For the Tuesday prompt, Margo asked us to select one of the labors assigned to Hercules and to create a poem related to that specific task. The one that spoke to me was #11. The Apples of the Hesperides. I decided to write a found poem from the information on the Hesperides contained in the website


Purest flame of fire.
golden light of sunset.
Goddesses of the evening,
The power of a song.

Light-bringing radiance.
Tree of golden apples –
source of brilliant sunsets.
Treasures of the gods.


Unexpected Sonnet


Margo’s prompt for today: Take a familiar walk with “new eyes” and look for something unexpected about which to write.


The house on the hill grew shabby in time,
Shrinking from view (although few even looked)
Merging into the landscape,
a sad aura of brown and gold.

The”For Sale” sign in place for weeks,
its red the only color there.
The house was sold for, no surprise,
well below the asking price.

Now fall arrives – its browns and golds
still camouflage the little house.
Yet – in the front yard, a renewal.
Brick red Adirondack chairs and
a child’s new swing, bright blue ropes
hung from a massive oak.

Toiling in Obscurity


Margo Roby’s Tuesday prompt was deceptively simple. Write a poem inspired by the word “obscure.” As one of my work colleagues used to say, “Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.” Once again, I wandered into the weeds contemplating the number of verb synonyms for “obscure” that are also nouns: veil, curtain, cover, shroud, mask, cloak, shadow, eclipse, blanket, disguise, screen. And because I like to complicate things, I went looking for obscure (to me, at least) forms I hadn’t used before. I wrote a tetractys last week: basically a 1/2/3/4/10.

Hidden lives obscured from our very selves.

I also played, less successfully, with a triolet

By veil of night, she sped unseen
to the masquerade in her disguise.
To meet her love, her hope was keen.
By veil of night, she sped unseen.
She found another was his queen,
and knew at once his trail of lies.
By veil of night, she sped unseen
to the masquerade in her disguise.

If anyone wants to suggest a replacement for line five, in the comments section here, have at it! I tried “She saw him slip behind a screen,” but that didn’t work for me. There are fewer rhymes for -een than you might imagine.

Aspen Grove


It’s Monday and I have now spent a week contemplating a Tuesday challenge from Margo Roby, “Today we have our monthly image prompt — I hear the cheers. I know you love the images. An image can be freeing or constraining, depending on how you approach it.

Now, I had promised a pot luck day, today, so you may happily browse the Net for a painting, or a photograph that yells ‘Helloooo!” as you go by. Or, you can look at the photograph I will post for those with no Net time this week and see what it sparks.

Things to remember when using an image as inspiration: The poem does not have to bear any apparent relationship whatsoever to the image that inspires it.

My image is this one:
To say that I got lost in this image is an understatement. I am trying my hand at haibun.

Aspen Grove

The straight stillness of the trees captured my attention first. Sense memories of Taos came later: the bright blue sky, the smell of frybread wafting through the Pueblo, the Andean flutes in the warmth of the late of afternoon sun, the lingering heat of chiles on my tongue. Yet in the forest, the trees are still and pale in the cold winter light.

black-scarred aspen trunks
memories frozen in time
les ojos de Dios

Aspen forests often grow from a single root. The largest known single organism on earth is an aspen grove of over 100 acres. Each tree is a clone of the one next to it.

rime-encrusted twigs
mirror the mother root below
speaking without sound