Category Archives: Essays

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 18 August 2019

My partner told me that I have taken up humming lately. I hadn’t noticed. It’s an annoying habit that crops up when I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Too many hours at work is a likely catalyst. And undoubtedly, a family gathering this weekend, attended by a daughter and granddaughters I haven’t seen since the ‘great divide’ that has broken so many friends and families in recent years. It went better than I expected, but there was the sad, black hole of those lost years; an awkward, lost ease, the familiarity that comes through unbroken connection. Still I will cherish the brief memory of our time together. A mother is always a mother, even if her children fly away, never to return or for only brief glimpses.

There was also our first attempts at taming the shrew out of the feral, frightened kitten we rescued. It’s amazing how little time it takes in the wild to snap a tiny, innocent kitten into a snarling, claw-wielding devil. But I am committed to see it through. His mom is scheduled for her spay this Thursday. I hope all goes well. She was loved once, then cast aside I assume for whatever reason people do such things. I can tell she remembers warm and safe in the way she waits for me and rubs against me purring when I feed her. I know how she feels. How easy it is to forgive…forget even…life’s harshness.

Mothers, children, family, cats and kittens…the reason I work to survive here for just a moment more of the blessings of this life. I hope you have moments this week that cause you to pause and think, ‘life is good’…because life is.

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 18 August 2019

be kind to others you don’t know
when children lose their innocence
she had some wild stories
with dreams that linger into day
you must be red, rose red like me, you can’t be blue
we can’t ignore that we are doomed; let’s set things right
a storm is nigh, rain droplets burst, cool is the breeze
in the belly of grace I fall
amidst the trees, sparks of divine on breezes sway


A ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the ReVerse features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.

Oviellejo #12

The news has been giddy with “who done it, was it homicide or suicide, how could they let this happen, whose gonna pay now” drivel. All over a vile pediphile’s untimely demise. But I’m still stuck. A little over a week ago, back to school shoppers were gunned down at a Walmart. Just a few days later, other children came home from their first day of school to find their parents missing. And still at our border there are no doubt children wasting away in cages because their parents had the audacity to seek safety for them. What parent wouldn’t do the same for their own children, faced with the threat of death or worse? I’ve been stewing on this Oviellejo for days. I had planned to write about the beautiful sunrise. It was beautiful. But somewhere someone is suffering, and my heart is bleeding. We can’t forget the children. We just can’t.

when children lose their innocence
no recompense

can make up for the damage wrought
it’s a dark spot

that festers slowly over time
it is a crime

ignoring it for a lifetime
can lead to callous, broken souls
no hope of ever being whole
no recompense, it’s a dark spot, it is a crime


The Oviellejo is an Old Spanish verse form (derived from ovillo, a ball of yarn). A stanza consists of 10 lines, with a rhyme scheme of AABBCCCDDC. The second line of each rhyme scheme, Line 2,4,6, is short line of up to 5 syllables. The last line is a “redondilla,” a “little round” that collects all three of the short lines.

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 11 August 2019

It was the best of times…it was the worst of times…I’m borrowing a line from Dickens today. This week was one of those times, albeit in reverse, starting with the aftermath of another two mass shootings, and the heartache and terror that follows, and then the added cruel insult to our woundedness, the racist raids of Hispanic people at workplaces because…well because they are Hispanic. The fact that hundreds were immediately released is proof that our nation has now taken to rounding up people like cattle. That was the macro view of our country this week. The photo op of the president and First Lady, with she holding the baby whose parents died saving it at a mass shooting and he beaming with a crass thumbs up tells the world all they need to know about the lunatics running this country. I honestly don’t know if my heart can survive another 4 more years of this…I’m hoping I won’t have to…but if Russia has their way again… 😣 (please vote)

And the very best of times…for the truth of the matter is that the darkness never lasts forever. Even when shadows fall, all it takes is a turn of the head to see the light. And so it was in my little corner of the world. Though everything was spinning out of control all around me the light made its way to me in the rescue of a coal black kitten and his pure white mother. They are safe now in my imperfect home where dust settles a little too freely, but love is also free and unconditional, patient and kind. I may not have the power to change the world but I do have the grace to change a tiny corner of it, one fragile soul at a time.

It’s hard for me to say this past week was a good week…but it was seven days in the life of a people and of me, and to borrow again from Dickens, it was the worst of times, but it was also the best. Go gently dear ones…always always turn to the light leaving the shadows to fade behind you! ❤️

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 11 August 2019

oh what a tangled mess we’ve weaved
grief repeats itself
just past that grove of trees,
“It’ll be okay,”
seek the light
until the people cry, “no more!”
we live in fear
fourth kitten rescued
finally, I can breathe
where nothing’s sure
with every breath i breathe i pray


Fourth Kitten Rescued

Some of you know that a few months ago we discovered a mama cat with four kittens under our front porch. It has been two months or so since we were able to capture three kittens, but one remained at large with the mama…and we think we know who the daddy cat is. There have been several sightings of him in the neighborhood.

