Beginning to Work

“Momentary brilliance flashes”
“Charming grace enhances”
“Beauty quietly enters the soul”
“Moisture nourishes the flesh”

“Elevated spirits soar”
“Laughter sings her song”
“Healing balms anoint”
“Lightness suppresses the dark”

“Velvet gently presses alabaster”
“White down drifts in silent winds”
“Cool water flows over soft moss”
“Sunshine warms smooth stones”

And so, a poet begins her work;
inspiration comes to life,
yawns and stretches her arms skyward
and grabs an eager handful of words and
unleashes a few colorful descriptive phrases

She tosses a flamboyant few down,
releases the flagrant many, and
wrestles to hold onto the most fragrant ones
that will complete her lovely word bouquet



My Life As a Leaf

One single leaf clung to the old oak
tree branch with undeniable tenacity;
the storm outside my window
whipped rain and wind against the pane

But when the tempest receded
the leaf shook itself of the experience
and continued its act of longevity,
swaying meekly in the aftermath

All other leafs had been raked into neat piles,
played in by children (of all ages) then
hauled to the edge of the pine grove;
they would serve as mulch for the spring garden

I watched this leaf as snow capped the bare limbs
and branches snapped under weighty ice;
when spring arrived, with her bonnet of crocuses
and jonquils, it peered curiously at this stranger
….this one lone leaf

There it hung! Dry, cracked and colorless;
among new life it clung to its own;
tiny green buds and emerging leafs
were excited about clothing
this giant oak tree anew  

I watched it and somehow felt
it must be tired of the fight;
it looked out of place and ugly
in the surroundings it found itself in

I fetched a ladder from the garage,
climbed to the top and stretched to reach;
I plucked the old leaf, carefully and gently,
and descended the steps to the ground

It was respectfully carried to the pine grove,
walked a short distance out of sight of pathways
and finally laid to rest on the soft forest floor;
this is a fighter, a warrior, a survivor

As beautiful as the new leaves were that spring,
they lacked the dignity and stamina of the
old one;the one that had stood the test of time
and the fury of the storms; the one that
set the example for me, to remain.



Orphans By Default

In the morning their steps are hurried,
their faces anxious from heavy traffic,
as they drag little short people
on squatty legs that struggle
and run to keep up with them,
across the  parking lot,
disappearing into the building
with the cute hand painted pictures
on its façade
The day begins

In the late afternoon the gait is tired and hesitant
from all the traffic;drudgery and guilt
is written all over their faces,
drawn and stressedfrom a hard days work,
as they haul the tiny ones,
pudgy hands holding on happy and tight,
across the concrete yard
vanishing into waiting cars to be taken
to homes that need to be paid for
so the little ones have a place to live
The day ends!

Moms and dads dropping off the children
at the day care center in the dark,
on a cold November morning,
and picking then up in the dark,
on a cold November evening


The Rock In a Hard Place
My attempt to rhyme………

I had sat on that rock over many days
Through trying times and changing ways

It jutted far out in the ocean deep
And held me firm as it heard me weep

The respect I came to hold in my heart
Was the rock’s tenacity, that would never part

For it stood so firm and weary free
As storm waters beat on what we could see

It’s surface so hard and tried and true
Relinquished its covering as stiff winds blew

For over the years the water had worn
The rocks craggy surface before I was born

It accepted the pounding of surf and rain
And remained in its place and so became

An example to us as we face life’s hard blows
As we sit all alone, feeling nobody knows

The wearing of spirit and soul and mind
That is sorrowfully experienced by all mankind

But if we accept the battle we'll see
What God had intended us always to be

That our core inner strength can never be taken
For by His sweet grace He will always awaken

The rock-like covering He placed on our being
That would help us survive for everyone’s seeing

His strength like a rock, never swaying or broken
Will remain in us now and our thanks will be spoken

And others will come and learn after all’s said and done
That those who endure will be those who have won


The Desert in Full Bloom

Cool soft winds of the early grey desert dusk
brush her flushed face with a refreshing caress as
she spans the endless miles of sandy nothingness
sprawled out before her beneath the darkening sky.

The only moisture in this place is in her eyes
as she realizes that these miles of empty space
are as vast as the distance between her and where
she wished she was. A destination fated never to be.

