Friday, December 27

Leaving home

I get on the plane to Italy. Never mind our 2 year relationship. Never mind the promises of marriage and a future. This one year is all I want to myself. A year of exploration and experience detached from love and expectation. "Wait for me," I command.

And yet, the memory of his tears are seared in my brain. Around every corner I see the shadow of his physique. I cannot raise a glass without giving mind to him. Did I make a mistake? 

I am angry. Furious. Absolutely livid. I am a puppet of emotions 5,000 mile across land and sea. He did this to me. Not even our distance can make me free.

I make a phone call home. No answer. No answer. No answer. The what-ifs and the should-haves begin to eat my brain.

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Thursday, December 26


I made some soup with fennel and got carried away. It only called for a teaspoon and yet I poured in at least double the amount. My fennel was ancient and I feared some of the flavor had gone out of it, therefore I was loose with my hand. But that's alright. Antediluvian tales tell of us of fennel's amazing properties: relieving heartburn, curing colic, and ending unwanted flatulence.

Wild Flowers

whistling damsels
pick the yellow wild flowers
growing on the hill

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Wednesday, December 25

Tuesday, December 24

They told me I was gifted. They told me I was special. But if this was true then, why was I flunking my math class? Why was science so difficult? Why did I spend hours reading my history text-book? And why was I failing and understanding my peers?

One true friend. That's all I needed. And here I was, a full year into the programs and still grappling over whether my "friends" could be trusted or not. 

Maybe I wasn't really "gifted." Maybe I had gotten in on "the matrix." I heard the teachers talk about it before. The matrix was a separate scoring sheet for testing non-Caucasian children. It was supposed to make things fair for Latinos, Blacks, and Asians who perhaps had not been exposed to the fine nuances of American culture and would inevitably score low on a standard IQ test as the result of it. "Oh, yes!" said one teacher, "This child had the IQ of a rock and still made it in because of the matrix." I tried to hear the rest of it, but the swinging door to the lounge had shut and now the voices were mumbled. Was it me they were speaking of? For the rest of the day my hands wrote my notes in gibberish. I didn't belong. 

Monday, December 23

This is the end
I cannot write
I cannot fight this inspiration
This is the end
of my whines
of my tears.

I've told myself to let go
not to fear
of the inevitable
and so here it flows
my mind's words
out to print.

I break the curse
that constricts
that impales my imagination
I'll tear it up
like a mouse in a lion's mouth

This is the end.

Wednesday, December 11


This is fate
as sure as the smoke 
billowing in through my window
choking up my nostrils
causing me to blink

Fate as thick as molasses
clear, like glasses
polished to a sparkle
 before a wedding night

I can't fight this fate
with my two rolled fists
or my dirty stares
or elevated pitch

Its going to bulldoze me
until I'm paper-flat
ready to write out its demands.

Sunday, December 1

Fallen Angel

Oh Glory divine, of thee I'm now bereft. I listened intently to Lucifer's lies and now I am deprived. I wail each day and I cry each night, knowing well no mercy is nigh.  And yet, I cannot help but ponder what should happen if Ye should change your mind. Would I dance like the fireflies? Would I sing like a bird?
Or would I go about with not a thought of  your great mercy in mind?

Written for The Mag.

Tuesday, November 19

Our lives are but a vapor
and yet we worry so
The countless hours
are chipped away
by the hammer of our worry
leaving only a frail stick
for our old age
on which we rest our burdens
driving them down the stake

Saturday, November 9

When death comes like a thief in the night,
taking a life, snuffing a light
We hang our heads and wear our mourning clothes
Though, we do not grieve like those who have no hope
The specter of death might give us a fright
But long through our lives we know what is right
Our dead are not dead
They are people asleep
For this very reason there is hope to keep

Thursday, October 3

Spine Poetry

Spine poetry is created when you rearrange the spine of books so that their titles form a poem.

The Hobbit
On the Road
Around Another Corner

Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast!
A Raisin in the Sun
A Slice of Paradise

