What were you thinking upon waking?


Mask Workshop – Pain & Pleasure

I follow Phylor’s Blog

She writes beautifully, candidly and creatively about her experience with pain, dis-ease, chronic illness or she describes it: “pain, poetry, bipolar, prose (and a little whimsy on the side)”

Her poem, not only provocative, is so relevant to current research on how our thoughts signal our limbic/autonomic nervous system to create the neurochemicals that tell our “bodies” what to do – messenger molecules that determine blood pressure, pain signals, auto-immune responses etc, etc . . . essentially all our body’s systems.

I don’t wake up thinking . . .

by Phylor

I don’t wake up thinking today will be
a pain day
a crying day
an angry day
a disillusioned day
an anxious day
a hypomanic day
a worrying day
a backwards looking day
a beat-myself-up day
an inside day
an in-bed-a lot day

I don’t wake up thinking today will be

a less pain day
a happy day
a calm day
a dreams-might-come-true day
a confident day
a stable day
a positive day
a looking forwards day
a kind-to-myself day
an outside day
a mobile day

I don’t wake up thinking today will be . . .

Add a comment to her post: http://phylor.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/i-dont-wake-up-thinking/#respond

The Aftermath of a Health Crisis

Health Crisis

Mind Body And Soul

None unscathed


In the aftermath of all health issues imilar situations, feelings, responses occur for all people trying to find the NEW NORMAL after all chronic physical impairments, illnesses and conditions.

I URGE you to read the rest of this excellent post at My Heart Sisters to have a first person account. 

Dr Keddy goes into detail about the impact of her unexpected heart attack once back home.  Here’s how she begins:

Dr. Barbara Keddy: “It was the worst thing that has ever happened to me and my life has been changed forever. I now have the label of a ‘cardiac patient’. I am a new member of a club I did not want to join and worse, I don’t know the ins and outs of this organization. There is so much to learn and I am dragging my feet as I learn, wishing there was some way to resign from the membership.”

Conflicted: Should I hug or SCREAM?


Should I hug or SCREAM

perhaps cry


Human condition

Thoughts can betray, lead astray

No one is immune

I just spent an afternoon in an intensive care hospital unit with a colleague.  She had open heart quadruple by-pass surgery. They split her chest open, separated her ribs, stopped her heart, took veins from her legs and grafted them onto her heart.


Acylic painting by Lisa,
survivor of a potentially fatal Heart Attack in her 30’s

She had a Widow Maker heart attack – so named because it is usually FATAL.

Listen to what she told me.  It could save your life:  At first she figured it was indigestion, took ant-acid; thought the back pain was because she strained her back;  Symptoms progressed into nausea, fatigue, sweating, (figured something was wrong but she’d feel better in the morning).

When the excruciating pain (as she described it – worse than any childbirth) she didn’t want to go to the ER that night because she was sweaty and needed to take a bath (which she took in the morning before her hair cutting appointment);  Pretended excruciating pain wasn’t anything serious BECAUSE she was “healthy”; During her hair cut she felt faint.  Her hairdresser said it sounded like a heart attack and wanted to call 911; She refused to have her hairdresser call 911, TOLD HER TO FINISH CUTTING HER HAIR, PAID the bill AND THEN DROVE HERSELF to ER (where they immediately wheeled her into surgery)!!!!!!!

My colleague’s story is NOT uncommon.  Why don’t we hear more about Widow Maker Heart Attacks?  Most of the women who have them are DEAD.

I’m screaming at YOU: Stay current. Read Carolyn Thomas  ♥  My Heart Sisters blog  It may not be your life you save but a relative’s, friend’s, colleague’s, client’s . . .  or  . . . it could be YOUR own.

Symptom in women are different from men.  Our Female stubbornness and, dare I say, STOOOOOOOPIDITY has no bounds.  (I know.  I drove myself to the ER when I was having serious heart arrhythmia)

 It’s better to call 911 and be told you’re fine than to die or be disabled for life. 

Betrayal? You Are Less Beautiful Than You Think . . .

Variations on a Theme

Our minds betray us

into thinking we are more

. . . or less, more or less


Two haiku inspired by

You Are Less Beautiful Than You Think

Dove’s viral video gets it wrong

By  Ozgun Atasoy

Here’s a tiny preview.  Click on the title for the entire fascinating article (well, at least I find it fascinating):

Let's Face It

Let’s Face It

In a Dove soap video “. . . a small group of women are asked to describe their faces to a person whom they cannot see. The person is a forensic artist who draws pictures of the women based on their verbal descriptions. A curtain separates the artist and the women, and they never see each other.”

“Before all this, each woman is asked to socialize with a stranger, who later separately describes the woman to the forensic artist. In the end, the women are shown the two drawings, one based on their own description, the other based on the stranger’s description.”

