Sunday, December 29, 2013

Haiku: The bamboo forest

This photo of Arashiyama is courtesy of TripAdvisor
 Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama, Japan

gentle sway of breeze
brush of bamboo leaves - music
strings the night in gold


above lantern lights
moon sparkles like diamond,
beating steadfast heart


my mother tells me:
grow upright like a bamboo
& nourish your sons

and Poets United ~ Thanks for the visit ~

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Late afternoon sun 
breaks through the grey. 

Bare trees coated in ice sparkle like stars. 

Luminous crystals.  Shower of diamond glass.   

     Silver trees.       Silver branches.       Silver salt.       

Soon the moon will  dawn its  silvery light. 

        The landscape is drowning in silver tears.        

Or maybe its my eyes watering from

seeing you for the 
first time. 

 After the Ice Storm 
Frozen Birch Tree by Positively Riveting

55 Silvery Words for the G-Man~
Thanks for the visit ~

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas after the ice storm

Picture by good friend, Fred Villacorta
Ontario, Canada

Under canopy
Icicles drip from bare trees
Slowly like tear drops


Snow falling like rain 
Drenches red bows & pine cones-
Ice sugar on cake

This Christmas season -  
The best gift of all- your love
unwrapped through the years

Posted for Imaginary Garden for Real Toads:  Words Count with MamaZen - Merry Christmas to all ~ 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter tanka

Outside my window
smoky clouds veil the full moon
        to fading star light     
but snow falls whitening ground
        to a thousand lit candles   



A truck rattles by
salting the road wrapped in frost 
        Above window's edge
        crystals drip slow thin daggers
Morning melts like ice cream cone  


Houses are skull capped
with thin ice crystals  
Trees twist under bed of snow 
    Morning paints everything white   
    but for dead leaves, amber framed - 

Posted for Imaginary Garden for Real Toads - Tanka form
Shared with Poets United

Thanks for the visit ~  Happy Holidays ~

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A tribute to Nelson Mandela

Do not stand by my grave & grieve
I'm not here, wrapped in leopard skin
I am where the wind blows cruelest
So my words will scatter like grains  

Ripening land of corn & fruits 
Do not stand by my grave & grieve
I'm not here, draped in flag honors
I am where the night reigns darkest 

Burning candles beacon for peace
After slaughtering the ox, feast
Do not stand by my grave & grieve
I'm not here, blessed in holy water

I am where sky blues grass field 
And sun browns our faces with joy
Sing & dance in celebration
Do not stand by my grave & grieve

Beloved Father of Freedom, 
We bid you Farewell Madiba!

Posted for Imaginary Garden for Real Toads - In Memoriam
Poetry form:   Quartern
Shared with Poets United

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all ~

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Light the candles

Grace @ Everyday Amazing

Amidst darkening sky 
Cold wind cracks a whip
Rousing black birds to flee
Fluted ash, billowing wings- 
Arc of silver from street lights 


Snow dust spinning threads
white on white, soft as feathers-
inside, we wax stories:  old, new
beside brick chimney
  fire settles in our bellies   

Early morning mass
I listen to choir in red bows  
Incense fills the air      
Your words are my candle
Banishing winter darkness 

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Poetics hosted by Mary ~  We are having a snowy day ~
Wishing you all Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays ~  Cheers ~

Sunday, December 8, 2013

In praise

I lift my hands
Above shadows of broken things
I lift my hands
When days empty colors like sands
And every word arrives to sting
I reach for dawn, rising like spring
I lift my hands

Poetry form:   Rondelet- Seven lines with rhyme scheme of AbAabbA.

