A Long Season

Feeling every second of the long season, it had been an especially rough time for her these past months. She can, and has done little else but, imagine how his penchant to skin a razor with his trade likely had him meander a little too long. She knows it was not greed that delayed him, compared to the mediocre craftsmanship of what was immediately available, he knew what their wares were worth and would not accept a sou less than. She did not begrudge him for an instant for it, but winter had assailed the mountain early. Its velvety white touch unusually brutal and endless, it was unsafe to travel the passage.

She thought she would go mad stewing in helpless isolation with the same cask of chores to occupy her days. Checking the store of supplies, because how on earth did those darn insects keep getting into the flour was beyond her ken, as if there were aught she could do had she run out. Checking the flue near religiously because only one lesson of waking, and nearly choking, in a dark smoke fill room was enough. He usually did that – checked the flue among other things. God how she missed him! His bawdy laugh, his soft whispers, his strong hands.  Her one solace had been her sewing. As his lutalica was what made him a master craftsman in his trade, she was with hers. A massive quilt in shades of blue, with white stars and one small red comet, with coordinating pillow covers, now adorned the bed she wearily crawled into.

She did not need a calendar to know winter was nearly over.  The winds were not so brisk. When she ventured out, the sweet scent of something green in the air adds to the warm sunshine finally reaching the foothills. With heavy lids she pressed her cheek to a star festooned pillow at last, even as she looked out of the window to the cold dark night and smiled with hope. The passage would be open and he would be home soon.


Seeing Stars, Charcoal – Karin Gustafson

Sunday Wordle #292
Sweet, Touch, Months, Adds, Sunshine, Stew, Cask, Red, Velvety, Smoke, Foothills, Long

MLMM Wordle #148
Cheek, Heavy, Insect, Skin a Razor(Drive a hard bargain), Instant, Greed, Helpless, Meander, Assail, Mediocre, Passage, Lutalica{Lutalica: The Part of Your Identity That Doesn’t Fit Into Categories)

Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem. The words can appear in an alternate form, in any order that you like.

ManicDDaily – Seeing Stars, charcoal
This story was going to be something different, and from a male perspective until I saw Karin’s lovely art, then everything changed.


It’s a small place, but it is our own
Its mandatory comforts aren’t much fuss
Fuss doesn’t hold credence with folks like us
Be it ever so humble, it is our home

The front faces north and east
Its perimeter acres from anyone
The southwest view catches the setting sun
Between sunrise and sunset a visual feast

An aquamarine lake past woods beyond compare
I choose the rooms I live in with care

I’m a simple person with simple needs
“It shows” tease my friends with a smile
Yet they all seem to stay for more than a while
It’s richness they say is my heart and deeds

Our décor to some leaves much to be desired
Erratic colors from when we bought the place
And only a minimum of furnishing fill the space
I confess myself it’s not very inspired

Some say simple, some say austere
The windows are small and the walls almost bare

For us the beauty of this place is past the four walls
Enjoying each dawn of nature’s reception
And dusky colors beyond conception
As nature paints new pictures winter, spring, summer, fall

At home, it seems the stars shine as never before
Full moons deflect the dark echoes of silence of country nights
A most different view to our former noisy city lights
Haley’s comet is nothing to how it makes my heart soar

And at night there’s only one with whom to share
There’s only one bed and there’s only one prayer

Some say I am obsessed and such
It seems this house and you are all I know
The increment of time makes it more so
But I know you love this place just as much

As each day passes, it grows even more warm
Our humble home with its vista so grand
Such good fortune in life, more than I can stand
Each night I sleep soundly, holding your sweet form

And on the rare working night, when I’m holding air
I listen all night for your step on the stair

(Italicized lines from Leonard Cohen’s “Tonight Will Be Fine”)

Today at dVerse Purple Pen In Portland (Sara McNulty) is tending bar and asks us to imagine that you have been given free rein to design any type of building you wish. As I already have poems of my abode out there, I decided to take this from the view of someone a whose style is little – read very – different from mine.

dVerse | Poetics: Poetics:DIY Building 

Real Toads: The Tuesday Platform

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.


Come see what others are slicing about at Two Writing Teachers

Slice of Life - Two Writing Teachers

Slice of Life Weekly Challenge | Two Writing Teachers

Verbal Diarrhea Diaries: Never Been Told

Chatting with an acquaintance on the subway this morning, she and I are politely, but nonetheless giggling at shared memories and the fact that I have clearly caught the eye of the male sitting across from me. I’m wearing mirrored sunglasses and one of the things I love most about them is that while my head can be facing you, you have no way of knowing with certainty if I am in fact looking at you. It comes in handy for ignoring the guy who is using every non-verbal attempt short of semaphores to subtly garner.

