Thursday, July 30, 2020


Meet the Bar at dVerse, and Frank
challenges us to write a haiku
Submitted to dVerse
July 30, 2020

back yard entertains
visitors at the feeder
show no social distancing

cardinal flashes red
finches show sunshine yellow
jay adds shades of blue

squirrels check peanuts
all gone, all gone they chatter
we say come by tomorrow

no need for movies
we have a private showing
daily dawn to dusk  

Wednesday, July 29, 2020


Wednesday Scribblings.  We’re challenged
to write prose or verse using 3 or more
words from a list of a dozen. 
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
July 29, 2020

The girl sat ready to put pen to paper.  Which words are really mine, she wondered, and which are collected in the coiling pathways of my brain, gleaned from some book I might have read years ago or yesterday, edited unaware and added to my storehouse of words poetic or prose.  Which are phrases I heard somewhere that captivated me, and clung to my brain like stalactites in a cavern.  She once saw a deserted roadside chapel and wrote a lovely poem of the thoughts it fostered, only to find virtually the same thoughts were fostered by some other deserted chapel which captivated another poet 100 years earlier whose poem was startling in its similarity to her own.  Are all the words of the world, she thought, stored in some giant swirling word-blender and spit out into the stratosphere landing indiscriminately in the fertile minds of would-be poets. If so, she thought, I‘ll just sit here and wait for a morning wordfall, a word burst, or even a word tsunami.   I will fashion them with proper grammar and punctuation, she thought, with a new pace and rhythm uniquely my own. The girl sighed.  Smiling, she started to write.

Monday, July 27, 2020


Quadrille Monday and the word
is BRAMBLES.  Here’s a flash
fiction poem.
Submitted to dVerse
July 27, 2020

Granny lived on Blackberry Hill
She was the druggist of the holler*
She sold her herbal remedies 
A bottle for a dollar
Mountain folk didn’t mind
They were used to mountain rambles     
But what they minded most of all
Was getting through the brambles. 

* "holler" is Appalachian for a mountain
hollow, a valley of sorts between mountains.

Sunday, July 26, 2020


It's Writers' Pantry #30
Brevity rules. Levity Assists
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
July 26, 2020

 "Simplify, Simplify" says Thoreau
and I try to keep it so 
good advice when things are tough
but I must say I have to ponder
why saying it once wasn't enough

"Don't pole vault over mouse droppings*"
I adhere to the advice of Dyer
But in these times of quarantine
The droppings are getting larger, it seems
and the bar is getting higher

I need to consult my book of quotes
to get me through these times
Heaven knows it's quite a task
to find a quote that rhymes

I wanted to end with the comfort
of tried and true adages
but alas the only rhyme I've found ....
I apologize, it's cabbages!
For those of you who are Dyer fans, he did not use the word "droppings", but a more crude version!

Thursday, July 23, 2020


Open Link #270 at dVerse.  I've selected
a photo my son-in-law took of Baskett Slough
in Oregon, and written a simple verse
expressing the feelings it evokes in these
troubled times.   I've married the two into
one piece.  Thank you for indulging me.
Submitted to dVerse
July 22, 2020

Wednesday, July 22, 2020


Weekly Scribblings #29 at Poets & Storytellers
and our theme is food.  I recall fondly
visiting my paternal grandparents, the
wonderful meals at the big round table,
and most of all my grandfather bowing his
head and saying grace....a long grace!
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
July 22, 2020

I remember Grandma’s kitchen
From those days of long ago
For never king nor president
Saw such a wondrous show.

The smell of Grandma’s dumplings
I remember to this day
And, just as surely I recall
Grandpa saying “Let us pray”.

And large and small we’d bow our heads
Each seated in our place
And over all a silence fell
While Grandpa said the grace.

“The crops”, he’d say, “are mighty dry.
Lord, we pray you see fit for rain.
And Neighbor Brown is poorly, Lord
We pray you ease his pain.”

And the trails of steam grew shorter
Over Grandma’s wondrous bounty
While Grandpa brought before the Lord
Each sinner in the county.

“We pray, oh Lord, for wisdom
For the leaders of our land
That they may steer this country
With a sure and steady hand.”

His burdens laid upon the Lord
Grandpa would finally reach “amen”
When heads were raised, our forks were poised
All ready to dig in.