Posted for Imaginary Garden for Real Toads - Hallelujuh and Margaret's Artistic Interpretations
I have used Jennifer MacNeill's photo and you can see more of her work at  her website HERE and flicker page HERE
And Poets United

Saturday, December 7, 2013

At the Mad Hatter's Tea Party

She descends
a beehive strangling 

                                    the air  

Looking for her tarts
3 cranberry pies or was it stones             

Her hands pluck mercilessly  
cake pieces away from our plates        

Tea cups shake as
her words reduce men to frogs 

                                    witless, shrunk peas     

She is The Red Queen  
filled with venom laced passion for a crown

To keep atop bouffant head
Inflamed by dry season,  she orders be-      

                                    heading of flowers   

Unsmiling, crooked 
shadows pall over advent bright table 

Under constricted neck  
Her head swells larger than blue whale 

She breeds foes
from her inward suspicious mind

But unmasked, an imposter of hearts        
Small as pitted seed, a crone than Queen     
Eyes glinting mad  
she waits for my fingers

                                   to snap

Process Notes:   This is inspired by a real character in our office who tried to unsuccessfully discredit my work record on Friday to our managers. She gathered all my files "of mistakes" which were actually minor errors due to the sheer volume of work I do. After getting all the information, management sided with me and deemed her attitude and actions not conducive to team spirit & accomplishing our goals.   All I can say is if your heart is full of evil thoughts and negative energy, it backfires on you.   
Posted for D'verse Poets Pub:  Alice or Advent  - Thanks for the visit ~  Happy weekend !

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The gift

When first light of dawn
Pinks the lotus blossoming
Above muddy waters
Leaves swaddled in dew, open
     I rise, gifted with new eyes    

Posted for Poetry Jam - Gifts
And Imaginary Garden for Real Toads - Poetry form:   Tanka

Happy to be done with studies and writing again ~  Smiles ~

Friday, November 22, 2013


Red Beach in Panjin, China

 (Home to more than 236 types of birds)

I stand sea-
swarmed under mauve rose sky- 
white wings folded

Under black crowns
I crane towards autumn canvas
wet of morning

rain, cupped majestic
by crimson sun shimmering salty
grass ripe as cherries

Night beckons
Plumed bright of rubies & garnets
My skin quivers

Everything pulses vibrant
the only color I know:


Posted for Imaginary Garden for Real Toads - Hannah's Challenge
and Flash Fiction Friday - 55 red lettered words for the G-man ~  It's actually grey & cold here ~  Happy weekend to all ~  

picture credit:  Kirsten Wong

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ode to an avocado

dressed with lemon,
garlic, olive oil & mustard-
a chef's delight

but i like you best
sliced open under rough snake
velvet ripe & creamy

drizzled with sugar
& cold milk,
bowled dessert
of indolent summer days

plump smooth,

slivers of ambrosia       
your taste is only rivaled
by my other childhood memory-

cloistered nuns
making candied purple yams
stirring over
& over
flaming giant pan until
rough fibers turn sin-

fully lush 
as nectar oil

decadent food 
for gods  
hand-bottled for sale in market -

your green womb
wraps me tight like seed

pining for tropical sun-

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Modern Odes with a taste of Chile (Neruda Style)   Taking a break from studying  because I miss writing ~  Thanks for the visit ~  

Picture credit:   here

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Of storms

In storm's eye, houses fell as if they are matchsticks, burnt black, thinned of fire.

Streets awashed with debris, smelled of pissed fear & dead fish with blameless eyes.  

She walks with her nose covered by towel, damp of tears and meal prayers.     


Your words a flint, hungry for air, reaches for my lips petalled of rain.

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - First 3 lines are about the plight of the people in the Philippines after the storm. My thoughts and prayers are with them.   

Thanks for the visit ~

Saturday, November 9, 2013

where our childhood toys are

our toys don't live here
in this room labelled Fragile!
they are fence sitting, feet dangling 

perched on an empty can,
waiting for a stone's aim

they are crouching behind
shrubs & trees & empty boxes
rubber band ready, stretched to 

paper target, faking death on whim

they are hiding under beds,
behind cabinets, above the kite tails,

ready to seek shrill
You are It !

