Purple Sage

Written for:  Carpe Diem #572, Sage

sage in bloom

Desert blooms purple

Tall plants wave in dusty winds

Wild, purple sage


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My Friend Bruce

Written for Poets United Midweek Motif~Children’s Books
Write a poem for a child.

This is a story
about my friend Bruce.
We met at the zoo
when he stared at my juice.
I wanted to pet him
but he was not loose.

A giraffe has gold colors
that look like a puzzle,
and the longest neck
which he uses to nuzzle
tree tops, and munch leaves.
He ate more than a couple!

The next day Bruce
came to our house,
but could not fit inside
like a dog, cat, or mouse.
I went outside to pet him.
Mom brought him sprouts.

I asked if Bruce
could live with me,
but Mom said he’d be missed
by his animal family.
She said we could visit
every week after 3:00.

Now when I see Bruce,
he gives me a wink.
His lips move both ways;
it’s a smile, I think.
Bruce and me are best friends.
This is where my story ends.


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Diminishing Defenses

Written for:  Poetic Asides #282
Write a broken down poem.

Like a wooden fence
whose slats start to break
off–the whole fence sags
and falls apart–so a person’s
defenses dissolve inside,
one at a time,
until only screaming
raw nerves remain,
which can only be
contained for so long
before the disease darkens
and hollows the skin, bending
the mind within.

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Written for:  Carpe Diem #571, Mushrooms

Mushrooms dot tree hem

Little white umbrellas

Which are safe to eat?


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Ah, Madeira

Written for:  The Mag #239

Autumn in Madeira by Jacek Yerka

Autumn in Madeira by Jacek Yerka

Thinking back to that whimsical
collection of cottages
on a hill, a secret spot
in Madeira. Leaves like
gold coins formed patterns
that glinted in cool, clear
Autumn. All the little
creatures gathered their harvest,
storing their goods under
our hillside. We all got along,
each singing his own personal
song, and we respected
all of nature, and all
things whimsical.


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Written for:  The Sunday Whirl, Wordle #180

Words:  sticks, ashes, fear, posey, lot, joy, flames, love, identity, discernment, selfless, polarize

Her name was Rosie;
they called her Posey
because she loved striking
poses of celebrities, and asking
you to guess their identities.

Joy of assuming other skins
polarized her from her true
self, lessening more and more
as she tried to discern
who she was. Her fears flamed.
Personalities melded. Was this
her lot in life? Would she be
forever stuck, posing at dizzying
speed, while ashes of her core
piled around her like leftovers
from a pyre?


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Autumn Remembrance

Written for:  Creative Bloomings #168, “Mix-And-Match Muse”

Write down the following:

Something you buy in a bakery.
A smell in a diner.
A make of automobile.
Something people do to relieve stress.
An unusual musical instrument.
A child’s game.

Use all six in your poem. Start the poem with:

The smell of burning leaves…

The smell of burning leaves
in mid-Autumn’s golden glory,
turns thoughts from summer’s whistling
through blades of grass, to the scent
of spicy pumpkin pies cooling
in the bakery’s window.

Stopping in for split orders
of french fries and Cokes
with friends, perched on
red vinyl stools at the diner’s
counter. We would watch the cook
flipping fragrant burgers, sipping
as slowly as we dared.

On a Saturday, our family might go
for a drive in Dad’s salmon and gray,
two-tone Chevy Belair, my sister
and I praying we would not
throw up from dead cigar butt aroma
in the ashtray. Dad enjoyed puffing
on long cigars.

We did not know then
how simply we lived
our lives, in the time
of burning leaves.

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What You Have Given

Written for:  Carpe Diem Special 108, Words by Francis of Assisi #3

[...] “Remember that when you leave this earth you can taken nothing of what you have received, but only what you have a given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage”. [...]

Light in his eyes dims

Heart overflows, spills his love

Dad stays in us


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An Early Halloween Tale

Written for:  Creative Bloomings
InForm:  Nonet
A Nonet is a nine line poem, with the first line containing nine syllables, the next eight, so on until the last line has one syllable.

She heard creaking, squeaking, knob rattling
With heart thumping, she grabbed her phone.
No signal! Locks were secure,
then, bone-chilling cackle.
Lights flickered; she saw
a green witch, who
grabbed her leg.
She screamed,

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Written for:  Poetics Aside #281, Write a “next in line” poem.

Woman of steely curled hair
and billowing flowered dress,
Mrs. S. could knock you out
with her sneeze-provoking,
powdery perfume. Judgmental
and fear-inducing in front
of the class, she was also
in charge of the glee club.
We all stood in line, trembling,
to try out for this honor.
As Mrs. S. pounded the piano keys
with aplomb, each child had
to sing, America, the Beautiful.
Ruthless, she would cut you off
with two bars, if you did not
have, “the voice.” Mine shook
as I attempted to sing. After
a couple of lines, she said,
“No, too many altos already.

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