Saturday, March 31, 2012

Between Sisters

Photo by Laura Hegfield

We grew despite the floods.
We grew despite the drought.
We grew in times of plenty
and in the times we did without.

We grew despite the soil,
rocky at its best.
Weeds amongst the flowers,
but we bloomed nonetheless.

For the Photo Challenge at Real Toads

Friday, March 30, 2012


It's not the years that I have lived,
it's the bodies that I've  buried
that have bent my back
and bled my heart
and left me faint and sick.

The girl -
unsheltered from the bull god's rut.
The wildcat -
whiskey drenched and wounded.
The scholar.
The sell-out.
The self
no longer self-contained.

It's not the years that I have lived,
it's the bodies that I've buried.
And, still, I find
that I have yet
so many graves to dig.

For Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Keep your burnished coins.
I'll keep my heart shaped sky.
Only the simple suckle poison,
and I've no wish to die.

But, if you offer me your lips
and lean your staff against my wall.
I might give you leave to dose me
with your poison after all.

For the Sketch Poem prompt at Real Toads.
Word group: coin, heart, leaves, sky

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Planning A Saturday Night

Tell me there will be dancing,
and music
loud enough to cover my silences.

Tell me every crazy crowded room
will have a quiet corner
fleshed in dark.

Tell me it will be fun (fun! fun!).

Then, ask me if I'd rather
just stay home
and be kissed.

For Open Link Night at dVerse.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Note On Fridge

Lover boy, you ain't no carob tree.
I ain't done poured my love, my sweat, and my money
into you just to see
some lemon-faced little girl
named (eye-roll) Violet
writhe and shimmy with the sweets
that I am due.

So, should it come to you needin'
education and rehabilitation
know that it will not disturb me
to come at you like an almond-eyed specter,
hack you down to your miserable root,
and set your whole useless mess on fire.

You ain't no carob tree, baby.
Hell, we ain't even Jewish.

Note: The Jewish Talmud includes a parable known as "Honi and the Carob Tree."  In the parable, a planter plants a carob tree even though he knows that the fruits will be enjoyed by others, rather than himself.

For Shawna's Monday Melting Pot
and Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Drought Breaker

Photo by Kat Mortensen
I've taken up with a weatherman.
He promises sunny days.
But, I'm a rainy hearted girl,
and it's cloudy skies that soothe me.

He keeps a careful watch on the dryline.
He keeps his arm around my waist.
But, I'm a rainy hearted girl,
and it's thunderstorms that move me.

And, you've got drought breaker eyes.

For the Sunday Challenge at Real Toads. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Clean Version

There once was a mama named Zen
adept with the keyboard and pen.
She blogs tawdry tales
and her daily travails
so you'll come back and see her again!

A limerick I reworked a bit  for Form for All at dVerse.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Afternoon Storm

The storm came out of the East,
as no self-respecting storm would do,
and meandered West against all convention.
Strange and stubborn and struggling
to be taken seriously,
its black cloud countenance
glowered lightning
and spit slanted rain.
Thunder wandered wicked
from wind to wind.
But the falling hail
forgot to be fearsome
and bounced joyfully on the green carpet of grass.

For the Wednesday Challenge at Real Toads

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Learned Men Discuss


If woman is to be improved,
I fear her spine must be removed,
for all our efforts to cleanse her thought,
regrettably, have come to naught.
She clings to control of reproduction
and resists her true and natural function.
She remains unbowed after all this time,
so it's clear we must remove her spine.

The Infamous All-Male Panel Discussing Birth Control Before The U.S. House Of Representatives
A Magpie Tale
A submitted to dVerse

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Singer (Circle Of Fifths)

Her voice is a helix,
a ragged sugarcane scream,
that spirals from the dark diaphragm
of her grief.

Doubt is the dirt
in which the whiskey lily grows.

"Yes" is another shot,
another quick flip of the wrist,
smooth as a Fender's maple neck.

"Later" is something
she never considers at all.

For Shawna's Monday Melting Pot.
Also submitted to Real Toads.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Drinking Song

Right hand turns to salt.
Left hand turns to stone.
Right foot in the dragon's mouth.
Left foot safe at home.

Drink to those still living.
Drink to those long gone.
Right foot in the dragon's mouth.
Left foot safe at home.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I read The Hobbit aloud to my little baby bump.  Now, my little baby bump is eight years old, and we are reading The Hobbit aloud together.  She's gets a particular kick out of Tolkien's dwarven tunes, so this one is for her.

The Baby Bump at 4 months.  By that time, we were on Fellowship of the Ring.  See the book?

Submitted to dVerse.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sunflowers And Spider Webs

Photo by Shanyn Silinski
When I went blind,
I discovered
that both sunflowers and spider webs
make you laugh
when brushed against the backs of your knees.

When I went deaf,
I recovered
the ebb and swell
of the womb
in the beating of your heart.

When I went mute,
other languages
from the palms
of my hands.

You gathered the blooms
like pieces of poetry.
I just smiled
and remembered your knees.

