Play Me One More Song

Brother, come and play me one more song
For my load is heavy, my sight bleary
My days are now few where once they thronged
And my thoughts they grow ever more weary

We knew someday this day would come
Brother, come and play me one more song
The path we traveled together at last is done
For we have traveled this road so very long

You have known me all my days
From boy to man in all my ways

Give me one more memory before long
For there’s little chance I’ll make another
Brother, come and play me one more song
It would warm this heart of mine like no other

For my time is done this much is true
And when I’m gone I’ll heed you to be strong,
But ‘till we meet again I ask this last thing of you
Brother, come and play me one more song


At dVerse Jennifer Wagner asks us to write about brothers “from any angle”. Using what I’ll call a disrupted Quartern, my muse chose the final angle.

dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Poetics : Oh Brother!

National Poetry Month – Day 14

When Never Happened

Sunlight streaming through my window
May as well be a cloudy day
Heartache and desire chill my spine
When thoughts of never come into play

Waking next to you that morning
The epitome of everything I once dreamed
The dread of reality crashing down immediately
Making me want to cry and scream

Moving my head forward was easy,
why does my heart keep stepping back?

Ignorance is bliss it is true
What could never happen would not be so
But the morning after never – happened
And I cannot undo what I now know

The feel of you beneath me, yielding
The dance of your fingers along my spine
The wanting with every fiber of my being
All the while knowing you will never be mine

Moving my head forward was easy,
why does my heart keep stepping back?
Stepping back to never

And if I could, I’d give this all away
But a song I never thought to sing
Was given voice for some reason
Now forever a reminder of this thing

It’s a bitch knowing the gods played us
It’s too cruel of both joy and regret
And the thing is most days I’m just fine
But today I’m an unstrung marionette

Moving my head forward was easy,
why does my heart keep stepping back?
Stepping back to never,
to when never happened.


Drifting on a memory

Theme Thursdays | Never


Can’t call a soul to my defense
The blame is mine, this wound immense
Don’t fall! Don’t fall! – sworn to uphold
The secrets of new spring leaves hold
The heart, the soul, can’t be controlled
You paint the sky with stars so bold
My vow too gone to be consoled
The secrets learned too late are cold
This love for you never is told
For to another yours is doled
Love found, yet lost, is the penance
To ache in this profound silence


Because I have not done a poetic form in a while – today’s form: Duo-Rhyme (12 line)

The Duo-rhyme, is a 10 or 12-line poem, with the first two and last two lines having the same rhyme scheme, and the center of the poem (lines #3 through #8 or #10) having their own separate mono-rhyme scheme.

Meter: 8 beats per line, written in iambic tetrameter (4 linear feet of iambic)

Rhyme Scheme: 10-line: a,a,b,b,b,b,b,b,a,a  or 12-line: a,a,b,b,b,b,b,b,b,b,a,a

 dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Open Link Night – 144

Time Keeps On Slipping…

March has been an odd month for me these past few years —

Except for the staunchest of my winter loving friends, most of us in the Northern Hemisphere have all reached our saturation point of cold and snow by now and want it all gone already. The hope of the longed for First Day of Spring finally arriving lightens my mood.  Even though there is still several inches of snow on the ground, with more expected tonight, the thought of soon being able to put my down coat away for the season warms me immensely.

Of course, there is celebrating the birth of my first-born. Like all mamas of adult children I can still see the wide-eyed sparkle of those newborn eyes brought home oh so many years ago in the very eyes that roll, yet again, in some annoyance that I’ve -probably  happily – inflicted upon them.  Pretty much as I am sure I will do so again tonight when we meet up for birthday dinner. I’m Mom – it’s in the unwritten job description.

What has caught me off guard this year is what usually has been at the forefront of my mind on March 1st, these past few years.  I got to today, March 3rd, before the now 9th anniversary of my late-husband’s passing registered. I mean, it is not as if I did not know it was coming, after all his birthday – only a couple of weeks ago – is an automatic reminder.  Not to mention, I’ve had nearly a decade of it now. Yet the day itself came and went without so much as a blip to my conscience. I only noticed this morning, because someone else brought him up in conversation, that I had not noticed it even in passing thought. It truly was just another day.

I am not sure how I feel about that.

One hand, it is as clear-cut of a sign as can be that I no longer grieve for him. But, in reality, I stopped grieving years ago, because I am not the kind to wallow in such an emotion for so long before I make my own self sick of it. Which is a good thing, I know it is.  Still, there is this tiny little part of me that for the first ever wonders does it mean that I am slowly forgetting him? And while that bothers me just a little, very much like the month of March, my emotions on this are a fluid thing.

It has been nine years – isn’t it the way it should be? I think so, I think…

After all, how long do I continue to mark time in this way? Yet only a few days ago I was conversing with a friend about a certain point in recent time and what was my immediate point of reference? Whether or not Bill was around at that point and to calculate from there.  Clearly, I have not forgotten him and won’t be anytime soon.  Yet March 1st came and went without thought of him. Didn’t think that would happen either.




Black Label Autumn Memories

As I am  walking to the train station this morning a tiny flash of something bright falls just outside of my vision. It is a small golden leaf that lands on my shoulder. Being in my favorite season, I smile at the thought of autumn in New York City coming to its glory. I start to simply flick it off and go on about my day, but it somehow lands in my palm instead.

Then the heart does the one thing nothing else can do – make time stop for a moment as I am transported back some twenty years into the past.

It is a Sunday evening, the last night of an impromptu weekend trip with my late-husband to the Poconos. He is inside refreshing a drink. I am outside in my underwear leaning on the porch rail enjoying the view of the mountains that are basked in the warm bright colors of early sunset that washed the autumn foliage before me in rich shades before the sun reaches the ochre and indigo phases of its descent. With the annoying ability to walk on cat feet when he chooses to I do not hear him approach, but the heat from the eternal furnace that is his body reaches me just before he does and I turn to face him. He has on even less than I, and by the easy smile playing along his lips I am well aware of how much he likes what he sees before him. Wordlessly, he takes a slow sip of his drink as he reaches up to pull something from my hair and let it go. I extend my hand and a small golden leaf falls onto my open palm. It rests only for a moment before he gently blows it away and steps into my arms to kiss me. I remember wishing that we had more time there to enjoy ourselves before heading back to reality.

And reality reasserts itself back into my current life as a warm gust of air gently blows the fallen leaf from my palm.

It felt so eerily like his breath on my palm from that long ago evening; I shivered in remembrance. I have been trying to shake it off all morning, but here I am decades after the fact, hours after the memory, wishing I could once again enjoy the taste of Black Label on his lips.


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Slice of Life - Two Writing Teachers

Slice of Life Weekly Challenge | Two Writing Teachers

What’s In A Word…

What’s in a word? Sometimes too much and yet not enough.

A friend and I, who had not seen each other in a long while, were on our way to dinner when I ran into an erstwhile colleague. As we exchanged greetings, I introduced them to each other as such, friend and erstwhile colleague. When we parted ways, my friend asks why I was so specific in my introductions. As a response I asked her the names of my children, their ages and my birthday. Basically things most of my casual friends would know, but not necessarily a colleague or an acquaintance, especially a former one. The colleague would not have known such information about me when we worked together; he and I were never friends. I’m not even speaking on good friends or best friends here, just friends. You know the people who have not risen to such importance in your life that you would invite them to join in on your vacation, but you would be happy to have them over for a back yard barbecue. I have colleagues I consider friends and would them invite to barbecue. There are other colleagues that I will hang out with socially for the occasional happy hour after work get together, but would not invite to my house. Then there are the ones, like the one above, where my only interactions with them are on the job.

We have become this society so afraid of hurting another’s feelings, that we oftentimes will give elevated credence to people to avoid potentially embarrassing or insulting them. The advent of Facebook has truly downplayed the definition of a friend. It is even sneaky in that you can set certain people to be an acquaintance without them knowing it. Yes, technically it is so you can post things to your status that your only friends can see, but they themselves would never know that you only consider them an acquaintance, not a friend. We  differentiate friend from good friend and best friend. One really has to earn their stripes for those titles, but dumping everyone one else into this generic friend folder does not work for me. Just because you are not a complete stranger to me does not automatically make you a friend, let alone my friend.

So what’s the big deal? How much does it really hurt anything to call someone a friend who is not? What’s the harm? For many – there is no big deal. It will not hurt a thing. When someone I consider a friend introduces another to me as a friend, I immediately presume that this new person is at the very least of some minor importance to the one doing the introductions. I may be more open to that person, give a certain level of respect to them based on that information. After all, based on the mutual person between us, a friend of yours is a potential friend of mine. However, if a friend introduces someone to me as a co-worker or colleague I am immediately friendly, but guarded. Until indicated otherwise, s/he is not necessarily a person to start sharing embarrassing remember the time? stories with. For me to casually introduce him as a friend a) elevates him to a status he has not earned in my life and b) undermines the importance of those in my life I truly consider friends. And to me that is harmful.

