Horses! Horses! Horses!


Magnificent, strong-withered beauties

that playfully rear and paw at the passing clouds

or arch their backs to buck and buck

until they send their rider shooting like a cannonball

over their head and into the soft sand of the riding ring.



Eyes wide-set on a long face

sometimes decorated with a star or flashy blaze

and ends in a velvety-soft muzzle that loves to nibble

carrots and apples offered as a reward or treat

from an upturned palm of a human friend.



So frustrating that these powerful creatures

are so fragile subject to all kinds of ailments and injuries

– thrush, colic, sidebone, ringbone, bowed tendons,

cracked heels, founder, West Nile Virus, navicular disease.

Proper diet, plenty of fresh water, exercise, and a good blacksmith helps!



So easily frightened –

the wind blows up a leaf, a car or motorcycle backfires, a bird flies from a tree.

Or sometimes, there is no rhyme or reason to their spookiness! 

What just happened? The horse leaps to the side or whirls around

and the rider may find himself on the ground (again!).



A great teammate!

When you ride the course of fences,

 you feel that you and your horse are one – sheer poetry in motion!

Majestic, beautiful, intelligent, puzzling.

Residents of my head and heart.



On Poetry

Poetry is the language of visual images – the creation of moving pictures with specific details and examples. Poetry is folk art. It is a way to pass on stories and thoughts. Poetry is entertainment. It’s fun!

Writing poetry is a reasonable, doable goal for students. For many years, I teamed with fourth grade teacher and friend Kathy Randolph. Her students created a gallery of water color paintings. Then they wrote a poem to pair with their artwork.

There are many ways to build a poem. For example, we can use a seesaw structure such as fortunately – unfortunately or once I – now I. We could take a verb and offer a definition (see the work of Sara Holbrook).

Float is a way to stay

relaxed and still,

a quiet motion

in the ocean,

lake or swimming pool.

A great way to stay cool

without the splashes

or meter dashes.

No competition in mind,

and you will find

sheer delight!

Perhaps a  craft

such as a raft

to float serenely

among sunbeams

and dream and dream!

Poems about world views, a take on an issue, summarizing an event, telling a story, creating an imagined perspective from a biome’s point of view, or simply acting out a word with words – there is no limit to poetry. Of course, reading the work of myriad poets – both rhymed free verse poems – may spark a topic, a format, or style.  Anything is possible. Just take up your pen and write!





More Haiku

Long-sleeved willow tree

drops her arms into the lake

In June to cool off!


Lady Moon rises

high among the brittle stars

to bathe them in light.


Bees buzz busily

in yellow and black jackets –

Work in uniforms.



Grandfather’s Chair

Old, old chair

Mustard yellow cowhide,

Sturdy and broad,

Arm rests worn burgundy

Where strong arms and hands

Once rested.

Cracked leather seat cushion and

Gold metal tacks to frame the leather,

Four strong, lion-clawed legs

To hold up its massive frame.


Old, old chair

Smelling of leather

Conjuring up faint whiffs of

Life Boy soap, Listerine

And Old Spice After Shave.

Warm, comfortable, and

Large enough to hold

A grandpa and his grandchild.


Old, old chair

A place to watch t.v. or read the paper.

Snuggling in to listen to 45 records

Spinning out coal-mining songs

“I owe my soul to the company store…”

Or simple love songs –

“I give to you and you give to me,

True love, true love…”


Sometimes a lively polka

And then the chair would sit empty.

Grandpa would whirl/twirl us

Round and round and round

While we balanced on his stocking feet,

Laughing and throwing our heads back…

We didn’t own a care in the world.


Old, old chair

A place to catch your breath

After the dancing’s done.

A place to sink down into comfort

Or nestle in a familiar lap.

Seat cushion now cracked and split

Spilling stuffing outward

Great creases running like lifelines

Streaks of summer lightning.



Writer’s Block: A Revision

My mind is the Sahara Desert.

Thoughts run aimlessly,

a caravan caught in endless sandstorms.

My pen rides, a stranger in my hand,

cloaked, anxious, mysterious:

searching for oases

rich in palms and shimmering waters

where words can be consumed. 


