Blackbird ~ with audio



The time has come.
A flame long lit rises higher
with each generation.

No longer meek
or following a creed
that dictates second-class status,

this sisterhood, each woman
who walks this earth, grows
with each bridge crossed.

Do not ask me to refute this,
for I can not. Nothing will stop
their search for equality.

Its progress may seem slow,
but a blackbird in the wind
will still choose its course.

This is my response to Wordle 577 at The Sunday Whirl.

blackbird / flame / wind / time / cross / me / woman / meek / seem / creed / search / earth

Shared with OpenLink Night #319: Midsummer Edition!  at dVerse~ Poets Pub.

solitude ~ with audio


fear of conformity
this loneliness
that keeps me from joining in

must minds be alike
to get along?
am i so different?

the same needs
a desire to belong
without judgment

though not requisite
the mind’s obstacle

is that it
the fear of judgment
that holds me back?

fear of failure
to conform
all in my mind

This is my response to Poetics: When it comes to Peer Pressure,
the prompt from Sanaa at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

this is apheresis ~ concrete poem ~ with audio


This is my response to Day 28 at, where we are asked to write a concrete poem. This may narrowly fit within the definition, as it was adapted from a poem written in verse to fit the shape of a drop of blood. (The original appears below.) I wrote it in 1998, when I was donating platelets at Roswell Park Cancer Center in Buffalo, NY. Framed, it was still hanging on the wall of the donation center when I stopped donating platelets in 2006. It was published in the hospital newsletter at the time.

Since it was written in 1998, I’ll be sure to write a poem later today, to stay current in National./Global Poetry Writing Month.

Shared with OpenLink Night #315 at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.


this is apheresis

          filled with cheer
          expressing gratitude
          optimism necessary
          for survival
          by some
down the halls
          by others
          beyond the walls

          devoted to
          saving lives
          to aid
          those in need
          vital components
          of a precious nature
          donations from
          a precious source

          a jab and
          a mild twinge
          the sense of a feather
          passing over my arm
either way
          any sense of intrusion
is soon gone
          by thoughts
          of those in need

          with no need
          to return
          with no
          of urgency
          of those
          who know urgency
          to offer aid
          expecting to see
          filled with cheer
          expressing gratitude

this is apheresis



There Is Nothing but a Memory ~ with audio


There Is Nothing but a Memory

There is nothing to the reports of my early –
or not-so-early – demise.

There is nothing I would like more
than for that to not be true.

There is nothing to be done,
when all is said and done.

There is nothing to see here.

There is nothing more to say,
except that there is nothing.

This is my response to Day 22 at,
which asks us to write a poem that uses repetition.

Too Smart for My Own Good ~ with audio


                    Wheat Field with Crows (1890), Vincent van Gogh


Too Smart for My Own Good

No way. Never would I name you.
Ghosts. Closets.
Sure we had some good times.
Too good, at times.
Too much drinking, not enough
time spent on studies. Playing cards
was not the math I needed. The physics
of dominoes and falling cards
did nothing for my grades.
After two years, I engineered my way
out of school and into the job
building stereo and TV cabinets.
Thanks for getting me in. Of course,
you were always in control, but the boss
telling me I was too smart for my own good
was the best thing that could happen to me.
I went on to drive trucks. And drink less.
You went back to school. It was too late
for me to plant those seeds. You were
the wheat field. I was the crows, leaving
the darkness behind. Where would I be
now, if I’d stayed?

This is my response to Day 21 at, in which were asked to “write a poem in which you first recall someone you used to know closely but are no longer in touch with, then a job you used to have but no longer do, and then a piece of art that you saw once and that has stuck with you over time. Finally, close the poem with an unanswerable question.” (The name can be found in the first line.)

Coincidentally, Departure, written in 2016, also uses Vincent van Gogh’s Wheat Field with Crows and touches on the same topic, although indirectly.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Whispers Without Words~ quadrille ~ with audio


Whispers Without Words

Listen, and you will hear
soft whispers without words
in the hush of wings lighter
than the light that shines
through them. Just as light,
their homes of paper
that will never know ink,
nor hold the words
you were not meant to hear.

This poem is my response to Quadrille #148: Papered Poems, the prompt from De Jackson at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use a form of the word paper in a 44-word poem (excluding title), with no required meter or rhyme.

Image source: MorgueFile

Not Even Remotely ~ with audio


Not Even Remotely

Separation is the weight I carry,
feebly countered by
a digitized simulacrum.
The scales are out of balance.

What is distance,
when nearness
is measured in pixels,
tones that pass from hand to ear?

They may substitute
for touch, the warmth of presence,
but they cannot replace them.
There will never be enough bandwidth.

I may travel that distance,
share presence for a brief time,
but with every return
I note my own absence.


Shared with Open LinkNight 311 at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

What Is Before Us ~ with audio


What Is Before Us
                for Stephen

Plain sight cannot deny
a truth without camouflage,
your subtle brushstrokes
never relying on memory hidden
within the ebb and flow of life,
always open to the new
as it unfolds, willing
an insight of what may be
repeated, though never taken
for granted. In chords
that stroke the soul,
I have seen your true self.

This poem is inspired by The Quiet Places, by Stephen Tanham.
Please read the original. It’s a short read, and the source of the photo.

A Simple Gesture ~ with audio


A Simple Gesture

Need I say already
when so much time has passed,
when each passing moment
seems to take moments with it?

Sight and sound blurred
and muffled, impressions
that bring new meaning each time
my mind tries to repeat them.

Amentalio. The word would be
foreign to you, but I can imagine
your reaction to it, that gesture
not lost to me, yet. A shrug,

the slightest tilt of your head,
followed by a question.
How can you forget something
that is such a part of your soul?

This poem is my response to Poetics: The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, the prompt from Linda Lee Lyberg at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use one of ten words taken from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, by John Koenig. I had written a poem using one of John Koenig’s words when they were still available to be seen on his website. Since that source is no longer available, I definitely will be getting a copy of the book, so thank you to Linda for the heads up.

From The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows:

Amentalio: the sadness of realizing that you’re already forgetting sense memories of the departed- already struggling to hear their voice, picture the exact shade of their eyes, or call to mind the quirky little gestures you once knew by heart.

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