Knowing he’s being ignored, I give him moxie points for getting out of his seat to stand directly in front and say “Hello.” My acquaintance grins broadly as even I cannot ignore what’s less than three feet in front of me. Thus I look up and return the greeting.

“Has anyone ever told you, you’re very beautiful?” He smiles almost bashfully, and damn it all to hell, the Grand Canyon of dimples craters his cheeks. Because who adores cute guys with deep dimples?-This gal.

“Why thank you.” I smile beguilingly in return. “But honestly, look at me. Do you really think I’ve never been told that before?”

To his credit he grins undeterred and the canyon gets deeper. He fixes me with a brown doe-eyed stare as he gathers the gumption to continue. “Fair enough” He nods sheepishly at last, “I’m almost to my stop, I’d still like to ask you out to dinner.”

“You can ask, but the answer will be no.”

I know age is just a number and all that hoo-hah, but the thought of this going down the presumed natural procession and my one-day having to introduce him to the Baal and Beelzebub tag-team duo known as my sons gives me just pause. It takes everything I have to not guffaw in his earnest face at the thought of the scenario of my grown sons giving me the side-eye for dating someone likely ten years their junior. The train pulls into the next station and I can tell by his rueful expression, this is his stop. He starts to speak, but I quickly cut him off.

“Look, I’ve got acne scars from my teens older than you.  Thank you, really, but no. You better hurry before you miss your stop.” I say dismissively. Peripherally I can see my acquaintance’s jaw come slightly unhinged at my words. I ignore her, fixing the would-be Lothario with a pointed stare that I know he can glean, even with my sunglasses on. He nods once, turns and exits the train. I exhale not even realizing I had held my breath until it came rushing out of me.

“Has anyone ever told you, you’re a bitch?” She shakes her head at me laughing, watching as the doors close quickly behind him.

“Why thank you.” I smile. “But honestly, look at me. Do you really think I’ve never been told that before?”

One Chance

I watch her walk away
Admire her hips’ swing
The heat of her strong gait
The clink of her bracelets
Her back solid and straight

I watch her walk away
Her dress I guess is silk
It melts like second skin
Then vales in gentle folds
Accents all held within

I watch her walk away
Her looks water my knees
There’s one chance left to take
“Miss Wait!” I want to yell
Instead hear my heart break

I watch her walk away
And do not say a word
Inside I start to cry
Too shy to say hello
I’ve sealed the deal goodbye


My take on the dVerse prompt on when words fail…

dVerse ~ Poets Pub  | MeetingTheBar ~ When Words Fail

To Be Or Not To Be Guilty…

In the past few weeks, there seems to have been a spike of discussion online and in real life of females who have Friends With Benefits (FWBs) versus “a real” relationship and whether or not it is settling. I find this uniquely interesting as it is mostly the females who felt a sense of “less-than” or guilt for their choices. Most males do not feel any lessening of their self-worth for having FWBs, let alone guilt. So why are so many females so hung up over it. For simplicity I am going to mostly stick with the cisgender heterosexual monogamous relationships as I write, honestly because it’s easier, but the  subject crosses genders, sexualities and poly/mono -gamies.

Just as I had to work out my own issues, everyone must decide their sexual comfort levels that for themselves. I am not providing a How To on getting around/past/over said guilt. This is simply my two cents on why so many women seem to have this guilt in the first place. Your mileage will definitely vary.

I think a lot of the “guilt” some women put on themselves about sex outside of a relationship and/or marriage is rooted in the things taught to us growing up. Whether covertly or overtly a lot of it comes down do modern society’s taint that sex should be about love. In short, women should only be having sex with the person in which she shares mutual love. And if the mutual love is there then they should be married. Blame the “happily ever after” Prince Charming fed to little girls through Disney princess animations and every romantic comedy where gal gets the guy tropes as adults. Unfortunately, these far from realistic ideals of love and romance become so ingrained in our psyches, that come adulthood if it’s not Fourth of July fireworks, swelling arias, heart beat skipping breathlessness 24/7 it’s then it is somehow “less than” and is therefore settling.

Every female that reaches adulthood has heard “If you’re good enough to have sex with you then you’re good enough to marry”. While more experienced females, married or not, tend to have less of a bias on the subject, it is still very hard for most young females to work through the duality of wanting to satisfy a basic need versus “what would Mama think?” It is a grace to the modern times that couples who live together have far less of a stigma now than as few as fifty years ago. That we are now in the 21st Century has very little bearing on these core beliefs handed down to us through the ages since Adam and Eve.  And speaking of the First Couple… Compound all of the above with the thought of many religions which equate, and condemn, sex outside of the marital bed as being a sin.

