Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Poetics: The Stuff of Life in Old Reno

The streets were gray, safe alleyways
showed some minor decay.
Bums slept there at night under neon signs
as street walkers strutted by.
In winter there was snow—
the valley air was crisp and clear,
scrubbed by high desert winds.
Morning came and many casino
workers mixed with fewer office
workers on the sidewalks, as some
drunk gamblers swayed, holding smudged
drink glasses, bleary-eyed and determined
to break even in the new day.
And all were connected by scent from the
old brick corner bakery with steamy windows—
a sweet yeasty aroma created in the
dark of night when the baker and his crew
in white aprons mixed and kneaded
and baked breads so sumptuous
as to make the people proud to live there,
to breathe the same air, to break bread
with one another, to be nourished for another day.

Written for dVerse Poets Pub - Poetics, where this week Grace, in a truly lovely prompt, asked us to write about bread.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai: Solitude (Kodoku)

Christmas music plays
We select prized ornaments
Just the cat and me


Old handwritten note
"New York childhood Christmases"
Beaded star for tree


As far as a star
As near as these memories
Tender solitude

Written for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai: Solitude (Kodoku)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai: Autumn Sunlight

Cob web in early sunlight (© Chèvrefeuille, your host)

Dog runs in late sun
Grass carpet of dewy webs
Spiders may forgive


Written for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai: "Autumn Sunlight"
This is a new meme group for me. I was drawn to this prompt, as it reminded me of a scene this autumn when I was walking my dog. We were alone in the vast soccer fields of a nearby school on a weekend and the late slanting sun showed that the grasses were totally carpeted with spider webs. It was truly awesome, and I pondered how fleeting the beauty of the spiders' handiwork would be.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Meeting the Bar — Thankfulness, unfinished

 Ferns in Black and White by Jim Crotty (2010)

That unseen bird chirping alone, rejoicing
in a tall fern, in the rain, at Thanksgiving

The Pastoral, Beethoven’s 6th symphony,
for deep insight and soft soul flight,
to rejoice in musical thanksgiving

All feelings that swell beneath certain words:
rejoice and pastoral, unseen and alone,
rain and music, thanks and giving

The quiet breath that fills the chest before
a sweet note or an unkind word: one
deserves thanks, the other needs forgiving

Breathing here, now, in this symphony of
solitude in the night, following news of
an old classmate’s passing on Thanksgiving

That unseen bird chirping alone, rejoicing

Written for MeetingTheBar—Thanksgiving Turkey with a side of Poetry, at dVerse Poets Pub, hosted this week by Brian Miller. He asked us to write a poem about what we are thankful for. Fresh on my mind were the last 24 hours......

Monday, November 10, 2014

Flash Fiction 55 — impressions

The Waning Honeymoon, 1878 (oil on canvas) by George Henry Boughton

        Old Woman by Suzanne Marie LeClair

When she was a child, Jacqueline’s aunt Lily made two pronouncements that left lifelong impressions.
“Paul is crazy."
"Sex is incidental." 

Auntie truisms warped and wrapped together, even decades after Lily and Paul passed. Paul died first, screaming mad he was at the end, leaving Lily to years of no longing with shortbread and tea.

My post written in exactly 55 words for Flash Fiction 55, now hosted by the lovelies over at imaginary garden with read toads. In searching for images to accompany this prose I could not decide which of the two above most suited the fiction. The mood seems to change with each, yet each touches the I kept them both!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sobriety: 29 years

Ich komme aus meinen Schwingen heim -by Rainier Maria Rilke

I come home from the soaring in which I lost myself.
I was song, and the refrain which is God
is still roaring in my ears.

Now I am still
and plain:
no more words.

To the others I was like a wind:
I made them shake.
I’d gone very far, as far as the angels,
and high, where light thins into nothing.

But deep in the darkness is God.

                                            -from Rilke's Book of Hours – Love Poems to God

As I have since this blog's inception, on the day of my sobriety anniversary I publish this treasured Rilke poem, but with a new image each year.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mag 236 — Moth at Mindfulness Camp

Buncha meditators, Buddhists, and
free spirits, we walked in the sand,
danced in waves, sang fireside,
worked side by side
in happy labor, sat side by side
in locked silence needing no key
but to return to our breath,
to that one moment, the
only breath, the only moment.

Buncha kids there too, the cutest
things, sweet groundling sprites
with dirty faces and spirits so
pure, who warmed in friendship
and made plays for us, whose bows
to us in the great hall made me cry,
they caught the first light of dawn to
find low tide where the caves told
them secrets, maybe only one secret.

The youngest, age five, caught me
walking one day to the lodge, ran
to me, said I could see her moth -
Come, come - her eyes all alight,
she led me to a corner of the deck
then reverently lifted the moth
and put it in my hand, and I said I
hoped it had had a happy life, and
she whispered It never knew winter.

Written for The Mag: Mag 236 that inspired with the above image prompt.
My picture of the child in the poem is below.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Poetics: Reno

A homecoming

Everything, everything I saw while driving
there was enveloped in beauty.
Besotted with three great forests, I
had haiku in my head, celebrations
transferred to scrappy notes at stops along
the way and later simply written on
paper with the steering wheel for support
as I drove. Everything, everything so
sublimely crystal real had full appeal
until, seemingly surreal,
The Biggest Little City came into view.

How now brown cow town,
with your bawdy teats suckling the masses
who build on your dry rolling hills, sucking
the life out of my memories of the place
where my mother breastfed me
in a room near the Truckee River, the
place where my haiku stream ran dry.....

But some love the town I left long
ago and left again, this time feeling
somehow renewed in spite of the disjunction
as, in spite of myself, a part of me
functions there still: a little blessing part that
whispers "please stop growing" - all the while
knowing it won't, and guessing it does not
mind that my mind was fresh with haiku
once I reached the next timber line
where everything was everything.


Written for dVerse Poets Pub - Poetics, where this week Abhra shares beautiful thoughts about frequent moving, and returning home, then asks us to compose a poem about a homecoming: "what it is to stay away and the coming back after a long time – have you been worried that the place you call home has changed all the time you have been away?"

This scene seems necessary to me. RIP, Robin Williams.




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