Sunday, December 03, 2006

A New Mexico Christmas

~ ~ ~


Christmas is more
Than the holly on the door
And the mistletoe hanging overhead.
It’s more than wind-up toys
And little girls and boys
Waiting for Santa in their beds.

It’s ojos on the tree
And the red Chilies
That make our trees unique.
Piñatas that swing
Are a different thing,
Like Luminarias lining the street.

An owl called 00-TEE
Tells the Christmas story
From the Indian Point of view.
A nativity town
May have faces of brown
When you mix a culture or two.

More than I’ve told
I think you’ll behold
The unusual, interesting ways
Right on hand
In our Southwest land
To celebrate Christmas Day.

The holiday cheer
At this time of year,
It stretches for many miles.
This holiday kind
Of warmth, you’ll find,
Lasts all year in New Mexico smiles.
~ ~ ~

Sunday, November 12, 2006


~ ~ ~

Winds singing through the pines
and an amazingly blue sky.
What gifts!

The scent of sage mingled with
the essence of the air
in the mountain sun.
Could there be more?

Birds chirping somewhere
beyond my sight
in the lush foliage,
then a doe with her fawn
ventures carefully,
to the edge of the prairie grass.
She stops
and watches me.

So still.

And the chamber music of nature
continues to entertain
as the doe and I watch each other.
What amazing, deep brown are her eyes.
I breathe slowly,
for even a sudden intake of air
might send her away.
The fawn,
not yet fully artful of the dangers of humans,
nibbles at the dry grasses.

For long minutes we remain thus,
both she and I afraid to move,
and then the opus of nature
is interrupted by something beyond my perception,
but not that of this gentle, beautiful mother.
The fawn is gone in an eyewink,
while the mother lingers a second more,
as if to assure that I won’t follow.

Then she, too, disappears into the safety
of the piñons and pines.

I blink my eyes,
as I’ve been afraid to do for these moments,
and I see that the few clouds in the sky
have shifted while I was mesmerized.
In those seconds
the sounds of nature have changed also,
as I hear more, different birds,
and there are distant sounds of cars on the highway.
I wonder how long we really stood there,
that mother of the wild
and this human one in the doorway.

The sun on my shoulders is warm.
The wind continues to whistle in the trees.
The clouds move slowly across the sky,
and I move on with my activities.
But the fleeting time that I stood
captivated in her eyes
is imprinted in my heart.
Now when I hear the breeze
pushing through the forest
and smell the gentle aromas of nature,
I will remember the gentle creature
who trusted me just enough
to stay and let me know her
a bit.

~ ~ ~

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Path

~ ~ ~

I feel the path under my feet
as I walk.
I feel the occasional pebbles underfoot
and sometimes the softness of the grass.
I can see these things, too,
but I don’t or can’t avoid stepping on them.
Feeling these as I walk
seems to be a necessary part of my journey.
I look ahead and see the path
but only so far.
Then it disappears over the horizon
or behind a tree
or around a bend.
Each step brings me closer,
but I’m not sure what it is
I’m seeking.
I’ve walked a long time now,
and I’m sometimes so weary
I want to lie down
and go no farther.
But I don’t.
Instead, I look over my shoulder
at the long road behind me,
and I realize how far I’ve come.
It’s then that I know
there is no stopping me.
I will go where the path leads me,
because only then will I be able
to live the life I’m meant to live,
to experience the joys that wait for me.
I haven’t worked this hard,
walked so far,
fought as I have,
to not realize the rewards.
This path does not end,
it is my life.
Let it guide me
where I am meant to be,
because I’m ready!

~ ~ ~

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Winter Sunset

~ ~ ~

The sun is low in the West.
Just at the moment when it touches the horizon,
it appears vast,
a massive orb of fiery salmon color
against the evening sky.
The barren trees of winter
stand between me and the sun,
their leafless branches weaving together,
forming a dense web
just above the line of the hillside
like a stiffly starched collar of black lace
rising upward from the bosom of the earth.
The orange sun, glowing between the filigree of trees,
emphasizes that frilled pattern with its molten lava brilliance,
breathtakingly penetrating the spans between the dark branches.

The sky behind the sun
is a mass of brilliant pigment.
There are no clouds to snatch the colors
and twist them into variegated tones
as found on the artist’s palette
when he mixes over and over,
looking for the perfect hue.
Rather the color spreads away
from the vivid glob of orange and pink
as if drawn by the artist’s knife across the board,
becoming gradually fainter
until it begins to blend with the muted blue of the late day sky,
and creating a color unique to this moment.
No beginning and no end to the colors.
They are simply there,
an indescribable and wonderful vision
to end the close of day with flourish
and marking it unique in the never-ending
march of sunsets through centuries.

Then, in only a few short moments,
the sun, that titanic globe of wonder,
slips beyond the hillside
and the light quickly fades.
The darkness that was the tangle of empty tree limbs
only a breath earlier,
now wraps around everything in sight
and grows deeper
until it all is black.

I bid good-parting to the day.
I have no choice.
But already I am planning
to be here at sunset

~ ~ ~

Monday, November 06, 2006

Her Name Was Mystery

~ ~ ~

Her name was Mystery,
because she was a stray
from places unknown.
She came to our home,
and she was love,
both loved and loving.
She was my protector.
Gentle as a baby, she was,
so how could she protect me?
But I knew she would,
because she was devoted to me,
sleeping beside the bed at night,
especially when I slept alone,
Her heart was gentle,
she never barked
until the man in the black hat came
and she became the dog from hell,
placing herself between me and him.
Hat removed, she became quiet,
once again our loving, docile dog.
We could never train her
in a chain collar,
nor walk her on a linked leash
for at the rattle
of the metal chain,
she cowed and whimpered,
almost as in pain.
Had some man in a big, dark hat
used a chain
on this beautiful, loving creature?
What a beast he must have been,
for this dog, our Mystery,
had nothing but love
and gentle devotion
in our home.
My heart broke
when she died.
She was loving and devoted
to the last breath,
blessing our lives
and teaching us in silence
that even the wounded spirit can love.

