Carve A Path – #Writephoto


Each is a unique journey

that path we carve through shifting sands

an ache that pulls toward a place of peace

Rapids tumbling over sharpened rocks follow a trail of worry

until letting go gives power to understand

each is a unique journey

Like the river meeting the sea piece by piece

navigation may require some twists and turns

that path we carve through shifting sands

The potential for brilliance is there

when we finally exhale and satisfy

that ache that pulls toward a place of peace

photo: Sue Vincent – #writephoto

prompts: Thursday photo prompt Shore – #writephoto, The Prompt (see below), #TLPoetry, #TastyPoem




Like the earth beneath my feet, I am grounded

although at times my passion spews from deep within

incinerating everything it touches, flowing fluid streams of lava

Pausing to let things cool, I let today run into tomorrow

knowing all I laid waste to at this moment will become

fertile ground down the line

Designing a future not yet defined, abandoning a past no longer in control

Like a fire whipped into a frenzy by persistent winds, I am a storm

whirling, twisting over fields I carefully once cultivated

taking care to destroy rows of crops that provided false nourishment

deliberately culling undergrowth which threatened to choke rebirth

I was the architect of change, building castles that reached for the sky

laying each stone with bloodied hands, taking comfort in the pain

which reminded me I was still alive, finding answers to each riddle

that burned on my parched lips

Designing a future not yet defined, abandoning a past no longer in control

And when the rushing tides rolled back slowly, silently

change showed the cracks in sharp relief, serving as a lesson

that flaws are infinitely more beautiful than what is

is considered by some to be perfection

I became water, harnessing my power to soothe

Acknowledging my will to heal with each ripple of renewal

Designing a future not yet defined, abandoning a past no longer in control

photo: mine

prompts: The Rising Phoenix Review, prompt 9, #Written River, #Writer’s Write, Day 11

Man of Few Words

man of few words

At first glance, there was something unsettling

about this man with steel grey eyes

that pierced even the darkest shadows

A man of few words, he set to work

carefully displaying bouquets of flowers

on his cart by the riverside

the brilliant colors, a sharp contrast

to his somber countenance

His gnarled fingers, covered in fingerless gloves

that had long since lost their form

gently urged each blossom to share its authentic voice

although his was muted, punctuated with monosyllabic

grunts accompanied by a slight jerk of his whiskered chin

as he wove metallic ribbons and pastel papers around his wares

And when he was done he pulled out the rusty sign,

almostly lovingly caressing its faded message

as he bolted it to the willow tree that sprawled overhead

No human is illegal

the donation box for a local charity, worn and well used

was prominently placed among the daisies and already half full

as I sidled up to his ramshackle cart

Drawn to the contrast of the beauty of the blooms and his wrinkled face

that almost disappeared into the weeping branches behind him,

I offered a smile, expecting nothing in return

as those haunting eyes met mine

Still, it was a story I had to know

and so I asked

my words, my soul, my heart pleaded

Tell me

For a moment, nothing

only the sounds of the city behind us

children’s laughter mocking the connection

I tried to make as I silently begged my shaking legs

to hold up under the gaze of his silent glare

Tell me

I pointed to the box

Tell me

After a moment, he spoke, his words tracing his own journey

across a world I’ve never known, never knew

Simply relaying hardships that he’d experienced

Trials and tribulations suffered in search of something better

Of losses that forced him to leave everything he knew

to find something better

Of hard work and set backs as he created a new life for the family he

carried with him

Of his father’s sprawling nursery, left behind in a place

he used to call home

No human is illegal

He spoke and I listened

captivated under a sky bathed in reds and purples

of the setting sun as those foreign fields sprang to life

the chill of the approaching evening settled in as he finished

and I wiped the tears on my cheek I hadn’t realized fell

until those gnarled fingers gathered the prettiest bouquet

and offered them to me with a smile

That man of few words gifting me with more than a souvenir

of a connection made between strangers

A gentle reminder to remain aware of all that we share

as people living separate lives together

photo: mine

prompts: Rising Phoenix Review, prompt 13, WD April PAD, prompt 14, #Tasty Poem,

Writing Knights, prompt 7, #SableSwanV



When we were young, she was a distraction

a little sister who got in the way, the one who ratted me out

when I was drinking in the basement with boys, the one who caught me

leaning out my bedroom window as I smoked and asked what I was doing

so annoying

As the years rocked gently by, ushering us into various stages of our separate lives

we’d cross paths now and again, mostly during mandatory Sunday Meals when

I’d curse her under my breath for taking so long to finish her dinner so I could be released back to enjoy my rebellious teenage activities, the ones she was too young to join

