Tag Archives: morning

Early Morning Ecstasy


Early Morning Ecstasy

That surge of elation when I awaken
is because the next hours have not yet been taken.
No obligations, no duties or meetings.
I can follow my heart—pay heed to its beatings.
I follow my thoughts wherever they please.
I milk them for meaning, fingers on the keys.
Does my mind correlate with the sound of the birds,
Or are the birds harmonizing with my words?
The climate is perfect right here in my head,
computer on stomach, stretched out on my bed.



The word prompts for today are: ElationAwakenClimateCorrelate and milk.

A New World’s Morning

Click on any photo to enlarge all and view as slide series.


Ubiquitous networks of  highways crisscross the face of Mother Earth–lines that age her fresh face. Pockmarks of potholes question their durability, whereas Earth lives on, in one form or another.

Dams crack and spill their water freshly across lake beds parched for centuries.
Bones of dinosaurs peek out from eroded banks of clay. Plants spread from potholes in gouged pavement. Somewhere in the arctic ice, the past lies thawing, ready to be reborn.

Who knows but that the
nightfall of mankind may be
a new world’s morning?


I don’t know what I did this week.  I seem to have collected prompts from a different week for each prompt site.  Perhaps I’ve been at it too long and should retire. The prompt words  I somehow collected were highway, durable, ubiquitous and morning. The form is for dVerse Poets haibun challenge.

Darn! I now find even the comments and Mr. Linky for dVerse are closed, even though they say they are open all week.  I guess this just isn’t my day, or I am as cracked as the pavement above…..Here are the “wrong” links I used:




Sound Bites

When the daylight takes its bite
eating up the dark of night
I begin my daily rite
of finding all the words to cite
that serve to bring my thoughts to light.

I write and write and write and write–
filling up my blogging site
until my dogs begin to fight,
and finally I know it’s quite
necessary to do what’s right.

And this is when I find I might
secure my laptop lid up tight
and give my brain a small respite.
It is my  second day’s delight
for they have tried to be polite

lest they disturb me or incite
words that in their haste are trite.
With an open door, I now invite
their appetites–now at their height.
Each jumps and spins–high as a kite,
and comes to have his morning bite.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Forward Drive.” https://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/09/04/from-the-back-a-photo-a-week-challenge/ What is the one thing that drives you to wake up in the morning and do whatever it is you do? Is it writing, family, friends, or something else entirely?


“That” bird raps down the scale hysterically–not appropriate music for 6  a.m. Just three hours ago, I was listening to Janis, who needed a Mercedez Benz, a man to love and fast transport out of Baton Rouge, in that order according to my play list. Now, when I’ve finally rid her angst from my dreams and I’m on a smooth course, here is nature’s alarm clock trying to convince me that 6 a.m.is a sane hour to rise. No, I answer silently, tucking one  hand under the pillow my head is resting upon and using the other to pull the spare pillow over my exposed ear.

By isolating myself from  this cheerful world of morning, I choose delay.  The puppy, who has snubbed the comfortable new bed I have bought for him in favor of being two feet closer to me,  jumps up next to me from his resting place beneath my bed and burrows against my spine, complicit in my choice of the best way to spend a morning.

To read more about night owl activities that lead to sleeping in in the morning, go HERE.
And HERE is another poem about what happens when I do wake up and decide to stay that way–usually closer to 8 o’clock.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Golden Hour.” 6:00AM: the best hour of the day, or too close to your 3:00AM bedtime?

hear and know

I spent yesterday and last night at my friend Linda’s house.  There will be more about that in a later post.  For now, here is a simple little poem about living in the here and now.


hear and know

water drops
from sky or hose
where it comes from
no one knows

the blinds are pulled
I only hear
water moving
very near

morning’s new
the world I wake in
has new sounds
for me to take in

open eyes
and feet on floor
morning waits
outside my door

the smell of coffee
invites me there
my friend waiting
for me to share

how can I know
until I rise
what new world
will meet my eyes

at the window
curtains billow
deer grazing
on weeping willow

window washer
rings the bell
i greet the day
this tale to tell.

