Yogi Bhajan

     It was between 1969 and 1970 that I began awakening to a different way of thinking.  I was reading different spiritual books at that time, one of the first being “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda, and many others on different Indian spiritual masters and metaphysical subjects.  My two older brothers shared this interest with me.  We had many discussions about our new-found spiritual awareness.  It was an exhilarating time in my life. 

     Also, around that time, one of my brothers and a sister started attending yoga classes nearby.  They brought the teacher home one day, and we ended up having an impromptu yoga class in our back yard.  This is when I met John Twombly, the teacher trained in kundalini yoga by Yogi Bhajan.  I joined in with my brother and sister in attending the weekly yoga classes given by John.  Sometimes we met at Rollins College, other times at the tree-canopied park on Park Avenue or elsewhere around town.  I felt like this is where I belonged.  One by one, the other three of our siblings joined in with the classes.

     Soon John found a modest home  in College Park that he rented and started an ashram representing the spiritual teachings of Yogi Bhajan.  I attended my first weekend intensive course there and my life was forever transformed.  It was a weekend of complete silence and focused hours of yoga and meditation.  I was still a teenager.

     Some months later, John moved the ashram to a spacious house out in Pine Hills that was isolated and surrounded with woods and even had a private little pond on the property.  It was the perfect location for an ashram.  It was then that I joined him and moved from my parents’ home into this commune of like-minded yogis. 

     In December of 1971, I first laid eyes on Yogi Bhajan.  We had received word a few weeks earlier that Yogiji (as we then affectionately called him) wanted to put on a Winter Solstice gathering for all his students for 10 days of rigorous yoga practice and meditation all done in complete silence.  Suddenly, we were to be hosts to hundreds if not thousands of fellow yoga students who would be arriving in just a few short weeks from across the United States, Canada and worldwide.  There’s a long story that precedes this regarding all the planning, mishaps, and good intentions that went awry but I won’t go into that here.  But it was there, at this first Winter Solstice, that I met my spiritual teacher face to face for the first time.

     Hundreds did show up (I don’t now recall the exact number) to a local campground.  We all had gathered there, many pitching tents or having come with campers, and eagerly awaited his arrival.  I remember Yogi Bhajan suddenly appearing in the crowd, dressed from head to toe in white–his Sikh bana, or traditional, spiritual clothing, including turban, kurta and churidars.  He was an imposing and commanding presence of 6’ 3”.  He had a jet-black beard that reached halfway down his chest, piercing dark, brown eyes, and large, broad shoulders; and in spite of his size, he carried himself with a refined grace.  He spoke in a loud, powerful, heavy Indian-accented voice that grabbed my attention.  I had never seen anything like him and was captivated.  I had read about Indian yogis and teachers but had never personally seen this type of person before now.  He had a lot to say to us over the next 10 days.  He had come to America, he said, “to create teachers, not to gain students”.  I was to become one of those teachers.

     Born Harbhajan Singh Puri on August 26, 1929, in a part of India that later became Pakistan, he was the son of a medical doctor.  His family were devout Sikhs.  He spent his youth in private schools and his summers in the exclusive Dalhousie mountain region of Himachal Pradesh.  He was eight years old when he began his yogic training with an enlightened teacher, Sant Hazara Singh, who proclaimed young Harbhajan Singh to be a master of kundalini yoga when he was just 16 years old.

     When Harbhajan Singh was 18 years of age, during the time of turmoil of partition in 1947, he moved to the safety of New Delhi, India.  It was there that he settled and resumed his studies attending Punjab University and graduating with a degree in Economics.  He began government service with India’s Internal Revenue Department and later moved to the Customs Service and became head of Customs at Palam International Airport (now known as New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport).

     He married his wife, Inderjit Kaur, in 1952 and they had two sons, Ranbir Singh and Kulbir Singh, and a daughter Kamaljit Kaur.

     Throughout his college studies and government work he continued to teach yoga to people from all walks of life.

     In September of 1968 he had flown to Canada to teach yoga at Toronto University, carrying a letter of recommendation from Sir James George, Canadian High Commissioner in New Delhi who had been his student there.  After two months in Canada, he traveled to Los Angeles for a weekend visit and it was there that he came into contact with the “baby booming” hippies of that era.  He recognized that instead of the drugs they were turning to for their experiences of higher consciousness, they could achieve this through the science of kundalini yoga.  He decided to make his home in the United States.

