School Daze/dVerse — back to school

School Daze


My school was old

Red brick buildings

The teachers the same

Tall ceilings

The windows went

All the way to the top


On warm days

The teacher would open

Those very tall windows

The breeze would come in


And cool down the stuffy room

Which smelled like disinfectant

Erasure dust and paste

Lockers were in the back of the room

Where we would remove our coats

And place our lunch


The halls were dark

Light would stream in

From the end of the hall

The floors polished


The play-yard barren

There was some play equipment

And a tennis court

We played group games

At recess

I remember a circle

A red scarf and running


I was a good student

But someone was talking

All the time

Would interrupt my thoughts

At last, I found out it was me


August 15, 2018


My favorite box….dVerse


My favorite box

Is made of wood

Several different kinds of wood

In the shape of a heart


It resides in a small skin wrapper

When open it reveals nothing

It is empty

Yet so beautiful


The beauty of it

Fills my lonely heart


August 14, 2018


De is hosting dVerse today, asking us to use the word “box” in a Quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words, sans title)


Hand Holding Day/dVerse

Hand Holding Day


The greatest fear

For humans is death

Though we were born for it

It will be the final step

In your journey

Makes a strong man cry


How are we to cope

With that knowledge

All that we love

What is tender for us


I reach for your hand

You reach for mine

You hold me tight

A strong young man

You promise

Never to let go


The man resting

On the side of the road

Asks, “But why

Should we continue”

I offer my hand

Symbol of connection


Symbol of safety

Symbol of care

My fingers are aware

Of your rough skin

You have toiled

At hard labor

All of your life


Do not fear

All is as it should be

Like Spring blossoms

End of summer

Their time spent


August 13, 2018


Home of the Blue Lizard, Desert Fox and A Host of Other Desert Dwellers/the sunday whirl — poets united poets pantry

Home of the Blue Lizard, Desert Fox and A Host of Other Desert Dwellers


The desert is quiet

Thin blue lizards

Sit on rocks

Blend into their world


When it rains

Longing does not yield

Its grip on the heart

All is quiet except


For the rhythmic rain drops

Falling on the roof

Like the ticking of the clock

Later… when the sky is brilliant


Weather dry

Tail dusty

You will wonder about

The dark mood that colored

Your world


The Rio Grand

Still sleeping in its bed

A tune lilting on the wind

Ripples the surface

Speckled trout

Swim below


August 12th, 2018




Wordle 364


CALLING UP GRIEF/imaginary gardens with real toads



In dead of winter

“under the night sky she mounted a mare and rode”

No one knew where she rode

On those dark and dreary nights


She always pointed to the paint

Brown and white, in the field

She always said it was hers

The one she rode under the night sky


A pretty little girl

Sheltered and protected from

All things that hurt

And yet, over time


Hurt would find her

Like a spell

Cast  long ago

Her urge to ride


Could come at any time

Was not limited

To the dead of winter

She said, she was “calling up grief”


August 9, 2018


Wordy Thursday with Wild Woman ~ Piggyback Poems

The Horses, the Sorrow,
the Umbilicus

Horses were turned loose in the child’s sorrow.
They galloped bare-boned, tore up her imagination’s
pasture. Simple things became surreal, malevolent –
a shoelace, a windup toy, the cross of a t
or the lost dot in her mother’s eye. Continents of grief
to traverse. She hadn’t yet seen the tidily grassed graves
at Arras or families rounded up in town squares, poisoned
blankets covering bodies in Haida Gwaii. Sometimes
under the night sky she mounted a mare and rode
into morning, through sunflowered bonfires, through
sermons and eulogies, past incense and teargas
till she reached the saltwater tide. She never knew
if she had swallowed sadness through her umbilicus,
joined still to her mother’s placental algebra.
The girl sat awhile, gazing out over the waves
to the rapidly rising sun, then dismounted,
looking to her left, looking to her right –Maureen Hynes

[Note“The horses were turned loose in the child’s sorrow” is the first line of Carolyn Forche’ ‘s poem, “Sequestered Writing”,  from Blue Hour (New York: Harper Collins, 2003; “Looking to the left, looking to the right. She-” is the last line of Gail Scott’s “Heroine” (Toronto: Coach House, 1987).]

This poem really speaks to me, the whole idea of horses being turned loose in a child’s sorrow – and the recognition that children indeed do have deep sorrows, that may be unacknowledged by the adults in their lives.
Maureen is an award-winning Canadian poet, editor and educator, living in Toronto, who believes good art wakes us up, opens us up, and makes us more aware. “My poetry,” she says, “is always an attempt to go deeper, mostly into commonplace experiences….to find the still moment when a connection can be made, hopefully with poetic grace.” I think the poet achieves this remarkably well.
Maureen teaches personal narrative in creative writing at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. Her website can be found here.
I wanted to share this poem with you because it is amazing, but also because it is a fine example of how a beautiful new poem can be created by piggybacking off a line of someone else’s poem, as this one did. Maureen’s first line came from one poet’s poem, and her last line from another’s.
I thought this might be a fun idea for a prompt. For your challenge: Choose one line from this poem, or another poem of your choice. Make this line the first line of your new poem. Attribute the line borrowed to the appropriate source. Have fun!

“under the night sky she mounted a mare and rode”  one line from The Horses, the Sorrow,
the UmbilicusMaureen Hynes


“calling up grief”  one line from Ponte Dell’ Abbadia –Kathleen Fraser














I have always found

It difficult

To believe

What I cannot experience


And yet

time is a good example

I am here

Time passes


I cannot see it

Time passes

I cannot feel it

Time passes


I have become

An old woman

Unaware of passing time

Each day

Seems to be exactly

Like the day before


Another example

Is the “Soul”

What is it

Where is it

How to know

It exists


Someone told me once

It is the “you of you”

The very essence of you

That makes sense

I will accept it


August 9, 2018



A POEM ABOUT A POEM/poets united midweek motif




A poem about a poem

Oh, let me see…

I stop along the road

And I wait for it to catch

Up with me


Tell me who you are

And what business

You have with me

You say you are a “counter”

You will count the tears for me


You say you are an “explorer”

And you will help me “see”

You say you are a “master”

You will hold my thoughts

For me, until I am able to

Hold them for myself


You say “you like to play”

And you never know for sure

Exactly where you are going

You are big enough to hold

All of the thoughts unspoken


You are a “good friend”

And promise to always

Be there for me

To have and to hold

From this day forward

Until the end of days


August 8, 2018


LATE AFTERNOON COVERSATION/imaginary gardens with real toads

Late Afternoon Conversation


The monsoons have come at last

A little late this year

Good to see

The temperatures drop


In late afternoon

We sit and talk

The rain begins

Quenched the thirst


The morning found

The sweet scent of sage

So intense

You would swear


You could see it

We sat close

As the sun set

And turned the pages together


July 28, 2018





On another day

In another time

Far away

Bones were stacked

Like cord wood

Tied with a skein

Of woolen yarn

The color red


The sound of a guitar

Floats above the sage

Joins the sound of church bells

That welcome the morning

A sweet refrain


On another day

In another time

Far away

We walked along the sea

Kicked sand

Collected shells

You would run to each shell

Bend down

Examine it carefully


Today, with the weight of the world

Upon us

We collect stones

Count shameful transgressions

Rest in the shade

Of our wig-wam

Bind words together with twine


August 5, 2018

Wordle 363