Monday, June 21, 2021


Haibun Monday at dVerse, and summer solstice is upon us.  Time for gardening, picnics and, in my part of the world, wonderful, rumbling thunderstorms.  Submitted to dVerse June 21, 2021.

Dark clouds gathered on the horizon.  The birds fell quiet, and small creatures scurried for cover.  A rogue wind crested the hill, saddled the lightning and rode it, arcing through the dark clouds down to the valley floor.  Deafening bursts of thunder rumbled up the valley and the trees bowed and thrashed in a frenzied macarena.  Raindrops built to a steady downpour, and parched earth slaked its thirst, sending forth a fecund fragrance.  After a time, distant thunder signaled that the storm had moved on, and a soggy silence fell over the valley.  

Dark clouds foretell storm

Nature exerts dominance

Silence left behind

Sunday, June 20, 2021


 Writers' Pantry #75.   Doors on city streets have always fascinated me.  I'm left wondering what stories they conceal, what secrets they hold forever.  Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United, June 20, 2021


the closed door

shuts out chaos

warmth and safety within

the red door

speaks of welcome

to those who

wish to enter

schoolhouse door

house of education

key to success

the church door

God found within

spirit nourished 

Saturday, June 19, 2021


The Sunday Muse #165

Call me independent
Call me contentious
I'm not a commodity
I'm not licentious

I won't be collected
Like a box from a shelf
If you want to court me
Come collect me yourself


Wednesday, June 16, 2021


Weekly Scribblings where we're asked to choose an image and write a poem in the voice of the character depicted.  I've chosen Marilyn Monroe, whose life started in an orphanage and a series of foster homes, rose to fame as a sex symbol, and ended, sadly, alone and unhappy.  I've chosen a painting of Marilyn and added a number of movie titles for which she was known.  Submitted to Poets & Storytllers United, June 16, 2021.


wanting only to be loved for herself, 
she became instead a sex symbol
objectified and exploited
wanting only to be loved for herself.

Saturday, June 12, 2021




We are as the clay molded by the Master

How much is our choice in the what comes after

Is life serendipity, accidental happenstance

Is it preordained, or just lucky chance

Is good fortune a blessing, or just a fluke

Is it “give and it shall be given” as described by  St. Luke

Is it Kismet, karma or divine intervention

These déjà vu moments that grab our attention

They leave us remarking “Now isn’t that odd.

Can it be it was guided by the hand of God?”

Friday, June 11, 2021


 Open Link #74 Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United, June 13, 2021. Vintage advertising has always fascinated me, with its use of  words lost in the pages of time.  The word "costiveness" in this ad is one such to be listed in my book of oddities.


Browsing the antique shop, I came across one of those vintage advertising fans they used to hand out in funeral homes.  This one featured a couple of adorable kittens and was presented by  Carter’s Little Liver Pills.  “LIVERITA“, it says on the back “Best for Stomach, Liver and Bowels.  $500 REWARD.  We will pay the reward for any case of Liver Complaint, Dyspepsia, Sick Headache, Indigestion, Constipation or Costiveness we cannot cure with Liverita, the up-to-date Little Liver Pill, when the directions are strictly complied to.  They are purely vegetable and never fail to give satisfaction.  The 25 cent boxes contain 100 pills, 5 cent boxes contain 15 pills.  Beware of substitutions and limitations.  Sent by mail. Stamps taken.”  Of course I bought this bit of history. 

Imagine!  A $500 reward if cure fails.  Try to get such a guarantee from  your friendly physician today.  Wouldn’t that shock him right out of his stethoscope! A hundred pills for a quarter!  Seems like the cost of feeling good has certainly escalated. Megabucks are spent annually on the  health care industry in the United States today.  The cost of health care is prohibitive and politicians are debating solutions.  They should ask me.  I have the solution right here at home….on the back of a fan.   

Wednesday, June 9, 2021


 Weekly Scribblings #73.  We're asked to include the word butterfly or moth in our scribblings this week.  Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United, June 9,, 2021

The Great Poobah, He Who Names All Things
has posted an abject

"I don't know what I was thinking", he says
"when I named it a

We all know my every intention
was to name it a

Tuesday, June 8, 2021


Poetics Tuesday welcomes a new hostess, Tricia Sankey.  She suggests we use the word “risk” in our poem.  Somehow I hear Garth Brooks singing this one.  Submitted to dVerse June 8, 2021

             MOMMA SAID

He was born at the intersection of hope-so and maybe

Grew up in the ‘hood on the streets

Went to the school of hard knocks

Graduated with a degree in broken dreams

But Momma said “Son you can be somebody”

And somehow Momma’s words stuck

He avoided the gangs and the dopesters

Worked two jobs. and lived in an old Chevy truck

Momma’s voice echoed strong in his head

He escaped risk of trouble somehow

Spending his time in classes instead

Finally he set off  for his future

In a borrowed suit with degree in hand

Success came his way with its good times

Momma’s boy had grown into a man

“You can be somebody, son” still echoes

He’s living well and in great style

He knows he worked hard and earned it

And Momma just nods with a smile.  

