Thursday, August 31, 2017


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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, August 29, 2017


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, August 28, 2017


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

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

May you be blissed
with loving family
and good friends.  

May your muse be
beblissed with profound
and reassuring words.   

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


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

Saturday, August 26, 2017


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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


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

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


Monday, August 21, 2017


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

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

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

Mississippi lore
A summer magic byway
With stories to tell

Saturday, August 19, 2017


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

Ancient Phoenician landmark
Pillar of Hercules
Rock of Gibraltar

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

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

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

Stone of Blarney
kissed by many
famous bit of Irish lore

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

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

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

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

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

Part of Stonehenge Circle
holding fast the secrets
of ancient druids

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

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

*Photo is my own digital art.

Thursday, August 17, 2017


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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


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

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

Photo is my own surreal
digital art creation.

Monday, August 14, 2017


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

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


Saturday, August 12, 2017


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

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


Thursday, August 10, 2017


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

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

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


Tuesday, August 8, 2017


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

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

Sleep is slow to come
Slumber is inhibited
Til midnight epiphany   

Monday, August 7, 2017


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

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


faded porcelain
for everything a season
your beauty remains


Friday, August 4, 2017


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

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

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


Thursday, August 3, 2017


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

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


Tuesday, August 1, 2017


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

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

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