Should I get lost, point me in the direction of a poem.


February 3rd, 2018 | Posted by bbleen in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on A PROPER MOURNING)

No mound of dirt was shuffled to top a grave.

There will be no tombstone nor epitaph, no weeds to pull,

lawn to mow, flowers to tend. There will be none of these.

Only this box, this terra-cotta colored plastic box comprised

of a sampling of him, secured by a seat belt on my car’s backseat.

It’s fallen to me to transport his ashes from a city in Ohio

to one in West Virginia, my poor dad, who’s had the misfortune

of dying in a hospital two hundred miles from home.

How ironic I think, that of all his years of living he never once

rode in my car, yet here we are on a road trip together.

This is not my father.

But it may as well be, the distance looms between us

just as big a gap as it ever was, minus the polite conversation,

the awkward moments we’d always encountered when together.

As I drive I feel this need to talk to him, to tell him what I have

always wished I could say, I love you Dad.

But the words won’t make that transition from head to mouth,

prove themselves no easier to say after his death than they did

in life. So I recite my poetry to him, poetry being the only thing

I have to offer, words I’d never shared with him when he was alive.

Poems flow from my mouth as freely as the tears which stream

down my face. I cry for my dad, but also for myself, for all the hugs

never exchanged, all the words left unsaid.

The car is eerily silent as I drive, searching the sky for a sign,

something to let me know he is at peace. But there is nothing, only

blue sky dotted with clouds and this plastic box entrusted to me for

safe delivery. It asks nothing of anyone, gives nothing in return.

Shortly it will be delivered to its final destination.

Without hoopla or fanfare it will be placed on a table set up for the

ceremony, put there with all intent and purposes of giving him a

proper mourning


February 3rd, 2018 | Posted by bbleen in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT)

Sitting by the window

in the pale moonlight

I rocked your newborn baby

as you prepared to go out

with a friend,

for you had the desire, the need,

to dance.

Barely over the birth process

you looked radiant

as you entered the room

wearing that little black dress

that I know, you swore,

you would never fit in again.

The music was playing and

you picked up your baby

and danced with her,

swaying to the music and

twirling her around the room

and I swear, I was never

as proud of you as I was

just then.

Fondly I recalled,

how once upon a time

this child’s mother was

that little girl of mine.

Then wiping the tears

out of my eyes,

bidding the past adieu,

inspired by you,

I got up, and I danced too.


Threading the Needle

August 11th, 2013 | Posted by bbleen in Family | Love | memory | Mom | Reflections | Sewing - (Comments Off on Threading the Needle)

Mom works the pedal of the Singer,

driving the needle through

crisp rose-colored taffeta.

As she sews we make small talk,

she smiling at her pesky Chatty Kathy

while I, with deepest intention,

thread myself

into the eye of her life.

Bluesy Lady

June 30th, 2013 | Posted by bbleen in Broken Heart | Joy | Love | Poetry readings | Reflections | Romance - (Comments Off on Bluesy Lady)

That’s the good thing about women, man. Because they sing their $!#% insides, man.

Women, to be in the music business, give up more than you will ever know. ~ Janis


Love her or hate her but you can’t deny her

because deep down you knew she was the

free spirit you secretly wanted to be.

Maybe your mama didn’t like her an’ your daddy

called her white trash, but on that stage

she had a presence that couldn’t be denied.

Maybe you got high an’ maybe you didn’t

but you grooved right there with her an’ you

became her an’ she you because Baby, Baby,

when those bluesy notes rose up from her throat

you wanted to jump up on that stage an’ bawl

your eyeballs out right there with her.


Love her or hate her but you can’t deny her.

When she sang the blues you felt her pain right

down to your pretty pink painted toenails.

Talk about love, how it catches you on fire

an’ turns you inside out, well Janis wrote the

book on love Baby!

Whether that love was Southern Comfort or

Bobby McGee her emotions were out there

for everyone to see with no apologies or

pretenses;  writhing and wailing on stage till

you’d take that piece of her heart, that ball

an’ chain just to relieve her pain ‘cause

she shone brighter than any stars in your sky.


Love her or hate her but you can’t deny her.

When she was up there on that stage she was

bigger than life itself.

She made love to that microphone an’ her

deep raspy voice reached clear down to your

soul an’ you didn’t care about her looks or

bad habits or sexual preferences.

It only mattered that she sing and keep on singin’

because when you got  a little sprinkle of that

sunshine you knew, it didn’t get any better

than this.

Love her or hate her but you can’t deny her,

no more than she could deny herself!

Poetry readings 2012 on youtube

April 7th, 2013 | Posted by bbleen in Poetry readings - (Comments Off on Poetry readings 2012 on youtube)

Click on the link below to check out some of my readings at festivals around Columbus Ohio.

Sentimental Journey

December 1st, 2012 | Posted by bbleen in Family | Fantasy | Joy | Love | Reflections - (Comments Off on Sentimental Journey)

Home again… arising early

I wander through my parents’ house

in search of memories.

In the pantry are the small clear glasses

hand-painted with tulips.

Instinctively I lift one to my lips,

almost tasting the Seven-up my grandfather

used to pour, remembering how the fizz

tickled my nose, grandpa’s laughter.

I imagine him standing there wearing

his felt hat and checkered flannel shirt,

puffing on his long stemmed pipe.

But too soon, the image fades, as set in the past

as the tulips are in their glass prisons.

