her hands

I look at my hands.

They look nothing like my mothers hands.

Hers were small and china cup delicate
though powerful enough to create our universe.

Her fingers, slim and incandescent, resolving into perfect oval nails.
She scoffed and dismissed those fingers as not enough,
lacking the reach for that next ivory key
reserved for the true concert pianist.

That not good enough created all the sounds of my childhood-
Church hymns,
Schubert and Haydn,
tin pan alley,
Lennon and McCartney,

I miss her strong hands, pale and translucent,
I miss my mother’s hands holding my hands.

Christmas at the Black Horse

Christmas at the Black Horse 2013 2Christmas at the Black Horse 2013 1Christmas at the Black Horse 2013

Festive night filled with music-
the sound of guitar, mandolin
and drum
(pa rum pa pa pum)

Red Santa hats,
jingle bells and neon signs
brighten the early winter darkness.

Voices raised in laughter
and song-
on the first day of Christmas
my true love
sang to me
and a possum in a persimmon tree.

*** it was a wonderful night at the Black Horse for the Christmas open mic night. I read a couple of poems and we all sang my take on the Twelve Days of the Ozarks and our friends, old and new, made merry.
note: the photos are from 2013 and we miss those who have moved on to warmer climes especially Ally and Pete – love you guys!

Autumn Psalter

Octobers Lament

Listening to Welsh songs on NPR
on a gray October morning-
a language so foreign
yet melodies familiar
as the coffee in my blue mug
and the call of the red winged blackbird
as it pierces the early dawn air
from yellowing woods across the cove.

In what ancient hills were these songs
first sung? What gray skies
heard first these lilting tunes?
Sailing so far away from their birth and home
to emerge in these steep ridges
and deep shadowy hollows of Ozarks autumn.

I listen to the harmony
of the north wind singing
thru the thicket of yellowing trees.

Sing to Me the Autumns Song


Don’t sing to me of winter days,
the summer has yet gone.
More lovely and sublime the fall-
sing to me the autumns song.

The season quietly steals away
taking summer’s sun and heat.
Only to return with bluer skies-
rich autumn’s tapestry to greet.

Don’t sing to me of winter days,
the summer has yet gone.
More lovely and sublime the fall-
sing to me the autumns song.

Her colors rich in tint and hue
thru the deep woodlands are strewn.
Leaves of russet, pumpkin, and gold,
dance gaily to the north winds tune.

Don’t sing to me of winter days,
the summer has yet gone.
More lovely and sublime the fall-
sing to me the autumns song.

summer night in the Ozarks

black horse jul 14 3
black horse jul 14 c

sweet water from the well
casts the evenings magic spell
as the fiddlers resin up their bows
mandolins court and spark
in the early summers dark
lighting fireflies to twinkle and glow
its not every night but now
we will sing and tell stories how
we lived and dreamed and truly loved
its not every night but when
we will gather up to dance again
and the music rises
to the summer moon above

so grab your partner
and coo and dove
hug your friends and swing your love
cause all we have is the music
and the stars
its not every night but now
we are here and this is how
we celebrate the music
of our lives

sam and aly c
bo and the rebel hounds
Black Horse jul 14
bob on his bday

scraps of Combustible material


music yields to an achingly
lyrical melody, in keeping
and consuming. it’s a sound
personified by the slippery
trilling strings represent the
main blazes. flutes and other
winds twinkle, throwing up
horns rise, and swirling
moans and screams in the
sparks. later magic fire
cause of its unusually fast
music, fire was more frantic
comes from the percussion
more sexual. it is the inspiration
with fire’s ambiguous nature
epitomized by what we could be

From an article in the December 2012 Smithsonian Magazine on fire as an element in music and art for a dVerse prompt

Open Mic Night at The Black Horse Saloon

open mic night

Down from the ridges
And up from the hollows,
Musicians, gourd green
And rock solid,
Find harmonies
Taught from sinew and bone
Thumping boot heel beat
Rhythm dancing in their song-
Mandolin, banjo,
Guitar, fiddle and bow
Move from tables to stage
In a rowdy contradance
Of changing partners
Unlikely collaborators
With the nights neon muse
Its open mic night
At The Black Horse Saloon
And the music is free.

Black Horse 3Black Horse 2