A Scratch Poem

midsection of woman making heart shape with hands
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Wedding planning is interesting. Things come up while you are planning and working out all the details. Things like, family skeletons, drama, and of course you think of the people who can’t be there. While formulating how to properly honor our family that has passed. I have been working on this scratch poem.

What is a scratch poem? Well, its something I made up. It’s a poem you write down in a hurry on scrap paper, or whatever is near you before you forget. Then as you write it down you edit it right there real time. Unlike previous poems, I have written which require several editing sessions later. Scratch poems are poems that become the original work in one sitting. So without further introduction, I bring you my poem:  Late RSVP

I saw you yesterday

Staring at me

With clear crystal blue eyes

I heard you last night

Laughing loud like tinkling glass

Unbridled and joyous

I felt you this morning

As I put on my wedding dress

Standing behind me proud

I missed you today

When I walked down the aisle

I stared at your empty chair

Walking into the hall

I found you… at last

Swaying to the music

In my mind’s eye, we danced

I’m glad you could make it.

antique art beautiful blur
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Copyright The Phoenix Rises.


Phoenix Rises

The phoenix is probably one of my favorite mythical creatures. I can not say it is my top favorite because the mermaid is still number one in my book. In life we can see examples of phoenix everywhere. I admit probably not the bird you have pictured in your mind’s eye, but a rising from the ashes if you will of someone or something. A person who comes back from the brink of death perhaps, or the person you know who under terrible strain overcomes something most thought insurmountable. Nature in its own right can be a phoenix. Fires that rage and eat forests reducing them to ashes, lay the groundwork for nature to be reborn. Perhaps the thing I like the most about the phoenix is this symbolic creature can represent anything but the message always remains the same ” From the ashes I will rise. ”

Phoenix Rises

Grey ash floats to the floor

The once brilliant colors

Have faded into dullness

Wilting and weak

Sad eyes reflect tragedy

One last effort produces

A brilliant spark of light

Slate molts to charcoal black

Charred ashes gather

Collecting in neat piles

A gentle refreshing breeze

Starts to blow–

Specks carried on the air

Begin to change

Black ash turns to white

Whirling in funnels 

A miniature tornado

White dots form an oval

Producing a shiny egg

Out of darkness comes

A pillar of strength

The translucent orb vibrates

Forcing a zig zag crack

Between the fracture

A tiny beak emerges

Forcefully it pushes through

With brilliant turquoise eyes

A head of iridescent shades

Red, rose, orange, feathers

Drape her frame

A glint of gold shines in the light

Blue talons with onyx scales

She is a rare beauty

Forged from fire and ash

Once more she is reborn

But never the same as before.


Copyright. Phoenix Rises.


Homage: Deuxième Partie

The conclusion of my Poem Alzheimer’s (My Homage to The Wasteland)

Part III

“I never meant to cause you trouble, I never meant to cause you harm…”

The dream is real
The danger is near
I am in the tempest of fear
I walk in and there she is
Radio is alive and she’s on the floor
Maybe this too is a dream,
Maybe I am insane?
No one believes me
“I am what I am, I’ll do what I want…I can’t hide…I won’t go…I can’t breathe..”
She is gone in the white van with lights
I am left lost
I know this is the beginning
Of the end.

In and out she goes
Where she stops no one knows
Nursing home, place, assisted living
All adjectives I am sick of
All lost their feeling
Locked ones unlocked ones,
Doors with locks but no key
My mind is a swirl
Why so many times?
Why so many places?
“You used to speak so easy…your afraid to talk to me….it’s like walking with the wounded… out there with the wounded… and were missing you…”
My life is a tempest,
I am the continent being battered
By the storm
My personal El Nino

“Sometimes it takes a long time for the candle to burn out… sometimes it takes a long time for the bird to fly the coup.” (CAH)
I sit there in the dark
Listening to her chat
She and I are from the same cloth
Same blood, same bone
We were on the same page always
But now things are different
The pages are ripped and torn
The book works backwards
Erasing words, thoughts, hopes
I race to read its contents
All that’s left is lost phrases to a song
In my mind I recall a time when we read it together
I am left to read it alone.
The book of life is mine to discover

I walk alone now on this road
With her notes in my head
And his words in my heart
Why can’t I replay time?
I wonder if the choices I make are right
Would they exclaim “Oh, NO!”
Would they say “it will be alright ?”
Time will tell for me
If this book is the one that will save me
Or damn me.
I fill its pages now with hope.



Notes from the Writer: The music mentioned helped form the backdrop for this piece. In Loving Memory of CAH

  1. Christmas in Killarney – Bing Crosby
  2. White Christmas -Bing Crosby
  3. Cheek to Cheek – Fred Astaire
  4. Trouble – Coldplay
  5. Here with me – Dido
  6. Wounded – Third Eye Blind


My Visit with the Cheshire Cat

imageMy absence is due to my fall into a rabbit hole, in a matter of speaking of course. Life sometimes makes things happen all at once, instead of spacing it out for good measure. It seems like going back into my journals I have discovered that around this time every year some change occurs. Perhaps the change in season is to blame or maybe I become bolder when the sun hits its highest point, whatever the reason I have been standing at a cross road.

I have felt like Alice from wonderland these last few weeks. I caught myself wandering around in this strange world trying to discover who I am again. I had to be cautious and careful and discover who is friend and who is foe. I have had to come to grips with the reality of an almost two year relationship coming to an end. It wasn’t that I didn’t care about him or I didn’t wish things were different, I just came to the reality that it was never going further then what it was. I wanted something more from it, and we ultimately wanted different things. As Alice remarked once to herself ” she generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it).” This is a familiar adage, one that I usually voice but never follow. Imagine my surprise however when I do follow it, and it seems like the world is mad and full of empty tea cups.

imageThe trivial things like having all the roses red seem to feel insignificant. I am sure the cards could paint the white roses red but as we all know the “painted” truth will drip away in time. I wish on this journey I could have had a grinning gleeful purple cat, but alas he must have been off reminding the rabbit how late he was. As I walked one Sunday morning through the forest I began to reflect on things. The ending of my relationship has led me to some curious thoughts and even “curiouser” places. I have never truly done anything in life I really wanted. I have hobbies, I have traveled a bit but I long for a purposeful lifelong pursuit. I want to wake up in the morning albeit I am not a morning person, and enjoy my work. But, what work is best for me?

This is when I wish I could have tested it out first like Alice did with the “Eat Me” cookies. Her trial and error was much more immediate and allowed for her to know instantly if it was a mistake. Real life on the other hand reveals rather slowly the result of your choices and most of the time it appears too late to change them. At times in the past two years I have felt like an oyster marching to the Walrus and the carpenters dinner table. Alice and I have found another commonality for “..I could tell you of my adventures…but it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” I have long wanted to go back to school for my Masters degree but I have struggled with picking a single focus and concentration for my degree. My new found freedom has allowed me the clarity that was once so hazy.

imageThe “floating” grin of the Cheshire Cat greets me as I approach the opening of a field and things begin to take shape. The confusing maze of topiaries and rose bushes become a simple straight line. The path before me is one that I can travel at my speed. I want to be able to get things back on track for myself. I have spent way too much time already on doing what makes others happy. I want to focus on what will enrich my life and what makes me happy now. That has been something that has been very difficult for me to do in the past but something I feel I must do now. It is at this moment that I wake up next to the river bank listening to my “sister” reading a lesson aloud. I grab my faithful cat Dinah and go in for afternoon tea and as the tea is being poured I think to myself these empty cups won’t be empty forever.