20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


Cleaning House

Lung cancer claimed my father almost four
years back. My husband, brother, sis-is-law
and I then faced the agonizing, raw
job: Empty out the house. This, quite the chore,

as he had seven thousand records, books
too numerous to count, woodcuts and prints
and lithographs that numbered high. What hints
would help us in this cleaning of the nooks

and rooms where all of it was stored? My job?
His study. His large desk stood in the middle,
with all the papers in its drawers a riddle
I’d solve. Then, shelves and shelves, a crowded mob

of books, newspapers, magazines and more.
Upon the windowsill each reference book
stood tall and at the ready for his look.
A cabinet, like mini-Staples store,

held every kind of paper, clip, or glue,
yes, staplers, rulers, paper punch and ink,
in duplicate, so organized I think
that Office Depot could have shopped there too.

His bookcases held all his published works,
set carefully in alphabetic line.
I stood before them, thought of all the time
he spent composing. Literacy lurks.

This was my thought as I sat down. He wrote
for hours here in this very room where now
I sit alone without my teacher. How
will I thank him for his instruction?

to self: Say thank you when you can. You may
not have the opportunity again.
I learned this from my mother way back when,
but needed practice so I could obey.

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One Special Poem

Prolific, he wrote poems, published books,
ideas flowed like waterfalls, not brooks.
My father wrote of nature, music, art,
most in poetic form, sharp as a dart.

He chose his words with utmost care to tell
the stories stirring in his head, to spell
ideas with suspense and tension. Four
weeks after he had died I found some more

of his fine poems. One, though, brought my tears.
Its subject? Me as little girl. He’d not
shared it. I wondered why. Emotion shot
through me. I read this poem. My dad nears.

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Think hard. What brings you pleasure most?
What makes you want to swing, and boast
of heights, blue skies, call Look, no hands?
Where are your special places, lands

you want to visit? And what cruise
would take you to the morning dews
far from your cozy home? What book
calls you to open pages, look

through words so pungent in your mind?
What gem is buried that you’ll find
upon your digging for fine gold?
What scenic trails have you strolled?

Important to identify
what means the most, bring nigh
and hold it close, yes underline
delicious food on which we dine.


The Telephone Rings

Her little voice across the phone last night:
“I saw your picture in the paper. Nice!”
(My writers’ group, one afternoon of white
snow, candy canes, hot chocolate, gave a slice

of literature with readings, workshops, sales
of our own books before the Christmas rush.)
And then my granddaughter asked, voice in trails
of hope, “Can I come over?” In a hush

of happiness how I agreed. “I’ll bring
my books and I could have my lesson.” Yes!
She plays piano. I, the richest king,
anticipated her arrival, press

of long brown hair against my chest. And soon
I saw her lime-green coat. She ran to me,
“Hi, Memah.” O, that sweetened perk. The moon
last night shone brighter than the stars. To be

with her is treasure. How this charmer brings
me joy with laughs and smiles tucked in so tight
that every polished moment like this clings
with stubborn happiness and makes dark light.

English: Siemens Gigaset 4010 Classic, cordles...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Books, by “Ardent Bowel”


Darkness gorges on lutescent light,

Deep sapphire water and sage woods encircle.

Lush sylvan vegetation coughs angelically,

Sprinkling aurulent dust upon moss and grass;

Fantasy collides and abolishes night.


Rough paper melts into bliss,

Glassy eyes wander, hopelessly, wonderfully lost;

Passionate fingers flip,

Cinnamon aroma burns nostrils,

And electrified mind lofts reality,

As eight-horned fairies lick moonlight lakes,

And vermillion hued suns burn cerulean skies.

By fellow WordPress poetry blogger  Ardent Bowel

Tales Around the Tree

Soon I am off to join my writers’ group’s participation in “Tales Around the Tree,” a Christmas event at a local library. There will be readings, workshops, and book sales. I am going to read six of my Christmas/winter poems, and a friend and I are going to read “Gift of the Magi” together.

This library is really something. It’s a large old bank that has been converted to a library. It has two floors, polished hardwood and marble floors, two giant gold chandeliers with graceful curved arms, an elevator, and rooms everywhere. The children’s room has a beautiful tree house built by a local man, and the woodwork of the winding stairs and curved railing is gorgeous.

It is decorated for Christmas with I-can’t-tell-you-how-many trees. The decorations are elegantly done and you can’t help but suck in your breath when you walk through the large wooden front doors. The circulation desk is where the bank tellers used to have their cages (is that what they were called?), but now it’s an open circular area with the brass foot rail still in place.

The whole little town is sporting decorations, activities and food for families, and we’re hoping to add to the festivities (and perhaps sell some of our books along the way).

Where do the lost things go?

I have a lot of pens

and pads and books

and other things that I love

but sometimes I can’t find the one I want.

I seems to

disappear -

Just poof!

It’s suddenly not there.

