Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Oldest Human Need

How far removed are you from loneliness?       
Would it be two relationships or three,
or is it one that holds your homeliness;
just one, thin soul to form the boundary?

Like spinning yarn our family and friends
become entwined, their lives enriching ours,
but when a strand unravels from, or rends
the whole we find ourselves with empty hours.

What insulates you from the vast alone
that tears through thoughts like clawing arctic wind,
its piercing cold, its heartless, raking  moan
that shakes and isolates the thickest skinned?

We don’t all need a child or a mate,
just someone who will wonder if we’re late.

One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don't come home at night.  -Margaret Mead  

Here is a sonnet, of sorts, for the final day of 30 days of poetry for the month of April. Woo Hoo!  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


I ask you if your love is true
but your response is pending.
I use my phone and email too
in asking if your love is true.
Unlikely reasons saunter through
my mind - excuses never ending.
I ask you if your love is true,
but your response is pending.

The triolet is a short poem of eight lines with only two rhymes used throughout. The requirements are straightforward: the first line is repeated in the fourth and seventh lines; the second line is repeated in the final line; and only the first two end-words are used to complete the tight rhyme scheme. Thus, the poet writes only five original lines, giving the triolet a deceptively simple appearance: ABaAabAB, where capital letters indicate repeated lines.  Also, ideally the lines should be iambic tetrameter, but  I am rather rusty at this form,  and played a bit loose with this. :o)


    Mitzi by Mary Bach

I am cat.
I am queen.
That silly dog is just a bitch.
You may approach and pet me now.
NO! Not there!
Yes, that’s better.
Purrrrrrhaps now
I will allow you to scratch my ears.
You’re welcome.

We were asked talk to the animals by Helen over at IGRT.  Instead I have listened, and this is what my son Mike's cat, Mitz,i had to say.  By the way, you might not be able to tell from this picture, but Mitzi got her name because she has 6 toes on each foot, and it made her little paws look like mittens.  And of course, female cats are called queens, while female dogs are known as bitches - which is why, if I come back, in my next life I would like to be a cat rather than a dog. :o)

Monday, April 28, 2014


     Public Domain Image

will write something
achingly lovely
it will make you weep, scorch your socks off,
this piece
I will write tomorrow.

Big thank you to Karen, who writes the blog 21 Wits, for introducing me to a new form.  It's called Piku, and this is how it works:
Piku is a form of poetry much like haiku,  with a prescribed number of syllables per line.  But instead of 5-7-5 like Haiku, Piku uses pi as its base.  The number of syllables in each line corresponds to the numbers of pi.  So the first line of Piku contains three syllables, one syllable for the second line and four syllables for the third line, and so on, just like pi: 3.14159265358979323846…  
In my piece the syllables in the lines are 3-1-4-1-5-9-2-6.
This is linked to IGRT for their Open Link Monday, and is also for April 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Southern Still Life

    Image: Public Domain,

Hey Mrs. Sippy
how ‘bout a lil’ sip
a’ that
shinin’ moon?

This is a quickie for PAD and NaPoWriMo.  Just a little fun with words.  I'm catching up!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Random Sighting

Outside the window
a ginger girl stands
in two different socks,
grey and neon,
with her floaty blue dress
dissolving into the sky.
Her phone
is the focus  
of her attention.
And across the street
a long, crane arm   
arcs a wrecking ball
toward the inevitable
block wall.

This is just what the title says, though I feel a bit like I am taking part in a public bird count or something.  For PAD and NaPoWriMo, and you.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Coffee Clutch

     Public Domain Image

The business man at 
the table behind me
tries, through his phone,
to logic someone 
into not to cutting her hair.
At first I cannot tell 
if it is a daughter or a lover,
but it becomes evident
as he pleads for her 
to forget boys,
go back to school.
He offers advice, favors, sugary bribes.
Then, in a worried-father voice
he says he loves her.
But I cannot hear 
if she loves him back.

This is based loosely on a converstaion I shamelessly eavesdropped on today at the coffee shop, and it's for PAD and NaPoWriMo.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

See No Evil, and So On

     Image provided by Lolamouse

We are the plastic people
who live in a store-window world.

Our blind eyes
look past the bruised women,
over the frightened children,
and through the drunks
who bless us
as they ask for bus fare.               

Our stopped up ears
tune out gun shots, whimpers
and cries of injustice
from filthy alleys,
school yards
and our own kitchen tables.

Our calm smiles
cover over mouths
wailing with hunger or
gaping in horror.
This is “normal”
this is “fine”
this is the status quo
we do not disturb.
Keep consuming, spending
and pretending
everything is

For we are the plastic people
who live in a store-window world.

This is for IGRT where Lola has given us a variety of pictures to write about.  It's also for PAD and NaPoWriMo.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sunday Morning

    Public domain image

I sleep late.
Then, sunlight streaming in,
I am served coffee in bed
with the Sunday paper.
My sweet dog cuddles next to me.
You reach over and squeeze my hand.
Life is good.

5:45 get up to pee;
can’t fall back asleep.
I toss, turn and finally 
get up for coffee
and the paper,
then stumble back to bed
knowing somehow this won’t end well.
I spill coffee
as the dog jumps onto the papers.
You reach over and squeeze my hand.
Life is good.

Awhile ago over at IGRT Grace asked us to write about our Sunday morning routines.  This isn't exactly biographical, and it isn't very polished (or finished) but it's here it is.  It's too late for me to link there, but you can, and should, stll click on the link and check it out. 

Java Vino

I coffee my way
through another grey morning
jittering into an afternoon slump
until it’s time to wine down
with the sunset.

This is for PAD and NaPoWriMo, day 20. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Flora Christo

    Image by Mary Bach
    Leaf, stem, branch -
    everyday resurrection.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Reflected in the Water


I have always loved water;
grew up on the border
where land and river meet.
I delighted  
in water sounds,
in its feel, cool and smooth,
in things living
in the shallows and depths,
and the off-chance
of spotting a water sprite.

I’m not a strong swimmer
living inland
and growing old.
But I still love the river
and I am not afraid of drowning,
so why do I just keep treading water?

 This is for dVerse where we were asked for some kind of self-portrait.  Check it out, the examples given really helped shaped what I came up with.  Also for PAD and NaPoWriMo Day 18.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


     I feather my nest
     with odds and ends and whimsy;
     A layer of down to cushion
     the sharp, jagged edges
     of every day.

      Birds Nest  by anastridende

This is for Day 17 of PAD / NaPoWriMo and linked to IGRT.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Escape Clause

When we converse
all I can think is
Does the panic show
in a white-rimmed eye,
if you bothered
 to look?

I can feel your words,
smooth, sweet, dangerous
sliding down my back.
I am wary, ungrateful,
as I silently begin
chewing off my foot.

does not suit me.

For PAD and NaPoWriMo, Day 16

My Irrational Fear

It’s been a long, bleak day.
Winter stays to long,
with its cold and snow.
Tonight, we pack up the babies,
their stroller, their stuff
(so much baby stuff)
into the car,
even though we know
it’s too late already.
We go to the mall
that is warm and full of distractions.
But the babies are too tired,
too fussy,
and the screaming begins.
We ‘stroll’ once around
then give up.
Daddy goes for the car
as I stand at the doors,
with the babies, their stroller, and their stuff
(so much baby stuff)
pushing little fists and feet
into snow suits.
Utterly defeated,
I wait.
The car doesn’t appear.
As I rifle through all the baby stuff
I realize
I never brought MY stuff:
cell phone, money, cards, keys.
Looking out into the dark
I wonder,
what if

My babies are grown now, and my dear husband never drove off and left us.  He never would.  But I can remember many times being in that situation and having that wild, irrational thought pop into my head.  What if he just kept driving...
For PAD and NaPoWriMo day 15.