“Much to their amazement and delight, the women realize that the drawings based on strangers’ descriptions depict much more beautiful women. The video ends: “You are more beautiful than you think.”’

“The evidence from psychological research suggests otherwise!  Instead, we tend to think of our appearance in ways that are more flattering than are warranted. This seems to be part of a broader human tendency to see ourselves through rose-colored glasses. Most of us think that we are better than we actually are — not just physically, but in every way.”

“Dove’s premise is wrong. But thinking we are more beautiful than we really are may not be such a bad thing.”

Perception stymies

Does it matter more . . .  or less?

Perhaps not at all?



My Lost Decade

As I was watching a documentary on the Eagles it hit me that the 1970’s was a lost decade for me. I was working 2 jobs, going back to college for a Master’s degree in education that I didn’t want but was necessary for me to keep my job and feeling pretty alone and under-the-gun.

A decade lost in eternity
The time of no memory
I no longer remember

Change of perspective
no longer here
perspective of time
no longer there

Already gone
here and there.

Faint of Heart Need Not Apply

Human Condition

Faint of heart need not apply 

Varied positions

Picture, emerging head, DCP_8561Been a hard couple of weeks, maybe months, but who’s counting  . . .  won’t go into the gory details . . .  When I complained about aches and pains, my loss of energy and motivation to my Baha’i “guide”, Jim, his response was:

“Being human and/or getting old is not for the faint of heart…….”

It made me think (There she goes again . . . “thinking”): Very few of us get out of this condition called human without pain, whether it’s physical, mental or emotional;  I have to accept (perhaps not like) that my life, all life, is ultimately about loss.

Starting from birth and losing the comfort of our mother’s womb, we are on a continual, unremitting passage of loss.  Some of the loss is welcome and some not.

Perhaps what is important is less about the actual loss and more about how we “work”  it.  

(But right now I’m too exhausted to work anything . . .)


Freddie High Q

We love open prompts

doors are left ajar, gates too

No fencing us in

* * *

This dog owns the streets

Freddie is as Freddie does

Makes territory

Freddie Parker Westerfield

Freddie Parker Westerfield

* * *

He’s fuzzy Freddie

pure white as the driven snow

with patches of beige

* * *

We are a matched pair

tails wagging in unison

with neurotic love         

Brain on Over-Drive

The "Hag"

Anxiety is the brain’s way of trying to keep us alive.  It wants us to be safe and so it looks for anything and everything that may not work, could be a problem, might be dangerous.

For most people who have anxiety “disorders” their minds are always working, scanning their physical, mental and emotional environments: A non-stop cacophony of thoughts , trying to avoid difficulty, figuring out something that doesn’t make sense . . . day and night; An adaptive mechanism in overdrive.

Faster and faster 

can’t stop a run away train

going nowhere fast


Racing rumbling thoughts

can’t stop a run away brain

A one way ticket

I’m Overwhelmed by Convenience.

Haiku-Heights, Prompt BREEZE

If I read enough I will FINALLY understand how to relax, organize, optimize my health, wealth, knowledge and time.   So I spend hours googling, oogling the glut of information on the internet. There is an overwhelming world of seemingly infinite information, suggestions, apps and opinions.

In my paperless office I print out an overwhelming number of copies of the

“important” information I NEED to keep.


The ubiquitous availability of E-mail, text messaging is a miraculous, mind-numbing, overwhelming demand for instant response.

Facebook and Twitter’s constant reminders to keep checking lest I miss out on something “crucial”. . . smart phones sing,  computers beep to let me know.

Being blown away

 technology tornado 

an absolute breeze




I was struck by the ending of Phylor’s poem.

I wonder how you would you finish the sentence

“Sometimes when I’m alone”?



by Phylor  

Sometimes when I’m alone

I slip a disc into the “boom box”

And dance around the kitchen.


Sometimes when I’m alone

IPod nano set to shuffle

I’ll walk for hours, for miles


Sometimes when I’m alone

I pretend to be another me

Singer, actress, novelist, historian, educator


Sometimes when I’m alone

I listen to the zillions of tiny noises

That makes up the sea of sounds and souls


Sometimes when I’m alone

I look up into the night

And see a million, billion, trillion stars


Sometimes when I’m alone

The computer keys fly by

The screen fills with strings of words


Sometimes when I’m alone

I close my eyes

And see universes


Sometimes when I’m alone

I’m alone

I’m alone


Red Alert: from the Sublime to the Ridiculous

Acrylic, judy

Acrylic, judy

The ultimate trip

Red-eye flight into the light

Only God  knows where

Tasty morsel me

Microbes lick their little lips

Flaming red sore throat


Microbe licking his lips by judy


judy's journal

judy’s journal

Five-Parts Pride

Too proud to admit

loneliness; just me, my soul

neither here nor there.

* * *

Too proud to complain.

How to relinquish the pain

I am and am not

* * *

Humility bared

ere I go before the fall

haughty spirit stilled

* * *

What was, now is 

 pile of dead bones

and my soul

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall”. Proverbs 16:18

Deepest depths

laughter and pain

 all I am

Haiku-Heightsprompt, Pain

prompt, PRIDE

Can’t you see that I’m . . . Reversed Engineered?

David http://wordcoaster.wordpress.com* has enhanced the traditional haiku form. These 3 haiku are dedicated to him. (Well, the first one isn’t a haiku, it’s a plea, the second & third ones are Reversed-Engineered.

Come on baby

Rescue me

from myself


Here’s David’s REVERSED-ENGINEERED “haiku” directions.   I quote:

 “I think perhaps a “reverse-engineered haiku” (if it really WAS a form) would perhaps be three lines of 7-5-7 syllables? Or maybe would be written backwards? Hmm…might have to try one of those out.” David

David, here’s an attempt at the two forms of Reverse-Engineered Haiku YOU inspired:

Rewind, re-verse my per-verse

broken haiku form.

Rescue me creatively

*   *   *

All fault David for

haiku engineered reverse.

For it’s David’s fault*

P.S. David is obviously “prone” to cheating . . . . or as he says, enhancing . . . as EVIDENCED by his bio on his very own blog:

*My name is David.  I was born and raised in Baltimore, MD.  I have three wonderful sisters and two amazing parents.   Currently I am studying Community Development at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA.  I love to read poetry and I also love to write poetry, though like most people I’ve never been formally trained.  I also like the tone a photograph can set for an entire poem–the emphasis it can add or the spin it can give.  Some would say it’s cheating–I say it’s enhancing.

Spirituality According to Max – Prologue & Epilogue and a haiku

Max stormed into life!

Then silently passing on

leaf drifting in air

 *     *     *

To all my haiku friends who may not know of Max’s passing

at the bottom are the posts of Max’s story.

*   *   *

Max, Prologue & Epilogue

” . . . it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. “ Bahá’í World Faith—Selected Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 

Max, 1968 – 2012

I mourn the passing from my life of this incredible lively, quirky and wonderful spirit.  Max was a love – stubborn, incredibly stubborn, but a love.

This December 2012,  he would have been 14 years old.  He was about 10 months old when he adopted us 1998. In his last week in both appearance and behaviour he wasn’t “Max”.

Before our eyes Max lost his hair, his pep, energy, stubbornness and his bearings.  He stopped greeting us at the door, giving hundreds of loving licks, he became completely disoriented, standing in space, staring at some unknowable sight, unable to move forward, backward or lie down.  Max’s body was here, his spirit was lost.

We knew without question it was time,  on November 26, 2012,  to release him

I have turned even more to the Baha’i spiritual teachings and prayer to stay as graceful and loving as possible through my tears  and  rely on Max’s loving, quirky spirit to help me keep perspective.

I began writing a series of remembrances days before we euthanized him, unconsciously knowing he had not many days to live here on earth.   I want to share a bit of Max and my journey  together.  If you choose to accompany us on this spiritual path Max & I will be honored.

Here are the links to the chapters I have posted to date.  They are a bit wacky,  just like Max!  Stay tuned for more . . .

Links (they do need to be read in order to follow the story thread):
Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has no Bounds



Rainbows of Different Hues

Souls watch from above

Rainbows of different tones

beings walk the earth

Souls listen in tune

Particles of light disburse

Bodies become dust

Souls sing out in love

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

All nearer to God

Rick Daddario

Thanks  Rick Daddario,  A 19 Planets Art Blog for sending me this YouTube Link!

Catch-up Creations

Must cheer myself on

Rendered tired and uninspired

“Do it anyway”

Haiku-Heights has a Haiku-a-day-Challenge for September.

Initially I wasn’t going to do the challenge as my Fibro has rendered me rather “tired” and uninspired. But I decided that haiku’s, being only 3 lines long, will take a minimum of thinking (as is evidenced by My haikus . . .) and keep my thumb in the blog-pie and creativity.

The Haiku-Heights word prompts-for-the-day are in bold colors.  (I “cheated” a bit and combined more than one day’s prompt in a couple of haiku . . . to catch up)

– – – – –

Elvis Presley lives

“Love me tender love me sweet”

Render me speechless . . .

_ _ _ _ _

The Milkyway,

long ago when I was young,

paved a path for cows

_ _ _ _ _

Through a prism seen

The color of  loneliness

changes as we age

_ _ _ _ _

Over Autumn Moon 

Drawbridge of our life

Walk into Winter

Passing Souls

I was told by my Baha’i spiritual guide that all souls acknowledge each other in passing whether we literally greet one another or not.

 That notion has brought me incredible pleasure.  So wherever I go – to the market, post-office, a walk down the block – when I pass a stranger I smile knowing that my soul is saying “hello” to their soul.  Sometimes the strangers smile back.