Now I know Grandpa’s in heaven
As it is his rightful place
But, when God’s hungry, I’ll bet he says
“You set the table, Fred, I’ll say the grace!”
Photo by Eric Enstrom

Monday, July 20, 2020


It’s  Prosery Monday, and Lillian has given us
a choice of excerpts to include in our 144 word
flash fiction or memoir.  I chose “a red moon
rides on the humps of the low river hills” and I
have to say this bit of fiction was  275 fascinating
words before I had to painfully whittle it down! 
I had so much more to say about the Ohio!
Submitted to dVerse
July 20, 2020

Boyhood dreams are sometimes a long time coming.  Now, in my sunset years, my boys grown and my wife passed two years ago,  I return to this cabin on a ridge above the Ohio, which my grandfather built when he was a young man.  He was a riverman who worked the barges, whose love of the river was long and deep. He’d sit in his rocker on the porch and fill my young head with all manner of river lore.  Life happened and the boyhood dreams were set aside until now.  I’ve sold the city house and returned here to the cabin.  A red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills, a sure sign, grandpa said, of fair weather tomorrow.  I look forward to all my fair tomorrows right here on the Ohio, a riverman at last.

Sunday, July 19, 2020


Writers' Pantry #29 at Poets & Storytellers United
It's a lazy Sunday morning, and I was observing
our bird feeders while enjoying my morning cup of
coffee.  This silly little rhyme came to mind.
Submitted to Poets & Storybellers United
July 19, 2020

Bird-watching with my morning coffee
And a question comes to mind
Why are some males so resplendent
When their spouses are so less fine

The cardinal is magnificent
In his coat of ruby hue
His spouse is just a rusty brown
I know it’s sad, but true

The goldfinch is a glorious fellow
Golden like his name
The missus has no yellow
But they’re married all the same.

And then there’s the barnyard rooster
He’s a sort of loud-mouthed jerk
He does all the crowing
And his hen does all the work.

There is, of course, the stately swan
They say he mates for life
Obviously he’s the one who’s learned
The value of a wife.

With us it seems the opposite
The male’s not much for show 
While the female makes herself colorful
With paint from head to toe

It all seems quite a puzzle
An enigma to think about
But, now I’ve finished my coffee
So this is Beverly, over and out!

Thursday, July 16, 2020


It's Poet's Pub and we'r challenged to
write an I AM poem, first person narrative.
Submitted to dVerse
July 16, 2020

I am the summer breeze rippling the field of ripe wheat,. 
I am the meadowlark sending my melody from fencepost perch.  
I am the cattle munching sweet green grass, seeking 
 shelter from the summer heat under the old oak.  
I am the rooster, crimson comb and wattle, 
crowing my superiority to all.  
I am the hen clucking quietly to her sisters of his vanity.  
I am the rows of tall corn, ears hanging heavy,
 that will feed the nation.  
I  am the plump grapes on the arbor
   in the garden, ripe for the taking,  
 destined for jelly on freshly baked biscuits. 
 I am the rosy red tomato, ripened in sunshine, 
destined for hungry bite, juice 
dribbling down eager chin.  
I am crimson strawberry nestled in green
 leaves for game of I spy.  
I am the tall hollyhocks beyond the fence, 
offering bright color to summer sunshine. 
 I am the swallow darting and swooping
 in and out of the barn. 
 I am the apples and peaches ripening 
on the orchard trees.

 .I am the barefoot child who saw it all.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020


Weekly Scribblings at Poets and Storytellers
and Magaly asked us to consider “seeing
things” in our Wednesday scribblings.
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
July 15. 2020

It was a bleak and cold November night and, far from the city lights, I’d taken a wrong turn and found myself on a moonless country road that appeared to be uninhabited.  The dark was so dense and pervasive it seemed, if I dared, I could reach out and take a handful.  I made my way for some distance, the soft slapping of my windshield wipers clearing the icy mist the only sound, when suddenly a light appeared beside me.  I strained to discern the source, but to no avail.  It seemed suspended in the darkness, but accompanying me on my way.  This went on for three or four miles, when suddenly the light veered to the right some distance and simply disappeared.  In my headlights, I saw a rusty iron fence and a sign that read “Elm Hill Cemetery”.  I hastened on and soon, gratefully, came to my familiar highway and made my way home.  Locals tell me the road is called Cemetery Road,  and legend has it a young girl named Mary was struck and killed on that road long ago.  Those who have seen the light say it’s Mary looking for her way home.  Others, however,  say I was simply seeing things ……………….

