Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer Visitors

The inspiration for this poem comes from one of my Mom’s ‘Memory Stories’ and took place during the late 1920’s to early 1930’s.

Summer Visitors

They came during the months of summer, arriving in a caravan
Of wooden wagons laden with canvas, furniture, and pots, and pans
That clanged the song of their arrival as they moved up the dirt road.
Horses of black, and brown and spotted grey pulled the wagons
While the new ponies of spring followed behind.

Papa always let them camp on our land and supplied food for their stay
In turn, they helped to work the farm and gave Papa ponies in trade;
And our neighbors would come from miles around to have their fortunes told.
Although not relations, Mama insisted we gave them proper honor,
And spoke with respect, calling them Uncle Barney, Aunt Mary and Uncle Jim.

In the evenings, while we sat in a circle around their campfires,
They sang songs from their home country, so many miles away
Accompanied by mandolins, guitars, fiddles, and tambourines.
And as the red and orange flames danced and crackled
They told stories of ghosts, and shift-changers, and apparitions.

When the second big war came, Papa sold the farm,
And I went away to another city for school.
From that time on, our summer visitors ceased to come,
And there were times I wondered where they’d gone.
But, to this day I can still see them in my mind’s eye coming along our road.
And I will always remember the songs they sang and the stories they told.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Down the dry walls of a hollow grave
A phantom speaks in solemn whispers
Cracking the stones of nevermore
To seek out the lives once lost to save.

Long, dark shadows rise to roam the ruins
To merge with memories of long dead corpses
Forming to fashion forgotten gossamer ghosts
That clear the cobwebs from cluttered coffins.

Demons dance in circles, their red eyes ablaze.
Ghouls scream their threats that split the night
To summon the vampires, werewolves, and trolls
That emerge in mist to drown the moon in haze.

Then all at once, monsters shrink back in fear
They cringe as an angelic song surrounds them.
And from the sky shimmering faerie dust falls,
Quelling the nightmare to let the dawn shine clear. 

Deer Tales, This Week's Highlight

It was an unusual week. First, I am dog sitting, which completely changed my usual schedule. I am awake a couple of hours earlier in the morning and fall asleep earlier in the evening, but I adjusted well to this change. Massey (the dog) is a four year-old Standard Poodle (see pic below) who loves to go for walks, play ball, and keep watch over the neighborhood from the front door. I set a chair in front of the door so that she can keep watch comfortably.

The big excitement this week came on Friday. I let Massey out in the backyard first thing in the morning while I prepared her breakfast. Massey soon discovered she was not alone in the yard when a deer stood up in the tall grass. When I saw the deer, I went to the front gate, both to make sure it was closed (which it was) and to call Massey to the front yard so that she didn't have to pass the deer to come back into the house. The deer must have jumped the gate to get in the yard and I knew she was there to have her baby as she visited last year with the same intention. She must feel safe and secure there as it is completely fenced in and there is tall grass to make a nice bed. I got a couple of good pics of her early in the day...

I checked on the deer throughout the morning. She would stand for a bit, and then lay down for awhile in the tall grass. Finally, there was a fawn. I could not get close enough to get a clear picture as, of course Mama Deer was very protective. Then, about an hour after the new arrival, I went out to check and there was another fawn. Yes, twins! Again, I took a couple of pictures, but nothing too clear. 

Around 5 pm, Mama deer decided to relocate. I opened the gate earlier so that she could leave when she was ready. Before she left with her new babies, I got a couple of picks of one of the fawns...

Apparently, this deer finds my yard the best place to birth her young. Next spring I will keep the gate open for her and keep watch for her return visit. I am looking forward to seeing the little family around the neighborhood. I might even get some more pictures!


Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Life of Spirits

There are spirits that hide
Within the mists
Of days gone by
Forever dwelling in the past
Never seeking the days to come

There are spirits that writhe
Drowning in the pain
The suffering, the wrath
Of their life’s worst experiences
Never seeking to escape

There are spirits that rejoice
Swelling in the joy
The elation, the bliss
Content in their existence
Never seeking for more

And then there are those spirits
That encompass it all
Embracing each occurrence
Both the delightful and the dire
And even the mundane
As an adventure in their journey
Always seeking the abundance

That only living can bring.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


This is Ula, my mom's Seeing Eye Dog. Ula is also trained as a therapy dog and travels with my mom to visit residents  of nursing homes twice a week. 


Ula is a gentle soul
Who is always there
To say hello
To anyone she feels
Might need
The comfort
Of a friend.

