Thursday, April 28, 2011

Re "Mission"

Internet Photo: Soup line
Food, bed, roof overhead
never quite seems like enough.
Cell phone, Wii, large screen TV--
boy, have we got it rough...

Hot meals on our table, most of us able
to have plenty of stock on our shelves.
A steady income, we’ve become numb
until we only think of ourselves.

Just open your eyes, you’ll be surprised
at the people who struggle each day.
Nothing to eat, out on the street--
look at them, don’t turn away.

It’s hard to do, knowing it could be you--
that man in that homeless soup line.
Don't care to admit it, but inside we get it;
it’s easier just to be 'blind.'

So next time you're out, just look about
at least you don’t live in your car
You could have it worse, dig deep in that purse
and count how lucky you are.
©Copyright Ginny Brannan April 2011

On 4/27/2011 I helped to prepare and serve lunch at our local Rescue Mission (photo above). It was an honor to be able help them, and a truly humbling experience.
Borrowed this fitting quote off a friend's page:
"We don't see things how they are. We see things how we are." Anais Nin

Monday, April 25, 2011

Not Quite 'Good' Enough

Sharing the best that I have to offer--
bulleted, bold faced, and typed to impress.
Make sure I'm putting my best foot forward
as I step out again in best business dress.

Once again masked in best business expression
and settling self into best frame of mind,
I stride in to give my best interview yet:
confident, friendly, engaging and kind.

Doing my best to keep positive outlook,
hoping the best as I wait for that call--
only to learn that again I’ve been 'bested,'
passed by once more after giving my all.
©Copyright Ginny Brannan April 2011

Expunging frustrations

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Odd Lots #1: On 'Denial'

Not every thought I have can be expressed or expanded into a poem. Sometimes an idea will pass through my head that I need to write down and want to remember--something that encompasses how I am feeling either about myself and my life, or about something that I've heard, seen, or read that has given me pause to share my feelings on. Each writer or poet I know has these from time to time. They are our little "shorts." I am calling my random quotes "Odd Lots & Brief Thoughts" (or just "Odd Lots" for short) as these will likely be about a little bit of everything.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Cardboard Memories

I stumbled on your photograph today,
a curled up image in a cardboard case,
just an old snapshot that was tucked away.

Beneath a pile of aging notes it lay,
its glossy paper looking out of place--
I stumbled on your photograph today.

Though it was only sticking out partway,
it  was just enough to see your face
in this old snapshot that was tucked away.

The fading image just does not convey
those cherished memories time could not erase…
I stumbled on your photograph today.
The passing years have caused the edge to fray,
so very carefully I did replace
this aging snapshot that was tucked away.

Sometimes it seems like only yesterday,
these retrospections we cannot retrace...
I stumbled on your photograph today,
just an old snapshot that was tucked away.
©Copyright Ginny Brannan April 2011

*I am inspired or "triggered" to write about things from my own life, so you can bet that this came from finding an old photo. Perhaps a little clichéd,  but my memories, my clichés.
Image: Kookaburra

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dragonfly Dreams

I am a mixture of extremes
not just wife or mom it seems--
dig a bit perhaps you’ll see
the many different sides of me.

Mind swims with creative themes,
while hands tap out rhyming schemes.
Writer picks up pad and pen,
daydreamer escapes again.

Fledgling poet kicks and screams-
ideas bursting at the seams.
Have to sit and write a spell,
voices in my head to quell.

Does this help to understand
a bit more of who I am?
I am a mixture of extremes
metamorphosed through my dreams.

©Copyright Ginny Brannan April 2011
Internet Photo

*The dragonfly symbolizes change...change in the perspective of self-realization, the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life... to be able to see beyond the mundane into the vastness that is really our Universe...our own minds. 

Hanging by a Thread

Even slightest glance still can’t conceal
  all the vicious loathing that you feel
  Each cruel, bitter insult that you breath
  burns like acid deep inside of me--
  so hard for me to see past all this pain…
       Only spectre memories remain.

Ambivalence holds me, paralyzed
  frozen by the anger in your eyes
  Too timid to turn around and flee,
  is it you… or maybe it’s just me
  wondering who really is to blame?
       Only spectre memories remain

Awaken each day with a sense of dread        
  venom words, like poison in my head
  Don’t like the reflection that I see
  <ashamed of this person that is me>
  Feeling like I'm 'halfway' to insane…       
        Only spectre memories remain

©Copyright Ginny Brannan April 2011
Sharing this at Write2Day, Writing from a Dark Place, tapping into the darker side of our personality.