The magic of the marital bed, in and of itself is funny as it does not 100% absconds one from the guilt of sex. I know many women that have been married or in long term relationships for years, but still will not have sex in their parent’s home when going for an extended family visit. I can pretty much guarantee that 90% of the time it is the female who has the hang-up about it. And 90% of that 90% is due to the fear of what their dear moms would think. These are from women who clearly did not arrive upon this earth via immaculate conception, yet the very thought of their mothers even thinking that they themselves are doing the very thing that gave them life, though they have every legal and “moral” right to as a married person, still makes them uncomfortable.

And while according to the adage the numbers of “size” doesn’t matter, oh but the number of partners a female has seem to do. Even a woman who is a serial monogamist has this magic intangible number that suddenly transforms her from  someone continually looking, but failing to find love, to becoming something…else.  A woman with one FWB is merely is not even pretending that what she is doing is about finding love and at best is “settling”, at worst she too becomes the ambiguous “something…else”. However, females happily engaging in multiple FWBs may then have wonderful pseudonyms from trollop to whore attached to their deeds as the classic double standards of the Madonna/Whore syndrome rears its nasty little head. Because oddly enough, even after all this time, since Eve said “Yes” oh so long ago, the onus to say “No”, to resist temptation – especially sexual temptation, is almost always on the female. Thus, those of us who can’t or simply won’t resist are in the wrong.

After all, we all know boys will be boys, but  good girls don’t.

When society in general has managed to create this dichotomy that glorifies and vilifies sex, even for those who have “the rights” to do it, really, is it any wonder so many women have guilt?


That’s my two cents for today – come see how others are slicing:

Slice of Life - Two Writing Teachers

Tuesday Slice of Life Writing Challenge – Two Writing Teachers


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…

Verbal Diarrhea Diaries: I’ll Be Damned

So, a guy emails me through an online dating site:

“I am going to assume that my profile is too casual/risqué for you, but I thought I’d shoot you a line anyway. (You have a fetching smile.)”

Of course I check out his profile. He states he wants a FWB, not looking for serious dating and is desirous of a woman with intelligence.

Got it – he wants a fuck, just not a dumb one.

My response?


My dentist and I thank you.

“Check you out!” as the kids say, throwing down the gauntlet on the opening play.

If I respond in the negative I come off as looking prudish, yet a positive one is indicative that I am open to only being someone ‘beneficial’. If I am open to such with you, who else have I been beneficial to? Providing I am someone simpatico to your intelligence and views to be worthy of said fornication.

Damned if I do and damned if I do. Fiddley-dee, whatever is a woman to do?

Oh, I can pick up that gauntlet and cyber strike you across the face with it. (Insert emoticon with tongue sticking out here.) [<– Yes, I actually wrote it out as such.]

Ya gonna take that?


This is not to say I would or would not go for a roll –or a few- in the hay with him. He is attractive and arrogant and just the sort of ego balloon I like to stick my pins in and pop.

Regardless, one has to prove worthiness of my wrapping these thick juicy thighs around, and that ain’t the way, Bub.

Losing Score

Smoke filled rooms stage the plays
Gyrating bodies form a human maze
The next face may be for always
Looking for true love through the haze

Words barley audible through the din
As if what’s wanted is conversation
And if it doesn’t work tonight, tomorrow try again
It doesn’t take much persuasion

Another night of pretext, a major pretension
A small piece of latex, the true intention

Variations on a theme standing still
The titles change, the players remains
Clubhouse, disco, honky talk, bar & grill
And the morning’s desperation of remembering names

Another night, another chance to explore
Last night found what you were looking for
Hung out, now hung over the cool white throne
This morning finds you still all alone

Smelling of cheap everything, feeling cheaper all the more
Playing a game, that guarantees a losing score


dVerse ~ Poets Pub |  OpenLinkNight Week: 125


Spine Poem - book stackSadomasochism,
the right mistake.

Beauty’s punishment.

The girl who played with fire,
catching fire.

What you pay for, under a velvet cloak

The subtle knife

The golden ass

Twinkie, deconstructed


dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Form for All: The Hidden Poetry in Books

This is a new form (for me) called Sorted-book, or Spine poetry. In essence, a sorted-book or spine poem is a poem found or created from book titles from the spines of books. A photograph of the books is a part of the form itself.*

As I will not have time to go to a library to find/create something more comprehensive, the above is from a set of books I am donating to a local LBGT Center. That they were easily accessible by being right next to my computer helped.

And for those who may be confused by the placement of the last book/line in the poem here’s Urban Dictionary to help: Twink

I’ve since lost the photo, not sure how, and donated the books as stated. *Apologies.