Friday, May 17, 2013


The Earth moved this morning.
It was a single tiny tremor
Lasting only for a few moments,
But just the same
I felt the ground give way
Deep beneath my feet.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

As Peaceful Warriors

On any average day we see
Shocking visions of violence
Carried out within the World
Human against human, against nature,
Against Earth
            That startles the serenity
Of the calm mind
            To bring flames of anguish
Searing deep to permeate
The stillness of one’s Soul

As peaceful Warriors
We must stand strong
Fierce in solid rigidity
To protect, to preserve, to shield
The innocent, the defenseless, the fragile.

As Peaceful Warriors
We must expose the intentions
Of those hell bent and driven
On greed, on power, on control
Those who delight in the destruction,
The suffering, the annihilation
Of the natural balance
The splendor, the blessings
Of all things living

As Peaceful Warriors
We must stand together as one
To defeat with civil defiance
The unconscionable violence
Committed against our Universe 

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

When Struck with a Clumsy Attack Retreat

Sometimes, I am extremely clumsy. Today was one of those days. Luckily, my clumsy attack was kept to one room of the house, the kitchen. I should have retreated after I broke the second glass, but no, I had to go on to make oatmeal raisin cookies and spilled flour on the floor. A moment later, an egg joined the flour when it slipped out of my hand. Then after dinner, (which was a gooey but very tasty casserole of ground beef, mushrooms, onions, peas, with a cream of mushroom soup gravy served over mashed potatoes) I separated four additional servings into containers for freezing. Upon opening the freezer door a canister containing brown sugar (that I apparently didn't set back far enough on top op the fridge) fell down and knocked one of the containers of gooey casserole out of my had to splash its contents all over the kitchen floor. Needless to say, my kitchen was now a disaster. I cleaned up the floor, but I decided to leave the dishes until tomorrow. I am now on the sofa and plan only to read this evening.

And so, my lesson for the day is that when first presented with a clumsy attack Stop! Retreat! Even if it means having a pizza delivered for dinner and staying on the sofa for the rest of the day or evening or both. My home will survive a day of the lazys, but may not survive a day of the clumsys.

Sunday, May 05, 2013


Pelted with cumbersome questions
The answers that come are reluctant
And so guesses entrance our senses
With stray murmurs that float like smoke
To map our reality until our lives
Become as dense as cement.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

An Excerpt from a Story Unknown

It is an interesting and sometimes frustrating journey when writing scenes to story when you have no idea where the story begins, where it's going, or where it will end.  That is my experience as of late.  I am suddenly hit with a scene and have to sit down to write it. The story is slowly building itself and I can't wait to see how it will begin and end.  The following is an excerpt of a scene that came to me today. Hope you like it...

An Excerpt from a Story Unknown

Without any conscious intention of doing so, I stepped off the path and began to walk through the thick stand of trees that stood as a wall to the forest.  The air was cool amid the trees and the heady odor of rich soil and green growth seemed to enclose my body and permeate my soul to make me a part of, instead of an intruder to the forest.  The light of the sun dimmed by the leaves danced shadows of light across the forest’s floor as a light breeze tickled the tips of the treetops. 
I walked forward letting my instinct lead the way to my unknown destination.  It was an uphill climb and treacherous at times with tangled thick roots that threatened to trip me to a fall.  A flash of fear gripped me for a moment, as I thought of the climb back down and imagined falling down through these trees to end in a pile broken of bones and torn flesh, left to die unfound for several days, or weeks, or even years.  
I shook the thought from my mind and continued on, glancing up to see if the end of my climb was visible.  There was no end that I could see with my eyes, but I could feel the ground beneath my feet growing steeper.  My ankles and calves ached with my efforts until I slipped to my knees, my hands clutching at the thick roots to pull me onward. Soon, I was now climbing straight up as though I was scaling the face of a cliff. I was beginning to think that there was no end to this mountain, when my right hand grasped solid, flat ground. With a sense of great relief, I reached my left hand up to join my right hand and scrambled my feet to find a sturdy root for a sufficient foothold. My feet slipped a couple of times in my efforts until they found a root strong enough to hold my weight and I stood upright to hoist my body to the flat surface of ground above me.
I lay flat on my stomach without lifting my head to look at my surroundings.  I could smell the dry earth mixed with my own sweat. I was exhausted.  Every inch of my body seemed to scream with pain, and I clutched at the sharp stitch in my side as I concentrated to bring my breathing and heart rate back to a normal rate.