     Soon he was teaching classes at colleges and universities in many cities across the United States, and true to his word, he created teachers through his non-profit 3HO Foundation (which stands for Healthy, Happy and Holy Organization) and his International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association and Kundalini Research Institute.

     He was an ardent advocate of world peace and religious unity and he traveled extensively in the eighties and nineties teaching people their birthright to be healthy, happy and holy.  He met and worked with many world leaders of all faiths, which included Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, and the Dalai Lama.  In June of 1985 he established the first International Peace Prayer Day in New Mexico, which continues to this day bringing national and international leaders in the realms of religion, politics and humanity together to further the spreading of peace.

     He was a defender of women’s rights and believed that women were the backbone of society and were to be respected, revered and cherished.  He started a summer camp for women that is held each year in New Mexico to further their self esteem and the realization that they are the “Grace of God” as he put it.

     From a personal viewpoint, Yogi Bhajan was a charismatic teacher, full of witticisms and vast knowledge on many topics.  For example one famous quote:  “If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all”.  He was very accessible and would take phone calls from his students and dispense advice on any struggle that you may be having.  I still have letters that he wrote to me when I turned to him with my concerns.  He always had a remedy to administer for any type of physical malady and practiced aryuvedic healing customs along with the use of homeopathy, herbs and even different foods and yogic exercises for enhancing and maintaining health.

     My years spent in the ashram were unforgettable ones.  I was propelled along my spiritual journey by all that I learned through teachings of Sikhism, kundalini yoga, a vegetarian diet, healing techniques and the example of being a strongly convicted, authentic human being.  Yogiji’s teachings have added immeasurable meaning to my life and a lifetime of gratitude.        

     I left that lifestyle in 1979 but the many experiences I amassed while under Yogiji’s tutelage will be with me for lifetimes to come.

     Yogiji left this physical plane on October 6, 2004 at the age of 75.


     When I wrote this I was wanting to focus on the positive lessons that I came away with from living that lifestyle.  I was not trying to “white wash” some very real problems that the organization was challenged by…some of which I experienced while there.  All groups of people who gather together and try to accomplish goals run into problems and 3HO was not exempt.  When I look back at that time I see how it strengthened my physical and mental abilities.  I learned to meditate and quiet my mind.  I learned reverence and humility and so much more.  But in the end, I knew it was time to move on and I’ve come to realize more and more that I need to rely on my own self to guide me through this life.  And in this way keep myself open to ideas and other people’s perceptions that may help me learn and grow.

Hush-a-Bye, Lull-a-Bye–Music and performance by Bill Walters

Some time ago, my oldest brother, Bill, approached me asking if I would like to collaborate with him on having him put music to some of my poetry.  I jumped at the chance and felt very honored.  He is an accomplished musician and I was thrilled that he thought enough of my writing to want to work on something together.  At the time, my oldest daughter was pregnant with her first child…my granddaughter, Mira.  I immediately thought of this lullaby that I had written long before and proposed that he write some music and sing it.  He loved the idea and this is what he came up with.  I gifted it to my daughter and her family first and I’m now making it public…I hope you enjoy it.  I love how it turned out.  Click on the link below to hear.

Hush-a-Bye Final Mix-down


O precious babe let your drowsy eyes sleep,
Let go of your woes and relax into peace.
Mother is near to protect and keep peace,
Guarding your cradle all while you sleep. 

Dream, sweet darling, of angels aglow,
Keeping you safe, surrounding you whole.
O dear child, of pure, white soul,
Rest in quiet, tranquil glow. 

Dearest mine of sweet delight,
Lay down your head, may sleep not delay.
Dream of cuddles, warm baths and bouquets,
Of lulling songs and bedtime delights. 

Sweet babe so dear.
Sweet dreams are yours, good night, good night…

English: Sleeping baby.

Image via Wikipedia

Dear friends…

Picture:  Google Images

I may be a bit scarce for a while as I’m in the process of moving.  I’m packing up and heading to Sebastian where my two daughters, and now, new baby granddaughter, Mira lives.  When my daughter and her husband return to work, I’ll be caring for Mira.  I’m really looking forward to this new chapter in my life and creating a loving relationship between Mira and I.

And look forward to getting back into the swing of posting and visiting all of you as soon as I’m settled.

Wish me well!



I See It All Now

Weeding through my possessions;
weeding out all that is un-needed,
accumulations seem to have breed-ed.
Surely I had no reason to save these
multiple scraps of paper found or applied
importance to a broken pen spied.
But still, it’s all here, covered in dust.
I stop to sneeze…as it wings on the breeze
and gathers momentum up my itching nose.
Out go handfuls of old receipts of
an iron purchased, a phone, medications,
a hair dryer, printer, clothing, shoes
and a French press from Amazon.com.
Now here is a treasure that I should
share a write about too…the last photo taken of
me with my longest, oldest (literally) dear friend.
She died last week at one hundred and two.
(It was taken when she was just 100.)
Oh, geez, look at these…assorted
cards that I have received (and kept)
for birthdays, Mother’s Day and a
Christmas or two…still tug at my heart
and I’m not willing to part with…just yet.
A newspaper-run obituary of my best
friend in school…gone too young,
of what, I can’t guess.  We had drifted
apart as lives took diverse paths.
Here’s a letter from the guy at Rutgers
who led the sociology study on our
commune in the 70s.  They’ve
followed our members for decades
wherever our lives moved us…even gave
us a stipend once for filling out
their lengthy 25th year questionnaire.
I even found you on Facebook, Ben,
and became one of your friends.
50th anniversary photo of Mom and Dad,
divorce letter to me from daughter at age 11
(I already wrote about that one), Save Tibet
decals from the International Campaign for
Tibet…I should go stick one on my car.
Gosh, this was only one small basket on
my bedside table…so much was here
that covered so many years.  And it took
a half hour to muse and to study and decide
what could go…and what still remains…
deeply attached…






In following in Schiller’s footsteps, we’re invited to write about what we “see” or observe.  http://dversepoets.com/2012/07/21/poetics-in-schillers-footsteps-the-reading-of-our-collaborative-poem/

This concludes our week of celebration of the first anniversary of dVerse Poets.  A wonderful reading was recorded by multiple members of dVerse…it was fabulous.  Go have a listen.  What great fun and thanks to everyone!

Poetical Contender

A thought inspired gives birth to form
Images follow and the pen begins to quiver
Writing flows forth with rhyming transform
Sonnet, villanelle or a couplet sliver
A need for expression with lyrical feel
Profound emotions in succinct detail
Straight from the heart it emerges real
From strong and savage to delicate and frail
Well-chosen words describe topic best
Without superfluous syllables making a mess
Supportive of getting things off of my chest
Of politics, beliefs and myriad thoughts of distress
Accommodating too of my love of earth’s scenery
Words take their places for describing its splendor
And of love, hate, death…life, growing and greenery
Endless, limitless…I’m a poetical contender

Google Images

Sharing this with Poets United:  Poetry Pantry # 111: http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2012/08/poetry-pantry-111.html

Gay Reiser Cannon invites us to write a poem on poetry at dVerse Poets:  http://dversepoets.com/2012/07/12/poetry-on-poetry/

Feeling Bliss

Feeling           bliss            this            time               would          come

Bliss             arrived         when             I                       did                   see

This          when          awakened       shall                 I                       feel                   

Time           I                    shall                   be                    ever                  free      

Would          did              I                    ever                  feel                   today                

Come               see              feel               free                  today                always

Google Images

Today,  Semaphore (Sam) shows us the clever Square Poem at FormForAll with an example by Lewis Carroll: http://dversepoets.com/2012/06/28/form-for-all-square-poems/

Mine reads both horizontally and in columns…well it’s supposed to make sense if you do it this way!  It hurt my brain but it was fun.


Walking downcast into school each day,

No friendly faces meet you there.

Shy and forlorn and can’t connect

Even the teachers don’t have your back.

(An open heart is being rejected).

An outstretched hand not met by one,

Circles of backs not letting you in.

Up-turned noses looking down at you,

The isolation is overwhelming

(the awkwardness too.)

Scowling glances meet your gaze,

Ridicule and mockery and snickers of hate,

Greet you daily…

(it’s too much to take).

Home life is stressful; there’s not much money.

Dad’s an alcoholic and Mom’s emotionally vacated.

No one is there to ease the pain.

No one sees the relentless agony.

And the weighted burden

Becomes oppressive and crushing

Day after day after day…

Dejected, despondent, hopeless and desperate,

Abandoned, forsaken, deserted and desolate.

