Smoke Over the Snow

A whiff of cigarette smoke takes me back

To your house, filled with owls on all the walls

(When we took the pictures down we saw

The true color of the walls, unstained, unyellowed) —

I took one of your owls, a stuffed one this time,

Snowy owl, now off-white, yet what a paradox

Of comfort comes, when I still smell

A ghost of smoke on the wings, 15 years later.

This is for Real Toads, where we are exploring scent and memory

The Crack Of Dawn

Linked to Poets United midweek motif about awakening, and a second crack at a quadrille for DVerse. Also, though I did not use all of the words, this was inspired partly by The Sunday Whirl for this week.

The crack of dawn
Birds commence their rhythm
For day is imminent:
A single (natural) tweet brings
To the hearer some inner healing;
Stretch arms up
Like branches
To wake up to creation,
Embracing the sun’s light
Till it dawns whole,
Unminced for eternity.

Happiness Is…

I am sharing this with DVerse and this prompt.

Happiness is that bird which wakes me

In the early hours of the morning

With its prayerlike, optimistic singing:


So sure of the sun’s soon arrival —

And is the dawn ever downcast? —

That it proclaims it in advance


Without the broken eggshells of the past.

Happiness is hearkening to that bird

And experiencing the light of comprehension.


This is for Sanaa’s newest challenge over at Poets United. For this “wild Friday,” we are writing an ending to one of the poet Sappho’s unfinished pieces. This was intimidating to even consider, but my response is below. Please follow the link to read the original poem. 

But all must be endured,

Since even a poor

Sparrow yearns for a home —

My feathers are ruffled

But yours are, as always,

Magnificently dazzling —

This I must admit though I’d

Love, if it were different.


Lost in Translation

This is another ghazal. I tried to write one in French but will provide the English translation below it. However, some things, including rhyme, might get “lost in translation.” 🙂

Suis-je la fille que j’étais, jeunesse perdue?

Essayerai-je encore, succès perdu?


La France est-elle meilleure aujourd’hui,

Avec le roi et la noblesse perdus?


Les fleurs qui sont maintenant couleureuses

Deviendront douleureuses, tout sauf la vieillesse perdu.


La religion d’aujourd’hui remplace

Celle de l’antiquité: beaucoup de déesses perdues.


Ce petit oiseau cherche un nid, une maison:

J’ai des amis, ils ne me laissent perdue.

Am I the girl I was, childlike vitality lost?

Will I try again, success most likely lost?


Is France better today

With the king and nobility lost?


The flowers which are now colorful

Will become sorrowful, all but fragility lost.


The religion of today replaces

That of antiquity: goddesses, many, lost.


This little bird looks for a nest, a home:

I have friends, they will not leave me lost.

Make Music

This is another ghazal, so I am sharing it with DVerse and also with the Tuesday Platform (even though it is Wednesday).

How wonderful it is to make music.
Remember still to sing, do not forsake music.

Voices of the choir rise to the sky,
It comes straight from the heart, this is no fake music.

Even completing chores around the house,
When cooking, mix ingredients and bake music.

Another year has gone, we celebrate
With sweetness special birthday-cake music.

And here comes fall. No fermata on the days
Red leaves tumbling, we rake music.

Cold winter comes, and birds migrate:
This Sparrow packs nothing but can take music.