Out of Pocket


When you say haiku,

I say gesundheit,

give you a tissue.


When you say tanka

I say you’re welcome –

we are so polite.


When you say meter

I think therefore iambic.

Tell me you are too.


Can you play on words?

Maybe if they all had wheels

they could play on you.


(c) 2012, 2016  Betty Hayes Albright


(A re-post – plus this was also posted on “Gramma Krackers” a couple of years ago. My apologies to those who have already read it.)

Still August


She pretends the sun will stay

and those foreboding shadows

will not grow.

The geese in V-formation

that she saw this afternoon

weren’t really flying south.

Wildflowers still dance

between the rocks

and butterflies still light

upon the phlox

as honeybees

still swarm the mint

and bumbles take the clover.

She hums a rosy little tune

and fills her watering can.


 © 2016  Betty Hayes Albright

A children’s poem – written waaaaay back in high school.


Rain says on the roof:

these are joy-tears I weep,

hush now, my patter

will sing you to sleep.


Some days it shouts: Ha!

You’re all wet, April fool,

my friend it was warm out

but now you’ll be cool.


And rain will play tricks

and fall in hard stones,

or crystals of whiteness

and silvery cones.


And these say: Come play,

let me nip at your ear

until a warm day

makes me all disappear.


(c) 1965, 2016 Betty Hayes Albright


(A note to everyone living in the drought stricken areas of the country:  I hold you in my thoughts. It has been dry even here in the northwest, but not as devastating as those states to the south and southwest.  Wishing you all rain, and containment of the fires.)




How many colors

fit on the head of a pin?

Seven times seven

the Seamstress says.

And we,

like eyes of needles

tuck and shape the space,

and time is but a basting thread.


(c) 1997, 2016  Betty Hayes Albright


Special note:  Today marks my five year anniversary on WordPress and the above was my first posted poem.  Thank you to all the wonderful writers I’ve met here during these five years. It has been an enriching experience reading your poetry and prose, and coming to know many of you as friends. My sincere appreciation! Looking forward to continuing on….:)


Writer’s block, what spell is this

brutal paper-pen abyss?


Calliope is prone to fainting

locked inside a still-life painting,


she won’t stand for insipidity

nor a hint of crass cupidity.


Sometimes free association

brings the muse back from vacation


for just one sublime creation

or countless couplets of desperation.


Like the simile that shines

it’s survival of the fittest lines.


(Oops – mind the meter, it will matter,

just avoid the sing-song patter.)


Alas, my muse is on the lam,

still no strength to breach the dam.


Writer’s block – that dreaded curse,

for poets there is nothing verse.


© 2016  Betty Hayes Albright



When a tree is taken down

we grieve its silhouette collapsing

from a stricken sky.

It leaves a phantom

in the corner of our eye,

the shadow of a stolen trunk,

the staunching of osmosis.

And so we dampen earth

with our diluted tears

while scattering seeds

among the fettered roots.

And if we listen carefully

we’ll hear the song of Gaia –

a forestation aria

of green that fills

the empty valley

after we are gone.


©  2012, 2016  Betty Hayes Albright 


(Revision of an older poem)


(with apologies to Charles Dickens)


Was Madame DeFarge

recording events

or was she creating reality

with the click-click

of her needles?

Yarn spun from infinity,

scarf stretched to eternity –

like you and me

in the worst of times

we knit and pearl them

into our best.


©  1999, 2016   Betty Hayes Albright


(a re-post)


.If memory serves me correctly (from high school!) Charles Dickens’  A Tale of Two Cities takes place during the French Revolution and begins,  “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.

Madame DeFarge was an old woman who sat on the sidelines, always knitting and observing events. It was implied that she was somehow encoding history into her knitting – an idea that always intrigued me.



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