Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Gift from Nature on Christmas Eve

Winter solstice is two days spent,
a half moon floats in the velvet dome of night,
I see Orion falling towards the western horizon,
a pale constellation over city lights.

Here in the desert the cool night breeze
wafts around my legs bare beneath my robe,
for I have run outside in response to the wild calls
of two great horned owls with romance in their hearts!

Love is in the air and on the rooftops of Tucson
on this Christmas Eve
I’m listening to the owl choir
as heaven and nature sing
on this not so silent night, this Holy Night,
I stand beneath Ursa Major
so thankful for this gift.

~Kathie Adams Brown (December 24, 2013)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November Days

These are November Days,
Gray skies, unsettled weather, unsettled memories.

November skies are filled with longing,
longing for another place,
for the lost past,
for families and for love.

I feel that longing like a skein of wild geese honking out their cries
as they wing across the skies.
I feel that restlessness


and wonder where my wings are
and why I cannot fly.

The memories of passing years float up like clouds from the deep,
and I remember laughter, and a warm kitchen and standing with my Nana
While she stirred white pepper into smooth brown gravy in her farm kitchen
at Thanksgiving Time.

November days are wild days of longing and families and love.

~kathie adams brown (November 27, 2013)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sometimes Solitude is Bliss

Photo courtesy of Chris Rohrer

I like people...sometimes.
I like to have a friendly chat, to walk in quiet companionship through the woods,
To laugh about a funny movie with a friend,
To bemoan the worries of the world over coffee or tea.
I love to share the things I love with my friends, but sometimes, solitude is bliss!
There are no demands when I am alone,
No right answers I have to think of,
No need to be clever or cute or witty.
I can just be me and think my own thoughts
And smile at what makes me happy
Or dance in my heart.
There is no one to criticize or summarize or scrutinize or any other “-ize” me.

I can just be.

~kathie adams brown (October 17, 2013)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mother Ghost Nursery Rhymes

Rock-a-bye monster on Mommy's lap,
you have a lip that hangs like a flap,
your hair is long and slimy green,
and you're tall and skinny just like a green bean! (1970's)

Rock-a-bye ghosty high in the rafters
Mommy will keep you from any disasters
If anyone comes I will scare them away
I'll rattle my chains and yell "BOO! in their face!

~kathie adams brown (2013)

Happy Halloween!

Note: As I was writing these poems I decided to Google the title, "Mother Ghost Nursery Rhymes" just to see what was out there and I found this recording by Scholastic from 1968! I know I listened to this when I was young as I remember all the poems and songs by heart! What a treat! I can only guess that I was inspired to write my own version of Ghostly Rhymes after hearing this recording. However, each of these are my own original works adapted from  the original Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes. I hope you will enjoy them both. You can listen to the Scholastic recording by clicking on the link below. You can read all of my posts relating to this topic by clicking on the label "Mother Ghost Nursery Rhymes."

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mother Ghost Nursery Rhymes

photo courtesy of Chris Rohrer

Mary had a little bat with hair as black as night
and everywhere that Mary went she really was a fright!
It followed her to school one day, t'was really outta-sight!
to see that bat a-hanging there from that traffic light! ~kathie adams 1970's

Mary had a little snake that slithered right along
it flicked its tongue and flashed its scales as Mary sang a song
She brought the snake to school one day for everyone to see
and couldn't understand it when they all got up to flee!

~kathie adams brown 8-27-2013

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mother Ghost Nursery Rhymes

Little Jack Horner
sat in a corner
eating a Halloween pie.
He put in his finger
and pulled out a stinger
and said "What a good Ghosty am I!" ~1970's

Little ghost Marty
was at a Halloween party
watching the kids go by
but when he tried to scare them
he found that they scared Him,
'cause he never saw costumes like theirs! ~2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Mother Ghost Nursery Rhymes

Croak, croak black frog have you any eggs,
Yes sir, yes sir three full kegs,
one for the witches, one for the queen,
and one for the little boy who's turning so green!
Croak, croak black frog have you any eggs?
Yes sir, yes sir! Three full kegs!

~kathie adams brown circa 1970

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mother Ghost Nursery Rhymes

Witch be nimble,
Witch be quick,
Witch jump over your brewing pit!

Peter, Peter, people eater
had a wife and couldn't eat her,
put her in a pumpkin shell
and kept her 'til she ceased to smell!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mother Ghost Nursery Rhymes

Hey diddle diddle
the bat and the fiddle
the werewolf jumped over the moon
Frankenstein laughed to see such a fright
and Dracula flew away in a swoon.

