Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring healing.


Last day of Poem a Day therapy for me over at Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides blog. The prompt: write a fade-away poem.

My offering:


I’m drawn outside
by the
first lilac on my tree
you’ll never see
leaving me to
rock and keen
the sudden
loss of you
Spring’s early heat
wraps its arms
around me
like a mama holds
her child,
kissing my face
here now
here now

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sincere grief.

attributed to The New Yorker

TODAY, day 29 in Robert Lee Brewer's Poem a Day Challenge, the prompt is to take a line or image from one of our earlier poems and write a new poem around that.

Since i've been using it as free therapy, i decided to do my poem based on the 5 stages of grief found here, pulling lines from different poems during the different stages i've tracked my muddy footprints through over the past month. Again, therapeutic! i highly recommend it.

i make no claims of great eloquence, but i can guarantee the sincerity of my writing, so that counts for something, right?


But I just talked to you days ago
and you’re so present within these walls
I can’t believe I’ll never hear your voice again
if our parents weren’t already ashes
I would burn them to the ground
I can’t stand the wounds they caused you to live with
and if I could just rewind my life
I’d call the day before--
your being gone severely messes with my head
and I don’t know just how I’ll make it
I don’t know how I’ll survive
I’m leaking gravity, and I may just blow away…
and I’m waiting for acceptance
though it hasn’t shown up yet
it’s an aching pain, I’ll miss you quite a lot.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Poetic therapy, day 28.

photo borrowed from

Day 28 of the Poem a Day Challenge on Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides blog. The prompt today:
write a problem poem. The poem could be about a problem the narrator is suffering through, or someone else’s problem. Or a math problem.


 and it’s been forty-nine days of
waking up remembering
you’re really gone and that
not having you on the planet is
severely messing with my head
and today I let the dogs out and
made some coffee
before I remembered I can’t call
you on the phone today but
it was a whole twenty minutes
this morning
a whole twenty minutes before
the empty space spoke up
and I don’t know if that’s a problem
I should be facing or if
maybe just a tiny bit of rawness
in me
is healing

Friday, April 27, 2012

Grief as an animal.

borrowed from

Poem a Day therapy from Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides blog
prompt for day 26: write an animal poem.


it’s a different sort of animal
this grief in me
it’s an elephant in this waiting room of me
that others with their magazines
look down hard so as to avoid eye contact
until the elephant becomes
a feral cat
all sharp edges hard to contain
leaving people scrambling
this grief in me

Skimmer's Recap: julie finds grief a curious animal, prone to sneaking up on one from behind.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My maximum sport enjoyment.

Day 25 of Robert Lee Brewer's Poem a Day April Challenge:
write a poem about a sport.
photo borrowed from Wikipedia.


my brother played baseball at the park up the street
dusty boys in the summer heat
I loved when he played those Little League games
never found anything quite the same
this little sister with my grubby toes
barefoot girl as often as I chose
running to the diamond in the middle of the grass
waving at big brother as i'd dance past
my brother played baseball at the park up the street
dusty boys in the summer heat
with me on the bleachers wiggling my toes
and keeping cool with my red sno-cone

dusty days in the summer heat
never found a way it could be beat…

Skimmer's Recap: i'm all about the sno-cones. Not so much about the sport.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Poetry Prompt Promptly Posted. (say that 3 times fast.)

For today’s prompt, write a morning poem. The poem can be about the morning, take place during the morning, or however you want to work the morning in.
photo at Sunset Hills mortuary borrowed from daughter Cori.

it’s a white morning in nearly Spring

 the trees are black more than they’re green

 in contrast set against the sky

 as snow is falling


we pause as birds ready to fly

 we’ve left you in the hands of God

and grief-trained hosts at the mortuary

 my dove heart beating


biting my tears I turn to see

him gazing at the scenery

 pain and joy both cross his face

 “She would have loved this,” he says,

 “the snow,

the contrast”

He smiles. 


and I wake

“I was running a race in my dream,” I said.

“No wonder I’m always still tired in the morning.”

More Poetic Therapy.

