Married Despite All Odds

Pure and lovely like the little rosebuds
peeking through the dark red roses of gratitude
next to pink ones of grace,
he stood ready for his wedding.

The zinnias of yellow, magenta, and white
reminded him of those many who had died over the years.
"First generation" who had passed before the cure came,
who should have been celebrating today, yet they were somehow.

White violets flirted with blue violets, 
reminding him to keep a sense of romantic fun in coming days.
The resplendent passion-flower? Well, that spoke for itself, 
and he blushed and buried his face in the tulips for a moment.

Today, this hour, each moment, 
he had longed for and imagined and replayed. 
His wedding,
his beaming groom,
his bridal bouquet. 

Star Falls

Each star shines its way to Earth
only to learn it has died.
In this magical corner of our World,
they slide down the fall instead,
becoming one with the waters that reflect them.


Everpresent Yet New

Patiently we wait and watch you Jan, 
as you step over your papers and books, 
piled neatly until they fall over. 

We are by the windows where you promised 
hours of meditation, windows opened after 
new summer rain has made way for sunshine.

Candles with floral scents, 
soft purses with crayons and pens,
greeting cards for faraway friends: 

We wait and watch you move through
each day. Up so early yet wanting more
sleep, you ignore your inviting pillow. 

We watch you worry and tumble into task
after task. The phone rings even now, and 
you take on the new responsibility. 

A Muse of Childhood

A Muse of Childhood

*Nestled in Downtown Kansas City, Arthur Kraft’s mosaic greeted all who visited the old library. The mosaic still remains even though this children’s library has long since closed. It continues to inspire many who loved it when growing up. I know, I am among those people. Every time I walk by the mosaic, my favorite moments are when the sun glances upon the tiles and they shimmer with glints of silver or gold.


A Muse of Childhood


Majestically, patiently, the Muse endures the storm’s fury,

guarding the children, animals, and performers of the mosaic

who hold gentle, lilting, laughing music within,

waiting to sing out in the bright sunshine.


Tan Ta Rah! Boom! Laughing bells ring in time to the drums!


Our Muse beckons the elephant to promenade first with a small, triumphant boy atop.

Her right arm sweeps up with the sun to welcome gleeful penguins and

hungry little chicks pecking and hatching in the grass.


The dust and mud on the tiles can’t hold them back.


Little girls skip in the brightness and dance with swaying flowers

while their brother scales higher, higher, and higher in crescendos

to the highest treetops, a balcony to see all the circus.


With each glint and glisten, a melody forms and sails on the morning breeze.


The Muse nods and bows and summons the clown sailing backwards on

a white horse who gallops in time to the dog’s staccato barks while

a kangaroo coos lullabies to her little joey.


Skyscrapers, smog, honks, and headaches can’t hold them captive.


A seal honks and bounces while the ostrich struts and stretches to the blue sky.

Atop this magnificent bird, a child sits as a queen and

shares her triumphant hymn with the Muse.


The Muse of our childhood

watches, remembers, reminds, nudges, teases,

entreats, encourages, waits, and sighs.

She knows the lion is there to frighten us

yet remains safely away in a cage in this parade of life.

Her heart hums the elegies of loss and pain and

the requiems we compose with age, fear, and cruelty.

Even the monkey’s jabbering ditty warns of growing up and old.

Its rhymes cackle and crack, like the concrete tears in this neglected picture.


Gentle Beginning

Once restless in youth, taking on the world in brave freedom and bold joy,

I am peaceful now in watching, guarding, guiding, and loving.

Morning’s raindrops fall softly,

music lilts through my five rooms,

bird chirps sail to the silver-gray clouds,

and I am at home.

Tea’s rosebuds and lavender linger on my tongue

while scents of mowed summer grass sneak through window shades,

this first morning after the first night after summer’s solstice

I am calmed and waiting.

I quiet myself as I wait and wonder.

Am I ready for this next journey in life?

Am I prepared to gracefully let go of who I once was?

I am still the dancer within these wobbling strides now.

Grown wiser, I am searching for a lesson to teach.

Like a horse galloping in wild abandon in red, gold, bronze fields then,

I am now a sea horse floating and flying among coral, blue, green reeds.

