if i but had wings–the Sunday Whirl

As I return from a too-long hiatus, I thought I’d join in Brenda’s Sunday Whirl with this poem that uses words she offers for our enjoyment.

Photo: freehdwall.com

Photo: freehdwall.com

if i but had wings

i would escape to the skies with hawks and crows,
thrill to cracks of thunder, ride splintered lightning
through open spaces, drink rain from white billows,
taste flaming orange sunsets…to finally collapse
into earth’s embrace and listen to creation’s heartbeat,
touch the grainy clay of her skin before, bone-weary,
i would crawl into the realm of darkness to enfold my body
in swaths of rainbow quilts and bright-colored dreams.


Here are the words should you want to give it a Whirl:

Image: Sunday Whirl

Image: Sunday Whirl

Cosmic Consciousness–Sunday Whirl

Photo: scienceblogs.com

Photo: scienceblogs.com

Lost in a world of nebulous thoughts,
shooting stars and feathery sparks
bleeding scarlet fingers onto the wet canvas
of my mind, I close my eyes,
tumble into the black hole of doubt,
only to find myself alone
until you close my hand in yours.

I return from the inky swirl
of a watery grave when you
pull me close, into your embrace.
Together we sway to the rhythm,
of the universe’s dance—the now.
I unearth faith once more.

Written for Brenda’s prompt at the Sunday Whirl. The words we were to use are below. I just couldn’t work in oiled.

Photo: The Sunday Whirl

Photo: The Sunday Whirl

Tracks on My Heart

Photo: theadvocate.com Truckee River

Photo: theadvocate.com
Truckee River

Last night I filtered sound
through the web of my dreams—
the long, long, short, long
whistle of the train
weaving its way south of the Truckee

close to my tears,
muffling cries, not bitter,
rather longing, for those days
in spring when you were enough.

Back then our love sang the colors
of wildflowers and scents of
new rain. Now, alone, I keep
you  close, in my dream, once more.

I sort through pieces of my heart,
lay them out to be borne away
by gusting wind and the long,
long, short, long whistle
of the train along the Truckee.

A very rough draft, written for Sunday Whirl and dVerse Open Link Night. I invite you to stop by both sites where poetry abounds.

News Flash!!!

I’m pleased to announce the release on Kindle of my first collection of poetry: Jacaranda Rain, Collected Poems, 2012, You will find it for purchase on Amazon (Free for Kindle Prime members). Reviews on Amazon or Goodreads would be most appreciated. 

Cover Photo: David Slotto Cover Art: Victoria Slotto

Cover Photo: David Slotto
Cover Art: Victoria Slotto


Beverly Hills Dying

Photo: birdbegone.com

Photo: birdbegone.com

On Tuesday, I revisited the day you died
alone in your penthouse suite,
surrounded by eggs of Fabergé
and crystal flooding the room with rainbows.

That afternoon, rain obscured the sun.
Darkness wove through your world,
sucked the last vestige of strength
from you and your diseased cells.

Outside the window by your bed sat
a scrawny crow, rooted on the ledge
sixteen stories above the city that had
abolished all memory of you.

Leave,you told me, in a whispery voice. Leave.
(One shouldn’t have to face the inevitable alone,)
But, slowly I backed away, recalled how your word
always struck fear. That day, I wasn’t scared—just sad.

Outside, I waited in the courtyard beneath
a swaying palm tree, swathed by tropical vegetation.
I stood in the downpour and watched,
until the crow flew away.

Linked to Sunday Whirl where Brenda offers us a dozen words to whip into a poem or  short story. This is a fictional account!

In case you’re here for the etheree prompt, it’s an old link: https://liv2write2day.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/one-shot-wednesday-flight-off-of-half-dome/  

leave the key on the counter

is there no end to longing?

the slate black of your hardened
stare lingers.

tonight you close the door behind you,
leave me alone in what
used-to-be our room, now
empty of presence and warmth.

no tears to shed, no time to think.
what has become of us?
what has driven this wedge between us?
when did we become you and i?

if there’s no hope for repair
for what used to be
leave your key on the counter.
and please,

please, leave the dog.


Linked to Sunday Whirl and dVerse OLN. Join us.

