The Gospel According to a Labrador Retriever



taking her leave

down the trail

 through ragged weeds

along the pilgrim’s way,

in need of a friend

or  a conscience, perhaps,

she sees  the animal approach

with a cryptic note,

surreal, unreal,

the message warrants a second reading,


the dog translates.

 Of course, he is a lab,

a retriever,

and, make no mistake,

he kisses friends

and strangers alike,

no strings attached,

(that’s what the note says)

the pilgrim continues

down the rocky path,

stumbling over the foreigner,

half buried,

clothing in tatters,

 he’s sick,

he’s dirty,

he’s close to death,

but she detects a heartbeat,

altogether unnerved,

 she recalls the message,

 and slowly kisses away the muck,

with a lot of help from the dog,


it turns out,

followed her the whole messy way.


©2013 Wabi Sabi

For Sunday Whirl ‘ #117’

For d’Verse ‘open link night’




when pain enters the room

and noise  – like thick smoke,

climbs into the bed

with orders to distract and torment

the truth is, it’s impossible to pray;

when voices rudely shout

 setting off alarms somewhere behind the eyes

scaring the familiar silence away

you risk everything, even a tumble out the window

brimming, swimming with all your might

you try to listen

but all you hear is the brass band in your head,

 there is a great pressure where once there was equilibrium

 you are lost in the cacophony

    choking on your own words,

until a buttery sulphur, a-fluttering,

happens by your window

and wraps you in its prayer.


© 2013 Wabi Sabi 

For Sunday Whirl #116

Tanka Whirl



  echo of geese

heard by an old climber

fallen rock rumbles

reminding him of their retreat

to a cabin of love

 wild island

 covered in velvet fog

 bridge to the summer sky

shrouded in pink and  gold

they followed the birdsong


crossing the meadow

a bird swoops back and forth

looking for her gift of seed,

when will it finally understand

she is not coming again?


a bend in the lane near the cabin

his foot suddenly unstable

he falters, looking up for an instant

the full moonlight flooding his heart

 with her essence


 ©2013 Wabi Sabi

For Sunday Whirl – words  for this week – meadow, bend, lane, unstable, bridge, island, fallen, rock, retreat, bird, bear, wild

For Poets United – ‘poetry pantry’

For Carpe Diem ‘free style’

Wherein The Muse’s ‘Vehicle’ Goes in the Shop For Repairs

The muse won’t tell a LIE….
the truth is, she must lie STILL,
teetering on the edge
of tomorrow’s forest
I made that up,
there is no forest,
(a jungle maybe)
the truth is, she must lie still
on the edge of a surgeon’s table.
All right,
I made that up too,
 she won’t be on the edge
of the table –
more like stage center,
at the head of the class,
letting all the young doctors
watch the surgeon
making tracks on her belly,
another fabrication…
not tracks – incisions,
the surgeon will cut her
while her muse, pale and mute
wallows in drug dreams
leaving her body, her vehicle
in a complex heap,
a mess,
while they peer into whatever
openings the surgeon makes,
 getting all the answers for their files.
Once it is over,
she won’t LIE AROUND
she’ll be up and about,
revving the motor,
cruising the hallways,
LYING in wait
 for her belly to rumble back to life…
that rumble is the ‘get out of jail free‘ card
 the ticket out of the repair shop
 with a full tank of gas,
and that’s NO LIE !
©2013 Wabi Sabi
For The Sunday Whirl where the words for this week are -tracks, edge, files, lie, mess, complex, gas, forest, still, pale, answers, class.
For Poets United ‘poetry pantry’
I know this is a crazy, silly poem but it kept me busy as I prepare for surgery on Monday.  I do apologize for forcing the words to suit my agenda and especially for the ending. (Really!? Gas!?)
I will be off the poetry circuit for a few days but plan to return as soon as the drugs wear off and the muse sobers up!
If you would like to read another poem I wrote about my  ‘vehicle,’  here’s a link  to ‘Joy Ride.’
Until we meet again, peace!

