POETIC BLOOMINGS is a Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild site established in May 2011 to nurture and inspire the creative spirit.


We’re nearing the end of our project. After this week, we will offer our final words on the subject – us. Are you pleased with your offerings? Do you regret divulging certain parts of yourself? Or do we live without regret? Do we allow ourselves that little spark of wonder to imagine where we’d be if certain things had fallen in place differently? A “George Bailey” moment, thinking if I wasn’t who I’ve become, how would other peoples lives be changed?


Part 19: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda… – Is there something you wish you would have done differently? Write about a missed opportunity, an idea of yours that never came to fruition, or one that did…for someone else. Take a mulligan and make it write!


One Mother’s Lament (Haibun)

Being an admirer of those who glance back yet don’t bemoan, I aspire to do the same.  However, this is difficult (read “impossible”) as a mother.  I’m thankful for the relationship I have with my now-grown children.  There is much love and respect, and mutual enjoyment – and always has been.  Yet I think of their junior high and high school years with pangs of remorse for what could have been.  Activities, rehearsals, competitions, plays, football games, concerts, time with their friends – much to hamper family dinners at the kitchen table.

Fast food drive-through runs
Offer little nourishment
For heart and spirit

© Copyright – Marie Elena Good – 2012




I could have been a contender,
but my end justifies the means, doesn’t it?
I mustn’t regret this life, so imperfect
and strife laden. It has been a haven
for many good things. It has given me
family and friends; supportive and cherished
and on the day I perish, I will be rich with love.
I could live it all over again.

I would have done things slightly different
and sent my poetic prowess to work sooner.
It had sat latent and silent and I was hell bent
on being something else. A musician was the dream,
but I seem to have the dexterity, but not the desire.
So making words sing has been the next best thing.
My “audience” plays along in chorus and between us, we do sing.
I would love to have had befriended them earlier in life.

I should have been a better person than I had been.
It was a sin that I always looked at horizons that sat
in the solitary distance, when the things that were
right before my eyes were never quite embraced.
I directed my time and energy to the me nobody knew,
and it’s true, I barely knew myself. I should have not
wasted rhyme and time on reasons that still perplex
and I should not be vexed by them now.

But, I am having a wonderful time so far.
I look forward to the beauty of  many more days,
with no regret. In that regard, I am set for life.

© Copyright – Walter J. Wojtanik 2012

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194 thoughts on ““COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA” – PROMPT #84

  1. This is an incident that I really wish I could change. I hate myself for being so selfish, but now there’s nothing I can do about it.

    I look back on that night
    With horrible regret.
    My selfishness is evident,
    I wish I could forget.
    I awoke sometime after twelve.
    Someone was crying,
    Heart-rending, painful cries,
    And then…silence.
    My dad’s voice came next,
    Frantic on the phone.
    “My son’s unconscious!” he cried.
    Sirens wailing outside,
    Someone knocking at our door.
    “Cameron must be sick,” I thought,
    And went back to sleep again.
    I’d find out in the morning.
    And oh God, I definitely
    Found out in the morning.

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      Ohh, Erin… please forgive yourself…

      • Marjory M Thompson (MMT) on said:

        Erin, I agree with your mom, as hard as it was, God reached his hand out and said, “Sleep Erir, your strengeth will be needed in the morning.”

        • I believe you are right about that Marj. That was the most horrible morning I’ve ever experienced. My mom sat next to me, slipped an arm around my waist and whispered “I prayed for you last night, Erin.” She knew how close we were. The rest of that day was spent comforting the littler kids. In fact I hardly had time to cry myself. But I wanted to cry so hard. I guess I really was needed to be strong and help my siblings.

    • Oh, hon … such a heavy weight to carry on your shoulders. You didn’t know. You didn’t know …

      God forgives us readily, so why do we have such a difficult time forgiving ourselves? 😦

      Warm, healing hugs and prayers for you, Erin. You’re such a sweetheart.

