Carnival Secret

Mama let’s go to the fair!  Sweetness asks.

Mosaic of smells and sounds, colors and light.

Daylight dimming lights, flashing mirrors.

Clowns seem sinister to me here, always.


Mama there are RIDES! Fast ones! 

Mosaic of the senses on overload.

Daylight shows rusty bolts, oil leaks.

Clowns, peeling and shabby, leer.


Mama am I tall enough for this one yet?

Mosaic pieces of people, garish and plain.

Tickets for rides, tickets for games – scam!

Clowns waiting to paint more faces – eww!


Mama are we brave enough this year, are we?

Mosaic of fear, of mistrust and of a Mama’s secret.

I hate ferris wheels. Despise them. Loathe them.

Clowns whisper, will she go up? Will she fall?


Mama I’ll hold your hand, we’ll be brave together.

Mosaic of courage, of a Mother’s love over her fear.

I’ll do what I fear for him, as I always have and will.

Clowns shuffle past on ugly feet, disappointed again.


For With Real Toads Sunday Challenge, Mosaics and for dVerse at the Carnival.  And yes I don’t like clowns.  And I don’t like ferris wheels.  But I’ll put up with the latter for my son, the former just better stay outta my way!




Crisis? I got that handled. NO worries.

Manage emergencies is what I do.

Bleeding, burning or broken.

We’ll get through okay.


Now something small, tiny even.

That tosses me over the edge.

Lost, stuck or not working.

Freaks me out totally!


Handling the big stuff, when others fall.

That is what I’m gifted with, true.

Keeping calm when all is panic.

Assuring everyone, calm.


Small things, really tiny even, itty bitty.

Those are the grains of sand that rub.

They rub me raw until I stress.

Can’t handle irritations well.


Facing the fire, dancing with danger.

Living through danger or crisis.

Surviving to spite them all.

Our scars get counted.


Can’t find that key?  Drop the call?

Stupid little things wreck me.

I’m working on it, I am!

Learning to breathe.


Stress?  What me? Oh of course!

It keeps us alive, the friction.

There is a balance here

easily upset by….


For With Real Toads, Fireblossom Friday Challenge on sTrEsS!

My Mind Works Like This

I wish for a moment I could paint that leaf.

That one. Right there. The one by the sunlight.

Missed it?  That’s okay. Most do. I understand.


I think, sometimes, often times, about light.

Mostly about color and sound. Like dogs.

How can they hear so well and listen so bad?


My mind works like this – a crazy living Chagall

or maybe an Escher or Dolittle. Lots going on.

Lots of things going lots of places all at once.


Right now, for example, and this is funny.

I am thinking about the after taste of juice.

The smell of damp soil and the water pump.


Later I’ll remember all that I couldn’t get done.

I’ll be sad but then I’ll remember a sad song.

Forget part of the lyrics, look them up happily.


I remember things from when I was young.

Thinking of things I lost, where is THAT book?

And it dawns on me – where are those Lego parts?


I’m annoyed by little things, missing my red shirt.

What do actors and royals wear at home, jammies?

Wondering what to make for supper, wanting chips.


I think in images, smells and whole stories.

A bookstore, theatre and colony live in here.

My mind works on a dozen levels, in spirals.


My heart hurts for the buried turtle pond,

Feels sliver of hate for that ignorant man.

Asks for forgiveness for still not getting it.


I think the milk is going sour, glad I got some.

Should I bake bread or make ice cream?

I am sure you can feed your soul on a diet.


I say prayers, and sing in thanksgiving.

I think about tectonic plates and crusts.

I wonder how math can tell stories.


This is getting long, and yet it is so little.

My mind works like this, and I’m okay.

I’ve got lines and lines to go, still here?


For dVerse poetics…as close as I can get to stream of consciousness writing…my mind works this way.

Word Gathering

Reposted from With Real Toads


~Gathering Words~
Shanyns’ Personal Challenge Poem 

Hi there real toads!! It’s me Hannah, I was here two weeks ago with my Personal Challenge and I have chosen someone very near and dear to us to play in the poetical pond next. I’ve really been drawn to her style and the strong elements of faith and nature in her writing, it is our fellow toad, Shanyns of Sunflower Poetry!

My Challenge to Shayns is this:

There’s so MANY words in our worlds today and sometimes finding the right ones to amuse the muse can be tricky. Here’s an idea I thought of while I was at the grocery store the other day: We all have our daily routines and our day often will bring us into the public realm of people-hood and our lives are touched by strangers in passing. My challenge to you, Shanyns, is to go out into your world today with your wooden-lidded picnic basket and gather words from strangers in passing for fodder for this poem you’ll write.

