Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Yellow Iris

Captured by a camera,
Fresh and bright forever,
Dew will never dry on you.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Poem Thirty - The Finish

This is the finish line.
All the poems are written,
Posted on my blog,
Polished in the rush.
Thirty poems in thirty days - a job
Of huge proportion, yet
No arduous task.
As with blessings, poems need
Only to be seen,
Heard with mind's ear,
Sounded in the heart,
Captured in soft bindings,
Shown to the world.

Poem Twenty-nine - Terry is Six

Terry turned six today.
Dark eyes shining,
He had sung a song,
"And I'm gonna be,
And I'm gonna be,
Six years old!"
Of course he had not stopped at six,
And made himself older
With each verse.
Perhaps his best present
Is his Daddy in his arms.
Finally able to
Be there for him.

Poem Twenty-eight - Fall Morning

This morning air curled crisp,
October sky canopied clear,
Fog rose from the pond,
And smoke from stone chimney.
Cows lowed in the meadow,
A dog barked down the lane.
A semi rumbled, swept the leaves,
Down the highway leading west.

Poem Twenty-seven - Argument

Freezing in my own heart’s winter,
Clutching myself with my self,
Hunching against wordwinds,
Grabbing soul tatters,
Clenching teeth,

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Poem Twenty-six---Soul Healing Circle

We are here and frightened,
Grasping straws of reason,
Buffeted by chance or fate,
Victims for a season.

Some choose the comfort of a faith,
Some ritual, some luck,
Some declare there is no God,
Some rely on pluck.

At some time each has found a place
Where life has been unjust,
And where we cannot heal ourselves.
Who then can we trust?

Come together in a group
Tell all your woes and fears,
Though each is different, they all share
A gift for salving tears.

Soul Healing Circle, all are blessed
With gifts of love and care,
And all who are encircled,
Will find much comfort there.

--written for the Facebook group, Soul Healing Circle

Poem Twenty-five---Rain

Silver slanting sharpness,
Blowing blasts of wet,
Wild rivulet on concrete,
Wash away regret.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Poem Twenty-four - Poem

Everything's a poem.
The song of voices in a restaurant,
The rumble of truck motors.
Starlight and shooting stars,
Sunset and black silhouettes,
The rhythm of the rolling wheels,
The faces of people
I will never meet again.
Everything's a poem.
The words tumble from my fingers,
Magical, amusing,
Sad weeping and child-like laughter:
Trying to catch it all,
I can't type fast enough.
Everything's a poem.

Poem Twenty-three - Waiting

She pours my coffee with a practiced ease,
Asks if there will be anything else.
I say no, thank you, and
As there are few customers
In the truck stop diner,
I ask her if she's in school.
Just making conversation,
As she looks to be young.
Her eyes dart away, and she says, no,
I can't afford to go right now,
But I did finish high school.
I'm waiting, she says, to be able to go.
Waiting till my baby's in school.
Baby? I ask, and she smiles.
He's one year old tomorrow.
What about his father? I ask,
And her face darkens.
Gone, she said.
I'm waiting; he might be back.
I paid the check, adding more money
Than I usually would.
I knew, if she didn't,
That she might wait forever.

Poem Twenty-two - Unforgiving

I should not have said it.
I told myself not to.
But when I heard her voice,
It all came back,
The enormity of what she had done,
The finality of the result.
I had thought I forgave her.
But the loss overwhelmed me,
Crept into my reason,
Loosened my tongue.
I said it,
Told her how it hurt,
And she frosted up
Like a root beer mug
Being jerked from the freezer.
I hear from other people
She is unforgiving,
Will not forgive me
For not being able to forgive her.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Poem Twenty-one - Night Drive

White lines down a black road, 
Stitching miles through darkness,
The driver wipes crusty eyes.
Fixes them for a moment on a distant star,
A beacon through the windshield.
Beside it shoots another star,
Streaking to oblivion..
No time to stop,
The driver swigs the bitter brew,
Gone cold a hundred miles ago.
Low rumble of the truck,
Soft music on the radio,
Speak, sibilant, of sleep 
That must be brushed away.
The dark sky pales,
Sunrise silhouettes a spire.
The driver smiles.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Poem Twenty - Truckstop Twilight

