Great or Small

What fun! On my favorite Thursday romp today,  This Week’s Top 10 Poetic Picks, Kimberly Conway Ireton of Tweetspeak Poetry shared a link to Wave Books and their  Erasure Poetry page. Wave  supplies source texts to choose from and when you click on the word from the text, it disappears. Actually it fades. By clicking on it again, it pops back up. You could play for hours.

Of course, I had to try this. I love using given or found words to make a poem. Here is mine. The original text follows at the end.


Great or Small

Contemptible this class of beings
carefully investigate
and discover
buzzes in the meadow

Or imagine
myriads too small
and each
made of parts
by which they retain wisdom

Under the Almighty
they are capable
every creature
great or small




Source text: The History of Insects by Unknown

However small and contemptible this class of beings may appear, at first thought, yet when we come to select, and carefully investigate, we shall be struck with wonder and astonishment, and shall discover, that the smallest gnat that buzzes in the meadow, it as much of a subject of admiration as the largest elephant that ranges the forest, or the hugest whale which ploughs the deep; and when we consider the least creature that we can imagine, myriads of which are too small to be discovered without the helps of glasses, and that each of their bodies is made up of different organs or parts, by which they receive or retain nourishment, &c. with the power of action how natural the exclamation. “O Lord, how manifold are they works! in wisdom hast thou made them all.” Under these considerations, that they are the work of the same great, good, and Almighty hand that formed us, and that they are all capable of feeling pleasure and pain, surely every little child, as well as older person, ought carefully to avoid every kind of cruelty to any kind of creature, great or small.


There was no going back
Rather, there was
No going forward any longer
It would only be back
Deep into the dark

The light would fade
Slipping farther
Out of the blaze
Into obscurity
Not meaning to exit
Not yet anyway

But it was done
And when all is done
Becoming night


Author’s Note:
The photo prompt comes from Everyday Poems. I was also inspired by one of the regular poets on the site, Reno King Lawrence whose poetry I always enjoy. I never heard of Francesca Woodman but was moved by her photography and story. Thank you to both Reno and Everyday Poems.

The Artist’s Way

I was in third grade. It was an upright purple piano. Actually, the piano came into my life with a turquoise tint and an “antiquing” bronzing that some creative person thought would make it look, well, like an antique.

My parents sent me off one Saturday morning on my bike to my cousin’s house. It was May and my birthday was right around the corner.  While we were peddling around town, my parents convinced a friend to drive my father to pick up my birthday present, the piano. An uncle and another friend gladly helped knowing that a case of Coors would be waiting at the end of the ride.

My surprise was almost spoiled when my cousin, who was always getting me into trouble, convinced me to ride my bike farther away from her house than allowed. It was there a pick up truck hauling a turquoise piano and three men sped by us. But we didn’t notice them and I was happily surprised later that night. The piano was soon painted purple, still my favorite color, and three years of miserable piano lessons followed.

But this is not my story of creativity, even though my parents’ wished for a talented daughter to serenade them into their old age. The story of my creativity lies a bit in the purple paint, but mostly in the words I used to describe it to my third grade teacher.

I always loved to create. I made May altars by decorating my statue of Mary with plastic flowers and crepe paper and candles. It’s amazing that I didn’t burn down the house. I make jewelry, plant gardens, and design and build costumes. I didn’t realize that I was a writer until recently. This realization came to me at the age of 55 when I remembered my purple piano.

It was the nun in third grade who squashed my creativity in writing. I was excited about the purple piano. I remember writing a story the very week after its arrival about a little man who lived in the piano. Finally, I had something to write about.

Sister Mary Whatever called me to the front of the room and in a whispered voice made sure that I understood there was no little man living in my purple piano. She wanted to assure me that this couldn’t happen. I assured her that I knew he wasn’t real. I assured her that it was just a story.  She told me never to write about him again.  I didn’t.  And I didn’t write much at all after that. I only produced what teachers demanded of me using outlines and following formulas.

Until now.

Thank goodness that I am an elementary school teacher who became disgruntled with the ways we are “supposed” to teach children how to write. I searched for a better way to teach and found it.  I am grateful to the Colorado Writing Project and Karen Crawford who not just opened the doors, but the floodgates.

As I look back I realize that Sister Mary Whatever was probably concerned about me because of my mother’s mental illness. At the time I wasn’t aware that others knew about her. I now, of course, realize everyone knew and Sister Mary Whatever was just trying to protect me.

It is inspiration from Tweetspeak Poetry, Every Day Poems, L.L. Barkat, Lyla Lindquist, and crew that feeds my writer’s soul. It is also through books like Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and those who share their thoughts and lives in the book club that encourage me to revel in God’s inspiration and just be who I am.

And I am a writer.

Train Station

Poised above, heeding vaporous specters
rising up above the trains, swirling steam
pushing up from black plated tracks, a dream.
Two on an unknown colliding vector.

She knew naught, but imagined all. A train
never to arrive during light of day.
Nor delivering her love in night’s gray
silence under the moon’s desolate wane.

Somewhere, the stalling holding her true heart,
leaving her alone without a journey
to curious places where lovers cleave.
Once a chance meeting now shattered apart.
A train’s late advent not hearing her plea
for his lips. Their kiss she’ll never receive.

