Friday, May 1, 2015

MAY 2015

Another sweet May unfolds
in all of its splendor
birds are busy feeding 
their clamoring young
butterflies delicately
extract sweet nectar
bees sport yellow knickers
buzzing contently as
they probe this morning's
newly opened buds
sipping the sweet nectar
all of nature celebrates
this glorious first day of May


Owl trinity
sharing wisdom
nature's magic

Our inner landscape, often a precious secret garden
hidden from view carefully protected by tall walls
build over a lifetime of loss pain wrong paths taken
sometimes walls build so high and unscalable as
to seem cold and unfriendly to those standing outside
appearing harsh unable to see the landscape within
for it's within our true self unfolds boldly unafraid
to own the tenderness the growth lush and succulent
tendrils creeping up the walls, sometimes reaching 
across with tendrils of blossoms as we learn to 
own our mistakes overcome them and grow into ourselves
growing wiser with age more accepting of who we are
more certain of our place in the world we cautiously 
crack open the secret door allowing those who care
enough to enter and see us for who we truly are
embracing us despite our imperfections and thorny bits
allowing us to grow further yet to bloom and thrive 
entrusting our tender inner landscape to those dear
to us their care and tenderness enriching our days
their love and concern fertilizing encouraging growth
even on days when dark memories shade the paths of our
inner world we know that the sun will return
once more illuminating the hidden landscape within

Prompt: The Inner Landscape
My inner landscape is filled to the brim
with valleys and hills slim paths leading
from ordinary moments to moments of magic
filled to overflowing with visions of fancy 
balancing an outside world not always whimsical
but here in the hills and dales of the 
inner landscape fantasy abounds allowing ordinary
moments in a day to be transformed into something
extraordinary filled with special magic where
warty garden toads with solemn golden eyes turn
into charming princes only waiting to be kissed 
thus breaking the wicked spell of the black witch
or revisiting tales of splendid Toad Hall
it's walls hanging with the family portraits
of aquatic ancestors gone but not forgotten
our inner landscapes filled with words and
fantasies that see us through embellishing
most any a day and connecting us to other 
kindred spirits whose inner landscapes too are
lush and full of wonder waiting to be shared
may our inner landscapes be places of wonder and 
joy filled to the brim thus blessing our days


Six Word Saturday Duet
Drops of amber
silver pagodas

Fuzzy bees
playfully tickle
fuzzy lambs

Mother's Day
Thriving chick
fuzzy no more
stands tall
on the rim of 
the large nest
soon untried 
wings will spread
ready to fly
testament to a
mother's tender
care nurturing
and protecting 
thus ensuring
a bright future

 First Tanka attempt
Torn away swiftly
familiar world left behind
too small to understand
workings of the adult mind
still remembering the fear
Grown up at last
having left sadness behind
nurturing myself
holding dear to my heart
only sweet memories now

Six Word Saturday Tribute to B.B. King
Feeling blue
Heaven's gain
our loss

Wendy's Wish
exotic transplant
settles comfortably
nourished with tender love
allowing new roots to go deeply
she's unfolding most brilliantly
aglow with the look of love vivid
proof that some dreams do come true

Prompt : RIGHT NOW!
Right now I wish I could sit
once again on the sand
by the silvery sea listening
to the breaking of the waves
Right now I wish I could hear
the calling of the gulls
inhale the sharp salty air
fog slowly giving way to sunshine
Right now I want to get up
walk toward town watch the otters
play listen to the sea lions
bark while laying on the docks
Right now I wish I were there
re-visiting my old hometown
enjoying  delectable pastries
 while sipping coffee near the sea

Right now...
Elegant trumpets turn
eager to intercept the slightest
whispers brought on the rising wind
finding it's way up the nearby canyon
in the distance first rumbles are heard
afternoon thunderstorm slowly approaches
sultry air lays heavily skies turning a bruised black
will the storm find us bringing with it precious moisture
or will it pass by once again leaving the thirsty land parched

Heart still pumping wildly
legs trembling we're back
sparkling creek rushes along
below us our wet panting dogs
racing in front of us effervescent
with joy they shed droplets of water
right now our hearts filled to the brim
with the sheer joy of being alive in this place
at this time early morning's sunny face shining on us
urging us on the message is clear CARPE DIEM..and we did

Prompt: Roots
My roots run deep
snaking along blindly
beneath the continent
making their way
across thousands of miles
even the sea cannot stop
them in their journey
the yearning to return again
to the land where I was born
and raised a place of early
memories both good and bad
my roots run deep and now
in aging they tug at me
not always gently urging
me to return once again
to the land where my story
began so many years ago
yet here too on this land
where I have lived the
longest ever in one place
my roots have settled
having found a place to be
even to grow and thrive
if only I could grow in
both places but in a way
really I am because each time
my journey takes me across
the sea once again my roots
sing to me all the way home
my roots run deep..........

