Monday, February 27, 2017


dVerse Monday challenge, a quadrille of
exactly 44 words using the word GIGGLE
Submitted February, 2017

Moustachioed and muscled
Quite manly, I find.
Confident, efficient
Humble and kind

Gray at the temples
How can that be
Where has time gone
Too fast for me

Echoes of giggles
Sweet baby smile
Could I get that time back
Just for a while?

Sunday, February 26, 2017


This qualifies as one of my  midnight epiphanies,
inspired by a visit to a local shopping mall.
Submitted to Poets United Poetry Pantry
February, 2017

She came out of Macy's,
light shining on her faux blonde hair,
tottering on her Manolo’s,  Gucci
bag over her shoulder, clutching
her shopping bags. 

It was the up-scale part of the city,
and she was only one of the privileged
and pampered wives who spent their
time in the glitzy shops looking to
buy purpose with their Visa, and
thinking happiness came in a
shopping bag.  

Heading to the parking lot and
engaging in motorized frenzy,
they would head home to their
gated communities, to their
opulent and empty homes. 

Sipping cappuccino, my thoughts
began to wander.  Once upon a time,
this very site was said to have been
the site of a Native American village,
their moccasins treading what is
now a parking lot.

I imagined the men out hunting, while
the women were busily occupied with
tanning skins, making clothing, grinding
corn and preparing meals, while happy
children ran among the trees and
swam in the stream. 

Their purpose was survival and
happiness was in providing for their
family. How simple their life must
have been.  Smiling to myself,  I
thought I might like to stand in some
pristine forest glade with a handsome
young brave and whisper “Your tipi or mine?”  

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


February, 2017
Poets United Wednesday Motif challenge is nostalgia,
so of course my thoughts go back to the one room
school I attended Grades 1 through 8.  Though I don't
have a photo of my school, the one pictured here is
nearly an exact replica.

It was a little one-room schoolhouse
Where I learned to read and write
There were no indoor facilities
But we did have electric light
The teacher sat at his desk in front
Near the bench for recitation
The pot-bellied stove stood at the rear
In our house of education.

When teacher rang the morning bell
We came in from playing tag
To start each school day morning
Pledging allegiance to our flag.
In desks of various sizes
For we were grades one through eight
We worked hard at getting lessons
To progress at rapid rate.

We were taught to be competitive
And to always do our best
To bring the best we had to give
To any given test.
At recess we played softball,
Cops and robbers, fox and goose.
And even on the playground
We learned the simple truths.

We learned honesty, compassion,
Integrity and pride
The tools of successful living
That must not be put aside.

In today’s education system
Modern conveniences are rife
But I’ll take my one-room schoolhouse
Where the teacher taught us life.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Submitted to dVerse for Tuesday poetics, where we're challenged
to write suburban poetry.   My thoughts went to the suburbs
of my early marriage, and to a kinder, gentler day.  I fell
back into my familiar and loved rhyme and metre for this one.

It was the prefab suburbs, our house came on a truck
They put it together in a single day, with any kind of luck
Our view was of the farmer’s barn, we were in an open field
He’d determined selling out would be the greater yield.

And so the streets appeared and marched in identical rows
With identical little houses,  except for color, I suppose
Our street was full of dreams, obtained with GI loan
But we all knew in 30 years, they’d be our very own.

Soon the babies came along, we raised them all together
They roamed the yards in safety; no need for electronic tether.
They knew well that any mischief, be it this, that or the other
Would travel up and down the street, passing from mother to mother.

We taught them all respect, and to obey the golden rule
When autumn came, we dressed them up and sent them off to school
The big ones watched the little ones as they walked along the way
Yes, the world was safe and life was good, in that suburban day.


February, 2017.

Monday, February 20, 2017


February 20, 2017

Submitted to DVerse  Haibun/haiku

We're to feature a special free gift in our haibun and haiku this week. My haibun is in the form of an ode, written in honor of our family tradition of “Cookie Day”, which takes place just before Christmas….truly one of my life’s great gifts.

Oh much-anticipated day of tradition
when all roads lead to joyous chaos
The chorus of voices mingling
with sound of culinary creation
Eight matriarchs under one roof
with single purpose, amazing in itself.
Happy children with sticky fingers
and smiling faces storing memories.
Wondrous scent of cinnamon and
palate-soothing chocolate.
Glorious display of fruits of labor
enhanced by camaraderie
House of love, hands of love, fruits of love
Richness beyond knowing
Grateful hearts with common thought
Peace on Earth, good will to all!

Gift beyond compare
Family togetherness
The stories retold

Saturday, February 18, 2017


Stacy Lynn Mar of offers a list of 10 words and challenges us to
write something using those words. 



She’d walked long in the late summer sun
until she felt wilted and spent, and rivulets
of sweat dampened her fair hair, and nearly
occluded her vision.  She walked southward
to the grove of old oaks and maples and
into the welcoming darkness, where sunlight,
as if spilled from a tipped waterglass, pierced
the dense roof of leaves overhead leaving
scattered pools of sunshine on the forest floor.

The old trees stood strong and tall,  holding
their secrets in hemp-colored branches, their
leaves jostled by the gentle breezes of late
summer, creating cool respite from the heat.
Sighing, she sank to a moss-covered spot in
the shade.  She sat quite still and let the
silence enfold her.

As if by magic, she felt her worries fall away,
much as a summer shower sluices away an
accumulation of dust.   This was her special
place, an island of calm in life’s rapid current.
She knew she would walk away refreshed
and renewed, as always, after she had taken
the time to be still and listen to her inner
voice of reason…or was it the voice of God?

