A Very Mary Oliver Variation

A Golden Shovel poem from “This Morning” line: their eyes haven’t yet opened, they know nothing about the sky that’s waiting

their hatred festers

eyes squinting at all who 

haven’t silver spoons

yet picked cotton, paved roads

opened new realms for all-

they believe they are supreme who

know it all yet 

nothing of the sacrifice, nothing

about the blood, sweat, tears, nothing about

the faces not in their own mirrors

sky gazing faces overlooking their own wake of destruction:

that’s the toxic mindset

waiting to poison future generations

Her Death


A Mary Oliver Fibonacci Sequence Poem taken from borrowed lines 

Her Death 



to ask

when death comes

the prayers that are made

the way plovers cry goodbye

fortify me, take away my hunger for answers

Borrowed lines taken from these poems, in order:

“The Egret”

“The Egret”

“Snow Geese”

“When Death Comes”


“We Should Be Well Prepared”



 A Very Mary Oliver Variation – a Golden Shovel poem formed from a vertically written line of first words in “Some Herons” – the poet’s eyes flared just as a poet’s eyes are said to do when the poet is awakened from the forest of meditation


the treasures of a 

poet’s world are journals and pens and 

eyes that see the world differently –

flared ideas that ignite the soul 

just as a fire in winter blazes – 

as words are cast freely across the open page 

a burning idea born of a 

poet’s feverish script from 

eyes that have seen what no one else has seen and 

are painting the pictures of memory 

said to be the one hope 

to change the world – to 

do exactly what disciples and prophets and diviners do 

when three-dimensional truths appear vividly in 

the ordinary creases of life and the 

poet takes notice – 

is suddenly gifted with a magical eye of revelation 

awakened to the past, the present, the future 

from an unknowing trance 

the way the 

forest must feel when it recognizes the intricate beauty

of one single leaf in its quiet 


Hoarding: A Mental Illness

The New Yorker December 15, 2014 “Let It Go”

are we becoming a nation of hoarders whose houses reek with a stench of old, rotting stuff?

Joan Acocella’s mother’s hoarding habits are symptomatic of dementia 

for example, storing dishes in cabinets in other rooms because kitchen cabinets are used for other stuff 

before her death, she favored disposable food containers over the food in them – for storing small stuff 

when children clean stuff out, parents feel grief and anger and eagerness to fill the newly vacated space with new stuff

but children clean stuff so no one can come in and ask that their parents be moved to a nursing home – a strong possibility for their own health and safety

2013 – American Psychiatric Association declared storage habits a diagnostic feature of a mental illness  called HD – hoarding disorder 

HD is “a persistent difficulty in discarding possessions regardless of their actual value to the point where the person’s accumulated things congest living areas and impede their intended use” 

commonly hoarded stuff includes books and magazines, and hoarders tend to be energetic collectors of “valuable stuff”

who refuse to let go of stuff  they have and exemplify Freud’s anal character 

hoarding stuff presents a major threat to public health 

1993 – Frost and Graves wrote an article entitled “Behavior Research and Therapy” and in 2010 Frost and Steketee Hattie wrote “Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things” 

Sandra Felton founded Messies Anonymous patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous as a therapy for eliminating clutter –

which she says is “if not an actual sin, a failure of self understanding” 

repulsive cases of real-life people Homer and Langley Collyer  and Big Edie and Little Edie Beale of Bouvier fame  

led to TV shows such as “Hoarders” which ran six seasons on A&E in 2013 and “Hoarding: Buried Alive” on TLC in 2010 

I imagine these shows were like those horrendous zit-popping videos – so gross one can’t help being sucked in to the madness and be driven to clean candle-burning minimalism 



Bonefish Birthday

Beautiful Ansley Claire 

third of my octane trio 


27 on 9/24/2020

in Macon, Georgia

to celebrate 

at Bonefish Grill

a server brings 

free bang bang shrimp 

and later

cabernet wine 

imperial cod

salad with citrus vinaigrette 

whipped potatoes steamed asparagus 

and creme brûlée for her (Mimi’s favorite) 

Papa calls as food is served 

brother and sister have texted and 

her dad has called

a big pink bag 

with tissue paper 

and a pink ribbon 

holds a

Vera Bradley travel bag Green Willow 

Silky Legs

shaving soap  and 

spending cash in a card 

but all the best is being together 

chatting of life and plans and dreams 

of a Colorado wedding 

and kittens 

and walls we live in 

Happy Birthday, 

           Ansley Claire! 

