Suddenly, with no intent of tension

 “Never use the word suddenly just to
            create tension.”
Writing Fiction

What rules did Mother Nature obey?
Too many greens, you say?
And then the blues,
hard to tell sky from sea,

up from down, towering gray stone,
trees stripped bare or leafed
to such excess they block  all else
from view.

 How about that Eastern Shore…
so flat the boring fields go on for miles,
acres of them, and there in the middle
of brown stubble, a russet deer,

 earth tones unbroken but for sky.
A blue suit with brown shoes, what color
tie would you wear? What rules
did Mother Nature obey?

I want to use the word suddenly;
you tell me it’s cliché,  but in my poem
the harvest is in, and suddenly
it’s winter.

Stars in her Hair for Janis Joplin

The Daily Texan ran a profile of her in the issue dated July 27, 1962 headlined “She Dares To Be Different.” The article began, “She goes barefooted when she feels like it, wears Levi’s to class because they’re more comfortable, and carries her Autoharp with her everywhere she goes so that in case she gets the urge to break into song it will be handy. Her name is Janis Joplin.”

Long curls tangled in abandon,
she raced barefoot through the fields
picking wildflowers for the table,
berries for cobblers, or just gathering
sun rays to feed the freckles
sprinkled over her nose.

She wove chains of daisies
and wore them in her hair,
but that was in the summer. Months
of sun slip by; innocence is lost
in little things.  The beautiful
blue sky

and there a hawk  and there
a sparrow. Her face tilted, worshiping
the sun. She saw the feathers falling,
and something like a chill wind
said this is living
and this is dying

She wove her daisy chains
until winter spent the wildflowers
with its will. She was too young
to know that spring would come
and they would bloom again,
so she caught the stars

at midnight and wore them in her hair
though no one saw them…Just her
and the moon streaming in the window.
Alone there with songs to sing
and dreams to dream, she must have thought
this is living — and this is dying.

Sometimes I Fly

Sometimes the wind whistles through the pineboughs
making purple shadows on the ground, Sometimes

the sound steals into my brain, leaves me restless
like the whistle of a passing train, or the night call

of a snowy owl. There are times I fight the urge
to fly, and then again, there are those sometimes

when I spread my wings and head for open sky,
like now, as I lose myself in dogeared pages

of stacks of magazines, You know– the cherished
ones, with words that reawaken dreams.

Fair November

One could be blinded
                    looking for light.
I am awed by life and football,
confused at best; the plays
amaze me.

The wind blows warm,
                    the wind blows cold,
One day it keeps the kite aloft;
a child’s curls gleam in the sun
as he runs with the string.

Who knew so soon
                    he’d get caught up
in the storm? The kite
becomes irrelevant.  So, too,
the sun. It’s gone.

Someone should insist
that life state its intentions
at the beginning.  Honesty
like November’s would be welcome.
Gray days

indicate December’s near,
                     No need for despair,
there’s plenty of time to grab a blanket
and hunker down for the winter.
At least November plays fair.

Cat in the Window

Bella’s sitting in the window
sun sparking from her fur
like fiery diamonds,
motor running at fast idle,
eyes peering past where I  can see,
She might be contemplating her name,
Certainly she’s living up to it,
Whatever her thoughts,
they do not make her anxious
but lend a studious look
or is that boredom?

(I was outside talking to her through the window and she pressed her nose against the pane, giving her a pig snout look. I couldn’t resist snapping her picture)


Autumn’s Song

Fragments of a summer spent
caught up in November wind,
Teeny weeny yellow polka dots
swim past the eyes.

A broken sign reminding of
shallow water and submerged rocks,
falling stars and the scent of sea roses
sweetening the air,

Button mums are blooming somewhere.
The morning is golden. I open
the silverware drawer to baby spoons
and mismatched sets.

Monograms morph into memories
from a walk-up to a broad expanse of lawn;
forsythia seldom grows in window boxes.
Dreams never failed me, only expectations.

If I could pick any life, I’d pick this one.

Twenty-five Lines about Life

Crushed between mountains and ocean,
I dream of growing wings
and taking to the air.

The owl, wiser by far,
sits hidden in pine branches waiting
until the time is right.

It would take more than twenty-five lines
to tell this story, but since the ending is unknown
I will give you the abbreviated version.

The fact that it is only a dozen lines
just goes to show
how little I know about life.