Fireside Chats – A Cascade Poem

He said, “Wicked!”

“Chill,” she said

“It’s a slow burn. Wait for the flames to gather.”

It was a Radical Idea at the time

“Face to face?”

He said, “Wicked!”

They tried it, taking turns

Taking breaths when it got too hard

“Chill,” she said

Yet their fervor created a spark

Embers spread via mouth to mouth with tea times and tupperware

“It’s a slow burn. Wait for the flames to gather.”

This post is a “two-fer”! At the Go Dog Go Cafe, their Tuesday Writing Prompt, Devereaux and Beth Amanda requested: Use the words “wicked chill” in any form of poetry or prose. While Victoria over at dVerse Poetics, thoughtful of the catastrophic wildfires in California, asked us to think aboutthe many other possibilities that apply to fire, and bring us the results of your burning creativity“.

Despite the seemingly conflicting mandates, my little poem seeks to illustrates how one spark – an idea, a change in behavior or outlook – can create a fire, a fervor for that change. There are many things I would like to change right now. My flame may flickering , but it will not go out!

No Need to Wait – A Haibun

Raindrops on my window pane remember another time, another storm, another breath of waiting. It was still new and exciting back then. Now, it’s just worrisome as time goes faster and faster.

Waiting for that look

When you turn your head and wave

Not today – you’ve grown

Imelda at dVerse hosted Haibun Monday with the theme: Waiting. As a mom, I spend a lot of time waiting for my kids – to get ready in the morning, to get them from school, to do their chores; also waiting while they are at their numerous after school activities. I usually try to catch up on correspondence during those few minutes or use that time to type out thoughts for a poem. Sometimes, I just sit and listen to music or to the silence before the kids fill the space.

The picture above is of my older daughter doing a ropes course. See her, on the right, in the trees? Such a brave girl! I realize as they get older, they won’t need me to wait for them anymore. They might go with their friends or (gasp!) be able to drive themselves to/from school, activities. The nine months of waiting for them seemed to last forever and now the time is going too fast! Soon, I will no longer need to wait.

©️ iido 2018

Stream Towards Unconsciousness – A “Stream of Consciousness” Poem

I am tired yet I can’t sleep

Thoughts of all the things I should have done today

That I didn’t

Thoughts of being in bed with you

yet writing and writing

the writing is getting in the way

but I have to get down these thoughts

still so many have escaped

I can’t write while I am driving

I can’t write while I am parenting

I can think of what to write but if I can’t get to the computer

if I can’t get to the pen and paper

The thought runs away

Probably the one that would have gone in that lit mag

in that e-mag

the one to win that accolade

It’s so fleeting the good words and phrases that come

In and out

I need to catch them

I need to hold them

I need to write them

I need to sleep

I need to pay attention to the children

and to you

and the laundry

Ugh I hate the laundry

and the dishes

I’m supposed to do these chores out of love for my family

But I don’t love the chores

It doesn’t mean I don’t love my family

I can show them love in other ways

by ignoring them so I can write words of love

To them for them of them

Or cooking

I love to cook

or snuggling

I love to snuggle

Or sleeping

Choosing writing over sleeping over you

But the deadline is tomorrow

There is no deadline for chores

or family or lovers

Or is there…

Challenged by Jamie Dedes at The Poet by Day, this stream of consciousness poem is the first I have ever written. I must admit it was a difficult write for me! I guess I usually edit my thoughts long before it reaches the paper – thinking about the words, phrases, rhythm before I even begin to type with my thumbs. Maybe because I do so much of my writing in little bits during the day on my phone, that I am loathe to edit once it’s already down. Can I blame technology for my writing style?

I wrote this piece around 2 am with a sick child who had kept me awake. I couldn’t go back to sleep since I was thinking about this prompt. I had tried a few other times to write something but kept getting interrupted or writing something that I knew wasn’t exactly stream of consciousness since I had already thought about what to write (I don’t cheat on these prompts!). It took an overtired brain to get to this un-filtered point! If I hadn’t fallen asleep, I wonder where else it might have led or if my words would have continued to perseverate….

