sharing a poetic LIFELINE with the world

Author Archive

The Mystery- Dealing with Grief

The  Mystery

By Lin Neiswender

You were the cutest thing
So happy with a simple toy like green grass
A carpet to comfort your feet
Leaves blowing down sidewalks

Yours to track  by scratchy sound
When  wind blew stone-cold
Sharing a snack with the rest of the pack

Barking fiercely while picking goodies
from kitchen trash bin with no one home
Quick to guard me like a Rottweiler

But actually just a Shetland Sheep dog
Who then dashes behind me for protection
Mysterious fur shiny white, gray, black and silver

White lion’s mane, stripes  on face, back, chest, feathers on legs
He could have been a show dog if he was a little shorter
You are a shy but beautiful boy

But I know that someday
We will meet again, all of us,
Humans and dogs and cats  and everyone

As we dance our way



I had to put my sweet Sheltie Smokey to sleep last Saturday.When I saw the suffering in his eyes and it seemed to say Mom, please do something for me. So I did the right thing and had him put to sleep. Cancer has taken another of my sweet dogs. I’m across the Rainbow Bridge still expecting to see him when I first come in. When thoughts come like that, I know I can find comfort about my decision. He is out of pain. What a good dog he was. So now life goes on with me and the cat.




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Winter Rules

Winter scene in Blue

Winter scene in Blue (Photo credit: BrunoDelzant)

Winter Winds


Here comes the wind
Not the balmy wind of Spring
Not the sweaty wind of Summer,
Not the  vigorous wind of Fall

Winter rules with biting grasp
Tangling around  throat
Bitter fingers of ice steal breath
With every exhilation
Sidewalks and roads slick as glass
Waiting till a pale sun arrives
To melt it all

©  2013 Lin Neiswender




A Poem for Halloween

English: Pumpkin carving - photo taken in dark...

English: Pumpkin carving – photo taken in darkness to show the effect of illumination from within (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Character Parade
By Lin Neiswender

Porch lights off,

Too old for this
Bed calls to me
Time to remember
Nearing years’ end

Every minute precious as it’s recalled
Baby dressed like pea in a pod, held by Mom
Toddler plays the Great Pumpkin role,
Bucket clanking knee
Another knock at the door,
“Trick or Treat!” on sweet young lips
Pirates swagger up the walk, brandishing homemade swords
Beating flowers, bushes, leaves into submission
Hobo tips the hat for candy rewards
As gypsies twirl in flowing skirts
Occasional ghosts or Presidents in mask
Super heroes, fairy princesses whisper soft “Thank you’s”
Most polite, a few greedy

Blow out my pumpkins,
Bring them in,
Another Halloween at its end
Time flies faster than I can ken

©2012 Lin Neiswender

Remembering 9-11

WTC pre WFC 1984 from boat Hudson NYC

WTC pre WFC 1984 from boat Hudson NYC (Photo credit: Ibfraz)

I spent the last several days watching TV specials on the tragedy of 9/11. Some were new, some old, but all touched my heart strings. It gave me hope for humanity to see the EMT’s, doctors and nurses, Police Officers, Firemen and ordinary people rising to greater heights caring for the injured and getting them out of harm’s way. It reminds me that good can come from horrible events, but some memories will be with us forever. The survivors and the slain will always be in my heart.

I thought it might be healing to write poems about that day. You can write on any aspect of the events or people and post it as a comment.  Here is mine:


All Fall Down

Shining towers in early morning sun,
So strong, so beautiful, something meant
to last a hundred years
All fall down, vanishing in hours.
Clouds of destruction
roar down the street
An American Pyroclastic flow
Choking throats and sealing eyelids.
Screams, prayers, curses
Sounds and images of people
Running or walking or crawling, others in ambulances
Race toward what they hoped will be safety.
So much heroism, bravery, compassion
So much loss, so much pain.
Raw grief of survivors mingles with our own
What happened? Who did this?
Looking for someone to blame.
Fighting the inclination to condemn
A whole religion for the acts of a few.
Every year we honor those we lost
Pray that the families could put
Their lives back together with time
And that there is enough
Healing to go around.
©2012 Lin Neiswender




Focus on Form: Lip-Synch a Limerick

English: A pair of high heeled shoe with 12cm ...

Time for something fun, poetry fans. Put away that solemn face and let your Inner Child out to play by writing a limerick.