DSC09979 - Version 2



  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA That little peak you see peeking over the shoulder of the big mountain we all call Senor Garcia is the sister peak to Colima Volcano, who gifts us with the 120 degree steaming hot water that streams into our pools, hot tubs and cisterns in the neighborhood above San Juan Cosala, where I live.


Lately, the mornings had grown crisp. Even here, below the tropic of Cancer, where they were rumored to have the second best climate in the world, they suffered a few weeks of weather where she regretted having neither heat nor air conditioning in her house. Its brick and concrete walls held-in the cool air. In the summer, this was a welcome fact. Now, in mid-November, it created the effect of the cold storage locker at the butcher shop in the small South Dakota town where she had grown up.

The butcher shop had a room-sized walk-in freezer that functioned as a meat safety-deposit vault. People in the town paid to rent private lockers. Ranchers could bring  a live cow to the butcher and he and his family would kill it, age the meat, wrap it in neat packages labeled hamburger, rib eye, chuck roast, rump roast or sirloin; and then stow it away in drawers big enough to hold an entire dismantled cow. When she was very small, she could remember going to the locker with her mother or father to get the week’s meat from the drawer that had their name scrawled on a piece of masking tape stuck on its front.

The locker also sold ice cream sandwiches by the carton of 50 or so, which they would take home and store in the freezer compartment of their refrigerator. They were square little bars—half the size of the bigger ones you could buy individually at the supermarket, and she grew chubby the year she turned nine—probably mainly due to her mother’s lack of rules about how many could be consumed daily. When the supply grew sparse, it was replenished by whoever went to the locker—her mom or dad or oldest sister.

It is early morning and she puts off getting out of bed to face the brisk air. Water is streaming into the pool. She can hear its hiss as the hot volcanic water hits the cooler water of the pool. Pasiano the gardener clears his throat. Later, when Yolanda arrives, the dogs will grow restless and bark to be fed. It is not the bright morning promised by the precognition of the weather channel. Even through the white scrim of the manta cloth drapes, She can tell that the sun is muted. The past two days have been marked by intermittent rain showers coming from a sky permanently cottoned-over by a layer of clouds that now and then the sun peeks through. As she lies in bed typing, she can see a light ray through the curtains, but it fades quickly away.

8:01. It is now legal for the noises of the day to begin. The neighbor’s spoiled son roars by in his ATV that is muffler-less. The harsh sound slashes a gash through the gentler sounds of the day: the whisk whisk whisk of Pasiano’s broom, the surge as a steadier supply of hot water streams into the pool from the pipe hidden within the concrete form of a plumed serpent that spews water from between the fangs of its open mouth.

She has fantasized about stringing a wire across the cobblestone road to spill that teenaged brat from his ugly machine. This is the violence prompted by an early morning slaughtered by his ear-splitting exit. On weekends, he is up the hill and down the hill with his friends. Once, when she went to protest, they steered their monster tricycles in her direction, veering off just as she jumped back onto the sidewalk. She couldn’t hear their laughs above the deafening din of three bikes, but the girls on the back of the vehicles  turned to look at her as they roared away, and their mouths were stretched in broad grins of amusement over this aged gringo who had come out with a frown to comment on the fun of youth.

They have gone. She can hear their mechanical beasts speeding down the road toward the carretera, their loud roars terrorizing neighborhood after neighborhood as they pass. She returns to the house to make the phone call to the office that will protest this noise and this small terrorist action.

“Yes, senora, we will look into it.”

“Will you call their father this time?”

“Yes, senora. The father is in Guadalajara now, but when he comes, we will call him.”

“They veered their bikes toward me so I had to jump back on the sidewalk!”

“Yes, senora. We will tell them.”

She hangs up knowing they will not tell the parents anything. They are important enough to have a huge house here in the tennis club where she lives— house they use on occasional weekends. A house which sits empty for most of the year. A house where they once brought their children and their cousins and friends to swim in the steaming hot water of the club pool or their own pools. A party house for their children, now that they have reached their teen years.
The father would be an important business man with connections, perhaps a judge or politician. It was rumored that one of the houses on her street, one further up the mountainside, was owned by a member of the cartel.