Monday, June 7, 2021


Keeping up with modern technology in my advanced years is challenging, and the business of parking has been added to the list. We’re asked to use a line from a poem by Jo Hanjo in our prosery, the line being “Crucial to finding the way is this.  There is no beginning or end” Recently my son and wife took me to dinner in an artsy section of our city, where I learned a bit about apps.  My prosery is submitted  to Monday Prosery at dVerse.


                                                    THERE’S AN APP FOR IT

My grandfather used to ride his horse to town, tie it to the hitching post in front of the general store where he “shot the breeze” with his cronies and played wicked games of checkers.  Then came the advent of parking meters---those metal sentinels with coin slots to enable us to pay for the privilege of parking.   

Recently, we pulled into a parking spot in one of the artsy sections of my city.  My daughter-in-law raised her right hand (to which her phone seemed always to be attached), and entered the number that appeared on our parking meter.  Then she entered the estimated time we intended to be parked there, and said “We’re good to go!”  No coins needed.  When I asked how that worked, her answer was, “There’s an app for it”. 

When it comes to apps, it seems crucial to finding the way is this----there is no beginning or end..   Now I admit my aging mind goes on strange journeys, so as we made our way into the restaurant I considered that now there seems to be an “app” for everything.  When I tire of this earthly veil, I wondered, and it’s time for me to pass on to the what-comes-next, will there be an app for it?  Will I be able to enter a couple of numbers on my phone and POUF! I’ll be gone?  Something to think about.

Sunday, June 6, 2021



Submitted to Writer's Pantry #73 at Poets & Storytellers United, June 6, 2021   A bit of reflection on how times have changed ......


 Summer lay on the land in a suffocating blanket of humidity. 
Leaves clung listlessly to their branches, scarcely moving in 
the dense air. The sun shone relentlessly on lawns so thirsty 
crunched underfoot. Even the birds seemed unable to summon
 the energy to sing. All was quiet on Maple Street, except for 
the hum ot the laboring window air conditioners. In the tidy 
Cape Cod at 1423 Maple the housewife tied on a fresh apron
 and looked out her kitchen window. Her husband would be 
home from work any time now. She poured sweet tea over the 
tall glass of ice he expected when he arrived home from work. 
 For a moment, she thought of the time before marriage when 
she was working, and the excitement of feeling useful and alive. 
 As she reminisced, she saw his car pulling into the driveway. 
 Sighing, she went to the door to greet him with a smile. It was,
 after all, 1952, and a woman’s place was in the home.

Saturday, June 5, 2021



I cannot explain this poem.  The first stanza is AAB AAB, and the second is AB AB AB.  My muse seems to have a missing link, and I’ve long since ceased trying to control it.  Submitted June 5, 2021



LeRoy was a lonely fellow

Each night he played his cello

Its plaintive wail filled the air

Its tones were so pervasive

The sadness so persuasive

The whole street fell into despair

One night there came a knocking

A loud knocking on LeRoy's door

The visitor begged he cease and desist

And the plaintive wails be no more

"Take up your cello", the visitor said

"We hope to hear it soon

Exchange the plaintive wail

For a happy, joyful tune"

Thursday, June 3, 2021


It’s time for Meet the Bar and Linda challenges us to consider anaphoria and epiphoria in our poetry, specifically epiphoria with repetition.   Last Fall I met old friends for lunch….and we discussed the long ago. Since we met, one of the four has passed on to the What-Comes-Next, but these are my memories of the day.  Submitted June 3, 2021


Fifty years of the long ago

we were the mavens of the 

parent-teacher group, typical 

suburban Moms being room mothers 

for our apple-cheeked children, 

working at the school festival, 

chaperoning field trips, attending ballgames, 

and keeping our little post-war prefab houses tidy.  

It was so long ago.  

That day, we tottered into the restaurant, 

much more slowly than in the long ago,

discussed our children and grandchildren,

and all the years between.  Behind glasses, 

wrinkles and canes, older and wiser, honed 

by life’s joys and sorrows, victories and defeats, 

we wondered how the years had passed 

so quickly since the long ago.  It was autumn 

in Indiana and autumn in our lives that day, but 

the sun was still shining, the air was sweet and

life was good…almost as good as it was in the long ago.  

Wednesday, June 2, 2021


 WEEKLY SCRIBBLINGS  and Magaly has suggested we use one or all of the words uncommon, unusual, uncanny.  I’ve chosen uncommon.  Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United, June 2, 2021


         ROSES & THORNS

Ah, how sweet the smell of roses

When love is in bud and bloom

Hearts vulnerable and open

Never expecting the thorns that loom

How insidiously the thorns intrude

Along with sticks and stones

Love falls prey to disenchantment

Leaving naught but bare, bleached bones.

