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