~ ~ ~

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Indian Summer Sky

~ ~ ~

The sky is deep azure,
so blue and mellow
I’m pulled into it
and wrapped in the velvety folds.
The warmth of the sun on my back
is a welcome rarity on a November day.
I close my eyes and let my senses
go where they will,
and they go everywhere and no where.
I can almost feel my body float free,
while my mind is caught up
in simple happiness.
I know there will not
be many more days like this one,
when I can soak up the Indian Summer,
breathing it to the bottom on my lungs.
I hate to see the gentle weather go,
but other treats lie ahead.
The snows will come,
blanketing everything in white,
creating a new and beautiful sight
and cleansing the dust away.
It will soak into the thirsty soil
and prepare for the spring.
New life will begin to unfold under the cover of white,
bringing hope for another spring
with the beautiful buds of green
and blades of grass
and leaves.
Another beginning.
Never an end,
but always another beginning.

~ ~ ~

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Haiku IV

~ ~ ~

Vivid crimson leaves
framed against the azure sky -
beautiful color delight.

~ ~ ~

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Forever Memories

~ ~ ~

I look to the sky.
Silent, the wind moves the clouds.
Silent, the earth moves.
Everything is peaceful.

If I close my eyes a moment
and take a deep breath,
then look again, it seems
the clouds
have jumped across the sky.

My life is like that.
When I don’t pay attention,
things seem to have rushed ahead,
and time has sped away
taking with it
many precious moments
that I meant to savor just a bit more.

I’ve had many blessings,
and each is a treasure.

These memories are wrapped up
and tucked into the protected corners
of my heart.

These are mine forever,
untouched by time,
and that’s the most precious of all.

The mom
ents are gone,
but for the rest of my life
I can kiss my first love,

or see the desert sunset at noon.

I see my daughter as a bride,

my son in his graduation gown
with that crooked grin,

and hold my baby for the first time,

almost in the same quiet moment.

I remember the wind in my hair
and my feet in the air
as my bicycle coasts down the hill,

and have a loving chat with my mom
before she slides away into the haze.

All the moments already past

are just waiting to be taken
from their secret place
to be relived
and cherished
one more time.

~ ~ ~

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I Watched You Walk Away

I watched you walk away
without knowing
it would be the last
I’d see you.
Neither of us meant
it to be so,
it just was.
I’d given you my heart
long before that night ----
Did you even know that?
Or care?
I think you did.

On that last night
I loved you as completely
as I knew how.
That never stopped
even though
you were gone.

My life has been good.
Some ups and downs
but good.
Except I’ve missed you,
-------still do.
I’ve loved again
and been loved in return.
But you still have
my heart,
the part you took
the night I watched you
walk away.

~ ~ ~

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Fall Is Here

I've been busy, and only now did I realize that I haven't posted here for over a month. Time certainly can slip by, can't it? Here is one that I wrote recently while watching the vibrant colors of the trees in the valley below the house.k We had some strong winds in the past few days, and many of those trees are nearly bare now.

~ ~ ~

Fall is here.
Rain is gently coming down.
It’s not cold yet,
but there is a coolness in the air
that tells of what is to come.
This fall marks a turning point in my life,
one that is long awaited,
and I open my arms to it.
Turn, leaves!
Bring the cool that relieves us
from the summer heat.
Soon, we’ll walk in the fallen leaves,
hearing them crunch and swish underfoot.
The air will be crisp, clean
but for the whiffs of smoke
from fireplaces,
where I picture families sipping cider
and watching the flames dance.
Fall flowers are in bloom,
grass is slowing it’s growth
and the geese are overhead,
trumpeting their journey south.
Life is good when fall is here.
Life is good.

~ ~ ~

Friday, September 29, 2006

I've Wandered

Dear friends, I probably won't post for a few days. Today is the day I leave . . . and the day I've finally arrived. Blessings until we meet again. Peace.

~ ~ ~

I've Wandered

I’ve wandered.
I’ve rested and I know
it’s time to go again.
It is time to find the next road,
the one that will bring me closer to home.
I have no idea what is at that home,
or even where it is,
but it is time to begin the trek.
Nothing is easy
that’s worth the search,
but perhaps what’s not easy
is exactly what I need
to have peace.

~ ~ ~

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I Knew You

~ ~ ~


I knew you a long time ago.
Or did I?
I guess I knew
who I thought I did.
But maybe not who you are.

I met you again
not long ago,
and you were just as I remembered you.
Only different.

Do I know you?

~ ~ ~

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Homecoming 2003

~ ~ ~



written 10/2003

It is the Autumn of 2003. We went out to dinner earlier tonight, something many like us do, those of us at or near retirement age, and as many of other ages do. I am reluctant to admit that we now do just that, go to dinner, then return home, rub our stomachs and groan about having eaten too much, and finally wait for the nap that we know is sneaking up behind us as we stretch out in the recliner. What has happened to the party animals we once were, those charming young people who went to dinner and then out to dance and have a lively evening with friends? Ah, well, long gone.

But I am already straying from my topic. Well, perhaps not. I am considering how things in the world have changed . . . and remained the same all in the same breath.

