My First Weaver

The woman was a weaver;
I didn’t know her name.
But then at only 5 years old,
The fascination came.

She sat up straight and sturdy,
The bench just right to reach.
And taking shuttle back and forth,
Her hand began to teach.

I know she pressed the treadles
And showed me cloth that grew.
And with a lesson now forgot,
She made a weaver too!

The woman was a weaver;
I didn’t know her name.
But many years a weaver now,
I thank her all the same!

My response to Kim’s Artisan prompt at


The Weaver’s Prayer

Threads of Creativity

Shuttle: A Tool for Change

Garden Growing

I’ve always wanted a garden,
But I fear my thumbs are black,
Coated in sadness and sorrow,
The only things that grow for me.

I’ve always wanted a garden,
But I gave up long ago,
Coated in unfulfilled wishes,
The only fruit on barren trees.

I’ve always wanted a garden,
And I tried to plant before,
Coated in dreams and desires,
That only others brought to life.

I’ve always wanted a garden,
But I’m not the child I was,
Coated in sadness and sorrow,
The only reason nothing grows!

I’ve always wanted a garden,
And I know my thumbs are green,
Coated in wishes and hopes and dreams,
My garden is a fruitful scene!

My response to Kim’s Tuesday Poetics prompt at

Whether growing a garden or anything else, the only mistake is not to try!

My mother and grandmother each kept a garden as long as they could – flowers, vegetables, herbs, berries and strawberries, grape vines, pear trees, and maybe more I don’t remember. I do remember picking beans, onions, and other vegetables, but whether it was spoken or not, I always felt like I was all black thumbs next to their green ones.

It seems too late in a way, but I’ve come to appreciate the value of gardening, especially growing produce to brighten your table and health. Yet I’ve been too overwhelmed to garden, knowing I couldn’t keep the extensive gardens my mother and grandmother had.

Suddenly (it wasn’t, but feels like it was) I’ve blown off all these expectations. To that I can only, honestly say, “Thank God!” I’ll start small with some herb pots, and I might even lose some. But the only way I can really fail, is if I never try!

Happy gardening, whether it’s plants or the garden of thoughts and beliefs we so often neglect!

Spirit of Music

I loved her even before I saw her, heard her, held her in my arms. Sure, it was because I met one like her, an older, more imposing, different one, just similar enough to help me name what I was looking for.

Yet I had to wait. Money was one problem; time was another. I didn’t have the right amount of either. But she waited, too, and I saved. When at last money and time came together, I called her, sight unseen, sound unheard.

When that one special, rightly chosen ukulele came into my open hands, my open heart responded. She is Brio, meaning spirit, enthusiasm, animation, dynamism (I like that!), verve. And with that Spirit, we create beautiful music together.

Love is the Lifeforce
Demanding seasons align
Waiting turns to bliss

Today Toni tends the pub at
presenting the task of composing a romantic haibun. There are 2 things I consciously hesitate to do here… 1) I try not to write much Japanese poetry like haiku or haibun, because I feel mine always fall short. 2) Romance? Uh, no. But I could not in good conscience totally blow off the prompt, especially not after reading the other poets’ beautiful contributions! And so, with trembling fingers I offer up the closest thing to romance I can muster. I hope it’s not too cheesy. 😮

And have a listen to Brio,
’cause the music flows freely around here!

The Scent of Pages

The scent of pages takes me back
To story time when, as a child,
I reveled in the sound of tales
Of lands far off and friends nearby.

The pages turn and years, they pass,
But even still my nose can tell
The difference in the newspaper
Or magazine, and books loved well.

The scent of pages takes me back
To brighter days and better times.
I catch it now and breathe a smile;
The pages sent an open mind!

Grace is hosting Tuesday Poetics at
where the challenge is to write about “scent”. Though I can’t read printed books, I’ve always been drawn to pages–stinky newspaper, slick magazines, old, well-worn books with cracked covers… I knew them all, both by touch and by scent. I still love paging through a book, not to read, but to take it in and remember there really is a world of possibilities right here!

Elegy to a Loved One

Prompted by

The sorrow doesn’t hurt anymore.
The stabbing pain has gone.
I’m not wounded daily by your passing from this world.
But I feel it like a heavy weight
In my sad eyes,
A lump in my throat,
A burning in my chest,
A knot in my belly.
Sometimes I cry;
Always I remember.

It’s strange, what I miss most about you–

The things you taught me help me every day,
And I am left to wonder
What else you could have shared.
When I pull out my tools
To fix or build something,
My heart aches for your guiding hands,
Encouraging words,
The knowledge you gave me.