Happy Birthday Kate!

My girl is 24 today.
Yesterday she was 7
Last week she was brand new.
8 pounds, 13 ounces,
round and red
with a perfect 
rosebud mouth.

What happened
to all those years?

My best advice -
don’t blink!
Don’t even blink…

My amazing daughter Kathryn is 24 today.  The poem really says it all!  I have no idea where all those years went, but I am so proud of the young woman she has become.  PAD and NaPoWriMo day 14.

Water Music

    I want music
    like water
    fluid, smooth
    and deep enough
    to drown in.

     Image from Wiki free images: Bach Violin Sonata No. 1 in G minor

For April, National Poetry Month, Day 13.  

You Never Know

Despise not small things, either for evil or good, for a look may work thy ruin, or a word create thy wealth. - A spark is a little thing, yet it may kindle the world.  – Martin Farquhar Tupper

when Kate comes home
she falls asleep on the couch
every night
with the TV on.
In the morning,
I turn off the set, pick up her
plate, Kleenex, water;

Otis wakes her up.
Fifteen pounds of
of super-charged, tail wagging,
face licking, fur
planted on her chest
is surprisingly a way
she (mostly) likes to wake up.

I bring her coffee and tell her
“budge up, ya great lump”
and we giggle, because
we read all the Harry Potter’s together,
loved them.
Then we talk.

Last year, for a little while,
I got it in my head that
I resented picking up
bringing coffee,
every morning,
Then one day, from the next, room
I overheard her tell her friend,
“I love going home –
my mom brings me coffee,
every morning
it’s great.

You just never know
what will make a memory.

PAD, NaPoWriMo Day 12

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Cliche Garden of Day 11

I water my cliché garden
with the tears of dead poets
I keep in my secret cupboard,
next to the Hallmark cards.

And on a fine night it’s quite a sight,
standing under the full, spring moon,
to behold the organic metaphors
pushing their way up through the earth.

I have a row of hearts and souls and love
and another of candle light and moonbeams,
and finally the row of vile vials
full of all manner of nastiness
all sprouting from dirt as black as sin,
or tar,
or coal.

This is for day 11 of April, Poem a Day.  But I'm linking it nowhere, because it's kind of stinky. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014


    Head On A Stem, 'noir' by Odilon Redon  

Under the Milkweed Moon
frost bites at empty husks,  
strewn like runes
in a circle
under cold, beautiful  stars.

I turn from the window
and pull the blanket
up, around my shoulders
as I nestle into you.
And then we send our spooning dreams
out to the Milkweed Moon.

This is for all the toads in the IGRT.  Joy has asked us to write something in resonse to one of the beautiful images by Odilon Redon.  Click on the link to read more about this artist and more responses to his work.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Day 9

There is
nothing can fill,
except love of self.

Day #9 of the Poem a Day for April...excruciating!  Linked to NaPoWriMo and PAD.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


When I go to leave a comment
google tells me,
“choose an identity”

I don’t know if I can fit
such a big idea
inside my head.
Who would I be?

A circus clown? Nope, afraid of clowns
Astronaut?  Nope, afraid of heights
Secret agent?  Nope, hate guns
Novelist?  Nope – I only write 55 

This 55 is for Shay in her lovely Word Garden.

Eye Site

Sometimes if we look
 too long at the trees
we forget the stars,
forget the seas.
When our eyes are filled
with the  everyday,
of  solid pigment
and heavy clay
we forget there is more
than the scene before
our face.
That’s why we read,
that’s why we dream,
it’s our salvation,
our grace,
our imagination.

This is for PAD and NaPoWriMo on Day 8 of the April Poem a Day challenge.