Stretching Exercises

Stretching my mind, reaching up up up to the top shelf for the dictionary, diving into pillows and blankets for the last nap because I’m too anxious already. . . . Getting my workout before the Marathon begins.

Jan Sending You Greetings

I’m excited about joining this group again. Completing the half-marathon in 2017 was such fun, and I can’t wait for all that this summer’s challenge will bring as well!

Cosmic Twelve

Church bells chime longest, resonating fullest at hour twelve,

reminding us to pause, gather, or simply look up.

Cinderella’s slippers remained enchanted come midnight,

allowing her escape from servitude and despair.

Childhood’s year before thirteen marks a bittersweet passage

from innocence to responsibility.

Stars guide our actions with zodiac signs ordered

for each year’s passing phases while

We embrace symbols of ourselves

in Asian astrology. 

Such is the Cosmic Order of 

1X12, 2X6, 3X4 with logical, progressive complexity.

Do we blindly judge and blame in a fearful Witching Hour

In our juries of twelve?

Universal patterns pale to the power within us.




Swallowtails’ Dancing

Gentle Swallowtail bows and skips, whirls and dives, sunlight glistening August’s golden sun.

Flittering on the ground’s twigs, shadows, and fallen petals

Suddenly up, up, upward this reeler soars toward the flowers above, catch wind’s breath.

Catching the wind’s breath, this tiny being fleetly moves on.

Such is the moment captured in the mind’s eye,

Yet Swallowtail survives in thunderstorms, too, its tiniest velvet wings

Taking on water then flicking drops onto waiting grass below.

Stronger than the winds yet sailing on them, Swallowtail skitters a light jig.

No migration comes for this little one:

What the world brings is what Swallowtail accepts.

Opposing spring’s showers and summer’s beams,

Winter’s chill sparks a new turn of metamorphosis.

The fleeting dance slows, halts, and comes to slumber,

A death comes for one in the darkness of winter while

New wings build within a chrysalis, a rhythm for dance

Already building to a music nature will provide.



Belief in Yellow

A glaze settled over her vision, tinting everything a murky brown.
This winter no longer seemed gray but the sepia tones of daguerrotype
Images: old-fashioned, detached, sullen in the moment captured.

So many big fears had abated after the accident. 
Still, these small shifts of non-reality churned the dread
That life would be forever altered, halted, and haunted
By sensations beyond her control,
Her own body turned against her.

Such a small decision made resolute in depth --
A focus on color: just one.
Her favorite color yellow would be her guide, symbol,
theme, subconscious influence, mantra, and promise of
But where and how?
A focus on what she new would hint of the brightness
an egg yolk at morning
a daffodil delivered in the vase by her bed
her favorite childhood doll now resting in her arms
She couldn't see the yellow, all muddled with everything else
But she knew it was there
Imagined, and 

One day she asked for a break outdoors, 
with the yellow sun in the bright blue sky she had asked about.
Bundled in blankets, her head gently nestled in full pillows,
Loved ones next to her
A nurse giddy to leave for a few minutes.
She felt the warmth soak onto her skin,
Heard birds chirping in the clearness, and 
Smelled crisp air, so she knew the sun was yellow
Looked up,
Imagined, and 

The eyes danced with shapes and colors scattering,
Pulling in and out of focus,
Strains of brightness striking new blows, and 
Little by little the colors starting to come into focus.

The days she left, she felt the quiver of spring's chill 
In the bottom of the breeze and a softer warmth for just a moment.
Well, she didn't really, but she knew about spring winds, and she 
Open her arms, 
Imagined, and 

Were there two birds she heard sitting outside?
What was the taste? Did she even know?  She could remember, and so she would
With each morning, then after the naps, and into the evening
She would assign what she knew to be true, 
Opening her mind to remember,
Imagining, and

It was when the blossoms came two months later,
When the lavenders, lilacs, pinks, creams, and soft greens 
Dappled together in whispered breezes
And spread across her one day in the garden
That she again saw the yellow, shyly lifting in happiness and hope.
The brightness filled her, and she looked and looked and looked 
Once more and always
Through soft tears of joy.