Saturday, December 31, 2022

Great P & W Issues Is Out

 For untold years I have looked to Poets and Writers Magazine as a central source of poetry/writing-related craft information. 

The most recent has an excellent section on inspiration with lots of great suggestions. It also has the annual debut poets' article that examines some of this year's breakout poets with new books. 

I recommend P&W in general, but this issue is great. 

Sunday, December 25, 2022

December 25th - Universal Thoughts

We can look upward and see space, such as it is. Seemingly endless. Certainly, it continues beyond our naked eye, or even so, the distance from which man has been able to extend his current technological and scientific exploration beyond. 

The vastness can boggle our minds as we consider the magnitude of what is unknown to man. People will sometimes say, "How do you know there is a God?" I say look at that vastness and tell me there is not. Tell me this whole universe is some accident. 

The thing about writers is, we tend to be observant and we are all curious people. Which either is a result of our observations or vice-versa. You cannot be a writer and not ask questions. Even if only within our own heads, we are constantly contemplating different slants or views of things. 

I realize there are some famous writers that deny the existence of God beyond a man-made creation, But if so, how did man create God before our own existence? Explain our mere existence outside of the realm of God's creation. 

I did not intend this to be a great debate about the existence of God, but an observation that to me supports that we live in a marvelously wonderful universe, notwithstanding the significant level of abuse man has manifested upon our own planet.

No matter who you raise your voice in prayer to, take a moment (or more) to praise this masterpiece that God has created us and then made us a part of.  Pray that we may be better stewards of our planet. 

Peace to all~




Saturday, December 24, 2022

Peace - Hope - Love


This season, no matter who you call God

lift up your thoughts and prayers for 

Peace for Love and for Hope. 

We have the ability given us, from on high 

to reach out to others and be the voice of 

the silenced. To offer hope to those in need.

Our commandment to love above all else

is central to the relationship of spirituality

between God and the people of all nations. 

May we war no more. May violence have no 

hold on us. May we understand the meaning 

of being brothers and sisters in this world.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Sunday, October 30, 2022

90% of Writing...

“Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials.”—Paul Rudnick

Sunday, October 16, 2022

The Light, The Dark, And The Inbetween

Sometimes it is hard to remember that our lives revolve around darkness and light.  We can sometimes feel darkness overtaking us, even in the light of day. 

Poets are often accused of living in a dark persona and there are many who spend a fair amount of time in the darker realm. But not all poets do, and if they do, it is not always an ongoing condition. 

I do think poets can actually tend to be melancholy or downright depressed at times.  Today, I am experiencing a darker side, myself. Also a loss of optimism. These things happen and I find it best to monitor them because it is important not to take up residence for too long in your day-to-day life. 

Currently, I am feeling pessimistic, as well as down. It would be nice to salvage some joy from this day. I'm open to a better disposition, but I am wrangled up in anxiety, and concern for another person. These are things that I do not really have control over, but they are significant and they are real

The extremes of light and darkness have a catchment area in between in which shades of grayscale can occupy. 

I'm trying not to be too overwhelmed by all this, and there is a chance it could dissipate overnight, Or I could awake to it worse in the morning. 

#light #dark #poetmoods  Mode presently: worried, sad, anxious, alone


Tuesday, September 20, 2022


Well friends, another Confession Tuesday.  This one covers my 50th High School Reunion. Friday, Saturday and Sunday classmates from the 1972 Southwest High School gathered and celebrated the high 50.

I had not attended any of my other reunions and there is a story or two behind that, but that is for another day.  Admittedly, I was a bit nervous coming into this whole thing.  On the right, I am joined in this photo with Paula Lyon. Paula was another band member in our class.  Paula was busy Friday night at Charlie Hoopers sticking name tags on us as we showed up to kick off the weekend. A big thank you to her for making me feel at home and like this was maybe going to be okay after all. Robin Scott was another who made me feel right at home and wanted to know if I was going to be at the next day's event.

Southwest High in those days was the premier public High School in the School District. Our School was located on Wornall Rd. just south of the 63rd & Brookside area.

Rival Schools referred to us as the "Cake Eaters"

Below right are a couple of the many. students that worked hard to make this event memorable and enjoyable.

Above was a memorial table for all the students that are no longer with us. Sadly that number is presently 67.  They are 
missed but not forgotten. 

