Thursday, June 26, 2014


Glass Labyrinth by Robert Morris


Trying to
find my way out.
I focus on the path
that lies before me.
My steps are
What if I
quicken my pace
and smash
into the glass?
I need to look
at the highest point
for guidance
and believe.

This is an Ekphrastic poem, a poem inspired by visual art. The sculpture Glass Labyrinth by Robert Morris was the source of inspiration. It was commissioned in honor of the 25th Anniversary of the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park.

Follow me on Twitter or click the Join this Site link to follow this blog.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Rain Delay

Rain Delay

The front moves in.
Dark clouds all around.
Suddenly, the drops come down.
There are no flashes so
it's safe to wait 
beneath a tree.
Sheets of water
make it difficult to see,
but this is no long-term storm.
It goes as quickly as it came.
When play resumes,
the signs change to
"Cart Path Only"
for the rest of the day.

Do you have a story about a rain delay that you would like to share?

Follow me on Twitter or click the Join this Site link to follow this blog.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Writing Process Tour

Last fall, I received an invitation to play in a women's golf outing in Hutchinson, Kansas. I looked forward to the event because I would see old friends and get to mark playing Prairie Dunes Country Club off of my bucket list.

I didn't foresee making a new friend, let alone one who is a writer, but that is what happened when I met Letty Watt. Letty was one of the organizers of the outing, and we were cart partners the next day when we played Carey Park Golf Course. There was as much talk about writing during that round as there was about golf.

Letty has many stories to tell. She began blogging in 2010 at She currently posts weekly, "writing about a moment in time that has sparkle and life to it." Her goal is to turn her stories into books. Letty was inspired by a workshop she took on memoir writing and has plans to tell the story of her childhood in that form.

A few weeks ago, Letty invited me to participate in the "My Writing Process Tour." Thank you, Letty. I  hope I don't bogey this assignment.

What am I working on?

I am a poet so writing poetry is an on-going process for me. There are three major recurring themes in my poems:

1. Grief- I write poems about the grief process in general and about specific losses that I have had. In April, I published a chapbook of grief poems entitled, "I Keep You with Me". I plan to publish other chapbooks/books of grief poems.

2. Jazz- As Letty was inspired by a workshop on memoir, I was inspired by a workshop on jazz poetry. The poetry may be about jazz (e.g., history, musicians) or contain elements of the music. I would like my next book to be jazz poems.

3. Ekphrastic Poetry-The traditional definition is poetry inspired by visual art. I like to write poetry inspired by various art forms-books, movies, music, visual art. I also take photographs and combine photos and poems into visual art pieces. Sometimes a photo inspires the poem and sometimes a poem inspires the photo. I had my first solo exhibit of the visual pieces in May.

I currently post on my blog twice a week. Posts are primarily poetry and photography, but I do slip a little prose in when the subject warrants. I also am trying to be more diligent about submitting poetry to other sources.

Why do I write what I do?

I began writing poetry late in 2007, but it was 2009 before I started writing it regularly. The first poems came out of a grief experience. A couple of days after the memorial service for a friend, I wrote two poems pretty much spontaneously. My first blog post contains one of the poems.

The genre suits me. Most of my poems are short, and I like to play with rhymes and double meanings.

How does my writing process work?

I like to write in the morning, preferably after a walk. I still like to start with pencil and paper and scribble down a list of words. They may relate to the original idea/prompt, rhyme with each other or be opposites.

During that process, a thread starts to develop and that becomes the direction the piece takes. I have learned to follow the writing rather than direct it. 

I like to let a work sit overnight and then I read it out loud and make revisions. I'll repeat that process until I think it is finished.

For a treat, I will go to the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park, walk among the art then sit on one of the benches and write.

I belong to an online writing community called Wordsmith Studio. I'd like to introduce you to three of my friends from that community who also will be taking the tour:

Sabra Bowers

Sabra Bowers lives and works in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.  Her poetry, flash fiction,
and essays are published in anthologies, literary journals, newspapers, and her blog, Later, Miss Slater.

You can find Sabra reading a book while stopped at a red light or writing poetry at lunch. She nourishes herself with a day of solitude and considers poetry her daily medicine for wholeness.

Sabra loves a good story...on the page, the stage, or at an open mic.

J.Lynn Sheridan

J.lynn Sheridan writes in the Chain O’ Lakes area of northern Illinois in a very ordinary house with her scruffy construction-guy husband and quirky children, but she fancies herself living in an old hardware store for the aroma, ambiance, and possibilities. Her poems have been published in several anthologies and literary journals, a few of which are: Beyond the Dark Room, Storm Cycle  2012 Of Sun and Sand, Three Minus One, Four and Twenty Literary Journal, The Plum Plum, Garbanzo, Jellyfish Whispers, and Poetry Quarterly. She has just completed her first novel and is awaiting the final edit before fishing around for an agent. Find her at  or  and on Twitter @J.lynnSheridan.