      Marie Elena

    • Laurie Kolp on said:

      There are things no one has control over… and I agree with Henrietta. Thanks for sharing this very personal piece of you. I have found writing about heavy burdens help me a lot, and I hope this helps you, Erin.

    • Erin, You didn’t make that decision alone. God and your parents must have agreed to let you sleep. You needed all that new found strength to face the morning. Prayers of strength to you each new morning after many healing nights of sleep.

    • Oh, Erin! What a terrible memory to carry with you. Knowing that there was nothing you could have done probably has little effect on the way you feel. I would try to see it as a sad memory more than a personal failure! Hugs to you. ❤

    • Oh, Erin, such a painful, heartfelt piece, and a sad experience you’ll carry forever. You couldn’t possibly know, or be blamed for your innocent reaction to a middle of the night disturbance. Forgive yourself — as you would forgive anyone else in a similar position. Peace to you.

    • Erin, you are a remarkable young lady. And at 15 you have no other responsibility than to be 15 years old and do the best you can at it. You struggle so much under your self imposed burden, and it was something you could not be responsible for. Everything happens for reasons we may never understand. It is up to us to accept what we cannot change and find the strength to change what you can… the Serenity Prayer basically. You are young, you will grow to know the difference. God bless you and your family. And I’m glad your were drawn to our garden; we are all learning from one another. Walt

    • Thank you all for your encouragement. I don’t feel this way all the time. It’s just that sometimes it weighs really heavily on me. I told my mom about it several years ago and she said thank God you didn’t come down. It was a terrible night.
      She reminded me of the scripture “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. Thank you all again.

    • I think everyone else has pretty much said everything I would say, so I will just send you a virtual hug, Erin.

    • You’re fifteen? To write an open-ended poem and leave the reader to fill in the blanks takes skill. You did what poets should. You evoked emotion and caused us all to ponder your words and you as poet and to feel for you in this difficult situation. You did all that without excessive sentimentality and excessive wordiness. Bravo. And yet, I too, wish I could give you a hug.

    • claudsy on said:

      Blessings to you, Erin. Everyone has covered all I had to say and then some. Be at peace with yourself. Your attitude will help you through.

    • Erin – I agree with everyone here and with your Mum – going back to sleep was nothing to reproach yourself about. In fact given the seriousness of the situation you probably did your parents a good turn by staying safe in bed and out of the way. As it was they were able to deal with what happened without having to worry about your reaction and without you panicking and making it worse. They were able to deal with how to tell you in the morning. You behaved as you should have – there is nothing you could have done that would have been an improvement. It is possible that if you’d gone downstairs they might have spoken unkindly to you in the panic and then had to deal with their own guilt about that on top of everything else. You saved them that pain. You did well. xx

    • This brought me to tears. You were where you needed to be, though it may be hard to process and make sense of it. You must forgive yourself. Wonderful poem; heart-wrenching that it is based on something that really happened.

    • Thank you Claudsy, Michelle, and Linda!

    • There’s really nothing more for me to add Erin that hasn’t already been said but just wanted to add my support for what you did and what you’re continuing to do. You are certainly a welcome addition to this garden. Be kind to yourself. Keep writing.

  2. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Walt: Beautiful truths… Meg… yes…

    I Never want to live the rest of my life saying: “I Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda…” ~<3 ❤ ~


    I resent that I couldn’t be perfect,
    I regret that I thought I should be.
    What made me think that perfection
    was a state that was suited for me?
    I tried it when I was a child;
    believed I’d find it when I was grown.
    I failed miserably
    as it surely must be
    But could not face my flaws as my own.

    My life would have been more accomplished
    if I had much earlier known
    that lessons are learned from each failure.
    That’s how true progress is shown.
    So now I’ve accepted my weakness
    as part of my humanity.
    But I wasted my time
    thinking faults were a crime
    and denying them only hurt me.