To the right, I am in a selfie with Elizabeth Wall.  This was definitely the biggest surprise and will be the most memorable part of the Reunion.  At one point Elizabeth (who told me she had been asking around if anyone knew if I was there and someone pointed out where I was.  She came and pulled up a chair next to me and said, "I don't know if you remember me, but we dated in High School" The answer was - Of Course!  I recounted where the apartment was that she lived in, etc. We talked a bit longer about mostly what I had been up to, and it was quite loud and I wish before we parted I had asked about what was going on in her life. 

I confess, I often have wondered how many if even any classmates ever think about me and wonder what has happened to me over the years.  Elizabeth answered that at least one had,  I did acknowledge wondering about her from time to time. 

Here are a couple more shots. 

I have posted a lot more on Facebook in a SW High Class of 72 group.

The food was good, Music was awesome, (Those were some pretty good years for music.)

There were quite a few that did not age much or at least aged very well. 

It was amazing the number of attendees that were band and orchestra members.  I don't believe I saw that many jocks from the class. I'm not sure what that says, but admittedly we did have a large band and orchestra. 

I must confess it was something I will forever be happy that I attended. Wish I had been at others, but this one definitely rocked. 

Sunday, September 04, 2022

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Confession Tuesday: Where Has August Gone Edition


Dear Reader / Friend or both...

It's Tuesday night and it has been 28 days, One Truman Gala, On 35th Legislative Dist. Organizational Meeting, One full Democratic Committee Meeting, a 9the Election To The Democratic Committee, several rejection letters, 27 new poem drafts, 3 gas tank fill-ups (I think), and untold days of frustration since my last Confession.

I have gone from sceptical that the Democrats can hold onto the Senate in the fall elections to feeling relatively optimistic that we can gain 2 to 3 seats. I confess this is based on my general assessment of a variety of polls and not just wishful thinking.

I confess that I am at a loss for understanding how impotent the Republican Party has become so quickly in this country. 

I confess that I have fallen off my schedule of working on my poetry manuscript. It is perhaps a combination of coming out of the Primary elections and starting back to school.

I am taking two classes this semester. I confess one is really interesting, the other I could teach. with both hands tied behind my back.

I confess that I have absolutely no idea where August has gone to.

I confess that Madison, my long-haired Dachshund had probably the best day of his life and I missed it. I am told he found a snake in the back yard and it became his favourite toy. Having missed it personally, I feel kind of like being told you weren't home and missed your son or daughter's first steps.

Mood Tonight: a mixture of #sadness, #frustration and #empathy 

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Salman Rushdie Attack

 The attack on Salman Rushdie this week is both sad and Ironic. 

Salma Rushdie was in New York to discuss the plight of writers and journalists who face dangerous conditions because of their work.  Before appearance for a lecture where the author was viciously attacked by a man welding a knife, Rushdie had exchanged emails with PEN America concerning the need to provide a safe haven for Ukrainian Writers. 

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Confession Tuesday Aug 2 - A Win and an A Edition.

Dear Reader: 

Hurry, come with me to the confessional, let's get this done. 

Reader:  It has been two weeks since my last confession. Today is Missouri's Primary election, and I confess that I feel really weird. I'm running for reelection on the Democratic Committee. This will be my 9th term. It is also. the only time I have run unopposed.  That feels really strange. I am used to campaigning hard each time, so I don't quite know how to deal with this emotionally (insert laugh here).  I'm not complaining of course. I've often wanted to run unopposed, it just feels strange. 

It's hot here today. I mean really hot, but that's not really unusual this time of summer. I have stood at the polls all day long in 101 to 104 degrees temperatures many days. My prayers go out for all those at the polls - voters and volunteers today, but also anyone compromised by heat. The homeless, those without air conditioning and those without fans. I confess that these people are in my thoughts and I pray they have some relief from the dangerous temperatures. 

The school semester is over. I confess that I am pleased to report the one class I took for the summer session I received an A in. That's what I wanted, so I'm elated. For those who were supportive of me going back to school, thank you, thank you. 

The past week I've been up and down emotionally. This has been pretty par for the course lately. There are things that stress me and I try to deal with them as best I can. I confess I'm learning to manage this better, but it continues to be challenging 

Once again I am doing the Grind. A new poem or rewrite each day for a  month.  I've been doing this now for going on 14 months. I recommend this if you need to do lots of new work and want to get lots of writing practice. I confess it has been worth it to me. 

