Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Poetic Asides forget...

Get Real

Forget those things that bother you.
Those things you do
Make you feel dumb
And turn you glum.

No one is perfect. All are flawed
Except Lord God.
Just learn to laugh
At all your gaffes.

If in the wrong, apologize
And you’ll be wise.
Then they will feel
That you are real.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Minute poem


My songs are wings of praise to You
My cares are few
Thanksgiving flows
My weak faith grows

Though it’s not always joy and cheer
I know You’re here
You quench my fears
And wipe my tears

      So whether life is good or bad
      I will be glad
      Someday by grace
      I’ll see Your face

Monday, September 28, 2015

minute poem


You dance at times but mostly not
Until you’re caught
You stop and stare
And find a chair

You sing out loud on better days
Then catch his gaze
You bite your tongue
A song unsung

You smile until the world seems bright
In dead of night
And no one knows
The hidden rose

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild tag lines

Lighten Up

Mind over matter: If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. (Salada tea tag line)

What’s offensive to one
is funny to another.
A chip on the shoulder
makes enemies of brothers.

Most people mean well
when they have something to say.
Let lighten up
be your motto today.

So let the comments of those
without any tact,
roll like water
off a duck’s back. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

minute poem


You can watch Kudzu quickly grow
Spreads fast, not slow
It creeps around
Along the ground

It snuffs out life of other plants
With bold advance
It covers trees
With greatest ease

Like creature from a horror flick
It clings to brick
And climbs the wall
Destroying all 

Friday, September 25, 2015


Autumn Leaves

Brisk breeze blows its chill
Energizing zeal        
Swishing colorful, crisp leaves
Skittering along
Singing their fall song
Piling way up past the knees

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Poetic Asides Spectacular


Sometimes I feel life’s plain and dull
No fun at all
Stuck in a rut
With eyes tight shut

I go about the day and yawn
From dawn to dawn
Routine events
With no intent

Spectacular is in the wings
To dance and sing
A joy within
With you, I win

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

PA Minute poem

Sign of Aging

The microwave, it beeps when done
And then we run
Lest we forget
And let it set

But if we do, reminder beeps
As the tea steeps
Or what is there
If someone cares

Sometimes we ask who put what in
And with a grin
We check and see
If him or me 

Monday, September 21, 2015


Leaf Swishing

Up to our knees
Up and down the sidewalk
And again. 

September 21 PRPG autumn

Bobby Johnson

We were walking home
from a Halloween party.
Daryl scooped up stones
and threw them at a trailer truck that rumbled by.
Red lights flashed with squealing breaks.
A muscular truck driver leapt from the front,
grabbed Daryl by the collar,
slammed him against the side of the truck.
“It wasn’t me,” screeched Daryl,
scared out of his gourd.
“It was Bobby Johnson.”
The driver let Daryl go.
We walked home.
A little stunned.
Making jokes
about the infamous
bad boy,
Bobby Johnson. 

September 20

Spicy smells
Crisp, chilled air
Purplish red,
Bright red, oranges, golds, yellows
Pile them up and jump 

September 19, 2015

Round walnuts
Drying in the yard
Run, hurry
Slide, fall
Hard landing, skedaddle, up
Little round bruises
Where the sun doesn’t shine

September 18, 2015

When we moved out west
Mom would encase
Red maple leaves in plastic
Place them into a manila envelope
Enticing us to homesickness

September 17, 2015

Aspen leaves
Golden, dancing, coins
Serrated edge
Crisp, crackling
Flash of brightness in your day
Whispering goodbye

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Morning prayer

Casting My Cares

I toss all my troubles
onto You, since
You treasure me.

The worries, nervousness
disappointments and hurts,
I heave in to Your hands.

The excitements and hopes,
the wishes and dreams
I deliver into Your lap.

Hand in hand,
we walk together.
I am not alone.

Monday, September 14, 2015



Did you ever
have a conversation
with someone
and in the end
feel like your spirit
is laying there
bruised and bleeding?
And you cry out,
“Lord heal me!”
And He does.
And even turns it around
for your good
and puts love in your heart,
enough to love
the person who wounded you.
But those moments
between the time you ask
and receive
can be unsettling.
Be of good cheer.
He will answer.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

PRPG Rain -- Scripture paraphrase

Jesus Said…
(Matthew 5:43-48)

They say, care for your community
but I say, love your enemies.
Pray for those who wrong you,
as children of the Heavenly Father.

He sends sunshine and rain  
on those who do evil
as well on those who do good.

If you love your friends and family
don’t even thieves do the same?
If you greet only those close to you,
don’t even the worldly do that?

Aim to imitate Emmanuel,
rain your kindness on all.

Saturday, September 12, 2015



The Dachshund knick-knack
appears too long for reality,
brown painted fur, stretched out
on a patch of ceramic grass.
I bought it at a yard sale
my neighbor’s family held
after she passed to the next life.

I’ll miss her round figure,
black frizzy hair, brown eyes,
bustling about, in motherly voice
calling after her “babies.”
I remember the time
her house about burned down
while she tried to save them.

And the time I got up on my roof
to paint the gables purple,
but I was afraid to come down
with no one holding the ladder.
She was in her yard,
so I had her call my daughter,
who came out laughing.

And the time she baked us brownies
in appreciation for cutting down trees
that blocked the sunlight to her house.
I don’t know what happened
to the real little yippers,
but the knick-knack
will always remind me of her.

Friday, September 11, 2015


T is for Totem pole

My silly big sister
decided she’d make
a totem pole
for our reunion gift exchange.
I’m not sure if she knew what a totem pole was.
She bought a big Styrofoam T
(for Totem pole),
painted it green,
and stuck on scrapbook decals
that had to do with Shannons
and the Irish, pot of gold, Shamrock,
fishing pole, lawnmower, gardening things,
plus photos of Mom and Dad.
I love it, but I wish she used
an S for Shannon,
not a T for Totem pole. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015



A green, floppy-eared stuffed dog.
Plastic eyes showing movement,
depending on your perspective.
Waggles went with me everywhere.

One wee AM I threw up on him.
Mom scrubbed him down
and dried him so I could sleep.
I still have Waggles somewhere.

Mom passed away years ago.
Memories of her kindness live on.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Poetic Asides ten lines or less

Getting Myself Going

The timer shrieks with a shrill beep
Announcing that it’s time to write.
It’s set again. I write till ten,
And now the screen’s no longer white.

The timer shrieks with a shrill beep
Announcing that it’s time to clean.
I clean a bunch, then time for lunch.
Sometimes I feel like a machine.

The timer shrieks with a shrill beep.
A few more rounds, then time to sleep.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Object poem


I like owls.
Not sure why.
I’m not overly infatuated
with real owls,
especially when one
ate my kitten.
Still, I admire these stately birds.
Mostly, I like decorative owls.
I have an elegant, brown ceramic owl
sitting atop my entertainment center.
It’s really a vase.
I set a tablet and pen by it.
When something good happens
I rip off a piece of paper,
write the blessing down,
and stick it in the owl.
The owl’s belly is full of good things,
just like all bellies should be.
Also, by this owl sits a little stuffed owl
wearing a graduation cap.
I bought it for my daughter
when she graduated from college.
Now, it cheers me on to finish my degree.
I have owls on my towels.
I have owls on a mug.
At a writers conference
they had gift packages you bid on.
I liked the one with the owl mug,
and it happened to be my birthday.
When the bids were about to close,
I saw that there was a name after mine.
I thought if God wants me to have it
for my birthday, He’ll have to give it for me.
I didn’t sign my name and walked out.
In the next class, my friend said,  
“I signed your name on that package you wanted
just before the bidding closed.”
So when I drink from my owl cup
I remember the day
God Himself wished me a Happy Birthday
with a little help from a friend. 

Monday, September 7, 2015


Hike to Hope Lake

Bumpy road
2.5 miles up
Thin air
Through the forest
Over river
Through the fields
Don’t pause at berries,
may be bears
Snapping pictures
Going up and up
Snow on mountain peaks
Silvery slivers of falls
Lots of switch backs
Muscles moaning
I left my wife and 49 kids
On the verge of starvation
Without any gingerbread left
Left, left, right left.
Up at the top.
Have lunch at the lake.
Easier going down.
Not so easy on rubber legs.
Just around the corner.
Another corner
Still another corner
I see the truck.
Sure you do
You didn’t believe me!
But I was right the fifteen times before.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

PRPG summer vacation

On to Autumn

Summer has nearly passed me by
I didn’t do much just for fun
My college, writing, and host home
Kept me on the run

But I have some trips planned
Three vacations in all
So what if I missed summer?
I’ll enjoy my fall. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015


A ship sails above my sink
Now what would my neighbors think
Of me washing dishes
And making my wishes
Of sailing off to Hawaii in a blink 

Friday, September 4, 2015


Huddled in my getaway place
Where large ferns and mossy rocks
Meet the chattering stream 

Thursday, September 3, 2015


A balmy breeze blows
Palm tree fronds dance
Waves swish my bare toes


Framed in white shutters
Blue sky, white sand, turquoise water
Yellow beach umbrella with my name on it


Feather palms
White sandy beaches
Crystal clear water beckons

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Poetic Asides Count Down


Excited kids to open Christmas gifts
Drunken celebrants as Times Square Ball drops
Children marking off days till their birthdays
Round-bellied mom awaiting baby’s birth

Eager students before graduation,
Children excited for school to be out
Parents excited for school to be in
Folks ready for a summer vacation

Impatient children at a road trip’s end
Watchers at launch at Cape Canaveral
A procrastinator with a deadline
Demolition experts, fire in the hole

Hosts looking forward to house-guests coming
Hosts looking forward to house-guests leaving