Lost On Hardscrabble Road Revisited

Hardscrabble Road Revisited

I really did get lost on a Hardscrabble Road years ago and wrote a very mediocre poem about it. Today, nearing the Winter Solstice–I reworked the original poem.

Peaceful Solstice blessings on this longest night of the year and its Feminine yin energy of moonlight and introspection.


It was years ago that I got lost

driving on a long and narrow road

that coils its way through

woodsmoke stars and moon.


It was a purpling dusk

and the Solstice was hitching a ride

with midnight on his whiskers

and winter on his boots.


Darkness creeped into dusk

with Worry highjacking the wheel.

Curves and curbs cat-cradled my sight—

The road shifting into an indigo scribble.


I appreciate now that getting lost

that long night on Hardscrabble Road,

with its bumps and curbs that toss the view,

is simply its own cats cradle of stars and moon.


ag ~ December 2020


Halloween ~ 2022

The day begins early.

I choose the grocery cart with the yellow shopping list left in the basket.

The purple cursive swirls into “Daddy’s p.b.” and “waffles x 2.”

I notice that none of the checkout people or employees are wearing a costume as in years gone by. Perhaps, it’s because seniors work the first shift at registers, and feel their covid masks, in black or white, support the spirit of the day. 

Weather forecasts call for rain later in the day when most of the trick or treating is over, and the candy counting begins in earnest. Memories of trick or treating in wind and raincoats come flooding in.

Over at the optometrist’s office, the assistants/receptionists are decked out as colorful winged creatures. A patient, wearing a black blouse festooned with pumpkins, asks one of them if she is dressed as “a spotted lanternfly.” In a huff the retort is “No, I am a butterfly.”

The optometrist, in furry feline ears that match his strawberry blond shaved head, tells me that the theme this year is flora/fauna. His assistant removes her butterfly cape looped around her shoulders after a long day of maneuvering with them while looking into dilated pupils. She will be leaving soon to catch up with her grandchildren and other pupils in costume after school. 

It’s cloudy and warm for the last day of October. Perfect for the ghoulish holiday. The horse farm, at the end of my road, is hosting a “trunk or treat” and cars are parked bumper-to-bumper as the little ones are led by the hand into the field. I wonder what the horses are thinking.

When I get home, the groceries I dropped off earlier, are in the kitchen on the floor waiting to be put away. I pick up the yellow note that I saved from the shopper using the cart before me, to see what else she may have listed, intending to use it to write a poem or story. Instead — stuck between its folds I discover a wad of blue bubble gum. The perfect trick to my treat of a note left behind.


A Pantoum: The pantoum is a poem of any length, composed of four-line stanzas in which the second and fourth lines of each stanza serve as the first and third lines of the next stanza. The last line of a pantoum is often the same as the first.

(for Vicky)

O  a letter;   a symbol;   a sound;   a poem;
swells to fullness on pursed lips: moon.
Climaxes to the oh oh oh oh oh OOOOOOOH  moan
and softens – in the tender of “oh, I didn’t know.”


Curves to fullness on lips of moon.
Sets our limits — our boundaries with NO — not good!
Listens in the tender of “oh, I didn’t know”
quickly politicizes when “in the hood.”


Sets our limits — our boundaries in NO — not good!
Vibrates and honors the breath of OM.
Quickly politicizes when “in the hood”
O chorals God; Hours; Ovaries; Our Own.


Vibrates and honors the breath of OM
O  a letter;  a symbol;  a sound;  a poem.
O chorals God; Hours; Ovaries; Our Own.
Orgasms in the oh oh oh oh oh OOOOOOOH  birthing moan.

ag ~ December 2016
~ revised May 2020



Viral Blogging ~ 4.27.20

More or Less

More foxtails on the run,
less contrails blocking the sun.
More stars brighter in the sky,
less cars passing by.
More community chipping in,
less immunity near friend and kin.
More recipes than able cooks,
less crime and story-book crooks.
More coffee at home to taste,
less plastic cups go to waste.
~ ~ ~
Less junkmail, and trips to the mall,
more dog walks and real phone calls.
Less to complain about “before,”
more consideration at our core.
Less of what others perceive,
more of what we actually need.
Less noise and throwing stones,
more of stardust in our bones.
Less contrails blocking the sun,
more foxtails on the run.

ag ~ 2020

Viral Gratitude ~ 4.22.20

I enjoy working with palimpsest poems. Yesterday’s blog was an oldie updated for the current times. 

As I was sitting down to breakfast afterward, my muse beckoned, “Write this down.” I said, “Now? The toast is going to burn.” She said, “I don’t have all day—do you want to do this or not?” And with a long sigh, I pushed aside my morning repast, because when the muse calls, it’s always now or never. Elizabeth Gilbert writes about this in her book, Big Magic. The stories of creatives sparring with their muses are sweet, funny and real. 