Author’s Note:
Tonight at Wednesday Afternoon Writers, we worked with a prompt that was a photo of a train station showing a bridge with people looking down on the trains. There were other ideas for a story which I used to write a sort of a found poem:
To know is nothing at all, to imagine is everything. Anatole France
Two railroad trains on a collision course…
A journey to an exotic location…
Standing alone in a railroad station…
A train that is always late…
Waiting for a train that never arrives…
A chance meeting on a train…
Somewhere, a stalled car on the tracks…

I enjoy writing sonnets. They make you fit things together snuggly. Sometimes they sound natural. That’s a good one. Other times, they are just good exercises for the writer’s brain. :0)

Just Peachy

Rolling down
worn wooden planks
the creamy coral orb
came to rest at my feet

Barely kissing my toes
cajoling me to pick it up
I surrendered
raising it to my lips

One should never allow
such cheek to go unanswered




Author’s Note:
I am playing today with inspiration from Tweetspeak Poetry and Every Day Poems. Today’s poem in my mail box was Inspiration by Kimberlee Conway Ireton, author of The Circle of Seasons. The challenge was to take something from this poem and make it mine. Ireton’s words “worn wooden planks” led me to my poem.

Catching Up and Starting Over

Oh, technology! I somehow lost my Blogger blog by linking with my domain. All the posts I made after April 9, 2012 are gone. Comments, links, everything. Luckily I have copies of my poems for the NaPoWriMo challenge. However, I cannot get them formatted properly, which is why I was still using Blogger until I figured out how to get rid of the annoying space between lines. I will, somehow, figure this out, eventually. I decided to list all the poems with the date they were originally posted. Maybe, someday, I will find my Blogger blog and get them properly moved here! Oh!

I filled my bathtub with sugar,
buckled up my tap shoes.
On second thought,
slipped my toes
into my old soft shoes.
In the quiet
where no one will bother me
I shall never want for
a proper shuffle off to Buffalo.


I kneel in the dark
Eyes closed

I never see myself
how I actually look
I take up much more space
I think I should
Eye to eye with my little ones
we are equal in our space
They are bigger here
when we walk side by side
The space I am fitted into
is too small
I define myself without
drawing a line around my
In other’s eyes
I fill too much space
I hover below them
trying to not get in their way
Without walls or floors
words pull me
But in the dark
I feel the floor beneath my knees
I cannot fill the space 
I have clay soil.
I should make pottery,
not grow flowers.
It is spring and on
Saturday when I could
be sleeping in,
I hear the birdsong
just before dawn calling
me to the clay.
I ache for the good
soil in the old part
of Denver where
it has been tilled and
worked and the clay gave up.
But now near the
grasslands where Cheyenne
once staked their noble homes,
I garden in
small beds where the clay
is worked and tilled until
it, too, gives up.
Sleep on the heather
So I can rest with you in my arms
Sleep, my little one, sleep
Sleep on the shore
So I can rock you on the waves
Sleep, my little one, sleep
Sleep on the hills
So I may see where you will go
Sleep, my little one, sleep
Sleep on the clouds
So you will hear the angles sing
Sleep, my little one, sleep
Sleep on the moon
So I can see your face shine
Shine, my little one, shine




I closed the door behind me to leave not
the hope of succulent petals in bloom,
but brittle flakes dusting the pallid room,
just cinders from a sultry fire once sought.
In answer to the rain’s whisper I caught
my name wafting on its verdant perfume
and slipped my feet from their rigid costume
into the spate, my fear was all for naught.
I danced and splashed along an unknown path.
I could not see the end but did not fear
my feet blindly bespattering puddles.
My promenade will not step back in wrath
For the rain has rinsed me of my tear
And leaves me laundered from all my troubles.


I often muse if I shall ever see
An insect so hankering as the frenzied bee?

A bee whose proboscis yearns to digest
Sweet nectar from flowers without protest;

A bee that flits through God’s breath of air,
And waves it’s wings with fevered flair;

A bee when in spring with delight may wear
Sprinkles of pollen dotting its black and yellow hair;

Then into its hive where the nectar is lain,
Soon candy for the gods who never abstain.

My poem is but silliness for you to read,
But to the bee I hope, forever, Godspeed.

And, now, for something complete different. My husband, Leroy, is a writer, too. Today he felt the urge to join us.

Treez By Leroy Leonard

I think that I shall never hear
A fizz as lovely as a beer
If you’re inclined to disagree
Have a beer and you will see
Then if you still don’t get it, brother,
What the heck have another.
I feel sure eventually
You’ll end up thinking just like me.
The lovely sound of beery fizz
Is quite the loveliest fizz there is.



Three of Three

Here I sit ensconced
Castled, surrounded by my bricks
Ones I bought
By my own hard labor
To keep me safe
Protected from the howling
My doors are latched
Windows shut tight
The brick unyielding
For me to fear
There is nothing
I hear the knocks
And then the pounding
The mournful cries
Against the growling
But I have proudly taken
The upright road
And am not one of
Those exaggerating
Why didn’t they listen
While there was still time?
Why didn’t they work like me?
They followed their path,
Foolishly, their bliss and
Now are woefully coveting
Here I will stay
With tea cup in hand
And my brothers
Will be gone by morning
Whether by their own hands
Now willing to work
Or as a tasty dinner for the growling


Two of Three

There is a pounding
on my door.
Shaking my walls,
my lovely walls.
Hand hewn timbers
sculpted then stacked
one upon the other,
a masterpiece to behold.
Expertly matched,
no nails needed.
Who is pounding
on my door?
Shaking my finely
carved table,
shimmying my dinner
onto the floor.
Stop that pounding,
pounding on my door.
It’s hand carved lines
are splitting
under the pounding on my door.
Good brother,
enter and wipe your feet.
Step sweetly on
the reclaimed planks.
No time to talk.
It’s time to flee.
Forget your ebony burl.
And under the blast
Looking back at the beast
I realize
I should have used the nails.