Wednesday, December 15, 2010


The next A Muse Fuse prompt was scheduled for tomorrow, 12/16/10. But with ten days left until Christmas, and much yet to do, A Muse Fuse and The Magnified Muse will be on a Holiday Hiatus until January. The next word prompt here at A Muse Fuse will be on January 6, 2011. However you spend the upcoming holidays, may the warmth of your season engulf you. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Good morning and welcome to Prompt #33 at A Muse Fuse. Our word for this week is “hope.” I think it’s easy for a poet to delve into their darker side when creating verse. Just ask Edgar Allen Poe. Well, maybe that’s a bit too dark. However, it’s a fact of human nature that our lives occasionally run low on optimism. Usually, it’s a temporary loss and is quickly regained by the simplest things. For me, one of those simple things is an eight-week old basset hound, named Trixie Noell. All she has to do is look at me with those beautiful and trusting, little eyes, and I instinctively know tomorrow will be better. Okay, I can’t help it. Even in my bleakest hours, I’m basically a sappy, sentimentalist. Whether you find hope in a relationship, in your spirituality, or in the love of a cherished pet, I hope your muse finds a way to capture that feeling in verse.


Sometimes I’m lost and feel alone,
without a hope or prayer.
But lately, when I need it most,
there comes a puppy’s stare.
She doesn’t need a lot from life,
with built-in ways to cope.
Her eyes are filled with faith and love
and offer endless hope.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Like many poets, nature is one of my biggest sources for inspiration. (Love is always number one.) This week, our 32nd prompt is the word “green.” Besides the obvious reference to a color, green can mean many things. For instance, it can refer to vegetables; not being fully developed; having a sickly appearance; or being environmentally sound. However you interpret the word, make us green with envy as you fuse your muse with this week’s prompt.


The summer green had gone to brown
as autumn took control.
The yard replaced its grassy gown
in step with winter’s goal.
My muse looks at the coming days
and paints a holiday scene.
The house begins its Christmas phase
and wears its winter green.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


The weeks fly by at an alarming rate, the end of the year rapidly approaches, and we find ourselves at Prompt #31 and the letter “f.” I’ve chosen the word “forest” for today’s prompt. I speak often about my deep love for the mountains and their restorative effect upon me. It seems appropriate, at this time of year, to write a poem about something that makes me thankful for the gift of nature. This week, explore the place where the forest takes you and be inspired by it.


To lighten the load of despair and unrest,
I was eager to build a rapport
with something of substance, and so I embarked
on a trip to the pine forest floor.

The scurrying chipmunk, a butterfly’s grace,
the birdsong an elegant score.
The beauty of nature enraptured my soul
as I passed through this pine forest floor.

The smell of the pine tree rekindled a spark
for the need to connect and restore
a faith I considered had withered in death,
buried under the pine forest floor.

Though not a fanatic in terms of beliefs,
my life was quite empty before
the glorious visions I found in these woods
came alive on this pine forest floor.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Our prompt this week is “energy.” Sometimes, I don’t have the energy to think. At other times, I’m in energy overload. Love creates its own energy, and its unique power is the subject of my poem. Find what energizes you and let it stimulate your muse.


A look, a touch,
words spoken or unspoken.
In a room together,
or separated by miles.
The cosmic forces,
no one really understands,
created our bond,
making it immune to disruption.
But this unknown variable
engages the energy
that powers who we are.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


We’ve come to the letter “D” and our prompt for the week is: draft. You could write about the draft coming through the window or under the door. Or you could write your poem about a military draft. For me, I’ve chosen National Novel Writing Month (a/k/a “NaNoWriMo”) as my inspiration. Beginning on November 1st, participants need to write 1,667 words per day to reach the goal of a 50,000 word novel by month’s end. A daunting task, to say the least. I read a comment someone wrote about how too many people are writing books these days and events like NaNoWriMo should be discouraged. I don’t just think she’s wrong, I know she is. Here’s wishing success to all the NaNoWriMo-ers out there from one within your ranks!!


A novel in a month, they say.
Has cyberspace gone daft?
I need procrastination time
to cultivate my craft.
With thirty days to write a book,
I panicked more than laughed.
But if I’m faithful to the end,
I’ll have my book’s first draft.

Yet recently I heard it said
there’s no validity
in many people writing with
no creativity.
These words were misdirected.
And I say with certainty,
there’s no room in the world of art
for negativity.

Antagonist comments
should be locked away in storage.
A writer has the right to write
and shouldn’t be discouraged.
Instead, a word of praise or two
is better to encourage
the best in those who jump right in
with confidence and courage.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Last week, our prompt was “brown.” Today, our prompt is “crayon.” Even though it appears that way, I’m not building on a theme here. (Although, if it wasn’t for the letter “q” – a colorless letter -- it might be fun to have a Color Poem-A-Day Challenge. But the February Challenge is months away. This “q” thing might need some serious research!) Crayons are most often associated with children. In its simplicity, a crayon can be inspiring. Inspire yourself with this primary tool of creation. And if you can find the name of a color that begins with the letter “q,” let me know!!


A crayon held with childlike might
is less a tool with which to write
than one that fashions art in wax.
And spared by critics’ cruel attacks,
a child continues, in his glee,
to build upon his artistry.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Today, we revisit the second letter of the alphabet, and our word for today is “brown.” You wouldn’t know it from my own poem below, but I love the color brown. The richness of its various hues provides warmth and comfort. And, let’s face it, coffee and chocolate are brown: my two, favorite food groups! Look within your muse and follow wherever “brown” leads you.


A landscape, barren of vegetation,
sits dry, empty and brown.

A river, pounded relentlessly
by an unforgiving rain,
overflows, is muddy and brown.

A heart, devoid of rich soil
for planting the seeds of love
and the waters needed for growth,
is lonely, shriveled and brown.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


This week, we return to the beginning of the alphabet. There are, of course, many words I could have chosen for today’s prompt. But having spent yesterday watching the rescue of the Chilean miners, I can think of no better word to express what I feel for these men and their families than our prompt for this week, which is “awe.” The word is defined as an overwhelming feeling of reverence and admiration. It captures more, than any other word, the emotions my heart holds for these remarkable people.


People I’ve never met
have me standing in their corner,
saying prayers I hardly ever say.
Waiting and watching
thirty-three times.
Laughter, tears, happiness, relief.
Not just from these underground heroes
and the people who love them,
but from me, as well.
I admire their courage.
I am spellbound by their power to survive.
And I’m in awe of their unflinching faith.
Welcome back to the light.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


A drum roll, please! Today, we complete our first, official journey through the alphabet. (We’re not counting our Poem-A-Day Challenge from back in July, which crammed the alphabet prompts into 26 days.) This journey began on February 1, 2010, and our prompt for the letter “A” was “afraid.” Now, here were are in October with the letter “Z” and the word we’ve chosen is “zone.” It’s been a fascinating nine month trip down alphabetical lane, and I greet our next excursion with both optimism and apprehension. Can we do it again? Time will tell. But today, I’m feeling in the zone. To quote from Wikipedia, being in the zone is “a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task” and includes being “on the ball, in the moment, present, in the groove, or keeping your head in the game.” Today, my muse is in the zone. How about yours? How will your muse define the word “zone?”

Next week, we return to the beginning, where we re-start our alphabet adventure with the letter “A”.


My muse is in the zone today.
I feared that it had gone astray.
Inspired now to not delay
in case, again, it goes away.

My muse is in the zone today.
What prompted this, I cannot say.
Perhaps the sun broke through gray
and cleared the mind of disarray.

My muse is in the zone today.
It calls out words with which to play.
It may, of course, again decay,
but for right now, it’s here to stay.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Our word for the 25th letter of the alphabet is “yesterday.”  You can look at this word in many different ways: with fond memories, with regrets, with laughter, or with tears. I give you two poems for today’s prompt.  Only Yesterday speaks of days gone by and how they created who I am.  Under "Comments," in my haiku, To Change Yesterday, I reflect on a longing to change things that can’t be undone.  How do you think of yesterday? Let the days of your past supply your poetic inspiration for today.


It seems like only yesterday,
I started off to school
to learn to read, to learn to write,
to learn the golden rule.
A uniform and saddle shoes
defined me, in a way,
and formed the mind of one so young,
that child of yesterday.

It seems like only yesterday,
my mom and dad were strong,
the ones I always turned to
when my world was going wrong.
The words they gave in wisdom
defined me in a way,
and brought me through the troubled times
that haunted yesterday.

It seems like only yesterday,
I lived with silent tears.
My empty heart had secret needs
encased by mounting fears.
But unexpected love to come
defined me, in a way,
and made this woman wise enough
to move past yesterday.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Those who follow our journey through the alphabet know that we began on the premise of finding inspiration from the simplest of words. So far, we’ve lived up to that premise. But now, as we reach the 24th letter of the alphabet, we find ourselves in a quandary. There are a limited number of “x” words to be found in the dictionary. While there are still a few, relatively easy and familiar words to use, we’ve opted to save them because they might be better suited to the next A Muse Fuse Poem-A-Day Challenge (coming in February 2011). As a result, we are left with the rest and, this week, we bring you the word “xeric” (pronounced “zer’ ik). Research has provided three definitions for this word: (1) of, pertaining to, or adapted to a dry environment; (2) of, relating to, or growing in dry conditions; and (3) relating or adapted to an extremely dry habitat (succulents such as cacti, aloes, and agaves are xeric plants). You may not find this word fusing your muse, but it is guaranteed to stretch it! I offer my attempt below.


