budding oaks ~ haiku

 and daffodil nods

hungry goldfinch feeds
while stealthy cat stays inside
glad daffodil nods

budding oaks
celebrate new light

elusive worm moon

elusive worm moon
hidden behind clouds and trees
unruffled owl hunts

on quiet Sunday
lily bows

By some stretch of the imagination,
this may be considered on prompt for Day 9 of napowrimo.net,
which challenges us to write a list poem.  The haiku are my response to
Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge #182-185: Transformation,
which offers this list of kigo:

goldfinch feeds_a• Daffodil
• Equinox
• Worm Moon
• Lily

NaPoWriMo 2021

~ Day 9 ~

~ click all images for larger view in new tab ~




Emptiness for nearly sixty years.
Never knowing why. Doctors thought
they had the answer last year,
when they found a hole in my heart.
But that emptiness was filled ten years ago,
when you came into my life.

This poem is my response to MTB: The Body and Poetry, the prompt from Grace at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a poem using a part of the body as a metaphor.

Early last year, I was diagnosed with a Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO), or whole in my heart – the possible cause for a TIA I experienced in late 2019 (with no more occurrences). It’s a congenital condition, and the doctors have decided to monitor the situation, rather than performing surgery at my age. On the plus side for my heart, I met my wife ten years ago.

NaPoWriMo 2021

~ Day 8 ~





There’s no way to know when our time will come. I sure didn’t.
Would I have done things differently if I did? Probably not.
Life teaches as it tests, so we do the best we can with the time we have.

Who am I to say whether you learned your lessons well?
I had my own lessons to learn, but those days are long gone.
Yes, my life was cut short, but, hell, my family was cut short.

A brother I never knew, gone almost before he could breathe.
My mother gone before I was fifteen, when I had to learn to breathe
all over again for myself and my father, devastated for the rest of his life.

I learned early on not to expect something for nothing,
that hard work brings rewards. Life may be cruel, but it can be
just as generous. Your love, even since I’ve been gone, is proof.

You’ve had your own lessons to learn. Those that were easy balanced
with trials. One at a time, you’ve managed. Life is meant to be lived
one day at a time. Live it. Don’t dwell on the past. Continue to learn.


This poem may not be quite on prompt for Day 8 of napowrimo.net, which challenges us to “read a few of the poems from Spoon River Anthology, and then write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead.” Mine is definitely not in the same style as those by Edgar Lee Masters. I chose to write it in the voice of my father – therapy for myself, probably, since it’s more in my “voice” than his. I suppose it could be an epilogue to my Day 6 poem, “Instillation.”

NaPoWriMo 2021

~ Day 8 ~



Poetrythe poet
each moment
is worthy of a poem
each is a poem

new word
a poem
will take the reader
deeper into its relevance
broadening the experience
until the reader
those thoughts

My response to Day 7 of napowrimo.net, which asks us to write either a shadorma or a Fib, contains both.

The Fib is a poetic form created by Gregory K. Pincus that plays off the mathematical Fibonacci sequence to arrive at the syllable count per line. For a 6-line poem, that count would be 1/1/2/3/5/8. Each count is determined by adding the 2 previous line-counts. A multi-stanza poem can be written by linking multiple Fibs together. Mine was created by reversing the syllable count in the second half – 8/5/3/2/1/1.

A shadorma has one or more 6-line stanza(s) with a syllable count of 3/5/3/3/7/5. I posted a shadorma for each day of the month during November 2017.

~ Day 7 ~

Image source: Wikipedia




Blue collar, with roots deeper than any walnut or oak.
I remember those black walnuts from Uncle Bill’s farm.
Shells as hard as the hammer to break them.
And bitter, but hard work can be that way. Even if
a vacation on his dairy farm was more work than play,
it still made great memories.
He wasn’t a man to shy away from work.

Neither was his brother, whose lessons carried me through life.
Even before I worked beside him on a loading dock,
there was work in the yard, digging a trench for a foundation.
Pulling the transmission out of one of my first cars and replacing it.
Building a barn when he finally bought his own piece of land.
The years I put in on the dock after he retired.
The many years after that driving a truck, making deliveries.
The lesson that got me through all of that was simple.

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.