In silence we touch

Strangers passing without words

soul to soul to soul.

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
Mother Teresa


Leave me not behind

In memories of your mind

Please forget-me-not

Forget-Me-Not Flowers

In a German legend, God named all the plants when a tiny unnamed one cried out, “Forget-me-not, O Lord!” God replied, “That shall be your name.” 


Prior to becoming the tenth province of Canada in 1949, Newfoundland (then a separate British Dominion) used the Forget-me-not as a symbol of remembrance of that nation’s war dead. This practice is still in limited use today, though Newfoundlanders have adopted the Flanders Poppy as well.

Freemasons began using the flower in 1926 as a symbol well known in Germany as message not to forget the poor and desperate. Many other German charities were also using it at this time. In later years, by a handful of Masons, it was a means of recognition in place of the square and compass design. This was done across Nazi occupied Europe to avoid any danger of being singled out and persecuted.

The symbol of the forget-me-not in modern Masonry has become more prevalent and exaggerated claims about the use of the symbol are often made in order to promote sales of bumper stickers of the symbol.  Today it is an interchangeable symbol with Freemasonry and some also use the Forget-me-not to remember those masons who were victimized by the Nazi regime. In English Freemasonry it is more commonly now worn to remember those that have died as a symbol that you may be gone but not forgotten.


Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The moose-ear forget-me-not, Myosotis laxa, has now extended its racemes very much, and hangs over the edge of the brook. It is one of the most interesting minute flowers. It is the more beautiful for being small and unpretending; even flowers must be modest.”[7]

In Evangeline, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote,

Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of Heaven,
Blossom the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.

In his 1947 long poem “Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction,” Wallace Stevens mentions the forget-me-not, using its scientific Greek-derived name:

It observes the effortless weather turning blue
And sees the myosotis on its bush.

J. R. R. Tolkien refers to the flower in his poems. The character of Tom Bombadil is said to have the colour of the flower on his jacket (Lord of the Rings, chapter seven, book I).

In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling when Harry Potter first meets Professor Lockhart, Professor Lockhart “…was wearing robes of forget-me-not blue that exactly matched his eyes…” (chapter four page 59 of the 1999 American edition).


Yes, YOU are creative.

“I’m not creative.  I can’t paint.  I can’t draw”.  Words I hear all the time.

“Yes, You CAN!  Creative expression is not about making something look like a photograph.  It’s about using color and smushes and dabs and globs to symbolically represent anything you want”.  Words I repeat all the time

Take a look at this portrait and poem by Therese Lydia Josef.

 Therese shares her world with wonderful color both in paint and words.   She teaches children’s classes too.  Take a look at some of the kid’s work here.  It’s inspiring.
I Want What She’s Having by therese-joseph

my vision
gone blurry, my focus gone weak
all I can see:
her savour the flavor – no sharing with me

my mouth
closed barely, no sense in my cheek
all I can fate:
is fiction aroma of what she just ate


Try it with crayons!  They’re not intimidating.  They’re cheap.

Life is short. Just have fun.

Take a look at the Tutorial Page for some prompts, ideas, inspirations

Ode to a Worm by Max

Ode to a Worm

by Max

You wiggle when you walk
Can’t hear you when you talk
Use the garden for your loo
Can’t worm out of being you

Male & female hermaphrodite

You don’t care, not uptight

Having sex in damp dark  dirt

where self rejection doesn’t  hurt

My human is obsessed with worms.  Everyday she digs in the garden to find worms  to put in her vegetable garden.  I try to help by digging holes.  She gets upset with me.  I think she’s jealous that I can dig faster.

If I think humans are weird, take a look at worms!

1. Worms can eat their weight each day.

2. Earthworms will eat almost anything that was once alive, but is now dead.

3. If a worm is cut in half,  the part of the body that has the head will live and generate a new tail.

4. More than 3,000 species of earthworm exist in the world.

5. A worm is a “hermaphrodite” since it has both male and female reproductive organs.

6. Worms cannot hear or see.

7. Worms can have between 1-5 pairs of hearts.

8. The earthworm does not have lungs and instead uses its skin to breathe.

9. Worms are cold-blooded and their body is made up of 80% water.

10. Worms typically live for about 3-4 years, however there have been some cases where they have lived for 15 years.


“No Man is an Island”

In college I was an English Lit major. We bisected, dissected and dismembered  hundreds, maybe thousands, of books of fiction, plays and poems.  No one believes me when I tell them  can’t remember the storyline or characters in any of them.  It’s true.  The minute I got my hard-earned diploma my brain stored all that information in an inaccessible data bank marked “Misc. other”.  Looking back I was a bit daft with that choice of a major – what do you do with a B.A. in English Lit?

In the 4th grade, during National Poetry Month, we were given an assignment to memorize a poem to recite in class.  While others were memorizing poems like  “Casey at the Bat” or the “Walrus and the Carpenter” I picked “No Man is an Island” by John Donne.  Looking back I’m sure my fellow students thought I was a bit daft with this choice.

