Monday, March 30, 2020


Kim has asked us to reprise an autobiographical poem
from our archives, write a bit of introduction, and
close with a haiku.
Submitted to dVerse
March 20, 2020
 I was widowed at 45 and my life changed suddenly
from married life to single life, which occasioned
this poem.  It's pretty self-explanatory!

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?

the seasons of life
are incredibly humbling

Sunday, March 29, 2020


Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
Pantry #13
March 29, 2020
My friends, I have chosen not to write something, but to share with you the words of a health care worker.  While we are enduring the inconvenience of being cloistered in our homes, these are the heroes who are fighting this pandemic at personal risk.  I’ve seen my son come home daily physically and mentally exhausted, so I can attest to the fact her account is truthful and sobering. She says,

“I have worked for almost 15 years as a Respiratory Therapist. I have worked horrible flu seasons and have never experienced what we are dealing with now. I am tired physically, mentally, and emotionally. It's not stopping, in fact it's getting worse every time I clock in. I don't know when people are going to realize the severity of it all. Do you have to get sick? Your loved one? Or does someone have to die? So yes, you are going stir crazy, we all are by now. Use this time to grow, use this time to slow down and love your family. In fact just to love again. You have been given the greatest gift, time. Utilize it well. Because let me tell you, my heart aches for these patients. We are the ones surrounding them while they take their last breath without their families by their side. We as healthcare workers will never be the same after this is done. So please if you have some time, pray. The power of prayer is amazing, and we need your prayer more than anything right now.”
times that try our souls
may correct selfish goals

Saturday, March 28, 2020


It’s Sunday Muse #101 and we’re
to be inspired by the photo provided.
Submitted to The Sunday Muse
March 28, 2020

I am old, she thought
I am only one voice in the
cacophony of chaos,
How will my voice be heard
by these young people who seem
so bewildered and lost?
Then her eye fell on the bucket of paint,
the graffiti wall and the ladder.
Slowly she climbed the steps, and
carefully she painted …


Thursday, March 26, 2020


It's Meet the Bar, and Frank asks us to
address couplets.  They may or may not
be preceded with prose, but the final
couplet must be of equal meter.
Submitted to dVerse
March 26, 2020

Closeted in our homes, the resilience and
creativity of people rise to the occasion,
and we are grateful for technology and
the ability to reach out and touch someone.
grateful for the health care workers who
work daily in the face of danger, and grateful
for all those in essential roles carrying on
as best they can, often at personal sacrifice.

In these times of crisis we realize
Heroes come in every shape and size

Wednesday, March 25, 2020


Weekly Scribblings and we’re asked to
write a poem using three phrases:
She was warned… she was given an
explanation…and nevertheless she persisted. 
I chose to attack the challenge with a bit
of  humor.
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
March 25, 2020

She was warned “He’s trouble!
Completely averse to obligation."
Nevertheless she persisted
when she was given an explanation

"How silly they were", she reflected
"He’s handsome and wonderfully wise
Not at all what they expected
But a gentleman in lothario disguise"

His true colors, however, were soon displayed
In due time she learned her lesson
She was disrespected and woefully betrayed
and fell into deep depression

Eventually she donned big girl panties
and set out to achieve success
She joined the lady vigilantes
Now she’s a force to be reckoned with, I guess.

Monday, March 23, 2020


Quadrille #100.  Our poem of exactly
44 words is to feature "magic" … and
couldn't we all use a bit of that about
now in the midst of this pandemic.
Submitted to dVerse
March 23, 2020

alas the day dawned moon-blown
and I awoke all a-quirk
I knew I’d seen the slimytoes
in the corner where they lurk

I reached for my magic potion
and just sprayed it all around
those besotted grave-groping slimytoes
growled and melted into the ground

Sunday, March 22, 2020


Writers' Pantry #12 arrives in the midst
of pandemic and sobering times.  My
children are both on the front lines and
I hold them in my prayers.  This new
poem is reflective.
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
March 22, 2020

where have they gone, the busy people
who were rushing to and fro
the carousel stopped, the world stood still
and they met an invisible foe

they found they were facing pandemic
something they never supposed
their streets became eerily empty
the schools and stores were closed

the strong rose to the occasion
each doing what they could
vulnerability came to the busy people
and at last they understood.