Submitted to
February 2017

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Edged by ancient trees, the old pioneer
cemetery was an island of green
dotted with weathered gray markers,
silent sentinels to those who’d gone before,
sturdy pioneers who bravely followed
their dreams on hash-marked trails
through verdant forests and across rivers,
from Virginia to Kentucky to this spot
in southern Indiana near the Ohio River.

Five generations later, I stand under
a cloudless azure sky, lost in wonder
at the endless chain of life that brought
me here, surrounded by ancestors who
trod this soil all those years ago, whose
blood runs red in my veins and whose
genetic imprint fashions who I am.  

I sit, leaning against a tree, listening to
birdsong as dusk turns the sky crimson
and gold, overcome with a feeling of
reverence.  I will be different somehow
after this visit.  I know now this is my
moment in time, my responsibility to
be an honorable link from yesterday
to tomorrow.

Submitted to dVerse Open Link, February, 2017
(A visit to Hopewell Pioneer Cemetery outside
Lanesville, Indiana, where my fifth great grandfather,
a Revolutionary War soldier, rests with others of
our family).

LOVE | LOVE | This week's challenge includes use of various fonts and elements in the style of Alisa Holland.  What fun! Credits to Oscraps and Scrapartist for various elements.:

Born of speculation
turned to flirtation
fanned by infatuation
leading to cohabitation
challenged by tribulation
threatened with stagnation
surviving temptation
strengthened by duration
LOVE, seasoned by time.

Submitted for Poets United Midweek Motif - Love.
A bit of tongue-in-cheek rhyming.

Monday, February 13, 2017


The Trump-et sounded.
Some thought it was reveille;
others feared it was taps.

Alternative facts,
braggadocious acts,
retribution via twitter

The world trembled.
The minions assembled
ghosts of unrest once stilled.

The nation reeled as
wounds opened thought healed,
and the pen became weapon.
We're requested to write a Quadrille of
exactly 44 words, using the word "ghost".
Submitted to dVerse February, 2017

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Haibun and haiku

Bjorn challenges us to write a haibun "on any subject that you like. but you should illustrate it with one picture, and let picture prose and haiku complement each other".  He asks that the haibun be first person, present.   This is my first effort at this style!
I sit by the fire, wine in hand, losing myself in the ever-changing display of flame,  thinking of legends and lies, and a life well-lived, remarking on remorse and savoring victories.   For the moment, I bask in a magic state of contentment, forgiving myself for mistakes made, accepting that I did the best I knew how at the time.  I am, I thought, like the sharp-edged piece of mountain face that falls into a stream and tumbles ever downward, edges smoothed by obstacles encountered in its descent, arriving in the valley well-shaped and polished with the patina of time.

Pristine world of white
beyond frosted window pane
I'm inside, content.

Thursday, February 9, 2017


I once knew a man with laughing eyes
Who caused my heart to dance
Who made me believe in love again
And, trusting, I took a chance.

I loved the man with laughing eyes
And, ah, love was so sweet
I believed no challenge could be so great
That together we could not meet.

Sometimes we loved by firelight
And sometimes we loved by day
Then one day the man with laughing eyes
Seemed to have gone away.

I said to the man with laughing eyes
“It seems you’ve built a wall
I’ve tried to scale it, but I cannot
It’s really much too tall.”

And so went the man with laughing eyes
Away from my life for good
I guess I knew it could never last
But oh, how I wished it would.

For a moment we had it, my laughing eyes
But alas it was just for a day
And quickly as snowflakes can disappear
Our bright tomorrows slipped away.
Submitted to dVerse Poetics where we're challenged
to use the word "heart" in our poetry.  February, 2017

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Heaven Listens

Shaken by the political climate,
sour troubled thoughts stirred by
alternative facts lacking proof
served with a chaser of bravado,
we seek the elixir of truth
and a twist of kindness.
Heaven listens.

Submitted to dVerse Muse Mixology where we're requested
to use pub terms and do so in 33 words!  February, 2017

Monday, February 6, 2017


Beyond the dark of night and above the clouds
where brave men rode their man-made steeds
across the Milky Way to leave their footprints
on our shining harvest moon, lies a vast
nothingness that has captured man's curiosity
for eons.

Ancient hieroglyphs in distant caves speak of
space beings and flying objects, and a strange
menagerie called Nazca lines is scripted in
the sands of some distant land, discernible
only from high above, their secret purpose
ever eluding us.

A nation watched in horror as the space
ship Challenger soared into the great beyond
and shattered into flaming bits, carrying seven
brave astronauts destined never to walk the
earth again, reminding us that space is master
and we the slaves.

Scientists and astronomers study galaxies
beyond our own, and much is made of a planned
trip to planet Mars.  Space holds secrets yet to
be discovered, but there are those who wisely
suggest we learn to care for this planet we call
home before we consider conquering space
and populating others.
Submitted to Poets United Midweek Motif, February, 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Woman's Place

The RetroWrite challenge over at  is to write a poem or story about this photo.  Here's my "take":  

         A WOMAN'S PLACE

Summer lay on the land in a suffocating blanket of humidity.  Leaves clung listlessly to their branches, scarcely moving in the dense air, and the sun shone relentlessly on lawns so thirsty they crunched underfoot.  Even the birds seemed unable to summon the energy to sing; and all was quiet on Maple Street, except for the hum of the laboring air conditioners.  In the tidy Cape Cod at 1423 Maple, Carolyn Adams tied on a fresh apron and looked out her kitchen window.  Joe would be home from work any time now.  She poured sweet tea over the tall glass of ice he expected when he arrived home from work.  For a moment she thought about the time before marriage when she was working, and the excitement of feeling useful and alive.  As she reminisced, she saw Joe’s car pulling into the driveway.  Sighing, she went to the door to greet him with a smile.  It was, after all, 1952, and a woman’s place was in the home.