To have a copy for myself…


S.E. Ingraham (Sharon) is yet another of the very fine poets Walt and I met during Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides 2009 April Poem-a-Day Challenge.  Months after the challenge ended, I wrote a poem about how I felt when I entered that site on April 1, and the days that followed.  I entitled it “This Grand Ballroom,” and wrote of how out-of-place I felt among the excellent poets there.  I was truly baffled and awed when any of them noticed my work.  Without naming names, I mentioned several in my poem. Here is an excerpt:

A young woman compliments

My faux pearls,

Herself, adorned with genuine pearls

Of the highest quality

That she has been gleaning and stringing herself

For many years.

Sharon is this woman.  Thank you, Sharon, for your encouragement to me back then.  You were instrumental in igniting my love for poetry.  Walt and I are grateful…

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I knew it was risky; I wouldn’t be able to keep away
Like a junkie, standing at the window, an outsider
Needing to use, to be part of, my body craved the paint
The way an addict craves the juice—don’t ask me
How I know—I know—I have, I guess you could say
Intimate knowledge, and it is fearsome, this craving
This ache to take up the brush again, after so long

Every minute I spent there, not walking away
Just staring at the tubes of colour—magnolia, viridian
carnelian—and fresh white canvases spotless,displayed
Laid out like stretchers as if placed there just for me—
Brought me closer to going on one of my sprees

And deny as I might—and believe me, there was some
Desperate denying dancing around inside my head—
That I could still leave anytime—really, just turn
on my heel and go—some part of me was aware
That my reserves were eking away and once gone
So would I be—gone that is—lost to the god of art



Like the juice of a blood orange

The sun drips off the horizon

Streaking the sky between striations

Of blue, it is melting into sunset


Twilight swishes herself onstage

as soon as it seems decent to put

in an appearance – with her layers

of indigo, mauve and intimations

of lavender, lilac and royal


She hates to seem overly eager

But considering how brief her

stint is – once she’s on, she wants

every ounce of time due her,

it’s true


Before evening arrives,

towing all those bloody but

magnificent constellations

Spread like Swarovski crystals

on actual velvet – not velveteen –

Interspersed with glowing planets

– aligned and not – but impressive



And God forbid

It should be one of Luna’s showy

nights … well, twilight, dusk – call

her whatever romantic name you will

It doesn’t matter how wonderful

her palette may be, it will

never be quite memorable enough.








How can it be that you sneak up
and surprise me so
every single year?
It’s not like you’re novel, or new,
something unexpected at all
And still, the first time I look outside
and see that you’ve come
Stealing ever-so-quietly, like a
thief in the night, only not
taking a thing

In fact quite the opposite, for
you come bearing loads
of stuff
How is it I feel taken aback, my
heart’s in my throat, I find
it difficult to breathe
As I regard the way you’ve
remade the landscape
from just the day before

Every recognizable surface,
each house, car and tree
is now blurred indistinct
and covered completely
with three feet of snow
And the air is thick with flakes
that show no sign of abating
so the outside becomes
less recognizable every

I let the dog out to do whatever
dogs need to do
And first, he stares back over
his shoulder at me
As if to say, “where is the deck?”
before breaking a trail into
the yard…
He’s a big woolly sort, part wolf
actually, so gets into the spirit
quite quickly
And rolls around, having a snow-
bath before he realizes
The temperature has also dipped
below suitable snow-bath

He’s wolfish, but aging, so quite
quickly limps back up his
barely new trail
Holding one frozen paw after
the other up in the air, looking
sad and forlorn…

This exercise is repeated as many
times as necessary during the day
and the night
Which given as noted, aging wolfish
canines need, is numerous
and each time, the look of betrayal
over his shoulder says clearly,
“How could you?”
As if we are somehow responsible
for the ever-increasing accumulation
of snow and cold
And the need for him to have to break
a fresh trail
(Never mind there’s nowhere to squat
for his other serious business – that look
of disgust knows no bounds)

So, much as I might get caught by surprise
every year by winter’s first storm
My shock seems to pale when compared
to that of my pet’s