throw dice to lose a point
or advance a number on checkered board
loosely scattered like marbles

colored sun, sunflowers bursting -

toys snake up & down
in ladders until everyone gets 100 or heaven  
is where we all play

princess with long blanket hair &
soldiers with plastic swords -

shake one hand fast:     

paper, stone or scissor?
sometimes they're wood & sky
mostly scrabbled dirty 
of ice cream & biscuits

these toys
are not for sale     
for they're the chicken soup 

of our childhood days-  

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub- Childhood Games & Toys

Picture credit:   here

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A flower is up to you

a flower is sinless
a flower is a blossom that contains brilliant
a flower is easy to make into a cartoon

a flower is chosen
a flower is given its scent by nature
a flower is born

a flower is an evocation to silence through the mask of language
a flower is the story of a disturbed little girl who sacrifices everything 

to preserve the only life she's ever  known
a flower is a lonesome thing

~Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Googlism - Selected from this word list ~

a flower is a thing of loveliness
the illumination of all the life that has preceded it

hold up a mirror to your soul to see your life more clearly; for in its shape-
a flower

is not just a flower
it's healing, also formed in garlic & chicken soup-

a beautiful thing:
a flower blooming

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The matter of time

This morning, time ran out
without clothes & shoes

No explanations were given
in short meeting & email that followed-

I went back to my office cube
& checked my watch-
It was still stuck to one hour plus+
Like a stubborn dial or broken wheel

My 30 min. lunch break vanished in 1 min. 
while my 10 min. advisor negotiations  
ambled slow, stealing half of my day -
I fall into this hard-to-break habit: 

Per Hawking's theory
are of two types - real &
Imaginary (like a tea time to a child)

Tomorrow is a tyrant 
if things aren't done today, so I
smooth yesterday's files into
wrinkle-free pages, as if time neither
expanded nor collapsed but held its breath -  

I type my decision:   No
change in the pricing!  (Keep the client happy)   

Then I think of pushing out
to sea in the boat & calling time out -
Why did you leave me here?
Stuck with box of hanger coats 
They're a burden to carry -

But I hesitate
to scamper after time  
yelling:   Come & Be Happy here !

I'm rooted to this office 

Where everyone invents & misses numbers- 
Usual culprit:  There wasn't enough time

4:00 pm

I go home & untie
time & space as if they're ribbons in my hair-
They scamper polka dotted marbles

Settling in their picture frames, contented -

But I'm not-
My poster reads - Don't Disturb me! 

Into a "wormhole" (Hawking's term)
I slip slide slow  
Reading words again
Now here lies a mystery: 
Even at first glance
I know them intimately like a lover's body 

Evening pulls 
palmed milky, combusted of stars
I gaze at blue crinkling sky,  
shimmering, an eternal pond -

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - OpenLinkNight ~  Thanks for the visit ~ 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Dona Nobis Pacem

i will light
a  candle:

i  will  be the
sycamore tree
standing    tall
for brothers &
sisters,    lost 
 &  war-weary. 
  i will  be  the  
shaded leaves,
sturdy bark  of
home to those
who need me.
my trunk   will
be   hollowed
  hearth to wings
   & feet. i'll bade 
my words soft
 as wind, strong
as  fire  during
 cold nights.For
 today,    peace
 begins with me.

Posted for OpenLinkNight of Imaginary Garden for Real Toads - Thanks for the visit ~

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Anti-bullying: When words hurt

you hurt me a long time ago
with careless jokes & cruel taunts 
       your mouth a gun
       your fists, bullets to my face 

night was my only friend
& fear silenced my tongue
       your arm a sword
       your words, impaling my chest

it took me a long time
to look at myself in mirror & smile again 
       your mouth a gun
       your fists, bullets to my face

invisible scars they remain 
fears I'll always fight to the last of my days 
       your arm a sword
       your words, impaling my chest 

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub- OpenLinkNight - In support of Anti-bullying Awareness, October 2013 ~  Thanks for the visit ~

I have not experienced bullying but my children have.  My two boys in their primary school fought outside the school premises in their uniforms.  Good thing they were fearless fighters because the  "bullies" never bothered them again.   I only knew of these incidents afterwards.  So I am now proactive with my youngest, a 14 year daughter.  She is to tell us if anyone intimidates or teases her in school or in social media.    

