A Season

>> 12.02.2010

As many of you know, my step-dad had been having health difficulties for the last year.  Although he fought hard and long, he was lost to us on November 28, 2010.  We're having services on December 3, 2010.  Currently, the best words I have are from the King James version of the Holy Bible, those attributed to King Solomon.  I hope you bear with me for this posting, but I find great wisdom and comfort these words, and I thank all of you for your prayers and understanding over the last year.


Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


To everything there is a season, and
a time to every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born, and
a time to die;
a time to plant, and
a time to pluck up
that which is planted;

A time to kill, and
a time to heal;
a time to break down, and
a time to build up;

A time to weep, and
a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and
a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and
a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and
a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and
a time to lose;
a time to keep, and
a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and
a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and
a time to speak;

A time to love, and
a time to hate;
a time of war; and
a time of peace.

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Quote for the Day:

>> 10.27.2010

“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” ~ Oscar Wilde


“Dreams are like stars...you may never touch them, but if you follow them they will lead you to your destiny.” ~ unknown


“Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you.” ~ Marsha Norman

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Little Red Shoes

>> 10.25.2010



Perched upon the yard
like a rusty skeleton,
a swing-set with empty seats
swaying

Fallen near the walk
once-proud possession
a bike with both tires
deflated

Abandoned in the silent room
a one-eyed owl
with love-tattered wings
deserted

Clothing the narrow bed
a pretty pink comforter
with party-dress frills
smoothed

and these little red shoes
with no one left
to greet


(Photo courtesy of nonsense_dreamer (Amelie) at DeviantArt; http://nonsense-dreamer.deviantart.com/gallery/?1441026#/dzdfn2)

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An Unfinished Life

>> 10.14.2010

Should life cease, will I be ready to pass
into that other place, through dark doors
landing in glorious light? Or, shall I ponder
on an unfinished life?

Comprised of words unspoken
silenced by correctness,
of dreams unimagined, nebulous, amorphous,
seeds yet unbirthed,
of love horded miserly, never expressed,
retained until there’s no one left,

still gazing across one-day vistas waiting
for a time that never occurs,
will echoes of unheard, undiscovered family
haunt me always?
No, I think I shall be contrary and decline
the passage into unknown horizons;

after all, I’m still a work under construction
struggling to release self-imposed exiles, create
a new world within the boundaries,
the confines, of my incomplete soul.

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The Hand of God

>> 9.27.2010

There are times
when the wind whispers
secrets to the trees, softly caressing
each leaf, dancing over the grasslands
and kissing across the skin;
a pleasant interlude, a time
for kites, cloud-watching,
laying in a hammock, lulled
by the sway of the breeze.

Then, there are times
when the wind rages, crying
through the night, a wailing lament,
the sound of ten thousand lost souls
searching for solace as yet unfound,
a banshee’s symphony of thunderous
crescendos, blue-white lightening strikes,
rampaging through the countryside
leaving only destruction in its wake.

A time, when surely we see
the hand of God at work, the power
and awe-inspiring force of nature
that bound across the landscape,
helter-skelter, skipping over this
house and leveling that barn,
uprooting trees that have stood
for a century, leaving only
tears and broken dreams behind.

And yet, the sun still rises
blessing each day with a new
beginning; some filled with hardship
and sorrow, others overflowing with joy
of a life still lived. The secret is determining
how to find the joy within
the hardship. That must also be
the hand of God delivering
us out of the darkness into the light.


(Life on the plains always includes the wind; it is a presence that lives and breathes, surrounding the inhabitants with both pleasure and fear. It becomes a tornado, a force so powerful that those at the high end of the scale, EF5, are sometimes referred to as “the hand of God”.  ~ lgb, 2010)

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Rules of Sevenling

>> 7.19.2010

What is a sevenling?   A very good question and one which I should have addressed before posting my attempt.  A sevenling is a poetic form composed of seven lines with certain specific rules.  I just found this description which is much better than the definition I followed in my attempt.  As you can see below, I didn't follow the rules exactly ----- oh, well, maybe I'll try again someday.