how fragile is their carousel
how self-absorbed  their days
perhaps this is an opportunity
to mend their selfish ways

Wednesday, March 18, 2020


Laura has challenged us to choose three of the provided rhyming sets in a
tercet of our own.   I ask your forgiveness for using galle-on!   I couldn’t
seem to do otherwise without dangling a participle!  My poem is loosely
based on Mel Fisher's discovery of the Spanish galleon Atocha in 1985,
which continues to give up treasure today, only half of its fortune thought
to be yet found.
Submitted to dVerse
March 18, 2020

Beneath waters the dreamer sailed upon
Were long kept secrets of the sea
Hidden in depths lay a Spanish galleon

In selkie tales it’s long been sung
Sea breezes kissed the dreamer’s lips
And spoke to him in Spanish tongue

Wealth , they said, may come your way
Harkening to their whispered sound
He set sail with hope beyond the bay

The dreamer dived to the ocean floor
Finding the galleon and its treasure spill
Of gold doubloons, emeralds and even more

It’s long lost tomb uncovered at last
The galleon Atocha gave up its treasure
The dreamer's found window into the past 

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Smoky Mountain Memories

Writer's Pantry #11, and I'm waxing nostalgic
 and posting something I wrote after the fire
in the Smoky Mountains in 2016.  I like to
revisit it from time to time.
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
March 15, 2020
                                                 SMOKY MOUNTAIN MEMORIES
For more than 30 years, my three good friends and I spent a week every autumn in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.  Creatures of habit, we stayed in the same room in the same lodge for all those years.  It was our favorite place.  The Riverhouse Lodge sat at the base of a mountain beside a gurgling little river called The Little Pigeon River.  We spent long hours on the balcony over the river, and slept listening to the sound of its tumbling progress over the rocks below.   We played rousing card games, snug by the fireplace, with the bounty of our shopping sprees lining the perimeter of the room.   We shared our lives, our joys and tribulations, and marked those long hours with sometime tears, but always with much laughter.

The years have passed, and the other three of our foursome have passed on to what comes after.  I was left with my memories and the hope of returning to the Riverhouse one more time, but it was   not to be.  Last year, a careless spark ignited a dreadful fire that swept down the mountainside and burned to the ground the lodge we loved so much.  I was bereft.  One day soon, I thought, I’ll follow my friends, and we’ll all be gone … the four of us, the lodge, and the balcony where we shared our lives.  We’ll all be but a blip in the passage of time.  A new lodge will replace the old, and new young housewives will come for their annual girlfriend getaway.  But I wonder, I just wonder,  if our spirits may not linger in the green hills above, and the sound of our laughter be heard faintly as the water tumbles over the rocks below. 

Sunday Muse #99

Sunday Muse #99, and our
photo of inspiration is that
of a black apple.  My muse took
me and the apple to current
Submitted to Sunday Muse
March 15, 2020

We're living in the weirdest of times
The. world is out of whack
Toilet paper is in high demand
And  the apple is turning black

Yet still we continue to bumble along
Seemingly. none the wiser
Convinced we're combating Covid 19
Safeguarded by sanitizer

Schools closed and games cancelled
Cruise ships in quarantine
Our lives in total disarray
The likes of which we haven't seen

The self-appointed king of our country
Is pontificating wonderfully wise
As if we haven't all figured out
He's the devil in disguise

We're all suspended in waiting mode
Hoping, and wondering when
Things might return to normal
And we have our lives back again.

Friday, March 13, 2020


It's Meet the Bar at dVerse
We're to start with a list and
fashion a rhyme.
Submitted to dVerse
March 12, 2020

A hairpin
A lipstick
A brush for my hair

A notepad
A nail file
Earrings, a pair

My cell phone
Car keys
A packet of tissues

Hand lotion
For virus issues

Ticket stub
Coaster from pub
Coupon for pie

Rubber band
Who knows why

Obvious necessities
I can’t be without
Bag packed, I’m ready
To go out and about.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020


