Saturday, July 31, 2010

you know, I actually followed this movie.
hubby hated it
like I said...he's different...he doesn't write


I love Joe Pye Weed,but it is a sign that summer is on the wane.
Yesterday I heard a bagger at the grocery store talking about having to register for school and buy books.
That's really when it hit me...this summer really is coming to an end.
I mentioned this to my husband this morning as I inspected the garden for storm damage,
as it had rained so hard all night,lightening and thunder included.
"Oh summer is almost over," I lamented to him.
...He looked at me like I was a dumb blonde.
"There's August, that's summer,duh?" he said sipping his coffee that I had made him this morning.

...Some people are not poets or writers, they don't see things through the eyes of agony.

"No, it's almost over, the bagger at the Jewel is buying school books, it's over."

...This man will never understand my delicate nature.

But it is true, no matter how hard I wish it, the season is gearing up to move on.
...Maybe throwing a few parties before it skips town so we can have a few more hot dogs on the grill
and dip our pinkies in the pool or pick a few last flowers for the vase on the kitchen table,
but she has given notice...signs...she's leaving soon.

"Besides," he says, "Fall is nice... cooler weather, colorful leaves,bonfires,apple pie,migrating birds...."

FALL! He dared to say it.

FALL is just a temptress tricking us
into not noticing that WINTER is just under her skirt!
The man knows how to ruin my morning.
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Friday, July 30, 2010

I have found that I like to write in first is intimate is immediate draws you into the story like nothing else.
I started writing after the age of 50. I will be 60 in December. Not long. But it seems like my whole life.
I started with a little poetry group and soon found poetry as a way of purging all the gunk that had my pistons stuck.  They were confessional but poorly crafted. Craft. I never knew that writing had craft until I began taking workshops and joined a few writing groups. Boy, is that a hard lesson for a new writer to learn. There are rules. And you must learn the rules in order to be skilled enough to break the rules, otherwise your work reads like so much dribble...that only your good friends and family adoring says is wonderful.
But I have also learned that you must write that way to get to good writing. Because writers write.
The first writing workshop I attended, the must immediate question asked by almost the entire group was..How will I know that I am a writer? Write.
Poetry taught me how to condense language and to think in images. An image is powerful, enabling you to tuck it into the reader's mind where it takes a leap.  A good poem to me is when it happens inside the reader's mind,when they connect with something universal. No tears in the writer no tears in the they say. But it can't just be confessional or an emotional must take a leap..turn into something more.
At another writing workshop I tried my hand at short, short, story...beginning, middle, and end...kind of writing. A story that must also take a leap of some kind at the end. Oh boy, this is hard, I said. And it is.
It took this old lady a long time to see what is good writing. Only then was I able to get anywhere near to writing something that was passable. Not sure I have yet. I have had stories published in small presses and poems published in various venues and I've won third place for a poem in an anthology and an honorable mention for a postcard poem's submission. Not bad. But that has no influence on why I write. When I write I go somewhere known only to me..a place of pleasure...sort of a masturbation of the soul. This kind of masturbation will not make me go blind, quite the contrary, it opens my eyes.
I have learned to listen for found language.....things like bits of conversation overheard at a restaurant.
At the last workshop I attended in Door County, at the end of the week, we had a one on one with the teacher. Tell me, he asked, what have you learned this week that you didn't know before?
I learned about story. Look for the story in everything. It doesn't have to be something that actually happened. Search for the universal in the story.
So when I write a Magpie or Microfiction Monday, or a Wednesday Poem
and people think I am writing about myself.....I guess that it is a good thing. I have moved them.
And that is what a good story or poem does.
Thanks readers...I guess I am doing something right...or is it write?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

magpie tale

Magpie tale #'s hard to believe

hosts a weekly writing prompt
Write something using the below photo
as your inspiration


All these years I've kept the lock
just to prove to myself that it really happened
Hour upon hour of darkness and hunger
just a crack of light at my feet
I could hear her heavy footsteps
and her stopping every once in a while
sending warm pee down my leg
I'd close my eyes fearing
that she might smell it
and I would be blinded by the light
as the lock turned  
The day we moved from that old house
I stole the lock and spit inside that prison
under the stairs, hoping that maybe,
in the new house, she would forget about me
But there are things people
just don't forget

***Magpie tale of fiction  # 25

sits beside me
an unwelcomed guest
who has nailed me to this spot
doesn't care that I have things
to do and places to go
she has placed
blue lead around my heart
Tomorrow,she says
she will go tomorrow
then takes my hand
locks it into hers
and gives it a squeeze
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

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One week...gone so fast...too quickly...I closed the door as grandpa took them to the airport, the trunk of the car stuffed to the gills with new toys to brings home...the rest grandpa will send out this week...I closed the door and cried.
cried for the missing of them
cried for the missing of my son as a little boy
cried because I can't go with
cried because it's going to take me a week to get this house back in order.
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wednesday poem


She called to apologize
and I heard in her voice
that it was enough
for her to say she was sorry
But how do you get back
every milkweed seed
that has blown in the wind?


