Saturday, October 31, 2015

Praise Acrostic

Praise God

P raise You Lord for being You, for
R adiantily shining through and through. I praise You Lord for
A ll Your graces, for being the creator of nature’s places. I praise You for Your
I magination. And being God of all the nations. I praise You for Your Holy
S pirit, so when trouble comes, I need not fear it. I praise You for being
E ternal and pure. I praise You

G od for being sound and sure. I praise You for being
O ne and three. I praise You for Your
D ivinity. 

10 30 15

Thank You, Lord

T hank You Lord for golden leaves and
H ow each day I can breathe.
A nd that You provide my daily
N eeds, including food that comes from seeds. Thank You, Lord for
K eeping me, in
Y our care so lovingly. Thank You
O ne and only God, for
U nderstanding me, though I’m odd. Thank You

L ord, for sunshine and roses and
O ranges and water hoses. Thank You Lord for
R eal friends and family, too. But most of all thank You,
D ear Lord, for being You.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Poetic Asides You Should

You Should Get Rid of That Hat

I love you dearly.
You can count on that.
But, my dear, you really
should get rid of that hat.

In the eighties, long ago,
when leggings were in style,
I got a pair with matching hat
and wore them a while.

You claimed the hat
and wore it all the time,
winter through autumn,
you know I’m not lyin’.

Cranberry and white.
Flops like a Smurf’s cap.
It’s tattered and torn,
not much more than a scrap.

It began to unravel
up there at the top.
You can put it on both ways.
When will you stop?

Some day when you’re not looking,
It will disappear.
It’s for your own good.
Really, my dear.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Sensory Impressions

Sensory Impressions

Passion looks red orange
Joy smells like lilacs
Hatred tastes bitter
Insults feel prickly
Life hums and clatters

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Trip journal

Last Day of the Trip October 2015

Uneventful eight hour drive.
I’m not complaining about the uneventful part.
The leaves had changed more,
aspens quivering, golden in the sun.
Many had fallen.
Air colder.
Ate at a Chinese restaurant
That was a pleasant surprise.
We didn’t know what it was going in.
At home.
Squeals from Vanessa. Hugs from Justin.
Hugs and kisses from Loren.
Last night with Lori.
I’ll sure miss her.
Until January, our next trip.

Trip Journal

Made it Back to Colorado

Went to see Judy and Mike in Lincoln
Ate out at Perkins.
Didn’t realize that I had picked the restaurant
that my four sisters and I ate at in the early morning hours
after Mom had just passed away.
Now, sixteen years later.
Sixteen years?
How could that even be possible?
Do the math. 1999-2015. Sixteen years.
And then Dad died two months after that.
Now, we munched on eggs, bacon, pancakes
and enjoyed each other’s company.
Back at Judy’s we played Splendor
Promising this was the last game
then we’d go, about ten times.
We reserved a room in a motel
past Denver to make an easier trip the next day.
As we neared, it seemed to be getting farther away.
At last we arrived. A bed never felt that good. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild famous person you've seen or met

John Green

October 2015, first StoryCon in Minnesota,
he seemed like a scrawny kid, though almost 40,
tall and thin, bespectacled, somewhat shy,
wearing jeans, plaid shirt and sneakers.
When he entered, the nerds went crazy.
Most knew him from the Vlogbrothers,
a YouTube show done with brother Hank,
that has a following of millions.
He made Time’s 2014 Top 100 influential people.
He has written four best-sellers for young adults.
One book has become a movie with another in the making.
“Don't forget to be awesome!” he says.
He sets the example
with Project for Awesome
when he raises money for worthy causes.
You never know what one person can do, 
until you try. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Trip Journal A Paradelle

Milwaukee to Adams

And drove
And drove
To Nebraska.

I can’t remember
Much about that trip.
We listened to The Walk.
I wasn’t feeling well.
Ate salads most of the day,
But I ate an egg at breakfast.

Couldn’t decide which town to head for,
The sister in Adams or Lincoln.
We chose to first see Linda in Adams
And then we’d go see Judy the next day.
My sister and niece welcomed us with hot tea.
Rebecca gave us homemade gifts for those at home.

We sat in the living room with Linda’s husband Dave.
He, Becca, and Lori set about getting Skype to work.
Soon we saw pictures of Megan and Allie in Seattle,  
Allie’s fiancĂ© in Michigan and Tom and his fiancĂ©  
In Colorado where he lives just three hours away from our home.
After they got the glitches out, we had a four time-zone conversation. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

trip journal

Lori’s 48th and 49th

Left hotel in St. Paul a little late.
Pushed the speed limit.
Arrived at the dock of Lake Express
in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
as last passengers boarded
the high-speed ferry.
Sat behind a young family, a baby
and a toddler who stared
between the seats as I smiled.
Made it to the bathroom feeling drunk
as I tottered and grabbed onto seatbacks
meeting other passengers unexpectedly.
Lori had to go outside for air.
I stayed in and as the waves tossed us about,
I prayed she wouldn’t fall overboard.
The kids got sick.
Made it to Muskegon, Michigan.
Now, Lori has matched my 49 states.
We will go to Hawaii someday to make 50.
Realized the time had changed.
We didn’t have the hour we thought,
so I got some tea and we got back on the boat.
The wind and waves tossed us about.
Lori went out again, but came back in pale.
She used the well-stocked barf bags.
I breathed in as the waves went up
and breathed out as the waves went down.
I never have gotten seasick.
But this trip I joined in.
At one point, all conversation ceased.
The only sound, the rocking of the boat,
and people puking.
Puke Express docked twenty minutes late.
Lori and waited until we were last in line
because when we puke we pee.
We drove to the place where we
had ordered Indian food online.
Real Indian food
from a Pakistani neighborhood.
I went into the restaurant
where the women wore hijabs
and the men stared.
As I walked out I wondered
if they thought I was so frightened
I peed my pants.
Back to the motel.
Too sick to eat the spicy food.
Stayed up till two writing
and turning in a college assignment.
Long day.  
Lori said it was worth it to get her two states.
I’ll just chalk it up to experience.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Poetic Asides prompt Movie title

It’s a Wonderful Life

If you never existed
what would my life be like now?
Would I have married someone else?
Had different children?
Lived in an exotic location?
Would I have ever become a writer?
Would have I gone to college?
Would I have been happier?
Questions like this are like the appendix.
The only thing it does is make you sore,
and has to be removed.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

trip journal

Story Con

Immersed in the nerd world
where it's cool to be uncool.
Jeans and T-shirts
with slogan only nerds get
Little Bo Peep, Medieval princess,
no Darth Vader  
Gamers, givers, activists
Getting charged up
to tell those stories
Back to the hotel
Will miss the luxurious room
Won’t miss the creepy parking garage
or the squeaky door.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

trip journal


Started the day with tea from McDonald’s.
Lori driving through the city,
me manning the GPS.
Weaving our way, missing, trying again.
Arriving, remember where we parked!
Hearing famous authors
describe stories, the writing life, the business, the fame.
Working on a college lesson in between classes.
Long day.
We know where the car’s parked,
but where is the parking garage?
An hour later, we find it.
Cavernous parking garage at the hotel.
To bed finally.
Squeaky door.
Where’s the WD40?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Phoenix Rising horror titles

Panic Room

in a room full of monsters,
grabbing, screaming,
threatening sanity.
Nursery duty.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

10 18 15

Lincoln to Minnesota

Brunch with Judy in Lincoln,
tea with cousin Buddy and boys
in Minnesota.
Glad to have family stop by.
First time I was in Starbucks.
Dinner with Michelle
in Saint Paul.
Lamb, so good.
Felt like I knew Michelle all my life,
after writing poetry together for eight years.
Cold and windy, took pictures.
Seventh floor of hotel.
Very nice, big rooms, comfy beds.
Squeaky door. 

10 17 15

The Adams Family

Adams Nebraska is a pleasant town.
Tree lined streets. Quaint yards.
Old houses
like the one my sister lives in.
Love the wood trim throughout.
We played Splendor.
We walked, talked and laughed.
Leftovers from Olive Garden.
Went through a box of stuff
she had out for me:
stuffed dog of my Dad’s when he was sick,
prayer doll that was Lori’s when she was little,
plastic letter blocks, Little Golden books,
some jeans and tops
that get passed back and forth.
Lasagna for supper
with Linda, David, and Becca.
Took another walk.
Slept like a rock.

10 16 15


I called my niece.
Michelle, are you coming to brunch?
What? I thought we were going to supper.
Where are you?
Cheyenne. Where are you?
Oh, I know what I did. I called the wrong Michelle.
Michelle, my niece, couldn’t go to brunch.
But we had a delicious omelet breakfast
with sister-in-law, Ineke.
Ineke’s like my own sister.
We have had such good times
and bad times, too.
Like the time she wrecked my bicycle
and broke her arm.
Moments are so fleeting.
We’ll never run out of time in heaven.
Soon we were on I80
About half way to Lincoln
a jeep ran us off the road.
I said the one word prayer,
“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!”
Lori drove down the median,
over the cop car rode,
and between two poles,
and stopped.
Thank You, Jesus.
It could have been much worse.
At Lincoln,
we ate pizza with Judy and Mike
and played Splendor,
an addictive game
with chips and cards.
Thank You, Lord.
Special times with family
are few and far between.

10 15 15

Cortez to Cheyenne

We drove through the fog
over the mountain pass.
But I knew peace,
knowing You’re with me.
Let in-laws know we made it.
Ate at the Olive Garden.
When the waiter brought my salad,
Lori said she’d take the black olives.
I said, “Don’t take all my black olives.”
When the waiter returned,
he brought Lori a dish of black olives.
I said, “You’re thinking, now girls don’t fight.”
He said, “I thought I’d prevent
It from happening.”
We laughed.
We filled up on salad and hors d’oeuvres.
We scooped up my eggplant parmesan
and her shrimp pasta,
put them in tacky Styrofoam take-out boxes,
and listened to thumping noises
all night in a cheap hotel,
imagining ghosts next door.

10 14 15


Not quite the Sardine Express,
but close, in the Odyssey van.
Loren and Lorraine up front.
Vanessa and I in the middle.
Justin and Lori in the back.
Lori’s squished in between
the two wheels of Vanessa’s chair.
Off to church we go.
We could be on our way to many places.
Some could be really bad.
Thank You, Lord,
that we are on our way to church.
There’s no place I’d rather be.

10 13 15

Darn STM

My daughter showed me how
to do page numbers
on the computer,
for two different sections.
Over and over,
I did it
over and over
until I got it right.
That was two weeks ago.
Can I do it now? 

10 12 15


My senses on the alert
She drives up.
She’s here.
From the day I looked into her dark eyes
I knew she’d be my friend
So much has passed between us
Good, bad, uncertainties, fears
She’ll always be my friend.
Always be my daughter. 
And soon 
I'll watch her drive off again. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Phoenix Rising Poetry Gold autumn wordle

Autumn Leaves

Your vibrancy increased, but not for long
A month or two enjoy your current hue
The colors bursting forth and not a few
The choir of cicada sing their song

The sunny days grow shorter, nights turn cold
You tremble in the crisp and spicy air
While people drive around to stop and stare
And watch the ending of your life unfold

Detaching from the limb that gave you life
You flutter like a dancer in the wind
Your graceful pirouettes you can’t rescind
You lay beside your kin like man and wife

Then rakers sweep you in a heaped up pile
And you enjoy the leapers for awhile 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

10 10 15 Phoenix Rising Wordle

Halloween Night

Whistling winds whirl leaves in the cold, crisp air
Children’s crunching footsteps sound in the dark
Laughter follows those who take a dare
Whistling winds whirl leaves in the cold, crisp air
Neighbors wait with porch lights on, candy to share
Doorbells ring, “Trick or Treat!”, dogs bark
Whistling winds whirl leaves in the cold, crisp air
Children’s crunching footsteps sound in the dark 

10 9 15

The Inn

It smelled of roses,
the inviting, comfortable inn.
They say it’s where Rose died.
In the night, you can hear her cry.
Living with ghosts
doesn’t grow old
when roses turn to gold. 

10 8 15


looks back
finding fire following
devouring people down
in one smooth gulp.

Teaching you to appreciate
quenching rains
of forgiveness.



Something to aim for
keeps me from living
a damp, moldy existence. 



Hiking is something I always enjoyed,
but shopping not so much.
The minutes tick by slowly when I shop.
Shuffling along store to store
seems like a sour reply to nature.
Outdoors, I feel I’m back home in Pennsylvania
walking hand in hand
with my memories.

Poetic Asides Watching the World Go By


I watched the world go by.
Foggy mountain passes
Dull yellow leaves waiting
for the sun to turn them into gold
Red cliffs
Broad meadows
Busy city streets
Flat prairies
Corn fields and more corn fields
Quaint towns
Cities stacked up on themselves
Lake of tossing waves
And in each car people with their own stories,
all-important to themselves.

Poetic Asides Spooky


A moonlit swamp
swathed in eerie shadows.
A dank basement
boasting spiders and scurrying mice.
A huge house
haunted with moans
and creaky steps.
None can compare to the cavernous
parking garage with a thousand hiding places
for hoodie-wearing muggers.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

current situation

Lap robe
A cup of tea
Hoping I’ll be well enough
for my trip. 

10 2 15

I push her wheelchair
My friend
I don’t want to be her caregiver
But a friend does
what a friend’s got to do.


We drive a long
Oohing and aahing
Golden leaves light up in the sun
which sparkles in the lake
like a thousand diamonds
while stern mountains look on.