Thursday, June 27, 2019

It's all Hokey Pokey

It's all Hokey Pokey

Musically gifted, I’m not,
no operatic soprano arias 
nor Demure rhythms from my rendering;

such folderol and fiddle-dy-dee
remain impossible 
even if I had a Fairy Godmother.

Momentary lapses I’ve had; 
karaoke (once, before cell phones, thank God)
and a derring-do on stage,

but usually fist-pump 
if I memorize full lyrics of a song
I’ve known since childhood.

If a bit snookered and a good band,
instantaneously, I’m a dancer; treat the crowd
to a twist (and shout), a few gyrating spins,

a bit of “shaking it all about”.  
Lucidity returns soon enough, 
but the joy of believing, just a smidgen, 

that I'm capable of dancing with the stars,
is my blancmange without the calories...
and that leaves me smug and satisfied.

by Margaret Bednar, June 27, 2019

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Get Listed! with Fireblossom" We had a list of words and I think I used 15 (we only had to use 3 - but where is the fun in that?).

I invite you to listen to me read my poem:

Monday, June 24, 2019

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

Spring flushed divinity,
downy seeds having floated from afar,
rooted and bloomed before parachuting
their evangelical lion-hearts elsewhere

and we beneath languid oaks
settle beside the last dandy,
nestled now amongst sunflowers and daisies,
weave innocence and loyalty together,

crown ourselves with garland vines,
twirled and twisted, become woodland nymphs
dancing barefoot, toes tangling in tall grass,
skirts billowing, laughing, falling,

lost in a fledgling summer sky
whose clouds beckon youthful dreams
to soar heavenward, sheltering and protecting
within the loftiness of a summer solstice.

By Margaret Bednar, June 23, 2019

Linked with ”Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - weekend mini challenge - summer solstice

I remember watching my girls cross legged in the grass, making daisy chains, crowning and necklacing themselves, summer sun seemingly made for little girls and twirling skirts

I invite you to listen to me read my poem:

Thursday, June 20, 2019


My daughter riding our horse, Oberon
bareback with a halter - what a good boy.

Beneath Parisian green I'm protected,
stout arms arch over me, shading;
other times a safe haven to watch storm clouds
as they linger above windswept peaks.

I'm alone but not lonely; how could I be
with babbling brook whispering of past & present,
the flutter-byes of songbirds and crow,
the wink and nod of a silently sloping sun,

and of course the steady rhythm
of my pony's hooves intertwining it all.
I love the winding, dirt road.  Imagine it
my yellow brick escorting me

to a better understanding of today, tomorrow.
Once we ventured beneath a purple midnight sky,
everything silhouetted against a moon
resembling a piece of eight;

my treasure a view of the stars
necklaced through branches and boughs,
inviting me to linger amidst velvety images,
transfixed, absorbed in an owl's ethereal cry.

by Margaret Bednar, June 20, 2019

HEAR a Barred Owl

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Kerry Says - Human-Landscape Interactions".  I hope I did this correctly - select a natural place with which we are familiar and write about it in a way to transform the descriptive into something more metaphoric or symbolic to the human condition.  An outward and an inward reflection of experience.   Think I could have been a bit more metaphoric - but this is what I came up with.  sigh.

I invite you to listen to me read my poem:

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Performers

The Performers

Butterflies dance sun-drenched drunk
amongst Marigolds, Lavender, and Violets,
ignore puppies in clown-like pursuit.

Kitty's tail twitches as she regally sits
upon windowsill, a ringmistress of sorts
watches performers spin, tumble and soar...

green eyes plotting a Houdini-style escape.

by Margaret Bednar, June 16, 2019

linked with "The Sunday Muse #60" and The Sunday - the Wednesday Muse #12 - Sevenling Poem".
and "The Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - The Tuesday Platform"

Photo for Sunday Muse #60

I invite you to listen to me read my poem:

The Authors

The Authors

Elegant hands behold:  Plain people
and drab days make quaint places;

dazzling books cast magnificent worlds

by Margaret Bednar, June 16, 2019

My nod to all the Newbery Award books I read (and loved) as a child.

Linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Weekend Mini-Challenge.  Exquisite Corpse Poetry".

This is an example of an Exquisite Corpse Poem.  Click on link for explanation.  If you want an exercise that involves tearing your hair out, give it a whirl!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

A True Handmaid

A True Handmaid

Life seeks (from the start) a path toward light,
toward security; a spark needing a Mother,

her tenderness, her fierceness,
her womb; a sacred place in which to bloom.

Separate, yet connected, two bodies, two souls, two lives
needing freedom, the right to nurture, to be nurtured.

We need a society that revers woman, honors the fetus,
a world that sees freedom in life, not death,

a nation seeking forgiveness, swayed not by false tales
but true handmaids, serving others before self.

Understanding that wom(b)an in her essence
is a miracle of (for) creation; losing sight of this is darkness.

by Margaret Bednar, June 7, 2019

This is written in response to "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Wordy Thursday with Wild Woman - Being a Woman in Times Like These" .  I am not linking up as I know I will be a very lonely voice.  I am pro-life and am very proud of the Republicans for holding up life as a right for the fetus.  For the dignity of all women.   I believe woman have lost much with the legalization of abortion but I have no wish to discuss (it always becomes a heated, hated argument) it on the internet.

