Morning Sentences

In August of 2011, I began writing a single sentence on my morning walk, in a challenge to myself to write what I saw rather than photograph it. The often run-on sentences were daily at first, then occasional. Eventually, at the urgings of poet friends, they took on poem form-and are sometimes more than one sentence, and once in a while not in the morning, and not confined to walks. Writing them is a delight for me; reading yours when you respond in kind is an even bigger delight.

August 29, 2015


Pouring the rain
pounding on the roof
rushing through the downspout
a single rumble of thunder
rolls down the valley
accompanied by a flash of lightening
then all is quiet
and the parched earth begs,
“More, please.”

A gentle rain falls
wind whispers through
the fir trees
the petrichor wafts
through the open windows
and the thirsty earth sighs,
“Thank you.”

“petrichor: the scent that fills the air when rain falls on long-dry earth

June 29, 2015

Six Days Away from the Garden

One almost broccoli
Two fat slugs
Three tomatoes – eaten
Four stalks of rhubarb
A fistful of chard
Six orange beets
A passel of peas
Eight yellow squash blossoms
Scads of purple flowers
A bushel of bean blooms
Eleven juicy strawberries
Twelve little basil leaves
And fifteen gigantic mole hills.

May 3, 2015

On the road again
color assault
riot of Scotch broom in cautionary yellow
prairies under blankets of camas, the blue of a Noxema jar in the sun
deciduous trees clothed in finest spring green
cumulus cotton puffs floating above the purple mountain majesty
drawing attention to the impossible brilliance of Queen Rainier
not to be outdone by orange meets orange
meets lavender.


September 7, 2014

One-fifteen, can’t sleep.
Coyotes yip in the moonlight.
Joyful, still no sleep.

July 29, 2014

Sitting in the barn door
with faux latte
in the morning meadow sun
woodpecker ratatatatting
mama deer and two babes trot by.

April 7, 2014

the winter wrens chirping in the trees
the stellar jays squawking at some injustice
the barred owl hooting in the woods
relocating geese honking unseen across the valley
the incomparable perfume of evergreen after rain

these linger in memory
all that remains is the photograph
of the rising sun slanting through the mist
waking the meadow from its slumber


March 8, 2014

it was a dark and stormy night
not fit for woman nor man nor werewolf.
the doorbell rang.
i had heard no car that would have had to come up
the unlit curvy hill road
and down the long unlit driveway
to the hidden house.

i peered through the slats of the blinds
to the front porch where stood
two very bedraggled young men.
could it be that one is not even wearing a jacket?
plastic name badges.
i held the storm door shut and knew
even as i said may i help you
what the answer would be.

we’re from the church of latter day saints.
you have got to be kidding.
how are you this evening?
better than you.
how ever did you find this house?
it wasn’t easy.
why were you even trying?
we wanted to tell you the message.
i have my own message
but i appreciate your fortitude.

now go home.
get warm.
no one’s higher being
wants her followers
to be out winning souls
on a night
such as this.
on a bicycle.
and certainly
your mothers don’t.

January 15, 2014

slants rays of light through
the trees
piercing the inky blackness
as it casts
shadows in the meadow
and illuminates
my w.a.l.k.
up the driveway;
a coyote
looking for l♥ve in the moonglow
h 0 w l s  his                                  distant presence.

January 4, 2014

I chanced
to see the
eagle swoop into
the top of the tall fir and
join its white-headed mate
there and we all watched the
sun turn the clouds pink over
the sparkling water as the
ferry ferried passengers
to their destination
unaware of eagle
eyes, and

January 1, 2014

fireworks woke
me and I left the
bed and the cat and
looked out the window
of the friend’s home where
I am spending a few glorious
days in personal retreat and
watched the flashes of color a-
cross Puget Sound competing for
with the stars.
Happy New Year.

November 24, 2013

rising red sun ball
inhales fog over valley
at the speed of light

then blows it back out.

November 21, 2013

Very late to rise
missing corner window
time after non-sleep born
of worry over advancing despised
holiday “cheer”and easy leap to worry
of future glowing orange band wraps mountain
under frigid cloudless sky cows have finally stopped
their bawling in the frosty valley slide window closed and
snuggle back in covers as mama clunks about via
monitor and cat walks on me must get up and
call Raleigh to complete put off financial
paperwork before cooking mama
breakfast baked French toast
with homemade cinnamon
raisin bread and sautéed
apples on Together

November 15, 2013—Late Evening

Home late…
and the moon…
nearly full…
the translucent clouds
sliding across it
at breakneck speed…
the corona…
brought me to tears….
the beauty of it.