Disenchantment leaves one bitter

Uncommonly guarded from dusk to dawn

And the naivete’ that was first love

Becomes, sadly, forever gone.

Beware the hapless lover

Who falls now for her charms

He’ll be paying for scars she carries

From someone else’s arms

Monday, May 31, 2021


 Quadrille  #129, and our word to consider is CURIOUS or a form thereof.  Everyone who knows me knows I suffer from terminal curiosity.  Submitted to dVerse May 31, 2021


What makes boats float?

Why do airplanes fly?

No one is more anxious to know

Who What Where When and Why  

What makes the bumblebees buzz?

Why do lightning bugs light?

I’m curious, and I must discover     

Why do bats only fly at night?

Saturday, May 29, 2021


 THE SUNDAY MUSE #162, submitted May 28, 2021


It appeared the moon had fallen 

Leaving the blackbird, in quite a muddle

Just himself and this other fellow

Found it in a puddle

He thought “We must tell the others

They’ll be wondering why

Like us, they’ve become accustomed

To find it in the sky”

Well, what comes next, he wondered

As he pondered with a frown

T’will be a frightful puzzle

When the sun comes falling down 

Thursday, May 27, 2021


 Open Link and Writer’s Pantry, idle thoughts on a lazy day.  We all walk such diverse paths in our way through life, I suppose this poem could be endless, but mercifully I reached its conclusion!   Submitted to dVerse, and to Storytellers and Poets United.   May 2021



Comers and goers

Lovers and dreamers

Slow walking fast talkers

High flyers on the down low

Losers and winners

Mathematicians and magicians

Escorts and pole dancers

Lost with nowhere to go

Architects and demolition experts

Teachers and seekers of knowledge

Risk takers and tale spinners

Those who travel alone

Tree huggers and street muggers

Each in their own way bereft

While thinking little of others

They enter stage right, exit stage left.

We wander through our lives

Some doors we go in, and some out

But there’s one common thread among us

Wondering what it's all about.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021


Weekly Scribblings, and Rosemary challenges us to consider the word "wait".  None of us escapes it!  Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United, May 26, 2021



In the great, grand pecking order of words,
WAIT must be considered highest,
I presume.
It has, after all, been assigned
its very own 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021


Poetics Tuesday, and Mish has given us a delicious list of quotes from popular movies, and suggests we choose one to be included in our poem.  I'm afraid I've over-achieved.  Submitted May 25, 2021


My Precious, 

Where we’re going we don’t need roads,  

We’re headed to infinity and beyond.  

Everything the light touches is our kingdom.  

I’m your huckleberry---a glass case of emotion.  

You complete me.  Every time a bell rings, 

listen to the children of the night.  

What music they make!  

You like jazz, the stuff dreams are made of ?  

I don’t want to survive, I want to live.  After all, 

tomorrow is another day and you can’t be a 

proper writer without a  touch of madness.  

You’ll need a bigger boat to round up the usual suspects.

 Go ahead, make my day. I don’t know how to quit you.

Sunday, May 23, 2021


Writer's Pantry when we choose a poem or prose of our choice.  As is often the case, my thoughts turn back to days of long ago.  I'm submitting my memory to Poets & Storytellers United, May 23, 2021



When I was a youngster one of the highlights of our long summers was the Friday night free movie which was shown on a screen in the open area behind the drug store in the little town where we lived.  I guess it was the prairie precursor of the drive-in movie.   The parents parked along the grassy area edge, and watched from the relative comfort of their cars.  After much coming and going to the drug store soda fountain for nickel cups of ice cream that had movie stars’ photos on the inside of the lid, it was time to spread blankets on the grass and settle down for the big show.  

Once I’d spread my “blanket”, a denim patchwork made by my mother from pieces of my father’s worn overalls, my friends joined me, and it was time to watch for my childhood sweetheart.  On a clear night, the evening star would appear just over the top of the make-shift screen. I remember gazing skyward and with all due childhood fervor thinking “I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight….I wish Willard would come to sit with me.”  Most times, just at dusk as the movie was beginning, my wish would come true and he would join me.  I still remember the thrill when his hand accidentally touched mine as we sat and watched “Swiss Family Robinson”!

The years have come and gone.  My life journey took me to the city life, and his kept him on the prairie, farming the land he inherited from his father.  On a bright summer night when I see the twinkle of the first star of evening, I think of Willard Cashmer and I wonder if he ever thinks of me.

Saturday, May 22, 2021


 Sunday Muse #161, submitted 5/22/2021


Gemini, Gemini

let me count the ways

star filled nights and sunny days

stormy weather and rainbows

just when I know who you are

you aren’t

carefree frolic and laughter

joys and happy ever after


dark and moody comes to call

immense displeasure over all

Gemini, Gemini

let me count the ways….

Thursday, May 20, 2021


 Meet the Bar Thursday and our challenge is to consider a poem with the beat of a waltz.  Easy as one, two, three!  Submitted to dVerse May 20, 2021


One two three
Waltzing, said he
Seeming to float

Round the floor
One time more
Missing nary a note

Wrapped  in her arms
Enfolded in charms
Cares of the world remote.

One two three
Captured was he
Dance is poetic, he wrote.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021


Weekly Scribblings, and Rommy asks us to write in the form of a list.  It occurs to me I need a list to remind me which musical tone in our new home is telling me what.  As I compile the list, I’m wondering if any of us remember what silence is!

1.  The musical beep from the stove when it has reached the heat level requested.

2.   The slightly different tone from the Air Fryer when it’s reached requested level, the second double beep when it’s time to turn the food items over, and the final multiple beep when the cycle is completed.

3.   The happy little tones of our Roomba leaving her station for cleaning duty, and her different little tones when she’s returned to her docking station for recharging.

4.   The washing machine signaling its cycle is complete.

5.  The dryer with its companion signal when drying time has expired.

6.  The Ring signal from our surveillance system to let us know someone is at the door.

7.  The beep of the Echo monitor in the kitchen when it has a message.

8.  The sweet tone of my Alexa monitor in my office reminding me to check the washer, the dryer, the stove or whichever bell and whistle I have managed to ignore!

9.  The voice of the Alexa monitor in my bedroom giving me the weather update.

10.  The musical tone from my iPhone when someone has left a message.

11.   The different musical tones when I have an incoming call.

12.  Occasional alarming tones when scammers are alerting me my computer is going to implode if I don’t respond to their request.

13.   The chimes of the grandfather clock marking the hours of my life.

14.  The tune of the upstairs clock that plays a classical tune every hour on t he hour.

Indeed, do you hear what I hear?

Tuesday, May 18, 2021


 Poetics challenge is to feature a favorite poet, use his name in our title, and write something in his style.  I’ve chosen Ogden Nash for his pithy humorous poems, specifically “A Word to Husbands”  I've chosen to write a sequel.  Submitted to dVerse May 18, 2021. Here's Nash's poem:

"To keep your marriage brimming

With love in the loving cup

Whenever you’re wrong, admit it

Whenever you’re right, shut up"


....and my sequel is as follows


To keep your woman happy

With love in the loving cup

The simplest rule is sacred

Don’t leave the toilet seat up

Monday, May 17, 2021



Created for the Sunday Muse, and for the Monday dVerse quadrille where Lillian asks us to consider the homograph “wound”, which we may opt to use once or twice in our 44 word quadrille.  Submitted  May 17, 2021.


queen of bad choices

mistress of pain

wound tightly

tried by fire

formed in ice

wounds hidden

scars forbidden

buried past

free at last

                     new approach                     

strength renewed 

fist raised

victory signal

second chance

fierce resolve

peace at last

music heard

time to dance

Thursday, May 13, 2021


 Open Link #292 and Linda has shared with us the word euphony or a form thereof.   New words are always fun, and I’ve used it in a silly, jabberwockian ditty.  Submitted to dVerse, May 13, 2021



Behold! Forsooth!
There’s a raven on the roof
and he’s shouting “Nevermore”
Begone, foul bird
say nary a word
Edgar Allen lives next door.

So raven, my friend
it’s misled you’ve been
if you’re looking for Mr. Poe
remove yourself from my house
and, if she’s with you, your spouse
find somewhere else to go.

I crave a life harmonious
simple and euphonious
I’ve no patience for pretense
I want to live quietly
feel at peace nightly
yesterday, today and hence

Tuesday, May 11, 2021


Blue Tuesday, and Sarah asks us to write a blue poem.  Submitted to dVerse, May 11, 2021



Blue eyes....he had blue eyes

he was a daydreamer, a night schemer

a song at dawn

a risk taker, a deal breaker

here and gone

sweet talking, slow walking

midnight kiss

skip to my lou, digideroo

introduction to bliss

a sip from the horn of plenty

left me in a flood of tears

Blue eyes

 he had blue eyes

Sunday, May 9, 2021


Weekly Scribblings.  Magaly has asked us to write from the point of viewof a character hunting or being hunted.  I'm the hunter, always hunting inspiration for a worthwhile poem, usually at night when I'm trying to get to sleep.  Submitted this in error at Writers' Pantry.  Here is it in its proper place!  Submitted May 12, 2021



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, and

turning into what I hope is a poem of interest, making 

for a happy hunter.

Ah, bliss!



