Sunday, June 28, 2020


Writers’ Pantry #26 at Poets and Storytellers,
I was thinking this Sunday morning we all need
a good swig of hope.  We’re inundated daily by
news feeds of bleak times.  No one reports the
good news.  I thought of Waterhouse's painting
of Pandora, and had these idle thoughts on the
subject of hope.
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
June 28, 2020

In Greek mythology, Pandora opened the box and released all sorts of ills and evils
 upon the world.  What we hear less about is that, according to legend, the box also
 contained hope.  There are varying interpretations as to whether or not hope was
 released or remained securely hidden within the box.   That said, most of us live
with hope…..a steady and abiding belief the sun will come up tomorrow.  

Some folks seem to have more hope than others.  These folks usually give hope a
 helping hand by hard work and determination.   Some seem to think hope is all
 that is needed, and adapt a wait-and-see attitude, expecting some sort of miracle to
provide their desired outcome..  Still others have bowed to life’s pressures and
abandoned hope, always seeming to expect the worst and by some peculiar twist of
fate seeming to attract misfortune to themselves in a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.

I like to think that perhaps at the bottom of Pandora's box was a bottle of hope, and
when we're running out of cope, we can open the bottle and take a sip.

Please, don’t diminish my fancy!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Sunday Muse #114

Sunday Muse #114, and we’re
Presented with a photo for
Inspiration … a single rose
lost in the mists of time (at least
that’s what I saw).
Submitted June 27, 2020

Page 96
I turned the well-worn page
in the tattered book of poems as
I sat in my favorite used book
store on a rainy afternoon. There,
perfectly pressed, was a single red
rose.  Someone’s memory, I mused,
and pondered the occasion.  Then
I noted the title on the stained page
 … “Broken Promises”… and I saw it all
 as a captured moment, a time capsule 
of sorrow.  I left it undisturbed 
for the next reader to pull the dusty 
little book from the shelf … the next 
to consider the story on
Page 96

Wednesday, June 24, 2020


We're to consider the unexpected at
Weekly Scriblings this Wednesday.
I had an unexpected midnight epiphany,
and peculiar rhyming words kept
popping into my head.  Forgive my
unexpected nonsense!
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
June 13, 2020

Tickle me a ditty
Any tick’ll  do
I’ll try to make it pretty
And make it rhyme too.

I’ll make it quite spectacular
A sight for all  to see
And in the vernacular
You’ll be pleased to a T

If you’re not particular
And you don’t mind the style
I can make it lenticular
At least for a while

I can make it quite jocular
We all need a smile
You called it cuticular
And missed by a mile

I’ll make it reticular
And you’d best hope I’m done
What’s left is testicular
And that’s not any fun.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020


It's Tuesday Poetics and we're asked to
head for the sea and write a mer-poem.
I headed for my favorite spot, but my
mer-poem ended in a mer-prose.
Submitted to dVerse
June 23, 2020

It was twilight as I walked along the beach, loving the feel of warm sand beneath my toes, heading toward Shanahan’s Cove, my secret place to decompress when life seemed complicated and burdensome.  There was a light mist, and the shoreline was shrouded, with waves lapping lazily against the rocks, and the smooth, flat stone where I often sat.  It was an isolated and secluded little cove, away from it all, where I was always sure to be alone, so it was with surprise I heard the murmur of soft female voices.  The shimmering mists revealed the forms of mermaids engaged in quiet conversation, their voices lyrical and mysterious.  I was unable to understand the words, and as I neared they rose with surprise and slid silently into the waves, disappearing before my eyes with a final flip of their mermaid tails.  I thought perhaps I dreamed it in some sort of seaborne illusion, but there on my stone were strands of seaweed, and a lingering echo seemed to ride the mists.  You may think me fey, and so I may be, but I know what I saw that night at Shanahan’s Cove.

Monday, June 22, 2020


Haibun Mnday, and we are challenged to
feature  “one shining moment““ in our
Submitted to dVerse
June 22, 2020

My one shining moment occurred in March of 1958 when my first born child, a son,  was placed in my arms.  Unwrapping the blanket, I examined  each small, perfect part.  Ten fingers, ten  toes (two joined to the first joint exactly as his father’s). Two bright eyes peered at me above a button nose.  My eyes filled with tears of joy and amazement at this miraculous gift of life with which I’d been entrusted.  I prayed for the wisdom to guide him wisely to manhood.  I prayed he’d learn real jewels are in sunsets, that riches are found in the loving of souls touched along life’s way, and I was profoundly grateful for this wondrous gift..... this one shining moment.

