September Rain

Heron at dawn. Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield.

September Rain

Early morning is heron-still,
the grey wing-brushed sky waits
for feathered clouds to part,

or sprinkle diamond drops
around sunflowers’ throats,
who smile and tilt their heads,

offer tiny mirrors to bees,
to see a world worked in threads reflected blue,
invisible to us.

A quadrille for dVerse. We’re getting much-needed rain today.

My favorite time of day

Dreamy sky, morning moon

My favorite time of day–

coffee-scented kitchen,
breakfast-fed cat licks his paws,

no human voices,
only star-songs’ glittering traces,
and moon-hums.

She dream-drifts
on cotton candy clouds–
gives a crescent grin,
and I grin back,
the dawn a bright-feathered promise—

crows wake with clatter-clamoring caws,
just so, they say.

A quadrille for dVerse.

We Sing

Frants Diderik Bøe, “Birds in the Midnight Sun,” [Public domain]

We Sing

Who can count the stars in the sky,
or every type of bird that flies,
struts, or swims
on rivers blue-jay-bright, or soars
the night on vast raven wings?
Can you count all these things—
pinprick lights, feathered strings
connected songs, they, we sing.

A quadrille for yesterday’s dVerse prompt—the word was type. I will be back later to host today’s Tuesday Poetics on dVerse!

A Gift


A Gift

Dawn arrives on golden peacock wings,
I want to hold the moment—all such magic–

not in gilded cages,
but wrapped in a downy blanket,
like a baby held against my breast,

to cherish the weight
of heavy-lidded dreams–

of stars’ light
everywhere, here.

A quadrille for dVerse using the prompt word, wrap. I half-wrote this poem in the middle of the night, but then, there was this beautiful sunrise this morning.

Carpe Diem

Odilon Redon, Dante and Beatrice

Carpe Diem

How is the sky blue
when the world is grey-shrouded,

where sunflowers drip with blood,
and parades are strewn-confetti-terror?

Today, the sun and clouds are a lemon meringue pie.
Celebrate with me. Make memories of bird-dawns and moon-songs,
wine-kisses and laughter. We’ll ignore tomorrow.

A poem for dVerse. I’m hosting Quadrille Monday. The prompt word is celebrate, as we’re celebrating the 11th anniversary of dVerse this week.

Take Care

Take Care

Witch: “Careful the tale you tell.
That is the spell.
Children will listen.”
Finale, Into the Woods, Stephen Sondheim

Like beanstalks, lies sprout overnight
rising high enough to support giants, as the world withers

a field of moon-daisies grows,
with seeds cast like spells
to reflect light,

the glimmer-truth of stars,
birdsong carried and bee-buzzed

child-seen before
they learn. Careful,
they listen.

A quadrille for dVerse. The prompt word is spell. My head is full of lies and stories. Some of the same . . . I watched the January 6 Committee hearings today—more revelations about the former president’s lies.
We saw Into the Woods at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia on Saturday. Coincidentally. Bernadette Peters sang “Children Will Listen” last night at the Tony Awards in a segment honoring the late Stephen Sondheim.

Their Stories

Their Stories

Vincent van Gogh, Olive Grove

“(There are) many stories which are not on paper, they are written in the bodies and minds of women.”
— Amrita Pritam

Browse the archives, finger-brush ancient tablets
looking for their names—

you may find a few,
the chattel and relicts of men,

repositories of seeds, like the Earth,
their roots in deep-time connection,

they whisper stories–
conquest, war-spoils, love, and loss,
their children, don’t forget.

A double dVerse challenge:
a poem inspired by a line from the work of Punjabi poet Amrita Pritam, and a quadrille (44-word poem ) containing the word “browse.”

Some of you know I’m a historian. I’ve spent a lot of time in archives trying to uncover women’s stories.


Busy Bees


This toddler-tantrum world
needs a nap—

as under a snowy coverlet
bulbs sleep until spring comes

to bloom without fuss or fight–unfathomable,
the beauty that makes us—and bees—swoon

gold-dusted, what are their dreams?
A collective vision, pollen-scented harmony in ultraviolet color?

This is a quadrille for dVerse. The prompt word is sleep.


Low Tide at Pourville, by Claude Monet


never-static particles stream
in space-time light to earth-sea,
crushed shells rise as limestone cliffs,

like bones–
dinosaur, fish, and we
fertilize the flowers–
with blood and ash,
the red and white,

of chalk dust
in the sunlight,
sparkling like tiny stars
flying home.

For today’s dVerse, I combined quadrille prompts. Today’s word is “static,” and the previous quadrille that I missed was, “chalk.” A quadrille is a dVerse term for a poem of exactly 44 words.

Written on the Sand

John Reinhard Weguelin, The Yellow Sands

Written on the Sand

She wrote a letter
on paper made of sand,
erased by surf and weather
origami-folded by tides, her hand

the instrument,
the embodiment of collaged hope,
she was a vision, dream,
perhaps, a trope–

still, you glimpsed her sea-blown hair
saw peace beach-written there.

A quadrille for dVerse (44-word poem). The prompt word is paper.