Somehow as time slipped and the distance between our years shortened

she was there, waiting

And it was my sister that navigated the twists and turns of my childhood angst, guiding the boy who would later become my husband to my side

And it was my sister, my little sister, who became my protector when that man

became cruel, wrapping his hands around my throat instead of my broken shoulders

And it was my sister who picked me up off the floor after I’d crumbled, believing I had taken as much as I could stand

It was my sister who told me otherwise

My sister convinced me to eat when I became anorexic, telling me with complete honesty

that I did not look thin; I looked sick

My sister convinced me I was someone of worth, someone that could be loved

My sister convinced me that the shattered pieces could be mended

My sister convinced me I was strong enough to begin again

And when I started to write again, she became my Reader

And when I started to love again, she became my Witness

And when I started to live again, she became my Support

When asked to tell the story of a strong woman who influenced my life,

the choices are many. We are women of strong stock, always taught to use our voice.

But of all of these, she is the voice that whispers in my ear.

That little girl, always underfoot, became the foundation on which I’ve created

the woman I am today.

For that, I am thankful.

photo: mine

prompt: The Rising Phoenix Review, prompt 7

Not Today

I’ve just returned from the Austin International Poetry Festival. In an effort to catch up on various poetry prompts in honor of National Poetry Month, I’m reposting this poem. It is one I read in Austin. This prompt comes from Writer’s Digest, prompt for Day 2.

walking in the rain


I won’t set my sight on tomorrow

I won’t wonder if the path not taken

would have led to greener pastures

No, not today


I won’t deny these difficult choices

I won’t hide from dangerous truths

that nip at my bloodied heels

Nope, not today

Today, this moment, this life

offers the bitter aftertaste of fruits

I’ve willingly consumed and now

the pain that racks this broken spirit

reminds me of all I chose to sacrifice

Today I own it, knowing this is the first step

Breathing newness into second chances

and an opportunity to walk in that rain


today I’ll dance in the deluge


photos: The first is a painting I own and the second is from

prompts: Sable Swan Verse, MadQueen, FieryVerse, Writer’s Digest April PAD

Our Time


Do you hear time?

Memories disperse like crumbs on water,

hoping to feed the soul’s hunger

A need to validate even an inconsequential life

Established with each new breath and defined by the last,

it passes, deliberately partitioning experiences

A rhythmic beat reckons gains and losses

Did it loiter, sweet honey dripping from the hive,

as the comfort of the day murmured reassurance

Did it explode, speeding into the night,

as the search for adventure marked a misspent youth

Did it become suspended, exquisite anticipation,

as your trembling lips first whispered I love you

Did it consume every breath, punishingly indifferent,

as it ran out for the one that held your heart

I hear time with every tick of the clock

Slivers of yesterday’s laughter soothe the sound of long ago tears

Songs in time tell a story only we can write

photo: Pixabay

prompt: Ellaine’s Place


IMG_1044 (1)

In a time set long ago before clocks ticked away minutes

and days stretched long, anticipating adventures yet created,

gratitude was a sun-soaked sky and the aroma of freshly cut grass filling the air

Simple was enough and knowing nothing else,

I was thankful

In a time set by clocks sounding alarms for the weary

and days marked by misadventures, stretching far and wide

gratitude was at best an afterthought in times when survival outwitted defeat

Chasing complications that were never enough became second nature

I was remiss

And then I stopped the clock

Sometimes clocks are meant to be broken

Sometimes time is meant to be measured in moments rather than minutes

Sometimes gratitude is found when time is scarce

Sometimes time is this minute

Sometimes time is now

In a time set by smiles between friends

and hands joined by lovers awaiting the next adventure,

gratitude is a sun-soaked sky and the aroma of freshly cut grass filling the air

Simple is enough and knowing this is truth

I am thankful

photo: mine

prompts: FieryVerse, Tweetspeak Poetry,  Lagan Press

Bitter Truths


At first touch, minute by minute

worlds are created

built on foundations made from words

slipped from mouths tasting

new experiences

With focused attention lingering

on the unimportant

the solid base is just an illusion

bidding time on shaking ground

as idle hours, lost forever, pass by

Ah, but the power these words hold

Promises laid bare, warm and soft

so blind to the possibility of misplaced trust

Futures are slipping away

slip, slip, slipping away

Somehow those minutes turn

to months, turn to years

and worlds intended to be transfigured

become prison cells occupied by

dreams that once offered hope

In that silenced place where all

is seemingly out of touch

and walls close in, suffocating

new worlds are borne, and fresh words are uttered

by a mouth that tastes just a little bitter

photo: photobucket

prompts: RavensVeil, WyldeVerse, AsymLife

Dream Receiver


Inspired by prospects of raw freedom, she leaned into every curve

With wind whipping through her loose hair, she never felt more alive

Riding through a winter wonderland, she became a chance believer

She became a dream receiver

The frosty night air caressed her with its magical touch

and each star in the open sky marked possibilities

Leaving miles behind her, she was free

Life was measured in new degrees

Because sometimes it’s what’s around the next bend

and hidden behind that hairpin turn

that defines a chance believer, a dream receiver

Yesterday is gone


prompts: AshVerse 236,WyldeVerse 92, Poetry Challenge 606, Microprompt 203

Keeper of the Fields

I will be attending the Austin International Poetry Festival later this week. In honor of that, I am posting the poems I plan to read at the festival.


Like his father

and his father before him

This way of life

coursed through his veins

Up before the morning sun

reflected off silos in the fields

Out the door before the kettle

cooled on the wood-fired stove

Moving with purpose

he paused briefly to caress

sleepy-eyed barn cats

Meowing their morning greeting

Pitchfork in calloused hands

he swung open a heavy gate

and set to work, his well-worn boots

sinking into the fresh dirt he labored to uncover

Like his father

and his father before him

he worked the fields until the evening sun

lost its battle with the relentless moon

Under a blanket of starry skies

that bathed his land in a soft glow

He rested on his porch, barn cats at his feet

A smile on his lips and satisfaction in his heart

Reflecting with intent

he paused briefly to give thanks

to a lot in life

that filled him with purpose

Folding dirt-stained hands

that would never quite come clean

He rocked slowly on that creaky porch

surveying his part in the rebirth that is Spring

Like his father

and his father before him

and like his son, folding his own dirt-stained hands

as he rocked beside him

Of Hope

 flower sneakers

Lingering illusion just out of reach

a flimsy attempt at salvation

lingering just out of reach

Shifting reality with this invocation

Hope is not that which lies ahead

that flimsy attempt at salvation

the engine that drives us instead

a belief that anything is possible

Hope is not that which lies ahead

the power of Yes is unstoppable

when shaped by faith in what could be

the belief that anything is possible

bolstered by bended knee and fervent pleas

understanding erupts, freed from misconception

when shaped by faith in what could be

Freedom dazzles when viewed from this perception

Opportunity erupts, freed from misconception

No longer lingers just out of reach

No longer out of reach

photo: mine

prompts: M. Cote, 3WW



on this endless journey fate designed

decisions…to be gracious or unrefined?