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Wednesday, October 2


We weren't supposed to paint our nails, do our make-up, or dye our hair. Those things would make us look too worldly, a sign that our lives were not consecrated to God. But the seed of rebellion lives in each heart and flourishes with just a drop of reason.
She had started painting her nails with a clear coat of polish, nothing too visible. Soon, clear turned to a faint soft color, like a morning dew. Eventually, the brush stroked crimson on fake, plastic nails. She had become a modern woman. The kind with fake nails, and nail boards in their purses. The kind who press their colored lips on toilet paper before going out and who click sharply down the sidewalk on the way to their too important jobs in the middle of the city.  
At first no one said anything. Mom pretended not to see and Dad definitely was not alerted. Eventually she would pan out of it. After all, "Train up a child in the way he should go..." One day, she'd snap out of it, tie her hair up in a bun, marry a decent man and have ten children. There was no need to worry.
That is, until she started painting my nails. "Shhhhh," she whispered. "Don't tell Mom. You'll get me in trouble." Seven year old me giggled and shook my head earnestly. "I won't tell! Can you do my make-up too? I want to look pretty like you!" 
Kaitlyn complied, giving her little sister a head-to-to make-over that would rival that of any five-star beauty salon. "There you go, Sherry. Now remember, not a word to Mom!"
I nodded and smiled as I walked out of my big sister's bedroom and was on my way to my own room when conviction hit me like a rock. What if what my sister was doing really was bad? And I dared let her paint my own nails? 
"MOM!" I shouted as I stomped up the stairs, two at a time, to the kitchen. "Kaitlyn painted my nails and did my make-up!" 
"Kaitlyn! Get up here, right now! How could you do such a thing to my baby? I know that you don't care about anything anymore but you can't corrupt your sister like that! I am throwing away all of your make-up, right now!"
And with one sweep, it was all gone. At least one hundred dollars worth of cosmetics bought at Chicago's finest department shops was now sitting at the bottom of a garbage pail alongside rotting chicken skins and potato peels. 
Needless to say my sister was furious. 
And I, the tattle-tale? Let's just say my sister never let me near her make-up again.

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Sunday, September 29

Birthday Poem

At twenty-five
I've arrived
Hands empty

Empty hands
are ready hands,
given hands

At twenty-five
I stop waiting
and begin working

Saturday, September 21

A voice pierces through singularly,
a discordant sound above the waves
While millions sit
I rise to my feet

All eyes train my moves
as if I were a grenade about to POP




denied my human right
I stare at them and ponder hard
knuckles turn white

but even if I stand
and no one stands with me
I still my pounding heart
I breath my quiet breath
I lock my knees in protest,
for I am not alone.

Sunday, September 15

There is a wind of darkness
traveling through the air
ready to choke our spirits
and bring us to despair
For shallow are our roots
as cold as stone are our hearts
the wind comes piercing through the night
despite our desperate fight.

Sunday, September 1

The Beauty of the Morning

Untitled by Rachel Schultz

When the sun rises, dressed in pink
in pomegranate reds and mulberry hues
She bathes the rivers with her light
wiping away the night's cruel bruise

With the touch of her vibrant rays
each songbird wakes and greets the day
a melody so sweet and fair
begins to to sweep the morning air

The dew drops roll from crescent leaves
pure tears of hope and peace
refreshing creatures big and small
a sign of blessing and increase

Morning has arrived today
A gift from a God who never sleeps
She's come with His mercy and his love
gifts he bestows in gracious heaps

His mercy renews every morning
each blessed morning that we awake
though sorrows and pains may last through the night
Joy comes in the morning

Therein lies this mysterious beauty
not in the sun's rays or gentle birdsong
it is in the fulfilling of a promise
in the completion of that which we long

The Earth in it's glory gives testament
nature cries out the infallible truth
There is a God who cares for us
who sends us mornings without reproof

The sun rises for the faithful
the sun rises for the wicked
the sun rises full of Mercy
and we are free to take it

Friday, August 23

Rest by Nancy Berrios

How nice to know
that I do not go
through this life alone,
that all my steps are ordered
and He sits on the throne
My confidence is not shattered
My faith grows ever strong
My God has not forsaken me
for the many times I'm wrong
With Him I have new energy
the will, the way, the want
to keep on this narrow road called life
that I'm called to travel on

Monday, August 5

In the quiet of the night
that is when my heart stirs
and when the tears come
In the quiet of the night
that is when I hear His voice
His gentle proddings and sure encouragement
that is when they come
and so I turn my head around
I turn to my soft pillow
the tears, they fall
I let them fall
as I hear His voice
and I know I cannot hide
where can I go?
How can I ignore the one who loves me so?
In the quiet of the night
I must make my peace
with the one who knows everything
and trust that it will be alright.

Thursday, August 1

He's doing something. He's speaking to me. How do I know? Because everywhere I turn, I hear His voice. And He's repeating Himself over and over so that I'll be sure to "get it." It's either Him or a conspiracy woven by my co-workers, radio preachers, and complete strangers. Use your words carefully. Have faith. Don't fear.  The summation of those three sentences are more powerful to me than you'll ever know.

Thursday, July 25

Sowing in the Valley

And in the valley where the red thorns grow
where the wind blows cold
and the men grow old
there is a field that grows as white as snow
and there is where we till
from dawn to dust and through the night
we sow the seeds of eternal life
and look beyond our earthly strife
with hope of a new tomorrow
though we're trampled and at times downtrodden
by the rains, the winds, the darkened air
we hold steadfastly to the true vine
knowing it will be alright
knowing that if we abide
knowing that if we keep faith
the fruit will come, one day it'll come
so sweet, so perfect and so pure
The fruits of love, joy, and peace
forbearance, kindness; goodness too
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
will come of the seeds we sow

Sunday, June 16

The Promenade,1918, by Marc Chagall

So easily he stands his ground
all while she floats away
So sure, so steady in his ways
Could it be his hot air that fills her up
sending her soaring to the sky?
He smiles wholeheartedly,
a smile sanguine
She smiles ever lightly
with vacant eyes
Does he know his lady has flown aloft?
Or does he still imagine her by his side?
She floats away
She floats away
All while he stands his ground.

