Sunday, April 20, 2014

April -- Poetry Month

Dream poems   1983


                          The storm of anger looms,
                          Dark upon the horizon,
                          It will smash me, I fear,
                          If I lose control.


                           Plunging over the gray concrete dam,
                           Murky water,  foam white and soft,
                           Leveling into a deep crimson sunset,
                           Overflowing the horizon into blue velvet night.

                                               Hipo in My Shower

                                    There's a hipo in my shower.
                                     Ferns and flowers abound,
                                     Bright white, tiled floor.
                                     The midget hipo leaves
                                      Through a waterfall;
                                      When I shout,
                                      "Get out of my shower."

                                                             Playing a Waterfall

                                       Holding the edge of the water;
                                       I lift it to the top of the rocks,
                                       Water cascades down into the pool,
                                       Shining sheets, wet windows.

                                       Picking up the edge again,
                                       Reaching higher,
                                       I feel the music start.
                                       Again and again, I play my waterfall.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fred and Betty

Fred and Betty

In the blue tiled, double shower, Fred smooths shampoo into Betty's short white hair.  She laughs, takes the bottle and squeezes it on his matching white hair.  Under the rushing water of the double shower heads they laugh and rinse the soapy bubbles from each other.  Fred turns off the water on his side, steps out and reaches for a towel.  He dries his hair and wraps the green towel around his waist.  Betty dances under the flowing water.  He turns off the other shower, hands Betty a pink towel and guides her out of the shower.  She holds the towel in front of herself.  He takes it from her and gently dries her body, and wraps the towel around her.

"Are we going dancing?" she asks.
"It's Friday, what do you think?"
"Oh yes, we're going dancing."

He takes her hand, leads her to the bedroom and seats her at her dressing table.  She holds the towel around her while he takes a brush and hair dryer and dries her hair.  He combs his own hair.  She drops the towel; opens a bottle of moisturizer and smooths an excess amount over her face, neck, breasts and arms.

Fred steps into his white boxer shorts, opens the closet, takes out a blue and white stripped shirt and puts it on.  Betty stands up and walks to the bed.  He takes the damp towel, clears away some of the moisturizer and hands her lacy, pink underwear.  She takes it, puts on the panties; the bra bewilders her.  She begins to cry.

Fred pulls on his Navy pants.  "Don't worry, Love, I'll help you."  He holds the bra as she slips her arms through the straps.  He winks at her as he puts her soft wrinkled breasts into the cups, reaches around her, and hooks the back.  She giggles and twirls in front of him.

"Which dress?"  He holds a black one and a blue one in front of her.  
"This one."  She takes the blue one and sits on the bed holding it across her arms.  Fred tucks his shirt into the navy pants, buttons and zips.  He threads the belt around his waist and buckles it.

Betty sits silently, holding the dress.  He walks to the bed, takes it from her arms and holds it for her.  She raises her arms like a child and he slips it over her head.  She stands, smooths it over her hips and turns for him the zip the back.  She does a little ChaCha step away from him; humming her own music.

"Here's your shoes."  She takes the dance shoes, sits on a chair and puts them on.  Fred buckles the shoes.

He ties his shoes.  "You want lipstick?" 

"Oh, yes, she dances to the dressing table.  "Will  you help me?"
He takes the tube and lightly turns her lips a pale pink.

"Time to go."  Fred holds her coat, she puts her arms into it.  He hands her a scarf.  She holds it in her hands while he puts on his coat.  He takes the scarf and puts it around her neck.

In the car, Betty asks, "Where are we going?"
"Oh, I love dancing.  Can we ChaCha?"
"Of course, Love."

They enter the ballroom, Betty grips Fred's arm.  He puts his arm around her shoulders, takes money from his pocket and pays.

"Hi Fred.  Hello Betty.  How are you tonight?"  The cashier hands Fred two tickets that he puts in his pocket.  "We're fine."  he responds.  Betty smiles  He takes her hand and leads her to a small table beside the dance floor.  She takes off the scarf and struggles with the buttons of her coat.  Fred helps and drapes the coat over the back of her chair.

ChaCha music starts.  Betty jumps to her feet and pulls Fred onto the dance floor.  She arranges herself in his arms with perfect posture.  They dance.

They sit for a time at the small table.  Other dancers greet them and talk to Fred while Betty smiles.  They dance a waltz and a foxtrot.  Fred holds her close to guide her around the floor.  After one more ChaCha; they put on their coats, say good night to their friends and return home.

In the bedroom, Betty asks, "Are we going dancing?"
"We just got home."
"Can we go again?"
"Next Friday."  Fred helps Betty out of her dress and into her nightgown.  He pulls back the covers and Betty gets into bed.  Fred tucks her in and kisses her forehead.  He slides into the other side of the bed, takes her hand and blinks away his tears.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I'm Gone Now
Myrna G. Johnston

        Twenty minutes later they stopped sticking needles into my body and pushing on my chest.  The doctor called clear, put the paddles to my ribs and my body jumped one last time.  They all looked at the flat line on the screen.  "Time of death 4:20PM." the doctor intoned.
How do I know all this?  Some part of me has been sitting on the rim of this light over the emergency room gurney since the wall clock read four o'clock.  I came up here about two minutes after they moved me from the paramedics gurney to this hospital one.  "One, two, three lift." said the doctor.  I knew they could do nothing to bring me back.  I really should have been pronounced at 4:00PM.  The time John and I usually arrive home in the afternoon.