The restaurant was almost overflowing, about half or so being teenagers, all dressed to the nines (they wouldn't understand that phrase, would they?). We asked about the regalia and learned that it was homecoming at a nearby school. All through dinner, I kept looking at them and smiling, tickled with their actions, their dress, the hairdos.

Several thoughts occurred to me. First of all, it is good that they don't dance like we did . . . . the girls couldn't keep on the strappy, high-heeled sandals and take even one step backward, let alone attempt a spin during a swing dance or a jitterbug! But they looked awfully cute! The shoes themselves were daunting, at least to me. Some were high-heeled thongs with rhinestone studded straps which made my feet ache just looking! And the thick soled platforms, so popular now, seemed to contrast vividly with their tiny, lithe bodies. I remember a period of my life some decades ago when I wore similar shoes and thought them completely normal, at least until such time as I stepped on a pebble, causing my foot to teeter to the left and leaving me with a seriously sprained ankle that took months to heal. Thus, I now see such shoes as clunky, frivolous, and wonder about their appeal to the young ladies out to dine with their escorts.

The girls were adorable in their little "evening" dresses . . . . sequins, slinky and glittery materials, backless, strapless, and laced from waist to shoulders. When they got up to walk around, I giggled each time one tugged her strapless gown back to a modest level or walked with a rather unbecoming clomp-clomp-clomp in those ever so cute but unrealistic shoes. Bless their hearts, most of them didn’t walk quite erect, but leaning forward a bit as their bodies tried to compensate for the unaccustomed high heels.

The dresses were very cute, something that my mother would have died if I’d put on while still in high school! Slim-fitting, soft materials that draped over their bodies, so fashionable . . . and so revealing! Their little bikini panties left incredible lines across their slinky little butts! Aren't these kids part of the generation that have taught all us women about the wonders of thongs? Ahh, well, obviously not this group! Or perhaps their moms could cope with the dresses, but weren’t ready yet to give in to the wearing of thongs. At any rate, it seemed that this young ladies were sort of suspended somewhere between being daddies’ little darlings and feisty little sirens of today’s world.

Each girl had her own version of the "done-up" hairdo, you know, the one we actually had done at the beauty shop in a style that we would never, NEVER wear in the real world. All those curls were bobbing and flipping at a dazzling pace. Were we ever like that? Probably so. I’ve noticed that when a woman of any age wears a hairdo to which she is unaccustomed, there is more movement from the neck up than is “usual.” Why is that?

Secondly, I commented to my husband that I don't even remember being that young. Then I corrected my statement . . . . .I do remember being that age rather clearly. But I don't remember feeling as young as they looked! OHMIGAWD, they are just babies! The boys had carnations, some pinned to their dress shirts because they wore no jackets. The ones who had jackets had about an inch and a half of white shirt below the jacket sleeve! We mused about the difficulty high school aged boys had getting just the right amount of shirt sleeve visible at the cuff, and by the next big school dance, there had been enough growth that neither the shirt nor the jacket fit right, causing the boy angst about his appearance, while his parents surely groaned inwardly because it meant another wardrobe adjustment which strained the family budget.

Throughout dinner I continued to be enthralled with the youngsters, our future. A few sat throughout their meals, but most of them popped up every few minutes and scurried as gracefully as possible in the unfamiliar garb, obviously chosen to give them the appearance of grownups, and framing their equally obvious struggle to fit the self images each had.

It was a fun evening, watching and chuckling about these little women of tomorrow's world and their awkward knights in shirtsleeved armor. I am sure that our parents . . . .oops! make that "and grandparents"! . . . . similarly smiled and faded back into their own memories, amusements, and amazements around us. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to sit back and enjoy watching the endeavors of becoming adult in our society without having to relive it? These were children-going-on-adults, finding their niche, searching for their own paths of experience and emulating the older persons in their lives, despite the probability that each would deny influence from the elders of their tribe.

And finally, the most heartwarming aspect of the evening may well be that these precious youngsters, the ones who made my evening so enjoyable and gave me cause to smile indulgently, will be taking their sprained ankles, necks rubbed sore by buttoned collars, and their broken hearts home to someone else. My dues are paid. Being sixty years old isn’t all bad!

~ ~ ~

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Affirmations From A Child

The following is untitled, just random thoughts I had one day about why the rough parts of parenting are worth it. Sometimes, it is hard to remember. Times like this bring back the answer with no doubt as to why we continue.

My children made my life, in general, worth going on. Coming home to my children was one of life's greatest pleasures.

~ ~ ~

Nothing soothes
The frazzled ends
Of a bad day
As a sweet child’s voice
Singng a song
As she cuddles in your arms
And whispers
That her best friend
Wore a dress today, too.
Somehow the world seems right again
As she recites a verse
About a green frog
And a pink bunny,
And you really don’t care
How tired you are
When she says,
“Mommy, you’re pretty
And I love you.”

Listen to the child,
Feel her soft hand
On your face....
Let her gently
Make the good life
Real again.

~ ~ ~

Here is the same little girl
cuddling with her daddy
and spending time
with my own daddy.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


I will miss this this year. I will leave Kansas City before the leaves turn. Perhaps I will find another scene about which to write in New Mexico. But for now . . . .

~ ~ ~


written October, 2004

Driving the rolling hills on the way to Nowhere, I top a hill, somewhat larger than the others, to see the array of trees of many variety stretching before me as the hills flow down into the valley ahead of me. It’s a sight that I have seen many times over during the summer, but now, in the mellowing days of fall it is different.

