I’m a Kansas girl,
my heart a sunflower
rooted in humble prairie soil,
forever following the sun.
In Tuscany the word is bramasole,
something that yearns for the sun,
like Sangiovese grapes, exotic
and vicarious on the tongue.
One taste, and I soar

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 8 – Write a poem about a flower. I don’t remember where or when I first came across the word bramasole, but it captures me to a T. Peace to your !


In the incomparable dark,
in the womb of the earth,
I, Cicada, dreamt
I was one in a million,
then woke to a crush of us,
one million copies of a dream
seventeen years in the making,
moments in the breaking,
a cicada emerging and merging
in iconoclastic light
in a tomb of mass birth.

Published in Eye Contact, Spring 2017

It’s cicada time where my parents live. Peace to your !


When I embraced art for art’s sake,
I wasn’t prepared for heartache.

I thought I had a thicker skin
To shield the fragile poet within

But learned how easily I bruise,
Held captive by the world’s reviews.

Seeking escape for my aching heart,
I find refuge in the arms of art.

One of my metapoems written in 2013. What author hasn’t felt this way at some point? Peace to your !

what’s my image

Signs of an overactive image-ination:

Excessive Photoshopping around and/or
compulsive cropping
Unusual Facebook fatigue
Lack of Pinterest leading to panic attacks
Twittering @alltimes
Instagram gain of more than a kilogram.

The condition is futile but not fatal.

Poem title from chapter 22 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge. Part of the poemcrazy project I worked on in April. Peace to your !

The World Accordion to Me

In an anonymous time,
in a nowhere place,
I stipple the flat surface of the earth
with polka dots.

Ecru, olive, umber, ebon
feet rise up, join hands, dance
across abandoned touch screens
into a third dimension.

Here, now, I face the world:
now, here, while the notes swirl
round and round and round.

Published online May 2017, Helen: A Literary Magazine Friday Night Specials blog

The Helen literary magazine held poetry competitions, offering several photos and asking participants to write in response to one or more of them. I don’t recall the exact photos, but I’m thinking hands/accordion player/polka dots. A strange poem, but I like it. Peace to your !

Two Dandelion Poems

I happen to like dandelions. Each year we grow a wonderful crop of them. Peace to your !

Dandelion Skies

Dandelions shine like suns
In skies of grassy green,
Blaze for days and then, unseen,
Change like magic overnight
Into stars of milky white
That wink out one by one.

Dandelion Song

The dandelion heads have all turned white.
I like them so: it makes me think them wise,
But better still is this their true surprise:
That when I blow on one with all my might,
The tiny seeds take wing in airy flight,
And gracefully they dance before my eyes
Like fairies out for summer exercise.
The breeze soon carries them beyond my sight,
And I am left to wonder where they go.
I think they must alight upon a cloud
To bask there in the sun’s delightful glow,
Then when the weather sharpens here below,
They put on winter gowns that do them proud,
And gently they drift down again as snow.

Published in Glass: Facets of Poetry, April 2017.

When You Don’t Know What to Say

(for Grace, who brings great joy to my life)

When your mother calls to say
she’s bringing over a flat of petunias
she bought on a whim for you
they’re only a wee bit wilted
don’t wait too long to plant them
and by the way
do you remember the name of the dish
you made for Christmas/Fourth of July
a few years ago it had olives in it:
“Chevrolet, Chevrolet.”

NaPoWriMo21 Day 30. A poem written this month that requires some explanation. My youngest daughter was composing a poem to send to one of her older sisters and couldn’t figure out how to end it. This is my free-spirit daughter who says things like “I feel like going outside and throwing a fork” and “Do you think I should walk this way on the first day of school?” as she lumbers across the floor like a gorilla. That should be explanation enough for the “Chevrolet, Chevrolet” she chose for her final line.

And what can I say? It’s been a strange National Poetry Writing Month for me. Very productive (close to 90 poems) but much fewer in response to the prompts than in past years. It doesn’t quite feel like I “did” NaPoWriMo. I have to broaden my thinking about what it means to participate. I’ll be back next year for another go.

Now it’s back to posting on Wednesdays, a mix of old poems and newer ones. Chevrolet, Chevrolet, and peace to your !

All Give and No Take / Those Lips

NaPoWriMo21 Day 29. Two short poems written this month. Peace to your !

All Give and No Take

If you are going on about your day
While I rehearse the details of my week,
And we go back and forth awhile this way,
Did we converse, or did we only speak?

Those Lips

Hers was a face
That could sink a ship,
And when she launched into a tirade,
It wasn’t pretty.

Your Move / stirring the sky

NaPoWriMo21 Day 28. Today’s prompt is to write a poem that poses a series of questions. I’m posting the poem I wrote this morning along with one written earlier this month as part of my poemcrazy project. It asks only a single question, but a provocative one, I think. Peace to your !

Your Move

Do you feel glossy inside and outwardly matte?
Do you have a rainbow heart no one else can see?
Do the lively words in your mouth sound flat?
Does the dancer in you long to dance free?

There is no photo that can do you justice.
There is no pot of gold to serve as clue.
There is no effervescing kiss.
There is a choreographer—you.

Stirring the Sky

     A million words...

                    ...which ones are yours?

Poem title from chapters 38 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.

[Beg pardon, I’m feeling Parnassian]

NaPoWriMo21 Day 27. Last week a friend introduced me to the word Parnassian (of or relating to poetry), and I emailed her back yesterday that I might include it in a poem someday. Someday was earlier this morning when I couldn’t get back to sleep. The poem makes me think of this one by Odgen Nash that I have long delighted in.

Beg pardon, I’m feeling Parnassian,
An idiosyncratic pass-i-on.
Kindly ignore
What you find poor—
I must poet in my own fash-i-on.

My wakefulness was also an opportunity to work out an idea I’ve been playing around with. A few days ago, while looking up words in the dictionary (does anyone else do this frequently while composing poems?), I noticed the guideword langrage and was immediately captivated. Here’s what it developed into:

Watch Your Langrage

Strange word, langrage.
Iron scraps packed into a case
and lobbed overhead to damage
sails and rigging in war at sea.
It sounds like language,
like an old word for pot-shot.

Peace to your !