Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Laundry Basket

Bleached laundry hanging out to dry
A friend stops by
White sheets flutter
Toast with butter

Sea breezes float across the yard
Let down your guard
To speak of dreams
Coffee with cream

Pillow case unpinned from the line
Fresh smell of pine
Basket stacked high
Long heavy sigh

© Copyright pending Susan R. O'Brien

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Sandcastles built on a hot summer day
Stay for a while and then go away
No matter how tall, how deep, how wide
They just ‘disappear’ with the incoming tide.

Sandcastles built with a child’s hand
Imagination molded with sand
Plastic pails turned upside down
A moat that goes all the way around

Sandcastles with pennants of broken shells
Where evil queens cast scary spells
Sandcastles with towers way up in the air
Where princesses live with long golden hair.

Sandcastles built on a hot summer day
Stay for a while and then go away
No matter how tall, how deep, how wide
They just ‘disappear’ with the incoming tide.

Sandcastles are unique, magical creations
Built from little people’s Imagination
Where rules don’t exist, nobody says no
Where we all lived happily not long ago

Sandcastles dwell in a special place
The way there is written on a child’s face
Distance measured in laughter, not in miles
Measured in grins and unending smiles

Sandcastles built on a hot summer day
Stay for a while and then go away
No matter how tall, how deep, how wide
They just 'disappear' with the incoming tide

© Copyright pending Susan R. O'Brien

Monday, August 27, 2012


Such masterpieces are reserved for kings
Vivid meanderings of symmetry
Art embroidered into butterfly wings

More breathtaking than gold or diamond rings
These chiffon canvases of artistry
Such masterpieces are reserved for kings

As monarchs emerge mother nature sings
Heralding this visual melody
Art embroidered into butterfly wings

Sunlight reflects off vivid colorings   
Stain-glass infused on tapestry
Such masterpieces are reserved for kings

Brushstrokes of color fashionably cling
Fads of nature without longevity
Art embroidered into butterfly wings

Our hearts flutter with these adornings
Smitten with nature's creativity
Such masterpieces are reserved for kings
Art embroidered into butterfly wings

© Copyright pending Susan R. O'Brien

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Cows at Peaceful Meadows

The lone dogwood tree is in full bloom,
In midst of grassy plush,
Beneath the noontime sun the blossoms
Propel a pinkish blush;
Behind the ice cream take-out, next to the farmer’s house
Are nine-and-twenty cows.

A decade of summer dawns has warmed me    
Since I last met their gaze;
Memories of Jerseys and ink-stained Holsteins
Who lazily would graze
And snub kindliness while chewing cud
Near troughs framed in mud.

I’ve pondered the fate of these brown-eyed beauties,
Swatting flies with their tails.
I return today to find little changed since
I first peered through the wooden rails.
Muddy orbs that fail to reflect my hospitality;
Smoky mirrors of apathy.

Optimistic still, with my sons alongside,
I crouch down to scratch the ear
Of a heifer who never ends her methodical graze,
Ignores each accolade I share.
I wonder why I partake of this rite
As ice cream melts from sight.

I stand to contemplate the pastoral scene;
Complacent cows with audience
Framed by the dogwood carousel of spring
Dairy barn and post rail fence
And muse upon the allure that draws me to this place
Of passive dissonance and beastly grace. 

© Copyright pending Susan R. O'Brien

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Sneaker Tree

What is this tree I just drove past
That made me drop my fries!
I looked once, then twice and then again
But could not believe my eyes!

I stopped my car, I jumped out quick
I must take a closer look
At this tree I saw next to the road,
But nowhere near a brook.

A tree that has no branches
A tree with not one leaf
A tree without one little bird!
I stood there in disbelief!

You frown and wonder “Hey, what’s up?”
“Lots of trees fit what you say.
No leaves, as well no branches,
Why would a bird even want to stay?”

That is true, I agree with you
But this tree was more than that
You see even without birds and branches
This tree was where it’s at!

I held my breath, my eyes grew wide
My knees became much weaker
This tree did not need leaves or branches
It was growing shoes and sneakers!

You heard me right, I speak the truth
About this wonder that I saw
About this magical tree in the desert
That made me stand in awe!

Sneakers of red and yellow and white
Sneakers to wear while flying a kite

Sneakers for mom, big ones for dad
Oh, my, do I see one made to be plaid?

Sneakers for kids and old people too
Sneakers for me and sneakers for you

Sneakers to wear while riding a bike
Even a pair of boots to wear on a hike!

Question marks float over my head
Fingernails scratch at my brow
How could a tree produce such a crop?
Could anyone explain to me how?

And do the sneakers fall off the tree
When the seasons begin to change?
And if they do, who rakes them up?
Oh, this was getting very strange.

I pondered then I wondered
Then I scratched my head again;
What kind of seed could grow this…
And not just what but when?

It must just be a magic tree
Grown with pixie dust and sweat
I could not stay and gaze much more
I could no longer fret.

My shoulders shrugged, I turned away
To leave this enchanted tree behind
I was sure no one would believe me
Oh, of this I was resigned.

I glanced in my rear view mirror
As the wheels began to turn
And saw the tree began to sparkle,
Saw brilliant colors churn.

No sooner had I seen the lights
Swirl about like rainbow streakers
That I noticed my feet were bare;
What happened to my sneakers?

© Copyright pending Susan R. O'Brien

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

December 7, This Year

The attic welcomes her back:
floorboards creak beneath worn slippers,
porthole windows smudged with soot,
dawn struggles, obscured by black clouds.

The gray metal locker, dented and stained,
lies undisturbed beneath crashing eaves.
The small crate is still there
by the window.  She sits;
no more youthful repose for arthritic knees.

She fumbles with the brass lock,
tarnished, tainted with rust.
The cover groans.

Slender hands trace the string of pearls as they
lay silent in the satin lined box.
Her squinting eyelids quiver, then shut
for just a moment

With a slow exhale she closes the velvet lid.

Veined hands search beneath an ocean of blue tissue,
caressing waves of chiffon and tulle,
rose-polished fingers float across, then stop
upon a row of iridescent shells,
like beaded islands veiled inside a gray sunless sky.

The bottom of the locker preserves her treasure;
a flat cardboard box,
her name and address neatly written in black marker.
Inside, a sea of crimson greets her.

She traces fingertips along intricate stitching;
brocaded dragons skillfully woven into fine satin.

The elegant kimono,
rests eternally in the bowels of the battered locker.

A December wind assaults her,
then retreats.

The Rising Sun breaks through the clouds and
once again invades her world.

© Copyright pending Susan R. O'Brien