a single pebble
atop a traveling ant
seems small as we look down
yet when placed beneath my foot
its size is gargantuan
The dining table, covered with
Mama’s fanciest tablecloth,
seats 15 related bodies today,
nervous they’ll not be comfortable,
yet all excited to be together.
They don’t notice the fine china
brought down from the highest cupboard,
the special silverware from the felted box,
nor the crystal water glasses that sparkle.
The platters and dishes pass quickly
as people fill their plates with mounds of
homemade mashed potatoes, dressing, and
thick slices of slow-roasted turkey.
But as the gravy boat is passed, the
clatter seems to stall as focus is shifted
to the slow stream of gravy as it
flows down over the spout
of the crackled and faded gravy boat;
And in that moment, all thoughts of
the immediacy of today’s lives–
cellphones, iPads, and streaming videos,
are replaced with flashbacks of
Grandma with her starched apron
covering her best Sunday dress,
leaning over the steaming pan, stirring
until the gravy mixture was perfect;
And I find myself,
like Grandma and her gravy,
unable to let this holiday pass
a minute before its time.
Knock on any door in the World,
and you may find yourself in
The Atacama Desert of Chile
where ne’er a teardrop falls,
Or at Victoria Falls in Africa,
where cascades of tears gush.
You may meet a Tasmanian devil
dervishly clearing out the past
Or a three-toed sloth,
waiting for future to come.
Knock and enter many doors;
experience the worlds beyond,
For only then can you design
the world behind your door.
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Swinging on moonbeams
up among the stars,
A cupid watches over us
And stares in disbelief
It was his first assignment,
He’d studied long and hard:
“You must first see the glow
as they hold each other tight…
Yes, it’s there;
“Secondly, look for the signs
of admiration and respect…
Yes, they adore each other;
“Then, hold them up to the moonlight
So you can see their hearts
“Infuse your arrow with stardust,
then taking careful aim
“Pull the bow backward
and let the magic begin.”
It’s been decades since he “shot us”
but the magic hasn’t left;
The glow still surrounds us
With admiration and respect.
Challenge to write a poem about love without using the word love.
The door hung crooked
on rusty, rickety hinges;
its half-coiled catch-spring
had seen better days;
its wiry old screen stretched
‘tween thin wooden slats,
served as air-conditioner
and the way in and out.
The “foyer” you entered was a porch
lined with boots and shoes,
where coats hung on J hooks
for everyday use.
Company entered here, too–
adults going on to the living room;
children in and out the screen door, then
joining adults for the supper meal.
It was acceptable to entertain
in the commons areas back then—
no formal rooms or dens to show off.
People came to visit; they came to see you.
Today, there are front-area sitting rooms
where guests are ushered; they’ll not linger.
Time is a commodity, in short supply,
so visits are limited, an agenda attached.
It’s kind of sad it’s come to this,
guests being entertained in these special rooms
instead of being welcomed
into the hearts of our homes.
Whoopa, whoopa, whoopa,
echoed the air as they flew in,
their dark feathers stark
against the cold, gray sky.
Drawn to our berry-laden trees, their
beaks quickly filled with winter fruits,
juices dribbling down their breasts as they sampled the fare,
seeds spilling out as they reached for more.
It’s wasn’t long before the roof above me
sounded as if it were caving in, the
thunderous bohm, bohm, bohm
as hundreds of birds pounced upon landing.
Drops of water sloshed over the gutter
as they drank at the ready trough of melted snow.
I couldn’t help but watch as they regathered
in formation, no fighting over leadership,
no squawking or squealing or even chittering,
just a gentle breeze of whoooo as they took flight,
completely satisfied with the simplest of things…
a full tummy, a quenched thirst, and
renewed strength to reach great heights
in the company of friends.
I followed two-forked tracks
As they skimmed o’er the snow,
And thought, oh what fun
they must have had last night.
I lost the trail
as I neared the house–
what could’ve happened
as I lay sound asleep?
Therein lies the most wondrous surprise,
For right before my very eyes,
As I looked up at the roof’s crusty freeze,
I saw it was broken by cloven hoofs.
Now, it’s said on a very special night,
a sleighful of goodies arrives by flight
filled with candy treats and bazillions of toys
for all the good little girls and boys…
Yet there’s only adults
at this particular house,
Why were they there?
Did I even care?
