was I,
perpetual Double Dutch rope-turner.

Lovely Louise said
because I knew the rhymes so well.

Kind Katy said
because I turned the rope so well.

Truthful Trudy said
because I couldn’t skip rope to save my life.

Trudy was right.




It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse.  
Toni’s invited us to write a 44-word poem and use the word “skip.”
You’re invited to play along!

the end, a beginning


thirty days  of

coo like infants
toddle like toddlers
trip like novice ballerinas
fly like fledglings
deliver like apprentice midwives

it’s over.

the pledge:
with every fall
get up and try again.
for someday
i will run
with the horsemen.


And so it ends.
2016’s NaPoWrMo.
(Or in my case, GloPoWrMo: Global Poetry Writing Month.)

Thank you to all those who came and read and commented on my offerings.
One of the BEST things of GloPoWriMo for me was being introduced to some of the most wonderful poets (word artists) on the internet.

And, it is not the “end” as I have challenged myself to write every day (unless it means going without sleep) to strengthen my metaphors and exercise my word-muscles.

And I will read, read, read daily, to be encouraged and inspired.

I do wish to “run with the horsemen!” (Jeremiah 12:5 and Joel 2:4)

homophonic transmutation

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The Sin of Hawking Earth

Middle (frantic) Earth says:
You burn forests, stave lens for flutes.
(Sing and dance around the bon fire.)

Middle (tired) Earth says:
You brightly scorch the ground.

Middle (indignant) Earth says:
Scrape the earth wanting some interior rooms.
I negate your interest.



NaPoWriMo — Day Thirty: Write a poem that is a homophonic translation. Simply find a poem in a language you don’t know, and then “translate” it based on the look or sound of the words.

I used the poem Tre högst besynnerliga ord by Laureate Wislawa Szymborska (translated from Polish into Swedish by Anders Bodegård).

After I wrote this I looked up the English translation of Tre högst besynnerliga ord (and the original Polish — which wasn’t on most Szymborska sites I found).

It roughly translates into English like this:

The Three Oddest Words

When I pronounce the word Future,
the first syllable already belongs to the past.

When I pronounce the word Silence,
I destroy it.

When I pronounce the word Nothing,
I make something no non-being can hold.


I feel that I need to apologise for messing with her lovely and playful creation.

Then I became curious about Wislawa Szymborska and her poetry.  I knew she won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996 and that she was from Poland, but I knew little else.

The Nobel award committee’s citation called Maria Wisława Anna Szymborska (her full given name) the “Mozart of poetry,” a woman who mixed the elegance of language with “the fury of Beethoven” and tackled serious subjects with humour.

Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go find more of this amazing poet’s work.


i remember trees


I remember the slant of the afternoon sunshine through the leaves of the apricot tree colouring my world green. I remember climbing that tree, picking its fruit, sitting in a cross-legged circle under the boughs, pulling the fuzzy orange orbs in half to check for worms before we popped the warm ripe flesh into our waiting mouths, building a house (of sorts) in its branches, crying and hugging it when we moved away.

I remember the outstretched arms of the oak tree as it stood among the rolling California foothills.  I remember sharing picnics underneath that tree with all manner of greedy insects. I remember gathering acorns, playing fairies, and in winter loving that tree with a fierce intensity for its bold fingers which reached up to heaven.  I remember the storm that brought that oak tree down.

I remember the umbrella thorn (which you called Acacia tortillis) that stood as a sentinel to the land of the Zulu.  A symbol of Africa, a picture of new life (new animals, new bugs, new flowers, and new trees).  A mother spreading her limbs over her small ones, like an overprotective hen.  Each time we passed that guardian, my heart embraced the land.  I remember the day we discovered the felled tree wantonly hacked to the ground.  Something inside me broke.




NaPoWriMo — Day Twenty-Nine: Write a poem based on things you remember. Try to focus on specific details, and don’t worry about whether the memories are of important events, or are connected to each other.

coming home / home coming


Slowly, one foot in front of the other, she begins the last part of her journey.  And with each step, “I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.”

She starts down Main, one bag on her shoulder, the other in her hand.

Agate.  Six roads. Main, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Streets, 1st and 2nd Avenue.

She hesitates. then grabs her belongings.

Suddenly the bus driver pulls over. “AGATE!” he hollers.

Wallce, Sharon Springs, Weskan, Arapahoe, Cheyenne Wells, Firstview, Kit Carson, Wildhorse.      Wildhorse!  Smaller than her hometown, if that was possible.  Four white buildings and a church.  Always a church!

As the towns became familiar, her heart beats faster.

Maybe she should just stay on the bus.  Ride to California.

Perhaps she should jump ship early.  Get lost again.

“I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.” repeats in her head like a gutter drip falling on concrete — slowly over time creating a water-filled hole.

Traveling on monotonous roads, time slows down so that each minute feels like an hour.  Each hour an eternity.

She prays she’ll find forgiveness.  She dares not hope for anything more.

The last words she ever spoke in that place still ring in her ears.  Words of anger.

She’s coming home.


NaPoWriMo — Day Twenty-Eight:  Write a poem that tells a story. But here’s the twist – the story should be told backwards. The first line should say what happened last, and work its way through the past until you get to the beginning.

I’m late with this poem.  It was handwritten, but I didn’t have time yesterday to type it out here.

me, just


white knobbly knuckles
born of a tight clench

twisted toes
curling like so many baobab roots
into terra firma,
digging deep
lest centrifuge fling me
off the planet

seeking grace
knowing hope
praying love
finding faith

desperately endeavouring
to let go
one digit at a time



Today at Real Toads Mama Zen says: ” Give me your bio . . . the real story . . . in 50 words or less…”

Dream Walkin’


Today I could just walk away, walk away and keep right on goin’.
I’d leave all them piles of dirty clothes, dishes and kids right where they are.
I’d walk myself out the house and let the screen door go with a big ol’ BAM!
I’d trek down Main, losing this faded blue apron like a snake shedding its skin.
I’d feel the sun on my face and the wind in my hair and I’d breathe deep.
Past the five-and-dime, past the Piggly Wiggly, past the harmonizin’ Methodists.
And I’d just keep goin’, past the element’ry and the middle and the high.
I’d walk till I was a hundred miles away, and then I’d keep on walking.
I’d walk me through the Big Black River and right over Woodall Mountain.
I’d cross the Tennessee River and follow the Natchez Trace to Nashville.
And then when I got there I’d pick me up a guitar and start singing.
I’d change my name to Lila Mae and . . . Damn!
There goes that blasted kitchen timer. Best go take out the cake ‘fore it burns.



NaPoWriMo — Day Twenty-Seven:  Write a poem with very long lines. You can aim for seventeen syllables, but that’s just a rough guide.



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