Mustard and Catchup

We worry a lot around this time of year. We worry about food, when we have plenty. We worry about gifts, cards, sales and wrapping. We worry about money because we never seem to have enough, even without the added concern of holiday pressure.
My mom worries less these days about such materialistic trappings and more about her children’s health and spiritual needs. She thinks of a lifetime of sacrifices she made to provide for us in this life and the Next. So this short greeting goes out to her. To ease her mind and soul. Two simple quotes, I think will do just the trick.
I truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Matthew 17:20

And I can remember my confirmation bible verse Hebrews 13:5
Have perfect contentment in all things, for I say, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’
Trust me, Mom, We all have it all.
Merry Christmas
Cheryl Faye

Never the same

Poor Yellow Dog has never been the same
Since he was senselessly attacked this summer
By a wandering chow. Who chomped his back leg
Like an ear of corn. Yellow Dog never saw what hit him
Seems he blames me.
A day spent in the hospital felt like abandonment
Post Traumatic stress disorder
Returning from his puppy shelter rescue
His eyes did not see me for days
His ears closed to years spent training
Hand signals and whistles.

And then there were the pills
Dogs can’t use the slugabunchawater technique
They have to be cajoled, forced, shoved, pried
He learned the silent forebodings of pills
My rigid body language as I tried to do what was best for him
Ease pain. Bring rest.
In vain. He whimpered at the door like a lost child.
His canine mind searched for the cause of his dilemma

I guessed that people might be like this.
Never the same. After
The Wreck, The Baby. The Cancer. The Heart Attack.
Divorce. Onset. Beginning. The End.
Oh the loss. Loss. Loss. Loss of love.

And so it appears for Yellow Dog
As well as I can think like a dog.
He doesn’t remember the attack
Only the change in me.
My fear of losing him. Of being inadequate to solve pain
My own fears of his still sharp teeth
As I nervously shoved pills down his throat.
Long days without his customary walks and bike rides in the basket

He reads it all as loss.
It overwhelms his fuzzy head.
He forgets to test my blood sugars
To steady my own quirky imbalance

He cries when the leash touches his healed leg.
He screams in terror when caught up in his blanket.
When he bumps into the opened door.
He wants to fight now against the dogs in the alley
Raging against their chain links
He retraces over and over the site of his attack
He’s not letting this one go.

So, I guess, is our pattern, too.
Unless I read too much of me
As I smuggle his tablet into a slice of cheese
And he whines endlessly at the threshold.
I have to ask myself, he’s not the same as what exactly?

