True Story

Not a yarn:
that my Grandma Boos
taught me how
to crochet.
Yarn: the many, many skeins
of my mom’s, now mine,

coasters and afghans
to brighten
others’ days,
tangible love handed down
three generations.

My mom’s acrylic yarn is what I’m using to crochet small afghans for Project Linus, which distributes new handmade blankets to children in need (for example, in hospitals). I’m fortunate that there are Project Linus drop-off boxes in the JOANN fabric stores in my area. For the coasters, I’m using up her 100% cotton yarn, which can take the heat of a hot mug. There’s enough yarn for at least 200 coasters–it brightens my days, too, to be able to give them away. Peace to your !

my sunshine coaster pattern here

Strange Birds

Poets are strange birds,
no wings but what they weave
for themselves out of scraps
of their own and others’ lives
or cobble together from twigs,
leaves and mud paste.

Some hobble. Others falter
in the face of an unrelenting wind.
A blessed few take off in flights
almost too beautiful
for words.

Published in Eye Contact, Spring 2017

Peace to your !

The Last Laugh

known for
such lines as
“I cracked a funny”
and “It’s a long way from my heart.”
Bathroom humor was
a favorite.

found by
my sister
(no joke) slumped over
the portable commode, her heart
having given out
just after

Funny, odd–but also, I think my mom would have gotten a chuckle out of it herself. Peace to our s!

being visited by words

What is it with the word today?
It’s come and hasn’t gone away.

I’d like to entertain a thought
And have some sandwiches for tea,
But it’s simply out of the question
When I have other company.

It’s not that I don’t have the space.
It’s a matter of being able
To speak with conviction without
Another word at the table.

Yesterday today stayed here
And will tomorrow, too, I fear.

Poem title from chapter 53 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.

Peace to your !

“Requiescat in Pace” and 1 more

Now to the last of the prompts for murisopsis’s poetry scavenger hunt. Thank you, dear Muri, for your behind-the-scenes work. Having 13-plus prompts at my fingertips is like being treated to a buffet, and I spent a wonderful week feasting. (Write in haste; post at leisure!) Below is an Anna (in English “Rest in Peace”) followed by a Dr. Stella (in English, “Hope Conquers All”). Peace to your !

Requiescat in Pace

I have not cried,
and what that signifies
is squat. The priest who judged my faith
matured when tears came once was equally
amiss. I navigate the deeps
of faith and loss and love
without a map.

Spes Vincit Omnia

He came; he saw; he conquered. Good
For Caesar. Were he touring
Today, he might go back to bed
And bow his head and pray
His gods his soul to keep. I would
Despair, but hope, enduring
In spite of gloom, subdues my dread.
Vast hope, not just a ray.

“Remembrance of Things Past” and 2 more

Murisopsis’s poetry scavenger hunt prompt #12: Write a Jay’s Way or a poem using a bird metaphor. I’m keenly aware that discontent with one’s washing machine is small in the scheme of things, although I really miss my old front-loader (today’s larger models won’t fit in the space we have), and the lint I reference is a lot, and it just makes me want to go waaaahhhh.

a trough of despond
small sorrows
I can’t see beyond

I’m missing how things were–before covid, before my parents died, before a lot of other changes that have taken place in my/our world. Peace to our s!

Remembrance of Things Past

to miss a washing machine:
top loader, front loader, both get the clothes clean,
but the lint on the screen is more now,
and I don’t care how
there are loads
of abodes
where women handwash
and air-dry day in, day out. By gosh,
I’m tired of adjusting! There’s been too much change,
mixed feelings to rearrange.
I’m homesick.

Green Bowl
Yellow Bowl
Red Bowl

I don’t
Dad bought
the set

at my
per Mom’s

for bowls
with lips
to catch
the drips.

Though I’m
now grown
and long
since flown

they still
a sense
of pride

(well done!)
I was
the one

the little bird
who told him

“Art and Grace” and 1 more

Coming down the stretch of murisopsis’s poetry scavenger hunt! This prompt was to write a Joseph’s Star or a poem incorporating the words super, technicolor, coat, and stars. Peace to your !

Art and Grace

wore blue jeans
cut off at the knees
to showcase stumps riotous
with roses, and those passing
paused for a second

For screen readers:


one coat on your car or boat
fish will wish for sunglasses
drivers of Jaguars will see stars

Jo Jo’s—The Paint that Ain’t Faint

“Lunch” and 1 more

Tenth prompt for the poetry scavenger hunt hosted by A Different Perspective. Write a Golda or incorporate words related to gold into a poem (I took a subtle approach). Peace to your !


a green salad
a bowl of chips.

One more
of chips
and still tempted
to title this
“Steph’s Stuff.”

This Might Be a Myth

The arthropod limped along,
   A victim of arthritis.
The rhino sneezed in multiples,
   Afflicted with rhinitis.
The mite was tiny, and as such,
   Got just a touch of mitis.

According to the textbooks,
   The effects of it are dual:
The mite turns a deep yellow 
   And starts acting like a fool.
But it’s rarely diagnosed
   Since mites are miniscule.

“My Tuscany” and 2 more

Now up in murisopsis’s poetry scavenger hunt: to write a Bryant or a poem about politics. Peace to your !

My Tuscany

     Its vines and rolling hills,
Slow golden hours, with food and time to share,
I prize from books and photographic stills—
     Unwise to venture there.

Political Indigestion

The latest news
from Capitol Hill:
they’re working on
a bipartisan bill
to fund research
into a PC-pill
for those who are
impolitically ill.

Political Wordplay

There is the half-fact (or ‘fa’)
And the one who speaks it (‘I lure’)
Which combined create
A failure of moral integrity.

(I’ll put a plug in here for the American Solidarity Party.)