Tuesday, July 29, 2014


when I thought
I'd never laugh
you call
and then -

thank you.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Numbers never lie.
There is always a deeper shade of blue,
a darker down to the drowning.
Take your typical Saturday night

(the kind you secretly swear
is stultifying your soul)
times the shrill ringing of a phone -
that's misery multiplied.
Or, the grit in your eye,

the blink, blur, blindspot
that comes and goes -
a square root that wends and winds
through cortex and lobe
subtracting sight.
The earth shakes,

but, still, you rotate,
hour added to hour,
day, night, day,
sleep, wake, do it again.

is a curious, tender equation -


Carry the remainder.

I'm supposed to be packing for my vacation, so this is a bit rough.  I just couldn't leave without working up something for Play It Again (Grapeling's Word List) at Real Toads.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


I saw a stegosaurus in a barbed wire yard.
Scrap metal art.
A Jurassic trailer park.
A Clash song later,
I saw a rocket car.

Shit is getting weird.

Turns out, I'm not crazy.  The "rocket car" was actually Oregon State University's solar race car.  It was being driven cross country for a race.

If you're interested, you can view the scrap metal dinosaurs just north of Rush Springs, Oklahoma!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sister To The Sky

Photo Credit: Zulo

Kept sinking
till I swore off gravity,
stopped thinking,
and realized

that falling
is flying without wings;
the ground
is open wide

and sister to the sky.

For Hannah's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Miss Terri

Miss Terri tells the time
by the wine left in the bottle.

Miss Terri knows where all good wishes go.

Miss Terri is the wick and waste
of an unlit candle.

Miss Terri is the shadow on a soul.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


It seems solid enough to the naked eye,
but brought up close and magnified,
the smallest sliver of ancient life
has more holes than the theory of creation.
Having successfully meddled in healthcare, our good friends at Hobby Lobby have turned their attention to building a Bible museum in Washington, D.C. and designing a curriculum for the Oklahoma City Public Schools.  Jesus wept.
For Words Count at Real Toads

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

If We Had

If we had evenings
in companionable silence;
if we had nights
of discarded lace;
if we had mornings
as others have mornings,

of the poetry erased.

Monday, July 21, 2014

At The Drive-In

At the drive-in,
Schemer and Dreamer
are a stuck zipper away
from more than foreplay.
He's panting and printing
yellow grease on her bra.
There's popcorn in his teeth;
he's belching beer through a straw.
And her favorite romance novel
is a wishbone in her craw,
buried deep
as the gearshift in her back.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My Mother's Voice

In my mother's voice, I tell her
of the rabbit and the rain storm;
of God and green things growing;
of the cloud and thunder song.

And in my voice she answers,
"I''m glad for grass and garden,
but the sky is surely shattered;
must it last so long?"

Saturday, July 19, 2014

This Poem Is No / Because I'm Your Mother / And I Said So

This poem is no.
This poem is because I'm your mother.
This poem is and I said so.

No, you may not wear makeup.
No, you may not ride alone.
No, you may not have an iPhone to hide behind
or cliff jump with your friends.
This poem is no.

Because I'm your mother.
Birth canal.
Other end of the umbilical cord.
Bringer of you, baby.
This poem is because I'm your mother.

And I said so.
I bribed gods to get you here.
I breathe prayers over you as you sleep.
I swore that I would always be an adult for you.
This poem is and I said so.

This poem is no.
This poem is mother.
This poem said so.

My attempt at Hannah's Boomerang Metaphors for Real Toads

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Other Me

Every week or so, I meet the Other Me
for catch-up, compromise, and coffee;
it's how we keep the road not taken out of the weeds.
She holds a juris doctorate.
I hold a poet laureate
between dishpan hands.
She has skyscraper eyes and heels to match.
I have red dirt between my toes.
We are have and half.

Every week or so, I meet the Other Me
for catch up, compromise, and coffee.
I have my bones in a briefcase.
She has a baby on her hip.
It's how we keep the road not taken out of the weeds.

For Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quality Control At The Young American Factory

We're red, white, and graying fast,
baby booming past
any balance
of labor and leisure.
We need her

and her and her and him
to come here -
come in -
but we send them back;

the blend's too brown,
too close to black,
down at the border.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Yellow Brick Stone

Give me a yellow brick stone
to mark the end of my road.
Don't bother with dates or a poem -
just  If

she'd only had a brain . . .

For Susie's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Stumbling Stair

Joy was a sit
on the stumbling stair with
a cigarette lit
by your lips
by your kiss
back when everything meant
everything meant

For Magpie.

Monday, July 14, 2014


all sorts of shinery -
tokens of pinery
are most welcome here.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Here, The Land

Here, the land
is a woman

soft curved in sleep
beneath switchgrass sheets.

Shale spined,
and prairie fleshed -

red skin
veined black

with rich rot dreams.

For Grace's prompt at Real Toads

Friday, July 11, 2014


Abalone in a buzzard's beak.
Crab's just a dollar, but the buzzard's cheap.
Donkey spends his days keeping coyotes from the sheep.
Elephants polish guns.

Foreigners follow fading stars
to bring gifts
and clean houses
where the illnesses are
jumping in the blood
like kangaroos licensed to fly.

the mud keeps sliding.

Nuts are cracking open, and the odor's strong -
patches and the quick fix left too long.
Three footed rabbits and a siren song.
Excuses on the tarmac again.

So, I'm watching CNN in my underwear.
Embracing vertigo till I just don't care.
There's Beyonce's new wig
and yak jamming xylophone.
The zoo feels like home,

and the mud keeps sliding.

For Corey's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Dinner Game

It's my turn at dinner
with the dead and famous;
it's a game I play to lose.
I don't need to know why Poe wrote rhyme
or what hand soap Pilate used.
The answers to my questions
were knotted in a noose,

and I'll never know
why you let go.

Why didn't you call me?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Obsessive Compulsive

You like things tidy and neat.
"I'm a little OCD," you giggle.
No, you're not.

Until you've ground
yourself fine and sifted
the dust, you're not.
Until you've ritualed moons

for a fresh thought or a forward
link in your chain, you're not.
Until you've burst your eyes

to find a white space
in the small print
that follows you close
as blood and bone,

you're not.
You prefer tidy.
You prefer neat.  But, you can
defy either.  You're not

OCD at all.

For Michael's word list at Real Toads

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Right And Left

My right hand tinges
each word blue -
the hypoxic truths
of a hangman's heart.
But, my left hand laces
letters for you;
that's where the poetry starts.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Eagle, Eagle

Eagle, eagle,
Hive up high -
aerie on my knee.
Can't hatch honey,
so I set the feathers free.
Eagle, eagle,

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, July 6, 2014

These Homes

Home is where
the heart work is;
the washing of feet
turned tentative;
the argumentative patient;
the bargains struck with time.

And, home is where
the guilt grows large
and wash piles up
beside the machine;
where weeds green the garden
and tomatoes rot on the vine.

The ties that grind -
these homes of mine.

For Flash Fiction 55 at Real Toads

Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day

When I was a kid,
it never rained on Independence Day.
Ice cream didn't melt.
Burgers didn't burn.
Mama made left turns in traffic
without swearing.

The fair rides were free -
no lines.
The bathrooms were clean -
no lines.
The band stayed in tune -
glorious fine,
and the fireworks were water fire
lasting forever.

For Margaret's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Für Therese

I'm sorry, my dearest, I'm sorry.
Sorry as I can be
that these fingers cramped by the bow and staff
pen notes clear to hear, not to see.
Sorry that the sweet slant and curl of your name
will be lost to history.
I'm sorry, my dearest, I'm sorry.
I don't even know an Elise!

Despite the title of his song “Für Elise,” Beethoven didn’t even know an Elise, at least according to most historians. Beethoven had hideous handwriting—to the point that some scholars speculate the song was actually written “for Therese,” one of several women who turned down a marriage proposal from the notoriously lovesick maestro.
- - - Mental Floss

This amazing and interesting fact brought to you by Izy at Real Toads.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I'd Rather Be

on a boat in the water
hands silvered with shad
my eyes on a line -
nothing on my mind.