  4. Walt, what a spectacular reflection on your talents, friends, and life. I am glad that your poem ends with no regrets, because without the struggle there can be no triumph.

  5. Marie, your reflection on parenthood should be on the first page of every parenting magazine and book. It echoes the way nearly all of us feel about the missed opportunities of child rearing. If there is a soul out there who thinks they did everything right as a parent, s/he is probably delusional. But if we were perfect as parents, it would set the bar so high for our children that they would forever feel failure. My heart sings when, every so often, my adult children compliment me on something I did right as a parent.

    • Bless your heart, Linda. Thank you. I love your perspective, and will try to adopt it myself.


    • claudsy on said:

      Linda, you’ve expressed my sentiments exactly. Walt and Marie always seem to capture a tiny gem of expansive truth and then lay down for us to use as a blueprint.

      • I guess the one advantage of coming in this late is the rest of you wonderful writers have elucidated so beautifully all the things I just know I woulda/shoulda/coulda said to everyone, but especially to Walt and Marie Elena … seriously – the sentiments expressed by the foregoing reflect mine almost to a word, so thank you all so much – I really couldn’t have put it better myself.

  6. Let the Puppy Off His Leash

    Sometimes things you try to hold on to
    shouldn’t go together.
    Like wearing a business suit
    to the beach,
    refined, dignified,
    you keep your shoes on.

    If only you would
    strip off your façade,
    put your toes into the water,
    and allow the waves
    to wash like puppy kisses
    your ankles clean
    of the crap
    you walked them through.

    The stench
    of your mistakes
    wouldn’t follow you

  7. No Regrets?

    Men are liars who would say “I’ve no regret”!
    Their voice is hollow, talking to a wall
    of people who know all have been beset
    at one time or another by downfall.

    Those who sing “I’ve no regrets” are liar!
    Best they do to cover up the bold truth
    when mirrored, see but only their desire;
    they do not see the bald head or no tooth.

    I move among the age`d, and I’m one
    of those who know the pitfall of romance;
    regrets proposal made beneath the sun.
    Am here to say there’s danger in life’s dance.

    “Regrets, I’ve had a few”, Sinatra sang;
    there is much truth in this, `tween yin and yang.

    • I agree Jacqueline. I am certain that the differences are in how we deal with the regrets. I love the form and style of this poem.

    • Marjory M Thompson (MMT) on said:

      No regrets….Foolish saying of the mentally blind and deaf.

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      Yes… we regret… we are hurt…

    • claudsy on said:

      Jacqueline, Really nice poem. All that you say is true. There will always be things we wished hadn’t happened, things we wish we’d never done, learned, etc. Fortunately, we have a choice to take each to heart and dwell on them, or to know that each was a necessary lesson and learn from it without drowning.

  8. Laurie Kolp on said:

    Did You Know How Much You Meant to Me?

    It’s not the gifts we did or didn’t buy
    The petty little quarrels ‘bout a cutie-pie
    Clothes worn, designer bags, or “in” hair style,
    Who made king and queen of prom, most popular child.

    It’s the words not said, lack of support
    Pictures not taken, absence of sort
    Hugs and smiles, a prayer or two-
    Things I no longer get to do for you.

  9. Pingback: Too Soon | Metaphors and Smiles

  10. Too Soon

    Like a bee drawn to flower,

    a hippo to water, pig to mud,

    like a pillow-requiring a pillow-case,

    as a tree seeks fulfillment in leaves,

    dirt needs earthworms to be rich,

    the way the forest pairs with silence

    in a chirping-creaking way

    and yes, the way of the ocean

    how it does not refuse

    or go against the turning of the tides

    they all create such and ambient air,

    they’re all so very compliant…

    but the jelly-fish got the memo too late,

    long and slippery-stuck-it lost its chance-

    missed the last bus for departure,

    abandoned by that outgoing wave.

    The love-quest began and “yes,” was my reply

    too many times and too early in my life.