This poem is my response to Day 6 of napowrimo.net, which asks us to use a quote from a favorite book as inspiration and as the title for a poem, and then to change the title of the poem. The term TANSTAAFL (“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”) was a theme in “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress,” by Robert Heinlein, (1966). The complete phrase was already in use by the early 1940s.

NaPoWriMo 2021

~ Day 6 ~

scattered clouds drift by ~ gogyohka

scattered clouds drift by
a beautiful day to be out
a tufted titmouse agrees
sunning turtles splash as I pass
my paddle slices the water


This gogyohka (off-prompt for Day 6 of napowrimo.net) is my response to Colleen Chesebro’s #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 220, #Poet’sChoice.

Gogyohka (pronounced go-gee-yoh-kuh)
~ a form of Japanese poetry pioneered by Enta Kusakabe in the 1950s
~ 5-line poetry ~ like tanka, but with freedom from restraints
~ no fixed syllable requirement
~ no conventions regarding content
~ brief lines in keeping with the tradition of Japanese short verse

NaPoWriMo 2021

~ Day 6 ~

Image: The Moreau River in April, Missouri

The Sweetest Wine ~ quadrille

The Sweetest Wine_2

The Sweetest Wine

Together, our horizon knows no bounds.

The nearest rose and the most distant star
could not be closer to this truth.

Yet the scent of a rose,
the beauty in a star, cannot compare.

One kiss from you, and I know the sweetest wine.

The Sweetest Wine_1

This poem (off-prompt for Day 5 of napowrimo.net) is my response to Quadrille #125 – In Praise of the Grape, the prompt from Linda Lee Lyberg at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use a form of the word wine in a 44-word poem, with no required meter or rhyme.

NaPoWriMo 2021

~ Day 5 ~

Wikimedia Commons – Rosette Nebula surrounding star cluster NGC2244
Astronomy Picture of the Day – “cluster galaxies and cluster dark matter, analogous to the many points of light one would see while looking through a wine glass at a street light”

Thoughts Never Shared

Thoughts Never Shared

Thoughts Never Shared

No hourglass will hold the sand that sifts
through my fingers at this moment.
As I stand here, my thoughts
are of the present we could have had.

Walks on the shore.
The shells we would take
as mementos. Your favorite
dish with linguine, you scoffing
at any choice that has shells or rotini.
Laughter, as we share a private joke.
Talk of our future, our eyes locked,
communicating in unspoken words.

The ether holds my closest connection
to you now, your name mere pixels
before my eyes, never fully in focus.
Messages never sent languish,
familiar only to me.

I place one message in a bottle,
turn to the shore behind me, and cast it
into the future we’ll never have. I turn back
to gaze into the desert before me.

This poem is my response to Day 4 at napowrimo.net, where the prompt is to use a photo from @SpaceLiminalBot for inspiration. I chose the above image, also seen here.

Per napowrimo.net: “liminal,” in other words – a place or sensation that exists at or on both sides of a boundary or threshold, neither one thing or the other, but something betwixt and between.

This WordPress editor is driving me crazy!!

~ Day 4 ~

Vespiary Breviary

Vespiary BreviaryVespiary Breviary

Such fine paper, never to know the feel of ink
Closely guarded, with secrets never to be told
Chambered, holding more than words could convey
Delicate, while infused with hidden strength
Touched by wings, yet never meant to take flight
A message delivered with a sting far greater than any words
Pray the experience is a positive one

This poem is off prompt for Day 3 at napowrimo.net. I just couldn’t get into the challenge.

It’s an edit of something written in August 2020, two weeks after my bicycle injury. The memory of both is still pretty vivid. I could have sworn I posted it, but WordPress tells me otherwise. I guess I was so wrapped up in that that I never got around to posting this. As I stepped through the sliding door onto my deck, I passed through a spider web. Turning to brush the fibers from my face I watched as one long strand stretched and tugged at a wasp nest tucked under the eaves. Two wasps immediately took flight. In a split second, one of the wasps managed to sting both of my middle fingers as I waved my hand about to keep it from my head. A day later, I still couldn’t get my ring past the knuckle. Yes, the same hand that was swollen from my bicycle mishap two weeks earlier.

Image source: pestworld.org

~ Day 3 ~