Beauties and Beasties

Three hags around a cauldron hot,
Two tall, one short, all steeped in rot

“Sisters, dear,” the short witch rasped,
“Please join me in my evil chant.”

And so the wicked three clasped hands
Enpowered by their fevered rant:

Warted toads and skinny skinks,
Strangled pigs and hair of lynx,

Essence of offal, rattlesnake’s tongue,
Sweat of warthog, elephant’s dung.

Lizard’s lips, slime of slug,
C’mon girls let’s chug a lug.

Feverishly they consumed the potion
A night of devilment set in motion

Quickly worked the magic brew
Hags became beauties right on cue

Summoned they a carriage grand
And ventured out upon the land

In search of men unvirtuous,
The shallow and oblivious

Easy prey for witches three
On Halloween, the hags were free

Tortured men with promised kisses
Allowed them to fulfill their wishes

But every man seduced in turn
Soon felt his skin begin to burn

Venomous kisses raised seeping blisters
The mark of conquest from evil sisters

And when All Hallows Eve was o’er
Three witches laughed at settled scores

One

And this is how we change the world. Please read more at redswrap.com. Peace.

Red's Wrap

I can’t change everything but I can change this one thing.

A homeless man comes in from the cold, takes off his leaking boots, and peels away the socks he’s been wearing for months. But he has no clean socks, so once he warms up, he puts the same torn, filthy socks back on his hurting feet.

But, wait! you say. This man’s problem isn’t his rotting, filthy socks. His problem is that he is homeless. I know that. But I also know I can’t change his homelessness but I can change his socks.

A homeless woman settles down for the night in an alley. She takes off her pants and her underwear and folds them neatly in a small pile. Then she sleeps upright, learning on an old brick building, her bare bottom on the concrete. She’s having her period and can’t risk bleeding through her only clothes.

She…

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A Thor in My Side

I’ve developed a new pattern of sleeping. Studly Doright and I get into bed around 8:30 (don’t judge; we’re old) and he watches tv while I read for a few minutes. We kiss good night, I say my prayers, and then bam, I’m sound asleep. 

Around 2 a.m. I wake up with some weird worry on my mind: Did one of the cats just puke beside my side of the bed? Am I going to put my foot in puke if I get up to use the restroom? Do I even need to use the restroom? What if there’s a snake in the toilet? Seriously, these are my 2 a.m. concerns.

The great thing is that once I determine if I need to use the restroom, and the answer is always a resounding “YES!” I return to bed and fall immediately back to sleep where lately I’ve had the most vivid dreams. 

Last night Thor, (played by Chris Hemsworth) was trying to seduce me. He kept showing up in my house, in my shower, and against my feeble protests, in my bed. I tried to tell him I was a married woman and old enough to be his mum, but he promised he just wanted to snuggle. 

“Well, in that case,”I thought, “What’s the harm?”

And we were snuggling so sweetly, so innocently, until we heard Studly Doright open the front door. In one smooth move, Thor rolled off the bed and underneath it before my husband reached the master bedroom door. The sound of Thor rolling off the bed awakened me, and I patted Studly on the arm.

“Did you hear that?” I asked.

“Huh? What?” he mumbled.

“Oh, nothing,” I giggled. “I just thought I heard thunder.” 

After Studly left to play golf early this morning I couldn’t resist the urge to peek under the bed. No Thor. I did find a bedroom slipper I thought I’d left in Clearwater Beach, though.


Peace, and sweet dreams, people.

Sheng-yu’s Lament (after Mei Yao-ch’en)

This is beautiful and so poignant. Robert Okaji.com.

O at the Edges

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Sheng-yu’s Lament (after Mei Yao-ch’en)

First heaven took my wife,
and now, my son.
These eyes will never dry
and my heart slowly turns to ash.
Rain seeps far into the earth
like a pearl dropped into the sea.
Swim deep and you’ll see the pearl,
dig in the earth and you’ll find water.
But when people return to the source,
we know they’re gone forever.
I touch my empty chest and ask, who
is that withered ghost in the mirror?

* * *

“Sheng-yu’s Lament” is included in my micro-chapbook, No Eye But The Moon’s, available via free download at Origami Poems Project.

The transliteration on Chinese-poems.com reads:

Heaven already take my wife
Again again take my son
Two eyes although not dry
(Disc) heart will want die
Rain fall enter earth in
Pearl sink enter sea deep
Enter sea can seek pearl
Dig earth can see…

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Rally Sign

Great things were happening in Tallahassee today. 

Tim Kaine came to rally Florida voters to vote early.


Tim is a great speaker and immensely likable. The crowd was huge, so I didn’t get very close. Thank goodness for zoom lenses!

The most moving part of the afternoon, though, was seeing Gabby Giffords and hearing her say she couldn’t wait to speak the words, “Madame President.” 

Speaking clearly is still a struggle for former representative Giffords, who was shot and nearly killed by a gunman at an event in her home state of Arizona in 2011. The woman is an inspiration and a tireless fighter for common sense gun regulations. 


Below, Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly.


The energy at the rally was inspiring. Since it was held on the campus of Florida State University a great many of those in attendance were college students who were excited about casting their first votes ever.

Loved this young woman’s shirt.


Pre-rally college students discussed their plans to go vote after the rally.

The line went on and on. Everyone was pumped up. Fired up; ready to vote.

I stood in line with these three adorable students. They thought I was in my 40’s. 


I’ve already voted. I’m always overcome by emotion when I realize what a privilege it is to cast a vote in this country. Even if you are a Republican, even if we disagree, I hope you exercise your right to vote. And then we all need to be prepared to accept the results. 

This has been a divisive campaign. Harsh words have been exchanged–I’ve certainly not minced any syllables. But for my part, if Trump wins this election I will accept his presidency as the voice of a majority of the people. I would hope that he and his supporters will be as gracious if Hillary wins. 

Peace, people. Really.