Saturday, October 24, 2015

Something New(ish)!

Hi Everyone -

Maybe you've noticed it's been quiet here for quite awhile.  That's because I've moved.  I hope you will go check out what I'm doing at my new blog, here :  In Other Words.

Monday, September 7, 2015


    Image by Tess Kincaid
While the adage is true,
good fences make good neighbors
don't forget the gate.

For Magpie Tales, carried across the Atlantic.

*The adage is, of course, from Robert Frost's poem Mending Wall.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Tracking Time

this day
It is your starting block
to hurtle into tomorrow and tomorrow
and ten thousand tomorrows.
More if
you’re lucky

Minutes, hours may drag
but the years screech past
relentless as a train

Meanwhile, you have these
empty days
to fill with
colors, bright or muted
white noise or a
frantic cacophony.
You choose

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Night Tones

    Nocturne in Grey and Silver by Jame McNeill Whistler

Dark walls of water
and sea-foam lace
reach up for a moon
pinned impossibly high,
while the woods settle in
to the bed of the earth
with a shrug and a yawn and a sigh.
Then you lean into me
as I reach out for you
and we bid all the specters good bye,
 at the edge of a world
where the nightmares are curled
and the stars fall away from the sky.

Over in the Imaginary Garden Hedgewitch asked us to write a piece in keeping with the Tonalist painting movement, "with 'no under drawing,' by tkaing an idea, a place, a persn, an event or a mood and quickly fleshing out a portrait of it in a blur of words.  Use language to mass light and dark verbal'tones' and build up our poem in dashes of description and image. The end result should be something immediate but 'misty.'  Or we could use a painting from this school to inspire our writing.  I'm not sure I achieved that first bit, so the painting is one from the Tonalist School. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Fine Art

   Artist in His Studio by Remberant

Don’t you see
it’s the art that matters -
that’s what matters
they say,
not the artist
not the life
not the love
not the heartbreak
not the scars
not the anger
not the joy
not the long hours of boredom
not the sinking nights
not the coffee-infused mornings
not the growing pains
of body, or soul, or life, or death
that generated them
but the mill, the night watch, the philosopher in meditation
or the sunflowers, the irises, the olive trees
or guernica or three musicians or the kiss long as it matches the couch

Sometimes I wonder about how we judge the value of art, and in this picture, provided by Bjorn at The Imaginary Garden, the size of the canvas relative to the aritst is what prompted this particular little musing.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Strung Along

Like a puppet
you have strings 
to another’s tune
until you are
tied down.

For Margaret's "Play it Again, Toads" at IGRT.  I went back to Mama Zen's Words Count.  She asked us to write about a power image (part art, part personal mythology, part creative shorthand part art, part personal mythology, and part creative shorthand...anything that a writer imbues with a greater meaning that it would ordinarily have and adopts it as a signature symbol) in 25 words or less.  I'm not sure this is really a "power image" by her definition, but it is a recurring thing in my writing.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Making Tracks

    Photo by Douglas Sailsbiry

My mind, my heart, my thoughts are racing;
it’s time to leave this land of lacking,
cause now it's clear, what I am facing.
My mind, my heart, my thoughts are racing
all night, awake, I spend it pacing.
With morning light to finish packing
my mind, my heart, my thoughts are racing.
It’s time to leave this land of lacking.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

On Time

I have this skein of time
to knit into a 
life unraveling
faster and
faster each year
each season
each day
tangled at my feet

This if for Karin's challenge to write about some aspect of time, at the Imaginary Garden

Sunday, August 2, 2015


    Image from Tess Kincaid

Do not wake me
from my green dreams.
In them we are blameless
perfect, and the garden is ours.
 The marbled world, blue and new
grows through me
like the pit of a peach
I cling to,
fruit sweet and ripe
and dripping
with juices.
No, do not wake me
from my green dreams.

Here are 55 words (including title) for the toads at the Imaginary Garden about the picture from Magpie Tales.  

Sunday, July 26, 2015


    Photo by Tess Kincaid: Merchant Seafarers' War Memorial, Cardiff

are we?
blinded and
betrayed by time,
endless skies press down
with the weight of water.
Sanded and salted, preserved,
we thought, like a pearl of great price
lamented but unfound and scattered
so my ribs no longer know each other.

Over at the Imaginary Garden Margaret asked us to "play it again" with a previous prompt. I chose a form called an Etheree, an unrhymed syllable counting form, beginning with a first line of one syllable, and continue for ten lines increasing the syllable count by one each line, as follows: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10.  The image is from Tess Kincaid at Magpie Tales and is also posted there.  Please follow the links to both of these outstanding writing sites.