Oil spots shimmer on the parking lot, Motors hum along with cicadas, Birds swoop onto the grilles Of parked trucks, cleaning up The bug buffet. Honeysuckle vines along the truck stop fence  Scent the air along with diesel fumes. Semis vie  for spaces, circling the lot Like rumbling hawks.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Poem Nineteen - Pastoral

Sunlight, silver-filtered,
Sits golden on the shoulders of the cows
Standing stoic on the green hill.
Black branches froth with blossoms,
Tiny new leaves sway on the willow tree,
Over the brightening pond.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Poem Eighteen - Old

I watch the ladies slowly move, Holding on to each other's arms, White hair gleaming, Lipstick carefully applied. Sweaters in May cover arms No longer strong. Hands veined in blue, Those hands gnarled and clawed. I complete my pitiless appraisal  At their wrinkled faces. I am astonished at their clear gaze. Wise eyes,no longer afraid, as I am, Of being old.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Poem Seventeen - Normal

If I were normal, she said,
People wouldn't look at me like they do.
They wouldn't whisper behind my back,
And look over my head instead of in my eyes.
If I were normal, she said,
People would talk to me instead of about me.
They wouldn't cross the street to avoid me,
And they would smile at me instead of laugh at me.
She said this so simply, with no anger,
Her disfigured face calm,
Her soft hands spread wide
Expressing the truth of her life,
Describing the box she inhabited,
How she was placed there by shallow minds,
And I thought, "If you were normal,
You would not be half as beautiful."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Poem Sixteen - Smarts

Aw, he's so smart!
Listen to those big words!
How old is he?
I bet you're real proud of him.
Where's his glasses?
I thought all smart kids wore glasses!
They don't have much common sense, though.
Just book smarts.
No,my kid hit him for showing off.

Day Fifteen - Relationship

He said, "Where did you put my pen?"
She said, "On the desk."
He said, "It's not there."
She said, "That's where I left it."
He said, "You never put things back."
She said, "You don't know how to look for them."
He said, "Why can't you leave my things alone?"
She said, "Why can't you put them away?"
He said, "You put them away and hide them."
She said," I couldn't if you didn't leave them in the way."
He said, "I knew where I left it!"
She said, "Yes, in the middle of the table we eat on!"
He said, "Where is my pen?"
She said, "I have no idea."
He said, "Find it!"
She said, "Find it yourself!"
Their five year old in the next room
Drew an angry face with Daddy's pen.

Day Fourteen - Heartchildren

There are the children you give birth to,
And then
There are the heartchildren.
Who touch you inexplicably,
Fill a need somehow.
You see it in their eyes
That you are Mom-for-a-moment,
Know this:
Your caring is not wasted
Because they are not your own.
In that moment that you reach out
You claim your heartchild,
They are yours
And you never get your heart back.

Poem Thirteen - Lucky

Imagine being ruled by superstition,
By a day and a number,
By a Mayan calendar,
By a fear of change,
By other's opinions.
Oh. I'm sorry.
You are?
I declared Friday
The thirteenth my lucky day.
And it has been.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Poem Twelve---Poetry Fail

My browser's no longer supported,
My Blogger account informed me,
My poetry comes out all prosey,
Oh, bring back my poems to me!

Between Blogger and my browser

According to my iPhone, my browser is no longer supported by Blogger. This has resulted, so far, in my poetry being posted as some sort of prose, the lines not arranged as I did them but in a single paragraph. As I do not have time to get out my laptop each day to post a poem for the NaPoWriMo 30 poems in 30 days challenge, the folks reading my poems will have to imagine the proper form. And Google? You are not nice.

Poem Eleven---Tumble

Stretched out before me, Green and lush is the meadow,  Dotted with brindle cows,  Cropping the grass serenely, Until startled by the  New tumbleweed-- A blowing Walmart bag.

Poems Nine and Ten---Highway Haiku


Am I going east or west?
Crisscrossing the map,
Back and forth, I can forget!