I decided, mostly he doesn’t laugh as much



Ahhhhooooooo Ungawa!
Lions got the Powa
Hear me? Ya. I say,
Ooooooooo Ungawa
~~~~~~~~~~~~1970s high school cheer

We talk funny these days
And by talk
I mean text
Abbreviations read like military code
syntax that makes English teachers grind
Their teeth
feeling like that grit on ripe purple grapes
If you forget to wash them

K. I c u @ 8?
No. B4!

Voice to text results
In long rambling
Confusing diatribes
Punctuation optional

Ttyl I off work now I no come prty my sines r kilt me

A comma now and again would help
But a full stop seems to be in the past

A sit down conversation, apparently,
Once a parlor art
Now, completed as we sit
Sidebyside in Starbucks
Eyes to the device
Swinging from wire to wire

Still humanity leaks through
Our ongoing feeble attempts
To communicate
We want so to understand
But faster. We haven’t time for a full disclosure

We learned to read again right through
The bizarre, the intangible, the illegible, the irritable
The. And other articles of speech
Apparently another casualty of digitalization

Gong bk 2 ck n
c y u no der
I no u no like dis Wthr

Universal Tarzan language
As he desperately ached to speak to any other being
Cried out as he swung to two vines too


(On my way!)

Winter gardening and redos

image image


Starting over is the hardest
Prairie nights dipping to 45 degrees
There’s no delaying it any more
I rip out not ripening tomatoes
I tear out offensive ornamental squash
That oughta been pumpkin pie

I hate the 6 months foolish waste of time and water
Trying to make food out of alkali clay
I am exhausted of gardening
The thrill is gone, gone, Gone.
Sometimes it’s just time to cut bait.
barely, I care enough, today
To open packets
Before I tamp the tiny living.

Most people think I’m crazy
Tilling the warm fall earth
Just a bit
To create a winter garden
I do feel a little crazy today
But i love the lush green of radish leaves
In winter. Plucking bright reds through rime.
No bugs. No weeds. No watering.

A victory against the odds.
radishes, cabbage, kohlrabi
Bok choy, lettuce, spinach, onions
fence with fragments of dead vines
Still clinging to the steel bars
That might or not keep the dogs from tearing
Throughout the deep dark warm soil
But I barely frown
As they plow thru rows
wild workhorses driven mad by flies
It won’t matter.
Dogs. Rabbits. Squirrels. Frost.
The Cruciferous
(Appropriately named, I think, during my delusions)
hardy seedlings will produce

It’s hardest against foolish dreams
(Rachel and I discuss again on her long drive from Denver to Snyder)
Like starting over every school year
All those teaching years.
In jails, institutions, group homes
Remembering new 100 names.
Fighting against the odds of a society
With its feet in absinthe clay haze

Never knowing if a teacher is the tiller,
The sower, the waterer, the harvester
Of those seeded pupils.
Or they too, ripped out before ripening
Fell crumbled, crumpled
Dry to dust in noonday suns

We start in new careers, towns, houses, cars
Looking for that sproutlike jolt
Of hopefilled adrenaline

These days we wake up
Staring over stacks of pills
That more or less keep us alive.
Seeding chemicals
In hopes of our own Indian summer harvest

It’s the hardest thing
Starting over and over

The strong sun,
Fall’s final blast
Brings burning germination
sprouts nested against newspaper
And remnants of my pool plastic
are up in 3 days

I feel ok again.
Starting over.

Harvest the moon


Let’s write a poem
Said charliedog and I
Let’s make it
So powerful
We harvest the brilliant moon
Sifted soft hues of
Faded summers
Rising falls

I have no pen nor paper
He mourned with
Pouted lip
Still swollen from his encounter
With a pit bull

And I whispered to furred ear
Write then on
Cry sea sky
crystal blueblack laced sky

We have it all


My brothers and sisters joked

When we were young
We all liked to brag
About a crazy thing we’d do
When we hit our milestone
Buy an orange Plymouth

Fall in love

21… marry
30….finish college, again
40…river raft down a raging Colorado

50…pierce, tattoo, dye

Now 60
We have it all

We are young, yet old.
We hate to drive the cars we strove for in our teens.
We have a dozen pairs of glasses
We have bifocals, trifocals.
Still, vision muddled

Noise doesn’t bother us so much
We’ve lost most of our hearing
From the pounding 60’s music

We feel rich even if we are poor.

We are parents, grandparents ..
Now we are our parents’ parents.

