Chasing away the cold…

A cold north wind is hurrying toward the bluff.

Giving thanks for all I have today…

Mate, daughter, son, grandson, family and friends to count;

And more…rainwater for herbs, feathery-white pelicans floating

on Nueces Bay, black fluffy cat grooming in a chair, flour for baking, music,

strength for running, courage for living, happy hearts and hugs,

connection with the world, purpose for the day,

words to write, memories in scattered black and white,

sunlight sliding through my kitchen window,

moonlight on the bay at night,

laughter, tears and life.



So I’m not doing Christmas this year.
Don’t think I’m Scrooge or the Grinch,
but the season has become too long and
commercial.  Craft stores have stuff in July.
By September the rest are decorating,
offering boxed gifts and pushing Christmas carols.
By Thanksgiving we’re weary,
without meaning or spirit.
The touch and feel are familiar, and
like protracted lovemaking, we risk
disappointment with the climax on the twenty-fifth!

So I’m not putting up a tree this year.
It will save me the distress
of decideing how to decorate it.
All red?  All gold?  A mixture?
Seashell theme?
Silly, sentimental ones?
Beads or no beads?  Colored or white lights?
Artificial trees are practical.
Real ones shed like a Persian.
And one year the cat ran up
the tree and pulled it down!

So I’m not decorating for Christmas this year.
I won’t drink coffee from cheery Santa cups
or sip egg nog from gilded goblets.
No holly wreath with lights hugging the door,
no red-nosed reindeer, no glittering cherubs,
no waiting stockings by the chimney,
no grinning nutcrackers standing tall,
no garland over every mirror.
Banish Santa towels, snowmen, elves,
bells, chimes, ho-ho-hos,
nativity scenes, poinsettias and hues of green and red!

So I’m not cooking for Christmas this year.
I’m tired of all that fuss and work for one meal
when they’d rather have pizza anyway!
Turkey, dressing, gravy, cranberries, fruit salad,
green beans, candied yams, hot rolls,
cookies, pies, candy,
fudge, more cookies, bread pudding,
nuts, snacks,
mulled cider, wine with Santa’s pink cheeks on the label
and fruitcake no one eats.
My kitchen is too small for all that cooking anyway!

…I’ll just leave
for Santa.

December 2003

P.S.  It was the best Christmas ever because I DID put up a tree, decorate and cook after all!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Things I am thankful for…

Franciscan Winery


family, friends and good neighbors       

good health and having lived this long

love, books, shoes, basil, coffee, cats, wine, my laptop, make-up, music, no debt

second chances and forgiveness

new experiences

sleep and rest

my muse

simple beauty around me in the everyday flow of life and nature…the mystery in the night sky

freedom, choices and peace in the United States of America

hope for the future and the next generation.

     I have more than I need, but sometimes…less than I want.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!          

Mended Heart – a poem for Valentine’s Day


My heart is stitched and
patched with tender threads
pieces of
worn silk,
and calico –
oddly cut shapes of
practical love
that repair
the wounds of my soul-flesh heart.

I remember
hues the yellow of the sun,
black of the darkness,
purpled passion,
blue of a baby’s first view,
neutral of a gritty shore,
green reflecting envy
in the red of blood,
brown as heavy
stalks of ripening grain,
silver of old hair and
golden dreams.
I believe
in the fabric
of tangled love
and color
as the world
coils into
black and white
around me.

– Coastal Crone

Happy Valentine's Day


                                                                                          Cigars are more than
                                                                                          Dried tobacco leaves
                                                                                          rolled by skilled hand.
                                                                                          Thick surges of luxury,
                                                                                          power, prestige, phallic
                                                                                          encircled, paper band.
                                                                                          Los puros share a glass
                                                                                          of brandy, champagne,
                                                                                          whisky, cognac, wine.
                                                                                          Cigars gently exhale
                                                                                           spirits of curling, gray
                                                                                           smoky breath so fine.
                                                                                           Wrapped like a gift in
                                                                                           brown paper they dot
                                                                                           and punctuate the air,
                                                                                           conducting dialogue,
                                                                                           guiding questions to
                                                                                           left, right, to nowhere.
                                                                                          And with skin like fine
                                                                                          boots they reek of a
                                                                                          forgotten time and sun
                                                                                          until the moment slips,
                                                                                          ashes heat, then cool,
                                                                                          falling off when done.
                                                                                                  Castro now

Lady Smoker



Christmas Album

These pages present us
As seen by mortal eye and
Orb of camera
1964 to 1999.
Not every holiday was recorded.
Were we too busy, happy, sad or lonely to
stop and preserve the moment those years?
Or only separated by miles and emotions?
Birth and marriage added new faces.
Death, divorce and distance took others away.
Between the Christmas seasons
We have lived, loved, changed, grown up,
Moved away, moved back,
Grown older…
But always we found our way back to December.


One of the Crone’s poems…


“The hourglass can measure only one hour at a time.”    
What if we could wisely measure and test each as
Accurately as this simple old device?
The painful moments would
Only last a short few
Would slow
Like stones for the
Happy times of joy and
Love.  We could savor peace and
Moments of triumph when we are sure.
“Life would be measured out in colored sand.”






Poem for Today

What is Success?

To laugh often and much:

To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty:

To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden
patch or a redeemd social condition;

To know even one life has breathed
easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson