Category Archives: poems

Vendor Bender

Rapidly, the handmade Mexican handicrafts sold by beach vendors are being replaced by cheaply-made Chinese duplicates. I refuse to be a party to this destruction of native craftsmen and artists, so this year for the first time, I have not bought. Today, however, when this hawker walked by my porch, barely bothering to pitch his wares, I called out to him. I’d been to the Michoacan village that was devoted to creating the craft he was selling, and what can I say? I bought two–one for me, and one for my friend Marjorie Pauline, who actually only had to borrow 200 pesos. What was it that made me break my resolve?

Vendor Bender

What bought I on the beach today, What could I not resist?
What souvenir of  painted clay, what bauble for my wrist?
Though I have sworn no more to buy, why have I changed my mind?
Have I found a memento of a more novel kind?

The vendor started to walk by. I had to yell “How much?”
And within a minute, he had me in his clutch.
The price was right and  he possessed the perfect pitch to sell.
He serenaded me and oh,  he did it very well.

It mattered not that I had two others of its kind
waiting for me in my home, for  it was such a find!
I bought one, and my friend did, too. She knew not how to play it.
But I was complicit.  I did nothing to allay it.

I have no yachts or penthouses.  I have no fancy cars.
But although I rarely play, I now have three guitars!!!


Click on photos to enlarge.

You can read about the remarkable village where these guitars are made HERE.

Mnemonic Phonics




Mnemonic Phonics

Babies use clues amniotic
to deal with stimuli chaotic,
but later, memory gets thick.
In short,  it’s anything but quick.

Age slows us down and trims our wick,
fogs our recall,  slows our pick.
So I resort to many a trick
to give my mind a little kick.

This loss of memory’s demonic
and leads to fits most histrionic,
so I depend on clues mnemonic
for memory that’s supersonic:

(Can you guess what the below mnemonic devices help me to remember?)

Neither leisured foreigner
seized or forfeited the weird heights.

Every good boy does fine.
Good boys do fine always.

My very excellent mother just spewed up nine plums.

How about you?  What mnemonic devices do you use?


The prompt word is mnemonic.

Morning Ritual


Morning Ritual

One pill, two pills, three pills four.
Five and six complete the score.
Then one rolls off onto the floor,
but knees are stiff and back is sore,
reclaiming it a painful chore,
so you just open up the drawer
and select one capsule more.
Swallowing pills is such a bore.
Can you remember what each is for?


Behaving French

Version 3

Behaving French

Today I find it suitable
to practice my inscrutable.
It’s part of my act femme fatale
that men can’t fathom me at all.

They’re wiles my mother taught to me
back when I was only three,
and I admit it’s served me well
putting bon vivants through hell.

When situations new astound me,
I wrap my femme fatale around me.
I use it everywhere I go,
’cause it’s the only French I know!

The prompt today is inscrutable.

Happy Ending

Happy Ending

He was a follower, a grunt
who married a lass dominant.
She led, he followed in their dance.
He wore an apron, she the pants.
It was a perfect unity
if folks had only let them be;
but, alas, the other blokes
had to make the usual jokes.

They called him pussy-whipped and meek—
berated him as timid, weak—
and so, simply to please his mates,
to end their jeering cruel debates,
he went against his true love’s wishes
and refused to do the dishes.

The facts, there’s no need to imbue.
Both words and dinner plates, they flew.
He could not match her swift invective
of ways in which he was defective,
and so he simply stood and waited
until her fury was abated,
then asked this cyclone he had wed
if she would like to go to bed.

Their skirmish ended in romance.

He shed his apron, she her pants.
A worn-out lover well-behooves
a meeker husband in his moves,
and nothing like a little tiff
to make a timid fellow stiff.
Now that her angst had flared and passed,
he got to be on top, at last.

The prompt today is dominant.



I don’t have any strategy, I don’t have any plan—
no recipes for muffins, no plots to meet a man.
My life is so unstructured that I have nary a list.
With no clearcut tomorrow, my future’s in a mist.
If I were only twenty, I guess they’d call me fickle.
To be so directionless would land me in a pickle.
At seventy I’ve joined the list of lives that are expired.
I’m finally giving up and saying I’m fully retired!
My alarm clock’s in the cupboard––abandoned. I don’t need it.
I gifted this year’s calendar to someone who will heed it.
No meetings on my calendar. No notes upon my fridge.
I don’t attend aerobics. I gave up playing bridge.
How do I fill my life out now that I’ve come unwired?
Now that it’s gone unplotted and its furnace gone unfired?
I’m letting every day I meet just unwind and unravel.
Letting fate determine what pathway I will travel.
My compass needle disengaged, I’m floundering in “free—”
All things now determined by serendipity.

The prompt today is strategy.

Clothes Make the Man, but Women Make the Clothes

Click on first photo to enlarge all.

Clothes Make the Man but Women Make the Clothes

In matters of both clothes and hair
we profit from the use of flair.
A scarf, a pin, a tilted hat
reveal that we are more than what

we choose to put upon our heads
or bodies, for our hats or threads
too often conceal  form or hair,
not showing what is under there.

Sometimes it’s an improvement, true:
our hair dyed an unfortunate hue
or bodies altered by midnight trips
kitchenward that spread our hips.

This gown I wear is brilliant red,
It spreads around me in my bed—
ankle-length and numinous,
free-flowing and voluminous .

I obscure my  trunk and limbs in it.
My zaftig form just swims in it.
It makes me feel petite and small.
Inside, I’m hardly there at all!

When I awaken, I’m not alert,
throw off the covers, unwind the skirt
from where it’s twisted round my legs,
I yawn and blink to expunge the dregs

of sleep from everywhere it tries
to prolong my dreams and clot my eyes.
It’s in the bathroom where I see
 I’ve made this gown uniquely me.

My reflection in the bathroom glass
shows its brilliant red en masse.
Its designer’s plan I clearly flout,
for I wear it inside out.


Want more hats?  Look HERE.

Again, I’ve gone shopping in my poetry closet. This one repeated from three years ago. The prompt today is blink.