A vision

Sunlight streams through the glass.
Arranges itself in rectangles
upon worn oak floorboards.

She steps into the light
as an actress steps onto the stage.
She claims this place.
All composure. All stillness.

Her pale hair forms a caplet
about her shoulders.
Her arms cross her chest
hidden in folds of jewel-tone squares.
The quilt she clutches
around her torso like a queen’s mantle,
wraps her in family fabric.


Note: This vision was gifted to me in the night. I was both the girl in the light and the observer. It is as if the spirit of Andrew Wyeth took over my dreams and painted this image in my brain. The glowing colors of the squares of the quilt radiated in the gleaming sunlight. The texture of the word floors and the warmth of the golden light are actually felt. I am wishing I could paint, so I could capture this visually. Hopefully, the words will suffice.

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My Grandmother’s House

My-Grandmother's-Raby-Castle-Desk-Cachepot-AKA-Napkin-Holder

My dreams are the source of poetry.

Last night I purchased my grandmother’s home. Built in 1880, it’s Victorian darkness is my heart home. Last night in dreams, I walked the rooms, pointing out in each, memorable architectural elements, evidence of the house’s provenance.

Though the front of the house was obscured by a mundane commercial facade and an insurance office crammed with desks occupied the formal rooms, traces showed. The tall radiators were still in place and the French windows onto the porch were there and I knew it was the parlor.

My vision added more volume to the house.

There were tracks in the floor where large paneled doors slid, dividing one large room into small ones. A Victorian emulation of Japanese shoji screens.

Wandering the vast spaces, I tried to determine where to place my bed, finding several suitable rooms.

The Butler’s pantry with its cubbyholes and narrow shelves and enameled counters was entirely the figment of my dream as it never existed in life. I envisioned using it to prepare pies, store groceries. Though I was confounded to learn that a renter lived in it and I could not use it.

I added a non-existent screened porch around the perimeter of the house, complete with Chinese-style fretwork trim superimposed in the field of the screens. On each rail there was a collection of miniature porcelain, reminding me of her collections. Annotations on the rails told me the items were placed there by another in tribute to her.

At last I was seated with a crowd unknown people present for a business event. They did not know who I was and did not know the house was now mine. One wondered if foul play was responsible for Mrs. Compton’s demise as she passed away in her bed at the age of 95. Speaking up, I said it was her own will. On Thanksgiving Day after turkey consumed and adult grandchildren departed she stated, “I’ll not get back up out of this bed until they carry me out feet first.” And she didn’t.

Opening my eyes I see the brilliant cut-crystal powder jar, once hers, which I cherish. Then rolling over, I looked across the room and see her former dining room mirror. Tall with a rounded top, it originally was the tilting mirror for a vanity, re-purposed, it hung on her dining room wall. It hangs today, by the same wires, upon my wall.

In my kitchen I put away dishes and my hand lingers on the blue transferware plate from which I enjoy my breakfast. And my eyes fall on the napkin holder, a painted tin container she used just as I do, its image of Raby Castle inviting me to other flights of fantasy.

These talismans of her life embedded in my own summon her to me. Her spirit suffuses each item. No haunting, more a loving. Her tender affection surrounds me and buoys my life in her death. I find her with me. And I am loved.

The Cave of Forgotten Dreams

595px-Chauvet_cave,_paintings

Limestone arches shelter caverns.
Drawings incised by ancients
move in heatless light.
Bones enrobed in calcite crystals
scatter diamond reflections.
Shimmer bright. Animate deer
lion and strange rhinoceros. Horses
regal gallop into my brain. Celebration
of line. Sinew. Muscle. Life.

My foremother stood here. Felt her
divinity. Breathed in smoke.
Ochre hands tell tales of life
in the dark. She lay down into
hollows bowled by cave bears
whose bodies created cradles
in the dirt. She walked on.

Through the parchment
of my closed eyelids
I see you shadowed
against the dawn-lit window.

Your broad shoulders
block out the light.
My fingers remember
solid muscle, grizzled with fur.

I caress the warm sheets
where you lay. Know there will
be a day when this warmth
will not remain at dawn.
Roll into the oval you leave.
Return to sleep and dream of her
and the life they left for us.

An homage to Werner Hertzog’s film, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” about the Chauvet cave and to William P. Smithem.

Photo credit Wikipedia Commons

Arbor Day

Adjusted Small-Potted-Pear-Espalier

He resembles Alfred Hitchcock
as he trundles his topiary
up the hill. Leans to
the burden. His ass
bobs Up. Down.

He rests. Shoulders slump.
Turns; gathers his jacket of black silk.

I am made.
His eyebrows lift
at my appearance in his lane.
Brows crinkle. Wide rictus.

Abandoned. The thought leaves him.
Face slack as the lake on a calm day
He vanishes. I am alone with a
marvel of the orchard.

Delighted. I gawk.
Heavy oval fruit. Branches bow
weighted. Luscious limbs.
Compelled. I approach.

Reach to caress terminal leaves.
It unfurls to me.
My hand caressed.
My body embraced.

Wonder surges.
Affection wafts pollenating.
Fogs my senses.
Tears trickle my cheeks.
I’ll be damned,
I am loved.


Heaven knows where these things come from. This poem was a very intense dream that tunneled itself into my consciousness the other morning and awakened me and would not let me go. I suppose I was celebrating Earth Day in advance? Or perhaps I was reversing the fate of Eve in the Garden of Eden?

My photo illustration is a composite of images from flickr creative commons users vosburg_09 and  Dean Croshere.

Driving Into Eternity

Driving Into Eternity

Riding downhill into the wind
I awaken to the joy of possibility.
Exhilarated by the speed
I am propelled into my future.

Driving the straight-away with ever increasing urgency.
Competently shifting
Clutch, shift, accelerate
Clutch, shift, accelerate
I explode through the barrier into the unknown
Flying into my dreams.

Phosphorescent flashes light the blackness
Black on Black
Magnesium explosion on green
White core into day night
Resolution into blindness