He roams the arid desert
on slow, deliberate feet.
Unlike the rest of nature,
he can tolerate the heat.
The sun beats down upon him,
but sweat, he does not do.
His body holds renewal,
be it in one hump or two.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


With two hurricanes and a tropical storm raging through the Atlantic, it’s easy to figure out the decision behind choosing today’s prompt.  I watch these kinds of storms with fascinated respect.  For all those in nature’s way, I pray for your safe passage through the day.  I offer two poetic attempts for today's prompt:  a poem called Water Worries and, under "Comments", a haiku I've called Water Ways.


The farm fields look to sun-filled skies
to heed their pleas and hear their cries.
But clouds that hold their precious cure
refuse the call, their needs ignore.
A barren wasteland dry as dust
can barely live, but live it must.
Without the gifts the soil brings,
our fate depends on future springs.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Due to the Labor Day holiday on Monday, September 6th, the A Muse Fuse weekly prompt will not return until Thursday, September 16th. We will then resume our alphabetical journey with the letter "W." Enjoy your holiday weekend and be safe!

Prompt #22 - VALUE

First, I apologize for the lateness of today’s post. Our 22nd muse prompt is the word: value. I have written and rewritten several poems for today’s prompt (hence, the posting delay). Many fell victim to the delete key, but I think I’m satisfied with my final product. Realistically, though, there are not enough megabytes to fully express the extent of what I value. And that makes me blessed and grateful.


What makes us unique
are our differences.
What makes us similar
is not necessarily what our values are,
but that we all value something.

We value our families, our friendships,
our faiths and our freedoms.
We take offense when what we value
is compromised by outside opinions.

Words can sting and leave a mark,
but words alone cannot hurt us.
We have the privilege to live our lives
according to our own, particular needs.
And if we value nothing else,
let us embrace the value of liberty.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Today we come to the 21st letter of the alphabet. Our prompt is “under.” Still feeling the loss of my mother three years ago, I thought I was writing my poem for her. Instead, it appears I was writing it for me, a way to deal with the weight of the years her mind was held captive by this horrible disease. For all of you dealing with a loved one suffering in the same way, I pray you find the strength to get through it. And for my mother: Happy Birthday! You are missed and I love you!

For Martha Schoeffield 8/26/1920–9/3/2007

Dementia grabbed hold of her memory.
A blank, vacant stare gripped her eyes.
Recognition of loved ones around her
was lost under black, velvet skies.

Prayers for release went unanswered.
No hope for a speedy demise.
She lingered in chains from her bondage
in that prison of black, velvet skies.

When death finally graced her with freedom
from all that dementia implies,
relief mixed with unaltered sadness
for years lost to black, velvet skies.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Prompt #20 - THING

We’ve reached the letter “t” on our trip down Alphabet Road. The prompt I’ve chosen for this week is: thing. This is a great word. It can take you anywhere. We all have a thing we like or we care about. My attempt this week is dedicated to all the poets out there who regularly exercise their muse. So write about anything or everything or just any old thing that pops in your head. The important thing is to just write something!


What is this thing called poetry?
What in the world does it mean?
And how do these people called poets
create such incredible scenes?

The poets from past generations,
with inkwell and well-sharpened quill,
from deep within found inspiration
and brought forth their verses to thrill.

But poems did not die with Shakespeare,
or Browning, or Barrett or Yates.
There are many a new bard among us,
unabashed by the need to create.

Though quills have turned into computers,
the depths of those talents remain,
whether sharing a treasured encounter
or an undisguised moment of pain.

So what is this thing called poetry?
What value is there to impart?
It’s a piece of our personal history
as defined by the words from the heart.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Prompt #19 - STONE

Welcome back! The A Muse Fuse Poem-A-Day Challenge is now behind us. It’s time to move forward with our regular weekly prompts. While the Challenge was fun, I’m glad things are back to normal. As we return to our journey through the alphabet, we begin with the letter “S” and the word prompt this week is “stone.” Next week marks the third anniversary of my father’s death. My poem for this prompt seemed to write itself and is my tribute to this wonderful man who I think about every day.

For Dan Schoeffield, 3/27/1920-8/20/2007

The stone stands there to remind me
of the loneliness I have felt
since the day you were taken away
and the body blow I was dealt.

The stone stands there to remind me
of laughter I no longer hear,
of wisdom you shared with me daily,
of comfort to vanquish the fear.

The stone stands there to remind me
of happier times in the past
when I was embraced by you presence,
a time that escaped us too fast.

The stone stands there to remind me
of memories I still hold dear.
The pain of the loss never lessens
for the dad who is no longer here.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day #26 - ZEUS

We’ve reached the last letter of the alphabet, which means we’ve reached the end of the First Annual 26 Days in July Poem-A-Day Challenge. Many people have stopped by since our first prompt on July 6th, and while I’m disappointed that more didn’t have the opportunity to participate, I’m at least proud of myself for sticking with it. When all is said and done, I’ll look back on July as a month in which I wrote 26 poems. Some are pretty good, some are just okay, and some are downright awful. But, from my own perspective, this Challenge has been a huge success. I’ve looked at words I might not normally think of as particularly poetic and tried to infuse them with my muse. I didn’t always succeed, but I had fun trying. I’m hoping to bring the poem challenge back next year in January and then, again, in July. Why, you might well ask? It’s all for the love of poetry … and why the Zeus not?


