Don’t Love Them Too Much

I’ve been gone awhile. Spending many days in the nursing home with my beautiful mom. Hope you’re all well and excited for a colorful Autumn. I’m hard at work trying to pull together a labor-of-love; a poetry collection about care-giving, love, loss and family. I’ve been doing loads of writing offline. As you know, getting published is uphill all the way. So, my friends, onward and upward. ❤️

I’m thrilled to have this piece, Don’t Love Them Too Much, published in the Front Porch Review! Click anywhere here in this red copy and visit the Front Porch Review. Many talented writers visiting the charming home there!

the pegasus clock in ICU15

very excited to have my poem, the pegasus clock in ICU15, appear in this excellent zine!
while you’re there check out fellow poet, Robert Okaji’s prize winning piece, A Further Response from the Hornet’s Nest

click on image or words to travel to Panoply – thank you

It’s okay to give AnnMarie 2 birthday presents

Zoo Balloons

True Story

My parents got to the hospital just in time for me to enter the world. I was born several minutes past midnight, deep inside the womb of Saint Mary’s. When my dad went to pay the bill, he was informed by a dulcet-faced nun, he owed not for one but two full days. He inquired about the additional charges.

The congenial nun responded, “According to our paperwork, your daughter was born on May 19th, not May 20th. Our records do not reflect daylight savings time.”

Vito didn’t like being taken advantage of even by elevated folks of the cloth. He argued with the administrative woman of God. But with wife and newborn held as good faith collateral, my father relented and paid the extra twenty dollars.

I retell this story every May 19th to remind anyone who might care – “It’s okay to give AnnMarie, 2 birthday presents.”

God bless:)

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

warm queen of the night

to be a queen
of the night
is far better
than
to be a
princess
by the day

to be happy
single
is far better
than
to be a mismatched
duo

to be warm
while living
is far better
than
to be
cold
while–

swirl skating

swirl skating


Queen Waiting created today while waiting in a waiting room

Burning to Paint

A dear blog friend of mine, Deb over at C-Dog reminded me about this post. I published it awhile ago. I’m putting it forth again (with a few tweaks). It explains how I came to not simply enjoy art, but to understand the soul of it.

Jess’s Story

I think we can all remember the epiphany or spark that ignited each of our unique creative journeys.

For me it was a newspaper article. I think the year was 1977. There was a photo of a little girl’s face – beautiful and horrifying at the same time. She’d been caught in a fire and sustained third degree burns over most of her body. At the time of the article, I was fourteen. Jess was much younger.

The newspaper article’s primary focus was on the miracle of modern medicine and a magical procedure to ‘regrow’ damaged skin tissue. After my parents finished with the paper, I asked if I could keep the article. I stowed it in my top desk drawer. That night, as I tried falling asleep, Jess’s face filled my dreams. The next day and the day after that Jess’s skin covered mine. Her sorrowful eyes peered into my head and rested themselves in my dreams.

By the fourth sleepless night, I knew what I had to do.

Ever since I was little, I’ve created art and kept diaries. Like many little girls, I drew horses. I eventually moved onto other subject matter and took up painting. I knew I enjoyed art, same as I enjoyed eating a good cookie or playing sports. But, something inside me changed after reading Jess’s story. I had to paint. It wasn’t a choice. Painting her little, damaged face was the only way I could give her the respect and hope she deserved. It was the only chance I had to remove her burning image from my mind and place it elsewhere. Not to be forgotten, but to be remembered…
JessOnce I painted Jess, my nightmares stopped.
And my creative journey began…

Of Giant Husbands and Little Trees

Dear Friends,
The giant husband is in the ‘green’ business. He knows quite a bit about plants, trees and Latin roots. Every year he works six days a week then for six glorious weeks, beginning Christmas Eve, the nursery closes. He gets a well-earned rest though Rocky the Shepherd, and Mojo the Dachshund usually fail to read the memo.

A few months ago I wrote a story about the giant husband. If you’d oblige, I’d like to share an edited version of it again. Because as the saying goes, “Behind every married woman who blogs, is a giant husband.” –

Back in 2000, after giving birth to the big son son I had some complications. For five days and nights after the big son came into the world, I was hooked up to tubes, monitors and I believe there were a few pots and pans (this is where I lost my dinner preparation zest). I liken the experience to an exotic vacation minus fresh air, warm sun, bright sea or anything else pleasant. Each night when the hospital room grew dark (despite bells, whistles, alarms and flashing lights) there was the giant husband, ‘sleeping’ at the foot of my hospital bed atop two small chairs smooshed together.

Though the giant husband makes things around him appear smaller, he makes anyone around him feel grand. My Christmas gift every year is having him home for the holidays.
BP finalThank you. May you dream of someone who makes you feel grand…
Giant Husband, Delicate Daughter, Tiny Tree rendered today while listening to, It’s a Wonderful Life

A note: The other day I had the amazing fortune of talking to a selfless father and fellow blogger, Simon Tocclo of Liberian Me. The reason I bring this up here is when there are complications during birth, mothers (in the poorer areas of Africa) don’t survive. So when you dream, please dream of hope for those in need around the world…thank you.