I’m almost there!

I run, bend down

to quench my burning thirst.

The waters shrink away,

and now my thirst rages

much stronger than before.


I stare at this shiny-white page,

that blinds me

like the hot sands beneath the desert sun,

and the words vanish…

I Could Live Like That!

The mentor text for my poem is a poem by Gerald Stern, “Saying the First Words”


I could live like that…

Never setting my alarm clock,

Tossing out my wristwatches,

Taking luxurious naps in the afternoons,

Watching old movies until midnight.


I could surround myself with books

And curl up in my wood-paneled library

With a warm fire flickering

And read undisturbed for hours!


I could love this freedom,

Having no place to go

And nothing to do –

No schedules to keep,

And the quiet

Slowness of an unhurried life –

I could live like that!

LBI 2011 (85)



My Favorite Season

Autumn is my favorite time of year, so I wrote another tribute to this season for today’s post.

Autumn leaves fall

in a frenzy of jazzy colors,

Like shiny notes plucked

from a violin or cello.

Scarlet and pumpkin,

some the color of summer straw,

While others are already

the color of crisp, cinnamon toast.

The colors crunch under November feet,

creating a rainbow collage in

a one thousand-piece puzzle…

Making me wonder if Autumn

would like to be known as



What is White? A Color Poem

Creamy clouds that float across the skies,

Fluffy, long-tailed cats with almond eyes.

Sweet marshmallows in steamy cocoa cups,

December moons until the sun comes up.

Wedding veils that hide a pretty face,

Grandma’s doilies, old and made with lace.

Snowy storms make Old Man Winter’s play,

Frothy tips of waves that dot the bay.

Space to rest between a writer’s words,

Sounds of silence – thoughts not heard.

Lily of the valley upon my garden walk,

Daisies, paper, milk, and sometimes chalk.

Summer t-shirts, dresses, slacks, and shoes,

White, the summer color we often choose.

Seconds slowly eating up the day,

Your feelings when a friend has gone away.

Twilight as it flutters through the sky,

A newborn baby’s hungry cry.

Often, it’s completely out of sight,

Both sad and happy – that is WHITE!

I am Missing All of This…

I am missing all of this:

the sunshine that melts on my tanned face

as I stand in the riding ring

watching the up-downers learn how to post.

The smell of alfalfa hay and clean shavings,

the sweet and pungent smell of warm manure.


I am missing the simple chores –

raking the courtyard in a criss-cross pattern,

dragging a hose to fill water buckets,

sweeping the paved and brick floors in each section,

even stacking hay in the loft in towering columns.


The swish of tails and the soft nickers of strong-withered beauties.

The peals of laughter from campers at overnights.

The Peter, Paul and Mary songs we sang,

gathered around a blazing bonfire and

the midnight trail rides to Valley Forge Park.


I miss the weekend horse shows from sunup to sundown,

the special brunch after the Thanksgiving Day Hunt,

the traditional Christmas party at the stables

and always going with Dave to choose the tree,

the early morning hours to braid manes and tails,

bandage legs, load tack in the trunk, load horses in trailers.


I miss the walks to the pasture to release horses to buck and play,

the walks to the creek with Winnie dog to teach her how to swim, 

the evenings sitting on the stone ledge outside the courtyard,

sitting in silence before I went home,

watching the fireflies blink on and off

in the inky, sweaty-warm June night

and filling the trees like tiny Christmas lights.

All Around

 I am missing all of it,

each and every day!

All Around Farms



Welcome, Spring!

When Old Man Winter comes

In the middle of a snowy night,

December’s magic unfolds.

He sends playful snowflakes that chase

One another through dark skies,

Pile up on bare-branched trees,

Silence the world in whirling whiteness.


When the Young Maiden appears,

She softly steps, renewing the grass

And magically awakening the earth.

Trees and gardens remember their colors

As she send raindrops through dark skies,

Moistening the soil and greening the world.

Full of sweet days, warm and cool,

She sets her picnic table to celebrate with us.

The sun, her best friend for this party,

This celebration of beauty and life.

Welcome, Spring, Welcome!