Monday, August 31, 2009

Vortex and Water Wheels

There are several areas listed as vortexes, areas where spiritualist say energy is high and perfect for meditation.

Cathedral Vortex

Bell Vortex

For those who find the vortex hard to believe there are also surprise sites like this water wheel perfect for morning meditations.


A new way to serve an old favorite: Drizzle chocolate and whipped cream with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar to make a dessert out of a fried bread also called sopapilla.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sedona in August

Sedona in August can hold many surprises. Last year we arrived and the land was awash in wild flowers. This year the sights more subtle but we are still left with a sense of wonder. The pictures were taken by Bill.

Trying to Capture Sunlight

Prickly pair can quench thirst and hunger but be careful.

Red rocks contrasted to the green environment.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Shadow and Moonlight

A full moon sheds light
on the silhouette
of the thief creeping
into your daughter’s window.

He demands a kiss,
before she is sixteen,

even the strongest of wills
she tumbles into the abyss
leaving an ethereal trail

which you can’t follow
and from which
she cannot return
an innocent child.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I arrived early to my first watercolor class with enough time to maneuver my supplies up the stairway and to find the room. Other early birds and I slipped into easy conversation about class, their knowledge about the teacher and personal details about their own painting history. It was time for class but there was no sign of the instructor until a small cluster of people came out of the elevator. One was leading an elderly man by the arm, another managing a rolling suitcase full of supplies, a third one carrying a large black portfolio.

A small lean man, with wire rimmed classes said, "That's him."

I figured the instructor was the one dressed in blue denim shirt and jeans. He shuffled along the walkway. He fumbled with the keys until one of his helpers took them from him to unlock the classroom. From the hallway I could see the room flooded with lots of natural light from floor to ceiling windows.

In a flurry of activity, his helpers arranged pictures on the walls, filled containers with water, pulled out paints and brushes and arranged them on the long table, another set up a microphone and speakers. The rest of us entered then placed our own equipment on the many art tables around the room.

I loved the space but I wasn't sure about the teacher. He explained he had Parkinson disease so he needed a microphone to be heard, and his hands shook a little and sometimes a lot and he required plenty of tissue to wipe the drool that would occasionally drip from his mouth. I wanted to run but took a deep breath and looked around. He had several returning students, all of them there to support him and to offer help to anyone who needed it.

Several new students decided not to return… their loss. I chose to stay and so far have produced some amazing work for a novice painter. There is something about the teacher that makes watercolor seem simple compared to other challenges one might face in life.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Happy Birthday To You

Two cousins celebrate their birthdays together
Born three days apart a boy and a girl,
would be strangers except the same blood
runs through each of their fathers...

brothers and now their offspring cavort
on the grass and play games with each other
as they celebrate their birthdays together.

The kids play tic tac toe and musical chairs
chase bubbles and pose for pictures
toss water balloons and hit the pinata
collect prizes and sing happy birthday.

The siblings, a group of three boys,
watch from on top of a wooden fort
as the eldest in each of their families

are treated like a king and queen
and take the center of attention to open gifts
and bask in the warmth of other’s generosity.

Ahhh to be nine again so cheerful and carefree
the last point on the number line before they
move to two digits and adolescences

and onward to adulthood. Happy Birthday
sweet children, Happy Birthday to you.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Happy Anniversary

This is for my husband. We will celebrate forty
years of marriage tomorrow.

Dear Sweet William Happy Anniversary!

I knew I loved you the first time you smiled at me
then ordered a medium root beer at the Sears’
food counter in the Buena Park Mall.

I was seventeen, you eighteen, both of us recent
graduates from high school. You worked in the toy
department, across the aisle, and had to
build up the courage to ask me out.

You were so suave when you said nonchalantly,
“So… where shall we go this Saturday night?”

I replied, “Meet me after work. We will talk then.”

Without a blink I served you the drink and went
on about my business. My heart pounded
in my chest, hardly able to breathe because you would
be my first date. The minutes between then and closing
seem to go on forever. Finally it was time to quit
and we rushed out to the parking lot.

I sat in the black Pontiac, you borrowed from your brother,
and we talked until midnight about everything
from who we were to who we wanted to become.

We set the time and place for when we would get together
of course you had to meet my mother and father
and wrote down directions to my house.
I gave you my phone number and scribbled yours down
on a paper napkin, but we didn’t want to separate
so we continued to reveal our life stories.

We knew it was late when we saw the security guards
come out to their cars. I lied to my parents,
said I went out with the girls. My mother asked me
to call next time I was going to be delayed.
I decided to tell her tomorrow
about our plans for Saturday night.

When you arrived at the door I could see you were nervous,
my stomach churned and we couldn’t wait to get out the door.
The time flew. There was laughter and wonder.
We knew we belonged together.