We are scared. we are brave.
We are lonely. We are loved.
We are alone. We are crowded.
We are sure we are confused.
We have it all.

News at Nine

Channel 9 news has this radar app for I
pad. it fast forwards through the past
Course there’s a button for the future.

It varies from day today but sometimes.
I can’t bear one button or the other.

Oh I have wished for such a button for the self.
I wonder which button I would fear the most?

Fall does this to me.
Makes the past come rushing across my vision.
Wondering how the vision will play out.

Must be a leftover college thing.
I sort of feel like I want to take a learning annex class

The Past-Graduate Level 561
A Comprehensive Historical Review of all errors and strategy covering five decades.
The Guessing Your Fortune and Weight- Level 321
How to stay out of trouble and be very rich.
or maybe?
Living in the Present 101 and 102
Just relax and wait for it. (I’ve already taken this and failed both sections)
News at 9.

Charlie Brown and The Great Pumpkin


In a summer of ongoing garden tragedies

Late frost, hail, cold, wind, floods, more hail, 

powdery mildew, tomato wilt, blight

I’d given up mostly

Only to wake up one morning

To find my tiny pumpkin plants

Had become a backyard entity

Threatening to grow over the fence

Into the garage

Across the drive

And I dreamed of dozens

Of perfectly shaped

Rounded orange pumpkins

I couldn’t see the pumpkins for the leaves

For I had confidence

In the hyperactive bees

Filling mornings with

A hum resounding off

The new garden gate,

Along the trellis

Dorrell made for me

Then I saw this


And that


My disappointment without bounds

And I hosed down the angry bees

Trapped new blossoms in plastic bags

To pollinate them myself


But nature will have her way

Beauty remains a perspective

We love that which is imperfect

That which we have fought the hardest for

Still I dream

I hope

Of just one

Round, reddish Orange

Fall jack o lantern

Haircut in two voces

imagejust a little
Are we exactly the same persons after haircuts?
A little off the top
imageIs the mirror image the same?
To balance things
Does the previous 3 months wash away like a fairy tale?
Make it even all around.image
Are we new selves?
Smooth it over.
Or is it like a photograph ?image
We want the outside to match our inside.
imageIs a part of us taken away?
The inside where We feel warm.
imageDo we enjoy surprise or suffer shock?
Soothe us with your comfortouch.
All I want Is all I want.

Cheats, hacks, hints, steals


I finally figured out how to cheat the system.
Pocket Fishdom and Raising Horses.
My Company
through a stifling night
I’ve played them
Until I developed a case of
iPad stiff neck,
i, eye strain.
letters smudge into double, then
Triple vision

I’m impatient
Waiting for the fish to hatch, then grow, then sell.

horses are always needing more grain
requiring frequent trips to vets and farriers
Eating away at rich reserves

There’s never enough money
In Fishdom or Horses
fish constantly need more seaweed to produce coins
horses tire faster between races,
More. More.

But I can fool the processor
Into giving me more scratch.
By tipping date and time settings
Forward a day, then another
Sort of like daylight savings time
On steroids.
Gold spills. Untouchable.
Along the screen.

It becomes less and less like fun
And reminds me more of work,
When days blur
Staring at green MSDOS computer screens
Trying to crunch numbers into a livable salary
Highway commutes muddy into
Annual performance evaluations

Finally, gritty details of duty
Bog down prospects of buoyancy
In Fool’s Paradise.

Odd how a game reflects life so accurately
So accurate it is
That I can’t even enjoy
The fantail African Butterfly
Nor the dappled Grey
I named IshudnobettahBynow

My bank busted
night passes at an agonizing pace
Sifting thru perception versus reality.

my settings, casually laughing, read
September 2017

Where did the time go?

Reign of hail

A rain of hail

It could happen
The spring rains certainly hard enough
The icy hail frequent enough
So intense
They pounded the garden flat
Left the clay soil
Reformed. Crusted over
Like a child’s try with a potters wheel.

So it happens.
Perhaps. Tapped too many times.
Running into ruin.
We tire of replanting.
Seeds again and again
Cutting away the ratted leaves.
Giving up is so much easier.
Let victorious spurge and chickweed
Claim their soils

I’ll not look
And call it the garden
