I believe in being prepared for any given situation. It isn't because I'm a pessimistic person; I think it is just good common sense. Hence, I've entitled my blog "Even Nothing is Something."

This covers my butt in any event. On any given day I can feel great exaltation that I have done something grand. I can scribble fiercely when my thoughts are leaping across the meadows of my mind like a happy little colt in the month of May, or my mind and writing can be as dry and arid, as cold and without life, as the Gobi desert - because even Nothing is Something.

I want to thank all of my fellow artists who work through other means and forms and who sell their work on the wonderful artist's site "Etsy," a place to buy and sell all things handmade, along with vintage items and supplies for their craft. They are a great group of people.

Those who have links to their site on my blog represent only a few of those whom I wish to include. Just click on one of those links and join the Etsy community. It is free. They are a great group of artists who have relieved me of my money in the most delightful of ways. If it weren't for their encouragement, I would have never shared my work through this blog.

Thank you my darling friends!

Enjoy my blog - The Poet or Not - More or Less

Friday, September 17, 2010

Haiku with a 5-7-5 Meter

Well, I'll be. I was looking through my documents for something in particular and happened across this Haiku Poem with eleven verses. Now, how could I forget I wrote that, I wondered. Here it is.


Were I a flower,
I could live for a reason,
to make someone smile.

Were I a flower,
I could die for a reason,
to spread seeds afar.

If I were the wind,
I could sail across the sea
and learn who I am.

If I were a star,
I could shine for the lonely,
to brighten their life.

And, if I were a
breath of balmy air, I could
save myself from death.

If I were a breath
of air I could find some hope;
instead, I'm breathless.

If my heart held a
song, I could sing; instead I
hear a dirge of grief.

If my heart was loved,
then I would know happiness,
a reason to live.

Life doesn't always
fulfill our dreams; they can be
beyond potential.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Well, Here is Something Rather Pathetic, However Appropriate

So, as I said, today is my, our, 33rd wedding anniversary and, while Bruce and I are still friends, it is true that there is nothing like separation on such a day to remind you of all that has passed and how much you think you might have missed. Nothing like such a day to make you wax maudlin until you melt in the sun.

This poem was written today; it might be a bit rough as it took me all of twenty minutes and might very well read as though it took about two minutes.

I Find Myself Alone

I find myself alone
inside an empty
room. My suitcase
is on the floor,
my shoes are at
the door and the
only thing of
which I'm sure is
I've never been
enough and now
I'm stepping out
into the great
unknown where
life is tough, love is
elusive, always on
the run and the
world is too rough.
I can hear the
sound of trains
moving down the
tracks and the
madness of those
long ago years
returns and every
moment in between
that brought me
here to a place I
never thought I'd be -
alone. I find myself
alone because I've
never been enough.
Looking at me,
through your eyes, I
see that the slipper
could never fit. The
doors to your castle
was always locked to
me - a misfit. I'm still
glad that I was with
you when I first saw
the ocean, when I
first heard the waves
in the sea, the sailboat
in the moonlight. I'm
glad we danced to
the music of the night
even though my
heart ended up on
the floor as I faced
the door, heading out
alone. Maybe it was
a fantasy you wanted
instead of me. Whoever
thought I could be
this unafraid of life?
Strong even in the
pain, even when the
lights go out in the
pouring of the rain and
the truth is all I see -
the truth you told me
while I still believed
the lie. Maybe I didn't
laugh enough. Maybe
I wasn't pretty enough.
Maybe nothing was
enough. Maybe I could
never have been all
you wanted of me.
But, please remember,
I am always there for
you, even as I find myself  -
alone but never lonely.

Just a Thought

I don't play computer games. But, my sister is a computer whiz at all things, including games, and some of them I find downright fascinating. For instance, she "owns" a working farm - crops, animals, the whole nine yards. And, she has to take care of it too! If she fails to feed her animals, they leave - a much more humane thing for the makers of this game to do with these animals because at least they don't die of starvation. Her crops will die without appropriate attention.

Now here is the "just a thought." None of my thirteen followers have ever accepted my invitation, nay my begging, to click on the "join" button once again and fix this error of their missing presence. Maybe I don't feed them with enough new pieces of poetry, essays or other nonsense and, therefore, they have just up and left. I don't know who is the most cruel, them or me. But, doggone it! I'm always writing new stuff to include in my book manuscript. Somehow it makes the work seem not so new if I post it on my blog! What a horrible corundum.

In order to make this post of some usefulness, I'll point out to my fellow writers who question this: it is perfectly acceptable to begin a sentence with the words: but, and, etc. The rule making it unacceptable is antiquated; many writers are unaware of this lovely literary tidbit.

(Now I'm really sad - for real. I just noticed today is August 13th. Today is my wedding anniversary. I think I'll get just a bit tipsy.)

Friday, June 4, 2010


The winds rush
the Hemlock and
those Weeping Willows
by the river where
roams a coyote who
pierces the night
with one long syllable
of a howl  - eerie
and haunting, on a
tower high and, as
on a stage, a spotlight
shines down upon
a majestic bird of prey,
that Great Horned
Owl, the Night Tiger
of all nocturnal birds
of prey, whose flight is
soundless amidst the
whisperings of the
Hemlock and Willows,
the creature whose
voice joins the coyote's
howl with its own
multi-syllabic baritone of
repeated "hoooo, hoo, hoo, hoo
hoo." Awakening in the
night-tide, these sounds
penetrate the silence
but for the ticking of
a clock, our bedroom
windows, open for the
breeze, captures the song
of life and the dance of
Hemlocks and Willows
by the river with the eldest
of muses, Kalliope,
the mother of a Bard
who plays upon her lyre.

The Promised Poem

Greetings, my dearest friends, and oh so few (HINT HINT) followers.

I promised to share the poem that defines the title of my book manuscript. Maybe it will give me some redemption from the song lyrics. Speaking of which, let me share this. Although the lyrics are painfully raw, Bruce and I have maintained our wonderful friendship. But, current events (sounds like a social studies course) have provided the muse for these lovely lyrics Matt's band so prefers.

Now, here is a humorous exchange of words between Bruce and I. He remains one of my greatest fans. He's noticed that nature plays a large part in my poetry; I like to make reference to some flora, fauna and truly amazing trees. So, the other day I was telling him about a tree I've recently read about - the Strangler Fig. After I finished telling him all the delightful facts about this tree, his face fell and he said, "Don't tell me. I'm going to be the Strangler Fig." I was happy to tell him that I'll make certain that isn't the case. Maybe I'll write it for my bill collectors.

Once more, (Now there is a lie - I'll surely beg again) I implore those of you who read my work and send me those lovely emails, please click on the "follow" link. I promise I'm nothing like the Pied Piper. There will be no rats at your heels, probably just an email telling you I've posted something new. You have suffered enough. (Another lie.) Here is the poem.

The Poet: A River to the Sea

High atop a mountain
begins streams of subliminal
thought, words melting
into language. Gullies
form within the poet's
mind, bursting with life
to nourish the spirit, to
succor the deepest valleys
of the soul. Rushing to
a confluence of sound,
rhythmic and pleasing,
within the delta of
humanity, meandering,
until finally pushing
toward the sea where
the ocean's tides are
familiar with the moon
and deciphers the hour,
declaring it in the shifting
sand. Here the seagulls
keen and sail with the
currents of air - air so
heavy with mist it is as
though the breeze is silently
weeping. Waves crash
against great rocks, smoothing
them with time, as the
poet, a river to the sea,
soothes the gentle heart
of mankind, and the little
terns play in the froth of
the surf, like the individual
letters of a poet's words.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Oh God, Matt and his band are putting music to the only three or four song lyrics I've ever written. As I've said, rhyme makes me nervous; it can be so awful - or offal if you want complete honesty. But, young people haven't got a heart. Matt's barely seen the age of twenty (I can't believe I just wrote "Matt's," you would never find that in any of my other writings.) His bands favorite song, thus far, is "Dagger to My Heart," or some such title.

While they are putting some tune to the other songs, this Dagger image is the one they love best. I thought they might equally like some dying and some lying. They are without mercy; they are determined to wring out every single drop of blood from my heart. They promise they'll pay me $150.00 per song; I even hate to take the blood money - but I will. I love Matt's white hoop earrings. I'll have to find something special for him from one of my Etsy friends. This one is for you too, my darlings. Remember, you guys started it!


Your Lies spin
me like a DJ
spins his records.
I'm sick all day and
dizzy all night,
goin' round and round
while we fight,
but, I'm hearin' not a
sound from your
lips of lies. Cry
baby cry, cos I ain't
stickin' round to
hear your Lies, Lies,Lies.
You spin me like a
record. Lies, Lies
Lies hides the spin
of truth. Cry, baby

Cry baby cry; I'm
hearin' you lie. Spin
me to the beat, let
me feel your heat.
Lies, Lies, Lies,
let's beat our love
till it Dies, Dies, Dies.
Lies, Lies, Lies, beat
it till it Dies.

Have you been
tryin' to sleep with
a broken heart? You
know that move
wasn't very smart,
but you left me down
then spun me round
with your Lies, Lies
Lies. We're just records
goin' round, round,
round; you put the
needle where you
wanna spin but you're
never gonna win with
those Lies, Lies, Lies,
cos I'm gonna make
you cry, cry, cry baby

Cry baby cry; I'm
hearin' you Lie. Spin
me to the beat, let
me feel your heat.
Lies, Lies, Lies,
let's beat our love
till it Dies, Dies, Dies.
Lies, Lies, Lies, beat
it till it Dies.

Are you spinnin' in
your sheets? Are
your pillows piled
in heaps? We're just
spinnin' round with
nothin' goin' down but
the pain when you
left me cryin' in the
rain. Cry baby cry, cos
our love has gone and
Died from your Lies, Lies,
Lies. What happens in
the day when you
can't hide from the
sun, where you gonna
run, girl, cos you
made me cry, cry

Cry, baby cry; I'm
hearin' you Lie. Spin
me to the beat, let
me feel your heat.
Lies, Lies, Lies.
Let's beat our love
till it Dies, Dies, Dies,
Lies, Lies, Lies, beat
it till it Dies.

You've left me
spinnin' in my
sheets and cryin' in
my sleep. Cry baby
cry, while you tell
me those Lies, Lies
Lies, while you tell me
those Lies, Lies, Lies.
I'm gonna make you
cry baby


Yeah, yeah, that's pretty sad when I have to spell out the ending. When all of you, well all ONE DOZEN, of you, convinced me to share my poetry and humorous prose on a blog you had no idea that it could become this debased. Neither did I. But, even this is something.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Clarification and another Apology to Caryn

I promised to include here the poem that shares the name of my book manuscript, THE POET: A RIVER TO THE SEA. You will find a poem here entitled "River to the Sea." This is NOT the piece of work that will preface my book. It is a much happier poem than "River to the Sea." I promise. I also vow to do more Haiku - that is always a cheery bit of writing.

Would It Be Too Pathetic For Me To Beg Some one Of My Followers To Read This?????

I have decided to try something new - a poem that is semi-epic in nature and completely unlike anything I've done thus far. My reason for attempting this piece of business is that I've been reviewing the chosen poems for inclusion in my book manuscript: THE POET: A RIVER TO THE SEA and I'm finding that so much of my work is downright SAD, as in boo hoo sad.

Much more to my credit is the poem that reflects the title of my book, but I'll share that another day. It will take years for my followers to read this new one and give me their feedback. Woe is me.