Photo:  Google Images

Over at dVerse Poets, Karin Gustafson (ManicDdaily) invites us to write on the subject of exile (or Molly):  http://dversepoets.com/2012/06/16/re-joycing-in-poetics-and-exile/

This is a former posting that I have made some changes to for today’s offering.


I’m re-posting a favorite poem of mine that supports the choice to help others who are being unfairly prosecuted across the globe.  A serious plight for many who simply speak out against their government’s intolerance and tyranny of their people.  Many are imprisoned or killed for simply standing up and voicing an opinion. I am a member of Amnesty International.

Gayle ~ 

Don’t speak up and see what transpires when you don’t add your voice to atrocities seen. 

Don’t speak out when outraged and incensed, then the outrage will be that your silence was kept.

Prisoners of conscience don’t have a say, their rights have been taken and many enslaved.

There’s many held captive, tortured and raped– stand up against these injustices before it’s too late.

Our lives are filled with everyday scenes where societies are crumbling but we won’t hear the screams.

Too many turn a blind eye and ears deafened by choice, what a shame, what a tragedy– what is our unease?

People worldwide are needlessly dying, by the tainted hands of corruption. We can stop it; we can help through all of us uniting.

Speak out, join forces with all others who care and write letters of protest opposing all tyranny.

Open your eyes, don’t look away– your compassion is desperately needed. So unlock your heart and don’t delay, join Amnesty International–before the end of this day.

http://www.amnesty.org/ Brian Miller over at dVerse Poets asks us to write on our choices:  http://dversepoets.com/2012/06/09/poetics-its-a-matter-of-choice/


thoughts carry us here and there
bodiless, formless we’re free to travel
borderless worlds
all welcoming
no hindrances through ether’s doors
traversing in a blink from here to China
wishing ourselves there is all it takes
engaging it clearly,
through our seeing eye
limitless encounters expand our horizons
gone with the physical are envy and hate
recognition of either has vanished forever
no comparisons
or dread
keep us small
surpassing the corporeal has liberated us all
a universal playground is for us to beckon
consciousness of play brings elation
delighting in each other gets our hearts to spin
nothing detracts from the love we feel
beyond all that is negative
we rest in peace
deathless, birthless, we’re merged with the whole
creating our world by unique perception
while beaming compassion
to every particle that exists

Chazinator invites us to write on alien worlds of our making over at dVerse Poets:  http://dversepoets.com/2012/06/07/where-in-the-world/  Why don’t you give it a whirl?

A Woman Who Rocked

I always wanted to be a rock and roll star
like Joan Jett, Heart or Pat Benatar
looking kick-ass bad dressed in black leather
grinding my hips against my electric guitar
belting out songs of making things better
Yeah, I had dreams of being up on that stage
getting everyone stoked, totally engaged
voice smooth as silk but could scream down the house
wearing boots up to here with a lacy, sheer blouse
And have long, silky black hair that I could shake, whip and moan through..
I would have done gigs with Joplin, Slick, Harry and Sioux
loving all kinds of music, you couldn’t make me choose
punk, rock, R & B, alternative and even some pop
so much to groove to, including hip-hop
Women of music, I looked at with adulation
they were in a man’s world leading their own delegation
Breaking down barriers, advancing the way
empowering girls of life’s potential and sway
No nine to five for me..
I wanted to be a woman who rocked
Growing up during the counterculture revolution
it gave me a thrill to be a part of the transformation
Yeah, I wanted to be a rocker helping to lead the reform
but instead all I did was lend my support from the sides,
burning my bra, smoking a little weed and then joining an ashram

Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart:  Photo Google Images

Workin’ For It…Stuart McPherson over at dVerse Poets invites us to expound on all things related to work:  http://dversepoets.com/2012/06/02/poetics-workin-for-it/#comments

No Lover Have I

No lover have I to claim, please nor boast
This worldly pathway alone is my stead
Feet fly lightly; I’m free to wildly coast
My mind clear of another’s wringing dread
Although attracted by masculine silhouette
In his heart and mind lay my discontent
No matter tall, dark, handsome or brunet
Lecturing discourse soon brings grave dissent
Self-centered pride..tiresome monotony
No beau of mine will seek to grieve mislead
Be gone if share not love of botany
Stiff deportment serves to stay me freed
Line up if you will; I’ll yield you a chance
Turn my mind with a wild, whirling romance


Shakespeare (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My first attempt at a Shakespearean Sonnet…critique welcome…I hope I had a clue..


