Monday, December 21, 2020

Solstice at Newgrange


Through the miracle of technology

I watch the shaft of light enter the tomb

some three-thousand miles from my home.

How did the ancients build this wonder?

It gives me pause on this darkest day of the year—

  this reminder to celebrate the sunrise

  to find the bright spot in the darkness.

It speaks to my latent sensibilities

for even as the light fades from the tomb

our days grow longer.

Sunlight and shadows, light and dark;

around us…within us… inherent to us all. 

Old to new, passing down through the ages—

that we can still find hope for the living

   in this tomb for the dead.

© Ginny Brannan 2020

Saturday, December 12, 2020

In the Wind


A wild wind blows on the hill

to fell the leaves still clinging on

it chases them across the road

and leaves them scattered on the lawn

We are like the fallen leaf

chastened by a feral wind:

spun by gales in tempests tossed

no symmetry, undisciplined.

A voice emerges from the past

it echoes through the barren tree

calling out through rasping gale

to such unworthy progeny.

Yet heartened by this song I hear,

held captive in this solitude;

in its chords my fears are quelled

all stress and pain have been subdued.

I mourn the days of youth, misspent

but in the years that have ensued

there’s not a thing that I’d repent

the cherished friends that I’ve accrued


…a wild wind blows upon the hill

    and in its voice I hear you still.

© Ginny Brannan

Image by Charlie Parant at Appetite for Photos. Used with expressed written permission. Thanks, Charlie.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

With Naught to Fear but Fear Itself...

It’s said that on All Hallows Eve, the Spirits are allowed to enter and roam the realm of man… 

There’s a chill that abides in damp Autumn days

a feeling of sadness that cannot be shaken

a sense of misgiving, a deep trepidation

as grayness adheres, the mountains encased

in a heavy gray shroud, barren trees now erased.

Midday gives way to a sinister pall

casting the world in an evening like somber

Increased sense of dread tells us “linger no longer!”

composure implodes to deter and forestall 

stirring fear uncontained that we’d best not allow… 


There’s something that rides on an October wind

a mist of contention that soaks to the ground,

in a fog of misgiving that coats and impounds.

Even those who possess a strong rational

feel a panic that rattles the sanest and sound

The lost spirits wander, just hidden from sight

concealed under cover of drizzle and gloam,

doomed between worlds, unseen and unknown.

—shadowy creatures that roam undeterred,

searching for pathways to find their way home


Feel the goose bumps that rise to make hair stand on end

hear the wailing that drifts on an inclement wind

light the fires to chase all shadows within

to bury the fears which we can’t circumvent

and the deep-seated nightmares that never relent.


The end of October just hours away­–

  All Hallows eve ascends even now

the late autumn juncture seems darker somehow…

even now the gates open, the spirits hold sway

     but will they be gone by the light of new day?

© Ginny Brannan Halloween 2020

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Leveling the Beast


Darkness rolls in early

a chill hangs in the air

there’s howling in the distance,

is it a wolf that tarries there?

Up inside the tower

the doctor’s working hard

a creature waits to come from life

built from parts discarded

And in the swamp, the water churns,

what lies beneath the reeds?

It crawls to the embankment

in darkness now he creeps.

‘Neath the headstones comes a scraping,

in the dirt a hand is seen

as undead hear the calling

and rally to convene.

Overhead there comes a cackle

of witches on the fly;

the bats are in the belfry,

and vampires are nigh.

The spirits have all arisen

the creatures of the night,

wandering among us

hidden in plain sight.

From sky and swamp and graveyard

the horrors come call,

but the orange man with tiny hands

is  the scariest of all!

No one knows from whence he came

with beady eyes and scowl

to strike discourse with no remorse 

and makes their dead skin crawl.

Yes, even gruesome monsters 

who slither from the earth

watch their step around him

while keeping a wide berth.

They say that only humans 

—us ordinary folk—

can rid the earth of such a beast

with a simple ‘vote’.’

It’s up to every one us

so put away your fear

spread the word, November 3rd

to upend 4 more years!

© G. Brannan 2020

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Hook, Line and Sinker

You’ve swallowed the bait and surrendered your pride

caught in the netting of copious lies,

entangled in alternate facts you’ve been reading

so numb to the truth and the anger you're breeding.


What happens when ideals are thrown to the side,

when you swallow the bait and surrender your pride–

fueling intolerance, such deep-seated hatred

with morally bankrupt beliefs you’ve inflated?


You flounder to swim with the sharks in the school,

Yes, it’s said ‘even God attends children and fools’

while you swallow the bait and surrender your pride

for an alternate world where deception resides.


Comes now a time I would never conceive

as I witness the bias of what you believe,

and how in your heart now such darkness presides

since you swallowed the bait and surrendered your pride.