©️ iido 2018

To the Moon and Back – A Quintilla and Quintain

A Quintilla

To the moon and back, I promised

No matter if I’m demolished

My child, I will search high and low

I’ll follow wherever you go

No fear – for you, I can do this

A Quintain

I promised to the moon and back

My love brings me to this journey

I won’t come back ’til what I lack

Returns with me in a hurry

Dear child, there’s no need to worry

Hélène provides another beautiful picture prompt for “What do you see? Weekly Challenge”. The image reminded me of the children’s book, “Guess How Much I Love You” which had the phrase “to the moon and back” and these poems were birthed!

I also tried to incorporate the writing challenge from Grace at D’Verse Poets to try writing an English Quintain or a Spanish Quintilla (too late to add it to Mr. Linky). These two forms are similar – poems with five (5) lines each – however the Quintilla keeps an eight (8) syllable count per line while the Quintain has no such constraints. Also, the Quintain follows the rhyming form ABABB while the Quintilla can follow AABBA or ABBAA or ABAAB or ABABA.

I am not sure these are my best work as they sound quite limerick-ish and that wasn’t my intent, but I had to write something! At least I didn’t start it with “There once was a mom from South Philly…”

©️ iido 2018

Bending Reality – A Poem

In this position

Head down, ass up

Heels reaching for the floor

Hands grounded

Bent at the waist

Breathing in

Breathing out

In this position

Blood rushing to my head

Feeling the solid earth

Flexing with the strength of my body

Hearing the life breath around me



Even for just an hour that the world is good.

This poem is in response to Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #162 – Bend (I’m on a streak!). I love the photo Patrick used and his words about how the bends in the road/river/life can obscure the end, but how you have to keep on going. This speaks to my life right now as it is in a “bend”: I just have to keep on going to see where it will lead me! The “bend” can be exciting yet nerve-racking….or peaceful, centering and power-giving – if one can just relax into the pose.

©️ iido 2018

Writers Anonymous Manifesto – A Collaboration

12 Steps to Never Recovering from our “Writing Addiction”

Step 1:

Admit we are powerless to fight

Against the need to write

Step 2 :

Admit that we are together not to cure this affliction,

But to continue with this addiction

Step 3 :

Vehemently believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity

Why we swear upon a thesaurus and/or a dictionary

Step 4 :

Keep the fire to write burning bright

stoking it with humour, insights and candour alright!

Step 5:

Admit that writing is in our blood

It has always been our first love.

Family and work, we  take care of you

But writing is the thing we prefer to do.

Step 6 :

Let all our characters have many virtues and some flaws

Alphabets in inky soup are our allies for moments when inspiration withdraws.

Step 7:

And if that ever happens to anyone of us,

The others will rally around without any fuss.

Step 8:

If we go a day without rhyme or meter

It doesn’t mean our voices have petered.

We commit to finding inspiration

Even if it takes all our perspiration.

Step 9:

When you don’t hear me, see me or smell me,

I am still here,

Just hidden under a pile of words,

Beneath an avalanche of poetry and prose.

Worry not, fear not I will emerge….when?

Nobody knows.

Step 10 :

For reading is what keeps me sane

Free from fears, holy and profane!

And then gradually as I inch towards writing

I can hear your cheers, warm and inviting.

Step 11:

My words break free and release my soul

If I don’t let it go, it will exact a toll

So join me in this wonderful condition

Allow life’s dilemmas to bring words to fruition.

Step 12:

We strive to live by these principles.

We commit to carry this message to all who hold sacred the trysts of paper and pen.

Let this love affair never end!

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the USA, a time for remembering and appreciating all the wonderful people, experiences and material blessings that we have in our lives. This year, I am especially appreciative of the connections I have made through this blog in the WordPress Universe – the other bloggers and my readers! You have all made me a better writer and poet! Thank you!

This post is a collaboration with Gina and Punam, two talented poets who have greatly enriched my life with their inspired writings. We had a conversation on the comments section of one of our blogs (I’m forgetting which one it is now!) about how writing is like an addiction for us – something we can’t live without, that (at times) takes us away or takes precedence over our families/work, that occupies our minds when we are not writing – but how we wouldn’t want to be cured from this addiction, but would want others to join us.

This piece is not intended to take away from the gravity of substance abuse or other behavioral addictions such as gambling. Addictive thinking can center around many activities. Even if the activity starts of healthy or benign, the addictive intention can turn it into something unhealthy.

Cutting through the denial, I really enjoyed working with Punam and Gina on our manifesto! They are profound and prolific poets and really pushed the quality of my work. As women wearing many hats (mother, worker, lover, friend), writing allows us to let down our hair. So let us write to our hearts content…because, really, we can’t stop!

