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.