Whatever the truth of this, the complaint would not be made. In Mexico, so long as their misdeeds did not come too completely to the surface, the rich were invulnerable—cushioned by a layer of privilege augmented by mordida. No foreigner who chose to come up against a Mexican would ever win—no matter how large the misdeed. Murderers might be caught, but the case would then fade away in time so that they might never be tried, but again would be released on some technicality given birth to by mordida. Houses and land paid for in full by gringos could be reclaimed by entrepreneurs or ejidos powerful enough to know the right judge or the right politician.

Now the roar of the ATV’s is forgotten with the passing of the first truck hauling gravel and stone up to the construction site at the highest point presently reachable on the mountain. One day those mountains that rose so beautifully above her would be filled with houses to the very top; but for now, as the noise of the churning engine fades into the cold white sky, she contemplates what she will write about now that the demands of the prompt have been met. She will not write a funny rhyme today. Her mind has already been trapped by the mood prompted by the demands of this day’s topic.

She wonders how the parts of what she has written can be brought together. It is as though she has written a beginning and an end with no middle. Perhaps that was how a novel was begun in the mind of a novelist—to start out with meat in a cold storage locker and end up with a neighbor’s son terrorizing the neighborhood on an ATV. Was that how it went? Could she stuff those two vignettes with enough information to stretch them apart like a bota bag full of sweet wine? Did she have the capacity to grow those grapes, the skill to ferment them and siphon them into the bag she has created on this cloudy morning that only now was beginning to let the rays of sunlight through? That strong Mexican sun made more powerful by the high elevation of this place at the almost top of a mountain on a street set at such an angle that if there were ever snow here, she could step outside her house and sled in one straight line down to the lake that was a mile away, across its frozen surface, all the way to the other side.

The Prompt: Today you can write about anything, in whatever genre or form, but your post must include a speeding car, a phone call, and a crisp, bright morning. (Wildcard: you can swap any of the above for a good joke.)



Written in the morning, long before the day
sneaks in like an intruder, intent to have its say,
words born in the nighttime flower on their own,
bursting into bloom as soon as seeds are sown.

Truth is there behind us before it ever shows—
in words before they’re spoken, in wind before it blows.
Once recognized, I free these words to flow over the world—
off on their own to have a life wherever they’re unfurled.

Sent swiftly to their different spheres to live a life apart
from one who followed after, like a horse without its cart—
I like to set my words loose to canter on their own,
to feed upon wild grass that also roots where it has blown.

The Prompt: After an especially long and exhausting drive or flight, a grueling week at work, or a mind-numbing exam period — what’s the one thing you do to feel human again?

NaPoWriMo Day 18: In Defense of Poetry

An Apologia for Poesy

My gardener’s broom goes whisking light
first left, then right, then left, then right
with touch so slight I barely hear
the bristles as they take their bite.

The birds were first up and about,
and then both dogs asked to get out.
Then that broom reminded me
of one more creature left to rout.

I stir myself to go and pee,
then check the new prompt left for me
on NapoWriMo’s daily page.
Until it’s written, I’m not free.

It’s back to bed, I find it best
to go, computer on my chest,
typing words with beat and rhyme
still ensconced in my morning nest.

Searching for ideas and words,
I use the rhythm of the birds
and Pasiano’s sweeping broom
the braying burro, the bleating herds.

Noises fill this busy world
even as I’m safely curled
still abed, my senses all
alert and ready, full unfurled.

I hear the grackle far above,
the insistent cooing of a dove,
as in the kitchen, Yolanda dons
her apron and her rubber glove.

I hear the water’s swirl and flush
the busy whipping of her brush
around each glass I might have left,
careless in my bedtime rush.

Her string mop silent, I barely know
if she’s still here. Or did she go?
I find her in the kitchen still,
arranging glasses, row on row.

It’s back to bed again I trot.
Arranging glasses I am not,
but rather words I nudge and shift
here and there until they’re caught.

Glued to the page forever more––
be they rich words, be they poor––
nevertheless, these words are mine:
poems, stories, truth or lore.

We are not slothful, lazy, weak
because it’s words we choose to seek
instead of labors more obvious
like plumber or computer geek.

Words’ labors are most harrowing.
Our choice of them needs narrowing
and not unlike the farmer’s sow,
mind’s riches we are farrowing.

So blame us not if others mop
our houses or they trim and crop
our gardens for us as we write.
From morn till night, we never stop.