Monday, July 20, 2015

On Receiving Orphaned Kittens (or How Not Being Able to Say NO Can Lead to Becoming a Crazy Cat Lady)

    Photo by Mary Bach

Meditation time
is confined to the bathroom
and my Zen sand garden
is a litter box
tended between loads
of laundry.
My life is filled with
dry, crusty milk replacer
and grace.

When Karin asked us to write about grace in the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads I thought I could tell about recent events at my house.  My husband is a vet and we own a rural, veterinary practice that mainly serves farmers. And in our small community I'm known to be a push over for orphans and waifs, so every once-in-a-while when a farmer runs over a mother cat the babies somehow find thier way to my house.  My son insists we are one litter away from being featured on the show "Animal Hoarders," but in spite of everything... I still feel this (sort of) falls under the category of grace. 

Look at this adorableness!

I'll close with a quote: "Don't forget to spay and neuter your pets."  -Bob Barker (and me!)

Sunday, July 5, 2015


In my dreams
I am brave and patient
waiting there for you, always,
to leave me.
I am a pillar
at the shoreline
not moving
not wavering
not receding.

Time does not exist
and we are caught
in the amber moment 
when shadows draw long     
and day becomes night
not inhabiting either,
but balanced between
the two 

Over in the Imaginary Garden we are challenged to write 55 words, PLUS, if we choose, to use this image of Beta Beatrix by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, which I did.  We could also use the words of Canto 17 by Dante Alirghieri.  

Monday, June 15, 2015

Call Waiting

    Image by Sarlota Ban

There is no one on the line
no one to talk to
no one to listen

when I call your name

There are no more wires
no strings
attaching source to end point
sender to receiver
me to you

What can I do  
with these antiquated emotions?

Box them up,
in a plain brown wrapper
sealed with packing tape
to be placed safely in the back
of a rented, storage unit?

Or do I save them
to an external sorage device
forever safe
able to be accessed
at some future date?

Or do I write them out, longhand…
in cursive
on heavy, scented parchment
then roll it up
and slip into a bottle
to be stoppered
and thrown to the sea?

When I call your name
there is no one to talk to
no one to listen

After a VERY long dry spell I am glad to be back and linking this to Magpie Tales, the weekly, creative writing prompt.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Final Words

Over in the Imaginary Garden Izy presented us with the following writing prompt:
A few minutes from now, you will lose all means of communication with humanity.  You will not die, but will no longer be able to interact with the world.  What’s the last thing you say?  

Quite a bit, as it turns out!  I've been having trouble finishing up the 30 poems in 30 days, but it turns out with this prompt I came up with a couple of very different responses.  (And yes, I'm counting this as three poems for NaPoWriMo.)

The first thing that pops into my mind is the song from the Carol Burnette Show, “I’m so glad we had this time together, just to have a laugh or sing a song.  Seems we just get started then before you know it, comes the time we have to say so long.” 

Then I wrote the following:

If I couldn’t
with the world
would that
be any different?


If I couldn’t communicate
with the world
would I want to scatter
all my pearls of wisdom,
my humor
my clever, profound ruminations
that the world simply cannot live without?
Look out for the military-industrial complex
tell the people you love that you love them
but keep the people you hate guessing
be kind, be fair, be generous
use your parking brake on hills
remember the stories your parents tell you
time rules your life
be kind to animals
Earth is the only home we have
(so far)
show her some respect
Remember to water the plants
tell your gods to stop fighting
hang up your wet towels             
and the answer is


When I can no longer talk 
to you
perhaps it is time to listen

Friday, April 24, 2015

My Wish for You

Wistful and wishful
what more can I give:
a ladder to reach
and a screen to sieve
Then twine your fingers
through a meteor tail
and whatever lingers
collect in your pale
palms and drop through
your colander,
gather what’s true.
That's my advice 
for as long as you live.
Wistful and wishful
what more can I give?

Over in the Imaginary Garden we have been asked to write about fairy tales or with a "wishful" quality these stories often have.  The first poem is one I wrote today, and the second is several years old, but fits the prompt so well I couldn't resist adding it here.  The image is from what I believe is an open source,  If you know this to be incorrect please contact me via email and I will remove it.

Bedtime Stories

Somewhere out in Nowhere Land a songbird waits for me,
and sings of things that never were, and that will never be.
I’m smitten with the music that he warbles sweet and clear.
He’s in the treetops high above, and yet he sounds so near;
and if I close my eyes and rest
I feel wings flutter in my chest
and magic places far away in space and time seem near,
like they’re more real than my home, and what’s around me here.