Someone else will teach me now,
But not the way you did.
And I will learn,
But from different people, in other times and places.
And my own hands will know the tools,
My heart will see the beauty in the fixed and newly created.
But right now they yearn for what they do not have.

And the laughter?
I can’t talk about that
Without crying.
I don’t even remember what you said.
I just know it was funny;
You always brought a smile to my lips,
A happy tear to my eyes,
A song to my heart.

I realize through the shifting sands of grief and time:
I still have this smile,
This happy tear,
The song you helped me write!
And I am glad!

I don’t always feel peaceful,
Yet I am at peace.
I am strong in the knowing
That you are here now,
As you always were
And ever shall be.
Yours is the Spirit of eternity,
The one that cradles and keeps me
As It still keeps you–
In a new form perhaps,
But no less present
Than when I could touch your hand and hear your voice.

You are the Light of the Ages,
The Love that turns this world,
The tides that move and remove.

You are life,
Abundant and free!
And you are here
In me.
–for Kenny
with the song,

Never … Until Then

“Well, I never!”
I heard that as a kid
And vowed I’d never say it!
But sure enough, I did.

“Never say never,”
Another favorite line.
My mother doesn’t know it,
But that one’s also mine.

Of course, “You’ll spoil your dinner!”
Was Nana’s claim to fame.
And if you ask my son,
He’ll say he’s heard the same.

“Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!”
I haven’t said the phrase.
But well I know the warning
And keep myself at bay.

These childhood expressions
I never hear today
Are in my mind and fiber
To guide me on my way.

The simplest of sayings
That we remember most,
Because of those who said them,
We always keep them close.

I wasn’t going to use today’s NaPoWriMo prompt on childhood phrases, manners of speech, etc. But when I started writing, it worked, and turned out to be a touching piece for

Be the Pumpkin, A Personal Story

I remember, sometimes people called me Pumpkin when I was little. Little and cute, it seemed to me, because no one does that now. But what I remember most is being a pumpkin, actually being one for a few moments one year at Halloween.

Mom made the costumes for all of us. I was probably in first or second grade, and I don’t remember if all my older brothers and sisters were also pumpkins, or just some of them. I do know there were at least four of us who dressed up that year. And so there we were, in our homemade costumes, winning a prize at some school dance or another for the older kids. The whole family could go, so I got another chance to wear the costume, after trick-or-treating and the school Halloween parade. “Third time’s the charm,” as they say.

But it took a long time to get to that point. First, Mom had to make the costumes. To this day, over 20 years later, I wonder what possessed her to make them all! But we were to be pumpkins, and hers were the hands that made it so.

Mom always was crafty. Yeah, take that any way you like, because she was and is. She could do anything with some felt, a big ole’ trash bag, and a sewing machine. Oh, and the tape. Don’t forget the double-sided tape! Because that, my friends, was important.

So, the costume. What was it like? Well, if memory serves, I had a green stem with green leaves on top of my red hair. Sounds more like a Christmas tree, but it worked. That was all felt. And it was glued together, so it pretty much formed a hat.

Then, there was the trash bag. With holes for arms and legs, it went on like a jumper. But being plastic, we didn’t want it to rip. So it took some doing and at least one other person to get me into the bag.

I don’t know if the bag was already orange, or if painting was another of Mom’s talents put to use that year. But I know the result was me, with the pumpkin head and orange body. And I was big, let me tell you. Big and round. That impressed me so much, how such a skinny kid could be made so pumpkin-like by filling the bag up with, paper, was it? I sort of recall making a rustling sound as I walked, so I guess it was.

And the tape? Well, that kept the pumpkin-bag shoulders on my shoulders. It stuck to my shirt or dress or whatever I wore under the costume. Like I said, the tape was really important. And I felt important carrying a roll of tape around. That was the coolest thing!

Now would probably be a good time to explain why this pumpkin thing meant so much to me. Halloween, if not before that, has been my favorite holiday ever since. And it wasn’t just because of the candy. It’s the pumpkins! I love pumpkins! It goes back to “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” Thanks to Charles Schultz for this enduring character. So I was honored to dress as my favorite Fall fixture.

I didn’t care who liked it, though clearly, people did. I didn’t care who noticed. I didn’t care who helped me into the costume. I just had fun being who and what I was. And every year at Halloween I vow I’ll be a pumpkin. But I’ve never pulled it off again. Although I admit, I came pretty close the year I was pregnant!

Now I realize I don’t have to be little and cute, or big and round for that matter. I just have to have fun being who and what I am. Not just at Halloween, but all year long.