Thursday, October 31, 2013

Songs Of Water

The kelpie came
singing songs of water.
Daughter, can you swim?
I climbed on, and let blue
blot out the sun.

The kelpie's mane knotted tight
as we went under.
Daughter, breathe it in.
I lay back and let the wet
work to my lungs.

Note: the kelpie is a supernatural water horse from Celtic folklore.  So sayeth Wikipedia.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Reluctant Horsewoman

This incredible image is by Lasse Partanen via deviantart.  

Death has never cared for horses,
pale or otherwise.
She longs for modern conveniences.

She envies War his drones and unlimited expense account.
She envies Famine all those big corporate interests seeding her way.
She even envies Pestilence and his loophole use of "viruses" to insinuate himself into the digital age.

Death is not even on twitter.

She sighs 
herself astride that hated horse
for a long ride north.
Poor thing, she'll be saddle sore by noon.
But, she has her scythe
and more than enough spite

to keep her right on schedule.

For Izy's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


On the fourth step of my skull,
she stopped to write upon the wall -
For A Good Time Call
I'm not much of a shouter.
I think too much.

On the twelfth step of my skull,
she paused to smoke and take in the view.
I think that she was looking at you;
I know that I was.
I have to look.
I'll never touch.

On the top step of my skull,
she finally made herself look down
and saw herself there on the ground
small and broken.
Small and broken.
Both of us.

For Open Link Night at dVerse.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Forget Me Not

Forget me not in summer.
Forget me not in fall.
Forget me in the winter
if you must forget at all.
For a love gone cold in winter
is oft only slumbering
and wakes to life in the warmer light
of spring's remembering.

For Poetry Pantry

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pirate Hat

I wear a pirate hat
to hide my fear of water.
I keep a dozen dogs
to protect me from their fleas.

When I want you to stay,
I suggest that you be leaving.
Then to keep myself from begging
I cut my legs off at the knees.

A rather quirky take on Michael's prompt at Real Toads.

Friday, October 25, 2013

History Of A Kiss

I couldn't take another love at first sight,
so I offered up my eyes
to a blind man.
But, he just shook his head.

"Pick your flowers from a spider web;
wake with a widow in your bed
every time."

I couldn't take another lying word,
so I bottled everything I'd heard -
a draught for a deaf man.
But, he read my lips instead.

"The history of a kiss
is scripture, child, that gets
more true with time."

For Marian's prompt at Real Toads

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Gabur, Ghand Babul, Indian Medicinal Plant

Honey, heat, and cinnamon
linger everywhere she's been.
My hands, my hair, my lips, my skin
wear her like the rain.

She blooms deep in a whistle thorn tree,
and she's shred apart far better than me.
But I can keep secrets and quietly bleed
until only we two remain.

Editorial Note for Your Enjoyment:  In the language of flowers, acacia symbolizes secret love. Cassie flower absolute (Cassie) is extracted from the Acacia Farnesiana flower and used in several french perfumes.

For Kerry's Language of Flowers prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

That Love Poem

"What happened to that love poem -
the one that had us flying -
I could have sworn I left it dying by the bed.
But, perhaps, it breathed its last still in my head,"

the poet said.

No answer yet.

Linking up later with OLN at dVerse.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Womb Of God

Breath is born of breath
as ice is born of water
in the blue womb of God.
Without thought,

she sighs worlds 
to pearl the sleeping sky,
cleaving light from dark
and dark from light,

but preferring neither one
nor the other.

For Hannah's prompt at Real Toads.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Woman, Draw The Shades

Woman, draw the shades
and loose the owls
to measure night

from wing beat
to heartbeat ceasing.
And salt the bed

lest I start dreaming
that I, too,
can fly.

For Kim's prompt at Poet's United

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


"Sweet little pussy, aren't you, honey?"
he says, all money and milk
in the bowl.
But, she's not;
she's just caught

in a temporary corner.

For Words Count at Real Toads

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Mountain

I had a mustard seed -
seed I'd heard could move a mountain.
Mountain didn't move -
move an inch for me.

Now, I'm set against the stone,
stone simple and a singin' -
singin' to that rock,
"Rock of Ages, cleft for me?"

A late loop poem for Grace's challenge.  Submitted to Open Link Monday at Real Toads.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


This beat up old guitar's been here 
since way back when
Garcia was still truckin'.
Fuckin' shame that Jerry's gone.
We got starter wedding rings
and pretty things
for the girlfriend on the side.
Great Aunt Edna's serving tray
now displays
a dozen Rolex watches.
Fuckin' shame old Edna's gone.
Pick a shelf.  Pick a box.
Pick yourself a piece
of someone else's life.

All these things -
everything you see.
All these things
are just like me -
waiting to be redeemed.

That wedding dress hanging in the window
came from the widow
of a soldier.
Fuckin' shame that man is gone.
Sometimes I put it on
for velvet Elvis 
and the poker playing dogs.
She told me that he signed himself away
for the chance
to go to college.
A fuckin' shame that burns us all.
Now she's got a sandy folded flag
and two babies on her own.

Some things
are more than what you see.
Some things
are just like me -
can't be redeemed.

A much belated response for Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Prison me
in plush leather and teak wood.
Feed me
fat elephants and ass.

At last,
a totem
two-headed and timely -

but unblinking.

For Peggy's prompt at Real Toads

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Break-Up

We were a secret
so when it was over,
I didn't have the luxury of a dramatic broken heart.
There were no gatherings of girlfriends
to coddle me and curse you.
No group vows
to cut you in public.
Just the curses and vows I made alone,
and they left a bitter taste.

We divided our possessions equally.
You got our friends, our places, and our life.
I got principles, silence, and a coal in my throat
that I've never quite choked down.
Even now,
its heat curls my tongue and tempts it to run
wildfire wild until I swallow
hateful and hard.

I have no faith in firebreaks and water;
I know I'm the one who would burn.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, October 6, 2013

For M

May death
come on cat feet
so stealing and soft
that you're dead
before you know
you're dying.

For Poetry Pantry

Saturday, October 5, 2013


A beaker,
a book,
a bluestocking girl.


For A Birthday in October (Denise Levertov) at Real Toads.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Johnny Walker

Johnny walk her home
in the high, dry heat of summer.
Johnny walk her home
in the teasing wet of spring.
Johnny walk her home
when leaves rustle like a rumor.
Sure as winter snow,
he's the company she keeps.

For Corey's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I can confess in a foreign tongue
and make sin sound sweet to the ear.
I can keep a promise in a cool, dry place
so it lasts at least a year.
I drift along with the planet's spin
and still end up where I ought to be.

But when I put the leaves
back in the trees,

it's still November.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


I keep a ragweed garden
in a window box
just to hear my neighbor
sneeze and cough.
He has a cat
that taunts my dogs
by strolling atop the fence.

And when my poor dogs
do the natural thing
and bark
and I'm accused of "poor stewarding,"
I just offer a handshake,
a tissue,
a "bless you,"
and water my weeds again!

For Patricia's Word List at Real Toads