Her response is so authentic and such a beautiful glimpse into a day with Shanyns!! This is what she said of the challenge, “It was a day of a million questions with my little guy and all our farm work. There were lots of words in the air!”  I love that, I can just hear his little voice asking away!!

Here it is!


Gathering Words
My basket is lined with sticky tape.
My hands grip a handle slick with sweat.
Gathering words is dangerous, you know.
Some are poisonous, some are full of thorns.
Some are disguised as one and mean another.
Some are sweetly singing, lingering in my ears.
I’ve gathered as many Mama’s and Love You’s
As I have welcomed gifts from little boy hands.
I’ve gathered Smokin’ Hot Wife and Love You Dear’s.
Gathered in the instructions for the pump and tools.
Gathered words for recipes and for making do for now.
Gathered the words for praising and praying in the Word.
My basket caught words of worry and of fear today.
They found themselves empty in searching for the name
Of a lost dog who is making our yard and family his own.
My basket overflowed with leaf colors and shades of sunset.
We gathered words for Wii games and names for new kittens.
Gathered words for herbs and crops, hopes for the harvest.
Gathered and left silent the ‘grown up words’ by spelling them.
Words, to a poet, are fruit from wild and crazy trees!
It is getting onto night.  The basket is still full.
I need to empty it now.
Prayers to be said.
Hearts to be filled.
Good night.
Good night.
All rights reserved by Shanyns  Silinski Copy Right © 2012


Isn’t this just a wonderful gathering of words!? This poem is so full of life and a day well lived! Thank you, for rising to the challenge, Shanyns!

Shanyns offers us these other two poems also that are word-gathering pieces!

The first is a game of gathering words while with friends:

Red Poem with Friends

This one is a virtual scrabble game, you create from the board pictured plus other fun:

Scrabble Poem

Be sure to hop around while you’re there, toads, you’ll find lots of  treasures!!

Thank you everyone and smiles to you all!!

I feed you

She grew up poor, when counted in cash.

She grew up hungry, when counted in meals.

Flowers she grew and food she served.

When there was no money, it was food.

When there was no food, it was flowers.

She never knew the saying but lived it –

Bread for the body, flowers for the soul.


She taught me to knead the dough, with love.

She let me bite the perogies closed, with a wink.

Flowers ruled her garden, weeds wouldn’t dare!

When there weren’t words, she would cook.

When she wasn’t cooking, we were eating.

Good food was the best gift she ever gave.

She never knew, didn’t get to see her in me.

Bread for the body, flowers for the soul.


I teach him to knead the dough, remembering her.

I teach him to roll the cookies, to taste the soup.

We watch it rise, we watch it bubble and we smile.

He never knew her, not face to face, but through me.

Great grandma whose only gift is the gift that lives on.

Her words, “I feed you” was more than bread for the body,

They are the memories that feed our souls.

Miss you Grandma!

Our baking endeavors last week included snail bread, buns, stuffed crust pizza dough and caramel apple bread.

Posting with Real Toads for a very yummy Wednesday challenge…stop by won’t you?

Laughing Wolves


They laugh.

Wolves do.

At the foolish.

Border Collies, humans, and our cats too!


At the back fence, early morn and late eves.

How I wonder

That they can

laugh so



Tetractys for With Real Toads – sounded Jurassic to me but this morning the wolves were laughing at the dogs, again, and I had to write about it.  Laughing wolves, you may not believe it but what else are they going to do when faced with the comic sight of a Border Collie!  We work hard to live well with the animals, wild and not so, in our area.  It has been very successful, with the exception of the cougar, and it is amazing!

Hating the Duke

Kenia, over at Real Toads, challenged us earlier this week to re-examine a poem we don’t like to find a line or verse we could at least respect.  I do love poetry, and yet when I was browsing my books this one came back to haunt me.  “My Last Duchess” is a poem I love the feel of, how it is written, but I loathe the story and the character of the Duke.  The full poem is at the end of this post for those who wish to read it entirely.  Below, however, is my favorite lines and the poem I wrote around them, as the ghost of the Duchess.

Hating The Duke


The fool, he boasted to that little man.

“That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder”

Did he think that it kill me, to shed my blood?

That my body entombed would trap my spirit?

Little fool of a man, thought he should own joy.

Thought he should own laughter not his own.

He was quite right, though you know, about me.

I loved live so dearly, held it as a treasure,

I never missed pleasure, a chance to steal a kiss.

When the painter came, and for him I too smiled,

I feared that it was for funeral he painted me.

So my spirit I did send, to haunt the brush strokes,

My spirit to infuse each splash of color and hue.

Knowing I could, in the end, live on behind the veil.

Trapping that fool in his vanity and lust.

Having me sent on that fatal carriage ride,

He thought he was rid of me at last.

