Monday, December 22, 2008

Walking with Woods in Plainfield, Vermont

Fern, thou art a fan of feathered
fingers tickling my bare shins,
shhhhh, shhhhh,
I hear you whisper to others–shhhhh,
this is our moment–
there will never be another
exactly like it.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

One Down, Three to Go

It was rough, especially towards the end, but I survived the first semester of my MA studies and my family still loves me despite the silent glares I doled out every time I was interrupted in the middle of a sentence - Whoo Hoo! I'm also done teaching for this semester and have a whole month off...maybe now I'll get caught up on some personal writing for sharing....

Monday, November 17, 2008

Now What?

Roger took the bottle, there ain’t no more
Drank the whole damn thing, the whiskey whore.
Left us sitting here our pockets poor
Roger took the bottle, there ain’t no more.

*my short-n-sweet answer to Jo's Word Catalyst prompt*

Monday, November 3, 2008


Not knowing if he is okay
day after day

I am all over the place now
unable to focus on any one piece -
a poem here
a critical essay there
a play that's going God knows where...

Will I ever write again
without wondering
What would he have written
about the Pigs?

Something witty, I'm sure
Why haven't they found a cure?

Sunday, October 19, 2008


For Bob ~ I miss you, dear friend

No coffee spewing out my nose
No tears to wipe away
No words to read that no one knows
No metaphor in play

No wittiness to make me think
No chapters yet to come
Instead a vast and missing link
My empty heart is glum

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Other Woman

My answer to this week's WordCatalyst writing prompt

Ah listen to them ‘lowly actress’ indeed! How dare he refer to me in such a manner, and she, she is a blubbering fool when it comes to him – ‘Oh fatha, we are simply acquaintances' - as if our love is nothing more than that of tittering schoolgirls at tea…well, I shall show them no matter how many times the church bells chime or distant seas I must sail…oh listen to her wail against his tirade, I shall not tolerate this, my timid treasure my love my darling Lizzie…we shall be together or my name isn’t Bridget Sullivan!

Friday, October 3, 2008

For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In October of 2003 I was asked to write a poem for a Breast Cancer Awareness Candlelight Vigil held near my hometown in mid-Missouri. I was honored–doubly so because Margaret, a breast cancer survivor for over 30 years, would be reading my words. I wrote “Because of this Flare”–a poem of hope for a cure. Later that month, I was asked to read the poem myself at a Breast Cancer Awareness luncheon. The timing was perfect as my mother-in-law was visiting from Massachusetts, and I would have someone there for support–someone who would see me through my fear of public speaking.

Mom attended the luncheon with me and I remember how proud I was to be able to share that day with her. We sat at the head table with the director of our local American Cancer Society office and his daughter. Mom was the never-met-a-stranger type and would strike up a conversation with anyone. I, on the other hand, was painfully shy. Yet, thanks to mom, I had an enjoyable lunch. She stood amongst the crowd releasing pink balloons into the bright autumn sky as I read my poem of hope. Neither of us realized the significance that day would hold in the months ahead.

A week after mom returned home, she came down with a cold that wouldn’t go away. By Thanksgiving Day she was in the hospital and before Christmas we received the news she had stage 4 lung cancer. She died on January 25, 2004.

One of the last times I spoke with my mother-in-law over the phone, she whispered four words that I will never forget. “I am so afraid.” I know how hard those words were for her to speak. Nobody likes to admit their fear. And so it is for my mother-in-law, Gloria Rose Heywood–and the countless others like her–that I wrote this poem:

Let's Stop the Fear

She faced the good times and the bad
With courage she had always had
Until one autumn's chilling breeze
Gripped her voice with dread disease

Stripped her of her cheerful way
Frightened her both night and day
And though she tried with all her might
She could not stop the frigid blight

It stole her precious life away
It stilled her voice with its decay
Yet that small voice that whispered fear
Echoes–echoes–in my ear.

3 o'clock

My answer to Jo's Cinquain prompt:


Children screaming

Teenage girls walk in groups

giggle at boys on street corner

School's out

Friday, September 26, 2008

1901 Limerick Lane

I dreamt we were together
In a home on Limerick Lane
A fruit bowl on the table
Of the finest porcelain.

The year was nineteen hundred one
Outside it was pouring rain
You strolled through the door whistling
Tossed your top hat, coat, and cane.

What do you do with a drunken sailor….

We were seated at once in an English pub
Laughing with each refrain
Toasting our love with mugs of ale
Made from the finest grain.

No need to light a candle
The sun through the windowpane
Shone on our smiling faces
And our world was right again.

What do you do with a drunken sailor….

Then suddenly we’re walking
Hand-in-hand down Limerick Lane
We stop by our favorite book store
Choose a book by a man named Twain.

We settle by the fire
In our home on Limerick Lane
Your head in my lap, you read to me,
As we share a glass of champagne.

What do you do with a drunken sailor….

Then in a mountain cabin
We touch without any shame
Our bodies entwine, our feet leave the floor,
Our hearts beat as one and the same.

A wolf and crickets join in
As our ecstasy we proclaim
I fall asleep upon your chest,
Upon my lips – your name.

Earl-eye in the morning.

I roll over, the pillow is empty,
Where in my dream your head had lain,
But the unlit candle and tarnished cups
On the table still remain.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Stream of Confluence

Dry leaves scuttle across the sidewalk past
traffic and laughter unaware
of their presence,
and mine.

Water sprinkler keeps time with cricket’s
chirp, and the ca-Caw, ca-Caw
of blackbird harmonizes
with distant horns
of a marching band.

I cannot remember the color of our high school uniforms

Chapel bells echo my past, playing
the same tune every hour–the same tune
our steadfast grandfather clock sang
and doorbell rang
in my childhood.

I cannot ignore the chimes, or the scuttle
of time, but I can refuse
to answer the door.