Sunday Dinner Plans

Red-tail cruises low;

his shadow crosses the chicken yard

like a black blessing.

Hens scurry for cover, clucking to tell him,

“No Sunday chicken dinner for you!”

Unconcerned, the hawk soars higher.

Rabbit will do.

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brown-crisp on top,

butter-tender inside,

steam on a blue-flowered plate.

Home comfort.


Cinquain form


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Ten fingers,
ten toes,
but only one nose.

Two ears,
two eyes,
but only one mouth.

Two arms,
Two legs,
but only one heart.

Ten fingers to touch you,
Ten toes to tickle you,
Two ears to hear you,
Two eyes to see you,
Two arms to hold you,
Two legs to stand beside you,
One nose to smell you,
One mouth to kiss you,

One heart to love you
all the days of my life.


From a prompt at First50

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I wonder what the world was up to

while I was dreaming of caves and tunnels

and babies is red-checked rompers?

Should I turn on the news, listen

to political cutthroatery and nerve gas

and the latest news of poisoned water and sick children?

Will the Taliban have attacked again, another Isis suicide bomber

splattered on a Paris street? Will babies be dying in Mosul,

and who will be the favorite in the Kentucky Derby

and what was the biggest box office hit over the weekend?


Or should I go into the woods, listen

to the wood thrush newly arrived from a southern sojourn,

the rustle of leaves as a chipmunk digs for hidden nuts

from winter’s store, and the overhead blue jay

chatters his unending stream of nonsense?

Will there be orchids and golden ragwort, mayapples

and wild geranium in bloom?

Will the rest of the world keep spinning

while I step off for a while?




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Fifteen Minutes

Forty degrees

and here I am in my coat

over nightgown and robe,

socks and slippers on my feet

and my first cup of tea beside me,

in my rocker on the front porch

watching morning creep over the hill.

I am like my dogs running

their morning perimeter check around the edges of the fields,

a creature of habit. This is where I have my tea in April,

even if it is forty degrees. The tea cools and I sip quickly

to catch its disappearing warmth and sweetness.

A mile away I hear the crunch of gravel, a car door slam,

the sound of hammer on wood.

Someone is at the church, fixing what?

A broken window, a loose shingle, or

putting up a new sign before Sunday service?

Two male cardinals quarrel at the feeder;

in the chicken house the hens hum and trill

and one raises a raucous ruckus, announcing

the arrival of the first egg of the morning.

Clouds slide across the blue dome above,

leaving a whisper of rain in their path,

then all is bright and golden in the light

sifting through the still thinly clad trees.

A single web, one long thin line of spun thread,

catches the sun and shines rainbow-bright

for a second or two,

its glory probably not noticed

by the busy spinner that created it.


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Big Star

He was on the stage, lights shining on his golden hair,

spangled shirt shooting stars into adoring eyes;

jeans tight,

boots polished,

voice as smooth as ancient silk,

sliding and caressing every word,

fingers stroking sweet

notes out of his battered guitar.

And she was there, swaying with the music,

swooning with all the other under-thirty women

who crowded the stage, pulling their tops low to show

their cleaving, heaving breasts, tongues out and licking

pink, pink lips while they screamed and waved and danced

slow gyrating circles, begging his approval.

He saw her all right, she the one with the raven hair,

the black black eyes and legs that disappeared in mystery.

She met him at the back door after the show, falling

into his arms and lust that carried them both

down road after road, through town after town

for twenty-odd years and then

he was pushing seventy

and she was forty and seeing

the gold dye gone from thin gray hair,

the bent and gnarly fingers stroking only the cigarettes

he smoked one after another, lighting the next from the butt of the last.

Her hair still black with help from Miss Clairol, her figure trim

in tummy control pants and push-up bras,

she wonders where the time went, and the Big Star

in baggy pants,

watches CMT and Nascar and waits

for the calls that never come.


Inspired by a writing prompt.

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The Golden Chain

“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” Thomas Dekker


comes slow

in deep waves

singing soft notes

in, out, in, out, dream

tides ebb and flow, the moon

pulling secret places,

stories weave, their warp and woof

blend in watery blues, hazy

fog creeps with tendril fronds twining

luminescent lace submerges, drowns

wakefulness in oceanic lullabies.

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