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Saturday, June 15

Dearest Father

Dearest Father
The hardest working man I know
Dearest Father
Listen to your youngest daughter
recall the love that you did show
recall the care that made her grow
Dearest Father

Sunday, June 9

Time to Say Goodbye

Farewell, my child
I bid thee goodbye
The wind is calling up my name
I'll take my seat
On this carriage here
And let it roll away from you

Oh, don't you cry
Its not the end
Its just goodbye for now
For how can I forget
my most precious pet?
You'll always be in my heart

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Friday, June 7

Confessions from a Chubby Childhood

I was a chubby kid. Food played a significant role in my development. It not only nourished my body, but also my imagination. These are my chubby childhood confessions:

  1. When eating Oreos- I would be very careful to open it up to the creme side then slowly drag my two front teeth across the middle and then imagine that the teeth marks were tire tracks in the snow.
  2. One of my best summer time memories is my parents driving all the way to Indiana (we lived in Chicago) to go to Dairy Queens for chocolate covered vanilla cones.
  3. Cookie Monster was my absolute favorite Sesame Street character and hero.
  4. My mom would give me pieces of vegetables so that I could "cook" right alongside her in my play kitchen set while she fixed up dinner- I usually wound up eating them and asking for more.
  5. Whenever I made sandwiches for myself, I'd pretend I was on a cooking show and describe everything I was doing out loud.
  6. I thought birthday parties at McDonalds were the best.
  7. I once made my dad a milkshake with a "secret" ingredient-bologna.
  8. Inspired by a Magic School Bus episode on the life-cycle of chickens, I tried hatching a chick out of an egg by squatting over it.
  9. Once, I branded a doughnut mine by licking the frosting off then putting it back in the fridge.
  10. I loved standing directly in front of the microwave and watching Peep marshmallows grow gargantuan in size.

Do you have any chubby childhood confessions?

Friday, May 31

Train Tracks

Man built the tracks of steel and wood
for progress is the force that pushes us through

Laborers clinked and clanked all day
for hardly a viable living wage

And when the tracks were set as stone
along came rolling the fiery throne

Blowing smoke as dark as mud
expanding outwards like a flood

For years the animals lived in terror
scurrying away at the faintest tremor

Until Progress became obsolete
in its place came a new fleet

Of mobile cars, great automobiles
able to move with their free wheels

And what of the tracks laid to rest?
the ones that stretched from east to west?

Slowly were they overcome
by natures calm, insightful drum

Vines crawled and carried their way through
flowers of all shades, pink, yellow, and blue

And the trees formed a tunnel over the tracks
allowing only sunlight to filter through cracks

In their now immense canopy of cure
a bandage of leaves for the awful wood-metal scar

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Thursday, May 30


She                                                                                                     cabs
      never                                                                                        into
             thought                                                                   climbing
                        she'd                                                     alleys
                                do                                            dark
                                     the                                    in
                                          things                   tricks
                                                  she      turning

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I poke my fingers into the dark dirt
the moistness of the soil clinging
speaking and promising
to take care and nutrify 
the little friend I plant
deep into the hole 
goes the white roots 
hiding from the sun
and only the smooth green stalks
now sing to the sky
I bless the plant with a downpour
letting fat drops plop
and slowly sink 
like lessons learned 
on sunny afternoons


A mishmash of happenings
one-a-penny, two-a-penny
Here we go again!
The elephant over the moon
Mama's Jambalaya
and is that dear old Aunt Sally?
The lover is getting away
he's riding a horse that looks like a robot
and my teeth are falling!
I'm chewing them up
tasty bubble-gum teeth
Hang on!
the world beneath my feet
is sliding like a see-saw
now I begin to fall
straight down a well
until I splash into the ocean
where a shark wearing a
pink tutu waits for me
he's sitting in an inflatable tire ring
But now the police is following
they are pulling us over!
I heard their siren blaring
again and again
until I realize I am  now awake

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Tuesday, May 28

Shutting My Eyes

Shutting my eyes
brings the face of abuelo
patiently listening

patiently listening
to my tale about the tree
and how I almost fell

I almost fell down
from that knotty tree
I say and point


I won't be a baby
when I turn thirteen
but a real teenager
who can watch PG-13 movies
and go on dates
and when I go to the library
there'll be no more books
from the children's section
I'll slide into the young adult's area
where they have the cool chairs
and read love stories
like Romeo and Juliet
maybe I'll even have a pimple
and will have to buy some Neutrogena
and have a sleepover
so that me and all my friends
can splash our faces with water
and laugh
at our now clear teen-age skin

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Monday, May 27

Vive La Difference

It's not that we're not modern. Trust me, I went to college and not for my M.R.S. degree. And yet? If I didn't make it a point to go grocery shopping, we'd starve. If he didn't carefully lecture me about all things electronic, I'd revert to only reading books and never touch the computer/DVD player/new-gadget-whose-name-I-don't-know-and-don't-care-to-know. 

