Enduring Love

Photo: pexels.com labeled for non-commercial reuse

Photo: pexels.com
labeled for non-commercial reuse

love that endures
a sestina

you sit beside the hearth and dream
of years long past, of youth
those days so filled with dance, with life
that you do not forget
you walked in worlds of swirling greens
gave birth beneath the sky

you revel ‘neath cerulean skies
and catch a glimpse of dreams
and thus the burgeoning of green
as you reclaim your youth
those signs of spring you won’t forget
for you still pulse with life

in aging, still you sing of life
your eyes reflect the sky
you smile at love you can’t forget
those memories of dreams
fulfilled when you were full of youth
midst flowers, in fields green

you stood by him in days of green
he held you throughout life
you gave each other joys of youth
‘neath bound’ry of the sky
he was the answer to your dreams
you never will forget

a love that’s easy to forget
cherishes flowers, the green
of grass and sun, the blissful dream—
can these endure through life
when clouds obscure the blue, blue sky
and aging foils youth

how easy to enjoy one’s youth
and facile to forget
the promise made ‘neath azur skies
delight-filled days of green
yet to endure the stuff of life
we need more than to dream

beyond your youth, those days of green
(lest you forget) the greatest life
soars to the skies, surpasses dreams

Throughout the month in which we celebrate Valentine’s Day, much is written about love–most of which is about younger people, with an erotic twist quite often. Today, I want to write about love that has lasted throughout the ups and downs of a relationship, of the years. Love that the Greeks refer to as agape, love that is about the choices we make for the well-being of another. I have been privileged to witness that sort of love in my life as a nurse, when a caregiver puts aside oneself for the sake of his ill or cognitively impaired loved one.

I wrote this in response to a challenge from a fellow poet, Bjorn, to write a sestina in which the end words of each line follow a specific pattern throughout six stanzas, each of six lines, ending with a tercet that uses the six words in internal rhyme, also following a pattern. If you want to learn more about this complex form, go here

I will post this for OLN on Thursday and on my Christian Blog: Be Still and Know That I Am God. I am also linking this to Sanaa Rizvi’s Prompt Nights.


in the hour just before morning

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

in the hour just before morning

flowers close tight, their buds still chilled
by frost-threatened air, huddle together
in leaf-nests, await sun’s sweet warm breath.

robins stir, tune their voices—magnificent
orchestral artists preparing to greet morn
in symphonic wakening trills. harmony.

dew prepares to glisten in spider’s web,
on blades of grass—dons her rainbow hues,
ready to dazzle the wakening world.

within the womb of an old house an old lady
nestles ‘neath a down-filled comforter,
pulls it snug to cradle the aching toll of her years

down the hall the coffee maker gurgles to life,
infuses the home with scents of comfort.
the husband arouses, stretches
while the dog shakes sleep away.

a crescent moon slips silently in the west,
hiding behind snow-covered peaks
while sun reaches out, pulls herself up
on horizon’s ledge and peeks.

at a distance, the long, long, short, long blast
of the six o’clock train strikes a final
exclamation mark on the day’s opening act.

Linking to dVerse Poets’ Open Link Night where creativity and fellowship flow. Please join us with a poem of your own.

The title an excerpt from a poem  by Mary Oliver…which one? I don’t remember.

Blessed Are They Who Mourn

Blessed Are They Who Mourn

Photo: reddit.com

Photo: reddit.com

In the northwest corner of Iraq,
in a Kurdish stronghold, toppled,
in a drafty hovel,
a child, alone, whimpers.
for his parents
who will not return.

In a small country on the African continent,
in an isolated region near the coast,
in the ruins of a burnt-out shack,
a mother wails.
Her child, her lover are dead
bled out by a virus.

In a remote village of Ukraine,
in an unsettled township,
in a frigid home,
an old man shivers.
His world is shattered,
he wonders what comes next.

In a not-far part of my city,
in a homeless settlement by the river,
in a flimsy tent made of old blankets,
a family waits,
dreams of a recent past
before they lost their jobs.

In a southwest suburb of here,
in the warmth of a mansion,
in a world not known to us,
a childless couple grieves
the death of the dog they loved
for seventeen years.

In a corner of my heart,
in the waking hours of morn,
in the silence of my room,
these losses loom.
How can I comfort
so much loss?

Linked to dVerse Open Link Night. Please join us. Somehow, as I enjoy so much abundance, these realities seem all the more expedient. Sadly, this poem could go on and on…


Old Lady–dVerse Open Link Night


in the corner of the dark
room spider spins her web,
traps a fly.

you are prone, sipping
from a straw. your smile
flickers then you wait.

why do fireflies compete
with lightning when summer
becomes indefensible?

you are prone, tugging
at fringe on your prayer
shawl. deep breath. sigh.

tomorrow they say
will be the same as today
or the day before yesterday.

you are prone. glasses
smudged with grease and
sweat. how will you see tomorrow?

today the rent was due
they picked up garbage and
the mailman delivered more junk.

you are prone, fingering
rosary beads. eyes closed.
and still we wait.

