Lucky Charms

Lucky Charms

on waters
embryonic warmth
seafoam between my toes
I reach my arms to the sea
my thoughts ramble and turn to you
summer breezes and rocking chairs
crashing ocean waves, music to our ears
beachcombing, scooping fingers snag treasures
scallops, lightning whelk and fighting conch
mollusks covered in silken moss
seashells bring sweet memories
grateful for your presence
counting my blessings
as I hold close
my precious

Colleen Keller Breuning © 2023
March 17, 2023

Sláinte!!!  I hope everyone had a Happy St. Patrick’s Day yesterday! Dan and I both had to work all day, but he stopped by Wegmans and got me some salmon to make Salmon Teriyaki, baked sweet potatoes and roasted asparagus for dinner. Yum, that has become our favorite meal! So that was our St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

I wrote this double etheree poem yesterday, thinking of what my lucky charms are and how to integrate the challenge prompts this week. Well, my family and cats are my lucky charms, of course! Lucky charms are like treasures, and for some reason my thoughts turned to how I would beachcomb and search for shells at Captiva Island.  The place is a mecca for shells, the entire beaches are covered in them early mornings after the tide has come in. When we lived in Florida, we went at least once a year for a family vacation and have wonderful memories from those trips. I collected bucketloads of beautiful shells over the years, and I remember giving some to my Dad years before he got sick with cancer and passed away. He kept some of these shells in his cigar box of treasures, along with various photos I’d taken of the Captiva sunsets, Europe and other trips. I had always hoped to take him to Captiva someday. But it was not to be.

When Dad passed away, I put one of the fighting conch shells that I’d collected on his gravestone. Everytime I would visit his gravesite, the shell was still there, surviving all the snow, summer weather and gusty winds. It was originally a smooth and shiny, and it had a bright orange pink color.  It faded to white from the sun’s bleaching over 19 years. One time last year when my Mom visited him, she noticed it was gone – either blown away, picked up by an animal or disposed of by the groundskeeper. It brought me comfort to see it there for many years, so I really need to go back and take him another one of these shell treasures.

Though Dad never got to see the beauty of Captiva in his years on this planet, he sees it all now. The beach reminds me of Dad… we spent wonderful Keller family vacations at Chincoteague when I was younger. In 1987, we took Vince to Ocean City when he was just a toddler. We stayed at the old Lankford Hotel, and I will never forget summer nights on the porch. He would smoke cigarettes, rocking in the big rocking chairs, and we just sat together silently, listening to the crashing surf. It was such a wonderful memory that stays with me always! I wrote a poem about it called “The Lankford” back in 2005 or 2006. I also wrote of the Captiva seashells I gave to him in the poem “Fighting Conch” in late 2000’s. Both of them are featured in my book “Shadows of My Father.”

And so for you, Dad, here is one of my favorite Irish sayings:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.


Mood: Pensive
Inspiration: “Be” by Neil Diamond – one of my Dad’s favorites

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 37.14 Topic: Lucky Charms
Hard Bonus: Mention an Irish saying in your blog (Sláinte!! and The Irish Blessing)

Easy Bonus: Include 3 different shades of green (aquamarine, seafoam, moss)

The Prophet

The Prophet

Live long and prosper
so the famous prophet says
work hard day and night

in this troubled world
somewhere there’s a place for us
between moon and stars

aim for the North Star
it’s only just out of reach
then it crashes down

pile of grey ashes
my spirit is still glowing
I rise from the dust

the song is over
the so-called prophet declares
but I won’t give up.

Colleen Keller Breuning © 2023
March 11, 023

Oh that was a fun challenge, weaving Spock’s saying and some West Side story lines!  The thought came to me last night, but I was too tired from the busy week to write. I literally fell asleep at my computer last night researching lyrics. Sometimes it’s better to sleep on a poem in progress.

I wrote this because many in this country and world are suffering so much lately – physically, emotionally and financially. This poem is about determination, persistence, and overcoming the bad things in life despite the odds being stacked against us. You learn just how strong you are when you look at the things you have been through during your lifetime.

At times we feel beat down for working so hard and trying to sock away our retirement savings. It’s depressing to look at my 401K….all my earnings seem to have gone south. That’s so discouraging. I mean, who can really afford to retire these days? Each week Dan and I are flabbergasted at the cost of a grocery run for just the two of us. We leave the store each week shaking our heads, thinking how little we got for the money compared to even one year ago. I mean, last night we spent over $200 for the most basic things! No alcohol, and the only meat we bought was some chicken breasts and tilapia! It seems as if literally everything has almost doubled in price. We grumble about it, then we realize how fortunate we are to have good jobs to be able to provide for each other. I cannot even imagine what groceries for a family of 4 or over cost! I count my blessings to have a wonderful husband, children, grandchildren, and family. We all seem to be doing fine, but one never knows the future – even a prophet can be wrong!