Culinary Roots
This morning I woke
feeling the need
to celebrate my roots
in a culinary way
Delectable Pfannkuchen
childhood favorite
made with a twist
thus making them my own
Thin delicate layers glisten
embellished today with
berries tasty apricot jam
and tart lingonberry sauce
Dash of Cinnamon Sugar
added a touch of spice
dollop of Maple Syrup
added glistening delight
Eating on the terrace
sweet bird song trilling
my continental roots
were joyfully celebrated

Minimal Monday
Slightly machiavellian
shimmering jewel
such deadly patience

Satiny chamber
holding within
grave danger
this courtier
cloaked splendidly
in peridot silk
patiently sits
watching the world
waiting for that
one careless reveler
mindlessly humming
along please bee-ware!

This Linden tree-it's roots
tethered deeply in the California
soil yet every May it brings
with it memories of a childhood
far away as waves of sweet scent
send fragrant tendrils through
the garden standing beneath it's
heavily blooming crown alive
with the humming of hundreds of bees
it takes me swiftly back in time
sweet connection to a childhood left
long ago when we walked along under
the Linden whose branches reached
across the streets creating cool shade
scent rising high up into the sky
laden with that same sweet bounty
even now songs we sang back then
come to me rising on the scented breeze
winding their sweet melody into my
heart and soul leaving me humming
along singing my nostalgic own song

My roots on the maternal side
are cloaked in mystery but on 
the paternal side I can trace
a few stray strands back in time
gazing upon the wedding portrait
of my grandparents taken in 1902
searching Katarina's solemn face
for a sliver of recognition
is it only her love of cooking
she shared with me or maybe
her impatience at times shown
in bursts of the fiery temper she 
was known for according to dad
all that remains of her now is this
small image of her gently holding
me in her arms gazing down 
alas she was gone too soon
my memories of her faded along
with the now blurred images
yet the connection remains
reaching back into time I am 
still tethered to the past
my roots connected to those
who came before whether I know
their names or not whether
my memories are fading or not
we're still deeply connected 
our roots made of the same stuff
carrying deep within us a tiny
piece of all long gone now lost
in the mists of time yet still
a part of them lives on within us

Thursday, April 2, 2015

APRIL 2015

Spring is here
no time to 
next year's
young depend
on timely 
mating rituals
no time to 
fool around
soldier beetles
gather making
love....not war

Six Word Saturday Duo
Unveiling her
face just
before dawn
Predawn delight
shimmers softly
morning blessing

Twice yearly they make the long arduous journey
following invisible pathways
instinct urging them to head south each autumn
far away from their Northern homes
traveling for weeks down toward milder climes
flying high overhead their calls
filter down to us as their arrows pierce
the infinite skies stretching north
on the move again traveling aerial pathways
eagerly winging their way toward home
ready to raise a new generation of travelers



Yesterday golden ruffles glowed
heads held high skirts spread
but on this gray rainy day
they are bowed in humble gratitude
as sheets of rain saturate
the land ensuring nourishment
for blossoms yet to grace our
gardens on sunny days to come


Storm finally passed
above roseate clouds
a pale morning moon

Delicate droplets
nature weeps
crystalline tears

Headed out to town 
just a mundane outing
list of errands in
hand guiding our path
Yet how often have we
found that even 
these planned trips
can hold blessings
Never boring these jaunts
along our rural roads
spring roundup is on
tall cowboys riding high
The Wild West is present
here holding on tight
this romantic view brutal
to our city slicker eyes
Headed north on the freeway 
alongside towering trucks
brief glimpse into a valley
a herd of Bison with calves
Errands run truck loaded
we retrace the earlier
path taken toward town
relaxed now headed home
One final blessing found on 
this bright spring day our
Eagles perched on their nest
feeding one gray fuzzy chick
Nature's magic transforms the
simple pathways of our days
unexpected wonder and joy
around every turn of the road


How do we listen
do we listen with 
wide open hearts 
and minds caring
deeply for those
who speak to us
for this is as
it should be
or do we listen 
only to our own voice
chattering in our heads
while tuning out
those who want and
need to be heard
hearing only a droning
noise rather then
painful words and
confidences shared by
someone needing a friend
needing to matter 
or do we judge silently
hearing about struggles
we cannot imagine
or maybe having experienced
our own troubles 
and hardships along the way
can we empathize
allowing us to truly 
listen letting 
those who need us 
know that we are
here for them always
by their side
sharing their troubles
feeling their pain
holding a hand or
speaking words of 
comfort and support
maybe thus lightening
their heavy load
validating their pain
offering words of comfort
that this dark path
will once again bring
them to a clearing
where the sun shines 
and birds sing and 
soaring hope fills 
heavy hearts once more
how we listen matters!!!