    How I wish I hadn’t sought for my self-worth-

    searching in vain for my true value in other beings;

    on a heated-whim-I’d let my heart be opened,

    so easily-to be broken-tasted and wasted-

    left on the shore to wither and die.

    I, a bee to nectar, I believed I needed them,

    I thought to live and feel worthy that it was essential,

    a perfect-pairing to make me whole

    but in the end I always felt so incomplete,

    I struggled feeling so darned empty

    when all along the someone I needed was me.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2012

  11. When I Reflect

    O, Lord, when I reflect on my failings:

    my clueless moments as a mother
    leading me to neglect responsibilities,

    my tendency to be childish in wanting
    play before work,

    the year I promised my students if they
    failed I would warn them, but I did not,

    my rare but sometimes erupting anger over
    a long-ago indecent of public disrespect,

    O, Lord, teach me to remember:

    You, the sinless One took those sins
    on your own body on the Cross.

    You wasted not one moment of Your
    suffering for the whole world.

    You require only faith in You, repentance,
    confession and turning from those sins.

    I can achieve nothing by taking on
    the pain and torture of regret.

    If we confess our sins You are faithful
    and just to both forgive and cleanse.

    O, Lord, please forgive and cleanse.

  12. Marjory M Thompson (MMT) on said:

    Marie, the tale of most parents of (one time) teenagers, but we do what we feel is right for the moment – we are not asked to do more.

    Walt, well put, and whatever our background, we are the sum total of all our experiences – it all lead to who we are today

  13. Marjory M Thompson (MMT) on said:

    For some reason I can not ‘cut-n-paste’ 😦

    Hands and body speaking loud
    expressing life without voice.
    To learn hand-language, well I
    should-a done better.

    His family pushed their dairy.
    He was teacher, not farmmer,
    but as a farmer’s wife, I
    would-a done better.

    My relationship with God,
    Sometimes blew hot, at times cold
    with life’s testimony, I
    could-a done better.

  14. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda: Other Things to Consider

    Just Not
    That Into You”

  15. connielpeters on said:

    Do Over

    If I had to do it all over again
    when would I begin?
    Just a few minutes ago?
    And not skip church?
    Or maybe a few years ago
    when I didn’t insist my son go to college.
    Or maybe farther back
    and not make some moves we made.
    And I can name several large purchases
    I’d like to take back.
    Would I marry the same man?
    Would I still only go to one year of college?
    Or not go at all?
    Would I do what I really wanted in high school—
    go to Vo-tech, instead of taking academic classes?
    Would I be starting over somewhere in grade school?
    Or would I change my date of birth
    so Dad wouldn’t have been too tired to miss
    the first day of squirrel season in 1958?
    What do I truly regret?
    Spending so much time regretting.

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      Wow… those questions… made me think of my 2-Hour glass that sits on my coffee table… one grain of sand for each question to ask in an entire lifetime…

    • claudsy on said:

      Connie–you too? My Dad had the same issue at my birth. Love this. It asks the most pertinent question. If we could got back, where would we start?

      • connielpeters on said:

        Claudsy, you messed up your dad’s squirrel season too? funny

        • claudsy on said:

          Yep, and Mom never let him forget it, either. He insisted on going hunting that morning even though she’d started into labor, and they lived out in the country, miles and miles from any hospital. She’s was never pleased about that.

    • Great reasoning, Connie. You are right, regrets really serve little purpose unless they spur us to examine future choices and make better ones.

    • janeshlensky on said:

      Friends, I think it’s fair not to regret our births, since we didn’t bring that to be anyway. Lay that on the parents;). As a firm believer in non-harmful sin, I save all my regret for the big blunders, knowing there’s nothing really that can be done about them and regretting is a waste of good time. Meanwhile, I really enjoy remembering the petty tomfooleries of my life, don’t you?