My well of creativity
has dried up from misuse.
I guess it’s time I face it:
I’m not cummings, Frost or Seuss!

The last prompt, and my muse is dead.
I’ve nothing to produce.
I’ve no words to inspire you,
enlighten or seduce.

And, so, I struggle with this prompt.
I guess I’m just obtuse.
But how can I write poetry
about the Greek god, Zeus?

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by. I hope you’ve enjoyed our sojourn through the alphabet. See you back here on August 12, 2010, when we resume our regular weekly prompts, starting with the letter “S.”

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day #25 - YELL

24 days down. 2 to go. Can you feel the excitement build? No, I can’t either. But that’s neither here nor there. Today’s prompt is “yell.” Once in a while, you might yell at your kids; you probably wish you could yell at your boss; you might even yell at the talking heads on television. As for now, yell where it really matters … on paper, in a poem! As for my effort today: I’m using the mantra I repeated to my parents on a regular basis.


I could have done this better.
and I could have done that right.
I could have thought about it first,
and dodged my present plight.
I promise to reduce my wrongs.
On failures, please don’t dwell.
And while I beg for amnesty,
resist the urge to yell.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day #24 - X-RAY

Our prompt for Day #24 is “x-ray.” I dedicate my poetic effort for today to my mother and father, who passed away two weeks apart in 2007. Sometimes, I wonder if the pain of their loss will ever go away.


If you x-ray my heart,
you will see how it bleeds
from an unfulfilled promise
and from unfulfilled needs.

If you x-ray my soul,
you will find that it’s black.
There’s a dark, empty hole,
knowing you won’t be back.

If you x-ray my eyes,
you will see how they cried.
For the tears realize
what they lost when you died.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day #23 - WILLOW

We are now at Day #23 in the A Muse Fuse Poem-A-Day Challenge. Today’s prompt is “willow.” The kitchen window, in the house I grew up in, looked out upon our backyard. There, in the center of our outside oasis, stood a weeping willow tree. Many hours of my childhood were spent playing around, under, and on that tree. It was a source of safety and comfort in those days of my youth. It is now a pleasant and comforting memory as time moves forward.


I saw it from the window,
the tree so proud and tall.
It reached beyond the heavens
(so I thought, when I was small).
It reminded me of Daddy,
rooted firmly in the ground,
but was also like my Momma,
showing strength without a sound.
This tree will last forever,
though its branches gently sway,
for this weeping willow memory
is a part of me today.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day #22 - VALOR

Today is the 57th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War armistice. In World War II, my dad served his country as a plane mechanic, and my grandfather was wounded in France during World War I. We still live with the aftermath of the wars in Vietnam and Iraq. There seems no end in sight for the war in Afghanistan. Regardless of whether you are a hawk or a dove in military matters, there is no denying the courage of the men and women who regularly put their lives on hold to join the fight for freedom. With the prompt for Day #22 (“valor”), I take this opportunity to thank them all.


For all who answered quickly
and heeded duty’s call,
for those who put themselves at risk
and gave the job their all,
for those who fought for freedom
with their lives upon the line,
we thank you for your sacrifice.
Your valor withstands time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day #21 - UKULELE

I'm so sorry for the delay in posting today's prompt. Yesterday, a storm came through that took out our cable line, which caused us to lose the phone, internet and tv. But now we're back, up and running!!

The prompt for Day #21 in the Poem-A-Day challenge is "ukulele." I can't think of that word without thinking of Hawaiian Islands, which inspired my poem for today.


Beyond the western coast,
a paradise is found.
A daily dose of magic
brings enchantment all around.
So strum your ukulele
and dance in hula time.
The music of Hawaii
is a ballad so sublime.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day #20 - TINSEL

You’ve heard of Christmas in July? Well, incredible as it seems, this word and today’s date were not planned out ahead of time. My inspiration for today’s prompt “tinsel” comes from holidays gone by and good memories not lost in the passage of time.


It seems like only yesterday,
when I was all of three,
I’d run and tumble down the stairs.
I’d squeal with childish glee.
And long before I saw the gifts
my eyes went wide to see
the gaudy balls, the bubble lights
and tinsel on the tree.

Through magic of home movies,
I can watch my family
enjoy the pleasures of the day.
But sadness smothers me.
For how I miss those moments
and how much I’d love to see
the gaudy balls, the bubble lights
and tinsel on the tree.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day #19 - SUPREME

The prompt for Day #19 is: supreme. One definition is "greatest, utmost or extreme." And that pretty much summarizes the weather today here in Baltimore. Not quite 11:30 in the morning and our temperature, with the heat index, is already at 101 degrees. While that may not explain my late post today, it certainly explains my inspiration!


Temperatures soar
higher with humidity.
The supreme heat rules!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day #18 - ROT

Here we are at Day #18 of the Poem-A-Day Challenge with the prompt: rot. What a wonderful opportunity for me to, once again, stand tall upon my soapbox. Nothing irritates me more than people taking what the media says as gospel. Which brings me to my offering for today’s prompt.


While others have a lot to say,
infallible they’re not.
Opinions must be researched well.
You’re not a mindless bot.
If you don’t exercise your brain,
your brain will surely rot.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day #17 - QUEUE

There are now only ten days left in our poetic journey through the alphabet, and what a journey it's been. The prompt for Day #17 is: queue. This word can mean a braid of hair hanging down the back, a file or a line of people waiting for something, or (for our beloved computer geeks) an organized sequence of data or messages. How does "queue" infuse your muse? Below is my lyrical attempt.


A sale would start in minutes.
For shoppers old and new,
like pilgrims on a sacred quest,
anticipation grew.
Before the doors were opened,
a booming voice rolled through:
“Settle down, wait your turn,
and form into a queue.”

A ticket window sign said “closed”
and all who stood there knew
that when the tickets went on sale,
there'd be a ballyhoo.
A giant man approached the crowd
his job was to subdue:
“Settle down, wait your turn,
and form into a queue.”

An unexpected tragedy
brought death to quite a few.
The angry mob outside the Gates
could not believe it true.
But trying to restore control,
St. Peter’s whistle blew:
“Settle down, wait your turn,
and form into a queue.”

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Day #16 in the Poem-A-Day challenge brings us the prompt: pirouette. Born with a total lack of coordination, I've never been able to master the art of dance. My inspiration comes from a gift I wish I'd been given.


A tiny girl in leotards
awaits her turn to dance.
She watches those who go before
a child within a trance.

From first position, it is clear
she’s worth more than a glance.
This tiny youth has much to share,
a talent far advanced.

But gifts arrive at any age,
and hers was not by chance.
She shows the beauty of ballet,
a pirouette romance.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day #15 - OCEAN

The prompt for Day #15 calls me back to the place I just left. Four glorious days immersed in total relaxation where water meets land. I am hopelessly addicted to white, sandy beaches, the smell of salty air and the majestic roar of the ocean. Only one question bores through my soul: when can I go again? Enjoy the prompt. Enjoy the summer. And enjoy the moment.


I sit content at the shoreline.
The waves roll in.
The waves roll out.
Mesmerized by the scene,
nothing more important seems possible
than that gentle rocking back and forth.
As the wind picks up,
white caps appear
and the ocean begins to pummel the beach
with fierce determination.
Slow and steady, the waves come
closer and closer
to my sanctuary in the sand.
Retreat is not an option.
I surrender to the encroaching water
that envelops my toes in its salty wetness.
And still, I sit and ponder
those things that beach bums do:
much of nothing
and nothing much.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


There is a quote that reads, “the only constant is change.” Such is the case here at A Muse Fuse. When I first began organizing the July Poem-A-Day Challenge, I had no plans to be out of town during the month. So, of course, that has changed. I will be unavailable from Friday, July 16th through Monday, July 19th. But to stay (albeit slightly) within the rather loose parameters of this alphabetical challenge, I have posted below all the poetry prompts for these four days. Choose one, choose two, choose all, choose none; whatever your schedule allows will be appreciated. I will see you back here, "live", on Tuesday, July 20th around 10:00 am with the prompt for Day #15. Have a good weekend, and be safe!

Day #14 - NOCTURNAL (for July 19, 2010)

Yesterday’s prompt brought us to the half-way mark in the Poem-A-Day Challenge. Yay for us! Only thirteen days left. We can do this!!

For Day #14’s prompt, we are given the word “nocturnal.” Many of nature’s beings are driven by the night. We have both dogs and cats in our household. The dogs sleep on their people’s schedule. Not so much the felines, which makes them an appropriate subject of my haiku for today’s prompt.


Nocturnal creatures
romp through their darkened playground.
At sunrise, they crash.

Day #13 - MOLTEN (for July 18, 2010)

Day #13 of the Poem-A-Day Challenge gives us the word: molten. Now, I know “molten” is most often associated with volcanoes, but anyone who knows me is aware of my need to forage for food. No surprise, then, at my poetic attempt for this prompt!


It sits there in its pristine form,
a chocolate lover’s dream.
But once the fork has broken through,
a lovely, chocolate stream
of rich and gooey fudge-like sauce
flows freely from inside.
Enjoy this molten lava cake,
where calories abide.

Day #12 - LOBE (for July 17, 2010)

At Day #12, we have the prompt: lobe. Not that many places to go with this, and one of Lynda’s more difficult word selections. But I was fascinated this week by a restaurant server who seemed to have little bits of jewelry coming out of every conceivable, visible place (and I didn’t want to think of the invisible places). Sometimes, I appear to be a grumpy, old lady … and sometimes I really AM a grumpy, old lady.