Aftermath… (High Octain)

From massive quake, tsunami broke--
a shift in the tectonic plate
that caused the Earth to vacillate.

Like sleeping dragon that awoke,
and in his haste, the coast erased
and wiped-out all the local folk

we watched the sea obliterate;
from massive quake, tsunami broke.

From massive quake, tsunami broke…
survivors cling to news and wait,
as mud and oil coagulate.

And like some cruel and heartless joke--
more are displaced by nuclear waste
mixed with debris and rising smoke.

Again we listen for their fate:
“From massive quake, tsunami broke…”
©Copyright Ginny Brannan April 2011

High Octain is simply a double Octain, but as one poem – the refrains are the same (though varying them to some degree is perfectly acceptable), a- and b- rhymes are the same, and the c/c line with the internal rhyme can optionally be rhymed in the second instance (as here). There is no restriction on the level of repetition, but in most cases the stipulated refrain A is enough; this may even feel too repetitive and need varying somewhat particularly in the High Octain, where it appears four times. *Octain format created by Luke Prater.

Grey Areas

My life is viewed in shades of grey
where fact and fiction now unite--
no clarity of black or white.

Harsh images once tucked away
are now apprised through stranger’s eyes;
their clean, sharp edge begins to fray.

Within this shadowed, aging light,
my life is viewed in shades of grey.
©Copyright Ginny Brannan March 2011

* Octain format created by Luke Prater: Eight lines as two tercets and a couplet, eight syllables per line with the first line repeated (as much as possible) as the last. Meter is iambic or trochaic tetrameter, but fine to just count eight syllables per line for those who prefer that. Rhyme scheme – A-b-b a-c/c-a b-A(A = repeated refrain line. c/c refers to line five having midline (internal) rhyme (eg. apprised/eyes), which is different to the a- and b-rhymes)

Sharing at d’Verse Poetics-Play with Color hosted by Victoria Ceretto-Slotto 


All the clues were there in front of me,
but few of them were making any sense.
The letters were laid out so carefully,
just waiting for my research to commence.

Reading them again left me perplexed,
decided I must somehow be a ‘sleuth.’
The unknown outcome had me feeling vexed,
but knew that I would have to learn the truth.

Quite suddenly the answers did appear
from deep inside the recess of my brain…
solutions I had searched for became clear,
could finish this bewildering campaign.

No, I would never go down in defeat…
another Sunday crossword is complete!

©Copyright Ginny Brannan March 2011
Just for fun! In the style of a Sonnet, sort-of...

Shared at:
Week #44 5/22/2011

The Wayside Inn

For centuries this inn has stood
in Massachusetts neighborhood
with food and warmth for tired guest
along this wayside by the wood

Its sturdy walls can still attest
to revolution and unrest--
as “shot heard ‘round the world” echoed,
and British rule we did protest

So many stories have been told
about this humble old abode,
which saw militia troops amass
and march along its well -worn road

Not far from fields of unmown grass
past window panes of leaded glass
through heavy doors with knobs of brass
this inn still welcomes all who pass
©Copyright Ginny Brannan February 2011

Longfellow's Wayside Inn, Sudbury, Massachussetts
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote his "Tales of a Wayside Inn" inspired by his stays here
Photo: G. Brannan, from personal collection.

Black Hole

"Death of a Star"

Blinded by all those years in the spotlight--
brainwashed by self-promoting rhetoric
hallucinating through chemical haze
you envision yourself a megastar
of never before seen magnitude
perhaps even a god,
calling your whores goddesses

No Astraeus are you!

Spewing your pompous, incoherent dialog,
the media comes running
anxious to see what is next
recording each moment
happy to oblige
as you implode

©Copyright Ginny Brannan March 2011
*Astraeus: the Titan god or deity for stars & planets

Under the Knife

Blade in hand, anticipating…
carefully contemplating --
studies subject, fixating.
Steady hand, dictating
precision cut; translating
Artist or surgeon: one, the same

©Copyright Ginny Brannan January 2011
Inspired by this image of a precision paper cutting.
Cutting and original photo: Charlie Parant(used with permission)


Dark rumors persist
we could be dismissed
While cronies assist
he reads his checklist
with flick of the wrist
no names were missed
We plead and insist
no point to resist...

