Branches Weary ~ nonet

Branches Weary

Broken shadows across the cracked ground
Season’s burden, branches weary
Tired shade already turning
As each day grows shorter
September arrives
A life well-lived

This nonet is my response to Poetics: 9 across for a count down,
the prompt from Laura at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write
a nonet starting with one of four given lines from poems about September.
The line I have chosen, “Broken shadows across the cracked ground,”
is from To the Light of September, by W. S. Merwin.

Moonlit Dreams ~ prosery

Moonlit Dreams

My parents experienced difficult times in their final days, and it was easy to see they were most at peace when they were asleep. At the time, I truly believed: In their dreams, they sleep with the moon.

The loss of both came far too early. My father’s early retirement due to health concerns meant that, rather than winding down to retirement, he was left with troubled years that ended well before he could reach true retirement age. I know my mother pined for him for the next fifteen years. As her own health failed, and with it her memory, I imagined that, in her dreams, he would return to her on a moonlit night.

These days, in my own dreams, they never sleep. I trust they would want their time together to be waking moments. Even in dreams, each moment is truly precious.

This bit of flash fiction is my response to Prosery Monday: Moonbeams and Moon Dreams, presented by Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. My flash fiction also meets the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.
For this prompt, the line to be included is from “Death at Wind River,” by Mary Oliver. (the complete poem can be found here)

“In their dreams
they sleep with the moon.”

                              – Mary Oliver

Re-Crossing Rivers

The original ~ the second poem I posted here at WordPress, 02 April 2014:

Crossing Rivers

late March
under a cloudy sky
bundled in my mother’s arms
feeling the roar
of the mighty falls

early morning light
on the bank of the river
waters calm
my father’s float
drifting in the current,
bobbing with each tiny bite

weightless, beneath the surface
sunlight diffused at depth
freedom imagined
with each breath drawn
at the mercy of the current

beside those awe-­inspiring falls
camera in hand
capturing images
of the towering, deafening roar

hiking in the gorge
below those mighty falls
recording water so blue
pounding, rushing past,
until, at last,
flowing into the lake,
past it’s glass-­pebbled shore

a bridge of light
impressive in the night
fading, receding
in my rearview mirror
the river vivid, still,
in memory

another river crossed
highway of the heartland
massive in its breadth,
nearing a new life

on new waters
kayaking along the Big Muddy
and the murky rivers feeding it
eagles overhead
small consolation
for the blue grandeur of Niagara

My revision:

Crossing Rivers

beneath a March sky
bundled in my mother’s arms
feeling the thunder
of the mighty cataract

dawn’s light on the river’s shore
my float beside my father’s
drifts in the current, bobbing
with each nibble

sunlight diffused at depth
weightless, suspended
freedom in each breath
bubbles cradled by the current

beside those towering falls
camera in my hand
captures the light
held by the deafening roar

hikes within the gorge
below that cataract
recording water so blue
pounding, rushing
flowing to the lake,
and it’s glass-pebbled shore

a bridge of light fading
in the night as it recedes
in my rearview mirror
the river still vivid
in memory

another river crossed
highway of the heartland
massive in its breadth,
a new life approaches

a kayak floats on the Big Muddy
and the murky rivers feeding it
eagles overhead little consolation
for Niagara’s blue grandeur

This is my response to MTB, Write like a dog, edit like a cat…,
the prompt from Peter Frankis at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.
“Uncanny” is not my style, but perhaps this is more memorable.

The “bridge of light” referenced in the poem, left behind when I moved from New York
to Missouri, is the Peace Bridge, an international bridge connecting Buffalo, New York,
and Fort Erie, Ontario, the same bridge that appears at the top of my page.


This Is the Life ~ limerick

This Is the Life

Locks shorn in my late twenties,
worn that way till I retired,
I thought about letting them grow,
knowing I wanted a ponytail
but not wanting to wash the dust
of loading docks and freight yards
out of it every night. Then came the day.

No work and all play, and my hair
was here to stay. But I wasn’t.
Behind the wheel of one more truck,
filled with what was left of my life,
I drove cross-country to be with she
who would, one day, be my wife.
Her fingers run through my hair,
and I know I have found happiness.

This is my response to Come and take a selfie! – the prompt from Sarah at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a poem about ourselves. For a bonus, here’s a limerick:

There once was a scuba diver
Who worked hard as a truck driver
But then he retired
And now he’s inspired
His poetry is to die for *

* poetic license 😉

Photos: “”The Move” ~ 2012

Ideal Inspiration

Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award

I’ve been nominated for the Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award by Bacardi Gold.

