Tag Archives: OctPoWriMo

Light and Dark

Our Children Follow in Our Footsteps

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

Light and Dark

Darkness is a costume that light dons every night,
drawing ghoulish shadows around her blinding light.
Outlandish to surrender to midnight’s inky stain,
then return as Aurora—shedding her light again.
Why do we seek our opposites? What could the purpose be?
The mountains meet the valleys. Desert gives way to sea.
Every single element and every creature, too—
Christian and agnostic, Arab, Hindu, Jew,
lives with all these contrasts jostling within.
Goodness gives way to evil. Piety battles sin.
Frolicking or feuding, our inner natures jell—
drawing us toward Heaven and/or jerking us toward Hell.
Day by day how can we know how we’ll go down in history?
This alchemy of opposites still remains Nature’s mystery.

Word Prompts today are shadows, outlandish, ghoulish, frolic, light and costume.

I Am

I am from thick ankles and steady determination. Stubborn Dutchmen, prairie dirt, waving wheat fields, night sounds that carried me away. Inkwells and Our Miss Brooks, Christmas tree tinsel that hurt your fillings when you chewed it, chicken pox and neighbors’ dogs, tiny bunnies rescued from furrows, my sister’s old prom dresses in a trunk in the upstairs hall. I am cherry trees and cherries for pitting. Pitched tents and new friends, prayer and questions, spelling bees and math, Annie-I-Over and hollyhocks. Sunday rollerskating on the basketball court. Ten-cent movies and Bit-o-Honeys, ditch ’em and long summer nights. An attic never opened, a basement too frequently explored, dust of Sunday explorations down long dirt roads. Small prairie towns and flights of fancy. Pretending my real self, while trying to be from where I was. Caught in a net with scissors. Cutting my way out. Taking any road elsewhere.  A highway, a plane, a ship, an escape, a looking for, a finding, a losing, a continual origin story of my own making. Full breaths. Sinking in. Making memories. Remembering memories made for me. I am. I am becoming. What I was I still am. Self changing self and sinking back into self.


For OctPoWriMo, Oct 30, 2020:I Am

Ode to a Spider, Best Spinner of All, and to a Mosquito, Caught in its Thrall


To the Spider

Insatiable monster, you spin your fine strands,
creating your trap with abdominal glands.
You then cast your nets out into the breeze
that carries them off to the bushes and trees.
With anticipation, you wait in the center
for mosquitos or flies—whatever may enter
your gossamer trap. Then, their prospects are dire,
for one tremor of contact is all you require
to be off in a flash to put them to bed
with  a cocoon of silk wrapped from bottom to head.

To the Mosquito

“I am” says the spider, as she sips out your sap,
“going to have a light lunch, and then take a nap!”


The spider pulls the silk created from liquid in its body through its spinnnerets – silk-secreting organs on its abdomen. Once the thread is started, the spider lifts its spinnerets into the breeze. It’s the breeze that is the secret to the spider’s ability to spin a web from one tree to another.


Prompt words today are anticipation, insatiable, monster, require, I am and spider.

All in Everything

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All in Everything

My heart as empty as a room the party’s left behind,
I tell myself I am at peace and that I do not mind;
but it may be pertinent, if I am being truthful,
to admit as I say these words, that I am feeling ruthful.

Day-by-day, I improvise, insisting I am free.
‘I” can pursue anything not limited by “we.”
Driving past the railroad tracks, an engine rushing by
reminds me of those trips when I was young and wild and high.

Cheyenne out to Oregon, Sydney to Melbourne town.
Always a new place and new adventure going down.
That local train in Java, stopping a thousand times
at every local village–the hawkers and the mimes 

flooding all the aisles and all the window frames
insistently proficient in their selling games.
All the places where I went teeming with new faces,
constantly observing as life put me through its paces.

Before old age annexed me, I had a brilliant life
as student and explorer, as writer, artist, wife.
Those inevitable things, grave and prompting sorrow
were always covered over by the prospect of tomorrow.

But now that tomorrow is not such a certain thing,
I simply fall in line with whatever life may bring.
Knowing that I can’t flee fate, still I have seized my power
by finding a whole universe in bee and bird and flower.





Prompt words today are empty room, pertinent, improvising, annex, railroad tracks and grave.

Back to the Beginning

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Back to the Beginning

When I began my journey, I was jocular and young—
no hardness in my heart and no burrs upon my tongue.
I hadn’t joined the fracas and the chilling of the years.
I had none of life’s baggage—no heartaches and no fears.

Life had not disseminated all her tawdry facts
and I had not encountered them by gossip or by acts.
No tricksters had deceived me. My heart remained intact.
I knew not what I’d missed. I was naïve of what I lacked.

And now that I am older, I’ve returned to what I had
before I had decided I must follow every fad.
The things that I’ve acquired? I am loosening my hold.
I’ve found that satisfaction is not something that is sold.

I have simplified agendas, taking time to see and do
all the things I overlooked while in the human zoo.
The progress of a caterpillar on a hanging vine
as effective as a church in reaching the divine.