the earth springs to life
I am gifted with a son
God grant me wisdom

Sunday, June 21, 2020


Word Pantry #25
I often have a problem making my poems
fit challenge guidelines.  Such was the case
with the dVerse quadrille challenge for DRUM,
which is to be limited to exactly 44 words.
I began the poem and my muse carried me away,
ending with 7 stanzas!.  I never did
accomplish a quadrille, but here's my
drum-inspired poem!
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
June 21, 2020

              THE DRUM

The old oak sprawled by the tumbling stream
Stories wrapped within each  bough
Of times gone by and lives once lived
Through the years from then to now

Once long ago an Indian brave
Courted his maiden fair
And, oh the promises he made
As he ran his hands through her hair

He said, “Come to the oak at twilight
And listen for my drum
I’ll know you’re waiting here for me
And when darkness falls I’ll come”

The old oak knows their story
And whispered it to the wind
Of the brave and his fair maiden
And how it came to an end.

For the brave had gone to do battle
Promising he’d be back but didn’t know when
“Just listen at the oak at twilight“, he said
“You’ll hear my drum again”

The brave never returned from battle
His drum forever stilled
Heartbroken, the maiden accepted
Her brave warrior had been killed.

But if  you visit the oak at twilight
So the story is told by some
You’ll hear in the whispering silence
The sound of a distant drum.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Sunday Muse #113

Sunday Muse #113 and I’m
Inspired by the second photo.
Submitted to the Sunday Muse
June 20, 2020

It’s me, Lord, can we talk?
Things are an awful mess
We can’t tell truth from fiction
Anymore, we have to guess

He whom we call our leader
Speaks with fork-ed tongue
We need a unifying voice
Instead he’s flinging dung

Please send us a man of honor
Someone who really cares
About the country’s people
And not just stocks and shares

Seems we’ve strayed far afield
Your commandments have been forgotten
We’re a bushel of shiny red apples
Give us wisdom to weed out the rotten

Wednesday, June 17, 2020


Wednesday Scribblings, and Magaly asks us
to consider the phrase “If all else fails” and
share our solution in our Wednesday poem.
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
June 17, 2020

when all else fails and disaster is all I hear
I get in the car and put it in gear
travel down a peaceful meandering road
where mile by mile, my cares unload
the smog of the city and it’s murder a day
soon seem at a distance and fall away
the grass is green, the trees are tall
the peaceful scene seems away from it all
crops in the field, basking in sun
farmer’s on the porch, day’s work done
gives a friendly wave to each passerby
expecting (and getting) a friendly reply
soon my faith is restored, my kinks are unfurled
I’m feeling some hope for this troubled old world..


Anmol is hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse
and has suggested we speak on the subject
of Pride.  I've chosen to relate a personal
experience, which addresses the issue quite
well, I think.
Submitted to dVerse
June 17, 2020

I’m reminded of an event long, long ago.  An employee had asked me to join her for dinner.  It was obvious she was in quite an emotional state.  I knew she had just lost a dear friend, and I thought that to be the cause of her tumultuous emotions.   After idle conversation, with trembling voice, at last with great effort she said “I have to tell you something.  I am gay”.  I looked at this intelligent, caring woman with a wonderful spirit and sense of humor, and admirable work ethic, whom I‘d come to genuinely like and treasure as an employee.  I was moved that sharing that information was obviously so traumatic for her.  I reached across the table, took her hand, and replied,  “Well, I’m Methodist.  If that doesn’t bother you, your being gay doesn’t bother me!”  She later moved to another state, but we remained friends, and in contact for the next 45 years until her death last year.  She never did mind that I was a Methodist!

Thursday, June 11, 2020


Open Link Night at dVerse. I’ve penned
a recount of advice I was given as a child.
“Don’t get above your raisin’”(raising) of course
means not to become over-impressed with
one’s self or lose sight of basic moral standards.
Those standards, it seems, have fallen by the
wayside with far too many in today’s world.
(Image compliments of Pinterest)

Today is yesterday’s tomorrow, child,
and tomorrow’s yesterday, don’t forget
this morning is yesterday morning’s hope
and could be tomorrow morning’s regret
tonight is last night’s dream
make it special, don’t you see
in the flicker of an eyelash
it’becomes tomorrow night’s memory
time is always happenin’
it’s best you use it well
you’ll run out of it all too soon
and it’ll be gone, truth to tell.

