Grooming Jackson

Dried mud and hair fall
The curry comb circles and
scrapes, my right arm aches.
Slowly grey emerges from
his rough dirt encrusted coat.


The Search

Is the holy found
  in ancient stone sided chapels
    where incense lingers above flickering candlelight?
  In faith filled faces singing 
    hymns and beating drums?
  In bedside prayers, rugs rolled out,
    and mealtime grace?
  In fields of rippling grass
    seed heads swaying, bowing to the breeze?
  In the joyful thunder of horses running,
    manes streaming like silken scarves?

Yes.  In the everything of living.

Something Brown

Something brown from a bright foil wrapper
   melts into velvet dark richness.
Something brown lies across my legs
   fleecy, thick and warm.
Something brown burns bright 
   hot amber dancing orange.
Something brown and grey and red
   hops on the patio rail
   dodging drops of rain on a dark day.

I wrote this poem from a prompt on the Writer’s Digest page.  It was a simple prompt — write about something <your choice>.  It’s cold and rainy today.  This is how it looks.

Turning the Hourglass: Gardens

This poem was written in response to the Reverie #13 prompt — an hourglass in form, with strict time requirements for the writing.  I will probably go back at some point and work with this one some more.  For now, here it is written with no revision in 45 minutes; from unorganized scribbles to poem.

Tomato plants take root in the greenhouse
waiting to move to the compost worm worked dirt
in the vegetable beds.
Poppies burst like fireworks,
orange splashes in the orchard and on the slopes.
The native garden bustles with a riot of birds and butterflies.
It flows between garden and habitat; pushing its boundaries,
full of life and flower and scent.

My first yard was professionally landscaped
with suburban shrubs and green grass.
I read about roses and planted a row so I could
fill my vases with fragrant pink buds opening
like happy faces flushed with life.

When we leave our ranch, I will have a small garden
with coastal fog and southern sunshine.
There will be fragrant roses blooming above
a jumble of lilies, alyssum and iris.
I will sip wine at sunset.
I will sip coffee at sunup.
I will know the names of the birds and butterflies.

I will dig in the dirt.


I drank the last swallow of my coffee;

dark and strong with a hint of sugar,

mellowed with a splash of cream.

Glancing at the clock,

I set aside my book

and got dressed.

Dark slacks and a charcoal sweater.

No mascara to run and puddle.

Sunglasses to hide behind.

Standing in the park,

I listen to birds sing

and voices speak.

I take deep breaths and stare

at his mother.

How is she holding up?

I can’t see her eyes behind huge sunglasses.

Others address and welcome me.

I hear whispering – “his first wife” –

I want to leave;

to nurse my pain


Autumn Dreams

In the misty haze of autumn dusk,

when the song birds were still and the crickets called,

I met a neighbor walking wild,

her coal colored hair long and unkempt,

staggering under sorrow’s weight.

Her dreams were broken;

split wide open and shattered.

The crimson blood of his pain

sucked the marrow of her strength.

His addiction – no,

his need and desire —

for pain pills was constant and growing.

Her cherished dream of their destiny –

soul mates on the porch,

sipping wine at sunset –

was replaced with his desire for death

and her buried fear.