  16. Pingback: POETIC BLOOMINGS: the first year « POETIC BLOOMINGS

  17. claudsy on said:

    Good one, Marie and Walt. This is my first for this occasion. I’ll probably do at least one more, but tomorrow. Everyone’s are looking impressive indeed. I’ll comment tomorrow as well.

    Making Life Happen

    How odd that life
    Has come so far
    Without plan or
    Long-term goals;
    How odd that I
    Sit here writing words
    For purposes of
    Looking for regrets,
    When for so long
    I worked to remove
    Them from future life;
    How odd that in
    Looking back I can
    See only forward to
    The knowledge that
    I am who I made
    Myself to be within
    A future I designed,
    And to regret steps
    Taken or missed mars
    The one I am or could be.

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      Ohh… good words, Clauds!!

    • It makes a lot of sense not to look for or fixate on regrets. I hope to have fewer of them in the future! Nice work.

      • claudsy on said:

        Thanks, Linda. I know that, for me, it’s a constant task, reflected in the number of distractions I can cram into each day. Writing helps me correct many of those faux pas of the past. I can write them right and see good outcomes.

    • janeshlensky on said:

      Sing it, sister! Your poem reminds me of the story of Dolly Parton when filming Steel Magnolias. The day plus the lights had melted the actresses down and they were complaining about the heat, Dolly saying nothing. Darrell Hannah asked her if she wasn’t hot and she stared them all down and said, all my life I’ve wanted to be a famous actress and singer. Wouldn’t I be stupid to complain about a little heat when I got what I asked for? Your poem, “I am who I made myself to be within a future I designed” is as honest and smart as Dolly was on a hot day in the deep south.

      • claudsy on said:

        Oh, thank you so much, Jane. What a lovely thing to say. It’s something I work on each day, as I told one of the gals. Regret is a pointless waste of good emotional energy since nothing from the past can ever be changed, except our attitudes, actions, and thoughts. The real regret is if we didn’t change because of those moment in the past.

    • Dolly Parton is probably one of the most naturally clever people alive, in my view … I love her to death … good poem Claudsy.

  18. Pingback: One of Life’s Big Questions | Two Voices, One Song

  19. “I coulda but I knew not enough”

    When a girl plays in coals,
    she doesn’t think about the stains—
    just the fun without tomorrow’s burnt ashes
    scattered on the family tree.

    Someone called it broken now—
    dissected shredded
    a pyre too big to sweep
    under the rug. I woulda bought a
    bigger broom for just one smile,

    I coulda bought one
    once upon a time.

    Once upon a time, I knew
    not enough
    but I knew enough to know
    sweeping ashes
    just makes more ashes.
    I guess I coulda
    played with ice instead
    but once upon a time
    I knew not enough.

  20. “coulda, woulda, shoulda” #84

    Don’t Look Back

    I think back seldom
    on mistakes of my past.
    Whether ruing regrets
    or mewling over guilt,
    too much time is lost
    from the present.

  21. Scattered Bits of Deja Vu

    I was never meant to be here anyway.
    I was meant to soar the midnight sky.
    Twice taken from this earthly plane
    and sent back here to live again
    too stubborn or to stupid not to die.

    Who says you cannot see the future?
    Be wise and stay away from harm.
    Each blessed day that you shall live
    there is a gift that you can give.
    They say the third time really is a charm.

    Reality’s the way it is
    through destiny and fate.
    Now everything is coming true
    in scattered bits of déjà vu.
    It is not over, and it’s not too late.

    By Michael Grove

  22. Grantchester

    That year it was spring forever
    so that when we stood in the
    water meadows all around us
    was white, bursting with possibility.

    And if I could be there again, today,
    I would lift you in the June breeze,
    and breathe until the air was filled
    with love, and hope, without regret.

  23. Marian Veverka on said:

    Not Quite Normal

    “If only “ can be the sharpest words
    that stab into our memories
    Moments when the road we chose
    Lead us to unexpected grief.

    We perch here on the crest of now
    What might have been shattered on the ground
    We tried to choose what seemed the right –
    Too many choices turned out wrong.

    Autism and Aspergers are names
    Science uses today for minds like mine
    Emotion and creativity are our gifts
    We pay for them by being blind

    Those who within our circle dwell
    Parents, children, neighbors, friends
    We love them all but how to explain
    Those barriers we cannot climb?

    We paint our pictures, write our words
    Perform our music with style and verve
    Struggling to survive in society – sometimes
    We’re faking it – but the pain is very real.

    • I am a speech pathologist and have enjoyed the company of many teens and adults with ASD over the years. You have so accurately described what so many on the spectrum experience. Hugs to you. It is a difficult burden to bear. You are fortunate in that you are on the part of the spectrum that can use words to express these feelings.

  24. claudsy on said:

    Oh, Marian, these words hold such resignation and sadness. I wish it were not so, but then their impact, their importance would be lost and left unshared from those who would comprehend their truth.

    You give us so much with your poetry and you are valued by so many. You and others who share your position are teachers of import. My grandmother told us when I was small that all of those who were different than us were teachers, guiding us toward understanding and acceptance. My grandmother always told us truths we needed to hold onto and explore.

    Thank you, Marian, for teaching me and so many others. This poem is a wonderful and blessed lesson.

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      Oh yes!!!

    • Well put Marian – and courageously as well – and thanks to Linda and especially Claudsy for further clarifying just how brave you are with your creativity and how lucky we are that you share so much of yourself with us. You are valued indeed – for yourself, for your talent and for the enormous blessing you are extending with your generosity in teaching us some wonderful and important truths. Thank you so much.

  25. janeshlensky on said:

    Sorry I’m tardy to the party. Thought I’d try a sonnet this time. To itemize my coulda/shoulda’s would tilt the bloggosphere. Forgive the lack of specificity.

    Hoarfrost Lessons

    “I never dared to be radical when young for fear it would make me conservative when old.” Robert Frost

    When I was young and futures long and slow,
    I said, “I don’t do grief, regret, or fear.”
    I should have added “shame”—I didn’t know
    that life has means to shape our sojourns here—

    has ways of teaching us to speak with care,
    has arrows reaching deeper than the heart,
    has ways of reinventing all we dare,
    has tools for taking our beliefs apart.

    Now in my slate-gray hours, I perceive
    how much I squandered on unthinking deeds;
    with all the good, yet I regret and grieve
    when I knew right but followed where wrong leads.

    Aged lessons give us paths we can pursue,
    but youth instills in us what not to do.

  26. janeshlensky on said:

    One more, born of trying all day to get my grade equations to be correct. Grrr.


    To Could, Would, Should,
    Add Bad and Good.
    Subtract Regret and Shame,
    Then Multiply
    (Until you die)
    those acts you cannot blame
    on circumstance
    or smoking plants—
    Graph this, you know the drill:
    then Ought is fraught
    with what is taught
    when you Solve for Can and Will.

  27. Iris D on said:

    Rear View Mirror

    Looking back is through a rear view mirror,
    That is why it is much smaller than windshield
    Only clear view is the present
    My back view is distorted and unclear
    I have to forge ahead because I could haves and should haves
    Are useless to my about to and take a back seat to my now

  28. All:

    I’m blown away. This week is going to be exceptionally hard to choose only one poem to honor with a “bloom.”

    Sheryl, your poem is anything but “lame.” I was nodding my head in agreement with every line.

    Marian, Thank you so much for displaying your heart and person with such candor and creativity. You amaze me.

    And one more thing, which I will also post in our facebook group: Our own Viv spent the last 10 days in the hospital, following a heart attack. Please hold her in your thoughts and prayers.