That's it for tonight, I will settle in to watch some election returns and write. 

Until next time,  be safe!  And if you can't write a poem, be a poem. 


Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Confession Tuesday July 19, 2022

Dear Readers: 

It has been six days since my last confession.   Hurry along to the confessional and let's get started. 


I confess this has been a hard week. It's been a week with a lot of demands and I have tried to remain true to them. From school and school work to writing, to try to help another, but alas I have realized I am not magical or all-powerful. I am human and I have had limited success. Further, I am disappointed in my overall results. This is a self-disappointment, plain and simple. 

Tonight, I listen to the news and am admittedly. angry.  The Secret Service says they deleted text messages on Jan 5 and 6, 2021.  This is only the most significant two days in recent American history.  Plus their story has changed over and over.  All agents working those two days need to sit and testify under oath before the Jan 6 Committee. 

I'm happy to say that it seems my month of Grind poems has been going better this month. I confess it should be automatic by now. 

There are at least one, maybe two poetry books coming out that I must have. They need to be worked into my anaemic budget.

Yes, raising my hand, I confess I am eating Sweet Cherry Peppers....  for dinner?  Maybe. 

Let me leave you with these words by Yeats... "For the saint and the poet alike... make excess even more excessive."

Stay safe, and read daily...


Sunday, July 17, 2022

Journaling Series #3 "Journal Bits"

 To continue my series on journaling I wanted to give you a bit of a flavor for things a writer might journal about. This of course could be an exhaustive topic, but I am going to provide you with just a small example of what a normal day of journaling might be like.

Of course, if I were working on a special project I might want to focus on that, but this will be an example of just a random day...

I Will Call This Journal Bits

  • Random words coming to my mind today in no order of importance... colonial, fixture, orgasm, penance, toxicology, embrace, melon, placard, and widget.  (I have no idea what these say about me, perhaps you can tell me)  Note: any or all could appear in my writing over the next few days.
  • My day has been busy with school work and I am proud to say that I have stayed on schedule.
  • Random Thoughts - Sylvia Plath has as many issues with her mother, as she did with her father.  💥  When I think of T.S. Eliot, I automatically think of him as old before I even think of how extraordinary he was as a poet. 💥  I think of the dash "-" each time I think of Emily Dickinson. 
  • There are things that could happen to make this day better. I'm just saying.
  • Is there an Acceptance Letter around the corner? Yes? No? Maybe so? 
  • Quote from a book... "I am a natural, free-ranging milk-fed girl.   SO wholesome." Arielle Greenberg, I Live In The Country & other dirty poems. Four Way Books. 2020
  • Donald Hall, journaling...  "Reading Ruth Stone's poems, wonderful with that ending zag which is unpredictable, exact, repeated, yet it never becomes mannered."
  • From the Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath:  "Everything is the same but different." Paradox again. Two mutually exclusive and contradictory adjectives are applied to the same universe. And this phrase is again a unique insight into the repetitious and varied universe man has woken up in and begun to work transforming into something he can call his own. We are all men but as different as we are similar - as opposite as we are alike.
  • AND This: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman STILL  has blood on his hands.  Sandis have a horrendous record on human rights. Especially for Women. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Confession Tuesday on Wednesday

Dear Reader:

I confess that I am late. This would not be the first time you have heard this from me and I'm sure it won't be the last.  Last night when I arrived home from class, I had to finish my Grind poem and a couple other essential obligations and the clock just would not let me do this, so here I am tonight.

I confess I will lead off with good news tonight.  Ada Limón was named our new Poet Laureate of the United States.  A very deserving choice. I had the occasion the meet Ada once at a reading in Lawrence, Kansas. One of my favorite poems of her's at the time was Sharks in the River.  Not one of her best pieces but a fun one never less.   Her 2015 book Bright Dead Things seemed to be a turning point in her work and I knew that there would be bright days ahead for her and her poetry.

Ada deserves this, but what's more, America will be enriched by a greater awareness of her poetry. 

Today was a rough day at the office and I admit I am tired. But here I am confessing to you that life after work goes on. 

I am also happy to report that I am feeling happier than not about school. It is a big change to my evenings, but I feel so far that I've been doing what I need to and that is a good feeling.

