Words Fail


For Poet’s United, Midweek Motif.  Sumana has the prompt which is words.

Words Fail

“Actions speak louder than words” – old proverb

Words –
A poor way to communicate.
How often words are taken amiss –
to cause anger, make glad, cause tears,
a different language sounds like gibberish –
reduce one to helpless snorts and guffaws.

the touch of a gentle hand upon one’s shoulder
a smile, a frown, the rolling of the eyes,
lips pursed or a blush –
the wind through the trees
the soft peep of peepers down at the creek
on a warm summer night
or the hooting of an owl
in a crystal night with a sky full of stars
in the depths of a cold winter night…
the things that speak to the soul
rather than to the ears –
Words can fail.

Open Link Night 165: Pine Barrens

This is for dVerse Open Link – poems of all forms and subjects can be linked today.  I am submitting a portion from a long cyle in progress:  Pine Barrens.  It is in the style of the imagists.  Eventually, there may be haiku or tanka as part of this cycle.  This is an area that has intrigued me since I first visited thirty years ago.  Come visit us for other poems or submit you own at: http://dversepoets.com/2016/02/04/openlinknight-165/
An alien land
Sugar sand
Scrub pines
Tall pines
Cedars –
Water – serene streams
Calm rivers
Blue hole – bright blue
Fathomless depths
Unfreezing in coldest winter
People disappear in its depths

A haunted land
Ghosts of long dead buildings
Long gone families
Crumbling brick skeletons
the pine barrens slowly
obliterate traces of civilization
unwelcome in this place
people disappear in its depths

Only the trees remain
Only the animals remain
Only the water remains
only the sky remains
only the silence remains

We are merely visitors there
Welcome as long as we leave quickly
and without a trace behind
People disappear in its depths

Pinelands Preservation Alliance photo

Pinelands Preservation Alliance photo



Wordless Wednesday: Lucky Clover Necklace for Clowie



Friday Flowers – Azaleas

Here are just a few of the 30 azaleas around our house and on our grounds.  Most of them are taller than me and several are roof high.  Enjoy!


wood azaleas          red azalea       bee and azalea       midnight sun clusters     fuschia azalea     white azalea close     May side yard azaleas1



November 6, 1987 The Braid

The night we stood on the walkway of the bridge
Looking up at the full moon.
You looked down at its reflection on the river,
And said to me, Do you want the moon?
I’ll go down, get, and bring it to you,
A double handful at a time.
I looked up into your eyes
And saw you were speaking truth.
You are all I want. You are enough.
One year ago to the day
You had looked through your men
At me and said, your hair smells of Mitsouko.
And gently touched the long braid of my hair.

Seven years later, I stand at the same place
On the walkway of the bridge, alone.
You left a year ago.

You loved my hair – thick and wavy with occasional threads of
White. Soft and fine as a silk thread you told me.
You’d bury your face in it
After you had taken off the silly
Rubber band I used to hold the end of the braid,
Or after you had pulled out one of the kanzashi
You brought me back, watching
As my hair flowed down.
“nagareochiru taki” You would whisper.
“Sono taki wa kirei desu.”

I stand now in the same place you stood.
I try to reach back to
Those years ago you offered me the moon.
I try to pull together the essence of you
Tight around me like a cocoon.
My heart seeks the smell of you:
Bee and flower sandalwood soap, surgical scrub,
The heady musk of your skin.

Only the moonless night and the green cold
Smell of the river are with me on the bridge.
I pull scissors from my bag and begin to
Cut my braid at my nape.
It still smells of Mitsouko.
I throw it down into the river.
The river swallows it and keeps
Its secrets.

October Haiku


Golden leaves drip dew.

Pine needle path leads us to

Fragrant  adventures.


Hidden among dry leaves

Empty hulls nestle.  Pecans

Wait to be discovered.


Red flags of sumac

Wave against an ocean of

Blue sky.  Clouds race.


Burgeoning leaves.

Parti-colored crayon box

Of gold red orange brown.


Faded leaves beautiful

In their fallen array.

Ageless pattern a reminder

That beauty is not

Always young.   

Fragrance is not always green

And strong, but delicate

And to be savored slowly.


First frost covers the

Grass.  Morning sun

Melts until night comes again.


The taste of rain cold

and sweet falls from iron sky.

My lips ask for more.


Darkness falls too fast.