November 4, 2013

one day post
return to real time
in my corner chair
faux latte goes down
silky smooth
with a kick
lightening sky: gray
crack of yellow-pink light
splits the sky
in the east
stage left
seeking expansion,
or collapse into gray.

October 19, 2013—Late Evening


Smudge and I
on our bed
are all
and nothing,
our room
floating alone
in a sea of
blankness that
joins land and sky
into one
vast wilderness
of white
set aglow by the
hidden Harvest Moon.

October 4, 2013

A long and narrow
dew-laden spider web
extends from roof beam to porch rail
outside the window
where I sit in the silent house
with my early morning coffee;
four thin legs anchor top and bottom
criss-cross fragments
binding the strands
that span the distance
between beam and rail;
beyond the web
the fir the maple the cedar
fade into foggy mystery
and then nothing;
the green soggy valley is there
the hill beyond is there
the mountain is there
the blue sky is there
but they are disappeared;
they will be revealed
when it’s time;
for now
what is at the window
is crystal clear.

September 24, 2013

Late last night
from my bed ship
I saw
the big ol’
waning moon
round the corner
of the hill
to illuminate
the fog
creeping across the
valley floor,
and the coyotes
went a
little crazy.

August 18

I practiced the
instructions for bear
and cougar encounter
on a little yappy dog
in the road I was
wanting to occupy
sans yappy dog
and went big and loud
it worked like a charm
and said dog retreated to
the underbelly of a
metal yard table
(still yapping)
on which a white
cat sunned itself
silent and
utterly uninterested.

August 8

Is it rain or
is the fog heavy
it isn’t always clear
around here but
this I know
as I walked in
the mist a
golden maple leaf
drifted lazily from
the sky and
landed at my feet.


July 24: Evening Sentence

The coyotes returned last night
and an owl hoo hoo hooed back at ’em
as the one-day-post-full moon
rounded the bend into view
from my bed. Wild night.

June 22

The dazzlingly brilliant
almost perigee moon
woke me in the wee hours
of the penultimate night
as it drifted over the valley
unrolling behind it
a blanket of fog
over the valley floor.

June 15, 2013

I was only going out
to get closer to the slanting
sunbeams streaming through
the trees in the fog,
one of those mornings
that makes the gray
worth it all,
when she looks up startled
from her resting place in the garden
why doesn’t she get up
her doe eyes reflect
my heart-clenching
fear of injury and visions
of animal control
and violence
I can’t do this
I can’t do this
I can’t do this,
she leaves when
I stop looking at her.

Evening sentence on the same day

I suppose I should finish
the morning story
though I wish to God
I didn’t have more
to tell; that
the sad-eyed doe who
rested in my garden
not knowing
as the sun slanted
through the trees
that it was her last
was seen later
in the field up the drive
a gaping wound
in her haunch;
unable to reach
wildlife control
the neighbor did
what had to be done.

May 23

A Haiku at Midnight

awake at midnight
as fog fills the valley floor,
moon illuminates.

May 18

A Sentence in the Afternoon

I took Mama’s suggestion
for what this damp and chilly afternoon
was good for
and curled up in my chair with tea
and finished two books
with cat naps scattered here and there;
she pulled weeds
and planted 18 petunias.

May 9

Surely the sun,
unwilling to wait for the gray fog
to lift that hangs in the treetops
above the gray asphalt interstate,
has shattered into millions of pieces
and fallen to earth
as yellow clouds of Scotch broom
on the miles of slopes along the road.

April 25

Last night I sat on the slope of the yard
on grass still warm from the day
in that twilight zone just before dark
and silently waited for the full moon
to float out from behind the hill
to climb the lone fir
that stretches up so tall
it almost scrapes the sky
and that the moon
barely escapes getting caught in
before it rises over the valley.

April 24

April 11

Baby nap
time to reflect
on yesterday’s drive
into the mountains
where early spring color
along the road edge
is a subtle version
of riotous fall:
early leaf chartreuse
catkin rust
still dormant oak brown
dogwood creamy yellow
and bell-of-the-ball
redbud pink.

March 30

The midnight
two day waning moon
rose  over the
foggy valley
so bright
thought it might
be breakfast time
I suppose it
might be why
some people
have curtains
it’s why
I don’t.