I linked the challenge as some of my visitors may wish to read the other poets' responses.  I know I did not exactly follow the prompt - but the real issue is not that women are losing "rights" (plural) but the "right" (which I will denounce abortion as a "right") for legalized abortion.  So, I wrote from my point of view that a woman's rights are in a nation that upholds her very special gift AND the fetus's (baby's) right to life as well.

There is NO need to comment - I expect none.  You may disagree with me, but please if you do, please do not leave a comment.  This is not a debate - it is my response, my voice.  

Monday, June 10, 2019



The old red cherry tree is gnarled, mottled with moss, and leans precariously to one side; mountain wind and seasonal temperament have had their way.  I've climbed as high as I can go, slipped a bit; fog's draped a fine moist layer over everything.  Young twigs sprout from older branches, their bright green leaves seem joyous; a reminder I used to be full of enthusiasm, eagerness.  They scratch my cheek, I welcome the pain, the feeling.  Her bark is so close to my face; like a mother's carress.  Breath in her earthiness; recall as a child long walks through the woods.  Mother named the flowers, trees, pointed out animals.  Her favorite, the deer.  Through tears I see a doe below.  Wonder, "Is this a sign?", when far away an interrupted cry I hear.  Realize it's mine.  Open my hand. Let the empty rope fall.

by Margaret Bednar, June 10, 2019

This is for "dVerse Poets Pub - Prosery #1".  A Flash Fiction story (a very short piece of prose telling a story) in 144 words or less.  AND we must use the line "When far away an interrupted cry" which is from Robert Frost's poem "Acquainted with the Night"  I used exactly 144 words.

The photo was taken from my bedroom window.

I invite you to listen to me read:

Sunday, June 9, 2019



A poetic romancer you are not,
yet considerate you certainly are;
most likely to bring home
grocery store (last-minute) carnations

but I don't mind.  They're rumored to be
from Mary's tears, a mother's undying love.

My love is simple.  I don't need red roses,
just devotion; not worship, but sincerity,
fidelty, love... and let's throw in passion

because the kids will squirm
when I read this poem
and you'll wink behind their backs.

Only you.  Forever.  Let the rose thirst
and wilt on its stem; that's what happens
with high maintenance.

Aren't you glad I'm a carnation gal?

by Margaret Bednar, June 9, 2019

I invite you to listen to me read my poem...

Linked with "Poets United - Poetry Pantry #482"

This is linked with "The Sunday Muse #59".  The prompt will remain open for a week at least.  Come over with your words and play along!  The image for the prompt is:

Photo by Carlo Pautasso

Saturday, June 8, 2019



Squeaky screen doors witnessed our release
as we heedlessly tumbled through, 
slammed to its frame, Dad's reprimand abridged,
our voices voluminous as country children’s are.

Looney Tunes babysat early Saturday morns,
Fruit Loops eaten from the box; 
(an unspoken bribe we gladly endorsed)

but come 10:00 a.m. we were wired 
(perhaps all that sugar) 
and arms and legs pumped simultaneously 
as we shot toward freedom

and lax parental supervision,
when screen door was a barrier 
between their world and ours.

Gone were restrictions, nagging voices
preaching decorum and tidiness. 
We were free to muddy our feet 
running through corn fields and riverbanks,

lakeside collecting toads (which I wouldn’t touch),
snaking our way through forbidden terrain 
(short cuts through neighbor’s back yards)

and experiences never shared
with grownups.  One such I'll never forget
featured getting stuck in quicksand, 
chased by ravaged beasts, boot left behind.

We went back following day 
to dried dirt path, red boot sideways,
backyard dogs barking … but we knew 

(know to this day) we survived a terror, 
perhaps an alien invasion.  Our hearts 
had pumped so, our whispered retellings grew
(perhaps more than a little) 

but scraped knees and muddied palms still tingle 
when I dream (every few years) of this, always glad
screen door shuts quietly, securely behind me.

by Margaret Bednar, June 8, 2019

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Just One Word - Muddy".    This true experience immediately came to mind.   It wasn't an easy memory to put to a poem, but I gave it my best effort.  Funny how the sound of a screen door always reminds me of summer.  But now I realize my Dad took it off after "Indian summer" and put a storm door up for fall and winter.

I also must add, my Mother NEVER allowed "junky" cereal.  Rice Crispies was her way of meeting us halfway.  When I spent the nights at my friend's houses, I was so thrilled to eat Apple Jacks and such cereals.

I might have to do a poetry prompt based on the sounds of the seasons...

Thursday, June 6, 2019



I walk along the shore, stop, slowly scan moist sand,
am delighted with little islands of water surrounding rocks,
shells, an occasional dying jellyfish.

Remember my excitement at finding three scotch bonnets
last spring.  Today I've a small bucket with moon snails;
the Atlantic's gift to me this spring morn.

