Wednesday, April 27, 2011



I wait alone, for someone to appear;
For footsteps of intruders to come near,
Woods draw close within my hidden hollow,
Windows keep a watch above the hedgerow.

I fear no harm except in darkest hours
When screams cry out; a predator - an owl.
My door is always locked; it’s rarely open.
Vigilance has kept my lock unbroken.

I lead a hermit’s life, in love with silence.
I never wish for voice of occupants,
Or more than bird song or the busy squirrel
To frolic in the fields - our only world.

The old, old sign, ‘For Sale’, is wound in vines;
No one has come to see me for sometime.
My friend, a harbor bell at my back door,
Rings low to me when winds blow from the shore.

Achingly, the dream lives in my heart
That I will someday find this hidden spot;
The fields, the bell, the birds in cheerful song.
It’s where I live today - where I belong.

Posted for One Stop Poetry's
One Shot Wednesday
Day 24
Prompt: Autobiographical poem.

Monday, April 25, 2011


This poem is posted for
Day 19
Prompt: An overheard conversation

Photo by Tess Kincaid

I waited in the corner of my bench, swaying
to the breeze of the swinging doors and the
hypnotic dance of silver Lookdown fish;
hand mirrors swimming in the lighted circle
of a watery glass cylinder, maddeningly obedient
to some instinct, uncomplaining, beautifully ornamental.
Featured exhibit in the lobby of the aquarium,
the symmetrical circling of their silver bodies
was a stark contrast to the chaotic swirl of humanity.

The family stopped to tend to the baby.
My gaze was drawn to the older woman –
to hieroglyphs on her soul - easily deciphered.
Deep disappointment hid behind her half smiling mask,
tinged with a smirk. Her eyes scanned the family group
before her: tall fair son, his dark middle-eastern wife,
her adolescent daughter, baby of blended complexion,
clearly the couple’s son. The baby’s mother fussed
over the crying child, including her husband
in a smiling attempt to sooth their son. Yet,
the tentacles of tension in the group reached out
to clutch me in their stifling grip. I felt it
as strongly as my claustrophobic panic
in the exhibit tunnels, but I sat still, smiling
as the young father picked up the child,
facing him towards me over his shoulder.

The baby was as exotic as the beautiful
creatures of the sea in the aquarium –
eyes a striking amber and green, penetrating,
somehow knowing, as he responded
to the silent game of peek-a-boo I began to play with him.
His tentative smile caught the attention of the parents,
thankful for his momentary distraction,
but as my eyes played with his,
my heart saw the grandmother’s expression soften –
the mask slipping, if only for a moment –
as she allowed herself to believe
that maybe it was ok, maybe
her grandson was loveable after all.

Naming the Game

Posted for National Poetry Writing Month's
30 Poems in 30 Days
Prompt: Compose a riddle.
Day 25

Sometimes I Golf
by striatic on Flicker

Low shot, high shot
One shot, two shot
All hands ‘round the club
Score cards marking
Comments sparking
Caught up in the rough.

Good shot, great shot
Never poor shot, never par
Here, there, where, where
Lost in the game
Blah, Blah, Black Sheep
Have you guessed my name?

Note: The NaPoWriMo prompt did not specify whether
the answer to the riddle should be revealed by  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Shell Game

"The Conjurer", by Hieronymus Bosch

Eight a.m.
Sipping my coffee
Listening to the news
I’m so tired of it
I hear, I think, I write:

I’m a grain of sand
Drowning in currency!

The radio is playing –
Faster and faster
Give us your money
Give us your children
Give us your blood
I’m letting it go on
Blend word into word
Until it is only one


I know the message –
A deficit
A plan
A compromise
Resolve the question
Don’t lie
I believe
Cut to the bone
Don’t cut
Gas and energy
(maybe concern,words are scribbled)
Clean energy
Solution more expensive
No silver bullet
Stuck with old beaters
No easy single solution
Up and up and up

What’s he going to do
Medicare, Medicaid
Offshore drilling
Something that is not beneficial
Or the other side of that decision

trips over the truth
in the radio arcade,
falling face first
into the underside of 

How I Do Love Thee

30 Poems in 30 Days
Prompt: Yin-yang poem; praise something opposed to your inclination.
Day 15

Harley Davidson 1000cc HT 1916

Love Machine

I wake for you

Five a.m.

