Winter Exhales

It’s the last day in January 2019 already and last of my daily mindful writing posts for the annual January challenge This challenge is always fun and stretches me beyond what I hope for, even when I hit a slump about midway through.  It’s amazing all that goes on in a day, and to pick up and share one piece of it, is both challenging and enriching.  January is really the best month for daily mindful writing. Winter offers an ideal time for mindful introspection as well as silent snow days. Looking back, the top three posts that were read are: Walking With Depression,  Fractured Time and The Unfinished Poem. Thank you for joining me on this mindful writing journey.

February 1st starts National Haiku Writing Month. February, the shortest month of the year, is ideal for the #NaHaiWriMo challenge of writing one haiku or senryu per day.  Same mindfullness with more brevity and a whole lot more editing.  Less words but more work. It may be the easiest form of poetry to write, but the hardest to write well.

We are in the claws of a Polar Vortex here in the North Eastern U.S. My thermometer read -7 degrees this morning. The radiators are hissing, storm windows frosting and even my hands are chilled to the bone writing this in my old leaky house. Many of my friends and family are decamping to warmer climes, and the dog walks are shorter, quicker and more to the point. Winter is exhaling frosty exclamation marks!!!


Polar Vortex
in a dream–I’m trapped
by three polar bears and a lion



So What?

Just This

after Ongoing by Jenny Xie

So what…the heartaches and headaches she collected like paper cuts over the years? Her early twenties—the twin beds of naiveté and wanderlust lay between book covers, on movie screens and in ballads along with all the angst of tragic heroism. Mood swings hitched-hiked in her Volkswagen Beetle over potholed backroads and the Parkway bound for revolutions on salty ferris wheels tottering on piers along the Jersey shore. Still, there was hope. Inside poems and under the canopy of trees. Work championed her thirties and forties until the prefixes of peri- and meno- attached themselves to the huge pause that followed many false starts and ambivalences. Books no longer satisfied and workmanship dulled into duty. Paint brushes and solvents hued the corners of her fifties and sixties. Self-Doubt trashed canvasses and shrink-wrapped perspective and poetry offering proposals of a loveless marriage or spinsterhood—what difference anyway? Until composition and compassion, juxtaposition and abstraction and other -itions emerged. New frames started to replace stale views of filtered servitude. With charcoal under her fingertips, she labored hard for beyond the so-whats and the for-whats, graying ever-so-lightly lightly into just this.

Fireflies and Fiddleheads

Rain and Rust


Between all the self-talk —
and yearning for a potato chip.

If only I could paint this time
between rain and rust
how would that look?

Once I was a river wild,
whiskey notes, and
summer squalls bending light.

The day you asked
I could not explain
in search of some moment.

Despite all the doubts
it was worth the while
it takes to see fireflies

In the words you whispered,
wearing my wounds,
and the distance of blue.

AG ~ May 2016

A Sunday Stoll In The Rain


On my lips

Just some haiku-musings at the end of summer ~

slow breath between the sea rose dawn

the tang of late summer brine on my lips

twilight settles the quiet beauty of seaglass

to the last minute crimson sunset

Venus on the lee edge of a why not sky

alone on shore the moon sends a path

Winter blues ~ Mindful Writing Challenge #22

Just as the Eskimos have multiple names for snow – I believe that we in the colder areas of the US and Canada should have more than one name for winter. There is the deep of winter, the heart of winter, mild winter, sucky winter, winter blues, winter beauty etc. I love winter because it is a time for introspection, and the winter sky is as blue and clear as any I’ve ever seen. I much prefer the cold to the high heat and humidity of our east coast summers. However, there are days in winter when I seem to get sucked into a hopeless dirty-snow gray. Today was one of those days even without the graying snow. It was a moody gray that no amount of soup could dispel. Only the pines could soften my view.

another goodbye on the horizon coyotes howl

ag ~ 2013

The Deep of Winter

An arctic flow of frigid air rivers into the northeast US. Biting wind invites slower more introspective activity. I find myself painting with warm colors and fluid lines.

Trying to combine the two, I am imposing body curves onto splashes of red, orange, pink and… It’s fun to let the colors lead. Images appear and the result is often beyond what I could imagine showing up on a cold winter day.

ruby highlights
the deep of winter