a petulant frenzy leaves no room to adjust

voices crashing through those walls of trust

to the hard way, some are resigned

takes no time for behavior to be defined

as fragile reputations are lost and maligned

if only those differences had been discussed

on this endless journey

doesn’t take much to leave it behind

a moment to pause, a choice to be kind

symbiosis between wants and what is just

memories of brilliant temper tantrums combust

leaves room for company if you’re so inclined

on this endless journey

photo: Pixabay

prompts: Three Words A Day, WordPress Daily Post, #PoeVerse

The Quest


Embarking on a quest, one that’s been calling my name

Need to find that place where parallel lines intersect

Time to live life from the inside out

Adventure’s whispering, cautiously creeping, staking a claim

Bare feet stomping on shards of glass, no need to be circumspect

Embarking on a quest, one that’s been calling my name

Been a long, long time coming, mine that is this walkabout

Vulnerable as a symptom, symptom as vulnerability…no matter

Need to find that place where parallel lines intersect

Chasing lines to the place on the horizon where light disappears

Creating rules and changing them as I go, that’s the plan

Time to live life from the inside out

photo: mine

prompts: #TastyPoem, #MSPoetry, WordPress Daily Post



That’s the thing about habits, good or bad

They slip unnoticed into daily life until unique shadows

meld to become one, and one without the other drives even a calm person mad

Recognized far too late, these choice habits morph into those

deigned unfit, something to surrender, something to quit

and after many a false start, many dates passed by,

yesterday and yesterday circled in red with fixations unrelented

I found the resolve, I promised to commit

I began the quest though the call of routine did preoccupy

days, even minutes…how those old shadows tempted and tormented

Like many vices, mine began with youth

a smoke shared between friends, a pack to last a week

often paired with whiskey, wine or sweet vermouth

Slipping unnoticed, a normal routine, twenty plus a day at its peak

and like all pesky rituals incorporated into a day, it stuck somehow

until ten, twenty, thirty years passed by and now I’m perplexed

That’s the thing about habits, good or bad

Forgoing a thing you’ve done for years, to disavow

is not impossible. It’s the what to do next

as if in your own life, you’ve been cast the role of nomad

And so I’ve gone a week or three

I’ve cleared some hurdles and moved some debris

Still struggling some days with this new way of writing

The urge to light up, just one… I’m fighting, fighting

while mourning the loss of this old habit, as bad as it was

that filled the spaces where nothing happened just because

It’s funny how getting turned on its side brings fresh perspective

sometimes making moments of adjustment frustrating and ineffective

Until that morning when old habits seem not to matter

the familiar making room for whatever comes after

photo: Flickr/Raul Lieberwirth

Broken Branches


And on this day, we acquiesce

on our knees and in our hearts

as times of sorrow, bitter and precise, coalesce

Endings strangle slowly in fits and false starts

Some fail, others hesitate in these dark times

A few brave men offer a mischievous nod to false obedience

Each individual war is over as the final bell chimes

All pay the price as they pray to paper gods for expedience

How these days lurk, laden with the desperate laying alms

Trying to feed this insatiable beast, a lost cause

Inadequacies and pride more destructive than bombs

Peace out of reach for those that failed to pause

A moment to consider the paths to resolution

would have quieted these drums of dissolution


prompts: Hourly Prompts, #TastyPoem, WordPress Daily Post, Three Word Wednesday

Proving Grounds


Better to be lost than found

slipping into places where hard lines blur

Rhythmic denial expected, a final proving ground

Languid days designed to confound

as impish ways sacrifice succor

Better to be lost than found

Rough and raw experiences abound

Lessons learned no matter what may occur

Rhythmic denial expected, this final proving ground

High-pitched screaming such an eerie sound

when mixed with whiskey and words that slur

Better to be lost than found

Satisfaction defined by abandoned battlegrounds

Victory earned when even abject failure won’t deter

Rhythmic denial expected, this final proving ground

Escape from that place where dreams almost drowned

Of hope and happiness, I’m now a connoisseur

Better to be lost than found

Rhythmic denial rejected in this, the final proving ground

photo: Pixabay

prompts: Three Word Wednesday, WordPress Daily Prompt



Could it be that the sum of twisted experiences

culminate in the ultimate self-sacrifice?

When cords, those tenuous threads, that tie

reality and perception together


a broken mind resists

strangling tacit explanations

as voices scream down every corridor

She prefers to embrace anarchy as

even simple beauty is

swallowed by inky blackness

Why else would there be

a meadow of beautiful flowers

growing in this concrete cell?

Awareness and acceptance of this world

are requirements that for her

cease to exist



prompts: MindlovesMisery’s Menagerie photo challenge 153, Sunday’s Whirligig 99

Channeling Calliope


When once solid ground shifts beneath my feet

I search for solace in all I‘ve known before

Capricious sacrifice, blood and ink compete

Raw emotions rage, unrelenting mentor

Harnessing fear and angst to empower me

I claw at handholds and climb again

clinging to my muse, my calliope

armed only with words and this pen

To rise above it, the place where falling

scrapes away layers of the too familiar

I embrace her sweet voice calling

My trusted guide, my conciliar

And when angels fly,  her whispering voice

I’ll translate, creating prose and poetry to rejoice

photo: Pinterest

prompts: #MadVerse, #MSpoetry, WordPress Daily Post

Winter’s Grasp


To the dark and dreary, I acquiesce

A steel grey sky harbors silence, grieving

and I regress, lost in proper pain and process

Aware as storm clouds gather, scheming

A steel grey sky harbors silence, streaming

and of hummingbirds and summer’s warmth, I obsess

to chase away this chill I’m feeling

Poking at demons dancing in lukewarm tea without success

And of hummingbirds and summer’s warmth, I guess

some would say a lost cause, a fool daydreaming

except in the backcountry where heard prayers nonetheless

lead to healing and quiet angels intervening

humming softly until the dark and dreary acquiesce

photo: mine

prompts: #Sunday Whirligig, #ElixirPoetry, WordPress Daily Post

Meet and Greet: 2/4/17

Another Meet and Greet event! It’s a great way to get involved in the writing community.