You held my hand and I leaned over and kissed you.
We have been together ever since.

Today we are both older. Time shows on our faces
but love never faltered from that first time,
many years ago in August,
when we fell in love with each other.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Turning 55

I sat with a woman at my niece's wedding and she told me this story.
It rumbled around in my mind and came out as two poems. The content
is the same, the organization changed.

I turned 55 in Bakersfield.

The locals huddled together
Their heads touched,
Shoulders heaved,

They couldn’t stop their sobbing.
I thought they were crying for me.

Then I heard someone say,
“Buck Owens died today!”

The men in their cowboy hats,
Tassels swinging from their shirts

The ladies in their high-heeled boots
Rhinestones shimmering on their skirts

But there was no celebration
In that one star motel in Bakersfield

The day Buck Owens died
And I turned 55.

Sandy Turned Fifty-five

Sandy stared at her reflection
in the motel room located at the edge Bakersfield,
she wiped her cheeks where the tears had fallen.

Dennis peeked into the room and scowled,
“You can’t turn back the hands of time…
so deal with it… You’re fifty-five.”

She splattered water on her face
put on her green sweater
and walked toward the lobby choking
on the smoke from a smoldering cigarette.

The TV rattled and buzzed with the news.
Men dressed in their cowboy boots,
women in their rhinestone skirts,
stood with their heads and shoulders touching.

Sandy could hear them sobbing.
“Are you crying for me?” she asked.
“Buck Owens died today,” she heard someone say.

“I guess there won’t be a celebration then,”
she sighed, pulled her sweater tighter around
her shoulders, turned and walked out the door

the day Buck Owens died
and she turned fifty-five.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Extreme Make-over

This is an example of a cut-up poem. To create it you have to
cut-out words or phrases from a magazine or newspaper.
Take these words and fill-in the poem with your
own words. The italic words are the cut-up ones.

I was ambushed,
grabbed, then thrown kicking
and shouting
in front
of a three way mirror.

Shocked – I was a wreck of course
the hardest part,
I was wearing flowers on my
blouse, skirt and hair.

I giggled and then cried,
“I need the blossoms to counteract
the winter in my mind,” I sighed.

The make-over artist
gave me a mischievous grin
then led me to the racks

of tamer classics allowing
me to add a splash of lilac and rose
for quirky self expression.

With this transformation
I’ve blossomed with confidence

making a healthier
fashion statement.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Still Life

This is my first still life. I took the picture out in
the backyard and the sunlight distorted some of the color
but I think you have a good sense of the picture itself.
Hopefully my drawing class will improve perspective and
shape in my paintings.

Here is the same still life using MS paint.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Alone With The Baby

All the guests are gone
Mama and daddy the last to leave
food served and eaten

gifts opened, packages
and wrapping in the trash
the clean-up is now complete

Hubby upstairs after opening
the envelopes and counting cash

A silence falls over the room
Mia and her baby are all alone
He smells of baby powder

She holds him to her breast
and feels the steady tug
but without warning …

he starts to fuss
cat like grunts, a wrinkled nose,
then balled up fists
and the steady kick, kick, kick

a whimper than a howl
does anyone know,
what's the matter with her son?

Mia starts to cry
she doesn’t want to be
all alone with her new baby.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

My Prince Will Come

I found a castle looming on the edge of a cliff
gray walls with roughly hewn doors
bolted shut. No one answered when I knocked

so I lingered in the tall trees
watched the birds flit through the grass

listened to their chatter while I sat
outside waiting for what?
I hummed a childish tune
gazed at water splashing off the rocks,

an easterly breeze caressed my face,
a sparkling stream soothed my feet
the gentle ripple helped pass the time
outside the palace barricade.

I noticed a long narrow slit
at the highest point of the smallest tower
with a rope of yellow hair
tumbling from the window in that turret.

A young handsome man
caught the interwoven tresses
then proceeded to climb hand over hand
up the edifice, to the opening near the top.

He entered the casement and was gone.

I heard music playing from within
a hearty laugh, a squeal, a scream
the blur of color as they chased each other
their laughter rippled through the air
then quiet, for the longest time.

The cord from the window now held two
who climbed out that isolated parapet.
The man I recognize from before
the second one, a woman, with short cropped hair
touched the ground then disappeared into the forest.

I walked to the space where the limp braid
hung, then pulled myself up

to the window high above and stepped in
to a charming room perfect for a princess.
I decided to stay awhile and wait

for my prince to come.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


These are my first independent efforts for drawing a face using the techniques from my class, Drawing Using the Right Side of the Brain. Obviously I still need practice but these pictures are better than anything I've done before.

This was a close-up of a teenage girl. One eye is darker, the teacher demonstrated how dark shading could get if we tried.