What is this fascination
with body mutilation
in places holes are not supposed to be?
The trend goes round the globe,
and not just in the lobe.
They’re piercing things we’re not supposed to see!

Day #11 - KIPPERS (for July 16, 2010)

I don’t profess to know how Lynda’s mind works. So I have no explanation (or any apology) for Day #11’s prompt:  kippers. All I can say is “have fun with it.” I tried to!


On a trip once to Merry Old England,
a big English breakfast I ate.
Boiled egg with strong tea,
but no kippers for me,
though the hot, crispy rashers were great!

Day #10 - JACK

The prompt for Day #10 is:  jack. At, there are 30 definitions of this word, some of which I'd never heard of before. When choosing which one to use, I kept coming back to an idea that sparked the poem below. Perhaps a sense of nostalgia for days that were or should have been contributed to my effort for today.


Jack and Bob and Teddy,
a band of brothers three.
The eldest, Joe, died in the war,
to keep his country free.

And then, stood Bob and Teddy,
a band of brothers two.
A killer’s gun took Jack away
before his job was through.

And then alone stood Teddy,
the last remaining son.
His brother Bob fell victim
to another selfish gun.

And through his years remaining,
the youngest Kennedy
worked hard for silent voices,
to win them liberty.

Jack and Bob and Teddy,
a band of brothers three.
They strove throughout their lifetimes
to keep this country free.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day #9 - ISLAND

I had little trouble with the prompt for Day #9:  island.  At some point, every day, I find my thoughts driving to a tropical location with white sand, warm sun, and gentle breezes.  Instead, I'm sitting in my office, staring out a window at summer thunderstorm skies, waiting for the downpour.  Thank goodness for dreams!


The sun sitting over the ocean.
The sound of an island steel drum.
The seagulls above gently soaring.
My glass filled with rich, island rum.

The ocean is doing its bidding.
It’s calling my name loud and clear.
But swimming takes way too much effort.
I’m more inclined just to sit here.

From here, I can watch all around me.
From here, are the sounds of the sea.
From here, is the fresh smell of ocean.
And all come together for me.

Renewing the best that is in me,
the pace of this place never stops.
The days of unwinding are endless.
The dress code requires flip-flops.

Bring me one more bottle of lotion.
Bring me one more drink with a lime.
With sand in my toes, I’ll keep dreaming
of more days in sweet island time.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day #8 - HECTIC

Our prompt for Day #8 is:  hectic.  Sometimes, our lives seem jampacked with things that must be done.  We run from here to there and back again.  How do you interpret the prompt?  If you're like me, you're well acquainted a daily, hectic schedule.  Here's my offering for today's prompt:


I thought I was retired.
A magazine to prepare,
A radio show to write.
One book to promote,
another to create.
And what about the poetry prompts?
Mercy, mercy, me!
Should this hectic pace continue,
I’ll need to retire from retirement.
But what can I do
when those things that take so much time
are the things I so love doing?
Hectic my life may sometimes be,
but it’s a life I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day #7 - GOWN

Seven days into the Poem-A-Day Challenge brings us the next poetry prompt:  gown.  This is one of those prompts that caught me staring at my computer, confident that I would never be inspired.  But somewhere, from my inner muse, the following found its way onto the page.


The gown, itself, was lovely.
A beauty to behold.
It brought to mind the future
and dreams that would unfold.
But something stole the moment --
a hidden lie ungloved.
The gown hangs in a closet now,
abandoned and unloved.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day #6 - FRAGILE

As we come to the prompt for Day #6, we are faced with a variety of choices for inspiration.  Many things are fragile:  glass and china, to name but a few.  But, perhaps, the most fragile thing of all is our heart.  Which is where I drew my inspiration for today.


My heart was often broken,
Its pieces cracked and chipped.
In seeking out relationships,
my quest was always gypped
from finding what I looked for,
until you came my way.
And now this fragile heart of mine
grows stronger every day.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day #5 - ELITE

The A Muse Fuse Poem-A-Day Challenge greets Day #5 with the poetry prompt “elite.” Of all the things I could be called (and there are a great many!), elite is certainly not one of them. Which is why, I guess, I’m on my poor man’s soapbox, waxing poetic about the haves and have nots, with my offering for today.


I’m not one of the elite.
I’m really kind of ordinary.

No private education.
No six figure income.
A house and bank account
that both show signs of wear.

In my life, I find contentment
through the simple act of being
with the love I cherish,
and enjoying the abundance of blessings
that are showered upon me daily.

