Summer-green Down

the summer-green leaves

of my maple tree

are edged with a shy blush

of scarlet trim.

the silky sighs

of the autumn breeze

gently ruffle

my red flushed leaves.

and the soft yellow

and the orange glow

and my dappled-rainbow


of a maple tree

makes the fall downfall

so much  more

pleasant to me.

1 / 10 / 78

from CrackerJack Debutante, Poems to Ponder, by Deb Loughead and Jack Livesley, Moonstruck Press 2017

Image result for autumn leaves

Winter Birds

Huddled on a naked branch,

puffed up in the cold,

winter birds are brave

on frosty days.

They flutter to the feeder,

scatter seeds, scuffle for scraps,

and leave hieroglyphic footprints

on the snow.

Finches, cardinals,

cheeky chickadees,

and simple sparrows,

practical in brown,

jaunty juncos,

ink spots on the snow,

all these fearless fellows stay in town.

All winter long,

their song so much the same,

never sorry that they chose to stay,

and I know why…

they’re wearing downy vests

beneath their flying feathers.

That’s why winter birds are bold

and never fear the cold.





March Breakdown

March Breakdown

(sometime back in the 90s with three little boys at home)


The way I remember it,

March wasn’t like this.


Fields were soggy yellow sponges

that could suck the boot

right off your foot.

Ditches meant certain soakers,

melting snow poured

into sewer grates,

water trickled, dripped,

flowed, tumbled towards spring,

and so did we,

stamping, tramping,

sloshing through slush

in the mild March air.


I don’t remember

this tenacious crust

of snow and ice

encasing us in winter

far too long,

trapping us all indoors

like cryogenic experiments,

to stare at flickering screens,

to bicker and bitch

and wonder how

one week in March

could possibly

translate into

so many






Young Adult Stratford Writers Festival





Please join me for the launch of my new novel, The Secrets We Keep, on Wednesday December 14th, 7:00 p.m. at Harbourfront Centre, Lakeside Terrace. Many thanks to the IFOA for sponsoring and promoting this event. And thanks as well to Dundurn Press. Hope to see you there. All are welcome!!


Winter Morn (first published by Atlantic Advocate, 1978)

Winter Morn


A frosted, glittering world

greets the sleepy eye

the morning after a blizzard.

A quiet bright world.

an unfamiliar,

muffled white world,

where rooftops glisten


where sidewalks glimmer,


where fence posts glister,


and fir boughs low bow

with the weight of their

sparkling robes.

The backyard is almost edible,

with its gleaming ice-cream

snow drifts,

fancy-iced hedge cakes,

and twinkling tree-stump sundaes—

landscape unforgettable.

The crisp air is alive,

awhirl with a flurry of

shimmering flecks.

Show showers on a sunny winter morn—

A winter reverie newborn.


Time to share some of my children’s poetry!

Just the Wind


It’s just the wind, my mother said,

so snuggle up inside your bed

and think of things that make you smile,

you’ll fall asleep in just a while.

It’s just the wind, she said to me,

what else could all those noises be?


What else could all those noises be,

the ones that keep on scaring me?

The ghostly murmurs and the creaking,

the creatures in my closet, speaking,

planning how they’ll slowly creep

into my room when I’m asleep.


When I’m asleep, they’ll sneak inside

and find themselves a place to hide,

then whisper nightmares in my ear,

weird words that only I can hear,

then I’ll sit up in bed and scream,

because I had a scary dream!


I had a scary dream last night.

I made my mom turn on the light,

and quickly check my closet floor,

but they weren’t in there anymore.

It’s just the wind, she said to me.

What else could all those noises be?

Untying the Apron

untying the apron

Mothers of the 1950s were wasp-waisted, dutiful, serene, and tied to the kitchen with apron strings. Or so we thought.  This collection of searing and startling poetry and prose unties the stereotype and reveals women who were strong, wild, talented, wise, mad, creative, desperate, angry, courageous, bitter, tenacious, reckless and beautiful, sometimes all at once. The contributors include multi-award-winning poets, novelists, and essayists, as well as compelling new literary voices.  And I’m thrilled to have an essay included in this collection.

Find it on Amazon: