Dead Man’s Fare

Graveyard journey.
Ghosts whisper, twist, shimmer
curl through drizzly clouds.
Breeze dances, skips with leaves.

Dawn spills rose-red tincture,
blood-shadows scar green grass.

Shallow breath jars sickly grin.
Fear bubbles, melts
cues nervous giggley spark,
sound opens echoes.

Still lull gone.
Death laughs here.


Quadrille (44 words exactly, not including title) written for dVerse, using all 31 quadrille prompts given thus far: dance, bubble, grin, lull, melt, shimmer, twist, skip, green, breeze, spill, rose, journey, jar, leaves, open, shadow, cloud, spark, cue, breath, scar, curl, whisper, dawn, ghost, giggle, drizzle, still, echo, sound (we’ve had 31 weeks of quadrilles thus far, each one, using one of these words as a prompt). Photo: black and white of Glendalough, Ireland cemetery which surrounds St. Kevin’s 6th century monastic ruins.

Final Scene

Sprawled on faded flaccid couch,
she snores guttural gumpfs and wheezes.

A warped pendulum creaks . . . shudders . . . stops . . .
clock face sags in disrepair.

Rodent feet in plaster-dust slippers
scurry inside flaking walls.

Spotlight dims. Floorboards creak.
Vamp sounds of decay.

Enter Death as curtain falls.


Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. It’s Quadrille Monday (a poem of 44 words – not including the title – no more; no less). Today Victoria is hosting and asks to use the word “sound.” Bar opens at 3 PM Boston time! PS:  after a wonderful month + trip that included a TransAtlantic cruise and cruises through the Norwegian Fjords, Iceland and Ireland, it’s great to be home! Enjoying my regular early morning writing and reading time again.

What Is Shall Be Was

Shadows tread in life’s past.
Embers gleam red passion,
pale to ashen grey.
Ship wakes sink into oblivion.
Sand dollars, once much more.

Faces unknown
posed in serious countenance,
fade frozen in corroded frames.

Vestigial pock marks upon the earth.
Life marches forward
directionally unaware,
into the past.

Written for Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. April is national poetry month so drop by to imbibe some words with us – or better yet, step up to the bar, no prompt on OLN. It’s an opportunity to share as you wish! Bar opens at 3:00 PM Boston time. Photo in public domain

Ancient Burial Ground

Stones lean precariously after years of neglect. Some cracked. Others bedecked by lichen. Tall wild grasses and spindly trees surround antiquity. Tourists hike the nearby road, unaware. Disconnected to what was. But the Earth knows. She periodically sheds tears, some frozen in anguish, others gentle in their falling. Her memory forever graced by those embraced within her folds. 

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where today’s prompt is to write prose poetry. Bar opens at 3 PM Boston time. This is a special place in cyberspace where poems are shared and read. Come join us! 


Did you hear the winds rustle that day?
Metaphors soared on the backs of gulls.
Thousands of unused words,
ideas not yet writ,
wended their way into the night sky.
A poet’s earth journey complete,
she lives now, forever beautiful,
among the shimmering stars.


Quadrille (44 words) written for dVerse as Grace asks us to use the word “journey.” dVerse is celebrating its fifth anniversary this week. Link up to join in the celebration!
Written in memory of poet Viv Blake who died suddenly on July 5, 2016. Photo taken while in Portland, Maine this past June.

Difference Defined

swing it round, this way, now that

walk quietly in forest glen
seek movement in grasses tall
watch, scope, carefully

blood spills, rounds and rounds
one load’s cacophony of death

deer and pheasant, field to table
smiling faces, club to grave


Quadrille using word “spill” written for today’s dVerse. Also written in response to the Pulse Club Massacre. Fact: same type of semi-automatic weapon used in the Sandy Hook shooting. There are reasonable steps that can be taken that do not dismantle the 2nd amendment.

What Death Lies Here

The tall waving grasses are always green
in this blessed and hallowed place.
Tombstones crumble, long passed souls embrace
‘neath palmetto fronds, while angels pray unseen.

And one lone cherub, an alabaster figurine
guards still the lad beneath her, quiet in grace.
The tall waving grasses are always green
in this blessed and hallowed place.

The sea nearby crashes waves of aquamarine,
spews salted grits of sand through air to stone efface.
Sacred words, names and years, all but erased
yet bones and dust beneath, feed this earth serene
the tall waving grasses are always green.

Gayle, in dVerse, asked us to create a Rondel: 3 verses (2 quatrains and a quintet). It must have a refrain: Lines 1 & 2 are repeated in lines 7 & 8; and line 1 must also be line 13.  The rhyme scheme must be ABBA   ABthen-line-1-and-line-2   ABBAthen-line-1.  The challenge is to have the form “disappear” within the meaning of the poem.  Photos: from our walk yesterday which included meandering through St. Peter’s cemetery, established in 1854, located atop a hill in St. George’s Bermuda.

…and the waters shall flow

We will cross the bridge tomorrow, following bagpipes and the hearse.

Ancient stones shape two arches and guide the current’s flow. Last week’s storm brought a rush of silt and murky waters. Today the river is clear and calm. I see fish moving in and out among pebble mounds. The sun moves slowly across the scene, leaving shadows in its wake, but I remain on its golden side. My gaze moves to the road beyond. And I know, although I cannot see, the plots are there, just around the bend.

Heron waits, ready to pluck
fish flow ‘neath ancient bridge
life moves through to death.


Written for dVerse, a Pub for Poets….Haibun Monday #6.  Gabriella Skriver shared several of her photos and asked that we choose one to motivate our writing for today. I loved this bridge one. A haibun begins with short compact prose and concludes with a haiku — the haiku cannot be a duplicate of the prose, but must be complementary. Generally, a haibun in the true sense of the form includes elements of nature and moves to an inimitable truth.

In Response to Death

I shall be more than a visitor upon this earth.
Cities and countries stabbed with green push pins
in a yellow brittle map upon the wall.
Dog-eared journals full of must-sees checked off in red.
Christmas cards sent round the world
Best Wishes from lillian embossed in gold.

When I die, my life shall not flash before me
like quick bold lightning, jagged and gone.
I shall keep everyday images seared in my heart.

Eraser smudges on valentine red, paled with years.
The familiar slant of my daughter’s hand,
scribbled note stuck on refrigerator door.
The love of my life, head bowed, dozing in his chair.
Our white house, its wide open yard
where we chased fireflies on warm Iowa nights.

Visitors tread imprints upon the ground
disturbed, then gone with the slightest breeze.
My death shall leave my laughter and my grin
my dancing spirit and my quirky ways,
some of me in those I leave behind,
having lived and loved upon this earth.

Ah serentiy

For today’s Poetics on dVerse, the Poets’ Pub, Mary asked us to write a poem in response to another poet’s work. I’ve chosen to respond to Mary Oliver’s When Death Comes. You’ll notice that my first line cues off her last line.  History:  I wrote the first “edition” of this poem as my very first assignment in a poetry class I took in February 2015. Mary Oliver’s New and Selected Poems Volume One is the first poetry book I ever bought. This Pulitzer Prize winning poet, motivated my first attempt in the start of my poetry writing. This new version is quite quite different. I like to think I’ve improved in my creative writing attempts over this past year!