Saturday, May 8, 2021



This week's image brought to mind one of my favorite books as a child..."The Girl of the Limberlost" by Gene Stratton Porter, and the legend of Jim Miller who became lost in the wetland of northern Indiana called Loblolly Marsh.  Jim was known as Limber Jim, and the area became known as Limberlost in memory of Jim's fate.   My poem is loosely structured around Jim's fate



.Deep in Loblolly Marsh the creatures
gather to converse
to consider Limber Jim’s fate
they say he’s lost, or worse
They follow the blazes on trees
Jim left to mark his way
hoping someone would find him
before his very last day
But his fate is lost to mystery
the creatures’ memories dim
In the land of Limberlost 
they say they still look for Jim. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021


 Wednesday Scribblings and we're to feature a place that is special to us.  There's one place that will always hold a special place in my heart, enfolded in memories throughout a long portion of my life. In autumn, when the leaves begin to turn, my heart goes to the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, and my favorite place.   Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United, May 5, 2021.


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.  A couple of years ago, 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.  

Tuesday, May 4, 2021


 It's Poetic Tuesday, and Ingrid is our guest host.  She asks us to consider narrative poetry.  In my city this week, two young people died in an auto accident who were on their way to their high school prom when they collided with another car of young people.  The city mourns. No cause for the accident has been published.  My poem is supposition only, submitted to dVerse on May 5, 2021.


Come, sit with me, let’s chat a while
My days are lonely here
I’d so much living left to do
Too quickly it was through
The car was fast, the road was slick
And I paid no attention
Before the night had ended
I was in this new dimension
My heart is heavy as I learn
I’m not the only one
Other lives were lost that night
When I was out for fun
I sit alone on this stone bench
No chance amends to make
I pray forgiveness from those they loved
Their lives were not mine to take.

Monday, May 3, 2021


Quadrille #127.  We're inspired by the words "planting seeds".  I thought immediately of my mother, and her annual excitement when her seed catalogs arrived.  In her garden was a plaque which read "The kiss of the sun for pardon, the song of the birds for mirth. One is nearer God's heart in the garden than anywhere else on earth".   Submitted to dVerse, May 3, 2021


Each Spring she anxiously awaited
arrival of the annual seed catalogs.
She spent hours perusing the pages
and plotting her garden.  She used 
the ancient tiller to till the soil, and
     she planted expectantly. Her happiest 
hours were spent  in her garden     
communing with God.


Sunday, May 2, 2021


Writers' Pantry and I thought we might need to consider the extraneous stuff we all accumulate, and what happens to it when we're gone.  Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United  May 2, 2021



Seems we think we never have enough

When drawers are full,  we yet acquire more stuff

We don’t even recognize, I guess

that our accumulation has reached excess.

We rent a storage pod to take the overflow

when we run out of places for stuff to go,

keeping this and that and those, in fear

we might need them come next year.

Yellowed letters and forgotten lockets

Forgetting caskets don’t have pockets

Gotta remember when we talk to God

Tell him we’re coming with a storage pod! 

Saturday, May 1, 2021


 Sunday Muse #158


There once was a girl named Vanity

Who walked above city depravity

She took a big chance, got some implants

And lost her center of gravity

Wednesday, April 28, 2021


For this week's Scribblings, we're asked to consider liminal space.  I segued to subliminal space, which is a long-ago interest of mine. Forgive me for offering verbose prose, but it's what came to mind for this challenge!  Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United, April 28, 2021


When I saw the topic for this week's Scribblings, it triggered the archives in the attic of my brain, and I remembered an interest of mine from around 1960 ---subliminal advertising--so my mind leaped from liminal space to subliminal space  Advertisers have  been experimenting with subliminal messaging -- either auditory or visual stimuli given at a level the conscious mind cannot perceive.  An early example was by a man named Vicary who claimed an experiment by placing subliminal messages of "Drink Coca-Cola" and "Eat popcorn" in the screening of the movie "Picnic" in a Fort Lee, New Jersey theater.  He claimed the hidden phrases, flashed at 13/1000 of a second at intervals increased the sale of Coca-Cola and popcorn exponentially.  While his experiment was later found to be a hoax, subliminal advertising continues to this day by such entities as, for example,  Marlboro, Benson and Hedges,  KFC, and McDonalds, and in-store music. When researchers played music in a liquor store, they found a startling result. On days when German music was played, German wine outsold French wine. However, the reverse happened when French music was played--this from a study in 1999.

Today, the use of subliminal messaging is banned in many countries. Unsurprisingly, the United States does not expressly forbid the use of subliminal messages in advertisements, though their use does fall under federal law enforcement jurisdiction  So, next time you're grocery shopping or in an elevator, pay attention to the music.  You may be receiving messages unaware!  If you'd like to know more, check out "Hidden Persuaders" by Vance Packard, published l957, the book that sparked my interest.   

Monday, April 26, 2021


Frank has asked us to "live in the moment" for our haibun/haiku today.  It's a gorgeous sunshiny day with balmy temperature, so that's easy to accomplish!   Submitted to dVerse 4/25/21


Such an ordinary day, hardly worth a star on 

the calendar.  A little computer time, then time 

to sit on the patio and absorb the sunshine. Our 

new home backs up to the forested edge of a

walking trail.  We are still identifying trees and

shrubs, clearing undergrowth and planning 

to turn this into a pretty, relaxing spot. We 

notice one of the trees has bloomed small 

white blooms, perhaps a dogwood.  What 

a nice surprise. Time to contemplate nature’s 

unexpected gifts….and be grateful.  


nature welcomes us

unexpected blooms of white

bright spot in our day

Sunday, April 25, 2021


Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United, and to dVerse   April 25, 2021 This is not autobiographical, but honors a survivor I know and admire.  



