The Judge

He sat in the gallery for so long, quiet,
I had barely registered him in my sight.
Other matters held my attention.
In truth, I noticed first the dark suits.

But then he rose to give his testimony
And all eyes in the courtroom were on him.
Well, almost. His open gaze was only on me,
While the prosecutor eyed me warily.

There was no guile in this man’s face,
And I caught myself leaning forward.
There was trust in his eyes, and hope
That his brother would be found innocent.

I listened carefully to his simple words,
And, in them, evidence of a truth.

/ / /

This poem was written in response to the Norman Rockwell painting above. Thanks to Margo Roby at Wordgathering for her Tuesday Tryout.

Shadows and Light

There is magic in the shadows,
as they dance towards each other,
no stiff muscles, no canes needed,
unless it’s part of the dance.

There is magic in the light too,
casting shadows towards each other.
What’s important is not the physics,
but the frisson of the dance.

/ / /

This poem was written to the photo prompt above, In the Shadows – Prompt #48, from Poetic Bloomings.

The Alchemy of Joy

Sweep away any doubt
Trust your emotional acumen

Let the juices pour out
and overflow the narrow gauge

There is a challenge to
finding joy and holding it

The alchemist knows it is art
sprinkled with a little craft

Mixing an acid and a base
a metal and a nonmetal

A chemical reaction
with the desired product

There is a mystery to
making joy and holding it

Taking oil and water
and shaking them together

An ephemeral emulsion
beautiful in its brevity

There is a conundrum to
producing joy and holding it

It takes time
slowness and patience

Be the tender
of your own garden

Watch the supple plants grow
and hold that in your heart

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 49 from The Sunday Whirl.

Sources and Gestures


Singing the Sources always Reveals
the previous and the Present,
what we, the called, will carry,
what Love can Limit and Lose,

the hallowed hallways we will Haunt,
the genuine Gestures we have made,
the devious dramas we Live,
the delicious Drives we envy,

who follows the fallen souls,
and what daring in their delivery,
what Help in the Hand of the adherent,
what harmony is inherent in the singing.

/ / /


The actor doesn’t like singing,
but he knows the songs are sources
of much joy and previous
pain. And though he cannot carry
a tune, he knows he cannot limit
himself to Hollywood’s hallways,
that broad gestures
may bring him to Broadway’s dramas.
Everyone knows what drives
him, that he follows
no one, that the delivery
of his lines is his hand
grasping his talent inherent.

/ / /

Two poems this week in response to Wordle 48 at The Sunday Whirl.

In both poems, I have used the words in the order in which Brenda sent them in the “early words” email. This would not be apparent from viewing the wordle at The Sunday Whirl. Don’t ask me why; it’s just what I did this time.

And this is the first time I’ve written two poems to the same wordle. “Sources” is a departure for me. When I was done writing it, I felt I wasn’t done with those words yet, thus “Gestures”, which is more like what I typically write.


Well, seriously, what did you think was going to happen?

Of course, you’re on the ground, your life slipping away from you.

Did this look like some fairy-infested sylvan glade? Were there unicorns eating grass greener than you’ve ever seen in your life? Did some rainbow lead you here? Was the sky so blue, the light so pure, that you were enraptured?

Of course not.

There’s no color here, except for red. My beautiful reds. Grey doesn’t count as a color, you fool.

The fogs and mists hang about, keeping the light dim. You can’t even appreciate the beauty of my bark, the shapes, the twists and curves. Oh, they are beautiful, believe me.

But all you could see was the red. The fruit of my labors.

Didn’t your mother warn you? Don’t you know red is a warning sign?

Stupid mortal. And know you prove it.

And your body is mine for the taking. I am ready to leave this forest behind.

Your curves are not as delicious as mine, but they’ll do for now.

Oh, yes. I musn’t forget to bring some of my red with me.

/ / /

This is my first attempt at Flashy Fiction, in response to Lingering in Layers.


The president charged us with this mission,
and it has caused us no small amount of trouble.
There have been accidents,
lives lost, as if sacrificed.
That has left many of confused, daring to ask
if we should continue to Mars, or just settle
for the plenty we have already managed to achieve.
We have handled so much up to this time,
paying the prices, the tolls laid upon us,
but what will it take for us to succeed?
A libation, wine poured out, to an old god?
Is our faith in science so shaken?
Where do we find the courage to go on?

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 47 at The Sunday Whirl.


days when you were
new teacher and you
longed to be better: master, mentor,
in your skills and talents?
Poetry writing
is the same.
The success is in
you. Find it. Claim it. Keep writing.

/ / /

This poem was written to the Back to the Future prompt at Poetic Bloomings. It is also a variation on the piku poetic form, the syllables of each line corresponding with the digits of pi: 3.14159265358.

“So much to fear.”

So much to fear.
How do I choose?
Everywhere I peer
so many grays
and, ironically, clear
so many blues.

I don’t want to fear.
Something I would choose:
to listen and hear
in so many ways
to be right here
with the voice of a muse.

I do decide not to fear.
That is what I choose.
To raise a cheer
for nights and days,
to cry not a tear,
to see colorful hues.

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Prompt #45 at Poetic Bloomings using the Genesis form.

Quite a Pickle

Every few days, we’d find our kitchen a mess.
I must admit, this caused us some distress.

We would find the white metal of our cooler
brown print dirty, but what we felt crueler

was that they in the shadows returned
and took more food they hadn’t earned.

But, what really caught us unaware
was that they never touched our silverware.

My wife preferred that we set no alarms,
and she refused to allow any firearms.

Now before you start to admonish us,
let us explain what really astonished us.

A wooly mammoth was the food thief.
Now can you understand our disbelief?

His wife was hiding safe in the wild,
in her belly, the fullness of their child.

Pickles and ice cream we found missing.
They were for his wife and their offspring.

Came to them soon a daughter or son,
coatless, as happens with their newborn young.

We had no more midnight kitchen guest.
He must have been too busy being blessed.

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 46 at The Sunday Whirl.