More of my take on the Poem a Day prompts at Robert Lee Brewer's poetry blog at
If you're looking for light and laughter, today's not the best day to visit here, so just click on somewhere else in blogland and check back with me another time. :-)
April 21, 2012

For today’s prompt, write an under the microscope poem. By that, the poem could be about something actually under the microscope–like single-cell organisms or leaves–or it could be more like “being under the microscope” in other people’s eyes.

(not enough) OXYGEN
I pinned the carcass in the wax-filled box
nose wrinkled, averse to killing even a bug
eighth grade project, doing the minimum for the grade
having seen enough death in our home
enough decay in the demise of hope
enough to steal a small girl’s smile
to keep us captured for a while
till you led us to be set free

but things meant for harm just made us seek
a different way to be so we
turned our backs on imprisoned breath
no more holding back instead we’d give
oxygen to those we loved

I carried the pictures to the funeral home
clenched teeth hard against my trembling lips
one more project of specimens gleaned

from your twenty photo books
where you kept the cards and memories
of those you loved and who loved you back
I chose the most of you and he
who found your smile again
but I love the one of you and me
sitting on the steps when I was three
two girls back when our lives were new
and I wish I could be your oxygen
and have you and not just
photo specimens.


April 22, 2012

For today’s prompt, write a judging poem. This is a poem that could be judging others, or it is a poem being judged. I realize there is the opportunity for feelings to get hurt with this poem–so please be mindful of language, subject matter, and personal attacks.


I judge myself for living on
when you so recently have gone
I judge myself for taking breath
when yours is silenced now in death
I judge myself for staying home
for not just picking up the phone
that Friday when I never knew
I’d not again be seeing you
I judge myself for having health
for being strong, for illness’ stealth
taking you and not myself
I judge myself I judge myself
I judge the way I’ll never hear
your laughter smiling in my ear
I judge the way you’ll never know
you were my lighthouse
guiding me

Skimmer's Recap: just missing my sister.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

When food takes itself too seriously.


Today's blog post is brought to you by "Just for Fun".....and the number 18.

Today's prompt from Robert Lee Brewer's Poem a Day challenge was to think of a favorite regional cuisine and write a poem about it. i chose to write about an experience we had back in the 80s. Though this wasn't my favorite meal by any means, it was one of the funniest.


 My first introduction to this cuisine
came courtesy of a birthday dream
this special one, allowed to choose,
picked “California Cuisine.”

We read through the menu, we celebrators,
traded our thoughts, ordered our dinners
hungry for this singular treat
of California Cuisine.

We chattered and laughed while we waited
smiling as we anticipated
this new delight unknown to us
called California Cuisine.

Our food appeared on expansive plates
we all looked down--we’d sealed our fates--
my husband gazed at three lone spears
of green California Cuisine.

The asparagus lay in a precise way
across from two mouthfuls of entrée
we all looked up at each other’s reactions
to California Cuisine.

We looked from plate to plate in wonder
I tried not to laugh (it’s a social blunder)
but couldn’t stop when my husband said

“How ‘bout we stop for burgers on the way home?”

No more California Cuisine.

Skimmer's Recap: if you can't laugh WITH your food, laugh AT it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Poetic Therapy.

On the Writer's Digest website, Robert Lee Brewer has a blog called "Poetic Asides." Each April for the past several years he has run a Poem A Day challenge with a different theme challenge for each day. It's pretty fun to read, pretty fun to do. This year i've dubbed it "PAD Therapy" and i've been writing all my poems dealing with my birth family and recent loss of my sister Patti. Who says you shouldn't enjoy at least part of the grieving process?

The challenge for today was to write either a science fiction poem or a fantasy poem. This was my take on it.


In a morning garden
we meet near the climbing roses
that caress a fountain
of cement gray.
We stroll the winding path
down the hill to a small café
we love to chatter at
next to the sea,
and sit raising our faces
letting the sun embrace our skin,
just two girls bathing in
an ocean breeze.

Op’ning my eyes I see
the room around me, my aged hands
and say goodbye for now
my sister-friend,
happy to have a place
we can go walking, and laugh again
because I miss you so
with my eyes open....