Early Spring


longer days still dark
I shiver with the tulips
winter’s chill in spring

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NaPoWriMo Countdown


Tap tap…
“Is this thing on?”
I am answered with the squeal of feedback from my microphone.

Squinting through the bright spotlight, I see vague outlines of a few forms in the audience. I hear the shuffling of feet, some random coughing, chairs chirping as they scrape the floor.

“So, it’s been a while.” My breath stirs dustmotes from the mic.


I clear my throat.

“Anyway, as you know, it’s almost April, and April is National Poetry Writing Month, or NaPoWriMo for short. And I’m here to announce that – even though I’ve only posted once on my blog so far this year – I fully intend to meet the challenge of writing a poem a day for the entire month of April.”


Apparently, I’ve lost a few audience members in my absence. Or maybe a lot. Not that I had many to begin with.


“Looks like it’s just you and me,” I say to my muse. “Muse?? Muse!!” Now where has she gone off to?

Well, I’ll find her and bring her back well-inked and ready for the challenge.

See you then. If you’re still out there…

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Please Fasten Your Seat Belts


Today it is cold, wet and windy outside. From my living room, I watch jets coming in low as they approach PDX three miles to the south of my home. Usually they are high up and flying due south when they pass overhead, but with high winds, they must change their approach to an alternate runway, and so they pass across the view from my front window in a westerly direction, appearing almost as low as the trees.

It is January. A new year, a new decade no less. And with my birthday falling within the first week of the month, I face a triple mile post of time marked, and the reckoning that elicits. Have I spent the past year well? Wisely? And what will I do with this blank slate of 2020?

I will fly high, I vow, when conditions allow. I will be open to alternate approaches when circumstances turn dicey. And even through turbulence, I’ll take full advantage of the journey. because that’s the way of the determined traveler. I’m buckling up for 2020!

winter winds bluster
branches swing on steadfast trees
holding through the storm


For dVerse Challenge: Beginning (again) ~ Haibun

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You perch in silhouette on overhead power lines,
a black bird cutout from the gray-mottled clouds.
I’ve read that you recognize faces, and can
distinguish the friendly from the ill-willed.
I’ve read that you can even pass that specific discernment
down to your offspring.

And so, when you begin scolding me in raucous cawing,
I face you square on and remind you that I’m one of the good guys.
You laugh (or so it seems) and swoop down to the garden wall
where you observe (or so it seems) my every move.
When I return to the house, you will drop to the ground
and inspect the results of my comings and goings.
Perhaps I have turned up a tasty morsel from the garden.

You’ll return to your high wire and pose again,
black-on-black in silhouette against the sky.
And somehow, I take comfort in imagining
I have gained your approval and won’t fall victim
to a murder of crows.

dVerse Poetics: On Shades of Black

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Wordless Wednesday 11.6.19


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Kept Woman

I was a kept woman:
kept from wanting, kept from having;
kept at home, kept at arm’s length;
kept alive, kept from living.

I kept my head down,
kept my opinions to myself.

I couldn’t keep up.
I gave up.

I’m a giver.

dVerse quadrille #91– keep

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Wordless Wednesday 10.09.19


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He smelled of pipe tobacco,
Prince Albert to be precise.
His soft jaw with a half day’s stubble looked scratchy,
but I never ventured to touch it and find out.
A dark amber bottle – Blitz beer — perpetually clamped in one hand,
his pipe in the other. Sometimes lit, sometimes not
(both he and his pipe),

He didn’t talk a lot. At times it seemed
he wasn’t listening much either,
but then his face would suddenly brighten, and –
with eyes sparkling — he’d begin recounting a story or a joke.
Mom would shush him. “Not in front of the kids.”
Dad would chuckle as if he knew the ending anyway,
and Grandpa Clyde would sit back and take a swig of his beer,
satisfied at getting a rise out of my mother, even if
he never got to finish his story.

I imagined he had a lot of stories to tell.
I imagined him as some kind of O. Henry character,
cloaked in enigmatic layer upon layer
that never quite unfolded in daylight.
Despite his presence at Sunday dinners for most of my childhood,
I never felt I knew him; never heard the punch lines that made him laugh;
never learned the O. Henry-esque twist endings to his stories.

If someday we meet in the “great beyond”
(per my mother’s portrayal of him, it likely won’t be in heaven),
we can sit by the fires, Prince Albert mingling with sulfurous air,
beer bottles sweating in our warm hands.
He can tell his stories. Or not.
I can touch the stubble on his cheeks. Or not.
Regardless, there’ll likely be mischief in his eyes, and – likely —
I’ll leave still not having cracked the mystery
of my grandfather.

dVerse Poetics: On Profiles and Portraits.  The Challenge: write/create a profile/portrait in your verse.

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Fifth Annual Festival Fail

I was set;
had the flyer marked,
which events and where,
all within walking distance once parked.

I’d set my alarm,
then canceled one minute early,
overwhelmed by baseless fears
I thought I’d set aside.

Setting my sights on next year,
fifth year running.

dVerse Quadrille #89 – Are you set? The challenge: write a poem of exactly 44 words, and use the word “set” within the poem.

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autumn wind


red leaf2

brisk October breeze
chapped leaves rustle in complaint
summer blows away

red leaf1

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