Showing posts with label Poetry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poetry. Show all posts

Thursday, March 02, 2017


March 20 (2?) is the spring equinox, and I guess I missed it.  This roller coaster ride of days pushing 80 F followed by tornado warnings and then days with threatening snow, (and that was just THIS WEEK) it is no wonder that we are a bit confused about the seasons.

Bravely and with marshmallow faces
daffodils thrust through brown leaves
confused by the applause of the wind
with a boldness that only a newcomer would have.

Innocent of their subordinate role
in Nature's ambivalent plunge forward in time
we can pretend this immature spring
is just an anomaly in proportion.

Daffodils entered stage left before their cue
with that eagerness of innocence
and that silliness of a daffy down dilly.

Above with stage make-up.

(Yes, this should have been posted on my other bad.)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Holiday Expectations

They no longer call
But if they did,
And asked how I was,
What would I say?
This morning I saw the pileated 
destroying that old tree.
This afternoon I heard a loon’s lonely call 
across the silver gray river.
Tonight I will spend an hour flipping through channels
Before I find something I watched before
And will watch again.
Tomorrow I have nothing on the list
Of things I used to do.
They never call
But if they did 
What would I say?

(Yes, this is a sad little poem, but it kept forming and reforming and so to get it out of my head I had to write it down.)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sleeping Bits

They lay scattered like Legos
Across the cluttered space

Hard for me to see
beginnings and endings
Hard for me to judge
rhythms and emphasis
Hard for me to paint
colors and shadows.

Thinking that there must
be keys of pattern
Thinking that there must
be swells of justice
Thinking that there must
be piles of hope

Selecting each small word
Rotating it like a jigsaw
Selecting each small symbol
Turning it like a key
Selecting each abstract sound
Listening for the music

to begin

Thursday, January 01, 2015

The Groaning Board

Winter's shadows on a steel gray afternoon
Shadows un-sharpened by the sun
Lie softly upon the wooden floor
Where worn leather soles
Once danced in abstract patterns on the oak
Leaving indefinite memories
Of lives of purpose,
But so long ago no one recalls them.

Heartwood, they boast proudly
Hard hearts lived here.
One has to look carefully for few scars
Scars are well-hidden in the dust.
Perpendicular forces buried
In the grain and quiet tension of the years.
They reflect no weakness in spirit
Or indecision in purpose.

A wooden floor that was built
To live above the earth, protecting a babe’s feet
And to get a foothold in life
Even to frame a braided rag rug that was
Completed with arthritic hands.
They are all now gone and winter afternoons
Whisper so that the wood does not groan.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Walking in Someone Else's Shoes

Bryan quietly slipped on his right boot.  They were laces, so they would not make the noise that his Velcro running shoes made.  He was trying to be whisper quiet as he wanted to avoid waking his wife and the baby.  Because of the holidays his work schedule now started before the sun got up.  The shoes were new and still pinched on the sides a little.  Bryan forced himself to ignore that pinch because policing the Brinker neighborhood was going to take all his focus today.  As the holidays got closer the crime rate went up on those narrow streets and there seemed to be more crazies.  His partner, Colin, had already started to get angry even before he hit the breaks of the car.  Colin pushed the situation just to get it over with and to get on to the next crazy thug.  The cops at the station thought that Bryan was just too naive in these situations.  They told him he would be sorry one day when he always wanted to give the other side the benefit of the doubt.

Jimar laced his favorite new tennis shoes carefully tightening the turquoise neon-blue laces.  He was going to get to the park early, before his dad came to pick him up this morning.  He knew it was wishful thinking because his dad was always late.  Jimar was excited because he only saw his dad once a month and for just a few hours.  He grabbed his black plastic gun which he took everywhere.  It made him feel safer for some reason and it looked like the ones the big guys in his neighborhood sometimes pulled quickly from their pockets just like a magic trick.

Morty rubbed the sand from his eyes.  One of them was itching more and he knew it was probably infected again, but the free clinic didn't open until Monday.  He moved his stiff joints knowing he had to walk to another corner before that cop came by and banged him on the legs telling him to get moving.  He liked to sit just on the back corner near the grocery store because the housewives sometimes gave him food or change this time of year.  Maybe that fat guy was going to be selling cigarettes today.

