X is for Xerophyllum

(Bear Grass, Indian Basket Grass)

Photograph courtesy of seedsworld.online

Long spiky green leaves
woven into baskets
years past to carry necessities
by the Tribes
of the great western prairies

Among the craggy cliffs
of the Rockies
you grow so tall
within the coniferous woods
where you remain petite and small

Sacred Mother Bears
pad their winter den’s
for comfort and scent
during a long seasons frost
where her tiny cubs will be dossed

In the Spring
when new birds sing
and children run and play
then scrapes occur or a twisted knee
the roots are used from me

Boiled down to a creamy
compound and applied when
swelling is found
no longer will the pain abide
children go play seek and hide

Should this flower
be sown into your garden soil
and years go by ‘til bloom
beware when animals roam near
it’s a favorite of elk and deer!

Tohonoa O’odham Bear Grass Basket, Doris Jose, 1996, Nolic Village, AZ

W is for White Heron Orchid

Picture courtesy of Rhino-Rack USA LLC

Rarest of them all
beauty unsurpassed
disappearing from sight
man’s consuming plight

Fly away beauty
to a land far beyond
to lush tropical forests
no damaging fleet of tourists

White Heron of times long past
hold tight with the knowledge
though few you are today
help is truly on the way

Note: The White Heron Orchid is indigenous to China, Japan, Korea and Russia. Due to deforestation, it is now on the Endangered Species Register.

V is for Viola

Photograph by Gypsie-Ami Offenbacher-Ferris

A lively little thing
bounces around in the rain
Stretches languidly
toward the nourishing sun
Curls up early
when day is done

Purple is her favorite
along with yellow, white and blue
A stronger more resilient one
is rare to find for sure
In fact in all the world
this one holds the cure

You might think
I speak of the beautiful
flower above
In part this would be true
But in all the world
Viola – there’s no better friend than you!

Dedicated to my soul-sister friend Viola!


In response to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #FFFC 04/24/23

Beautiful baby as you peer
into the mirror reflecting
your image back to your
unseeing eyes blinded
by glossy magazines filled
with images of unreal
and photoshopped people –

especially women,

How I wish you could see what I see through eyes
tinged with age and experience wisdom born of both to know
and understand that you as you are right now you are so much more beautiful than they will ever be

Your lovely skin even when
an occasional blemish pops through
is a natural creamy essence
they only obtain through manufactured
products and the almighty airbrush
effect computers furnish to disguise
the true faces of those you see there –

especially women,

That which you seek to become
is but a fantasy created by greed
and out of control commercialism
set about to make women of all ages
feel less than they are as they peer
into their mirrored reflection
as you are doing right now

Fight back my loves! Do not fall
into the trap of money-hungry CEO’s
and their advertising cronies who care
naught for the care of your skin or
the sheen of your hair and eyes rimmed only by those sweet long natural lashes
untinged by black goop and glue –

especially women,

Break the mold and break their bank
start your own trend stand up for what’s right and against a standard
that can never be met nor achieved
in the real and natural world where
everyone is born with beauty emanating from within shining through –

especially women!

U is for Uva Ursi

Picture courtesy of plants4home.com

Tiny white bells that bears adore
little red berries produce so much more
A plant unknown by its proper name
play along to find my flowers nickname

I am known throughout the world
to restore good health when swirled
Into juice and squished or squeezed
you can have me any way you please

My ancestors used this bearberry
in ceremonies to make them merry
Used as medicine as we do now
but do not feed these ever to a cow

If you have figured out my name
you’ve well and truly played my game
In this poem above a line or two
you’ll find my name known to you

After flowers bloom – bearberry berries!

Young Dancer

In response to bwarren’s challenge
The Sunday Whirl Wordle #602

Rising, Dancing, Name, Gender, Seven, Granted, Willing, Line, Risk, Bodies, Build, Learn

Dancing in a line, willing
someone of the opposite
gender or perhaps the same
to take a risk and ask
seven bodies to dance.

Granted the desire to build
and learn a proper repertoire
to garner fame and fortune
in name and reputation,
was a ticket to eventual heartache.

Better to stay home safe
and sound where the only
competition is the bathroom
mirror and the fantastic acoustics
rising from the shower walls.

T is for Trumpet Vine

Photograph courtesy of greenpacks.org

Shamans of old used
your wondrous juice
as a balm to clear bad spirits
when minds were unclear

To open the way for visions –
renewal – grace and hope
you bring innocence back
to even the most distraught

A trumpet flower
springs forth from the winter void
heralding a time of rebirth
to an earth long asleep


Although not participating, I picked this up from Punam at paeansunpluggedblog who is participating and did a fantastic job with her prompt word Anxiety – be sure to check it out!

Glory, Courage, Anxiety, Failure, Defeat, Delight, Confusion, Calm, Belief, Cleverness, Despair, Honesty, Deceit, Strength Choose an abstract noun from the list above and use that as the title for a poem that contains very short lines and at least one invented word.


With delight
and perhaps
a touch of cleverness,

This calm poem
is written
without deceit.

With honesty
and courage
anxiety a tad,

This author
in the belief
and without failure,

Shall not relinquish
defeat in using all
these challengiest words.

With glory, strength
and no despair
success obtained!

S is for Salvia

Photograph by Gypsie-Ami Offenbacher-Ferris

A sage of old,
a healer, a balm
a decorative plume
for the gardener’s garden.

Ancient and revered
throughout time,
a salve, a powder,
a tea or a smoke.

Its brilliant beauty
and gentle scent
are favorites placed
in a lovely bouquet.

Bees and butterflies
use Salvia profusely,
beware it’s effect in excess
you may start behaving quite loosely.

Aging Sonnet

Picture courtesy of depositphotos.com

It is with deep regret
when in the early afternoon
I must cease what I love best
to stop and allow my body room

Room to rest and cool down
from the sun I worshipped before
Before my bones ached and joints
popped like fireworks on the Fourth

The Fourth of July has nothing
compared to the sounds of my body
Just to bend over and pluck a weed
from between stones of my walkway

With angst and quite an influx
of disbelief at the state I am now in
When active and non-stationary
in life my body and I have always been

I protest this thing I am experiencing
at this time when in the golden years
I am supposed to be free and thriving
Yet free I am not in old imprisonment

So I rest here in my comfy recliner
throughout the heat of the afternoon
Yet mark the words of this old woman
I will be back out in my garden very soon!