Tag Archives: Word of the Day

Member of the Pack

Member of the Pack

It’s a pretense that I’m lonely, for as I look back
I do not miss existing in the raffish pack.
I do not miss the barrooms or parties tightly wedged
between the other partiers—those memories I’ve dredged
from a corner of my mind where they are a reminder
that once my world was fuller if not exactly kinder.

We were all examining the people we could be.
Trying on our different selves to see what we could see
in the mirror of our cohorts’ eyes and how they treated us,
riding in the joy car ’til we jumped down from the bus
to thumb a ride to try to find a different part to live in—
a part where all the rest of us wouldn’t have to give in.

All the various sides of us have their own times and spaces
that are all a part of how life puts us through our paces.
And now in maturity, I hope that we’ve all found

that comfortable part of us for which we all were bound.
And that’s why I’m not lonely as I wander back
in memory to when I was a member of the pack!



Prompts today are pretense, lonely, reminder, raffish and pack.

Somehow, Things Just Seem to Work Out

Somehow, Things Just Seem to Work Out

Sometimes the world’s a slippery slope as though it seeks to best us—
its calumnies and trials just meant to try to test us.
But I have found the hard knocks that seem about to break us
are really just the tempering by means of which life makes us.

Life at its extremities of temperature and weather
tests our very limits and makes us stronger whether
the regions where we find ourselves be boiling hot or frigid ones,
cooling off our hot spots and warming up our rigid ones.

When we are exhausted, life has a way of slowing,
as though it has known all along the direction we’ve been going.
Although we meet with floods and gales, there is a sort of knowing
that’s somehow able to predict the way our winds are blowing.


Prompt words today are calumny, slope, exhausted, extremity and region.

Pre-Trip Snafu

After a packing frenzy, I finally fell asleep at 3 this morning, then got up at 5 to get ready for my ride  to the airport in Guadalajara to catch a flight to Houston and then to Minneapolis for a family reunion. I started writing this at 8 a.m. in Guadalajara. It is now 2:28 in the afternoon and I am in Houston waiting for my next flight.  I’ve spent an hour and a half  in the Guadalajara Airport waiting room, one hour waiting in the plane for a mechanical error to be fixed, two hours in the air, another hour and a half walking through passport control, customs, baggage claim, baggage recheck (I hope) and another few miles walking from the end of one concourse to the end of the other.

I hope my two hours of sleep last night  accounts for the fact that I absolutely cannot remember rechecking my 50 lb. checked bag after picking it up from the carousel here in Houston. I do remember lifting it off the carousel. I just can’t remember wheeling it though customs and rechecking it to Minneapolis! And I am not going to backtrack another 5 miles, so I may wind up in Minnesota with only my carry-on. The good news will be if this confusion is due to lack of sleep and not the onset of dementia.  This poem, however, relates the story of the beginning of my journey this morning as I sat in the waiting room at the departure gate for my flight from Guadalajara.


Pre-Trip Snafu

I have a special movie I’ve been saving to see.
It’s loaded on my laptop here, balanced on my knee
but I cannot watch it due to an oversight,
even though I have two hours left before my flight.

So I’m sitting in the airport feeling sort of lost.
I need to buy some earphones, no matter what the cost.
I knew I’d forget something even though I checked and checked,
but this egregious oversight I neglected to detect.

I penned a careful overview of what I knew I’d packed,
unpacked my bags and looked again to double-check each fact.
My boisterous friends requested that before I go
we celebrate my birthday, but I had to say no.

I was too busy packing , unpacking and repacking––
checking off the items to see what I was lacking.
Phone, computer, curling iron, hair dryer and comb.
I couldn’t think of anything that I was leaving home.

Of course it was inevitable something would go wrong,
and the realization was sure to come along
after I passed all the shops and five miles down the aisle,
weary of lines and walking. Ready to rest awhile.

No magazines to pass the time. My phone is out of juice.
No earphones to enjoy my flick. I guess I’ve cooked my goose.
Too late to remedy my lack, too far into my botch,
but real life’s all around me. I guess that I’ll just watch!


Prompt words are off, overview, boisterous, egregious and lost.

Believing the Best

Believing the Best

Whoever visited my yard through the fence’s breach
and climbed up in my fruit tree to commandeer a peach—
did you need to hack the ivy twined around the post
and also steal the single rose that I loved the most?
Did you need to do the worst, then leave without a clue
of who had done the damage you felt inclined to do?

I only hope this selfishness will not become a trend,
and so this single message is the one I wish to send.
I hope the peach you ate was sweet and the rose you took
was for a special one you loved, who pressed it in a book.
I hope you took the ivy to twine into a crown
to place around a spill of hair that she had taken down

to fall around her shoulders—and that is why you chose
to not only sate your hunger, but to also take the rose.
And then, these thefts completed, you pilfered one thing more
when you spied the ivy vine and you thoughtfully tore
just a little bit of it for your true love’s hair.
This one act excused all and made your pilferage most rare.


Prompts for the day are breach, hack, trend, twine and clue.



Cookie crumbs, pumpkin seeds pepper the floor
beneath the stool of this child I adore—
a slovenly child who is perfectly able
to spill half her milk on the floor near the table.
As she sits cutting paper dolls, paper bits flutter
down from the piles of snippets and clutter

she amasses around her in  any room where
I’ve worked half the morning just to prepare
for the meeting with friends that occurs in an hour.
The sofa cushions she spread in a tower
are ringing the sofa back, placed in a mound
to catch mountaineer Barbie should she fall to the ground.

