Flipped One Hundred Eighty Degrees

Flipped One Hundred Eighty Degrees

Thank goodness for the rain and the dark
Because of them the tiny fire
burns hotter and brighter
the too-short blankets are enough cover
the underbaked cookies taste all right
and the skimpy mugs of hot chocolate
are plenty satisfying
all of it just fine
despite not being what anyone wanted.


Clay tile girl in polka dot sweater sitting next to a fire @ 6x6 terracotta 1-17 small

Clay tile, 2017, @ 6″ x 6″



Dare to Hope

From Generous With the Details, the poetry collection published in 2017.

Dare to Hope

They have already seen
the outside aspects of the house
The cut-stone façade
the antique door
the upscale light fixtures
the tasteful landscaping
and now
they hope
the interior will be
an absolute wreck
a shambles of a kitchen
filthy worn-out carpet
heating system from fifty years ago
and too far gone to fix
because they are afraid
it might not be
this house is far
as in interstellar distances far
way too far
outside their price range.


Old House Porch BW small

Derelict house, Fort Washington, PA. Now demolished (2018).

Day Trip Poetry Marathon 2018, Week 49

The Marathon journey continues. Search under the category Day Trip Poetry Marathon 2018 for earlier entries.

On December 6, I’m still in a catch-as-catch-can kind of Marathon mode. I’m still catching up from last week’s art show and having various things to get done this week, such as leaf raking. So I did a couple of hours in the Glenside Public Library in the morning.

po 12-6 #207

This library is my local one, where I get all my books. I’ve been a cardholder here for 25+ years and I come in two or three times a week. I did take the opportunity to check out a few books, if you are wondering… As I walked up to the door, I saw the “pony” being loaded up out front.

po 12-6 #108

Our library is part of the Montgomery County (PA) consortium of libraries. A cardholder at any one library can check out books from all of them, and even better, there is a combined system for ordering them online. So I don’t have to leave Glenside to get books from all over the county. The pony shuttles the books around to the home libraries of the people who ordered them. I rarely pick books from the shelf anymore – I browse the catalog.

Let me tell you, we are truly fortunate to have this resource and we have great libraries and librarians. I am grateful.

All right. Today I sat at the long table by the window.

po 12-6 #405

Here is the library behind me…

po 12-6 #306

…and here is the view out the window to my right and to my left.

I know from experience the library is noisy and not great for concentration, so morning hours are best. I worked on some new poems and writing the intro to the next Little Vines print book – I am nearing the number of new LV’s that I want to turn into a book.

This last part was the easiest work ever – I read over the explanation I used in the first LV book, Vines Overpower Trellis and Run, and I thought it was perfect, so I lifted it in one piece and set it in the new manuscript. I will now devote the time I saved by not coming up with a new intro and instead use it to think of a catchy name for the book. Oh, dear!

po 12-6 #702

At lunchtime I went home for a couple of slices of pizza and then I worked all afternoon on Little Vines.

po 12-6 #801

All right, here are some samples from today.

Here is a shadorma chain. I could hear little kids in the children’s area across the library.

Meow and
meow again and
the toddler
pipes out a
stream of high-pitched meows that
no cat would ever

mistake for
coming from the mouth
of any
of its kind
but convincing if you are
toddler’s purring mom.

shadorma chain

I got the inspiration for this poem first, from the guy sitting down the row from me and a phone conversation he carried on for some time; from those TV commercials for various medications; and from the place my mind goes to as the worst for being trapped in a crowd – a moving vehicle of some kind. So what I’m saying is, I pretty much made the whole thing up, but…

Guy on the phone
sitting next to me and talking loud
reads out a list
medications I think
drizzipantsit and pectophinio and
he rattles off ten more
I slide my eyes his way
head to toe he looks all right
but these days I understand
there are many things
wrong with every person
that I had no idea of
even me though I ignore it mostly
despite the ads on TV that
explain it day and night
Freckitine and snarkolet and
now he is describing the state of his colon
it being on his insides and hidden by his skin
his tan flannel shirt and faded blue pants
I can’t see it but
I sure can imagine it. The poor thing
all inflamed and writhing and riddled with stripes
to hear him tell it but despite this condition
Thank you for this excellent
customer service
he says and I think it all sounds like
very personal and here on the bus
I mostly just want to doze.