Friday, July 23, 2010


Magpie tale # 24

hosts a weekly writing prompt

Let the photo below be your prompt:

Love is a romantic room
with a moon window
and rumpled 600 thread count sheets,
and the quiet sweet light
of another morning



hosts a weekly writing prompt

using the below drawing write something
using 140 characters or less

He grieved like his woman
for his child
Rivers and rivers of sorrow stars
blazing in the sky
and he thought he saw one
that was theirs

-139- characters of fiction

May I indulge a bit for a comment about something in this poem?
the first the drawing I noticed that the image was mostly male in the body
but the face female.....okay..good start for something interesting
now my first line...I originally had "He grieved like a woman....Then I wrote..He grieved like his woman.   Very subtle change... the power of one word in a poem...
any comments? ideas on this?
oh and would you put an apostrophe at the word theirs

Thursday, July 22, 2010

someone was messing with grandma's zen garden

and I rewarded them by putting up the slip and slid
despite grandpa

and little miss loved my lillies
....kiss up


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

They arrive at 10:45 tonight
such a long day for them to come and see grandma
and grandpa. Everytime the littleguy has come
he's been sick..everytime
He just turned 2...I can't wait to get to know him
I hear he loves books....good start
and the little miss,why she's 3 1/2
and I missed her dance recital all the way in Laguna beach
Skype can only do so much
they need arms around them and kisses on their cheeks
and an old lap to sit on
and a whole lot of fussing over
and cooking together,and helping grandma water
and prayers at bedtime and a tuck in at night
and oh in the morning... I can't wait to hear
"Where you grandma?"


Wednesday poem

One shot Wednesday Poem, a place to share your poem


When I hear a storm coming
like bad boy attraction

when the trees bend
like bent code of conduct

and the rain comes down so hard,
I remember my first storm



Monday, July 19, 2010

In case you want to read the story I came up with for J.Reid's challenge here it is. I wasn't even in the running. But it did give me a chance to learn a bit about what she likes.
With only using 100 words or less tell a story using these words- Fenske,Bacon,Reed,Resistance  & Simpson  and to guess the theme...which I did not do...don't know much about Oregon I guess.

Last year at this time he had taken her to Fenske Lake Cabins, and there in the isolation of the deep woods of Minnesota he told her he was filing for divorce.
"So,when a certified letter comes from my attorneys,Bacon and Reed,you better sign for it."
That night she offered no resistance to the man who had broken her nose and blackened her eyes,the sex more violent than before.
But Caifornia at Simpson Grove, she tries to put her arms around a giant sequoia,her husband still missing in the deep woods of Minnesota. 100w/c

That's it. I got all the words in and I think I got a story going here...oh well.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

This is my 13 year old cat named Webster. He is aging fast and this has got me down a bit. He is a special cat...I know every cat is a special cat. But I mean he is special in that he has a deformity. When he was little we thought it was cute..his question mark tail. But as he aged we noticed that he couldn't wave it, or raise it straight in the air or bottlebrush it when he was frightened. Hisa back is curved a little too.All this if you have a cat means he lacked the ability to talk with his tail...body language. He also can't fluff up when he's angry or frightened. And to go along with this he has remained a kitten at heart...sweet but dependant...not so nice for a cat...they are independant by nature. He is the cat who hunts stuffed animals packed away in the basement at night bringing them up to our room at night and dropping them by or on the bed as gifts for us...who love him. He is a big cat, in his prime he weighed 25 he is getting thin. But he maintains his sweet disposition. He does not like Mr. Darcy...our new little waif of a kitten. He hisses at him when he passes by. It's getting better, I think he has resigned himself that the little guy is staying. But no one will ever replace Webster...
he is special to me.
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Susan, at hosts a writing challenge each Monday. Using the below photo, write something using 140 characters.
This is microfiction # 40

Jan brought the kids today. Little Zoe gave me flowers and Tim gave me his toy lobster.
But the gift I wait for is my son's forgiveness.