I wasn’t considered to be a precocious child but even then something inside told me we were all connected in a way that I couldn’t  fathom. Looking back I do believe that poem was the seed of finding truth in the Baha’i tenent that we are all connected, we are all one.

The truth I found in that poem made such an impact on me I can still recite it half a century later.

This month is National Poetry Month.

No Man is an Island by John Donne

No man is an island entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as a manor of thy friends or of thine own were;
any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee.

A Poet and a Beetle, NO, NOT RINGO!

Robert Krulwich is one of my favorites.  A wonderful writer with an eye for the small wonders of life.  So it’s no wonder that he writes of  this nobel prize winner for literature.  I share this with you in the hope that it will enrich your day as it does mine.  

Look down. Please notice. Please read. 

Two Deaths: A Poet And A Beetle

“She’d wake up like we do, look out the window just like us, rummage through her days, but somehow what caught her attention — a grasshopper’s hop, an infant’s fingernails, plankton, a snowflake — when Wislawa Szymborska noticed something, she noticed it so well, her gaze reshaped the thing she saw, gave it a dignity, a vividness.”

“She was a poet and she died this week. She was, the obits say, a modest woman. When she won the Nobel Prize for literature, she was so discombobulated by the attention, she stopped writing poetry for awhile, until the world settled down and she could be ignored again. She needed the quiet to notice the astonishing, quiet things we might see every day, if we only had her eyes.”

“She had eyes for modest creatures. One time, she was wandering down a path — in my imagination it’s a dirt path through a field somewhere in Poland where she lived. She looks down, and there, lying on its back, sits a beetle. It is dead. Nobody notices. Which is the point:”

A dead beetle lies on the path through the field.
Three pairs of legs folded neatly on its belly.
Instead of death’s confusion, tidiness and order.
The horror of this sight is moderate,
its scope is strictly local, from the wheat grass to the mint.
The grief is quarantined.
The sky is blue.

To preserve our peace of mind, animals die
more shallowly: they aren’t deceased, they’re dead.
They leave behind, we’d like to think, less feeling and less world,
departing, we suppose, from a stage less tragic.
Their meek souls never haunt us in the dark,
they know their place,
they show respect.

And so the dead beetle on the path
lies unmourned and shining in the sun.
One glance at it will do for meditation —
clearly nothing much has happened to it.
Important matters are reserved for us,
for our life and our death, a death
that always claims the right of way.

“Wislawa Szymborska’s passing is as precious as that beetle’s. No more. No less. She taught us about weight in the world. We all have it. Every last one of us”.

“Seen from Above” from Poems New and Collected: 1957-1997 by Wisława Szymborska. English translation copyright © 1998 by Harcourt, Inc. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

NPR News

Running amok on Tippy Toe

The prompt for Haiku-Heights today is Tiptoe.  

My apologies in advance to ZONGRIK who suggested the prompt.

P.S.  For those of you unfamiliar with Haiku I have taken great license with the genre.  Please click on Haiku-Heights and the many bloggers with links to read the real thing!


The tip of my toe
stubbed in the middle of night
don’t hurt any mo


When toes get tipsy

You have had too much to drink

Hard to walk or think


Tiptoe around me

When I am not in the pink

or I will kick you


Dance the night away

Always on my tippy toes

Don’t step on my feet


The tip of my toe

Is like an iceberg afloat

So much more to me


Please get me in toe

before I write any mo

I’m running amok

Incredible color! You can be Fearless too!

Those of you who have been following Max’s blog know that Max and I really like to share other people’s creative expression.

Every once in a while I stubble across an artist whose work inspires me.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE Therese’s use of color and particularly the portraits she paints. Therese-joseph.com

AND take a look at Therese’s blog  Therese Lydia Joseph — she teaches art to children and there are examples of her lessons and the children’s artwork.  And if children’s work isn’t inspiring I don’t know what is.

AND she writes poetry!  Here’s  what she wrote about this painting:
Larger than Life

Boasting lightly – vim and vigour

Destined to be bold and bigger

Better than Bliss

Blooming brightly – free and fragrant

Rich and regal – somewhat vagrant

Softer than Silk

Blushing slightly – red and rosy

Crafted to be kind and cozy

Taller than Time

Budding tightly – bloom and blossom

Never wilting – always awesome

Painting & Poetry by Therese Lydia Joseph

Now!  Go splash some color into the world!

Do Your Tears Dilute Pain?

As I read Ramesh’s poem, I reflected on my own experience with tears.  Tears for me do dilute pain.  Tears also signal truth.  

My first experience of tears and truth was when I was in therapy over 30 years ago.  Whenever my therapist made a comment that was a truth I hadn’t consciously known or acknowledged I would unexpectedly, spontaneously burst into tears.   Tears that welled from the core of my being.

