God’s Blueprint

God's Blueprint
To be certain our species
would flourish,


constructed a magnetic
attraction within us so


that when young 


were stopped by a
deep and rushing

flow of icy


or a gaping, precipitous
chasm rent in the earth,

these self-same Men
peered forth

and saw comely young


on the far side
(picking wild flowers).

And then


could be certain
bridges would be built. 
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Overheard At The Derby

Overheard At The Derby
I do like your hat.


Yes. It reminds me of 
a lampshade I once knew.


Yes. Like you, the lamp 
wore it slightly askew.

You mean crooked?

Aye. Awry.
Cocked just so over one eye.


Yes. It's a fabulous look.

Thank you. Is your 
horse running today?

Horse? I came 
but to see the hats.
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It's a long way down
when despair grips aching heart.

It's a long way down
when life slams final door,

and rips family apart.

It's a long way down
when nurses offer prayers,

meaning kindness to impart.

It's a long way down
when despair grips aching heart.


I tend my garden with memories - 

Gramma, soft, shuffling,
sweatered against the morning air,

mutters thin lipped sounds
of disapproval,
scolding reluctant carrots and beans,

and with 
critical eyes, surveys
hesitant blooms of zucchini.

Keeping bent fingers busy with
slender sticks, stabbed,
and drooping strings, frayed,

she tugs impatiently at
a childish tomato.

Later, she mimics a 
nodding sentry from the porch,
shawled shoulders,

cat, lapped, 

her teeth foundering
in a glass beside her,

she wonders aloud,

"Where is that worthless boy?"

Life Before

Life Before
On the golf course, alone at dusk,
sand traps beckon like Homer's Sirens,
greens slick and tilted - 
playing with the ghosts 
of Arnold Palmer and Sam Snead.
All three balls split the fairway,
mine out front by twenty yards.
"Shot!" they call out;

On the hardwood court, sweaty bright,
bringing the ball up, surveying the options,
ball kisses fingertips, ready to share,
calculating, pass, pass, swish, get back -
sneakers squeaking, "Switch,"
the ball,
 a constant drum beat, 
rips the netting;

On the gridiron, Friday night, October chill,
crowd leaning in along the sidelines,
pom pom pretties, she's there,
the whistle blows, ball soars, heart pounding race -
quarterback barks like a San Francisco seal,
darting toward an instant of daylight,
through a sliver of open, then a crowd of thud,
and a face full of turf;

Oh, the games boys play to get ready for the rest.

Lady Coetzee’s Travels

Lady Coetzee's Travels
At the checkpoint, Doortje Coetzee, a native geranium, 
pottered along until she reached the front of the line.   
The officer glanced through her South Africa passport, 
then squeezed out a cordial greeting. 
“Good morning, Ms. Coetzee. Where are you off to this fine day?”
Doortje offered up a hopeful smile.
“I have an auntie living in America. A small corner called Seattle. 
Time I got round to seeing her.”
A pink blush flooded her petals.
“I’ll turn seven come spring.” She sighed. “Life is much too short.”
“Will Seattle be your final destination then?”
“No. Auntie winters in Arizona. We’ll fly there with her keeper in October.”
“I’ve heard Seattle is a bit rainy, but a lovely place,” the man said. 
“Never been.”
“Love the rain,” Doortje replied. "If I avoid the frost I’ll be safe enough.”
The officer studied the document. “I take it you’re a perennial?”
Doortje giggled. “Depends. We’re all perennials at birth, of course. 
Crane Bill cuttings on Mother’s side. My auntie is almost forty years old.”
“How nice,” he said. “Mine never last more than a season.
Suicidal little buggers.”
Dortje frowned. A tinge of anger crept into her voice.
“We can only live our life according to the affection we are given. 
We need to avoid a chill at all costs. It murders us straightaway.
 Intense summer sun is difficult too. We crave afternoon shade.” 
He handed her document back. “Sorry. Meant no harm.”
“None taken. If you’ll love those buggers of yours, they’ll love you back. 
Fare-thee-well, she called, "I've a plane to catch.”
“Next,” he said.
gardenPhoto by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com


A neighbor thanked me for a simple kindness,
restaurant takeout my diet wouldn't allow.

So off I went, the food still hot and fresh,
to find a someone who needed it more than I.

He was young, wary, browned, and thin,
as one might expect from homeless youth.

He greeted me with a distant smile - 
measuring me, and what game I played.

I told him my tale as best I could, and
mentioned where the meal had been made.

He studied me with understanding eyes and
politely corrected my pronunciation,

as he might his grandfather stumbling over
a slangy rap song title.

He took my offering and traded his thanks.
A grin played his lips, a joggled memory perhaps.

Taken aback, I managed, "Yes, that's the place,"
and went on my way, never too old to learn.