"Two wrongs may not make a right but a thousand wrongs make a writer.”

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Allesandro of Albola


led us down the steps
into the cellar.
What the Tuscan sun began
the oak will finish.
In a separate room
racked bottles are covered in dust.
It protects them from light, he says.
He wishes to visit California
to learn more about wine.


This is a quadrille, a poem of exactly 44 words for dVerse and their prompt to celebrate wine and incorporate the word. I had no problem with this one! There is also a link there about the wine windows of Florence, invented during the bubonic plague and resurrected in  the pandemic. Allesandro gave us a private tour of the winery, (back when we could travel). He was very knowledgeable and we found it puzzling that he would want to move from the center of Tuscany to California to learn more about wine making.




Thursday, April 1, 2021

The Apple

What if it was Adam ate the apple
a
nd in retelling, told it slant?
The tale recorded by scribes of men
with etching tools and papyrus

rewriting Eve into a sin—
the temptress who led her mate astray
a
nd cursed us all till kingdom come.

The mother of mothers forged

into the witch of Salem, the shrew of literature,

the feminine mystique placed on high

but denied the pen to record it straight.


But what if Adam ate the apple?

A rogue deceptor, a muscle man,

who climbed the tree

who shook the limb

who took a bite
and smiled it good.


April is poetry month and Poets and Storytellers is helping to kick it off. An ode to trees, here with a slant, and linked to dVerse , the pub where poets hang out.



Thursday, January 28, 2021

My Mother Is Young

 

At day's end she folds her blouse
and places it on a footstool.

She raises her arms to receive her nightie

as it floats around her in faded flowers,

blue and yellow, the parchment

of leaves falling to earth,

falling into her lap.

She checks the basket on her walker

for her nightly needs.

 

The art of submission:

walker replacing cane

cane replacing dancing feet

dancing fee replaced by buckled shoes

that ran through the raspberry patch

whose pointed thorns couldn’t catch her.

 

She grimaces in the mirror

and yanks a comb through her hair

still black at the nape,

in the mirror of her mind

my mother is young.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Malcolm The Cat

The sleet quietly turned into snow in the night. Nothing moves on the road, like the snowy mornings of old. The snow deadens sound, but I see our fat cat has emerged from his house on the porch to observe the day. He has a rug and shelter under the overhang. His dish is empty. I warm up some broth left over from our Christmas Day Beef Bourguignon and drizzle it over his food, now fit for the king cat he is. A morning like this makes one feel lazy as a cat in the sun.  

Things cats can teach us:

Be curious but cautious
Pay 
attention to the weather
Sharpen your claws but know when to run
Know your friends.
You can
 see in the dark when you walk in the dark
E
at slowly then wash your face.

Happy New Year writers and poets and friends extraordinaire, especially those at earthweal where you will find poetry for and of a changing world.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Boyfriends

Don't google old boyfriends.
They've gone old
and gained weight.
They have daughters
And sons
They're happy.

He wanted to take you to the ocean
lull in the sand and try again.

Don't google old boyfriends.
And may they not google you.
They see you as then,
carefree and tanned
with hair down your dress.
Happy.




Thursday, December 24, 2020

Time

 I

The Last Snowfall

 

The child playing

in the driveway

while his dad shovels

will remember snow.

 

II


The Mirror

 

The hair that falls out in the shower

is still black.

Why in the mirror is it not?

The face cream claims to lift.

It’ll lift your lids right off your face.

Why in the mirror does it not?

We worry about bills and cancer

and if the car will start 

and the junction in our lifeline.

Put a dimmer switch in the bathroom.

Life is too short to worry about our health.

 

 

III


Gravity

 

The door swings empty. Dust settles.

Flesh accommodates.

The old lady stumbles but she recovers.

I hurt therefore I am.

 

When you crossed the hospital lobby

Did you think to escape?

Pick up your feet.

 

Make a wrong turn and you could come up missing,

walking back at yourself in the elongated mirrors

hung in corners. Don’t breathe.

 

The ventilator hisses and pumps,

tireless machine needing only an outlet.

The incident, unforeseen, took her down

one day before she was to come home,

one from which she could not recover.

 

It’s raining again at the window bed,

steady as the pocket watch ticking unseen.

It paces us through gathering events.

In a place like this

the only time I ever saw my father cry.

 

Out of time. And when was it ours?

Sometimes we can’t go home but would it matter

if we don’t recover?

We get along. Dust settles.

 

 

Three connected to close out the wretched year we call 2020. Inspired by Poets and Writers  to post one more time before the end of the year, this is for the Writers Pantry.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all you poets and writers!

