Category Archives: reflection

Maps, a poem from Simply Put, a collection

Image by 👀 Mabel Amber, who will one day from Pixabay 

MAPS AS PROOF-arlene s bice©

Every now and then

I’ll sit on the floor after dragging down

the pile of maps folded on my bookshelf.

These are the rainy-afternoons-do-you-remember-when-maps.

I don’t buy souvenirs

but I save my maps, some worn others not

emoting moments, some seeking a thing not found

others of finding surprises-quite-unexpected-but-joyfully-held.

Maps are my proof.

I’ve stepped out of the mold, leaving behind

my mother’s daughter; creating my own  true self

becoming a-woman-who-loves-and-saves-her-maps.

And I’ll continue

to travel on roads new to me, soaking in

the atmosphere of another’s world, seeing it differently

then I will be making a deposit-in-the-bank-of-memories-for-a-rainy-day.

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Filed under Memoir, Poetry, reflection

The Paths Not Taken

Image by bertvthul from Pixabay 

The Paths not Taken © Arlene S. Bice

There were so many paths I could have taken but had no clue they were open to me. That applies to my personal life and also to what could have been my career, though it would have been a precursor to finally becoming a writer. Before I reached that point I would have liked to be an interpreter of Italian, Spanish, and/or French languages. Perhaps I would have worked in the UN building or translated films for closed captioning. I would have liked living in Europe and worked on document and letter translations. Alas, I settled for the delight in listening to foreign languages being spoken all around me when I went up to New York City wholesale district to buy jewelry for my gift shop.

I would have enjoyed owning and running an Inn, a B & B or a wee hotel with a wishing well in the mountains or a small, picturesque village. It would be a hands-on performance with personal interaction with the guests. In later years traveling through the Rocky Mountains with my second husband, we stayed in a snug motel nestled in a mountainside. It had less than 10 units, with an intimate restaurant attached that was charming. The husband and wife lived there. He was a former cross-country truck driver who now opened and cooked in the restaurant on Friday and Saturday nights. We were lucky to have stopped on a Saturday.  I noted to keep it in mind and return when my kids were fully grown and on their own. Life and love got in the way again. I never returned.

After I reached the mid 50s, I traveled to western North Carolina to Blowing Rock, suggested by a friend who felt I would love the town. I did. It too, had a snug motel, less than 10 units, but in the center of town, a half block off Main Street. I felt like I was staying at my aunt’s house. That’s how cozy and personal the feminine touches presented my room. The owner also lived in one of the units. These were the Blue Ridge Mountains. Real Estate in town was affordable. When I next returned a couple years later properties were sky high in price. The town was even prettier but I waited too long.

I learned some Spanish as a teen, loved the melodic sound of the words. The culture came easily when I visited my brother Albert a dozen times over the years in Puerto Rico.  Visiting my son Ken in Cadiz, Spain where he was stationed in the Navy reinforced my passion for all things Spanish. I read a lot of books with a Spanish backstory and history early in my fervor for reading. My loosely-laid plan was to retire in Puerto Rico. Instead my brother Albert came to live with me in Macon, North Carolina for his last couple of years before he passed.

Learning Italian came fairly easily. I had been exposed to the culture growing up since all of my girlfriends were of Italian descent. Angelo, my fiancĂ©  was born and raised in Italy before coming to America as a 14 year old. I took classes but he refused to speak Italian at home. It would have made the language a bit smoother in my speech. Yet when we were in Italy, he left it up to me to make arrangements. Go figure. When I returned to Italy after he passed over, the language stumbled with a conversation or two. An invisible pat on my back was definite when I held a conversation at a gas station with a kindly older gentleman without struggle or difficulty. Whoo hoo! I did it!

Art always held a special place in my heart. I tried a few times to make room to develop techniques. My first husband fought any attempt I made to improve myself or expand knowledge of any kind. My mother followed the same pattern after I left him. She would not stay in the house with my kids who were by then 14, 12, 10, and 8 so I could attend classes. Again I was forced to stay home and read about artists and the art they created. When I was able to pursue art, nearing my 60s, my writing had already taken all my efforts and challenges. I wondered what my life would have been like if I had never married.

All roads led to writing. It was an early desire that never faded, but kept popping up here and there to keep the fire smoldering until I was able to pursue it, to learn the craft, then to finally share what I learned with others.

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A Poem I Wrote Many Years Ago About Italy

Image by Peter H from Pixabay 

(Inspired by Dun Aengus by David Whyte)

(Publ. in Life & Labyrinth and Simply Put)

ITALY –© arlene s bice

And when you go,

try to go before the season

when tourists fill every place.

They take the soul of place away.

See Italy as its people have,

from centuries ago to the present.

Join them with colorful pottery pitchers

of wine on each table alongside baskets of

bread yet warm, with the scent of hot oven-baking

still floating from the kitchen to your table to your nose

to whet your appetite.

Walk the narrow cobbled streets

where the clatter of horses’ hooves fill

your ears even though that time is a long way

passed. Throw open a casement window in your

castle bedroom to sweep your eyes over clay tiled

roofs to the mountains in the distance. Mountains that

pierce clouds as you do, driving down the mountain, the

road carrying you through the cloud slowly that it lays

on your shoulders, imbeds itself into your pores, mouth

and your brain.

Soak in sounds of the squeeze-box;

a strolling soprano sings with all his being

as you stroll along the canals of Venice holding

hands most sensuously not ignoring strangers, but

saving them for the trattoria, where everyone shares a

moment or announced event; they will cheer your good news.

Drink in the crisp, clear water

spouting out of the mountain, like

champagne surging from a wedding fountain.

Place a small offering in the roadside box with the

Madonna, even though you aren’t Catholic, never will

be & don’t believe that stuff. Do it anyway, be Italian

while you are here.

Drive along the Costera Azura

not falling off the mountain into the

azure blue water like you expect to do

at the next sharp turn where you meet a bus

coming the other way. Italians have been driving

this road for centuries and do fall off crashing onto the

rocks below, but you won’t. You have too much to take

home to hold onto when there are only memories to make

you smile with inner glow; you once lived with a joyful heart in Italy.  

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Filed under Poetry, reflection, travel

Stroke of Luck

Photo by Paweu0142 Fijau0142kowski on

Stroke of Luck © Arlene S Bice

There were many times in my life when I was thankful for the stroke of luck that I made on a particular choice, turn in the road, or chose a horse to put my hard earned $2 on to win. As I got older and wiser and became aware of angels that looked after me and guides that made me aware of choices, and ancestors who whispered in my ear, I realized those times were not luck at all. They were synchronicity moments. Following my intuition had new meaning. The books that educated me were treasures.

Seeing a double, double rainbow filling the entire blue sky in International Falls on the Minnesota side of the Canadian border, was a vision to remember not for the pot of gold at the end of it but for the moment of what it was, a thing of breathtaking beauty. Seeing it was pure luck.

Early one afternoon on our return trip home, Angelo and I stopped at a K-Mart with only three cars in the large macadam parking lot. I was annoyed at him over some little thing that I don’t remember. We parted inside to look on our own. I didn’t buy anything, didn’t really look, and headed back to wait in the car when I looked up at the sky, stunned! I turned to go inside to find Angelo. He must see this, I thought. I didn’t see him anywhere. “Never can find I him when I want him,” I grumbled as I went outside to fill my eyes again where the entire sky was filled with a double, double rainbow!  I had never seen such a sight and knew I would not see it again in my lifetime.

There he was! He had been inside looking for me to see this glorious sight, gave up and came out again. We marveled together, marking the moment in time to always be treasured. Surely this entire incident was a stroke of luck. The annoying slight was instantly forgotten along with the camera tucked into the luggage somewhere. Good luck only goes so far.

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From Simply Put…a collection of poetry


arlene s bice ©

I find myself calling on a word that

is lovely to say as it rolls around my tongue

tingles in my ear and bursts into the universe

on paper it turns the page into a bit of happiness

that I share with others that they may enjoy it, too

but I wonder

do other ears tire of hearing

the same old, same old words expected from me

when I open my mouth to speak, to astonish another

with a new idea, using the same old, same old words

excited as I am that I cannot call upon a word unused

often by me

so many words that I love to say;

delighted, sensuous, passionate, positive, synchronicity

words of a musical bent that sing in my head in the kitchen

fettucine, proscuitto, zuppa inglese, freschi, funghi, castagne

words that sound more promising on the Italian menu than

at the cafe

foreign words slipped into our language

may need practice; yet once you learn, say them

they become fun to form in your mouth even for one

who prefers to write than to talk, to listen to the rhythm

in the voice of someone else, to hear if they are using their

same old, same old words.

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Filed under Poetry, reflection, writing

Review on Amazon for Running with the Horses

Review from Love to Learn: What a funny and poignant read. I thoroughly enjoyed stepping into Bice’s shoes and experiencing her highs and lows with her husband. It brought back great memories of going to the track with my husband in my youth. Going down memory lane with her was a real treat.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Love to Learn. I’m so happy you enjoyed the memories from one part of my life!

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Filed under book review, Bordentown, horse racing, humor, Ireland, European travel, Australia, Cairns horse racing,, Memoir, New book release, psychic phenomena, reflection

pspoetry Day 16 after the rain

After the Rain -arlene s bice

with the earth washed clean

dirt and  debris sent away

time to begin anew

peppermint refreshed air

scents released as I walk

a solo wooded path

leaves still dripping

softly reminding me

the storm has spent

peace uncovered.

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22.04.15. ten things of thankful

  1. That I carry a good sense of humor.
  2. My friends that surround me.
  3. My books are selling well.
  4. The gorgeous flowers of spring.
  5. My new schedule of rising at 3 a m.
  6. Meditation and its benefits.
  7. Crystals and gemstones for healing and meditation.
  8. My faithful readers on Facebook & not on FB.
  9. Zoom chats with my granddaughter.
  10. 10. Soul Discovery coloring book.

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pspoetry Day 15 the tree

The Tree-arlene s bice

In my walk in the wood

It calls to me

The tree

Tilted, inelegant

Its wounds showing

Survived, yet again

A beauty of its own,

Waking from winter’s rest

Buds bursting

Leaves filling out

In dark greens and light

Dressing its bones

With a spring outfit

Birds nesting

Offering a symphony

A hug is appropriate.

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Ten Things i am Thankful For

Lit Bookcase

  Ten Things i am Thankful For  ~ arlene s bice

  1. words, especially printed, so we can communicate

  express our love, show we care

  • family, be it blood related or not, who share affection

stay connected, are close to my heart

  • books, to carry me around the world and home again

feeding me an eduation, new ideas

  • food, to break bread together with friends, raise a glass

exchange ideas and thoughts

  • wine, to complement a fine feast of abundance for all

to toast, congratulate, and commiserate

  • love, it wraps around me, keeps me warm when i am cold

in touch when i am alone, never lonely

  • music, it lifts me when down, settles me when wired

brings great memories, creates new ones

  • trees, filtering the air, shade from too much sunshine

protection from the elements in the rain

  • flowers, filling the air in lovely scent & visual beauty

creating smiles for all who notic

* memories, to know i have lived, loved, lost, found

take me away yet keep me grounded.


Filed under books, family, Poetry, reflection