My windshield shows season change-
Scraping bugs or ice,
Says summer or winter's here.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Poem Eight - Night Ride

Glide on velvet blackness,
Dotted road and spangled shine,
Moonlit lake shines past,
Motor-hum and flower scent,
Radio song,
Headlight stabs,
Moonlight glows,
Crickets chirp.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Poem Seven - Lallie

She's laughing as she always did,
Head back, mouth wide,
Sparkling eyes scrunched almost shut.
In this picture posted by a friend,
She's with us again,
Laughing at something funny Bill did.
Her sense of the outrageous
Fully engaged.
I can almost hear her,
Almost forget that she's gone.
I want to ask her what's so funny,
And hear her raspy  laugh
As she tries to explain.
We miss that.
How we miss you.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Poem Six - Rocket Dog

We will miss you, Rocket-dog.
Your play-growl that didn't fool us,
The game you taught us,
Where we'd blow at your muzzle
And you'd snap at our breath.
Your warm dog body grew cold today,
Your breath stilled,
And we cried to let you go.
I sometimes wonder why
The Creator gave dogs short lives.
It's not how I would have chosen.
Wait for us, Rocketty.
We'll be there some day.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Poem Five: Southern Kid Food, ca 1960

Tastes from my childhood:
Potted meat on white bread,
Kraft macaroni and cheese,
Canned spinach,
Boxed spaghetti and sauce,
Vienna sausage,
Creamed dried beef on toast,
Peanut butter and mayonnaise,
Apples warm from the reading tree,
Hamburger and Veg-All in
A barbecue sauce over buns,
Tuna and noodles with
Cream of mushroom soup,
Biscuits with cheap steak bits in gravy,
Cornbread dressing and
Canned cranberry sauce,
Ambrosia of oranges and pineapple,
Mixed with coconut,
French toast cut into shapes,
Peanut butter fudge still grainy with sugar,
Mashed potatoes with real lumps
And tiny green peas mixed in,
Cheese grits,
Pineapple Upside Down Cake,
Banana pudding.
We weren't poor.
We just didn't have money.
Looking down the list, I see
Both parents cooked for us.
I see
Just how rich we were.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Poem Four: Tornado

Sky: grey, sparked
Electric fireworks,
Slanting rain, sound of wind
So maddening, fierce,
Trailers spring up and dance,
Dance a tarantella,
Whirling over others
Tumbling end over end.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Poem Three - Math

I was only fourteen.
I did not know.
I thought it was me.
I could not follow your examples.
The book seemed to skip steps.
I did not know
That without math I could not
Build buildings.
Design skateboards.
See fractals.
Become a doctor.
Design a bridge.
Learn chemistry.
I did not know.
That you were a history teacher,
Drafted to teach us.
I know now, you were not sane.
Grabbing girls’ pencils and
Throwing them out the window.
I know now.
Won’t someone teach me math?

Poem Two - Roses

He came in from the grocery store,
Plastic bulging from both hands.
I almost didn’t see the cellophane
But I heard it and turned around.
Wiping my hands on a kitchen towel,
I turned to see what the noise was.
He was standing there looking shy,
With a bouquet of exquisite roses.
One look at his face, and
I didn’t say,
“Those are too expensive!”
I didn’t say,
“But you know I like carnations better!”
I reached for a vase.
The roses
Were perfect in it.
After forty years, he knew
They would be.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Poem One - Daydreamer

I remember the hard wooden desk.
My small self had to stay planted,
While sheet after sheet of purple ink
Passed through my fumbling fingers.
Fat pencils with no erasers,
Gripped tightly, left smudges
On the paper that held my mistakes.
At least the desk had writing carved in,
And I could wonder about the names.
Susan and Danny 4ever,
I love Robert,
I saw them when I read their names,
It was far more interesting than the papers.
Susan was small and dark,
Danny had red hair.
He thought she smelled nice.
They passed notes from this very desk, and -
What? No, ma'am, I'm not finished yet.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

NaPoWriMo - I'm In!

I've committed myself to writing a poem a day for 30 days on a site called National Poetry Writing Month. Some may say I should be committed...

But I think it will be fun. I will have to write a poem, which I have really started doing a lot recently, and at the end of the month I will have enough poems for a small chapbook, if I include some of my earlier ones.