The Rest of the Story–Sunday Whirl

Source Unknown

Source Unknown

On the day after the day of rest that God took after completing the work of creation, God gathered a few of his angel friends.
“It’s all so beautiful, isn’t it?” God said, “but I can’t help worrying just a bit. I have to wonder if it was a big mistake.”

Most of the angels were encouraging, but Lucifer, the light-bearer piped up. “I told you so, God,” the luminous angel said, tossing his wings wide-open for effect. “Look at them together under that tree—the one you told them to stay away from. Once you tell someone not to do something, that’s all they can think of.”

“Lucifer, I’m sick of your pessimism. Don’t forget I gave them free will, but also a conscience, and pretty clear instructions. They’ve got what they need to handle temptation. Don’t you believe that?”

“Frankly, God, no. I don’t. Take note—this little experiment of yours in that lab you call Earth wasn’t one of your better thought-out ideas. I don’t think it would take much encouragement to make them go for that juicy-looking fruit. Can I prove it to you?”

God leaned back against a fluffy cloud and sighed. He was concerned about Lucifer, whose light seemed to dim a bit ever since God announced his expansion plan—the plan to clean up and organize the cosmic chaos left behind by the Big Bang. God was afraid of the angel’s intent, detecting a hint of pride that seemed to be seeping into his star-angel’s personality of late. He reached down, plucked a grain of grass from Earth and tasted. The pleasure God found in the sweetness of the grass gave him second thoughts. He considered Lucifer’s challenge. He knew the man and his wife could mess us, but how would he know how this venture would turn out if they weren’t given a chance to prove their loyalty to God?

“Okay, Lucifer. You may go ahead with your request, but you can only have access to the woman. She is clearly the stronger of the two when it comes to resolve.” God turned to the others. “In the meantime,” he said, “we must do what we can to support her from here.”

Well, we all know how that turned out for us humans, but in the heavenly realm, when Lucifer returned to the Kingdom, his pride has exploded so as to completely put out his light. He was unbearable to be around. God thus banished him to the netherworld.

As for the rest of the troops, God called another council and they came up with the plan to send out armies of angels, one for each human, to help nudge them toward making wise decisions.

And now you know the rest of the story.

Written for Sunday Whirl, where we gather to create poetry or flash fiction out of a Wordle–a list of random words, underlined in the above flash fiction. Since I’ve been writing so much poetry of late, I’m grateful for a chance to work in short fiction.

The Smell of Dark

Photo Credit: cbs8.com

Photo Credit: cbs8.com

Flash Fiction—307 Words

Some memories are impossible to erase, no matter how often as I hit the delete key. They say it’s emotion that embeds them in the brain. No doubt—but smells do, too.

I tell Teddy, my bear, “It’s a funny time of the day to be so dark, isn’t it?” I think he nodded as he watched me shuffle the Old Maid cards, but it could have been that he just knew he was going to lose again.

We listen to voices behind the closed door—Grandpa barking orders. Fear seeped under that crack beneath the door—fear, and the smell of smoke. I grabbed Teddy, held him tight and told him, “Don’t be scared.”

I can’t say I remember what happened next. I woke up in a dark room that didn’t smell like Grandma’s rose perfume. The venetian blinds are closed as tight as they can be and I’m too short to reach them to peek out. The old blue blanket from Mama’s rocking chair is wrapped around me and I set about the task of picking off the little balls of fuzz that come from too many rides in the Bendix. Teddy watches, but he doesn’t help.

A screen door slams and I recognize Grandpa’s sure footstep and the scent of the Chesterfield cigarette that almost always hangs from the side of his mouth. The door of this strange room swings open and he fills the frame then crosses over to me and whisks me up into his arms and hugs me tight.

We climb back up the hill—our hill—Grandpa’s long strides, me riding on his shoulders like a princess.

We might have sung our hiking song but for the blackened land there where the wild flowers used to grow. And for the tear that risked a fall into the crevice of Grandpa’s cheek.

My first whirl for Sunday Whirl. I chose a vague memory from childhood. My mom and I spent a few years in my grandparents’ home in a (then) rural area of Los Angeles, in the foothills. Brush fires happened almost every summer. This particular year, all I remember was waking up in a neighbor’s home at the foot of the hill. The rest of the details are fictional. For those of you who are younger than I (most of you, no doubt) the Bendix is a brand of washing machine that had a wringer.