For the Photo Challenge at Real Toads

Friday, March 16, 2012


Strange as Sanskrit.
Familiar as milk.
Your name hovers on my lips.

I swallow

sounds and symbols
for safekeeping
lest the wind steal you away.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


You ginger step
like an old woman.
Every movement
begs for stillness.
Every inhalation
drags and scrapes
like a gravedigger's shovel.

The acorn long buried in the bronchi
is blooming its breathless death,
and every cough and wheeze brings the crops closer to harvest.

I've watched you string along your mortality
like a child's pull-toy since I was a girl of eight.
I've greeted the hooded stranger at the door and
felt the tingle of his till-we-meet-again kiss on my cheek.
I've felt his dry touch against my pig-tailed hair.

After so many floods of grief and terror,
I've gotten pretty good at treading water.

So good,
that I almost forget
I'm still drowning.

Shawna's Monday Melting Pot words
for Open Link Night at dVerse

Monday, March 12, 2012

Doug? Is That You?

Men may seldom make passes
at girls who wear glasses,
but girls who won't wear their glasses
can't see the passes men make.

A nod to Dorothy Parker for Magpie Tales
Also submitted to Real Toads

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Take comfort in the fall of my hair.
Break fast at the feast in my eyes.
Know you are known in my smile
and safe in these hands
of slender stone.

For Ella's (she took that gorgeous picture) photo challenge at Real Toads.

If you have a minute, check out the latest issue of Curio Poetry.  I have a couple of poems in it (under my real name - Kelli).

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I earned these burning hands
pulling nettles from your grave.
Too late to salve your wounds,
but I might yet save the babe.

He rides against my ribs
and finds his famine at my breasts.
I'll drink the nettles down
and leave to Mary all the rest.

I don't usually do these, but . . .
*In the mid-1800s, widespread failure of the potato crops in Ireland led to the starvation of roughly one million people.
*For thousands of years, the stinging nettle has been revered by many cultures for its practical, medicinal, and magical properties.  The Irish believed that nettles grew out of dead bodies. Nettle is one of the Nine Sacred Herbs for the treating of wounds.  Nettle tea can be used to help lactating women produce more breast milk.  However, chemicals in the plant's needles cause a stinging burn if you brush up against them.

Submitted for the "heat" portion of Shawna's prompt at dVerse.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Love And Affection

I wanted love
and a little affection.
Baby, you took me
half of the way.

You gave me love
and a little infection.
Goes to show you don't listen
to half of what I say.

For the Love and Affection prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Past Tense Moon

Dark as a past tense moon
shorn of all her shine.
This empty, starless room.
Dark as a past tense moon.

Storm clouds at the loom
for the weave of a widow's sky.
Dark as a past tense moon
shorn of all her shine.

A moon triolet for dVerse and Poet's United

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Serotonin dreams,
sweet and strange.
Low dose reality.
High Freudian frolic.
And, you.

Fragile words
fetter me.
Fluttering pages
fold themselves into birds
far too lopsided to fly.
But, they do.
To you.


My younger self
wouldn't resist the gentle urgings
of such a constant moon.
But, I am old
and sold to safety.
Bold no more,
except here
with you.

For Kerry's Challenge at Real Toads

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Woman is a moonblind vessel.
Woman is a mewling child.
Woman is the bringer of downfall.
Woman is weaker and wild.

Woman is a nurturing harlot.
Woman must be controlled.
Woman must birth to be blessed.
Woman, spread your legs when you're told.

Woman emasculates
when woman doesn't go where she's led.
Woman is much like a "savage."
The only good woman is dead.

For Open Link Night at dVerse

Monday, March 5, 2012

Window Shopping

Be a good girl.
don't be greedy
Be a nice girl.
don't make demands
Be a quiet girl.
act like a lady
Be a stupid girl.
to catch the eye of a man.

Also submitted to Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Sand

Photo by Walter Smith
The sand
just under Beethoven's Bridge
was soft as the whispered "yes"
I almost took back
when we were half undressed
and I got scared.

But before I could cry
or deny your touch,
something -
maybe the mail truck-
rattle banged overhead
and dead leaves filled
the hollow air.

You tucked one
behind my ear
and laughed
like a delighted god.

The sand was soft.

For Poetics at dVerse

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Our Song

Photo by Kenia Cris
Between us we knew five chords.
I showed you mine.
You showed me yours.
It seemed like just a matter of time
till we made music.

We each had our pages of words.
I showed you mine.
You showed me yours.
It seemed like just a matter of time
till we had our song

But, the lyrics always came out wrong.

For the Sunday Challenge at Real Toads

Friday, March 2, 2012


Daddy wore a uniform.
Daddy fought the fires.
Daddy was a hero,
but my only desire
was Daddy to come home
so I could crawl up on his knee.
Daddy was a hero
for everyone but me.

For the Fireblossom Friday prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, March 1, 2012


is breaking
with more grace
and less cussin',
less fussin' and mess,
but flat is still flat.

This love
that we're making
is just to keep
from discussin'
if it's time for pickin'
the wheat from the chaff.