She left in disarray, thoughts scattered

with only vestiges of broken dreams

betrayed, abused, emotions tattered

she’d lost herself, a victim of his schemes

escape and freedom all that mattered

she fled with faith alone, or so it seems.

she vowed to find a safe and better place

where she'd find peace and healing

 regaining strength and renewing grace.

slowly they returned, the things she treasured

things she scarcely realized she’d lost

confidence, identity, resolve unmeasured

she came to know how great had been the cost

when she had lived only to see him pleasured

and he, in turn, had cruelly double-crossed.

she put in the past the deceit and degradation

and faced her future, filled with celebration.

Saturday, April 24, 2021


 Sunday Muse #157.


Here I stand in this alley, cast in this crack 

by a careless breeze that wafted on its 

way with no thought to my dilemma.

I refuse to be cast aside like a piece of

urban detritus.  I will be a bright spot,

if only for a time, and send a message of

hope to those who pass by, while the breeze, 

the careless breeze,  will be remembered

by none

Thursday, April 22, 2021


 It's Meet the Bar and our challenge is hopscotch rhythm and rhyme (much more professionally delineated).  My poem features a modern trend of "visitation"---that paying of respect to the dear departed---in which family meets and greets mourners without the casket of the departed in evidence.    I recently attended one such first...and here's the tale in rhyme.  Submitted to dVerse, April 22, 2021



The husband of a friend has died

We must go to Joe’s visitation

(I had been told by a friend who knew

It was interment and not cremation.)

We all grow old, but we toddle on

We have to pay our respects

Granted when we fill the room

We’re a bunch of rambling wrecks

The room was filled with people

Remembering the dear departed

We made rounds til we arrived

At the point at which we started.

I had a burning question

But I didn’t dare to ask it

I’d looked around quite carefully

And I hadn’t seen  the casket. 

But we’d said hello and sympathized

Said “Sorry he had to go”

So we bid farewell and went on our way

Wondering…Where the heck was Joe?

Wednesday, April 21, 2021


 It's Weekly Scribblings and Rosemary has given us poems for inspiration to write about April.  I'm touched most by James Hearst's April.  Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United, April 21, 2021  The white-on-black sketch pictured is by Matt Jagitsch, a very talented artist who can be found at Black Sheep Studios on Facebook.  



April is joyously welcome in northern climes.  Winter’s dingy snow has melted away, the grass is greening, the trees are budding, and daffodils announce Spring has arrived.  Bradford pear, crabapple, magnolia, and tulip trees burst into bloom, and the migrating birds reappear and start busy nest-building, greeting each day with birdsong.  On the farms, it’s time for babies….lambs, calves, and piglets.  Mama ducks appear with wee bits of fluff trailing after.  April signals the reassuring, rejuvenating cycle of life.  

Monday, April 19, 2021

I. M. Thoreau

Sunday Muse #156 Submitted April 19, 2021  Looks like thorough Thoreau is on the job!

                                                I'm prepared to study. extrapolate and cogitate, 
                                                from every angle.  I will  concentrate and
                                                correlate, but never obfuscate or confabulate
                                                as I examine this tangle. No need to compensate.  
                                                or computate.  I'm your man.

Sunday, April 18, 2021


It's Writers' Pantry #66.  On any given night in the shady areas of most cities, lonely hearts gather at a neighborhood pub seeking solace in a bottle and companionship on a barstoool.   Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United, April 18, 2021.



It’s the usual cast of characters 
At the corner pub happy hour
Familiar faces tell the same old stories
Over a beer or a whiskey sour

Joe the bartender has heard it all
He’s heard it again and  again
He listens and nods in agreement
About what’s saintly and what’s a sin

It’s the gathering of the lonely hearts
Engaged in the mating game
Hoping for companionship
And someone to remember their name

When happy hour has ended…
Comes the time they can’t postpone
It’s soon to be the lonely hour
And they don‘t want to go home alone..

Wednesday, April 14, 2021


 Weekly Scribblings this week is "for the birds".  I've used one of my digital art pieces which carries a pithy quote.  Submitted to Poets and Storytellers United, April 13, 2021



Beauty is a gift

not to be taken lightly

if not paired with kindness

beauty can be quite unsightly

Monday, April 12, 2021


It's Prosery today at dVerse, and Lillian has given us If you are a dreamer, come in from a Shel Silverstein poem to be included in our prosery.  I played with some idioms, which fascinate me, for a succinct bit of nonsense advice....influenced by Silverstein himself. Submitted to dVerse  April 12, 2021


                                           IDIOMATIC ADVICE

Don't judge a book by its cover.  Watch out for truth seekers, tale spinners, 

losers and winners, black sheep, lovers and dreamers.  There’s more than

meets the eye, and smooth talkers are a dime a dozen.  If you’re a dreamer,

 come in, but they'll have a nail in your coffin before you can hit the sack.   

