What Is It Like?

Wild Orchid by Cathy Ulrich

What is it like?
You ask.
This place where you live?

What is it like
where you come from?
I ask.

It is scary and sad.
Those who live there
are hurtful and mean.
Work is hard.
Life is hard.

It is like that here, too.

What is it like?
You ask.
This place where you live?

What is it like
where you come from?
I ask.

It is peaceful and calm.
Those who live there
are kind and serene
Work is easy.
Life is fun.

It is like that here, too.

The Sensual Season

Autumn Flowers by Cathy Ulrich

Breath freezes
in still air.
Sunflower fades
in shortened day.
Tree erupts
in golds and reds
Apple crunches
in sweet surrender.
Bonfire crackles
in night sky.
Cinnamon wafts
from mulling cider.
Cashmere caresses
awaiting skin.
Fall assaults
the senses.

©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

Dirty Laundry

Denver Aquarium Grouper by Cathy Ulrich

Hidden conflict.
Or, maybe,
not so hidden.
Long friendship
by change.

One silent.
One vocal.
Each missive
jabs and prods
in what seems
an attempt to
decry the other.

public complaint
makes me wonder:
that your familiar
now deserves
such ire?

Remind me
to cross you.

©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012


Oak Leaf Cluster by Cathy Ulrich

Seed heads on tall grasses
bend in unseen wind.
Shadows grow longer
in golden light.

Chamisa blooms cadmium,
soon to spread its seeds.
Autumn Blaze maple
shows signs of pumpkin.

Last tomatoes and green beans
await picking,
bearing final gifts before
first frost.

Orange orbs lie vibrant
in nearby fields ready
to sacrifice flesh
for pies,
to sacrifice skin
for carving.

Earth prepares to rest,
but how may I?

©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

Mandala for Shirley

Mandala for Shirley by Cathy Ulrich

Shirley passed yesterday.
Smart, caring, kind,
she loved art, music,
friends, family and Chuck.

Shirley helped many
see their potential.
She taught people
to work together.

Shirley made art that
expressed her beautiful soul.
Mother Earth and those who love her
were Shirley’s themes.

Shirley is fine.
Better than fine,
she is magnificent.
No longer afraid,
Shirley shines.

©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012


Keyboard Variations by Cathy Ulrich

Life is like Jazz.
You make it up
as you go along.

A few rules,,
an underlying structure,
and lots of practice.

Mark taught me the blues scales,
Then intervals – thirds, fifths, sevenths, sixths.
Then how to improvise.
“Hum the tune in your head,”
he said.

And remember:
There’s no wrong note,
just the one after.

©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

Botanical Dreaming

I still don’t get Photoshop.

All of those functions


in miles of menus.

The class was half

photography, half


I arrived with my Nikon D-70.

Everyone else had D-200s.

All of them, experienced.

Me? No clue,

other than my artists eye.

Feeling inadequate

and shaky, I left early.

Looking back on the shots

I took that day,

I decided they weren’t bad.

Better to take good shots

in the first place.

Maybe I don’t need

Photoshop after all.

©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012