Saturday, December 27, 2014

Mile Markers

Gray chalk hills fade one behind another
until they dissolve into oyster sky.
Ice crystals dance on gelid air,
glisten highway’s edge, and settle
in the crooks of sleeping maples.
Evergreens bend under weight
 of their thick winter shawls.
In spite of its bleakness, we are taken by
the stark frost-coated beauty of it all.


my core senses those timeworn mountains
long before my eyes discern them.
Yet, it is not these ancient mounds
that draw me back, but the folks therein
I long to see—those I love who wait for me.

With each mile passed, the years begin to dissipate
like those hills now veiled in mist and gloam;
my pulse beats faster as this heart anticpates
that final stretch of road that leads me home.

©  Ginny Brannan 2014

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Walk on a Winter's Night

Remembering a Christmas long ago…
we walked the village streets on winter’s night,
waiting for the rain to turn to snow

The church bells chiming carols, soft and low
reminding of the One who brought His light
on another Christmas, long ago.

The darkened stores awash in indigo
imparting their displays in twinkling white…
waiting for the rain to turn to snow.

The dampened road reflecting streetlights’ glow
shining as if it bathed in candlelight—
in mem'ries of that Christmas long ago.

We rallied from the cold like Eskimos,
butt'ning up our coats against the bite—
waiting for the rain to turn to snow.

Some memories we never quite outgrow
just store away to view when time is right…
remembering that Christmas long ago
and our delight when rain turned into snow.

© Ginny Brannan 

Image taken by Michelle Torres Lowe, borrowed from BFDDA (Bellows Falls Downtown Development Alliance)

Sharing at d'Verse Poets Open Link Night December 2014 

Sunday, November 23, 2014


On entering, we are assailed by the smells:
sausage and sage, butter, brown sugar,
cinnamon …
commingling, tempting;
then the warmth
oven on long before dawn,
steam rising from various sized pots…
not to mention body heat—
for everyone gathers here in this room.
Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole
echo from the wooden console radio
in the next room,
two sisters croon out their favorites;
a third—younger—swoons, exclaiming once again
how she “loves that skinny Italian boy from Jersey.”
A cacophony of voices and laughter
rise and fall.
The house becomes a budding entity
breathing,  beating with the life
of those gathered here…

We carry these images from our past...
family, friends, gatherings
spinning together as one.
Defining; reminding where we come from,
who we are
...and we pass it forward
to our children,
this gift of unconditional love
in a place we call ‘home.’

©  Ginny Brannan 2014

Family photo, 1956. 

Shared: dVerse Poets Meeting the Bar: Thanksgiving Turkey with a side of Poetry
Also honored to have it shared here by Women's Spiritual Poetry

The image is my family: towards the back Aunt Jane on the left; then my mom, with her back to us, stylin' as always; then Aunt Mary and Aunt Rose, to the far right peaking in with glasses I believe is my Aunt "Butch"(Bernadette); in the foreground leaning over I believe is my Italian grandfather, that baby on the lap, that would be me, not sure in whose lap but it could be Aunt Ginny or one of my dad's sisters. I remember so many Christmases of my childhood, tradition to stop at Aunt Mary's house after church (she lived across the street from the church!). Her stereo would be on playing all the holiday favorites. The reference to "that boy in NJ" is for my Aunt Gin, who adored Frank Sinatra! My mom passed when I was seven, this photo a freeze-framed memory of a very special time.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Good Man Goes to War

How soft the scarlet petals fall
upon the pale and ashen ground
a shock of red against steel gray
a bit of green naivete’
…we watch the tin men falling down.

Crimson stains on barren earth,
shattered limbs and splintered bone…
only trunks where once life stood;
screams inscribed in human blood,
forgotten names now etched in stone.

On fallow ground the seeds are sown,
on vermins’ back  discourse is spread,
in ignorance disease is grown…
At what price for a name renown
or victory tallied by the dead?

Underneath a pewter sky
still echoing  from engine’s drone,
deep sanguine petals gather ‘round
the young man lying on the ground…
he closes eyes and journeys home.

©  Ginny Brannan 2014

Image courtesy Tess Kincaid/Magpie Tales

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fence Posts

Image C. Parant, Appetite for Photos, shared with expressed written consent.

On pale November morn,
we listen to the cadence of our footfalls
as they rustle dry leaves
along this old familiar pathway.
We speak in cryptograms,
as we tick the weathered
fence posts of our years.
We pause a moment to linger
in this judgment-free zone,
as we walk familiar path
on this pale November morn.

© Ginny Brannan 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

…Or Was It?

Into the twilight I went walking
vestige of daylight taking flight,
threshold of evening fast now falling
revealing a veiled and moonless night.
Dry leaves give chase along the footpath
tree limbs stretch bare for all to see...
boney, their arms move in the darkness
—boney wood fingers reach for me—
“Faster” I will my legs, “keep moving.”
“It’s only the wind that creaks the tree.’
Overly active imagination
says: ” No…something darker waits for thee.”
I sprint up the hill past stone wall sentries
as rational thoughts give way to fear—
even the streetlamps flicker slightly
familiar surroundings become austere.
Ever so softly, I hear strange voices…
inaudible words chant spells unknown;
shadowy creatures dance in the half-light
lying half-hidden in the gloam.
“Reveal yourselves!” scream becomes a whisper
—heart palpitating anxiously—
Over my shoulder a chill breath answers
can sense stranger’s eyes intent on me.
Clearing the mountain,  full moon rises
annulling the fears that spirits roam
‘Twas only aberrant imagination
to wrangle my thoughts as I turn home.