Picture credit: here

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Beware of the Thing

Everyone points their fingers at 
When there's no culprit to find
When there's no excuse to rig
When there's no reason to tarry behind 
Cleaning up the mess & cobwebs
Wiping away woes & magical spells gone kaput 
Scaring away house guests nobody wants
Spooking postmen & little girls selling cookies
Witch tales, moon-struck poems, who will listen 
If you need somebody to pat your shoulders
Or write a sweet letter to your Lady Love 
Or rescue you out of box or clutches of homicidal maniac  
(Not me)
Tap & I'll climb out, parts incomplete, but family to  

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Poetics: Lighter side of ghouls & goblins 
Happy weekend ~

Picture credit:   here

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A promissory note, pinned on the mirror

Darkness lifts from your shoulders
          for once, imagine standing by sea

Soulful as wind rushes
          your ears in a stampede of energy & verve

Extending your hands, you float 
          like lilies on pond, free of tangles & dead weights

Call the night now
         and see yourself, a key turning

In a singular fluid motion
         the water darkens with velocity 

Spine bending to sky  
         you say, take these seeds

Black & curdled with fear     
         & throw them away to tides & gulls

Moon rises from the sea depths 
         resplendent orange, full of light

Shining your face, earnest & ardent 
        inhale salt beds & sun-ripe meadows 

Everywhere you turn is luck 
        & love rooting & ripening, like it has never left -    

Posted for OpenLinkNight of D'verse Poets Pub - Join us every Tuesday at 3 pm EST ~

Friday, October 18, 2013

Deep sleep

Mendenhall Ice Caves, Juneau, Alaska

the color
of my sky, deep velvet blue

here the river
gravitates towards its womb:  a cave

carved out
of wind & mountain of solid ice

my hands 
touch the arctic stones, glazed-cobalt walls     

but there's 
no sensation, nothing burns nor sears

the memories 
no awakening but   

silence, haven
suspended time

this is my salvation

Posted for Imaginary Garden for Real Toads - Hannah's Challenge - Haunted & Hungry
and Flash Fiction Friday - for the G-man - Happy Friday ~

Saturday, October 12, 2013

call the night

the night comes faster
    faster than my blinking eyes
eyes that hold secrets
    secrets black as crows,  cry

cry to be broken free
    free as sky hued in grey 
grey bristles with energy, spark
    spark the bare lonely tree & i sway

sway where the wind calls
   calls forth my words
words: crimson birthing, raw 
   raw as full moon rising, fleeing like birds 

Posted for Imaginary Garden for Real Toads -  Loop Poetry - where I am hosting, smiles ~
The form calls for repeating the last word of the first line & using it as the first word for the second line & so forth ~ Rhyming is optional, though I have used abcb rhyming scheme.
Shared with Poets United

Thursday, October 10, 2013

for Dave

Grace @ Everyday Amazing

a red leaf falls 
soft as sunset, i read back
 your words, lingering bright on my pages


you gifted me 
187 comments for the last 2 years
thank you ~

"the Goddess in the garden":
Lovely splash of all that summer should be.

"What i remind myself at night":

Full of good things, a most compelling poem. My favourite couplet:

"The sun hides behind the ruffled clouds.
And mustard walls, penciled with industrial carpet."


"What the sign said: Pennies are ok!":
their drug & eden (lost) -- Brilliant, but the poem had me as a fan long before that!
~ 0~0~ 

 "at night, unboxed":
I see this as a tender portrait of someone coping well with the rat race,

"Beneath the skin":
Beautifully handled. Exquisite.

The third stanza is a real humdinger. Lights up the whole poem.

"Violet blooms":
Somewhat above the general run of such poems. Lovely thoughts and lines.

"A prelude":
Which leaves us all agog for the main event -- which is exactly what it should do.

"m(a)ystery of the woman":
Yes, witch to queen, a new plot so far as I'm concerned. Powerful in itself and powerfully portrayed here. Excellent.


These are just some of the comments I have received from Dave from both of my blogs. His first comment to me was June 27, 2011.  

"I do believe you have prompted me to visit the dentist for a much put-off job - and that's no small achievement, so congrats! " 

Shared with D'verse Poets Pub - For David King, who has passed away last Oct. 4, 2013.  


