Friday, December 30, 2011

Cowbell Angels

“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.” It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946

Does the clang of the cowbell,
If the saying is true,
Signal angels that disco
Or angels that moo?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Mystic

The mystic peers into the scrying glass,
Searching the swirling mists of time and space
For clues of events that will come to pass,
Finding no outline her finger can trace
Of my waiting path or the trials I’ll face.

My story is one only I can write.
Tarot cards and runes hold no magic sight.
The future is shaped by my own choices;
Required actions, no matter my fright;
Never determined by mystic voices.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Festive Farewell

As we gather to bid
A festive farewell to a difficult year,
The whiskey, rum, and memories flow.
Opportunities for celebration
Have been fleeting
In a year marked
With much tragedy.
We pause to acknowledge
The empty seats at our table,
Taking comfort in knowing
They still join us in spirit.
We dance with no sense of rhythm
And sing horribly off-key,
Oblivious to the video camera
Documenting our foolishness
For future entertainment and embarrassment.
We eat and drink far too much,
Choices we will certainly come to regret.
Most of all, we renew
The bonds that link our hearts
And pray we survive
To gather yet again next year.

The Truce

Balmy summer days find him
Tending his lawn with
The same pride and work ethic
That carried him through forty years
In the smoke of a dimly lit factory.
Age and weather have carved
A constant scowl onto his face,
Intimidating any children venturing
Too near his perfectly trimmed lawn.
The squirrels, however, show no such fear.
The furry insurgents conduct
Daring raids on his bird feeder,
Build bunkers in the backyard
To store winter provisions,
Taunting him from the treetops
With their chattering propaganda.
This cold December morning
Finds him on his front porch,
Something resembling a smile
Cracking his aged features,
Carrying a peace offering
Of walnuts and cashews
For his tiny adversaries.
It is the season of peace on Earth,
And peace shall reign in his yard,
At least until the spring thaw
When the hostilities begin anew.

The Journey

The journey of my life
Has taken many odd twists,
Detours both unwelcome and unplanned.
To correct my erratic course,
I must demolish the barriers in my way.
I seek to transform my life,
To forge a new path forward.
Hazards hide around every turn
On the treacherous road ahead.
A wiser woman would
Abandon this foolish crusade,
But an instinctive sense of direction
Tells me I must press on
If I ever hope to reach a better resolution.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

One Wish

A shooting star
Flickers in the sky,
Magical sparks
Trailing through
Endless emptiness,
The wish it carries
A ray of hope
For a lost soul
Wading through their own
Endless emptiness.

A Partial Self-Portrait

I've pondered the self-portrait I’m creating,
More Monet than Picasso,
Countless points of poetic color that
When viewed from a distance
Form a reasonable rendering of me.

No manger in this Mary’s destiny,
No shepherds waiting sore afraid in the fields.
The tidings heard in my life
Are seldom ones of joy and peace.
I’ve walked the path of sorrows.
I’ve fallen prey to the relentless talons of fear.
Unfortunately, a heart given in haste often attracts both.

I live by own decree,
Ignoring the wise counsel of others,
The glimmer in my eyes more imp than angel.
Self-restraint and prudence rarely appear
In my ever-changing color palette.

This self-portrait is far from complete,
And, in the end, I hope I was proven worthy
Of adding my signature to the canvas.

A Gift of Perspective

A lesson
Taught mother to child:
A world view
Through softer
Eyes, to see the poetry
Where others cannot.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Twelve Haiku of Christmas

Some Christmas spirit
Can uplift our weary souls,
Heal our broken hearts.

The polished children,
Fidgeting in their finest,
Sing cherished carols.

Heart like a stocking,
Child-like dreams waiting to be
Filled with Christmas joy.

The cookies baking
Perfume the air with smells of
Christmas at Grandma’s.

Mistletoe kisses,
Given or stolen, delight
Hearts of all ages.

Silent Night echoes
Clearly through my memories,
Notes of Christmas past.

Child in a manger,
Unlikely inspiration
That still lights our way.

Keep your partridges,
Swimming swans, lords a-leaping;
Golden rings I’ll take.

Faith shines brightest in
The sleepy eyes of a child
On Christmas morning.

The ghosts of Christmas
Past, present, future, can save
The Scrooge in us all.

The greatest gifts one
Can give are good will to men,
Peace, faith, joy, and love.

Angelic praises,
Heralding the miracle,
Bring joy to the world.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Prayer

Image by Mary Mansfield

As snowflakes fill the still night air,
I offer up a simple prayer:
That life turned out as you hoped it would be,
And that you smile when you remember me.

The Christmas Rush

Wrap the presents. Trim the tree.
Run to the store for batteries.
Time to hang the stockings up.
Pour fresh eggnog in my cup.
Bake the cookies, it’s getting late.
Try to save one for Santa’s plate.
Out of coffee, need some more,
Go back to that blasted store
To pick up everything I missed.
Now where did I put that stupid list?
Check the broken Christmas lights.
Wish I could have a Silent Night.
Learned my lesson, next year I’ll begin it
Before the absolute very last minute.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Cruelest Game

Come to me, my darling,
Wrap your arms around me tight.
Pretend that you’re in love with me
If only for tonight.

I’m standing at the crossroads
And from both ways I see pain.
I don’t know how to walk away
And find real love again.

I know there is no future
In my world of make-believe.
With you I’m always honest,
But myself, I just deceive.

When the passion fades away
And emptiness begins,
I plot my next move in our game
And know I’ll never win.

Wild Hearts

Wild hearts cannot be contained
In boxes of conformity.
Submission will never be attained.
Wild hearts cannot be contained,
Denied, defiled, constrained,
Or daunted by life’s enormity.
Wild hearts cannot be contained
In boxes of conformity.


Gathered around our glowing tree
We sing festive songs of hope reborn,
A belief that love extends to all on Earth.
Your voice rings with misplaced conviction
As you rumple, crumple, discard my weary heart,
A wrapping never meant to be recycled.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Morning Ride

The roar of American steel
Slices through the morning stillness,
A chrome phantom lingering for a moment
Before motorcycle and rider
Disappear down a blue highway.

What the Fairy Tales Missed

As a little girl I dreamt of my fairy tale ending,
Like the ones in my bedtime stories,
Karma’s lessons taught by
Monsters, dragons, and evil stepmothers.
My heart was much simpler to operate then.
Puppy love requires little sacrifice.
Sorrows lasted just until the next boy came along.
Experience creates a different hierarchy,
A sober understanding of the value
Of love and it’s sacred mission.
No one warned me lies and betrayal are a cancer
Eating away any foundation of trust,
Leaving only a malignant anguish
That infects every aspect of life.
No one ever explained how a fairy tale princess
Survives the death of a dream.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December Reflections

I stand at the crossroads
Of the waning year and the next,
Casting weary glances in both directions.
Never merely a game,
Life has dealt a difficult hand this round,
States of profound sadness
Leaving imprints on my soul
I fear will never fade.
The future is always uncertain,
Both luck and trouble can happen
Without cause or warning.

I turn my eyes to the heavens,
Searching the deepest purple
For a hint of the dream
That has guided citizens of the world
For more than two millennia,
Hoping to see angels bending near the earth,
But not all angels know how to fly.
Perhaps it would do no harm
To lag here among those angels,
If only for a moment.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cold Regrets

Time melts in our hands
Like snowflakes caught in the December sun,
Lingering just long enough
To amaze us with its intricacies.
We cocoon ourselves in regrets --
The words never spoken,
The hugs never given,
Opportunities lost to the ages --
Poor shelter from the harsh winds of eternity.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Magic of Mom

A mother’s magic
Can transform skinned knees and tears
With only a kiss.

Kitchen sorceress
Conjuring tempting meals from
Her meager pantry.

Dishes washed.  Laundry
Folded.  Mysteriously
The house cleaned itself!

Tooth Fairy, Santa,
The magic of childhood made
Possible by Mom.

A magic potion
Able to cure any ills:
Mother’s chicken soup.

Her mystic wisdom
Proves the old adage is true:
Mother does know best.

The one magical power
Mothers just don’t have.

A Poet's Heart

I was cursed with a poet’s heart,
A blessing in disguise.
I dissect life to its smallest part.
I was cursed with a poet’s heart.
I taste the sweet but crave the tart,
Trading smiles for tears and sighs.
I was cursed with a poet’s heart,
A blessing in disguise.

Bottled Message

This is my last whiskey bottle,
Emptied to carry my last message to you.
I remain trapped in a sea of corn and soybeans
On a small island that grows smaller
With each passing day.
The natives are friendly
But persistent in tracking my activities,
Much harder to tolerate
Given the lack of whiskey.
Still waiting for that rescue you promised.
I miss you.