So I am offering another palimpsest written with my muse. By way of explanation, when in that creative flow, music, paint and words come pouring out faster than one can comfortably record. There is little editing to do, and Awe wraps an arm around your shoulder or slaps you a high five when finished. At all other times, the writing/creating ranges from labor intensive to procrastive dawdling. This is why all artists, writers, musicians etc. immediately answer the call when a muse invites.

For Earth Day and all days: Let Spring Breeze: Another palimpsest on the poem Let Evening Come by Jane Kenyon. And if you have not read Jane’s original poem—you should. It’s cadence and message are inviting, soothing and moving. Google it and choose The Poetry Foundation’s link to it.


Let Spring Breeze

Let the tart of rhubarb
tongue the sweet of strawberry, moving
from fingers down to belly.
Let the asparagus thrust forth
as a young suitor who begins courting
his heartthrob. Let Spring breeze.
Let the Crabapple buds unfurl
to the soft sun spray. Let pink pink
and streams swell over stone and silence.
Let fox cubs chase and tumble.
Let dandelions interrupt. Let the light
storm shades. Let Spring breeze.
To the worm in the compost, to the robin
on her nest, to the lilac in our lungs,
Let Spring breeze.
Let it come, as it will, and give
thanks. Not for Winter’s end,
but for what’s to begin. Let Spring breeze.


ag ~ 2020




Viral Gratitude ~ 4.12.20

Wind and Wildflowers
not for long
all the doubts
that spindle
on the legs of
a newborn fawn
not for long
rising in the compost
of a late autumn
not for long
the egret’s flight legs
tucked in
to compress its center
of gravity
not for long
the orb-weaver’s
perfect web
bending the morning light
into beads of dew
not for long
an evening that begins
with the brilliance
of one star
long gone
not for long
the dance
of heat lightning
on the meadow’s
queen anne’s lace
not for long
the darkness
between the kindle
of a firefly’s
not for long
lost stories
of the wind
and wildflowers
in my heart
ag ~ June 2013

Viral gratitude ~ 4.8.20

I love Brian Andreas’ writing and artwork. It is so very whimsical, poetic  and profound at the same time. He combines the most fantastical imagery with the mundane in such a manner that it catches you off guard and can leave one (me) breathless or at the very least—with a smile. For the child within—Brian’s work is nourishing, supportive, humorous and contemplative all the while most playfully innocent. Wisdom in this case, cloaked in innocence. And his artwork is as whimsical, colorful and sensitive as his words. 

Some sweet nuggets on his 2020 Brian Andreas Studio Calendar:

bringing magic back into everyday life,

         even though to most people,

                 it just looks like soup.”

~Brian Andreas 2019


In his calendar, Brian Andreas gets to create/name his own special days:

March 22: giant Sunday hat day;

March 29: cross a line day;

April 27: mismatched sock day;

June 8: thankful for oceans day;

September 15: walk backwards day (one of my favorites).

His September page:

Once you see the heroes around you, the ones who stand quietly & love the world with everything they are,

don’t be surprised if one day you choose to stand up & show what happens when you live that kind of life too.”

~Brian Andreas, 2019


Viral Gratitude ~ 4.5.20

the tiniest
flowers in the
teeniest of vases
catch our breath and
give the cheeriest hello
in a split second of delight
on a day that would otherwise
pass as a drama too complex
and sophisticated for the
delicate loveliness of
wood sprites unless
we unleash our
true selves to
play with



Viral Gratitude ~ 4.1.20

An oldie-but-goodie poem for the first day of April:



So much waiting to be born.
Blackberries not yet on the

bramble path, much less so
sweetening tarts and tongues.

Spring peepers chippering
moonlight–oh what a wonder to

be the pond that enjoys such a
buxom chorus. Sap waiting to

rise in rabbits and wolves–
their winter stains bled and shed

for the next generation’s fur
and teeth. Wood violets and dandelion

laboring earth and leaf debris
no less faithful the insects and

breezes that scatter their seeds
and gaiety. Wide vees of geese

to unzipper sky of cloud and fog,
percussing wings and wills of

summer grazing across fields,
streams and highways. Green,

pink and yellow ready to stir
north into tulips, roses and corn.

Yeast with water and wheat
rebirthing warm and

wrinkled hands–rises and yields.
Rises and yields. The soft dough

braiding Spring into Easter bread,
Babka and Challah.


ag ~ 2017

Snow Tracks

A red fox scampers through fresh snow into the brush, and I follow a myriad of tracks crisscrossing the night on my way to feed the cat. I google medications that interact with grapefruit and ready another double-bagged load of poetry books saved from a not-too-distant lifetime and hustle them into the car for recycling before I change my mind. After a nod to the trees veiled in white—I say a prayer for rain in Australia and for friends with new challenges. It’s the last full day before a new calendar cycle begins for me—Wednesday’s child.