Saturday, April 25, 2015


National Poetry Month, Day 25

Just a short one today:

The form is called a Pensee:


Chestnut leather

Embrace my unlovely feet

As we walk uneven brick paths.

Hospitable comrade.

No, I didn't photograph my own feet!  Too lazy to go outside on this chilly morning.  I went to Google and found these.
Also found some truly hideous photos of feet, which I may write about another day!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Thank you, Jung, Myers, and Briggs

National Poetry Month, Day 24

I wrote today's poem from a prompt for a contest on called "What's Your Personality Type?"   Since I've been familiar with the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator  for years, it was easy.



In my case that stands for

Incorrigibly messy,

Nasty about curtain hooks and sewing machines,

Fond of planning lessons,

 imagining future gardens,

Jealous of my alone time.

I won’t notice the new carpet for months,

but please don’t make me late.

I love talking about books and poetry,

and notice the people who don’t.

I’m saved

by baking

and weeding.



and this one I like especially:


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Most of My Life Lies Behind Me

National Poetry Month, Day 22

"Woman Reading in Garden"   painting by Renoir

I wrote today's poem for a contest on Allpoetry called "Wow Me Not With Verbotechnics."

From that phrase , I was struck by the 4 beat , trochaic rhythm  ( stressed/unstressed pattern)so I ended up using that pattern. It's the same pattern Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used in "A Psalm of Life"  and  Edgar Allan Poe used in  "The Raven."  Here's what spun out of that:

  Most of My life Lies Behind Me


Wow me not with verbotechnics-

Summer gardens work just fine.

Gladioli shock the clerics -

delicate but so divine.


Star magnolias fill the air with

suntan lotion’s thick perfume.

Then I’m thanking Heaven’s goldsmith

when the air is filled with June.


I feel old when nests remind me

I don’t have much future here.

Most of my life lies behind me;

still I call the summer dear.

"Star Magnolia"   painting by Don Wright

"Birds Nest"   painting by Jennifer Priest

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


National Poetry Month,  Day 21

"Rainstorm on the Road" - painting by Gregory Thielker



Sudden dark

Churning, roiling, chattering,

Rainstorm in the oak grove



 "Spring Rainstorm" - painting by Jan Blencowe

Monday, April 20, 2015

In the Wooded Glen

National Poetry Month, Day 20

I wrote this one for the AllPoetry website on the "TS Eliot Poetry Challenge." 

In the wooded glen

I found my young self wandering

As she did then

When she was here

When her hair was honey brown

And her skin was clear

Of scars


I said to her

Be still be calm be conscious

Of trees you need to plant today

For your older self cannot bear

Too many new trees planted

When they are too old

To see them grow

To forty feet.


I said to her

Be glad of that exultant heart

That expansive heart

Those grandiose thoughts,

That inflated heart

Singing as the feet barely

Touch the floor.



the world shrank to a desert


I did not say that

to her.


We have lingered in the shadow of the grove

We have languished for the human voice of love

Until the night envelops us

In sleep

And numbness.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Just Playing with Words

National Poetry Month, Day 19

Kaleidoscope of Nouns


Reflection on a pool of words.

Inflection of a Spanish verb

Refraction of light on April afternoon

Infraction of rules for writing sonnets

Infection with guffaws

Infarction of my heart’s root

Intinction with beet juice

Extinction of the Ivory Bill

Extraction of myself from the quarrel
Retraction of the lies of seventh graders

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Great Pretender

National Poetry Month, Day 18

The Great Pretender


Too real is this feeling of make believe

I’m eight, balanced on the bed

clutching the mahogany bedpost

posing in the mirror

in my mother’s room.

Framed with ornate curlicues of mahogany,

it’s as tall as I am,

like the mirror in Snow White.

I’m a princess on a balcony.

I clutch the silk wisteria, so pleasingly purple

and flowingly pliable.

I bow to the figure in the mirror


Imitation yes the great pretender,

Fake, unreal, constructed,

Created, mimic, mime is mine.

I notice

Tinny sound of fake things.

Imitation vanilla extract tastes metallic,too.

I’m a chameleon, a

leonine chamomile

millennium  imitation. I

Live in the cave cast by the

Morning Glory, I

live in the tunnel

dug by the groundhog in my garden, whose dirt

lives under my fingernails, whose bugs

lives in the folds of the mattress.


I also pretend

to be a poet.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Passed Over

National Poetry Month, Day 17

Passed Over


as a gold coin

buried in the dirt,

as the primary leaf of

a crabgrass plant

in the garden.


I feel sad and angry,

questioning my worth,

knowing I shouldn’t care

if I don’t get chosen

for that residency,

or that other residency,

or the last eight residencies

I’ve applied for.

I ask myself: what is it about my work

that makes it get passed over?

is it mediocre , slipshod, shallow?

Or is it me, the old lady,

Who lacks a promising career?

Several weeks back I received  an email from the man at the Glen East administration.  I didn’t get a scholarship.  That means I cannot go.   Later I received notice that the whole Glen East Workshop was scrapped this year because of low enrollment.  Glen West is still on,  but I am not even trying for that one.

As old as I am, I am still so vulnerable to the acceptance/rejection of the poetry community.

I have now been rejected for scholarships to at least ten summer residencies:

1.       Yaddo 2013

2.       Dejarassi  1999?

3.       The MacDowell Colony 2011

4.       The Millay Colony 2005?

5.       The Vermont Studio of the Arts 2011

6.       The NEA  ( twice:  2006 and 2014)

7.       The Sewanee Writers’ Conference (twice: 2012, 2013)

8.       Hedgebrook 2013

9.       Glen East 2015

10.   Collegeville Institute 2015


I think I am giving up trying for residencies.  I think my age militates against me, and my poetry is not of a fashionable style, either. And in some cases, as in the Glen, I think the director just plain doesn’t like me.   Is that paranoid? 

Anyway, this evening I received an invitation from a couple who are old friends, and who have a house in Sea Isle City. We have been trying to get together for several years, and this year it looks like we have a weekend that will work, in mid-May.  So I will look forward to that.

In my superstitious Irish soul, I also think that God doesn’t want me to be winning awards or fellowships or grants because publicity would not be good for me.

I need to write a poem about the
Salon des Refuses,

 which was:
Salon des Refusés,  (French: Salon of the Refused), art exhibition held in 1863 in Paris by command of Napoleon III for those artists whose works had been refused by the jury of the official Salon. Among the exhibitors were Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro, Armand Guillaumin, Johan Jongkind, Henri Fantin-Latour, James Whistler, and Édouard Manet, who exhibited his famous painting “Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe,” officially regarded as a scandalous affront to taste.