"Sevenlings by RODDY LUMSDEN

The rules of the sevenling are thus:

The first three lines should contain an element of three - three connected or contrasting statements, or a list of three details, names or possibilities. This can take up all of the three lines or be contained anywhere within them. Then, lines four to six should similarly contain an element of three, connected directly or indirectly or not at all. The seventh line should act as a narrative summary or punchline or as an unusual juxtaposition. There are no set metrical rules, but being such as short form, some rhythm, metre or rhyme is desirable. To give the form a recognisable shape, it should be set out in two stanzas of three lines, with a solitary seventh, last line. Titles are not required. A sevenling should be titled Sevenling followed by the first few words in parentheses The tone of the sevenling should be mysterious, offbeat or disturbing, giving a feeling that only part of the story is being told. The poem should have a certain ambience which invites guesswork from the reader. "

http://home.comcast.net/~jpdancingbear/apj_sevenling.html

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Too Much Information

>> 7.12.2010

Feminine products, erectile dysfunction, overactive bladders.
Subjects of endless commercials about things
that really shouldn’t be discussed in public.

Religion, politics, familial dirty laundry.
More topics that always seem to be the subject
of never-ending reality programming.

Don’t you wonder whatever happened to reading?



(This is my first attempt at the sevenling form.)

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Update

Sorry for the long hiatus - I had to take some time to help my family.  My stepfather had surgery and some problems and is still recovering.  He's finally home - but it's been a long road with a great distance yet to go to recovery.

Hope everyone is still doing well, and I thank everyone for their wonderful comments.  I also hope you will continue to read and enjoy my efforts.

Thank you again, LisaB.

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Sixteen

>> 5.27.2010

Sixteen, sweet sixteen
by then she’d learned more than she ever wanted to know
more than any child-woman should

of words hard as fists leaving blotches
where only the heart can see

of eyes blinded by compromise, overlooking
bruises polka-dotting flesh

of male bonding rituals, fathers and sons ogling
budding breasts

of painted appearance being more important
that substance and knowledge

of gropes and grabs, hands slid under skirts,
of lost dreams and broken hearts,
of self-worth residing
in peer acceptance that never came

and little red pills that ease the pain
and fog the mind,

the knowledge that she can never escape
her own eyes looking back
from the mirror hanging on the wall
while she still exists,

and the realization that self-respect
predicates all respect
and nothing, and no one
is more important than that;

and while she breathes, life goes on
another day, another year - -
now sixteen is just a lingering nightmare.

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Morning Coffee

>> 5.18.2010

Alarm clock blared, didn’t hear it,
running late,
rushing, rushing,
shower and dress,
running, rushing
no time, no time –
I’m late, I’m late -
white rabbit has nothing on me.

To work I go
traffic caging inside
near-death duel,
vehicle sputters, nearly stalling,
idiot drivers texting as they go,
hit the parking lot sprinting,
at the time clock
punching in – barely made it.

Scowling, growling,
traipsing toward the coffee pot.
oh. my. god.
THERE’S NO COFFEE.

Place the paper,
dump the grind,
tapping feet, dancing
in place until brew
is complete,
pour the cup,
mouth watering,
brain awakening,
ahhhh, saturating cells,
widening eyes, calming temper,
almost human - got my morning caffeine fix.

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Finding Poetry Within

>> 5.03.2010

Each word struggles
to be discovered,
birthed into a world
sometimes harsh,
sometimes lost.

Pieces of my soul
courtesy of the muse
within, searching for acceptance
beyond the fences of my heart,
the constraints of the internal critics.

Fledglings taking wing
on the thermals
of uncertainty and reality,
shyly exposing themselves
to all the world.

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Springtime on the Plains

>> 5.01.2010

Each spring we put away our winter
woolens, unearth our cottons and shorts,
begin the time-honored tradition
of sky-watching; a regional past-time,

searching the skies for approaching
grey and black clouds, towering
anvils above the grassy seas
flowing across the plains;

listening for the bulletins blaring
“seek shelter NOW”, hoping, praying
the National Weather Service is wrong,
this time, please, God, let them be wrong;

imploring the deity that the fifteen
minute advance notice is enough,
that you don’t hear that freight-train roar,
nor gaze into the eye of the abyss;

that time elapses and the tornado
skips your house, that those icy fingers
of fear are not a premonition of what’s
to come, that the ‘all-clear’ is heard soon;

that your friends and loved-ones are safe,
and you tell yourself, over and over
that it will never happen to you . . .
until it does.


(NOTE:  Although I've lived in Oklahoma for the majority of my life, I have never suffered the loss of a loved one or even property to a tornado - I've been very fortunate in that respect.  I remember many times in my childhood that someone would tuck me into a closet or bathtub covered with blankets and pillows to wait out a storm.  There's nothing you can do but shelter, wait, and pray.)

