The pen is a weapon
against poverty of vision,
against the cloying superstition
of extinction.

One drop at a time,
ink fractures mountains
that block the sun,

turns tiny stones to tools
that bring a flower to bloom
and saves it for all seasons.

Give us your hopes,
your dreams, your highest self,
each word, each phrase
your own eternity,

each poem
a step
into transcendency.

Her Mother’s Jewelry Box

The hinged lid, gilded with fluted edge,
a red velvet lining remembers traces
of its early flame. The mirror, aged
and wise still does not lie, Her mother’s face
is reflected in her smile.

An amethyst, an opal, a few pieces of gold,
solid, old, enduring, A strand of pearls,
demure as if brand new, Three baby bracelets,
the kind hospitals used to give, each with a name
embossed on beads of pink and white.

And so the ancient box reveals
the history of a wife who failed
and no matter all the good she’d done
He worked his farm
without a son.

Grandma’s Tiny Stitches



Her page the quilt, she hummed
a hymn and stitched neat squares,
sketched scenes with needle pen.
She tied her knots tightly…
all part of ‘knowing who you are’.

I knew her lap,
the softest spot on earth,
but I never knew her dreams.
Maybe she gave them to her children,
six she raised all by herself.

She kept them warm in homemade quilts,
taught them faith and fed them
and never said a word
about life being hard. Everyday
she counted blessings; Everyday
she thanked the Lord.


The Difference in Knowing and Understanding


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Chase Twichell claimed, in a poem
uncovered by Simon and Schuster,
that while riding on a train,
she saw two cows transfixed.

Having grown up on a farm,
the idea left me stunned
and unbelieving. I have seen cows
stand stupidly and chew their cuds.

They flick their tails, stamp their feet,
and twitch their haunches.
They moo, or bawl, and drool.
Sometimes they lie prone in the pasture

as if the velvet grass were a lover,
or a cherished coverlet turned mat.
At times, I have seen them roll
like children, down a hill.

I have seen them line in lowing herds
to wind their way to the barn
for grain and milking.
Markham knew of cattle and the farm.

I might have thought that Chase did not,
her blurred cows recalled nothing I had seen,
but then I read Stirred Up by Rain
She said, and I quote,

“Believing is different than understanding.”

That’s when I walked out in the rain
The sky, a panoramic movie screen, unfolded
two cows or clouds, it was hard to tell.
I believe I stood transfixed.


Excerpt from Chase Twichell’s  Stirred up by Rain

(her poem was inspired by cutting grass in the rain)

One of two things can happen:
either the noisy machine dissolves in the dusk
and the dusk takes refuge in the steady rain,
or the meadow wakes shorn of its flowers.
Believing is different than understanding

The other Twichell poem referenced is ‘blurred cows’

Clichéd Classroom


, , ,

Snug as a bug in a rug
in a room as big as a barn
where exhilarating ideas
bounce from the rafters
to land dormant
in a mind steeped in Winter,

Must we wait for Spring
to produce wings of transformation
to queen, worker or drone?

Here, packed like sardines in a can,
ideas reproduce
like sponge,
Cells of inspiration
are discharged
and swim about
until they come to rest,
to flourish

or to die from lack of vision,
as if ocelli
are the only means of sight,

Here, snug as a bug in a rug,
or a caterpillar spinning silken web
to attach itself in pupal stage
to any firm support,

This room, as big as a barn, is our chrysalis,
Where we huddle and wait for metamorphosis.


My Blogger Recognition Award


Note: The linked article below appeared on Mitch Teemely’s blog.  He so graciously nominated my blog for the same prestigious award and I am  very appreciative.

About the award:
Alas, Mitch is the only celebrity who has feted my blog. I was not invited to appear on any
red carpet except the one I’m scrubbing in my hallway (actually it’s a faded burgundy, but
I have been known to stride the length of it in alternating strut of haughty pride and pace of  utter desolation, depending on the circumstances.)

How I got started:

I started blogging because I’m so much happier with a pen in my hand than a scrub brush.

Two pieces of advice:

1- Write from the heart.
2- Enjoy doing it, but also recognize that to be successful it has to be more than a hobby.
The fun is accompanied by a responsibility to your readers and to your craft.

(rules copied from Mitch Teemley’s blog:)

Blogger Recognition Award Rules

  • Thank the blogger/s who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Write a post about it the Blogger Recognition Award
  • Briefly tell how your blog started
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
  • Select 15 bloggers to give this award to


Here is an excerpt from Mr. Teemley’s wise and witty Blogger Recognition Award post
and a link to it:

A panel made up of Beyonce, Stephen L. Hawking, and Mahatma Gandhi has conferred upon me the coveted Blogger Recognition Award. I will be lavishly fêted at the upcoming Grammy Show and then be vici…

Source:My Blogger Recognition Award

Here are my 15 nominees:

Even though it has already been nominated multiple times,
it goes without saying I put the Mitch Teemley blog
first on my list, because I read there each time
I turn the computer on.
Cracking the Past’s Glass

I have not yet notified all these fine bloggers of their nomination
but will work toward that in the next week or so.  I have a mild
concussion and am supposed to be ‘resting my brain’ meaning
no overuse of eyes, muscles or other tools. My major concern is
that I have left out many who should be read.  That is the beauty of
this award, it highlights blogs that go above and beyond to give
to their readers.  I hope everyone who comes across my list will
visit each blog and let them know they have been nominated. If
each and every reader would do that for each of these blogs, there
would be a massive bloom of good vibes.  My thanks to Mitch Teemely
and to those who nominated him.  I think I will add to this list in the
future, and I just might rely on you, the reader, to let the boggers
know they are appreciated.





Bursting to Bloom


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The sparrow does not compare his notes
to the nightingale’s,
nor his feathers to the scarlet cardinal’s.

We are bursting at the seams to bloom,
but fear or vanity keeps us from it.

In the shadows of twilight
we sit comfortably alone
studying the sky for signs of stars.

If it is cloudy we say there are none.
Foolish to believe they cease to exist
because we cannot see them.

Foolish to believe the sound of wintery winds
means there will be no spring.
Snowflakes swirl

but daffodils are bursting to bloom.

Loving a Catalpa Tree

A hornet’s nest
in the eaves of the old brownstone
was a conversation piece
long after the bees, and he, were gone.
Bees, hornets, it hardly matters,
There is little difference
in the sting.

Sometimes she loved him,
Sometimes she hated him.
She was glad there were no children.
When he came home,
it broke the routine, both the loving
and the hating. When he left
she blamed it on the lawn,

Nothing would grow there
but the old catalpa tree,  Even it
seemed to hate the barren landscape,
In a last ditch effort to be free,
its roots broke the bricks
of the sidewalk. The city sued her
and she paid the fine,

but she refused to take the tree down,
Its roots were poison,
its blooms a nuisance,
but they were the only flowers
that he ever gave her.