
fascination, and the fate of Flight 19 is
one of its mysteries.
Submitted to Poets United, Poetry Pantry
April 30, 2017

Five pilots of the Navy’s tried and true
Took off on a mission routine
The Florida sun was shining
There were high hopes for Flight 19

They’d completed part of their journey
When the lead pilot called to say
His compass had malfunctioned
And he feared they’d lost their way

And so no one really knows
What happened to the flight
In the last communication
They said “No land in sight”.

What  followed was a massive search
The outcome was as feared
All five planes and 14 souls
Seemed to have disappeared.

Two rescue planes had been dispatched
To try to find the flight
Before another day had dawned
One of them, too, had vanished from sight.

The searchers found no oil slicks
No sign of  debris was seen
To explain the mysterious fate
Of the search plane or Flight 19.

The Bermuda Triangle is legend
For ships lost and never seen again
She still holds fast the destination
Of the search plane, Flight 19, and their men.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Frank asks us to write a limerick,
a 5-line poem.   Who can stop at one?

Submitted to dVerse Form For All
April 26, 2017

There once was a girl named Sally
Who lived in the Silicon Valley
She took a big chance
And got some implants
And now she's called Silicone Sally.

There once was a fellow idiotic
Who kept company with animals exotic
When asked who he was with
His friends propagated the myth
"Who gnu?", they all said, "He's quixotic".

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


This week's Midweek Motif challenges us
to consider a grain of sand.
Submitted to Poets United
April 26, 2017

Once I stood atop the mountain
The mistress of all I surveyed
Ah, how sweet to survey my kingdom
For which I’d so dearly paid

Then sands shifted on the promontory
Which it seemed I had only just gained
And I found myself in the valley
With the mountain before me again

I vowed I would conquer the mountain
It seemed I’d climbed time after time
And grasping familiar footholds
Once more I began to climb.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Paul has asked us to feature community in our
Tuesday Poetics this week. I'm overcome with
nostalgia, which occasions this bit of prose.
Submitted to dVerse Poetics Tuesday
April 15, 2017

The indigenous aboriginals of Australia call it their belonging place … that place where they had their beginning.  My belonging place is that part of middle Illinois where I spent my childhood, wrapped in the unconditional love of my parents, and the safety of the surrounding community.    I close my eyes to a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds and smells etched forever in my soul.  I see still my mother’s garden, and the fields that stretched to the horizon in regimented rows of corn, golden waves of oats, fragrant fields of clover and alfalfa.  I hear the contented lowing of the cattle, the rooster’s morning crow, the nighttime hoot of the owl in the elm tree outside my window, and the snuffling grunts of the pigs at their feeders.  I smell the fragrance of the lilac by the yard gate, a wondrous blend of coffee brewing and bacon frying in early morning, the pungent smell of freshly turned earth, the unmatchable smell of new-mown hay, and the smell of sunshine on my sheets and pillow.

My belonging place was peopled by the good-hearted and hard-working farm families of our community, most of whom attended the same little roadside church and whose children attended my one-room school.  There were no locks on doors, no daily newspapers to bring us news of murder, mayhem and disasters.  Our news of the world beyond our little community came from the evening newscast on the old console radio beside my father’s rocking chair.  We went to bed at nightfall and got up at dawn.   The faces of those dear folks who peopled our community will remain with me always, and I am blessed.

Monday, April 24, 2017


Grace brings us Quadrille #31, a challenge
to write a poem of exactly 44 words using
the word “still” or a form thereof.
Submitted to dVerse
April 24, 2017

After all this time
you visit me still
in my dreams.
I hear you chuckle,
calling me Bay-Be
in the old teasing way.
Wrapped in your arms
once again,  I am loved
and secure.
I  don’t want to wake up
and be alone again.

The stillness of night
Opens memory’s doorway
And there we meet again


Sunday, April 23, 2017


Just a light-hearted little rhyme on
a beautiful Sunday morning.
Submitted to the Poetry Pantry at Poets United
April 23, 2017

Deep in the woods where the sunshine speckles
You might find the girl, nose dusted with freckles
She had no worries about fashion trends
All the creatures of the woodland were her friends..