Walking among the dried drifting tumbleweed
her tired mind ravages sweet remembered moments;
like a hungry bird of prey she feeds shamelessly
gorging herself in the privacy of the time allowed

Leaving behind on the windy parched ground
skeletal threads of what  might have been
to be dried in the dawns hot unrelenting sun;
preserved in the same heat from whence it was born

Loneliness hugs her like a thin damp gauze veil;
deep longing reaches helplessly out into a void,
reaching to touch once again and to be touched;
just one more time to be filled and overflowing

One more thought and she smiles.
Suddenly she recalls a face and a voice,
the night desert begins to blossom in her realm of vision,
streams of fresh water begin to flow; the sky brightens.
Flesh swells and is restored to bones

The cool desert winds blend now with other caresses,
moisture is all around and her eyes sparkle with intensity
as tumbleweeds become intricate carved sculptures
and the back of longing loneliness disappears over the
distant horizon for a little while and she picks a handful of
delicate sand flowers in memory of the premonition of hope and renewal

Falling Down  

I saw the first leaf of the season fall
rather suddenly and unexpectedly today!
It’s preordained life cycle had come to an end.
One of many gracious green leaves that had spread
themselves open and comforted me with shade
during this long hot desert summer past

Like a startled bare bather on an early morning shore
who is abruptly come upon by a curious stranger,
soon all these stupendous sprawling trees
will stand awkwardly, embarrassingly stark naked;
unable to cover themselves in the fall chill,
their handsome dignity hindered! Unclothed

But the promise of new tight spring buds,
another chance to renew, and warm sun,
lingers lazily and gives everlasting hope to come,
even now, as this one, lone, solitary leaf, all by itself,
reluctantly gives up its hold on what was, while
remembering forever how it felt to cling to something
that fed it life, and softly tumbles to the waiting
arms of the cool, damp ground


The Sound of Beauty

The rose garden shouts its beauty
in my face, assaulting my eyes
and overwhelming my sense of smell,
as tiny drops of early morning dew,
swell and bulge and roll to the
ground from dazzling fresh green leaves
that are spread with newness and purpose.

Tight buds held in the grasp of stems,
are beginning to shyly open their petals
with a slight tremble, knowing that they
will bloom and be in the sunlight
of the world but for a few days;
on stage and center front, and then
will have to shed those same lovely
soft petals onto the cold ground below.

Colorful petals; yellow, red, white, pink
like confetti after a junior prom, strewn
about the lawn, blown about by the wind
or gathered and dried for potpourri to sweeten
the long winter days when we long for
the rose garden to once again shout for us to
come out and walk and partake of
her beauty and
lesson in resolution





Sweet Fusion

The sun had melted
the small box of
chocolate sticks
and as they cooled,
all of the pieces
became as one;
fused sweetly together,
united now into a whole
that would remain
bound in their fusion
because of the
action generated
by the warm,
ever comforting heat.

 
  Lunch With the Eastern Pope

He was late
we were nervous
the room was huge
the food, foreign

Egypt was hot
the pyramids silent
we ate and talked
his Bishops glared

What does he think?
would he like to run;
to hide from the 90 million
who kiss his ring?

I spoke of his health
his embroidered robes
I forgot to bow, gave a hug
I wore slacks and no hat

An American woman
visiting Egypt
breaking with protocol
and having lunch
with the Eastern Orthodox Pope

He stared, he listened, he talked
and he smiled.

A Magic Wand
My first look at Fufu (Little Alex)

The baby was totally oblivious
to our presence
in the dimly lit room

It looked around and
turned towards us;
raised its hand as if to wave;
kicked strenuously and
exposed tiny little feet

I watched in fascination
at this small gift from God
as it continued to move, and stretch,
yawn, perhaps in boredom,
make fists and box the air,
and turn from one side to the other

The wand of the 3D ultrasound machine
glided over the cool, clear gel
on my daughters’ stretched stomach
to give us our first amazing look
on the computer screen,
of my five month old grandchild
in its mothers womb

The technician explains, takes pictures
and says what we want to hear; that it
appears the baby will probably be a girl


A Labor of Love

Watching my daughter, Jenni, in labor


The top, continually moving graph line on
the flickering imposing computer screen
in the dimly lit hospital room records
her tiny heartbeat;

The bottom line rises and falls with the
mother's contractions; the muscle spasms
that work to forcefully push baby out into a
world of unbreathed oxygen, unseen light
and unmuffled sound

The rapid beat echoes monotonously from the
hi-tech machine and spikes, speeding up like
softly galloping horses in an old western movie,
as the intense pain her mother feels is squeezing
the small head  from both sides, causing
a crushing distress unknown to the unborn child

Tight watery quarters that my granddaughter
has called home for the past long nine months,
with arms, legs and life line all curled
about each other in a comforting familiar way,
will soon be left behind, with no memories,
as her journey down the thinning
birth canal begins and her mom,
my dear daughter Jenni,
prepares for the onslaught of labor

The Spoken Line

A pen starts
to spill lines;
smooth lines
that form
memorable words;
lovely words that
express deep feelings
and raw emotions;
lines that take shape
as the lonely overflowing heart
gropes for the pen’s hold,
wanting only satisfaction;
begging for more
to complete it’s
insatiable need
to be comforted
by a few thoughtful
engaging, encouraging
smooth words
created by lines


Empty Pages    

Pen to paper
fingers to keyboard
searching the heart
exploring the mind
exhausting the body
peering into the soul
looking without
beyond the fog
beside the pain
around the circumstances
through joy and triumph
confronting happiness,
hoping to inspire
one more time
simply a few words
to quench my desire
and undying curiosity
for seeing if just
once again
I can beat and outdo
the intimidating
blank page
of unwritten poetry
Bound To Destiny

Some few people are destined
to be brought together
to remain in union
as one,
forever in love

Just as some few poems are preordained to bewritten
and bound together to remain
in publication as one,
forever in a book

The Drip of Time

Rain water dripping
from the eaves
at midnight,
both annoys
and reminds us,
that the moment
it takes to listen
to the constant
drip, drip, drip,
is another moment
of our timethat just
sped by;  that we
cannot capture
the watery drips
drop by drop
and put them back up
into the eaves, and
we also cannot
stuff that moment
tick by tick back into
our lives

Fast Food

The neighborhood cat held the bird
firmly in its savage mouth
pressing sharp teeth
through delicate feathers and bones.
I watched on helplessly,
knowing there was nothing I could do.
The damage was already done.
She was hurt and bleeding
probably her lungs or
vital organs punctured
as drops of fresh, thick,
warm blood dripped onto my porch.
Her tiny feet struggled to get free.
Even in that death lock, she fought for her life.
I realized that I was
the last thing she would ever see.
Her dark, white less beady eyes
looked at me desperately for a moment,
then her little round head fell lifeless
and the cat spit her body out to look at
before he began dining on his fresh kill.
I have watched these birds swiftly darting  
around the yard. I wondered, why she hadn’t
flown  a little faster this day? I wondered if
she had any babies in a nest somewhere.
How high had she flown in her lifetime?
Did she have a song, yet unsung?
Did anyone but me even care ?
I pondered  sadly as I washed the shiny crimson blood off my white patio floor with
the long green garden hose

Wasting Time

Someday when I am old
with few days left
I will look back on this
perfectly wonderful day
that I have thoroughly wasted
and want to buy it back
but it won't be for sale


Today is the
Tomorrow We Worried About
Yesterday

Today the children
giggle and laugh
as they play;
mindless of the fact
that tomorrow
they will cry and fret
as they work,
to pay for the
foolishness of
their yesterdays

Hearty Work
Idle time is the playground
of idle thoughts

Work can be tedious
mundane and heartless,
until you are without it,
at which time
your idle time
becomes tedious
mundane and without heart,
and at which time
you would give anything
to have some rather
tedious, mundane work
to attend to,
with all your heart


Creating a kaleidoscope of textures and colors makes for
a great bed quilt, or in the case of this Poem Quilt, an interesting collection of colors ad textures simply to look at and read.  This quilt has a maze of tones and patterns from my favorite pallette of pink and black,  mixed in with poems from my book "An Altar by the Sea". I hope you enjoy browsing it as much as I enjoyed making it, thanks for visiting.

Bad cat, bad cat,
what ya gonna do
when they
come for you...
bad cat, bad cat

I just couldn't
resist that!
Listening to
"All I Have to do is Dream"
Enjoying the frozen top of our wedding cake on our 1st wedding anniversary