20 Lines A Day

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The Music

The ceiling stares back at me

Sprawled on the cold hard floor,


In the darkness I watch the lights

From passing cars, creep across the room.


I’m lost in another world, far away

The music picks me up, lifts me and carries me away

Dances play in the movies of my mind.


I listen wholly, with all of me

Shutting out the rest of the world

Just to be with the music

Let it sink into every pore.

I want it to take hold.


It’s like a drug, alters my emotions

Takes me high, brings me low.

Makes me move, dance and shake

Induces tears I’m unable to stop.


I lay pressed against the floor

To feel the vibrations

Make it even more real,

As I relax, I feel each muscle give way

Release into the music,

It calms me and sets me free

I won’t be still for long

The music always moves me

And then I’m who I was always meant to be.


The Elusive Poem

A poem lives above the clouds, beneath the sea,
and sends its tender voice on shimmered wings to me.
I do not hear because my world runs crazy-fast,
and its deliciousness has gone away, has passed.

I need to tune my ear to my dear muse’s voice,
stop all my busyness, and rather make the choice
to pay attention. She won’t carry anything
that doesn’t shine like gold or absolutely sing.

When I am still I hear her whisper in the dark.
Shh, poet, listen for the gifts I hold for you.
Come with me on my journey. I await. Embark
upon my ship and we’ll explore far lands anew.

First Bon Voyage, a stolen glance, my quiet stance.
So long I’ve waited. Now I partner in this dance.  


Bequested love

Dance with me
and set
fine step with
and cornets

Let me introduce you
to court my lady
my lady
dressed in
fashioned finery

stockings white
whirl to music
this night

whitened skin
beauty fair
reddened cheeks
and auburn hair

my lady I shall
forsake my life
for yours
I shall betake
to ends of earth
declare my love
forgo the whores

grant me
company with
your honesty
for I do not
look upon you

utmost charm
you spellbind
elegant eyes
that haunt me
I pray you are

hold you hand
in mine
dance lightly
look into my eyes
can I convince
this is no guise

beauty and grace
modestly majestic
no finer lady
dressed in lace

smile for me my lady
lower eyelids
let me raise your hand
look not upon me

crowded jewels
upon your dress
impassioned is
my love

let me confess
to you my love
I’ve sworn
this night of nights
I am reborn

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Silent trumpet sounds


The oblivious and innocent

Into vacuous voids,

ethereal eclipses -

Angelic wings dance blithely

Dripping tiny baubles of hope

Melting in mid-air

Dreams, splayed like kindling

Beneath a roaring fire

Where sparks ignite the dirt

With stars too heavy to fly toward the moon

Suffocating lest fingertips burn

Leaving ashy-white memories

Subtly heralding promises of pleasure.

Etched on mental panes

Snowflake images of perfection

transforming teardrops

with the heat from one

quiet sigh.


Writing Rondeau

The dark red blood glistens in the night

The dark red blood glistens in the night

Narrating the story of British Raj’s might

How a kind boy was killed at first glance

where now his lover is forced to dance

Who will, against this injustice, fight?


This deed of the Raj can never be right

the story behind which I now write

That kid was of no proper civil stance

Now his dark red blood glistens in the night.


What was about him, that the Raj fright

Was it his, against the oppression, fight?

He was not even given a last glance

Drowned in the black river at first chance

Now his lover dances at the same site

Where his dark red blood glistens in the night.

The story, I am narrating, through this poem- is loosely based on a Hindi prose- “एहिं थैया झुलनी हैरानी हो रामा…” by Shivprasad Mishra “Rudra”.

Poetic style- Rondeau

A french form of poetry consisting of 3 stanzas, 13 original lines and 2 refrains of the I line of the poem.


1. 8-10 syllables per line.

2. Structure with rhyme scheme-



















Welcome to the Dance

Welcome to the dance.

It is not for everyone.

You have to be strong.


You show your writing,

if you dare, persuade your Muse

to show herself too.


Open up a vein -

prepare to bleed on the page

giving Birth or Death.


There will be no truce,

not for you nor for your work.

Nor will blood congeal


Till veins are empty,

mind and body drained away

energy all spent.


This is not your choice

but rather the path chosen

for you to enact.


So join if you dare.

There will be no going back.

Welcome to the Dance.







For the Adjective/Adverb Challenge

The Library

Rooms filled with history, non-fiction, prose
invite her. As she reads the books, she grows
in ways I never could imagine. France
inside her bedroom beckons her to dance
the pirouette, musette, and Bach’s bourée.
She wonders what to wear for her soirée,
but steps out for the evening in her dream,
so exquisite in black with lace of cream.
But wait. Perhaps she turns the page to Spain
and flashes a flamenco. See her mane
a-twirling? Palma snaps, her gown of flame,
the mariachis….all call out her name.

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August 16

It’s late and I shouldn’t be up at this hour. But, I can sleep in tomorrow.

Since it’s after midnight and officially August 16, I wanted to note my granddaughter’s birthday. She turns eleven at 6:53 this evening. I remember well the night she was born.

I had a 7:00 meeting at school, as did her other grandma, who was an aide for the fifth grades in which I was one of the teachers. We both missed that meeting, but the other teachers and the principal filled in for us at the last minute, doing what we would have done on the program. They were all wonderful about it.

When we got the call, we were off to the hospital. Our daughter and her husband were already there. Let’s just say we didn’t go the speed limit!

After a short labor, M. was born, and I had the unparalleled gift of being in the delivery room when she came into our lives. After the nurse did the things she had to do, she wrapped little M. up, swaddled her in blankets, turned around, and handed her to my husband. His face lit up like nothing I’ve ever seen (I had the same pleasure when our grandson was born, two years earlier).