This picture is of a indigenous woman in full regalia. I liked all the shapes and textures that went along with the face. Still need to work on shading and blending.

Friday, August 7, 2009


We made promises long ago
but the rush of currents near the waterfall
formed a vortex below the rocks
threatened to take us down into the caves
underneath the waterline
where rescuers couldn’t hear our screams
tossed into the churning waters of mistrust
thrust upon the ragged edges of doubt
strangled with the weeds of jealousy
slammed against the bottom of despair
struggled to release the fear
grasped onto the branch of hope
we let love buoy us to the top
to keep the promises we made so long ago.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Remnants From Lost Love

Neatly folded in the corner of the closet
remnants of a wedding dress,
baby blankets, curtains for the bedroom,

brightly colored cloth and scraps of ribbon
assembled and nearly forgotten
in the quiet darkness of the armoire

Children all grown and moved away
nothing from the husband but a photograph
in a frame with broken glass.

It is time to discard these reminders
of earlier times when laughter was rare
and tears ready to fall

with a word, or look, the smell of alcohol
an aggressive push against the bedroom chest
the sudden crash when the picture fell.

Job Security

Get it for me, I need it now.

Cancel your plans there’s a deadline

You don’t have time to be sick
we have an important meeting.

Take some pills and I’ll meet you at 10:00 -
we can go over the draft for the presentation.

A raise? I don’t think so.

I can’t do it now, I’m busy.

No, my vacation plans have been set since last November.

I’ve made a doctor’s appointment my health is too important.

The presentation is done I’ve sent it e-mail.

If you can’t pay me for my work
then there’s no overtime.

There’s a mandatory meeting on the top floor
Some think layoffs will be announced.

I beg your pardon, what did you say?
I’ll get things done then I'm on my way.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mud Pies

Mud pies are best made after a storm
they must be the right consistency,
red clay mixed with rain water,
enough to stick together,
to be served throughout the day.
Adorn with the pollen from hollyhocks.
Keep damp with a small spray bottle,
perfect with a small cup of tea.

Recipes for fantasy are invented
without limitation, all one needs
is an active imagination,
a few friends to participate,
and lots of time without interruption.
Props help, but are not necessary,
a gesture with the pinky finger up high,
shows a cup to all passers-by
but the mud pies have to be real
sticks can be used for silverware.

There will be no fighting at the table,
no complaints to the cook,
a single serving should be sufficient.
Place your napkin on your lap,
use your knife or a fork.
Cut it into bites size pieces
but remember it’s only make-believe
so don’t eat it, you might choke.

Monday, August 3, 2009


I'm going around in circles
like a child on a summer’s day,
twirling with arms outstretched
trying to catch the sun.

Why do square dancers go in circles
but round pegs can’t fit in square holes?
My whole life’s a circle, sunrise, sunset,
circles, rings, loops, wheels,
form a circle play a game,
Ring Around A Rosies … London Bridges Falling Down

I’ve been going around in circles
like a chicken with it’s head cut off,
no focus, no purpose, no idea my life is over
and all that’s left is this erratic dance,
running ‘round and round.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust
endings bring new beginnings
my whole life's a circle
spring, summer, fall, winter

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Telescope

Daisies wilt in summer heat
evenings too hot to stay indoors
climb in the van and drive to the hills
away from the urban lights.

The city below sparkles like jewels,
while up in the sky,
Venus and Mars twinkle.
Constellations reveal themselves
along the milky way.

We pull out dad’s old telescope -
moonscapes and other details
hidden from our eyes back home
reveal themselves in the jet black sky.
Dad points out the moons of Jupiter
and the rings of Saturn too.

We take in the view of other worlds.
Our son smiles and says,
“Thanks, this is more fun than T.V.”
our daughter tilts back her head and howls.

The telescope pointed out to space
brings us together and makes us realize
we are all part of a much bigger universe.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My Brother’s Smile

Michael Jackson news is everywhere
so much distortion in an effort to conform
to what the media or he imagined the public wanted.

In the early years when his skin was brown,
his ‘fro cropped close, and his nose still broad
his dreamy eyes captured the camera
but when he smiled those perfect teeth
a half cocked grin, made you think,
he alone knew the joke …

so much like my brother’s smile.

While my brother, Jess was in school
he got in trouble, my parents were called,
he insisted he was innocent
but the nuns responded, “It’s that smirk,
we know he tried to get away with something.
He must understand it's not a joke.”

Jess was smart but his skin was dark
he was easy to overlook except when there was someone
to blame then he got it twice as often.

How seriously can you take a person with a rakish grin
pressed against your sense of what is right and wrong
and if they’re talented - even more suspicious
an unsolvable puzzle to be admired, feared and deconstructed.