I sift through them knowing beauty often belies nature,
and these little emperors of the sea swaggered blue bicorn hats and swords,
drilled holes in prey and consumed.

My eyes follow the pull of the tide, over the surf, to the lull
of peaceful blues and greens; know dolphins are giving birth
and Loggerhead sea turtles are nesting.

Mothers and new life.  Marvel at the delicate balance;
how some will protect, others will allow stars to guide
and nature to provide and predict baby's fate.

Danger lurks throughout the deep, and many, so young,
will perish and others, through chance or fate, will thrive
beneath turquoise waters where I stand at tide's edge and wonder.

by Margaret Bednar, June 6, 2019

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - Guest Appearance with Ella Wilson - Tarot Cards"  I hope I followed the directions "Your Interpretation does not have to follow the traditional reading of tarot, may be as magical as your own imagination."  Obviously, I used them as inspiration for my feelings along the shore.  The deck I chose looked like it had a moon snail (or shark eye) shell on top of it - I have collected a few of these.  The overall feeling I got from the tarots was "perilous" or "precarious" - a bit of soldier, protection, danger - but a feeling of fragility as well...

Tuesday, June 4, 2019


Glastonbury Tor - Somerset, England / Photo Creds:  Chelsea Bednar

With poppies on the hill and wind-tossed hair,
whisperings of Arthur, Aquarius, and Goddess
echo within Tor's weathered arch.

I touch St. Michael's ancient stones,
find it easy to believe in dragons and fairies
and feel the caress of my ancestors' venerable song.

by Margaret Bednar, June 5, 2019

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Platform Tuesday" and "dVerse Poets Pub - Quadrille #81" - a poem in 44 words and use of the word "dragon".

Below is an amazing video and short historical narrative of Glastonbury Tor.

and the "Faerie woods on Glastonbury Tor - truly magical - do yourself a favor and watch it.

My daughter is just outside London for three months on a work-away program.  She is offering her art skills in exchange for room/board and food.  Her first trip was to Glastonbury Tor. I encourage you to follow her on Instagram as she will start posting her photos and experiences soon:



She also has an Etsy site where she specializes in handmade, stitched journals amongst other wonderful items:

Monday, June 3, 2019

Only the Good Die Young

Only the Good Die Young

His hair and eyes were surely as dark as the devil's
but his laugh made me forget
he was no saint -
was pretty sure 100 mph
with windows rolled down and speaker cranked
was a sin on any back country road...

I learned summer nights
could be exciting; even dangerous
for this Catholic girl.
I did fall in love that night,
but not with him.  Just now,
had to think hard to remember his name,

but Billy Joel's still a favorite on my playlist.

by Margaret Bednar, January 9, 2015

I originally wrote this poem in 2015 but am posting again as this song came on the radio and I felt young (and reckless) again for a few minutes... sigh.

Today, linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Tuesday Platform"

Also linked with "dVerse Poetics - Cry me a River" - I hope this qualifies - I don't cry over this poem, but I might have shed a tear or two over this boy... or at least wasted too many hours "yearning"...

The song was "Only the Good Die Young" by Billy Joel.

This is a true story - some details have been left out as I'm sure they would bore everyone :)  … I do remember running out the door before he could get out of the car - I did not want my mom and dad to meet him.

If you love Billy Joel, you might find THIS l-o-n-g article interesting.

This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Herotomost's Friday Challenge - Road Trip"

Saturday, June 1, 2019


Eli Edward Evangelidis, illustrator and engraver
from Sydney, Australia.

She lived beneath our crisp blue skies
where cocksfoot and clover swayed as sweetgrass,
deer frolicked amongst meadow sage,
and lichen and liverwort sported splendid greens;
competed only with mythic water lilies
that floated upon forest's cucumber hued pond.

She charmed us with saffron-colored flowers
tucked within her hair, eyes that reflected molten gold sunsets,
and the taste of vineyard and vine upon her lips.

* * *

A tempest blew our way,
pristine wilderness now a phantom forest
where lilies closed against darkness, drooped, and dropped,
cattail reeds darkened with decay, weeping willows curled into the bank,
and summer's sunflowers wilted and grayed in her hair,
hint of honey no longer upon her tongue.

Everyone's quick to name the serpent, as ebony eyes
and forked tongues are contagious; evil spreads like black ink.
We all cowered, for we had no Knight, what were we to do?

Amongst us we had one rise to the challenge, follow the way
of the ghost pines who haunt the paths with gnarled fingers
yet point the way ... our Princess,
gossamer silk replaced with steel blade, last seen
bravely entering the gloaming as the last fairy firefly shimmered,
silently winked, blinked one last time.

by Margaret Bednar, June 1, 2019

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Art Flash 55"  I would love to have honored Galen with a short 55 word story - but this was hard enough for me to write.  I tried to give a nod to the fairy tale like quality AND the sinister vibe I get from this image.  A bit out of my comfort zone but it was fun.

My poems don't usually take a long time for me to write but this one did.  I'm not completely satisfied with this but I've got to go cook dinner!

note:  cocksfoot is another name for orchard grass and meadow sage (salvia) is deer resistant.