All summer long I’ve been driving around town as my job prescribes for me, but in the swelter of summer, the blanket of green formed by the thick tangle of trees in Kansas City doesn’t catch my eye in this way. Had I noticed at this same spot in July, I would have seen an almost never ending green, and if I think about it, I would be refreshed somewhat by the knowledge that, if I had time, pulling my car under a part of that protective cover would bring some welcome relief from
the hot summer sun. but I never have time to do that, well, unless a client cancels an appointment, and then I grumble because of the lost revenue, so the cool respite under the blanket of green rarely comes to mind.

But now, in the cooling days of autumn, topping the hill brings a sight that I’ve enjoyed for most of the 28 years I’ve called Kansas City Home. Yes, Fall in Missouri has a special treat. And when you spend as much time in your automobile as I do, you might, like me, begin to wax poetic.

The sight I love so is those same trees, now at the height of their annual parade of color as they prepare for even cooler weather yet to come. Where before I saw a carpet of green following the gentle flow of the hills, I now see a calico pattern of reds, yellows and golds, some still green and others in shades of coral and vivid rose.

I whimsically see this brightly variegated pattern as being a patchwork quilt, made especially for us by God’s own hand. This quilt is stretched over the rolling hills, and I feel sure, although I can’t see it, tucked in around the edges to keep in the last vestiges of warmth of this season.

Could this be Nature’s way of reminding us that we should prepare for the winter ahead? “Get out the quilts!” she is saying. “It will be cold soon, and I know you don’t want to think about winter, but it is time. Air the blankets and quilts, protect the water faucets, make sure last year’s winter coats still fit and are clean.”

All too soon that patchwork quilt I see from my vantage point will be strewn on the ground. We only have a short period of warning to prepare before that patchwork quilt will be under our feet, crunching and rustling as we walk, and it will serve as a blanket in one sense, as it protect the ground growth for the hard winter months ahead. But in another way the tree limbs which will begin to be exposed as the leaves fall, will be skeletal arms, swaying and thrashing in the winds, warning us to delay no longer, winter is very close.

So, while I slow my car to a pace that is likely maddening to any other driver unfortunate enough to have picked this street to drive today, I know to soak in the beauty and enjoy it today. Soon it will be getting cooler and the nip of Winter will be all around me. And I make a mental note to check out my winter clothes during the next weekend. Oh, and get the quilts out for some fresh air while the weather is still amenable.

~ ~ ~

Friday, September 08, 2006

Innocent Love

~ ~ ~


I loved you with the heart of a child,
without condition.
Through the years that love remained,
tucked away,
protected from the world.
When I took it out,
exposed it to the truth,
it was clear
that my love
was still the love of a child
and not enough
for either of us
I still love you,
always will,
but now there are conditions.

~ ~ ~

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

You Know Me

~ ~ ~

You Know Me

Sometimes you frighten me.
The way you anticipate
My needs.
You seem to know what I want
Before I do.
Sometimes I think
If I wanted
Baked Alaska,
You’d just happen to have one
On hand.
Or is it just that you’ve
Convinced me
You can do it?
It’s hard at times
Separating my own tho’ts
From your hold on me.

~ ~ ~

Monday, September 04, 2006

Where Did You Go?

~ ~ ~

Where Did You Go?

Where did you go
when you walked away?
You were gone,
but you left footprints
across my life.
I try to ignore them
or scrub them away
but nothing works.
I’ve tried to follow them
to where you are,
but they seem to go
in circles.
So where are you?
Why did you
leave footprints,
not your heart?

~ ~ ~

Sunday, September 03, 2006


~ ~ ~


I love to watch the butterflies
as they flutter in the garden,
wisps of color, seemingly weightless,
yet they almost struggle to keep afloat
with choppy, irregular wing strokes.
To see the butterfly
in the warmth of a summer day
helps me understand
that all life has purpose,
mine and the butterfly’s, too.
The fragility of the butterfly reminds me
how delicate life is
and how, at times,
I must labor in my journey.
Then I float on wings of success
which catches the updraft
for a bit.

The powdery wings,
almost translucent,
seem lighter even than a feather.
Yet the wings, so beautifully decorated,
will carry the little butterfly
thousands of miles
before winter threatens
in my yard.

The colors tell me that life itself
is a montage,
colorful mixtures with a special quality
if I take time,
as does the butterfly,
to stop, to notice,
to savor the contrasts which make the fabric
of my life,
distinct contrasts,
yet connecting to form
a mantle of beauty
and warm memories.
I like to think of the butterfly
as a message from God,
kisses from angels,
as the soft wings of the butterfly
brush against my skin.
God sending angel kisses in butterfly wings.
How could it be any better?

~ ~ ~

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I've Loved You

~ ~ ~


I’ve loved you
for all these years,
intensely and purely.
I’ve loved you
deeply and tenderly
and tried to meet
your needs.
I’ve loved you
when no one else could
because of your mood
but I knew you were hurting.
I’ve loved you
when the things you’ve done
have torn my heart apart.
I’ve loved you
thru the hurting times
when you’ve accused
and spoken wretchedly.
I’ve love you
because I love you
even when I couldn’t love you.

But now.............
The time has come
and I don’t know
if I can anymore.
I’ve loved you
thru thick and thin
but now I’m all loved out.

~ ~ ~

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Crescent Moon

~ ~ ~


The night is cool,
and the sky is very dark.
The crescent moon rests in the sky,
forming a cradle of light.
I’ve watched it a while,
soothed by the peace of it all,
and in my mind
I see you there,
nestled in the curve of the moon
safe and secure,
just as you are in my heart.
Sleep, my dear one,
lulled by the song I sing in my head
and warmed by the blanket of love
I’ve tucked around you.
I love the moon,
and I love you.

