Tag Archives: poem

More Fire on the Mountain

Above are photos taken yesterday morning (May 3.) What looks like a bank of clouds is actually smoke from a fire that has been raging for five days on the slopes of Mount Garcia, the extinct volcano across the lake from me.

The grainy shot above (taken with my phone, so not the best photo) was taken at about 1 a.m. this morning, May 4th, from my rooftop terrace. If you want to get a better view of the fire, have a look at the time-lapse video for the past 24 hours on this site: http://www.ajijicweather.com/lakecam.

When Forgottenman suggested I write about the fire, I reminded him that I actually had written about fires on Mount Garcia many years ago, and he further suggested I reblog that blog, so, always willing to please, below is a link. The Maria Phoenix restaurant I mention, which became a favorite of mine after this first visit, has since been sold to new owners, but still, as regular as clockwork, Señor Garcia (as locals fondly call the mountain) continues to wear his yearly sombrero of smoke. Here is the link to my poem about the fires eight years ago:




Evolution’s done with behemoths. They take up too much space.
They were too slow and lumbering—lacking in poise and grace.
For this they paid the penalty of their eradication,
replaced by small creatures who consumed a smaller ration.

The intention was that humans would be weaker and less needy.
Who knew that they would turn into creatures so cruel and greedy?
Anything but genial, they grabbed what they could grab,
bringing devastation via bomb and gun and lab.

If larger didn’t work, it’s clear that smaller did no better.
Once again, nature’s creations have turned out her debtor.
She extracts her interest through flood and hurricane,
drought and deadly plagues and other methods more arcane.

Working up from smaller—from the atom and the quark,
nature reached its summit in Jurassic Park,
then created on a smaller scale ’til it arrived at man—
Homo sapiens her newest failed flash in the pan.

Now, where will she go from here? Tinier or bigger?
Will her next experiment be flyer, swimmer, digger?
Will she rue the excesses of the human brain
Or will she make the same mistake over once again?

Can she find a way at last to alter the machine,
by infusing it, at last, with the human gene?
Is a cyborg race of men the way that nature’s going?
Will mankind be coupled with things whirring, blinking, glowing?

Will we all be halfway clones of who we were before?
Will we think past generations to be the stuff of lore?
Have humans made themselves passé or will they rise once more—

a little less self-serving , less blemished at the core?

Prompt words today are behemoth, space, penalty, genial.


Click on photos to enlarge.


I’m swamped with obligations, let alone what I like doing.
If it were Halloween, I would have no time for booing.
Gargoyles in the garden would have no satisfaction.
They could haunt me all they want, but they’d get no reaction.
I don’t have time for feeling, for music or for fun
until all of the tasks I face are finally through and done.
I can’t finagle time to merely mess around,
for I fear it is my habitude to be completely bound
by my check-lists and my calendar, and no, I don’t know why.
It’s simply in my nature to do and do or die!


A “friend” once told me with great irritatIon, “If you’re going to do all these things, Judy, just do them, but don’t for God’s sake talk about it!” I fear I’ve broken her injunction, finally, after all these years. This poem is tongue-in-cheek. All things I enjoy doing…but I do know how to make a mess.

Prompt words today are swamp, finagle, gargoyle, habitude, feel and music.





I don’t want to know what I’ll do ’til I do it.
If it’s preordained, it’s too late to eschew it.

If it’s a surprise, I would say that I blew it,
for there’s no surprise when we simply redo it.

With each future sorrow when we must preview it,
there is no advantage—just more time to rue it.

The vase will still break and we’ll still have to glue it.
The syrup with spill and we’ll have to ungoo it.

Would I accept foresight or merely poo poo it?
When push came to shove, I guess that I would boo it!


For Eugi’s Weekly Prompt: Foresight.



This is the perfect climate. Now is the perfect time
to do all that you can to make your world sublime.
No more empty promises. No rain checks or excuses.
No masking of reality to obscure your abuses.
Look back in your history to see the full extent
of all the possibilities that in the past you meant
to “see about” tomorrow. Then tomorrow never came,
for when it did, it seems that you made it just the same
as the day that came before it, so now you’ll never know
what your life may have turned into if you’d only let it grow.
Relaxation’s fine if it’s used as a reward––

but it should be an end result that we are heading toward.
It cannot replace doing. Doing is what life is for.
Without learning and accomplishing, existence is a bore.


Prompt words today are promises, sublime, history, extent, relax and mask. (The captions on the photos below may seem disjointed, but I decided to leave all the captions from earlier times I’ve used these photos. They do, in a disjointed way, create a little story all their own.)

Click on photos to enlarge and read captions.


