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.