Footprints

I have a love/hate relationship with words. Words on my “do not like” list include nightmare, exploit and laundry (and hate, so I really shouldn’t use it here). Then there are words that just make me feel good – like raindrops, whimsy and cookies. Another of my favorite words is footprints. It always reminds me of that poem about two sets of footprints becoming one when God carries you through difficult times. I love that! It also reminds me of the poem I wrote several years ago about my father. I used the word “footprints” in it, so whenever I hear that word – my thoughts immediately go there. Here is the poem:

MY FATHER, MY SEAGULL

I felt myself

lifted away by a mighty seagull.

I helped him scan the waves in search of food.

I held on tight

as he swooped down towards the water,

then suddenly, we headed out to sea.

He caught an updraft

and we soared higher and higher.

He didn’t even need to flap his wings.

We watched the waves

try to overtake each other, yet they

always seemed to find their way to shore; as did we.

He landed gently.

I let go of his neck and slid down slowly.

He watched me leave my footprints in the sand.

Then he left me.

I tried to catch him, but I couldn’t, so I cried

just like I did the day they told me Daddy died.

For Ragtag Daily Prompt: Footprint

It’s Only Words #11

The Introvert – 201

Standing in shadows

hoping not to be noticed

yet begging to be

This Haiku would lead you to believe that an introvert is a socially shy person. While that can be true, being an introvert doesn’t necessarily mean social anxiety. It means people with this personality trait tend to be more inward focused. They turn more to internal thoughts, feelings and moods rather than external attention – like in this haiku which I posted here on August 6, 2017:

The Introvert – 101

She is just a girl

whose sunlight stays inside her

silently shining

Wishing a good day to all my fellow introverts!

It’s Only Words #9

It’s Only Words #1

If a picture is worth a thousand words, are words worthless without a picture? I’m about to find out! I post a photo every week in a series called Foto Friday, but I’m adding a new series on Wednesdays that will feature only words. Think the Bee Gee’s song, Words: “It’s only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away”, although no attempt whatsoever will be made to steal your heart, I promise! Without further ado, here is the first post of It’s Only Words:

Today we are

teetering on a tightrope

stretched between yesterday and tomorrow

hanging on for dear life.

Foto Friday #81

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“Chaos”

The world is drenched in panic and fear

like a ship on a stormy sea

desperately trying to stay afloat

amid wave after wave of debris

Tread with care through the turbulent ocean

Drown not in the depths of despair

The sun will shine on calmer waters

Smooth sailing soon will prevail

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For Lens Artists Photo Challenge: Chaos

Wishing you good health during the pandemic… and always!

Photos: Sunset on the Baltic Sea, Strong winds off the Isle of Capri, Sailing on Lake Malaren in Stockholm, Sweden

Horse Dreams

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Take me to the place you go

to run wild, spirited and free.

Show me your favorite meadow,

your path to what feels like heaven

and the view that compels you to pause.

Teach me strength and grace,

 to be noble yet humble,

and adventurous, but not unwise.

Share the secret of effortless beauty.

Don’t take me home ‘til you’ve looked at me

with eyes that touch my soul… then promise me

we can do it all again tomorrow!

Photo taken in Ireland

for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Roads

More “dream” poems:

I Still See You When I Dream

A Box of Dreams

I Still See You When I Dream

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Last night
you joined me in my dream.
We took a walk
like we always used to do
to that place
you always loved
down by the river.
I threw a stick
into the shallows and you ran
as if a ghost dog
I couldn’t see
might get there first.
You brought it back to me
and dropped it at my feet,
looking up with the happiest face
I’d ever seen
free of pain… of weariness… and burden.
At the end of my dream
you trotted off to your heavenly home,
wagging your tail
just so I’d know
you didn’t mind.
I woke up to another day without you – and I smiled!

This one’s for you, Heidi Girl, to commemorate what would have been your 17th birthday. It is a follow-up to my post A Poem for Heidi

Of Leaves and Children

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In an early Autumn rain

golden leaves stick like glue

to the spot where they fall,

but when winds dry the dampness

from the floor of the earth,

it relieves wet leaves

of their burden.

Freed leaves grow restless!

They drift and scurry!

Some stay close to home,

but some scatter far, far away.

Leaves are like children!

Speaking of leaves, here is a haiku for Ragtag Daily Prompt: Elusive

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An elusive leaf

snatched up by a gust of wind

dances on for miles

A Poem for Heidi

Nearly six months after the loss of our beloved dog, Heidi, I can finally string together a few coherent words about her.

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A Poem for Heidi

Lonely the yard where she once played

Cold the bed in which she laid

Silent the squeak of her favorite toy

Gone the source of our constant joy

Mournful the heart which continually weeps

 Our faithful companion now gently sleeps

We got our white schnauzer puppy 16 ½ years ago. She was supposed to be “my” dog – and she was – for about two weeks! Then a work conference required that I leave town for a few days, at which time she completely bonded with my husband, and he with her. They were the best of friends until the day she died. Don’t get me wrong, she loved me too, but I was clearly her second choice… except during a storm when she was all over me!

When Heidi was young, she would obsessively sit on her perch at the front window and guard the house while we were at work. She took her job very seriously, barking nonstop at the neighborhood children as they went to and from school or played outside during the summer.

Her favorite thing to do was play ball. She liked tennis balls with a squeaker inside because it was always such fun to be noisy. In the house she liked to stand at the top of the stairs and catch the ball we tossed up to her; then she would nod her head, release the ball and throw it back down. It’s a game she was very good at! Outside, she would fetch the ball from anywhere you threw it, then run like the wind to return it precisely at your feet.

By the time we retired, she began to slow down. I think she was happy to hand over the responsibility of protecting the house to us now that we were home more often. She got used to the routine of two walks a day. My husband would take her in the morning, and I would take her in the afternoon. She could get very demanding if she thought her walk might be delayed. Sometimes while running errands, I’d realize it was nearing 2:00. “I’ve got to get home”, I’d tell myself, “It’s almost time for Heidi’s walk!”

She began to have trouble keeping her footing on the hardwood floors inside our house, so we put down extra rugs here and there to help her walk. Eventually, nearly every square inch of slippery floor was covered with a rug. We carried her up and down the stairs for several years.

Arthritis and kidney problems plagued Heidi in her old age. She became intolerant of anyone touching her, so grooming was an issue. She looked like a homeless mutt at times, but you know what? If I was in pain, I wouldn’t want someone messing with me either!

We removed most of the rugs from the hardwood floors after Heidi was gone. I find the floors a little boring now; just like life is sometimes without her.

Mother’s Garden

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Last night steady rain fell here in the garden,

flooded now with memories of my mother.

The morning sky

still hangs low with heavy clouds

but leaks pale yellow light here and there.

“Sunshine is good for the Cannas,”

I hear her say.

I wonder if she ever knew how little I cared;

how unimpressed I was at the time

with her gardening wisdom?

Nurturing her garden was my mother’s gratification

… a diversion from the unfair hand

she was dealt.

I pull weeds from a patch of Begonias

and remember her happy.

I watch ants parade through the Peonies

and remember her healthy.

I prune the Roses, deadhead the Daisies,

and tie the Clematis a little bit higher for dramatic effect;

but my efforts don’t match the beauty

of Mother’s garden.

Sunlight fades; the air is still.

I realize I’ve tended the garden all day long.

I imitate the Lilies

which have folded themselves in prayer.

“God, grant me another day,” I ask

“filled with memories of Mother’s garden.”