Friday, 2 AM

 Friday, 2 AM

A sound awakens me–

the cat vomiting—


I wipe it up from the floor

return to my warm bed


cat cuddles against me,

his purrs


a calming motor

till they stop—


he’s asleep–

I’m not.


I listen to the night sounds

through winter-fastened windows—


no summer sound of mockingbird

singing through the night,


only the buzz of a distant highway

and planes carrying people far away.


But I’m content to be here–

my husband turns in his sleep—


my cat softly snores,

I close my eyes and dream.

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Grace is hosting the final Open Link Night for dVerse this year. dVerse will be on break until January 1, 2019.

The Beautiful Seen

“For beautiful to happen the beautiful has got to be seen.”

Adam Gwon, “Beautiful” from Ordinary Days

I watch the ripples in the sand,

let the grains flow from my hand,

see them slide into a shimmering sea

to wash ashore on another land.


I look at the blades of grass

through them robin hops to pass

then calls to me from a nearby branch–

the sky above, a clear blue glass.


The beauty that has to be seen,

blue of sea and sky, and grass so green,

the beauty of the ordinary, looked at again–

remembered sights–or what might have been.



Gina at dVerse has asked us to write a poem about ordinary things. I thought back to something I wrote a while ago about ripples in sand and the scientific discoveries of Hertha Marks Ayrton, which gave me the opening. But “ordinary things” made me think of the musical Ordinary Days. My younger daughter was in it when she was a senior in college, and I got to hear her sing, “I’ll Be Here”–and tried not to sob and embarrass her. The quotation comes from the last song in the show.





The Refugees

We ache for our homes in morning light,

we trudge down dim roads, dusty from heat,

there’s sweat and thirst, but worse is the night

thinking of what was–once life was sweet.


We trudge down dim roads, dusty from heat,

we’re tired and sad, shed tears for loss,

thinking of what was–once life was sweet,

we journey on, our old lives we toss.


We’re tired and sad, shed tears for loss

we dream of new lives, dreams within dreams.

we journey on, our old lives we toss

overboard goes old, afar hope gleams.


We dream of new lives, dreams within dreams–

think in America we’ll be free.

Overboard goes old, afar hope gleams–

land of the free, perhaps, we’ll see.


So long the journey, who knows the end?

there’s sweat and thirst, but worse is the night

finding no welcome, finding no friends–

we ache for our homes in morning light.


Majsiej Sliapian [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Jilly has asked us to write a poem using a repetitive form for dVerse. This is a pantoum.








River Walk

I walk the water path

then climb the concrete stairs


to stroll past statues and monuments,

where apple trees once grew,


the sturdy plantation house stands on the bluff,

but it’s the river that calls


the battle-dead whisper

unseen, but fitful, sighing,


the flying hawk shadows me

while geese bask


at high-tide

the waves crash


and they fly

circling the water,


the river,



Delaware River, Red Bank Battlefield

For dVerse, Amaya has asked us to include a secret ingredient. I’m not sure if this works for the prompt, but this is what the muse gave me in between dreams last night, so I’m going with it.




Sheep, Perchance to Dream

How to explain the surrealism of my dreams—

the talking sheep—


she holds a menu

and politely requests seasoned breads.


I’m not confused that she can talk, read

or walk upright—


I only regret

that the bread is unavailable,


and that the menu should say seasonal

instead of seasoned.


I wake laughing,

but later ponder,


who knows what talents a sheep has

or what desires?


We see the flock, the crowd,

not the individual


yearning for something better,

until they take a stand.


Franz Marc, “Sheep,” [Public Domain] via Wikipedia Commons

This is a late offering for dVerse Open Link night, where Mish has asked us to post one poem on snow or anything else. I went for something else. I’m still catching up with reading others’ posts. I’ll try to catch up before latkes and wine on Sunday!  🙂





I’m sick, my face is broken-out, and my slender body swells large over a period of nine months. Outside snowflakes fall, but I am cocooned inside where there is no time or seasons. Days of labor, and she finally appears, tiny and bald—the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. We’ve waited nearly ten years to have her. Three years later, we’re back at the same hospital, again in the February cold, again the wait to be surprised, to be exhausted and overjoyed. Now we have two daughters. Some things are worth waiting for.

robin trills in hope–

beauty rises from the snow

snowdrop sprouts and blooms


This Haibun is for the dVerse Haibun Monday prompt. Imelda is guest-hosting. She has asked us to write about waiting.







Constant the Sea


Guillermo Gómez Gil, “Moonrise,” [Public Domain], Wikipedia Commons

And did you see my lover fly

as sun set and the stars did rise?

Bound to go, but I wondered why.

Hands clasped fast, we said our good-byes,

now the leaves rustle, the moon sighs.


The sea whispers, and he would go,

his family calls from ocean deep.

Before the cold of winter snow,

he would go, his promise to keep.

Sleep, my love, he said, dream and sleep.


Summer leaves wither and then fall

but my belly swells, what will be?

I wonder if he’ll hear my call

return again for child or me?

Tides ebb and flow, constant, the sea.


And did you hear a love-felt cry

as sun set and the stars did rise?

Hearts torn twixt, under midnight sky?

Hands clasped fast, we said our good-byes,

now the leaves rustle, the moon sighs.


Grace has asked us to write a Quintain for dVerse. Mine uses the English rhyme scheme, but perhaps it is a cross between English and Spanish. I was in the mood for a ballad– it was only after I started writing it, that I realized it was about a Selkie.









The Owl


Caspar David Friedrich, “Owl on a Tree,” [Public domain] Wikipedia Commons

Gloaming—a hoot

and then she soars


silently, in pursuit

of prey, explores


the land–still unspoiled—

glides with serrated wings


over territory still unsoiled

by the sighs and zings


of manmade things

seeking oil or gold.


But tonight–

only silent wings in flight.


This is for dVerse where Lillian has asked us to write a quadrille using some form of the word “spoil.” She mentions movies, so I’ll say—and this is not a spoiler—that there is a prospector and an owl in one of the “chapters” in the movie The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. 





Anders Zorn, “Dandelions,” [Public Domain] Wikipedia

The laughter of stars in the sky,

the turbulent seas asking why,

the dandelion’s whispered kisses

in the air that drift and sail by

to plant themselves here or there–

again and again somewhere–

as the sun smiles and clouds weep

time creeps with a sigh

life continues and wends–

more beginnings and more ends.

This poem is for dVerse. Björn asked us to use metaphor. I hope this meets the bar.





Under Winking Stars


Under winking stars

deer walk through the silent streets,


an owl hoots as she wings by

the raccoons having a party,

with fireflies pulsing their disco lights.


The moon is a smile in the sky,

she hums a lullaby

for families inside—now sleep.



Ida Waugh, 1881, [Public Domain in U.S], Wikipedia

This is a quadrille for dVerse. De Jackson (aka Whimsy Gizmo) has asked us to use some form of the word wink. I don’t think we’re going to see stars or moon tonight in NJ, but I hope we can go to sleep with some good news.