(all photos taken from the Internet and Photoshopped to protect the honest)

Thursday, March 27, 2014


I used to feel I wanted to be touched.
I waited for not only the physical whispering touch
on the palm of my hand,
but the sweeping touch on my heart,
and the powerful touch on my mind.

The touch that would make me swallow my breath,
give me flight
to soar over the universe
and see all and conquer all
and understand all.

The touch that made me into


The touch 
Kindling a fire that never failed to
burn bright and white hot
for its brief time.

The touch that reduced the impossible
to possible.

The years now trail politely behind me
offering only faint memories of smoke and ash
and little warmth, with a few glowing coals
as I walk away
to meet the not so distant future.

This is the time in my exploration
of the universe
I realize that
I want to be that touch.

I want to electrify,
to be the contingency in others before I die.

I want to punch potency
into others hearts and minds.
I want to send them up on a
spiraling cloud of heat rising
to see the universe with new eyes
and new possibilities.

My ego
Wants them to remember my touch
when they face their not so distant future.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Summer Reruns#

The smooth face of a butter-cream surf-sanded shell
The marvelous smooth pre-kissed cheek of a grandchild

The starfish shaped prints in the sand after flight of a watchful great heron
The tiny hand print in sand of an elated child who came later

The familiar hand-hold of your husband at the end of the movie before you enter the car
The rose petaled floor of your son's well-planned engagement evening*

The feathery drift of dozens of yellow butterflies against a blue sky
The last smell of a sunset peach rose before the first petal fall
The earthy taste of a sun-kissed tomato

The icy sip of a glass of something cold and bubbly
The scattered song of a teenage titmouse dancing on the roof

The giggle of a toddler dancing in the grass
The jazzy rhythm of bold cicadas hidden from view
The gentle burr of a hummingbird at your back

The magical sparkle of an ever higher climbing fairy flight of fireflies
against the black silhouette of a tree before the blush of the moon.

 #Perhaps a little sweet gooey like too much pink cotton candy at the fair...but it is honest, honestly.
 *Details, perhaps, in another blog post.

(In answer to the prior post she was most amazed that the statue did not wear underpants!)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dying Tulips

Red tulip petals fall to the ground
Not as precious as the splash of blood on desert sand,
But lovely in their death no less.
This early spring day is so quiet it makes you panic.
The bird chatter so squeaky I see you wince.
I saw you study the warm wind out of the East
And I felt the anxiousness growing in your soul.
The time of year for contact was upon them once again.
And you wanted to go and shout once more
I got your back,
You wanted to return
And finish
And be a part of the final push.
The winter was almost behind them now.
They no longer hunkered.
They no longer bunkered.
They were no longer cold statues in camouflage
Watching sand rifts come and go
Against the walls of empty houses.
The spring was upon them as well
Calling for
A patrol to revolutionize the villages
To win the trust of the poor
And to kill all the others.
My tulips will stop blooming soon
And I will stare into space
Remembering when you helped me plant them.

(First Draft)(For Sgt. Robert Bales)(Just one more comment and I will move on, I promise.)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

J'accuse the Jacuzzi

It is like my private pool,
All white and big enough
for two to meet.
It lies alone most days
Waiting for my attention.
I fill it with water that is hotter
than a Japanese geothermal spa.
I enter naked and carefully
To sit not on river rocks
but a textured plastic bed.
The ointments dance with
the watered bubbles of air and
soon I am sitting in
a field of rain-bowed orbs
with burbled sounds
drowning my thoughts.
I am up to my ears in
pinks, yellows, greens and blues.
It is a glittering luxury.
Enough water to quench
the thirst of an Egyptian family
for months.
Enough perfumed balms
to satisfy any Cleopatra.
But I am no beauty.
I study my shell and
find I no longer recognize it.
It is covered in smudges
brown, pink, red and black.
Some smooth and some
like rough sand.
When did I lose my skin?
Did I shed it like some snake
and then step aside or 
did it flake away slowly
like cream-colored wallpaper
disappearing in the air
as I walked?
These days I must contort
like some gymnast
to enter and exit.
Some day I will not
be able to enter my private bath.
My limbs will petrify
ever so slightly but harshly.
I slip beneath the
white foam
and ask for forgiveness
and another day.

