A Few Older Poems of No Pretense

An Assortment of Silly and Sappy Sentiments

Illustrations by the Author (c) All rights reserved




Snow Melt in Deep Woods
An archipelago
of snow
upon a rise
see all around
here on the ground
deep shadow lies
now frothy spills
of hemlock sprills
delight my eyes.




Wild Rugosa Roses

How to Get There


After an auspicious first line –
(clean as a naked swim in clear cool water)
a chill sets in.
Hypothermic stumbling
falters inexorably toward the
muddled middle un-memorably marking its way –
(a dogs pees here)
and takes us to the end,
where the last line lasts.




- your neighbors phone number, a second language, how to listen, patience
-your rights, your value - your ss#, the way home, when to say NO
-up, truth, your mind, clearly
-in yourself, in others, in potential, in possibilities,
-to understand, to fix it, to make a souffle
- for the best, for sunny days, for rain, for peace
- toward a goal - to give yourself purpose, to lower your blood pressure
- away when it is time to leave - when it cannot be fixed, when it is not safe
- do, your bed, amends, a pie, love,
- what is needed, your own laundry, your best unless you need to
ignore advice
Pale gray skies above
Black branches tipped with green
Boots still deep in mud

Soft patterns on the
kitchen floor
sunlight streaming in

Shifting lights

on my face:
Woken by the sun
Warmer breeze blowing
Yellow forsythia blooms
Sky turns blue above
Dead leaves caught in car wiper
Hinting at winter’s return
I hear
your soft breathing
Head pillowed deeply in
sleep. Now I wake you up to go
to bed.


a sullen winter flooded me with prose

the ocean's lapping wetted all my toes
I'd like to tell you but this no one knows
where winter comes from or where summer goes
with darkened evening still my slumber grows
while hens are roosting still the cock he crows



Black branches broach a winter white sky;
Shadows creep across crusty carpet:
a taut trail stretched tight.


 snowshoes crossing,
crease the shifting shapes into undulations:
      in, across,     up, out,    over;
Ragged ridges ripple the broken blanket below.
black branches broach
the winter white sky
but by
the winter white sky
my eye.
I want to make love to you
I want to swim the English Channel
I want to hang-glide over the Serengeti
These have all been done before
and will be done again
by someone else,
but not by me.
I wish a star would move
across the sky
marking The Way: 
Or a pillar of fire.
But in this yellow wood
two roads converge without meeting
And no word lights our path.
Choosing is unbearable
when there is no wrong. 
 And no rite.
It Is
It is the white lace
at the top of pink cotton socks
slipped neatly into
dainty-small clear plastic
sandals gingerly stepping
between ridges of
muddy slush below
that yellow
slicker and
stretching high on
kindergarten legs
to step
into a red-flashing
I aspire to take root
- deep strong thirsty root
preferably near running water but
rooted cannot choose; 
they must content to be.
In spring, to leaf-out,
make love to the sun all summer
drink rain.
In fall,
I aspire to die.
No morbid thought,
But as how in the midst
of a pleasant day, one might
with pleasant yet unhurried anticipation
of evening:
autumnal moment of the day.
Might contemplate
peeling off day’s clothing
to rest.
to fall.
Cat's Tears
I entreat the teary-eyed cat,
the one who loves me,
to join me on a small ramble down meadow, into the woods
to see the beech trees and listen to the brook.
To my utter surprise,
she follows,
keeping her comfortable distance,
bird-warning bell jingling nearby presence when out of sight.
Following a thin trail though sweet-fern, birch saplings,
past the hollow where my dream of a quest-house lies dormant,
into the clear space of tall trees.
Jingle follows
and I realize that this thin trail is hers, this cat who loves me,
and it is she taking me on this walk.
Leaping into the crotch of a tree five feet up, she looks back,
Her blinks are thrown kisses (this is our secret)
and I blink back.
Her purr is much too quiet to hear, but I feel it in my throat.
A cat’s tears.
One red leaf on a windshield.
The brook’s summer silence gives way to a babble after October rains.
No, not a babble,
a roar.
I sang a song to this brook today.
The brook did not stop to listen; it was busy.
But the trees stayed near and dipped yellow heads in close-harmony.
Today would be a nice day to die.
The snow is brilliant under the sun-blue sky
And the first song after Morning Edition
was not Pachelbel’s Canon, but it sounded like Pachelbel’s Canon.
It would have been a nice day to die.
But this is not Burger King;
we cannot have it our way
so I swept and mopped the floor everywhere
except under the refrigerator—
the mop doesn’t fit under the refrigerator—
and washed dishes
and clothes
and toilets.
thus chores keep time at bay
while the sharp sun shoves shadows across the day
til the horizon rises up to plunge the sun underground
and darkness reaches out
to birth me
or bury me
Wrap me in a bunting
shroud me in a winding cloth:
Tomorrow may be another nice day to die.

Contact me:


E-mail: tina@tinalee.org

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