Bittersweet Sorrow ~ with audio


Bittersweet Sorrow

This grief that is mine,
that has been mine these many years,
that has plagued me with its persistence,
has lost its bitterness. Bittersweet perhaps,
though never bringing the pleasure
of a cherry that is savored in spite of
its tartness. It still delivers a chill, yet
keeps me warm with the memories
that it stirs. It is those that I savor.

This poem is my response to Poetics: Always in Season, the prompt from Mish at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which offers three options. Mine is in regards to writing “about an emotion or abstract concept,” is to “an emotion or abstract concept. What does it taste like?”

Apologies, for continuing in the vein of yesterday’s response to dVerse. While that one was difficult for me, I was able to write this in a more objective manner.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons


Worth Any That Came Before ~ quadrille ~ with audio

Worth Any That Came Before

          65 years ago

One memory lingers,
unwanted, but I hold it close,
nonetheless. One more
moment with you, worth
any that came before
and more than any after.
Your hand in mine,
you lingered, eyes closed
but restless. Then no more,
as you went to meet him.

My mother outlived my father by fifteen years, and she missed him every day she lived without him. On her last day, I spent the afternoon with her. When I went to dinner, my sister stayed by her side, so she was not alone at the end.
They say that writing can be cathartic. That may be true, but sometimes it stirs memories I might wish I never had. But then, those may be the ones I couldn’t live without.

This poem is my response to Quadrille #136: Let’s Linger, the prompt from Linda Lee Lyberg at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use a form of the word linger in a 44-word poem, with no required meter or rhyme.


Sunlight Savior ~ prose poem

Sunlight Savior

Water or water lily? You lit on the flower, but a breeze pushed you into the water, nonetheless. Not your choice, of course, and your stained-glass wings beat as if to prove the point. Tantalizing inches away, the lily called to you, but the fluid motion of your wings soon succumbed to the weighty water that pulled them down. A small wave washed over you as I reached beneath you, saving you from a watery grave. You drank in the sunlight that dried the tiny beads of water that clung to you, clinging to my finger until you were filled with enough confidence to take wing, this time to the flower bed beside the lily pool. Water lilies could wait while your wings regained their luster. For now, sunlight was the only thing you craved.

My prose poem is inspired by A Beautiful Dragonfly, a poem by Gillena Cox, found here, and voiced here. Coincidentally, I heard/saw Gillena read her poem at dVerse ~ Poets Pub’s OpenLinkNight LIVE on Thursday, just hours after the events in my prose poem.

Anthropocene Labyrinth

Anthropocene Labyrinth

Which way to turn, and what to do
What steps to take to puzzle through
The ills inflicted on this Earth
Each one diminishing its worth

Resources stripped until they’re gone
With waning hope each breaking dawn
Rain forests stripped of all that’s green
Incorporated greed, obscene

Pollutants pumped into the skies
We choke the seas, yet still they rise
Vile toxins dumped into our streams
Descending darkness in our dreams

When each new dawn reveals new blight
There seems no end to this long night
The darkness here within this maze
Increases with each passing day


This poem is my response to earthweal weekly challenge: ANTHROPOCENE LABYRINTH, where Ingrid says, “For this week’s challenge, let’s examine the possibility of rhyming, or perhaps even dancing our way out of the Anthropocene labyrinth.” I actually wrote this in iambic tetrameter, and we all know I’m not all that fond of rhyme or meter.

Shared with Open Link Night #300 September Live

Image source: Denver Museum of Nature and Science

The path that once was ~ American Sentence

The path that once was is no longer, yet it was always meant to be.

Thanks go to my friend, Bruce Anderson, whose photos inspired this American sentence.
The location is in the Northern Sonoran Desert near the base of the Catalina Mountains,
near Tucson Arizona. (Click images for larger view in new tab)

~ The American sentence is a form created by Allen Ginsberg.  Read about it here. ~

Cazadero Beauty

Cazadero Beauty

Gently touching a madrone,
marvel at the beauty of its skin.

Follow trails through meadow and wood
to find works of art at every turn,
flowers that mirror the beauty of this place,
living in harmony with nature.

Follow the line of tracks left by wheels
that lumbered through here decades ago
and find a yurt sheltered beneath
the grand canopy of its surroundings.

Sit within a natural amphitheater of stone
that has heard lines of poetry
and seen the smiles of children.

Lie in the forgiving moss
that carpets a stone outcropping.

Witness a massive oak
embracing a giant granite boulder,
a marriage for the ages.

Kneeling before mighty redwoods,
shed tears of joy at their majesty.

Look down into a valley of green
and know that a river rushes
through its depths to the sea.

Feel the warmth of candlelight,
the late evening sun filtered through the forest.

Experience all of this on the land,
Cazadero’s gift as envisioned by a true artist.


This poem is my second response to The Sunday Whirl – Wordle #518.


Cazadero Nature and Art Conservancy – owned by Margaret Fabrizio and known as The Land – is a 40 acre property in Sonoma County dedicated to the preservation and respectful honoring of natural habitat with non-invasive art works. Pictures of the art installations can be seen here, and the buildings here.

My other Cazadero poems can be found here.

On a Wing and a Prayer ~ flash fiction

On a Wing and a Prayer

Touching down at the end of the runway in a maneuver too late to provide a safe landing, the wheels of the airplane chirp and skid before continuing on a line that tears a path through a carpet of tall grass and wild flowers, leaving a scar on the land. One after another, the members of a missionary contingent slide down the emergency exit and gather in a small circle where they drop to the ground, kneeling.  They produce votives, each from a breast pocket, and pray by candlelight, thankful that they are among the living.


This foolish bit of flash fiction is my response to The Sunday Whirl – Wordle #518.


Click images for larger view in new tab.

Desolation ~ with audio



Rock and snow my prison cell
Stranded in the midst of beauty
Blue waves and sky no consolation
Thoughts of rescue from this desolation

Now as distant as a passing ship,
With its snapping sails
A faint syncopation
Against the murmur of swans

Taunting me from afar
The freedom of their aerial maneuvers
Bringing only profound sadness
Each passing day

The spark of hope dimmer
Until frozen
Splintering, shattering
Finally gone

“Desolation” has it’s roots in a poem I wrote for a prompt from Jane Dougherty and subsequently edited for The Ekphrastic Review, where it was published in October 2018.  It was inspired by In the Blue Expanse, by Arkady Rylov, and can be found here.

Shared with OpenLinkNight #299 at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.