(Some may find it interesting that the photo above was originally a lovely sundog I had captured one fall afternoon.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Angry Birds

Fix your face she said.
He wiped the smile away.
She sat on the couch and focused her attention on the re-run.

It was just a squirrel
to run around and around
in her easily distracted mind - he understood.

He sat in the faded chair
by the window and picked
with one arthritic hand at the broken seam in his pants.

Fix your mind he thought.
Her eyes got that far away look.
Today was just like that long ago yesterday.

And it now appears
It will be a repeat of tomorrow.

(Something that came to my mind as I watched an elderly couple in the restaurant.  This is the life we all may dread, but some of us cannot avoid it.)

Monday, September 05, 2011

Solitary Creatures

Hearing the sigh of air through the rooms of the house
Feeling the fall of the dust through the sunbeams
Creating the echo of a distant laugh from memory

No other soul to share this faint laughter
No other being to study my countenance
No other person to worry about my sloth

The day moves slowly with no rhythm
Just the length of the shadows skirting the lawn
To remind me of the passing time

Today's solitary activities create
No regrets or anxious goals to be met
or concerns for a different tomorrow

All is at last at an even keel
The balance of a perfect floating bubble
And this I will treasure for the whole of time.

(Oddly enough, this was written before the adventurous weather ride we recently took...perhaps created due to the prior drop in air pressure on my brain, you can see I was in a very different state of mind before the storm.)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Just One Last Thought

We headed out early for the airport for our return flight.  Security is always an issue that takes up time before travel and hubby was notified at the outside gate that he had been "randomly" selected for an extra security check.  The blue-eyed, bald-headed guy with the effusive personality is definitely the Politically Correct choice!  (Do not get me started on TSA and their dysfunctional efforts.)  Anyway, mid-way through the first security check they whisked hubby away and I had to head out to the gate by myself.  At this early time the gate chairs were only half full and I sat and read my Kindle... for a while.  Time passed slowly and so I went to peruse the shops for some last minute chocolate.  Instead I found this book.  According to the back cover, Frances-Marie Coke was born in Jamaica.  She is a Human Resource Management Consultant and has lectured at the University of the West Indies.  This is her second collection of published poems.

As a collector of poetry (that is NOT in electronic form) I perused it only briefly before deciding that it would be my souvenir to take home and my companion on the plane in case they decided to keep my husband.  Below is a  sample of one of my favorite passages from this book of poetry.

Lonely Is

...a river where the ripples have no stones,
a shadow lengthening down a slender room, 
a lullaby without an infant's eyes
fluttering to sleep; lonely is
the stillness of a loveless April evening;
a night of silence broken
by a fan that makes no difference;
a leaf entangled in a spider's web;
a thread unraveled from its weave.

I had read a few pages when my husband finally showed up with his bags and sat next to me just as they began the call for boarding.  Within seconds he was called up to the gate desk and then motioned to me that he was going to go through one more security check (number three) and that I should just board without him!  (What a waste of taxpayer money!)  Fortunately we both made the flight and they allowed us to sit together and treated us like normal passengers from then on out, whatever that means.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Not Wanting to Be Seen

Just as the night was fading
Into the dusk of morning
When the air was cool as water
When the town was quiet
And I could hear the sea

I caught sight of the moon
No higher than the rooftops
Our neighbor the moon

An hour before the sunrise
She glowed with her own sunrise
gold in the grey of morning

World without town or forest
Without wars or sorrows
She paused between two trees

And it was as if in secret
Not wanting to be seen
She chose to visit us
So early in the morning.

...Anne Porter,  from Living Things

( I know, no full moon now.)

Monday, August 16, 2010


This busyness
This making of lists...

How many light switches
must be pushed
to empty the house
of nothingness?

How many
vanilla moons
for inner peace?

How many checks,
doors closed
before it is

really done?

