The Poetic Sparring Dummy


a sparring dummy stands with grace
while boxers come to beat his face
but maybe somewhere deep beneath
that sparring dummy wants some peace

“oh would,” he wishes “someone fine
come tape upon my chest a sign
that begs, for me, a gent’ler touch
for really would that be too much?”

that sparring dummy’d have you know
that though he may look grim and slow
within his chest is not some hole
he truly has a poet’s soul

(except that, with an arm or two
he’d beat those boxers black and blue)


a bit of silly fun. I couldn’t help but snap this picture when I was walking through a sporting goods store and was amused by the sign. Sharing this with dVerse for Open Link Night

The Tale of Twisted Metal


Photo is of the Traffic Bridge (Victoria Street Bridge) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Canada).  Since I took this photo, the bridge has been mostly demolished (see linked article).  It was the oldest traffic bridge in this City of Bridges (built in 1907).  It was condemned due to corrosion in 2010.  A new bridge will be built in its place, and is supposed to have the same general look, but will be wider than the original.   I loved driving across this bridge (my wife hated it), because it was so narrow that there was barely enough room to pass on-coming traffic.


twisted metal, rusting in a scrap yard
will anyone stop to open their ears
to hear the stories you have of a hard
life that lasted over five score of years?

you spanned the river shore to shore with pride
the only place to cross for horse and cart
and thus were three communities now tied
becoming one small city filled with heart

within a year, while you were still brand new
steamboat: City of Medicine Hat sank
where she struck your pillar while passing through
but you saw each come safely to the bank

I wonder as I pass and my feet slow
what stories, twisted metal, do you know?


at dVerse today, we are writing poetry using the word “Bridge”.  I didn’t use the word in my poem, but the poem is about a bridge.  I hope that works  🙂

Memories Fade

Childhood memories are a curious thing.  There are so many events that I recall, but often, only a few sepia-toned images, but rarely a whole movie. For example:

I remember wiping out on my bike when trying to turn too sharp on gravel.  I remember the pain of skinning my knee, and even worse, my mom picking bits of gravel out of the wound.  I don’t remember where the accident occurred.

I remember my first plane ride…a four-seater.  I even remember the fear I felt as we took the first corner (I had no idea that a plane was supposed to tip that dramatically), but I don’t remember the take-off.

Those, and so many other memories of major events that I remember more as singular moments, that I wonder why the rest of the context has faded

Springtime river flows
as clear as liquid crystal –
Autumn: filled with silt

written for dVerse haibun prompt on childhood memories

A Father Reflects

When my children are obedient
I am happy
When they are successful
I am proud
Their joy brings me joy
Their pain brings me pain
When they disobey
I am saddened
When they fail
My heart breaks for them

But in all circumstances
No matter what
I love

How much more
Must or Heavenly Father
Feel these things
Of us, His children

The little things

a broken wire
damaged the strand

a damaged strand
weakened the cable

a weakened cable
compromised the bridge

a bridge collapsed
all from a broken wire


to be fair…one broken wire will not cause a cable suspension bridge to collapse, but if not inspected and maintained, eventually enough individual wires could lead to catastrophe

Pillows – and how they didn’t cushion my fall one little bit – (A Choka)

softness of pillows
may soften the fall of one
who carelessly slips
on a bit of melted snow
at the stair’s bottom
but not if those pillows are
carried in the arms
of the one who is falling
and therefore in front
(and not behind as needed)
and therefore I bashed
my elbow but good just one
day before Christmas
and lay in stunned silence while
pillows flew through the air


Gayle has asked us to write a Choka for dVerse (go to dVerse for a description of the form).  Typically, I think, the choka was used for more serious story telling, but I couldn’t resist a bit of lightness (even if it is a true story, and even if my elbow still hurts!)



the new year is a nest
full of eggs
full of potential not yet realized

and as the year progresses
we try to warm those eggs
in the hopes that they will hatch
from potential to reality

some of those eggs are rotten
and break
and stink
and make a mess

some of those eggs
are stolen by the crows
of self doubt
or criticism from others

some of those eggs
fall from the nest
from neglect
or lack of ability

but some of those eggs
don’t merely hatch
but grow feathers
and strong wings

and take flight


written for dVerse, where we were given the opportunity to pick from a series of “New Beginning” pictures from various artists. When I saw in the bio (below), that the artist who created the painting (above) was from small town Saskatchewan, I had to pick that picture, as I, too, was raised in a small Saskatchewan town

About the art:
Jinnie Nieviadomy – “New Beginnings”

“Jinny Nieviadomy is trained as an arts educator and self-taught as an artist. After moving from small town southern Saskatchewan and teaching junior high art she now follows a dream lead by the artist and entrepreneur within.” ~Bio- Jinny Nieviadomy~