Happy Halloween!

Note: My mother recently found an old yellowed paper with these Mother Ghost Nursery Rhymes typed up on it. I vaguely remember writing these for an English class sometime back in the 70's when I was a teenager. I thought it would be fun to post them for this Halloween. While most of them are as I originally wrote them, I have changed a couple of words in a couple of them. There are 7 in all (unless I get inspired to write some new ones!) 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Mists of Yellowstone

Morning light diffuses in the mists of Yellowstone.
Blackbirds gather to feed on the insects attracted to the warmth of hot springs,
A few of them perch in silhouette against the pale blue sky,
Like the shadows of elusive thoughts.
The mists envelope me and cloud my mind.
I wonder if this is real, if I am awake, if sun will ever shine again.
I wander down the misty trail, eyes trying to pierce the fog, to see,
The bare bones, the tree spines, the souls of the forest revealed.
I am walking on hallowed ground,
The earth is renewed in this steaming water,
From the bowels of the earth the birth heat is released,
And then I find the life born in this place,
Evidence of generations of its kind nibbling on grasses, seeds, berries,
Parallel lines of black and white streak down its back
And end in a furry tail.
I smile at the chipmunk, my furry friend amidst all this steam and stone.
I know there is a plan, an architecture to it all—
Here in the mists, there is structure and order, and LIFE!

~kathie adams brown (October 17, 2013)

adapted from a post I wrote for Kathie's Birds called: 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

In the Green Fields of Maine

Norridgewock, ME 2012

In the green fields of Maine
I lie on the cool green breast of the earth
Warmed by an Indian Summer sun
While all of my sadness drains away
Drawn out by this good earth,
This dirt and grass, and deep blue sky
I lie here still as a newborn fawn,
I feel this sense of being
Close to the earth I love
Close to the land I love
Close to the beating heart of nature
I lie here weak and worried
Then I rest
And let my heart grow strong
Lying on this cool green breast
Warmed by the October sun
Grateful that I am home.

~Kathie Adams Brown (February 7, 2013)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

End O'Day in the Catalina Foothills

I listened to the thrasher’s call
I heard coyotes sing
As the sun went down and the cactus glowed
And Gambel’s Quail took wing,
In the Catalina Foothills
When daylight fades to night
The birds and I—we are Wild Things
Dancing in golden light.

~kathie adams brown (October 2, 2013)

Friday, September 20, 2013

September Moon

Moonrise over the Rincon Mountains
The harvest moon
rising full behind the Rincon Mountains,
a glowing orb in a cobalt sky,
with poorwills calling from the rocky canyons
and a dry desert wind running free
like a ghost horse
between cactus and sagebrush
telling me an age-old story,
whispers from the past
illuminated by the light
of a September moon.

~kathie adams brown (September 20, 2013)

Imaginary Garden with Real Toads

Monday, September 2, 2013

Handprints on the Wall

I’ve cleaned these walls before
In a different house
Twenty years ago
when you were young
cheesy handprints on the wall
sticky imprints of your life
Your own DNA embodied
 in the small boy
Who races through my house now
with joyful abandon.

I get the spray bottle and the cloth
And as I wipe I smile
At this connecting thread.

~kathie adams brown (8-26-13)

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Quail is a Gray Shadow

The Quail is a Gray Shadow
The quail is a gray shadow
Nestled in the spindly arms of the green desert broom
From sun, rain,
and predators.

Hold; hold still. 

~kathie adams brown (8-19-13)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Poem for a Boy Coming Home

I have waited for you with beating heart
Trembling with anticipation
Arms opened wide for an embrace
Waiting to see your eyes, your face.
How can you know the depths of my love?
I do not think most boys really understand.
Your boyish smile is the delight of my life,
Your desire to protect me is a quality I love,
Your striving for respect is beyond admirable,
And all that you are I love.

I am your mother, your grandmother, your sister, your wife.
I am all the women in your life.

You are my boy, my son, my grandson, my brother, and My Man.

~kathie adams brown (8-16-13)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

August Wind

August wind blows dry
Dark clouds gather in heaps over the mountains
Restlessness is in this unsettled air
I stir from my summer stupor
I wonder
What will tomorrow bring?
But for tonight
As trees toss limbs around me
Waving leaves like black lace handkerchiefs against the smoky sky
I am caught up in this wind and carried on a dream
And I fly.

~kathie adams brown (August 14, 2013)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Gold, Green and Gray Days

Covered Bridge at Devil's Hopyard State Park 6-29-2013

Gold, green and gray,
These are the days
Of early summer in New England
When the sun has yet to dominate,
And mosquitoes start to rise on clouds
From wet forests and flooded fields,
Where humidity turns into rain
And back again
In the ageless alchemy of water
and life
and emerald.

It is the time before the blazing days of summer
When everything starts to wither and wilt
And turn brown.

These are the gold, green, and gray days,
The pensive days, the dreaming days,
The remembering.

~Kathie Adams Brown (July 23, 2013)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Gilded Flicker

Heat blazing
White skies
Flesh turned to liquid
Sticky and salty
Melting into the heat
Cicadas whine
Their whirr reaching a fever pitch
Birds pant in the trees
Shade does no good

The air is still,
Thick and still,
Suffocatingly still,
and still 

It is summer

With autumn but a distant dream
of color, and coolness, and relief.

~Kathie Adams Brown (July 17, 2013)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Mother's Painting

She let me pick the one I wanted
I liked the way she painted the pond,
the grasses and the rolling hills,
and the small red barn along the hedgerow.

I have never seen this place,
Yet it is everyplace I played
as a child.

It is the pond where my siblings and I
fed bread to small fishes,
It is the barn behind my grandparent’s house,
Those are the hills I ran upon,
that is the tree I climbed,
It is a collection of all the places
--from my childhood,
--from my memory,
--from her paintbrush
--to my heart.

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 1, 2013)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Savin Lake

Savin Lake 6-14-13 Lebanon, CT

A late spring day
late in the day
shadows falling, long, deep and cool
across the banks of Savin Lake
brimming from the recent rains
water pouring over the dam
like liquid amber
pounding down to the creek below
I watch the writhing, frothing water
a churning mess that would pound me to death
if given the chance,
But I turn away to the glassy lake
so blue, calm, and serene
where a kayaker cuts through the water
in silent strokes,
and geese serenely sit and float,
and swallows slice the evening air,
then dip and drip and fly again,
and in the brush the catbird sings,
and in the trees the waxwings feed,
as I stand on green and grassy banks
as a yellow warbler calls my heart
with notes so sweet and pure
and I breathe in this rich, cool scene,
I drink in this serenity,
the flat calm water,
the lush green trees,
the world reflected
in Savin Lake.

~Kathie Adams Brown (6-16-2013) Colchester, CT

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Questions About Love

Who can explain Love?
How can you understand it,
This thing that grips your heart like a vine
Twining its way around all aspects of your life?
What is the magic that draws one person to another?
Why is it that opposites attract?
Is love a constant thing, or
does it die and get reborn
again, and again, and again?

~Kathie Adams Brown (March 21, 2013)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Way of the Desert

Stealthily she comes on powerful wings,
dropping from the sky,
darting between houses,
as if they were canyon walls,
eyes fixed on her prize;

the hapless Gambel’s quail
with her brood of chicks feeding beneath my feeders.

The Cooper’s Hawk is spotted!
The birds EXPLODE with fear!

The quail run for cover
beneath the sheltering green skirts of a desert broom.
The hawks lands on my feeder pole and scours the yard with a hunter’s eye.
I run from the house like a screaming banshee to chase her away.
The hawk hesitates, then flies.

She is not afraid of me!
She, too, has hungry mouths to feed!

This is the way of the desert.

~kathie adams brown (May 29, 2013)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

In Praise of Weeds

hesperus in Andover, MA 5-12-12

Tenacious things,
Prolific reproducers,
Invades of lawns,
Rejuvenators of abandoned fields,
Seed producing,
Life giving,
Food for birds,
Decorators of highway edges,
Wildflowers in meadows,
Dandelion sunbursts in a field of green;
Weeds can be your enemy or…
Your friend.

~kathie adams brown (May 21, 2013)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I am the Velveteen Rabbit

Body misshapen,
Fur worn off,
Scars on legs, arms, face,
I have lived my life
And my body shows it.
I look in the mirror
And wonder where the girl I use to know went,
with flawless skin and shapely curves.
I look in the mirror and I see evidence
—of a life lived
—marks on my body
—each tells a story
some happy, some sad, all LIFE!
I am the Velveteen Rabbit
And I have become REAL.

~kathie adams brown (May 21, 2013)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

That's When I Need Beauty

When there is darkness all around me—
that’s when I need light.
When there is ugliness displayed—
that’s when I need beauty.
When the man-made world overwhelms—
that’s when I seek out Nature
to soothe and restore me,
to refresh my spirit,
to remind me that all is not lost,
that there will always be light, beauty, and hope.