In its simplest form, the limerick has five lines. It is lighthearted,  sometimes naughty, witty and provokes a laugh. If you want to be a stickler for the form, Wiki says it is “anapestic or amphibrachic meter with a strict rhyme scheme (AABBA)”.  Follow that or do your own thing. like I did below.

A Sad Tale


Lin Neiswender

There was a young lad from ‘Bama
With a taste for glitter and glammah
His designer stiletto shoe
Too high for his hair doo
Made him spend the night in the slammah.


Lin’s Senryu

#1880 winner of manner poetry contest

I’m a beginner at Senryu and in addition to Margaret’s great links, found this link helpful:

Haiku or Senryu? How to Tell the Difference.
I followed the syllable count but switched the lines. Here’s my first stab at it:

Hot packed waiting room
Doctor gives bad news
How lovely is the sunshine

Farewell, Ray

Photo of Ray Bradbury.

The writing world lost one of its most gifted writers when Ray Bradbury passed away on June 6th. He was one of my literary heroes. Not only could he captivate me with strong story lines and amazing characters from his brilliant imagination, his style reads to me like poetry. It has a magical quality to it that strikes a deep chord in my soul.

I will miss him for that, as will many others. If you ever need a dose of literary Red Bull to energize your writing, get yourself a  copy of his book Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You. I promise you won’t regret it.



Thank You for the Publication Leads

Hands put over another, palms down.

I have several poems and art works published lately.

First is Issue 1, Volume 2 of the Restoration Earth Journal, My collages and poems appear on pages  21 (“Hathor’s Chorus”), page 79-80 (“La  Fleur” and  “The Photograph” ) and page 95 (“Lady in Red”). I appreciate Anne Westlund for suggesting I submit to that journal, which she is published in as well.

Next, three poems are published in Love and Other Passions by the Poets of Central Florida,  This came about because of a poetry group I belong to. You can find such groups on MeetUp.

Last, I had my poem A Painful Wait and its art work published in Quarter After,

I’d like to thank all those who recommended these venues to me. The power of friends helping friends with publication leads can’t be overestimated. So thank you, everyone!


Lin’s Focus on Villanelle

Cupid Cupid weather vane Pentlow, Essex.

Cupid Cupid weather vane Pentlow, Essex. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is my first villanelle,  from 2009. I found it very interesting and challenging to work in a rhymed form instead of my usual free verse.  It was also a stretch to work to  a rhyming pattern, but I managed it. I hope to see some of your villanelles posted here!

Love’s Progress

– A villanelle-
Lin Neiswender

Love takes wing and flies away
Shy Cupid with arrows adrift
Leaves mere mortals to seize the day

Blushing glances longings betray
Pulses beating now more swift
Love takes wing and flies away

Stem by stem a sweet bouquet
Rose and lilac scents do lift
Leaves mere mortals to seize the day

Soft low voices fears allay
Giving fear a mere short shrift
Love takes wing and flies away

New lover’s whisper, a tender play
Hearts will meet then souls uplift
Leaves mere mortals to seize the day

One kiss may give passion sway
A final tender parting gift
Love takes wing and flies away
Leaves mere mortals to seize the day

©2009 Lin Neiswender

Previously published in Love and Other Passions, 2012


Focus on Form: Aragman, Lin Style

Angel 013

Angel 013 (Photo credit: Juliett-Foxtrott)

This week’s poem, an aragman, was a real challenge for me.

I generated over 2000 anagrams with the link using my pets’  names and saved the results to a Word document. I then picked about 50 that appealed to me which I could see had potential as leading lines into my choice of non-anagram words.

I put them into 2 six-line stanzas starting as odd number lines, even numbers my choice of words, with a single anagram as the closing line. There are rules suggested for syllables which I dare to say I ignored- I was having enough of a problem getting the poem to make some sort of cohesive whole! My favorite anagram I couldn’t work in was “Gale omen sky” so maybe I can use that and some of the other left-over bits in a new project.

Here is my effort:

Smokey Angel

-an Aragman-

Gleams key on          
St. Peter’s belt
As elegy monk
Drowns his sorrows
La genome sky
Hovers over all

Angels key Om
Praising abounds
Make yes long
Open golden gates as
Gale monkeys
Laugh in storm like

Leaky gnomes

© 2012 Lin Neiswender



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