Cry for you

Tremble for your engine's roar

Harley, Be my love.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Old Pattern

This poem is posted for Magpie Tales

Magpie Tale #62

Photo by Tess Kincaid for Magpie Tale #62

One cut through glowing mother-of-pearl

Reveals the old familiar pattern,

Perhaps the only story;

Passion, Jealousy, Anger


Three figures on the bridge:

Two, conjoined, bitten by lust.

Mandarin - sword in hand.

Fisherman - love’s savior.


Two doves kiss above

Under the sun.

Time compressed.

Scene complete.

Blue Willow


Monday, April 18, 2011


 This poem is posted for National Poetry Writing Month,
30 Poems in 30 Days
Call for a Sonnet:
Day 14

Cremona Torrazzo Interno 02 Scala a Chiocciola
by Sailko -Wikipedia Commons

Below the stairs, what tale is there to tell?
Whispers form in steam of truth and fiction,
Cloud the glass of my imagination.
Voices of oil and lye simmer to a swell,
Emancipating stains. A trial to dispel
The rumors - terror tales – contradiction:
Alchemy of silence in confession.
A priestess pressed by mangle in her cell.

I feel I am waiting for the picture
To crystallize a focus, fog to clear;
Praying on a keyboard for her story,
Reaching out to tap her, gently capture
Secrets kept in mystery down the years.

They're there - downstairs - within his scullery.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Silent Tomb

This poem is posted for National Poetry Writing Month, 30 Poems in 30 Days
and for Monday One Stop Poetry Form's call for a "Shadorma".

Day 13

by Marietjie
from Featurepics

Silent tomb

in pale gray morning

sultry mist,

rusty grass,

spared from the mower’s scythe blade,

standing in silence.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Corner Store

This poem is written for the prompt "Nostalgia", by the
 National Poetry Writing Month's 30 Poems in 30 Days,
and for One Shot Wednesday:
Day 12
Hudson Street Market
Providence, RI

No day pulls down the shade without a prompt
Of lamentation for the past, and loss.
With more than sixty years of life flown fast,
at light'ning speed, I see the corner store,
At Sycamore and Hudson – can’t forget.
This mem’ry from a sea of many more
Has beached upon the shore I walk each day
Discovering old shells along my way.

My mother sent me for the common things –
Butter, bread and milk, just what we needed.
I cringed at her request, perhaps I cried.
I knew I’d be embarrassed at the store
Because we had a bill long overdue.
I knew what Joe would say: “I’m sorry, dear,
You’ll have to pay the bill you owe here now
Before I let you charge another thing!"

Oh God, how did I do it? Even now –
I feel the sting of shame - the tears held back.
Nostalgia – No! No repeat of that scene!
I certainly don’t long to be back there -
But see it in the footnotes of my life,
Defining why I always seem inclined
To hide myself - to keep within my shell.
Embarrassment has been my private hell.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Photo by Tess Kincaid for
Magpie Tales 61

My glass of wine rests nearly empty,

asking questions as before.

One guest remains,

silent in the shadows,

to lend excuse to pour a little more.

I’m alone.

The old reflections, in my

remnant of burgundy, slipped in,

as I looked across the years

at the flowers in your hair,

felt the rat-a-tat of far off fire,

and angels watching over me.

Enough wine,


Posted for Tess Kincaid's Magpie Tales 61

A Place Apart

This poem is written for the prompt, offered by the National Poetry Writing Month's 30 Poems in 30 Days, to write a poem of one sentence over forty lines. This poem is created from an essay I wrote in 2007,
"A Study in Contrasts".

Day 11

Silent as a tomb

this pale gray morning

---sultry mist suspended

over the tall rusty grass,


from the mower’s blade

this year - left

within stern gray walls,


by elegant dark pines

standing in silence,

anticipating; waiting

for an artist, perhaps,

who might interpret

the subtle color contrasts

to communicate

the pure perfection

of these common

landscape elements

this morning,

on this date,

at this moment,

barely past dawn;

or a gifted novelist

able to construct

a haunting tale

within the scene;

but I - I am only

humbly thankful

for this beauty,

and the collective imagination

that has, so far,

kept Foster a place apart;

yet, a vague and haunting guilt

clouds the joy of life

so removed from pressing problems

of the teeming cities --- a bit like

the mist suspended

above the rusty grasses

of the field at dawn.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wake and Toil

This poem is written to comply with the prompt offered by the National Poetry Writing Month's 30 Poems in 30 Days website. It is a "mirror image", the flip side if you will, of the lullabye, Sweet and Low: from The Cradle Song of Alfred Tennyson's "Princess".
Day 10

Rise on high, Rise and shine,

  Sun of the eastern sky.