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Door At The End Of The Hallway


Door one is for those with questions about their disability check.

Door two is for those who didn’t get their disability check.

Door three is for those who can’t find a doctor to treat their disability.

Door four is for those who have been denied their disability.

Door five is for those who were Sectioned Eight, no disability.

Door six is for those seeking legal advice.

Door seven is for those whose paperwork never not submitted, go back to door one.

Door eight is for those who got kicked out of the shelter, go back to door six.

Door nine is for those suffering hallucinations, go back to door three.

Door ten is for those deemed a danger to themselves by door three.

Door eleven is for those who exhausted one through ten.

This poem is linked to dVerse and the inspiring post from Peter Frankis in Australia,
commemorating poetry, line breaks (when and how to take a breath) and endings, metaphorically and visually.

And, finally, may none of us have to frequent this hallway. Breathe


Saturday, December 12, 2020

Concurrence

Snow fog encases each blade of grass,
each winter’s branch in wispy ice
as the hunter hidden in his blind
rests his weapon on the sill.

The rising sun lifts the fog—

a breath, a pause, a trigger pull.

A rush of wing, a whoosh of air

the ricocheting echo fades.

Steam releases from the kill

and quiet calms the forestland.




This hunting season inspired poem is linked to Earthweal (poetry for a changing world) and their open link weekend.


Thursday, December 10, 2020

Stepping Off The Sidewalk

 

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night - Gibran

 

There are words you can hang

that will tell you how to feel.

Who to love. What to think.

Hang above the entryway

or in the hallway

where I saw my mother walking

toward me in the mirror

like free-flowing water.



My take on Stepping Off The Sidewalk

No Way Out


Stranded in the time of Covid-
one way in, one way out
but torrential rains washed out
the culvert and the deliveryman can't find her.

Nothing to drink but a neighbor's Folgers
nine months pregnant when water rushing
down the ravine cracked the culvert,
the plundering of man with his man-made things,

the high-brow engineer with a clipboard
couldn't stop the rush to nowhere
as hurricane after hurricane
follows the same path north
to clip this saturated land
from where now there is no way out.


Friday, July 31, 2020

Hi ya'll! I haven't been on here for a while....busy pulling weeds and killing tomato worms and chasing rabbits out of the lettuce but:
The new issue of the Slippery Elm Journal is out and check out the cover!!!



We aren't supposed to toot our own horn but I am an old baritone sax player from High School band!!!

Happy summer days are here. The popcorn is chest high (yes trying to grow popcorn) and the heirloom tomatoes are thriving in spite of the worms that we pick off and smash under a rock.


Monday, May 11, 2020

Arid Spring

I received notice yesterday that two more pieces of my writing were accepted by the slippery Elm Literary Journal. It was a Mother's Day present of sorts. Meanwhile, dust rolls across the arid fields as farmers work their ground. Last year it was too dry and this year too wet, but my dad always said that if he had to choose, he would take dry. This was my fourth Mother's Day with no mother but with the progression of time I see her more clearly each morning in the mirror.




Friday, April 24, 2020

A Troubled Man To The Lighthouse Goes

The night watchman
(a troubled man)
on a given day
when all the birds sing
to the lighthouse goes.
Once a gentleman in Moscow,
under rumors of war
undertakes the voyage
with a golden compass
to a promised Garden of Eden
but it was a risk pool
and no country for old men.



This poem was composed from the titles on my bookshelf in response to the challenge at dVerse (the pub where poets hang out) to compose a poem from the books on your shelf. (Spine Poetry) I had fun and rediscovered some old friends.



 

Friday, April 17, 2020

Main Street Carryout

Chairs upturned on tables
in the sad empty restaurant
where the ghost of a warm-up band,
and the clink of ice echo in the dark.
Footsteps from the kitchen,
a light under the door.
Masked faces dart across the street
with styrofoam boxes.


Written for the Open Link Night at dVerse, the poets pub, and in celebration of National Poetry Writing Month.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Fairyland

Dressing in the dark in winter clothes
I turn on the coffee to a rising death toll.
Under stay-at-home orders and weeping skies
I need a haircut and larder supplies.
Jigsaw puzzle spread out on a table,
piece by piece I construct a town.
Tulips, groomed grass, and houses that house people.
Lecture halls and libraries and bustling alehouses.
Bartenders with white towels wiping down bars,
Cracking jokes and drawing pints in a fairy tale land. 
With writings and books and time for it all
I should be content but I miss my pals.


Linked up with Earthweal and the weekly challenge,"Flattening The Curve".

