Saturday, June 26, 2021


I paddle through the lines and words,

my tiny ripples notwithstanding

while rocks and rapids pitch and toss

and whirling eddies must be crossed.

How sad it is we can’t agree:

with such strong biases inferred

you stir the anger constantly

sharing things I can’t condone

this course is yours, and yours alone–

and I have no long-term desire

to add fuel to your dumpster fire.

I set my stroke through lines and words.

and I refuse to be drawn in…

I won’t drown in your angry seas.

Can’t you grasp the widening rift

that grows from such conspiracies?

How sad that you don’t see the cost

and all the credibility you’ve lost.


© Ginny Brannan 2012

Thursday, June 24, 2021

...the 'Gift' That Keeps On Giving


Guilt is such a curious thing

we learn it when we’re young...

the first time punished

for breaking a toy,

for dirtying our clothes,

for getting a poor grade.

In high school the stakes are higher—

grounded for staying out too late

for keeping secrets from our parents

for curiosity, temptation—

oh, so careful to walk the line,

lest we soil our reputation.

Guilt targets us like a nagging itch,

questioning our choices:

Are they right? Are they wrong?

A random thought, a turn of phrase ­– 

we're victims of our own behavior;

it haunts our thoughts, honing in

  till we are that child, again.

© Ginny Brannan 2021


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Summer Solstice

Do you remember that day

that seemed to stretch on forever?

The sunlight streaming through the blinds

long before we even thought of opening our eyes…

We spent the day with family

three generations together;

us young ones playing tag and Red Rover

running, romping, chasing each other,

while in the background, adult voices murmured;

an occasional muffled burst as jokes were shared.

Hours passed. Stomachs growled

to the smells of charcoal starting

burgers sizzling, and marshmallows 

toasted to golden perfection.

The afternoon stretched on for eternity...

evening hard-pressed to make an entrance,

the sun not wanting to cede the sky to moon.

It lingered,  suspended over the western hills. 

As daylight faded, we waded through hugs and good-byes,

finally heading home in the waning light

We listened as crickets sang their ode to the night

watching the fireflies appear flashing their secret code.

The sweet smell of roses mingled with fresh-mown grass

punctuated the evening air.

An occasional “How ya doing, tonight?”

was spoken in passing by neighbors on front porches 

seeking reprieve from the heat of the day.

The buzzing of electric fans could be heard 

through open windows along the way

as we trekked the familiar path home.

It all seemed so simple then, didn’t it?

—life through the eyes of a child

     on the first day of summer.


© Ginny Brannan 2021

Image: from author's personal photos.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021


Chasing daylight home, the sun paints

the underside of the clouds 

in shades of lavender, pink and gold. 

And I ponder, as I often do

if you see the same things, too?

There are mountains between us,

chasms that divide us,

bridges that are not yet built,

I don't believe we've spoken.

But sometimes lives run parallel

different people, different names

different junctures, but the same…

we recognize each other’s scars,

the ways that we are broken.

The sun slips slowly past my sight

while twilight falls in shades of gray,

the shadows blend, becoming one,

the night-winged creatures take to flight...

I listen as the winds converge

whispering their reprimands,

reminding me of who we are.

The world does not bend to our will

all we have is speculation

   and fairy tales that we invent,

as we search for revelation

between the words and their intent.

© Ginny Brannan 2021


Saturday, June 12, 2021

Forever is a Long, Long Time


Obols in Half-Measures...


When darkness slips in

    I do not fear the night–

there is comfort found

in the touch of bare feet

against soft cotton sheets.

I watch the pale green glow 

of digital numbers chase shadows

across the ceiling, my ever-present

passive-aggressive antagonist

ticking away the passage of my time.

Fate and fortune, joy and loss, desire, expectation

friendship, companionship, aspiration, belief—

 …we are all just shadows in the night

      our dreams dancing on reality’s  rim

   as we await the darkness to ferry us away.

© Ginny Brannan 2021

Image:Charon and Psyche by John Roddam Spencer

Monday, June 7, 2021

I Seem to Have Lost My Secret Decoder Ring...


We write our thoughts in metaphor

dispense our feelings cryptically

never saying what we mean

but ever meaning what we say.

Our words are chosen carefully

extrapolated to define­,

and quite specific by design.

We create their shape and form,

and mold them in our minds like clay,

while the reader’s left to ponder:

“What then does the author mean?”

Did they write with me in mind?”


I’ve written about joys and loss,

I’ve cleared the air on many things—

the scope of trials and their cost

emotions that have sent me reeling;

hidden secrets, hidden feelings…

And I have pondered much the same

when reading words of someone else…

when, for better or for worse,

like some beleaguered confidante

they stir connection left unspoken     

  then wait to measure my response.

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

We all paint in metaphor

 in hidden codes and cryptograms:

 ever watchful what we say,

  lest we give too much  away

© Ginny Brannan 2021

I read a poem the other day and while I'm not self-absorbed enough to think it had anything to do with me, it got me thinking the about the stuff we'll never really know. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021



I search for a signal

as I try to decipher 

the incoming codes—

communication is sporadic at best

at worst, non-existent.

The voices that I hear are jumbled,

no clear beacon can be found.

We used to shout from room to room

unable to understand what the other was saying

yet only a step away to clarify the sound.

How quiet the house with no voice forthcoming,

how empty the heart now locked in silence

searching for wholeness in this vacuum of grief.


© Ginny Brannan 2021