Linked to dVerse Poets’ Open Link Night.  Born, I suppose, of the many years I worked with the elderly and as a hospice nurse.


the correlation of weather and mood

the correlation of weather and mood

whether or not you will admit it


Photo: Angie Naron

Photo: Angie Naron

the storm


awake now

sadness plops

on my chest—

a one hundred pound weight


last night’s rain

battered the deck


left puddles

for bird baths


jaundiced skies–

another thunder-

storm pending

a heavenly  belch

after a flash

of heartburn

Photo: Geraldine Westrupp

Photo: Geraldine Westrupp


the calm


hostas hold water

in unfurled tongues


weeping poppies bow down

in adoration


windshields boast

dirt polka dots


wind tickles

the maple tree

light laughs/dances


oppression dissipates

in meadows of green pools

wild irises

and daffodils


Written for and linked to dVerse Open Link Night. The doors open on Saturday at 3:00 PM EDT. This is your once-a-month chance to write whatever you like and share it with your poet friends.




Conjoining–dVerse Open Link Night

Photo: Wong Photos

Photo: Wong Photos

Conjoined- an American Sentence 

Sun rose

finding moon and mountain joined;
fair Santa Rosa blushed.

The Santa Rosa Mountains in Coachella Valley, California turn pink in the sunrise. The morning I wrote this, the full moon was just disappearing over the peak. The American Sentence is composed of 17 syllables, inspired by haiku.

Submitted to dVerse Open Link Night


Photo: thedutchrose.blogspot.com

Photo: thedutchrose.blogspot.com

A Sonnet

The more you have of love, the more you need,
yet all you have has failed to satisfy.
Now open wide the door to ecstasy;
you’ve gifts and grace just waiting to be freed.

You parrot words you hear the other say.
Do feelings flow from deep within your heart?
Are you afraid to breathe, to do your part—
surrendering yourself when others may

withhold response, ignore, abuse your trust?
Abandoning reserve is fraught with fear.
But if you never dare to shed a tear,
you’ll find no love, but only fleeting lust.

Oh, Self, these words could open you to pain.
The choice is yours. So will you live in vain?

Initially written for and linked to dVerse Poets Open Link Night. Linking on Valentine’s Day to The Bardo Group‘s invitation to share poems of love.

Morning Prayer

Photo: Ingrid Taylor

Photo: Ingrid Taylor

Morning Prayer
American Sentences

Shadows tumble slowly into mountain crevasses, welcoming dawn.
Dandelions play ring-around-the rosie, rivaling the sunrise.
An egret sits in stillness at the edge of velvet water, waiting.

An old lady plods out to her driveway to retrieve the daily news–
Silver hair, disheveled, highlights grinning eyes, welcomes another day.
The dogs roll with abandonment in dew-covered grass, sharing her bliss.

I head homeward, planning my day, as though there will be no surprises.

Written for dVerse Poets Open Link Night where poetry and friendship abound. Check us out and, if you like, bring a poem of your own.

Photo: zzyppy.com

Photo: zzyppy.com Sunrise in the California Desert

Titmouse–dVerse Open Link Night

Photo: redbubble.com

Photo: redbubble.com

A Haibun

Sweet little titmouse,
wearing a tux, bringing smiles,
follow me about.

The titmouse, a member of the chickadee family, often tracks the dogs and I on our walks,
hopping from light post to rooftop to tree.

Curious fellow,
peering through my window pane,
what do you see now?

He likes to perch outside our kitchen window and entertains a stare-down. Other favorite haunts include the women’s tee box marker just  outside and the water hazard posts.

You are a delight
but once I find my camera
you have flown away.

(By the way, who named you?)

Linked to dverse’s Open Link Night, hosted by Tony Maude.

Gone with a Sigh–dVerse Open Link Night


Photo: BlueRidgeKitties.com

Photo: BlueRidgeKitties.com

Near-winter dampness invades the room,

infects our space, lingers in the air like

twinning wisps of frigid breath and

smoke from your cigarette.


You cannot speak or won’t.

Perhaps you heard me. Maybe not.

Or did you seal your ears against the sound

of my newfound understanding?


By the ice-etched window, quiet still,

you stand, scratching petroglyphs

with your fingernail, eyes fixed on a quail

huddled in the branches of a juniper.


Remembering how I wept

when first I read those words,

(only a girl, I could not comprehend

an ending without joy) I sigh.


And though you do not say them now—

not my dear, nor brutal acclamation,

silence screams across the room. It’s true,

you do not give a damn.


But unlike Rhett, you stay—

a witness to hope’s dying whisper.

You do not stir the embers struggling

to give warmth. Our fireplace goes cold.

So happy to be back in the Pub with all my poet friends. Sorry to be so late in posting and visiting you. This is an old poem and it is fiction, thank God.