© Ginny Brannan 2020

Written in the rhyme scheme of a Quatern, but not a true Quatern as that would be 8-syllables per line only.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Requiem for an Apple Tree


The lawn is littered with inedible fruit

dropped from a tree too tired to bear.

Insects wreak havoc on worn, cankered bark

the wasps feed on discards, taking their share.

Once magnificent, she bore a full yield

bushels upon bushels, apportioned to all…

I still can recall the sweet smell of perfume–

of pastel pink blossoms, blooming in spring,

and the tiny wrens nesting in the house on her branches

with their resonant melody… how they did sing!


Next year we know she will have to come down

we will mourn the loss of this kindly old friend

who provided such succor for many a year

seems all living things truly come to an end.


© Ginny Brannan 2020

Image by author from 2014


Saturday, October 3, 2020

I Wouldn't Trade a N.Y. Minute


While some might say that they’d “go back”

to where they might begin again,

 that would surely not be me­

 — I wouldn’t trade a moment spent.

When decades pass you realize

 it’s not about what’s gained or gone,

but who you're with that matters most

upon this road we’re travelling on.

When I look into your eyes,

I see the man who lives inside

No matter what the odds have thrown

together we have faced them down,

we know exactly where we’ve been

 and how together we have grown.


We can’t foresee what lies ahead

nor cannot linger on what’s passed…

no longer hampered by our youth,

our promise takes on different truth.

And I’m reminded once again

  —amid October’s rusts and golds,

of that day once, long ago,

and as our story still unfolds

I still can say with certainty

  that you and I were meant to be.


© Ginny Brannan 2020

For Ray on our anniversary 10/3/2020

Sunday, September 20, 2020

No Apologies

Family, friends, acquaintances
we give away shards of who we are

pieces of the whole. 

You left a hole, an empty space 

something I can’t quite put a finger on.

   We never hung out

      never met in person.

But I know you had depth. Layers.

That like so many of us you’d been broken.

That because of that brokenness 

you loved and lived with passion.

You never minced words.

You had an appreciation for the “real”

       in all of us.


So glad our paths crossed

and, no matter how briefly,

  that I called you friend.


© G.Brannan 2020

"...he gave what he had...a premature epitaph

not recorded in granite, or soil
but in the hands of a stranger
that needed a hug

aren't we all strangers"

-- Rob Dyer

Excerpt from "Strangers." R.I..P. Rob

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Division Lines

There will come a time when my patience
will be tried enough; when I will no longer abide 
the thoughts that you share…right nowI still care.
Each word you dispense reveals something new
where lies shift the truth that you choose to believe.
We still can’t conceive when you turned so outspoken;
and your “like-minded folks,” now a minimal few,
while your friends beg the question “What happened to you?”
Who knew such discourse ran through your veins?
How deep-set the anger and the disdain.
How closed is the mind that is blind to the hatred
deluding yourself in your world, antiquated.
That you share what you do, just another sad token
and a testament to just how badly we’re broken.

© Ginny Brannan 2020

Tuesday, July 28, 2020


I haven’t written much of late
as I wait for the weather to change
and this heatwave to break.
The sweltering days have sapped my strength
and taken my words.
I haven’t written much of late
the weeks stretch long, 
the time I have is not my own–
as all is cancelled or postponed.

But if you’ve wondered where I am,
I’m here, putting out my all:
  I am my mother, grace under fire,
  I am my father, hard-worker, provider—
  I am the wall between storm and the sun
  the shield, the front line; I am the one.
  When this moment threatens to steal my soul
  to suck me dry from deep within,
  I plant myself firm ‘tween the rocks and the wind
  as the rebel inside of me rises again.

© Ginny Brannan 2020

Friday, July 3, 2020

The River of Denial

They called it a win 
when the plague slowed 
and fatalities dropped.
And though there was no cure,
they said we’ll “reopen.”
Now they say it is unlikely
we can beat this back.
How can we, when everything
is an affront to our “personal freedom”
and not even those in charge
can pull it together to set an example?
Yes, we’re Number One again…
—Number One in one-day total increase
—Number One in the overall cases 
—Number One in total mortality
another proud moment in American history.
Safety takes a backseat, and we learn
what we’ve known all along:
 American lives are expendable. 
Keep denyin’ y’all…
keep blaming those Chinese.
It may have started there,
but it’s dug in and hunkered down here,
and it ain't over till it’s over.
There’s enough “blame” to go around...
The president golfs.
Americans die.
Just another day in the U.S.A.

© Ginny Brannan 2020

Based on observations and comments read. Ultimately we are responsible for ourselves. Stay safe out there!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Pull of the Moon

Half moon hangs heavy in late June sky
while evening birds and tree frogs 
serenade the sultry night.
Memories tumble forth 
of walks along main street
and the village backroads,
a stop to rest on the playground swing.
Was that eons ago, or just yesterday?
I still remember those summer eves
when the stars stretched before us
and time ceased to exist.