I’ll not turn that way
At all

Mullin’ Mullein Take two

Rachel writes,

I have risen from near ghost

to near human

I ponder. She is right

as my finicky appetite

nibbles whole pickled garlic cloves

rolled in raw spinach and fresh snow peas

A garden I struggled to plant in March.

The peas in their pods so tiny

My fantail goldfish beg to me from their bowl.

I love to share with them

as they swallow the tiny bites whole.



It’s a far place I am
In my garden, tending, mullein
Far from where I wintered
on the plains as a ghost
stumbling through invisible snowbanks
now flooded banks

I feel rich. Eating radishes more or less washed
right from the bed.
Mullein does that.

Maybe because it, too
feels nameless with a hundred comforting names
Beggars Blanket
Velvet Ice
Oreille de Saint Cloud

Useless weed
with endless uses
heals cough, earache, stomachache
burns, wounds.

Wikipedia doesn’t include
vertigo or rue in its list

I am
float floating a bit, still.
in my horse tank
turned back yard pool
as the fog burns off slowly this chilly summer

Dad texts me.
once lost in fog,
one’s sense never seems the same
feeling as if the sun rises in the north
or the road twists when it should curve

for me, the sun will set in the south from now on
and my dress size settles there too
As the old ache in my belly from doctors orders
is soothed by fried chicken, ice cream, and potato chips
bacon on my organic spinach salad
spiked with mullin’

Rachel writes.
I have come back from
near ghost to human

Riches found
in Beggars Blanket
Welcome de Saint Cloud
Sloughing off the fog



For Gina

Radar in Colorado

Radar in Colorado

The heart has no radar
And needs it so desperately
Layers of greens and blues
only part we dare show
The scalding twisted center core
Writhes along a deserted
Inland sea
Twisting its way into
Tornados hailstorms
Finally Floods
We press our hands against breaking hearts
Trying to keep hooks and shards in place
Afraid of everything
We’ve been afraid of so long

We hear a voice
Let it go
just let it go

let it rain


Chasing Life with Johnny Winter



Some of us follow life
Its rules easy enough
Eat, sleep, work, play
Walk, talk, run, swim.

Then there are the brave
Those who grab life
14er Hikes, Moab mountain bikes,
White water raft
Cross country ski.

For me
The water cannot be held
Any longer
By my cupped hand

the rules are sleep, sleep, nibble, sleep
Life must be chased
Pills laced
And chased by life’s vitreous iv drip
It seems just a bit out of reach these days

Staring out a

Toosmallapiece of sky window.
Clouds that I once caught
Sift by. Without the game of
IthinkIsee a……

Seems odd that chasing life

for some must be
Done in prone and poem
So it is
So it is for now


Love, life and money

by Johnny Winter







Everything’s Ducky


Chicks and ducklings arrive
At the farm store
They squat in their little
Sawdust aquariums
Reflecting misery

We imprint humanity
On Hatchlings two days from the shell

How diversely they absorb it

Chicks peck aggressively at
My fat  fingers pressed against
The glass
Becoming tiny hungry humans

Clustered under a false sun
Staring up at plaid skies
Ever fearful
Ever watchful
For the already circling
peregrine falcon

We too, feel the pull of a familiar face

along monitors and screens

We’ve ever never seen

Run our fingers over
familiar profiles
Of long lost cousins
Unmet friends
missed mountain weddings
We tap tap tap
wondering if they can feel
Through the ether

hurt by cruel fate fingers
watchful eyes
Turn skeptically
Not allowing Wondering why
Destiny chose this palette
Not free open sky


cross eyes at the cross hairs
Frosted by all the planted possibilities
Frozen down
Forget my wings
Fearing phony predators
I stare at perceived sky
Hazed, glassy sun
Confident that this is my permanency




We need. We

Our grasp usually
exceeds our reach
We need more
Always more

We need we need
One more touch
Car, bank deposit , TV, iPhone, iPod
Really tho

me time
We need more hours in the day
We need someone to remind us
To check more hair growing out of our ears
To pull slivers from the bottom of our feet
To tell us that our garden is too large
For our faltering energy

We need our parents’ voices
Even if we are ourselves aging
We need someone to tell us
To eat better
Slow down
Take naps
Sleep 8 hours

We can live alone
Stare at screens
Chat on line
Work in solitude
Pray in silence

We can
We Need We

#535 Giant morning stretches accompanied by stupid noises