Yesterday I had quite the scare.  My hands were extremely dry, so as I was sitting at my office desk, I took my rings off and applied lotion. Apparently I forgot to put my diamond engagement ring back on, despite putting my other 2 rings on. I realized this on the way to Giant for a grocery run. No problem, I know where I left it. Then I forgot about it when I began to prepare dinner and clean up. It was when I was taking my jewelry off for the night around 9 pm that I remembered. First, I looked on my ring holder to be sure it wasn’t there. It wasn’t, so I headed to my office, got down on my hands and knees and began searching with a flashlight. Nothing. Then I proceeded to backtrack every single step to find it, and the panic in my chest grew rapidly with the anxiety. Finally, I asked Dan if he could help me look for it. We looked all over the house, but I kept thinking… “I know I took the ring off at my office desk. It has to be somewhere in this house!”

Finally, I crawled on my stomach to below my desk, shone my iPhone flashlight and bam! There it was sitting, sparkling diamond face up in our floor heating vent! Fate had it closed just enough that the diamond couldn’t slip through. I nearly screamed with joy. Then, how to get it out without risking it falling into the air ducts? We decided to just gently lift it up off the floor, in one clean sweep I had it out and the ring back on my finger! 

Dan said, “Somebody wanted you to find that ring.” Someone was definitely watching out for me… thank you, God, or Dad or whichever angel was watching out for me. My whole body was shaking, and I dissolved in a puddle of tears into his arms. This whole event set off my anxiety, and I felt sick the rest of the night. This often happens when I go into fight or flight mode like that. More than likely, one of the cats got up on my desk and knocked it down onto the floor when I went grocery shopping. I am so grateful, after wearing this beautiful ring for 36 years and never losing it until yesterday. It means so much to me, and this was a hard lesson learned. I will be extremely careful next time I put lotion on my hands. That was definitely enough stress for the week!

I hope you have a wonderful, calm weekend! xoxo Colleen

Mood: Drained
Inspiration: “My Ashes” by Porcupine Tree

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 36.14 Topic: Live Long and Prosper
Hard Bonus: Incorporate a line or lyric from “West Side Story” (“It’s only just out of reach”; “there’s a place for us”)
Easy Bonus: Include the phrase “the song is over”

The Whispering Wind

The Whispering Wind

When night falls with pain and sorrow
and I’m feeling cold and hollow,
in the midst of anxiety,
the whispering wind comforts me.

Hear the caress of windchime rings
as the lonely mockingbird sings.
While pondering my destiny,
the whispering wind comforts me.

Now as my restless spirit roams,
guide me to my heavenly home,
and when the rain falls to the sea,
the whispering wind comforts me.

When night falls with pain and sorrow,
the whispering wind comforts me.

Colleen Keller Breuning © 2023
March 3, 2023

Happy Friday! I quickly penned this sonnet in between work projects this evening. It’s feeling a little bit like winter this evening, dark and the wind a bit gusty. The wind seems to speak to me here at our home in Virginia. We get a very strong western wind that comes straight down the road and hits the front of our home, as we are at the bottom of the cul-de-sac. Sometimes it whispers, but other times it howls like a banshee! I almost think the wind is one of my muses. I mean, after all, I am a Gemini an air sign. Maybe that’s why the wind evokes my senses. I have sensitive but strong lungs, haha.  

I can’t believe it’s already March. The winter has flown by. Are you ready for spring? I certainly am – and my daffodils are already starting to bloom. I hate to complain about the weather too much, but it sure has been finicky lately. One day it’s 30 degrees, next day it’s 70! The highly variable temperatures are confusing the spring bulbs, and also wreaking havoc on people’s health. I think it’s safe to say most of us are ready to embrace some warmer weather and enjoy the sun a bit. And on the bright side – daylights savings time starts next weekend, so it will be lighter later in the day. Yahoo! I can’t wait for that, as it gets old driving home from work in the dark. It can be a bit nerve wracking, and I’m always paranoid I’m going to hit a deer or something.

Nothing else new here. Dan and I are pretty busy with tax season, so we haven’t been doing much but working. One of these days we’ll get out for a winery visit, but not this weekend. Lately we’re lucky to go to the grocery store together, lol… We need to plan our next vacation, as this is the first time ever we don’t have specific plans in the books. A tropical getaway sure would be nice! Hmmm…. time to start daydreaming. But more likely, it will be a trip to Florida to visit the grandkids, whom I miss dearly. Have a great weekend, everyone.


Mood: Windy
Inspiration: “Whispering Wind” by Moby

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 35.14 Topic: Whispering Wind
Hard Bonus: Incorporate a lyric from the band New Order  (“when the rain falls to the sea”)
Easy Bonus: Include a gymnastics event (rings)