P.S. If you can’t send a rescue plane,
       Or if you expect another message,
       Please send another bottle of whiskey.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Black water swirls.
The pressure builds.
The crushing weight
Of this ocean
Forcing the air
From my lungs,
Pulling me downward
Into the waiting arms
Of death.

I never chose this fate.
I never chose this ocean.

Refusing to accept
Inevitable defeat,
I struggle, then escape
The swirling blackness,
Breathing in life,
Breathing in freedom.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Zombie Apocalypse

“So what do you need to do before zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen? First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house. This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp…”
Excerpt from a blog post from the Centers for Disease Control Public Health Matters Blog on May 16th, 2011 by Ali S. Khan.

“We ask that everyone please remain calm.
The zombie horde approaches,
Mindless entities bent on destruction.
We have yet to identify the source of mutation,
Whether a voodoo ritual gone horribly awry,
A failed laboratory experiment,
Or bacteria seeking retribution
Upon the makers of antibiotics.
Those in close proximity are asked
To barricade themselves in their homes,
Venturing out at this time will
Only increase your personal risk.
We will bring you further information
As the situation develops.”

We sit in silence behind our locked doors,
Blankly staring at our televisions,
Unaware that when the hungry mutants breach our defenses,
They will find they are far too late;
We became them long ago.

The Secret of Magic

Incantations, and
Potions hold
No power,
Ancient rites just meaningless
Attempts at control.

True magic,
That rare, potent force,
Only comes
From within;
Faith and belief -- conduits
To the possible.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cosmic Voyage

Always an observer,
Face pressed against the glass,
Until one kiss fueled my heart,
Released from gravity’s grip,
Into rapid ascension
Through the atmosphere,
Tumbling weightless
Through the spacious cosmos.
A splash of his rare elements
Formed an enigma in me,
Allowing the pulsations of distant stars
To echo through my soul,
Creating yet another love struck voyager
Searching for the true final frontier.

Note: I'm not terribly happy with the title to this and would welcome any suggestions you may have :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Artificial Holiday

We trim our plastic tree
By the glow of battery-operated candles.
Silk poinsettias adorn
The mantle of the electric fireplace.
We greet each other
With forced smiles and feigned affection,
Saving the animosity
To serve with our New Year’s hangovers.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fault Lines

Tremors and aftershocks,
Seismic accusations
Jolt us from complacency
Into survival mode
As fissures grow
In the shaky ground
We stand upon.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

War Crimes

She was a passive observer
To her own life.
She knew resistance,
Even independent thought,
Might trigger another “incident.”
She sought refuge
Behind her white flag,
To her lot in life.
He broke the rules of engagement,
Leaving her as his first
Casualty of war.
The Geneva Conventions
Never did apply
On the battlefield of matrimony.

Derailment of Thought

When my train of thought
Careened off the tracks,
I stammered and fiddled;
Desperately searched for a clue
In the faces of my companions;
Employed the polished political art
Of overstating nothingness
In as superfluous a manner as possible.
Thankfully, the conductor regained control
And order was restored,
Before I looked like a complete buffoon.

The Bouquet

Yellow weeds gathered
In toddler
Hands may be
The most beautiful flowers
I’ve ever received.

The Poet's Path

Drop poems
Like breadcrumbs
Along their path,
Hoping someday
Another dreamer
Will walk
Their footsteps,
And understand
The journey.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Merry Kitchen

Every December
I undertake a delicious mission.
The subtle smells
Of vanilla and cinnamon
Give an inkling
Of the treasures my kitchen holds,
Tins and jars laden with
Pecan-crusted raspberry thumbprint cookies,
Almond bark swirled with walnuts and raisins,
Banana bars studded with chocolate chips,
A snowy dusting of powdered sugar on top,
Treats guaranteed
To arouse amorous thoughts
In the most jaded of eaters
And to entice
Devout dieters
Right over the precipice.
As I set another
Warm pan of holiday cheer
To cool on a trivet,
I genuflect briefly
Toward the North Pole
And continue creating
Peace on Earth,
One batch at a time.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Answering an Old Question

We are here
Bearing witness to
Unseen beauty is worthless;
Our eyes add value.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

On Fitting In (A Message for the Sheeple)

They tell us
Behave and conform.
How boring!
The mob mentality and
Just be who you are.