    Marie Elena

  29. Regrets? I’ve Not a Few

    Maybe it was growing up with someone who worried
    About everything – how: it, we, they, she – looked
    were, went, was – you name it, she worried about it
    Still does to a certain extent, I guess, but of course
    I’m past the point of noticing and besides, I grew
    To a place where, “I don’t care” or “It doesn’t matter”
    Became the mantras of my life, the words that saved
    Me time to time, until nothing much did matter
    And the mantra was no longer life-saving but a chant
    That blocked out all else, numbing me to everything
    Good, bad, or indifferent—never mind the sleepiness,
    —an actual undiagnosed disorder—
    that pervaded every facet of my life for years …

    As a wise person in my life is fond of saying, he doesn’t
    Regret or worry about things he can’t change because
    What’s the sense of that? Life is too short to spend time
    Wasting it on things you know you can’t do anything about

    It took him a long time but eventually he convinced me
    Of the wisdom of this philosophy and I adopted it for my own
    Why indeed have a litany of woulda, shoulda, couldas?

    I am not getting any younger (neither is he, he reminds me)
    Let’s make some better memories – then reminds me
    Of quite a few good ones we have already – asks me if there
    Is really much I would change – he knows there’s not

    Laughs with me when I ask him if he thinks I’ve been too candid
    In this memoir series I’m taking part in – he keeps up somewhat
    Wonders ruefully if I’m joking, reminds me of certain poems,
    The odd interview granted – I take his point – too late for regret
    On that front – he shakes his head as always, tells me once more
    It’s my story to tell and he likes the way I’m telling it …


  30. Sorry, She Said

    Say sorry, she said, and I always
    did. Good girl, she’d say, so sorry became
    a slow slide into commonspeak –

    How’s the weather;
    How are you;
    Nice to see you, and “sorry” slid

    in between those auto-responses:
    Excuse me and Pardon me, and for that
    I am rather sorry

    Regrets? No, not many but I am not
    without guilt and often
    quite sorry.

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      … Misky… you just brighten my day with your words… I just Love that little “quirkiness”… I thank you… <3!!

  31. Pingback: Sorry, She Said « Misky

  32. Too many couldn’t-wouldn’t-didn’t (s) to sift through. Most would have been taken care of if I could have learned one thing:

    to ask for help

    You could build
    a superstar, a troubadour, inventor,
    artist, philosopher
    by taking my wrong turns, and learning
    from the questions
    I didn’t know how to ask.

  33. Lost

    Following the guide down the trail into the cavern,
    we often stopped—a breather for us, tenderfoots
    unaccustomed to the dry heat, the steep incline,
    the effort required to reach our goal far below.

    She used the stops to school us in the geology,
    the striated colors of the canyon walls, the flora
    and fauna, juniper, agave cacti, sure-footed mules
    walking the edge of the trail, nearest the edge.

    Under one edge, she pointed out packrat middens,
    deposits left over decades, even centuries, as rich
    in detail as human cysts holding teeth or coins.
    I saw a glimpse into my own flawed psychology.

    How often, I mused, did the creatures return
    to recover what they’d store up, left behind.
    Like me, do they spend their days, searching
    frantically through piles for the elusive item?

    Never had I realized the strong, fine threads
    between my hoards and my losses, my search
    for that needle in my proverbial haystacks,
    those boxes, piles, drawers, and closet shelves.

    What’s the good in keeping it if I can’t find it?
    By now, I’ve lost more time looking for the book,
    the note, the photograph, the letter or the file
    than I’d have spent in relishing the possession.

  34. Mr. Dilettante on said:

    I prefer to trust my own conclusions,
    And secret myself in my own seclusion.
    For I’ve spent so long first on the battle lines
    That the violence wreaked havoc with the mind.
    And now that the warmth of the sun glows,
    I shiver, I shake, what is this noise I make?
    And what made me frightened of day, who knows.

    But the thoughtful and careful examination of my past
    Trying to tell me how I can hurt and hurt and laugh
    Is a dangerous study—here there lies madness:
    Dwelling so logically on the birth of such sadness.
    But perhaps I wouldn’t have spoken so often in life.
    Perhaps I should’ve kept myself more to myself.
    Perhaps I could now enjoy happiness even if the price
    Wasn’t bought with my blood but someone else’s.
    Perhaps, perhaps, but here we are,
    Hoping for healing for a weird, weird heart.

  35. While I know I posted already, and it was a poem about no regrets, I remembered I had once written a poem that was quite the opposite and just as honest, maybe more so …

    Deconstructing Memory

    Without my asking, pages of that year find their way into my hands
    And before I know it, my eyes are drawn to the lines there limned
    Those days, so detailed at times, I cannot look away, yet all I want to do
    Is throw the lot of them off some cliff or into a furnace or a fire-pit, at least
    But all I’m able it seems, to do, is read and re-read, the most graphic
    Descriptions of a woman I do not recognize, dismantling a life I so recall
    With such tenderness and regret, I find myself, inevitably reaching out
    Physically moving my hand as if to offer it in peace to someone
    Perhaps one of my children – oh please – take my hand and pull me back
    From the precipice of my own disastrous choices, I seem to be saying

    Now, long after that time of rash decisions and judgements
    not entirely sane
    When hindsight is so much clearer than any sight was then, even though
    There was no telling me anything then – I was so sure I had it right,
    so sure
    That there was nothing wrong inside my head, my heart, my soul
    That all the rending of other’s lives was justified, in fact, essential
    if all were to survive
    I was convinced, of that I was so certain – the feeling comes back
    to me at times
    Washes over me; the colour of shame is as red as radishes or rhubarb
    or blood spilled
    And I think I might die of humiliation and remorse but there is no
    death from that
    Apparently, for I have lain awake in the dark praying for death’s
    pale horse
    To come riding in the night and carry me off, before I do any
    more damage
    Damage that I am sure resides in me yet, just waiting for its chance
    to leap out once more
    Grasp all that I love, all that is good and right in my life, and rip it
    into tiny, irreparable shreds.


  36. One Regret

    The words I love so much
    were used with stabbing wit –
    Cutting deep, while disguised
    with mocking smiles
    and layers of cloying sweetness.

    Sometimes I pulled no punches
    laying it plainly on the table,
    no disguises, not realizing
    brutal honesty is not always best –

    With age
    you learn you really weren’t so smart or cool,
    sometimes honesty with holes is best –
    So I can’t erase the words
    nor turn time around,
    there is no making amends,
    all I can do is move forward
    putting the knives away
    letting the past melt into dust
    and hope the words I utter
    have no bite to them.

  37. Better late than never…

    Choices Amplified

    Funny, just the other day;
    my parents saw a former classmate
    of mine. “Is she still singing?” she asked.
    I hear that question every time I see
    someone from my small hometown.
    They all thought I could make it big in music.
    I wasn’t so sure.
    So, I chose to speak rather than sing
    into the mic. I enjoy it immensely.
    I do occasionally wonder though,
    how far I could have gone,
    singing for my supper.

    © Kelly E. Donadio – November 2012

  38. Pingback: You Desire Change? Well So Do I! | CUSTOMER 168SERVICE

  39. Pingback: Living In The Now | echoes from the silence

  40. Pingback: PART 19 – Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda | Two Voices, One Song

  41. ejparsons on said:

    All Over Again

    When I look back over the years
    Posed with the question of what
    I would have done differently
    If the opportunity raised its head
    Would I?

    After all I could have done so much
    Maybe even ended up wealthy
    Or famous or really important
    A General or even President
    I could have invested in real estate
    Made millions in the stock market
    Written a bestselling series
    Or been a movie star

    If I had taken a different path
    Who knows what I might be
    Where I might be living
    What I might be doing
    Or if I’d even still be alive

    Then I see my beautiful wife
    My lovely children and grandchildren
    And think to myself……
    What if I did do things differently
    And I didn’t have them?

    I wouldn’t risk not having them
    I wouldn’t change a thing

    (C) 2013 Earl Parsons

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