I had to do just one more poem for the contest.

As I was sitting at my commuter this morning with my window open to the bliss of little birds singing, the roar of the suburban summer machine drowned out my joy just as I was reading about jazz on Tweetspeak.

This tanka has nothing to do with jazz, but it speaks to obsessions.


Verdant soldiers fixed
at attention. August lawns
a suburban obsession.
Wildflowers whirligig
in delight, nature’s passion.


At Tweetspeak they have reason to celebrate. They published Deborah Henry’s The Whipping Club this past February and it made O Magazine’s  Summer Reading list. Tweetspeak is celebrating with a poetry and photo contest. Since I am recovering from surgery, I can’t imagine a nicer way to spend this week than playing with words.

Here in Colorado we are in the midst of the devastating High Park Fire. Along with it’s harshness, there has been stunning beauty. What looks like fluffy clouds rising into the sky are really plums of white smoke. As the sun sets and the fire rages, shades of orange tinge those so-called clouds. Nature in her cruelty doesn’t let us forget her loveliness.

He settled on the limb
Alongside the tightly petaled bud.

In the distance
A scrim
An orange glow
Seeping through
the billowing pother

His simple morning ovation
reminding me of the
sweetness of nature

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.

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.

A Poetry Party

Last Thursday night I participated in a poetry writing party. It happened on Twitter and twenty-nine people participated in one form or another. It was sponsored by Tweet Speak Poetry and some amazing poets were present. I was humbled to be in their company.

The writing commenced on the hour with a prompt and each participant tweeted as inspiration well up in us. The creativity lasted for exactly an hour. I never thought I could last the entire time. I was afraid to start. But once I let go and realized how much fun it was, I didn’t want to stop.

The next step can be seen at Tweet Speak Poetry where the tweets from those participating have been woven into poems. And seeing these, I was again inspired.

Below you will see my original tweets in the order I wrote them over the hour.

The last piece below is my sculpting of my tweets into a “final” piece.

My Poetry Tweets As They Happened
I spring on heel wings on tips of blossoms
Shouting to be heard over the din of bursting blooms
She called my name over the ages and the stories told but never heard
And the little pink feathers laying one upon another make me smile
A key to open a lock rusted long ago
freeing my hand to turn, open the iced pink memories
savoring the lush, swallowing the sweet, gulping despair
Lost in want and waiting for the hummingbird
rushing towards a sunset of creamsicle smiles
make no more room than the space we fill with our delight
a daisy chain chained to eternity
it is not gone/it is there under the faded pink blanket throw away the pieces left, the mess/find my hand
sugared ice cracking off my face and hands reaching
a citrine sun burning our skin
smoothing their points, polishing to perfection
sapphires are for kings, lapis for emperors/give me sand to make a glass so clear I can see the stars
So take my hand and we will sing/walking with dragons/ dancing with Homer/ laughing in the blue
The actor will whisper the last words and we will stand
and laughing with Aphrodite
Release the dragon painted in pink forgetting the sugar frosted claws and lay down the tender lute
I like gravy with my biscuits.
Crumbs of simplicity tumble from my lips

I spring with heel wings
on tips of blossoms
shouting to be heard over
the din of bursting blooms

Lost in want
waiting for the hummingbird
savoring the lush
swallowing the sweet
gulping despair

She called my name over the ages
stories told but never heard
little pink feathers
laying one upon another

They are not gone
under the faded pink blanket
throw away the pieces
the mess
find my hand

Make no more room
than the space we fill
with our delight
a citrine sun burning our skin
rushing toward a creamsicle sunset
dancing with Homer
rejoicing in the blue

Sugared ice cracking
absolving hands reaching
a key to open a lock
rusted long ago
hands turning
freeing gentian memories

Sapphires are for kings
lapis for emperors
give me sand
I will fashion glass so clear
we can touch the stars
smoothing their points
polishing them to perfection

The actor will whisper the last words
and we will stand
a daisy chain chained to eternity
laughing with Aphrodite
crumbs of simplicity tumbling from our lips

You can also follow me @leximagines on Twitter.


Tonight I was inspired by a beautiful film entitled Temporal Distortion by Randy Halverson. This film came to me through my favorite weekly poem site Tweetspeak: This Week’s Top 10 Poetic Picks.
I guess it is fitting I would be charmed by this particular film on an evening of a full moon with sun flares racing towards the earth and promises of seeing the Aurora Borealis in Denver. Of course we’ve been warned we would have to be looking north in a dark sky and, maybe, just maybe, we might see a bit of green color. Good luck finding dark skies in the Metro Area.
Watching the film raised my sagging spirits from a day of lows. What better way to spend the evening than being lifted up by beauty and writing a poem?

Temporal Distortion from Randy Halverson on Vimeo.


My feet are firmly planted
in the deep night pitch
of the earth’s musty grime

I trod through my days
awaiting that moment
of paralyzing enlightenment
as I raise my head to the sky
eyes wide fearing loss
in a blink
a wink stealing
the first star
ushering in the evening’s libation

And the deluge begins
I am swept away
I am radiance
and tincture
and bliss

Here I am of cactus and limbs
and swaying grasses
but not of the firmament
yearning to grasp the comet’s tip
in the borealis of the blaze

I am merely human
feet planted in the mire
devouring the grace
of the Divine