Days have now passed since
I found the trail, but I’m beginning to see
why he stopped by my way. He left
not a package, but the present he gave
was sharing the secret of spirit with me.
“Be present,” he said,
“enjoy every day,
include friends and family
along the way.”
I now smile with the spirit dwelling within,
I feel blessed he chose me to visit this year,
if anyone sees the tracks on my roof,
I’ll tell them the story of cloven hoofs.
Night’s darkening depths of cold
suspend iced stalactites like roof fringe,
vertical beds of melting snow
awaiting tomorrow’s frosty thaw
when the crystalized tapers will drip to life
under the glowing spotlight of sun,
dancing as they reach the ground,
pooling together for midday fun.
As we close the Christmas season and greet
the new year, wishing all a Happy New Year.
Glowing lights on houses,
Brightly lit trees in windows,
Excited children fidgeting
As they await Santa’s return.
‘Tis the season for sharing
Warmth and good cheer,
May these peaceful times
Spread throughout the new year.
I look out at the dark,
Yet the sun’s still shining
on the other side of the world,
so I pretend I live in China
and put on a sunny smile
for I’m glad to be awake
to the wonders of the season,
when people forget animosity
and celebrate togetherness.
It’s Autumn when falling leaves
either saunter down or
circle with driving force.
Irrespective of their roots, or even
from whose yard they spent their summer,
they gather together.
Nearly indistinguishable from one another,
oak and ash wear charcoal coats of crunch,
lying among tarnished poplar leaves.
A multicolored leaf rests on top,
similar in size and shape, yet different,
the anomaly, standing out.
I finally understand why Mom always said,
“Don’t fall among the crowd;
Be confident; be yourself.”
What makes a shoe fit?
Is it the style that says it’s you, or
a comfortable pair, you can’t imagine being without?
Is it the way your foot glides when it’s on, or
is it that it caresses your feet as you walk?
Does it complete your ensemble, or
make you feel special when you slip it on?
Did you fall in love with it and not know why,
Because I know that’s how I felt, and
It’s how I feel about you and me…
A comfortable pair, caressing, loving;
you completing me in a most special way
as we glide through our lives together.
A word search puzzle baffled me,
my letters just weren’t there,
Yet a different word solution
was waiting to be found.
I shouldn’t have been surprised
as it happens now and then;
But when I thought just how it worked,
I knew I had something there.
It’s like waiting at a crosswalk for
the light to turn green,
then discovering the walk light
had been flashing all along.
Look beyond the obvious,
turn your preconceptions around,
for answers are often found,
when we open our inside out.
I savored the colorful fallen leaves
and the deep, woodsy scent
of maple and oak as I tried to
shape their formation.
The harder I struggled against the winds,
the more the pile seemed to separate,
small clusters encircling my knees,
twirling with excitement as they rose to leave.
And I thought of children, young adults really,
leaving with the anxiousness of Autumn winds.
I know they both will return changed,
some choosing a brief visit,
others remaining among the familiar,
enriching the land and the lives
they touch as they settle in.
With the love of a mother,
I embrace the changes
and look forward to
once again sharing our worlds.
I’m standing in the middle of my story,
writer, actor, and director.
I choose the words carefully;
They are not scripted for me, but by me.
I choose how to play out the scenes,
Knowing I’m my own stuntman and could get hurt.
And I choose how to direct my energy,
How to live day by day, each day a gift I give myself.
He was small and dark,
not the stereotypical kind;
But he left a lasting impression
as he skittered and passed me by.
Now, I’m pretty easy going if
we remain in our separate homes;
But he broke the code established
when he entered my domain,
I know his cute tail wagging
was not a fond hello;
But like army infantry,
he was sliding toward a goal.
I was glad to give a hand
and carry him to the door;
But it’s imperative our socialities
are strictly held outdoors!
a perpetual motion,
its steady beat
an unconscious message
to those around it,
keeping them on track,
teaching them to
swing with the highs,
push through the lows,
and enjoy the balance found
within the rhythm;
Thus, like the hands
on the clock face,
they were able to make
every minute count.
We looked deeply into each other’s eyes,
Your head held high and proud,
Mine slightly lowered and held fast as we
Passed in the grass.
I spoke briefly, noticing how you had grown
Through the summer,
And thankfully you didn’t hiss a reply
But smoothly glided on,
The perfect glissade to my Texas two-step
In the opposite direction.