I call in 
not going to work today,
I'm going fishing instead

To where the sky opens 
Blue, clear & opulent
I hook the worms
Lilies are blooming feathers    
I cast the rod 
Wind blasts a million jellyfish  
I stoop, tugging extra string 

I catch 
a man wearing a business suit
& clouds 
laugh along with me

Posted for: Imaginary Garden for Real Toads - Writing from the point of view of the animal & place -  Hosted by Peggy ~

and Flash Fiction Friday for the G-man  - 55 words
Thanks for the visit ~

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Forever bicycles

Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square

3,144 bicycles by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei 

is what our sky looks:   
tower of wheels, frames & gears
stacked in stainless steel & metallic paint
the smell of gas, smog & paved roads
fanning our cheeks with humid 

is how our city stands:
leaning forward, eyes on fast turn
of cars across super highway, one foot pressed
on gas pedal racing against the clock- by grid-
 lock, we crowd, an indistinguishable 

is what we have become:
mechanically pounding city streets
chasing another sale or dollar, cycle/in/cycle 
we say we're lucky we got a job but who's 
minding rice fields, fish ponds &  

sun - 
a slit behind grey clouds,
is off-center, less king in our eyes
perhaps a dying star, but we're busy taking shots of bicycles- 
no handlebars nor seats, an art statement  
or a silent protest:  is this 

Posted for:   D'verse poets pub - OpenLinkNight - Happy Tuesday to all ~

Saturday, October 5, 2013

In the kitchen where it all started & ended

it is not his words solely

but the way he spits them to her face - 

hiss of the blade, sharp upper cut 

that makes her cringe like a

disemboweled rotting pumpkin - 

scalp torn open, carved bleak

candles all melted inside-

she slowly stirs the pot 

kitchen is messy of peelings, 

seeds & sweet golden pears 

& rich coconut cream-

she once was like this  - cream

puffed, silver-glass slippered girl,

riding a carriage made out of pumpkins-

now, she feels trapped under a lantern's

ghostly smile & empty 


of autumn's colors,

she scoops red chili paste

slowly staining the yellow puree    

hiding the tears crawling down her chin   

like ants, crimson as her hands

breaking into leaves,

soundless, the arc of a falling knife 

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Talking about pumpkins and/or issues - Happy Saturday ~

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Beautiful darkness

Grace @ EverydayAmazing

shiver -
the wind passes 
cold as blue moon, sharply
weaving the night to beautiful 

i lay
vulnerable -
frayed & wind-tattered, i 
should be afraid of what's coming 

silence -
a crescendo
of heartbeats & gulls cries
engulfs me in peace, beautiful 
(amidst) chaos

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - I used titles of my teen daughter's books ~

And Flash Fiction Friday for G-man (55 shivering words) : 

We walked briskly, under shivering light of the blue moon.  Where once we were proud as eagles soaring near the sun, we now move like angels in the beautiful darkness.   Perhaps its the silence, a crescendo of heart beats we're seeking, but beautiful is what we find amidst the chaos of the city's underground ruins.  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

She said, "Love your tree!"

So my 
feet grew 
roots deep & mighty 
ropes to anchor a ship 

And my belly heard earthquakes
& animal cries before fear could strike

And my fingers trembled like a leaf when
 when you rested under my shade of  blooms  

And my thighs became strong to wrap  around 
the man  & hold him here, and my breasts heavy

with milk  dripped  before my child  could utter a cry  
And my hands soft as feathers nurtured the fire of nests 

My  spine tingled  with distrust and healed with care 
and  my bones  heard  darkest of  storms coming

 Under every line, freckle & wrinkle, I relished:  
seeds, sap, cracks, decay & fruits 

Then, I echoed back 
mother's words :
I love my tree! 

Update:   This has been selected as Poem of the Week by Poets United

“The body knows things a long time before the mind catches up to them. I was wondering what my body knew that I didn't.” 
And I thought of sharing this lovely poster ~

Credit:   TreeSisters