How many
shiny surfaces

to mimic

the glisten
of starlight?

the inside
is empty and


It is the
frantic fear

of time passing
that is full
and messy
with life.

(I have no idea what this means...)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Soldier's Return

It is strange how flat and quaint
this room seems to ear and eye
when trudging back after a long
and challenging trip.

The spaces are narrow
and confining.

The colors seem faded and
hidden even more
by the dust that floats
in the air of the sunbeams

that fall through the window.

Are these the walls
that once sheltered
and comforted me and 

protected each confidence?

Why that odd painting
above the fireplace?
Oh yes, it belonged to
Granny and we saved it.

Why is it so quiet here?

Where did the life go?
How can the world
grow and change and
yet this place ignores

and stays the same?

How changed am I.

Each time I fit less and less.
This time I am afraid
I may fit no more.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Heat Is On

The tulip poplar trees
Over a hundred feet high
Have begun to throw off
Their golden leaves
Like slow chubby strippers
Resigned to this hot dance
That comes every July.

The sun's spotlight
Obscures their sheltered stage
Of cool green leaves

And dark green shadows
Blinding the eye

With hot light
And turning green to gray sage.

Even the dark coal crows
Sit high like black tree knots
With their mouths open
Panting for some
Relief from the hot
Golden agony 
That is summer.

The bird bath is
The hot new spot.
Take a number
To shimmy on the dance floor.

And then later jitterbug
High in the poplar branches
Drops caught like confetti in the sun.

You also will dance 
If you forget that, for you, 
Shoes are required 
At this annual gala
Unless your feet laugh 
And can jitterbug over hot tar
On the pavement.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Best Laid Spring Plans

The local theatre brochure arrives by post.
I peruse
and mark those entertainments that look promising.
Unfolding the town paper, I scan the insert
and make a mental note of
weekend frivolities that are intriguing.

A new restaurant in town has live music for lunch, and
I jot a mental note to make sure and drop by.
The evening news showcases a local sports team and
I mark the calendar to see the next game.
My favorite artist has an exhibit in the nearby town and
I clear some space in my week.

The weekend comes and the drama of
the osprey nest building show,
"Engagement one week only,"
claims my time.
The following week there are hyacinth bean seedlings
in the coldframe
demanding transplant.
During the coming spring days,
my lunch hours are filled
with the dance recitals of
hummingbirds and new butterflies.
By month's end, the lonely canoe needs a quick
paddle down the creek to stretch its spine.
So, I will admire the spring landscapes painted by 

the local artist, Mother Nature,
while pulling my paddle through the silver water.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Difference

It is not glands
or tenor of voice
or fire in the eye
as she first thought.

In middle years
she learned
it was not what was funny
or what was important
or who did the most
or who was right
or who won.

She now knows
it is the disquiet
at the end of the day
while she welcomes the sunset,
enjoys the meal and then
so easily slips beneath
the quilt.

It is the need to walk
the yard in winter
planning the land
and hauling the wood
while she reads poetry
quietly in the corner chair
in the sun
anticipating spring.

It is waiting for the
phone to ring
or waiting for the
new news
or opening the mail,

While she sips tea
or red wine
and watches the same
mystery on TV once again
or enhances the photo
of her grandchild.

It is trying to change the ending
versus acceptance of the certain.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Are You Bored Yet or Just at Peace?

It is happening.
Slowly the simpleness levels you.

Smooths out all the interesting edges,
Grays down the highlights,

Fades the lowlights.
No quick intakes of breath.
No sharp laugh to stifle.

No surprise in plan.
Just smiles now.
Just yoga breathing.
And that all important focus
on what we shall cook
for dinner.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Old Grand Guest

The sunrise
kissed the icy edge of the river
It glowed
with a virginal blush.
But it did not warm
or even embarrass anything.

The sky melted pink
but all else was silver gray.
The hoary breath of January
stilled all in its path.
Even the birds
trilled only once
afraid to let the cold
know where they were.
This temporary status
aches my heart
and cools my memories
and fogs my breath
and slows my bones.
This timeless visitor
has settled into the guest room
and seems to enjoy
the waiting with no
hanging around
like a wet gray fog.