In the midst of a conversation regarding people who carelessly or blatantly misspell a person’s name someone exclaimed to me “Oh, don’t you just hate that?” Without really thinking about it I said that I did not hate it. So yes, I with the unique, some would say weirdly, spelled moniker was looked at with obvious surprise. And be honest, we are all guilty of casually throwing out the hate and love words for really trivial things from time to time. I explained there is a reason people complain that words like love and hate and friend has lost the power of their meaning. Collectively they have become so over used for such meaningless things as to be near meaningless themselves. Hate is all-consuming. Hate drives your day-to-day existence, becomes your most prevalent thoughts in all things. You channel so much of your energy into that which you hate, nearly all else takes a backseat to it. The barista at Starbucks who wrote Raven on my cup when I clearly spelled out R-A-I-V-E-N-N-E was worthy of my pissed-off tongue lashing when I saw it. Once I said what I had to say, I walked out the door not giving it or him a second thought. Because annoying as it was — why bother having me spell it if he was going to do whatever he wanted any way?– it was hardly worthy of my expending such energy required as to hate him. I’ll save that for the racists, sexists etc. out there who deign to wreak havoc on people’s lives for no other reason than their own stupidity and yes hatred. See? There is an enormous difference between “Oh, don’t you just hate fat people? And “Oh, don’t you just hate when people misspell your name?


“I love crossword puzzles.”
“I love those shoes.”
“I love sports.”
“I love my best friend.”
“I love my spouse/significant other.”
“I love *insert deity of choice here*.”

Yeah, I am not even going go any further on the far too many ways in which we abuse the word love. That one word encompasses so much, to make it feel so belittled sometimes.  After all, how I feel about Doughnut Plant’s coconut creme filled square doughnuts, while pure, deep  and true, is hardly comparable to that of how I felt about my late-husband. Yet,  many others would use the word love to convey both feelings – that’s how little credence  we’re now giving to the word.  Other languages, especially Asian languages get it right in having specific words/phrases for different types of love to solve the this.  I think the English language fails us greatly here to have one such word encompass so many things. And as a poet it is a major frustration on just how limited it is to rhyme!

It is true – any word we use only has the power we give it and conversely the power we take away by the over use of it. Certain curse words/phrases hold their power because we are told we not supposed to use them. The power of those words has carried on through the centuries at least until recent modern times. They are used so cavalierly these days, the shock value of them is slowly wearing off. Hopefully not in our lifetime, but soon enough, the washing of a child’s mouth out with soap for such an offense will be a dying antiquated notion.

There is a reason we have all these different terms for people and things in our lives. The people we have as friends, share our love with, even give our hate to should never roll off trivially from our lips, yet they do because the words themselves, that should be held with reverence and spoken with care, are becoming trivial. We should learn to use at least those three words friend, love and hate,  for their specialness as intended and use them properly.


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Slice of Life Writing Challenge : Two Writing Teachers


Always the adventurer, I did not want to take advantage of the soulmate clock when I was in my late teens as most do. I wanted the joy of discovery, the surprise of finding that perfect person for me on my own, you know? I hadn’t told anyone at the time, but I was afraid. What if the clock said my soulmate was years, even decades away? It was always possibility. Did I really want to know that I could be an old lady before I met *the one*? Therefore, I did not get one. However, I had promised my best friend that if I had not found the one by the time I was forty I would consent to get a countdown clock. One spectacularly failed marriage and my fortieth birthday later, I was held to my word. I got a soulmate countdown clock and I waited.

And waited.

Oh, trust me, I had me some fun while I waited, but I waited.

Twenty-two years, three months, six days and far too many hours, minutes and seconds. That is how long I’ve waited.

Per the usage rules, depending on the time frame, a client comes in the day before or morning of the event horizon to have the device checked one last time. Apparently, there were many people in my area who were meeting their soon to be significant others today. The place was so packed it was literally draw by straws to parcel folks out to other units to handle the load. Even so, I was among the last seen for the morning appointments. Still, I have to admit, after waiting all this time; the excitement gripped me as I finally hear my name called.

Martin is my friendly neighborhood technician and runs through the required spiel. Reminding me of all the things which I have heard countless times from other clock users over the years. That, in a nutshell, the clocks can only predict when you will meet, not how long you’ll live happily ever after and after a certain age the clocks are less reliable and while essentially love can be found at any time in one’s life, this was pretty much my last shot with the clock for my old ass. I try not to roll my eyes as Martin states all of this in much more diplomatic and politically correct manner, of course.

From another room, we hear a young woman’s squeal of excitement.

“Oh I know that sound!” Martin, grins. “That’s a new one whose clock has just turned on. It must mean her soulmate count down is really short. She’ll be meeting him or her soon, the lucky gal! Hey look, you too!” Martin turns my wrist to show me as if I didn’t already know that.

0y, 0m, d, 0h, 4m, 42s. Holy shit! I didn’t know!

“That’s less than five minutes!” I yell totally caught off guard. What should have been a 30 minutes process had cost me nearly half of the morning.