Listening to the roar 
of traffic
yet focusing on this
small paradise
at the edge of a paved
parking lot
miniature world
where tiny bugs
go about their daily
lives and cheerful
flowers shine brightly
listening for 
the hum of the bees
coming upon this
minute oasis
in the urban desert
most welcome break
from harried shoppers
my mind takes off
on a flight of fancy

 Stepping into the garden
flooded with lush scents
subtle song as the wind
teases melodious chimes
busy chattering of birds
squabbling at the feeder
observing busy comings
sparrows followed by
pairs of cooing doves
arriving on angel wings
soon pushed aside by
arrogant jays screaming
in victory as they scatter
timid flocks at the feeder
delicate goldfinches feast
on plump rosemary seed
above it all high pitched
squeaks of the hummers
flying their aerial battles
diving battling whizzing
past our heads then scolding
angrily the feeder drained
of it's sweet nectar
hurrying inside to replenish
their syrupy banquet
then watching them settle
sweetly side by side
content once again
sharing a meal together
battles forgotten
peace returns for now


glowing beauty
tasty leaved herb
invites busy foraging bees

Prompt: IMPACT
Looking back over the last few years I can't help
but think of the IMPACT is has on my life when a dear
friend, known to you all, took a moment to hit the send
button, inviting me to a writing challenge. I thought 
"WHAT!? What on earth will I write about?? Of course that
negative voice was immediately heard in the background,
whispering words of discouragement. You all know the one
I speak of. It's not for you, it said and I thought and
thought and decided.........WHY NOT??

Hadn't I always loved the written word, though never 
having written myself? Did I know come from creative stock,
my father loving to write and doing so? It seemed someone
had faith and felt all I needed was a gentle shove to 
help me soar, seeing myself in a way I had never thought of

A creator of not only words strung together as poetry to be 
shared, but also discovering a new joy, capturing the beauty
found in our simple, rural lives with my camera.

Once taking the plunge and accepting the challenge how often
have all of you been the wind beneath my newly found wings?
How often on sad days have your kind, caring words, your own
wonderful writings and sharing of your lives in both word
and image made dark days a little brighter?

The IMPACT this group and it's support has had on my life is
so tremendous and the fact that others feel the same way just
gives me a feeling of belonging. Of feeling understood, of being
among kindred spirits. Leaving me no longer isolated, but a part
of something bigger, something amazing, something to be treasured

Scrolling through the pages of my blog which documents the journey
along the river of stones alongside new friends found, all made
possible by feeling heard and understood. Trusting myself to dabble
in paints, even finding the courage to share at times, such a wonder.
My days are filled with mindfully noticing so many things unseen or
passed over before. Now examined, made note of, pondered over and
maybe shared. 

As I sit here in my Mindful Owl Studio, sharing these thoughts I am
thankful! Thankful for the support and encouragement. Thankful for 
your own brave sharing thoughts and feelings most generously, good
and bad, bright and dark. And in doing so, weaving a shining tapestry
for all to enjoy, to be part of something bright and positive.
It has impacted us all, has it not???

Delicate blossoms unfurl
on gnarled venerable trees
come winter transformed
into culinary liquid gold
Holding tight to the jug
we're homeward bound
eager to refill the Fusti
our table again blessed
Drizzling golden drops to
anoint simple foods
fresh asparagus roasted
sighing in culinary bliss


This space we've created
warms our collective hearts
precious friendships held dear
This space we've created
offers warmth and care
in our often troubled world
This space we've created
nourishes and comforts us
cocoons and holds us safely
This space we've created
our harbor when life's storms
leave us breathless and uncertain
This space we've created
carefully nurtured globally
this wonderful web spun together

 Last year's disaster
this year's oasis
fractured Hawthorne
carefully splinted
tenderly wrapped
tears flowed freely
as I spoke words of
encouragement hoping
to save this young tree
finally first small buds
appeared delicate leaves
formed on the pruned
branches and now once
again wide open blossoms
offer up their nectar
let the gathering begin

Sunday, March 1, 2015

MARCH 2015



Welcoming March ~ this first day
roaming through waking woodlands
chartreuse shimmer endless shades
of verdant newly budded green
stiff March wind roars tousling hair
teasing pines to dance and sing out loud
ruffling succulent fresh grasses 
already alive with multi colored wildflowers 
nodding their heads wisely along the path 
at our feet sprawls the wide open valley
undulating range stretching north
Mt. Shasta in the distance rosy pale 
beneath the warm morning sun
our pack of dogs eagerly racing
eyes alert ears flying as they circle
madly full of joy and energy
they too feel the turning of the season
as we embrace this sunny Sunday morning
savoring our very own Small Celebration

