Photos for January Stones and April PAD 2012 property of M J Dills (exception 1/16)

Monday, September 12, 2022

Poetry Postcard Festival 2022

I was pleased to get all of my postcards sent this year by the end of the month (August). For 2022, I tried to write each poem that somehow related to the postcard I was sending. Sometimes it worked. Not always. Try to think of how little that space is on the lefthand side of a postcard; one can't be verbose. I wrote spontaneously and used my good friend White Out correction tape when things went really south. There are a few minor edits but mostly, they remain as my thoughts flowed from my pen onto the cards. Here they are:

Today I sit in the shade at the lake, Greenlake, with my postcards, dog and a good book. 

It’s cooler here, on this steamy day, lots to see: 

a fellow wearing a t-shirt that says FUNCLE – I’ll bet he’s fun! 

A panorama of paddlers, defying the sun, 

standing up to the heat. Scantily clad sun bathers 

and fully clothed head-to-toe sun-fearers. 

Wet dogs, 

pink children, 

brave cannon-ballers. 

(This post card was found in an antique shop in Port Gamble, Wa.)

In the 80’s, I often visited a friend in Montlake, off Portage Bay, 

who was caring for a woman who was 102 years old, 

and we sat around a small table 

and sorted out greeting cards 

and stamps, postcards and gift tags, while she told us 

a story of each one and pasted them 

into a collage, with a little help from our friend, and me. 

(This is a vivid memory and I pass by the house often, which this stone house in Versailles reminded me of.)

                                                         Homeless in Seattle

We drove, 

a rainy night, 

though we really just crawled 

through traffic on the Interstate 

and there, under an off ramp, like campers, 

seeking shelter, people around a bonfire, 

holding cold hands, palm out to the flame, 

and children 



a man cradling an infant. 

From our heated car, we peered into their home. 

I said a prayer, 

tho I don’t pray, and 

found my way down 

the painted pathways, counting on my aged knees 

to cooperate, seeking out the childhood home 

of a great artist, an icon on his times, 

a partner to the woman with 

the most discussed eyebrow(s) of her century. 

It was a perfect peaceful day – 

to pray. 

(Postcard purchased at Museo Casa in Guanajuato, Mexico, November 2021)

Sometimes I feel lucky. Today, Olivia Newton John passed. She fought breast cancer off and on for a long agonizing time. Oz won’t be as sparkly and precious a place without her. I’m 73 soon, same age. Today I count my lucky stars.

Somehow the moon 

willingly remains the same, 

while I, unwillingly changing, 

decade upon decade, watch with wonder 

in the dark night, as Mother Moon 

gives us her light. She has traveled 

an incredible distance with me, observing 

and unjudging 

my motions and desires.  

(This postcard found in an antique shop in Port Gamble, Wa. July 2022.)


I grew up in a small town, arranged 

at the foot of Mt Rainier and 

watched intently a night sky 

where stars appeared in sharp contrast 

to their deep background. A moon 

arrived in all her stages, back 

when we could still see 

the Milky Way, before I moved 

to the city and could nearly count 

the stars in the sky.

I lived in the hills; 

took me forever 

to pronounce fraccionamiento 

without mangling it. Alone 

at night 

in the huge villa, from the top bedroom, 

windows with screens (mosquiteros), 

no glass (sin cristal), the waves 

on the beach below thundered, never 

in an expected syncopation, therefore 

waking suddenly me at times, 

from a dreaming sleep. Cicadas screamed, 

frogs hollered in an almighty chorus 

and jungle animals made their own kind of music. 

I miss this orchestra. 

πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—Con corazΓ³n 

(My house was where the arrow points in the photo.)


I’m touched

with guilt, 

considering the life I’ve lived, 

the idyllic childhood, 

relatively free of worry, 

barefoot summers, 

plentiful gardens, 

an auto for each parent. 

My grandchildren 

inherit a different world 


have every right to be angry.

In dreams are memories of places visited, 

people known and unknown, 

alive and passed. The element 

of a fantasy world, 

a universe that lives 

in one’s deepest imagination, is also present. 

Unread memos, 

unlocked doors, 

unmet lovers and 

flights of unparalleled desires.

If you happened upon a key in a door, 

would you turn it? If the door then opened, 

would you enter? If there were stairs, 

would you climb them? Would you call out and say 

Hello – an intruder is here!?  

                                                             College Bound

The winter excitement 

of driving the corridor 

with three laughing girls, 

junk snacking, 

phones exchanging playlists, 

energy crackling 

in the downpour 

surrounding us. Spring comes 

and destinations are 

locked in. Summer ends, 

goodbyes stretch boundaries, 

boundaries stretch hearts.

We went home, 

exhausted, and slept, 

my loyal dog and me, 

like two cats in the jungle. Hush, my darling... 

a long day, 

and now we exchange dreams. 

We roar. 

I run. 

You read.


to be

to see

two women

walk arm in arm

expecting no harm

be free


the future

I dealt with a bit of my past today. 

Old friends losing their minds, 

young friends breaking chains. I came 

out of sleep with a dream on my mind 

but could not grasp the meaning 

as the images dissolved 

with every blink of my waking eyes.

Where else will you find 


Colorado, and 


tossed together. I am enchanted 

by the imaginings 

of the original stone masons, laying 

piece upon piece, mortar 

mixing, and the young, strong hod carriers 

grunting and sweating. Young boys, 

perhaps dreaming of joining 

an expedition to the North Pole, 

slopping cement instead, 

never a thought that a ship would sail way 

with that very bridge, disassembled, 

over the ocean to the west, 

while they died trying to escape. 

(London bridge was built the same time as the Amundsen expedition to the North Pole.)

I was about 14 years old. A teacher 

said to my mother 

She can do anything she decides to do; 

she just needs to set her mind to it. 

So, I did. 

Which is why 

I nearly failed school for a couple years, 

but I learned a lot about 

Greek mythology and 


(This card was found at an estate sale.)


If you peeled the stamp off this postcard, you would read 
Place stamp here 
ONE CENT for United States 
and Island Possessions 
Cuba Canada and Mexico. 
Two Cents for Foreign.                                          
Imagine the price of peace for 

I continue to see old lovers. 

Yesterday it was David, 

sat in a lawn chair by the lake, 

a book propped in his lap, 

so like him – his hairline 

receded more than I remembered. 

As I drew closer, my bad eyesight registered 

to reveal a woman, hair pulled back 

in a tight ponytail, 

wearing an orthopedic boot. 

I’m glad it was not David.

Was a time 

women dressed as if 

tending hives of bees, to cover 

nearly every bit of exposed flesh, as if 

to repel a sting or 

the barb of a thorny plant, 

fearful of the sun, 


and the lustful, gawking 

of commonly lubricious men 

of all ages. 

I ask to have all my post cards hand cancelled at the post office. 

I don’t know that it will make a difference to the receiver, if all the words will be clear and unmarred by stickers and ink. 

What I do know is this: the postal worker always smiles cheerfully, stamps as requested, and I like to think they admire this old-fashioned approach to mailing. 

(This gorgeous postcard, hard to part with, was found at an estate sale. On the back it mentions Ghirardelli Square, The Cannery, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Maritime Museum and its old ships.) (And you know all those curtains would never be so synchronized.)

He likely had the final word 

and as she half-slept, 

feet callused and weary, the train 

perhaps a thousand 

thoughts away, he strained his eyes, tired 

from the relentless vigilance 

of getting there, soothing her with words 

not his own, but no matter, 

just words to let her know 

he would be her constant lover. 

A simple room, 

of comfort and perhaps 

a little warmth, 

where in the sunny corners, 

sanity might visit, so a man 

with demons 

could preserve for us 

on canvas, wood, paper, 

whatever available 

and live in some kind of peace,


in Arles.

The Siesta

Who might see us here 

or bother with our wagon, 

while we, 

weary from thoughtless labor, 

the unceasing swing of the sickle, 

backs bent, 

the onslaught of insects 

disturbed in their pattern, 

baying cows 

begging for a small shade. We sag 

into each other, 

and dream.

It’s late.

I look out my window over the city lights into the dark of night.

I see Venus.

It’s August.

The song of fate… 

a destiny for each unknown, 

as sure as they were 

of their very own futures, as certain 

as steel cast to the air. Drifting 

with the vaper of a tapered candle, 

dismissing thoughts 

of the war 

outside the door, 

until too many sons had died, 

too many fathers gone missing 

and she sang 

no more, 

no more.

I am pressed to think 

of Our Lady of Guadalupe 

whom I consider 

The Mother. When 

I see her 

in symbolism. 

In Canada, 




other mothers, 

lone ladies. I don’t think

of Catholicism, 

religiosity, politics. I think 

of the UTERUS.


She looked him 

right in the eye. She wasn’t 

ever the type to flinch. She knew 

he was married, 

several children. 

She’d two herself, after all. But 

we must follow our dreams 

or go mad. And she’d never 

been allowed to 

simply dream. Life 

was too demanding. Even the weather 

dictated the choices 

she was forced to make. She looked 

him right in the eye.

The legend on this postcard actually reads "Stepping Out at the San Carlos Hotel in the 1920’s. One of the finest hotels in Florida and a center of Pensacola society." Enticed to look it up, I found The San Carlos was demolished in 1993, after being abandoned for more than a decade. No one associated with the design, architecture, building, ownership, management, etc, had any Spanish connection. It was named the San Carlos because the collaboration of white Anglo men thought it sounded romantic.  

Thinking of running, 

getting out of here.

All the fancy colors 

and we wear plain muslin; you can 

see us, 

any distance, day 

or night. Thinking 

about running. No place 

to go. Nowhere to 

even start to run. What’s even 

in the woods? Nowhere 

to land, feet on the ground. 

Thinking of running 

but sticking around.

(Inspiration for this postcard poem came from this Jacob Lawrence painting and a book I'm currently reading The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates.)

a pyramid scheme. 
Think about it. 
No matter what, 
it’s trickle up, 
trickle down. Unless 
you drive your own taxi 
and own the gas pump, 
less of a pyramid 
for you. Every 
other level, it’s definitely 
someone’s scheme.  
Top to bottom. 
Bottom to top.

Thanks for reading!



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