Don’t get above your raisin’, child
remember who you are
keep your feet firmly grounded,
but hitch your wagon to a star
and when you reach your end of time
look back filled with pride
having savored the journey
and enjoyed an incredible ride.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020


Wednesday Scribblings, and we’re asked
to be inspired by a play list choice.  I
chose “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo
Springfield, struck by how timely it is,
as if written today. This newspaper headline
is from 1968, and could be today. Sadly, it
seems we’ve learned nothing in all these years. 
Submitted to  Poets and Storytellers United,
May 10, 2020

Stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

A rhousand people in the street
Carrying signs and singing songs

There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

Mothers cry and sons die
We’re living 1967

Sixty years of learning nothing
Empty promises of doing something

We cry JUSTICE! Weed out hate!
Pray for change before it’s too late

Monday, June 8, 2020


It's Prosery Monday, and Merril has given us
a phrase from a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks
about which we're to fashion flash fiction up
to or exactly 144 words.  The phrase is "we
go in different directions down the imperturbable
Submitted May 8, 2020
We were the best of friends, we were the best of lovers in that magic time.  Exchange students from two different worlds , we met and fell madly in love.  As if we’d entered our very own version of Brigadoon. the golden days passed in a passionate trance with no thought of tomorrow…..until we reached the day when reality struck.  It was time to return to our two different worlds.  With tearful promises to meet again, we go in different directions.   Down the imperturbable street, blinded by tears, I made my way to the bus station, the airport and home.   For a time we stayed in touch, then distance frayed the fabric of our passionate interlude, and it is now, in my sunset years, in an evening reverie,  my thoughts return and I wonder, does he ever think of me?  

Sunday, June 7, 2020


Writers' Pantry #23, and we learn the
story of Joel's Legacy Tree.  In honor
of the Legacy Tree, this is a reprise
of my poem inspired by Wallace Stevens
"13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird".
When I see an old tree, I always wonder
about the stories it could tell.  Perhaps
this is the story of an old oak.

It falls from high,    
small, brown, inconspicuous,    
containing promise of mighty oak 
Now a seedling,     
young 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.

Sunday Muse #111

Sunday Muse #111, and Chrissa has
provided the image by Alexandra
Dillon  for inspiration.
Submitted June 7, 2020

my nation grieves
protests erupt
into violence and destruction
our leader only serves
to fan the flames

I am only one,
praying for justice
and equality
Where do I fit in?

Thursday, June 4, 2020


Weekly Scribblings at Poets and
Storytellers United.  Our theme is
discipline.  My father pronounced
It de-SIP’-lin..  Either way, it’s a
difficult taskmaster!
Submitted  June 4, 2020

It’s such an easy recipe
sweetened condensed milk
24 oz of chocolate chips
dash of vanilla, melt, stir
and pour.  Cool til set.  

I am strong
I am disciplined
I can limit myself to
   one small piece a day…
   Tomorrow calls my name…

Clock hands move slowly
FINALLY midnight! It’s tomorrow!
One more small piece
I am strong, I am disciplined
WHEW!  I made it!

Tuesday, June 2, 2020


Sarah is hosting Poets' Pub this week
and our topic of choice is rain.  I lapsed
into prose!
Submitted to dVerse
June 2, 2020

The song says "Rainy days and Mondays always get me down”, but not me!  As early as I can remember, I’ve loved rain.  In our part of the Illinois prairie, you could see the spring rain clouds building from miles away over the vast flatness, their skirts billowed out like great clucking mother hens.  By the time they reached the far edge of the corn field beside the house, you could see the leading edge of the curtain of rain. The distant patter on the corn leaves crescendoed to a wonderful rat-a-tat as the first big splats set off spurts of dust in the barnyard.  Ah, the wonderful earthy, fresh, pungent smell of rain!  Summer storms were wonderful too.  Sometimes the distant sky turned almost black, the clouds rolling and tumbling, shaking themselves free of lightning bolts that arced to earth over the dark green fields, the distant rumbling thunder building to bone-jarring cracks that accompanied spectacular electrical displays as the storm moved overhead.  Majestic. Magnificent.  I don’t remember fear, only awe, and somehow reassurance that I was part of a greater scheme of things. While I’ve lived my adult life in cities, rainy days always take me back to those prairie rains. 

Monday, June 1, 2020


Time for Quadrille #105.  Linda
offers the phrase “Cry havoc. Let slip
the gods of war” which seems appropriate,
 and asks us to use the word “slip” or a
form thereof in our poem of exactly 44 words.
I write with heavy heart, my city one that
experienced riots, and our demented
president only rattles sabers.  .



death wearing blue
shaming his brothers
racism unveiled
some watched
letting slip the
beast of discontent
anathema in city streets
                opportunistic thugs                
seize opportunity to pillage
pandemic becomes
epidemic of frustration
reasoning black and white
brothers and sisters
sickened and aghast
crying for justice