Amused: OctPoWriMo Day 11: The Muse

IMG_2907(photopainting by jdb)  


When she enters, I’m in her thrall,
and I have no control at all.
Sometimes she carries a riding crop
and drives me on so I can’t stop.
She rides in smoothly from my dreams
inspiring reams and reams and reams
that must be written when I wake.
I’m driven onward for her sake.

If my muse should feel abused,
believe me, she is not amused.
She mounts my back and spurs me on
until all her words are gone––
released upon the teeming pages
while she rides off to join the sages
sitting there upon the shelf,
and I am left with just myself.

For OctPoWriMo Day 11

On the Road

Remember many years ago when roads were just two-lane
and strings of Wally Byamers would drive across the plain,
swarms of silver trailers, in a never-ending chain
that made passing all of them a headache and a pain?
With oncoming traffic to take into account,
It was an endless chore of weaving in and out.

As a little girl, I’d stand beside the highway,
watching all the traffic whizzing by my tiny byway.
And once I saw a cherry top wave a trailer down
that was leading a whole caravan of airstreams through our town.
“Yada yada yada,” said their leader to the cop
when he gave the orders for their caravan to stop.

What was their infraction? They’d done not done one thing wrong!
The problem was their caravan, the cop said, “It’s too long.”
Thirty airstreams in a row was courting a disaster.
Couldn’t half of them just try to drive a little faster
to create a distance, giving other cars a break.
A little space between them before they overtake

another clump of traffic that will have them in-and-outing,
rolling down their windows and gesturing and shouting?
But, proud as any Samurai, the leader shouted, “No!”
“Without me here to lead them, they won’t know where to go!”
And that’s why thirty airstreams are parked in our back field,
waiting for their leader, who has refused to yield.

He’s camped out in our jailhouse, relieved if truth will tell—
rescued from constant wandering and cozy in his cell.

Word prompts for the day are yada yada yada, only, caravan, proud and samurai.

Biker Wedding

Biker Wedding

Though I’m just your uncle and backward at that,
I’m exceedingly fond of my sister’s sweet brat.
I hear there’s a  biker you’re eager to wed
and though I’d suggest  a nice banker instead,
I’m here not to alienate, but advise
(since I am your kin who’s most apt to be wise.)

Instead of a veil you’ll be wearing your patches
and learning his lingo by listening to snatches
of biker bar gossip and those conversations
spawned over road talk and major libations.
You’ll be in your flannels and Kevlar-lined denim
(I’m sure that no bride ever looked better in ’em.)

You’ll whisper “I do” and then exchange your patches
before you head out for a ride down to Natchez.
But, first things being first, you have asked me to aid
in getting your wedding invitations made.
I’ve checked out your spelling. The words are all fine.
Only the printing may be out of line.

Though responsible service may not be impossible,
are you quite sure that leather is embossable?

Prompt words today are uncle, alienate, backward, responsible and service.




would have married the girl and had children
and been less overt with his teachings
of peace and love too radical
for a world immersed in their opposite.

He would then not have changed the world, perhaps,
but  only lived in contrast
to that power popular among those who needed it
and effective in keeping those averse to it quiet.

If he had married the girl, the world would probably have ended up
pretty much how it has anyway, but he might have had a different ending.
Grown old, had his cronies over to talk about the good old days,
converted water into wine and served them loaves and fishes.

Mary Magdalene would have danced for them in their memories,
and all of his grandchildren would have listened in awe
to hear the tales of how he walked on the water,
bade Lazarus to rise from the grave.

He would shush his cronies as they started in
with tales of how he smashed the souvenir stands
and threw the money changers out of the temple.
Not stories for young ears not quite ready to learn revolution.

And all of the ill done in his name might have happened anyway,
but at least he would have had a good life.  Would have suffered less.
And some other savior might have found a way to save the world
that would have worked.


FordVerse Poets Pub: Write a poem about a deceased person.





I am not sorry
for the hours I have stolen
away from your busy life.
You should have given them freely.
I was trying to teach you that.

You were such a poor student,
professing love, then
rushing off hither and yon.

Early morning flea markets
spawned caches—
rental garages stuffed with treasures
that didn’t fit into a house
 already filled with me
years before you moved in.

You picked things up
in driveways
and on curbsides,
widows in the seat next to you 
on bargain flights alone to Mexico.

You snatched me
from that singles party
before I even got my coat off.
Eye trained at the door,
you knew lonely

when you saw it.
my Ford Econoline camper van,

you drove me off to most of California,
then to Mexico,
while I tried to teach you how to be
where you were. Pouring salt on your tail,
trying to hold your gaze.

And I am not sorry— either for what I asked of you
or for throwing away the rest of you—
that busy bee, buzzing from bloom to bloom
to see what it could find.

For NaNoWriMo 2020, day 13, we are to write an apology for something we’ve stolen.