20 Lines A Day

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Earth Songs

In early morning earth tunes up its harp.
Emerging from the flat dark night, the sharp
shrill bird songs call me from my silent sleep
where I in cottoned quiet cannot keep

my consciousness awake. I spiral down
to places where my dream becomes my town.
I star in my own movie, watch the flow
of action, but then with the morning’s glow

remember nothing. Now the flutes sing tunes
and I come into wakefulness. Day croons
its melodies from sunrise into bright
surprises. Could these gifts have come from night?



If I had married a poet
he would sing me to sleep with simile,
march into morning with metaphor,
brew the coffee, set the table,

a woven placemat for him,
a green one with lilies for me.
The white porcelain teapot, steaming

with water for my cup, two sugars, a slice of lemon,
and his strong coffee, black, no sweetness
except for the flavor of him
across the table.

We look, see much more,
speak, don’t speak.
The air is charged.

he is not a poet.
He listens to my words,
understands my simile, my metaphor.
We have combined

our differences.
He is morning. I am night,
I the moon and he the sun
who has become my poet.


Mornings with Chipper

There is a little white furry guy, weighing about 21 pounds,  stands one foot tall and lives in our house.  He is a Bichon Frise and his name is Chipper.  He is just what his name says he is, Chipper.  A happier dog you will never find, or a truer friend.  He loves us lots , and we love him more.  He has been a part of our household and family for 12 years, his entire life.  He once had a companion named Jake, another Bichon.  They did everything together.  Chipper depended on Jake for ideas of where to go to the bathroom, what food to eat, where to take a nap and which cat to chase.

Two years ago, Jake died of cancer.  Chipper was devastated and missed him terribly.  We thought of getting another dog to be his companion, but we knew no dog could replace Jake in Chipper’s life.  My husband and I became Chipper’s best friends.  We help him make the every day decisions for which he once looked to Jake.

About 6:30 every morning, I feel a warm tonge on my face and a little paw scratching on my arm.  That is the signal that tells me it is time for a walk.  I drag myself out of bed, put on my sneakers, gray hoodie, and a golf hat, and Chipper and I set out to explore the neighborhood.  This is the most important part of Chipper’s day.  He trots down the sidewalk as if he owns the whole neighborhood. We pass the bank of mailboxes and head down the street. We pass Jan’s house.  Jan recently moved to South Carolina.  We both miss her, and Chipper gives the rock in her front yared a good sniff.  The guy, who lives in the gray house next to Jan’s,  seems to always be mowing the grass or timming a tree. Chipper goes up and gives him a sniff, and Chipper receives a pat on the head.

Chipper loves to meet his dog friends.  He excitedly greets Nicky, the Fox Terrier, with a good thorough sniff.  There is a Pug who runs up the street  to greet Chipper, and Chipper is happy to give him a sniff.  He would like to play with the Pit Bull, who is behind a fence, thankfully, and the black Labrador Retrievers, who bark at him from behind their fence.  Chipper sniffs the fences and they bark.  Chipper feels he is entitled to sniff the neighborhood every morning.

The love of his life is Precious, the Pekinese who lives across the street.  They both look for each other when they trot out of their respective front doors.  They run to great each other, share kisses, and frolic in the grass.  There is never a cross growl between them.  Chipper is in love.

I look forward to walking the neighborhood with Chipper each morning.  I endure his long sniffs of all things that interest him, and stand beside him as he greets his many friends. The humans on the other end of the leashes are my friends.  The quiet time we have together is a wonderful way to begin our day together every day.

An Early Morning Dream

An early morning dream

where everything is still so dark,

the light of the day hasn’t yet arrived,

the dawn is beginning its show.

An early morning dream,

where I dream of the early morning,

the stars still shining,

the moon though can’t be seen.

An early morning dream

where I experience the early morning.

1 Comment

I Love Them






The morning nods its head at me. I rise,
and wonder what the day will bring: Surprise?
Or recollection of the dream I had?
What column will it go in? Good? Or bad?

The polished windows show me gray outside,
and I feel cottoned stuffiness abide.
I’ll get my little ones at noon, a treat
each hour and minute from the time I greet

them. How can grandchildren bring so much joy?
I’ve one of each, a girl, one teenaged boy.
She loves to read, play soccer, swim her pool.
He runs, wears faux-mo style of hair, is cool.

I held him minutes after he was born.
I saw her come into the world that morn.
These two have grown in dignity and charm,
and for them I would give up my right arm…

and so much more.

Beeswax Neighbors

the man down the alley and across the street

is my guard, my night owl who beckons the night.

a lamp-post squared and watching; the neighborhood.

his cigarette glows, he puffs

with nary a ruffle of his body he sits; perched

in the early pitch of morn’

as i walk khalil, my fearful chocolate lab

past the obelisk monuments

of beeswax neighbors

sleeping with solid vacancy.

they are resting now

while the streets hum quietly, expecting their return.

a distant lowing bark muffles the gray black dawn

my heart races, moves me along my routine path

allowing khalil to sniff briefly

at the sleeping earth’s musk

marking his scent upon it’s’ dew.

and as the sun’s messengers begin to call

i retreat. while suddenly, silently, one by one

they awake and attack daybreak.

© [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.


Morning Prayer

Morning has arrived again.

What will this day hold?

Will it be a happy day,

Or full of troubles, bold?

Will you find me ready

If this should be the day?

Or will you find me striving,

Or wandering astray?

Keep my foot from stumbling

As this new day goes on

That only love will rule my heart

Until the day is done.

And if I wake tomorrow

I’ll start it all again

Let my feet follow you, O Lord,

Forever…and amen.


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