Verbal Feast

August 1, 2014

Whisk in some words
Sift in some syntax
Simmer some simile
Stir in a soupcon of sass
Mix in some metaphor
Render some rhyme
Knead in some nouns
Add adverbs and adjectives
Marinate with meaning
Parboil with plot
Garnish with grammar
Drizzle with description
Serve page-side at once.

By Kerry Ellen, 2014

Take a Chance

July 30, 2014

Playing Yahtzee with my thoughts
Shake ‘em up in the tumbler
And spill them out, see what I got –
Nothin’ – I got nothin’.
Pick-up sticks with razor blades
Dodge ‘em cars what got no brakes
Midway of middle age
At the Carnival of Disaster.
I tried my luck
And lost every game;
Just want to win my way home.
But there’s no place
Where my heart feels safe
So I buy another ticket
On the nowhere-go-round
Going in static circles.
I told you I loved you
And you just looked away.

By Kerry Scherer – 2014
…Thanks to Golden Earring for the inspiration…

My Old Dog Pain

September 20, 2013

samThere’s an old dog named Pain who lives at my house. He moves slow now and his muzzle his grizzled with white. He’s been here for a long time.
Mostly Pain just sleeps – sometimes he snores – sometimes he runs in his sleep – chasing imaginary rabbits and squirrels. His car chasing days are over, but in his dreams, he always gets that tire.
Once in awhile Pain wakes up, startled, alerted to some danger I can’t see, hear, or smell. He rises to his feet, barks, looks around, paces a bit, barks some more, chuffs, then, after I tell him to hush a few times, he settles down once more, as if nothing had happened. It’s an old game we play. I pretend nothing is wrong and he takes another snooze. Till next time.
Don’t disturb him when he’s asleep. Don’t put your hand by his mouth – he might wake and bite. It’s just the old instincts. He is protecting his pack – me. We don’t like strangers that mean us no good. You might get away with bribing him once, but it won’t work twice. He’s old but he’s still sharp.
Hello, Pain, old dog, old friend of mine…I pat his head as I walk by, scratch his ears and under his chin. He lifts his head, blinks, and goes back to sleep. We’ve been together a long time.

Icarus in Descent

February 12, 2013

Icarus in Descent:
loving Sol who burnt him,
hating more than ever
his mundane destination,
helpless in freefall —
although enlightened
when his winged dreams
melted with the wax
and fluttered down with the feathers.

He fell to the ocean
knowing he had flown close enough
to be burnt by the sun.
(c) Kerry Vincent 1981

Hair Piece (2)

January 9, 2013

Some women complain about having a bad hair day.  I’ve had a bad hair life.

No, really.  I’ve been traumatized since the age of five, when my mother got a home barber kit and shaved me bald.  I told Mom she “scalped” me (lots of Westerns were on TV those days) and I wouldn’t go out to play – I didn’t want the neighbor kids to see me.

In kindergarten I had a pixie cut that made me look like an elf on drugs.  Next were the “parlor  perms” in our neighbor’s basement beauty shop, with its lilac and gold vinyl-covered chairs and perforated bubble hair dryers, listening to “ Blabbit to the Rabbit” on KXOK, drinking ice cold Grape Nehi.  I came home with bangs that looked like a roll of quarters and a frizzy blonde page boy.  Mom thought it was adorable, but I wanted to wear a stocking cap in August.

Worst of all were those awful home perms…Mom parting my hair with a metal rattail comb, pulling and yanking to keep my baby-fine hair on the plastic snap rollers, stabbing my sore scalp with those plastic toothpick things …I’d complain and wiggle and she’d tell me to “Sit still!” for the hundredth time and tell me about “the price of beauty…”

But I knew the agony had just begun when she’d say those dreadful three little words:  “Cover your eyes!”  Next she’d pour the ice cold ammonia-based curling solution all over my hair, chemicals dripping all over and the fumes burning my eyes, finishing the torture session off by wrapping my head in a stupid plastic sack.  I could hardly wait until the timer went off and it was time to neutralize (more cold stinky liquid) and finally rinse a little of the stench away.  She’d unroll my hair and see “if it took”.  When wet, I had limp Spaghetti –O’s for hair.  When dry, I had crispy, crunchy frizz that felt like I was wearing a loofah sponge helmet.  I wanted to cry, but Mom was thrilled and told me that I’d look nice for grade school picture day tomorrow. ..More humiliation….

In my teen years I rebelled and wore my hair hippie-style, long, straight, parted down the middle, like Alfalfa on “Spanky and Our Gang”.  When the babies came, I cut my hair.  I was tired of having it pulled out by tiny fistfuls. 

Next came the department-store salon perms, holiday gifts from family members who felt sorry for me and my bad hair.  Those underpaid stylists did what they could with what they had to work with.

Once I went through a sassy stage, had my hair buzzed short all over, even shaved on the back of my neck.  I liked it – no one else did.  But the following year I was depressed, working in a dead-end job, and I just did not care.  My hair grew out.  I shampooed and ran a comb over it, but that was it. 

One year, I had renewed hope.  I traveled to Europe.  I thought having my hair done in a chic Amsterdam boutique would be my salvation.  But my stylist was having a bad night, there was a language gap, and I ended up with asymmetrical bangs and no idea how to wear my hair the next day.  I met my future husband then – later, he told me that when we met, he thought I had a weird haircut, but figured it would grow out.

