La Gaudiere

rebellion

Maybe it was the summer heat

a perceptible shift from the mundane

maybe it was the summer heat

 

first attempts washed away the stain

a tentative push toward rebellion

a perceptible shift from the mundane

 

tired of leaning backwards, of the Machiavellian

a nudge to stiffen the spine and vent

a tentative push toward rebellion

 

partial became whole with each voice of dissent

even the timid found smiles as they set to oppose

a nudge to stiffen the spine and vent

 

A chorus of voices — oh, how it rose

collective power under that blazing sun

even the timid found smiles as they set to oppose

 

a spark to set that fire, not to be undone

collective power under that blazing sun

Maybe it was the summer heat

Maybe it was the summer heat

 

photo: Pixabay

 

prompt: Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie wordle #160

Paradox

sleeping-beauty-1503326__340

I dreamt of my past last night…

the ultimate paradox

that place where my dreams lived

when all the edges were smooth and

promises opened to possibilities that

blossomed in the night

where even the tension that beckoned

each morning serves now as my muse

and the drama it owned told stories

that would fill any playhouse with audiences

who urged the ingénue to bite a poisoned apple

 

I suppose I’m stuck in still believing

you get what you deserve and maybe

this is where I belong

this stalemate I call home

so familiar in its restlessness

that claims hope each day

where thieves disguised as

faith and belief and ambition

steal a little more as I continue

to sleepwalk aimlessly

 

Or could it be, as I’m exploring this

self-indulgent note in this dream I had,

that the message is there, waiting

a way to find freedom from this lot

I’ve cultivated, I’ve carelessly encouraged,

Might be I’m holding the trident of Neptune

as I play on the rocky shore

Might be I’ve been treading water for long enough

and it’s time to sink or swim

Might be that dream last night was so commonplace

I’ve forgotten to fear it

A paradox, this future tangled in the past

where nightmares masquerade as dreams

 

photo: Pixabay

prompt: Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie wordle #159

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each Small Moment

Each Small Moment.jpg

 

A quest for instant satisfaction drives fools to the edge,

a rush of adrenaline to fuel fleeting desires wrapped in pretty packages

It’s never enough to satisfy the need lurking just beneath

Disjointed ambition pandering to greed, to need, to concede

Settling for less when what the heart craves, what the heart knows,

seems too daunting a task

 

Take time with the things that matter

 

An intention made, whispered in a quiet moment,

is a cause worthy of time and patience and strength

It allows room to let frustration linger, turning slowly

until obstacles become stepping stones and each small victory

blazes a trail toward fulfillment

Because when it is important, each step fits

even when it leads to the same road block

Sometimes spinning in circles reveals the right direction

 

Take time with the things that matter

 

A quest for inner satisfaction drives the determined to the edge,

a foundation built to support enduring goals wrapped in careful planning

Just enough to satisfy the need lurking just beneath

Bounded ambition attending to identity, to integrity, to serenity

Demanding more even when what the heart craves, what the heart knows,

seems too daunting a task

 

Take time with the things that matter

 

photo: mine

prompt: Ripen the Page

 

Intertwined

intertwined

With parallel experiences, our lives are intertwined

though you tend to get lost in spice and smoke, preferring to walk blind

Your strong desire to please, a dangerous mission leads you astray

These roads you follow, silent footsteps on a fool’s array

Wander as you must, choices and consequences become solidly combined

 

Your blood running in mine, spirits before us whisper and remind

our background, this history we share, make us forever aligned

You may go, forgetting as you disappear into the fray,

our lives are intertwined

 

Awestruck by this sorrow I feel, to grief I am resigned

With nerves bent and frayed, I accept this sentence you’ve assigned

and when hope withers, almost left to decay

I’ll look for you on my darkest day

A candle in the window, a call to remind

our lives forever intertwined

 

photo: Flickr

 

prompt: Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie Wordle #158

Moments

moments.jpg

a moment to collect these fragments of time

by chance, a moment to turn it inside out

if only for a moment

 

scaffolds of despair layered under a rain-kissed sky

imaginary temples to honor seclusion beneath a nectarine sun

as the wolf, beaten, howls at the door

for a moment

 

a woman, more than blood and bone, seeks truth

aspirations drawn out on willowy planks

wobble in this moment

 

keenly aware as it all tumbles down

she delights in destruction

as the wolf becomes her faithful companion

if only for a moment

 

a moment to skim these fragments of time

by chance, a moment to turn it inside out

moment by moment by moment

 

photo: drawing by T. Lao-ang, my student

 

prompts: Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie Wordle #157, #MadVerse, WordPress Daily Post, #TastyPoem

 

 

Silent Detonation

mime-not-speak

Scenes played out, familiar but not quite intimate.

A slight detachment between performers and audience, yet a story shared by many.

Mutual connection separated by varying degrees of separation.

If each experience is unique, is the collective result skewed?

A responsibility to warn of dire consequences

hangs in the air, drowning out

voices repeating

old lines

 

a silent witness

unmasked as worlds come undone

Contrition does not absolve

 

one chance

to stop duplicating

past choices too many made

A responsibility to warn of dire consequences

Is this collective experience skewed when nothing is really unique?

Varying degrees of separation are still the same color bathed in different hues

A story shared by far too many persists without an alliance between each one of us

The familiar, intimate on any stage

 

photo: publicdomainpictures.net

 

prompts: Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie, #MSpoetry, WordPress Daily Post

Nostalgia

nostalgia

the power of memories

a trip to what had been

I let go

I surrendered

 

the power of a song

a reminder of what had been

I heard echoes of laughter

I danced with ghosts

 

burdens of today weigh heavy

a prison made from scars

I needed to slip away

I cast a lifeline to yesterday

 

If for a moment, relief

 

nostalgia infused in this blue mood

a few hours lost in old songs

I let go

I surrendered

 

 

photo: mine

 

prompt: WordPress Daily Post

 

 

 

 

 

After the Rain

after the rain.jpg

After the rain it all looked different, a reprieve

Those city streets covered in grease and grime

sparkling just enough to make us believe

 

Cracked and broken sidewalks glistened on a midsummer’s eve

almost beautiful, washed clean of blood and crime

After the rain it all looked different, a reprieve

 

That driving storm hid mothers who grieve

Strobes of police lights fading in elapsed time

sparkling just enough to make us believe

 

Illuminated by lightning, we were naïve

believing everything could change on a dime

After the rain it all looked different, a reprieve

 

When the sun rose to reveal all we did not achieve

the bells on that church tower began to chime

sparkling just enough to make us believe

 

And so we gathered, hoping to retrieve

the courage to face these mountains, shortcomings yet to climb

After the rain it all looked different, a reprieve

sparkling just enough to make us believe

 

photo: Pixabay

 

prompts: Random Noodling, WordPress Daily Post

Sweet Grace

grace

 

It was personal, that decision I made

to honor the day my angel grew wings

It was personal, your choice to throw shade

Things you don’t know could be just about anything

 

What you see isn’t always what you get

Easy to judge when a world is so small

 

A ray of hope, a light in my darkened room

that tiny heartbeat fluttering, a drumbeat in a fragile womb

And the day I lost her gave way to gloom, the gloom

My sweet Grace slipped away

 

It was personal, that decision I made

An artist’s ink on my quivering skin

It was personal, those judgements you made

Things you implied with a jerk of your chin

 

A ray of hope, a light in my darkened room

that tiny heartbeat fluttering, a drumbeat in a fragile womb

And the day I lost her gave way to gloom, the gloom

My sweet Grace slipped away

 

It was personal, that decision I made

to honor the day my angel grew wings

It was personal, your choice to throw shade

Things you don’t know could be just about anything

 

Thankful I found grace

Sustains me when I walk in your superficial place

She’s a memory I won’t allow you to deface

 

A ray of hope, a light in my darkened room

that tiny heartbeat fluttering, a drumbeat in a fragile womb

And the day I lost her gave way to gloom, the gloom

My sweet Grace slipped away

 

Thankful I found grace

Sustains me when I walk in your superficial place

Gratitude lives in Grace

 

photo: mine

prompts: WordPress Daily Post, Lyric Ideas

Change of Heart

SONY DSC

I thought I knew who I was

until I became

the person I am not


Following that twisted path because

I had the audacity to believe a false claim

I thought I knew who I was


It wasn’t until I became adrift, stopping to untie knots,

that I allowed this true reflection to stretch

until I became

 

the person I am meant to be,

laid bare, liberated from the trappings of

the person I am not




photo: Flickr

prompts: Nia W., #TastyPoem, WordPress Daily Post

*One of today’s prompts comes from my student. The first stanza comes from her poem.

Before Flight

before flight

I suppose it’s well enough for now

this departure from reality

It’s well enough for now

Ensconced in a world of strained repartee

true believers cast a spell, an ordination

in this departure from reality

Packaged and sold as one’s vocation

Weak and weary accept the transition

as true believers cast that spell, an ordination

Fact and fiction dance in this place, a juxtaposition

and as the light is swallowed, a plan to escape is awakening

even as the weak and weary accept this transition

Understanding a call to change is happening

Resistance is the new resolution

and as the light is swallowed, a plan to escape is awakening

Railing against misguided institutions

I suppose it’s well enough for now

Resistance is the new resolution

I suppose it’s well enough for now


photo: mine

prompts: #MadVerse, Lyric Ideas, WordPress Daily Post

Courage

alice

Sometimes illusion eviscerates expectation

like reverse reflections mirroring shattering glass

Defiant, the faithful pursue unattainable goals

embracing intent to entice new roles

Wading into dark and deep crevices

that lurk outside defined boundaries

some are waylaid on hidden shoals

sinking deeper into predetermined holes

But for some who dare to fly with clipped wings

those jagged shards cast shimmering points of light

A beacon when hope was hung on the hangman’s poles

An escape route from what providence dictates and doles

Sometimes expectation inspires rousing illusions

like prophetic reflections mirroring that magic looking glass

Faithful, the defiant defy unattainable goals

embracing intent to embrace new roles



photo: Pinterest

prompts: #TastyPoem, #MSpoetry, #TLPoetry

Conversations

throwing_darts_blind

Creeping vines of self-righteousness seek to find hold

Whitewashed versions of truth, nothing but a blindfold

Quarrels of man hurt before reaching the heart of the matter

Pain, a necessary evil if dialogue is meant to be more than mindless chatter

Visible scars cast a sheen on egos that scramble for fool’s gold

If by chance, one is willing to pay the price to be paroled

Understanding voids the masquerade of souls once willing to be sold

Rotten and narrow, those old beliefs fall away with unimportant smatter

Still, creeping vines of self-righteousness seek to find hold

Always a work in progress, communication must be bold

A willingness to be vulnerable to release the stranglehold

Suffering to see it through wrings all regret, bruised and tattered

Allows a connection that opposing views can not scatter

The process, long and arduous, brings blessings untold

Cut those creeping vines that seek to find hold



photo: Pinterest

prompts: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle 153, Two Sylvia’s Press, #MSPoetry

Abandoned Dreams

abandoned dreams

Found a discarded photograph by the side of the road

Yellowed by time, its shadows whispered a story

Frayed edges framed tattered dreams in black and white

A packed suitcase on a perfectly made bed beneath that cracked window

Yellowed by time, its shadows whispered a story

A simple wedding band there on the pillow

next to a one-way bus ticket out of town

Frayed edges framed tattered dreams in black and white

this picture captured the image of a man just outside

sitting on a porch with his head in his heads

A packed suitcase on a perfectly made bed beneath that cracked window

Her plans were made, this woman who no longer needed

mementos of another life



photo: Pixabay

prompt: Amber Ravatsaas/Pinterest

Going Home

going home

Sometimes I slip back to that place

where troubles can’t intrude

My mother’s garden, filled with flowers and lace

In need of respite from life’s fast pace

I wander and let waves wash over this unsettled mood

Sometimes I slip back to that place

In search of comfort, it’s childhood footsteps I trace

to release these problems I’ve accrued

My mother’s garden, filled with flowers and lace

And when I’m seeking mercy and divine grace

from this darkness, I look up and get lost in gratitude

Sometimes I slip back to that place

and when I find relief from a shifting space

I let go of my affliction, this need to brood

in my mother’s garden, filled with flowers and lace

With memories of home, I seek to replace

everything in life that’s become skewed

Sometimes I slip  back to that place

My mother’s garden, filled with flowers and lace


photo: mine

prompts: #TastyPoem, #MadVerse

Strength in Innocence

mlmisery photo challenge 162

When Innocence takes delicate matters by the hand

intent on silencing screams between warring factions

Time is forced to face Introspection on her witness stand

Social contracts shredded by meaningless transactions

Intent on silencing screams between warring factions

she somehow understands all views cast in black and white…

those social contracts shredded by meaningless transactions

serve no purpose other than to destroy and incite

This voice of tomorrow understands all views cast in black and white

can create beauty when swirled together in endless shades of gray

Defying those who serve no purpose other than to destroy and incite

Innocence takes delicate matters by the hand




Photo Art by Andi Abdul Halil


prompts: Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie Photo Prompt 162, #3wordsaday, WordPress Daily Prompt

Carve A Path – #Writephoto

writephoto420.png

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

mumturnedmom

Elements

 elements.jpg

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, NaPoWriMo.net 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

Maureen

Maureen

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

No

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

No

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

No

today I’ll dance in the deluge

Umbrella-DancingInTheRain

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

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

Our Time

clock-623168_1920

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

Gratitude

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

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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

night-clouds-summer-trees.jpg

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



photo: pexels.com

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.

 205307103_bd88a73638_m

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





https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/hammer/

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