My Poetry

100 Million Girls is an upcoming collection of 50 eye-opening and poignant poems that explore how women are celebrated, minimized and ultimately exterminated in an unprecedented half of the world radically changing the population of the planet. It should be available later this year.  

Below, are some of my other poems. 

Little House in the Big Thicket

A yellow light glowed from the window framed in lace
curtains, as smoke snaked from the chimney to the tall pines
surrounding the little house in the thicket. There was only a
quilting frame, two wooden chairs and a Bible in the living
room where Ms. Dickens and Ms. Danell spent their days.

The two old women discussed their husbands, their
children, the weather and the crops, while creating
quilts with hundreds of teeny tiny stiches, piece by piece.
They stitched year in and year out, through wars, thirteen
presidents and women achieving the right to vote.

Quilts from scraps of red and yellow flowers formed
the base, while triangles of small floral prints and solid
colors created the triangle within squares pattern.
Scraps from dresses, shirts, coats and pants made
for husbands and children to wear long ago.

A labor of love, made with gnarled hands that kneaded
dough, rocked babies to sleep and stirred soup pots.
Quilts that now grace the beds and walls of relatives,
who never saw the little house in the Big Thicket, or
the women, who now live only in each teeny tiny stitch.

Placed as  Juried Poet in the Houston Poetry Fest 2011
Published in Houston Poetry Fest Anthology 2011.


We thought we’d grow old slowly
like the oak trees in the yard
we planted years ago.
We’d sit in white wooden rockers
on the front porch and talk about the old days
as our lives gently slowed down.
We would talk about our kids, our grandkids,
our husbands; all the big and small things of life.
We’d laugh and cry after years of nonstop
deadlines, duties, diapers and bills
that never left time for just being together as sisters.

Last summer one of those oaks in the yard fell
suddenly, without warning and we could see it
had been hollow for years, disease ridden.
I should have known it was a sign;
she seemed so hearty, so alive
but in the end, she was hollow too.
I miss her. I wish she were here,
so I could ask why she had to
go so soon and why,
oh God, why
she had to

Published in the Poetry Society of Texas' Book of the Year 2013
First Place Monthly

A Really Good 4Runner

Ahmed, the neighborhood gas station owner
was widowed at a young age, like myself.
Lately he’s been almost flirty.
I suspected he finally had an interest in me
after all these years,
with barely a grunt,
or a nod my way.
It was touching.
My car in his shop,
we talked for the first time
in fifteen years.
He observed that my car
was really nice for its age.
I reminded him my car had
only been cared for by him.
He smiled and mentioned it had a few scratches.
His intense interest and conversation seemed obvious.
Yes, I was older and had a few miles under my belt.
Like my car, I was in really good condition
for my age and he liked me.
I flipped my hair behind my shoulder
feeling appreciated by a man
who knew what true beauty was.
Ahmed’s next words shocked me, cut me to the quick,
He asked if I would consider selling my car.
I cocked my head to one side,
stared in disbelief, my cheeks flushed.
So, it’s come to this,
my dented old car
is more of a man magnet than me.

Published in the Poetry Society of Texas' Book of the Year 2013,
Winner of the Ted. O. Badger Award

I've followed the fires in Austin and Bastrop closely on Twitter watching the emergencies as they unfolded. Trying to help, I retweeted every plea and watched miraculously as almost all pleas were answered.  Offers of trailers, pastures and vet help rolled in. People offered feed and bandages. The government focused on getting the people out, while the people focused on saving animals. The first two days of the fire, there was almost zero coverage of any of this. I presume because it happened over a holiday and local news stations were understaffed.  Twitter was the only source of information.