Loving Surrender – A Haiku

Loving surrender

Means breaking the seed to grow

Life in all its forms.

The lovely picture above is from Hélène’s Picture Prompt, What Do You See? I love the saturated colors of this image which brings up thoughts of spring and the blossoming of Mother Earth.

As a mother, I am often reminded of how much motherhood demands of us in order to bring life and raise life in this world. I have often struggled with giving in to these demands – the fear of losing oneself is a real one. The term “loving surrender” is one I coined to help me “give in” to the demands of motherhood and family. It is a wonder how many things one can accomplish and endure if done with love!

©️ iido 2018

Remembrance – A Double Nonet

They don’t talk about their journey here

But I ask and Aunty beckons

I listen to memories

Hushly shared by Aunty

Of escape by sea

Bad things happen

Shhh, don’t cry




We’re here


It was just war

Many forgotten

Refugees, casualties

Just be quiet, be grateful

Gone are fear and uncertainty

Aunty says just remember for me

This is my husband’s Aunt Le who shared with me her experience about how their family escaped from Vietnam – “boat people” they were called. I love listening to her stories and learning from her. Her strength and resilience is inspiring. Her memories and sacrifices will be remembered – I will make sure of that.

This poem was written for Pic and a Word Challenge #161 – Remembrance. I don’t know if Patrick picked this word because it coincided with the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I but it bring to mind war and the repercussions of war. We often remember soldiers but forget about the other people affected by war, the people not involved in fighting yet still affected by it – refugees, peace keeping forces, doctors who help the injured, children. The effects of war are generational – for people, society and the environment.

People thought WWI would be “The War to End All Wars”. Unfortunately, this was not true. Our world continues to be plagued by wars and conflict that has cost millions of lives and displaced millions of people, wars that result in generations of trauma. When will we be able to stop killing each other so the pain and sadness of war will truly only be a memory?

©️ iido 2018

The Hershey Half Marathon – A Haibun and Race Review

Race day was wear-pajamas-and-a-blanket-while-sipping-hot-cocoa-by-the-fire chilly. The first few miles felt like getting slapped by icy fingers. The middle miles were warmed by enthusiastic cheers and hills that heated legs. At the end of 13.1, the glow of accomplishment kept us warm while our friendship felt as heavy and solid as our medals.

Wind whispers “Give up”

The hill is steep, legs are tired

Friend shouts “Keep going”

The race begins! See how nice my hair looks…

A quick photo stop with my MRTT running buds, Heather and Michele.

At the end with my KitKat medal in front of Chocolate a World. Notice the hair – courtesy of wind and sweat!

The Hershey Half Marathon was held on a windy day in October this year. It was cold but warmed up a bit as the sun came up. I ran intervals with two wonderful women from my Moms Run this Town chapter, Michele and Heather. Our goal was 2:45 which we missed by 3 minutes. But that was ok. It was a PR for Michele and my best time coming back from health issues. Heather is a speedster but wanted to take it easy this race since she had other races coming up and didn’t get much running before this one.

This was one of those races where we all agreed it was about the journey and not the destination (time 😁). We were pretty consistent on the intervals – except for the part when, after cresting a very steep hill that had a DJ blasting “Cotton Eyed Joe” at the top, I decided to celebrate by breaking out my dance moves. That was a mistake although quite fun! I broke my stride, started to cramp in my calf and needed some extra walk breaks after that. Note to self – doing the “running man” does not count as a running interval!

Despite that running gaffe, the race itself was great! Michele and I had trained together for this one and we had all run it before so the hilly route was familiar. The wind was definitely a factor – I had to chase down my visor at one point after it blew away. They give out little Hershey chocolate bars in the last 2-3 miles of the race which is nice little treat. The one part of the course I don’t like is running through the empty parking lot as you head towards the stadium. The crowd support, especially around the Milton Hershey School, is excellent which is such a contrast to this desolate area that comes right at the end of race. Also disappointing this year was there was no cookie at the end!! Not that I needed a cookie but yes, I did need a cookie!!

I still don’t have any races scheduled for 2019…any suggestions, especially for races with great swag, are welcome! Lastly – a big shout out to MRTT and especially Heather and extra loud for Michele!! You ladies are in inspiration for my perspiration! ❤️