Julia Tomiak

Julia Tomiak shares tips on words, books, and reading at her blog, Diary of a Word Nerd.  She also loves to read and write young adult fiction.  When she’s not chasing her four kids, she snatches time with her lap top or runs the back roads near her farm.  Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Google +. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Duck-The Secret Word

Neatness still was in style when I was growing up. Shirts and blouses were worn tucked in.

My father was the shirt monitor.  Whenever a shirt or blouse crept out from the confines of pants or skirts, Dad yelled “Hey, kaczka”, which means duck in Polish. That was the signal that a shirttail was showing.  All who heard the call quickly reached behind to check their shirts and remedy the situation, if necessary.

Years later, when I was visiting  my parents; my father and I were sitting in the living room. I got up to walk into the kitchen and heard the words “Hey, kaczka.” My hand flew behind my back, but I frowned as I found my shirt was tucked in. My father laughed and said “I wanted to see if you remembered.”

Yes, Dad. I remember.

Follow me on Twitter or click the Join this site link to follow this blog.

Thursday, June 12, 2014



I am a human being. I consider nothing that is human
 alien to me.-Terence, often quoted by Dr. Maya Angelou

We are more
the same than not,
but more is not
enough for some.
They let looks
get in the way.
Or, how we speak or
to whom we pray.
We all feel
warmth in a smile,
joy in a child,
peace for a while,
pain as hurt,
anger surge,
hatred burn.
I am in you and
you are in me.
When we can see
our similarity
 at first glance,
we can share the
best of our humanity.
We can love.

Follow me on Twitter or click the Join this Site link to follow this blog.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The One and Only Me and MY Golf Tournament

My cousin Sharon holding 
me, age 7, and my Aunt Lydia

It was typical kid's stuff. One of the older girls in the neighborhood convinced me to ride on the back of her bicycle. She started going faster to scare me. It worked, and as I got more tense, my legs moved in toward the wheels. My right foot got caught in the spokes.

The timing of this injury was bad because my family was going to spend a few days at a cottage in Canada. I would be relegated to sitting on the beach with a plastic bag covering my foot and ankle to keep sand and water out of the wound.

Shortly after I returned from the emergency room, my Uncle John came to talk to me. We lived in the upstairs flat of the house owned by Uncle John and Aunt Lydia.

"How long before you're back on your feet?"

"A couple of weeks."

"The golf course is having a Me and My Tournament. Each player invites someone else to play so the teams are Me and My Son or Me and My Daughter. I wanted my team to be Me and My Niece, but I don't know if you'll be ready. Let me check on the date."

A little while later, I got the good news. The tournament was going to be held later than my uncle thought. I would be ready to play!

When the day came, we set out for the golf course, just the two of us. The Me and My was a putting tournament. We went around the practice putting green twice alternating shots until we completed our 18 holes. The appropriate oohs, ahhs and groans accompanied each attempt.

A couple of days later, my Aunt and Uncle came upstairs and presented me with my first collared golf shirt. We had taken third place.

"What prize did you get?" I asked my Uncle.

His eyebrows went up and his eyes got wide. "Socks,"  he blurted out after a second of hesitation. "Boy," I thought, "I got the good prize."

Years later, my Aunt told me I really threw him off with that question. He didn't expect it so he hadn't prepared an answer. 

I still play golf and play in a few tournaments, mostly scrambles. Nothing can compare with the tournament my Uncle created to give me something to look forward to after I injured my foot-the one and only Me and My Golf Tournament.

Related Link-The Best Uncles

Follow me on Twitter or click the Join this Site link to follow this blog.

Thursday, June 5, 2014



A salute
to one we miss
A voice we sought
someone who taught
us ways to create
better days

A friend
willing to lend
an ear, a hand
then send us
on our way
feeling better
for the time
we spent together

A spirit
far reaching,
yet near
still teaching
and comforting
whispering to us,
"Don't worry.
I'm still here."

Follow me on Twitter or click the Join this Site link to follow this blog.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Weathering the Storm

Weathering the Storm

Harsh winds blow.
Hard rains fall.
Plants get beaten,
but don't break.
Colors fade
 from flowers.
Splotches of
 brightness survive.
Tattered petals
 hang on,
hoping for 
one more day
 in the sun. 

Follow me on Twitter or click the Join this Site link to follow this blog.