Take it down a notch, zip your lip, and play safe.  Good things come to him 

who waits ……if he’s not riding the elephant in the room.


Sunday, April 11, 2021


 Writers’ Pantry #65 and I find myself in a bit of a funk, and my muse wandering off in the rain somewhere.  Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United   April 11, 2021



Another dear friend has transitioned

to the what-comes-after


is filled with so many goodbyes.

If karma exists,

it’s taking me longer 

to learn this life lesson than they.

It is comforting, however, to know

when I arrive 

there will be a veritable chorus

of welcomes awaiting.

Saturday, April 10, 2021


The Sunday Muse #155


Wafted away in my poppy red dress 
carried on a current of summer breeze, 
up, up and away and free as a bird, 
with the eye of a great bald eagle.
Just as I dreamed it, I soared away
high above troubles and woes
hearing the voices of those below
Saying “Here she comes............ there she goes”!

Friday, April 9, 2021


 It's Meet the Bar at dVerse, and Grace has asked us to consider poems about our body.  Growing older brings some indignities it's best to consider with humor, otherwise they're a bit depressing!  Here are my thoughts on the  subject.  Submitted to dVerse  April 9, 2021



It’s wonderful to be older, 

And oh, so very wise

…but I observe I have acquired 

    some bags beneath my eyes.

My years of diligent labor 

Have made me efficient about the house

…but now, when I look in the mirror

   my knees appear to blouse.

After all my years of practice,

I know quite the proper thing to say

…but I note on close inspection, 

   my hair is turning gray.

Seniority has its privileges

Of travel beneath foreign flags

…but, when I check my silhouette, 

    I believe my bottom sags.

When youth defers to me,

I think it’s really sweet

…but along with that, it’s sad to see

   my skin’s begun to pleat.

I’m now  loaded with self-confidence

When before a group I speak

…but, as I leave the podium,

   I hear my joints begin to creak.

Yes, aging has its privileges

And all in all they’re not so bad

…but they would really please me

   with that youthful body I had.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021


Weekly Scribblings #64, and Rosemary has asked us to feature some non-human pet or "beloved companion".  Through the years there have been dogs and at present there are two cats who allow us to live with them, but I've chosen to write of a inanimate object that accompanies me from abode to abode. Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United  April 7, 2021



Eons ago, when I was fleet of foot and haunted antique shops in quaint little towns, I spied a porcelain bluebird looking forlorn on a shelf.  I brought him home, and dubbed him my bluebird of happiness, and gave him a choice spot in a decorative birdcage. That was over 30 years ago.  In the ensuing years when I moved, he moved along with me.  As age crept up on us, he left the cage and moved to a bookcase shelf in my library, and now resides on a sunny windowsill in my office/den.  We both have the patina of age,  He remains my talisman, my friend, my reminder to be grateful for the gift of life. 

Monday, April 5, 2021


Quadrille #125  and Linda Lee gives us wine  or a form thereof for our quadrille of exactly 44 words, not including the title.  Submitted to dVerse  April 5, 2021




On the garden arbor
sun ripened plump
purple clusters hung
ready for plucking,’
an afternoon treat
while reading under
the old elm, or destined 
for sparkling jars of grape 
jelly.  In years of innocence 
I had no idea they were
              wine on the vine.                 

Sunday, April 4, 2021



“I’m King of the Jungle“, the lion roared.
“We rule the jungle, my pride and I.”
“Baaaa humbug", replied the lamb. "Everyone
knows pride goeth before a fall.  ‘Tis I
and my flock who rule the jungle.  We’re
the flockin’ greatest of all.”

So it continues, the age-old conundrum
as old as the tick of the clock……
who is it that rules the jungle…..
Is it the pride, or is it the flock?

Thursday, April 1, 2021


Open Link night, when we post a poem of our choice.   The grass is greening, the trees are budding, and my innate optimism is flourishing.  Abraham Lincoln said "A men is about as happy as he makes up his mind to be". and I think Abe might have had something there!  Submitted to dVerse, April 1, 2021



I looked inside to find despair
And found it simply wasn’t there
I thought perhaps that I could dredge
Some past affront and bitter edge
Maybe some hated dreadful wrong
That I could pack and take along
A personal loss on which to dwell
Some bottomless pit into which I fell
Surely if I think long enough
I can find some agonizing stuff.
But, try as I might to take a tumble
Into a hopeless, tangled jumble
Faith picks me up and takes me on
To each new and special dawn.
And life continues in beautiful prism
Buoyed on by endless optimism.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021


Weekly Scribblings and we're asked to feature trees.  I have always looked at a weathered old tree and wondered at the story it might tell.  My poem is inspired by Wallace Stevens "13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird".  Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United  March 31, 2021



                  It falls from high,
                        small, brown, inconspicuous,  
                     containing promise of mighty oak

                        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


Tuesday, March 30, 2021


Tuesday Poetics, and De has given us a laundry challenge for inspiration.  “Back in the day”, washing was on Monday and ironing on Tuesday, a schedule my mother honored without fail!  Times have certainly changed!  My thoughts turned to clothes lines for some odd reason.  Submitted to dVerse, March 30, 2021.


Oddly, the challenge brought to my mind the clothes lines and not the laundry!   My first thought was of the beautiful morning glory vine that flourished on the clothes line pole at my grandmother’s house.  It was a vision to behold and impossible to ignore, since one was required to pass it on the way to and from the little outhouse with the half-moon window.  Next I thought of the grapevines that grew on the arbor beside my mother’s clothesline. The plump, deep purple clusters were a treat, once the clothes were taken down and placed in the clothes basket to be taken inside.  Aside from treats, many were destined for the jars of grape jelly in mother’s fruit cellar.  Another odd memory is of the winter laundry days when taking down the clothes included my father’s overalls, frozen stiff as if he were still inside them. 

Monday, March 29, 2021


 It's Haibun Monday, and Frank asks us to consider cherry blossom time , a favorite of poets.  There are several species of cherry trees, and I'm reminded of the wild cherry in the valleys of the Great Smoky Mountains.  Submitted to dVerse 3/29/21.


Deep in the valley where the shadows are long and the sun sips the morning dew from the wildflowers, the mists on the mountains give way to azure skies and puffy white clouds skid their way across the heavens. In the valley the wild cherry blooms, and on the hillsides the trees grow tall in their quest for the sun.  Its rays dapple the forest floor leaving warm pools of sunlight where small creatures scurry as their day begins and overhead the owl and the hawk eye them for their morning foray.  It’s a Spring morning in the Great Smoky Mountains and the ritual as old as time begins once again.  

mountains call my name
their ritual old as time
my spirit  refreshed once more

Sunday, March 28, 2021


Writers' Pantry #63 and I've had a bit of fun with Little Red Riding Hood.  (I always like a happy ending!)   Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United March 28, 2021.


The little girl with coat 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 coat of red.

She skipped so happily it warmed his heart

And he stopped in 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.

Saturday, March 27, 2021


The Sunday Muse #153   Inspired by some  words of Chief Seattle, a native American, and the image presented.   Submitted on March 27, 2021.


Great Spirit, grant me the wings of an eagle 

whose feathers I hold to carry me above this 

white man’s cacophony.  There is no quiet here, 

no place to hear the sounds of small animals 

in the woods, the quiet call of the owl to his mate, 

the sound of breezes in the elms, fragrant and 

cleansed by gentle spring rains.  Once my people 

here were plentiful as the buffalo that roamed 

these plains, now all gone and replaced by these 

who have no care for Mother Earth.


Grant me wings, Great Spirit, to rise above it all.  

Wednesday, March 24, 2021


 Wednesday Scribblings and we're challenged to feature DANCE.  My sympathies to Rommy at the loss of her dear friend.  My advanced years have occasioned me to experience such a loss many times over, and I well understand her grief.  Considering dance at different chapters of my life, my poem ends on a rather melancholy note.  Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United. March 24, 2021



Dance memories unfold

as if in a kaleidoscope...

The first awkward steps

at the school sock hop

Arthur Murray lessons

opening the door to happy

Miami nights of fun and

friendships explored

The first slow dance 

with the man I would marry

many dances following 

safe in his arms

The pain of watching others dance

after he was gone all too soon.

Longing for that safe feeling once more.

It’s no fun to dance alone

Tuesday, March 23, 2021


Poetics Tuesday, and we're asked to consider ekphrastic inspiration.  I've chosen Gerhard Richter's abstract.  Immersing myself in its color takes me away.  I think I misunderstood the challenge, so this would be Part II, ekphrastic.   Submitted to dVerse, March 23, 2021 



Abstract celebration of color

taking me to breathtaking autumn

pristine silence of snowstorms

smell of green in Spring

colors in Mother's garden

ebony eyes of my grandchild

flaming colors of sunset

nuances of blue in skies

twinkle in my husband's eyes

I absorb myself in color

for this moment in time

Monday, March 22, 2021


 Quardrille #124, and our word is "knot" or a form thereof.  The word takes me to an evening campfire, and peace settles all about.  Submitted to dVerse, March 22, 2021



fingers of flame reach skyward

scent of wood smoke soothes the senses

concerns of the day follow sparks aloft    

knotty wood burns long and best 

                   faint breeze rustles leaves overhead                   

somewhere in the shadows 

the fox is an interested observer   

      peace settles over all