Friday, January 26, 2024


I haven't migrated all of my posts, but for now, I'm only posting on Substack. Please follow me there.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024


The prompt was: If hope is a living, breathing thing, what would it be?

If hope is a living thing, 

  what would it be?

Would it be a an animal that calmly listens to you while you vent,

  with fur that is a comfort to pet when you're hurting

  eyes that look directly into yours and seem to understand what is going on in your heart.

If hope were a living, breathing thing

  Would you want to hold it

  or watch it from a distance

  to see what it does?

If hope was something you could see or touch

  Would it be the water that keeps us alive

  Would it be the sun lighting up the day?

  Would it be the moon, bright at night?

  Would it be the stars that we wish on as children?

  Would it be the clouds, shape shifters and bearers of rain and snow?

If hope is a living, breathing thing,

  What would it be?

If hope is a living, breathing thing, 

  maybe it's you and me.

Open Mic at Back Alley Wine Bar 1.24.2024

My final Open Mic at BAWB. Right around a year from when I played my first open mic there. Andrew Deering on guitar and Luke Jarrett on harmonica making me sound really good. The Cape (Guy Clark) 4:10 Drift Away (Mentor Williams) 10:46 intro to final song 11:45 What I'll Miss (original)


Sunday, January 21, 2024

Late in Life

People watching while listening to jazz piano. Brings out the romantic in me.

Holding hands,

Heads turned,

to look at each other.

A smile

A nod

Quiet words



They feel

comfort with a kindred spirit


like a pillow




Each other

through loss and grief



They found each other

Late in life

Late in life

But not too late

To be happy again.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Only the Things I Didn't Do

Written during a Craft of Poetry sampler class (Women Writing for (a) Change). There were several prompts. The one I chose was "Only the things I didn't do crackle after..."

Only the things I didn't do 
     crackle     after the smoke clears
     The decision is made.
It's time to go.
I accomplished a lot
     and yet
     there is still so much left unstarted
or unfinished.

Am I burning bridges?
     Am I abandoning things I started
     and thought were failing?
Yes     No.
Everything I did here
     to me
Maybe to others.
I did things 
     I wasn't sure I could do
     I did things I never imagined I would do.
I had setbacks     and leaps forward.
Now it's a new year,
     time to move on,
     leave last year 
As amazing as it was,
     I can't continue 
     to bask in its 
fading glow.

It's time to move on
      even though the things I didn't do
      call to me
ask if I will come back.
      I answer,
      I won't return.
I rarely go back.
Things specific to this place 
       will remain 
 Things I can do elsewhere
      I will take 
      with me.
 Maybe I will work on them
 Maybe I will decide 
      they don't interest me anymore
      and start new things instead
Either way,
The things I didn't do
      will remain in my subconscious
      poking out at random times
 reminders of earlier hopes.

There's space in the new year
     for me to celebrate the past
     think about the future
live in the present.
Continuums of time
     will be with me, in me.
     and at year's end
I will again take stock
     decide what to leave behind
     and what will remain.
Start anew.

Two poems about running into the new year

From writing prompts come poems. Thankful for online writing communities and workshops.

I am running into the new year
        running into a new lifestyle
I feel like I'm looking ahead
  and the road is clear
But I also feel like
  there are so many unknowns,
I might need to slow down
  so I don't spin out,
I don't want to crash.

I am running
                   to a new place
staying a while to see and do 
as much as I can
before I jump to a new place
and repeat the process.

I wonder
     Am I running to explore
     Or running to escape?
I like where I am now
  the city
  my room in a house     on a hill    with sunrise and sunset views from my room. 
  hiking nearby.
  opportunities to listen to music
  opportunities to play music.
It felt like home from day one
  and then it didn't.
There was a shift     in my universe?     In the vibe of the house?    
  or just my internal clock ticking      the alarm telling me it's time to move on.
I'm a year and a half from seventy
As much as I say age is just a number
I know that
  no matter how healthy I feel now,
I can no longer plan my life in 4-5 year intervals.
It's time to do what I said I wanted to do when I retired,
  get rid of things I don't need    
  store what I want to keep      
No permanent home     take only what fits in my car     hIt the road.          
Oh, I've traveled a lot already,
  weekend trips      week long trips     two to five week trips
But I always went home.
Now it's time to try it a different way.
a month or so here,
a month or so there,
long enough to feel like a part of the community
to join hiking and music groups
to make connections
maybe even make friends I can keep.

I am running into the new year
I feel energized      rather than out of breath.
It feels right,
     taxing and relaxing     like a long run should.
I am running
I am running
I am running
                     because I want to
I am running
                     because I can.
I am thankful
                     that I can run.

I am running 
     to things that I want to see and do
I am running from
     being tied down,
     feeling the need to meet other people's expectation,
I am running from 
     responsibilities and commitments      that feel like obligations
It's not that I don't like being there for someone,
But if I want to      see new places     try new things
I need to run       
                     from what holds me back,
                     thoughts and people who hold me down.
I need to run to me
I need     

I am running into
      the new year
I am running into
      a new chapter.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

The one who got away?

Writing prompts can tickle memories and draw out thoughts I hadn't had in years.