© Ginny  Brannan

Image: Mitchell Spector 2012 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Stepping Stones

All those many years ago
when days were long and time moved slow
and moments seemed to stretch forever,
families gathered frequently 
for holidays and barbecues
the seasons passed so languidly
seems such an eternity ago

Then school inhabited our days 
friendships forged, some left behind…
Our want of change came from within
ever searching for some sign.
The time ticks forward on the clock.
we learn how harsh that fate can be,
but forge ahead,  as forge we must
and while we’re learning who we are
we’re also learning whom to trust.
Another step, another loss 
but there are gains along the way…
the confidence I’d never had
a gift from one who understands;
so the fool has found her voice
as hourglass metes out its sand.

We watch the seasons as they pass
the joys and sorrows fall like rain
with age comes the capacity
to separate the lies from fact
to learn from all our loss and pain,
while dealing with reality.
And through it all our children grow
the second hand moves faster now—
as sworn protectors of their fate
we’ve little time to contemplate.
The days all seem to merge as one,
we hope somehow we’ve done our jobs
to send them out into the world
but yet our work seems barely done.

And as we let these young folk go
this brand new generation born
—maturing ever fast it seems,
we pray they’ll come to recognize
as we were once so they are now:
filled with hope and bent on change
they wait to realize their dreams.
We hang our faith upon these young
may they do better than we’ve done
and may they keep their souls intact
upon the road they’ve just begun.

© Ginny Brannan 2020

Friday, June 26, 2020

No Going Back

Every day holds the potential
to do better than the last
—what’s passed is past.
We do not control all events,
only how we react to them.
Open minds know that greater knowledge
brings better understanding.
Once we understand the effect of painful imagery on others
are we so selfish that we are unwilling correct it?
If we live our lives in a shell and come to believe that 
our world IS the shell, then learn that there 
is a broad expanse of world beyond that shell
how do we pretend that it just doesn’t exist?

Just like we know that the earth is not flat,
  …it’s as simple as that.

Keep an open heart and mind.
Be kind.

© Ginny Brannan 2020

If we are not growing, we are dying. And if we lose our empathy to put ourselves in another's place, then we are nothing. There is no putting the toothpaste back into the tube. To do so would only confirm our ignorance.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Survival Instincts

The wind blows fierce upon this hill
the mighty trees bend to its will
reminding us how, once again,
nature wields the stronger hand
sowing seeds of ripe discord
to undermine our very core.
Yet like the trees, we take our cue
when life apportions all we do;
and as another storm rolls in,
we rally to adapt and bend
and stave our roots against the wind.

© Ginny Brannan 2020

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Grasping at Straws

I find hope in the way the late day sun 
reflects on the rushing stream
a hundred thousand diamonds 
glistening, there for the taking.
I find hope in the robin, tiny twigs in its beak
busily building a nest for the coming brood.
I find hope in the brazen jay
stealing food set out for our feral cats,
lucky that he isn’t their dinner!
I find hope in the wren’s song
singing his cheerful ode to the day 
from the flowering dogwood tree.
I find hope in the stalwart dandelions
determined to take over the lawn
despite my best efforts to keep them at bay.
I find hope in the colors and the light,
in random acts of  kindness 
those reaching out to help others,
people helping people.

Despite our trials, the dark days
past, current, and yet to come,
we are still here, we survive.
All things are possible with you by my side–
In you, I find my hope,

© Ginny Brannan

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Best Foot Forward

For some it appears to be effortless
like breathing or blinking your eyes—
the words just form and fall into place…
–yet others, like me, still search nonetheless
to extricate perfect expression.

Devices and adages paint a disguise
where only the baptized might see,
the truth that is masked inside of our lies,
and whether each story is real or contrived,
in pursuit of our own evolution.

Did we rely, perhaps too heavily,
on abstract ideas or deflection?
Could you decipher the writer’s approach?
Did language and narrative flow fluently,
or did storyline lose its intention?

It really depends on the reader’s perception
just how they interpret the words,
and if they can feel what you’ve tried to reveal
and if so, give some vindication,
in this ultimate quest for redemption.

A writer shares stories with hope they’ll be heard,
that others will find a connection…
in each poem that’s shared,  there’s a piece of our truth,
and a glimpse of the pathways that we have incurred
in each word, a new revelation
on this journey to find our salvation.

© Ginny Brannan 2020

NaPoWriMo #28 I was shooting for 30, but this is a long one so maybe it counts for more! That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

A Proper Scolding

I listened as the robin
scolded me with his squawking: 
“Hey look, I’m over here, 
don’t go over there!”
I’m sure he and his mate 
are raising their brood
in the large rhododendron 
under my bedroom window.
Don’t you worry, little bird
I will keep my social distance.
And thank you for reminding me
that despite all the death 
we hear of each day,
life has returned to our yard
   …life goes on.

© Ginny Brannan 2020