“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones” — Albert Einstein

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Haymow Workshop

There's a new bird in the haymow,
more musical than the sparrow,
less mournful than the dove.
Singing from the rafters.

From a writer's retreat.

Linked to the Imaginary Garden's micro poetry link.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


From The Imaginary Garden comes a prompt imagined by Kerry O'Connor - from Elizabeth Bishop, The Fish, "Our Open Link provides us with the opportunity to write a promptless poem, to plumb the depths of consciousness and present our own visions in the form of poetry."

The detour led us off the highway
and onto a gravel road,
past shacks and crooked trailers.
The gravel in the wheelwells
amplified the quiet in the car—
our children in the back suddenly paying attention.

We’d crossed an invisible border
and entered a country where people sit on porches,
stare at the oddity of traffic, and don’t wave.
The road led us deeper into the woods
and through hills fit for a brochure

but outside the window garbage overflowed the ditch—
discarded tires and old car bumpers,
scraps of metal and broken glass signaling for help.
Dust hung in the air and breached the rolled windows,

and I wanted the highway, manicured rest areas and speed limits.
Our detour through this country inside a country
made our children put down their books
and ask questions we couldn't answer.

And what I remember more than what I wrote is the sense of fear that permeated the car, fear of the unknown and resentment at having been thrown into such an uncomfortable situation. We did not want to see what we were forced to see. And while it's been a while, I still see the vacant stares and feel the stillness that hung in the air.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Flash 55!

I'm  happy to join  this month's Flash 55 now sponsored by The Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.


Woman walks down the road
with a scissors in her hand,
kicking a stone with a scissors in her hand.
Bleached skull in the ditch
stones ricochet and skip.
Eye on the road, eye cast to the ditch,
cresting the hill, she chases a stone.
Hips swing and sway
with the scissors in her hand.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Pretty Things

When you change your routine, regardless of reason or desire, it is difficult to re-calibrate your day. A rainy day is a writer's best friend, and a visit to the big lake (Lake Huron, for those of you who aren't familiar with this blog), brings me back to my organic roots.

Oh, how I treasure this life, our lakes, and the written word. Even when I'm never here, I'm always here.

Pretty Things.

A freighter drifts out of the mist.
We watch it crawl along the horizon.
Two girls braid their hair in the shallows

and a woman in a red bathing suit
and pink bandanna looks for something pretty.
A twin engine plane putts overhead

following the shoreline, putt, gasp! putt.
Buoys that mark the safe swimming boundary
bounce as a speed boat skims by.

Sail boats peak the horizon, bothering nobody,
seemingly not moving, but when you look back, they are gone,
swallowed by a lake that makes pretty things.

One ale later, we have to turn our heads to see the freighter
chugging for the straits with determination
and the woman is on her knees, looking for something pretty.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mesclun Mix and Pterodactyls

"The Organic Writer" has been woefully neglected.

With spring, garden planning, seeding, and prepping always takes precedence over blogging, but before I knew it, near three months had elapsed without paying a visit.

Oh! The frozen lake! Shudder. Time to move those pictures down the page. Today a picture of our pond in spring:

From end to end, a good place to cool off in the heat of summer after bailing hay or weeding rows of beets and chard and garlic....

It isn't all idyllic around here. I've been dodging pterodactyls, planting onions, chasing chickens, and weeding the rhubarb and the asparagus, the first tips of which are emerging. Spring has been slow arriving but the tulips are opening and grass will soon need to be cut. And it won't be long before we'll be jumping off that dock.

Yesterday, as I watered our seedlings and salad mix inside the greenhouse a large winged shadow suddenly flapped around the outside of the doomed roof, up and over, flap, flap, across and over, trying to find a way in. From inside it looked huge, like a pterodactyl brushing against the plastic, looking for entry. The plastic amplifies everything. If it is sprinkling outside, it sounds like a steady rain inside. If it’s a steady rain outside, it sounds like a downpour inside. I darted outside to see what the shadow was, but only a common crow flew off towards the chicken coop, and I went back inside. Crows can’t cart off a chicken like a hawk will. 

Back to the mesclun mix....

Doesn't it look yummy? Spicy and ass-kicking! Now for the picking. The farmers' market season opens Saturday and it seems the only writing I have time for then is the weekly CSA newsletter. But I hope to post more updates here about things of interest, and I think everyone has an interest in food and how it's grown on an organic farm. 

Oh, and a swim in the pond and a writing session on the dock.

Let's not be strangers!

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Great Lakes Review

There is a breakwater on Lake Huron not too far from us that protects the harbor and marina. I walked out on it as far as I dared, then wrote about what and who I saw. The Great Lakes Review accepted my essay for publication and this morning it went live!

Lake Huron is beautiful and inviting, regardless of the season.

The narrative map series they are running is an awesome project, and I wanted to share. They're looking for more literary sketches to fill in their map.

Good luck with what you're writing and painting and doing this week!

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Thousand Lashes

As reported today in Poets and Writers, PEN is holding weekly vigils outside the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in London in support of Raif Badawi, an activist and blogger who was convicted last May for insulting Islam. Badawi was sentenced to ten years in prison and one thousand lashes, the whipping was begun last Friday. He will receive 50 lashes each Friday following morning prayers for 20 weeks. (They say their prayers first.) The extended punishment is intended to instill fear in the population and cause severe long-term damage to Badawi, probably death.

Really. A thousand lashes?

Another shot over the bow warning writers everywhere to not insult Islam. Never insult Islam or write anything that can in the slightest way be construed as criticism if you value your head and your back. Don't insult Islam if you value your freedom and the writing life. Don't insult Islam or....

delete delete delete 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My Three Friends

It takes a lot to know
what’s right
to let others in
when solitude fits this shoe.
It takes a lot
when night looms
as a stopped clock
not to be afraid.
When the quiet overtakes
me, myself and I,
it takes a lot to face the facts
to know what’s right
to ask for help,
to pave the way and be brave
to be in your bedtime prayers.
I don’t want to be brave
I don’t want to be there.

Linked to the poetry garden and the Tuesday Platform. I've never been good at reading on stage, knees get wobbly and the podium shakes. It's easier here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

One More Flash For The G-Man


It's been a while
without his smile.

Fridays have never been the same
though it's been a while

without the G-Man in my
blogroll. It's been a while.

I never got to boast a Yahtzee
never had that cup-a-Joe.

His graciousness I sorely miss
though it's been a while.

It's been a while
without his smile.

When Galen Hayes retired from active blogging, he passed the Flash 55 mantle to the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads. This prompt was a final tribute to him. He died suddenly last month. They will be offering the meme on the first weekend of every month in his memory. Thank you, poets of the garden, for giving me a forum to say goodbye.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Burning out the Black

The boy trudges along the road
with a load of sticks on his back.
Cook fires burn the black out of the tropic night
and viewed from the top of a hill by a cross
(erected after the massacre
  inspired by the School of the Americas)
they dot the landscape like lights over L.A.
but the air smells like burning shit.

Down an alley in the city
through a fence he once glimpsed
a rope slung around a tree and tied post to post
from which clothes were hung to dry
and wood did not burn.

Further up the street were gated communities
and guards with guns in all the banks
and a pool behind an iron fence.
Drawn to the water, he peered through the filigree
at the diving board and a waiter with a towel
until they shooed him away.

Clothes drape rocks around the cook fire
and hang off every available surface.
He dumps his load beside the fire
and stirs the coals with a stick.

This post is based on the prompt at Magpie Tales and dedicated to the people of El Salvador and Guatemala.