March 25

Sitting on the patio
in the sun
nursing my first
cold in years
listening to birds’ wings
with closed eyes
(not while reading)
smiling cuz
I brought the birds

March 21

9:00:Blue sky, snow on Bafaw Peak
9:10:  Can’t see Bafaw
9:25   snow in the rain
9:40   sun
9:55:  raining


11:50: Sun
11:55 Hail
12:08: Full-on snow
12:16: Sun, blue skies


March 14


The trees stand breathless, silent
ghostly in the deep fog
and the still-dark morning
of the ghastly
daylight savings time
and the birds sing anyway
as the cat crouches at the
open door listening, watching.

March 9

Dawn cracks open the door
to the valley
lets the light leak in
to waken the cows
and the wild geese
she dusts off the mountain
and illuminates the cobwebs
that float through the treetops
and in her final task
before turning the work over to Day
sends the moon to bed.

March 8

the sky is blank
trees invisible
valley cloaked in white darkness
fog has disappeared everything.

one lone diffused light
glows weakly
on the valley floor.

four pinpoints
of light
shining bright
early shift
up and at ‘em.

all is gray
gathering energy for


by 1:00pm.

March 6

All is grey
the sky
the trees
disappearing in fog
the mist that doesn’t
really get your hair wet
the Fresh Rain fragrance
laundry detergent tries to imitate;
and then the pop:
yellow jonquils in a deck pot
forsythia espaliered on the west wall
my mother’s favorite primroses
pinking up the dirt
the magenta lenten rose
against the green moss;

February 22

a junco escapes the rain
for a moment
to peck at
the orange delight suet
in the dim gray light
of the cold dawn
as I sip hot
organic french roast coffee
in the easy chair
behind the window.

February 7

How could I not leave my
online income tax entry
to watch the valley
turn to gold?
The beauty of
it takes my breath away,
I know because
I can see it.
A rare squirrel scampers
across a maple branch,
the juncos hop about
in the scrub.
A scraggly vee of geese
honks the length of the horizon
across the divide
and I weep for
the magnificence
of it all.

February 6
Predawn Sentence:

As I lay abed
the cat walking
back and forth
on my stomach
I spied the bashful moon
slipping in and out of
a cloud hole
a night light
in the otherwise
black universe
that didn’t want to
get up either.

February 5
Sentence at Eventide:

Reading in the chair by the window
in the gloom
when without a second’s warning
the sinking sun burst
through a crack
in the black black sky
and illuminated all it struck
and if that weren’t enough
the white on brown feathers
of a hawk swooped past my
window and glided under
the rain-glistening branches
of the fir tree.
Lucky me.

January 21

Winding through back streets
following a large flock of birds
as they dance across the sky
rearranging themselves
from V to half circle to straight line
stragglers zipping up the middle
of the V like race horses
until they all vanish
into the clouds.

January 24

rising sun
light diffused
through mist
setting valley floor

January 16

Out of frost-white meadows
of Scotch broom
tall firs rise ghost-like
over the interstate
gray aside naked poplars
their tops disappearing
like breath into
foggy mystery.

Gulls fly out
from the mystery
beyond the yoga window
for once hushed
and glide silently
over mist that floats
like breath
above the still lake

white on white on white.

January 15

The day brightens once again
from beyond the fog-shrouded
snow-dusted trees
and chickadees have breakfast
outside the window
as I sip my
fake latte,
once again.

January 11

the feeder
on this frigid
morning as the
invisible sun slowly
patiently burns through
the fog that shuts the world
from view; now the chickadees
flit and sweep to the seeds, a squirrel
runs head first down the trunk of the fir
and the sky thinks about bluing up for a new day.

A whole flock of juncos just found my restaurant! and
the chickadees beat a hasty retreat. The patio was
swinging with activity, like a soccer team ascen-
ding on McDonalds. Four at the counter, six
in the queue around the counter, and four
more waiting their turn on the back of
the chair as many more flapped
around the parking lot.
Amazing! Then a
blue jay chased
them away

the cat
watched the
jay from the window.

January 1, 2013

the first morning
arrives silent and still
dawn whispers in
around the snow shrouded trees
through fog that
shuts the world out
all is white blankness
the dreams for the new year

are mystery
waiting to be revealed
the fog whispers
wait for it
wait for it

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s