I’d rather look up toward the heavens
than look down at the earth below.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day #4 - DELUGE

Day #4 of the A Muse Fuse Poem-A-Day Challenge brings us the poetry prompt "deluge."  After so many days of record-breaking heat, without a rainy cloud in sight, it seems an appropriate choice.  Let your inspiration pour down from the skies as you create from this prompt.  Preoccupied with our lack of rain, here's my offering for today:


Brown grass and dead plants.
A deluge might be welcome if
it would revive us.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day #3 - COWBOY

On the third day of our Poem-A-Day challenge, we find ourselves saddled with the prompt:  cowboy. When we think of cowboys, we often think of the wild west, the romance of riding toward the sunset, gunslingers and herding the cattle. Rustle up whatever images come to your mind. Let the cowboy infuse your muse!


Out in the wide open spaces,
a place that the cowboy calls home,
he rides through the plains and the mountains.
To an unknown location he roams.

To some, he might seem like a drifter.
To some, he’s a scary, old man.
But the cowboy has lived several lifetimes
with the aimlessness part of his plan.

For the cowboy has always been better
with his stallion, his heart and his gun
in the battles that somehow escaped him,
and that battles he artfully won,

than he ever would be in the city
where society’s habits seem strange.
So he rides all alone on the prairie
and he rides all alone on the range.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day #2 - BRAG

Day #2 of the A Muse Fuse Poem-A-Day Challenge brings with it the prompt "brag." Sometimes, we have much to brag about; sometimes, not so much. I found myself rather introspective on this one. See how your own, inner muse responds to this prompt. Here's my attempt:


Do I have anything to brag about?
I could talk for hours about myself:
what I’ve done, where I’ve been,
where I’m going.
In the overall scheme of things, though,
my accomplishments are few.
For example, as an author and poet,
I’ve written things I’m proud of
and things that were best left unread,
not to mention, left unwritten.
My achievements are better defined
if I’ve been there for a friend;
if I’ve heeded the call of a worthy cause;
if I can lend a hand to a stranger.
And if I can do all those things,
without the need for self-promotion
without expecting something in return,
that would be something to brag about.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day #1 - ALONG

Hello, everybody! Today, we start our 26-day journey through the alphabet with our Poem-A-Day Challenge. We welcome all who choose to participate, as well as those who just drop by to read our words. We hope you have fun on this trip. Let the creative sparks fly as you infuse your muse!!

As a reminder, the prompt does not have to be part of your title, but it must be included in your poem. Also, if some prompts work better for you pluralized or in another tense, you can certainly alter them as the need arises. We’re pretty flexible here at A Muse Fuse! The idea is to write a poem per day, or at least as many as you can.

So, let’s get started on our poetic, alphabetical odyssey. The first prompt is “along.” Here’s my offering for Day #1:


We travel along down this road
that winds throughout unchartered land.
Our thoughts and emotions explode
when pencils and pens are in hand.
United in poetic voice,
we eagerly set the muse free.
The style and the meter our choice,
these poems define you and me.

Thursday, June 24, 2010



This past winter,
we were blasted with a record-breaking snowfall.
Holed up inside, our only outings
were from the front door to the sidewalk,
as we shoveled our way through
the mounting piles of snow.
Longing then for the lazy days of summer
beneath winter’s frozen blanket.
This week, temperatures soared into the 90’s,
and continue rocketing upward.
Holed up inside, our only outings
are to bring in the trashcans and collect the mail.
Longing now for a breath of arctic air
to relieve the oppressive humidity.
We can always rely on Mother Nature
to make us grateful for what we had after it’s gone.

Thursday, June 17, 2010



Sometimes, we face distractions
along the road we’ve chosen to share.
We worry about things that don’t matter.
We obsess over the moment.
But clouds and storms from the day-to-day
can’t completely block out the sun
that shines within us and warms our love.
While others might see a bump in the road
as an excuse to move on,
we see it as one of those things that happens
and resolve not to quit that which makes us one.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


A crazy day here today. Wanted to get something posted today. Hopefully, tomorrow I'll be able to add more!


Just like a novel,
life can be a series of
complicated plots.

Thursday, June 3, 2010



In the days of my youth,
I understood little about life and love.
White picket fences, a handful of children,
A career of great importance.
These were what I expected.

I’ve no picket fence.
My children are dogs and cats.
I’m the Managing Editor
of a little known poetry magazine
and a writer of unread books.

But it’s not as depressing as I describe it.
My life turned out pretty well.
For I love my dogs and cats,
I love the work that I do.
And I love sharing every phase of this life
with the one destiny chose for me.

I’m old enough to know
that things I once thought important
evolved into things that truly matter,
in more and better ways
than I could ever have imagined.

Thursday, May 20, 2010




At my age,
I would think it impossible to learn something new.
I’m stubborn enough to assume I know it all.
And yet, as our relationship progresses,
I see how little I really know.
Every day, you are my teacher.
You show me life in a way I never expected.
Whatever it is about you,
your smile, your laughter, your love,
my life is enriched by this learning experience.
My days are full of wonder and surprise,
and I look, with a mixture of awe and gratitude,
at the newness surrounding each step of our journey.