I confess I am ready any day now for an acceptance letter or two or three. Come on, I'm overdue. 

I am a little disappointed in my Giants. They have gone through a rough patch. Mid-season and they need to turn themselves around. 

My Essay on Plato is due in two weeks. It's coming along. I may take a break from it tonight. 

I confess I believe in miracles. 

My overall mood today is best described as tired and reserved.  Not a bad mood but could improve. I'm not complaining, just hoping for some good news.

Until next time, stay safe, and may happiness find you. 

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Confession Tuesday 7-05-22

Dear Reader:

It has been 13 days since my last confession. I have a lot to make up for, so follow me to the Confessional, please. 

If it's Tuesday it should be class night. Instead of class, I had a conference with my professor. Not a conference like I did something bad, but I'm sure somewhere along the line I have, but a conference to go over my big project of the semester. My last essay. 

I arrived slightly early as I confess I was nervous and sort of felt lost. Not. in the building pictured above right, there is not that much to get lost in there. No, I was lost in what I was doing there.  Yes, I had a vague idea. I was supposed to go over where I was at on the project. He asked me to refresh his mind on what I was doing in general terms. 

Plato - in his view can one be happy in life without eros?  In general, Plato seems to rank beauty and love very high in his order of life. I'm certain that Plato would not like one to speak in general terms, nor does he like sensibility. The ladder seems to defy making any sense. 

I won't write the essay here, I hope to only do it once, but my professor was almost giddy over the things I brought up, both in observations of Plato and Socrates and some of the questions I will raise concerning the application of Plato's theories in today's world.

I walked out of the classroom feeling. happy that I was apparently on the right track. 

So, the building above is the Liberal Arts building on the Longview Campus. I confess that my mind got the best of me and was thinking if I were going to Liberty University back in Virginia, would my class be in the Conservative Arts building instead.  The University was I believe founded by the late Jerry Falwell, which should tell you a lot about it.  (insert laugh here)

I confess today was a bag of mixed goods. There were some good things about my day and some things that were just so-so. A little in the feeling down mode, but overall, it was a decent day I guess. 

I confess I am extremely tired of shootings. More people are growing angry at the gun violence in this nation. They are not shy above their anger either. The problem is accelerating. More guns in the community are not the answer. It's like throwing gas on a fire. 

I confess that I have been trying to practice calm more often. I'm getting better at it, not perfect but with some prompting, I have made headway. 

I confess that I am so happy for Silas that he got his cone off this weekend.  Poor baby is recovering from a torn ACL. 

Still cranking out poetry submissions. Still waiting for some journals I really want in. I confess is have a list of them I keep in my head. 

That's it for today's confession  - Until next time - be safe and enjoy life. 


Sunday, July 03, 2022

Journaling series - post #2

 In my first post, I talked about  Lochby journals.  This is my newest baby - The Pocket Journal in - Blue.  I selected this with a gift card for father's day and different from the regular field journal in size and capacity.

Obviously much smaller, it will accommodate only two refills at a time. The Dot Matrics, Ruled, and Unruled paper is available. They do not make a calender for this size.


The larger one shown here is my calendar and my journal and writing catch-all. 

That includes:

  • quotes I want to remember
  • notes about school assignments
  • notes related to work
  • daily journaling
  • thoughts that come to me and may find their way into my poems
  • drafts that I am working on before I take them to my laptop
That is what my larger journal is for.  The smaller one is in an experimental stage presently.
I think it will get carried around a lot and will be used for ideas or catchphrases I want to be able to recall.  Things that later may find their way into my writing, 

What I am sharing with you is how I operate. There is no right or wrong way to use these tools.  Just as there is no right or wrong way to approach journaling.  But that is part #3,
and you will have to come back for that post. 

Friday, July 01, 2022

Journaling - My Lochby Obsession

 If you know me, you surely are aware that I have been journalling for a number of years. Personally, I'm not able to understand what writer can possibly get by without it. 

One of my daughters turned me on to the Lochby brand journals. This rugged-looking  Waxed Canvass Journal sheds water and will accommodate up to six inserts.  Calendar, ruled paper, unruled pages, and dot matrix paper.

The paper is quality stuff. At times I write with a fountain pen and the link lays down superbly and does not bleed through.

Pictured here is the brown Journal. I also have a roll-up pen/utility EDC kit. It allows me to carry a variety of writing instruments and have them always handy.  I will feature the roll-up in a separate post.

