Open Your Heart


Open Your Heart

Must darkness
be the destiny
of the misguided?

Goodwill withheld
will only result in
continued darkness.

Open your heart
to reveal a space
you have not considered.

A hand offered
could be the first light
on a path to recovery.

This is my response to dVerse – Poetics – The Vatic Voice, the prompt from Lisa at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, in which Lisa says, “the vatic voice of a poet is one that is infused with spirit that comes from another place. That voice has been regarded by some as a sign of divine transmission and by others as a sign of madness.”

I wish I could say this advice should be universal, but, sadly, it’s not.  Some do not deserve the charity they receive.  Enough said.

Image source: Sasin Tipchai / Pixabay

Full Moon Comfort ~ haibun

Full Moon Comfort

Since moving to Missouri, I’ve made many trips back to Buffalo to visit my family, probably as many as twenty in the first seven-and-a-half years. Three of those trips were by air, but the rest have been by car. The trip is only nine hundred miles, one-way, a distance easily covered in a day, and I don’t mind the drive. Driving also makes it easier to make a stop near Cleveland to visit my son and his family.

Bonnie still works, but I’m retired, so I have a lot more flexibility when it comes to travel time. It’s always nice to have company on the drive, but I don’t mind driving solo. I can cover the total distance in daylight, except when winter brings darkness in the early morning and evening hours. There have been a few times when I’ve had the moon for a companion.

With travel restrictions due to the pandemic, I haven’t made that trip since December. I’ve missed opportunities to see my granddaughter in Cleveland, who will be two years old in November. I’ve not seen my daughter since before she learned she is expecting her first child in November, and I don’t know when I will be able to hold her daughter. I’d say it’s down to once in a Blue moon, but even those seem more frequent.

thoughts of family
in search of consolation
full moon appears twice

This is my response to Haibun Monday 9/28/20: to the Moon!,
the prompt from Frank Tassone at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Image: Harvest Moon, 29 September 2012

Empty Landscape ~ ekphrastic poem

Empty Landscape

What is parting
when neither wishes to leave?

Far from ignoring the distance
between us, we embrace a landscape
that becomes more barren
the greater that distance.

Once close, it seems we are meant to be
apart, even as we are together.

This poem was written as a response to an ekphrastic challenge at The Ekphrastic Review, but it didn’t make the cut. Even as I submitted it I knew it’s a poem that is still unfinished. Perhaps that’s a reflection of a scene that is, itself, unfinished. In the painting, “Figures in a Landscape,” by Bertram Brooker, I see the despair of having a need to part without the willingness to do so.

Responses to the challenge can be found here,
including two fine examples by Merril Smith and Kim Russel.

Image source: Art Canada Institute


Raise your voice,
that it may be heard.
It need not be loud
nor filled with rhetoric.
Be precise, that your intent
not be mistaken.

Do not let it be stolen.
Let no man bar entrance
nor deny you this right.
If caution is a concern, let it be
by post, but remember.
The time is now.

Be not silent when it comes
to the fate of our future
and that of our children.
There is only defeat in silence.
Exercise your right to vote.
Let your voice be heard.

This poem is my response to MTB: Protest Poetry,
the prompt from Grace at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Image source:

Mother Nature ~ haiga

I’ve decided to try to create a “haiga sort of image” for Mother Nature, a poem inspired by Catrin Welz-Stein’s Listen, which was posted yesterday as a response to the dVerse prompt Let the Words Be Your Paintbrush! from Lillian at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.  I’ve attempted two different text formats with Catrin’s image

Mother Nature

Below, as above
the mother of all
that is interconnected
holds true in her vision
of what is right.

She cannot do otherwise.
It is in her nature.

The artwork of Catrin Welz-Stein can be found here.

Mother Nature ~ ekphrastic poem

Mother Nature

Below, as above
the mother of all
that is interconnected
holds true in her vision
of what is right.

She cannot do otherwise.
It is in her nature.

This poem is my response to Let the Words Be Your Paintbrush! The prompt, from Lillian at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, is to write a poem inspired by one of four images by Catrin Welz-Stein. This one is titled, Listen and is used with her permission. Her gallery can be found here.

As the Stars Would Have It ~ quadrille

As the Stars Would Have It

The sky has been ours
from the moment we met

Whispered words of light
in vision and dreams

Blue nebulae in the dark of night
Embrace of sun and moon

I in your orbit, you in mine,
just as the stars would have it

This is my response to Quadrille #112: The Sky’s the Limit,
the prompt from De Jackson at dVerse Poets Pub,
which is to use a form of the word sky in a 44-word poem,
with no required meter or rhyme.

Image: the banner from our wedding,
held on the lawn of the lighthouse at Presque Isle, Erie, Pennsylvania