29 October 2013

When Veil is Thin

When veil is thin between the worlds
candles set in windows swirl
to drive out darkness, bring the light,
welcome ancients, bless the unquiet
dead on their way. Realms unite, twirl

together, liminal time unfurled,
a crack between worlds, learned in oak- burled
woods from spirits this night outside time
when veil is thin.

Lives flow through currents of the soul hurled
from Source, otherworld wide open, curled
visions, elders and fairies- one tribe,
presage of winter shines lighted fires,
kindles kinds of knowledge between worlds
when veil is thin.

Offered for Open Link Night over at dVerse Poets Pub to celebrate the festival of Samhain, the start of the Celtic New Year. Tony Maude wrote a fine post on the rondeau on 24 October and I was inspired to write this in that form. I took the photo at sunset over a lake in my husband's cousin's back yard in County Clare, Ireland.

25 October 2013

Late October Light

October sun slants through french doors,
fills the front room with light
angled low for fall, catches the ceramic lamp
hand painted with Italian countryside,

provides what the artist attempted. A villa sits
illuminated on the river bank,
a man in a boat feels his heart quicken:
first glimpse of home glinted with evening glow.

Offered this late October evening in Italy for the G-Man for Friday Flash 55.

24 October 2013

Forgotten Language

Sprinkle rosemary liberally for memory
to bring back practices long forgotten.
The killing of wise women for generations
obliterated knowledge once common
of flowers, herbs, weeds used to foster health,
sometimes to cure, oft times to prevent, perhaps to sooth,
to ease birth and death, part of every life,
to leave us less alone in all we face.

Cast witch hazel around to conjure spells,
powerful spells to heal this old hatred of women,
their special powers, no longer burned at the stake
but raped, covered, silenced, denigrated
throughout the world, left with wormwood and yew.
We dance a lamentation around the aspen trees.
Sprinkle rosemary liberally for memory
and wave the willow as we mourn.

What oneness with flowers, bush or tree can restore
this healing power in the service of all? We'll surround
ourselves with zinnia, orange blossom and black poplar, bury
ourselves in persimmon until lilies fill our valleys and hazel trees bloom again.

Kerry, over at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads has a fascinating bit of history and information to encourage us writing in the language of flowers.
For this poem: rosemary- remembrance, witch hazel- spells, wormwood- absence, yew- sorrow, aspen tree- lamentation, weeping willow- mourning, zinnia- thoughts of absent friends, orange blossom- woman's worth, black poplar- courage, persimmon- bury me amid nature's beauties, lily of the valley- return of happiness, hazel- reconciliation, peace.

21 October 2013


Straight lines
of stripped vines
pattern the hillside.
Leaves in fall colors,
all that's left after harvest,
fields bereft. Workers
make wine to last.

For Open Link Monday at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads. Inspired what's happening in my little corner of the world and by Kerry's excellent post of Saturday on Tanka.

18 October 2013

Leafcutter Ant

You shouldered the leaf piece
seven times your size, marched
charted distances to your nest,
dropped it for inspection, already divorced
from the outcome- kept
or rejected. Another member marshals
leaf balance, the perfect number
of each to best grow fungus food.
You trudge forth to search
the next leaf fragment
offered to fungal cultivars.

Written in awe of leafcutter ants I saw in Trinidad's Northern Range Rain Forest who carry leaf parts to their nest to grow the fungus (true farmers) that feeds the colony. One I tracked carried an enormous piece he successfully deposited. Another ant inspects each leaf and accepts or rejects the piece based on the balanced needs of the fungus. Imagine carrying such a burden so far only to have it discarded?

The first photo shows a leaf cutter road that ran for 1/2 a mile. The second is the nest entrance. This nest was a mound 12-14 feet across. The third photo shows the ant I tracked under that long leaf piece.

It's all offered to the G-Man for Friday Flash 55.

06 October 2013


Grandmothers counsel the world,
touch the earth,
the lost land,
in a time of violence,
cry the beloved country.

Eternal echoes,
the celtic way of seeing,
the way of the shaman,
the education of the heart.

wise women,
(wisdom of the crone)
walk two moons,
fireflies in the dark-
heart of darkness.

I heard the owl call my name,
a grace disguised.
What color is my world?

I so enjoyed the prompt from Samuel at dVerse Poets on Oct. 4 that I kept going with more titles in my bookcase and a whole new topic.

Authors in order: Carol Schaefer, T.C.McLuhan, Eavan Boland (2), Alan Paton,  John O'Donohue, Frank MacEowen, Michael Harner, Thomas Moore, Nikki Giovanni, Joyce Tenneson, Field, Somerset and Phillips, Sharon Creech, Susan Goldman Rubin, Joseph Conrad, Margaret Craven, Jerry Sittser, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

04 October 2013

Baptism of Desire

Baptism of Desire

the spiral of memory,
a wrinkle in time,
sun under wood,
leaves of grass,
the wild iris,
the mist-filled path.

Hope was here
my mad love,
the heart aroused,
anam cara.

Ain't I a woman
yearning for the wind
in a different voice,
nothing left to lose,
outside history,
saved by a poem?

In response to Samuel over at dVerse Poets Pub who writes about the hidden poetry in books and asks us to use only the title of books to form a poem. It's tricky but I had a good time trying. And, since it's Friday, it's 55 words for the G-man. Anam cara is Irish for soul friend.
Authors in order of appearance: Louise Erdrich, Rosamund Lupton, Frank MacEowen, Madeleine L'Engle, Robert Hass, Louise Gluck, Walt Whitman, Louise Gluck, Joan Bauer, Shay Caroline Simmons, David White, John O'Donohue, Illona Linthwaite (editor), Tom Cowan, Carol Gilligan, Natasha Head, Eavan Boland, Kim Rosen

03 October 2013


Loss stoops
his parents' backs,
hollows their hearts,
birth and death
on the same day
despite their longing.
Grief's cloud layer
decks their souls,
strength borrowed
until resilience returns.

Written for my niece and her husband. From Patricia's word list about good neighbors over at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads. I took a different tack to acknowledge the importance of loved ones to rely on when things become too difficult. Words chosen: borrow, return, parents, birth, death, stoop, deck.