Princes bright and dragons bold fight battles round my bed,
and giant ogres want to grind my bones to make their bread.
Witches cackle, donkeys bray and cats wear leather boots,
Children run through forests, and play tunes on magic flutes.
Then knights and trolls and goats come out to skip across the floor,
and Irish women selling clams clap hands and call for more.
So bears and pigs and wolves join paws and dance ‘round in a ring,
and mermaids swim up to the shore to hear the sirens sing.
Old men grow young, and strong and straight,
whilst black birds argue and debate.

And it does not seem strange to me; I do not feel perplexed.
I shake my head and laugh and wait, to see what happens next.
Then the moon smiles down at me and asks me to come swim.
The stars agree. ”The air is fine,” they say, “so come on in.”
I dip my toe into the sky, and it does feel just right
and so I close my eyes and dive head-long in to the night.


people of ash
despair in the wind
rituals broken


people of ash
dance with the wind
ritual opened

For PAD Day #24

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Food for Thought: Are You Pulling My Leg? or Does this Bug You?

Why my darling,
your legs are
said the spider to the fly.


always been
a leg man
said the caterpillar
to the


The average chocolate bar contains eight insect legs. –Yahoo Answers(and you KNOW it must be true if it was on the internet)

Over in the Imaginary Garden Karin has asked us to write about some aspect of  "last" and/or "legs". I really couldn't think of anything, so I did what I usually do in such situations - I went for absurd, gross, adolescent humor.  Really, that's all I could come up with, so apologies to Karen and the rest of the toads. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The (Im)perfect Love Poem

Over in the Imaginary Garden we were given the formula to write "The Perfect Love Poem."  It is as follows: x (p + b + c + o), where P = Pattern (meter and rhyme,) B = Brevity, C = Comparison (describe the love or lover with a comparison), O = Obstacle (the difficulties inherent in a love affair), X = Mystery

But I was told there would be no math, so I didn't quite follow the formula. Instead I give you two imperfect love poems: 

My first love  poem is more like y(p+b+c+o), where y = humor.

Love Poem #1

Your love is like the bite of a tick
unnoticed at first, then making me sick
with fever and chills, aches and pains.
I hate that my heart doesn’t have any brains
when it sees this disease
that brings me to my knees.
If there was an injection
to stop this infection
I could save my heart from your rejection.
but I seem to be a philosophic waxer,
and a crazy, wild-eyed anti-vaxxer.

And my second love poem is sort of x(b+o)

Love Poem #2

You are 
the feel of wind
on my face,
the moon’s reflection
in my eyes,
the lens through which
I see the world.
You live
in the hollows of my bones,
in the lining of my skin,
in my dark center,
patient, waiting.

Poetics of the Road

     Image: Northern Ireland by Mary Bach

Step out my dear and don’t look back
adventures gather ’round the bend,
and they’ll make up for what we lack.
Step out my dear and don’t look back
with sturdy shoes and rain-proof pack,
a map, a compass and a friend.
Step out my dear and don’t look back
adventures gather ‘round the bend.

 Over at dVerse Poets' Pub we have been asked to write "poetics; of the road" in eight lines.  I've chosen the eight line form called Triolet, which is defined as a stanza poem of eight lines where the rhyme scheme is ABaAabAB, and often in iambic tetrameter: the first, fourth and seventh lines are identical, as are the second and final lines.

Monday, April 20, 2015


Here I am,
half way through
(if I live to be a hundred)
and what have I accomplished?
Not a lot…
a half-time job that
I only half hate,
a half-assed attempt
at a novel and a poetry book,
half a dozen children
and a husband who’s  
a half-wit,
gives me a full measure
of loving.

Meh…not half bad.

Alrighty then, over in the Imaginary Garedn Karin prompted us to write a poem that somehow used the word or concept of “half.”  Sorry, I was only half serious about this one. ;-)

In the interest of whatever interest there might be, I have taken some poetic license  in the above poem to incorporate the term “half,” i.e. I have two children, not six and my husband really isn’t really a half-wit.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Supporting Actor

“If you don't turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else's story.” 
-Terry Pratchett

She is a minor character,
the sidekick
the wingman
her job:
to serve as contrast, support.
she will never sparkle In the spotlight
but that’s ok.
She’s grown comfortable here,
in the wings
with less pressure,
less attention.

