Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Our Heart's Desire

What happened to those days of yore
shopping in the village stores
midnight mass with church bells chiming
then off to bed, our folks reminding
“Say your prayers, sleep tight.
  Santa comes tonight!!”

It doesn’t seem so long ago
through children’s eyes, we watched the glow
of trees with colored lights
and candles in the night.

And filled with bright anticipation
couldn’t wait for school vacation,
Decembers cold and white
and our whole world seemed right
            …in those Christmas days of long ago

Many years have passed since then
and so few from the past remain;
the trials of life have changed our views
such anger in the evening news.
And each one bears a certain weight
the loss, the illness culminate,
 caught up in the pain
 so little left to gain
            …what happened to the joy of long ago?

Ahead the future lies uncertain
it hides behind an opaque curtain—
only we decide
to stay or run and hide…
Oh! That we might feel the wonder
find the Peace, and shun the thunder
and that we might stake our claim
to the love that still remains…

 Perhaps then we will find the door
that leads back to those days of yore            
            to find the joy to light our way once more.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

The title comes from Dorothy Gale, who said  "...If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard." We can't change the world, but we can change how we view the world, we have that power inside of us. May you feel the light and know the wonder of Christmas.

Photo Credit to: BalancingHome.com

Saturday, December 21, 2019

After the Storm

Oh, that I could paint a picture
 of the images I see—
evergreens wrapped in ermine coats,
their branches dusted pristine white
clothed with fresh snow overnight.
The lingering storm clouds dissipate
  revealing firmament, so blue;
the bright sun shines through winter pines
now spread before us for review
and in this grace we are renewed!

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Image taken by Charlie Parant: Kirby, VT. Used with expressed written permission from photographer. Find this and more at Appetite for Photos blogspot or at Appetite for Photos on FB.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Winter Crossing

In the shadows past the headlights,
he crossed the lane with cautious grace.
I stopped the car for, as we know,
where one is seen another goes
—yet only one would pass this night.
I had such perfect line of sight:
he paused midway across the road,
then turned so I could see his face.
He wore a crown upon his head,
I counted four points, perhaps six.
He moved with purpose to his right,
and so I turned to watch him go.
He disappeared into the copse.
The only sign he left behind?
 His darkened hoof-prints in the snow.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

True story, driving home from work early Sunday evening 12/8/19. What a beautiful creature he was, too!!

Image Credit NatureExposure.com Bucks in Winter “Winter Eyes” by Timothy Flannigan

Friday, November 15, 2019

Dangling Participles

We look forward to these gatherings…
the camaraderie , the laughter
all the catching up we’ll do.
There’s warmth and healing here;
we draw strength from each other,
it carries us when we leave,
a gentle reminder of our time, memorialized.

I know we’ll feel the empty space,
the place that you once filled,
just as surely as I know you will be
with us, as you always were.
Your humor, your laugh
– is in each of us now,
and not a one of us would pass
the chance to celebrate this,
our circle of friendship, once more.

© Ginny Brannan  November 2019

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

November Begins

I step into the frosty night
a veiled half-moon my only light
to silhouettes of barren trees
and strong scent of decaying leaves
the silence almost deafening
as crickets sleep and wait for spring.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Sunday in the Valley

There are answers that require a leap of faith
guidelines of behavior about what we shouldn’t do,
but what of the answers that stare us in the face:
the resounding beauty of a landscape
that begs defiance despite the biblical timeline of this Earth?
This planet has brought forth life for eons
before man and our limited scope and understanding.
Science explains the evolution of the tangible:
how mountains grow and shrink again, how plates shift
and continents came to be, the ebb and flow of the tides,
how the light in the night sky is sent from stars
that existed hundreds of thousands of years ago.
It tells us that the world was not created in a day,
nor week, nor month nor decade, nor century.
Science explains in detail how the tiniest of “seeds”
can grow into a flower, a tree, or even a person in a sense,
or how a caterpillar can disappear into a cocoon
and reemerge as a butterfly.
But it cannot explain the complexity of emotions
felt when seeing our newborn child for the first time,
or when watching the unwavering determination
of someone defying the odds to reach beyond  their own endurance 
to heal, to achieve, to learn, to become more than they are.
Nor can it explain the tear that escapes 
when we see a something for which there are no words—
not because we don’t understand its existence,
but because it reminds us of our own insignificance
in the light of such grandeur.

If science explains tangibles then perhaps faith explains the intangibles,
perhaps miracles and science are not exclusive to one another,
perhaps both exist for a reason, and that is to explain the reason of our existence
      …and for me, that is enough.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Image: Monument Valley, Colorado

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Ode (Owed) to Poe

Darkness falls, a banshee calls
the headless horseman rides tonight;
a veiled moon shines through Eastern pines
there’s not a single star in sight,
and in the dark the chill wind brings
the scurrying of furry things—
the whisper of  nocturnal  wings.
The spell is cast, our heart pumps faster
the fears inside begin to fester;
the moonlight casts an eerie pall
while spiders spin their silken webs
to catch the nightmares in our heads
above the sleeping masses crawl;
and I wonder…
  Is all this that we see or seem
      but a dream inside a dream?