Originally posted on 1000 Awesome Things:

Crack that back.

Everybody’s got their own gorilla jungle noises when they wake up in the morning. There’s a few famous moves for waking up your bones:

1. The Insane Wiggle. This one’s the classic. There’s no focus and direction here — you’re just twisting and turning in a crumpled lump of sheets and twisted blankets. Maybe you squeeze your face into your pillow, pull your legs into your chest, or just let out some long slow grunts to feel that stretchy buzz in the small of your back.

2. The Starfish. This is where you lay in bed and stretch your arms and legs in all directions. The starfish works best if you somehow managed to land a night in a king-size hotel bed by yourself.

3. The Old Man Can Walk Again. When I lived in Boston my roommate Joey was famous for this. You’d hear his…

View original 301 more words

T Rex TExt

i invntd txtng.
Well, at least I thought I did and for it I heartedly apologize.
For we have become a short
Single line read
Sort of society.
Except for my mom
Who denounces advancing
every year still mails
handwritten valentine cards
To each of her 6 children

I made the announcement of
my invention
last year on in my Facebook page
(where announcements of all types are apparently now made)
it was dubiously met.

When pagers were popular,
my coworkers and I would send
coded messages to each other.
It was a faulted system at best.
Tricky. And we had to think ahead of the system.
Pagers could only receive a numeric message.
 Of course, there aren’t enough numbers to match letters
or even sounds adequately
as the most common letters t,r,m were missing.
The numbers had to be put in backwards
and the pager tipped upside down to read the message. Misunderstandings were a given.

For example, the word “hello” was punched into the dial pad as “07734”.
image We added a 411 or a 911 depending on the urgency of the message.


Facebook friends responded.
Military vets chime in that they were using the subversive technique on radios and calculators when digital first arrived in technology.

An argument ensued. Baby boomers SHOUTED

Don’t be ridiculous!Ovaltine decoder rings implemented a numbers to letters system in the 1950s. Then the old CB radio folks jump in with a 10-4 GOOD BUDDY!

A visit to the cable tv 1930s movie channel reminds me that we used to say phone numbers like this HA9—-. A mnemonic device, apparently, to help people remember the new long seven digit phone numbers. Thus, PEnnsylvania 6 five thousand. (which for some reason, also required some shouting).

I admit defeat to Bookworms reminding me of Sir Arthur Canon Doyle’s, Adventure of the Dancing Men from 1898.

Then one must consider Navajo Code Talkers.

Codes and signals are embedded in our language history as we reach to communicate across distance, in that secretly public way.

Circling letters on gum wrappers in grade school and tossing them out bus windows.

Mt me drng rcss at mnky brs.

k. i. b. der.



It’s no blindness

One certainly does not expect
Sunburned eyes
In the midst of the worst winter
In the last 30 or 100 years.
Strolling in
ultra violent violet light
Glare on glare
Sun on snow
Even from unrelenting haze.
Blue so iridescent
So pure
When I come into shelter
from dazzlingbright Skies.
There it is.
Snow blindness.
Can’t see the forest for the trees

It’s a study to be blind
Hands steadying along walls
Telly without the

My prism heart colors my own apparitions
Now bleeding
My weary eyes
Spill out my own illusions

My sight wanes against the
Foolish belief that nothing

’s no blindness.
We are warned
But rarely listen.
The longing heart
Hears only love’s beat
Without discernment
Visors shut out deception
Blinded from wiser voices
Deafened by yearning choices
The heart doesn’t always see
The heart doesn’t always hear
What’s best for this me.

There’s treatment.
No cure.
There’s preventative measures
No assurances.
No antidote but time.

One could wear glacier goggles
Block out any possible chance
Of seeing ice crystals glisten
Off the trees
Perfect flakes shimmer
In painful Blue
But the tender heart wears no shades
Opening eyes sightless
Not gleaning
What is ahead.
Transience filters through
In the cracking ice beneath.

See me.
Seeing you.
A collaboration with three women who I have never met, but whose hands guided me to form this verse.
My thanks to them.
Rosemarie Mohr My-Heart-Speaks-Envisage
Debra Carson Squyres
Maureen Kwiat Meshenberg;;