Sometimes she climbed high in the mighty old oak
And listened to songbirds as they spoke
Or she lay on her belly in the tall, green grass
And whispered to caterpillars as they’d pass

She talked to the fish in the forest pool
She had plenty of time; there was no school
The fairies had granted all her wishes
No cleaning house, no doing dishes

She ruled her world with an iron hand
There were no bad guys in her land
She played lots of games, and was always the winner
… But playtime was over when Momma called her to dinner.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Poets United Midweek Motif asks us to
consider that which is holy.
Submitted April 19, 2017

Somewhere in the great what-comes-after, He-who-knows-all
must look upon our fractiousness, our failure to love one another,
our careless use of our wonderful world and the gifts herein, our
frantic search for the meaning of life, and shake His weary head
at our obtuseness, for that which is holy is all about us.   It is in
the innocent faces of  children, the sunrise and sunset we take for
granted,  the opening of a flower, the fragrance of Spring rain,
cool breezes on a summer day, the touch of a loved one, the tides
of the ocean, the flow of rivers,  the gift of music, the pristine
silence of new fallen snow, the glorious colors of autumn, and
the miracle that is life.   There are many avenues to the great
what-comes-after, if we but take the time to be still and allow
the peace that passes understanding to settle upon us.

wisdom in silence
blessed assurance for all
if we but listen

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Tuesday Poetics requires a postcard this week.  How timely!  
My family is on Topsail Island and I'm here at home!
Submitted to dVerse Tuesday Poetics
April 18, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017


It's Haibun/Haiku Monday at dVerse
and we're challenged to feature something
we fear.   My haibun's a bit wordy.  Forgive me!
Submitted April 17, 2017

My mother taught me so many valuable lessons.  I am forever grateful.  However, she taught me one lesson I could have lived without.  She had a dreadful fear of water. Edgar Cayce, known as the Sleeping Prophet, believed that many of our fears and ills are karma from previous lives. In that case, I often wondered about my mother’s previous lives.  Perhaps, I thought, she was a relative of Noah’s who fell from the ark and drowned in the great flood; or perhaps an Egyptian handmaiden who tumbled from Cleopatra’s barge and was swept away by the waters of the Nile.   Perhaps she was an Indian maiden in Chief Tecumseh’s village who fell into what is now Reelfoot Lake, created by the New Madrid earthquake in 1811; or maybe she was a passenger on the Titanic.. 

These are only some of the things I considered that might have caused Mother’s fear of water.  Whatever the cause, she managed to transfer that fear to me quite nicely.  For the most part, it wasn’t a problem, because the only water near our farm was a meandering, gurgling little creek that one could wade across, except on occasion in the Spring rains when it became a raging torrent.  There was a community pool in the town 13 miles from our farm, but of course that was never on  Mother’s travel schedule.   I remember a picnic with another family on the banks of a river somewhere in middle Illinois.  The father of the other family had brought along an inner tube to allow his children to float on the river.  My mother reluctantly allowed me to join in, but only after she warned me to hold tight, lest I be swept under the murky waters, carried away by the current and ultimately spit into the ocean at the mouth of the mighty Mississippi.  I clung to that inner tube with a ferociousness that has since never been outdone. 

Fate took me to Miami, Florida, in my 20’s, and of course that meant the beach and the ocean.   I purchased my first bathing suit and tiptoed into the Atlantic at South Miami Beach.  It was great fun … so long as my feet touched bottom.   Friends tried to teach me to swim, but I could never manage to swim and turn my head to breathe at the same time, so I could only paddle as far as I could hold my breath.   The long bridge over Tampa Bay is a lesson in courage for me, the mere thought of an ocean cruise gives me the vapors,  even flying over water causes anxiety.   I’ve tried very hard not to pass Mother’s fear to the next generation, and took my children for swimming lessons, managing to curb my fear when the instructor took them to the deep end of the pool.   I’m very proud to say both can swim, and my grandchildren seem to have no fear of water.  Hopefully, I have broken the tradition for the next generation….but deep water still scares me!

Spring is in the air
Flowering trees burst with bloom
Wonderful feast for the eyes

Friday, April 14, 2017


Kim at dVerse has give us a challenging challenge this week at Meet the Bar.  "The challenge", says Kim, " is to choose a modern popular song, preferably one that everyone knows, and re-write it as a Shakespearean sonnet, which can be serious, humorous or just plain silly! To make it more fun, don’t give your sonnet its original title so that we can take a guess as to what it might be!
Here's my feeble attempt, though it's obviously not a true sonnet.
April 14, 2017


Whither art thou, my love, whither art thou
How I strive, but I cannot see
Was’t a will-o-the-wisp, an empty fa├žade
Yet, still do blue eyes gaze on me
Still do blue eyes gaze on me

Tis confusion, methinks pure illusion
When I thought ‘twas passion for true
Whither art thou, my love, whither art thou
‘twas but a dream I thought was you
Yet still your blue eyes gaze on me

Alas, what I mistook for passion
Was but a figment of my desperate mind
Still, blue eyes gaze on me
But perchance they’ve left me behind

Thursday, April 13, 2017


A bit of tongue-in-cheek rhyming
(a limerick perhaps?) for this week's
Poetry Pantry
Submitted April 16, 2017

A man for all seasons
Keeps secret his reasons
Until his game has been played.

Ladies fall for his charms
When held in his arms
But they’re destined to be betrayed

For him love’s a contest
His joy is in the conquest
But then he’s off and away.

The sweet words he’s spoken
Leave the ladies heartbroken
But much smarter too, they say.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Midweek Motif topic this week is Books. 
My  prose is a bit lengthy, but the subject
begged a story to be told.
Submitted to Poets United Midweek Motif
April 12, 2017

My love of books began in a little one-room school in middle Illinois.  My teacher, Earl Zehr, was small in stature, a rather nondescript man, who always wore a crisp shirt and tie with a cardigan sweater.  I don’t remember that he ever raised his voice, yet he maintained respect and order in our schoolroom.   It all seemed very ordinary then, and it was only many years later I came to realize just what an impact he had on my life.  

The role of a country schoolteacher in those days was so much more than reading, writing, arithmetic, geography and history.   Mr. Zehr was janitor, and responsible for building a fire in the big pot-bellied stove on cold winter mornings; and, with some help from students, keeping our schoolroom tidy.  We learned responsibility by being assigned small tasks, and pride in doing them well.   He was music director, and played the piano for our rousing renditions of  “America, the Beautiful”, “God Bless America and other patriotic songs that instilled a pride and love for our country.  On the playground, he was umpire, coach and athletic director.  It was here we learned life lessons that would stand us in good stead for all our lives.   We learned to play fair, to negotiate, to respect others, to look after the little ones, and always to do our best.  On holidays, Mr. Zehr became the drama teacher, preparing and choreographing little programs which we performed for our parents. 

But the greatest gift for me was the time he set aside two or three days a week to read to us from a book of his choice.   In my mind I see him still, taking up the book from the corner of his desk, opening it almost reverently, and, in his measured voice, beginning to read to us of faraway cities and  events so very different from our rural part of the world.   He would read two or three chapters, then close the book until the next session, leaving us in breathless anticipation.   I became thirsty to read every book that came my way.  My studies ended after a year in business college, but my education has lasted my life long, thanks to the thirst for knowledge he instilled in me.  Books are my best friends. Many years later, in what proved to be the last year of his life, I had occasion to see Mr. Zehr again, and to thank him for the gift he had given me.  I am so grateful I had that opportunity.

Armchair vacation
Destination anywhere
No passport required

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


It's Poetics Tuesday at dVerse, and Lillian has challenged us to choose a top song from our birth year and weave it into our poem.   WOW!  I hit a bonanza.  There were so many good ones, I just chose to use them all (they're highlighted).   Now, everyone hurry to find the year!
Submitted April 11, 2017

I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter to remind me
it was just one of those things.  Just because I get a kick out of you,
I convinced myself you’re the top, and you are my lucky star;
but dancing cheek to cheek under the blue moon to the lullaby of Broadway
warped my senses, so don’t be comin’ around any more.  I won’t dance. 


Monday, April 10, 2017


It's Quadrille Monday at dVerse and Mish
has given us "drizzle" for our word to
be used in our quadrille of exactly 44 words.
Submitted  April 10, 2017

When I was young and sparkly
I had a lot of sizzle
Now that I’ve grown older
My sizzle is a fizzle

I start my day all perky
My expectations are great
But drizzles seem to beset me
And my perk seems to abate.

Sunday, April 9, 2017


A haibun and haiku, submitted to
Poetry Pantry at Poets United
April 9, 2017

Dark clouds gathered on the horizon.  The birds fell quiet,
and small creatures scurried for cover.  A rogue wind crested
the hill, saddled the lightning and rode it arcing through the
dark clouds down to the valley floor.  Deafening bursts
of thunder rumbled up the valley and the trees bowed and
thrashed in a frenzied Macarena.  Raindrops built to a steady
downpour, and parched earth slaked its thirst, sending forth
a fecund fragrance.  After a time, distant thunder signaled
that the storm had moved on, and a soggy silence fell
over the valley. 