From a dusty shelf in the den I retrieve

the old Currier and Ives, copyrighted 1952.

Through its pages I’d traveled America,

journeying by steamboat down the

Mississippi, flat boating the Ohio River,

riding the rail to California.  Always

enjoying my imaginative adventures,

always thirsting for more.

Wistfully I close the book, leaving its

people and places, now slightly faded,

to a future wanderer.

Photographs crowd the living room,

each one caressing a memory-my birth,

birthdays, school days, first date…

every event cascading for eternity in

wood and glass.

The floorboard creaks as my mother

enters the kitchen.  I hasten to greet her

blinking back the tears. Our eyes meet

and we smile, scattering the memories

amongst a million dreams, the air

shimmering with the essence of their

beauty as they surrender, each one

to its designated place.

I walked the floor, eight months pregnant and dead tired, jumping

each time tires on the gravel road broke the silence, peering out the

window through the darkness at the slam of a car door only to discover

it was a neighbor coming home. We had no phone so you couldn’t call.

I had no friends in whom I could confide. It was so cold outside and

that old furnace would clog so I’d have to bleed the lines like I’d

watched you do, my big belly squeezed tight in that small hall space

trailers are known for.


You never came home that night nor the next day. It wasn’t until the late

show with Johnny Carson signed off that you came ambling in as if it were

just an ordinary night and you hadn’t been gone for two days. There was

no anger in my voice, at least not then, only relief.  You hadn’t been in an

accident after all-my worst fear. I believed your explanation, so lame in love

with you, your explanation so lame it’s not worth remembering now.


And that summer day I spent washing clothes and had put that shaggy blue

rug down in the hallway fresh off the line you came home late again,

saying you’d had a rough day and going straight to bed. I stopped dead in

my tracks at the sight of that tiny sparkling earring lying on the rug, one I’d

never seen before in my life. I pondered where it could have come from

the rest of the night.


Or the day when I had to borrow your car and I put groceries on the back

seat and found that small plastic toy on the mat behind the driver’s seat that

obviously belonged to someone else’s child. I spent the whole day trying to

convince myself there must be a reasonable explanation because you would

never cheat on me. Would never cheat on me. Would you?


And there was that motorcycle accident mentioned in the local section of

the Wheeling newspaper, an accident which left your right knee tore up so

bad that to this day you still have a scar.  You could have knocked me over

with a feather when I read your name and the fact that you had a companion

with you listed only as female, twenty-two.


The first time you stayed out all night I should have known. They say that

hindsight is twenty/twenty. They say love is blind. They say life isn’t always

fair. They say love hurts.


To this I can attest. Even after all these yearslove hurts.












March 17th, 2012 | Posted by bbleen in Woe is me day - (Comments Off on If)

If the world is my oyster

where is my pearl?
For each step forward
I take two steps back.
Something is always
raining on my parade.
There’s never a prize
in my Cracker Jacks.

Sometimes it doesn’t pay
to get out of bed.
Always finishing second
no matter the race.
My choo-choo train dies
halfway up the hill.
I’m always left wiping
the egg off my face.

I don’t know what’s real
from what’s Memorex.
When I’m all dressed up
they cancel the show.
Motel Six doesn’t leave
the light on for me.
Can you hear me now?
I didn’t think so.

Spell Check

October 30th, 2011 | Posted by bbleen in Growing old | Love | Reflections | Romance - (Comments Off on Spell Check)

My body is no longer the flawless manuscript

most men would take time out of their busy day to read;

no longer as exciting as the latest novel,

nor as interesting as the daily news.

There was a time when everything was capitalized

in all the right places,

the i’s were dotted and there were no uncrossed t’s.

Everything was worded right. 

Sentences had the appropriate emphasis and titles

fit me perfectly.

Now, I am more like the comics, and even some of them

aren’t funny, but rather tragic.

I was beginning to think I was of no more use  

than a rolled up newspaper used to swat flies.

But then you found me.

You read the manuscript, overlooking the flaws.

There is no need for spell-check, you accept me as I am.

My words come off your lips in the form of poetry,

and in your eyes I am the sonnet,

I had always hoped to be.

The Houses of Bees

October 30th, 2011 | Posted by bbleen in Bees | Creation | Love | Nature - (Comments Off on The Houses of Bees)

You anticipate the bees arrival with that same wonder lust in

your eyes that a child wears on Christmas Eve,

spending the whole month before their arrival planning,

thinking out the construction of their houses,

going back and forth on the decision of where you will put them

in the backyard.

I listen with fascination as you explain to me about the workers,

drones, and the queen, who from a larva you tell me,

feeds solely on royal jelly.

You have become a beekeeper extraordinaire,

intent on teaching me everything you know about bees.

And it is quite funny when you mimic the bee dance,

buzzing around in circles, then abruptly changing direction

and buzzing around again.

I watch you with the same wonder lust in my eyes as you have

when you talk about your bees, feeling a wealth of love for you,

this man tenderly caring for and loving one of God’s smallest creations.

I anticipate the bees’ arrival with dread, careful not to let on how

much they intimidate me.

After they arrive you take out a few and gently hold them up for me to see,

the thought of their sting sending chills over my body.

That night, as we do our own tango between the sheets,

I think of them out there buzzing, buzzing; the virgin queen

leaving the hive to mate with drones- the lazy bees who make no honey,

their sole purpose to mate then die.