Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mother River

We found her blue-faced as a pict.
I became "Gall," my sister, "Bile,"
linguistics, the lace of our fingers.

is the mother river,
bone banked and senseless.
Pulse is census and legends of Lazarus
recited as I wade in

hoping to be counted.
Hoping to swim.

A rough bit of something for mood wings

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hiway 9

The Road to Somewhere

When you're young, the road is wide.
Wide enough you walk side by side.
When you're old,
it gets narrow as your veins.
On your way to the drooling chair.
White coat Jesus gonna meet you there.
Just follow the steeple sign
to Hiway 9.

Let our friendly, helpful staff
drip the morphine in your mask.
Rest your cyanotic skin.
Wet your lips with Ativan.
Inner peace is PRN.
Ring the bell, I'll be right in.
Just follow the steeple sign
to Hiway 9.

When you're young your lungs are wide.
Air's a sweet rush without trying.
When you're old,
they narrow to a strain.
On your way through the symptoms list,
pray for miracles you might have missed.
And follow the steeple sign
to Hiway 9.


PRN - "as needed"

Inspired by mood wings' word list and Kelly Letky's photography.  Submitted to Real Toads.

Fearing that y'all really think I don't know how to spell, I added the bottom image. That's the cheesy, tacky feel I was going for.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Hundred Mile Wild

The first step into a hundred mile wild
sets you trembling like a child.
It's a pathless place that pulls you along.
Look back - the way you came is gone.
It's gone.

The first breath into a hundred mile wild
sings with the smoke of a thousand fires
drifting dark from the bridges you've burned.
The wildfire wind, it never turns.
Never turns.

The first day into a hundred mile wild
you take bones for bit and bridle.
The spurs that shred your skin are your own.
You bleed the lie that you're not alone.
Bleed alone.

The first night into a hundred mile wild
the constellations gather round
to whisper back all the wishes you made
on falling stars you couldn't save.
Couldn't save.

The other side of a hundred mile wild
is the missing verses of the Bible,
the lover you can't live without,
the sermon come down from the mount.
Come down.

It's the only way out.

For Hannah's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, August 28, 2014

First Trip To The Beach

Hawaii, 2005

I tried 
to hold you high above the tide;
I tried.

Terror tasted salt and blue.

Once you were dry
and satisfied with solid ground,
I cried

for seashells lost
and the best I couldn't do.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I've left my little girl unchurched, but we pray
at the corner of 24th and Main -
a stoplight prayer
for God's grace
and a green light.

For Words Count at Real Toads

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Baby Me

Baby me bright
as the sunniest night
oh, radiant redhead of mine;
you know my kind

doesn't sleep much anyway.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Directions For A Photo Album

Admire the pictures of babies and brides.
Tender touch
pressed funeral flowers.
Then turn to the pages in-between;
everything's in the nothing much hours.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Got a one word letter from a man
who shouldn't have sent me a letter at all.

FECUNDITY - didn't know what it meant,
but it dirtied me.

Instead of looking it up, I looked over my shoulder.

Saturday, August 23, 2014



the birds are singing
the sun's on its way
not a cloud in the sky
what a beautiful day


the birds are singing

Death likes to whistle

the sun's on its way

interrogation light

not a cloud in the sky

heat will beat down

what a beautiful day

for a riot


Note: I'm trying to get across the idea of an accordion fold where alternating lines are hidden until the paper is unfolded.  Is it coming across at all?

Inspired by Kerry's Jorge Luis Borges prompt at Play It Again, Toads

Friday, August 22, 2014

8 Shades Of White Girl

"We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle."
---Marilyn Monroe

Katy Perry in her cloud.
Ugg boots on her feet.
Venti in her left hand.
She's a star; watch her twinkle.
Pinterest is next to godliness.
Rhythm's a one cup beat.
North Face in a shopping bag;
real face rarely seen.

Kind of a wacky list poem for Shay at Real Toads.  Forgive me; I'm suffering from sudden immersion in middle school girl culture.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Class Of

No one I came up with
grew up to be anything
but older.

Nobody made good
or did bad enough
to get on the news.

We didn't get famous,
and no one will name us
reciting history.

The Class of Whenever -
the best we could do.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Jane Q. Poet

I don't hear
angel wings.  My mind's full
of things to do.  No one's doing with me
what spring does with cherry trees.  I'm small words, quiet
needs; this world's loud, tall.  I canary
out of the coalmine -sing
what I saw.