Little vampire

Little vampire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A guy in the mood for a bite
Swept his cape aside and went for the site
But the girl in his clutches
Was hobbling on crutches
They both tripped so he flew off stage right

There was a young girl of Killarney
Who was known far and wide for her blarney
She flattered the men
Taking them all for a spin
‘Til the wives packed her off to the carney

Photo:  Google Images

I must give credit to Madeleine Begun Kane for introducing the art of limerick writing to me and for her ideas that get me writing them.  I may not always pull them off but I have fun trying.  Thanks, Madeleine!

Terri at The Purple Treehouse, invites us to share some humor.  http://purpletreehouse.blogspot.com/2012/05/life-is-tough-we-want-humor-funny-bunny.html


On dVerse Poets we’re invited by Sam to write a form poem that does not appear to be a form.  I tried my hand at an elegy.  https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/elegy-poetic-form


Shocking grief you’ve made me lost
Alive yet dead, my heart is crushed
My eyes are lifeless..no longer see
Your visage departed, breaking parts of me
Distress down deep claws at my bones
Spring vining green turned withered stone
Interests declined as so did you
I languish forlorn in a world askew
You were my life, a radiant light
Held high aloft so my path wound bright
Wickedly clever, intelligent and quick
A candle burning with an endless wick
But your brilliant glow has been obscured
Consuming dissolution has me floored
Suffering madly, I feel only separation
Gone my lover, passion, adoration
May I forever remember your gentle excellence
That guided my nature, character and strength
Leaving me gifts that nourish my soul
Your undying goodness does offer console

Stone Flowers

Stone Flowers (Photo credit: elycefeliz)


olden southern cemetery
shadows hide your inventory
ancient oaks dripping Spanish moss
I follow a path criss-crossing human glory
finding delicate offerings
decades lain enshrined from crying
loved ones long forgotten despair
crumbled headstones beyond repair–whispered sighing
some aren’t at peace where they lay
restless disquietude displays
crypts show signs of being disturbed
oh nerves, feeling highly perturbed–bring calm I pray
be at rest, I do beseech thee
your life has ended, now you’re free
no longer confined to this side
only a thin veil does divide your touch from me

A prompt over at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads inspired me to try a Florette Form:  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/search/label/format%20challenge

Adding this to Poets United as well:  http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/

Thoughts in the Moment

Insecurity assails me as I
half-concentrate on reading
the explanation of the prompt
today as doubt arises.
I notice that I am so often ready
to compare myself to others,
those of you more capable.
Can I do this?
This afternoon finds me alone
as I so often am these days.
Alone with my thoughts that
can move me about as if a
pop-up storm in the summer
afternoons.  One moment
calm and still and the next,
wind whipping circles,
blackened skies bursting
their over-leadened heaviness
until spent–emotions spent
and calm returns again.
And I realize, with relief, that
those days of remaining silent
and too fearful of expressing
myself and even feeling worthy
of being heard have subsided
long ago.
Pushing aside my fear of how
I may be accepted (or not),
I care more now to lay myself
bare before you than to
cower and fret and keep myself hidden.

…outside, Tufted Titmice are at the
bird feeder, flitting from tree limb
to feeder, taking turns
trilling excitedly–one
feeding a baby–sharing, trusting

Tufted Titmouse; Google Images

dVerse Poets, hosted by Victoria C. Slotto invites us to try our skill with stream of consciousness writing:  http://dversepoets.com/2012/05/24/stream-of-conscousness-writing/

It’s Cold

It’s cold tonight and your
warmth’s gone missing.
Your eyes have an
emptiness, your
heart’s not in them.
I’ve felt the gap
increasing the distance.
Just a short time now
that our connection’s
been slipping.
Sharp pain snaps when
the realization is grasped.
Your presence dissipating,
scattering, spreading thin.
I know, it’s clear, I need to let go.
I need to be free of the knots
(in my gut)
of believing that which
is no longer true.
We both deserve someone
who will warm at our sight,
happy to hold us with
love in their eyes
without hindrance or
distractions between
our two hearts.
Goodbye then,
take care.
I wish you well.
But I’ll need
time to recover
from the

Irrevocable Trust

Google Images; Flower Garden

It is hereby prescribed

by the position of
the moon, the
will and trust of
seeds sown shall
create exceptional blooms.
Appointing an executor
to administrate the soil,
all continues on as planned
as the new earth is toiled.
The warranty is signed
and the planet guarantees
in accordance with the
climate, the contract is iron-clad.
With informed consent and
immunity for all, it is
acknowledged and granted
that we all share in the bounty.
The heirs of all those gone before
shall enjoy all rights and privileges
of the beauty displayed, and the
equity of life will thrive and flourish.
There will be no breach of peace
at the end of each day, as we
survey our land and the gifts it bestows.