~ ~ ~

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Now and Then

~ ~ ~


I think of you now and then.
We’ve been a long way,
together and apart.
The together was always tender
and passionate and short.
the apart was long
and often sad,
for never were you out of my heart.
Have you tho’t of me now and then?
We drifted in and out
of each other’s life
and never could
quite hang on to what we had
for long.
I didn’t quit loving you
but I gave up
on us.
I moved on -- away from us.

Now and then, through the years
I’ve missed you.
I miss you still.
Where are you?
Are you happy?
I hope so
and yet I hope
you’re not completely so
because I want you
to miss me
now and then
as I do you.
I still love you
---- just a little
---- just now and then.

~ ~ ~

Saturday, August 12, 2006

So Close

~ ~ ~

So Close

It is so close.
And I’m feeling everything at such a deep level.
I can now count the days,
not the weeks,
until I leave here.
This is my home.
It has been my home for 30 years.
As I pack the last of the belongings
I’m feeling a heavy sadness,
knowing that it is real,
this is the end.
I also feel relief
in knowing that I am moving on to another stage of my life.
This next part is what I’ve longed for
for a very long time,
but the change is still difficult.
I’ll be OK.
It will all be alright.
It’s just another challenge
in the journey that is my life,
the journey that I’ve come to accept is
never ending.

~ ~ ~

Friday, August 11, 2006

Haiku III

~ ~ ~

Delicate, fragile,
pretty columbine blossoms
grace the garden.

~ ~ ~

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pennies On The Ground

This is a bit happier than my previous post, but it is rather bittersweet. My parents passed away just 3 weeks apart. Dad went first, and although Mom was deep in Alzheimer's, I know that their bond superseded earthly limitations, and she knew. She began to refuse food or liquids immediately after his funeral. They're reunited now, and I know they are happier than we can begin to imagine. This gives my heart have a joyous peace.

~ ~ ~

Pennies On The Ground

When I find a penny on the ground,
I pick it up.
I used to walk past them.

Some say a penny on the ground
is just a penny
on the ground.

Why waste the time
for one cent?

Then my father died,
and I found a penny.
I picked it up,
and I cried.

Some say a penny found
is a sign of good luck,
but only if it’s “heads up.”

The penny is in a jar,
a very tiny jar I brought
from my mother’s house.
And when my mother passed away,
she joined my father,
and I knew they were together
and happy.
And I found two pennies,
side by side.

Some say a penny found
is a message
from the other side,
a reminder of love.

I picked them up and I wept
because I knew,
regardless of what
some say,
my mom and dad
sent their love.

Then I went home
and put the pennies
in the little jar.

For several months
I found pennies,
two by two.
And when I did,
I put them in Mom’s little jar.
Each time my eyes teared.
But each time
I also smiled.

Some say pennies are just pennies,
some say they’re good luck,
some say pennies are from heaven.

After a while, I found two pennies
less often.
I was healing, and I no longer needed
the frequent reminders.

When I see a penny
on the ground,
I pick it up.


And I smile.

~ ~ ~

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Shadow of Mom

This was written just a few short months before my mother passed away.

~ ~ ~

The Shadow of Mom

She wanders in the room,
looking at everything
and nothing,
and mostly looking through us
at things and people
we can’t see.
She talks at us
and around us
or through us
to others in the room
beyond our eyes,
and occasionally she says
my name
or yours,
and our hearts quicken
in hope . . .
. . . but no, she’s gone again
to that other world
only she can see.
I miss her,
the one she used to be.
and I love her,
now so vulnerable
yet safe in this place
where I can’t go.
She has loved me all my life
and now I love enough for
both of us.
And that’s all right.

~ ~ ~

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Haiku II

~ ~ ~

At the water’s edge
brightly colored flamingos
wading in the pool

~ ~ ~

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Wind

~ ~ ~

The Wind



The wind blows thru the trees, and the leaves quake, not from fear of the strength of the wind as it passes through, but almost as if they giggle as the fingers of the wind tickle the tender undersides of the leaves.

The wind continues to bounce among the trees, time after time tugging at the branches and leaves, then darting away quickly. The limbs of the trees quiver and sway back and forth as if trying to reach out and grab the mirthful breezes to stop the teasing or perhaps to tease back, causing the little wind to rechart its course. All the trees seems to come to life at the skillful jousting of the wind, merrily weaving in the morning sun.

The wind, itself invigorated by the happy encounter of the leaves on the trees, hurries onto the plain to find the native prairie grasses standing tall with only a hint of movement. The full heads on the grasses seem to taunt the wind, saying, “We won’t play. We’re here to bind the earth against your breath, oh wind, so the soil doesn’t blow away when swatted by your invisible fingers. Our task is serious and we will not play.”

The wind hears the challenge and stills itself a bit, then circles a few times while considering the haughty boast, then swoops toward the grasses, ready to tease and tug until the grasses, like the leaves of the trees, give way to laughter.

The grasses, rather than relent to the individual fingers of the wind, seem held by invisible threads as they sway in graceful unison to the pushes and yanks of the wind. Even when the wind circles back again and once more tries to separate the regal stalks and force the whoosh of nature’s laughter, it’s without fruition -- the grasses dip and sway always in gentle unison.

The wind, bored by the communal dance of the grasses, moves on to seek another playmate, Now in the placid waters of the lakes which form a chain in the valley. the wind begins to nip at the glassy surface, tweaking and ruffling, as if to say, “Come! Play!”

The waters of the lake, stirred by the persistence of the wind, ruffle as if grumbling from beneath, saying, “Go away, impertinent wind, leave us in peace.” Occasionally the waters lap higher as if to encourage the wind into a stronger, deeper poke into the depths of the water. And so this continues, back and forth in increasing jabs until the waters begin to froth in anger toward the invisible intruder. Finally the wind tires of the game and looks for another quest.