I win, in the end I win, because even behind it.

That curtain of dark velvet, I still call him body.

Behind that soft crush of velvet I own him mind.

In every stroke of  painted hue, his soul is mine.

Come my lover, your own my smile now forever.

Come my lover, I am yours and yours alone.

Come my lover, madness waits behind the curtain.

Come my Duke, I am your last Duchess true.

Come my lover, and die here with me to live on.


My Last Duchess

by Robert Browning


That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now: Fr Pandolf’s hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said
“Fr Pandolf” by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so, not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, ’twas not
Her husband’s presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek: perhaps
Fr Pandolf chanced to say “Her mantle laps
“Over my lady’s wrist too much,” or “Paint
“Must never hope to reproduce the faint
“Half-flush that dies along her throat:” such stuff
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
For calling up that spot of joy. She had
A heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, ’twas all one! My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace—all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least. She thanked men,—good! but thanked
Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody’s gift. Who’d stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech—(which I have not)—to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say, “Just this
“Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
“Or there exceed the mark”—and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse,
—E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Never to stoop. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt,
Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
As if alive. Will’t please you rise? We’ll meet
The company below, then. I repeat,
The Count your master’s known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretence
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed
At starting, is my object. Nay, we’ll go
Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!

Only Two Sides

Only two sides, oh how I wish it could be true.

Then there would be room for only us two.

Just enough space for the me and the you.

Life is complicated and so wildly diverse!

How can you confine God, the universe?

Thinking this small, what could be worse?

Two sides would comfort you and me.

Don’t you understand how simple it could be?

Just right or wrong, love or hate, be or not be.

A word to the wise, and perhaps a fool or two.

You’d do well to fear more the devil that knows you

Than the one you don’t know at all,  is that enough a clue?

Life should be so simple, so easy, black and white.

Either love them or hate them, hug or fight.

Let the ties of convention bind us very tight.

I would rather live on single day knowing I was really alive.

Than to live caged, an animal in a zoo, not  living but live.

No longer wild and not ever tame –  would we really survive?

But it would be so easy, simple and neat.

No need for battles, no worry of  defeat.

Dancing for your life obsolete!

Janus saw only front and back, this is true.

But jesters and sacred clowns know and knew.

There is a whole world of in between woven through.

Give me simple, give me plain.

Green pill to laugh, red pill for pain.

I don’t want to think so hard again.

Fool! If you don’t do the thinking, someone else will!

You’ll be a slave to them, to ‘simple’ to  a life in a pill.

You are lazy, you are fearful and you are tame, maybe ill.

But I’m scared, can’t you see?

It’s a big world for little me.

I’d rather be a slave than be free.

I’ll weep for you, from  outside the city gates.

Where the wildness still lives and terror waits.

I’ll dance for you, with the clowns, jesters and fates.

For Real Toads, a challenge to write about two sides of things, which of course I not able to.  like Escher’s impossible staircase I see a multitude of sides, angles and facets to almost everything.  Written, loosely, in the style of Seuss with homage being given to all who fight for the ‘other sides’ in a two sided world!

Wild Things

Where the Wild Things Are!

Oh how I loved that book.

Elementary school waiting…waiting…

For my turn to read it again and again.

Dog eared pages, worn and sticky.

Little fingers making them their own.

How I loved that book!

Another generation, or two or three.

Finds themselves lost in those pages.

Their parents already have been

card carrying Wild Things a while.

They are the Mom’s and Dad’s of the story…

or are we?  Are we not cooler  now?

We can be grown up and still be Wild Things!

For dVerse…in memory.

Three Mothers


Mother of a son, she raised him on her knees.

Holding him up in her prayers and love.

A Bible, passages inked, she gave him.

Prodigal he turned, and the Bible

he pawned for copper pennies.

Years later, though it came

home to his hands and

into his heart her

loving words

were at last

read and

he was



True story, check it out here:



Mothers Day! Mothers Day!

Walk the sick mare, get water.

Special breakfast, perfect!

Did she have the kittens yet?

Let’s play Mama! Let’s play!

Feed the dogs, check the cows.

Small hands present dandelions.

Honey have you seen my….

Mama, aren’t you a Mama every day?

What kind of birds are those?

Yes buddy, I am a Mama all the time.

Can you read to me? Can we play?

Oh how I love this perfect Mothers’ Day!



Bittersweet these hard Mother’s Days.

With those who choose to be far away.

With those who are just softy fading.

Will they remember us ever again?

Daughters loyal, even in distance

and in pain, we too are mothers.

The hurt of choices and decay

taking something so special away.


Dear Lord be with us all, on this and all days.

Mothers and mothering ones near and far.


For Real Toads and for all Mama’s

Visit here for another Mother’s Day poem:


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