We tried the 50/50 thing. I'd do the dishes one day and he'd say he'd do the dishes the next time. Only when next time came, he said "later." Later became a week later. By the time he got to the dishes, they were nearly touching the ceiling all the while my fingers where twitching to see such a disaster. I do the dishes now.

When it came to driving, we decided to make that fair too. I'd drive to and he'd drive back. That lasted until I broke the door handle on the passenger's side, forcing passengers to either roll down the window and reach for the outside handle or wait until the driver kindly opens the door. Now guess who doesn't get asked to drive anymore! I can't complain. I never did like driving and it does feel nice to have someone open the door for me, even if it is for reasons other than pure chivalry.

We'll be married a year next month and while all is well (our love for each other has only grown), I have to say, vive la difference

The Pool Game

With a coy little smile she enters the room
where the boys are playing the game
gathered around the felted pool table
cue sticks and baby powder on their hands
she watches the game, cue ball striking hard
colored balls dropping into baskets like bullets
and with her hand on her hips she pouts
until a boy notices her displeasure and
lets her join the game
he curves his arms around her body
and shows her how to shoot
with care he lets each word out of his mouth
explain how to aim
the first time or two she scratches
and laughs, she's a novice
what can she do?
But when the boys place a bet
her eyebrows furrow
her lips purse
and she begins to shoot
straight, hit the ball
make it bounce
let it ricochet off the side
angled shots
hard shots
impossible shots
and clack! clack! clack!
one ball, two balls, three balls
make it in
The girl extends her hand
as the boys begrudgingly pull out their wallets
with shocked and pained expressions
having to pay up

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Sunday, May 26

Black and White

Black and white
silky ink slithering through pristine waters
perfect curvatures form
reminiscent of bending flowers
when the camera clicks
and the moment is captured 
for all eternity

Tuesday, May 14

People are like Puzzles

People are like puzzles
that you put together over time
as you get a piece here and there
over a coffee
at a meeting
a brief encounter at the store
you put the pieces together
the red corner piece
is a temper
the blue edge is loneliness
you fit the yellow bit in
with the white one
and find it forms a flower
of friendliness
the puzzle that looked promising
winds up with gaping holes
and the puzzle that seemed so easy
takes the longest to piece together

Sunday, May 12


I am twenty-four
And yet I need my mother
Standing by my side

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A Violet Celebration

Violet hues sweep the room. It is the color of choice today, dancing playfully among the whites and creams. Each table has a floral centerpiece from which violet colored flowers seem to explode. The cake catches my eye and it too has violet swirls climbing up each tier until reaching the top which is, of course, christened with a violet bloom. Long touted as the color of harmony, these violet shades seem more to be enjoying themselves, quietly laughing  and smiling with joy.  I look down at my violet dress, the dress of a bridesmaid, and appreciate how perfectly the hue of the fabric blends with this room. Standing perfectly still, I allow myself to blend into the sheer violet-ness of the room and become part of the celebration.

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Saturday, May 11

Spring Breeze

What is spring fashion?
The gentle wrap of warm air
Called by all, "Spring Breeze"


The morning is clear
The night is thick
The raven's wings are black and slick
And if I pause to breath today
I will not see end of it

Give me a heart
That pumps a river
and twist my insides into a bow
Though I cleave, I tend to shiver
Send me spiraling until its slow

One day it'll stop
that's a false promise
dancing on a tempter's tongue
I take my chance, come what may
And pray that I will not be hung

You Put the Lime in the Coconut

My shoulders start shaking
A beat goes off in my head
You put the lime in the coconut
I am dancing instead

Pum, Pum, PA, Pum, Pum
Pum, Pum, PA, Pum, Pum

Now that we're dancing together
Things are getting hot
You put the lime in the coconut
Wiping out every blot

Pum, Pum, PA, Pum, Pum
Pum, Pum, PA, Pum, Pum

You know, Baby I like you
We can do this every day
If you put the lime in the coconut
We can dance until May

Put that lime in the coconut
Lime in the coconut
Lime in the coco

Six Word Saturday

I can almost taste my vacation.

Sunday, May 5

Dead Chrysanthemum

Dead chrysanthemum
A memory of last week
When you were still here

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I planted a kiss on top of his head
it was fuzzy
I moved my kiss to the side of his face
it was fuzzy
I pursed my lips and met his own
it was fuzzy
deep inside my heart-
it was fuzzy


Young Woman Picking the Fruit of Knowledge, 1892 Mary Cassat

Illumination starts from within
the deep recesses of the mind
and comes spilling outward
like a storm
one thought at a time.