Full Cup


The New Yorker    Sept. 28, 2020      Price $8.99

Cover: “Open Offices”  by Pascal Campion

in a high-rise office building 

overlooking the city 

a worker stands alone 

by the water cooler 

holding his full cup 

not looking out the window 

but at the empty workspace 

alive with eight plants 

and nothing more 

sunlight streams through 

casting shadows 

across the room

I can’t help wondering 

if his water 

is for the plants 

that no one else 

is there to tend

Strawberry Pigs


Strawberry Pigs

every sense
that Mimi provided
was wonderful-
the sight of her
was nothing less
than beautiful 

hearing her voice
as she called me
“Nonnie bird”
or “doodle bug”
always brought a smile
to my face 

the way her perfume smelled
on a Sunday morning 

her warming back scratches
always felt better
than anyone else’s 

and her cooking
always tasted marvelous 

there was never
a task with Mimi
that I considered a hassle – 

even when she would
whip out the garden gloves and shovels 

it is actually one of my favorite things that we would do together 

she would let me
use the riding lawnmower
as she tended her flowers 

at the end of working
we would pick
figs and blueberries
and then
eat them for lunch 

although that may not be exciting
to kids nowadays
it meant the world to me
and always will continue to 

having Miriam
as my grandmother
was truly a blessing
and knowing
how many people
love and care about her makes me feel
extra special 

I will miss her very much until I meet her
up at the gates of heaven 

love you, Mimi

-Ansley Meyer

This letter, written by my youngest child for my mother’s funeral in 2015, reminds me of the years of Mason jars in the kitchen, canning “strawberry pigs” (strawberries and figs) and in 2008 finding a $3 sickly little clearance fig on the scratch and dent shelf at Home Depot, bringing it home, and continuing the tradition. “Mimi” is now a majestic fig, reaching skyward to the heavens…..

Magical Season

Abracadabra without the R rhyme scheme – a magical nine line poem on this first day of fall!


Magical Season 

we welcome this first day of fall
its winds of change and brilliant leaves
its festive warmth our souls enthrall
pumpkin spice taste buds entice
perspectives change as we recall
lifelong memories of the season
sweater weather comes to call
fireside, a new heartsong weaves
let’s gather and sip cider, y’all!

Two Slightly Injured

The Brunswick News, December 1979

Two Slightly Injured

two slightly injured 

on Kings Way

at 7:32 this morning

on St. Simons Island 

in an accident 

Glynn County police searching 

for an elderly woman 

driving a white vehicle 


Thomas Desjean 

the drunk postal worker 

was passing 

in a T intersection 

when the white car 

pulled into his lane 

he then lost control of his vehicle 

and struck 

a 13-year-old girl 

Kimberly Lynn Haynes 

waiting on a school bus 

and then collided 

with a tree 

the Haynes child 

was in good condition 

<wait, WHAT?! 

good condition?

in whose opinion?> 

at Brunswick Hospital 

at press time 

<get this: Desjean 

was treated 

and released at the hospital>

police are searching 

for the elderly woman 

for failing to stop 

and render aid in an accident 

<let me tell you 

who stopped 

and rendered aid: 

two grandmotherly 

black nurses

pure angels  

on their way 

to work 

at the Brunswick Hospital…

let me tell you 

who they put in MY ambulance with me: 

Thomas Desjean….

let me tell you 

who brought me 

a Snoopy book 

and an apology 

a week later 

so he could move on 

with his pitiful life: 

Thomas Desjean….

let me tell you 

who was NOT 

in good condition 

as reported at press time 

and still has nightmares 

about that morning: 

Kimberly Lynn Haynes 

let me tell you 

who worked a miracle 

that day:



Wild Weekend Warriors

Wild Weekend Warriors

we get away some Fridays

exit town

my weekend travel warrior and I

two mid-century moderns

kindred spirits



lovers of wine

and food

……and silence

we leave the husbands 


and book a room

with stacks of magazines

piles of novels, anthologies, verse

journals, pens, laptops

two mysterious mavens, 


who raise eyebrows 

at split-bill/shared-key 


then hustle like honeymooners

to our hiatal haven:

a voluminous Vesuvius 

in the North Georgia mountains

erupting with 

the soul-renewing tranquility 

of words

of reflection

of inner growth

adventure vitamins 

of pages devoured

journeys, quests shared

ginko biloba

of stories spread across pages

with liberally flowing ink

like cinnamon pear preserves –

experiences, moments captured

so that when we are too old 

to travel

we can re-scale this mountain

we pack up our literary luggage

and return the shared key on Sundays-

allowing the raised-eyebrow wonderers

to be mind writers who

weave their own denouement

modeling perfectly

the language teacher’s strength and mantra:

“the reader writes the story”