Tag Archives: Beauty



Often, when our hired hand took a break from work,
he’d comb the land for agates, then return with a smirk,
pockets full of shiny stones he’d removed from the clay,
bragging to my father that this was his lucky day.

Down along the river, on sunny days they shone,
mixed in with the detritus of  rocks and sand and bone.
You’d have thought that they were diamonds he’d removed from the earth,
but he didn’t judge their beauty simply by their worth.

He had learned to capture happiness anywhere he found it,
sorting out the beauty from what he found around it.
A simple man, for him it was not something he could buy.
He found beauty in a blade of grass or clouds up in the sky.

Lucky man, therefore he found beauty everywhere—
In his wife’s shy smile and his children’s flaxen hair,
wheat fields spread like blankets before the combine’s blade,
he gloried in all the riches that the earth had made.


Prompt words today are agate, smirkremove, often and land. Image from USGS on Unsplash, used with permission.


Beauty’s Clutch.


Beauty’s Clutch

Life’s a library where we choose
book after book to read and muse
on the truth of each, or how it serves
to amuse us or to calm our nerves.
It starts with storybooks in our youth.
Cinderella’s lovely, her kin uncouth.

The pretty sister we all adore.
The others? Rotten to the core.
We judge by beauty evermore.

As teenagers, our thoughts are filled
with thoughts of hair, complexion, build—
the ways we rank and choose our friends.
For some, this method never ends.
We judge the world by what we see.
At court, the prettiest are set free.

Our dates determined by their cars,
Our peanut butters by their jars,
Our candidates are movie stars.

World is illusion, say the seers,
the thinkers and philosophers.
We cannot know reality
by going just by what we see.
Yet time and time again, we choose
our futures based upon our views.

The “curb appeal” that meets our eye
determines which house we will buy.
The crust is how we choose the pie.

Ted Bundy had a handsome face
that drew young ladies to his embrace.
An arm sling or perhaps a crutch
tricked them into his murderous clutch.
His handsomeness served to distract
till he’d performed his heinous act.

His cover perfect, his act most skilled,
he killed and killed and killed and killed—
lives ruined and ended as he willed.

So crack the book and look inside.
Talk before you choose your bride.
Drive the car before you buy.
Sip the wine and taste the pie.
See what’s inside if you are able.
Don’t go by face or box or label.

Though beauty dulled is less sublime,
scrub the tarnish from the dime.
Looking deeper takes more time.

Don’t choose the cover of a book.
Instead, take care to have a look.
One page nor twenty will not do.
You have the whole book left to view.
Avoid appearances and preening.
Look for truth and look for meaning.

George Eliot coined the adage first.
If for truth you have a thirst,
judging by the cover’s worst.

This  poem was written 3 1/2 years ago, when I’d just started my blog and had very few readers, so I don’t think many  reading my blog today have read it before. The prompt word today is clutch



“Prize” has a double meaning—a valuable thing won and to pry away.  My most “prized” possession meets both definitions.  As the last possession purchased by my husband and me together, it was the culmination of 14 years of doing arts and crafts shows, traveling cross-country and working long hours making the art we both loved.  It was also the culmination of our mothers’ lives, since they both passed away in the months before we bought it and it was money we inherited from them that helped us to buy it.

The second meaning of the word came when my husband died before we could move into it.  In this way, our home was “prized” away from him much as he was “prized” away from me and our future together.

In the final months of his life, both Bob and I poured all of our future dreams into the house.  Because I was the only one of us to actually live that dream, it has been important to me to fill it with all of the beauty that he helped to bring out in me.  It feels like an ongoing collage to me, which is why it is important to try to make everything I put into it comfortable, welcoming and beautiful.  The newest addition, the doggy domain, is a part of that.


DSCF3575Bob and I bought these male and female terracotta pre-columbian replica sculptures the day we bought the house.  We put them in storage when we went to the states to have our moving sale and load up the van for our trip down to move into our new house.  I took them out of storage when I moved down alone and they were the first thing of beauty that I put into the house.Version 2

prize 1 (prīz) n. 1. Something offered or won as an award for superiority or victory, as in a contest or competition. 2. Something worth striving for;
prize. 2: to extract, detach, or open with difficulty

(In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pride and Joy.” What’s your most prized possession?)

Under the Skin

The Prompt: New Skin—If you could spend the next year as someone radically different from the current “you” — a member of a different species, someone from a different gender or generation, etc. — who would you choose to be?

Photo on 7-3-14 at 11.35 PM #2 - Version 3

Under the Skin

Like the ugly oyster creates the lovely pearl,
I’ve made starts at being a better sort of girl.
I’ve starved and exercised until I made a brand new me,
hoping that a siren was what I would set free.
But no matter what I look like, whatever I could be,
At the end of all of it, I find I’m only me.

I Can’t Resist

For some reason I love this picture taken on my walk this Christmas morning when I had all these other things I “should” have been doing. “I didn’t come to the beach to do what I should or what I have always done before,” I told myself.  And I listened.  (That is how I lost the poem I’d just written but had not posted.)


Click on photo for larger image.

Beachside houses were filled with beach visitors sleeping in on Christmas morning.  The beach was humming with the activity only of those who worked on Christmas. Vendors, waiters, boat tour operators, cooks, lifeguards, henna tattoo artists.  Whoever set up this beachside restaurant was doing it pristinely, but right, with a bit of a flair. The tide rolled in and baptized the table legs, but the napkins stayed as crisp as though starched.