‘Tis April and we have this chore:
each day a poem, and what’s more
we never know till the morning’s light
just what theme they have in store.

Poets, our lives may seem effete––
not much time spent on our feet––
but those feet are busy, still,
tapping out our poem’s beat.

Cerebral though our work may be,
we are not lazy, you and me,
for though we lie in bed all day,
our writing’s labored––­­that’s plain to see!

Today’s prompt was to write a ruba’I, a Persian form comprised of a four-line stanza with a rhyme scheme of AABA. Robert Frost’s famous poem Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening uses this rhyme scheme. Multiple stanzas in the ruba’i form are a rubaiyat, as in The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.



NaPoWriMo Day 6: Mexico Saves Daylight

We go on and off Daylight Saving time later than they do in the U.S., so this morning was the morning we lost an hour. Our prompt was to look out our window and record what we saw and heard, then to write a poem using these images. It was still dark here when I arose, so I went outside to sit first on my terraza and then in my gazebo which sits at the edge of my property overlooking the hillside that leads down to Lake Chapala. I had never looked at this scene this closely from this time perspective, so it was a unique viewing of a familiar scene for me.

These Chinese Lanterns are solar and await the darkness to shine!

These Chinese Lanterns are solar and await the darkness to shine!

Mexico Saves Daylight

Nobody knows
what this new day
has in store for us.
The colors stolen by night
have not come back yet––
only the string of miniature Chinese lanterns
strung on the patio
glow their soft tones:
lavender, yellow, peach, rose, lime green.
Powered by energy stolen from the sun,
they light up this very early morning darkness
otherwise lit by the random stars of
streetlights undulating over roads that wind up foothills.

The mountain peak named Señor Garcia
stands against the gray predawn sky.
Colima volcano peers over his shoulder,
half-obscured by mist and clouds.
My day emerges.

Scatterings of lights twinkle
from the small pueblos across the lake.
Bats swoop and dart
after the last insects of the night,
then speed impossibly into second-story tejas
for their communal day’s rest.

The hot tub cover,
submerged a few inches beneath the water’s surface,
forms a mirror for the wild hair of palm trees.
Dried leaves rest on the water,
swirling in the breath of morning.
Roosters crow.
A cacophony of bird calls:
“Me hee hee hee hee hee. Me hee hee hee hee hee Me.”
scolds the most persistent of the lot.
Mourning doves answer in a register from another time.
The grind of trucks accelerating on the roadway far below
too small for trucks.
Church bells speak their language,
tolling the morning hour.

The round
subtle drone
of unseen bees
takes precedence
over all other sounds
as I move to the gazebo.
I picture a whole hive
moving to new quarters,
starting that process over again,
busy giving birth to their new home,
perhaps in the stark Guamuchil tree
that survives like a dinosaur
among the castor beans
in the jungled houseless lot next door.

Like one of those internet birthday cards
where an invisible hand
yields a brush
over a black and white drawing,
slowly, colors lost to the black night
emerge through the fog
of earliest morning blues and grays.
Rose pink of the first hint of sunrise.
Colors of houses on the mountains:
vivid orange and gold,
lime green and blue.

Bougainvillea silhouettes give way
to curly detail and bright color:
fuchsia, orange, peach, gold, brilliant white.
Three green foam noodles lie abandoned poolside,
caught in the arms of aloe vera
and by the crown of thorns.
Green washes the hillside
around the gold and brown
of last year’s corn stalks.

The diverse calls of grackles
join the morning conversation.
Quetzacoatl spreads his sinuous frame
over the entire wall above my bedroom doors
as though stretching his kinks out for the day ahead.
7:30 am April 6, 2014,
announces the computer screen
glowing on my bedside table.
Coral sheets and a blue pillowcase.
A large watercolor of a woman
with birds perched on her shoulders
and her hands.
I yearn to go back to bed,
but time changed here
in the very early morning.
It is an hour later
than it was
the same time

Mount Senor Garcia from my gazebo

Mount Senor Garcia from my gazebo

Backyard overlooking Lake Chapala.

Backyard overlooking Lake Chapala.

Quetzacoatl Mural Over Door to Bedroom

Quetzacoatl Mural Over Door to Bedroom