Across the countryside the wind swirls, up hills and thru valleys, across the backs of woodland animals. stirring their fur and lifting their noses to learn what is nearby. The wind scatters the fluff from the heads of dandelions and loosens the pine cones from the tree and watches them bounce on the ground. The petals of the wild roses, fading on the vine, are tossed in all directions.

Winging birds adjust their flight as the wind lifts and drops them, and they continue on their journeys in search of food, water and shelter for rest. The wind tries, as it did with the trees, the grasses and the ponds, to direct the path of the birds. But the birds, intent on their mission, simply adapt their wings to accommodate the interference of the wind, and continue on their journeys. Occasionally one bird loses the shelf of wind on which it has been riding, drops suddenly for several feet, but always they recover and with a great flapping of their feathers, regain altitude and resumes its course.

The wind tries, as it has throughout the morning, to change the course set by the various birds in the sky, and upon realizing that he has met another tireless resistance to the gusts he is producing, ponders on what is next .

Finished with the meadow, the wind climbs the hill and swoops quickly down the far side and onto the desert. Here he finds loose sand to toss and flip. The wind twists through the cacti and moves close to the ground, bending the growth of the mounds of grass almost to the ground. Then it slips beneath the bellies of the desert creatures, the horned toads and prairie dogs, cooling them as the crawl across the hot sand.

The small creatures of the desert floor seem unperturbed at the wind. Even when the wind causes the sand to pelt against their bodies, they simply close their eyes against it, pause to confirm direction of their paths, and resume their activities. Rather than finding this an irritant or a cause to play, the animals seem to welcome the cooling effects of the breeze.

Finally, as if exhausted by the efforts and bored at the rest of the world, the wind slows, quiet and almost still. Night is near, and as the moon rises on the horizon, she says to the wind,

“What a good job you have done today.
You dusted the leaves on the trees, helping them breathe.
You shook the pollen in the prairie grasses so there will be more to grow, and while you didn’t notice, the corn in the nearby field was pollinated, too, and will feed many people.
You stirred the waters of the lake, turning oxygen deep into the lake for the fish.
You cooled the creatures of the forest and the desert, and spread seeds of multitudes of plants.
You lifted the bird in flight and helped him to reach his destiny more easily.
You did your part to synchronize nature.
Rest now, wind.
Tomorrow you will do so again.”

And so the little wind settles down in the bosom of Mother Earth to sleep for the night, and to prepare for the day ahead.


So goes life -- a random series of
unrelated, innerconnected events.

~ ~ ~

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


~ ~ ~


If I gave up everything for you,
would it be enough?

If I gave you everything in me,
would it be enough?

Is anything ever

~ ~ ~

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Already There

I forgot to say when I posted the haiku with a picture yesterday that it is the beginning of a goal I've had for some time. I've wanted to pair photographs with my poetry or essays with the thought of perhaps some day in the future actually publishing something like that with my own photos and written works. I plan to play with this for a while and see how it goes.

~ ~ ~


Already my heart wings over the desert floor,
and I smell the faint essence of the sage
as it charges the air
with its seductive
and gentle scent.

I can feel the sandy earth
under my feet,
the softness with each step,
almost fluid,
as the grains shift gently,
fielding the weight of my foot.

I close my eyes
and I hear the sound
of the wind ticklling the scrub growth
and teasing the piñons
across the foot of the mesa.
There is no other sound,
no crickets,
no birds in this melody,
only the wind passing thru
the strong, enduring plant life
of this desert landscape.

The cool, dry air passes across my forehead,
taking away the heat,
caressing the brow,
reminding me that I belong to the desert.

I turn my face to the sun,
and I close my eyes.
I absorb the beams
with gratitude,
feeling the familiar desert sun
as it leaves soft warm kisses on my face.

I’m not there yet,
but my memories and my dreams
hold me gently in their arms
until it can be.
Please soon.

Losing You

Have your even had that experience of watching someone significant in your life walk away for that dreaded last time? You know it must be, for whatever reason (this one was moving away), but your heart just wants to leap from your chest and follow. It can't, of course, so you decide to will that person to never, never forget you, to have a pang of memory (hopefully guilty) every time that he or she looks at another person. Yeah, well.

~ ~ ~

Losing You

I’m not losing you.
I can’t lose what I’ve never had.
I’m resigned now,
In fact almost glad
Of your going.

But I don’t love lightly ––
or briefly.

May you have good health,
Good luck, ––
And a good memory.

~ ~ ~

Monday, July 31, 2006


Wishing peaceful pleasures for honorable readers.

~ ~ ~

Rose of Sharon bloom

hides among cool green leaves
this hot summer day

~ ~ ~


OK, I at least know that there are a couple people out there who actually read this stuff, so I'm going to put this little ditty out there for thought. And if you're good, I have something else in the works that I'll do later today.

~ ~ ~


I’ll bet . . .

if I laid all my wishes,
end to end,
touching, but not too close,
I’ll bet they’d pave a road
all the way home
to where my heart is.

~ ~ ~

Everyone who reads my other blog know where this road leads for me. So how 'bout you? Where does your wish-paved road lead?

Friday, July 28, 2006

We need to talk . . .

Listen up, folks! Now I told you in the beginning of this particular blog, and I quote:

"There will be a combination of poetry short stories, opinion essays, and various flights of fancy that present themselves to my head. I hope you'll come back and will enjoy your visits. Tellers of tales are happy just to be read. Your job is simple ... make me happy!"