~kathie adams brown (May 10, 2013)

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Monster Among Us

Living next door in the boarded up house
Dwelt a monster dressed as a man
Walking among us, smiling at you
He is your neighbor you never knew
Of the dark secret hiding inside
In the dark house
In those dark rooms
With no one to see,
No one to hear
Their silent cries.
Their life was a nightmare no one should live
Every day filled with horror— no way to escape,


He devoured their souls,
Then, he walked among us
And we didn't know.
How did he hide all that evil inside?
Inside his shell,
Inside his house,
Inside his empty eyes?

Could no one see the monster inside?
Could no one hear those little girl’s cries?

~kathie adams brown (May 9, 2013)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

With a Splash of Red Stayed my Fear Hiding

With a splash of red stayed my fear hiding
In a small black box
Before the dim dusk.

Four fat cats sat high and indifferent
And the cheerless self crawled behind.

Slower than the non-existent
The dawdling cruel thought
The gray common thought.

Still the self cowered at the black sky
While sweet harp music played behind.

Whisper through lips stayed my fear sliding
Sliding the spine up
Before the dim dusk.

Four fat cats sat high and indifferent
The towering trees cast shadows behind.

Thorny it’s not, like wide-eyed wakefulness
The fat ponderous thought
The slow sluggish thought.

There stood myself at a black mountain
The satisfied stone whispered again.

Rocks in heart stayed my fear hiding
The flat-lined heart kept me behind.

Brighter they’re not than comfortable life
The dull fat thoughts
The squat relaxed thoughts.

Still looming large over the red valley
The unfortunate self stifled again.

With a splash of red stayed my fear hiding
In a small black box
Before the dim dusk.

Four fat cats sat high and indifferent
Truth rose up and set me free!

~kathie adams brown (April 30, 2013)

Prompt 30:  Rewrite a poem using words that mean the opposite

This poem is my version of the opposite of All in Green Went my Love Riding by e.e. cummings.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sunday Morning Litany in the Desert in Spring

Palo Verde Blossoms

Coffee on the patio
Mesquite trees in flower
Pollen everywhere
Goldfinches flittering
Roses in bloom,
Sunshine in the morning,
Shade in the afternoon.

Potted geranium by my chair
Lizards tumble in the yard
White-winged doves serenade
Hummingbirds hovering,
Palo Verde trees in bloom,
Insects a-buzzing,
Sunshine in the morning,
Shade in the afternoon.

Cactus wrens are calling,
Yellow blossoms on prickly pear,
A coronet of creamy blossom
Atop towering saguaros
Sky as blue as a lizard’s belly,
Ocatillos are in bloom,
Sunshine in the morning,
Shade in the afternoon,
It's springtime in the desert,
It's springtime in the desert,
It's Spring!

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 29, 2013)

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Loneliness and Solitude—two
States of being, similar in one respect,
In both, one is alone, but
With solitude one is renewed
And refreshed;
The heart swells with life and is calmed;
But loneliness is a soul eating beast,
Leaving one empty and filled with sadness.

~kathie adams brown (April 27, 2013)

Day 27

Nonsense at Night

And indeed, there will be time to wonder
Do I dare and do I dare count the birds
Again and again?
Are there birds where I will be?
Will the birds fly to me?
Will I know what I see?
Counting birds like counting crows                                  
It’s all in the way it goes
Should I learn to like this thing?
Will it take me over, make me sing?
I am counting all the time,
So often there’s not time to rhyme.
I missed my poem, I missed my song
and now the birds will sing along,
The bottom line, at least for me
when you’re tired, don’t write poetry!

~kathie adams brown (April 26, 2013)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I Remember the Girl

You look at me and what do you see?
White hair, thick middle, varicose veins?
I am getting old, it’s true.
We all do
But inside I am young, fierce, and passionate!
I can remember my long brown hair,
My slender waist,
My muscular legs.
I can remember leaping a brook,
jumping from stone to stone like a doe.
I can remember running through green pastures full of waist high grass
My long hair streaming behind me like a mane,
feeling as frisky as a young filly.
I can remember climbing trees like a monkey and
gazing down through the foliage at the ground
so far below.
I can remember swimming strong in the ocean,
Riding waves on my belly,
And rolling up on the sand to the sounds of seagulls calling.
Yes, I was young once—we all are;

And I can remember the girl.

~kathie adams brown (April 24, 2013)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Just a Little Irony

I want to write a triolet
I’d better hurry-don’t waste time,
I haven’t thought of one quite yet
A couplet poem built with rhyme,
I’d better hurry—don’t waste time,
If you are counting, lay your bets,
I want to write a triolet
I’d better hurry-don’t waste time!