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Wedding Blessing

>> 4.30.2010

Where once there were solitary people,
now, today these two have come together –
to walk side-by-side in partnership;

their lives entwined,
rooted like the trees;
stronger together than apart;

to hold each other,
support each other,

to blossom as individuals
who choose to grow together,

to cherish being a couple by encouraging
and honoring those special traits each
bring to this marriage.

Their joined hands represent the union
of mind and body, heart and soul.

The ring symbolizes the unbroken continuity
of life, flowing, infinite.

The candle flame represents your love
burning warm and bright;

the flowers symbolize the blossoming of your relationship;
and the food represents the nourishment
of bodies and spirits.

May our Creator bless you
with wisdom, patience, humility and courage;

grace you with joy and love;
may your spirits bloom

and happiness crown your union
today, tomorrow
and always.

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The Mirror

>> 4.27.2010

Before I knew him,
he was gone,
lost to this world.
No knowledge exists
of my own,
only stories told
to me by someone else.
Stories of love
and laughter,
of resemblance found
in this face of mine.
So I search
each mirror hoping
to see the ghost
I loved and lost
before I realized
what it meant
to have a father,
and seek to fulfill
the dreams once
had by the one
I never knew.

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Portrait Complete

>> 4.21.2010

The hand, usually bold and precise
when drawing other subjects
while sketching its owner, stutters
in fretful stops and starts as if only
now learning the skill of drawing.

The eyes, normally clear-sighted and keen
while seeking the truth within others,
gazes at the mirrored reflection noticing
only the doppelganger instead
of the soul laid bare to vision.

The heart, normally compassionate
and giving to those of its acquaintance,
hardens when considering its own behavior,
no immediate benefit of doubt nor
thoughtful self-consideration given.

The portrait complete, merely a rude draft,
a tintype of the artist’s psyche, shadowed
by self-doubt and recriminations, a hazy
outline in hues faded by the internal censor,
a shadowy afterimage of the soul’s truth.

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Quote for Today

>> 4.07.2010

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."
~Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


"Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door."  ~Emily Dickenson

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Sea Glass

>> 4.05.2010

Remnants
of some forgotten thing
shards tumbled by turbulence
colored
in shades of sea and sky
washed upon the shore.

Reborn
in oceanic waters
sharp edges smoothed through struggle
fragility
strengthened to stone
patterned by lapse of time.

Plucked
from the sands and rolled
like dice within my hands
prickly
remembrance of who I once was
before finding myself a round peg.

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Update

Spring's first day was covered with six inches of very wet snow.   Less than two weeks later, Easter Sunday was crowned with 80 degree temperatures.   Welcome to spring-time in Oklahoma.

April is National Poetry Month - so read and share your favorite poetry and poets.  Poets and Writers is a good place to start, http://www.pw.org/.

If you like to write, check out Poetic Asides, http://blog.writersdigest.com/poeticasides/,  where there will be a prompt for each day of this month. 

I've been catching up on my reading, looking back through some fiction pieces and working on some poetry.  I hope everyone made it through the winter and is beginning to enjoy some spring  - a time of rebirth, renewal, and fresh starts.

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An Honor and an Anniversary

>> 3.24.2010

Recently I was informed that Dancing with Pens has been named to the 100 Best Poetry Blogs by Accredited Colleges Online.  It's a wonderful honor, and a great anniversary present as March 2010 is the one year anniversay of my blog!  I'm listed at #84 under Emotional and Inspirational poetry.  Woohoo!

If you are interested, you may find the article, here: 
http://www.accreditedonlinecolleges.com/blog/2010/100-best-poetry-blogs/

I also wanted to take this time to express my gratitude and appreciation to everyone who has visited over the last year.  Your support and comments mean the world to me.  Whenever I have a down day, or feel that my writing is working, I read the wonderful words you have left and am inspired all over again.  Thank you for a fabulous year, and here's hoping that 2010 is even better.

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As Least As Much

>> 3.22.2010

When my life counts down
to that final time – that final hour,
what will I wonder; what will I wish
I had not left yet undone?

I would wonder why
my “someday” never came,
why I left so late (was it too late),
the dreams of my heart -
to visit the birthplaces of my ancestors,
to create beauty wherever I could;

I will wonder for what
I shall be remembered -
a good friend,
a beloved child
a loving heart?

I will wish
for someone special
to hold my hand and guide
my journey homeward;

and, I shall hope
the passing of my life has meant
at least as much
as the flutter
of a butterfly’s wings.