Saturday, May 4

Six Word Saturday

Wedding bells ring this beautiful morning.


Mother Rose enters the room and in her arms-the babe. Her rocking imitates the gentle movement of a small skiff upon a calm sea. "Sleep my child, and peace attend thee."

The suckling child allows his eyes to rest for a moment but then frowns in frustration. He begins to whimper and then to cry. "Sleep my child, and peace attend thee," the mother whispers once more.

With child still in arms, she sits down in her rocker, humming a little tune. A smile forms on her face and love pours through her song. "Sleep my child, and peace attend thee." The child soon falls fast asleep.

Thursday, May 2


This is the day
This is the day
That the Lord has made
That the Lord has made
I will rejoice
I will rejoice and be glad in it
and be glad in it

The voice of children's singing wafted through the air, reaching the old man who was at this time crossing the street. It was a Sunday morning and a Sunday school class was in session.

The old man pondered to himself. Is it really a day for rejoicing? At his age he found himself poor and forgotten. Too old to work and lonely ever since his wife had passed away. He frowned a little as he neared the church building. He would cross in front of it on his way to the liquor store.

Just inside one of the little singers became a little distracted. Fidgety Penny Williams always had a hard time sitting still during devotions. Without the teacher noticing she summoned herself to one of the glass windows and peered outside. With her brown curls and red ribbon atop her hair, the little doll was quite a sight to see.

"Why is that man not in church?" Penny cried out when she saw Mr. Treppit. "It's Sunday school! Everybody should be here!"

The window, being cracked open to allow the spring breeze to permeate through, allowed also the shrill voice of Miss Williams to carry through to the ears of the deplorable Mr. Treppit.

Quickly he turned his head towards the building and saw the young child.

His heart gave a stir as he recalled his own grandchild. How many years had it been since he'd last seen that little one?

"Hello!" Penny called through the window. "Aren't you coming to Sunday School?"

Surprising himself, Mr. Treppit replied, "Why, you know? I think I am."

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In the moments between
white and black
I twirl around in grey
until sudden clarity
has pooled in me
to spill allover my paper
I spill more than words
a gentle rain releases
and after the rain
I am left twirling again in grey.

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Sunday, April 28

Water Resistant

My heart is a sponge
it soaks up every emotion
your words are water
that pour love onto it
but when you squeeze
that sponge
your love squeezes out
leaving it bone dry
until you pour your words again
its soaks
then releases
it soaks
then releases
only a faint dampness remains
each time
my heart is growing weary
I fear it might break
so the day before yesterday
I went to the store
and on a shelf I saw a jar
in the jar there was a cream
the cream could make anything
water resistant
Baby, I bought that potion
poured it on my heart
and now your words
can't do any harm

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The Woodland Feast

Illustration by Helen Ward

The king was having a feast
So he invited the woodland beasts
To join him at his table
And so commences this fable

There was no reason for the party
The king was just feeling hearty
And his friends, as spirited as they be
Could not find reason to disagree

One by one, they filed all in
The gopher, the badger, all therein!
The mole, the woodchuck all counted present
All so joyful, none so hesitant

Even the toad, dared to appear
His heart merry, and face severe
For that was the nature of this friend
Something the king could never comprehend

Let us begin! The king declared
And brought out trays full of eclairs
And cakes and fruits all sweet as can be
Increasing his guests' overall glee

Until the king took his first joyful bite
For that is when began the fight
Between the badger, the toad, and mole
Over the the division of sweets that they wanted for whole

Give me the cake! The badger shouted
I want that tray! The toad pouted
The mole with fury, raised a stick
And threatened to pain inflict

The party was over, as you can believe
All due to these terrible animals' greed
And to this day the king did learn
Choose your guests wisely or suffer the burn!

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Saturday, April 27

Six Word Saturday

I didn't think, bringing work home.


My Breakfast

You traveled long ways across this world to find yourself here with me
You sit on my glass and iron table on an ivory plate
Will there be any last words before you vanish once and forever?

El Coqui

Little one with voice so shrill
Singing nightly lullabies
A voice distinct throughout all the world
And yet only your people know you
Sing to me, Coqui
Sing to me again
I hear you in my dreams of home
And then I am happy
Your voice is an island
Your voice is Borinquen
I bury the sound deep in my chest
as to protect it,
as if to guard it
from all the noise the city brings,
here away from you
Coqui, why didn't you tell me I would be lonely?
Why didn't you beg me to stay
each night when you sang to me
you only sang of promise and peace
Where are you Coqui?
I long to hear you sing
If I hear your voice again
then maybe
I will sing too

This poem is dedicated to the little coqui that lives exclusively in Puerto Rico. The frog makes the same noise as it's name. At night you can hear them saying, "Coqui! Coqui! Coqui!"

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Friday, April 26

Not Myself Today

Oh the agony!
Oh the pain!
To have to be up so early today!

How can I do it?
When I am creature of the night?
I should be hanging in a cave
not perusing through papers
and looking at screens

Definitely not looking!
Seeing is so strange!
I rather see with my ears
and hear with my eyes

and now I am hungry
and there is no blood to be had
in this office complex
without making my "boss" pretty mad

do I dare?
to take a nibble, just a bite
of juicy Mrs. Lucy
Just a drop from her hand!

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I was mesmerized 
I ate each and every word
Oh! Storyteller!

Shared at

Disgruntled Employee

Flat cheeks on the glass
I'm gonna xerox my ass
I'm ready to quit

Shared at

Sunday, April 21

Coffee and Sugar

Mama grew coffee
Papi- he grew sugar cane
Back in Puerto Rico

Sugar and coffee
That is my mama and pa
One white and one dark

Blended together
What a wonderful fragrance
Make that lovely pair 

Shared at Carpe Diem  

Remember the Children

Remember the children
Abused and left to die
Allover the world

Girl in Delhi
Innocent child of five years
Abducted then raped

Infant in Sacramento
Found dead in trash can
Abandoned by mother

Boy in Paisley
Neglected by drug addict mom
15 months old

Tears fall today
For all the little children
Tears fall today

This poem is dedicated to all child victims of abuse. May their souls find rest. You may read about the children in this poem by following the links below:

Girl in Delhi
Infant in Sacramento
Boy in Paisley

This poem is being shared at

Saturday, April 20

Six Word Saturday

Away from me a princess dances.

The Tale of Bella Bocca

Blondine and the Tortoise by Virginia Frances Sterrett
Once upon a time
there was a fair blonde dame 
she was traveling through a forest
Bella Bocca was her name

She was lost in desperation
didn't know where she was stepping
the forest was enchanted
she found it all upsetting

darkness to the right of her
darkness to the left
darkness swallowed up her sky
of hope she was bereft

when she laid down to cry
she prepared herself for death
how could she escape this life?
she pondered with every breath

and that's when she heard it:

Bella Bocca, Bella Bocca, lift your head up high
Bella Bocca, Bella Bocca, I have heard your cry

The fair dame did lift her head
and looked all around
and though the darkness did engulf her
she soon spotted a mound

the voice had come from this knoll
queer as it did seem
did she dare approach it
and discover it was a dream?

before Bella Bocca could decide
the mound began to move
it rose upward from the ground
and slowly did assume

the shape and form of a tortoise
ample from its age
with a withered neck with shriveled skin
surely a wisest sage

Dear Bella, come and mount my back
I'll take you away from here
the tortoise spoke with words so slow
he pulled away all fear

The little dame, she did obey
and climbed the tortoise's shell
she clung on tight and rode all night
away from that forest hell

And in the morning dawn's bright light
it was time to bid adieu  
to her tortoise hero- a kiss of thanks
payment where it was due

But just when the lady turned her back
a power did her movement restrain
it seemed that the world became paralyzed
frozen still were even droplets of rain

And in this strange new moment
a transformation occurred
the figure of her gentle friend 
with force became obscured

and as the figure melded 
twisting terribly as if to fright
a new form began to emerge 
a man began to alight

onto the outskirts of the forest floor
a handsome prince appeared
and kissed the dame with fervor 
all sentiments sincere

And so is the tale of Bella Bocca
the princess who seemed so doomed
to wander a forest aimlessly 
until her soul was consumed

But fate had other thoughts in mind
and the girl, she did not fail
but was rescued by her true love
thus giving a bright ending to this tale

Friday, April 19

Melting Pot

The words poured out my mouth
like melted silver in a cup
flashing obvious
and piecing eyes
before I could slow them to a stop

I am the mothers dead with smallpox
kneeled before white gods
whom I also am
I am a laborer dark as night
toiling in a field

While you are an adventurer
dreaming of prosperity
you are a starving peasant 
yearning for opportunity
you are a convict sentenced to a land
a land of milk and honey

and now you are my neighbor
and now I am your neighbor
and now we are neighbors

shared at


grown in a garden
treated like a pesky weed
that is rosemary 

Thursday, April 18


Slap me in the face, you animal! It'd hurt a little less. You accuse me of stealing your time, your money, your love and everything else you hold dearly in this world and thus leave me in indignation. How dare you? How dare you accuse me of such things? I've done nonesuch things and do not deserve to be trampled on in this way. I do not deserve to be trampled on at all! I hate you! Accuse me of that and then I'll consent to your little dirty accusations. 

What Was Your Childhood Nickname?

Whispher, whispher, laugh!
Whisper, whispher, laugh again!
Secret words are said.