The flutter of a wing, the morning calls of birds
reveal as much about the world as news reports or words.
Drawing back into what’s basic and screening the uncouth
has helped me in regaining the lighter heart of youth.


Prompt words for today are journey, trick, fracas, disseminate, chilling and  jocular,

Mall Maven

Mall Maven

Before the next party, she’ll cut a wide swath
looking for outfits from trendy to Goth.
Choosing her next style can’t be speculation.
It’s got to be something that prompts adoration.

While stalking her merchandise, she walks the walk
that other girls emulate and the boys stalk.
Though she’ll chance being different—ahead of the herd,
if she goes too far, she might look like a nerd!

She saunters the mall looking cool and sanguine,
ignoring her minions, though she wants to be seen.
She’s nubile and nervy and lissome and lean—
a virtual attention-getting machine.

The other girls try to see what she buys,
but the pieces she chooses are not meant for eyes
that might imitate her before the reveal.
She won’t take the risk that somebody will steal

her next novel look before she has the chance
to stun her admirers at the school dance.
Until her grand entrance, she’ll feel a bit queasy,
Being a trend-setter isn’t that easy!


Prompt words today are swath, merchandise, stalk, speculation, different and party.

The Fallen


The OctPoWriMo prompt today, in addition to the first two words in the list below, is to devise a new poetic form. The form I’ve created is one of dual rhyme. The first part of each line must consist of two rhymed halves. In addition, the last word in each line must rhyme with all the ending words of each line in the poem.  I hereby declare the name of this new poetic form to be “The Forced Rhyme Two-Step.”
Word prompts today are stretch, disorder, topple, allegation, forest, awe.


The Fallen

Though the forest is my florist, it is locked in hibernation.
It’s my belief there is no leaf throughout the whole damn nation.
There’s no pollen. Leaves have fallen, and a further allegation
is an order that the border be locked up in litigation
lest the thieves of the leaves are a foreign delegation.
Word of mouth? They’ve fled south, so we’ll need a stronger station
to stop theft of what’s left of next year’s reforestation.
Yet the disorder at our border is a cause for jubilation.
Those not in awe of the law find it cause for much elation,
for the bloke is a joke who stirred up the population
when it’s galling that the falling is just due to maturation!
It’s a stretch, but the wretch who’s in need of education
is the chump, name of Trump, who’s in need of a vacation.
Fare thee well, POTUS from Hell, for we feel no reservation.
Your ablution’s the solution to our country’s renovation!!
“Vote him out!!” we all shout. End four years of reprobation!!
And when he topples, we’ll hear Koppel’s sincere felicitations.



Casting About for Fame and Recognition


Casting About for Fame and Recognition

I’ve never done a single thing of any magnitude.
I’m not in any centerfolds, posed there in the nude.
 I’d love to give a Ted talk, but I simply do not dare.
I’m nervous in the limelight, a stranger to the glare.

Peak climbing is too vigorous, so I avoid Mt. Everest.
I don’t compete in spelldowns for I’m simply not the cleverest.
Each autumn when the leaves turn, I swear I’ll turn one, too.
I’ll examine all my talents and find one that I’ll do.

I’ll write the next great epic tale. I’ll sail to Zanzibar.
But writing isn’t easy and that voyage is too far.
I’ll buy paints and a canvas and combine the two,
I’ll find out if great artistry is what I’m meant to do.

Or maybe I’l adopt ten kids and have a try at mothering.
See if I can show the correct interest without smothering.
If I approach this task with correct energy, less fear,
perhaps I can obtain my fame as mother of the year!

Prompt words today are strange, magnitude, nervous, vigorous, something you’ve always wanted to do and leaves.

November 3

November 3

Since we first crept out of the primordial slime,
evolving from a past when our words were only mime,
since the time we clothed ourselves in dresses and in britches,
we took our world for granted–its beauties and its riches.

We’ve jeopardized our future by burning fossil fuels,
courted war and pestilence, led on by greedy fools.
How do we show our gratitude for all nature’s provision?
We frack and turn, pollute and burn to fuel the world’s division.

Blind to impending disaster, we rush foolishly on,
letting those we’re led by continue with their con.
Buoyantly, we bob along, soothed by drugs and boozing,
not realizing all the ills in life are of our choosing.

What will it take to stem the tide? Who will arrive to lead us?
Who will heal our ravaged Earth, restore our souls and feed us?
Will this be an election that brings us ’round the bend
or will it just propel us more quickly to our end?


Image by Ella Evanescu on Unsplash. Used with permission. Prompt words for the day are impending, jeopardize, creep, buoyant, gratitude and slime.

Patterns of Light

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Patterns of Light

Time devours candles as twilight dines on day.
There is no way to change this, for it is nature’s way.
Vivid colors fade to night, alleviating need
to be about day’s business and to bring the rest we need.
But this change of light to dark another change is spawning.
Black turns to grey and grey to blue in a new day’s dawning.




Word prompts today are grey turns to blue,alleviate,vivid,, devour,  business and candles.