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Spring 2010

>> 3.21.2010

Spring arrived in Oklahoma with a flock of robins and a snowstorm.  The robins took shelter under the carport, snuggling under the leaves next to the house and would fly out into the storm whenever anyone walked out the front door.  You could see them take shelter under the cars parked in the drive, puffed up to about twice their normal size, looking for all the world like a bunch of grumpy old men in brown suits and red waistcoats.  The expression on their faces looked so much like Walter Matthau in the movie, Grumpy Old Men, that I had to laugh every time I saw them. 

Fortunately, the snowstorm only lasted about 30 hours.  The last gasping breath of winter expired on Sunday.  Everything started melting, and now I'm surrounded by a sodden marsh that once was yard.  But, the robins were out in force, bouncing across the ground, scratching for food and looking much happier. 

I guess even the birds get fooled by the weather sometimes!

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Quote for the Day:

>> 3.01.2010

To live in this world, you must be able to do three things:  to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.  ~Mary Oliver


"Considering the ways in which so many of us waste our time, what would be wrong with a world in which everybody were writing poems? After all, there’s a significant service to humanity in spending time doing no harm. While you’re writing your poem, there’s one less scoundrel in the world. And I’d like a world, wouldn’t you, in which people actually took time to think about what they were saying? It would be, I’m certain, a more peaceful, more reasonable place. I don’t think there could ever be too many poets. By writing poetry, even those poems that fail and fail miserably, we honor and affirm life. We say ‘We loved the earth but could not stay." ~ Ted Kooser, The Poetry Home Repair Manual

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The White Peony

>> 2.22.2010

Most people say that peony bushes
are difficult, growing well only
for those special few.

My grandmother possessed
that special touch,
her peony bush was enormous,
nearly blocking the back door.

Its flowers rippling
like curtain-lace, contrasting
stark white splashed
against the aged ochre brick

of the old house, much higher than my childish head, waving
in the summer wind like an emerald banner
dotted with riotous blooms.

Grandmother would pick through
the blossoms selecting a few,
industriously searching
each for the rider inside.

When found, she plucked
it from its fragrant home, deposited
it upon an unfurled bud.

People complain about the ants, she said,
but without them, the flowers won’t bloom.
Just make certain you pick them out
before bringing the bouquet indoors.

Then she looked over at me
to see if I was listening,
understanding the wisdom she imparted.

Now whenever I smell the spicy-sweet scent
of peonies, I remember her smile,
then seek what’s special inside
that makes the world bloom.

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Quote for Today: A Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime

>> 2.16.2010

"People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON . . . It is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die.
Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON . . . Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.  They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh.  They may teach you something you have never done.  They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant."

~ Author Unknown

 
(Recently, my family has had some difficulties - ill health of aging parents.  That experience really started me to think about what's to come in the future, of a time of loss that may be closer than I think.  Suddently, I came across this quote.  I had discovered it about a year or so ago and loved it.  So I copied it down and filed it away.  Today, there it was.  It brought me comfort, so I decided to share this with all of you in the hopes that it will strike the same cord.  I hope you enjoy it.)

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Linguistic Alchemy

>> 2.15.2010

Each attempt
to write
is an effort
to understand
the multiplicity that resides
inside the mind

where images, phrases,
snatches of conversation
leap-frog
one over the other,
tumbling around
within a mental vortex

that can be likened,
sometimes,
to a summer squall,
and sometimes
to a tornadic storm.

Parsing the vestiges,
seeking translations
from vision to word
and back once more,
interpretations
of truth,

of each moment,
drawn from kissing frogs
or a murder of crows,
ink-blots and fingernail moons.

Alliterations of life
contained inside the jumble,
reaching out
to touch the world –
as words scratched
upon a page.

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Quote for Today

>> 2.11.2010

"Listen.  There's a beat within you, and it is more than your heart.  It's the sound of your personal rhythm, the words you shout in your bones, the leaps you dance in your dreams, the grief you hide behind your smiles.  Embrace that beat and start creating to it.  Let it become a beautiful symphony.  Rise up and CREATE."

~ Journal Revolutions - Linda Woods and Karen Dinino

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Quotes for Today

>> 2.10.2010

"The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation. YOU are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew.   Seek, therefore, not to find out Who You Are, seek to determine Who You Want To Be."
~ Neale Donald Walsh

"Life is an illusion only a POET can shatter it. Poets are the creators of silence, holders of FAITH, and dreamers of REALITY." ~ Author Unknown

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The Party Line

>> 2.03.2010

Waiting for the light to change
from red to green, my eye was caught
by a covey of pigeons perching
on the telephone line overhead.