Brave Toad Lily's fuzzy young leaves
sparkle with morning dew
having endured another cold night
safely nestled together
they welcome the warm morning sun
surviving against the odds
even thriving despite the cold nights
surely worth a small celebration

One golden note
perfectly balanced
Luna's nightsong

I was conceived near a large busy river
within sound of a great cathedral nearby
walked along that same river now a toddler
exploring eagerly eyes open wide gait unsteady
many years later walking the banks of another
river by then a teen swirling with confusing
unsettling emotions not unlike the eddies
I watched standing on the banks back then
years later now a grown woman revisiting
standing by that same river once again as
swans regally glide to shore cygnets in tow
greedily accepting our simple offerings
even now our way to town takes us across
yet another river this one a continent
away from the large rivers I once knew
deep waters reflecting the skies above
flowing toward the sea not many miles away
we don't live on that river instead making
our home high above the banks of Elder Creek
which this early in the year dances along
twinkling in the bright sunshine and magically
reflecting the light of each waxing moon
feeding the soul of this Aquarian born under
the sign of the water bearer seemingly destined
to be ever near this life giving element which
has found me again and again decade after decade
rivers and creeks blessing my long journey
through life ~ flowing just like a river

Like a river...........seasons flow subtly
one into another delighting the
senses as each season unfolds enriching
lives with splendid offerings
stark black branches etched into winter 
skies now covered in a delicate chartreuse
froth shimmering magically at sunrise
dead twisted branches of wisteria awaken
spilling elegant pale lavender waterfalls 
along with sentimental currents of scent
white lilacs add yet another layer
first roses unfurl bravely gazing once  
again up into a cerulean blue sky 
this awakening and unfurling, this return
of spring lift our spirits carrying us
along on waves of spring's strong pulse
energized exuberant a river


We keep our tenderness
leaving bitterness behind
we keep precious moments lived
leaving darkness in the past
we keep our tender soft side
even when life is sharp and hard
we keep love in our hearts
for those who have blessed our lives
we keep each moment shared
which made us stretch and grow
we keep the lessons learned
forgiving ourselves mistakes made
we keep learning always
for it enriches and strenghtens us
we keep looking for natural beauty
which is found most everywhere
we keep our sense of childlike wonder
thus keeping magic in our lives
all of these and more are the precious
and wondrous things we keep

I keep my love of the written word
instilled in me by my dad
who would gift me with books
telling me about all of the magic 
held within their pages
I keep my care in handling them
sometimes a bit overprotective
still dad taught me that as well
I keep my love of the man
long gone now but never forgotten
who would make up poems 
at the drop of hat or small stories
while I sat safely on his lap
big eyes looking up at him anxious
to hear the wondrous next part
I keep the sense of peace found
as I explore and savor nature
yet another gift he gave me
on our many walks through the woods
and park lands of my native land
I keep the memories of
trips taken in his station wagon
which he named Liebchen
but most of all I keep the gift
of finding the words to share
the love he instilled in me
for the written word
for the love of learning
for the beauty in nature
for the magic held within books
for the tenderness he shared
these are the things I keep 
his most precious gifts to me

California gold
bright-eyed faces
welcome spring

Yesterday the skies finally opened
we'd watched with hopeful eyes
as clouds were growing and boiling
into dark threatening monsters
would they deliver on their promise
or just taunt  us like before then
swiftly float away pushed by brisk
winds leaving the land thirsty
then first rumbles echoed in the valley
dogs woke standing on trembling legs
seeking comfort as the atmosphere changed
suddenly the skies opened no gentle
dribbles and drizzles this time fierce
torrents of rain driven along wildly
whipping the landscape all around
spring flowers quickly hung their tender
young heads to survive the tempest
unleashed in the garden as wild gales
tore through rain streaking sideways
deeply saturating all soaking the earth
which drank deeply until finally it
could hold no more rushing rivulets sprang
up joining gushing merrily along the paths
making their way through the woodlands
down to the creek now roaring it's approval
loud enough to hear once the wind settled
rains tapering off storm hurrying north
late afternoon found the land refreshed
gentle drip drops plopped down from leaves
as night slowly settled over the valley
tree frogs bravely raised their voices
first a quiet chirrup here and there
soon a full chorus of praise at this
blessed opening of such generous skies

Clouds hurry across stormy night skies
trailing vaporous veils until suddenly
for one brief moment an opening appears
Luna's silvery crescent takes the stage
brilliant Venus trailing by her side
opening night after the storm only moments
later the curtain falls again ~ ENCORE??


Lying down beneath a marbled sky
enjoying a scented marbled book
just savoring the moment no guilt
felt at procrastinating yet once again
our lives are short with stacks
of lonely books begging to be read
why not push unpleasant chores aside
for a little longer just for today
maybe procrastination needs it's day
in the sun maybe even more then one