Category Archives: Poem




Token from a loved one. A protective charm.
A fetish or an amulet worn at neck or arm.
Luck is what it brings you if it’s working right.
Iridescent courage glowing in the night.
Signet ring or pendant inscribed with hidden power
Melts away the terrors of the midnight hour. 
As an absent loved one in a far off land
Nestles very close here, in a clutching hand.


    The prompt word today is talisman.

Outsmarting My Smart TV


My TV is Smarter Than I Am

My TV is smarter than I am, springing to life on a whim.
When my  Jack-of-all-trades comes to work here, I think she is flirting with him.
She flicks on and then off in a second, just like she has given a wink.
Or perhaps registers disapproval by shutting us off with a blink.

I know she has much to complain of since I purchased her two years ago.
I’ve never connected to cable or dish, so she doesn’t have too much to show.
Although she connects to computers, my Apple igores that she’s here.
That I haven’t read the instructions? I know it’s exceedingly queer.

She’s equipped to show movies in 3D, but my housekeeper threw out the glasses.
So if I want movies to jump out at me, I must go view them out with the masses
and not in the privacy of my own home with my cat or myself or my friends.
I haven’t checked out buying more on the Web, and for this I must soon make amends.

My computer is usually my viewer of choice when my friend sends me movies by Skype.
The films that he sends are amazing. He knows the best subjects and type
of videos that I like viewing. They are smart and they’re funny and Indie.
He doesn’t send action/adventure or slapstick or horror or Hindi.

 But I never watch them on my Smart screen, preferring my laptop to it.
I set it right there at my poolside and watch as I try to get fit
doing my pool aerobics for an hour and a half, maybe two.
My workouts just seem to last longer whenever I’ve something to view.

 My TV can see out the window that I’m faithful to screens that are small
and I’m sure that I’ve given a complex to my big gal I don’t watch at all.
So I started a “Last Sunday” film night where I can share films that I savor
We eat and we drink and we talk and we laugh as we all view the movies I favor.

For one night a month, my TV springs to life when I plug in the little thumb drive.
Her face flushes up in an enormous blush, for she sees that I know she’s alive.
The eyes of all eight of us fix upon her. She’s the center of all our attention.
We laugh at her jokes and cry at her pathos. Respond to her mysteries with tension.

But the rest of the month her expression is blank, sitting alone in her corner
looking so sad and so lacking in life that I feel that perhaps I should mourn her.
The first time she lit up when I entered the room to say she didn’t recognize me,
I realized with shock for the very first time that my TV could both talk and see!

I hadn’t quite realized the extent of her powers when I bought her at Costco that day.
My old TV weighed in at five hundred pounds—more than a TV should weigh.
I’d inherited it from my mom when she died so I had a personal attachment,
but to move it alone, one risked heart attack or at least a vertebral detachment.

And so I gave in to cajoling by friends that it was time to buy another.
and I gave away the monster TV that I had acquired from my mother.
But guilt has suffused me ever after that day, for I really don’t need a TV,
and this smart girl is lacking in challenges, just wasting her talents on me.

She’s recently started to turn herself on (something that girls alone do)
and talking to me when I enter the room and enter her angle of view.
Finally I just unplugged her—an act of most selfish defiance.
I haven’t the time in my life just to chat—especially to an appliance!


Hate to admit this poem is an edited version of one written over three years ago and I still flounder around trying to work this TV. The world has evolved beyond me.  I should be the one blushing! The prompt today is blush.

Confessions of a Line-Crasher.

Confessions of a Line-Crasher 

Patience is not my forte. I put it on a shelf
and withdraw my impatience. It better suits myself.
I do not enjoy waiting for my turn in a store,
and bank lines make me want to barrel for the door.
I will not take a number when going out to dine.
I do not get my jollies from standing in a line.
Pharmacies and waiting rooms are simply not for me.
Let alone the airport queues when I’ve a need to pee.
If patience is a virtue, I fear I’ve flunked the test,
I think it is my birthright to go before the rest!!!


The prompt today was patience.