We are in Day 6 of the Bastrop fire.  Now, there are offers from the Texas State Bar for legal help, photographers to help with lost treasured photos, free clean up supplies by Home Depot, low cost or free housing by the Realtor organization in Austin. Offers of still more pastures for horses or cattle and fund raisers by musicians continue to come in.  Church groups went house to house in the Stiener Ranch fire after the people were let back in with offers to take out the rotten food and give them bags of groceries.  (Even those homes not destroyed were without power for a couple of days and in the Texas heat most had rotten food when they returned.)

I dedicate this to all of the fire victims in Texas.  Life dealt you a rough hand. 

The Things She Carried

The picture of your mother who died years ago
not yet scanned into your computer,
of course, your kitty, Lulu
and your puppy, Maxine.
That drawing by your now grown kid
as a 3rd grader framed in the hall,
the necklace your great grandmother left you,
the love letters from your husband during the war
who died last year.

You probably want some of your makeup and toiletries,
it could be a long night and a fortnight of days.
No time to grab clothes with the fire breathing on you now.
Got to go!
Got to run, run now!
It’s moving so fast.

You tell everyone it was only stuff,
you got your precious pets
no loved ones left at home anymore.
Stuff can be replaced, you say,
as the pictures from your life flash before your mind
and flare up in the house you left behind.
You know you will be okay, at least everyone tells you that you will.
But all you can see are the flames and the smoke billowing into your mind.
You can’t even remember all that you’ve lost.
Oh, you just remembered your teacup collection you’ve saved since you were 17.          

You have your mind
you still have that sense of humor, tinged with tears now
you have your hope, your dreams, your future.
Where do you start to put your life back together at 79?
It occurs to you that you should have grabbed
that pack of playing cards
so you could deal yourself a new hand.

Austin Poetry Society Annual Contest
The Tick-Tock Award                                                                     
End of the Road

When I was young, I raced
past roadside parks and exits on the freeway
to my destination, or to nowhere at all.
Life seemed to go on forever,
like the empty roads.

Somewhere along the way,
sometime past fifty,
I ran out of rest stops,
roadside parks,
and chances.

There were no road signs,
no blinking red or yellow lights,
no warnings to get off before it’s too late.
I’m coming to the only exit left-a dead end.
Rushing and dreaming my life away to get to this?

I am what I vowed never to be-old.
So old I don’t know my own reflection.
Old enough to know what I’ll miss.
Only a long lonesome stretch of desert left to travel.
I can see the cliff ahead.

There is nothing I can do to avoid it,

Published in Best Austin Poetry 2010-2011

Hummingbird Feeder
Across the crowded campfire
in a dark cove on Lake Travis
under a rugged cowboy hat
his tan, worn face etched                                                          
character around his
sky blue eyes.
He had a hobo heart.
I was drawn to him like a
Hummingbird to sugar water.
He spoke with an accent
and he sang from his soul
as free and natural
as a colt runs through the meadow
on a cold misty morning.
I felt my heart vibrating
and my pulse beating faster
just listening to his voice
and watching his practiced hands
strum that old guitar.
He sang old hillbilly songs
making them sound
as smooth and polished as river stones.
Hovering as long as I could,
I stayed longer than I should have
unable to tear myself away,
wishing I could
climb inside his old red guitar
and stay there awhile.

First Place Austin Poetry Society
Published in Best Austin Poetry 2010-1011


Trees brimmed with birds
chattering and chasing each other
like children playing at recess
until a blanket of rosy,
blue and buttery stripes
tucked in the reluctant day.
Birds as silent as the
empty playground
settled in for a
prime time show-
dark sky suddenly
glittered with glowing stars.
The little ones fell asleep
first, then mom and dad.
Shutting the doors and windows,
my soul purred.
I almost forgot
you were not
here with me.
Tell me, is it true
the days in heaven
will be like this,
except we will
be together again
like we were
all of those years
after our first kiss
at recess?

Published in The Enigmatist 6th edition, 2011.

Thank you for reading Poet on Poetry.
If you enjoy what you are reading please follow the blog at
Like my Facebook page at
On Twitter at @poetonpoetry.

No comments: