Saturday, October 31, 2020


It's Sunday Muse #132 and our photo
 of inspiration this week is a stairway 
that seems to lead to a mystery 
destination shrouded in the woods. 
Submitted October 31, 2020 

I came upon a battered stair
which seemed to lead I knew not where.

Who felled the trees to make each step
to build the stair to dreams they kept?

Who climbed the stairs to a destination
left now only to my imagination?

Only the steps remain, all else is gone
No clue to dreams or battles won.

I can only salute as I pass by
the anonymous builder, and wonder


A revised version of an earlier poem.

Thursday, October 29, 2020


Wedneday Scribblings and we're challenged 
to consider found poems...erasure, blackout, etc.  
Here's my very late and definitely sub-par attempt. 
Words from "Rich Boy" by Sharon Pomeranz
 Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United 
 October 29, 2020 

Monday, October 26, 2020


Haibun day and time to celebrate 
Submitted to dVerse 
October 26, 2020 

 When I was a child I went to a one-room schoolhouse which was situated just across the road from our house. School and church activities were the fabric of social life in our rural part of middle Illinois. At the school Halloween party, the parents came in costume as well as the children. My mother loved Halloween, and was quite creative in choice of costume. In the year I was 8 or 9, mother decided that she and I would dress as a couple taking their rooster to market. I don't recall exactly how my father escaped this plan. Mother loved to dress as a man. She was pretty believable with her fedora pulled low, her fake moustache and her britches and shirt. I was a chubby child, and so I suppose I was believable in my babushka, house dress, stuffed ample bosom, long stockings and brogans, carrying a basket containing one of mother's roosters, hogtied and terrified. The logistics of arriving at the party without disclosing our identity puzzled Mom for a bit. "They'll know us", she said, because they won't hear a car before we arrive". At last she arrived at a solution. "We'll go through the garden, climb the fence (with the barbed wire on top) and sneak to the side of the schoolhouse. When the next people arrive, we'll go in with them and they'll think we're all together."   So, through the garden we went, and mother spryly climbed the fence. I was not so lucky. I was not only a chubby child, I was a clumsy one, and in my clamber over the fence ripped my leg on the barbed wire. Undaunted, Mom tucked a hanky in my stocking to catch the blood and took off across the road, carrying my rooster-in-a-basket for me. 

As I recall, our ruse was successful. Mom had a great time twirling her moustache and tipping her hat to the ladies, the hapless rooster survived, and we won first prize. To this day, the scar on my leg brings back memories of that long-ago Halloween.

Prairie Halloween
celebration in the schoolhouse
well earned prizewinners

Sunday, October 25, 2020


October 2020 ends with a blue moon. I decided to
 challenge myself to write something dark and 
ominous in its honor. 
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers Anonymous 
October 25, 2020 


October’s blue moon cast an eerie glow
  over the bayou cypress.  
The spittle flinging demons lurked in the shadows
 and serpents coiled silently
on the limbs above.  

Swamp witches stirred  their cauldrons  
with bleached  bones of questionable origin, casting 
curses and muttering voodoo spells.  

Corvids peered from their perches  
through the swamp mist, beady eyes 
searching  for their  next victim.    

Woe to the 
unsuspecting  traveler 
who ventures 
into the bayou 
under  a 
blue moon.   

Saturday, October 24, 2020


Sunday Muse #130 and time to indulge in some 
ekphrastic usual deep philosophic
take. Submitted October 24, 2020


T'was a starry, starry night 
Vince craved a country drive. 
He picked up two cohorts who
look familiar, sakes alive!
Sal and Frida were up for a roam
Any diversion from being 
Sequestered at home
Stop at the corner, said Sal to Vin
I’m in the mood for some bottled sin
Frida nodded with a Marlboro puff
Whatever you choose, just get enough
Off they went in Vince’s Cadillac
Strangely, it's said, they 
        never came back.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020


 Weekly Scribblings #42, and we’re challenged to use one or all of the given lines, or write a poem inspired by all.  "fingers framed by light

                            clutching an old rosary

                            carved from human bone"

Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United

October 21, 2020




Hail Mary, full of grace,

whose bones are these

on which we count our


Perhaps a saint

who wished to hear

the prayers over and over

again, the sacred ritual

comforting us in our sorrows

and the saint in infinity. 

Perhaps a warrior felled in

some religious battle, now

wandering in perdition searching

for his fingers.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Magnetism Schism

It's Quadrille Monday #144, and the key word is "magnetism"
in exactly 44 words, no more, no less. Limitation causes 
pertubation, I fear! 
Submitted to dVerse October 19, 2020 

I dread the rule of forty-four
Seems I always have some more
                                  To say for my quadrille                                      

When it comes to magnetism
There’s a definite schism
                    ‘Tween allowed and what I feel                   

Now I’ve only eleven left...
Alas not done, and quite bereft 

Sunday, October 18, 2020


 I'm "fudging" a bit, using an entry for one of my art challenges, but the poem is ekphrastic, inspired by the photo of the deserted stair that seemed to lead nowhere.  

Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United

October 18, 2020. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020



A father!  Tim thought of his own father and the things they’d shared in his 17 years,--the backyard games of catch, the fishing trips, and the advice his father had given him.  How he wished he’d paid better attention and been more careful. His father had always told him, "Son, there's a price to pay for your actions".  But, he and Alicia had fallen head over heels for each other, and allowed their teenage hormones to overcome their best intentions.  Now he’s to be a father himself.  At 17.  He wanted to do the right thing.  But, could he finish school,  go to college and establish himself if he had a wife and a baby to care for?  How could they tell their parents?  Alicia was as frightened as he.  Yesterday, he was young and carefree and the world was his oyster.  Today it felt as if the world sat squarely on his shoulders.  A father!   Tim felt a churning in his belly.  He felt old already.   This, he thought, is the price to pay.

Wednesday Scribblings and we're asked to consider
the term "price to pay".  I chose to use flash fiction,
but the scenario happens all too often in our modern
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
October 14, 2020

Tuesday, October 13, 2020



Be well, my child

I leave my heart

And a single button blue

Never will I be complete

Until I return for you

Life is cruel and I must go

There is no other way

God, hear my prayer, my abject plea

To return to my child one day


Tuesday Poetics and Sarah presents a challenge using the what3words site, and has given us a list of 3 words that will lead us to a place in London.  I chose mass.humid.aspect  which led me to the Foundling Museum, established as a charity for children in danger of abandonment.  Among its collections is a collection of objects left by mothers with their babies in hopes of identifying them when they were able to return at some future date.  I cannot fathom the grief represented by that collection of objects.

Submitted to dVerse  October 13, 2020

Sunday, October 11, 2020



Writer' Pantry #41. I challenged myself to write
 a poem using idioms exclusively. What fun!
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United 
October 11, 2020 


Heavens to Betsy, I seem to be 
thinking in idioms….
Off the cuff, I was on the dole
up the creek and down the river
feeling low and beside myself
yet lost in the crowd.
I was in a fix and out of luck
sometimes higher than a kite
others lower than a snake’s belly
I lived it up, then hit the skids
and rode the rails
Life let me down
from the ground up 
and from the top down
I’d shot my wad
and hit rock bottom
I was tied in knots 
and coming undone
but I was tough as nails
and slick as a whistle
I let the good times roll
I was cut short shrift
but in for the long haul
and destined for success
so I’ll pat myself on the back
and take a bow

Bottoms up!


Saturday, October 10, 2020


 The Sunday Muse #128.  

Submitted October 10, 2020

                                                        THE LIGHT CARRIER    


Comes the Light-Carrier
Disposing  night terror
Her footsteps steady and sure
Lightning and thunder
Are all cast asunder
Night time is right time to her

Princes of Darkness tremble
Their minions disassemble
Evil is cast aside
So great is her power
Night creatures cower
She rules with God as her guide. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020


Weekly Scribblings #40, and we're asked 
to consider the term "walk away". 
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United 
October 7, 2020

Once upon a time in my life journey
I found myself betrayed
It was a time when I’d given much
And, oh the plans I’d made

He was the first to kiss me
In the back of his Dad’s Chevrolet
We were high school sweethearts
His smile simply made my day

I listened to his pretty words
And trusted what he had to say
I was totally ill prepared
When he simply walked away

I found myself feeling hopeless
As if something inside me died
Much time passed very slowly
Before I regained my pride

I always thought if I gave my best
It would be returned to me
I learned that someone else’s best
Was far short of what I see

Handsome is as handsome does
Is the mantra I repeat each day
I don’t trust a guy with just pretty words
I know he can carelessly walk away

These days I’m much more guarded
And caution comes into play
If I detect pretty words and duplicity
I’m the one who walks away.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020


Tuesday Poetics, and Lucy challenges us 
to write a dark ballad. Dark is pretty much 
out of my wheelhouse, but I'll "avvago". 
Submitted October 6, 2020

Sadie was the fairest of them all
So beautiful and bonny
Her heart was filled with longing
For oh she loved her Johnny

The postman brought the message
And this is what it said
“We know you loved your Johnny
But sad to say, my dear, he’s dead”

Sadie’s heart was broken
She said “I can’t go on this way
I have to be with Johnny
And I must find a way”

Wearing his favorite dress of blue
She went to their favorite spot
High on the bluff above the river
She was there and he was not

Sadie vowed to join her Johnny
As she took the final leap
She plunged into the river
No more need to weep

Now on the darkest nights
At the river on the bluff above
They say you can hear their voices
If you truly believe in love.

Monday, October 5, 2020


 Writer's Pantry #40, Poets & Storytellers, Inc.

Submitted October 5, 2020


Women are peculiar; they’re never satisfied.

They’re never really happy until they are a bride.

They find a man who pleases them with all that he has got

Soon they begin to make attempts to make him what he’s not.

From what he wears to how he speaks and habits inconsequential

She’s determined not to stop until he reaches his potential.

His first and most important criteria to meet

Is, of course, the obvious….what to do with the toilet seat

Saturday, October 3, 2020


The Sunday Muse #128 

Submitted October 5, 2020

Everyone planned for the space race
the space suits, the lift-off and all
intricate mathematics were involved
and posted on the war room wall
the astronauts were chosen with care
and spent much time to rehearse
victory was in their grasp
but alas the Monarchs got there first


Friday, October 2, 2020



Weekly Scribblings and Magaly asks us to consider October.  My favorite time of year!
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
October 2, 2020

Frost on the pumpkin
Scarecrow guarding the field
October is here


My poem is brief, my thoughts are bittersweet.  Last night I watched via live stream the funeral service of a dear friend of over 20 years in Perth, Australia.   A gift of Covid has allowed us many and creative ways of communicating, for which I’m very grateful, and her daughter arranged that I could “be there” via Viacom.  My friend was a sassy and spunky little Irish girl with a puckish sense of humor and I thought you might like to know the music she selected for the service she carefully planned herself.  Her casket was carried into the room to the tune of “Thunderstruck” and the service ended with Queen’s rendition of “Another One Bites the Dust”.   May we all prepare our goodbyes with such panache!   Thank you for sharing her goodbye humor with me.