The Eternity of Words — Imelda/Charley


This is my attempt at completing Imelda’s challenge poem, “Words,” which she submitted to Jilly’s September Casting Bricks Challenge.  As Imelda explains, the poetic form is “…a Retourne… a poem that has 4 quatrains with 8 syllables on each line.  The lines do not need to rhyme.  In a Retourne, next three lines of the first stanza become the first line of the succeeding quatrains.  As you can see, I used the second line of the first stanza to begin the first line of the second stanza.  So, the third stanza should have the third line of the first stanza as the first line, and so on.”  Hopefully, I’ve come near the intent and tone of the first half.


Words, once set free, blend in the wind
breathing a timeless existence;
Some grow wings to fly to heaven
They ask gifts for the gentle tongue

Breathing a timeless existence,
words illuminate our soul
Memories do falter in time
consequences of words live on.

Some grow wings to fly to heaven,
Some bear weights that drag them to hell.
Others bear truths that teach our young.
Word light; sunny day, starry night.

They ask gifts for the gentle tongue.
They scold, cajole, or encourage.
On monuments writ they do fade;
Put to use they build cleansing fires.


Dandelions’ Rhymes — Colin/Charley


photo by Charley

Awake my soul into a dream
A dream of robins’ poetry
Whereon tickly fluff of dandelions rhymes
And in silken crepuscular rays the verses stream
I hear a heartbeat
Dripping warm dewdrops of mead
Into the wind
Into her melodies of angelic sweet

Awake my psyche to reality
Where robins’ song is days-end chant
Upon dandelions’ parachutes ride poets’ hearts
And in woolen shadowy rays our fancies see
A tell-tale heart throbs
Ripping acid moans from deep
Caught in a dream’s wind
Waking to bird song, imagined melody robs


This is my attempt at completing Colin’s amazing poem, “Vernal Flutter.”  He submitted this as a challenge half-poem in Jilly’s September Casting Bricks Challenge, and as a poem in dVerse Poets Pub, Meeting the Bar.  Tonight Björn is hosting, and he asks us to be metaphorical.  For those who can’t keep them straight, a simile is “like” or “as” a metaphor, but a metaphor is, like, not a simile.  (or something as that…)

Shine In – Frank/Charley


photo by Charley


Autumn changes focus on school schedules and condo movements, but now for our children, not for us. It’s the same with Spring. In between these events, like sunlight going through the leaves of trees, there is viewing the lake and parkways where trees can reach for the sun because the buildings are small enough for them to have a chance.


Winter’s focus for many means wind chill factor, snow removal, and washing salt from cars when the mercury rises.  The children – and adults – wrap in layers over layers; Autumn’s wool exchanged for Down and Thinsulate.  For children it means that most transient and renewable of playthings: Snow.  Our winters down here share the clearness of light and not much else.  Ours is the beautiful days filled with biking, walking by lake-sides, and picnics.  We spend many nights on our back balcony sky-watching.  Summer light is hot, yellow-white and withering no matter where you live.



For Jilly’s September Challenge of Casting Bricks, this is my completion of Frank Hubeny’s excellent Haibun called “Let the Light Shine In.”  I have written a second Haibun, trying not to stray too far from the original intent, voice and tone.

Frank’s words are first and in bold.

Renga – “Road of Ashes” Charley/qbit

qbit has taken up this crazy challenge!  I will update our ongoing collaboration through 10 couplets.  Stop by and see what insanity he & I cook up!  If you are interested in joining in, stop by the original post for On the Road of Ashes and let me know!  This is a part of the September Challenge of Casting Bricks; join us!  (plagiarized from Jilly’s blog almost verbatim)

I was on the way, on the way
and suddenly, precipitously, I wasn’t

Tourmaline voices cracked like stones in a fire
Broke my path wide into rust or grey choices

To labor as herdsman over sheep seeking knowledge
or waste my life recumbent on a hammock

Such are the sheep of Yeats
The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Cry out agonies in languages better gauged
to bear pain than in lingua hominibus

Vulgate promises
That will not redeem

Poets and educators study
apocryphal prophecies, end-times data chats

Revelations recursed through paths
Of unstable destination

Fire cracked through the Tourmaline
path broke wide with several choices

Flame buoyant, boreal –
The shattered colors of the compass


Woohoo!  We did it!