Dark clouds foretell storm
Nature exerts dominance
Silence left behind


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

13 Ways of Looking at a Tree

Poets United Midweek Motif challenges us to present an outdoor scene honoring April. 
Looking out my window at the budding trees, I'm reminded of Wallace Stevens' poem
"13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird", and I've adapted the idea for an oak.
Submitted to Midweek Motif
April, 2017

It falls from high,                  
small, brown, inconspicuous,                
containing promise of mighty oak          

A seedling, roots seeking sustenance               
growing strong and tall              
fulfilling destiny                          
Shield from summer sun                
dappled shade                      
on cool green grass.
Natives gather beneath              
dense leaves provide shelter              
from summer storm                  
Feathered inhabitants
find welcome homes
and raise voices in song

Now standing sentinel
beside pioneer cabin
amid fresh young dreams.

The child swings
from sturdy limb
happy and secure

In soft rustles of night
a quiet “who who”
of resident owl

Taller still, rooted deep
scarred by time
cloaked in history.

Dressed in colors
glorious red
russet and gold

Now naked in winter winds
limbs akimbo
colors pooled below

Stark shadow cast on snow
like tentacles
seeking warmth

Now tinged with green
bursting with life anew
the cycle continues.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


It's Poetic Tuesday at dVerse, and Lillian has asked us to
investigate anthropomorphism, which brought to mind
HyberNate, the bear.
Submitted April, 2017

HyberNate, the bear,
woke up hungry.

Out his den door, he saw
a buttermilk sky,
cotton candy clouds spooning,
then skidding apart,
split by forked lightning
kniving its way earthward
toward lettuce green hills
and broccoli trees looking over
lemon meringued valleys
with popcorn highways
edged with lollipops and bonbons.

“Oh (sigh)”, he thought, “It’s a
     word salad  kind of day.”


Monday, April 3, 2017


Submitted to dVerse for Haibun Monday
April 3, 2017

She awakened to the plaintive wail of the 7 a.m. train, and peered out the window to see it was yet another of those gray, bleak winter days.  Shadows of bare tree limbs played across the dingy remnants of the last snowfall. With a sigh, she arose and shuffled to the kitchen, where she set about the daily routine of making her morning coffee.  How she longed for the sense of well-being that comes with the first hint of Spring!  It had been a long winter and each day seemed the same as the one before, a progression of sameness which left her struggling with boredom and depression.  She opened the door, which gave the expected complaining squeak, and picked up the morning paper from its usual spot on the front step, noting that her own shadow mingled with that of the bare tree limbs, creating a lonely scene.  Appropos, she thought, as she closed the door and shuffled back to the kitchen.  Her first cup of coffee was always accompanied by the daily crossword, and she opened the paper, picked up her pencil and began the daily ritual.   One across.  Five letters.  “A pervasive sense of boredom”.  She penciled in the letters E-N-N-U-I, ennui … and the irony of the word did not escape her.

yesterday again
each day the same as the last
boredom reigns supreme


Saturday, April 1, 2017


A bit of tongue-in-cheek humor
Submitted to Poets United Poetry Pantry
and dVerse Open Link
(Image credit to Dreamstime)
April, 2017

Gather ‘round, you quirksters
I’ve a tale for you to hear
About the king of the castle
And his daughter, Gimme-a-beer

One day into the castle
Clanked handsome Sir Laugh-a-lot
He’d heard of the fair maiden
Whose father, the king, was gone a lot.

He courted the fair maiden
And stole her heart away
“When father comes back, we’ll tell him”,
She said, “’Twill be a wondrous day”.

But the day was not so wondrous
When the king returned to the castle
He’d heard of faithless courting knights
And there really was quite a hassle.

Sir Laugh-a-lot had to do battle
In the castle jousting ring
He learned it wasn’t easy
To please Gimme-a-beer’s father, the king.

But Sir Laugh-a-lot was canny
He was bound to persevere
And win the hand in marriage
Of the beautiful Gimme-a-beer

The day came the king consented
To give his daughter in marriage
And Gimme-a-beer and Laugh-a-lot
Rode off in their wedding carriage.

The moral of my story
Of those days of long ago
Of castle kings and jousting rings
Is one you’ll want to know.

It’s that there’s danger in the jousting ring
And being king of the castle is tough …
But once a king always a king
And once a knight’s enough.