Now let's all understand something here. I can't be happy if I don't know your reading this stuff!! Helllllooooo? I'm an artist. We are tempermental. We need to be stroked in order to refuel and do more. (Eyes upward toward the heavens, she sighs.) I really need to know what you enjoy. It might (well, it might not, too, but . . . ) give me some direction for future posts. Obviously I'll post what I want (and there are some just too personal to post), but I also want to know I'm being read and what appeals.

I'm not asking for long notes, but I would appreciate a short acknowledgement that I'm being read. You can just say, "cool," or "sad," or "gag," or"quit that crap!" but I'd love hearing that you've been to the blog. Look at it this way . . . if I were good enough to be published, I'd know I'm being read by the millions of dollars sent to me for the copies of my books being sold. So the price here is perfect . . . none!! I know I'm an ameteur!!

Thank you. Thank you very much.
(To answer the question in your head right now . . . yes, I did an Elvis hip swing as I wrote that.)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Help Me To See

~ ~ ~

What do you feel
When I touch you?
Do you feel
For that moment
That the world
Begins with you and ends with me?
Or do you simply feel
A body?

I wish I could see
Inside your tho’ts
Help me.

~ ~ ~

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The final chapter is here. If you remember Mary and John were . . . well, hell, if you've forgotten, go back and reread the previous chapter!

~ ~ ~

On the scheduled night Mary convinced Mr. McBride to go look at the house. He wondered why she wanted to go at night, but agreed anyway. They got into a small boat, and he rowed them to the island. Just as they reached the island, It began to storm. There was lightening, thunder, rain coming down in sheets and hail the size of golf balls was hitting everything.

Mary and McBride started running up the driveway toward the old house. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease. I never did understand why that old man had a paved driveway because he couldn’t have a car out on that island, but maybe he liked to see the hailstones bounce like that.

By the time they reached the house they were both soaked. Mary said that her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze. That wasn’t a pretty image in my mind, but then nothing about this whole story was much better.

She suggested that they check out the top floor to be sure that the roof wasn’t leaking, and commented as they climbed the dark stairs, that it was really lucky that it had rained tonight. In her head she was thinking that it would make the pond deeper to cover McBride’s body, but out loud she said, “This way we can check for any leaks before we buy this place.”

I couldn’t help but think what a sinister broad this woman was. She must be over fifty, but she looks about 25. And she has a heart of a killer, but the face of an innocent child. Good one to avoid, I made a mental note.

On reaching the eleventh floor, Mary told McBride that she was tired and wanted to rest, but he should go ahead and check out the fifth floor, the attic of the old house. He went up the stairs.

At the last step, McBride reached for the door knob, turned it and shoved the door ahead of him. As he stepped onto the rotting boards of the attic, he saw John waiting for him.

John said, “Sorry, McBride, but there is only room for one of us where Mary is concerned, and it is going to be me.”

The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formally surcharge-free ATM. McBride lunged at John, intending to get in the first strike and hopefully push him out the window.

On the floor above, Mary heard the sounds of a struggle. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 pm instead of 7:30. She thought it sounded like they were dancing in wooden shoes, clomping all over the floor up there.

She wondered why John was taking so long to get rid of McBride. Then . . . Shots rang out, as shots are known to do. Mary listened to the silence above her. There was nothing. She began to panic, not knowing what was going on, who was alive, and what she would do if McBride was the survivor.

Then Heavy footsteps came down the stairs, slowly, slowly. Mary bit back a scream as a man emerged from the stairwell. Thank god, it was John.

John told her that he had shot McBride. McBride stumbled backward and out a window. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup. Mary wondered aloud if it had hurt McBride when he landed. John said, “Of course, it hurt, Mary. It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.”

Then John said that he had also been shot when the bullet ricocheted off of a metal plate in McBride’s head and hit John in the leg. “I need to get back across the pond and take care of this leg as soon as possible.”

Mary looked at his leg and saw that it was bleeding from the calf. “Can you make it to the boat?” she asked.

“I think so,” he replied. “But we’d better hurry before it gets worse.” He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame - - maybe from stepping on a land mine or something. Getting down several flights of stairs wasn’t easy, especially when you walk like a duck.

The rain had let up and was just a normal pouring rain now, to their relief. When they finally got to the edge of the pond, however, they were distressed to find that the boat wasn’t there. John shown the flashlight across the water, and they saw the it. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

“Didn’t you tie it up?” he shouted at Mary.

“No,” she replied. “I never even thought of it.”

“My grandpappy would have done a better job than you did,” John screamed. “
. Your mind is like a sieve!”

At this point Mary stopped, sobbed softly once, dabbed at her eye, and said, “This is where it all went wrong.”

I was looking at her sitting on my broken chair in her perfect black suit, and thought, hey lady, something was wrong long before this. But I didn’t say anything. I wasn’t sure yet what she wanted from me.

“I swam to the shore and ran for another boat. But when I got back, John was gone. I haven’t been able to find him, and I need your help. Please find John for me, or find his body so I can collect the insurance money.” she whispered.

All the sudden, my office door burst open. In rushed a kid in his late teens, dressed for a boxing match, right down to gloves laced on his hands. He was followed by a girl about two years younger in a pink tutu. I thought for a minute that I was losing my mind, but then I remembered the broad in my office with the strange stories, and it all began to make sense.

The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while. He said, “I haven’t eaten since my dad was lost in the pond. Please bring him home so that I can eat again and win my bout.”