Dream Big, Dream Often


It’s the Meet and Greet weekend everyone!!  Strap on your party shoes and join the fun!  

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times!  It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want.  It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

See ya on Monday!!

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Defying Winter


When the view from everyday life is overwhelming and the familiar becomes strange
I long to feel the sun burning my tender skin again, just to feel alive

When the same street below is vacant and dreary and the cold seeps in, somehow penetrating shuttered windows and closed doors, and the only sound is suffocating  silence…

Silence… I slip and fall

Silence…as treacherous as that ice on the sidewalks below

Soft snowflakes swirl, falling from the grey sky and pile on my windowsill


and then a single bloom


a reminder of what’s to come

in due time

photo:Roger Bultot

prompts: Friday Fictioneers, #TastyPrompt, WordPress Daily Post

Paper Ambitions


I was paper

my ruled lines, empty

anticipating worlds we’d create

one word at a time

I was open

my blank spaces, ready

willing to receive your wisdom

one word at a time

You, a Charmer of the most venomous snake,

Master of Secrets, scheming

creating optical illusions

one word at a time

I was unprepared

my delicate skin, ripped

frenetic writing undermining dreams

one word at a time

Until that word was spoken

leaping from the page

to nestle in the hearts of many

resist, resist, resist, resist

We are paper

lines drawn, ready

creating a world, strong and united

one word at a time

photo: Pixabay

prompts: Lyric Ideas, #Monday Motivation, #MSPoetry, Bryan Grissom, WP Daily Post

Interview With Michele Vecchitto

I’m honored to be included in Mandi’s biweekly author interviews. She’s an amazing writer. Be sure to check out her blog, Mandibelle16. I discover something new to think about each time I go to her page.


Hi everyone! Wonderful to see you again for this biweekly interview withMicheleVecchitto. Michele is a friendly and kind woman who has a talent for writing wonderful poetry and engaging stories. I have been following her for a couple of years now, so I hope you will like her writing as much as I do. You can visit her blog here: Steps Times Two – Love and Life . . . The Second Time Around.

miichelle-interview-4 Credit: Michele Vicchetto

1. Hi Michele, Please Tell Us About Where You’re From?

I live in Niantic. It’s a lovely town on the Connecticut shoreline that somehow manages to hold on to the charm of days gone by while still offering all the conveniences I might need.

One of the many treasures in Niantic is a used bookstore calledThe Book Barn.It now has four or five satellite locations, but…

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Never Forget


Not so long ago, a world made of glass

slowly reached an impasse

At war with tenacious beliefs bolstered

by the timidity of belief distorted

They waited for dark times to pass

Cracks begin to form — soon, a crevasse

Devastation ensued en masse

Repercussions sorted by leaders they’d once courted

in this world made of glass

Counting minutes passing through an hourglass

Desperately hiding from those devoting time to harass

Some attempts to escape thwarted

For others, kind words from strangers exhorted

All the while, fighting enemies gathered in fields of grass

to shelter this world made of glass

Photo: Dale Rogerson

Prompt: Friday Fictioneers, Tablo Prompts

Skeleton Keys


Was it there all along?

An invitation unopened

beneath collections of correspondence

unanswered, ignored, aggressively

pushed away

A smile behind tears

tracing lines, carving sorrow

Muddying waters in a whirlpool

slowly pulling down, drowning in the place

where light disappeared

Sun shining brightly behind

rolling storm clouds

throwing daggers of electricity

that incinerated everything it touched

in a desperate inferno

Was it there?

A glimmer of hope

almost imperceptible

unfolding gently as dark skies gave way

to the splendor of a new day

refreshing, renewing, rebirth

Arriving in soothing waves

born of the salty tides of yesterday

baptized in the name of love

blessed by gods of forgiveness

blowing kisses on the wind

And as awareness defined a new life

and old skin was shed one scale at a time

it happened

Dreams replaced haunting nightmares

Inspiration defeated repeated regret

Happiness found that skeleton key

and married metal to lace

to unlock a battered heart

photo and prompt: Writing Outside the LinesThe Daily Post

Second Chances

seond chances.jpg

Subliminal intentions haunt


clinging to shadows

on curves meant to redirect

needless mistakes

dripping with regret

Capable of more than this

here and now, I pause

and take a breath

needing nothing more than to

create, I

escape just in time to explore

second chances

photo: mine

prompts: Witsendpoetry, #MSpoetry, WordPress Daily Post