Tuesday, September 30, 2014

To Keep The World Turning

I'm cleaning the clouds from the sky we share
so you can feel the warmth of the sun still there
and burning.

Is that enough to keep the world turning?

I'm scrubbing the stars from each near miss night
till the moon nestles close
and its light falls full on your face.

Is that another day?
If not,

I'll do it again.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mother's Tongue

My daughter speaks her mother's tongue -
a sugar syrup southern drawl
that softens words that shouldn't be said,
shouldn't be said at all.

A sugar syrup southern drawl
that hints at lemon in the tea,
but softens words that shouldn't be said;
she learned that from me.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Saturday, September 27, 2014


My chakras are migrating south,
and I am fall

My third eye is in my throat.
My heart is in my toes.

I'm sinking to the ground.
Winter is call

My crown is on my knees.
My roots are out of reach

and growing numb.

Inspired by Ella's Poetic Exercise (Chakras).  Submitted to Play it Again at Real Toads.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Universal Truth

is a book
of painted savages
and a view of the river.
and the taste of a new tattoo.
It is American;
pregnant, pretty, and dead
but for the love of a woman.

It is fever and frailty;
a marriage of convenience.
It is martyrs and bankers and mid-life's God.
It's a birthright
and a diploma.
It's a bottle of Job's tears,
shaken, not stirred.

For Corey's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Telling Time

seconds skitter
minutes rush
she is an hour hand now

winding down
winding down.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Blue Sky Mind

I keep looking up
for something on high
to bless me with
a blue sky mind.
Cloudless and clear.
Doubtless and clean.
Then, I'll know what I think,
and I'll say what I mean

out loud,
and outside-

if I had a blue sky mind.

I keep looking down
for relics and roots.
Real as red dirt
native truth.
A sure as spirit sign to follow.
A shaman's sugared pill to swallow

to seed me
and lead me
to the holy ground

I'm looking for when I look down.

Looking out.
Looking in.
I'm substantial as cirrus
and steady as wind.
Tell me, friend,
how do you know
you're who you are;
will you show

the trick to me?
show me again.

I'm looking out to look within.

For Susie's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Why I Clean On Wednesdays

Wednesday mornings I sweep
my prescriptions into a drawer,

black folder my lists
and rituals,

make happy beds,
and strip the couch

so my maid can clean
without seeing my dirt.

Monday, September 22, 2014


To feel girly,
I wear pink pretties
beneath my practical pants.

To seem smarter,
I buy heavy books;
I have educated shelves.

To summon a smile,
I pretend
that I'm much more than I seem;

like anybody else.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Saturday, September 20, 2014

This Place

I'll not offer you this place
of darkened mirrors and pictures too
pale to be seen.

I'll not offer you this place
of creaking stairs and walls
prone to talk.

This place
is a skeleton key on a ring
that severs the finger.

This place
shames you
when you bleed.

For the Mini-Challenge at Real Toads

Friday, September 19, 2014

Checks And Imbalances

I check the front page
for sightings
of Jesus.
I check the classifieds
for directions from the Lord.

I never miss the weather;
there's words inside the thunder
crashing like a deadbolt -
six times -
to lock a door.

For Kerry's prompt (superstition) at Real Toads

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dahlias Dying

I dream of dahlias dying;
wake up half past late
and a quarter from crying.

Every joint is grinding.
Every bone is an ache.
I dream of dahlias dying.

I have a fear of flying.
I hesitate to medicate
till I'm a quarter from crying.

I have a fear of flying
and becoming what I hate -
a dahlia dying.

The work of untying
all the knots of me you've made -
all the talking and crying

I'm finding
to be a waste.
I dream of dahlias dying
and wake a quarter from crying.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


When no one is neglected
but myself
and everyone is satisfied
but myself,
I sometimes call a truce
with myself.


Only then do I notice that my thighs
are trembling silk,
and my eyes capture green
in certain light.

But my ardor for me cools
quick as shower wet skin,
and, hair wrapped like a swami,
I can easily crystal future hostilities.

Self and love is an uneasy alliance,
and even temporary tenderness is an art.