The Jade Bracelet

Along the banks of
the Perfume River,
within sight of the
temples, towers and
pagodas reflected in
the still blue pearl waters,
walks a young Vietnamese
youth with his virgin
love, a girl child who
has been promised
in marriage to another.
They move silently,
in harmony with the
tropical jungle as the
tall grasses blow in
the wind suffused
with the calls of
exotic creatures of
flight - just as exotic
as the young girl
with skin the color
of amber and eyes
the color of emeralds,
her femininity crowned
with glossy hair, black
and draping to her
waist - thick and straight,
wearing an Ao Dai the
color of gossamer
white clouds. A bracelet
of jade encircles her
wrist, a gift from her lover,
a secret from all others,
their love forbidden.
Tomorrow she must
marry. On they walk to
the foot of the Ngoc Tran
Mountain and into the
temple of Heaven's
Goddess, the Jade Cup,
where the cliffs rise
steep along the banks
of the Perfume River.
Blossoms scent the
air, heady and sweet as
young love. Here at
the foot of this mountain
the River Perfume is a
deep abyss of shining glass,
a jewel in the sun. The
maiden and her companion
hold hands and inhale the
scent of an age old culture
wafting up from the fragrant
banks. Out onto a bridge they
walk, high above the river,
where they leap to preserve
their love and to enter a
sanctuary of eternity. At
night, in the deepness of
the jungle, the hollow roots
of the Kopek Tree drums
their story through their water
of sound, while out on the
waters of the Perfume River
there is a perpetual ripple of
their young love across the
liquid sea. Sometimes, at night,
in one of the many hamlets
along the River of Perfume
there comes the sound of a
song within the quiet of the
water before it rushes to the sea.
A long time ago another young
man and his maiden love walked
the banks of the Perfume River
and found, entwined within
the many grasses and undergrowth
of these fragrant banks, an
emerald jade bracelet, a bracelet
that now encircles the wrist of
a great, great grand daughter
wearing Levi 501 jeans and
riding a Honda through the
streets of Ho Chi Ming City.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Soliloquy of Reflection

For a child, Benevolent Nature
protects and keeps Life simple,
carefree; Life is like a slinky
that moves with no other
purpose than to make one
laugh. Youth is Delirious and
Puerile, Oblivious to Time;
those Elderly have always
been that way; they have
never been Young with smooth
cheeks and straight backs.
They have always been
Ignorant of Romance, while
Youthful bodies Percolate with
Passion and Sensuality. Life
is filled with a Cornucopia of
Wonder, the Impudence of
Egotistical Juvenality, a Great
Extravaganza, a Full Palette
of human experiences. Eventually
this Illusion disperses like a
Vapor and the Juvenal becomes
aware of the Transience of
Life. Yet, they remain Selectively
Ignorant of any real Premonitions
of Death. Than, as if by Chicanery,
there is a Sudden Twist given
to the Kaleidoscope of Life, a
Peek at Rancorous Old Age,
a Splendid Misery, causing them
to shout, "Unfair!" Life is Now
preciously Animated and Fervent,
while Death remains in the Wings,
dramatic as a Shakespearean
Actor who cries out, "I die!"
Beguiled by Vigor they, too, begin
to seek the Fountain of Youth or
the Ambrosia - that food of the
Ancient Greek and Roman gods,
which ensured their Immortality.
Suddenly, Remembrance is
Enormous and Obliterating. The
Past defies forgetting, and what
are we but our Stories? They are
the Hands that have Molded our
Hearts and Minds for Today. Life
becomes Divided, like a Curtain
falling between Acts, and we
are that Youth, an Actor playing
two parts - those between Days
Gone By and Days Now lived.
Another Twist of the Kaleidoscope
of Time, Senescence Awaits us,
leaving us the Loneliest approach
to Tomorrow, and, at best, only
a casual wish for death, nothing
more malignant, as others who
are now Young eat the same
Succulent Fruit that we did in
Yesteryear, that promised Fruit
of Life. We must hope their Future
retains all that we may have
lost, otherwise, Life would seem
nearly useless and sad, but for
those days of youth. There is
for us now a Painful Recollection
of Our Time of Opportunity, Our
Chance to Grab the Ring, Our
Time to slake the Thirst for
Love. But, now all we may have
is a horrible, Haunting Grief
for all that is Gone. Life Echoes
Remorse - If only we had known.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Poetry in Pain

In the order of blogging, this post is now going to precede one that is very important to me. It is a thank you to Danna Hughes for helping me to find at least some informtion regarding a dear friend, a Vietnam Vet, who fell off the grid of my cyberspace some time ago. It has been at least 3 years since I connected with Rich. Danna is the founder of the organization "Wives of Vietnam Veterans."

I had written a poem in his honor, hoping he might find it on an internet search. The title of this older posted poem is, "The Keeper of the Gate." Rich is a prolific researcher of the internet writing community, particularly as it pertains to Vietnam. With just the right clicks of his mouse, or by typing my name into a search engine, by golly, he just might find me. And, Danna has promised that should he be in touch with her, as he sometimes is, she will pass along my blog and email address.

I've learned that he is happily enjoying love and life again in a wonderful relationship with a nurse who works for a VA hospital in the State of Washington. I'm wondering if he wore a tuxedo for his wedding. Rich far more prefers an oilskin outback coat covered with the hair of lambs, kids, goats and llamas. I wonder if Llola is still alive, his first llama and the one I named. Rich chose to spell her name with two Ls in honor of her specics. That is Rich. But, apparently he isn't living on his ranch anymore - the place where I best knew him and where "Keeper of the Gate" is composed of so many memories.

Now, finally, to the subject of this post. Just when we begin to accurately bat back the fast balls of life, life throws us a curve we could never have expected. Such has been the case with mine. When I started this blog, I made a promise to my readers, a promise all poets make, I would neither hide my pain nor run from the poetic task of sharing it in common with others.

I wrote this poem while I slept. When I awakened, I was tempted to trust my memory and scribble it down when I was truly awake and ready to face the day. You know how that goes! I decided to do the sensible thing and crawl out of bed to scratch it out on paper before typing and posting it.

The title of this poem is taken from the title of my book manuscript of poetry: THE POET: A RIVER TO THE SEA.

