With deep breaths she attempts

To release

Steel wool snarls of

Tightly knotted composure

Relax, if just a split-second

Into starkness of her own truth

Unstrung, her heart heavily crumbles

Falls leaden into her gut

As lovingly crafted

Poorly formed cookies

Drop in sweet shambles

To baker’s chagrin.

Terrified witness to

Her hearts demolition

Or was it instead

Brittle protective shell?


Season change

Winter, wind-borne, advances

Laps cold against exposed cheek

Enticing skin, licks treachery

Fantasized long-lost kiss

Haughtily bestowed by angry ex-lover

Hints of danger dismissed

Prolonged contact’s seduction disdained

Barefaced, she faces grey chilling

Stem of flowered reminder

Fuscia born of December sun

Plods onward through mist-speckled air

Snow Tales

Stairwell snowdrifts

Tell their tales:

Aged building construction

Flirting with decrepitude

Accumulates corrugated-wall piles

Powdery fluff pyramids

Wind gust deposited

Line ascending trek

Doorway drift tread marked

Footprint evidence imprint

Track smokers’ steadfast ventures

Into the wind, puffing

To feed their habit

Wintry Surprise

Today a woodpecker surprised her

Rat-tat-tat-tatting above her head.

She ventured, sneakered

Cross snowdrifts

To stand under a tree.

Soul starved for nature’s commune

Amongst, perhaps, avian companions.

Cardinal peeks brilliant scarlet

Between stark brown branches.

Silently soaking golden rays

Seeds cupped in palm outstretched

Spirits lighten with glittery


Reflecting afternoon sun.

In quiet pecking

Gently beckons

Lifts curious wondering eyes

Black and white flurried movement

Catches casted glance

Upside down and sideways

He flutters branch to branch

Beauty in flustered determination

Rank denoted by rubied crown.

Her lips curve in pure delights

At the unexpected sight


In the stillness of

The snow drenched world

Whitening hush reigns

With care and reverent awe

Sneakered feet gingerly step

Through deep drifted ledges

Seeking oasis of bare-limbed tree

Harboring hardy feathered friends

“Cheep” descends from on high

Simple and heart-piercing greeting

Chapped hand cautiously outstretched

Open offering of sunflower seed

Frigid wind ripples palm edges

Tilts paltry kernel pile

“Cheep” returns, lowering, nearer

Contemplating proffered snack

Multiple “cheeps” betray

Lingering consideration

In caution, seeds are va-taken

Fingers numbing

She ground scatters seed

Retreats with loving upward glance

Gifting and gifted, both.

Snow Portrait

Storm’s swirling eddies

Spin snow mist-dancing

Sprinkle miniscule flakes

Kiss on reverent upturned face

Blowing hair, defiantly bared

Collects twinkling crystal gems

White-blanketed world

Quiet in snow-muted hush

Lies distantly veiled

Birds dart black tangents

Startling feathered contrast

Against windswept backdrop

January’s signature masterpiece

Snow Blessed

Sneakered feet squeak-crunch

Upon powdered snow-lined track

Cover glitters, sand granule sparkly

In watery sun’s passing glance

Incipient moisture hovers

Gently coats edges of breath

Full moon mistily shrouded

Early riser, vigilant sentinel

Bestows benevolent blessing

On season’s belated first snow


A crumb of hope

Was given her

This January bleak

Pass it on

The sender said

If more is what you seek

In sharing hope

It multiplies

From under rocks it peeks

Chasing doom

And gloom away

Diaphanous rays unique

Held too tight

With grasping clasp

Hope’s magic would be weak.

Her fearful heart

Unclenches slow

By inches o’er the week

She gathers crumbs

From underfoot

Of Hope commits to speak

Not of It

In prison

Yet not of it

She sits perpetually apart

Greets with polite nods or smiles

Speaks now and then

In answer to questions

Comments on general topics

Feels the communal

Abject misery

Invisible (fire-breathing) monster

Inhaled them one and all


Born in pulsating fear

Bread on innate curiosity

Observations surface

Bubble above frothing foam

Social strata reconfigured


Streetwise hustlers hustle

Sell contraband of every ilk

Scratch, sneak and claw

To make each illicit buck

Squandered freely on their vices

Openly peddled cheese cake

Whispering staircase-sold

Cigarette, pills or more

Perpetuating and mutating

Not changing comfort-worn clothes

Same roles, differing venues


Religious contingent

Seeks refuge in Bible and prayer

Finds solace among

God-littered platitudes

Reason exists in suffering

Burdens doled out only

To those whose strength

Can bear up under weight

Distribute Biblical verses

Prayer pushers extraordinaire


Fitting amongst neither group

Her aloneness reverberates

Plaintive bleating from her soul

Imprisonment forever separates

Her from the real world

Piercing loneliness now

Threatens forever to follow

New Year’s Lift

Head bowed

In protection

Against cold-whipping wind

Sheltering vulnerable neck

In shadow of stubborn-clenched jaw


Eyes downcast

In shame

Burning with humiliation

Leadened with missteps

Avoidant of public judgement

Dogging every movement



In trepidation

Dodging dangers present and future

Watching each footfall

Toward potential preservation

Of aching body

Tortured and and frazzled soul

With fear and determination

Blended in virulent war

She pulls jacket collar higher

Sucks in a wavering breath

Raises head in millimeters

Lifts eyes along with chin

Faces world anew