Shared at

This is the Haiku from which I draw inspiration:

tacos in our hands
we sit and chat for hours
in a Wendy's lot

This is the New Haiku:

midnight dates are gone
you study hard while I sleep
work drives us forward

Shared at

Wednesday, April 17

The shot that rang out through the night
contained the force to block the light
of the life that had made life in her
and now she stood, not all alone
but with a child still in her womb
but no father, no daddy to speak of
he was gone
and there his coffin stood as a symbol of the destruction
of not his life but of her trust
which was dashed upon the rocks
into a million and one shiny pieces
and she buried her hands into her palms
and moaned with the voice of a thousand pains
asking herself how could she endure this utmost misery
but then came the kick inside her womb
there came the movement deep within
which begged for a cry of a different tune
there came the promise of a new tomorrow
of life- a life reborn
of a life restored and so this mother
wiped her tears and stood her ground
for there was Hope, her wings still white
ready fly if she would only let her

Shared at
and at

Sunday, April 14

Apologies in Spanish

Jonny Rotherham | Leana Head Bowed
Charcoal & Chalk on paper | 50 x 70 cm
Do you know how to say "I'm sorry" in Spanish? The words are "lo siento." It literally means "I feel it." I love that way of delivering an apology. I like that the apologetic is taking part of my pain in an effort to restore emotions. Lo siento. Like a heartbeat. I'll close my eyes and imagine you saying those words to me. And when you do, the pain you've caused will slowly drip away, because now you've felt it too.

Shared at

First Date

Spring, 1935 by Kuzma Petrov-Vodin 

Her eyes saw beyond the Spring.
She dreamt of babies and many new things
His eyes saw beyond her clothes
He longed for loving and a night of joy

Saturday, April 13


Last weekend I walked away from a ticking time bomb. With care, I stuffed a bag with all my clothes, my flower-print dresses, worn out jeans, and t-shirts.

I left when no one was looking. When all where occupied with the television prattling on about Nikki Minaj and the lights were turned down low, I left out the back door of the house.

And now it's been one week from that tearful day-the day I left my "home." It hasn't been easy-sleeping on couches and explaining why I left them, explaining that they left me before I ever left them, but what can I do? What can I say? It'll all eventually fade away. After all, the show must go on, sympathy will wane and this young woman will have to carve a niche for herself in this stone cold world. I'll simply wash my face and go to school. Nobody will know the difference.

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Two Proven Ways to Kill a Monster

So I heard you want to kill a monster
Close your eyes-it'll disappear
Open your eyes-it'll disappear
It all depends on the nature of the beast
and the nature of the slayer

Shared at
and at

Filling in the Blanks

I don’t like to look at you when I am all upset
But if I'm mad when I wake up, 
I love to cook an angry breakfast
 and feed it to you by spoonful spoons
This-- always in the morning
If I could change one thing in my life

it would be these pangs of emotion
If I was better at temperance, I would 

stop standing erect on a swinging swing
and go walking instead

Shared at

Six Word Saturday

Chocolate cake and coffee for breakfast!

Wednesday, April 10

Tuesday, April 9

Safe in my Lord's arms

I'm safe in my Lord's arms
No matter what the storm
Safe in my Lord's arms

I'm safe in my Lord's arms
When sanity is stripped away
When the world seems in decay
Safe in my Lord's arms

I'm safe in my Lord's arms
No harm can find me now
Safe in my Lord's arms

I'm safe in my Lord's arms
He wipes each tear away
He hears the words I pray
Safe in my Lord's arms

I'm safe in my Lord's arms
And there I know I'll stay
Safe in my Lord's arms

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Sunday, April 7

She never thought
her first job
would leave her 

Image from

Chilly steps through autumn leaves
a man walks silently
in his hands he holds a head
devoid of skin or anything
from years of weather all that stands
is the concrete skull of misery
Our man places this relic of time
upon a small table made of wood
He backs away and ponders the sight
and tries his line once more:
"Alas, poor Yorick!"

Linked to:

Friday, April 5


Warm tropical winds sweep through the campus breezeway as I make my way to class. I round the corner and there, in the patio, I see a friend sitting at one of the tables enjoying her lunch.

"Hey, how's it going?"

"Great! How are you?"

We begin to chat and and make up for lost time. Then I hear it, the clock tower is singing 12:30. 

"Listen, I've got to go now. My class starts in 5 minutes," I tell her.

"Oh, I guess I should get moving too. My class started at 12:00."

I give her a bewildered look. How could she have spent the last half hour taking to me when she was supposed to be in class? But then the answer came to me: culture. She was raised in a culture where time is just a number, not a domineering force that pushes and pulls us along. People and relationships are infinitely more important in her culture than attending a lecture. And for good reason too; the support of people will get you a lot farther in her culture than any degree or certificate. I shake my head as I continue my way to class. Such a difference to the way I was raised, where time is money and where tardy is a swear word. But I smile, nonetheless, because this afternoon I am grateful that she made the choice to sit and chat. It has made all the difference.

Written for 

Wednesday, April 3

One Day

Twenty-four eyes are open wide
they won't squint until you lick through
each tock goes easy
unhampered by you
losing one is like painful bleeding
messy and scary
but I won't argue
with these eyes
they hold knowledge sequestered

Written for

Tuesday, April 2


I'm not supposed to cry
I'm the teacher
Beacon of strength, energy, and power
I'm not supposed to care
about those insignificant things
that grate my heart
I am a leader
Maybe I'm too soft to be a teacher
Maybe I own too many emotions
Maybe I should put away my lesson plans once and for all
Never let them see your sorrow
Never let them see your pain
Children can sniff weakness out
Even if its hidden behind a well crafted mask of professionalism
But despite the sorrows
Despite the shame
Despite agony and the pain
I will teach on
For after all, tomorrow is another day

Shared at

Monday, April 1

Making My Home Sing

Oh, to enter a lovely home with lovely dishes and lovely wishes
A home where the hostess knows how to cook
The table filled with goodies!

Oh, to enter a happy house
With lots of love and little doves
Floating peacefully in the air

That home, that home, that lovely home 
That home is not my home

Welcome to my home of messes
of stacked of up dishes
and lots of kisses

Welcome to my little home
Where love is kept 
And comfort grown

My home, my home, my lovely home
Is not a mansion or a castle

Has no perfect people
Nor perfect lives
But my home is a lovely home

Sunday, March 31

Between Heaven and Hell

Between Heaven and Hell, 1989 by Jacek Yerka

I know that they blame me. "It's all Eve's fault," they say. I listened to the serpent and ate the fruit. Wicked woman I am! They blame me and then they blame all my daughters- accusing them of weak-mindedness and the downfall of man. They've stuck my daughters in kitchens, disallowing them from viewing sunlight or beauty. They've struck them down for exerting freewill and have mocked our shared blessing of motherhood.

But what if I hadn't eaten that fruit? What if Adam had reached for the forbidden instead? Would God have forsaken us? Would he have not had compassion? Would he have stalled from sending his beloved son down as redeemer of that grave error- the error of allowing sin in and shutting Him out? No. His love for us is infinite and His mercy endures forever. And in that love and mercy God takes our sin and uses it for His glory.

So, I ate of that fruit, but what if you had eaten of it? You could have been me. I could have been you. And then where would you be to judge me? Do you really think you could have done any better? I made a mistake but by His grace I spent my time between Heaven and Hell learning of His goodness.

Written for

Easter Surprise

On this beautiful Easter morning I walked into church, arm in arm with my  husband expecting to participate in a morning of worship and praise. There is something special about going to church on resurrection Sunday and of course my heart was full of expectations: to see the children all dolled up in their precious Easter outfits, to hear the sounds of merry worshipers praising our King, to take in the commingled scent of old-lady perfume and grandfatherly aftershave.
About as soon as we walked in, the pastor called everyone to the front of the church so that we could begin with a corporal prayer. Eyes closed, hearts open, we thanked our Lord for his sacrifice on the cross so many years ago and prayed that we would hear His voice each and everyday. When the prayer was over, we returned to our seats, ready to worship.
Now, even as the prayer was being made, people flowed into the church and when we returned to our pew, the formerly empty row before us was filled. A group of about seven strangers had settled themselves in and when I looked at their faces I could see the mark of mental illness adorning most their faces. Their open mouths, glassy eyes, and slouched bodies betrayed them, no matter how clean and neat their caretaker had strived to make them look. Such as it was, I took my seat behind them and waited for the music to begin.
When the music started, so did the man in front of me. He began to clap and rock his entire upper torso to the beat of the music. He was so happy to be in the house of the Lord! Not wanting to be left behind in worship, I opened up my mouth began to sing along. When the man heard my voice, he whipped his head around and gave me one of the warmest smiles I have ever seen. It didn't matter if his teeth were crooked or that his eyes were simple. This man knew joy in a way that I'll never know.
My eyes swelled with tears as I meditated on the compassion Christs has for the "least of these" (Matthew 25:40) who are so often begrudged or forgotten by society. I smiled back each and every time the worshiper happened to look my way and thanked the lord for this beautiful Easter surprise.

Thursday, March 28

Mark of a Champion

My soul was dead
but I've been resurrected
with the blood of Christ
I've been resuscitated
and now that I'm living,
that my heart is pumping
I find myself poised over a line
'cause  I'm about to start the race,
the race called New Life

One step I place
after another
when the going gets tough
I feel the touch of the Holy Ghost
he won't let me fail
ye though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death
and though I hear mocking and screaming
from either side of me
I'll keep going
because His strength is within me

You run right beside me
That time that I tripped
you lifted me
on my feet
and we kept on running
I've got the mark of a champion
the seal of the Holy Ghost
though this race is long
and my muscles get sore
I've got the mark of a champion
and this race was won
before it began

Wednesday, March 27