I've already participated in the Sunday Random Line Poetry Project, in which poets send in a line or two of poetry to a woman in a private Facebook message, who then compiles them into a poem in the order they come in. No editing. We have done this for 52 weeks, each Sunday for a year, and now we have a book of 52 poems, each written by an average of ten poets, which we will sell to benefit the "starving artists" among us.

It has been amazing to see how well the poems hang together, none of us knowing what topic will emerge, none of us even knowing each other except through the group.

And now, another challenge! What fun!

Watch this space.

Friday, March 2, 2012


The Gypsy Mama blog site has a five minute Friday where other bloggers can write on a topic and submit it. Here's mine, on the topic, "Ache":

My sons are adults. They are making their own choices now - some good, some bad. Watching the consequences unfold is achingly difficult. I used to be able to protect them. Now I can only stand by and cheer from the sidelines or provide comfort when they stumble back.

When one reveals a possible calling, my heart aches with love and hope that this one, always a caring child, can continue to help others as he always has, and that he won't be buffeted by life in the process.

When one stumbles in his resolve and is despairing, I ache that I can't fix it for him, like I used to with a Bandaid and a kiss. I must watch as he gets up yet again and tries.

I love my children. But they aren't babies anymore. I must let them stand up as men, though my heart aches sometimes. They will be all right, and one day they will watch their children grow and ache for them, too.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rest in Peace, Aunt Becky

My aunt Becky passed away yesterday at the age of 91, after a long battle with Alzheimer's. That disease is so wicked; it takes the essence of the person away and leaves the shell of the body. She was diagnosed with it at the age of 78, so her daughters dutifully took care of her for over a decade as she slipped farther and farther away.

Last week she had a stroke. Since she was no longer able to speak, the extent of the damage could not be determined. A few days ago, she began to refuse nourishment. My cousin Camille, who lives in Georgia, got on a plane to Columbus, Ohio,where her sister Libbie lives, and where their mother was being taken care of in a nursing home. She hoped she would make it there in time to say goodbye. She did.

Alzheimer's has been described as "The Long Goodbye". Slowly, the person afflicted with it begins to slip away, and though they do not die right away, you know the person you love is changing and will not be back.

Aunt Becky was a strong and intelligent woman. She became a nurse, which would later take a toll on her physically, and married in her thirties. She had the two girls, then when they were still young, her husband died. Aunt Becky did her best to support them and did very well.

She sewed beautifully, and would make matching dresses for her little girls. When I visited them, as a child, I loved the very female environment of pretty things and lacy nighties on the girls, and good things to eat.

She sewed for others, too. When my babies were born, Aunt Becky made needlepoint birth announcements.

She was there for my mother, her older sister, who had some problems, shall we say, dealing with life. My sister, fifteen years older than I, spent a lot of time with her aunt when our mother couldn't cope. Aunt Becky was the one who, when my mother died of leukemia at age 60, took care of a lot of the social obligations of the funeral for us.

She went back to school and got her Master's degree in social Work Services, graduating at age 58. Nursing, as I said, had taken a toll on her back. She then worked as a travelling nurse, visiting homebound patients, till she retired at 72.

Yesterday, her daughters put on matching outfits just as they had so many years ago, and went to tell their Mama goodbye. They said all the loving things they could think of, and then told their Mama it was okay for her to go - they would be all right. She passed away just a few minutes later.

What determines a life well-lived? Perhaps it is simply doing the best one can with the hand one is dealt. Keeping going when the going is tough. Getting up every morning and going to work, caring for children, friends and the elderly. Loving your children as best you can. Trying to beautify where you are.

That being the case, as I believe it is - you did well, Aunt Becky. Rest in peace. I was named Rebecca after you, and it is an honor I shall try to live up to.

We will miss you.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

So Sorry It Didn't Work Out

Melissa and Dave have broken up. Respecting their privacy, I will not go into any details. Now the complicated process of getting a divorce when you live in two separate countries begins.

I am sorry it didn't work out. I was getting to know her, and I liked her, though she was very shy around my husband and I. I do my best to like all the girls my sons bring home. I am more successful with some than others.

I keep up with Melissa on Facebook. She's already listed as in a relationship with someone else. That bothers me more than I care to admit. But it lets me know she probably was not THE ONE.

I hope our Dave finds the one, the forever girl.