Sun fades and disappears

Like summer flowers.

January Solitude Part II 2:14 am

I awaken.

Lying in the warmth of the bed

I orient myself to the strange room.

I snuggle in with satisfaction.

I am at the beach.

I am alone.

The sliding glass door

Off the balcony is cracked.

Ocean waves slough softly.

The air has a sweet smell

In addition to the salt.

I breathe more deeply

Testing the smell.

Sweet with salt?

Out of the bed and into my robe

And slippers.

I open the balcony door completely

And step outside.

It is snowing.

I stand and watch the flakes

Hurrying down to nestle on the sand.

Flakes gather on my hair

My robe

My hands and face.

Snow and ocean.

Sweet and salt.

Back into the room

And I rush to put on my clothing

And down jacket, gloves, and hat.

I grab the door key and out

Into the night.

No one is around.

I cross the sand and

Go to the edge of the surf.

Black waves, white foam

Dark sand, white snow.

I wave my arms and jump up and down.

Snow snow snow snow!

Ocean snow ocean snow!

I laugh and hold my face to the sky.

Flakes settle on my skin, my glasses.

I stick out my tongue and taste snow.

I walk along the edge.

Because of my boots,

I walk close enough

For water to touch me.

Snow and surf.

Snow and sand.

Darkness to my left.

Hotels barely lit to my right.

After awhile, I turn and head back.

Shells on the sand

Are fuzzy with snow.

Snow melts on the sand.

I turn back to the surf.

The flakes are falling faster,

Disappearing into the blackness

Of the ebbing waves.

I stand until my face is numb

And my nose runs with the cold.

I hold out my hands to collect

Flakes on my gloves.

They stay long enough for me to

Fall in love with each one

And then they disappear.



December: Thursday 3:00 a.m.

The snow started Wednesday afternoon. I drove home from work in a flurry of clustered white flakes. By the time I was home, the roads were white and the grass was covered.  The clusters turned into a mini-blizzard of individual flakes that obscured the view from my living room window.  By bedtime, several inches snow had fallen.

Excited as a child, I turned on the front porch light to watch the steadily falling snow.  I grinned and told my cat….no school tomorrow!  He yawned.  Snow days are rare in the south and knowing work would be cancelled the next day caused glee to explode in my heart.  I awoke several times and checked – still snowing.  Fast and furious with no letup in sight.  I finally settled to sleep – warm and snug with Sam at my feet.

Out of a sound sleep, I awoke with memory of snow.  I sat up and went to look out the front window.  Still snowing!  Deep snow was up to a foot against my storm door window.  I couldn’t resist the call of the snow.

I changed into a sweatshirt and sweatpants and tucked the pants into high snow boots. On went my down jacket, gloves and a muffler wound around my head, face and throat.  I opened the door and escaped into the night.

The snow was light and fluffy and was easily moved by my feet.  I looked around at the snowy nightscape.  I was in a different world – no flashlight was needed.  The snow reflected ambient light and I walked out into my yard.  All was silent except for the hissing of the snow as it fell and the scrunch of my boots in the snow.

I was in a world of silence, of calm, of peace.  I looked  up into the trees – lines of black against the grey of the sky and the white of the snow.  A sumi drawing of a different reality – a chiaroscuro of light and shadows.  I caught my breath and then breathed in the cold – a sweet smell, clear and clean.  I spread my arms wide and began to turn circles – waltzing with the snow to music only I could hear.

I took a journey around my house – stopping to eat some snow or look at how the azaleas caught the snow on their branchy fingers.  Three does and a buck regally walked through the opposite end of my yard, saw me, stopped, and continued on their royal progress with slow motion majesty.  I stood in respect to watch them pass and made a mental note to put corn out for them and other critters in the morning.

I finally went back into the house, going in through the garage, stamping my feet and shaking snow from my clothing.  I took off my wrappings to leave outside.  I put water on to boil and brought out my special large white mug.  A healthy pinch of jasmine tea, with a few extra flowers went into the bottom.  As the water hit the tea, a smell of green and flowers wafted and fragranced the air.  I looked into the mug – white flowers slowly spinning.  I walked to the window and looked – white snow flowers slowly spinning.  I turned on the TV…….ha! My office was closed.  I finished my tea and went back to bed – at peace in warmth…at peace in the night snow of my dreams.

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