Note to my many readers who haven't become followers: Please, take the time to click on the link to become a follower. I enjoy all of your emails and appreciate the time you take to read my work. But, I would love to have at least one more "follower" to give me a baker's dozen! LOL This is called shameless self-promotion!

River to the Sea

I live on the ragged edge
of sanity, where I
have peered over the
terribleness of a
precipice of a passion
that could kill. And,
I have heard ululations
of mourning carried by
waters of Rivers to the
Sea, seeping into the
silence of suffering,
where there is no redress
for a bruised and aching
heart. I am a concubine
to the throes of anguish.
The black cowl of night
settles upon my shoulders,
while the burdened but
faithful moon climbs down
from the sky to sit across
from me by night, surrounded
by a rainbow, bringing gentle
tides of waves, washing my
weary soul, cleansing this
blanched and bleary life
prostituted to pain, an
unwilling participant in the
unexpected destruction of
trust and love, abandoning
me in the rubble, musing over
this precipice of pain, until,
somehow, my weary heart,
bathed by the washing of
Rivers to the Sea, begins to
hum a lullaby leading me,
finally, to an untroubled sleep.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Wives of Vietnam Veterans

It has only just occurred to me that I should let my few followers, and especially those who have been so kind in taking an interest in my hopes, know that through the founder of "Wives of Vietnam Veterans," Danna Hughes, I have learned that my friend, Rich, is alive and well, living in Spokane, Washington.

My great hopes of finding Rich are expressed in one of my older posts, in a poem entitled, "Keeper of the Gate." How happy I am that Danna has been like a keeper of the gate for those of us married to Vietnam Veterans. Without her help and interest I would have never known that my dear friend, Rich, is still out there enjoying life to the full, as he always did.

Eventually I will write a poem about this. I already know the title and the image. It is of the Kopeck Tree, a tree that grows in tropical climes to great heights of 150 - 200 feet. It has a most unusual feature: hollow roots filled with water. For ancient tribes, these roots that have a support system over 30 feet in width served as a means of communication. When tapped and/or drummed the sound carried through the jungle. There is so much to share about this marvelous wonder, and a poem will serve it well. It will be an honor to write of it.

In "Keeper of the Gate" I used the symbol of a Banyan Tree, whose roots are aerial, to symbolize my reaching out to Rich over the vast amount of space between Pennsylvania and Washington State, all in the hopes of finding out what happened to him. We lost touch so abruptly that I was never settled. When I knew him best, he lived on a ranch in the rurals of Washington State and I helped name his animals. We shared much over the years.

This post is for you, Rich. It is for you and for the woman who now shares your amazing life. I hope to reconnect with you and to meet her someday when our paths once again, as they must, cross.

Poetic Tomfoolery

My paternal grandmother was a wonderful woman. She taught me how to be a lady. Grandma didn't even don a pair of slacks until she had gotten so far up in years that the arthritis in her legs demanded more than stockings for warmth and comfort. Her daughter, my Aunt Helen, bought Grandma slacks for Christmas.

I'll never forget that Christmas morning. I just happened to be coming in the front door of the house we shared with my grandparents when Grandma tried to sneak out the side door of her bedroom and slip into the hallway where she could hide out in the music room. She didn't want anyone to see her wearing slacks until she had gotten rather used to the idea. When Grandma was embarrassed, she would cover her face with both hands and leave out one of her hearty laughs. She took one look at me looking at her and did just that.

Grandma finally got used to wearing slacks every day of the week except Saturday. On Saturday we got all dressed up and Grandma and I would paint our nails. I can still smell the nail polish of that era; it smelled like Juicy Fruit chewing gum. Prior to her introduction to slacks, Grandma most often wore what were called "house-dresses" throughout the week. These were always covered with a coordinating apron. But, on Saturday, Grandma preferred beautifully lined wool skirts at a length an inch or so below her knee. With those she would pair a lovely pullover sweater. I remember she wore a skirt of forest green with a cream colored sweater; it was my favorite. I usually wore a dress rather than skirts.

She had strands and strands of pearls from which she would allow me to choose for our Saturday afternoon attire. And, I remember those earrings of the time that were shaped like a "U" with decorations on both sides so you could choose which side you wanted to show. The darned things could easily slide off your ears but, since my parents wouldn't allow me to have my ears pierced, and Grandma had never had hers pierced either, it was the best we could do. It was enough. Oh, and Grandma had a real passion for shoes. Before she retired, Grandma bought a new pair of shoes every payday.

Grandma was a lady of strong opinions and she held one peculiar one. She honestly believed that, if you read too much of the Bible, you would go insane. She used to worry about me because, at the time, I was a big Bible reader and regular attender at a Grace Brethren Church, in spite of the fact that I, too, had been baptized Lutheran.

My grandmother had a story she would tell infrequently. Once, many years before I was born, one of Jehovah's Witnesses knocked on her door and he wasn't the most diplomatic of chaps. He told my dear grandmother that there were "X" number of churches in our town and none of the people attending were going to heaven. Well, Grandma became quite indignant. The poor bugger didn't have time to explain that Jehovah's Witnesses believed the majority of mankind would continue to live on an earth restored to paradise conditions and also see the end of all evil, including death. Grandma assumed he was telling her that she and her mates were going to die and go to hell. I can imagine he didn't have much opportunity to explain because, although a lady, when riled, Grandma could cuss, only because her husband, Papper, taught her.

Papper was a dapper chap all on his own, but, of a Saturday night, he liked to drink his share of Old German beer and get more than a little loopy. He never fell down or totally lost control of himself; he would just begin to imagine himself to be a great musician. And, he always drank at home. Papper wasn't a bar hopper. Oh, he had a peculiar enough habit of his own - he would periodically shake salt onto the back of his hand and lick it off before he took a swig of beer. He always drank from the bottle, and the beer was delivered to our house every Saturday morning by one of the local beer distributors.