Took up the challenge over at dVerse Poets to use action words of one profession to describe another:  http://dversepoets.com/

I worked for several years as a legal secretary in a law firm where wills, trusts, contracts and corporate law were the main focus.  I used my experience there to describe gardening and sharing the earth’s bounty with all.

Flash and Bull

I bit off more than I could chew
when I met you.  Your syrupy
tongue soon turned harsh and bitter.
I give up, you’ve won,
now let me walk away clean.
I should have known;
you were too good to be true.

All flash and bull
you caught my attention
but I fault myself
for being reeled.
You were out there
fishing with smooth,
cold cunning.  I was
naïve and trusting,
didn’t see the hook coming. 

Outward appearance
all cool and fun
but in the eleventh
hour, I cut and run.

Mean and high-handed,
but held me to blame,
your delusional rants
brought me shame.
Cutting me down,
(I fell to my knees),
planting doubts,
creating destruction. 

Your madness a loose cannon,
unchecked, unstable.
I’m no longer willing,
to be your mark,
my turning back is the end of this story.

It’s all about you.
It’s all about you. 

I bit off more than I could chew
when I met you.  Your syrupy
tongue soon turned harsh and bitter.
I give up, you’ve won,
now let me walk away clean.
I should have known;
you were too good to be true.

Packing up my splintered but mending heart
I’m keeping it safe from the likes of you.
Sometimes we need to know
when to close an open door.


skitter, scatter
run for your lives

you’re all alone
lies, lies, lies

beware what
surrounds you
and whispers
in your ear

the bogeyman
is lurking
right by your side

innocence wavers
as confusion
sets forth

led down
a path that
is murky with filth

you want to
believe but
you know
you can’t

by sugar-
coated sleek

shroud your

one misstep
this way
and you’ll

Political musings for Meeting the Bar on dVerse Poets:  Allegory  http://dversepoets.com/2012/04/26/dverse-poets-pub-meeting-the-bar-allegory/

Harmonic Concert

Newness envelops all in the garden
Delicate buds and shoots appear sudden
Overnight her work is apparent
Nature’s spontaneous joy is bidden

Schefflera displays its umbrella
Baby’s breath, like a laced mantilla,
Emits its honey-fragranced scent
Twining begins the mandevilla

Potted roses burst their red
Spent twigs and leaves have all been shed
Orchids prime to flaunt their stuff
New staghorn fern gets set to spread

Life renews after lying inert
Intrinsic rhythm reasserts
Vortex whirls and makes it hum
The cycle of life…harmonic concert

Photo of orchid taken by Gayle Walters Rose

dVerse Poetics; FormForAll:  Rubaiyat Quatrain:  http://dversepoets.com/2012/04/05/formforall-rubaiyat-quatrains-6/#comments

Thanks to Samuel for an informative and entertaining article on this form.


Moldering now
as my soul
goes dark,
no light shines
here, all is
empty and stark.
No frivolous fun
(or smile)
brightens my face,
feelings of joy
have seeped
down a crevasse.

Utter despair
has taken
its toll, ravaged
me bleak and
slashed my
whole.  Fear
and quaking
fill my days
as no hope
arrives to ease
this aching.

Abject loneliness
has wrung me
and spent
no one seeks.
Entirely devoid
of sweetness
and care, no
one sees this
walking nightmare.

Photo:  Google Images

dVerse Poetics:  Nightmare Verse http://dversepoets.com/2012/03/31/poetics-nightmare-verse/#comments

Getting Closer to a Death Penalty-Free World

Uploaded by AmnestyUSA on March 21, 2012

What do you know about the death penalty?
Did you know that of 198 countries in the world, only 20 carried out executions in 2011? That the USA was the only country in the G8* to execute people? That worldwide, 18,750 people are living with a death sentence?
We’re getting closer to a death penalty-free world, but there is still far to go — especially in the US. Learn more about Amnesty’s campaign to end capital punishment, once and for all.

