First Story Retold

Night rain
In the Garden of Eden.
Time for
God to purify the forest
Knowing the necessity
Of fresh water, loamy earth and
Crystalline air.

Adam and Eve did not.
They frolicked and rollicked
While The Almighty worked
Up to His eyebrows in elbow grease.

Just for them
He created crickets on the spot
And tree frogs in counterpoint
So that the human-things
His favorites so far,
Would know no boredom.

All the while the sweat of
His brow gully-washed his tired beard.

Ingrates, the pair like teenagersIn the shadows of a high school prom
Overturned vitrines.

He cleaned up the mess.
He might have been angry, vengeful,It could have been a viper He sent.

Instead, under His breath He murmured
As He watched them blush,“Oh well, they’re just kids.”

With that He sent them the promise
And blessing
Of the First Kiss.

Charlene James-Duguid
Amissville, Virginia

Tower of Love

IMG_2354.JPGEvery morn each day
Cowboy Jim calls “Breakfast on”
Fresh Fruits’ Bowl dances

Healthy in Beauty
Nature’s colors sing sweetness
Perfect sections diced

Cut grapes stack them high
Balance Mandarins with care
Nectar nectarines

Why? Proof of lovin’
Kitchen Cowboy shows his skills
Every morn each day


Charlene James-Duguid
Amissville, Virginia
August 30, 2020

Cora’s Fantastic Birthday


“Cora, wake up darling child.
It’s your birthday, a perfect popping day.
You’re only six, and only
Magically Mary, popping in
And out on
This very special day.
Today and only today.”

“I know that I cannot waste a moment, Anne.
So many details, so many, so many.
You know Miss Bird needs brown paper sacks.
And Bert needs a new brush to sweep the
Chimneys, make them 100% soot-free.”

With those jobs in mind
Cora opened her bumbershoot.
She began to tie freshly-penned notes,
Directives to each spoke.

She was determine to
‘Be responsible for all I do.
Find that every problem has a sunny side.
Know what I believe.
Think without a muddle in your brain.
Take time for myself by
Poppin in and out.”

“Perfectly Poppins, you are, you are,”
Exclaimed Anne.

“I can

My way through life.”

And Cora did.
Putting her know-how in her
Bumbershoot, bedecked with
Crimson ribbons springy
And spangly from its spokes
Cora stepped out into the clouds
To be the famous nanny,
For her
Fantastic Birthday.

Charlene James-Duguid
Amissville, Virginia
August, 2020

Photo by Anne Williams

Misty Haikus


Photo by Martin Jameson

Before the dog came
The Floor was covered with crumbs
Magically now hair
(Martin Jameson)

Now Misty in home
All scan chairs carefully not
Sit on sleeping face

Long ballerina
Legs always running non-stop
Proves she’s dancer’s heart

Big paws mean big dog
House and home full of Huge dog ness
Dad says, told you so

Connoisseur first class
Misty approves art sniffing
Knows what’s great or not

That dog really smart
Finds food, attention, comfort,
Got to call it love.

Sitting for portrait
Worldwide Dog celebrity
Misty’s tricks excel


Charlene James-Duguid
Amissville, Virginia
August, 2020

Three Came Quickly

118339924_10157443195666711_396755493694070961_n.jpgOne morning you wake up
All swaddled tight, warm and
Cozy and before you can count to
You’re Three.

Decked out in understated velour
Making your way to the Park
To see which hearts you can break
Then mend again with a smile.

All the while you spread your charm
You guess at the gifts you’ll receive.

A daisy dressed up like a violet.
A never-melting snowflake.
A balloon that speaks French.
My baby brother’s cuddle.

All in all, it will be a grand day
My day to share with one and all,
Great and small.

Charlene James-Duguid
Amissville, Virginia
August 21,2020


unnamedOh sure, she’s Photo Op
But don’t fault her for that.
She didn’t ask for a head of
Ginger curls
Or eyes deep in questioning.
All those traits,

The “Nature/Nurture Argument”
Swirling near, tossing her locks
Ever so much more appealing
As she finds the words surpassing
Her age,
A surprised family listening on.