I wonder whether it is the lost things go?

Does someone take them

all away

and hide them?

Under the bed,

in the garden,

down the back of a chair,

under a pillow,

in the bottom of a drawer that hasn’t been opened forever?

Who knows why

and who knows where it is the lost things go?

Or do they take themselves away?

Grow legs?

Run off on their own to play?

Are they all together, dancing in some wood?

Having a party,

singing and dancing?

Doing things they couldn’t do at home?

Eating and drinking and playing a game

with no one there to see what they’re doing?

I wish they would come back.

I wonder where it is the lost things go.


Poetry Challenge

The challenge would be for a poet, to answer the interview questions in the form of a poem:

What type of books do you write? (Course poetry, but what type)
What is the latest book you have written?
Is it part of a series, if so which one?
When did you start writing?
Why did you start writing?
Who are your influences?
What can we expect from you in the near future? Book signing events, other details

I will add it to my blog, and include it in a seperate section.

Further details on my blog, http://thehighsthelowstheinbetweens.wordpress.com/
Good luck!

This Room

I look around. What is it about this room that draws me? It was once our daughter’s teenage room. She is now married with children. The room is filled with bookshelves, which are filled with books. Ah, luxury. Our TV is in here, along with a white wicker loveseat, matching, large-ish footstool, a recliner, the computer desk and chair, the computer, the printer. On the walls? I look around and see mostly photographs of family. Two are large framed photos of our daughter’s and son’s weddings. Another is my mother, who passed away 17 years ago. Still another is a framed poster of the Verde Canyon Railroad. We took that trip with my father and stepmom some years ago in Arizona, seeing some spectacular panoramas. The poster is a reminder of a pleasant time.

A long time ago my daughter gave me a little oval plaque that has a little boy and a little girl on it. It says: “Grandchildren are the reward you get for not strangling your teenagers.” LOL. There is a framed picture of our son in his police uniform, a framed triptych of our grandson when he was small, with his mom, silhouettes with the sunset in the background. They were skipping stones into the lake. I have a piece of amethyst, my birthstone, on the shelf. Another framed piece says “WORDS are so powerful they should only be used to heal, to bless, to prosper.”

I have two rectangular frames, quite long, in fact. The green one has five pictures of our grandson on the day he came home from the hospital, aged three days. The burgundy-colored frame has five pictures of our granddaughter at the same age, the day she came home. I cherish those pictures.

There are two prints on the wall, a large photograph of our grandchildren, and a frame holding six of our son’s high school graduation pictures.

A lamp table, a standing lamp, a ceiling fan, a clock, white carpeting, peach-colored shades and window valance complete the look. When writing I always keep three handy-dandy friends at my side: a dictionary, my thesaurus (I have a really good one), and a rhyming dictionary. Without these I’d be lost.

I look out the window onto a hill behind our house to see pines, oaks and elms. A bird feeder attracts all kinds of birds, but I especially like watching the hummingbirds. We often see deer, squirrels, and chipmunks, but also less frequently raccoons, rabbits, wild turkeys, fox. In the winter our grandchildren love to slide down the hill. I watch them from inside where I can be warm while seeing them in their winter fun.




Hi Again

How strange it feels to be gone from my blogs for a day. I will get back to writing.

Yesterday was the book festival sponsored by the writing group I joined about a month ago. Presentations, readings, and authors selling their books characterized the event, and I would say that, for a first-time experience, it was successful. For me, networking with other authors and getting ideas for some writing I’m interested in pursuing for publication were the highlights. I was so surprised by the number of local authors there are, and I no longer feel as if I’m the only person around here who writes poetry.

We had a good, but tiring day. We didn’t take our phones into library where the event was held, so missed a call from our son. But the minute we got our things packed up and were heading home we called him back. He wondered whether we’d be able to babysit for our little two year-old granddaughter for the evening. WOULD WE EVER! Yes, we were tired, but who turns down something like that?

Spending the evening with her was pure joy. We took her for a ride in her wagon, collected acorns on the deck, read books, played with the puppies, zoomed the little police car “just like Daddy’s” around (he’s a police sergeant), we made her supper, and overall had a wonderful time. She didn’t cry at all, and every part of the evening was delightful.

A day of gifts.

Silence as a Defense (Open Book Challenge)

Just because one remains idle in the midst of chaos

Doesn’t mean that the chaos doesn’t resonate from within.

Sometimes the only defense mechanism one can handle,

To process what should not be

Is to sit perfectly still in silence

Waiting to be free.

Inspiration: In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck





I do believe …

I once was hung on myself

never thinking of greater things

I kept the book on my shelf

always kept it in the wings

Tim ….June 21 , 2012

things around me went real bad

not knowing where to turn

feeling sorry , I was so sad

finally read it and I learned

my life it seemed was not all bad

respect for him was earned

Please remember to like , comment and share…Thanks  timzauto


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