© Ginny Brannan 2014
*Image from author's hometown.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Changing Partners

Come October wind and rain,
the chill that to November calls—
bright harvest moon long come and gone;
crisp brittle leaves converge on lawn.

We pull our wooly sweaters down,
the heavy socks, the warm knit shawl…
find brief respite in waning sun—
while season’s final song is sung.

© Ginny Brannan 2014

Written for Magpie Tales #243, Image provided by Tess Kincaid.
Come visit see what others are sharing!
Shared also at dVerse Poets October Open Link Night—Homecoming. Check it out!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dark Gray October Day (10/15/1963)

Image taken: Tess Kincaid, Dublin, Ohio cemetery

The autumn leaves were swirling ‘round
the young girl barely uttered sound
that doleful day she said goodbye.
The autumn leaves came tumbling down
as polished oak slipped through the ground
and sun resigned to charcoal sky.
The autumn leaves are turning brown
  as I recall our last goodbye

©  Ginny Brannan 2014

Written for Magpie Tales #242, Image provided by Tess Kincaid.
She provides the image, we the story!

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Wikipedia: The Pleiades, 1885 by Elihu Vedder

Sailing on a moonbeam,
sojourners of the night;
seven silent sisters
surrendering their light—
slipping through the cosmos
suspended in the stream…
sustaining winter’s dream.

© Ginny Brannan 2014

The Pleiades is a cluster of seven stars, also known as the “Seven Sisters,” primarily viewed in the winter months in the Northern Hemisphere. Trying a new poetry form called “Pleiades” invented in 1999 by Craig Tigerman. It consists of seven lines, each line starting with the same letter as the title. The title is always a single word.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Balancing the Quill's Edge...

Life calls us to participate
to be involved,  appreciate
at times diverting from our dreams
     —that other world where we exist 
     among the words; between the lines—
ever poised upon quill's edge
stretched and bent, not letting go
till something snaps or something gives.

The time arrives for us to choose
between two lovers courted long:
impassioned mistress that we love
or family and common bond
    — only we can weigh the cost
      of which we can afford to loose.

Our choice it seems was always clear
     —  ambivalent as we may be
       to have to choose between the two…
we must defer to loved ones near,
relinquishing the stranger's pull,
just for a time we sever ties
to re-embrace our blood and bond.

dreams cannot be pacified
nor circumscribed, nor stilled for long
We type a word, pick up the pen
slip in a moment now and then…
    —for to ignore our muse’s call
      would mean we do not "live" at all

©    Ginny Brannan 2014

For a friend I observed being 'torn between two loves,'  family and writing; and for all of us who've felt this tug of war.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Letter to Susan...

Dearest Susan,

We shared an understanding
that forewent explanation—
a camaraderie; knowledge
gleaned through time and friendship
and being family.
One look, a word or two
would send us into fits of laughter,
all those wonderful private jokes  
we shared —
the ones only family
could understand.

I miss your smile, your voice
the warmth and comfort
of your presence...
yet I know you are still near,
I can feel you, hear you.
Remember Columbus Day
spent at The Cape
all those years ago?
Our boys were so small then.
Last week at The Cape
you were there
reminiscing along side us
as we drove by the places
of our shared memories.

And each time Ray laughs
that wonderfully unique
loud rolling belly laugh of his—
I can hear you too,
laughing right along with him.
(I know how you much you loved that laugh!)

No Susan, you are not gone,
for you are right here
inside me
next to my heart
where all whom I love reside.

At dVerse Poetics today we are writing letters. This was written last October for my dearest sister-in-law on the first anniversary of her passing.

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Little Night Nonsense

Long day brakes to find the night…
manic roamers make their rounds,
Hands keep moving, best step lively;
melting minutes can’t be found.

Skip the curb to dart asunder,
missed a kiss by just one slip—
petals light on concrete steps;
tempered-crystal dreams encrypt.

Fluffy felines filled…felled…snoring,
find the soft and lose the shoe;
hear the feathers, pale moon calling;
pirouette, and bid adieu.

©  Ginny Brannan 2014

d'Verse Poets Meeting the Bar: Verbal Cubism and Tender Buttons invites us to release that flow of word without restraint to grammar or meaning, similar to what a cubist painter would do, break it apart and present it again. A late attempt, but thought it might be fun to try! (Oh, and rhyming is not a criteria, but I somehow slipped into it anyways. Long day, this is where I bid adieu!)

Monday, October 6, 2014

On the Southbound Skyway...

Over hills and rooftops
on moonless nights we soar;
as ancient siren calls us
to travel south once more.

“Keep moving” her song echoes
“for winter rides your tail.”
“Head down that southbound skyway
before north winds prevail.”

