artichoke wisdom

Image: Danny Gregory Used with permission Thank you!

Image: Danny Gregory
Used with permission
Thank you!


people are like artichokes


sometimes prickly

but if one is willing

to take the time

to make the effort

the best part is deep inside


take it one succulent leaf at a time

use it to transport flavor into your life

then throw away the dross


take your time

to get to the core

or you may miss something

on the way


artichokes have color



like people

or poetry


each artichoke is unique

but in a field

it can get lost in the crowd

if you don’t take time

to look carefully


an artichoke can seem strange

if you didn’t grow up with them

like i did


if you have a bad experience

with an artichoke

you may want to avoid them

i found a fly once

and didn’t eat another for years

i regret it

don’t judge all artichokes

based on one bad one


when you get to the heart

of an artichoke

take time to savor


Linked to Gabriella’s prompt at dVerse Poetics, based on the art of Danny Gregory. Thank you, Danny for allowing us to use your work.

The pub opens Tuesday at 3:00 EST.






This Is Just How It Is in Deserts




This Is Just How It Is in Deserts

When rain comes
to thirsty deserts
it only teases our hopes,
playing hide and seek with furtive sun.
If rain comes.

This is my response to Tony’s prompt for Thursday’s MTB–but since I couldn’t make it on time, I’m adding it to Open Link Night.  

An expanded Cinquain, it calls for adding a syllable to the American Cinquain, resulting in 3-5-7-9-3 syllable-stanzas. Enjoy a variety of subjects and forms today at dVerse OLN. We hope to see something from you, as well.


A Villanelle

How would you feel if you knew you would lose all your hair?
She asked me to take her to shop for a wig, if I could.
What would you do if your head were completely bare?

A turban will keep the head warm, protect from cold air.
She told me they told her, her chances were very good.
See, chemo kills cancer but makes you lose all of your hair.

We went to a shop where they showed that they really cared.
I hurried to tell her the fun she could have if she would.
(In a matter of weeks her head will be totally bare.)

“Choose blonde or brunette or even take red, if you dare.
Go ahead—buy a few. Not the gray! ‘Cause you should
live it up when you lose all your hair.”

Every now and again I thought that I saw a tear
brim up in her eyes, mine too—we’re not made of wood.
What would I do if my head were entirely bare?

She decided to wait until she’d be bald to wear
the frosted short one and for nighttime she bought a hood.
By then she’ll know how it feels to lose all her hair
and accept that her head (for a while) will be completely bare.

This is a really old poem I wrote (2008) back when I was helping a friend through Chemo. Sorry to dip into the archives but Tuesday is a busy day for me and the prompt over at dVerse Poets’ Pub is really hair-y.


Desert Sunrise–17 X 7

Today at dVerse Poetics, Brian Miller invites us to embrace anarchy and break the rules of form poetry. I chosen to play with a hybrid of Haiku and the American Sentence by writing 7 17-syllable 2-line stanzas that flow from one another, on a connected topic. I love the brevity of the original form, so why not knit them together?!


Desert Sunrise

Circling slowly, egret rises—
greeting morning sun’s awakening.

Helios smiles on him, backlights his dance
with the silver glow of grace.

Bird lands beside a quiet pond,
drinking in the stillness of placid waters,

wraps his wings around his body like a shroud—
a hooded monk in prayer.

Sun splashes desert rose
upon the canvas of the Santa Rosa’s

casting deep shadows on her creviced face,
pouring into our valley

I know that at day’s end, when darkness falls,
some wait for morning in vain.



the grand small vastness of it all

Photo: Totomai Used with Permission

Photo: Totomai Martinez
Used with Permission

there is such loveliness out in the wild.
(and i have fear of heights
and of small, closed in spaces.)

were i to fly,
i’d mount on wings of egret
or of eagle.

to span the breadth of freedom,
circle in a rhythmic dance above
wide open skies and crystal waters.

(for cities—i eschew the crowds),
i’d flee to mountain slopes
of flowering lavender and paper-whites,

and walk in fields of wild grass
and poppies, brilliantly adorned
in colors—Wordsworth’s meadow—

then open wide that span of wings
to swirling winds that rise
and thus within those arms

i’d surf in pure abandonment
the currents
of the breath of life until

beside a calm, still lake
i’d wait, alone, for death to come
then gently,

in the early morning light
go back to earth
once more to nourish all that is to be.

For the prompt at dVerse Poetics please join us to view and be inspired by the amazing photography of Totomai Martinez. It would be hard to miss the poetry in his work. Thank you, Mary, for sharing prompt this with us. And special thanks to this talented photographer.

The doors open Tuesday at 12:00 EST.

Ten for tenWord



It’s my turn to tend the bar for dVerse Poets’ Pub Meeting the Bar and for today’s prompt, I’ve gone back to the future and borrowed a form that Brian Miller created–the tenWord. Stop in and link up here, Thursday at 3:00 PM EST. Stop by–hopefully with a poem of your own, or just to read what others are sharing. I’m posting my poem in advance to give you a head start, if you like. (Don’t tell anyone, okay)? 

Ten for tenWord

the mountains
wrap themselves in mist—
a gauzy, white scarf.

your eyes speak to me
of untold pain,
of loss.

hot coffee
seeps throughout my body
and awakens my spirit.

a dark, overcast sky
covers the valley
with oppressive stillness.

early morning—
the first dove call,
urgent, longing—without answer.

waiting rooms—
anxiety and impatience—
let’s get it over with.

lantana sprawls
underneath the trumpet vines,
purple and yellow blooms.

desert rains—
light sprinkles tickle.
we wish for a downpour.

a swath of white clouds
the Santa Rosa mountains.