A monster lives within us all
a fractured beast that never sleeps
disguised inside discordant minds.
Self-doubts arise, no turning back
like speeding train down one-way track—
if you look close, what will you find?

The cauldron boils, the potion reeks
of newts and toads and buzzard beaks;
   enchantments thrown into the fire…
Zombies rise with sunken eyes—
ghostly wraiths with sallow skin
tattered clothing, gruesome grin
   on the hunt with one desire.

The outer fringes of our sight
have raised the curtain to unveil
the hideous creatures of the night—
preoccupied inside our fear
of losing everything that’s dear
we’re  held immobile by the fright!
Our minds play games, “There’s nothing wrong”
yet  from our throat escapes a scream…
... So is it real, this fear we feel?
     Or but a dream inside a dream

© Ginny Brannan October 2019

I borrowed…okay, blatantly stole…the key phrase from Poe’s poem A Dream Within a Dream I honor and a bow to the “master” of  the macabre!

Saturday, October 19, 2019

What We Didn’t Know…

I think back to those early days—
we never talked about our lives
so many things we couldn’t say
–wrapped inside our own cocoons
   adulthood still so far away.
Perhaps we were too close to see
that others shared our misery.

Time balances our differences:
we thought that we were all alone
just ‘getting by and getting through;’
yet even those with perfect lives
were only trying to do the same.
You were just like me, who knew?

We carry hurts long past their prime,
   each struggling with self-esteem—
   no one really was to blame.
In all the years that came between
from early youth until today;
we’re more alike than different,
the past no longer holding sway.

And all that anger, all the shame,
the grief we tried to circumvent—
amazing that we made it through.
We’re stronger for those trials faced,
   full-circle now, we understand
   that nothing come before was planned.

And now we get to start again—
    so glad to finally call you “friend”

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Image: Google Images "Students in the '70's" 
Not my classmates, but could've been. We looked no different!

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Golden Threads

October is full of contrasts:
one morning dawns bright and warm,
the next, damp and gray
as Nature saves her most resplendent dress
for these ever-fleeting days.
We watch cloud-shadows chase each other
over richly-painted hillsides and slow-moving rivers
as sun inches westward, illuminating the valley floor.
Late afternoon light catches the treetops
and swaddles them inside her amber glow.
Light and shadows, chill and warmth,
these sparkling days too soon succumb 
to winter’s gloom and darkness...
but today, we smile
reveling in the mastery
of a perfect golden sunset.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Reflections in the Looking Glass

We’re not the kids we used to be…
the heat we carried in our youth
has mellowed now to steady warmth
ignited by a deeper truth…

If I were to speak of love,
to define it’s subtleties–
there are no words that would describe
this depth of feeling that I have.
From the moment we first met
I knew exactly who you were.
Together we have overcome
each obstacle dropped in our path.
I think that you are my reward
for all the things that I’ve done right.
I steep inside the memories 
of the laughter that we’ve shared
the friendships formed, the folks we’ve lost
the paths that you and I have crossed.

Life’s a map of many roads
and we have dreams left to fulfill
so in this moment I'll confide—
You bring out the best in me.
I can face ‘most anything
—the ups, the downs, the in-betweens—
  as long as you are here with me
  and I have you by my side..

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Dedicated to my better half. Looking forward to the roads still ahead!

Monday, September 30, 2019

In the Waning

Cooler days and longer nights,
late day showers soak the lawn;
no longer parched from summer sun.
As summer passes her baton,
I wonder “Do the crickets know?”
Do they sense the subtle change
as daylight wanes and time moves on?
Their song’s as loud as first they sang
when winter’s thaw bloomed into spring—
Do they discern the shorter days,
the shift arriving on the breeze
the  autumn chill that’s in the air?
Their tune belies the changes seen
as winter creeps upon our door...
yet, one thing that I know for sure
is in the long and quiet months
we’ll long to hear their song once more

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Photo taken by Charlie Parant. Find this and more at his website Appetite for Photos. Used with expressed written permission.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Temptation of Eve

Good and evil, dark and light
condemned from Eden, taking flight
scorned as wicked for her sin
and all the knowledge held within

Did they blame her out of spite
for good and evil, dark and light?
Temptation spoke with forked tongue
and in that moment, she succumbed.

Punished with indignity,
in pain, she birthed eternity.
Good and evil, dark and light,
her weakness seen as mankind’s blight.

Her reputation thus impugned,
mankind’s bloody, gaping wound—
and to this day, recall her plight
of good and evil, dark and light.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Sharing at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads: The prompt stated a poem in any format, or a 55-word prose.

