Hour 8: Mancala


smooth eggshell blue pebbles

scooped from ground



Pebbles plopped

into each wooden pit

Like eggs snuggled in a nest

waiting to be plucked an moved

strategically on the board

to another wooden pit




One of the oldest games around


Hour 6: I Am Here

Dearest Daughter,


Oh, how I have missed our mother daughter conversation

Those nightly recaps of your day

about the comings and goings of the grandkids

Their activities …


I’ve missed walking with you, giving motherly guidance 

A new recipe, the best way to remove 

that stubborn stain…

because you are never too old to learn a new trick


Even though my words went unspoken

In those last quiet years, my voice stolen

I was always talking to you

I was always listening

And now that I am gone

I am still listening

I am still here

I am in the cool mist, drifting off the lake

I am in the trees that bend into canopy  of shade

I am daffodils that bow in the sun

A rainbow after rain

I am your shelter and your fire


I am everywhere and always with you






Hour 9: Dark Cherries and Summer Afternoons


Hot, humid Ohio summer,

1970 something…

 a sluggish afternoon

rocking on porch glider, melting just a little

dark cherries staining our hands red

spitting the pits into the yard, seeing how far

they go, hoping, next year our own cherry 

tree will sprout

Hour 3: A Purple Day

 Hour 3: It is a Purple Day


My daughter says: When I went to bed, it was 2022. When I woke up, it was 1972.


purple orchids bend to wind under bruised sky


inside, the house simmers in fragrance 

I bath slices of shiny purple eggplants in whisked egg, 

dip into bread crumbs, seasoned with oregano & sweet basil

listen to them snapping in olive oil, frying to golden perfection


Purple cauliflower, which tastes just like white,

roasts to crispy perfection in the air fryer


Purple grapes, nestled in purple bunches 

sit in an amethyst ceramic bowl

waiting to be tossed into fruit salad


On the cutting board, a purple skinned onion

 which everyone says is red


I slice through papery skin, 

wipe away stinging tears, 

listen to the news,

shake my head in utter disbelief

and sadness at choices eradicated

the onion is not the cause of all

my tears


Outside, purple sky unleashes its fury




Learning to Float/ Hour 1


Inhale deep, lean back

Lapping water clogs my ears

Lift legs from slippery lake floor


Father’s hands hover

a cradle beneath me

Enveloped in water


Tilt chin to blue sky 

arms spreads wide, a water angel

“I won’t let you go.”




He does let me go

The buoyant force of water

Pushes against me


 I do not sink



A Beautiful Day

It ‘s a beautiful day to write poetry! Have my provisions. I’m ready! Good luck, everyone!

Gearing Up for tomorrow!

Hello Everyone!

Hope everyone has their snacks and favorite caffeinated beverage. Happy Writing! See you all on the other side.

Tammi Belko


Hour 12 Campfire

Fire crackles under ebony sky

teepee branches fall into flame

paper unfurls, turns to ash

smoke plumes swirl above us

marshmallow fingers

chocolate smiles

long stories



Hour 11/ Gumboots


She stands in borrowed gumboots,

Sunk deep in mud

rushing river swelling to her knees

Shaking her head

wishing to be somewhere, anywhere else

Fly fishing, not her choice but she’d lost the toss

Next time she’d win

and choose, something, anything else 

But for now 

mind drifting, under periwinkle sky

she peers up at the skyscraper shaped cloud,

craves the sourdough bread from the city bakery

wonders if she will beat traffic to get to there

before the storefront sign is turned.

Hour Seven/House of Nerds

House of Nerds

Normal is a house of nerds

     a book character best friend

latest novel as conversation starter

      a ten-year old recognizes the tropes 

Normal is a house where music

      is poetry, reciting lines of Shakespeare entertainment

Normal is house of contemplation

      where we welcome questions and doubts

      about a higher power, consider the meaning of our existence

Do we ascend to a heavenly plain or return to the universe?

      Where does our energy, our life force go?

Normal is often anxiety and stress

      These questions perplex and confound

      perfection is elusive, so why do we do obsess?

Normal is introversion but not misanthropy

      We don’t dislike people, 

      We’re just uncomfortable in crowds

Our normal is a house of nerds


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