Covered by green napkins, the pillows now pass
for a fantasy hillside all covered in grass.
I scoop up the clutter and then the small miss,
ransom the cookies for a small kiss,
then hurry to try to clean up the room.
Locate new napkins, then brandish the broom,

sweeping up crumbs and paper and things
left in her wake just before the bell rings
and the first guest enters, surveying the scene
now cleared of the mess. Perfectly serene.
“I don’t know how you do it, with work and a kid,”
my friend says, not knowing the stuff that I hid

just two minutes ago behind the hall door
that once only held coats but now holds a lot more:
Barbie dolls, crayons and scissors and scraps
as well as neat rows of sweaters and wraps.
Family secrets that we’ll never tell
that every mommy knows all too well.


Prompt words today are seed, flutter, grounds, sloven and milk.

Note Attached to a Skirt at Mia’s Recycled Clothing Shop

Note Attached to a Skirt at Mia’s Recycled Clothing Shop

I’ve made a decision to downsize my clothes.
I’ve thrown out my slips and old panty hose
that have lain there dormant for thirty-five years,
my decision to jettison long in arrears.
Then I threw out old fashions that I knew were dated.
With memories they were all so permeated—
of travel and weddings and high school dances,
that I couldn’t avail myself of the past chances
to donate to charities or to my friends
or delegate them to more permanent ends
such as landfills and garbage trucks. It seemed too crass
to dispose of such wonderful memories en masse.

Yet now I’ve decided to lighten my load
and get rid of excess that fills my abode.
I only hope that one day I’ll detect
the trickle-down theory gone into effect:
some stranger, perhaps, that I pass by chance
who knows not why she’s met with an extra-warm glance
as she strolls down the street looking happy and gay
in the gypsy skirt chosen for my wedding day
thirty-five years ago, now finally freed
from my closet to go on and finally lead
a life of its own and to soak up some new
happiness. Will it perhaps be from you?

Prompts for today are downsize, permeate, trickle, avail and decision.

What Man Hath Put Asunder

What Man Hath Put Asunder

The venerable queen of the whole Pacific Ocean
sat upon her Mermaid Throne toying with the notion
that the creatures of her realm should make an application
to create an underwater independent nation

to make their world more stable, in short to try to foil
those who drilled into its depths, searching for more oil
with which to poison both the world above and here below.
Already, she had seen them disturb the status quo

and flood her realm with poison thick and inky black,
destroying things that afterwards they had not put back.
Those creatures of the middle world between the sea and air
thought they were entitled to all that flourished there.

What nature had reined in they nonetheless felt they could alter,
wild horses freed from stables without benefit of halter
or reins or any saddle with which they could control
the forces that once gone unleashed began to take their toll:

gases leaking into air, oil inking up the water,
ice caps at Poles North and South beginning to totter.
There seemed to be no help for it, for humans seemed inept
at maintaining order in a world so loosely kept.

And so the seabirds washed ashore and the dolphins perished
because creatures of the middle world had not maintained and cherished
 that miraculous balance which nature had established
and were loath to change their course ’til all of it had vanished,

thus wiping out all humankind so Nature could start over
reinventing sea creatures, then blossoms, bees and clover
that those feckless humans had sought to kill in vain,
as this time she’d leave humans out of Nature’s chain.

Prompt words today are venerable, mermaid, application, entitle and stable. Gas, help and ink are the words for the TTC challenge #608. Photo of oil slick by Daniel Olah on Unsplash.

Last Ride

Last Ride

He was a motorcycle zealot,
so when his wife said he should sell it,
he protested, “It’s too soon!”
and headed out under the moon
in zipped-up jacket and leather boot
for a ride along that route

he’d ridden in his glory days,
but this time it was in a haze.
Those gorgeous hills and dales he’d ridden
somehow now seemed to be hidden,
rivaled by McDonald’s and
Target and Computerland.

Gone all the open road that he
had ridden when he’d felt so free.
His buddies ’round him in a pack—
Rowdy Bill and Badass Jack.
That place where they had raised such Hell
now turned into a Taco Bell.

He turned his bike back homeward then,
back to his place in Shady Glen.
Tacked a sign that said “For Sale” 
over his bike next to the rail
whereupon he hung his youth,
wild and free and so uncouth:

his leather jacket, his buckled boots
his companions down so many routes.
Hills and valleys away from home
where in wild youth, he’d gone to roam.
Finally knowing those days were done
now that he was ninety-one.

Prompts today are soon, zealot, gorgeous, rival.

Fruitless Efforts


Fruitless Efforts

I know what they say because I’ve heard the buzz.
My profile, alas, is not what it was.
But the fact that some parts of me have required
more helpful support as they have retired

does not negate the simple true fact
that all my former charms are intact.
They shifted location against my behest. 
My breasts have moved south, my hips east and west,

and my upper arms have chosen to rest
in regions below where they’ve deemed that it’s best
to hang in their hammocks without so much tension
as when they were forced to remain at attention.

Some women thirst for their trim bods of yore,
but frankly, I find their efforts a bore.
Whether they seek them by suction or scalpel,
by fairy wand, prayer or by decree Papal,

it doesn’t seem worth it for when they get fit,
what are they going to accomplish by it?
For though they are going to look mighty fine,
what lovers are left by the age 89?


Prompt words are tired, wand, thirst, negate and profile.


Humble Up to a Point

Humble Up to a Point

I’m not noted for my moxie. Not famous for my wit.
When I tell a joke, I rarely get away with it.
My asides are not whimsical. They’re lacking in their zest.
The laughter they occasion is optional, at best.
When they hold a contest in delivering a line,
I promise you the loving cup never will be mine.
And though it would be wonderful to be life of the party,
I’ll have to make do with being brilliantly arty!


Prompt words are contest, whimsical, optional, moxie and wonderful. (Amazing that three of the five prompts, all taken from different sites, actually rhyme with each other! ) What are the chances?