Oatmeal Raisin Cookies –

oatmeal raisin cookies


1 pkg. Duncan Hines Spice Deluxe cake mix
2 c. uncooked rolled oats
2 eggs
3/4 c. oil
1/2 c. milk
2 c. raisins
1 c. chopped nuts
1/4 c. dark brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Drop from a teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes until cookie tests done with a toothpick. Cool on cookie sheet for one minute and remove.
dog training, Poetry

Cowboy Buddy (Free Range Chihuahua)

Buddy doesn’t have to hide

food like a squirrel anymore,

can lap from his water bowl

small sips that make him cough.

Buddy the Chihuahua had

big brothers who ate their food,

then moved on to his portion

stole like horse thieves,

kibble was the payoff.

After breakfast, Buddy hunkers

under a tattered blanket all his own,

takes a self-satisfied, post-prandial

nap, safe in the knowledge

that his water and his food are his alone.

Shari Elizabeth Berk

Goldsboro, NC

June 25, 2015

hunkering down on blanket


Puppy Nose Greets Green Thumb

Pup’s nose pokes holes in warm April air

we walk past Miss Lula’s place, watch red azaleas

bloom as snapdragons give way to hydrangeas

Japanese maple shades pansies and amaryllis

Garlic bulbs lean towards the lemon tree

green peppers and tomatoes on the vine

Hummingbirds visit wisteria, we jaunt past

no schedule to keep but Puppy’s bladder

Early mornings, Miss Lula walks the block

Happier in her front yard, rake in hand

sorts flowers, removes weeds, adds mulch

sweat beads beneath a beige straw hat

I hug Miss Lula’s dusty blouse

the better to tease her penchant for cleanliness

remind her that from her colorful endeavors

life bears flowers, fruit, delight

Shari Elizabeth Berk

May 20, 2015

Goldsboro, NC



Awash in Azaleas

azaleas 1 azaleas 2 azaleas 3 pink azaleas azaleas 4

Lush lawns verdant last week

now white, purple, pink, red azaleas bloom

contrast dogwoods, cypress, Bradford pear trees

pines draw first spring breaths

toss huge cones as they bud

Lilac smell sweetens afternoon renewal

walk hills on Dogwood Trail

we avoid fire ants and expensive cars

with equal caution as homebound traffic passes

Playlist and puppy pace away sadness

Shari Elizabeth Berk

Goldsboro, NC

April 18, 2015


The World Behind the Bars

It seems to him there are

    a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world

     Maria Rilke

Friend phones, morning check in, notes my tone

I choose not to talk at first

choose to remain mute when faced

with unchangeable circumstances, still a choice

This treasured friend knows the struggle

to let go when options are exhausted

Rain falls as puppy dreams, snuffles

twitches back toward peaceful sleep

Cold downpour washes ache

sharpness brings focus to next choices

no escape from the bars

but to build a world around them.

Shari Elizabeth Berk

Goldsboro, NC

March 30, 2015

dog training, Poetry

Puppy Toes

Light rain falls during morning walk

Inside, puppy races from couch to floor

escape not an option

comfortable with towel-off

growing hound terrified of toe touches

Petite brute, I wrassle him to carpet

hold tight wriggling body

breathe deep calm for us both

gently wipe between toes

cleaning one toe nail at a time

builds lost trust

Now quiet on the couch

head in my lap, eyes closed

Sad for scared sweet pooch

only time heals invisible wounds

Shari Elizabeth Berk

Goldsboro, NC

March 26, 2015

dog training, Poetry

Colby Comes Home

Puppy belly crawls to sunny spot

sniffs mailboxes and flowers with equal enthusiasm

Home from morning walk he chews a favorite toy

falls asleep at my side

deep breaths, twitchless dreams

We adopted each other a week ago

both anxious to do good, be good

learning from each other

I realize the reality

that he did the rescuing.

Shari Elizabeth Berk

Goldsboro, NC

March 19, 2015

hiding colby