Saturday, March 29, 2014

Coming Home

They skim across the barren gray-cast sky,
these avians returning to their home—
a hundred count amassed in broken vee,
no risk of snow to hurry them along.

Sporadic now the calls heard overhead—
without the urgent threat of winter storm,
as instinct draws them northward-bound again
to nest once more, to find their breeding ground.

Another sign of warmer days to come
this ritual predating dawn of man…
we watch as silhouettes fade out of sight
content in knowing springtime has begun.

© Ginny Brannan 2014
Read here of their  "Southbound" plight!

Inspired by Meeting the Bar: Rhythm and Blank Verse, shared by Tony Maude. Written too late to share there. Sharing today at dVerse Open Link Night!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Repainted: 2014 Boston Marathon Finish line.

The colors of the day were blue and yellow—
like golden sun adrift in azure sky;
and those along the route could hear the ‘thunder’
as 35,000 tempoed feet clocked by.

The crowd held sway observing all the runners;
an audience a half a million strong—
till day morphed into night-mare unexpected
when shrapnel-filled explosives ripped the throng.

The color of the day turned red and running,
scarlet dripping on a field of gray—
with unsung heroes bounding to the rescue
—yellow shirts and white hat led the way.

It’s been a year since chaos tore the city
with imagery to last a lifetime long—
like phoenix, runners rise up from the ashes
reminding us to all be “Boston Strong”

© Ginny Brannan March 2014

2013 Image. Rescuing injured after bombs exploded.

 3/25/14 News Boston shared that the marathon finish line had just been repainted in preparation for the 118th marathon to be held on April 21st.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Afternoon Repose

Image: Heather Grace Stewart

While others may prefer room’s core—
encircled chairs set  ‘round the fire,
enrapt in conversations' flow;
I pursue my own desire…

I single out the corner seat,
—as outlaws once chose carefully,
to watch the door instinctively—
then choose a book, no dust disturbed
and disappear inside each word.

© Ginny Brannan 2014

Coming in late, story of my life! This is inspired by a post shared by my friend Joe at A Thing for Words. Found that it was prompted by Heather Grace Stewart for Take Ten Thursday, and this image she shared. Loved the image, hope they don't mind me sharing my "take!"

Thursday, March 20, 2014

What Goes Around…

Image: H. Kopp-Delaney

There is no going “gently” into the night
regardless what you think, maybe in spite;
first comes the loss of all you had and who you are—
favorite treasures, then the home, and then your car.

This role-reversal somehow doesn’t seem quite right—
grown children argue with frustration through the night.
Undecided what to do now that you’re ‘old,’
yet all agree you won’t be left out in the cold.

They understand the care you need is specialized:
your memory’s fading; so’s your hearing and your eyes.
On top of that you can’t get out of bed at night;
the list of meds you take is too long to recite.

In-fighting really is the saddest thing to see
to observe when adult-children disagree
through selfish needs they’re losing track of parent’s plight;
they forget their turn will come to "face the night."

© Ginny Brannan 2014

Inspired by two adult-children of a nonagenarian I know. Neither wants to step up and be in charge of parent's mail, so they left a basket in parent's room for whomever decides to go through first.

A little exercise to put aging into perspective:

Write down 10 things that really mean something to you: 
i.e. spouse, children, grandkids, pets, traveling, reading, writing, movies, etc. Whatever you feel is important to you.
Now take away two. Okay, not bad right, two you can live without, right?
Now take away three. Getting harder isn't it? What's left--spouse, children, grandkids family friends?
Now take away three more. Getting even tougher isn't it?
Left with two, pick one more to lose, leaving one. This is really tough when choosing between two that you really love. I had to "choose" between husband and son. How do you do that?!!

This really hit home with me on what happens as we age and lose everything we love, everything that we were. Thought I'd share and leave you with some food for thought too.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Sense of Season

Ice tap-dances on the pane,
crackling like cellophane;
the furnace fires from the cold,
as fickle season loses hold.
Deep inside these shadowed walls,
I patiently await the calls
of robins feeding on the lawn—
the cardinal’s “chip,” the finch’s song;
to feel warm breeze caress my skin,
the heated kiss of sun again.
Restricted yes, but not confined…
I view it all inside my mind.

© Ginny Brannan 2014

Sharing with Brian today at d'Verse Poets Meeting the Bar: The Blind Poet Come by and see what others are sharing!!

FYI: Tried to write this from a "sound and touch point" of view, rather than "sight." These are the sounds at my house this past week, sleet crackling against the the window pane, the furnace rumbling as it fires on more frequently as outdoor temps dip cold again. But also noticing more birdsong of late, a sure promise of Spring and warmer season to come!

Monday, March 10, 2014


Resharing this early poem, 'tis the season! Newly added reading at the bottom.

My heart belongs to Ireland, green isle across the sea--
oh Ireland, dear Ireland, why do you call to me?
Oh lovely land of ancient ruin and mystic Celtic lore,
of leprechauns, and fairies, and swans along the shore;
of northern causeways made of stone where giants once did roam,
of poets and of famous saints who called this island ‘home;'
of thund’ring waves against the cliffs, and wind upon the strand--
even non-believers must surely see God’s hand.
White sheep dot the patchwork fields along the winding road,
rainbows sail ’cross dampened skies and promise hidden gold.
‘Tis here the gift of eloquence is but a kiss away,
and there’s naught quite so lovely as sunset on Galway Bay.
But sure’n it’s the people so warm and filled with grace,
with lilting voice and open heart, that makes one love this place.
Oh Ireland, dear Ireland, green isle across the sea…
you took a piece of my heart, and now are part of me.

This poem comprises everything that I love about this country.
© Ginny Brannan 2010
Photos: Ginny Brannan - Above: lace stone walls near village of Cong, County Mayo, Ireland
Below: O'Brien's Tower, Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland, 2006

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


At work I watch the old
grow older—fragile minds,
needles stuck on
skip and repetition;
yesterday’s names resurfacing
on today’s faces.

Two ‘sisters,’ borne of
location and circumstance,
chug down the hall.
“Toot, toot”  announces one,
echoing once, then once again.
Their two-chair ‘train’
arrives in the front parlor.
First stop: the front window,
to scan for the car she
hasn’t driven in 15 years.
“I forgot where I parked” she says.
After a moment or two, car is forgotten.
“Dottie” she says, “Lets go sit
on the patio for awhile.”
The other–not now nor ever ‘Dottie’
follows her, ignoring the misnomer.

I ask how she’s doing as she passes.
“I’m percolating” she says, as train
leaves my station and wends by
on its merry way once again.

© Ginny Brannan  2014

Google Images: Imagining how these gals would've looked half-century ago!

Some may see these inside tales as sad, as in "Oh, how sad to be in a home, how sad to have impaired memory." Working there, I can tell you they themselves are anything but sad. One is in her mid-'90s, the other in her 80s. They are well-cared for, and despite the younger one struggling with memory impairment, they have developed a close friendship and camaraderie with each other and many of the staff. We smile hearing that "Toot, toot!" knowing that they are 'on the move' again!

Sunday, March 2, 2014


With surgical clarity
caustic words incise,
not in single slash—
a fluid gash to the carotid;
but a thousand tiny nicks
that bleed out 
for your amusement.

Was it I that taught you to
rend with such precision?
At what point did student’s
skill surpass the teacher’s?

© Ginny Brannan 2014
Getty: Bloody Knife