Two of the white kittens are now happily being spoiled by a new mom and dad and the runt is our Frankie.

I have been feeding the fugitives every morning and night seeking to gain their trust. The mama cat has warmed to me letting me pet her briefly as I put the food bowl down, but the kitten has been a formidable escape artist. I had set up an animal crate with a long boa feather lure on the porch (everyone thought I was crazy). As I returned from my morning walk on Wednesday, the kitten took the bait and I was able to capture it!

Now comes the process of taming the hiss and spit out of this little one! I have spent several sessions rocking, smooth talking and petting this kitten, wrapping it tightly in a blanket to protect myself from claws! (Safety first 😉), and this evening we had a real breakthrough! I was able to loosen the blanket and rock the kitten to sleep! He/she is not likely to remember our tender encounter next time I come for a visit, but each time gets a little less stressful for both of us. I’m a sucker. I think this one may be a keeper too.

Next on the game plan is getting Mama captured and spayed. Then on to her waiting forever home to live the life she deserves. I’ve been a bit busy this week between work, kitten rescue and tending to my resident pack…but watching this little one sleep in my arms has made it all worth it. Have a lovely weekend. You know what I’ll be doing! 😉🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾❤️

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 4 August 2019

The sun is shining in my small corner of the world this morning. There’s a cool breeze, birds are singing, people around the neighborhood are stirring, having coffee on front porches, some will head to the churches that populate dozens of corners throughout my town. No doubt those congregants will offer thoughts and prayers for the victims of the last 24 hours, for the 29 departed souls, for the 53 people injured, for the families changed forever. Thoughts and prayers.

I’m sick of this. I’m angry. We the people know what we need to do. Weapons of war need to be removed from our streets and the hallowed arsenals of 2nd amendment zealots. We need sensible gun regulation, background checks, mental health services and transparency in law enforcement. Our forefathers did not envision this when they penned that amendment. But they had the foresight to include a phrase that gets lost in the “right to bear arms” mantra…”a well-regulated militia”. This is the second amendment in full, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

What we have today is anything but regulated. Those in power, who suckle at the teats of the NRA are not interested in the will of the people. And cry as we may in outrage, we are responsible for keeping them in power; for the reign of terror that has assaulted us. We put them in office and keep them there, unchecked, allowing them to reap wealth and prosperity for themselves, the rest of us be damned.

And there is one more thing that bears mentioning. The elephant in the room. It is the caustic hateful rhetoric that spews from the jowls of the president day in day out. He wins when we are divided. He wins when the hate of people of color, the foreigner, lgbtq people, the poor, the sick, so-called liberals, the others, as in anyone not white, boils under our skin turning us against each other. But we can’t let him win. Trump is not the first and only source of this sickness but he is most certainly a symptom of the deep-seeded brokenness of our young nation. He is the epitome of everything that is ugly and hate-filled, selfish and evil and because he holds a position of supreme power, we must hold him accountable. He tweeted his thoughts and prayers for the victims of yesterday’s tragedy. I’m sorry, this is not enough Mr. president. It is meaningless. El Paso’s shooter clearly idolized you and was emboldened by your rhetoric. You alone are responsible for rallying the underbelly of society with every rant and chant of “lock her up”, “send her back”, for every dehumanizing statement you make about black and brown people, trans people, the poor, the educated and informed people who see right through your scam, for anyone who does not “bow to trump”. White terrorists are not “good people” Donald. They are your deadly minions.

I am sick of this. I am angry. I am heartbroken. And I’m feeling helpless and vulnerable right now. 251 mass shootings have occurred in 214 days in 2019 with 1,032 people being shot. Of those people, 180 have died. We are past asking, “what will it take” and “how many more”. Talk gets us nowhere. Talk gets us more terror tomorrow and the next day and the next.

Tell those you love that you love them. Tell them and show them every chance you get this week. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow. So let’s be kind to each other. Life is short. Peace out.

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 4 August 2019

we forget love fashioned us
armed with poison secrets
soul devouring ecstasy
sizzling on sand bars like toast
soaking me down to the skin…
face gone dark this black moon night
let’s get real, because it’s true, life is too short
the coo of a lone dove, mourning,
please don’t despair, in this dark time kindness is free


A ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the ReVerse features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.

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