Thursday, March 30, 2017


Submitted to dVerse Meeting the Bar,
where the subject is irony.
(Image is from a Salt Lake City Tribune editorial cartoon)
March 30, 2017

Isn’t it ironic
That those who think they’re iconic
Are occasionally just demonic
In their approach to fame

In tones somewhat symphonic
Sometimes even harmonic
Occasionally histrionic
Their attempt is simply lame.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Gender is to be the subject for this week's Midweek Motif
at Poets United.    I hope no one will be shocked at my rather
irreverent point of view.
 Image result for transgender public restrooms

 A poem about gender
Could be a mind-bender
Considering political brouhaha
Over naming our rest rooms
Or changing them to guest rooms
Some will fight to the last hurrah

I’ve considered my personal point of view
About this dreadful, contentious stew
And this is how it seems to me
There’s more cause for great dismay
About big problems in the world today
Than where we go to pee.

A tempest in a peepot?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


dVerse Poetics Challenge is to write a poem from the perspective of nature.
When I drive through the country and see a deserted house with flowers still
growing at the roadside, or beside the house, I wonder who planted them.
My photo is of a deserted cottage in Brown County, Indiana, which inspired
my poem.
Submitted to dVerse Poetics
March 28, 2017

Mary planted roses by the door
In that time so long ago
Through lace curtains at the window
She watched them bloom and grow.

Those days are long since gone
Faded into pages of the past
But still the roses vine and bloom
Each year as beautiful as the last.

The lace now hangs in tatters
The cottage vacant and still
The oaks still overlook it all
From their spot upon the hill.

Mary is but a memory
To those who loved her best
But still her roses vine and bloom
Since she’s been laid to rest.

So we, too, leave a legacy
In small things we have done
And we leave a gossamer footprint
That lingers after we have gone.

Monday, March 27, 2017


dVerse Quadrille We're challenged
to write a poem of exactly 44 words
including the word balloon
Submitted 3-27-17

Inflated and untethered
my steed rises in sunrise glow
‘til we’re gamboling along the current
with a sky view of all below   

Skipping and swaying joyfully
my hot air balloon and me
my troubles seem to fall away
I’m sailing wild and free.



Friday, March 24, 2017


A bit of prose, tribute to Nigh Chapel
Submitted to Poets United Poetry Pantry
Sunday, March 26, 2017

It's gone.  The little roadside chapel of my youth.  For more than 120 years
it stood by the rambling creek, the Sunday morning gathering place of the
farm families that lived in the vicinity.  In its early days it was the center of
social activity in the surrounding rural area.  There were chicken suppers
and ice cream socials, Easter and Christmas "programs" when the
youngsters did recitations and raised their pure, sweet voices in loud (and
sometimes discordant) celebration.  For all those years, and four generations
of our family, the old Seth Thomas clock ticked away the moments, as itinerant
preachers offered up sermons based on the tenets of the Methodist Church.  It
seemed it would be there always, this cornerstone of my childhood, where the
moral values instilled by my parents were reinforced, and my faith in a higher
power came to be.  It is gone.  First closed, then destroyed in a windstorm, a
victim of the relentless march of time.   I stood in the spot where it had been,
and through a veil of tears I pictured, still, my parents and their friends passing
the time of day on the front steps.  Surely this spot is hallowed for all time,
caught forever in the memories of those of us who were fortunate enough to
be a part of Nigh Chapel.

happy memories
survive the passage of time
in this hallowed spot


Monday, March 20, 2017


This challenge brought about a happy memory
I hadn't visited for some time.  My thanks to
our hostess this week.
Submitted to dVerse
March 20, 2017

When visiting my daughter, who lives in Salem, Oregon, we chose to take a ride up the Rogue River on one of the jet boats that deliver the U.S. mail from Gold Beach to isolated spots on the river.  There were about 15 people in our group.  It was a glorious day and a glorious opportunity to see the unspoiled and unpopulated course of the Rogue, where we saw heron, cormorant, osprey, a bald eagle, and assorted wildlife   It seemed to be as it had been since the beginning of time, a veritable untouched Eden. 

At mid-day we stopped at Lucas Lodge, which is at the confluence of the Rogue and the Illinois River.  There we were seated at one large table with red-checkered tablecloth, and served a farmhouse style dinner of crispy fried chicken, buttery mashed potatoes, garden vegetables, hot biscuits with blackberry jam, and apple pie.  It was a quiet group at first, but I suggested we go around the table and introduce ourselves.  What followed was a meal I will always remember.  Conversation flowed freely amongst the varied folks at the table … a pair on their honeymoon (blushing appropriately), an employee of the timber industry, a save-the-white-owl environmentalist, a pharmacist (my daughter), our tour guide and others.   By the time we got to the apple pie, we were a congenial group, and we found our way back down the hill and boarded the boat for the trip back to Gold Beach. That meal somewhere on the Rogue is one of my pleasantest memories.

Summer on the Rogue
far from civilization
worries fall away