-140-characters of fiction

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I just joined in another writing challenge over at
Her challenge was to use the words

Use these words in a story of 100 words or less and to guess the theme. This challenge is posted on her blog in the comment section. So if you want to read mine you'll find it there as soon as she checks it over. The challenge closes tonight and she selects one she thinks is best. Remember last time I posted too late and had to post my story about the prostitute on my blog? Well this time I think I got it posted right...we'll see, if not I'll post it tomorrow..for those of you who are kind enough to want to read it.
Why all these writing challenges you may ask. It's  the thrill of the hunt for me. ...finding the story within someone else's confines.  Forcing myself to edit out unnecessary figure out a beginning a middle and an end within the guidelines.  And the thrilling thing for me is how this happens...I don't know.
But it does. Somehow my brain finds a story...often with my resistance..I don't want to write's funny..or it's creepy..or it's horrifying or too sentimental...but the story writes itself...I am the scribe.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Magpie Tale


host a weekly writing prompt
from the below photo write a poem or vignette

It now holds the door open like a good man,
the beautiful old cylinder of copper
that once held an important position 
-first defense against Hilda's cooking.
She always burnt something down there in the church's  kitchen.
But, because she was really a wonderful cook,just a bit absentminded,and no one else would take the job of church cook,
the pastor made sure that there were 3 extinguishers on hand,
and that the fire department was always made aware when the church was having its
big toodooings.
Sometimes the chief would come by to check on Hilda and she'd be very upset
that everyone thought she would actually burn down the church
but, we all knew the chief actually came by to get some of her struedel and rattle her chains a bit.
Well, it turned out that one time they really did use the old copper extinguisher
but, it was when the pastor's cigarette slipped out of the ashtray and started the carpet on fire,
and he began yelling FIRE FIRE and Hilda grabbed the canister and tried hauling it to the church offfice
but, when she got there the Chief had already arrived with 2 firetrucks and an ambulance.
Never again did Hilda have to suffer ridicule for a few potholders that had caught the flames of the stove
or a few trays of cookies that were left in the oven too long or that one pork roast that flared up in the oven sending smoke up into the sanctuary...
no, now it was pastor's extinguisher to carry around his neck.


Ah, the July garden, so sweet with heat.
The flush of nests is past,everything slows to summer.
The skies are heartbreak blue with white clouds that hide shapes in their billows.
And sometimes thunderstorms light up the sky
reminding me,I'm not in charge.
oh, and the bugs at night
a symphony,
in still dark air
after the robin has soloed

 I wrapped myself in July today,
Blue skies,
billowy clouds,
and the promise of thunderstorms tonight

I enjoyed the company of robins,goldfinches,
wrens,purple finches,one blue jay
three squirrels and four rabbits
a few butterflies, bees
and one neighbor's kid

...this day
that will never come again

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chicago...Lake Michigan..near Navy Pier
July 2010....still a miracle when I see one

It poured down from heaven
fractured into color
for a brief time
for us to see once again
the promise


Wednesday poem

                                                            One Shot Wednesday Poem,
                                                            a place to share your poems

Here's mine:


There are some who watch sunshine
across a table, amazed at dust particles
floating aimlessly around the room,
they see lost souls or endless regret.
And there are those who dress
in front of a funhouse mirror
unaware of the fractured distortions
that go on and on.

I sit holding a hot cup of coffee,
steam rising over my hands,
they become my father's hands...
just like this he held his cup,steam
rising from him
many a morning.

The clock down the hall chimes 8,
like the bells of St.Mary's,
 that ring in me from my childhood,
that church across the street
where I thought God lived,
and always wondered why
He never walked over
and made it better.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

microfiction 39

                                                       Susan at
                                                          hosts a weekly writing meme
                                                      Using only 140 character or less,
                                              write using the below image as your prompt

My mother posed for the shampoo ad 60 yrs ago
but,when my dad unfolded it,yellowed and torn,
he wept for one last touch of her skin.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

saturday poem from the writer's box

 How To Get Over a Broken Heart

Let it rip
ooze sorrow
till it's sadness
...that hurts
when you try
to move
but can't
until it's
that you should have left
 it open
...your heart
Love will come
and heal it

Going to a political event tonight at the Columbian Yacht club.
We will get an awesome view of Chicago's skyline and of Navy Pier,where at dusk fireworks will be set off.
I don't know about where you live, but Illinois is a sorry state. Spend and tax...and we are broke despite all the revenue enhancers they have come up with.

