Daily writing prompt
What is one word that describes you?

ah the beauty of a well turned phrase, one that soothes, perhaps one that captivates. Not so much one that convinces you or motivates you, but one that steals your attention. We need this sort of beauty in our lives, desperately. This is why so many turn to scripture, poetry or music (or any combination of all of these! )to begin their day. Sound is everything, and it can rescue you. Sometimes a series of sounds can take you out of your deepest depression. Indeed, when words fail to soothe, that is when I despair. This is why I stake almost my entire identity on the creation of words that paint images, comfort, excite, cast a spell, and more importantly, stay in one’s memory long after they are read. At least, this is always my intent. When I am not producing any words is when I am my most miserable, unfulfilled, self.

This urge towards crafting a harmonious appeal out of words began when I was very young. I somehow began to write AFTER I began to draw, and I remember drawing when as young as four or five years old, certainly kindergarten age (though neither my twin nor myself ever attended it; we were just too much to put in a place that didn’t even keep us as long as a school day!) and definitely by first grade, where I remember entering (and winning) a drawing contest to promote a play ‘The Three Little Horses”. Somewhere (and I have no idea where) is a piece of paper with that very poorly executed design on it. And I remember even then that I wasn’t satisfied with it, that was NOT what a horse looked like; somehow I was trying to portray a horse when it was truly a person wearing a horse costume. No wonder I was frustrated!

AND-maybe in reality a writer is nothing more than a frustrated artist-unable to get the correct image on the paper or canvas, unable to make the dream spring into reality, she begins to paint with words with only nominally more success.

AH how I love this glorious sort of rambling, where one thought meanders down a parkway and becomes another, entirely unrelated thought.

But the urge tow rite persisted through the decades. I used to be a person who actually wrote letters and wish that I still were. I am considering reverting to this practice. I really miss getting them and emails are a very poor substitute. The population at large is not even writing THOSE anymore, fixated instead on TikTok or some other idiotic video variety. So ant-like are our brainwaves now that anything which requires more than five minutes of thinking fills us with despair, so we scroll away on the phone to something more maddeningly transient. And, in this shameful manner, entire hours and days slip from our fingers.

So, these attempts at rich portraiture remain with us still and urge us onward, even the memories of letters received. I used to have lots of packets of airmail letters, tied with ribbon. What a treasure-now crammed int he bottom of some plastic box in my closet and disrespectfully labeled ‘epherma’ so I can figure out where, when and how I can consigni them to the trash heap or the shredder without feeling guilty about it. My twin, true to her own writer nature, faithfully retains and hoards all manner of mysteries, childhood memories, and documentation, is the Keeper of History and Secrets for our family writ large. Every once in awhile she will send me a text or a photo with a plaintive ‘remember’? written underneath. Thank God for her squirreling tendencies. They will save us all some day with an important document-an idea-an attestation as to who one of us really was as a person, a witness in some court, perhaps?

My, I have distanced myself greatly from the beginning title, haven’t I! But the wandering is ok, because what is not mellifluous if a stroll in the woods, a sun-kissed Spring walk, the sibilance of rushing creeks or rivers, the roar and wash of the tide? The entire beautiful world is just waiting patiently for us to capture it and most of the time, we do not bother.

Here’s to being deliberately observant of small things, meandering walks, rattling on (to yourself or anyone who will listen), and the creation of lyrical interludes, melodious poetry, pleasant phrases, whimsical people sketches.

All this-the only antidote to the endless bullets of our lives.


Published by Sorenlit 11 26 2021



The young woman ahead of me, dressed in a form-fitting trenchcoat and fashionable shoes;

nevertheless could not stand straight; her back hunched under

the weight of a…papoose?

No papoose; but one mimicked; faux backpack lacing.

Her burden heavy textbooks, lessons learned, not assimilated.

Oh, but you will carry a papoose too,

on your back or strapped to your front.

My daughter’s consuming desire for the future bundle-the precious cargo.

I feel it immediately, consumingly.

How do I tell her the carrying cannot end there?

The burden is life-all of your seconds, minutes, hours, days-months-

-years inexorable; ones experienced-ones imagined

-and the ones which can’t be borne.

When you are done carrying baby

[she will talk, crawl, walk, learn, drive, fly!] and just when

you mark and marvel her progress, [it is done!]

Then-you will carry another.

You will carry your mother.

She will fall, she will break, she will suffer and endure.

She will stop talking and only use her eyes.

She will grow tiny and fragile.

You will take her arm-then push her wheelchair.

One day you will not have to push it anymore-she will not need it,

Confined as she is to bed.

And then she is gone.

Light as a feather she is when you hold her, hollowed out, soul and essence vaporized

and as you hold her tight you realize

she will never feel your heart beat again.

You will not realize what you lost until much, much later and

that too cannot end…

Then the cycle will begin again.

Just when you think you cannot bear it, again you will carry.

You will carry life;

a mewling kitten, a rescued plant, a beautiful new baby,

a book of poetry you birthed as surely as your own daughter;

you will realize that what you carried is now inside of you,

carried more lightly yet carried still:

Mother, you are an unending mountain stream,

a ceaseless whispering waterfall of words

and a forest full of lofty thoughts-

nonending doors opened for strangers,

kind smiles for hundreds-even on bad days,

compassion for people worldwide-people

people you do not even know and will never meet.

Now I carry them all; the treasured, light burden

borne royally – all within you.

Mother-my very own Ark of the Covenant,

carrier of all carriers.

Anciens II

Published by Sorenlit 11 26 21

We Stand

White bones on warped and crooked frames hang
elegaic and heavy, with storied groanings
and countless lessons.

We hear only the crack and pop of frail limbs breaking-
We do not hear their voices or see the beauty of
the fragant dogwoods yet to bud and bloom.

Why can we not recall the heft and sweet fragrance of
their mature timbers,
all around in the shadows of the temple?

The lean-they wait-they endure-and bear ice with grace.
The icicles drip down the seconds, hours and minutes
of our very lives-
the cool water we will not drink.

For these riches-are these anciens to be despised,
cut down? Left for firewood to be consumed and forgotten?

Perhaps we have forgotten who was always there
to shelter us from the rain,
Or in whose mighty laps we sat,
Or who was there to point our way
out of forests dark.

Is is too late to ask them
What they witnessed before you came?
Even though they are weighted by snow and clasped by ice-
ideas teem within, concepts, memories,
of battles fought and lost-or won-
and faint-oh so faint memories
of why.

Do not hate the snow,
it, too, is a promise.

Perhaps before these charcoal-anointed trunks
are bent down and burnt,
we will not rush to the next attraction-
the larger parade-
or try to read the last page first to determine
the outcome of their story,
but breathlessly wait for the Spring.