House of Horrors

If life is an amusement park,
then I, the wary visitor, purse
clutched to body, peer about
anxiously, rattled by crowds;

an overprotective parent,
herding my delighted flock,
reigning in wandering feet,
responsibility a stern cloud.

Childlike minds thrive under
blinding lights, the violence
of sounds, smells of cotton
candy sweetness: promises

of thrills, will lead me into
House of Horrors, where I,
lungs burning, heart dying
will plead for escape, run,

abandoning my charges
unable to separate fiction
from lived terror, reveal
my weakness, collapse

while the children, bent
on adventure will thrive
unphased by implications
of real life carnival rides.


Carnival Living

Temporarily positioned
in a 24-hour carnival,
gambling on progress;

sleeping with delusion –
yet another attempt to
secure intimacy missed –

wheelchair accessible
only if accompanied,
a woman out of time,

anxiously dreaming of
a room lit joyously with
the surprise of pairing –

instead disoriented, I
seek guidance, am re-
routed, willingly accept

balance, emotional
stability suffice, I am
unfinished business

attempting to move on
memory not working –
a classic submersion

dulled by immobility
desire packaged, laid
down, sliding into panic,

self abandoned in favour
of a prophecy of denial –
this 24-hour carnival life.

(image from

The Character of Old Houses

Old houses exude charm,
walls whispering nostalgic
wonder, eliciting yearnings
buried deep within the soul.

Purchasers are spellbound,
transported to simpler times,
read mystical forecasts in
archways and carved nooks.

Committed, they settle in,
noting too late cosmetic
fixes, startled to uncover
structural faults, despair

to learn that the dreams
which built this place have
now crumbled and cracked,
repairs needed extensive.

Overhauling beyond means –
physically and financially –
old houses not only offer,
but test, character – beware.

(Image from

Conflict of Peace

We are peacemakers,
declaring commitment;
celebrating life, diversity.

We stand at the water’s edge,
contemplate forever, pray for
serenity, believe in harmony.

Watch as past dalliances,
like old lovers, drift away,
become memories forgotten.

We are supporters, lift up
the down trodden, extend
hearts and hands in aid.

Rescuers, fearless vessels
surfing the ocean of tears
saving lives for the cause.

Withdrawal is preferential
to conflict, introspective
in our peace-loving stance.

We are hosts, expecting
hospitality, unprepared
for hostility, taken aback

Submission lost to fear;
partnering with revenge
spoon out poison, turn

the tables, defend sanctity,
reposition selves as victims
flee our former stance; attack.

Alarmists engage in paranoia,
see only turbulent skies at
the water’s edge, disbelieve

We must hold fast to ideals,
embrace humanity’s potential
be responders, not reactors

Recover our sanctity, reunite
in a vision of peace, remember
that celebration trumps strife.



So much rides on adherence to script –
carefully mapped out movements and
lines delivered with precise intonation.

Creativity stuffed into memorized
passages, rehearsed roles, timing
contrived for optimum reactions.

It’s all about the audience, approval,
the importance of positive acclaim,
aiming for that encore performance.

My soul is an improviser –
loathes conventionality,
fears stagnation,
disrupts routine scenarios
with flashes of spicy wit;

thrives on the unexpected,
fueled by gasps, or ohs, or titter,
ignores the pandemonium
as fellow players scramble
to find their cues,
fall in line.

A trickster-spirit
arrogantly hogging the stage
deliberately sabotaging
prescribed protocols;

I am contrite, beg forgiveness,
swear to behave in character,
follow predetermined dialogue.

Curtain is set to rise on Act II;
pressure mounting; conformity
threatens to strangle my soul:

panic sets in –
I am not prepared,
have not committed to memory
this role I’ve been assigned –
am certain to disappoint,



The gambler puts in fifty-cents
expects hundreds in return;

a simple flick of the wrist,
and abundance will be his.

I feel like a slot machine,
paying dues for minimal input.

Tells himself there is more
to be had, if luck runs his way;

walks away from the richness
of family, joy of friendships –

I’d be a slot machine for him,
if only love equated money.

dreams of possibilities beyond
his daily reach, a fast track plan;

fortune is calling, palm itching
just one more roll of the die –

The die has been cast here;
no longer willing to gamble.

one more momentous win,
a promise to share the wealth;

what more could any woman want
from a man – half an empty dream?

Took a chance, myself once,
thought he was my windfall –

guess, in the end, all gamblers lose.

Women Are Red

Women bleed –
red blots in an otherwise
black and white world –

have learned the language,
yet feel like foreigners,
undermined by nuances;

travel this patriarchal
landscape, would-be leaders
whose compassion like blood

unsettles the ambitious,
too exhausted to play the game
corporate agendas do not align

with weary-hearted
mothers who would slow
progress to raise wholeness.

We take back seats,
submit to sermons from self-
proclaimed prophets, who mime:

words without substance,
are starving for sustenance
in a fast food, quick fix world

where harm is overlooked
in praise of mass consumption –
crave relief from the imbalance –

seek woman-only refuge
to vent our quiet rebellion,
give voice to our marginalization.

Our blood is thick, heavy,
like our passion, offensive to some
and like our power, unstoppable.



Creativity –
eight-legged predator –
invades the decks
of my listing mind,
reproducing rapidly.

Her generous,
bejewelled appendages
skittering beneath
my plastic-boned
Caucasian frailty.

I hesitate –
friend or foe?
Should I trample
crush this invasion,
or surrender…
risk madness?

We are ocean –
bound, shoreless
prefer interior spaces
wary of open vistas
equally vulnerable

intent on

I flee
lair – enter
into darker

Destiny –
creativity’s cousin –
awaits, tail raised
in venomous arc –
dances a warning
does not

melts into
particles of



These are Warriors

Younger women than I
are giving birth, unaware
of indifference; joyous
expectancy blotting out
smells of disinfectant,
and decay – I am invisible
to them, my daughters.

Babies they are, bringing
forth life, unripened souls,
hopeful, ignorant, unaware
that I know what violations
have planted the seeds, am
no stranger to the cruelties
of humanity, my sisters.

I may be unknown here,
but neglect is universal –
it’s brutality unremarkable –
am praying for miracles,
while the world spins, lives
losing control, and all I can
do is stand witness, Mother.

(Photo credit:  Huffington Post)

Reticent Poet

Find me in the audience,
three rows back, amidst
enthusiasts, humbled by
your expertise, perched,

questions burning tongue,
too reticent to find a voice,
afraid of being discovered,
ridiculed, or misconstrued,

as if you found my poetry,
see only the images formed
there, miss the raw emotion.
I’d want to scream “Stop!”

Too many polished writers
whose words, in black and
white, float through the web
while mine are immobilized

Yet, I return, hungry to feast
from the same banquet, miss
what is being served up, as I
have no plate ready to receive.