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#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 24–Fake Orange Quote


Fake Orange Quote

On an early autumn day, my mind muddled by

mindless oratory from an outrageous orange ego,

I descended in desperation to the garden

seeking to silence suffering through solitude

when a cloudless sulphur butterfly fluttered

to a magnificent Mexican sunflower, its petals

intense orange against garden green and I learned

not to judge a color by its connection to

a bad character.


Prompt: Opening–well I opened to the not judging concept and the sunflower opened to the sun and at one point the butterfly opened its wings and I probably opened a can of worms by misquoting MLK so horribly–or maybe I’m just rebelling?


#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 23–See Me


Tashi at Fiesta Island


See Me

Crone in Bernie Sanders hat, I fill hummingbird feeders and grape jelly jars for mockingbirds and orioles, water butterfly garden, inspect milkweed for Monarch caterpillars. Tashi rolls over, four feet in air, insists on a belly rub, a trip to Fiesta Island, leaps across hills, down cliffs to salty bay. Warm afternoon home, she chuffs disproval as screens and keyboards compete for attention.  The house that once hugged children and shook to amplified guitar, now strains to hear living sounds of nearby high school, collects dust and dog hair, sighs, settles, and waits.

Fall day, not alone

Critters, flowers, and Facebook

And, of course, the ghosts



Prompt: See Me

Form: Haibun

#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 22–Surrender Poems


Tonight a pastel sunset reminded me of the poems I didn’t use for October 1 and when the muse played hard-to-get, I decided to go back and visit my notebook.  Resetting to Day 1?


Surrender Poems

Surrender to love? I’m ready

Here’s my white flag

but my army stands confused

no enemy waits to receive my bow

Can I surrender to not-love?

to the perfect sunset

the balmy night

the scent of jasmine?

I waited for summer

and now that it is here

the calendar strikes fall


The first of October and

finally the evening air is pleasant

warmth carries the scent of jasmine, summer

and love’s promise so long ago

when surrender was sweet

in the arms of youth

the racing heart

urged on by each tentative caress

dance of danger and sweet surrender


Tonight as I sat on the deck

bare feet on the rail

a pale warm sunset purpled into black

the night blooming jasmine

lifted me to when the soft brush of

furtive fingertips against my arm

set off currents of longing

and soft lips against mine

were almost too much to bear


Rebellion doesn’t allow surrender

unless it comes as sweet death

my old voice wants to scream

don’t give up, yet

I linger with my glass of wine

as the sun screams against the sky

in all its red and purple

before it is snuffed out

in darkness

Why do I allow the jasmine scent to

spirit me to a time of youthful excitement

bodies in discovery in the cool night

intertwined in don’t-let-go

finally complete

happy in our yin and yang

your magnet pull

the circuit that flashed

the flow that jolted the

heart to bursting


surrender to love

surrender to solitude

surrender to what is

surrender to sunset

#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 21–How Will I Know?


How Will I Know?

I hold hope aloft this fall day

pull, run, tug, play

below, patterns of possibility

squares, spirals, shapes still undreamed

zephyr playmates tease

hopes falter, dip, plunge but then

buoyed by the breeze

rise again

Will I know when

bored by shorter days

brutal bully breeze

will sneak away

behind barrier hills

leave hope to drift, fall

a final plunge

from tormentor’s gust?

How will I know

hope will no longer rise again

promise slammed

into the brown-scummed pond?



Prompt:  How will I know


#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 20–Time in Memory


Fred with his hero, Tony Gwynn.  Rumor has it some of Fred’s
ashes may have found their way to Tony’s Memorial at Petco Park.


Time in Memory

Today my mind goes back eight years

returns in tears

but that last day

won’t go away

his skeletal hand trembled so

eight years ago

his eyes were dim

as I fed him

He stopped, gave me a startled look

then he shook

lay back in bed

I think I said

I love you as I tiptoed out

looked back in doubt

went out the door

could not do more

That night as I lay down alone

I heard the phone

don’t miss your chance

called ambulance

Our children came from far away

arrived next day

we never heard

another word

And time keeps moving on and on

forever gone

I fear the phone

I lie alone

#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 19–I Don’t Want Much


I Don’t Want Much

Remember me with love and laughter

and that will be enough hereafter

I hope my poems and prose live on

though I suppose it won’t matter to me when I’m gone

May descendents and students continue my fights

for compassion and justice and civil rights

and for all to have water, food, shelter and health

an end to greed and ridiculous wealth

May the young generations continue their stand

to save our planet, the oceans and land

to use clean resources for energy need

stop corporate welfare, corporate greed

May our country be blessed with young ethical leaders

And ditch all the current old crass bottom feeders

I guess what I’m really rooting for

Is an end to suffering, privilege, and war

I want so much it makes me dizzy

Kids, here’s the baton, you better get busy


Prompt: What I want

Form: Palindrome (which I didn’t use after I spent way too much time on it)

#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 18–The Fox and the Finch


The Fox and the Finch

Once upon a time

well, just the other day

an evil orange fox appeared in the land

his name I will not say

The fox proclaimed he was self-made

though his dad was filthy rich

he hired folks and never paid

he always found a glitch

And maybe he paid taxes

and maybe he did not

but something we can all surmise

he never paid a lot

He told the forest creatures

he was very, very wise

Those naïve beasts believed him

and listened to his lies

They made him king of everything

as he took their winter food

the fox was mean and vicious

he was rotten, he was lewd

He told them he was powerful

and by telling made it so

but the fox forgot to look up

so he never saw the crow

From his lookout overhead

Crow could see the fox’s ruse

he gathered all the forest birds

and told them the bad news

And the old crow knew enough was enough

He was a tough old bird

and he sent forth a tiny finch

to make his message heard

Please listen to that little finch

who landed on the lectern

so when 2020 comes around

that fox will feel the Bern


Prompt:  Once Upon a Time

Form: Fable