New Free Verse Published!

So very honored to be included in, Better Than Starbucks! “Mary, I Am Learning,” is an homage to Mary Oliver—her poetic voice
peels away distractions created by an industrial world and reminds us to cherish nature.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

oatmeal domination

somewhere in the universe
beastly animatronic appendages
dragging empty buckets the size of blue whales
scoop up wild oats more numerous than grains of sand
they dump these omnipotent hauls 
into two monumental receptacles
the first –
is a sweet, crunchy place decorated in swirly G’s
where smells of cinnamon and dehydrated fruits abound

the second – mind you,
casts a far more intimidating shadow
it is a dark, mysterious warehouse
where rancid pigment and gooey binder can be sniffed for miles
it is deep within the bowels of this cloaked place
that all institutional paint is manufactured
and the nefarious beings behind this demon depository 
have but one scheme in mind
oatmeal domination

these ill-natured possessors will not rest
until the interior of every hospital, recovery outpost and learning facility
has been impossibly plastered in their colorless aberration
depressing, hideous, stomach-churning
oatmeal paint
Karole in St Luketen-minute sketch while my mother-in-law slept in hospital bed yesterday
she survived cancer number 4 – a tumor was removed from her bladder, all seems well
she is home now happy, drinking lots of water and enjoying her colorful walls filled with beautiful things
those oatmeal-colored hospital walls are a thing of the past
but her care – doctors, nurses and all involved – was fantastic – wonderful people

for my cousin

each day her spirit leaps out
from the mirror
into your warm breast
she is there
ever present in those generous eyes of yours
her love of life and family
her passion for art and laughing
undeniable
there is no missing her presence
in your reflection
a smile so deeply connected
even death
cannot hold it captive
lenore and toni anneMy spirited Aunt Lenore and her lovely daughter, Toni Anne pictured here in 1985
Toni Anne’s daughter’s wedding is fast approaching
Lenore would have been front, center and beaming with wedding preparations for her granddaughter, Victoria
Lenore passed away seven years ago after losing a brave battle to cancer

…for my beautiful cousin, Toni Anne who is missing her mom more than ever…

 

party on, Nina

those eyes still haunt me
huge echoing eyes
and that small painful smile
you had so many other smiles
why is it the small one I remember
and the effort you took to make it
just for me
if I focus, I can see the bright smiles
your black shining eyes, icing on the cake
back when you were healthy
before life decided what it wanted to do with you
as it will all of us
God, I miss you still
Glenn Miller helps
singing and swinging up there on a cloud of pasta
and chicken soup with tiny meatballs
party on, Nina
party on

My Charlie

My Charlie

Charlie was a great pink stuffed dog that Nina gave me many Christmases ago…

let cling to our skin

they cling to the legs
Ignorance and Want
beneath rich velvet robes
two malnourished beings
present in Their suffering
we remain focused on our priorities
during this season of hope and love
wrap tenderly our hearts
with Their existence
let us go forth
in humble spirit
and grand charity

fiercefor Rocky
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
The Ghost of Christmas Present

winning and losing

there was a dual wrestling meet last night
all these boys, young men really
hoping their practiced discipline and best efforts
would place them on this side of glory
a raised arm at third period’s end
a personal win
points for their team

quick food, hot coffee and school spirit
we bought an event tee for the big son
I didn’t look at the shirt ’til later
against the black cotton weave
was the image of a handsome, young man
135 pounds
his chiseled arm raised in victory

it was then I realized
the tournament was named after this wrestler
he’d died in a car accident two years ago

and I knew
whether the big son
won or lost
we’d been winning all along

at this time of year
when the magnifying glass
boxes in our hearts
may thoughts of warmth
go out to those
whose children are no longer here
but live on in their souls

Baby Elf

Baby Elf

illustration previously published