The charm grows day by day
Moment to moment
Captivating strangers from
All walks of life.
Her universal appeal brings
Maitre des and diplomats to
Her sphere.
Her conquests multiply.

Scootering round,
What will be her next adventure?
A trip to
An Alice or Dorothy note
On her filigreed dance card.
Circus or Zoo.
Carousel or Ferris Wheel.
Learning with each toe tap
What life has in store?

Quizzical , as to why these encounters
She turns deeply inside
Her tiny body
Searching for the source
Of her power,
Blyth Spirit, she.

Growing so in age and grace
She wonders what will become of her.
Only twinkling answers come her way.


Charlene James-Duguid
Amissville , Virginia
August 16, 2020

Discerning Fellow, He

John.jpgGod was sparing no expense,
Pulling out all the stops.
This was a landmark,

John Richards,
Intellectual Extraordinaire,
Confined to the earthly plane,
For now,
Was born fifty years ago

His brightness of spirit,
His lightness of soul
Cried out for celebration,
But even these words
Were too dense to describe his essence.

John, merely being John, was enough
To encourage men, women and children,
Dogs and cats, mice and gerbils
To crack out their kazoos and penny whistles
In a barnyard symphonic event.

Heaven was abuzz,
Lightening and thunder were on tap,
Sun rays were burnished,
Comets redirected to linger over
John’s back yard.
And rainbows, oh yes, spectral wonders
Dripping with wishes waiting to be fulfilled.

Golden chariots overflowing with
Priceless collections
Speaking of every artistic age,
Chiming in each mode of refinement.
Fine-tuned to herald in its Era.
Clamoring to be heard.
“We’re ready.”

Colonial pocket bottles nestled in the folds
Of peonied silk kimono.
Tiffany lamps protectedly wrapped in
Goblin tapestry.
The Art Deco, cheek to cheek with Mid-century Modern.
Post-Impressionism hugging Washington Color School veils.
A Warhol tart nestling on a Mapplethorpe bum.

Trend upon trend
The best of the best,
Exclusive choices
And all God’s gifts for John.

As a last minute precaution
God summoned him and asked,
“John, What do you really want,
I mean really want for your Day.”

As always, generous with his gifts,
God gave John the right to keep
Or confer his
Bounty of glories. But you never knew
With John, always capitalizing on surprises.

‘John replied, out of the blue,
“Gifts I have aplenty.
And You’ve given me
An intuitive sense of style and
Unquenchable eclectic longing.
I treasure deeply.”

“But one more wish is all I ask,
The answer to the universal question,
What is truth,
What is beauty”

“Hum, that’s a tall order, even for, Me,
Your God.
Might take another 50 years to work out.”

With that they shared a syncopated grim.
Locked arms,
In a jolly mood and
ambled down the street to their
Favorite Dive Bar
For a drink or several.
Exploring one another’s agile brains.

“That answer might have to wait
Till John’s 100th, which
Would come soon enough.
But for now, the fun is in the search,
An endless pursuit
Never,” God said,


Charlene James-Duguid
Amissville, Virginia
August 14, 2020

Extra, Extra

IMG_2332.JPG“Read all about it.
Tomato Master 2020 Crop
Defies reality. Every fruit
Perfect in size and
Spherical dimension”

So how did he do it?
What were the skills?
Horticulturally based.
Mathematically inspired.
This man knows his stuff
And how to use it wisely.
Not a feature has been ignored.

unnamed.jpgFrom sweet, intense pulp
With seeds all in a row.
To peel with just a bit of crunch
In a hue that defines
“Tomato Red.”

Tomato Master
Proves again,
His renown, his title
Is secured
For another year.
Charlene James-Duguid
Amissville, Virginia
August 13, 2020