*The countries of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Representatives from these countries meet to discuss economic concerns.


Offered for Occupy Blogosphere over at Soul Dipper’s place:  http://souldipper.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/occupy-blogosphere-thursday-march-29-2012/

Kindergarten Guitar Band

Guitar Ensemble
“Our Kindergarten Teacher”
Kindergarten of Ch’ŏngam-guyŏk (Ch’ŏngjin-si, DPR Korea)

Video uploaded by xtracoolvideos

Adventures in Babysitting

For several days last week, I stayed at my sister and brother-in-law’s house while they went on a few-day visit to Savannah with some friends.  I was taking over the care of two small children that she has been watching out of her home and also caring for their dog and cat.

In preparation of this endeavor, I had gone over to her house on several occasions to let the babies get to know me and I them.  One was two months old and the other nine months at the time and already starting to walk.  The older one is there only half a day.  But there was a complication–both babies are very demanding and my sister was feeling the pressure herself. I was feeling very nervous.  What do you do when both are screaming?  My sister tried to think of someone who could come over for a few hours during the time they both needed care…and then our mother came to the rescue.  She offered to come over each morning and give me a hand.

As it turned out, I only needed Mom one day.  The older baby was teething and a little feverish so his parents kept him home for two days.  But on that fateful third day, the morning started out with the newborn and I having to evacuate the house for a few minutes when I smelled something burning after turning the light on in the nursery.  I looked for smoke and didn’t see any but immediately called 911 and asked for fire rescue and told them I was taking the baby outside until they arrived and could find the cause of the smell.

With sirens wailing, two trucks came barreling around the road that runs alongside the pond on the golf course down at the end of the street.  I waved to them to let them know of my location.  About eight men descended from the two trucks, most in full fire-fighting gear…some carrying axes…ready to tear my sister’s house to pieces, if need be, to find the cause of the trouble.

I led them into the house and to the nursery.  One asked if that was the only room that I smelled the burning…yes.  In a short minute, they had discovered the source of the problem.  One of my sister’s four year old grandson’s socks had somehow become wedged next to a light bulb in the chandelier and had started to burn.  I was asked if any children lived at the house and I told them of my sister’s grandson, Nicholas, who visits frequently and often spends the night.

The firemen had a chuckle about finding a tiny sock wedged up there and I was left wondering how that sock actually got up there.  To “wedge” something, a ladder would have been necessary…wouldn’t it?  Before they left, I was advised that the child should have a talking to about the dangers of hot light bulbs and was handed the culprit as they left…one small charred sock.  I was very grateful that the baby and I could safely return to the house and that chopping it to pieces wasn’t required.

This all happened before the second baby showed up and my mother arrived to help.

Still puzzling over how that sock got up there, the mystery was solved after I questioned Nicholas when his father brought him over that afternoon.  He told me that his socks had gotten soggy wet when he and Dad had been washing the car two days prior at Grandmommie’s house.  True to form, he had flung his socks off his feet in taking them off in the nursery and one had become wedged up in the light fixture.  Because it had been so wet, it had taken a couple of days for it to dry out and then be able to “smolder”.  Aha!

The remainder of the day went as well as could be expected with one baby going through separation anxiety and the other thinking he was starving to death all day long!  My mother was a champ.  She sang and talked to the babies and wheeled the one around the house in a stroller…the only thing that seemed to soothe him.  Both children loved Mom’s attention and I was so grateful that she was there to help.

My sister asked if I would come over half a day and help her with the care of the children.  I would love to.  I’ll make a little money and do good service in helping raise two children of the world…it’s my pleasure.

Nicholas is being more mindful when removing his socks.

Nicholas at his Uncle Taylor and Aunt Lizzie’s house with their dog, Cooper.  His Grandmommie took this photo.


Photo by Gayle Rose

Sunflower in my garden; photo by Gayle Rose

emerging calm
took a stand
reigned and
I felt good

within and
feeling sure
life was
me along

though one
thing dark
was lurking
still and
causing grief
and a cracking
yet I knew
I could not
change, I
let it go
to take
its time

writing latent
no interest
yet, but a
book picked
up, laid
a spark

went on
like never
and places
up north

time of
and becoming
solid, vipassana
was my
morning daily,
content with
life, work
was good,
I took care
of me and
I loved you

dVerse Poetics offers 1999:  http://dversepoets.com/2012/03/10/poetics-1999/

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