Archive: Apr 2011

almost done

One more poem to write for the April Poem a Day challenge. Then to select my top 5 to submit for the contest. This is my second time writing a month of poems, but my first time I’ll be submitting. I wouldn’t if I didn’t think I had a chance. I do worry that many of mine have been too short for serious consideration, so I have tried to add a little more length to these last ones.

For today’s prompt, write an ode. I’m thinking of odes in the more contemporary sense of being a praise poem, though if people want to get all old school with it, then that’s fine too.

Ode to age

The thing no one tells you about getting older
is your parents, who were once young,
once younger than you, had you,
and cars, and money, and time,
these parents shorten, round, thin,
forget, fall, refuse pills, sneak food,
call you when their shows have gone off
and only baseball is on
and tell you the story of how
you at three went to the emergency room
because you lodged a butter bean
up your nose and your screams
made their thirty-year-old hands too shaky
to hold your head back and tweeze.

No one tells you that for each gray hair
of your own, they are losing their own
to widow’s peaks and spotty skin,
and for each wrinkle, your face turns
into theirs, and theirs into their parents
long gone, and for each day,
you stretch your face in the mirror,
count your pores, hide your skin in cream,
they have lived that day plus
the 48 years they had
before you.


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On woodland wildlife of the snakey variety

bunny_the enemy

This wild rabbit is one of hundreds that attack my garden each year. Evil, cute little enemies.

Snakes scare me, and I live in a bad place to be scared of snakes. Each year I can count on at least a dozen snake encounters, and about 5 of those will take place around my house.

See, I live in the woods. Starkville, while a comparatively large town to surrounding areas, is still very much rural. I’ve waged war on wild rabbits who insisted on eating my garden. D’s gotten down right ugly with some raccoons that refused to stay out of our trash and had no fear of humans. I’ll never forget the night one scratched at the front door like a dog and looked up at the window as if it expected us to let it in.

On our street we have to look out for deer more than kids on bikes. If we sleep with the windows open, we can hear coyotes howling. While I love to look at the birds, butterflies, shiny tree frogs, little lizards, amazing skinks,  and bushy tailed foxes with pointy noses,  who stop by our little cottage, I freaking hate the snakes.

May 2_1772009

I had never seen nor heard of skinks before I lived at this house.

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PAD catch up


For today’s prompt, write an “only one in the world” poem. This only one in the world might be a person, an animal, a place, or an object. Think of someone or something unique and write.

New Orleans
just let me
from your limbs
sun bleaching
and swaying
with beads
in the breeze
of streetcars.

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I still don’t find Red Delicious Apples to be delicious

My mom scanned this and sent it to me. It’s one of my earliest written stories.

Age 9/ 4th grade

The text:

Oct 5, 1992

It was the most juiciest apple in the whole wide world. It was twice as big as the school. It reached up to the cloud. But it was red. I hate red apples. I hate there skin. I hate there flavor they don’t even have a flavor. But it was so nice and big and juicies and round and real fat and shining. Boy did it look good. Then I woke up it was just a dream. I looked at my mom she was in apple and red too. I looked at my dad is was an apple too and he was shaving his rotten spots. My bother couldn’t have c[h]anged he woke up later than I did thats usual then I seen him he was an apple too! Even redder than my parents. I screamed than I really woke up. It was all just a dream. I went to the kitchen and ate an apple. A big green apple.


Visiting Fernwood before the wrecking ball

I always feel jealous of those people lucky enough to have a hometown. The place where the majority of your family lives and your memories have physical counterparts: restaurants, streets, schools, parks, libraries, stores.  As a military brat, I was born in a state many mountains and hours away from the home my parents knew. The closest hometown I’ve adopted has been Biloxi, Mississippi, but each year it seems like more of what made it home is gone.

The street that I lived on for 9 years where I learned to ride my bike and walk off the tears after falling, where I learned to swim with my eyes open under water in my snap-n-set pool, where I walked my first dog Pepper,  played HORSE until dark, and got my first present from a boy…that street only exists now in memories and photographs. After Katrina, the military gutted the housing installation including the streets.

Dukate, the elementary school, where I learned to read, where I wrote my first story and book of poems, where I checked out Shel Silverstein books every three weeks, where I sat in class wondering if anyone else knew I was wearing my first training bra… I tried to drive by that school a few years ago and not even the foundation remained.

Now it appears the last school I attended in Biloxi will soon have that same fate. This weekend I passed by remains of Fernwood Middle School on the way to visit my sister in law. Before I saw the ripped out auditorium chairs, the piles of tables and carpet, and the grass fields where buildings once stood, I was under the impression Fernwood was still in operation as the district’s alternative school. However, from this history of Biloxi schools, I learned that Fernwood had become the temporary alternative school in 2002.

“In the spring of 2007, the district made plans to demolish some of the structures on the Fernwood campus and asked permission of the Board to advertise for bids to do so. The main Fernwood building, where the office and CNO classrooms were located and which had served students for years prior to Fernwood’s becoming part of the Biloxi Public School District in 1957, would be retained. The cafeteria/kitchen, auditorium, a steel building, and the gymnasium would also be kept.” – Zan Skelton

It seems in 2009, the alternative school was moved and the campus has since had more buildings demolished. Little of that school stands today. Before anymore could go, I stopped to photograph what’s left.

The cafeteria

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Field Day

When Daniel told me we had been invited to celebrate the Sri Lankan New Year, I had no idea what to expect.

Turns the Sengali and Tamil Student Association at MSU host what I can only describe as a giant field day, much like the ones in elementary school complete with treats, games, and prizes.

So many games. Many were familiar like the egg toss, while others were not like the one involving running,  finding a piece of candy hidden in flour on a plate without using your hands, and then running again. Then there were the variations on favorites from my childhood like draw the eye on the elephant instead of pin the tail on the donkey. Here’s D and his partner winning  the three-legged-race:


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Today is a “Two for Tuesday” prompt. In fact, it’s one of my favorite prompts of each challenge. Poets can:

  1. Write a love poem.
  2. Write an anti-love poem.


knot around wrist

In the sand of the big top,
it floats half empty, alone,
its weighted head bobbing
as its strings scratch love letters
to the hands that left it behind.



The rush, the waiting,
the lack of space,
the wanting, the silence,
the fullness stretching,
the leaning, the wine,
the giving, the music,
the hiding, the thinning skin,
the traction, the hope,
the feeling like a popped balloon.


Easter Eggs

While we’ve been dyeing eggs for years, this is our first Easter with our own chickens.

I sat down this past Sunday with my husband and my good friend Sheena and dyed about 41 eggs. Sheena kept a dozen for herself, and took the rest home. Here’s our treasure trove:

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Oh, deer!

While we were at Sheena’s making breakfast before our annual egg dyeing, I looked up to see a small deer leap out of the woods and take off running. Right behind it were about 20 like-minded gals and fawns. My camera was in another room, zipped up in its bag, so take a hint from Bambi’s cousins outside, I dashed to retrieve my camera.

Alas they were much too fast for me and I only got off a few shots before they crossed the street and disappeared into more woods.


Lesson learned though: If I’m going to bother bringing a camera somewhere, I need to take the time to unpack it and have it within reach. Never know when 20 deer are going to show up.

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