Longing to Belong

Longing to Belong

How can I belong when I long
for something different,

when life holds little
more than disappointment?

I take a deep breath every time
I wonder if I’m meant to be here,

yet I continue to listen
when my voices ask these questions.

How can I dismiss them, any more
than dreams that offer alternatives?

I am most alive when I embrace
the anxiety they hold.

Is it madness to question
whether I am where I belong?


This is my response to Reena’s Xploration Challenge #231. Reena offers a video poem, “How to Be Alone” by Pádraig Ó Tuama, as inspiration. I’ll embed that video, but here is a link to the text of the original poem: How To Belong Be Alone | The On Being Project


memories, the only present ~ gogyohka

  Image copyright
David, The Skeptic’s Kaddish


distance, measured in time
always out of reach
in the future lie possibilities
in the past, all that is unobtainable
memories, the only present

This gogyohka is my response to  Colleen Chesebro’s #TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 274, #Ekphrastic #PhotoPrompt, where we are asked to write any form of syllabic poetry (including gogyohka), inspired by a photo provided by David, The Skeptics Kaddish.
The photo is of David’s father who is gone, but always present in his heart.



Should the moon
light my way
on the darkest night,
when my soul seems
farthest from the light of day,
my path will not be lost.
Guided by that glimmer
of hope, and thankful
for its companionship,
I will find my way
out of the darkness.

This is my second response to the prompt from Lillian at dVerse ~ Poets Pub,
Compound Me!, which asks us to use one or more of the compound words that are provided.
This is to be done by separating the root words by line break or punctuation
– and with no words placed between the root words. (Here, I have used moonlight.)

Image: Full Moon Eclipse (Blood Moon) 15 May 2022

More Than a Tree

More Than a Tree

A tree stands tall,
sheltering all below
with a canopy of green.

But time takes its toll,
leaving branches bare
of leaf, with all life gone.

Sapped of any strength
it held in its prime, the tree
falls to the forest floor.

The story does not end here.
Observe the dead wood.
Consider all that lies under.

Estimate its worth, knowing
that life goes on, nurtured
by the death of a tree.

This is my response to the prompt from Lillian at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, Compound Me!, which asks us to use one or more of the compound words that are provided. This is to be done by separating the root words by line break or punctuation – and with no words placed between the root words. (Here, using underestimate.)

Giraffe Dreams ~ quadrille

Giraffe Dreams

Come lay your head on my shoulder
and I will tell you all the things
you can look forward to as you sleep

All of the leaves in the trees
will hang low for you
and be as many as stars in the night

This is my response to Quadrille night! Sleepy times, the prompt from Sarah at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which s to use a form of the word sleep in a 44-word poem (excluding title), with no required meter or rhyme. This poem uses 2 stanzas (slightly revised from my poem Giraffe Lullaby, which was written years ago for my daughter.

Image: Griffis Sculpture Park, East Otto, New York

Snack Bar Alchemy

Snack Bar Alchemy

There is no physics, no chemistry in your alchemy,
no sometimes where truth is concerned.
Not now. Never. No silver lining will change that.
Fools, drunk on the belief that gold lies at the end of
your rainbow, would sooner find wealth in a clod of dirt.
With words as filling as a snack bar of deception
flavored with delusion, your sincerity rings hollow.

This is my response to Wordle #252.

sometimes | never | snack | bar | drunk | fools | gold | silver | alchemy | physics | dirt | clod

Tear Drops ~ Crown Crapsey


Tear Drops

Tear drops,
when held back,
seep far into the soul,
the well that is deep inside us,

for the moment
when it is essential
that our innermost emotions
be known

Be known,
that expressing
the passion within us
must not be considered shameful,

should we believe
our emotions, when shared,
do not diminish our stature.

easily shed,
and never taken back,
they are always a part of us.
Tear drops

This is my response to MTB: Crowning Crapsey,
the prompt from Laura Bloomsbury at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

The Crapsey (or American cinquain) is a form of cinquain first written by Adelaide Crapsey. It’s 5 lines are not rhymed, and have a syllable count of 2-4-6-8-2. A Crown Crapsey, then, is a sequence of five cinquain stanzas functioning to construct one larger poem, with each cinquain being a Crapsey. As it happens, my last stanza came to me first.

Spirit, in Place

Spirit, in Place

Bluffs and streams surround me.
Those who like to think themselves
native to this place when its indigenous
people were eradicated from the state
long before Roundup was even remotely
considered a hazard to a biology that would
include them if they were still here,
like to think it’s part of the Ozarks,
even if it’s a bunch of foothills to the north
with bluffs scattered here and there.

As for those bluffs and streams,
I walk trails that skirt them, cross them,
offer great views of them. Or I float
the streams, sometimes right beside
those bluffs, taking in the beauty
they hold in an eagle carrying a fish
to its nest, or an aged cedar clinging
to a hundred foot cliff, or a green heron
at the foot of that cliff watching
for a fish the eagle may have missed.

Will I ever consider myself a native,
when my mind always goes back to
the blue water of lakes that were great
long before I knew them, or a river
that flows from one lake to another,
rushing over a cataract midway,
or land that lies flat before it meets
mountains that aren’t afraid to be called
foothills of the Alleghenies?

When there is spirit of place in both,
where I witness both peace and struggle,
where I can try to forget my own struggles
and become a part of the peace
that surrounds me, is there any difference?

This is my response to earthweal weekly challenge: SPIRIT OF PLACE, where Brendan asks us to “write about the spirit(s) of place where you live and have your being in.”