soul without shell



death is empty egg

hope’s promise of life deferred

only shell remains



grief is thick blind slug

vulnerable on mud path

unaware it’s stuck



I write these haiku one week after my father’s funeral.

sorrow’s weight in tears


death is squared
concrete vault
heavy, cold, uncaring

grief is round
worn river stone
smooth, comforting

to carry inside
your pocket until it
grows warm, familiar

take it out,
gently turn over
in hands to examine


death is sharply
broken, black umbrella
ruined beyond repair

grief is softly
falling rain shower
watering the garden

you stay out
in the weather
exposed to droplets

look up at
grey skies with
blurred vision, wet face

shutterstock image

“Oh, when will autumn moon…

“Oh when will autumn moon and spring flowers end?
How many past events I’ve known.
The east wind buffeted my room again last night,
I cannot bear to remember the bright moon of the old country.
The marble steps and carved balustrades must still be there,
The people’s rosy cheeks are all that’s changed.
How much sorrow can one man have to bear?
As much as a river of spring water flowing east.


how long fall moon and spring bloom shall last?
how many happenings of life have passed?
a northwest wind rattled my window last night
i’ve forgotten how summer moon glows full-bright
old stairway and front porch of home still there
how many memories must bereaved woman bear?
faded are rosy cheeks of my childhood
as river of time flows through tears’ wildwood


Laura Bloomsbury invites us to imitate Chinese-style poetry at dVerse poetics. First stanza is a translation from Chinese, second is my interpretation with added rhyme.

as an eagle soars


i’ve witnessed an

eagle’s presence,

intent, immovable

eyes keen for detail

to build sturdy nest

rule over his domain

with faithful mate

train their young

push out of nest

let go in flight


i’ve watched him

dive determined

for a fish; swoop

over quiet water

to swiftly, deftly

bring it up with

quick strong talons

but he’s most regal

when he soars upon

wind under wings!


—-for Dad





I’ve given my body

to my children as

a living inheritance

of primal sustenance

vital to ensure their

childhood survival;

for life education and

milestone celebration.



A woman’s body

amazes, astounds

envelopes, nurtures,

stretches elastic

grows softly round

with love surrounds

heartbeat pounds.



They left their marks

indelible, incredible

creases, sags, bags

every gray hair is

strand of costly

(and mostly, yes)

sweet memories

rooted in the heart.



Linking to Grace’s prompt to write “body” poems at dVerse poets pub today…



healthy, strong

moving, growing, thriving

loud, beloved, withdrawn, quiet

slipping, falling, fading

weak, slow


A diamante poem, diamond shape list exploring opposites written to specific form. Today I will admit my father to hospice care.

finding spring

celebrating Easter is

a message of hope

every year, snows of winter fade and

warmth of sunshine returns

Iowa’s bountiful fields begin the annual miracle

a reminder that the world continues

at its regular rhythm

farmers prepare to plant

kids play in fresh air and sunshine

grass rises…an emerald carpet

flowers decorate…live beauty

birds sing…beckon us outside

we are once again reminded

of the simple joys of life.

A poem “found” from phrases of an editorial in the April 3, 2021 issue of the N’west Iowa Review. Also known as a “blackout” poem because I used sharpie to black out all words of article NOT selected for poem.

believe the vine

A quadrille of 44 words offered to you and shared with fellow poets at the dVerse pub

come taste and see
we drink to remember
his blood poured out for us

crushed like heavy grapes
stomped in garden winepress
he drinks bitter cup of betrayal

like first disciples
we wonder, amazed
by life blood we’re clean?

divinest wine lifts sin’s bloodstains!

photo by Bruno/Germany on Pixabay

holy moment

At dawn on the first day of the week, a woman…



neighbor’s rooster crows

for easter sunrise service

peace on cattle yard


speak in symbols and substance

appointed judge washes
hands of culpability
in condemning innocent

man… more than a man?
what is truth, anyway?

truth about power
is it corrupts the one
who would wield it

but condemned man
tells official he has
no authority over him

except what was
given intentionally
and temporarily

in fickleness of the mob
witness ultimate hate crime

king of the jews
betrayed by his own people
executed by gentiles

royal treatment for royalty?

how injustice of humanity
will serve the justice of God!


at the museum in
murdo, south dakota
(around the corner from
a life-size jar jar binks)

stands antique treadmill
not for human exercise
but built in miniature for
dog trained on laundry

duty to run the wheel
tied to belt on agitator
of old washing machine
just like grandma used—

funny how that memory
was jogged, grandma’s
story of how the family
dog would often hide

on monday mornings.

photo by lynn

Linking to De’s “laundry” prompt at dVerse Poets

drawing water

Father, again I THIRST for you
like the psalmist, deer on the run
who panted for streams of water
like the woman at the well, dried
up, life poured out and wasted.

Jesus, you offer living water
abundant and refreshing, pure
well-spring of new LIFE within;
fill me up and wash over me
with your actively loving Holy

Spirit; fill to overflowing that I
may spill on others; I lift empty
CUP to you for my daily drink
where you lead me beside such
crystal clear and quiet waters.

You are one, true living God,
fountain of life; my only source
of soulful, deep, abiding JOY in
your presence today, tomorrow;
like a river eternal forevermore!

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