The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant. Yep, I could hear this one coming a mile away. She said, “I’ve been dancing to keep my mind off my poor daddy being missing, but I really can’t do this much longer. Please find my daddy. And then find someone to massage the cramps out of my leg.”
Just as I suspected, these kids were part of the whole scheme. I wasn’t sure how, but they were. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools. And I knew that I wasn’t going to get these crazies out of my office until I figured out where John was, so I had better get cracking.

I spent the next fourteen months looking for John. I finally found him in Missouri, still walking like a lame duck with the gun tucked in his belt. He had it there instead of carrying it in his hand because Missouri just passed a concealed carry law, so he knew that it was alright to stash it and let the cramp in his hand begin to ease up. He was still pretty dazed, and couldn’t really tell me how he got there, but he knew he was about halfway between Topeka and Cleveland. He had to be there in order to be found.

I understood completely, It all made sense. In these cases, you have to use logic to solve the mystery. I drove John back to Mary and the kids. As soon as they saw each other, I could swear that I heard the old song, “Love is a Many Splendored Thing” playing in the clouds. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 pm traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 pm at a speed of 35 mph.

Yep. Like I said, it just takes logic. Case solved.

~ ~ ~

That's it kiddies. Did I get them all? Are you sure? Really sure? uh-huh. If you think so, you must be right.

Have a wunnerful day!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A Mystery, Part 2

This is the beginning of my very tongue-in-cheek mystery. Remember that I have used all of those metaphors from yesterday's post. And so you don't have to try to remember them, I've made them bold in this post. Happy reading. OH! One more thing . . . Remove your tongue from your cheek before you laugh or try to talk, please.

~ ~ ~

And this would be my story . . . . . . .

I was sitting in my ratty little office one stormy afternoon wondering how I was going to pay the rent on the dump. It has been weeks since the phone had rung with any business. Before it was disconnected, the only calls had been bill collectors. Private eyes have a tough job. It’s either feast or famine, and I wasn’t gaining any weight.

On that day, as I sat there chewing on the end of my last stogy, she walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs. I looked her up and down. I figured she had walked into the wrong office, cause a classy dame like that doesn’t look to a broken down PI with no future.

Then she spoke. “Are you Stogy Hogy, the private Eye?” she asked. I didn’t answer right away. I was thinking about how she sounded. Her voice had that tense, grating quality, like a generation thermal paper fax machine that needed a band tightened. It didn’t fit with her looks. She was a long, tall drink of water, dressed to the nines. She had dark hair and smoky eyes which gave away the fact that she’d been crying. Her skin was pale against the dark hair and black suit she wore. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two other sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

I guess I stared too long because she suddenly sat down in a dusty wooden chair with wobbly legs as if she couldn’t stand there any longer waiting for me to answer. I wondered if the chair would collapse with her but before I could go any farther with that thought, she began to speak again.

“I need your help,” she said. “I think my life might be in danger and I don’t know where to turn.”

“OK,“ I said. “Tell me your story.”

“I’m Mary Smith,” she continued. My husband, John, is missing. I need you to find him. But let me start from the beginning.”

Three years ago, John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met. They came from different parts of town, and except for a chance meeting, probably would have lived their lives like those hummingbirds, just zooming from place to place, but never seeing each other.

She was as easy as the TV Guide crossword. Funny that she would tell me that, but I guess she wanted me to know what part of town she was from. When they met, he fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River. She didn’t think he really was serious about her because she wasn’t what a guy takes home to his mother. But he used to tell her that when he was around her, his thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

She thought he was just making passes, but he insisted that he was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up. She told me that it must have been the truth, because sometimes she thought she could hear those bells herself when he looked at her. She knew that over time, she grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room temperature Canadian beef.

He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree. That was good, because she was six-foot-one herself. She would look pretty silly with a short guy, she said. and I wondered if this was directed at me, because I was only five-foot six. Then she laughed. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up. I watched her carefully, wanting to be sure that if she did throw up, I could move out of the way.

She told me that over time she came to love him, too. He was really smart. He spoke with wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it. and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at solar eclipse without one those boxes with a pinhole in it. She knew he was way out of her class, but what the heck, he had a lot to offer.

While she was telling me this story, I had some trouble concentrating on what she was saying. Everything coming out of her mouth was strange. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like whatever. Every now and then, I had to shake my head to get the cobwebs out of it because listening to her made my mind go to sleep. She was certainly a looker, but that is about the end of it.

Eventually Mary and John got married. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth. Oh, brother, now I had another special image in my head. This didn’t help the cobwebs. I really wished she would get to why she was here and let me go back to thinking about how bad things were for me.
Then, she said, everything seemed to come tumbling down around them. Her first husband, a Mr. McBride, showed up. I couldn’t help think it was weird that she called him “Mr.” McBride, but then most of what I knew about this dame was weird anyway.

She had been married to him for 30 years. His presence was inconvenient because she had never divorced him. When he left town, she thought she would never see him again, and she just went on with her life as if he never existed.

Funny, I thought, I didn’t think this dame was old enough to be married that long.
She said that she finally got nerve to talk to John about it. He took it better than she thought he would. When he quit crying and calling her names, they came up with a plan to get rid of him before anyone knew he was in town. Then they would be free to go on with their lives together.

The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work. She would lure him to an island in the middle of the pond at the edge of town. On the island was a deserted mansion where the town recluse had lived for years until he was swept out of the castle during a bad flood. She would tell McBride that she wanted to look at the house for them to live in after they reconciled. John would be waiting on the fifth floor, shoot him and together they would throw his body into the pond.

~ ~ ~

But . . . is the plan really that simple? Will they really be able to go on with their lives together? What about McBride? Will he turn the tables on them? (Sound the organ music, TA-TA-DUMMMMMM.) Tune in tomorrow for the continuing mystery of John and Mary.