At an all-time fashion and budget low, I gave up and went to a cheap chop shop.  I told the gum-chewing youngster to quit halfway through, after she cut a big chunk off my crown.  She was shameless, careless, and dangerously armed with shears and an attitude.  It took a year to grow it back.

So I tried the guaranteed “easy maintenance” short and curly all over look – until someone remarked on my “poodle-doo” – I won’t do that again.

Now I have reached the age of “to dye, or not to dye – that is the question…”  Even if I use the curling iron, the arthritis in my hand ensures I don’t get carried away! 

Once I had a make-over.  It was disappointing.  I gave them points for trying so hard.

Every stylist I meet takes my hair as a personal challenge, to see how much volume he or she can whip into these baby-fine wisps.  They tease, taunt, gel, mousse, pomade, scrunch, cut, curl, and dye it–and then spray it with enough sneeze-inducing lacquer to make my hair bulletproof – until I wash it, and then I am on my own again, with my “straight and straggly hair”, just like Mom always said.  Not quite curled, not quite dyed, not quite natural, definitely not quite in-style.  I call it my “I don’t know what else to do with it” look. 

I need a miracle worker of the follicle variety.  Some divine hair intervention or a really good wig, because believe me, I’ve had a lifetime of bad hair days!

 Kerry Vincent (c) 2013

My Daily Bread

October 11, 2012


by Kerry Ellen


I need to tear off a hunk of quiet

And feed my blistering soul.

Rip off some time to just be

Like breaking a baguette

Eating my pain – pan – just the “I” difference…

So much disappointment

Like waves of nausea

Only settled by meeting basic needs

Bread – my favorite comfort food…

I wish for some of that wonderful orange fennel sea salt bread from Hampton Bakery

Another want ungranted.

Still licking my wounds

And blinking back tears

Filling a hall with my sighs

Not yet really letting go

Just allowing the dreams to drift away

Like ghosts muttering of lies

Lost love, life unrequited.

A snap in the air and I hear the rustling as again

I sweep my hopes to the side

Like colored autumn leaves

Beautiful but fallen

Dry but not quite dead.

Freak Show

January 25, 2012

freak show

When you’re born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat. George Carlin

My new Motto

June 30, 2011

Go Now and Live.

February 21, 2011

I’d been having a very bad week – very stressful, from identify theft to a family member’s surgery. But I was on a mission to pick up a breast cancer awareness pink ribbon scarf for a friend. While in the store, I found this poster. I want to share what it said – it was just what I needed to remind myself:
Go now, and live.
Experience. Dream. Risk. Close your eyes and jump.
Enjoy the freefall. Choose exhilaration over comfort.
Choose magic over predictability. Choose potential over safety.
Wake up to the magic of everyday life.
Make friends with your intuition. Trust your gut.
Discover the beauty of uncertainty.
Know yourself fully before you make promises to another.
Make millions of mistakes so that you will know how to choose what you really need.
Know when to hold on and when to let go.
Love hard and often and without reservation.
Seek knowledge.
Open yourself to possibilities.
Keep your heart open, your head high and your spirit free.
Embrace your darkness along with your light.
Be wrong every once in awhile and don’t be afraid to admit it.
Awaken to the brilliance in ordinary moments.
Tell the truth about yourself no matter what the cost.
Own your reality without apology.
See goodness in the world.
Be bold. Be fierce. Be grateful.
Be wild, crazy and gloriously free.
Be you.
Go now, and live.
© Jeanette LeBlanc

Dream Child

January 19, 2011

Your home was once just under my heart. We lived as one, nourished by the same blood and food and oxygen. In time I felt your life fluttering within me, a tiny butterfly anxiously awaiting your turn on the meadow.

I passed the long months of waiting by dreaming of you, wondering how I would divide my love again, guessing what your looks would show, thinking of special names for you, preparing for your arrival, feeling self-conscious about the way your growth affected my appearance.

My due date came and went. Each morning thereafter I woke with the same thought, “Maybe today. Maybe by evening, you’ll be here beside me, nursing contentedly.” After several days, labor was induced. Contractions began, increasing in frequency and intensity as the hours passed. Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth, don’t push yet, all the while the pains came faster and harder. At last you crowned and I pushed: again, again, again, then it was over. Exhaustion, relief.

You hadn’t cried or sputtered to announce your arrival before you were whisked out of my sight. In my peripheral vision I glimpsed a tiny gray something covered with the yellow curds of afterbirth. I was left to wonder while they ran their tests. The volcano within erupted; fear flowed and burnt like lava.

An eternity later they returned with feeble meaningless words of apology. Then I saw your frailness in the glaring light and knew my love and labor had been fruitless: I had delivered but my dream was stillborn. Friends and family were sympathetic, supported, but disconcerted. What words of comfort could they, or anyone, give?

I lay awake at night, unable to avoid the questions which ask themselves over and over again: Was it just not meant to be? Why? Was I being punished? Was I unworthy? I only wanted to love and devote myself to you, but my dream did not come true – Why?

I am glad for what little time we had, grateful for the hopes you inspired, but disappointed. I shared your life for only a few months – I wanted years. I must go on without you, trusting time to heal as it passes. Until then, I fight the rest I need, not daring to sleep, afraid of dreaming again.

By Kerry Vincent (1987), published in various magazines/newspapers