a song of escape

shoveling snow at home in Iowa
 a song of escape
 hat-covered heads and booted feet
 parka-wrapped people shoveling snow
 the neighborhood working in unison
 the panting of their breath visible song
 a song of escape
 a song with a tropical beat
 a song featuring heads under straw sombreros
 feet melting in soft sand
 the sun bathing half-naked bodies in light
 in warmth, wonderful heat,
 a song that becomes the sound of the sea
 gazes face the salty rocks
 out to where the whales while away the day
 to the straight line of the horizon
 miles away 

Another poem from what I’ve decided to call my Gathering at the Sea collection, written while on holiday in San Agustinillo, Mexico in January 2021. You can find other poems from my little collection previously posted here:


The Ocean

little shell

When the seedlings are encouraged

Hostas sprouting in spring by Vicki Flaherty, 2019, Iowa

When the seedlings are encouraged

They can be so stingy with the essential ingredient,
the vitamin that strengthens the artist spirit:
They tear apart and break down, their intellect like a knife,
rather than lend their souls, like a salve.
Their perspective is fogged in and funneled;
what they see shaped by their rule books
and their own fear of being free:
should-haves, limitations, and imperfection,
instead of pure creative impulse filled with possibility.

We all start somewhere, seeds pulled by energy,
encouragement feeding the inner artist within,
our potential and willingness to try appreciated.

Imagine if all of us artist seedlings
were appreciated for who we are
and encouraged through our creative process,
what a beautiful world would flourish.

The seedling
with nature’s gentle hand
and the mature trees’ encouragement
flourishes in the forest.

This post was Inspired by Chapter 8 of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I’m going through this self-guided book and am excited to be 2/3 through. I’ve tried twice before – but never got beyond Chapter 1 or 2; this time I’m ready. I’ve been supported in opening my creative energy and acknowledging the artist within me. With a beginner’s mind, I am invited to try so many things. I recently had the courage to buy a few bottles of acrylic paint to dabble with painting. I also checked out books at the public library on collage and making hand-made books. I started playing with the former and excited to experiment with the latter. I’ve also been called back to old hobbies like photography cards, sewing, and crochet. I find I’m in love with different colors and textures of crafting paper and making things decorated with heart and flower punches – to delight the eye, open the heart and open possibility. I’ve included some photos of recent inspirations

A holiday crocheted hat, fabric bookmarks, yoga bag, shawl with beading detail, collage card, embellished photo cards, crafting heart punch and card stock goodies, acrylic paint on patterned paper posted to card, crocheted potholder,

Gazing on tall pines

Pines in Iowa.jpg

Gazing on tall pines

I sit in the big white chair
snuggled in the fuzzy warmth
of the blanket my mother-in-law gave me
when I had breast cancer.

I gaze upon the tall pines
standing outside the living room window
and I wonder…

What do they see
from their little patch on our front lawn?
At times, do they look within
to find their strength and resilience?
How often do they take comfort together
and need each other for support?
Are they mesmerized by the beauty
of the evening sky aglow at sunset?
At night, do they fall asleep
to the music of the moon?
When they wake to the morning light,
do they long for someone to see and love them?


Sitting in the chair, contemplating the trees inspired me to finally get a copy of The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, which I am now reading with fascination. It’s fun to explore something I’d never given much thought, to open my mind to something so much bigger and beyond myself.


* One winter I took this photo from the middle of the my street. It shows the pines that I see through the living room window.