26.1.21

If I knew then what I know now …

 If I knew then what I know now …


I’d take better care of my body,

so it would take care of me now that I’m old.

I would never start smoking, never eat sweets;

I’d exercise daily and strenuously.

I’d get enough sleep, the full eight hours:

going to bed before 10 every night, I promise.


Or would I? Because really, I did know. 

We all really know the simple rules of health.

But we think we can cheat –

only a tiny bit, just for now.

We don’t understand we’re building habits.

Bad habits. Lifelong habits.


The sweeties tasted so good 

on the tongue and in the mouth.

And the cigarettes stopped me

from putting on weight.

(Too bad about other effects! I quit

in time to miss cancer; not emphysema.)


Least possible exercise, intermittent,

can soon slide into almost none. And 

anyway, it’s much too early for bed. 

There are poems to write. There’s Netflix.

There are friends to visit on facebook.

And I must get a late-night snack….




The title is Magaly's prompt for Weekly Scribblings #54 at Poets and Storytellers United.


21.1.21

Beautiful Words (found haiku)

Beautiful Words 

(found haiku)


searching for fireflies

the first dream of the new year –

the moon freezes


plants are sprouting

under last year’s dried grass

or under snow


clouds 

predict good fortune –

green shadows


sunlight filtering

through green leaves –

buried fire




Found haiku written in response to Weekly Scribblings #53: Beautiful Words at Poets and Storytellers United – using, rearranging, recombining, and occasionally slightly altering (by additions or omissions) the phrases in Rommy's prompt:


For this week’s prompt, I’ve selected a few poetic names from Bruce Hamana Sosei’s book, 100 Beautiful Words in The Way of Tea. Pick the English version of one (or more if the mood hits you) to shape your words around.


Zuiun – clouds that predict good fortune

Shitamoe – plants sprouting under last year’s dried grass or under the snow

Hatsuyume – the first dream of the new year

Uzumibi – buried fire

Ryokuin – green shadows (sunlight filtering through green leaves)

Hotaru-gari – go searching for fireflies

Tsuki-koru – the moon freezes

12.1.21

'Every morning, so far, I’m alive.'

'Every morning, so far, I’m alive.'

I have reached a plateau on my journey

where I stop awhile and look around,

admiring the long view of the landscapes

I travelled on the way, spread for my gaze.


I can pick out houses where I lived, in

towns or cities or rural retreats; I can see

favourite mountains, rivers, trees … and

certain ocean vistas I thought of as mine.


The unfolding past is populated. I walk

again with old companions, conversing,

sharing adventures; laughing with many,

crying for some. Plenty are still here now.


One person’s life. No-one else can know it

quite the same. In another way, everyone 

shares it all – the same drives and necessities,

the ups and the downs, the wild unexpected.


I like the paths my steps have taken, 

by and large – having survived the mis-steps 

and false directions. Every morning, so far,

I’m alive. I rise, go on, explore further.




Note: The title is a direct quotation from Mary Oliver's poem, 'Landscape'.


This piece was written for Weekly Scribblings #52 at Poets and Storytellers United: Something About Mary, where the prompt is to write something based on a line or phrase from that particular poem