I'll keep this short, or shorter anyway. Grandma was a hale and hearty woman. She loved to laugh and she laughed a lot. She literally died laughing. She and my baby brother were watching television and, while laughing at some commercial, Grandma died instantly when an aneurism in her brain burst. Since she had stopped attending church after she and Papper married, the local minister didn't know her from the six foot hole in the ground that would entomb this beloved woman. At the funeral he didn't even know her name. He kept calling her Grace. At first, I thought he was referring to the little ditty known as "Amazing Grace."

One more thing that I loved about my grandmother was this: Before she fell in love with Papper, church was where Grandma fulfilled her social needs. At the time, it was customary of churches to sponsor many events called "Box Lunches" where a gal showed up with a boxed lunch to share with a date. Grandma would say, "Yes," to all the boys who asked her to attend this ocassion with them; then she would go with the first one to knock on her door. Papper was the first of three on the Sunday she met him, a delightful man full of blarney, a full head of red hair and good luck.

Now, to this bit of poetic tomfoolery. This is a work in progress. Who knows where it will travel in the future.

Just Call Me Grace

Grandma was born a Lutheran
and she would die one too.
Least that’s what she’d say
when Jehovah’s Witnesses
came ‘round wanting to read
something to her from that
Bible of theirs. Grandma
always said too much Bible
reading would make you
insane; she believed it too.
Never did know of her going
to church of a Sunday, but
there was always that big
family dinner. I suppose
if she had invited the latest
preacher man she’d have
been considered less of a
sinner and he might a known
her name. But, Grandma
she’d sit with Papper of a
Saturday night while he
drank his fill of Old German
beer. We all prayed he
wouldn’t find the mouth
organ Grandma bought him
as a gift and then wished
she hadn’t; she hid it before
Saturday night. If Papper got
lucky and found it, we could
be guaranteed a Saturday
night fight. It was bad
enough we couldn’t hide
the old player piano, where
Papper’d sit on the bench
and pick and peck on the
keys, more and more pie-eyed
as he drank his Old German
Beer and licked salt from the
back of his hand. When poor
Grandma died she was sorely
missed; she was both a lady
and a broad who knew how
to take care of her family. The
preacher man who came to
do the sermon was a might
shady because he didn’t even
know Grandma’s name, but
he pretended to know her
heavenly status and kept calling
her Grace, like he had her
confused with one of his
hymns. He really made us fairly
ticked; someone must have
straightened out his sin between
the funeral home and the
grave site, where he finally started
to call her Clara. I’m sure
Grandma would have understood
and said, “Just call me Grace, so
long as I end up in the bosom of
Abraham and his wife Sarah."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Just Thought Something More Optomistic Might Be Good Right Now


Liquid Poisons in
an I.V. Drip.
My mind forbade
my suffering body
to stay my head upon
its pillow. Sunday sun
drew me to a back door
porch, roofed and cool.
Everything around
me moved; but I did
not. Chest barely
rising to take another
breath, eyes never
blinking, aware of
familiar sights and
sounds, only far more
intense. The urban
wild of birds and
squirrels were far
more clear, more beautiful,
more musical,and remembered
more quietly. The sky
was never more blue, nor
the clouds so pristine,
white and low, and a
breeze whispered my
cheek. Memories, like
dewdrops on the smiling
faces of pansies, reminded
me of days before disease.
Odd, I found them less
exquisite than these.
My love, while I lay
dying, planted life from
seeds. He took me gently
by the hand and helped me
down the steps, toward his
little paradise of flora
grown. I felt ancient
beside his youth, until his
garden's blooms, the scent of
Lily of the Valley, my
favorite, filled my nostrils
with the sweet days gone
by, when I wondered about
death. Before me was life
that had flourished with
spring and summer's rain.
I marveled that one so
poisoned could still live,
yet, while my soul
experienced dwindling away,
I knew I would not
die. The Spirit of Rain
that freshens the Rivers
to the Sea would replenish
my strength; my spirit
would peek from the earth
- alive and free.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Well, By Golly

For someone who usually doesn't write song lyrics I'm outdoing myself. LOL This particular song should have been written first. I just didn't think of it. I'm still hurt, as would be any woman married as long as I have been only to find out her husband has thought her to be a sort of freak for the past years since two mastectomies relieved her of her bosoms. I chose not to have reconstruction. I don't regret it one bit! And, I don't regret having had cancer either, as this song will reveal. I now have hair, who needs boobs?

Twisted Man

A pair of distorted
eyes and a heart
without a heart, one
that knows no love,
turns away from my
chest, loathing the
scars where I once
had breasts. He is a
Twisted Man.

Do you really want
me now, Twisted
Man, or are you just
afraid of being alone?
Is that the only reason
you always call me
on the phone?

The Twisted Man
said he would love
me anyway, instead
he shoved me away
with contempt. How
can he resent that I
have survived, that
I'm still alive? The Twisted
Man knows no love.

Do you really want
me now, Twisted
Man, or is it guilt
that brings you here
anyhow? Should I
make my phone a
number unlisted?

While one remained,
the Twisted Man
loved me just the
same, but, when I
lost the other, the
Twisted Man had
to make me suffer,
much, a life without
a single touch.

Do you really want
me now, Twisted Man,
or do you see yourself
growing old? Are you
afraid of being left out
in the cold? Is that the
reason you wish I'd stayed?

People say: “How
wonderful that you
have survived.” But,
cancer was not my
greatest threat; it was the
Twisted Man whose
heart is bent; it is
he who has been
my greatest threat.

Do you really want
me now Twisted Man?
Do you really love
me now Twisted Man?
I can see clearly how
your mind might think.
What I see is so unkind.

I am not one who has
survived; I am one who
has thrived. Evil disease
has taken away my breasts,
but a gift has been left,
a closer look at life
and changed priorities.
It is the Twisted
Man who has died.

It is he who has
not survived. The
Twisted Man who
knows no love, the
Twisted Man who
wants me now. The
Twisted Man, says
he loves me now.

Twisted Man,
Twisted Man,
Twisted Man.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Well, I'm just on a roll here with song lyrics

The Stars Have Fallen

The brightest vistas
in our life are like
the stars at night,
providing an ambient
light for our roadway.
But, they can fall
from the sky, We
feel cheated and
wonder why they
ended up on the
ground never making
a warning sound
as they've fallen
with the clouds we
never saw.

The stars have fallen,
their points cutting
us raw. Deepest
darkness descends
and no matter where
we are nothing can
make amends as
our pain at night
is twisted in our
sheets and we never
really sleep.

The stars have fallen
from the sky. Darkness
surrounds us so tightly
we feel entombed
within ourselves, buried
alive with ourselves
alone, questioning, is
it really true those stars
never shone so brightly
as we thought. The stars
have fallen from the
sky. Yet, the night birds
still sing an air and,
while hidden, the moon
is always there.

The stars have fallen;
their points cutting
us raw. The deepest
darkness descends
and no matter where
we are nothing can
make amends as
our pain at night
is twisted in our
sheets and we never
really sleep.

Night is always
followed by Dawn and
the most stygian (archaic literary word meaning: hellish)
of nights is gone.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Song Lyrics

I think this is only the second song I've ever written. I always get caught up in the fact that a truly good song not only has the good rhythm of poetry, it also generally has to rhyme and I run from rhyme because it can sound so contrived.

I'm seriously dating myself . . . I don't mean as in taking myself out to a local dance club. . . I mean in eras, in years of age. But, for those of you who share my generation, you probably remember the old show "Hee Haw." Well, my family really enjoyed it so we never missed an episode and it was about as silly as the name. You had to give it due credit though; it was entertaining and funny. Particularly amusing was the marionette, whose name I've forgotten and I'll now have to look it up on the internet to satisfy my piqued curiosity, that quoted, as opposed to singing, song lyrics. She was downright hysterical.

Try it some time. Choose a favorite song and READ IT OUTLOUD. Most of the time, the song sounds super silly. Oh, I hate to write silly, but for the second time in my life I've felt that nothing but a song will do. The first song is on my blog too, "Life is Just a Highway Passin' us By," or something like that. This one is "Dagger To My Heart." God, I wish I had more than a dozen followers - even a baker's dozen would be welcome. Songs need an audience.

Dagger To My Heart

I've been feelin' the pain
of the dagger to my heart
and you're tellin' me not to
take a deep breath cos' baby
that's just the start. You're gonna
cut me to the bone, you're gonna
make sure that the pain goes
all the way home, you're
gonna make sure I never
go free, cos' you intend on killin'
me, and baby I'm afraid
that that's just the start,
the start of the pain of
a broken heart.

Cos' you're gonna run
a dagger right through
my heart; you're gonna
make sure that I never
go free cos' you intend
on killin' me.

And you've got lots more
to do to me cos' you
just wanna hang around
and see what happens when
you slice the dagger
right through my heart.
And the tears run down
my face and the dagger
to my heart knows
just the right place;
you're gonna cut me right
to the bone, you're
gonna make sure to
drive it all the way home.

Cos' you're gonna run
a dagger right through
my heart; you're gonna
make sure that I never
go free cos' you intend
on killin' me.

I'm livin' on the edge of death
and I close my eyes at night
and see your eyes and
the hate that's there is like
a dagger right through my heart.
You gotta make me feel
the hurt cos' I ain't got
what you want, so you're
gonna run a dagger right
through my heart and
honey that's just the start
cos you wanna just cause
me more pain when I just
wanna take a fast train.

Cos' you're gonna run
a dagger right through
my heart; you're gonna
make sure that I never
go free cos' you intend
on killin' me.

You're gonna run
a dagger right through
my heart; you're gonna
make sure that I never
go free cos' you intend
on killin' me. You intend
on killin' me, cos you
intend on killin' me

with a dagger right
through the heart.
with a dagger right
through my heart.

Oh, and, after I get over the fact that a song must rhyme, I belabor the fact that a good song usually uses words like "wanna" instead of "want to" etc. Ouch

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Life With A Sociopath?

Love of a Sociopath

Nothing is ever
crystal clear with
you. I never know
if I should laugh
or if I should cry;
your greatest desire
is to wipe away
my smiles and cover
them with tears.
You must always
shine, while I
play the part of
being nothing such
as you. All of the
power in love and
lies is with the
one who cares the
least. And, so we
carry on. You find
pleasure in making
me worry, with
inciting pity and
attention, while
I starve for a love
that will never be.
You have been a
thief, and I have
loved you. You
have associated
yourself with lawlessness,
and I have loved you.
Now, I love someone
I don't even know.
Who are you? Do
you even know?
It is essential to
your very existence
to manipulate the
truth to further
your ends, even
if there is none but
to cause pain; to
make me doubt
my own sanity,
my own reality.
But, now I know.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Haiku With a 5 - 7 - 5 meter

In Dreams

In dreams, I am scarred,
but I carry them with pride.
Now I am ashamed.

In dreams, I am loved,
so briefly, never by you;
for me you have scorn.

In dreams, I see you,
walking away without heed,
choosing not to love.

In dreams, I live pale
and dead, without any hope,
so much like my life.

In dreams, as in life,
I live with a shattered mind.
This I learn to bear.

In dreams, I wish to
never awaken to pain;
this I can't escape.

In life, always, it
is just around the corner,
lurking in the halls.

I am never free
from these dreams that come
to haunt and destroy.

I live the nightmare
of dreams that will never be.
There is nothing else.

Until I fly high,
higher than my pain, and laugh,
the wind at my back.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Blind Love

Blind Love

Blindly, we groped
for what we
thought we wanted;
instead we found
what we needed - someone
else to share the life
we didn’t know how
to live. How amazing
that we spent decades
without vision, without
love, or, more truthfully,
an unreciprocated love
because I came to
love you with a
fierceness and loyalty.
Nothing has changed
but that blindness that
I clung to, always
hoping you could find
something within me
to love, to cherish, to
protect. But, I lost
something that was
far too important to
you - the two breasts
like that of twin gazelles
that the shepherd boy
found entrancing in
his love for the comely
girl of Shulammite.
I, too, ask why should
I become like a girl in
mourning among the
droves? I should rather
like to go out like a
bag of myrrh to my
loved one who could
sleep between my breasts.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Slice of Life, Unedited

Well, it’s true, our garage and house really did catch on fire, the fire marshal said so and the three fire companies that responded all agreed, without dispute.

I’ve always been particularly afraid of losing my home to a fire, not because I’m so materialistic as because our house burnt to the ground when I was in the first grade - nothing saved except my high-chair, which was great because my grandfather bought it for my first birthday, and it could be folded into a desk once the babe was able to sit on a chair at the kitchen table for the activity of food consumption.

I’m moving from my real topic.

The melted faces of my dolls, amidst the rest of the debris, are burned into my brain. So, when my husband, from whom I’m amicably separated, showed up at my apartment to give me the hateful news, I was shocked and felt great trepidation. I didn’t want to see the house. The house had much to do with our separation. This slice of life I’ll keep to myself; you will be thankful.

I didn’t go to our house until the insurance adjustor, building contractor and other people essential to the restoration of our lives were to meet us there. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. Things started looking up.

The building contractor explained the amount of structural damage and what would be done for its repair. The insurance claims adjustor advised us of what we could expect in recompense for our lost possessions and for the restoration of others.

It was a wonderful surprise that brought a sense of elation when we were told that our insurance company would also provide us with housing comparable to what we lost and for the duration of the restructuring of our own. How accommodating! For the moment, we are ensconced in a Best Western Hotel, but we aren’t wondering how we’re going to pay for it.

Now, the car is a slightly different story. We are short a little over $7000.00 in being able to pay it off with the insurance money. That somewhat ruins dinner, if I had any to ruin (that tale comes later in my insipid story.) Still, overall, I’m a happy camper. Friends have loaned us their PT Cruiser for the duration. They have cars out the wazooooo. And, they are very kind and generous.

What I don’t like out the wazoooo is the negativity stemming from my husband’s half empty glass of water. It makes me want to give him several half full glasses of Scotch to put him out for some time. The addition of a couple of his anxiety medications might also bring some much needed relief.

How easily we forget! In the beginning of this hell, Bruce had seen a family on the news that had lost all of their possessions in a fire. They escaped with only their pajamas and, apparently, they didn’t have insurance to cover their losses. Bruce then said he felt grateful. Well, that has died along with the rest of the Grateful Dead, except even they are more alive with more grateful friends and roadies.

In all fairness, Bruce has undergone much more stress than I have. He was in the house when it caught fire. He had some minor smoke inhalation requiring a treatment and a day of recuperation. He has to make the majority of the return phone calls because most things are in his name.

He also scorns me because I decided not to travel the 260 miles to our friend’s house where he was to pick up the PT Cruiser. I don’t socialize with Bruce. We have different styles. I like to leave a gathering early and head for my own tidy little home. Bruce prefers to carry an overnight bag and sleeping roll in hopes they’ll invite him for a slumber party. He likes to continue the conversation in front of the wide open door with our feet planted toward the exit until I get a stiff neck from looking over my shoulder. I like to say, ‘So long,” and mean it. He returned from his trip a very unhappy chap.

The serenity prayer has become so clich├ęd but it is still so true. We need the strength to change the things we can, the ability to accept the things we can’t and the wisdom to know the difference. Or, something like that. How quickly we can go from being appreciative of our circumstances and maintaining our empathy for others in far worse situations, to feeling overwhelmed and negative, worrying about things that are down the road.

I would like to slap Bruce, and I’m sure he would like to give me a good thwack too. Thank God, he’s sleeping now. I haven’t eaten in two days and he refused to go just down the road for a pizza, informing me with the sternest of face, that he very nearly killed himself on the way from our friend’s home as he drifted off the road in a state of exhaustion. I don’t belittle this in the least. I’ll be happy to have peanut M & Ms for dinner. I do object to his refusal to see the brighter side. I am disappointed to see how easily, how quickly, all of us can lose our perspective by forgetting how fortunate we are.

This is not my best, nor is it the most entertaining of my writings. Tomorrow, I will look at it and blush with shame at its worthlessness. A friend of mine once told me that the purpose of a journal isn’t to showroom one’s best scribbling but to showcase our impressions at the time, without an edit.

May we always remember that the people we love are more important than possessions. Let’s remind one another that, when going through hard times, if it doesn’t require much imagination to realize there are thousands and thousands of people who would quite happily exchange their situation for ours, we are downright obligated by the dignity of those with less to be glad for what we have and to share what we can.

I'm also remembering with much satisfaction and sense of security that I have my own little apartment to retreat to if Bruce continues to wallow in the mire of a mud puddle in life.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Read Write Poem

Poet's and Writer's magazine shared a delightful website for writers to converge, share their work and learn from one another. I joined a group whose administrator provides the beginning of a sentence with which to write a poem. This week's selected phrase was, "Through the gate. . . "

I hope all of you who learn of this site and write poetry, or just want to read poetry, will join. It's free!

A Garden of Hope

A Garden of Hope

Through the gate and
past the Lotus petaled
pond grow the Tamarind
trees, wild with pink
blossoms. It is morning
and the Lotus petal
has opened herself to
share the sun, promising
a long life, health and good
fortune to all who pass.
The succulent fruit of
the Tamarind trees will
ripen and offer itself
as a juicy nectar to the
gods of goodwill. Evening
approaches and the Lotus
that covers the pond closes
her flower and sleeps till
the 'morrow when she again
joins the Tamarind trees in
the stone walled garden,
an architecture of hope.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Words From a Mother

This poem was inspired by a dear friend who wrote to me of her love for her grown daughters, one of whom is soon to be married. My friend's final words in her email touched my heart. She wrote "My heart wraps around them eternally." This one is for you Valerie.

A Mother's Eternal Love

Before I met you,
I knew you; I could
feel you in the Cradle of Life.
I fed you, even nourished
your spirit. You experienced
all that I did. My heart
and body followed
every move you made.
We were one, as we are now.
Clasping my belly,
I supported you, as I do
now and forever. A
new dawn came, bringing
you to me. We met and, in awe,
I gazed into your eyes,
for the first time and not
the last. Your fingers, toes
and ears were all accounted
for; I kissed each one. My
unfaltering love for you
became my entire world,
just as it is now. This love
for you became my greatest
treasure, just as it is now.
I watched, fascinated, as you
grew from babe to infant,
from an infant to a toddler
who took her first steps.
Time quickened; you've
grown from babe to young
woman, ready to take other
steps. Our footprints have
brought us here, where we
are now. I am so proud of
you, my daughter. My
Heart wraps around you
Eternally, never to wane,
always beating – Eternally.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I was privileged to have this poem published in a chapbook of poems written by cancer survivors.

Defying Death Gives a Gift
To Celebrate Life

In their puberty, I never
thought of their life sustaining
powers, their syrup for a child.
They were pears beginning to
ripen, buds bursting outward to
bloom, femininity gone wild. I
chose for them garments white,
bedecked with ribbons and lace,
clean, sterile and new. With pride,
in innocence, they were taken
for granted, it being presumed that
all had two. I looked down upon
my cleavage thrilled because
beneath my sweaters of Angora
hair they made pleasant little mounds.
Then the mirror was my friend
inasmuch as both were there.
Until a day when one witnessed
the carnage of its sister. Where poise
and symmetry had been before,
the glorious proclamation of
womanhood, I found instead a
slashing scar, the memory of
war. Yet, another battle has been
fought and the lonely, bereaved,
she is no more. Hellish cancer made
behest. her fate, too, became a
slashing scar, but balance she restored
and marked a badge of courage on my
chest. I survived the betrayal of
that which life can give, through
sustenance of milk, that which
my lover did caress. I celebrate
these wounds. To them I raise
a toast, because to Celebrate Life
is what I wanted most.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Time is Just a Highway Passin' Us By

These are the first song lyrics I've ever written. I'm hoping that some of my followers will leave a comment or two! Yeah or Nay? Am I The Poet, Or Not? LOL

Time is Just a Highway Passin' Us By

Time used to come right up to our doorstep,
but now it's just a highway passin' us by.
Holdin' hands, parkin' in the graveyard,
we were bright with youth and lovin'
wasn't hard. Now I'm fifty-one and
still feelin' twenty, but there ain't
now one here whose feelin' the same.
I'm just watchin' the highway passin'
us by. Passin' us by and feelin' the pain
of drivin' a convertible at ninety in the rain.

Time used to come right up to our
doorstep, but now it's just a
highway passin' us by. Now it's
just a highway passin' us by.

There's a knot in my stomach
anchored to my gut that's killin' the
time that's passin' us by. Like a
noose around my neck is the memory
of you reachin' out to me in something
we called intimacy. But we were like
hungry mongrels knawin' on a bone,
drivin' down the highway headed to
home and all the time feelin' alone.
We were young but never feelin' free.

Time used to come right up
to our doorstep, now it's just a
highway passin' us by, Time
is just a highway passin' us by.

Time is just a highway passin' us by,
sideswiped by life, time is just
a highway passin' us by.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What Makes a Poet Write

When I read a poem, I always wonder what inspired it. Figuring this out in any kind of satisfying manner is often difficult, particularly with those poets who write, dare I use the word that comes to mind, with obscurity. I suppose if I were a painter, abstract art would never appeal to me. I'm not denigrating such; it just wouldn't be my chosen method. It is so with words. I choose mine carefully and reach deep into my heart to put into those words what I feel and the emotions that rule while I write.

The below poem, "Sixty Minutes Away" was written for my husband, Bruce. We have been separated for two years. I guess you could say I've taken a sabbatical from my marriage, for personal reasons I'll not share here - not at this time anyway.

A long time ago Oprah interviewed three people who had also taken sabbaticals from their marriage - two women and one man. The promulgator of this life event is probably Joan Anderson who wrote three books about her own marriage. One of them pertained to the sabbatical she took from her own marriage, entitled: A Year by the Sea.

Sixty Minutes Away

Sixty Minutes Away

On a good day, without
traffic or incident,
you're sixty minutes
away. Yet the moon
is within reach. You
called me, as you sat
by the lake, and invited
me to share this moon,
which you said was a
brilliant globe surrounded
by a rainbow – God's promise
to Noah. Outside my window,
sixty minutes away, the lamp of
night fixed its generous eye
on me too. Its splendid light
seemed to have never shown
brighter than on this night,
when you were sixty
minutes away. High above
my window, just beyond the
glass, the moonbeam united
us; your beloved voice,
sixty minutes away. I could hear
the hymn of night and see,
through your eyes,
sixty minutes away, the lake
like a sheet of glass,
smooth and still, yet not
without life. Through the
wire, I could hear the
chant of crickets scratching
their fiddles of legs.
You told me three bull-frogs
trumped for supremacy.
The greatest miracle
of all was; you were no
longer sixty minutes away.

Monday, January 25, 2010

No Man Left Behind

No Man Left Behind

You told me no stories;
not because you have none,
but because you keep
them close to your heart,
where only you can know
them. Yet, I learned of
them, as you relived many;
I discovered much about
you even though you
have been left behind,
in a hell where no young
should have ever lived.
You are a man left behind,
where you would leave no
others, but spare not yourself.
In Death Valley you are like
the plant, Xanadu, which
grows in both shade and sun,
a tropical botany growing in
darkened arbors and shadowed
entryways, where no man
was left behind. Yet, your
youth has been sequestered
there amid the mountains
and villes, when you should
have come home – no man
left behind. You live in your
private garden attended to
by death, with memories that
rain but never bless, instead
they burn and with sleep come the
dreams – the souvenirs of war.
The leaves of the jungle no
longer remember your footsteps.
The last sound in the fading
wind are the footfalls of Death,
circling for its prey, the man
who remains where no man
was to be left behind.