December 27, 2020

Tradition (BTP prompt)

Here is a more literal example of my prompt idea about possessions.  This crock (already well used) was given to my grandmother sometime around 1910, by someone who I like to think taught her the recipe.

The old stoneware bowl
is not very pretty,
but it’s lasted well over a century,
and served heavy duty.

It once belonged to my grandma
of the flowered bib apron,
covering her housedress,
rosary firm in her pocket.

It’s held countless batches
of dough left for rising,
made without any recipe,
just by feel they were perfect.

My mom gave it to me
when she taught me the secret
of the magical formula
for feeding my family.

Now that chipped piece of crockery
sits low in the cupboard,
gathering dust and
holding in memories.

It's waiting and wishing
for some new generation,
to honor the history,
and learn this tradition.

Then I will show them,
and pass on the knowledge,
along with the old heavy bowl,
to treasure as I have.

The Journey

This is another of my "regression" series where I wrote down images that came to me during the therapy session I had. As I always say, "I don't care what anyone's beliefs are on this topic, hope you just enjoy the poem on it's own merit!"

I run headlong amongst the gorse, along the cliffs; the sea below. My worn brown brogues trip over stones, my homespun skirt fights cold, wet wind. I call until my throat is hoarse, but screams are carried far away. At last I dare to look below and see such terror within the surf. A broken boat, a broken man - lying crushed upon the rocks. The future ends upon that sight as gladly I fly down to him. And into sweet oblivion.

June 03, 2018


I wrote this in 1979, when my son was about 2 month's old.  It isn't very good, but when it was published in our local paper for Father's Day it spoke to several people and now that my father has just passed away, I think it's time it went on the blog.

My father's hands are those of an ordinary man,
but yet extrordinary,
for they belong to him.
Large, long fingered hands,
scarred from years of hard, hard work,
stiff from years of hard, hard living.

In my girlhood I remember,
grease and dirt, the signs of a day's work
under his fingernails.
Scraped knuckles, tired looking hands
brushing my hair.
Strong hands doing gentle things.
I will always love those hands.

I always knew I would marry a man
with my father's hands,
and I have.
My husband's hands look much too old to
belong to him.
When I see them,
I am overcome with such love,
for they look the way they do
because of his love for me.
Dark tanned, rough, dry, callused hands
that work every day to make our living,
and then come home to hold our infant son.

When I look at my baby's hands,
so tiny, soft and perfect,
I can see that some day he too may have
the hands of his father and grandfather.
Somehow that makes me very sad,
but also very, very proud.

December 16, 2010

Listening (BTP prompt)

(freaky photo courtesy of Photobucket)

This piece is from an extremely interesting prompt over at Big Tent Poetry, which led me to the  fascinating "Dead Man" poetry of Marvin Bell.  There is no way I could ever do justice to his idea, but here is my lame attempt...

The dead girl waits and watches.
No hurry now, nowhere to be.
And in her final, numbing rest,
she listens to the screams of others.

The cries of pain, injustice, fear.
Sadness thick with held-back tears.
The panicked heart, the strangled throat,
it’s all but curiosity to the dead girl.

The dead girl hears each lament.
Even in silence the dark seeps through,
and in her repose, she only knows,
the futility of emotion.

December 10, 2010

Shattered (BTP prompt)

I really didn't follow prompt this week, but instead took some snippets from a few unfinished pieces on the same topic and wove them together into one.
Knowing someone with mental/emotional illness is a difficult thing to watch and attempt to deal with. I know someone with these issues; this poem attempts in it’s feeble way to describe her pain.

She holds herself through too long days
enforcing stillness with granite jaws,
Her nails tattooing crescent moons
While gripping demons
with sweat slicked palms.

Afraid of breathing much too deep,
best to keep each intake shallow,
or she might loosen up a scream,
expelling monsters
she cannot tame.

To see her face, at first you’d think
her mind was just preoccupied.
But then look deeper at her trance,
bright eyes unfocused,
blind to light.

Then some slight switch is somehow flipped
and nerves, emotions come unwound,
like prickly knotted sisal rope
of tangled threads
that won’t be bound.

With thoughts careening wildly
through eternities of mindless pain,
no one can ever talk her down
And backwards to
a life of sanity.