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First, the smell of the roasting coffee beans
The most decadent scent one could devise
Grind into earthy shards by all means
Ah, the smell of the roasting coffee beans
Brewed black ambrosia in mystic machines
Poured in a cup, promises paradise
And the smell of the roasting coffee beans
The most decadent scent one could devise

Cup of Coffee

New Astrology

Swan vintage

The Sign of the Swan

Having been born on the third day of the
summer month of fun, my birthday lands me
square in the middle of the sign of the

We are known for paddling for all we are
worth underneath while looking as calm and
placid as can be up top.

Though ungainly on land, water is our
element. We can perform amazing
feats protecting our young, keeping them safe.

The down-side to this sign is probably
our strict attention to family matters,
at times to the detriment of work and
friends. Yes, we can be occasionally
flighty. But once the young have left the nest,
we do know how to throw a party.


Thanks Quickly, for this interesting prompt about making one’s own astrological sign.


Phoenix Haboob

Phoenix Haboob, July 2012

Monsoon Season

Arizona’s blazing blue skies rarely
change until July or August, when dust
storms tear through, as if to taunt the afternoon
thunderheads. The weatherman finally
has something to talk about. Talk he does,
eyes sparking, hands gesticulating, grin-
ningly trying to predict the first monsoon.

Lightning storms come too; no rain hits the
arid earth. It falls, but evaporates
before it lands. The animals know first,
when rain will finally come. They batten down
and wait, and know (better than the people
sometimes) not to go into the washes.

Soon the storm begins, pelting drops so large
one is soaked in seconds. So rare is the
rain, so welcome, the warm water feels like
a benediction. It passes quickly.
The scent, a delicate earthy perfume.
The winds and water leave a changed desert,
a waterscape with broken branches, leaves
scattered, flattened flowers. Muddy water
scrambles through the gullies and someone’s car
is stuck again.

AZ Monsoon

Pop Culture



Pop Culture

Corn pops, making it a fluffy treat with
little substance. Carbonation makes sweet
drinks fizz and pop. Blown soap bubbles fly free,
and are destroyed with a touch. People can’t
live on popcorn and colas and blowing
bubbles. We need substance in our lives to
thrive, to do more than simply survive. Pop
culture distracts with glitter and shine and
flashing lights, and underneath is nothing
more than an illusion of reality.

popped bubble

Rethought, Disassembled, and Rewritten

Quickly‘s prompt took most of today. This is a rewritten triversen I wasn’t happy with before. I like it better now.


Have some Mercy

Mercy’s quiet voice, low,
melodic, draws people to her,
recommending her.

One kind word cuts to
the heart, melting it quicker than
someone’s empty sympathy ever could

Her eye catches your goodness.
She shares a knowing look and
you’re left uplifted, sanctified almost.

Hands that know firmness
and kindness in equal measure
that shape her vivid ambitions.

Where others might grapple
with conscience, battering it down,
she embraces it, nurtures it.

Knowing her changes you,
makes you strive harder to be better.
Everyone needs some Mercy.




By fate’s caprice, that awful day, and for no other
reason we comprehend, they were at work
when the fire started. How could they know that
life as they knew it was about to change
forever? It is a curious thing,
that people replay over and over
the day of a tragedy. They question.
They doubt. Their minds continue to circle
endlessly about the somehow morbid
question: What could we have done differently?
People say with satisfaction that no
human lives were lost, but a family has
been broken. The black smoke took not only
all the things that made up their house, but a
cherished furry friend that helped make
it home. Broken hearts declare there is no
healing, there’s no bringing back buried hopes.
But at the foot of the stair to heaven,
on the rainbow bridge, their best friend awaits,
wagging tail, happy grin, til that distant
day, to greet adored family once more.


Written for Poetic Asides, Quickly, and for Tina  and Thomas Batt.


Holding Hands

Comfortable Quarrel

So many years together, over sixty,
and she, Missouri to the core,
and he, German accent still apparent,
quarreled the years away
in a comfortable style that
occasionally worried the
grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was an ex-Catholic,
excommunicated when they wed,
and still he had his fish on Friday,
though she argued his church
didn’t care for him, why should he
care for it? And besides,
nobody had to eat fish on Friday
anymore anyhow.

She fed the dogs scraps,
he argued it was bad for them.
She found his taste in tv
objectionable, “Karl, don’t
let those kids watch Portland
Wrestling, it is all fake.”

“Nah, Betty, it’s all real.”
and he would wink at us,
and we would smile, in on the joke,
as she argued about how fake
it really was.

I remember them, after all these
years, the love apparent,
even through the bickering,
they lie side by side now,
and I imagine them squabbling still,
about why the weeds grow more
near her headstone, and how
he objects to her getting full sun all day,
while he rests in partial shade,
and how the children never visit.


For Poetic Asides, and Quickly.


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