#OctPoWriMo 23 – War Stories





War Stories

When he talked about it
Out of the blue
I listened carefully to his words

The war was decades old
In his mind
And he had stories to tell

Missiles slipped off incoming planes
Scraping across the deck
He leapt out of the way

He cleaned up the messes
Left behind
When the hull was struck

A man walked into a propeller blade
On purpose
He cleaned the deck of blood

He only spoke of it one time
To me
Only one time


In memory of my father who served in WWII on board the USS Lexington while he was still a teenager. (He got into the Navy early by lying about his age. He was an orphan and needed a place to live and 3 squares.) He used to tell stories about visiting Hawai’i and other shores, humorous tales of shore leave. I only heard one time any stories of battle or life aboard the ship.


October 22

Some may have noticed a few sad poems among the OctPoWriMo push this month. September and October have been hard months for the last five years, harder for me than even I realize sometimes, until I allow myself to be struck by just how much I miss my daughter. People around me probably notice a change in my demeanor, even if they don’t say anything about. Most of them know. They were beside me when it happened.

I’m not talking about my little Mack. My three-year-old is happy, healthy, and full of herself on a regular basis. She is often mistaken for an older child because of her vocabulary and her wisdom. And it was Mack that made me realize how, despite the passing of the years, losing my first daughter still impacts my life. For being three, Mack has an incredible grasp on the fact that she had a sister, her name was Sydney, and she is dead. As far as I know, three-year-olds shouldn’t really understand any of this.

We keep pictures of Sydney around the house, as well as a few mementos for her short life of six weeks. There are casts of her hands and feet in the curio cabinet, along side a soft, flat bear named Sugarbear. There are dried flowers, a memory book filled in by the nurses at the hospital, and a pink blanket that says “In Memory of Sydney Love,” a smaller version of the crib blankets donated to the ICN by Cooper’s Cause Foundation. It’s the photo collages upstairs that draw Mack’s attention most of the time, collections of images of visitors, footprints, and a name sign from Sydney’s hospital pod. Mack is quite proud to say, “I have a sister. Sydney is my sister.” And then she questions, “Why is Sydney dead?” The Why stage is strong with this one. She doesn’t ask me easy Whys, such as Why is the sky blue? or Why do bird fly? No. She asks me why her sister isn’t with us any more and why can’t her sister come back.

October 22 is the anniversary of Sydney’s last day.

So I have decided to dedicate NaNoWriMo 2014 to writing the story of Sydney. I started the process years ago, keeping journals of my thoughts, keeping the cards and letters, making notes. It’s been a tough story to even think about writing. Now that five years have passed, maybe I’m ready to get through it. Maybe November will be a month of catharsis.


The Day

Crows perch in the dead tree
Cawing in the wind of October
Crowds gather at the church
Companions in greif
Common words are said
Consolation for one lost at the wrong time
Can’t I go back in time
Could we change the past
Create a different future
Contain the tragic beginnings
Continue we must, forever forward

#OctPoWriMo 21 – I was here

As it is becoming trickier this time of the month to keep coming up with poetic ideas that I can make into complete thoughts, I looked whole-heartedly at today’s prompt from OctPoWriMo.com and started scribbling. The prompt centered on the marks we leave upon the world, particularly physical marks such as prints. Since I spend a great deal of my day at a keyboard either working, playing or writing, it is here where I leave my most profound mark.







Fingerprints on my keyboard
Space bar worn smooth
Traces of my existence
The self I try to loose
In words of fiction written
In digital medium I save
My mindprint for others to view
My creativity they brave








Image Credit: http://bubblejam.net/content/2012/05/04/no-brainer/ (No origination mentioned)

#OctPoWriMo 20 – Writer’s Block

My mind is empty
Creativity has burned out
So throw in some ideas
Give out a shout

I’m floundering in my workroom
Sorting through old words
I start to write a verse or two
But they all come out as turds

I’ve turned on the TV
Walker Texas Ranger is shown
That’s it, I’m done, this show is crap
My mind is completely blown

So now I’m scribbling down this rant
And laughing at myself
I’m not going to throw in the towel
Or put the book back on the shelf

There are ideas still roaming free
Outside, inside, up a tree
So if you are still following me
You’ll see the moment my mind is set free!


Just 10 days left to go and I found myself completely out of juice this morning. Time to hit the trail and take a walk around the block. It’s a beautiful day outside!


#OctPoWriMo 19 – Found Poem

Found Poem

In a valley
Wise Master holds
A life immeasurable
Taught him
Greater understanding
If all the people
planned Rebuilding understanding
Culture holds more intrinsic value
Worth preserving
Safeguard traditions
Send the best contribution
Of a lifetime


This Found Poem is lifted from The Scottish Rite Journal, and inspired by the Day 18 prompt at OctPoWriMo. (Lots of sharpy fumes this morning. Whew!)























#OctPoWriMo 18 – Haiku

I’m hitting ya’ll up with a triple today. It’s Haiku time, our favorite 5-7-5 stanza about nature. My neighborhood critters are the focal points.



Cricket fiddles loud
A song metered in slow time
Cool weather seeps in



Cicadas sleep now
Autumn stillness permeates
A subtle silence



Spider weaves a web
Laced with ensnaring pale glue
To satisfy thirst