She comes from a from a family
of safety seekers.
Her dad used to say,
“Bid ‘em high and sleep in the streets.”
So she will stand aside,
and watch the big drama
splash across the stage,
lend support when needed ,
then disappear to the wings
during the grand finale. 

In the Imaginary Garden we have been asked to use a quote from either Leonard Nimoy or Sir Terry Pratchett as a jumping off point to inspire our writing.  I have used a quote from Sir Terry.  While I adore his humor and satire I didn't that direction with this.  Perhaps another time... RIP to Terry Pratchett and Leonard Nimoy.  The the world is a bit bleaker and weaker without you. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Transforming Skies

   Wiki free images

Sun-shot, spun gold clouds
graze the morning sky above 
stratospheric flocks


Grey-stained spitting sky
crackles with power and life
sending out the winds

   Open source image

In the Imaginary Garden we have been asked to write haiku for Transforming Fridays with Nature's Wonders.  This is National Haiku Day, so go crazy in 5, 7 and 5 syllables!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cosmic Egg Roll

    Cosmic Galaxy Egg by Andrew Logan

Time swirls across the cosmic egg;
what wonders will it hatch?
and what came first? the question begs.
Time swirls across the cosmic egg -
come roll with me on this next leg,
grab all the moments we can catch.      
Time swirls across the cosmic egg;
what wonders will it hatch?

Over in the Imaginary Garden Lolamouse asked us to write a visionary poem about an image from The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, MD.  I chose the Cosmic Galaxy Egg and wrote a sort of Triolet.  This is a stanza poem of eight lines. Its rhyme scheme is ABaAabAB: the first, fourth and seventh lines are identical, as are the second and final lines, and often all lines are in iambic tetrameter (though not this time).

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

AnOther Folly

I started my project years ago,
with great enthusiasm.
I began without a blueprint
but as time went on
I dreamt up ever more
elaborate and outrageous designs.

But it seems the walls were built
without enough support
or a proper foundation.
Corners didn’t meet and
dovetails didn’t slide together
but from a distance it looked so lovely
I couldn’t bear to tear it down
and start over,
so I’d just add the next bit,
assuring myself this part would be better
until the haven I intended
was empty and labyrinth-like,
echoing with the sound
of broken promises
and better times that never were.

I tried staying there,
but it couldn’t hold up to the last big storm.
It’s been condemned;
declared unsafe.

From now on
I think I’ll just rent.

This is for the Imaginary Garden where Hedgewitch asked us to write about a folly; the kind that is, "...a building constructed primarily for decoration, but either suggesting through its appearance some other purpose, or merely appearing to be so extravagant that it transcends the normal range of garden ornaments or the class of building to which it belongs." - Wikipedia

Noisy Neighbors

I hear coyotes
through the open window,
whooping it up
like frat boys

In the morning
a chaos of chirping
migrates into my dreams
until I wake
to the
final stars
winking goodbye

First night of springtime,
sleeping with
the windows open

Day #14 PAD, just a wee bit late.

Monday, April 13, 2015


"Time is the school in which we learn."  -Joan Didion

The waiting room attendant
is bright, chipper, relentless
as an alarm clock.

The room itself is filled with
soft muzak and soap opera dialog
competing to be white noise, but
at least they cover over
the florescent hum.

I sip elderly, burnt coffee
without really tasting it
as I recite silent prayers and promises
to learn the lessons of patience.

In the Imaginary Garden we were asked to write something based on a quote from Joan Didion.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


     Painting by Daria Petrilli

When I went
to the doctor about
the growing lump in my abdomen
no one suspected I had an ocean in my womb. 
that did explain  
the leaking and the smell.
My uterus has become a coy (kio) pond; 
I am retaining water.

the doctors
an immediate hysterectomy. 
But they were not sure if it should be done
by an OB-GYN,  or marine biologist, or ichthyologist, 
or some other –ologist altogether

to wait and see.
Meanwhile, I’ve stopped
eating sea food and developed a fondness for kelp. 
Also, I’m considering a tattoo – maybe compass points 
on my right thigh.
After all,

I am
Mother of the Oceans,
caring for my realm.
I am
Goddess of the Waters
deserving your devotions
I am
Queen of the Seas
favored of all daughters
and all your marine dreams
reside in

*Amphitrite: In ancient Greek mytholog Amphitrite was a sea-goddess and wife of Poseidon.  Under the influence of the Olympian pantheon, she became merely the consort of Poseidon, and was further diminished by poets to a symbolic representation of the sea.  -Wikipedia