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)


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.

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.



Psalm 148


From the mountaintops,
from the valleys low,
sun, moon and stars,
as you shine and glow,

Celebrate the Lord!

From the heavens high,
from the earth below,
Clouds racing the sky
full of rain and snow,

Celebrate the Lord!

Beasts great and small,
dragons of the sea,
snakes, and birds in flight,
fruit and forest tree,

Celebrate the Lord!

Fiercest fire so hot,
stormy ice so cold,
pauper, master, king,
all the young and old,

Celebrate the Lord!

He who surely gives
and can take away,
Put your trust in him,
and in love obey.

Celebrate the Lord!
Celebrate the Lord!



NaPoWriMo — Day Twenty-Six: Write a poem that incorporates a call and response.

This feels like a giant cheat.  It’s not original; it is a rendering of Psalm 148.  
I just repainted it — gave it a new coat.   😉


Suddenly Words


One day
when I had nothing in particular to do,
I took a thin slice of a book off the shelf,
a scant volume of poetry it was,
with words flying all about
in the margins and up and down the leaves.

I fanned through the sheets
not expecting anything at all
and there it was —
a line that struck like lightning
illuminating space.
It dashed off the page
and swirled in a fast-paced waltz
around the room,
sending cobwebs whirling,
scattering the dusty devils from beneath the bed.

There came the sound of a cello whispering,
in through the ears,
building in the heart to a crescendo,
then violently pushing insides out,
exploding like a kernel of corn in the fire.

When the whirligig wound down,
self shattered, all words torn apart,
and silence wrapped its gauze around my soul,
I found the slim opus beside me on the floor.

Memory of the melody
plays just beyond my ken.
Many times I have tried
to find those words once more,
that single holy line which shook the world
and touched my soul.

I am searching still.


NaPoWriMo — Day Twenty-Five: Write a poem that begins with a line from a another poem (not necessarily the first one), but then goes elsewhere with it.

I took a line from a favourite poem (Word by Madeleine L’Engle) and incorporated it in to this poem.  I fudged and did not start with Madeleine’s line.  Oops!

Highfalutin’ Heavens


‘Twas a ferly night
as the noctilucent clouds
fossicked the stars
while they gambolled about
the caliginous sky.

Their diaphanous light
angered the jealous moon
who came in a foudroyantic tantivy
and levigated them
until the heavens were covered
in baby powder.

Weeping, the stars took felt-tipped markers
across the firmament,
colouring the dew,
which fell to the ground
in colourful day’s eyes
and lion’s teeth.

When the pococurante sun stretched
and rose from her mattress,
she noticed the vestigial vapour,
took a tennis racquet
and batted it away.



NaPoWriMo — Day Twenty-Four:  Write a “mix-and-match” poem in which you mingle fancy vocabulary with distinctly un-fancy words.

I had more difficulty getting those “everyday” words into this poem than I did the ostentatious ones.

Pere(grin) Took


Today (indeed, most days) I am a Took.
Ramble and bamble, I recklessly roar
through cavernous quiet, serious score,
swallowed by Willow who grows by a brook.

Today (in fact, always) I am a Took.
Bumble and stumble, throw pearls before swine,
bellow at fellows about when to dine
“borrow” the palantir to have a good look.

Today I am a Took (if truth be told).
I poke and I prod and try to disguise.
I query and question and challenge the wise.
My lack of forethought is thought to be bold.

Despite all the blunders, the Almighty still
uses my errors to accomplish His will




NaPoWriMo — Day Twenty-Three: Write  a sonnet.

What can I say?  I am reading LOTR again.
I really identify with Pip.  He is impulsive and rash, but good-hearted.
I am eternally grateful for grace (which redeems even us Pippins!).


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