I also acquired just this week the Pocket Journal. Smaller and holds only two inserts. The same inserts minus the calendar are available for this. I will unveil this item in my next post.

Over the years I have used a variety of journals.  I have a couple of nice leather-bound journal holders.  I also have bullet journaled for maybe 3 or more years now. That is a whole different practice but would certainly work with one of these journals as well. 

I will talk about all of these things in upcoming posts. 

The whole line of Lochby products can be found here  LOCHBY

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Confession Tuesday on Thursday

 Dear reader:

I confess that I thought I was a day late for confession Tuesday. That would be 2 days late.

This morning I arrived at work and settled in for two 9:00 AM hearings. One ended up being withdrawn and by the time we finished the second one, we spent more time than I would have anticipated if we had done both.  It was painfully slow and draining.  As a result, the whole day felt like it was in slow motion. 


My sister, Kelly. called me, she has a set of Baseball Tarot Cards for me. I was intrigued because I know some people who have used Tarot cards as writing prompts, or for meditation.

Now that I have these, I confess I am trying to figure out what I am supposed to do with them. Stay Tuned. This saga will continue. 


Tuesday's Class was cancelled. I learned this after driving all the way out there. Given the price of gas these days, I confess I was a little miffed. Verry little notice - a 4P.M. email. 


I confess that my mood has been on the lower side lately.  I little bit. improved the past couple of days but I've not been swinging on the Joy chandelier of late. I miss the more joyful times and look forward to when I might realize them again. 


This week I had a rejection letter and a letter telling me I have a poem that has been long-listed in advance of the submission deadline by a journal.  I have never heard of such a thing before, but given the editor's email, I confess I am happy with what was said about my work. 

That's it for now...  Be safe and see you next time

Sunday, June 19, 2022

I Have Neglected This Site for Too Long

I've neglected this site for too long.  It is not that I haven't been posting,  I've been doing so on my regular - Poetry Web Site. 

It's hot today. Frankly, it is a miserable day. I hate to be so direct about it, but I want to be upfront. I may be back to posting here after a significant stint of missing in action, but this is my site and I get to choose the topic and tone. 

This blog has had a long run. I could shut it down and say well done. I could but I am not going to. 

I could say that I'm back and you will see me daily from here on out but I am not about to make that commitment. What I will say is you will find that I am posting likely weekly. I'm not going to guarantee Tuesdays, but. the Confession Tuesday was for a long time a staple. So I would check Tuesdays or Wednesdays, or you could subscribe to the feed on the sidebar,


Some people know this but  I will for the sake of broader knowledge make it known that I have gone back to school. Yes, at my age. I'm going back to finish something I should have done long ago but did not for numerous reasons. 


Lest you think, since I have been neglectful here,  I have been lazy about writing and. submitting poetry.  Well consider  these stats:   

Pending Submissions:96
Sent Past 12 Months:232
Sent This Month:7


For something like 11 months, I have been participating. in The Grind. A group of people who write daily and post their drafts of material for the group to see. It is not about critiquing work but rather being accountable. It has allowed me to turn out more work.  Of course, not every day is the work publishable, but some can be with a little editing. 


My mood is best described as non-congruent. It is hot (did I say it was summer?) and frankly has been a miserable day.  I did have a very good lunch,  But right now I am pretty bummed, 

The thing about being down is you can sometimes write some pretty good work when you are down. On the other hand, when you are down it is often in tandem with others. 

MARY KARR - Poet and Memoirist 

"None of us can ever know the value of our lives or how our separate and silent scribblings may add to the amenity of the world if only by how radically it changes us one by one." 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

AWP - Most interesting Panel AWP 22

 The most fascinating panel session at AWP22 to me was  ERASURE POETRY: Ethics & Best Practices.

Srikanth Reddy, Kristina Darling, and Sam Taylor were presenters. 

My second favorite Panel was THE COLONEL: Thirty Years Later.  A Look at Carolyn Forche's iconic poem set in El Salvador in the lead-up to the Civil War. Claudia Castro Luna, Alexandra Regalado, Yevette Siegert, Maryann Parhizkar, and William Archila engaged in a spirited conversation about the significance of this poem, both today and back at its origin, as well as in the context of a work by an American as opposed to some writings by local or central American writers.