Renga – “Road of Ashes” Charley/Jilly


Jilly has taken up this crazy challenge!  I will update our ongoing collaboration through 10 couplets.  Stop by and see what insanity she & I cook up!  If you are interested in joining in, stop by the original post for On the Road of Ashes and let me know!  This is a part of the September Challenge of Casting Bricks; join us!  (plagiarized from Jilly’s blog almost verbatim)



I was on the way, on the way
and suddenly, precipitously, I wasn’t

I wasn’t
more than a shard of glass

reflecting the distant light
of “had been” back

grinding image of a bad roll

of aching bones
blow-for-luck wind, shot glass

tossed back
chaser of bitters, straight

from paradise found
to snake bats eyes by the fruit stand

I would sell it all
for a do-over

Reflecting back to what had been
I see the distant light, a shard

Flotsam of ashes
blown down the path

Renga Challenge: On the Road of Ashes*

On the Road of Ashes

Ivan Bilibin (from Pinterest)

I was on the way, on the way
and suddenly, precipitously, I wasn’t.

[Your couplet…]

[Repeat 5x]


Administration, Thoughts, Plots, Plans &tc:  (Which have been ‘borrowed’ directly from Qbit because I’m too lazy to reinvent this wheel! Addtionally, he gets credit for the title of this one.)

OK, I think this is a Renga of unstructured couplets for two people, but certainly fun if folks want to do one with more people, although then we’d probably want 20 couplets instead of 10.

I’m hoping that by keeping each writer to two lines, our push/pull on each other stays strong, but leaves enough room to develop a new idea, pivot, etc.

PLEASE SIGN UP IN THE COMMENTS BELOW, and we will work out logistics and kick off the working version in another post.

This is another attempt at a group Renga, part of Jilly’s September Casting Bricks Challenge.

* — “The road of ashes” was coined by Robert Bly

Wake of a Storm


photo by Charley, Hurricane Irma


For days it lurks
in the back of your gyring

You stay busy.

The reality creeps
forward and you sleep-
walk.  The mad rush
becomes a numb panic.

Between chasing
your preparation kit
and drilling to board
up, you talk together.
Maybe we should move
someplace that’s safe.

The dilemma that drives
the discussion is deciding
where is “safe.”

Key to sanity is to not look
over your shoulder – to ignore
the feral yammerings of third-
party administrators; who take
hold of reality, up the color
and the contrast, making
everything about the storm HEADLINES.
They emphasize the threat,
ignore meteor-logical guidance,
aim it for City Center.

Panic is that minuscule bug that crawls
in your ear and explodes.  You lose
reason: you’ve sinned, God is pouring
out wrath, you still drive a car, change
is your fault – this has never happened
before!  Nature hates you for voting
for anybody but my candidate.  Board
up doors and windows to keep
the loonies at bay.

The storm is terrifying
and cleansing.  It strips
away weak trees, clears
dead limbs.  It reminds
you that it’s time to seek
a reliable roofer.

Co-workers and your family leave
you alone after you tell
them you didn’t watch
coverage, won’t watch
it because death and destruction,
and the miraculous are reruns.

Your life needs to come
back, feelings must return.

You thank
them for their thoughts
and their prayers.

Then you move on.

Hurricane Irma Update

hurricane Irma

Here’s the latest.  We thought we’d caught a break here in Orlando.  The hurricane came up along the coast of Cuba, and turned to catch the Keys.  Progs had it running up along the west coast of Florida.  We would have felt the force of a Cat 3 or better hurricane, but we would’ve been farther away from the center of the action.  It’s the kind of a thing where you don’t know which way to hope for.

Now the storm is heading almost due north up the center of the state, still packing serious winds, and drawing in significant moisture from both bodies of water — the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.  Unless this thing turns to the west northwest again, we are going to have a major hit a la Hurricane Charley (2004) — which devastated huge portions of the Orlando area.

We still have power, and haven’t lost any trees.  We keep hanging on.

Continue to Carry On


Cultivating Hope – Project Heal


When it seems all hope is faded, gone,

We must make up our minds to carry on,

As heart beats ever steady as a drum,

As doting doe spurs on her newborn fawn.

For hope’s seeming fade may not be true;

It might be only sent to make you blue.

Your heart deserves cake, not just a crumb.

Hope doesn’t come from, but abides in you.


So this is my take on Jenna’s (revivedwriter) really cool challenge poem, called “Finish This Poem.”  This is part of Jilly’s September Casting Bricks Challenge.  Poets are posting half-poems, and other poets are taking a try at completing them.  The trick is to be yourself but not lose the tone, voice, and intent of the initiator.  Feeling brave?  Come give it a go!