Arguing With Myself

Like tiny gnats darting around my head, life can get annoying. I lash out trying to swat irksome obstacles away. But like those minuscule beings, vexing issues keep buzzing until I can’t stand it anymore.

When life gets difficult I tend to complain and try to fix things I have no business fixing. I get stressed and rather than take care of myself I leap into matters that are way over my head.

Here is a conversation I have with myself on a regular basis.

I’m sick and tired of ….

Release it!

Yes, but I ….

Let it go!

But who will ….?

It doesn’t matter!

Well, somebody has to ….

Release it!

I can’t!

Then live with the consequences!

But, you see if I don’t, then ….

I can’t hear you!

Yes, you can! You just responded!

I can’t see you!

Well, what if I ….?

See ya!

Wait! Where did you go?


Do you have arguments with yourself? See if you can get one down on paper. It’s fun!




Snap of ice on the river breaks
chilling silence frozen thoughts
come to life like startled fish
darting for cover in a tangle of reeds
a hidden pool

I try to stay with my breath
label the fear as it comes and goes
storm clouds followed by sun
the constancy of weather
my human mind

As snow dusts the meadow a cardinal proclaims
the season’s shift with frenzied song
I conjure restless seeds sprouting in fecund earth
the release of light slowly climbing northern skies
like summer morning glories

But cold wind calls me back the ticking
of dry leaves on glass the migration of sun
moon stars the coming and going of breath
then is now becomes when
muddled thought continues


I just discovered Pandora, and am spending lots of time listening to music. It helps to free my mind from rants and other thoughts that keep me captive.

What do you do to tame your restless mind?

Autumn Palette


Bright and early Tomorrow morning, Bill will undergo  complete shoulder replacement surgery. With one knee already done, many friends are calling him “The Bionic Man.” I wrote this poem for him back in 2005, and since it is fall and he’s on my mind as we step into another healing adventure together, I thought I’d share it with you.

Autumn Palette
for Bill

Across the river trees flare
yellow orange gold
the flow of water a painting
awash in late day light
ever changing in intensity
as ruffles of wind eddy the surface
invisible fingers at play

A walk we took years ago
before we became us
in woods of scarlet sugar maples
Vermont air crisp and clear
the lake before us blue shimmering
deep and endless as the sky
we wandered under
projecting our future together
on the white canvas
of a passing cloud

We were young and limber
ready to climb the mountains
flame red in the distance
never imagining this day
you and I burnished by time
settled on a river bank
reflecting in October light


Change Is In The Air


It’s September, that time of year when I breathe deeply and am especially happy that the days ahead will be cooler. The dog wood trees are the first to begin turning their foliage from a verdant green to a rusty red and their berries are ready for picking by hungry birds.

Today when I took my morning walk a strong breeze out of the north began shaking tree limbs and old, dried out yellow leaves at the end of their life span fell all around me.  It was lovely.

Here is a poem I wrote a while back to to honor this special month.


That yellow bus is back
all shiny and clean
beeping ‘round the circle
every morning at eight
then again in afternoon
Monday through Friday

I recall chalk dust days
blue gingham stained with chocolate
climbing trees and jump rope
books whispering dreams

Hours slip away
dropped stitches
in a Christmas sweater
I’ve been knitting for years
return to every fall
rows of raveled days
purled again to perfection



Time Play, Act III

clockface2Like last week’s post, this is another I wrote in 2006. My mother had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer a year earlier. She spent most of her time denying she was nearing the end of her life. My head was filled with thoughts of aging and mortality, both Mom’s and my own. The poem below slipped out onto paper in response to a prompt on a poetry site I was following at the time.

My attitude toward aging and death has changed since then. I love being in my seventies. For the most part it is a very comfortable and peaceful time. I’ve enjoyed being able to slow down, to do more of what I really want to do, and taking all the time in the world to do it. I see things very differently now. Wisdom has overshadowed my ignorance and in many ways I’m more patient with myself and others, as well.

It’s fascinating to me that my fears of aging and death no longer haunt me as they once did. Back then I wanted time to pass quickly so that I could get on with my life. Since then I have developed a great appreciation for this moment … right now … the in breath … the out breath … even if what is happening isn’t the most pleasant thing in world. By allowing myself to live with what is before me, the sting of life is not as severe, and I see things more clearly.

This is what I wrote on August 24, 2006.

Time has never been my best friend. There is never enough or there is too much. I look for quality time, end up with no time. At times I’ve been able to stretch time, but that skill is elusive. It’s either rush, rush, rush, or are we there yet? I waste time, I buy time. I’ve even killed time. Time is a mystery. I’ve written a notebook full of poems about it. I don’t know any more about it now, than I did before I took the time for this exploration.

Time Play, Act III

Instead of rising the curtain falls
on a revolving stage numerals tick
tossing seconds back and forth
the orchestra marks each hour
with silver chimes

In the fly-space heavenly doors
swing open spilling light
revealing angels robed in red
feathered wings propel
cogged wheels around the clock

Beyond the flicker of footlights
tiers of aging faces line the dark
fear the cuckoo’s wooden call
a chorus of fingers points to the dial
weeping candles hail the fractured moon

There is one part of the aging process that is not at all pleasant and that is the loss of friends.  In the last 24 hours one has passed away and another is in the ICU at a nearby hospital.  My prayers reach out to both of them and their families.