The award includes five questions, which I’ll answer here.

  1. Is it important to be inspired when you write an article ? Why? and Why not?
  2. Why do you think you deserve to be nominated for this award?
  3. Do you need music to be on the background when you write? If so, what type of music do you listen to?
  4. Is it proper to nominate a friend-on-line for this award? Give a reason.
  5. Are you happy to be on the list of nominees? Why?


    1. The majority of my blog is poetry, and all of it is inspired in some way. Most often, that poetry is my response to something I’ve known or experienced, or a response to something in the news. I’ll have frequent dry spells, so I often reply to prompts from other bloggers. I’m also inspired by the poetry of other bloggers.
    2. I shy away from rewards, so I’m not the best one to answer that.
    3. I need quiet. Music can be too much of a distraction for me. Anything with lyrics definitely is a distraction. So, if I listen at all when I’m writing, it’s instrumental jazz.
    4. I don’t always respond to blog awards, and, when I do I don’t usually forward them. I guess you could say this is a “reward-free blog.” I just haven’t posted any kind of badge.
    5. It’s nice to know that I’ve inspired another blogger. That’s reward enough.


There are “Rules” for the award that include adding nominations with new questions, but as I indicated above, I won’t be forwarding this. I do appreciate the recognition I’ve received from Bacardi Gold, so, thank you.

I’m headed out to go kayaking. Hopefully, that will provide inspiration to write.

Serenity’s End ~ #writephoto

Serenity’s End

The heartache of our final moment shared,
at a distance greater with each passing second,
cannot be denied. You, nearing the horizon,
on a sea of sadness as I watch under a gray sky
bluer than any we have known together.

This is my response to Thursday Photo Prompt: Serenity #writephoto,
from Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo, with her photo.

Also shared with Open Link Night #273 at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

On the Subtle Nature of Eros

On the Subtle Nature of Eros

With Poetics: Exploring Erotica as a Literary Genre, Sanaa Rizvi (adashofsunny) at dVerse ~ Poets Pub reminds us that erotic poetry “demands a higher degree of lyricism through an expression of subjectivity and ‘complex feelings’ ” yet need not rely on explicit sexuality.

I decided to start cold, by writing something yesterday, but erotica is not my thing. So, today I decided to tweak some of my older poems (none from WordPress) to achieve a subtle eroticism. Two of the poems received minor edits while a third (the second, here) is a blend of two separate poems to achieve the result.

Undying Thirst

Beauty that brings marvel
whenever I drink her in

Eyes most welcoming
Lips always tentative, at first

Neck inviting
Skin so soft, responsive

Curves that invite,
gladly meet

Always this marvel,
and a thirst never lost

yearning realized

touching on fantasy

urgency embraced
emotions intertwined

soul gazing into
finding soul

thoughts coalescing with
anticipation realized

far exceeding anticipation

savoring sensations

a cheek resting gently turns
lips brush hip in tiny arcs, swirls
savory sensation

tongue lightly, cautiously
traces lines
savors the taste

lips move across, slowly
pausing midway
always savoring

lips reach the other side
hip mirrored
in swirls softly stroked

thoughts savor your approval
as hips move
echo your sigh

top: Smithsonian American Art Museum – Eros et Musa, by Henry O. Walker
middle: Wikimedia Commons – The Victory of Eros, by Angelica Kauffman
bottom: extracted (cropped) from a photo by Diego Delso,, License CC-BY-SA
via Wikimedia Commons – Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, London
(Anteros, twin brother of – and often mistaken for – Eros)


The New Bucephalus ~ ekphrastic poem

The New Bucephalus

From both great heights
and the most common level,
many have fallen, and more
will follow. Decide for yourself.
Are you invincible in your little corner
of the world? There is no comfort
when all is in shadow and many
have succumbed to a tyrant
wearing a crown of death.

The Ekphrastic Review offered Edgar Ende’s The New Bucephalus in Ekphrastic Writing Challenge Prompt: Edgar Ende. While my submission did not meet the bar, there are some wonderful selections that were chosen, including those by Kerfe Roig, Merril Smith, and Kim Russel, and they can be read here.

One of the most famous horses of antiquity,
Bucephalus was the horse of Alexander the Great.

Image source: