Shadorma 143

From Unpredictable Hue, 2019.

The seasons turn.

arrived and
in the dark and cold
yet I know
the shy sun inching closer
sits down beside me

Shadorma 84

Today is my birthday. This poem describes something of what I want to be doing this year.

I wrinkle
I soften creases
I fashion
the stiffness
of the raw threads of this day
into finished silk

Put Pen to Paper Marathon 2019 Week 35

The Marathon journey is in its third year. Put Pen to Paper is the current incarnation.

On August 29, another split poetry-writing session.

I did the Marathon at home and at the Glenside Library. I’m not quite ready for summer to be over yet and the idea of going to Montco was just too much for me, knowing that school would be in full swing there.

Here are some “moody” shots from my house. Or maybe they are just “messy”! Anyway, a little different view of things.

And, I can’t leave out my basement.

After a couple of hours, the library was open, so I set up at a table there.

Well, that’s the session description. Let’s get to the actual work done. I had a few poems from last week’s session I wanted to work on a little more, so I did that. Then I tried to get some impressions on paper from the full moon walk I went on a couple weeks ago at the nature preserve.

Then, Little Vines!



This shadorma is one from last week. There were some ominous clouds outside the windows on that day.

Wary eyes
watch the clouds decide:
all-out rain
here and now
or resentful bloated sulk
and then all-out rain.

One aspect of the full moon walk. A shadorma.


As shadows
we wait in the field
on the edge
of night lives
we do not share. A lone tree.
Screech owl. The full moon.

Another view of the full moon walk. A shadorma chain.

We stumble
night blind as we are
on tree roots
upthrust rocks
on the shadows underneath
the catalpa tree

our own feet.
Laughter and crickets
blend a song
the tall grass
strokes the strings. We make our way
through the full moon night.

Little Vines. Just like last week, I didn’t feel like making choices today so I’ve included the whole list.

think carefully
pink lipstick
do you want to risk your reputation on that pair of lips?

no apologies for interrupting
think of it I’m giving you a chance for an early start
to make your sales pitch at the next house
(Shuts door and locks it)

we are two out of the ordinary chairs
we happen to be capable of fighting back
go ahead sit down see what happens

instead she started laughing
her big chunky necklace
bouncing up and down on her expansive bosom

your car I’m not trying to steal your car
I tell you it’s following me
begging me to rescue it

I was at a friend’s house
earlier this week? yesterday? this afternoon?
whatever works best for his alibi?

offering no excuses no explanations
only a self-defense strategy:
always have a trash bag handy

after you told her
Your tibia is as beautiful as your fibula
and best of all is your patella
of course she’s in a great mood now

no matter how smart you think you are
an unfortunate coincidence
can seek you out just like anyone else

you underestimate
the appeal of a large check
in advance of something improper

we argue the case, I and me –
I say yes I was there
though that’s not what me told I

I’m looking out for your best interests
though to be honest I don’t much see anything
best or interesting about you

those two
inaccurate measurements
spelled the end of our relationship, of course

my knees
they have issues
that a whole lot of name-calling doesn’t really help

my dilemma:
that simple question you ask every day
when my answer to it always has to be a lie

with a full moon and free admission
to the sky
the bats are everywhere on this summer night

The bogus-cousin-visiting-from-out-of-town excuse.
So many people have come to the same conclusion.
Unless like me your last name is Bogus.

we need to talk about that plate
you keep mentioning as having too much on it
that I just smashed into pieces

OK reformed character
tell me in detail again
why I barely knew you back then
why I’d want to change that now

how about
let’s just
keep it complicated between us

You bet I’ll keep on selling dental equipment
it’s all about the emotion, you know?

I counted almost three thousand screeching pistons
pounding in my head
before the aspirin finally took effect

with a whole lot of name-calling
loads of tired clichés
that low-profile nuisance is trying to move up in the world

rocket to the full moon
two nights ago
crewed by werewolves. How about that.
full moon
with a sly expression
peered at me through those thick lenses

Every heart beats all day and all night
until it doesn’t.
Is that what the smear on the knife blade is about?

PO 8-29-19 (14)


Thank you for reading!

Shadorma 144, 149

From Unpredictable Hue, 2019.

Drainpipe curves
up and to the right
Straights itself
picks up speed.
Galvanized run to the roof.
Mouth open. Thirsty.
aloe plants lined up
in four-inch pots that next year
will pinch at the roots.

Put Pen to Paper Marathon 2019 Week 31

The Marathon journey is in its third year. Put Pen to Paper is the current incarnation.

This week’s Marathon, like last week, occurred in a series of sessions. This week’s work stretched from 7/31 to 8/2. I am still recovering from my poison ivy affliction and though things are improving, I thought shorter sessions would be a better idea. So I worked at home, two mornings, one short and one long, and a short-ish afternoon session.

Speaking of poison ivy, remember that I acquired it as I was taking out a huge overgrown bush in my back yard? My husband finished the job and I’ve done some more clearing of the (now poison-ivy free) site. Here are the results:


Anyway, back to writing. I focused on writing short poems and following a form (haiku, shadorma, etc.) It just seemed to be the right fit for the week. And of course, Little Vines.

Without any more introduction, here are some selections from this week’s Marathon work.

I got my hair cut a couple of weeks ago and while waiting for my turn I made a note in my tiny notebook about “Romeo”, but now I am not sure what I was thinking about. So I made up this tanka to fit the phrase.

OK Romeo
sit down in the barber’s chair
a swish of the cape
a terry towel cravat
quick slim scissors style you up

We bought some flowers to fill some large pots in our yard. It’s late in the year for that, but we will enjoy them for at least a couple of months, I think. Here is a tanka for those flowers.

Let’s buy some of them
these end-of-season flowers
the deep-discounted
tired and ragged in their pots
still hoping for a garden

This time of year there are many afternoon thunderstorms. It is a childhood memory I write about here – we spent a lot of the summer at the pool when I was young and when a storm came we had to leave the water. A haiku.

with glum expressions
the swimmers wrapped in towels
wait out the thunder

I could not leave this week without some commemoration of poison ivy. A shadorma:

Jealous green
twines around your arm
trails fingers
Winks. You will
only notice the blisters
after she’s long gone

(I think these pictures, taken along the Pennypack Trail a couple of days ago, are of poison ivy. If not, well, I’m still not touching them.)

Little Vines.

the pins and needles
nigh crazy with relief
rushed home to their tomato-shaped pincushion

it was torture experiencing
your logic
crawling a zig-zag worm trail in my head

He wants to revisit Glasnost
You know
in Scotland

red shoelaces rein in the foot
the yellow-marigold of the skirt fabric
tangles around the leg

no one looks into
easy dreams
the way they really ought to

did the cat lick the bowl already
or will I be the early bird
that gets the worm this morning?

a romantic weekend
with an orphan
by the river in the fog
That’s the plot.

my speech to the shareholders
greed and synergy
greed and synergy
synergy and greed

in theory
the funeral
puts an official end to being described as alive and well

the dark-side saint
spat out animosities
in a spray of red spittle

In today’s world the crystal ball
finds itself at a loss
more often than it likes to admit

tresses grow don’t they but
show me any kind of proof it could happen this way

my priority is
that healthy kind of guy
who is upstairs right now

(insert disclaimer here):
I don’t make decisions
I assemble experts

solve the equations for X
and eggs and chocolate and rain
and the movements of your toes

when you close your eyes
the air vents in your eyeballs
will keep your overheated imagination
from exploding your head

eye of lemon in the sky
the sea
a sheet of blue paper


Thank you for reading!