Wednesday Scribblings this week
feature early birds and night owls, about
which I‘ve something to say!.
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
March 11, 2020
I've always admired the earlybirds
it’s said they get the worms
but those of us who prowl at night
find it hard to come to terms
with their infernal cheerfulness
when we haven’t had our coffee
they offer inane conversation
and their speculations lofty
it makes me feel all grumpy
and I want to stomp my foot
and tell them their morning demeanor
is something up with which I will not put


It’s Quadrille #99 at dVerse
And the word of the week is
“stir” or a form thereof.  I give it
a limerick and a half.
Submitted to dVerse
March 10, 2020

There once was a lady named Fleur
Who called all the gentlemen sir
She was so well endowed
She drew quite a crowd
She caused, you might say, a stir

But working her corner
Left her feeling forlorner
And so she retired, did Fleur

Sunday, March 8, 2020


Writer’s Pantry #10 and I
offer a flight of fantasy and
armchair travel.
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
March 8, 2020


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 Eifel 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!

Saturday, March 7, 2020


Sunday Muse #98, when
we’re inspired by the photo.
Submitted to Sunday Muse
March 7, 2020

Digital art by Robin Isley


we see with foregone conclusion
which often is faulty illusion
we’d do best to see with our heart

we tend to be judgmental
misled by things ornamental
betrayed by our eyes from the start.

Thursday, March 5, 2020


Open Link #261 at dVerse.  This is
a poem from my archives, written
at a painful time,
Submitted to dVerse
March 5, 2020


My heart ached as she poured out her story
and I struggled to hold back the tears
“What’s happened to our love?” she anguished
“When it’s only been three years?”

My thoughts turned back to the wedding
When their bright eyes were filled with dreams
Dear God, how it hurts this moment
To see only silent screams.

Does he remember the times she needed
And, too busy, he turned away?
Does she know there were times she neglected
To make him feel king for a day?

For love is a delicate flower
That has to be tended with care
With warm words and loving and touching
And moments that are taken to share.

It seems they both were so busy
With their careers and hobbies and such
They passed day by day in their marriage
And they weren’t taking time out to touch.

Heaven knows the mothering was easy
When she was small and bright at my knee
But, now that her world’s torn asunder,
I’m as helpless as I can be.

God, give me some answers of wisdom
To respond to their questioning cries
Don’t let me just sit by helpless
As their bright young dream withers and dies.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020


Tuesday Poetics, and HA has asked us to
turn our poetic talents to the apple.
Submitted to dVerse
March 4, 2020

An apple a day keeps the doctor away
or so it’s told to me
and I’m assured the apple
doesn’t fall far from the tree

There’s a lot of folklore 
with which we seem to grapple
about Eve and the asp in the garden
and, of course,  Adam's apple

Just one bad apple, they tell us
will spoil the entire barrel
but an apple for the teacher
is much-desired desk apparel

Mary can’t sit under the apple tree
til Johnny comes marching back
and rumor has it, so I heard
he left with an apple in his sack

It was poison in the apple
that felled our sleeping beauty
she’d likely be still asleep
if the prince hadn’t done his duty

It seems there are apples everywhere
in songs we sing and books we read
and amazingly we owe it all
to that vagabond John Appleseed.

Monday, March 2, 2020


Haibun Monday at dVerse.  Frank
brings the planet Mars to our attention.
Submitted to dVerse
March 2, 2020

Imagine, if you will, a Martian newscaster reporting on the landing of an alien spacecraft on the moon, followed by a terrifying account of the door opening on the vehicle and an alien being stepping onto the surface of the moon and sticking a stick in the ground decorated with stripes and stars, speaking in some foreign tongue. I’m told Martians scurried into their subterranean homes in fear and trembling lest they be next to be invaded.  Not since October, 1938, and a newscaster named Orson Welles had there been such panic in the streets!   Jupiter and Venus intercepted the messages and set off an inter- planetary hubbub the likes of which had not been seen since the Great Poobah set it all in motion.  It’s quite likely the cow jumped over the moon and the dish ran away with the spoon.  Imagine, if you will …………………
Gardens are planted
according to phases of moon
Spring’s sure to follow

Photo is my own digital art.

Sunday, March 1, 2020


Writer's Pantry at Poets & Storytellers United.
There are times we recall the subtle lessons
we learned by example from our parents.  This
poem is one of those times.
Submitted March 1, 2020

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.