Thursday, April 30, 2015

Not Only/ But Also

National Poetry Month, Day 30

I made it.   The quality of these is uneven, but here they are, available for revision.

Not Only/But Also
The nuns taught us that pair.
Not only that one, but also
Neither /Nor
Correlative conjunctions
Not only related to each other,
But also offering alternatives.
The testimonial dinner offered
Not only the Boeuf Bourguignon
But also the Chicken Divan
Either you drink Cabernet
Melding that satin mouth filling taste
Or you go with Chardonnay
And get citrus and cool silk.
So many choices
I feel ashamed.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


National Poetry Month, Day 29

The title of today's poem is  "Meet and Just"   which is a phrase from the liturgy. But what is
"meet and just" about the troubles in Baltimore I do not see.

Baltimore has been on my mind and in my prayers, but I was having a bad time writing a poem about it.   This one came about as a stream of consciousness , play on words piece.

   Meet and Just


Meet for the poem,

Just right for it,



That’s where we meet

In the fall of the charming city,

 the rise of riots and

Rioters cutting the fire hoses.


Salvation is near

For those who fear

When the stores run low

Who pray

For a rainy day


 We’re Saving

S&H Green Stamps,

candy for later,

the oriole,

Meat for late home son,

Stamps for letters,

For redemption, for discounts,

For a free haircut,

For children who think value means

A good buy.



the walls of the city,

brick, plaster, wood, concrete,

saving them from the fire,

the  soul of  the city

we love.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

At the School Picnic

National Poetry Month, Day 28

The merry-go-round at Lenape Park, Pennsylvania, very central to my childhood memories

At the school picnic



Riding the merry go round

on the last day of school

at the school picnic,

March music smooth, cool as a current of

water on the evening breeze of mid June

coursing through the open pavilion.

Round and round,

 seeking to walk on the still earth when landing.

Ring a round the rosy the sky

 and the farmer in the dell and go in

 and out the window all going in circles

for balance for the development of the inner ear

the inner ear which listens to the ocean of blood

and the reliable heart beat

the inner ear which notices the sound of something small

dropping in a distant room,

a distant ocean down by

 the bellowing of pipes of guts,

something clattering to the floor of my stomach,

breaking into small pieces.

"Escape from the Carousel"  painting by Erika Heller

Monday, April 27, 2015

On My Sixty-seventh Birthday

National Poetry Month, Day 27

I woke up this morning and thought to myself:  Girl, you are pushing Seventy.  How did this happen?

Lately on Facebook I have been hearing from the other kids in my neighborhood from childhood, and those I went to grade school with. Here we all are, senior citizens.

Perhaps that's where this poem originated.  I came across the quote from Transtromer, and it really hit me as well:

On my sixty-seventh birthday

"We always feel younger than we are. I carry inside myself my earlier faces, as a tree contains its rings. The sum of them is ‘me’. The mirror sees only my latest face while I know all my previous ones.”
- Tomas Transtromer

One previous face, nose wrinkling at
the gluey smooth smell of candy on my hands
in the schoolyard…

Another, at the supper table,
child’s mouth squinching up in disgust
at asparagus,
at the sink,
at the feel of fried egg crust
wrapping itself around my fingers,
coffee grounds between my fingers
in the dishwater.

Another, staring 
into the bathroom mirror for hours,
worried that the face was too round,
the nose too big.

Fate’s face, fat and funny,
Fine wrinkles around the eyes, cheeks
Pocked with pimple scars,
Oh smooth face, fair as flour, when did you leave me?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Getting Over Clint Eastwood

National Poetry Month, Day 26

I wrote this one as a prompt for a contest on "Clint Eastwood!"  Why else would I be writing about him?!

Getting Over Clint Eastwood



Too pretty for me as a young man,

even with your grungy cowboy scowls.



I loved you in “In the Line of Fire”

with that grim determination

to catch the assassin.

I would sit next to you

on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

any day.

I knew I was middle-aged when

 I fell for you in

The Bridges of Madison County.

You could drive up to my door in the middle of nowhere

and rest your camera in the summer heat

any day.

But when you talked to the empty chair

at the Republican convention,

I left you for

Agent Gibbs.

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.