You stroll across the road in front of us
as though you do not notice us.
Astonished, we capitulate our right of way
and sit in the car, digesting our wonder
at your incursion into this tame neighborhood
spread like a blanket
over the wildness of the desert.

It is no wonder
that life in this place
seems to be laden
with occasional visits
of rattlesnakes and bobcats
such as yourself,
but it is by chance that,
like a brief vacation from our own banality,

we bear witness to your incursion.

Even given your languid stroll,
I cannot move quickly enough to record it,
but providence provides,
and minutes after we pull into the garage and come inside,
an email arrives from the neighbor
that records your incursion
into his backyard.

He stalked you with his camera,
and we with our eyes
as you strolled serenely
in between your own stalkings.

Oh, bobcat,
beautiful element

of that wild nature that surrounds
and enriches us
and which, in spite of
evidence to the contrary,
we are a part of—

If I were religious,
these words
of your sighting
would be my prayer.

Prompts today are chance, capitulate, digest, lade and astonished. Photo by Paul Brown. Thanks, Paul, for capturing what I could only try to capture in words. Photo taken on Friday afternoon, April 16, 2021. Location: Trilogy at Vistancia, Peoria, Arizona.

Nocturne: NaPoWriMo 2021, April 17


With half a life lived in the dark,
an owl’s hoot, an answering bark,
the moon across the water scattered,
ragged clouds, wispy and battered,

I float in night and solitude,
the night determining my mood.
I lie in darkness and I brood,
a momentary interlude.

When sunlight comes in fits and starts,
The day brings out my other parts.
They rise in me from dawn to noon,
dispelling powers of the moon.

Thus balanced between dark and light,
each half consumes its daily bite.
I welcome each within its time
Life varied, balanced and sublime.

For Day 17 of NaPoWriMo, we are to write a poem about the moon.

Argentine Giant Cactus in Bloom: FOTD Apr 17, 2021


Please click on the photos to enlarge your view of them.

I took these shots in my sister’s neighbor’s garden in Peoria, Arizona. Unfortunately, these blooms only last for one or two days. The ones in their white stage were a day beyond their prime.

Poetic Research

Poetic Research

My dictionary slips off its perch,
so I leave it lie and ask Google to search
for the meaning of “farctate,” a word that sounds farty
when what I had wished for was words far more arty.
But I find even after it’s screened,
I forget to remember what I have gleaned.
Then, when I check “precept” to see if its meaning
is what I think, I find it demeaning
that I have to check and do not just know,
but in the end, I am right on, and so,
I get to the task and I screw up my lips
and type out this poem without any slips.
Still and all, don’t we wish they made prompt words more easy,
so we could pursue them without feeling queasy?

Prompt words today are register, lips, farctate, precept and search. Definition of “farctate” copied from the Merriam Webster Dictionary.

The Blooming Desert


The Blooming Desert

Jeeze, Louise!!!!!
Is that your sneeze
that filled this little desert room,
louder than a sonic boom,
and not, in fact, the house collapsing?
Just your allergies relapsing?

More than just a sniff or sneeze—
Not the slightest little breeze,
but one that brings one to one’s knees,
and makes polar icecaps unfreeze!
Although we love the blooming clover,
would that its flowering was soon over.

The palo verde and barrel cactus
have tended to over-impact us.
Morning glory and prickly pear
have proven more than we can bear.
As beauteous as they are, I fear,
what pleases eye just tortures ear!!!


Click on flowers to enlarge.

For NaPoWriMo (Not to prompt, I’m afraid.) I woke up with the first four lines of this poem in my head and they pulled me in after them to write this little impromptu poem. Also, for Cee’s FOTD.

Gimme Some Skin! (NaPoWriMo 2021, Day 16)

Gimme Some Skin!

There’s no outside on
a skeleton—
simply bone
and bone alone.

Bones have no skin
to put them in—
no human hide
to hide inside.

They’re never pimply
for they’re simply
lacking places
on their faces
for a zit
to find to sit.

It’s not a matter of conjecture
what will be the state and texture
of their cheeks, for we all know
a blemish has no place to go.

So do not waste your Retinol
on a body with no skin at all.
It would be a horrid waste
on a skull that is de-faced!

For NaPoWriMom Day 16, we are to write a Skeltonic, or tumbling, verse. In this form, there’s no specific number of syllables per line, but each line should be short, and should aim to have two or three stressed syllables. And the lines should rhyme. You just rhyme the same sound until you get tired of it, and then move on to another sound.

Pludged Doze

Pludged Doze

When she’d clipped and arranged and with water anointed
the roses I’d brought her, she  looked disappointed.
“These roses aren’t flagrant,” my lady-love said,

but she suffered a horrible cold in her head, 
and recently testy, lately each word
she uttered was also slightly absurd.

She was given to certain extreme mis-pronouncements
Like “Dode wad adudder” and other announcements
when I offered a hot and whisky-laced toddy
to coat her sore throat and to comfort her body.
The simplest of pleasures may be greeted with dread
by a bellicose lady with a cold in her head.

And her talent with words, be it poetry or prose,
doesn’t work orally with a plugged nose!

Prompts for the day are comfort, flagrant, talent, bellicose and simple.

NaPoWriMo 2021, Apr 15, Family Habits


(Please click on the photos to enlarge them and see the full captions.)

Family Habits

A magpie, a mole, a raccoon and a rabbit.
I fear that my dad was a creature of habit.
He could not resist any sort of a baby.
A baby rattlesnake? Well, yes. That. Maybe.

Abandoned kittens and a liitle waif thing
held up at a cattle sale from center ring.
Who knows what he bid for the spotted small terrier
he pulled from a rubber boot used as its carrier?

Mother objected, as she always did,
then proceeded to make the puppy her kid.
Dressed it in doll clothes and cuddled and babied it.
Drove an hour  to a vet who distempered and rabied it.

Dad would enter the house looking sheepish with guilt
with some baby animal wrapped in a quilt
or a box or an overshoe to obscure sins
of procurement of fur or feathers or fins.

Mother would object, “You didn’t, Ben, No!”
Then she’d wipe her hands of batter or dough
and reach out for the creature my dad had discovered,
and after first protests, she quickly recovered.

Always an animal somewhere in the house.
A parakeet, kitten, cottontail, grouse.
Could all of their mothers have succumbed to the plow?
I only question their orphanhood now.

Nonetheless, the truth of the babies we raised
is that my dad’s motives can only be praised.
He adored babies, be they human or not.
And most kids turn out to be as they’re taught.

Twelve puppies, ten cats are the sum of the creatures
who, once I grew up, have been prominent features
of the lives that I’ve led. Every one first a waif,
who came to reside in a home that was safe.

In Australia and Africa and Boulder Creek,
I was never the one to procure or to seek.
The animals come, seeking shelter or food
and somehow ended up as part of my brood.

Gretchen, Rootia, and Kiddo and Patti,
Bentley and Bearcat and other kids catty:
Tallulah and Annie and Kukla and Fran.
Ollie and Roo. I’ll go on if I can,

Six Mexican beach puppies,  Frida and then
Diego and Morrie brought the total to ten
of puppies who lived for good or awhile
while I found them an alternate safe domicile.

You may call it obsession, but I have another
word to describe this tendency to mother.
This need to take care of what whines, barks or preens
is just not my fault. It’s built into my genes.


The prompt for NaPoWriMo today is: think about a small habit you picked up from one of your parents, and then to write a piece that explores an early memory of your parent engaged in that habit, before shifting into writing about yourself engaging in the same habit.