To this day, tears are a barometer of both my pain and my truth.   Perhaps my pain and truth are one in the same?

by Ramesh Sood

White sheet of paper
And the poet in me 
Got tempted
As the thoughts 
From the heart
Started flowing,
I scribbled
“Presence of pain 
In my heart doesn’t mean 
I am not happy……”
Suddenly, a lump in throat 
And a tear from the eye
Rolled out and fell 
On the paper
The word ‘Pain ’ got
Scattered and diluted 
. . .      . . .
And hey, haven’t I

Found a truth here:
Tears indeed dilute pain…


Thank you Ramesh for a beautiful and thought-provoking poem,

Elephant & Ant, SNEAK PEEK

Sneak Peek of Elephant & Ant !!!!!

ONLY YOU, yes YOU, no one else in the whole wide world,  have the first, the very first glimpse of What’s to COME!

An astounding, creative, lovable, incredible, unbelievable,

did I say lovable?, story of the Love Affair between

Elephant & Ant

 The start of the tail

A love story come to light*

You have the first peek

Elephant and Ant

An Unlikely love affair

to light up your life

She’s light on his feet

He is the light of her life

He’s not a light weight

He can’t see beyond his nose

the impossibility

That everyone knows

So stay tuned right here

There’s MORE to be brought to light

Just for your delight

In response to haiku prompts on Haiku-Heights  Ramesh Sood wrote a series of haiku about Elephant and Ant.  He’s now put the story between this  unlikely pair into rhyme – and I’m delighted to help him introduce them to you.

(The sketches on this page are preliminary and are not to be confused for the REAL Elephant and Ant)

Read Ramesh’s wonderful poetry on his blog:

A Little More Than Ordinary

*Haiku-Heights Prompt – Light

With Love to Bernice and Len

November 14th was the anniversary of The passing of Leonard Bornstein, the husband of my dear dear friend Bernice.  Here is my original post in Len’s memory:

Among Bernice’s many, many accomplishments as a mother, wife,  grandmother, nurse, psychotherapist, Woman of the Year when she and Len lived in Eagle Lake, Texas. (Thank goodness she’s lost her drrrrrrawl since moving back to California!) she’s a writer, poet, incredible hostess but one of my dearest, long time friends.

We met in 1985 when we were psychotherapy interns together at Long Beach Family Service. (I’m not good at numbers but as I recall we were about 20 years old, give or take a decade . . . or two. . . or three or four).
Bernice and I created the annual “Birthday Season” that I wrote about on my birthday blog post.
After you read Bernice’s poem I’ll tell you why her poem and acrylic paintings reflect how  we all share a common bond with loss.
It came too quickly
He was too young
We never dreamed
It could happen to us.
It did
So we lived each day
took evey minute
To savor life
Share joys and loss
And did.
We gave our all
To win the battle
To keep hold of life
To conquer death
We didn’t.
Death came and went
Without devastation
For we shared it fully
Believing in eternity
I do.
by Bernice Bornstein, wife of Leonard Bornstein, M.D. who died November 14, 2008 
Here’s the series of pictures Bernice painted – one for each stanza.  

“It came too quickly”
One minute we are fine and the next moment, searing, burning pain. Like the black breaking through.
“So we lived each day”
We try to “be normal”.  Bits of flashes of color (hope, relief) but always against a background of grey
                      “To keep hold of life”
We attempt to hold onto who & what had been but the
background gets grayer and the color leaves our life.
Deep grief is felt over the empty loss

Bursts of life energy periodically blossom, against the gray.
“For we shared it fully
Believing in eternity
I do.”
“Wert thou to attain to but a dewdrop of the crystal waters of divine knowledge, thou wouldst readily realize that true life is not the life of the flesh but the life of the spirit. For the life of the flesh is common to both men and animals, whereas the life of the spirit is possessed only by the pure in heart who have quaffed from the ocean of faith and partaken of the fruit of certitude. This life knoweth no death, and this existence is crowned by immortality.”

Therapeutic Creative Expression – Jumbo Journals, Week 6

The journal process is a metaphor for layers and layers of experiences, feelings and thoughts of our lives; Some things covered up;  Bits and pieces of others showing through;  Each layer enriching the next; Forever creating who we are.

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The pages are layered more and more with stacked writing, collage, spontaneous poetry, faux sketching, paint, stencils, torn paper, tissue paper, magazine images, words, tissue paper, stenciling, markers, foil, torn paper, cut paper, scribbles, scratches, doodles and all things creative.

(The colors in the slides are not as rich and deep as the originals — I’m having trouble with iphoto)

Perfect Rainy Day for Celeste Cooper (and my bug)

Not a lot of people believe me when I tell them I wait for rain to wash my car.  I pull it into the driveway and when it’s wet enough I sponge it off, pull it into the garage and dry! Lickety split.  It’s raining right now in sunny southern California.