Abandoning the northern ponds,
the grassy lakeside shore—
the feeding grounds we’ve come to know
 for coastal corridor.

We’re called to heed the shifting change
on rising currents, sail
underneath the star-filled nights,
through morning’s pensive veil.

You hear our clamor overhead—
our cries hard to ignore,
we fly the southbound skyway
in seasonal encore.

© Ginny Brannan 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Our days of future passed…

Into the morning I have come
groggy...foggy…eyes at half-mast.
Another day calls.
I answer tentatively,
unsure what’s in store—

No matter…
for it's not the journey
but who's beside you.
Over uncertain pathways
through variables unseen
we’ve travelled...
steadfast, synchronic;
two complementary souls—
we move ever forward
through these—our days
      of future passed.

©  Ginny Brannan 2014

For my dear husband of 33 years. To the more than 12,000 days that have passed since our first meeting. To our yesterdays, todays and tomorrows and all our days of future now and passing... Happy Anniversary.

*‘Days of future passed’ was borrowed from an album of same title by the Moody Blues. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Autumn Days

At first the slightest hint of red
understates the deeper green
the hint of changes yet to come…
unfettered now to run its course—
meandering through last warm days,
numbed by chill of early eves.

Delirious we drink this change
as if by absinthe, undermined...
Yielding to elliptic spin,
so comes autumn once again.

© Ginny Brannan 2014

Image taken by author taken at Old Sturbridge Village, MA

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Loosing the Floodgates

Both blinded by the rage within—
my words, a knife to penetrate
to slash; to watch exsanguinate.

You tore away the underpin
your words cajole —I lose control;
no holding back…no discipline.

You volley to eviscerate—
both blinded by the rage within.

© Ginny Brannan 2014

Written for Magpie Tales #238. Image provided by Tess Kincaid
She provides the image, we the story!

Sharing at d'Verse Poets Meeting the Bar: Octain Refrain 3/25/16

Saturday, September 13, 2014

What Demons Haunt…

What darkened demons haunt her soul…
like one possessed she walks the halls—
on secret mission just she knows.
What is it that assumes control,
that she, herself, cannot express?
Her shadows race along the wall—
this tiny woman, now obsessesed
with need to move and not be still.
Time detracts, we can’t forestall           
when age gives to dementia’s will.

Just for brief moment, stops her quest
yet sensing mission incomplete,
once again the demon calls…
No cure for this unwelcomed guest,
and no reprieve once he befalls.
With no remission, no defeat,
the cruel affliction runs its course.
The victim is herself, unfeigned;
yet for observers, bittersweet—
with aching sadness, bear the pain.

still more apparent with each day—
    what birth endows, age takes away.

© Ginny Brannan 2014

In Frontotemporal dementia, people will often show signs of obsessive-compulsive behavior such as hand washing or walking back and forth from one area to another. They have the need to carry out repeated actions that are inappropriate or not relevant to the situation at hand. Breaking this cycle is difficult and the caregiver must decide if this behavior is simply annoying or unsafe for the person and decide if they need to intervene.
~ from

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Never forget...

Where were you on that day of darkness?
Heading to work or homeward bound?
When did you learn that the sky was falling?
Where were you when the planes came down?

Some days should never be forgotten
as we look back every year to view,
to honor the memory of the fallen,
to try to define with eyes anew…

Lest that the horrors should be discounted
and we turn complacent in our routine
To remind us be mindful and ever vigilant;
against all the evils that go unseen.

Where were you on that day of darkness?
Heading to work or homeward bound?
When did you learn that the sky was falling?
Where were you when the planes came down?

© Ginny Brannan 2014 

"There will always be those who mean to do us harm.
To stop them, we risk awakening the same evil within ourselves.”
Eulogy from Star Trek 'Into Darkness'

Monday, September 8, 2014


Shining beacon in the night
incandescent, phosphorescent
hollow glowing orb of light…
In my quest for something new
I flew to you, drew to you,
in blissful blindness I pursued…
—till ever late, I see the lie:
your brilliant luster misconstrued

© Ginny Brannan 2014

Written for Magpie Tales #236, image provided by Tess Kincaid.
She provides the image, we the story. Come by and see what others are sharing!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Fisherman

N.C. Wyeth, Dark Harbor Fisherman

I navigate through rocky shoals
out to the canyons dark and deep,
where dolphins swim and monsters sleep.

The fickle sea exacts her tolls—
through stormy squall, the Sirens’ call…
on wind the cries of captured souls.

Yet there is little time to weep
while navigating rocky shoals.

               * * * * * 
Along the downeast coast I trawl;
every inlet and each isle
in memory, now reconciled.

The craft fills up with netted haul—
no fast return; it must be earned
before this boat may make landfall

…yet on this day the gods have smiled;
    while on this downeast coast I trawl.

©  Ginny Brannan 2014

Written for Magpie Tales #235, Image provided by Tess Kincaid.
She provides the image, we the story. Come see what others are writing!
(This is sort of a two-fer. Being a New England girl, we are familiar with both coastal and deep sea fishing, this captures a bit of both)