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.

Weather Doesn’t Wait ~ haibun

Weather Doesn’t Wait

Thirteen times since early May, our weather has flirted with – no, made out with – temperatures of 90ºF or higher here in mid-Missouri. Since the beginning of the year, 83 days have had daily high temperatures that exceeded the normal range, with 4 record high temperatures set. All of this, while waiting for tomorrow’s start of summer.

weather doesn’t wait
for notes on a calendar
waiting for solstice

This is my response to Haibun Monday 6-20-22: Solstice,
the prompt from Frank Tassone at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Image: Black Shire Distillery, Hermann, Missouri 19 June 2022

Private Audience ~ quadrille

Private Audience

Tucked out of sight beneath a rock ledge,
my kayak motionless on water
smooth as glass, I gaze from shadow
into light, spellbound by an aerial ballet
of swallows weaving around each other
as if choreographed in a performance
for an audience of one.

 This is my response to Quadrille #154: Casting a Poetic Spell, the prompt from Sanaa at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use a form of the word spell in a 44-word poem (excluding title), with no required meter or rhyme.



The river flows and waves crest
in the wind. Wave tips shimmer,
return sunlight in kind,
heedless of my acceptance.

Thankful for the gift of light
on a cloudy day, a tree reaches
skyward without judgment,
offering a gift of its own.

Neither overcast day
nor cloudless sky holds
a promise meant to assuage
the concerns of one such as I.

I shared this poem with Open Link Night #318, June LIVE Edition at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, when I attempted to join the live video chat from a parking lot outside of my doctor’s office.  That was a big failure, since my cell signal was almost nonexistent.  To make matters even worse, I totally forgot to add it to Mr. Linky.  However, the many fine poems that were linked are still available to read there.

Rising River ~ video poem


Rising River

The crash of calamitous
rainfall creates a beast of a river
that batters its banks.

Scoured by trees with trunks
twisted from their frail grasp,
gouged beyond recognition,

swallowed as waters rise,
the shores silently succumb
to a watery wasteland.

We wonder what will be left
when the waters finally recede,
the banks far from their former place.


This is my response to the prompt from Björn at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, Meet the bar with dissonance, where dissonance may add an unsettling emotion that may be crucial to describing unpleasant topics, perhaps by using harsh consonants, breaking up assonance with various vowels, etc.  I’ve decided to use some harsh sounds and an excess of alliteration, as well as what could be an unsettling topic. I returned home from kayaking to find this prompt and thought, hey… why not?

Within Your Light

Within Your Light

“Perhaps I will become a ray of sunshine, to be embraced by your colours.
I will paint myself on your canvas.”
                              Amrita Pritam

The words have flowed
from the moment I met you.
With paper as my canvas
I paint the words you bring.

From a distant beacon
over darkest waters
to the romantic light
of a candle’s flame.

From the subtle light
of a full moon’s glow
to the faintest light
of the farthest star.

These words of love,
the paint on my canvas,
are revealed to me,
found within your light.

This is my response to Poetics: Woman are people: Invoking Amrita Pritam, the prompt at dVerse Poets Pub in which Punam asks us to write a poem using one of five lines by Amrita Pritam as an epigraph.

Image source:

Selling Out ~ quadrille

Selling Out

I browse,
read the news feed,
but I’m not buying it.

The words that fall
out of their mouths express
concern for the loss of life.
Of course it’s senseless.

Even more senseless
is their insistence
that more guns
will make it go away.

 This is my response to Quadrille #153: Out of the Meadow’s Browse, the prompt from Sarah at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use a form of the word browse in a 44-word poem (excluding title), with no required meter or rhyme.

Image: a 16 May 2022 tweet (now deleted) posted by Daniel Defense,
manufacturer of the gun used to kill 19 children and 2 teachers in Uvalde, Texas.
The tweet also quoted Proverbs 22:6
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

the short of it

the short of it

there is no sense
no logic

only short circuits
minds deranged

by who knows what

changing matters
to suit their needs

forget the needs
rights of those who matter

bullets in the back
of one walking away

whatever weapon
is handy

a knee in the neck
all life squeezed out

run for your life
when you see a pickup

a spray of bullets
punctuating supremacy

life lessons delivered
with a trigger

repeat the lesson
ten years later

hell, make it
an annual event

this ain’t no short story
this story knows no end

Trigger Warning

Laquan McDonald
George Floyd
Ahmaud Arbery
Sandy Hook

Shared with OpenLinkNight #317 at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Rising From a Raven’s Darkness

Rising From a Raven’s Darkness

In the depths of my darkness,
deep within the land of dreams,
came a raven, blacker
than the surrounding night.

From deep within its eyes
shone a piercing light
that hinted at the possibility
of the birth of something better.

It spoke of opportunities
long banished from my mind,
as it reminded me of the beauty
of the sun, moon, and stars.

Aware that the raven could be
a trickster, as could be my own mind,
I considered the weight of the meaning
of the words that were spoken.

When I opened my eyes I was greeted
by the welcome light of day,
no longer fearful that the dark of night
could hold any power over me.

This is my response to Poetics: Corvid Poetry, the prompt from Ingrid at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. Ingrid invites us to write a poem that references the corvidae family, a variety of birds that includes ravens, rooks, jackdaws, jays, choughs, magpies, and crows. In the mythology of the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, the raven is the creator of the world, but it is also considered a trickster god. [Wikipedia]

Image source: – Stamp Art Created by Tlingit/Athabascan Artist and Alaska Native Rico Worl