Monday, April 7, 2014

U$ and Them

How ironic
in this land of the free
‘All men are created equal,
that they endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable Rights’
we now
have the best government
that money can buy
(not unlike like our health care system).
Free speech is purchased
with campaign contributions,
and corporations are people too.
We are One Nation under
Adelson, Simmons, Perry, Rowling, Koch, Katzenberg, Jacobs, Eychaner, Stryker and Mostyn     
with liberty and justice for
sale to the highest bidder.

Note: The following were the five largest doners to the 2008 US Presidential election, the first five donated to the Republicans and the next five donated to the Democrats:  Adelson, Simmons, Perry, Rowling, Koch, Katzenberg, Jacobs, Eychaner, Stryker, Mostyn         

Another Note:  This is why I don't normally do political commentary here.  I get so angry that I tend to be heavy handed and clumsy with my writing.  But, meh, one day out of 30.

And last but not least, this is linked to IGRTNaPoWriMo and PAD.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


    Image: Dante and Chevy by Mary Bach

Clear Sunday light
filtered through grimy, weekday windows
wants for nothing.
Set down your cleaning rag;
see the cat,
be the cat
who sleeps in the sun.

This is for IGRT about Sundays.  It is also linked to PAD and NaPoWriMo.  

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Mirror, Mirror

     Image from wiki free images by

When faced with a mirror
Do you like what it reflects?
What is your first reflex?
Do you act on it?
Do you stare
Do you duck away?
Or do you jump right through,
à la Alice?
Upon reflection
does your reflection
reveal more than you like,
or less?

This is for Margaret at IGRT who asked us to write about mirrors.  It's also my #5 for PAD.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Note Worthy

I am selling my past
on ebay
to the highest bidder.
My son insists on calling it
He reminds me:
they’re only things.

Packed neatly in yesterday’s box
I find an old Hummel,
“für Mutter” for mother
along with a card
from my dad,
his penmanship was still perfect
when he wrote:
To Mary, for your first
Mother’s Day.
Love, Dad xoxo

I hand over the statue
and put the note in my desk.

This is for IGRT, where Shay has asked us to write, "a poem that includes a letter, or stamps, or a mailbox, or a mail person."  It's also posted at dVerse, where Claudia asks us to write about emotion without mentioning the emotion directly.   And finally, this is my #4 poem for PAD.  Click on the links and check them out! 

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Lightning breaks the night
I hear the pieces crumble,
the first storm of spring


Just a quickie today.  I was helping my daughter move today, all day, in the rain.  Then tonight after a bath a ibuprophen, while racking my brains for something to write about inspiration strikes, in the form of lightening.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Too Tired to Punctuate

This morning
as usual
I stumbled
down the stairs
for coffee
like a heat-seeking missile
if heat-seeking missiles
were slow and wobbly
so not really
like a heat-seeking missile
at all
more like
a caffeine-seeking zombie
if zombies
sought caffeine
rather than brains
not yet fully conscious
not yet able to form
sensible metaphors or similes
it took until the seventh stair
the squeaky one
the one that should get the grease
but no that’s wheels
to register
that it didn’t matter
the squeak wouldn’t wake you
sleeping across town
in someone else’s bed

This is for day #2 of PAD (Poem a Day) or NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month).  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April - Poetry Month!

With Shakespeare's birthday in April (round about the 22nd) what better month to celebrate poetry?  As a part of that I am joining the brave (crazy) souls attempting to write a poem a day.  There are two sites in particular that are a great help.  The first is the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads: IGRT and the other is Writer's Digest, Poem a Day: PAD.  Each site will have daily writing prompts and a place to link back to.  IGRT has a great group who are wonderful at reading and giving supportive comments too!  I'll be linking to one or both of these sites every day for the rest of the month.  So, with apologies to the Toads, here is my first poem about frogs and secrets for Mama Zen's request to write a poem in 37 words.

Would you know all my secrets?
Like a frog dissected;
pinned, slit, opened.
You probe
lungs, liver, spleen
leaving nothing unknown
nothing unseen.

And when you finish,
I am ruined
and you are repulsed
at the mess.