To date in America there are 183,000 cases of Covid-19 and 3,774 deaths, a sobering number as it doubled in two days.
 

Saturday, February 22, 2020

A Writer's Life

I rouse the cat from his house
with a thump on the roof
He stretches his double-thumbed feet
and emerges from his bed.
I fill his dish with Rachel Ray's
premium blend and he follows me
out to the chicken coop.
The water is frozen.
Inside the chickens are warm
and the trough is dry and empty.
They titter totter down the ramp to the outdoors
with straw stuck to their feet
(those feet that make a healing broth)
and I scatter feed and fill the water as the cat watches.
You take care of your animals before you take care of yourself
childhood admonishments stick in my head
as things from childhood do.
Part and parcel of this adult package
I would be less without.
Once orphaned we all take our seats
at the adult table. So I fill my coffee cup
sit at an empty table with a blank page
and think about what I will write today.



This little walk through morning chores is linked to Earthweal's open link weekend. Sunday, remember, is a day of rest, even for farmers, writers and environmental activists!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Wranglers, Whiskey and White Socks


The mustachioed cowboy
with grass stains
on his knees 
plays the slide guitar for me.

The barmaid fills shots,
the whiskey flows,
wranglers, white socks, 
a band of four.

Mustache in a Stetson
bends over the keys
feet work the pedals
smiles for me.


A Quadrille for dVerse, the pub where poets hang out.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Feeling Small in a Multitude of Ways


If the sky were any bigger it would kill me clean.
like an iceberg into the melting sea.

The sun colors the sky best before it breaks dawn—
each wisp of cloud a red kite on a string.

It enhances the tree clinging to life, to its last wind-torn leaf
like a child to her mother through the fence of the king.

It’s bigger than a barn from afar, that tree
limbs full of birds’ nests unraveling in a breeze

and I don’t know how it escaped the clear-cut of the king.
Too lazy to have walked through a field of grass

to stand under a tree, the vast sweep of its shade
and pay homage to that which is braver than me.

Too cowed to lobe arrows at the wall of the king, 
my capacity to feel small is undiminished  by lies

as the sun travels its arc across a blood-splattered sky
and I finish out the day in a multitude of small ways.


Humbly offered for Poets and Storytellers and likewise for Earthweal, the weekend open links for writerly laments.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

The Hungry Boyfriend

lounges in the recliner with his pressed coffee and remote,
top shelf at the ready, knuckle in his mouth.
Only the best for the double negative boyfriend
who loves her and promises he won’t do it again
but he’s always so hungry, hungry, hungry hungry.

Curtains drawn, super heroes on the tube
he waits for her to come home with food.
A high-flying career guy who now pushes carts in the rain
it isn't any wonder he's hungry for her.
He gobbles up friends and eats self esteem
devours her cash like a casino machine.

Lock your phone with a thumbprint, sleep with a knife,
when a double negative boyfriend sneaks into your life.
But she tells all who will listen he won’t do it again,
not nothing to worry about from this DN boyfriend.

He’s calm and connected, swallows his pills dry,
hitches his pants and polishes the knobs,
patiently pacing for the mouse to arrive.
But she did it again and ruined his mood
empty handed up the walk, bitch where’s my food!



Alone in the House but for Poets and Storytellers

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Assault on a Dove


A flock of birds swoop down the road
in the face of a churning, tireless blow

skittering the ditch, they flutter and spin
to stay in sync with their fine-boned friends.

Pellets of snow fly in opposing drift
unlike these birds who would flock together

if only they could. They circle the house looking for calm,
break apart and converge in the shape of a crown.

One lone dove drops from the sky
like a plumb line to my porch and hops chair to a chair

butter soft gray, dusting snow off her feet,
she rests on a cushion out of the wind
and tucks her head neatly under her wing.


For Sherry Marr  at EARTHWEAL, poetry for a changing world.

Rising temperatures have a major influence on wind speeds. This has been especially noticeable here in the Great Lakes Basin. According to a study published in the scientific journal Natural Climate Change, winds across much of North America, Europe, and Asia have grown faster since 2010, and the speeding-up trend is expected to continue. That's good news for renewable energy production and could be a boon for the wind power industry but brings an added risk to birds. 

Researchers estimate that up to 328,000 birds are killed every year in collisions with the blades and support towers. But back to the affect high winds in general have on birds. The ability to land is critical, especially for fast-flying birds. High wind is an assault and particularly dangerous to cliff-breeding birds. It can prevent them from accessing their nests through loss of flight control.

Wind trumps fossil fuels, hands down, but solar trumps wind. No creature likes windy days, least of all birds.