Tunnel Vision

When I saw the grey rough cut stone I imagined the cutting;

no hands did this.  Words did.  Glorious, ancient words; unheard by ears.

“Let there be”…. land divided from water.

Every grain of life.  Every thought he had thought, vision he had seen now came forth.

Formed out of the dust was man…. but before that…

creation. Land and sea, birds and creatures, time.

These ageless tunnels… were they from the beginning or was it the flood that cut them through.  the opening up of the deep?

I will never know.  I like it that way.  The mystery of earth allures me to the mystery of God.  And If I can’t explain this… how will I ever explain the creator?



razor blade wind gusts

cut through newspaper blankets

teardrops mix with rain.

Paying job

Work done at home is now what you are paid for,

Not what is done at the office or the sales floor,

So when you are sitting on facebook, or watching oprah,

you will be docked what the employer owes ya.


While you are cleaning, and the hours you cook,

will pay well, but not while you are reading that book.

You will be paid for folding clothes and sorting socks,

but not while the grand old rocking chair rocks.


Your job on the other hand,  whether filing or digging,

crunching the numbers or oil well rigging,

will only be for the doing and not for the pay…

and you will only be there a few hours a day.


If housework paid money,  playing with your kids double time,

would that change your priorities? It would change mine…

but that makes me sad when I think I would do more

If a paycheck for it wo

My friend Angela

The prompt for hour eleven is to write a poem about someone, but to break the poem up into ten short numbered parts. Not all the parts have to be explicitly about the person, some can describe there dress and behavior, others can make more obscure references to their style of speech. The details are entirely up to you.

  1.  My friend from youth we rode and hiked and laughed and cried together  Wrote our teen age sappy poems.  Thought we would change the world

2.  Tall and lanky, strong like her ancestors.

Braver than anyone I ever knew.

3.  Few of spoken word,  secrets no one could know… writer of the secrets of the earth.

4.  Jeans,  Boy shirts, boots and tees.  Gypsy skirts, fringes and her red brown feathers.

5.  Legs longer than I was tall.  I tagged along every time she called.  Double stepped to keep up.. always looked up… to her and at her.  My friend who stood and was tall.

6.  Army Sargent.  I didn’t know that life.  She became army,  I became a wife.

7.   Poetry kept us through early years,  after the army,  it brought us together again.

We now center our visits around one workshop or the other.  Still trying to write it all.

8.  The years have been kind.  She is beautifully young.

Even her grey hair with liveliness is s spun.

Her eyes twinkle the fire of what she has and has not seen.

Her land is the world and she is the queen.

9.   Her hands shake as she cares for her mom.

Where did the mental illness come from?

Her companion is fear,  every day could be worse.

She does not crumble even under this curse.

10.  My friend Angela,  traveler, guide and hero

Strong beyond words.  Strong with words.

Write for me Angela,  tip each quill in your heart,

For in you is pureness… of which we all need a part.

Take each quill and hold it til it speaks secret things,

and write your words Angela until the the word sings.



The Dime Store

Ben Franklins Five and Dime was the only place we had to shop when we were younger.   Doors opened to jubilant faces as we imagined all the goodies inside.  I can still remember the smell of peppermint and caramel from the big plastic jars on the counter and the smell of cheap plastic toys that lined the shelves right at kids eye level.

Poor Mom.  Worry lined her face as she tried to find something we could afford to have.  Every month the same choices for five country children.  Look a lot and buy a little.   I loved that store.  The dinging door,  the smells the warmth.  The woman behind the counter who made over our 10 cent purchase like it was going to be the most fun thing any kid ever owned.

We called it the dime store.  But the memories it gave me are priceless.


Morning friend


I first feel the warmth from afar,

Breathing in the aroma of my morning breaking,

The sound of life pouring into my cup

quickens my senses….

My hands with deepening acceptance hold my favorite cup.

You are the point of my renewal… new day, new hope, new me.

I take in your richness.  I feel it fill me.

This day is going to be good.  (or not,

but right now, nothing matters but you).


Letter to Sheldon

Dear Sheldon,

I walked up the path…. the one where snow crunched beneath our boots… that day.   I remember listening to sound of our steps, thinking spring will soon be here.  It never came for me.  That winter day etched into my heart so deep and froze me in time.  You never knew that.  You moved on.  You went to war, to work, to life.  I went to sleep.  I went to sleep in a winter so deep I never felt the sun again.  How could you know?  You never looked back.

I remember your shadow in the middle of those two huge pine trees as you walked away.  Your shoulders were broad and strong.  You were so sure you were choosing the right thing.  I was so sure I would die if you took one more step.  I keep holding my breath thinking you would turn around… it would all be a dream or a joke… but you didn’t.  I sat for hours where you left me on the ground there beneath the trees that were the only living thing that heard my scream as life and living left me.

They brought you back today.  Planted you across the way on the ridge.  I didn’t go watch it. No one knew I wasn’t there.  No one knew I knew.  No one knew I cared.  I just waited  and then walked to the last place we were together.

I wondered a few times if you ever thought of me.  If you had any regrets. When I was 50, I stopped thinking that way.  I started to believe you didn’t.  Now I will never know.

Today I sat beneath the one pine tree left on the hilltop.  I didn’t scream this time.  I didn’t even cry.  I just started waiting.  Waiting for my time to be planted.

yours forever,

Darvene Harless.


He died not knowing

He died knowing he could win.

He died knowing how to spend.

He died with the limelight still beaming bright.

He died with his boots on tied up tight.

But he died not knowing whose love was real,

if he had no money, how would they feel.

He died not knowing if anyone really cared,

it was not his innermost thoughts any of them shared.

He died so lonely,  He died so sad,

He died not knowing how life got this bad.

He died by his choice,  by his hand, because..

he died not knowing the good man he was.










He carried the lantern down the well worn path,

The clear night would bring out most of the saturday night crew.

He could feel the ivories under his fingers as the piano yielded to his will…

Beech Fork would be hopping tonight.

The sound of laughter met him as he neared the door.

His eyes twinkled as he thought of the music he would make

and the music he would hear as money filled the jar that would sit beside him.

To Whom does one say yes?

It drove home hard the place I was in,  my face chapped by winter,

my soul hardened by sin.

I couldn’t feel much at all now.  Could see even less.

I’d seen enough.

A church bell rings in the distance haunting echoes resound.

I recall a time when I knew the joy of that.

Was that a thousand lives ago?

I drop the bottle,

Snow crunches under the step I take

toward the sound.