I watch now as the nurse removes all the needles.  I look peaceful.  (That's what people say about the dead.)  Oh, look she's washing the blood off my face.  Is it still my face?  She gently covers my body with a clean, white sheet and picks up a clipboard.  She's checking off the tubes, needles and drugs on the list.  Someone will have to pay for all those check marks.  I hope Medicare covers it all. She turns off the light as she leaves the room.  My body doesn't care.  Her shoes squeak on the tile.

I don't know what to do now.  I never died before.  Interesting process.  I don't think it would have hurt at all if I hadn't hit my head on the curb when I fell down on Main Street. 

We, John and I, finished our afternoon treat at the Mocha, Etc. Coffee House.  He always has coffee and a cream scone with butter.  Yeah, bad for him.  He's ninety-five, like me, let him enjoy life.  I like, well liked, tea; not the same kind every day.  And those little Madeline cookies.  I could eat a dozen of those golden ovals. 

Today I had a lovely green tea.  We sat, not talking much.  Silence doesn't bother people who have been together as long as we have.  There's not much we don't know about each other after sixty years of talking. 

We greeted the other regular customers, the ones we know by name but have no idea of where they live or what they do outside Mocha Etc.  We walked out the door and waved to Sue and Mike, the owners. They called our names and said "Good-bye.  See you tomorrow."  John said, "Of course.

Then, while John unlocked our Toyota, I noticed everything going black and my head buzzed inside and our.  I felt cold and I disappeared.  Te next think I knew I was in the back of an ambulance with a screaming siren.  Something was pushing on my chest and I heard urgent voices.  I tried to open my eyes, but it was dark.  I couldn't tell if my eyes were open.  I disappeared again.

They rushed me from the ambulance to this little cubicle.  That's when I floated up here and noticed my body still on the gurney.  It was four o'clock.  I don't know where John is.  How do I get down from here?  I'll push off with my hands.  OK here I go--UP!!  I want to go down.  Think down.  Good.  I guess I better just sit here on this light fixture.

I'm looking at the sheet covering my body.  The door opens and a nurse helps John into the room.  He doesn't look so good.   The nurse pulls the sheet back from my face, pats John's hand and leaves us--well John and my body--alone.  I'm not sure what I am now.  My body was my identity; to paraphrase an old saying. At least I think it's an old saying.  I float down so I am across from John.  He looks at my body for a long time.  Then he kisses my forehead and says, "Bye Darling.  I'd better go call Peter."  

I try to follow him and find out I'm not a ghost because I can't float through the door.  

It's 4:30PM now.  How do I get our of here?  Shouldn't I be going to heaven or purgatory?  I don't think I did anything to deserve hell.  I didn't see the light people talk about or my ancestors.   Maybe this is limbo.

Hey, I'm getting smaller.  The top of my head is below the edge of the gurney.  It's five o'clock.  I'm bored in this little cubicle with my dead body.  I can't even see it I'm so small

The door opens.  Andy, from Carter Brothers Mortuary comes in with another gurney.  I know Andy because it seems we've been saying good-bye to someone about twice a month lately.  Andy, you better remember don't fix me up, just cremate me.  Hey watch it!  Don't step on me.

My body's under a nice blue velvet cover now and Andy's wheeling it out the door.  I try to follow even though I'm a little speck down here.  I can't...I'm gone now.

Sunday, July 29, 2012



Bobbing a-
'Bout the flower

Lying a-
'Lone on the

Rioting a-
'Round the



Sounds crunching, crisp
Smells smoke, fermentation
Feels as warm as brown
Exciting as red
Taste air mellow as wine.

Elusive time
Between summer
and winter--October



Azure sky, golden air
Smell smoke and fermentation
Taste mellow wine
Feel warm yellow and gold
Hear crisp crunching
Experience the elusive season
Appearing and disappearing
Between summer and winter.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Art Show images

Photograph Acrylic Watercolor
bumper car Snowbound Interstate 80
It was a one day show at the Hart Senior Center in Sacramento.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What do you see?

What does this sculpture look like to you?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Apple Hill 2010

After Skyler caught a trout for me, he lost interest in fishing. Shae asked David to hold her pole and like a good Daddy here he is holding it for her.

The very slippery trout almost got back into the pond. David did make us and a lot of other people laugh trying to hold on to it. Shae did not catch a fish. Sterling rode a pony during the fishing

Paulette bought us each an apple doughnut. Very good.
After we bought our apples we drove to the Jack Russell Brewery and had a picnic. The adults each had a pint and bought six packs to take home. It was a beautiful day and there were lots of other people driving around from farm to farm buying produce. One of our California autumn traditions.