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 23, 2013)

Prompt 23: Write a Triolet

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Deer on the Hill

In solitude and silence
In the evening along the marsh
I walk
Listening for birds
Feeling the gray mists roll in
Obscuring my view
Yet wrapping me in silence
Enhancing the solitude
Lost in my own thoughts
 A sweet peace envelopes me and then—I see them
The deer on the hill
And we are together
Alone in this benediction.

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 22, 2013)

Promt 22: Write an Earth Day Poem

Friday, April 19, 2013


A sleeping baby-the standard,
A little girl in a flowered dress in a field of flowers,
A little boy up to bat for the first time with his eyes shining,
Friday night ice-cream cones,
Puppies, kittens and colts,
Bottle feeding a baby goat,
Swinging on a Tarzan swing,
Splashing in the old creek swimming hole,
Carving a Halloween jack-o-lantern,
Winter sledding with hot chocolate and marshmallows,
This list should be longer!
Why is it so hard to remember

~Kathie Adams Brown (4-19-2013)

Prompt 18: Write a poem beginning and ending with the same word.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Running Home

Santa Rita Mountains, Tucson, AZ 2010

What is this that awakens me?
What is this pull I feel?
I rise on a sunny morning,
I get into my car and drive,
I pass beneath a Swainson’s hawk circling above,
I leave the city streets behind.
Around me, the desert opens wide—
I feel my mind relaxing
As each mile falls behind,
And then I see the wonder
Of this wild place
Each mile draws me closer
To these cactus covered slopes
Where birds fly free in a pale blue sky,
Where birds nest in pale green scrub,
Where mountain peaks rise up and stand
Shoulder to shoulder towering
Over spiny saguaros,
Deep canyons,
And me.

—I am being called
—I am being pulled
—I am running

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 17, 2013)

NaPoWriMo 2013 Day 17 Prompt: Write a poem of greeting.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

An Open Letter to Cowards and Bullies

To all the bullies and cowards in the world
You can stamp your feet,
You can yell and threaten
You can move quietly and leave
Carnage in your wake,
Perhaps you can evoke fear and terror, but
You will NEVER gain Respect,
And in the future, if your name is spoken
It will be spoken with contempt!
How do you know if you are a bully?

Answer me this:
Do you need to hurt others to get attention?

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 16, 2013)

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Gray Day

This is a blue day filled with promise
As the runners take to the streets,
The shining streets of Boston
—pounding feet
—hearts of courage
—dreams of glory fill the air,

Breathe, run, breathe, run, sweat, run some more.

This is a black day, a gray day
—where all hopes are dashed
—where red blood flows on gray streets
—where bird song and heart song are silenced

And in the silence...

a gray heron croaks.

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 15, 2013)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

These Suburban Streets

Morning sunshine illuminates
The bright green feathers of new leaves
On the mesquite trees that line the street,
White-winged doves fly and call
In the pale blue vault above,
In the distance the traffic hums a morning tune,
—the song of a new day,
Along the pavement the springtime flowers nod and sway,
The morning breeze teases me and ruffles my unruly hair,
I pass my neighbor in the street,
We are not going anywhere,
It’s just a morning stroll along these suburban streets,
It is a way to greet the day,

Until the smell of fresh-brewed coffee calls me home.
I take my cup into my walled garden and sit
With the roses and the birds.

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 13, 2013)

NaPoWriMo 2013 Day 13 Prompt: Take a stroll and write a poem about it.

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Spring Morning in Tucson

the still, gray air
nestles in around me
comforting me with its gentleness
in the backyard birds feed peacefully beneath
blooming roses.

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 12, 2013)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Arizona Kitchen

Here is the blue tissue box by the sink
and the green bird house pen and pencil holder,
the black granite counter tops (all anyone wants these days,
along with stainless steel appliances)

Here is the place where

                Endless dishes are washed,
                Coffee is brewed fresh every morning,
                Conversations begun and ended,
                Songs sung alone by myself.

Here is the place where
Easter eggs are colored,
Pizza is baked,
The Thanksgiving turkey is stuffed and roasted,
Caramel popcorn is made at Christmas,
Or, Margaritas on a summer evening,
The cats meow as I fill their dishes in the morning,
And in the evening the little black and white dog waits by the door
When she hears her master’s car in the driveway, but

This could be any kitchen, anywhere.

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 1, 2013)

NaPoWriMo 2013