Was he the one who got away
             or was he never there?
Depends on the moment in time
  when that question is asked.
For a while,
in my mind       at least,
he was the one.
But he made it clear
that I wasn't 
Which, I suppose       was also a way of saying
he wasn't the one.

   we were 
  and remain
A complicated relationship
  for me,
not so much, 
  for him.

Love, closeness, emotional attachment
Commonalities, differences.
I left.
He left.
Now we're each 
  writing a new chapter
His is long, ongoing
I've written several,
  they are shorter.
While I've been writing new plot points
He's on the chapter he started when he left.
  It might be a long one
  It might be his last one
As for me,
There will be several more chapters        I hope.

Was he "the one" who got away
or was he never there?
Time has erased the expectations
softened the feelings.
But the question randomly surfaces
  when I hear a song,
  read a sentence in a book
     or a line in a poem
  see someone who reminds me
Of him.

It's a moot point now.
As I write another page
  I'm tempted to go back several chapters,
  revisit the characters and plot.
  unearth memories.
What was real,
What could have been.
Images and feelings
  have blurred over time.
  love and its many contradictions.
Was it one-way love?
Was it non-romantic love?
Was it love at all?
Does it matter now?
As he used to say,
      It is what it is.
And now I say
      It was what it was.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024


The prompt was "What memory compelled them to give special thanks for the fruit?" I took it in a different direction.


A tricky thing.

You think you remember,

And then someone who was there

Tells a different story

Or says they don't remember that at all.]

He's allergic to strawberries.

It's not something he announces,

He just never eats them.

His mother told him

How when he was a child

he broke out in hives

after eating strawberries.

He asked his dad about the story

His dad said he didn't remember much about it,

because his mother handled it.

As for him,

He looks at strawberries 

and tries to remember

but can't.

He ate them once as an adult

just to see what would happen

He got a little itchy

but no welts.

He looks at the menu

Fresh fruit with breakfast would be nice

So he asks the waitress about strawberries

says he's allergic.

They could probably create a bowl without berries

if he'd like to try it.

As he says yes,

He wonders,

Did he really break out in hives?

Has he ever broken out in hives?

Does he know what hives look like?

Did his mother exaggerate what happened?
Maybe he just didn't like the taste

and made a face

or scratched his arms or belly.

He'll never know.

Until she was no longer able to speak,

If he asked

She insisted

He was allergic to strawberries.

She remembered, 

She loved him,

And that was all that mattered.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Letter Poem - War, Peace, Truce

Write a letter poem. Pick who you're writing to (an imaginary person, a real person).

Dear Reader,

I have probably never met you, Or maybe I have. I have no idea who will read this, so I assume you are not someone I know.

I hear so many conflicting things. Some of them get me so mad I talk, scream, gesture at my computer or Echo speaker or car radio. 

I seem to get wound up faster than I used to? Does that happen to you too?

I tell myself to calm down, I tell myself to turn it off, I tell myself to do anything except pay attention to the news,

But I am drawn back,

Like a moth to a flame?

I get worked up, I walk away again, I go back,

And on and on.

The barrage of news and opinions doesn't stop, my anger and confusion go away and come back, 

Ad infinitum?

I wonder how will all of these wars and conflicts and lifetime grudges end?

Will the world explode before I do?

Do you have similar thoughts?
Are you tormented by what you hear and wish there was an easy solution. Hell, do you wish there was a hard solution? Do you believe there is a solution?

Or, like me, do you feel like, this has gone or for so long, it will never end.

There will be no winner.

We will all lose.

We're all already losing.

Do you know what I am writing about? Which war, conflict, difference of opinion, I might be referring to? Present? Past?

Does it matter?

Do you call a war a conflict?

Do you care what it's called when there are bombs and guns and orders and passion turning cities, towns, fields, into battlefields? Ripping apart families. Making enemies of friends.

Do you think these places will ever be able to live in peace?
Do you think we live in peace here in the US?

Do you sometimes wonder what it would be like to live in a country constantly at war?

Are you already living there?
Do you feel like you live in a different form of war?
Words, beliefs, religion, politics.

Do you think, it's time,

it's past time,

We need a truce.

Before it's too late.

Do you wonder if it already is too late, we're past the point of no return.

I hope, I dream, I wish

that every day was armistice day.

What do you hope, dream, wish for?

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Prescott Ukulele Guild meeting on 1.4.24


And that's a wrap. My last time attending a meeting of Prescott Ukulele Guild. I got to play a couple of spotlights and lead a song at the end. A special night.

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Thanks to Phyllis Cole-Dai for posting a writing prompt and WAGE PEACE by Judyth Hill.

Breathe in suffering

Breathe out healing.

Breathe in bad

Breathe out good.

Breathe in sadness

Breathe out happiness.

If only it was that simple.

If only you could transform the evils of the world

and your demons,

By simply breathing them in

And exhaling peace and goodness.

If only.

Yet we keep doing it

We have to.

We breathe in and out,

Filling and emptying our lungs

in a rhythm that keeps us alive.

If we get upset,

Someone might tell us

Take a deep breath

Blow it out slowly

Breathe in, breathe out.

Like breathing can cure our problems.


Breathe in, breathe out,



Calming mechanism.

Oxygen in

Carbon dioxide out..

When you stop breathing

You die.

Breathe in, breathe out

Until your last breath.

That isn't a metaphor.

That's reality.

That's life.