I'm no artist, yet.

For Grapeling's Get Listed at Real Toads

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Privacy Of A Dog


I was photographed and fingerprinted at the bank,
videotaped buying tampons at the grocery store,
and tracked by GPS through my iPhone.

I left emails floating like angels in the cloud.

I received recommendations from Amazon,
suggestions from Netflix,
and friends from Facebook.

I must be safe and somebody, now.

Eyes covered -
the privacy of a dog.

For The Mag

Monday, September 15, 2014

Soft Science

Sampling the cells
of your sweet science.
The chemistry of skin.

The sweet heat calorie
of a kiss-

wet equation of a wish.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, September 14, 2014

How To Bear The Blue

Squinting is impractical.
An eye-patch is doubly impractical
unless you are a pirate.
Not a pirate?
Then spread yourself wide as the drum major's cape,
and let trumpet trills
thrill you / fill you
with fat, unmuted September.
Leave August shades to the flute section
and the threat of October to your dreams.
Don't be that awkward stillness that stalls the wave.
Throw your head back and scream.
It's the least you can do
to bear your share of the blue.

For Grace's prompt at Real Toads

Friday, September 12, 2014

Ratna Dweepa

Can't hear rumors of a modern world -
mud in my ears.

I dig all day to eat -
mud in my teeth.

Dig for bits of colored glass -
mud in my ass.

A share of nothing there -
dead on my feet.

Note: Ratna Dweepa (Island of Jewels) is the Sanskrit nickname for the island of Sri Lanka.  The wide variety of gems found on the island have been mined for at least 2500 years.  For the most part, the mining process has remained unchanged.  Even today, most mines are small, community efforts. Miners work from dawn to dusk in exchange for food and an eventual 3% share of  any stones found.  

For Margaret's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Nerd Gene

for my daughter

Girlie got a Gameboy
Gen One Pokemon
8 bit sing along
double jointed thumbs

Girlie got a retro
throwback way cool
vintage vibe old school
is her idea of fun

It's in her genes
her helix strings
the nerd is strong in this one.

Monday, September 8, 2014

How To Serve Woman

Don't truss her or fuss her;
open her and let her breathe.
Simmer gently until tender.
Whip to increase volume.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Dig

We uncovered sacraments
of a strange God -

peppermint candles
and sacred texts
left behind by ancient prophets -
and we learned

to banish foul smelling darkness
and troubleshoot a toaster.
With bread,

we fed
the electric Lazarus.

A third Great Awakening began.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

White Dog / Black Dog

It's a game,
just a stupid video game,
but the white dog is more powerful than the black dog,
and my daughter notices the difference.
"That's racist," she says.

Is it?  I don't know.
I mean, it's just a stupid video game.
But she's eleven,
and she notices.

Maybe there's hope for us after all.

For Flash Fiction 55 at Real Toads

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Second Flood

The second flood is coming; we must gather
them by twos and twos against the rain.

The men of sweat and diesel.
The women with calloused hands.

The makers, menders,
builders, and tenders of fields.

These are our workhorses and hunting dogs.
They can live on mud and remake fire.

Maybe they'll save a few of our worthless kind
with their duct tape and baling wire.

Inspired by Marian's prompt at Real Toads

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Intelligent Life

I go out at night
in search of intelligent life
only to find
myself empty-headed.

The dumber I become,
the less me and more like someone
I can't be for very long,
the more I'm wanted.

So I soothe my synapses to sleep.
Drown my dendrites in another drink.
Another smart girl ashamed to think.
Another dumbing down.

I go out at night
in search of intelligent life,
but I'm afraid
to let myself be found.

A little dichotomy for Kerry's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Charmed Work

Calling down the fireflies
female in the grass

in my hands
homespun glass

charmed work
of wet, nested fingers.

Monday, September 1, 2014

And Wait

My metal turtle has tinted skin.
I can see out,
but you can't see in.
I guide from the belly
and inch chase a place in the shade.

And wait.

The school pick-up line
is society small.
Should I act civilized
or middle finger it all?
Be a beast in a tank
or the lady my mama raised

and wait, and wait, and wait?

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads