Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Close to Christmas by Maureen Newman

© 2010 by Maureen Newman. All rights reserved.

In late 2006 I picked up a paintbrush for the first time. Now, at the end of 2010, I have sold over 450 paintings worldwide. How eXciting! Join me on my journey as I capture memories and paint stories of rural Nova Scotia with a brush. From rambling farmsteads to quiet coastal scenes, my yearning for a simpler life comes to life on canvas. To view more paintings, visit my website at http://www.mnewmanfolkart.com/ or my blog at http://www.mnewmanfolkart.blogspot.com/. If you fall in love with the images, sign up to receive the blog updates and be the first to view each painting and provide feedback that will continue to inspire future scenes. Blessing for 2011!
This posting is in response to a prompt from ABC Wednesday.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


The snow-covered path to my door
Waits; undisturbed, barren
Inside the fire burns
But not in my soul
Moments without you embrace eternity
Tick, tock. Even the walls talk
Slowly the hours pass
Sand through an hourglass
The scent of evergreen fills the air
Footprints, softly linger
Waiting, anticipating
Impulses wax; passion ignites
Embracing, touching
Together again

© 2010 by Maureen Newman. All rights reserved.
Written in response to a prompt from Magpie Tales.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Day

I found my heart within a dream
It lay there dry and barren, it seemed
Awash with pain, destroyed by strife
Faded and weak, yet still pumping life

Yesterday the blood pumped red
Today you no longer share my bed
Red is replaced by the depression of grey
Laundry water flows through my veins today
© 2010 by Maureen Newman. All rights reserved.
Written in response to a prompt from Sunday Scribblings.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I carefully open the old family Bible, the pages stiff and fragile with age. Long years it spent tucked away in the trunk amidst letters from home penned early 1900 by those long forgotten. The binding creaks as I lay it flat upon the bed beside me, eager to unearth treasures sealed within its pages. Faded pictures depicting familiar bible scenes weave the story, and bring to mind lessons from my childhood. A photo, lovingly wrapped in parchment paper, adheres to a page, and dried fern branches speak of losses once deeply felt. Gradually I move through the books of the Bible exposing the contents long hidden from human eyes. And then I find it. Folded into a perfect square, and tied about with what appears to be a perfectly preserved braided lock of hair, its water-stained exterior denotes an age far beyond the other contents held captive between the pages. Placing the treasure in my hand, I gently stroke the braid, drawn, yet repulsed; touching a fragment of a life lived so very long ago. Unwilling to disturb the fragile parcel born in antiquity, I place it gently back within the pages of its tomb, wanting to protect the treasure held within.
© 2010 by Maureen Newman. All rights reserved.
Written in response to a prompt from Magpie Tales.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Relax; it will only hurt for a minute. In an instant it will be over with and you will be well on your way to healing. Every time you think about this event you will be thankful you stepped up to the plate and had the procedure done. I mean, why would anyone want to feel sad, lonely, depressed, discouraged, unloved, unhappy, undesirable, un -anything, ever again? Once the needle is inserted into the proper location, negative emotions will be gone forever. How nice is that?

“Fantastic!” Eric announces as I rolls up his sleeve.

© 2010 by Maureen Newman. All rights reserved.

Written in response to the prompt "relax" from Theme Thursday.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


He stood afar off, away from the crowd, his quiet demeanour echoing the gentle spirit I know so well. Aghast by the vigour of the other participants, I draw my memoir close to my chest, endeavouring to keep it pure, unsoiled by the hateful comments flowing from the mouths of the malcontents. How could they believe such a thing? Why would they accept such blasphemy spoken from such a wily character? Once they would have stood firm for their king, and now they seek to destroy him. To believe the raucous comments maligning the words I so loving penned. My book should have set him upon a pillar; a place deserving of such a man. Will he ever look upon me the same again? The fire within me burns away my hope, and the book held close to my chest crushes my heart.
© 2010 by Maureen Newman. All rights reserved.
Written in response to a prompt from Magpie Tales.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

An Invitation

You give me the eye
What? What’s up!
No roasting pan, no rotisserie
No deep fryer, no wok
What’s the plan!
You invited me for dinner
I paused to consider
Funny, so it seems
But the fat just hit the pan
And I, have other plans

© 2010 by Maureen Newman. All rights reserved.

Written in response to a prompt from Magpie Tales.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Black cats
Orange pumpkins
White ghosts
Grey tombs
Colors waiting the darkness

Flaming eyes
Witchy screams
Creaking doors
Misty paths
Environs positioned for fear

Fluttering angels
Stumbling scarecrows
Eager Egors
Strutting cowboys
Evil spirits disappear

Happy faces
Candy kisses
Sugar highs
Late night vigils
Once again it’s Halloween

This poem is written in response to a prompt from Jingle Poetry PotLuck.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Julia! Was the only mark you left on this world the small gravestone that denotes your passing? Or did your lungs breath air and your voice erupt with sound, if only for a moment? Did your mother hold your tiny hand and grieve for the daughter that would not be? Or were you whisked away as your life was ebbing to spare her pain? Is your name listed in the family bible? Did your passing leave souls as empty as the cradle that would never rock? Or was it promptly stowed away along with your memory?

Julia! Does your voice erupt with sweet sounds, for all eternity, as you rest gently in the arms of God? Or does your voice mingle with the heavenly choir in praise to the Almighty?

Written in response to a prompt from Magpie Tales.

Monday, October 25, 2010

For Eternity

Love; beautifully woven
Wonderfully crafted
Carefully nurtured
Blessed of God

Years; touchstone moments
Periods of elation
Times of restoration
Memoirs written black on white

Reminiscence; what was
Minds bonding, bodies melding
Senses heightened, love kindled
Alone, I sense him still

Rejuvenation; beyond the vale
My lover beckons
Outstretched arms embrace
Together for eternity

This was written in response to a prompt from Jingle Poetry.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Monster Among Us

Inside a man, a soldier
A monster groans
Hideous and cruel

Years pass
Odd events transpire
Obscure, no trace

Women travel in pairs
Some fall prey
The trail remains cold

Stealth, wandering through their abode
Moving through each life
Robbed in their guise

Death, long to arrive
Beseeching, desperate pleading
Broken and stretched upon the ground

A monster in high standing
Hidden in plain view
Forensic tracks betray his way

Souvenirs mark the course
Documented death and perversion
Horror, despair, pain

Families grieve, their world suspended
Can justice be gained?
Can punishment satisfy?

God enters the court
The monster weeps yet turns away
Red flames of hell flash from his eyes

Families recognize the Saviour
Vengeance is Mine, the eternal judge
God alone can satisfy

This is written in response to a prompt from Magpie Tales and reflects my thoughts on the
crimes enacted by Colonel Russel Williams, Ontario, Canada. Best description: the devil's work with ferocious drive. Prayers for the victims and their families.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Into the wind I bend
Head bowed, arms across my chest
Working, pressing onward
Reaching for something higher, something greater
Unwilling to fail, eager to win

Challenged, I tread onward
Aware of the impossibilities, the barriers
Conscious of my strengths, my beliefs
Gaining power from beyond
I rally my troops and wage war against my foe
Unleashing my will, yet preserving my dignity
I fear no enemy this side of the grave

Written in response to a prompt from Writer's Island.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Fall is my favourite time of year. Warm colors, cool breezes, rustic sunsets, and starry nights enhance the moments and bring peace to the soul. Who can kayak across a lake reflecting the colors of the season or walk in the woods to the sound of crunching leaves and not feel in awe? Warm fires invite us and hot apple cider delights our pallet as we gaze into the season and relish the victory of a summer well spent.

I am convinced that God’s plan is intricately woven into the spectacular beauty of this refreshing season. Recognizing that many of us in the northern hemisphere must endure 4 to 5 months of harsh winter, He blesses us like no other, with this gracious gift of autumn, preparing us for the journey to spring.

This is written in response to a prompt by Magpie Tales.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

K - Karl

It wasn’t a long date but it was a memorable one. I gauged the timeframe perfectly, with everything ending on a positive note. But as I sit and reflect on the evening, a steady uneasiness builds, founded on no discernable cause, but none the less, a feeling not easily dismissed.

My mother had a sixth sense that proved over time to be rather accurate in its predictions. She could pick out a looser with very little exposure. I remember in particular the young man I dragged home from a hockey game one evening when I was in high school. Although I must admit he was a bit peculiar, I was daft and wouldn’t admit my own concern, just on principle. He was kicked out of school the next week and I never laid eyes on him again – satisfying us both.

“I really don’t want a sixth sense,” I think to myself. “I would rather use logic and reasoning to figure things out.”

Grabbing the remote control, I drop into the wing back chair. “There must be something I can watch to help clear my head. Great! America’s Most Wanted.”

And whose face is plastered all over the screen? Karl’s! My date! As I listen to the list of charges outlining a lengthy bout with crime, I thank God, and mom, for my sixth sense and wish everyone was so gifted.

Written in response to the "K" prompt on ABC Wednesdays.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Scent

I linger beside Martha’s bed and listen to her shallow breathing as the clock ticks onward. Hour after hour passes and the air in the room becomes stale and pungent, rife with the anticipation of death. With each passing moment my heart bleeds anguish and my soul reels from the eminent loss.

“Where are you Lord? Why does she linger? Are there so many people passing through the pearly gates that she must wait in line? Or is her fate not yet sealed between a judgement of heaven or hell? Are you giving her time?”

The sound of footsteps breaks the silence as a stranger enters the room and moves towards the bed, disturbing my thoughts. A peaceful presence accompanies him; another new nurse, I decide. Laying his palm across her forehead, he takes Martha’s frail hand in his and begins to gently massage it. His soft voice whispers secrets to her dying frame, drawing her focus towards him. I arise from my chair and settle beside her on the bed.

“Will you yet rebel against your Lord and Saviour, Martha?” I hear him inquire. “Will your last breathe bring the hope of heaven or the pain of hell? You know the choice you must make. I am only here to remind you one last time. The decision has always been yours.”

I watch as Martha’s eyes close, forcing tears down her cheeks. Her breathing ceases and her body relaxes in death. Laying her hand gently on the bed, the stranger turns to leave. As if disturbed by his movement, a soft scent fills the air.

“Do you smell the perfume?” Without taking my eyes off of Martha, I reach out and grab his arm, needing him to answer.

“It is the scent of a new Christian,” he rejoices, as the arm held tightly in my hand simply disappears.

This is written in response to a prompt from Magpie Tales.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Clean up your act ...

“There was a time when you would be anxious to slide your feet out from under the covers and place them on the cold, pristine floor of the dormitory, but not this day. Today is your one year anniversary as a recovering alcoholic and you should be celebrating. But it’s also another anniversary isn’t it; one that doesn’t bear commemorating.”

“Do you remember the occasion? Does your mind replay the events over and over or have your hardened your heart against the fray?”

“Wake up! Get out of bed! You need to remember! Let me help you...”

“Twelve months ago to the day you were traveling home from a weekend party at Becky’s, still hung-over and suffering from a lack of sleep. Anxious to get there in time to shower before going to work, you were traveling too fast for conditions, as usual. Think! What did you see when you sailed around the last corner before the flats? Come on! What did you see?”

“Let me help you with a few more clues! It had four feet and a young girl on its back. And what were they doing? They were out for an early morning ride, enjoying life. “

“Look at you. Each day you remember those events as if they were today, crystal clear and poignant, don’t you? When are you going to start living your life again? Get over it. It’s not just about you, you know. “

You stumble out of bed and make your way to the bathroom sink.

“What use are you anyway?” you continue to rail into the mirror. “Clean up your act and get on with it.”
Does this work as an example of 2nd person writing? Written in response to the prompt "clean" from Sunday Scribblings.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Brilliant

Jeanette wanders along the shoreline searching the horizon for any sign of the boat. It is now twelve hours since Owen left, his vessel piled high with lobster traps and a crew eager to begin the new season. Last year wasn’t very lucrative, but his hopes for this year remain high.

"Why didn’t I ask him to phone me when he is ready to come ashore? The wind is picking up and the waves are increasing as the tide comes in. Please Lord; bring Owen safely home this night."

Bending to pick up a shell, Jeanette notices a beautiful, charcoal-grey stone, washed smooth by the tide.

"This one will make a great necklace."

Shoving the stone in her pocket Jeanette continues forward, head down, engrossed in the assortment of rocks gracing the beach. Solid colors, speckled, variegated – a cornucopia of pebbles. There is even one that looks like it fell from a bag of Liquorish Allsorts.

As the breeze tosses her hair about, Jeanette wraps her sweater tightly around her shoulders and peers out across the sea.

"Is that a boat out there or just a wave breaking?"

As her heart begins to pound and her pulse races, Jeanette's prayer is answered as the red hull of “The Brilliant” rises and falls amidst the waves, empty of traps.

"As always, thank you Lord!"

Written in response to the letter "b is for brilliant" prompt from ABC Wednesday.

Lobster Boat - by Maureen Newman

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Letter

I wrote a letter to my love
A sonnet of devotion
Laced with passion and vibrant with color
Filled with promise and emotion

Delivering what I often deny
Feelings my voice cannot disclose
Affection I harbour deep within
Placed on the parchment in the finest prose
Written in response to a prompt from Sunday Scribblings.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The vermillion flames reflect on the water
More rapid than eagles they fly past as they consume
Without words they command attention
And devote seekers stare through the shimmering heat

They dance; of course
To their own rhythm
Red, yellow, orange, white flames
Wreathed in grey particles that obscure
Flashing skyward sparks escape
Igniting and purifying as they feast

All nature is mobile
Panic ensues
Direction is obscured; temporary blindness
Instinct rules as creatures flee the inferno
Finding refuge in the raging waters
A test of strength, salvation for the able

Clouds burst and rain falls
Hissing, whistling, smouldering
Smoke steals the air and lungs collapse
Black rivers flow and water extinguishes
Mother nature claims her own
And from the embers life is resurrected
Written in response to a prompt from Magpie Tales.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

An Amazing Person

That would be my daughter Tammy! I want to be just like her when I grow up. A world traveler; a successful entrepreneur; a valued employee; a poet; a writer; compassionate; dedicated; beautiful; loving; and through it all, she shines with the light of her faith. Can you tell I’m proud of her? .... Ma

Written in response to a prompt from Sunday Scribblings for an amazing person.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Oh! Canada

The colors of my country

Crimson leaves
Aqua blue waters
Purple skies
Yellow sunsets
Green fields
Brown earth
White clouds
Black nights

Light the Catherine wheel
Watch the colors dance

Oh! Canada

Written in response to a prompt from Magpie Tales.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cold Steel !

I knew him long before I saw him. Old Spice mingled with the scent of rotting fruit, the smell of bile pasted to his clothes too long without laundry. Hot smoky breath soils the back of my white dress as feet whisper to a stop behind me. Alone in the moment, my mind envisions his form and it repulses me. Fat fingers; frumpled hair; greasy whiskers; missing teeth; a cornucopia of disgust and I loathe the stench of him. And then I feel it, the cold steel of the blade against my skin.

Written in response to a prompt from Magpie Tales.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Click ...

No more sleeps! I am here - note pad, pencil, and eraser in hand. My camera stands at the ready, waiting for an opportunity to record the many spectacular events that will accompany the Write! Canada Conference hosted by the Word Guild. Upon winning the 2010 Word Guild Award for excellence in writing for my short story "On My Mother's Side," I immediately cleared my calendar and made tracks to Guelph, Ontario to attend the three day event. I will capture faces, actions, and events - but most of all, I hope to capture a publisher.

Written in response to the prompt "camera" from Theme Thursday.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I’m ready! Each pencil driven to a perfect point, waiting! Thoughts explode around my head but I must settle on a beginning. The page waits, so pristine and perfect. Will the first mark caress the page or leave it wounded? Lord, let my thoughts flow from my mind and meander slowly from the pencil to perfection upon the medium before my eyes. As I see with my mind’s eye, let its expression embrace all that is right and perfect in your world. May my pencil never offend! As I place pencil to paper, may the world that surrounds me be a fertile field for my imagination and may my soul recognize the touch of your guiding hand.

Written in response to a prompt from Magpie Tales.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Sun reflecting off the beach
Windmills turning round and round
Fancy hats and braided hair
Red strawberries along the verge
Wild roses in my path
These are my candy – eye candy!

Written in response to the prompt "candy" from Theme Thursday.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Snake ....

On my daily walk today I encountered a snake. Not a huge snake; probably a foot and a half long. But he was certainly long enough to stop me in my tracks. We simply stared at one another and then I quickly hurried by. Peering back, I expected him to slithering after me, but he hadn’t moved. He was simply biding his time, waiting to cross the road, and I didn’t figure into any of his plans. I will add at this point that I am okay with this! As I continued towards home I started thinking about that old snake – the devil - and it occurred to me that he does exactly the same thing. He waits on the sidelines to steal our joy and put enmity between us and God. So I offered a prayer for all fellow Christians, that we will constantly be on the lookout for that old snake and, armed with the two edged sword, cut off his head.
This is written in response to a prompt from Magpie Tales.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

T is for transformation

T is for “transformation”
Evolving, changing
Opening new horizons
Stepping through the looking glass
Shedding the old self
Drinking at the Spirit’s fountain
We are transformed
And our soul rejoices
Written in response to this weeks prompt from ABC Wednesday.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

R is for .....

R is for religion – the bane of Christianity. Bowing, weeping, singing, sitting, standing, kneeling, chanting, raising hands! Meaning is lost and the lost find no meaning. Add a personal touch and everything blossoms with spirituality and God rejoices. (This is written in response to ABC Wednesday's prompt.)

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Mystery, intrigue, adventure abounding in unfamiliar territory. Spending last winter in Costa Rica epitomized this experience. Armed with a limited Spanish vocabulary and no GPS, my husband and I learned the ins and outs of the country, the food, and the people on a trial and error basis. Waking to the sound of birds! Grooving to the Costa Rican music as the locals sang and danced to the rhythm while performing their chores. Monkeys, iguanas, and crocodiles that grace the beautiful green environ of this wonderful land filled with waterfalls and volcanoes. Mysterious sounds that fill the air.
This is in response to a "Mystery" prompt from the Theme Thursday blog.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A First

Our “firsts” always leave a lasting impression and form the basis by while all similar experiences are judged. Last week I experienced my first hockey game – Saint John Sea Dogs vs. Moncton Wild Cats. What a game – excitement, jubilation, kickbutt action, and thrilling expectation. It couldn’t have been better! The Sea Dogs won the night and I left the arena feeling exhilarated. Notice the woman in the background on the far left of the photo. That’s me, whooping it up with the rest of the fans. Sorry to hear they lost the Quebec League title this year, but their newest fan expects nothing but thrilling hockey come next season.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


The letter "P". How much simpler can it be? P is for passion, people, pleasure, purpose, peanut butter, pebbles, paper.....! Things that shift the soul from the mundane to the exhilarating: tastes that speak of individuality and independence. Ode to the poppy and the petunia! Hail to Pachelbel and parables! Praise for the letter "P".

Response to this week's prompt from ABC Wednesdays.