Merry Christmas to all.

The Yellow Dress

The Prompt: Cause, Meet Effect—You can singlehandedly create a causal relation between two things that are currently unconnected — a word and an emotion, a song and an extreme weather event, wearing a certain color and winning the lottery. What cause would you link to
what effect, and why?

P4170219 - Version 2

The Yellow Dress

When she wears it, worlds collide.
Men collect on either side.
Women seek her company.
Children seek to grace her knee.

Potentates, senators, kings
bring her necklaces and rings.
Scholars write her name in books.
Jealous women exchange looks.

There is hardly anything
that nature does not seek to bring.
Winds blow harder, streams divert
when she wears that saffron skirt.

The very heavens note where she went.
Tsunamis curl, volcanoes vent.
Soldiers line up to parade.
Mimes begin their mute charade.

Actors emote better to
this goddess in her sunny hue.
Mourning doves just bill and coo.
Old boyfriends seek her out anew.

Yet as she stands before her glass,
surveying both her front and ass,
her mate says, “Are you wearing that?”
and she surmises she looks too fat.

As she changes into basic black,
the lava cools, the seas hold back.
Her suitors cease their clamoring press.
She does not wear the yellow dress.


Beach Christmas

The Prompt: The holiday season: can’t get enough of it, or can’t wait for it all to be over already? Has your attitude toward the end-of-year holidays changed over the years?

Beach Christmas

I can’t get enough of any holiday, no matter how much it is commercialized.  The world evolves. Whether we agree with the way it does so or not,  the only thing we do have control over is our attitude, so I simply celebrate every holiday the way I want to celebrate it.  This year, I’m at the beach for Christmas.  For the past month, I’ve been collecting wonderful finds on the beach and putting together an altar  that is comprised of a palm fruiting stem, flowers I’ve made out of egg cartons and all of the heart-shaped rocks that seem to have cropped up more frequently than ever before.  I now have 60 or more of them that decorate both the fruiting stem “tree” and the altar around it. Then, I started seeing rocks in the shape of characters from a nativity Creche and constructed 15 creches which may be seen on my facebook page.  You can connect with it here.

Contrary to what you might think from these pictures, I am not religious.  I  do hope that something exists outside of our physical realm, but I don’t  comprehend exactly what it is.  We all find the beliefs that get us through our lives, and I love the Christmas story (be it fact or myth), the Xmas memories, communion with family and friends, the decorations and celebrations.

It started with a palm fruiting stem washed ashore.  I added flowers I made of cutouts from egg cartons, painted and glued together, then added pelican feathers and verious heart-shaped shells and small stones found on beach walks.

It started with a palm fruiting stem washed ashore. I added flowers I made of cutouts from egg cartons, painted and glued together, then added pelican feathers and various heart-shaped shells and small stones found on beach walks.


Detail from tree.


I then covered a flowerpot with shell finds and cemented the “tree” into it.


Although I wanted the tree to be all natural, I quickly decided an Xmas tree without lights was not going to be enough! The mural behind the tree came with the rental house!


Details from the altar.


I’ve started sleeping on the futon in the living room to enjoy the tree by light strings and candlelight.



Wooden Heart

Wooden Heart

He handed it to me without ceremony—a small leather bag, awl-punched and stitched together by hand. Its flap was held together by a clasp made from a two fishing line sinkers and a piece of woven wax linen. I unwound the wax linen and found inside a tiny wooden heart with his initials on one side, mine on the other. A small hole in the heart had a braided cord of wax linen strung through that was attached to the bag so that the heart could not be lost. He had woven more waxed linen into a neck cord. I was 39 years old when he gave me that incredible thing I never thought I would receive: his heart—as much of it as he could give. Continue reading

Hard Drive

The Prompt: Buyers, Beware? The year is 2214, and your computer’s dusty hard drive has just resurfaced at an antique store. Write a note to the curious buyer explaining what he or she will find there.


My Retablo, “Autobiography”

Hard Drive

If you long for mystery,
poems, facts and history,
long perambulations
and wild exaggerations,
recipes and letters and
episodes of Homeland,
Elementary, Sherlock, Friends,
a blogging site that never ends,

Emails, Youtube, Facebook notes,
starts of novels, copied quotes,
OkCupid pictures of
possibilities for love,
notes from nice guys, threats from creeps,
notes from guys who play for keeps,
friends who only write when drunk,
chain e-mails, jokes and other junk,

two hundred drafts of my third book,
(each one different, have a look),
kids stories and their illustrations,
the Christmas plans of my relations,
photographs of my whole life—
its happiness and pain and strife—
some successes but also follies,
fireworks, insects, gardens, dollies,

travel snaps and friendly faces,
rooms at home or foreign places,
birds and children, beaches, skies,
the camera lens is true and wise
and not as given to fraud and lies
as writings filtered through the eyes
of one who feels the joys or pains
of what she witnesses, then deigns

to try to change her reader’s mind
to accord with the type or kind
of thoughts she carries deep inside:
pride’s cutting edge, love’s waning tide—
things lovely, funny, jarring, rare.
So read this hard drive if you dare,
but if you fear a life laid bare,
I have one word for you. Beware.