Whirl 113



moonshine tonight

a few stars

take the night off


hapless old man

stumbling over anything

in his path


one scoop of flour

she bakes his favorite cookies

melting his resolve


off limits

he hides his feelings

in a man cave


her favorite cup

shatters in his hand

bitter tea


after the wake

she longs to tell him

all about it


teenaged girls

trying for solemnity

suppress a giggle


a cut flower

falling from her hair

is forgotten


an old man

carrying both suitcases

lightens her load


in a single breath

a sense of the holy one

calms her fears


a new graduate

anxious to shed his childhood

splits for college


a curmudgeon

chattering about the old days

misses the sunrise


how crazy is she

the old one, listening still

to bee and frog song?


©2013 Wabi Sabi

For The Sunday Whirl ‘moonshine, anything, scoop, cave, shatters, wake, giggle, cut, load,sense,  splits, crazy, chattering’




 bomb the kids with lies

about junk food, prescription drugs,

gas-guzzling cars,

 send a shimmering, spewing

spill of thunder

from a thousand television jets ,

across the airwaves

and the internet

 bomb the kids with lies

right there in the park

 steps from where the boys play pick-up basketball

 a yard or two from the bench where the nannies rest,

 sell them dreams in clever shiny packages,

 the kids buy the whole deal,

no status updates

from the media boys

 they  bury the bombs on page twenty-five

 newsmen learn to curb

the instinct to go after the bad guys,

instead they prepare a dish of fluff

 to appease the bombers,

the gods who advertise

and bomb the kids with lies.


© 2013 Wabi Sabi

For the Sunday Whirl ‘park, page, yard, status, shimmering, spill, spewing, thunder, rest, curb, jets, steps.’


Charleston Skyline ©WabiSabi 2013
Charleston Skyline ©WabiSabi 2013


 clouds,  like prairie schooners

hurry across the sky and with a swirl

they carry daydreams on the wind’ s  sweet breath,

each glimpse of the crystal  sky sending thoughts packing

on a whole  new train down alleys unexplored


the tale  still untold,  the vault still under lock

with  mirrored halls of memory reflecting a nimble fiction

an unwritten story that might crave another, happier ending-

but then the ending writes itself,

always the same.


now the time arrives to climb above the schooners,

 staring down with rapture, surveying as a raptor would

forgetting limbs that protest loudly, words catch in the throat –

she remembers the wing of the osprey and how the wind catches it, 

  and she hitches a ride on the same strong breeze,

 following the osprey all the way home.


©Wabi Sabi 2013


For  Sunday Whirl  ‘prairie, halls, swirl, wind, train, vault, nimble, crave, rapture, limbs, throat, each.’





It was  just like him to send a note,
‘meet me at the stone slab,’
the place up in the woods where they first met
as teenagers hiding from life, smoking and acting cool,
but that was before they hatched their dream,
to save for an old car then take to the road
 to look for the real world, whatever that was,
‘I came to say good-bye,’ he said,
his timing left Esther without breath,
how could he drop the torch now,
after months of planning,
their vision still blazing in her head,
too hot to touch,
how could he decide on a different path
out of this God-forsaken town,
one that left her behind, to hover in a holding pattern
stuck at the five and dime?
He cut her down with one bleak word,
however opaque.

Turns out she had the bus fare
so she jumped the Greyhound early the next day,
and in the crush of  passengers, in the smell of humanity,
among folks with brown bags filled with egg sandwiches
and leftover meatloaf,
and snacks for the long ride,
she was on her way to somewhere.


©Wabi Sabi 2013

For Sunday Whirl ‘ slab, timing, breath, torch, vision, blazing, touch, cut, opaque, bleak, crush, nebulous, hover



a simple vow

she sings their love story

long and sweet


her voice – a drone

 whispering a lullaby

until he sleeps


an empty space

she sings of what might have been

in his arms


to comfort the dying

her silent presence chants

all night long


how she honors the sun

trilling a sing-a-long

with the birds


while binding wounds

she utters an ancient mantra

holy balm


how her lips

on the crook of his neck

croon softly


his anger circling

she sings to block out the truth

 her fate


clouds on the way

she hums a broken melody

until the storm passes


taking to her cave

she laments day and night

for what is lost


fist filled with notes

she murmurs a hymn of praise

for poetry


ten teeth missing

she burbles about old days

mouth wide open


©WabiSabi 2013

For the Sunday Whirl 108 – vow, drone, space, chants, sun, binding, crook, circling, broken, cave, fist, mouth.