Image prompt by Cat Schappach, who is a marvel of dark surrealism. She has kindly given permission for us to use her piece entitled Seamstress. 
 Sharing attribution to Cat, at the following link: https://www.instagram.com/catschappach/

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

From the Observation Deck

My husband and I worked for the same supermarket company, at that time both in the same store. I was Customer Service at the Front End of the store. His job of Security Receiver had him at the back entrance to take in the trucks and various vendors that supply the store. The radio was on in Receiving. He was one of the first to hear the news, but it was hard to take in. Surely it couldn't be true. That couldn't happen here. The ripples came through the store. Employees passing through the backroom lingered to hear some word of what was happening. We got home that afternoon, put on the TV to find the images. Surreal. We watched again and again until our hearts were so overwhelmed and so broken we could not watch anymore...

In the days directly after 9/11, our local Red Cross was swamped with calls and donations. My employer generously sent volunteer employees to assist them, paying our wages for our time with them. I was honored to be one of those employees, and spent the next 3 weeks there. The flow of generosity was overwhelming. When the chips are down, we Americans do what we do. We give what we can, then do it again. The stories that came with the donations wrenched our hearts. The head of our local Red Cross would reach out to families who had lost friends or loved ones. One such story was as finding three separate checks from three separate locations given by the same man, with the notation that he had lost his daughter in the towers. No matter who you are, you knew someone...friend, family member, family of your co-workers. No American spared.

In the days that followed 9/11, we rallied. Heartache gave way to anger, but also a newfound pride arose. We are Americans after all. When push comes to shove we won't be intimidated. We raised our flags, we stood tall, we volunteered, we give whatever we could, we gave till it hurt because our "family" was hurting. And for awhile, we became a kinder, gentler nation. We will NEVER forget the ones lost, but we would do well to remember that we are all brothers and sisters, we are all family. No matter who tries to break us, to divide us from outside or within, we are better, stronger, more resilient than they can even imagine, and our better selves will always rise again.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Pathways and Passages

Ten thousand memories in my head
upon this path that intertwines;
our early days a movie reel
of small town streets we left behind,
the neighborhood where we once played
—slip past slowly till they fade.

Others come into our lives
enhancing who we’re meant to be:
the oxygen that feeds our souls
and forms into the air we breath.

I know the earth from which you come
the warmth that nourishes your soul
how together you have grown
how the other makes you whole

So every story has its seed
and every tale must have a start
you are the sapling, he your sun
inside your journey of the heart.

By those we love, our lives defined,
    upon this path that intertwines.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

So many memories! Ever blessed by forever friends.
With love on your 42nd Anniversary!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Rooted on the Wind

I am the sworn protector of all that I hold dear
if push should ever come to shove, I’ll still be standing here
and though you may not recognize this me that I’ve become:
I'll finish what I’ve started; I’ve only just begun.

To those who sit in judgment pretending that you care,
and all the trolls with empty souls, sent out to spread despair;
we adapt accordingly, going to great lengths
to draw upon our character and play upon our strengths.

Remember how the tiny wren sings her song so clear,
the way her notes hang in the air before they disappear?
Or how the slightest little seed can turn green into gold
when it lands on fertile ground, roots firmly taking hold?

I scatter words upon the wind into the stratosphere,
and raise my voice to amplify reminding all that I’m still here.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Who Watches the Watchers

Who watches the watchers who watch from afar?
Who polices the ones who are near?
Who upholds the law while the lawmakers sleep?
Who’s guarding the door that’s ajar?

How can a president dictate the rules
to favor just folks like himself–
ignoring the congress, while senate bows down
and taking the country for fools?

We sit and observe trying to follow what’s right
but the playbook is torn and redacted,
Tell me are we to wait while the circus debates,
while democracy falls in our sight?

Could be that this plan was in place all along
to take down our walls from within;
to weaken our ties with false alibis
while denying there’s anything wrong.

The eunuchs in senate are silent at best
and at worse they are part of his scheming
to break down the law, to flail us till raw,
right now this is more than a test.

We need to address this before it’s too late
not wait as more laws are unwritten,
call a lie for a lie, stop the denial
stop debating as he spews his hatred.

Who watches the watchers who watch from within
aren’t there laws put in place for this reason?
Let’s call out the liar, just stop the denial...
The infraction?  Why, that would be ‘treason.’

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Thursday, August 15, 2019


I’ve forgotten what it’s like
to feel the sun upon my face
to smell the earth after a storm
to hear the crickets singing 
underneath a crescent moon…
I’ve forgotten what it is to eat
a meal in my own home,
to not be always on the run
to not feel so alone.
Be careful what you wish for
or it may come to be…
I never, ever wished for this,
it’s nothing I'd conceive.
Time grows ever shorter
in our road from here to there,
it’s hard to reconstruct our lives
when this world’s in disrepair.
We wallow in some limbo
and have more than paid our dues
this never-ending road we’re on
is tiring, in truth.
Don’t know where we’re going to land
—or if we’ll land alone,
so I hold you in this moment
and pray you'll soon be home.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Friday, August 2, 2019

Grasping at Straws

Hope is elusive thing…
it sprints ahead of us
never quite in our grasp;
we see its glimmer in the distance
and wonder if it truly exists
or if it is just an illusion...
and yet, we are compelled to follow
  because sometimes it's all we've got.

© Ginny Brannan 2019