A very rough triquain for Kerry's Sunday challenge at Real Toads

Friday, August 15, 2014


We've killed the constellations -
all but one.

Scorpius slid down Detroit's slurry throat.
Leo dimmed over Tokyo.

Aries, Libra, and the rest
were strangle shined to death;

Only the Little Bear is left,

hibernating, here,
in my right hand.

I want

end to the beginning,

but there's none.

Just a silent suffocation,


And, we've killed the constellations -
every one.

For Corey's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Rancher's Widow Hires A Hand

Ridin's all in the hips;
don't be bouncin' in the saddle.
Ropin's in the wrist;
keep it loose, and let it roll.

Here at Desperation,
you don't touch a gal's tequila
unless you're gonna eat the worm -
it won't kill you, son!

Just suck it slow.

For Grapeling's word list at Real Toads.  Check out M's beautiful tribute to Robin Williams.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I'm tired
of all these needy people.
I've been sucked to a husk
of mean eyes and sharp tongue.
Gone is the skintight of my shadow.
It drags reluctant six steps behind.

Monday, August 11, 2014


I approach her like a penitent -
palm open
to be sniffed or scored.

I murmur baby talk
and prayers
in praise of her beauty.

She twitches an ear - or not.
Switches her tail - or not.
Goddess choice:

reward me,
ignore me,
or take me to task.

Bastet - Egyptian protector deity represented as a cat.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Where I Am Not

I cannot be
where I am not;

a simple thought,
but true.

I cannot be
where I am not,

so I cannot be
with you.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Where Night Falls

From streets lined with bed bound zinnias
to back roads of broomweed and clay -
where night falls

a woman waits for a lover.

From wine wisp sips of the iris
to a scissortail smoke in the hay -
where night falls

a woman waits for a man.

For Grace's prompt at Real Toads

Friday, August 8, 2014

Alas . . .

Alas, poor Tigger!  I knew him well, Piglet; a fine fellow of infinite bouncie; of forever trouncie; a thousand times he hath sung of his rubbery top and springy bottom; I can still hear the song!  "Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!"  But, where is the fun now? Where? It's gone.  The most wonderful thing about Tigger was Tigger was the only one.

For Margaret's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Never Was

Once upon a time
that never was,

I wore white gloves and danced
with a gentleman from France.

Once upon a time
that never was,

I loved a lady from Peru.
And, we danced, too.

Heads, I lie;
fairy tales, I'm true.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


A Hiroshima Shadow

August sun.
One Little Boy.
Ten thousand shadows.

Note: On August 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb ever used in war on Hiroshima, Japan.  Nicknamed "Little Boy," the bomb exploded with the force of 16 kilotons of TNT.  An estimated 70,000 to 80,000 people were killed instantly by the blast and a resultant firestorm so intense that "shadows" of some victims were permanently etched into stone. 

At Real Toads, Izy has asked for an incomplete poem.  Well, I'll be damned if I can tell if this is complete or not!  Help me out, fellow Toads; how does this come across?  Does the irony of a killing machine having such an innocent name strike you as much as it strikes me?  Is this horrifying, moving?  Or, is it just disaster poetry of the worst kind and completely useless without the explanatory note?  Help!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Friend Fishing

Line in the water.
A nibble on the bait.
I'm slow to set the hook -
another gets away.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Indian Summer

Indian Summer dissolve
peyote sun
upon my tongue;
get me high
on jumbled sound
and appetite.

Signal sigh
me soft inside

your compass point.

till your southern star

is mine.

Bring me bones and bells and bliss.
Bring me blue and God's last kiss.
Tire me of you.

Tire me twice of this.

Some Sunday Whirl words for Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, August 3, 2014


In the noose's
twirling orbit

is a picket fence
with pretty girls

climbing over
digging under

the goddamn dog days.

For The Mag

Saturday, August 2, 2014


Walking from my mailbox back to my door,
I could be plodding an elephant path.
I could be wading through wild, white water.
I am a sundial striding.

There's cottonwood fluff beneath my feet;
bee sting and birdsong behind my ear.
My six o'clock hands are sieves for the sand
spilled from my hourglass eyes.

55 words for Shay at Real Toads

Friday, August 1, 2014

Ishmael And Isaac

Ishmael has a shovel.
Isaac has a spade.
Can't share the land of Canaan.
Rather share a grave.

Brothers of the Book.
Seeds of Abraham.
Rather share a grave
than share the Promised Land.

A simplistic view of a complicated conflict.  Written for Marian's prompt at Real Toads.