Thirty-five birds snuggled together
in a line watching all of us trapped
in our vehicles by the vagaries of traffic.

What murmured secrets do they share?
Or perhaps, they’re just
preparing to take aim?

Suddenly, I remember childhood telephone
calls when neighbor-women chattered
endlessly on party lines telling tales,
skewering those not present.

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End Notes

>> 1.29.2010

Our favorite world
is almost over –
clock counting down
until it’s gone.

Once,
we had rainy Sundays,
croissants and café au lait
savored over the New York Times,
snuggling together,
spooning so close moonlight
couldn’t slip between our skin.

Now,
we have knife-edged confrontations,
disconsolate tears,
locked doors delineating
the abyss between us,
your attorney meeting mine
during tee time at the club.

Soon,
the judgment shall be decreed,
every line read, finalized,
our signatures placed just so.

And then,
our world will be undone,
no more passage together,
just uncharted roads
we each must travel
alone.

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Twitter Poetry (#poetwe)

>> 1.25.2010

pearly winter blanket punctuated /
by cardinal’s vivid blaze /
black eyes snapping as he munches /
breakfast at my feeder #poetwe


blanketing fog encompasses surroundings /
night shadows blocking vision /
forcing back the day /
walking in a dreamscape #poetwe


blazing light rips wide the sky /
wind gossips with the trees /
dark night grumbles overhead /
heralding the arriving winter storm #poetwe

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Twitter Poetry (#poetwe)

>> 1.20.2010

1.
pre-dawn, gleaming fingernail moon hovers /
above the rainbow ribbons of twilight arch /
as indigo dreams fade in light of day #poetwe

2.
iridescent fog slithers across landscape /
tendrils capturing awakening sun /
shrouding morning within twilight #poetwe

3.
hurry, hurry, worry, wait /
deadline approaching, computer dying /
Tuesday becomes Monday #poetwe

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Twitter Poetry (#poetwe)

>> 1.10.2010

yesterday I spied a robin and a cardinal /
dancing together across the snow /
searching for birdly nibbles /
hope they like frozen food

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Twitter Poetry (#poetwe)

>> 1.09.2010

I'm attempting something new - Twitter poetry.  Twitter allows for short, only 140 characters, which does include spaces, dashes, and all punctuation.  So I'm attempting to use this format to write poetry.  I'm finding it somewhat difficult.  I tend to be wordy, so expressing the thought, the intent within this form takes some effort.  Not as much as a 6 word story, but enough.  So,  here's my first Twitter Poem, or as I call it #poetwe.

This was to commemorate the blizzard most of Northeastern Oklahoma experienced on Christmas Eve of 2009.  This was only the third blizzard in recorded weather statistics which is in the last 100 years.  Sustained winds of 35 m.p.h. with gusts up to 60 m.p.h.  Final total for Tulsa was 5.8 inches; I live about 35 - 40 miles south and east, and we received about 7 inches of snow.  Needless to say, it was a very quiet Christmas.  Stayed home, bundled up, and read or watched t.v.  Hope your Christmas was warm and loving!


blizzard wind howls in the trees /
overwhelms land with icy flakes /
dancing like manic fireflies /
dangerous beauty full of frigid ire

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Dawning

>> 1.06.2010

Dawn sneaks across the sky
in painted beauty, prismatic gleams,

a soft kiss to bid the dark night farewell,
serenaded by the mourning dove

a dream awaited, anticipated –
a flame to enrapture the soul.

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Time

>> 1.03.2010

Does it slip ‘like sand through an hourglass’?
Or, merely get lost along the way, bogged
down with the day-to-day living, forgotten
amongst the rubbish of necessary?

One day, a child with nothing to worry
about except imaginary friends, then time
for school, must be on time, making the grade,
being in the right place, doing the right thing.

Finding yourself on the outside looking in,
lost, never belonging, missing something
you can’t even name. Rushing, chasing after
some dream someone told you that you should

want. Then out in the world you go – time
for work, punching a time clock, get your forty
hours in, make it count. Climb the ladder, always
seeking the dream, success. More money, more

bills, no time for the kids, no time for friends.
Until you wake up old, gray, all alone, wondering
how you lost forty years. Facing a reflection
you don’t recognize. Always wondering how

time got away from you. Wishing
for something you threw away
a long time ago.

Read more...

About This Blog

The name for this blog was inspired by a quote by Nietzsche, below.

"Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?" ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

I plan on this being the start of an incredible journey of discovery and creativity. I invite you to bring your pen, and come dance with me!

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