*Celeste, http://www.thesethree.com/ lives, works and writes in sunny Arizona where, when the rain falls, lightening booms.  I thought about Celeste today because both her poem and prose speak of rain.

Celeste Cooper

I Am But a Visitor Here©

by Celeste Cooper

I fondle the threadbare cloth, as I don the table,
Honoring the calls of nature, thankful I’m able.

The evening mist whispers,” Listen, hear my name,”
Interrupted by thunder, earth trembles, making its claim.

Learned chipmunks frolicking, hurry, to tidy their throne,
Drumming rain upon an awning, nature sways to the tone.

Hummingbirds arguing, swooping the found red feeder,
Obliviously provoking, rejecting, “who is their leader?”

Merely hobos we are, here, the land inborn by time,
Crickets melodically join in song, all claiming it’s mine.

Lightning enlightening the sense of my presence here,
Nature’s orchestra, the teacher, those willing to hear.

Strings strumming from the river, float up as a gift,
Deer blindly oversee meadows against the cliff.

Portly pine bellowing scent, permeating the park,
Nature quiets its soul, timidly soothed by the dark.

Flames speak, stimulating thoughts that are clear,
The campfire is laughing, “You are temporarily here.”

Brazen promise seen through the bifocals of time,
This inheritance, nature summons, proclaiming its mine.

Enchanted by this instruction, the beauty, I endear
The fact of the matter, “I am but a visitor here.”

Every Day a Gift ©

“I will meet each day with a grateful heart. It is through admission that I am able to have positive expectations. I accept the reality of temptations that could deconstruct my day. I understand that as the sun meets the rain, the rising up of peace will meet my pain. I am mindful of thought blocks and keep expectations in line with my reality. I will honestly greet positive with paper and affirm each day as a blessing not to be wasted.”
*Celeste Cooper, author, Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: the Mind-Body Connection (co-author, Jeff Miller, PhD)
Celeste is a retired advanced trained registered nurse.  She cared  and mentored others, and practiced as a clinical educator who wrote and implemented continuing education programs.
She has experienced personal struggles trials, setbacks, and successes as the result of illness, which brought her ambitions to an abrupt halt.
Celeste advocates for education, change, awareness, and research, and her goal is to share ways to overcome obstacles and turn “road blocks” into a “road trip” full of opportunities.
Find LOTS of good information about Fibro, CFS and Myofascial pain, her book (and tips for journaling as A Way to Connect Your Body-Mind-Spirit) on Celeste’s web-site – http://www.thesethree.com/
Time to wash the car before the rain stops.

Wear sunglasses in the rain, never know when the sun will come out!

 SEE! A perfect day for car washing and Celeste’s wonderful poem and prose.  Whata combination . . .

Jumbo Journal GroupShop, Week 4

Spontaneous Poetry was on tap for this week.  It’s easy, relaxing, expressive and turns everyone into a modern poet.

Here’s how:

  1. Cut words, phrases out of newspaper and magazines.
  2. When you’ve gotten a good pile of words focus on a theme, feeling, issue etc.
  3. Arrange the words on a blank sheet of paper to create a NON-rhyming poem (often called “free verse”)
  4. You can cut out individual letters to create plurals, prepositions, change tenses etc or simply write them in.
  5. Paste them down, paint them, outline them or leave them plain and you’re done!
Take a look!

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Happy Diwali!

Love the Internet!  I’ve always believed we are all connected and the World Wide Web has made that concrete.

I have a new, talented friend from India!  INDIA!  Ramesh is a writer and poet.  I received this poem from him today.

“Here’s wishing a very Happy Diwali to you and your family!

On this beautiful Diwali,
The festival of lights,
May the stars rain on the roof
Of your house and
Settle themselves in
Rows of happiness and joy
Glittering whole night
May you find some moments
To be just yourself,
Truest and purest
Free from all the burdens
Let your eyes shine
With happiness & joy
Stemming from
The deepest core
Of your Heart
May your loved ones
Glow in your light
And you…… in theirs
Make it special this Diwali !

Ramesh Sood & Famiy
Seeking your good wishes and blessings, too!”


Diwali!?  I admit my ignorance and had to look it up – another wonderful thing about the internet, information at my finger tips.  Here’s Five Days of Diwali!

Edited from: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Reenita Malhotra Hora &  wikipedia.org/wiki/Diwal

“Diwali is one of the biggest festival of Hindus, celebrated with great enthusiasm and happiness in India. The festival is celebrated for five continuous days, Different colorful varieties of fireworks are always associated with this festival. On this auspicious day, people light up diyas and candles all around their house. They perform Laxmi Puja in the evening and seek divine blessings of Goddess of Wealth. The festival od Diwali is never complete without exchange of gifts. (I like it already!) People present diwali gifts to all near and dear ones.