Those Time-killin’, Prescription-fillin’, Amoxicillin Blues

Judy and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day, #2
(Those Time-killin’, Prescription-f
illin’, Amoxicillin Blues)

For one long week, I wait and wait
for this cold to dissipate,
but such is not to be my fate.
Although it seems like it’s abating,
instead, it’s simply  incubating.
It’s only here to agitate.
It has me in a constant state
of paroxysm. At this rate,
I’ll cough myself to heaven’s gate!
By what means may I  eradicate
this uninvited guest I hate?
I steal its covers, palpitate,
disturb its sleep, excoriate
its surfaces and mentholate.
I leave doors open just to bait
its exit, and I educate
myself in methods to end this date–
wild to finally give the gate
to this unwelcome reprobate.

Unrested, shaking, light of head,
I pull myself out of my bed,
strip off my fevered dressing gown,
to make the long drive into town
to see my doctor for my check,
climb up the stairs, a wheezing wreck,
on time. But doctor’s one hour late!
As I sit and ruminate,
I fall into a sorry state,
thinking I need to educate
them on the way they operate.
I see the doc and hit the door.
As I drive to the Walmart store,
of energy, I have no more.
Fighting just to stay upright,
it feels like I’ll be here all night.
When one man cuts in front of me,
I’d like to give his back the knee,
but I resist and live with it.
Yet I admit i have a fit
when one more woman cuts the line.
I tell the druggist the turn is mine.

She bags my pills and I am off

with dripping nose and awful cough
due to my cold as well as strep,
shaking, dizzy, slow of step.
I make it to my car and drive
home through the traffic’s busy hive.
One hour, if I’m not mistaken,
it takes to drive what should have taken
twenty minutes. I’ve not been fed,
or medicated, yet take to bed
the very minute that I get
back home, fatigued and soaking wet.
Two hours later I awake 
to discover the mistake.
When that pharmaceutic villain
dosed out my amoxicillin,
she didn’t get the dosage right—
plus—I was 20 capsules light!
What’s more, she’d kept the damn prescription!
Yes.  I threw a small conniption
fit. I couldn’t order more
from any pharmaceutic store
without the script. And, as I’d supposed,
my doctor’s clinic was now closed!!!!!
That’s how, my friends, my day has gone
since I awakened with the dawn
after a few hours tossing sleep.
Read of it now and mourn and weep
over those pills sorely mis-boughten
by one who lies here feeling rotten!!

True story, un-exaggerated in terms of how utterly rotten I was feeling. Yes, it’s strep and the doctor is trying to ward off pneumonia, thus the second round of heartier antibiotics. which I’m going to have to put off taking at least another day until some kind friend (John?) goes into town and gets me a new prescription and the correct pills. The prompt today was incubate.




Once when I was younger, poundage was the thing—
as I obsessed about the growth calories might bring.
Every morning on the scale, I checked for extra girth.
Any extra poundage was how I gauged my worth.
But now that I am older, I check the mirror first
before I stop to weigh myself or slake my morning thirst.
First thing on my agenda, if I have the chance,
is to approach my mirror to have a daily glance.
Now every little wrinkle, every little line
viewed within my mirror brings a little whine.
But when I step upon the scale, there’s less there to regret.
If I’ve gained a pound or two, I vow just to forget.
For if I’ve found new wrinkles, all that I can say
is every extra pound I gain just stretches them away.


I wrote to this exact prompt four years ago, so here it is again. The prompt word today is wrinkle.


What happens to someone like her as she gets older?
–from Luck, by Joan Barfoot


She loses her balance, starts to fall.
Once in the kitchen, three times in the hall.
Finds it harder to remember, spends more time alone.
Speaks her mind more freely, less likely to atone.
She starts attracting cats that come inside and do not leave.
Wears frays in her clothing–hemline, neckline, sleeve.
Starts forgetting passwords–sometimes the names of friends.
Her search for keys and glasses never really ends.
Starts waking in the nighttime to contemplate her death.
At midnight, has to go outside to try to catch her breath.
Counts the years before her instead of those behind.
She could live to one hundred if fate is being kind.