Thursday, May 13, 2010



While you’re not a Harry Potter,
you have powers, nonetheless.
You beguile and you bewitch me
like a well-trained sorceress.
I’m held captive by your magic.
I am spellbound in your arms.
And this ordinary mortal
is a hostage to your charms.

Thursday, May 6, 2010



Sometimes, I lack the ability
to show patience when patience is due.
I want others to cut me some slack
when I’m not living up to my full potential,
but it’s hard for me to return the favor.
People can be so frustrating
when they want everything handed to them,
without making any effort to work for it.
Is my age catching up to me?
Today, I look at life much differently
than I did in my youth.
Maybe what I need isn’t patience at all.
Maybe what I lack is the ability to understand
that no two people are the same
and that reckless judgment serves no purpose.

Thursday, April 29, 2010



In the hand I’ve been dealt,
you’re the high card I’m holding.
You’re my flush filled with hearts
to keep me from folding.
We’re more than a pair.
We’re a full house combined.
You’re aces in my book
and you’re one of a kind.

Thursday, April 22, 2010



What roads you and I have traveled!
What things we have learned,
and what magical things we’ve seen!
The places don’t matter.
The journey takes place within us,
as we continue our lives together.
Every day, we learn more about each other
and see the enchantment of our love
grow richer, deeper, more meaningful.
And the beauty is,
this trip has hardly begun.
Our journey together continues.

Thursday, April 15, 2010



A weary world seeks euphoria
in any way possible.
Some turn to God, some to drugs.
Some turn their frustrations inward,
while others show outward resentments
through senseless acts of violence.
What would it be like
to never know fear, never feel ill,
never worry about your next meal?
But that’s hard to imagine
in a world of constant upheaval,
when those who choose the course
don’t live in the day-to-day.

Thursday, April 8, 2010



Our lives take us in many directions
far from the center of ourselves.
Demands are high,
expectations higher.
We meet the tasks of each passing day
as we find our way through the maze of life.
What we do sustains our needs.
What we need is the place we return to
night after night.
It is there our spirits are refreshed.
Our batteries recharge in this special place,
where we find peace, comfort and renewal
from the simple act of being at home.

Thursday, April 1, 2010



For the longest time,
this garden showed no signs of life.
The crumbling dirt of neglect
blew away on an uncaring wind.
And so it would have remained,
had fate not intervened.
You tilled the soil,
enriched the dry earth,
and turned the barren wasteland
into a magical oasis.
This once, empty garden flourishes
through the vibrant colors of you.

Thursday, March 25, 2010



Every day,
I fight the forces of nature.
I watch my hair turn grayer,
see my waistline disappear,
notice my height diminish, ever so slightly.
I try to fight the signs of aging,
with hair dye, vitamins and diets.
And then I remember a simple truth.
You took me as I was and take me as I am.
You never signed on for perfection.
You give me the freedom to be me.

Thursday, March 18, 2010



How do you measure
what’s enough?
Do you add up material possessions,
money, power, fame?
Do those things alone bring fulfillment?
My meter for those things
barely rises above zero.
But I have you.
I have the family we share
and the home we’ve built together.
How could I want for more
when what I have is more than enough?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

PROMPT #04 - DREAM (or DREAMS, if you prefer)

Finally feeling a bit more human after a very long battle with the flu. For this week's journey through the alphabet, your can choose either "dream" or "dreams" for your title and poetry theme.


They dream of stardom,
live but for fame and fortune,
drown in despair’s pool.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

RE-PROMPT #03 - COLORS (with a twist)

What should have only been an extended weekend away from my poetry postings evolved into almost two weeks as I was hit with the flu on my return home. As I continue to recover, I'm going to extend the time for Prompt #03 so that I can more fully explore more colorful poetic avenues. We will continue our travels through the alphabet on March 11, 2010 with the letter "D". Thanks for your patience!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

PROMPT #03 – COLORS (with a twist)

This week’s prompt is "colors," but we’re changing things up for this prompt. The color is your choice. It can be about a black heart, a blue moon, or yellow Shasta daisies. Incorporate the color into your title, and write a poem based on that theme.


Mr. Lincoln’s rose.
A vivid, red reminder.
Blood shed for freedom.

Thursday, February 11, 2010



Our bridge is broken.
Plank by plank, we built it,
and plank by plank, we brought it down.
Once, we could reach across
with outstretched hands
touching heart, mind and soul.
Now, we stay on our own side,
keeping our thoughts and needs
to ourselves,
without risk of tumbling
into the blackened hole of indifference.

Monday, February 1, 2010



The feeling of loneliness
grips me with terror,
and tears I cannot control
ceaselessly fall from my eyes.

I cry for what I think is lost
but, in reality,
is merely misplaced.

My stomach in knots,
I try to bring reason to this
unfounded fear.
But rational thinking eludes me.

Darkness envelops my spirit.
Panic sets in as another empty day
threatens any sense of contentment.
And tears, never fully contained,
continue their merciless journey.