The name “Diwali” is a contraction of “Deepavali” (Sanskrit: दीपावली Dīpāvalī), which translates into “row of lamps”.[5] Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (diyas or dīpas) in Sanskrit: दीप) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. (Now that is GOOD )During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes (more good) and share sweets and snacks (Getting even better) with family members and friends.”

“On the first day of Diwali, housewives consider it auspicious to spring clean the home (not so sure about this one) and shop for gold (Excellent!) or kitchen utensils. (“OR” kitchen utensils?  I know what I’d be shopping for)

On the second day, people decorate their homes with clay lamps or diyas and create design patterns called rangoli on the floor using colored powders or sand.

The third day is the main day of the festival when families gather together for Lakshmi puja, a prayer to Goddess Lakshmi followed by mouth-watering feasts and firework festivities.

The fourth day is the first day of the new year when friends and relatives visit with gifts and best wishes for the season.

On the last day of Diwali, brothers visit their married sisters who welcome them with love and a lavish meal.

Even today in this modern world it projects the rich and glorious past of  India and teaches us to uphold the true values of life. ”

Blessings to you and your family Ramesh

Happy Dawali!

Fractured Nursery Rhyme, Humpty Revisted


Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

All the king’s horses

And all the king’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.


So let’s get with it,

Don’t pine or beg

Make your life tasty

You’re still a good egg.

http://Haiku Heights.blogspot.com

Be Patient Humpty

You have broken many times

in Nursery rhymes


No matter what’s said

You will live on forever

a hard boiled egg



Right to Write  by Max (prompt = write)

Isn’t write at all

No money for a keyboard

Left to right with pen

Can’t make the deadline
with a four paw handicap
I’ll go take a nap

Vanity  by Max  (prompt = mirror)

Much too high to see

Mirror mirror on the wall

Good thing I’m not vain

“Mirror”, “write” NO way

Can not get my teeth into

like chow, chew or shoe


Prompts:  WRITE & MIRROR

Tonight I Howl

Coyotes roam our neighborhood.  They were here first.  They eat rodents, rabbits, cats and yes, little dogs.  They scale 7 feet tall fences and have no concept of what property or pets are.

When I take Max out before bed I check the side yard to make sure it’s safe.  Max doesn’t seem to care.  It’s a bit daunting for me.

When I came across Pat’s free verse on her blog I was reminded that all of God’s creatures, all of us, are simply trying to survive  in a land that has become artificial, indifferent and unfamiliar.  And . . . I reminded that the coyotes were here first.

Tonight I Howl

Posted on August 27, 2011 by Pat Cegan


Tonight I think I will howl,
release from deep within
a cry of forlorn, joining my brothers
who lift their snouts to the moon and
wail their sadness and longing.

I will howl for all who fail
to see the beauty that surrounds them,
howl for those dying of hunger
while others spend money to lose weight,
howl at the indifference, often
more deadly than hate.

I will howl because my voice
longs to merge with others in a
song of sweet surrender to who
we are and who we are becoming, a
howl that celebrates life. Amen!

Want to share this? Click here!:

Stick to it!


Having lived, loved and eaten my way thru Greece for almost 3 years in my 20’s and studying Baha’i in my 60’s Cloe’s poem caught my attention.  

It brought back memories and my favorite Greek pastry Galactoboureko.  Layers of filo dough that sandwich a most deeeeeeeeeeeeelicious custard and all of it infused with a honey syrup.  I’ve never been able to find a restaurant in the USA that makes it like I remember.

Of course I was in my 20’s when everything was new, delicious and I had a memory.

God Loves Baklava

by Chloë Filson, 26. Halifax, NS, Canada. Poet and generally silly person.


Baha’i, This faith of ours is a little like:

Not dull, dour or dry.
Here’s why:
It’s not a dessert like your mom used to make
(It isn’t much like chocolate cake
or pie)
But you still might try….

A finger gets sticky, then a finger and a thumb,


And to help these two, another must come.
And when you try to lick away the honey—
It’s funny—
Your lips just get sticky. Tricky!

You may never be able to touch anything again!
Everything will stickify.
You are the Midas of syrup and pistachio crumbs.
Here it comes!

So don’t just get your hands “dirty”,
Get them sticky.


Chloë Filson is a self described jill-of-all-arts with a cheery disposition. She is a writer and a poet, who occasionally does calligraphy and illustration work. She also likes to sing in choirs. Chloë spent almost two years doing research and volunteering at the Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa, Israel. She currently works as an editor for Edit Owl and lives in Halifax, Canada. Check out some of Chloë’s creative work.

            Baklava Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
  • 1 pound chopped nuts
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(175 degrees C). Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9×13 inch pan.
  2. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 – 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 – 8 sheets deep.
  3. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.
  4. Make sauce while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. Serve in cupcake papers. This freezes well. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.

God Loves Baklava. He created Galactoboureko!