Goodbye, unkissed

©Copyright Ginny Brannan January 2011
Photo: Fresh Easy Bag website

Melancholy (Acrostic)

Maybe today will be different
Existing in this empty shell
Languishing over every thought
Anguish seeps into each decision
No wonder life just passes by
Can’t stop this vicious cycle
Help me,’ I scream to no one there
Only the sound of the ticking clock
Loneliness takes over again
Yet another day of my non-existence
©Copyright Ginny Brannan January 2011

Acrostic poetry: acrostic is where the first letter of each line spells a word, usually using the same words as in the title.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Eyes Closed (Senryu)

young man only sees
wrinkle and feeble old man
not what he'll become
©Copyright Ginny Brannan March 2011

Artist: Paul Wright, U.K.

Senryu (also called human haiku) is an unrhymed Japanese verse consisting of three unrhymed lines of 5,7,5 or 17 syllables. Senryu is usually written in present tense and only refers to some aspect of human nature or emotions.
Shared One Stop Poetry, One Shot Wednesday Week #47

Crystalline & Mighty Oak (Lanturnes)

A Lanturne is a five-line verse shaped like a Japanese lantern with a syllabic pattern of one, two, three, four, one.

winter sky
frozen crystals

Mighty Oak 

sapling grows
becomes mighty

© Copyright Ginny Brannan February. 2011

Cole’s Song

I wrote this a few years ago to honor my dear, sweet little cousin Cole, my cousin Michael's grandson. His mom, Hanna, is an amazing woman, and has advocated for him every step of the way, including speaking before congress in support of a National Database for Undiagnosed Diseases.  In recent days Cole's previously undiagnosed disease has finally been given a name: Vanishing White Matter Disease. Yes, it is as serious as it sounds.  I thought I would share this poem again. It is a prayer of sorts… and if you are prone to praying, please whisper one for this little guy, and for the family that carries him in their hearts

Cole's Song

God bless this child
His mommy and daddy too
Give them peace and strength
The kind that comes from You
Let them know You care
You’re always by their side
Let them feel Your love
And in their hearts abide
God bless this child

He was born a cold March day
A healthy, normal boy
A twinkle in his eye
His Papa’s pride and joy
Who could’ve know then
What would be his fate?
A multitude of surgeries
What trials would await…

God bless this child
His mommy and daddy too
Give them peace and strength
The kind that comes from You
Let them know You care
You’re always by their side
Let them feel Your love
And in their hearts abide
God bless this child

‘…and a little child shall lead’
So the story goes
Cole, you’ve touched so many hearts
Perhaps God only knows
Or perhaps it’s not that hard
The reason seems quite clear
To teach us all “Have faith”
Perhaps that’s why you’re here

God bless this child
His mommy and daddy too
Give them peace and strength
The kind that comes from You
Let them know You care
You’re always by their side
Let them feel Your love
And in their hearts abide
God bless this child

©  Copyright Ginny Brannan January 6, 2011
Photos of Cole used with permission, Hanna Welch

This is written as a tribute to my little cousin Cole. He suffers from a disease which includes seizure disorder, and diminished hearing and eyesight. He has undergone multiple surgeries in his brief life, but remains one of the happiest little guys I know.
To learn more about Cole go to

First Snow

High above
one solid bright cloud
spans the sky.

soft frozen blanket
covers the earth.

Perfect crystals drift down
from the heavens;
gently brush our faces--
frozen angel tears.

All is white...


baptized by winter's frozen grace.

©Copyright G. Brannan December 2010

Sharing at d'Verse Poets Pub 12/20/11 Open Link Night #23

Daylight Savings Time

Evening comes early now to our woods…
on silent pads it creeps
over hills and rooftops and across fields
until all is twilight.
There’s a chill in the air that wasn’t there yesterday.
Skeleton trees stand as grim silhouettes
having shed colorful serapes after autumn’s final fiesta.
Cold harsh winds whistle across barren fields.
Wood smoke drifts, blows, tickles our nose;
lures us inside to welcome warmth.
Evening turns to night…
fire burns low, embers glow on the hearth.
Under quilted coverlets we seek snug respite
as winter once again draws frosty curtain
over sleeping  world.
© Copyright G. Brannan November 2010

Shared at One Shot Poetry 6/06/11 Form Monday/Free Verse  
Sharing at d'Verse Poets Pub Open Link Night #13