Why am I going then? An old friend's son has invited us.
He's running..thinks he can change things..make a difference
..we used to think that too..forty years ago
nothing's changed...and now Chicago politics has gone to Washington
there...I said it.
Tonight when the fireworks go off I think I will be the only one
who will have a sense of sadness for it all.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Magpie 22

                                               Willow at
                                                       hosts a weekly writing prompt
                                          using the below photo, write a vignette or poem

 Five nearly ripe tomatoes on the vine
I am tempted to pick one and bite into it
imagining the sweetness dripping over my lips
as I take bite after bite 
devouring  it like a good man

There is something about still water...any water.
I wish I had a pond in my backyard. I am drawn to its life...herons,frogs,turtles,dragonflies,cattails. Yesterday while walking through the garden I stopped to enjoy this reflection in the birdbath.
I love reflections too, in water...especially the sky.
Sometimes I go outside when its drizzling a bit..just to look at the water in the birdbath..the ripples and circles. I remember throwing rocks into the lagoon at McKinley park in the City...watching the ripples and circles...sometimes getting a rock or two to skip across the water.
Always a fascination with water. ...still water. It stops me. I go within staring at it,my mind drifting off to unconnected thoughts that seek release. As I was looking into this water my nose caught the smell of some sweetness in the air that I can't identify, but it is the smell of a hot summer garden. The magic fragrance that transports me to places of the heart....of fun times in childhood. It whiffs and waffs through the air...floating over my memory....
This too, will be a memory, sweet summer memory,standing in my garden wishing for a pond,enjoying the reflection in the birdbath,catching the fragrance of summer,remembering my childhood..yes this too I will someday enjoy as a stirring of the heart
Things I gather everyday to have inside me. Life is for savoring...for dipping our days into joy and beauty and laughter...
and of course, M.Heart
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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July 7 1973

an anniverary of the heart
about 7:30 in the morning that day the phone rang
my 24 yr. old brother was killed in a car accident
I was 8 months pregnant and 22 years old
He's been gone a long time..37 years..I daughter will be 37 next month
Sorrow goes to a quiet place thankfully
believe it or not..some years I forget
but not this year...I saw it on my phone
the date July 7th
and I remembered
and I don't know why I wanted to tell you this
except that he mattered and I want to say it again
he mattered

Ellie's Word Pool Wednesday

It's word Pool Wednesday too!
Ellie Garratt at hosts a weekly writing challenge
In 33 words write a story using one or all three of the below words

In my car's side mirror I saw the reflection
of the poor soul along the road wrapped in a white tarp.
As police waved me on, I knew I would remember them forever.


another fun challenge

A cloverleaf in the birdbath...a simple thing really, unless you wonder did it get there..and then you stay for a while..who knows how long thinking..and one thought leads to another and the sun warms your skin and your heart is warm also because it was still and asked questions that didn't really matter to anyone else but your spirit..sometimes it is just the asking of questions that is found gold

a thing floating in water
by happenstance

how did it get there
impossible from the ground
maybe stuck to a bird's foot
or dropped from above

but there it is in sunlight
laying in still water
and the lucky thing is
I saw it and was still as it
floating in thought
and that was my pot of gold
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

One Shot Wednesday Poem

Thought I'd try my hand at writing a's been a long time..but I dusted off my line breaks
and joined for their weekly challenge to put one on the board...yes!

 Dark Brilliance

She devours
Anne Sexton
tries to crawl
inside the page
She's aware of
the darkness

But she's drawn
by the tune
Tries to whistle
as she passes
as she passes
the grave-yard


Monday, July 5, 2010

Magpie #21

                                                           hosts a weekly writing prompt.
                                               Using the below photo write a poem or vignette

Gunpowder romance
 Night skies starbursts of light
Chinese New Year
Fourth of July
Sox Park homerun
Brief fragments
of unbridled joy
cascading into darkness
and are over

Friday, July 2, 2010

Microfiction #38

Susan, at hosts a weekly writing prompt

Using the below photo write using only 140 characters or less

I watched them make several calls and reach no one.
Their silhouetted forms,against the cafe window,
were as still as starving pups. 

Happy Fourth...Celebrate America!

The last time I sketched was with the plein air group that met last summer.
I was invited this year to come along,but if you have read my blog within the last month
not much time to pencil anything pun intended.
 This was my first attempt at drawing buildings. ICK! I have always avoided buildings...give me a tree or flower.
Perspective...I never got it. But I remember just sitting across the street from this building in Riverside
on my little drawing stool and just starting...there is much that is way off, but I am happy that I was able to get anything down that resembled perspective. If you look closely and if you know me, you'll see what "drew" me to this scene to sketch.
...the sign in the window...."This place matters" Seems that the city wanted to tear this building down and the citizens rose up to save it. It was spared as of this drawing, but with the economy tanking I hope it is still there..
But the writer in me loves a good thought...This place mm....yes
everything matters...
Yep, I drew the sign..the buildings were fill in

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