“Well I know it ain’t me, honey! Get the hell out of here and go meet him! GO!” He literally pulls me out the chair and opens the door, shooing me out of the room.

I hurry to the now empty waiting area. I glance at my watch, 0y, 0m, d, 0h, 3m, 31s and beeline for the main door to the street.

With a couple of minutes to spare, I straighten myself out as much as possible. I toss an errant curl behind my ear before I spot him across the street. Tall, salt and peppered curling hair, to match his equally salted stubble and our eyes connect. I feel a pull. I feel it from the depths of my being as my breath catches. I can tell it is the same for him as he gasps.  He glances at his clock and I glance at mine…

0y, 0m, d, 0h, 0m, 51 s.

He grins at me knowingly, as the street light changes and he steps from the curb.

I am looking at his face, loving his smile, watching the confident strut of his stride all the while chastising myself for being all-aflutter when a cacophony of sound draws my attention. A soul wrenching combination of yelling, tires screeching, glass breaking and metal crunching together. My soul lurches again as I realize my newly found mate is no longer striding towards me, but is now several feet away a tangle of blood and bones. I don’t even think about it – I run to him.

The moment I grasp his hand all sound mutes, but that of our hearts falling into sync. He turns his head to look at me, he tries to smile, to speak, but he can’t. I happen to be holding the hand with his countdown clock and quickly glance at mine comparing times 3…2…1…

0y, 0m, d, 0h, 0m, 0 s – they match.

His hand goes limp in mine and I know.

I use my other hand to close the lids on eyes that no longer see me.

Still Breathing

It’s been two hours,
I’m trying not to let the sadness bombard
Wondering how to heal this heart so scarred
My body gasps for air, but it’s too hard

It’s been two hours, and I want to stop breathing

It’s been two days,
I’m worn out from the sleep denied me
From the fullness of the pain inside me
When I’m as empty as the bottle of Jack beside me

It’s been two days, wondering why I bother breathing

It’s been two weeks,
I said I wouldn’t write another word
About you and all that has occurred
Yet fresh tears making new lines blurred

It’s been two weeks, the hurt tells me I’m barely breathing

It’s been two months,
No longer needing Mister Daniels to cope
For the first time not wanting to wallow and mope
Resolving to end this broken heart trope

It’s been two months, and yet I’m still breathing

Hell yes, I’m still breathing…

To Dream Or Not To Dream…

You unexpectedly run your fingers gently along the side of my face and, knowing me well, before I can think to question you about it, you place your lips upon mine and we kiss.


When we slowly pull away we are breathless and I open my eyes to the dark emptiness of my room.

And realize it was only a dream.

Now, I lay awake undecided.

Am I more afraid that I won’t have that dream again…

Or that I will.

What’s Yours?


No I cannot forgive you yet
No I cannot forgive you yet
You leave us all in debt
I should have known…

When the Foo Fighter’s song “I Should Have Known” came out, group lead Dave Grohl stated -and he does have a point- that anything he writes relating to loss or death, the public will generally read into it that it is in some fashion related to the suicide of his Nirvana band mate, Kurt Cobain. However, the song becomes especially more haunting and Cobain related for those of us that knew that Dave was joined by two other members of the now defunct Nirvana as guests musicians on this song.  And while Grohl certainly understands why the public instantly makes the connection to Cobain here, he has stated repeatedly that yes Kurt is in there, the song was not specifically about him.

And that I can understand…

For  just as much as I feel the impact of the loss Cobain in this song, as I also feel the loss of my late-husband…

I was home  -thank goodness- when I first heard the song. On that very first listen, by the end of the first stanza, I remember I stopped everything I was doing at the moment, sat down and just listened to the song on repeat. “I Should Have Known” immediately reminded me of some of the stages of grieving, I went through…

The guilt: I’m still standing here, You leave my heart in debt, caught me unawares

But especially the crescendo as Grohl refrains No I cannot forgive you yet.

It’s raw, it’s pounding, you can all but see the fury and anguish pouring out. For those of us who have walked the grieving path, especially for the loss of someone who left us unexpectedly, we know this. We know it too well.

When my husband passed away, I recall being in that anger stage for a very long time.

A. Very. Long. Time…

And this song took me right back there to that very first year of grieving.  It hit me so hard, that when I was finally able to turn the song off an hour later, I was hurt and wanted to scream all over again.  This song is  such a brilliant mood changer for me, even now.  Here I am -some seven years after my husband’s passing and two years after the song’s debut- that the moment I heard those first opening chords of the strings through my iPod, it still gave me a moment’s pause, that I stopped reading my book and just listened.

Enough of a pause that, hours later, I still had to acknowledge it and write this blog.

Everyone has a song that gives them pause… what’s yours?