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Covid-19 - A Moment In Time

Poetics Tuesday at dVerse, and Brian Miller has
challenged us to create a word picture of
a significant moment.  I've chosen to feature
our moment in  time, more prose than poem.
Submitted to dVerse
July 14, 2020

Thousands are dying, robbed of the gift of being surrounded by loved ones in their final hours, their loved ones bereft at the loss of those final moments, equally bereft at their inability to have visitation or funeral where their emptiness might be filled with stories of their dear departed.  Isolated in our homes, wearing masks in public, denied of the simplest human touch of hand shake and hug, longing to once again sit amongst peers exchanging life happenings, missing our simple pleasures of dining out with friends, browsing best sellers at the local library, enjoying a current movie, attending church or simply a trip to the grocery store.  Churches and schools closed, store shelves emptied for who knows what reason,  businesses closed, streets deserted, and life as we knew it suspended as if someone pulled the celestial plug and we’re  caught in Pompeiian mid-motion frozen in time.  How will we chronicle this time for future generations?.  How will it read in history books? 

Monday, July 13, 2020


dVerse is back from sabbatical, and it’s
Quadrille Monday. The word is “blue”, and
it’s to be used in a poem of 44 words.
It’s good to see everyone back again!
Submitted to dVerse
July 13, 2020


eyes of blue and golden hair
fetching smile

eyes of blue and ebony hair
come-hither gaze
take care!

eyes of blue and titian hair
pouty lips
   don’t dare!

son, watch those girls
with their eyes of blue
plainly they’re all after you.

Sunday, July 12, 2020


Writers’ Pantry #28
Sanaa tells us of the importance of rain in
her part of the world, and we’re inspired
to share our thoughts.
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
July 12, 2020

“God’s doing his laundry”, my mother used to say
on rainy days. and so I looked with affection on
any rainy day.  My grandfather, a farmer, often
mentioned rain in his grace before meals.  “The
crops,” he’d say, “are mighty dry. Lord, we pray
you see fit for rain” And so I grew to know the
importance of rain in the farmland. Rainy days
were for inside work, a respite from the hard
business of wresting a living from the soil
on sunny days.  My father would spend the day
in the “machine shed” where the farm equipment
was kept, tinkering with motors and some such. 
Mother would busy herself with sewing, cleaning
or baking....and outside the rich, black soil would
quench its thirst  and the crops, it seemed, grew inches
overnight.  There’s a wonderful pungent scent released
by rain on thirsty soil.  I remember it to this day, and
the mantle of peace that seemed to settle over our little
farm while God did his work.

Sunday, July 5, 2020


Writers' Pantry #27, the half-way mark
for 2020, my 86th year.  I spent some time
in reflection recently, and this was the
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
July 5, 3030

Child, you see me, old and gray
But I was young like you one day
Plans made and dreams dreamed
a lifetime to fulfill, it seemed

Life  sped by at a rapid pace
At times it seemed I was in a race
But life was good and love was shared
And I was surrounded by those who cared

And now my race is almost run
And I look back at the things I’ve done
Happy moments come to mind
I think I’ve been honest, humble and kind

I’ll be forgiven, more likely than not
For the times I faltered and maybe forgot.
I think I’m ready when it’s time to meet
That friendly old gatekeeper, St. Pete.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


Weekly Scribblings #26. and we're asked
to consider the word "pavement".
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
July 1, 2020

My thoughts go back to the soil-rich middle Illinois
farmland of my youth.   I remember when the first paved
road came through our isolated part of the prairie.  The
locals called it the "hard road".  If you asked for directions
you might be told to "Go north past Miller's farm to the
mile tree and turn right.  That'll take you to the hard road".
I knew only that the hard road would take us to Chicago,
that distant and mystical city about which I knew absolutely
nothing.  My mother was suspicious of city folk.  She thought
cities were filled with dens of iniquity like pool halls, bowling
alleys, and (God forbid) bars.  What a quantum leap from that
simple time to today's six-lane highways and complicated
interchanges!   Hard road.  Path to tomorrow.