William Shakespeare  – Sonnet 73, First Quatrain

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang …

Sums up autumn pretty much for me …



“I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,
If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,
If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun
And crocus fires are kindling one by one:
Sing robin, sing:
I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring.”
–  Christina Rossetti

uno dos tres


Harpies in everyday life #6

A trio of yellow claws clutch non-fat lattes

silk and suede feathers reek of carrion

stiletto heels are smeared with foul droppings
Pink stained pouts drip poison

chic bobbed heads dip in unison then

bony chins point to the rafters
They warble their triumph

Some spiteful god has me in his sights

and no classical Jason will drive them all away

One, Two, Three!

Definition of HARPY

1capitalized : a foul malign creature in Greek mythology that is part woman and part bird

a : a predatory person : leech b : a shrewish woman

Merriam Webster Dictionary


“Don’t criticize what you can’t understand.”
Bob Dylan



Mistresses of the sidelong glance, pursed lips and narrowed eyes

their claws out in anticipation.

An interloper will not obey group norms

byzantine to all

but their inbred nucleus.

Heads adjoined, a hydra of bile,

they spew a lethal cocktail of hatred and malice,

a blitzkrieg of pettiness, innuendo and spite

thoroughly and relentlessly as a conqueror razes a city.

They drag her through the noxious sludge of degradation.

Inevitable denouement is ostracism final as ancient Athens,

a surgical cut

until she is laid bare,

her spirit torn to dirty scraps pelted by the wind.

Satisfied, they begin once more.





You have survived January nights at 30 below

dodged trucks careening down back alleys

sensed bogus treats of antifreeze

eluded budding psychos who would duct tape your legs together

and leave you on the railway tracks.

Your coat is ginger clotted hairballs

raised bloody scars criss-cross your broad skull with its ragged ears.

Your ribs show and your belly is slack so you accept the food

warily at first, then gulp it down


to look behind you.

Then you are off to familiar haunts of alleys and derelict buildings

rife with predators

stronger and bigger than you.

But your claws are still sharp, teeth like needles and legs supple to carry

you away from danger.

And you will live to fight another day.


enfant méchant

Carol’s Mom 

When she smiles no crows feet MotherDaughterApronsPromo1pleat the corners of her eyes

or laugh lines groove around her mouth.

Fogged up glasses don’t slide to the tip of her nose

while she squints at her sewing.

No cigarette wobbles from the side of her mouth drizzling


or underarms flap when she waves.

Her hair is curled to a neat blonde casque

no Medusa grey coils dangle from her kerchief.

No greenish blue veins snake their way up her legs

or broad hips sway like a dray mare.

instead there is you

to cook my meals, wash my clothes , wipe my tears

and know that I wish that you were not my mother.



This began as folklore, morphed into a short story then into a poem so in a way this has been a shared journey that is far from complete.

At Dusk 

Bernice walks where no one goes

away from trucks that roar and spit out gravel

along weed clogged prairie trails with pungent scent of skunk and badger.

Daytime haze gives way to dusk


dust motes hang suspended in the moist air.

‘Round the bluff come horse and rider

the man’s head bowed upon his chest.

The horse drags hooves through thick powdery dirt

Closer now, she smells smoke and sweat of bygone battles

could touch his blood encrusted side, trace his wounds with her fingers.

The rider turns, stares down at her

his obsidian eyes gleam with fury and pain.

She wants to run but cannot move.

They turn off the trail parting the tall weeds

that slap the horses rump.

His head is a dark spot weaving through the field,

Bernice watches as they disappear into the twilight.
Shared Journeys




Feline logic dictates that you must

Leave white fur on my black sweaters

Upend defenceless house plants just for spite

Find my can of tuna on the kitchen counter

Fling cat litter helter skelter

Yet curl up by my side, yawn and sleep the sleep of innocents