Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Chasing Chimeras


We operate in misdirection

and paint ourselves in subterfuge

our feelings hid in metaphor

in codes and ciphers, subtle clues

while we chase ‘chimeras’ in the dark

to avoid the risk of being bruised

tiptoeing around the truth

mindful of each word we choose

–it’s better not to know than lose.


© Ginny Brannan 2023

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Half Empty/Half Full


On those days when the glass is showing half empty

when all those around you are pulling you down–

and your troubles weigh heavy, you feel yourself sinking

then the current grabs hold and you’re sure you will drown.

So you wave the white flag, but nobody sees it

and you cry out for help but you can’t make a sound,

you’re spinning your wheels without any traction–

you’re treading in place and just can’t get things done.

The harder you’re working, the less you accomplish

and there’s always an order, another demand—

who gets the first dibs when there’s so much to do

whichever you choose is apt to be wrong;

and you’re doing your damndest to try to keep up

as another requestor wants instant response...

On these days when you’re drained and the glass is half empty

try to remember the wolves kept at bay

the demands that you’ve met, and the dragons you slew

that each thing accomplished is one less to do...

take a breath, take a moment, unwind and refuel:

half empty/half’s all in the view.


© Ginny Brannan 2023

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

The Seven Ages of Woman


I wonder how long it actually takes someone 

      to know exactly who they are....

we start a young child, wind under our wings

our mother’s daughter, father’s pride and joy,

already we are daughter, granddaughter, and niece,

all of these things in someone so small.

Next comes the schoolgirl: learning and growing...

we add student, friend, scholar to our repertoire;

perhaps even athlete and musician as well.

As we mature, so too, our sense of community

as we looks toward the future and what it can hold

and our pathway converges to coed and college girl

the scholar, the tutor, attaining, advancing...

our life lies before us, the world is our oyster

as we shift to career woman, manager, boss.

Then comes a new stage on this path to the future–

deeper than friendship, a profound admiration 

filled with passion and fervor, unlike any other–

this need to exist just to be with another.

And so love evolves with its vows and its promises,

and we open our heart to a child of our own.

Now daughter, provider, friend, wife, and mother,

we watch as our child meets his own milestones...

while time keeps on moving, through gains and through losses, 

through comings and goings, through a young child growing—

until one day we find that we are alone 

for loved ones do pass, and children leave home.

Looking back now we count all the people we've been

the child, the student, the lover, the friend 

and now a new milepost on our plane of existence.

seen as sage and respected for all our experience.

Time, much like justice, tends to be blind

can’t know what’s before us, just what’s left behind

each act sets the stage for the next one to follow—

while the reaper, he waits in the wings for us all;

as for me, I can tell you, he’ll meet some resistance,

for much lies ahead till the last curtain falls.


© Ginny Brannan 2023


This is inspired by Shakespeare’s Seven Ages of Man From ‘As You Like It’

1.  Schoolboy 2. Teenager 3. Young Man 4. Middle Aged 5. Old Aged 6. Dotage & Death

Here I share my thoughts on the 7 ages of woman, with a bit more positive spin, I think. We transition with nary a notice except on reflection....and yet we are so much more than the sum of all of our "acts."

1. Child 2. Schoolgirl 3. Coed/College 4. Career 5. Wife  6. Mother 7. Elder

**For Alice, who grabbed onto a random comment of mine some years ago and suggested this as a possible 'book' title. No book (yet) though, just a poem. Thanks Alice, always, for inspiring and encouraging! 

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Only Speculating


As you look east at the break of dawn,

the daylight cresting out on the ridge,

night no longer holding sway– and you 

pour yourself a cup to shake the dreamless

night away, chuckling as a squirrel chases 

a flock of birds to flight.  Or perhaps a bit later on

in the day, as the sky fills with clouds, and a pall 

sets in, and you escape to a your place of fantasy 

where the words take flight like birds to the trees... 

Do your thoughts ever wander? Do you think of me?


I look to the east to the rising sun­‑coffee in hand,

work to be done. The birdsong begins by 5 a.m.

so much happier than I am at that hour.  And the days

blend the same, filled with small exchanges, and 

I count the minutes until they’re through; and now and 

again, I think of you.  And I look to the west as the 

sun sinks low, brushed in pink and purple watercolors,

and I wonder to myself, “Do you see it, too?”

Each one of us a marker in our own time and space, with the

baggage of our years in between, as we pen our words 

and dream our dreams.  Life, it seems, is in the waiting; in

speculating what could be. There is no risk in our seclusion,

only bleak reality.


© Ginny Brannan 2023


Friday, May 5, 2023

In God's Valley


I remember how the valley opened

up before us; how the mountains rose

so sharp, so steep, the only visual 

to compare were the climbers

ascending the sheer rock face,

up so high they looked like tiny ants

scattered across the escarpment.  

And the could

there be so many waterfalls? 

Each one more stunning, 

more glorious, than the last;

their waters echoing and reverberating 

against the palisades as they raced

to the valley below. And the air,

so clean and fresh, underscored

with heady aromas of earth and pine.

Was there ever anything so pure,

so uncontaminated?

We stood in awe, trying to imagine 

being the first to discover this valley,

this vista, that lay before us,

feeling every bit the small and insignificant

creatures we were among

such majestic surroundings.

Truly, if there were a heaven, it would be

this unblemished vale, pristine and perfect, 

far removed from the grime and 

the bumbling ineptitude of humankind


©Ginny Brannan

Top Image: View of Yosemite Valley. Called the "Tunnel View, a scenic overlook of the valley on 41 south heading toward the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias

Bottom Image: El Capitan, a granite monolith 3,000 feet from base to summit popular with rock climbers.


Both images taken by author, June 1985

The name Yosemite itself is from the Indian word "uzamate," which meant grizzly bear. The tribe that lived in the valley were called Yosemites by Caucasians and other tribes because they lived in a place where grizzly bears were common, and they were reportedly skilled at killing the bears. The "literal" meaning of Yosemite is "Those who kill" from a Miwok Tribe word.

Monday, May 1, 2023

And the "Flying Fickle Finger of Fate" award goes to...

Another April come and gone

once again, I’m running late:

it isn’t like I didn’t try

but time just got away from me,

and it’s so hard to concentrate

when my other duties call;

all the words evaporate

half-started poems sit unresolved.

It’s not like I procrastinate...

so many other things to do­,

and so I share this explanation

now that Poetry Month is through.

I watched as others made the cut—

Dedication?  Or sheer luck?

Still, many may commiserate

like me, not finding full fruition.

I'm looking forward to next year

with guarded hope, and less attrition!

Fingers crossed!

© Ginny Brannan 2023

From the 1960’s show Rowan and Martins “Laugh In”

The “Flying Fickle Finger of Fate Award” was used to “laud” (aka poke fun at) celebrities and government officials for something they did, or didn't do. I am obviously neither, but the title still seems fitting!


Image frame: From Rowan and Martin's "Laugh In"

Sunday, April 30, 2023

"Champin" at the Gate...

My train of thought, at times, exceeds my writing

for words can’t bridge the gap from soul to mind

how often they lose context in their meaning

lost somewhere in their form and their design


Every day we circumvent restrictions

looking for the balance in our voice

every piece we write has our inflection

hidden somewhere in the background noise.


First an idea rises to the surface

then we decide if others will relate,

the words start coming faster, thoughts are racing

but just as quickly they can dissipate...


and there is no retrieving once they’ve vanished

 crippling us before we leave the gate.


© Ginny Brannan 2023