Little Vines.


one morsel of bad advice
two slips of the tongue
between three and five embarrassed solid citizens per acre

our best guess is:
after all this time
it is not going to happenstance

the events of the previous recent maybe
you are not going to like this but
let bygones be bygones does not work backwards

a basket of overripe compliments
fetid cloying dying-rose-petal rotten
emptying out and floating
six inches above the dining room table`

the bouquet of flowers
you tossed out the car window
into the arms of your now ex-boyfriend
neither of you will be the next to get married

your sister pulled out a whole handful of hair
I thought you’d be crying a little more loudly
that doll was always your favorite

Now you varnish up that pair of pursed lips
force out that awkward explanation
The phone line is embarrassed to be involved
all tied up in knots

hiss hiss
the orbit
of the golden egg

even if it’s in good shape to start with
who knew you could eat your heart out
and still live?

No secrets here oh no
Embroidery thread not required.
We sew no samplers. We needle no one.

archipelago of dreary realities
one cracked bead after another on the string
with flashbulb clarity I see three months in this job is long enough

Stares paring away all your poise
A wish to forget you were ever here
but you are. Bare your teeth and clear the air.

Open up that door, you bodiless fiend! he shouted
just as I was moving through the wall to eat him.
Seriously? I thought. Open the door? With what?

three flips in a row
and the lizard

Pitched a movie plot and the kicker is
the water-skiing instructor
is an amphibian. What? Not funny?

if you really want a lemon peel massage
you need to understand
there is no meringue involved

Thanks as always for reading! See you next week.



The class watched the face of the professor
with some apprehension
as he was known to be
aggressive in his insistence
on class participation. A favorite pose he struck
once a class period
without fail
One foot on a chair
a hand cupped to his ear
as he listened for signs of life
from the class. An expression of anticipation
like that now passing across his face
was not good news
to those who had not prepared for the lesson
or who
to put it in plain words
had prepared but without being able to catch hold
of much understanding of it
if any. The professor shifted his stance.
The class drew in its collective breath.
The professor’s feet shuffled
but settled in the same plane.
As one the class took up pens
ready to note down
if necessary
every word said
as long as they did not have to say it.


Card project black kings 2-18

Black Kings, Playing Card Project 2018, Claudia McGill/Sharon Mann – work in process

Haiku 360

Haiku 360

and so you met me
and so you turned up your nose
and so I tricked you

Image 11

Small Artist Sketchbook 2018 Image #11011

This poem is from my Small Artist Sketchbook 2018. Similar to my previous Large Artist Sketchbook 2017, I created artwork in a book over a period of time, 2016-2017-2018, and later wrote poems to go with each image. This book contains only haiku, shadorma, or tanka. All poems were published in the collection Clean Canvas in spring 2018 (without their illustrations).

In the sketch book, the poems are on the facing page for each illustration – here I am only showing you the illustration, with the text beneath it. Each poem is numbered according to my master list and the date refers to when I wrote the poem, not when the illustration was done.

Read and enjoy, and thank you!



Here is another of those two-sentence stories with poetry added. I’m thinking of them as “Minuscule” and quick to read.

Read the first Minuscule, the explanation of why I wrote it and got started on this idea, and search under the category Minuscule for others in the series.

And now – all the Minuscule stories have been made into a print book – each story with a pen and ink illustration. Click to see Minuscule on Amazon.


The heavy gray sky pressing down on the field, the trees along the fence drooping in the humidity, the ping of the metal bat, the thunk of the clumsy softball as it dropped on the ground in front of me – and then I came alive again to the sound of echoey voices strangely magnified by the thick wet air and listened to what they were yelling.

Run, Georgeann, run! I heard, and did I run, straight down the baseline to first while the confused infielders scrambled to field the unsignaled bunt – but they were no more confused than I was, or my teammates were, by the miraculous hit, my first of this (or any) season, and as I stood on base for the first time ever, all I could think was, Who knew that all I had to do was shut my eyes?

The answer
hung in the damp air
fell to earth
purposeful in its progress.
I ran to meet it.

(Shadorma 94)



My Responsibility, My Weakness, My Error

From Generous With the Details, 2017.

My Responsibility, My Weakness, My Error

I have to confess that
I misjudged the weight of the grocery bag
and so I didn’t anticipate
the handle pulling off it
the food and
especially that nice bunch of flowers
you tossed in at the last moment
such a nice impulse
but now
smashed flat under the canned goods
Lying on the sidewalk
where they fell when you grabbed the bag
by one handle
me not having warned you
it might be too heavy for that.
It’s my fault. I’m sorry.
Especially about the flowers.


Saturday Flower small

“Saturday Flowers”, collage, 2007.