Shine, high, light sublime,

   Sun of the eastern sky! 

Over the long horizon climb,

Go to the drying - yard clothesline,

  Warm all the laundry dry;

While my clients play, while the gentry, ride by.

Wake and toil, wake and toil,

  Mother is down below stairs;

Toil, toil, rub stains and boil,

  Mother is down below stairs;

Mother can’t come to my babe in a roil,

Golden rays prevent my recoil

  Under the golden sun:

While my clients play, while the gentry, ride by.

Blue Angels

Young hawks swoop low, they dive;
upwinding to treetops -
Blue Angels showing off.

The engine’s whine above
thins to piercing whistle
in web of microwaves.

Flying over rooftops,
Whispering silent prayer -
Royal flush to pasture.

Maneuver fanciful
in-out of spruce blue tree
Buzz fast a fearful squirrel.

Prayer, practice, praise and proof
of kill skills in blue sky.
Oh that way madness lies ---*

*William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act 3, Scene 4: the last line of this poem satisfies the prompt calling for a declarative old saying (stretched a bit, perhaps)

Day 8

Friday, April 8, 2011

Emily and Me


We drive by every Thursday, going home,

Emily and I. She says, “Hornet house!”

And we laugh again.” Nooo, I said haunted.”

Blue checked curtain fallen in the window;

Lovely old place, picket fence, peeling paint---

“Where are the people?” she asks every week.

 Day Eight
National Poetry Writing Month



Cell upbeats me with a gun tune,

Laughing out loud I sigh in disbelief;

See the salt and pepper hair,

Tough stubble-beard,

Courage, tenacity, energy.

Aquamarine eyes that swallow.

“Leave a message!”

I’ll wait, give you a chance -

Benefit of my creeping doubt.

You’re a warrior in daily battle

With Earth, Fire, Water and

Stifling Air of public opinion.

Lead us out of this swamp

of accusation! Raise a banner

of integrity!

I’ll call back.

This poem was written for Day 7 of
National Poetry Writing Month

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Original Poem and Rewrite for One Stop Poetry:

The following poem was written and posted here in my blog on January 15, 2011 for the Small Stones project at River of Stones. I have rewritten it in iambic pentameter blank verse as a submission to One Stop Poetry's call for rewrites of free verse in this form and for One Shot Wednesday:

Snow (original)

Still imaginings of life suspended
beyond this hard shell of walls at dawn.
A pure white world lies without
warm eider down within.

A rumble and a growl intrude
to pierce the peace, to force a pass
as plow plunders the sleep of beauty
in her mantle of white.

Then echoes from the labyrinth;
the clang of sword on forge as
plowshares form to plunge in turn
the earth awakened under snow.

Snow (Rewrite in Iambic Pentameter, Blank Verse)

Imaginings of life suspended, still,
Beyond a shell of hard, cold walls at dawn.
White world of snow lies silently outside;
Soft quilt of eiderdown warms one within.

A growl and rumble shake the earth beneath,
To pierce the peace, to force a pass in dark,
Disturbing beauty in her sleep so sound;
Plow plunders mantle’s pure and silent form.

Then echoes heard within the labyrinth;
The clang of swords as plowshares come from forge
To plunge in turn the sphere of earth below,
Awak’ning under snow to nurture seed.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sepia Sea

Photo prompt by Tess Kincaid from Magpie Tales
Crescent moons float in a sepia sea;

beckon and tip to catch us up

in a lullaby rhyme,

a sail away

from the

trips of stone

half-buried in the white sand

of shore where we walk,

squinting at words

written in fading ink


ancient tablets.

Posted for Tess Kincaid's Magpie Tales photo prompt.

Beautiful Dreamer

Photo by India Hobson
Soft-as-peach lips part to protest

the flash of your kiss in her mirror.

Too late

she is seduced by her

still vision of turquoise sea

in mother-of-pearl shell.


by translucent soul.


in luminescent beauty.


in ethereal

light of


Posted for One Shoot Sunday at One Stop Poetry