This little munchkin has been a dancer, a swimmer, a soccer player, a student extraordinaire, a pianist, and will this year begin middle school where she will be a percussionist in band. She flourishes academically and creatively, and as I write about her I know I am glowing.

She saves her money to give to causes like the Humane Society or Feeding the Hungry. She tithes to her church.

Not to worry. She’s a little sister, and that sometimes causes angst, as you might imagine. She likes to have her way, and can get moody, like the rest of us, but I choose to write about all that’s special and wonderful about her.

Oh, yes, one more thing…

God must love me very much to give me her as a granddaughter (and her brother as a grandson, and my other granddaughter as well).

Happy Birthday, M.



When I meditated on the word
GUIDANCE, I kept seeing “dance” at the
end of the word. I remember
reading that doing God’s will is a lot
like dancing. When two people
try to lead, nothing feels right. The
movement doesn’t flow with
the music, and everything is quite
uncomfortable and jerky.
When one person realizes and
lets the other lead, both bodies begin
to flow with the music.
One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge
to the back or by pressing
lightly in one direction or another. It’s
as if two become one body,
moving beautifully. The dance takes
surrender, willingness, and
attentiveness from one person and gentle
guidance and skill from the other.
My eyes drew back to the word
GUIDANCE. When I saw “G,” I thought of
God, followed by “u” and “i.”
“God, “u” and “i” “dance.” God, you,
and I dance! This
statement is what guidance means to me.
As I lowered my head, I
became willing to trust that I would get
guidance about my life. Once
again, I became willing to let God lead.
My prayer for you today is
that God’s blessings and mercies be upon
you and your family on this
day and everyday. May you abide in Him
as He abides in you.
Dance together with God, trusting Him to lead
and to guide you through each
season of your life.



We attended a Pow Wow

Moving with the beat of the drum

After the medical excitement in the river last week I chose the activity this weekend.

I chose for us and the dog, to take a ride to Maine to attend a Pow Wow that was taking

place there.  This was taking place in Wells Maine along the Atlantic Ocean.  A few different

groups were there and they took turns on their drums while many danced for us to enjoy.

I will not fill this post with photos as they are already in a Blog at Living and Lovin, check

them out!

Have a great Sunday do something you will enjoy!




The Ancestors are Dancing in Harlem

The ancestors are dancing in Harlem…

I feel them,

I see them,

they are calling to us to make right what they left wrong

and to manifest their destiny in this great city within a city.


They are calling to us to drum, dance and defend even when all seems dark,

because the sun will always rise in the east and set in the west.

The ancestors are dancing in Harlem,

and their dancing shoes are love & joy.

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Crowded Room

Svein Koningen painting "The crowded room...

Svein Koningen painting “The crowded room” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)











The wretched racket of quiet

has entered this room

dancing mockingly at your gloom

I laugh back

for I am in love with solitude

little had they knew, I relish and catch-up

on conversations I started with myself

by clear water lagoons

they had forgotten

I passed many a moon

Still the dancers; erect ears

set on doom

I will tap on their shoulders

for a spin about my room

laughing playfully

they thought they could

grate my ears with

their crackling croon

of quiet performances

bowing down at my gloom.

© [Jeanette Shihadeh] and [thepainterspalate.wordpress.com], [2012]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, artwork, or photo’s without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Jeanette Shihadeh] and [thepainterspalate.wordpress.com] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Narrow Soul

Sadness abounds the narrow soul

to control, explain

fear rides side by side

gripping at the throat!

of life

listless and in stupor

they contain all the pain

too much to swallow in the hollow

shallow smallness of their brain.

Narrow souls can never dance

if by chance

they entrance

then – the locks on their minds slam shut!

to “forever time”

destroying the essence of the sublime

forgetting the spark that lit their fire

snuffing it out to forsake

their desire

in control the narrow soul

is consuming sadness whole.

© [Jeanette Shihadeh] and [thepainterspalate.wordpress.com], [2012]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, artwork, or photo’s without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Jeanette Shihadeh] and [thepainterspalate.wordpress.com] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Sun Shapes








Triangular, the slits of morning sun
sit on my windowsill. The pine trees wave
with sunlit shadow, limbs and boughs not done
with partnered dancing. I  don’t want to stave

this scene off. Such a small and simple thing
gives energy to my piqued sense of sight.
I love the interplay of green and light
that lends such luxury, like nature’s king.

Ups and Downs

Have you ever felt as though a Mac truck ran over you? Man, that’s me today, and I have no idea why. I woke up dizzy and now, nine hours later, it’s still the same. I feel as if someone threw boulders at me. My muscles seem heavy, and I move like a plodding tortoise.

But…I am going to our granddaughter’s school variety show tonight. She and her best friend will be dancing to some current song. She showed me some of the moves for this dance. I’m prejudiced, of course, because I’m her grandma, but she is good!

As much as I’m looking forward to going, I’m also looking forward to getting home. This asthmatic bronchitis I’ve had has just knocked the wind out of my sails. A friend of my husband’s had the same thing (although without asthma), and he said the acute phase lasted six weeks. He’s still recovering his strength. This Sunday it will be six weeks for me. So I guess I shouldn’t expect much more of myself. I will be SO HAPPY when it is all gone and I return to my usual strength and can therefore get back to doing the things I love to do.

One good thing is that I got a haircut this morning. It’s been over six weeks, and since I have short hair it was super-unruly. This one thing has made me feel better.

20 Lines is growing by leaps and bounds. It’s wonderful that so many people have discovered it. We’ll have lots of authors to read and respond to. That will be satisfying.


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