Will she live her last years with sister, lover, friend;
or will animal companions help her meet her end?
Will anybody mourn her? Does she want them to?
Will she be remembered by a poem or two?
Will anybody read her after she is dead?
Will all her future poetry die here in her head?
Will her blog named “lifelessons” finally cease to be?
Will they give the name away for a modest fee?
Will they erase her blog spot, burn her files of poems?
Cause a glut on EBay of her leftover tomes?
If she sells a book or two every other year
where will Amazon send the money when she isn’t here?

One day in the future in three thousand two
will Zee, (some bored teenager, with nothing else to do)
go onto the internet connected to her head,
close her eyes and throw herself backwards on her bed
and stumble on an errant line that floats through cyberspace,
and Google it to try to find its author, time and place?
“What happens to someone . . . ?” are the words that Zee has found.
Her fingers start to twitch as she is driven to expound.
The printer prints the words she says without her further action.
Tied into her speech and thought–spontaneous reaction.
” . . . like her as she gets older?” is printed on the wall.
For there’s no paper in the world. No paper left at all!
Her face is flushed, her eyes dilate, her eyes first squint, then blink.
This random line floating in space has provoked her to think.
First she’ll finish cyber school, then link her living pod
with a blowout sort of guy with a gorgeous bod.
They’ll make links with other blogs and party with their friends
for a couple hundred years before they meet their ends.
She thinks back on the interbrain to look for thoughts and links.
Lets her mind go soft as into cybermind she sinks.
Looking for her future job. She knows it’s there to see.
Time being just a concept to wander through for free.
She plops onto a webpage from two thousand fifteen,
all the information still there and easily seen.
The line Zee thought jumps out at her. She sees it’s not her own.
It’s been used two times before and now it seems it’s flown
into her thoughts to sort her out and give her a direction.
As she reads on, she catches on to this writer’s inflection
in every word she writes and when she gets to the post’s end,
she goes on reading through her life and starts to make a friend.
After two days of reading, she winds up at the start
knowing every detail in this blogger’s heart.
Then she goes back to where she started and sees her doubts and fears.
It’s then that she fast-forwards to the blogger’s final years
and sees the truth of everything that’s going to transpire.
The failing health, the hopeful mood, the ad, “Wanted to Hire
an interesting friend to talk to while I fall asleep.
One capable of caring and thoughts that wander deep.
Someone to be there some nights when it seems that I might leave
for one last time this life that’s loosening its warp and weave.
No heavy lifting needed—a weighted thought or two
is all that I find necessary. Weighing thoughts will do.”

Zee zoomed back to the entry that had drawn her thoughts at first.
The very sentence that had caused her gloomy thoughts to burst.
January was the month and 14 was the day
The year 2015, when she’d been the first to say
those fateful words and now Zee, too, was thinking just the same–
moving to the comments to add her words and name.
“Dear Lifelessons,” she’d say to her, and then add her assurance
that everafter she would be her safety and insurance
that she would never die alone or be bereft of friend
for Zee was vowing here and now she’d be there at the end.
She’d looked ahead and so she knew that she would keep this pledge.
She’d known the center of this life and now she knew its edge.
She knew the dates that she’d be needed in the years ahead.
She made a list and filed it in a clear spot in her head.
And then she went on thinking what those words meant in her life.
Would she be a scholar, an actress and a wife?
Would she produce children and would they be there for her?
That sentence found in cyberspace created quite a stir.
But all her dreams it prompted came true enough, what’s more
she kept her date with Lifelessons in 2044.

                                                                            –Judy Dykstra-Brown, Lifelessons, 2015


A question posed by one writer can often serve to provoke an answer by another. So it is in this poem, which is an answer to a question asked by Joan Barfoot in her book Luck. This piece was first written three years ago. It is a long piece I had forgotten but enjoyed reading again so I thought perhaps you would, too. I would appreciate knowing if you follow the plot line and realize what is going on. Also, did it hold your interest?  And yes, the prompt word of the day is in the poem. The word of the day is provoke.

Enigma: The Secret Keeper WWP132

IMG_8219 2


I take your arm.
I read your eyes.
Stare at the rage
your mien belies.
I raid your lips
with tongue and tooth
trying to find
your hoarded truth.
The whole of you
defies my test.
Does eye deceive
or does the rest?



This prompt requires I write a post making use of these five words: READ | ARM | RAID | STARE | RAGE |