Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Distractions

The magic is in the distractions.
Show the swan and sleeve the sparrow.
Pluck an arrow out of the trembling air.
Hold high a beating heart.

Take a bow for the front row bohemians.
Blow a kiss to the critics backstage.
Art is a prop,
props are the art,
and all the world's a cage.

55 words for Kerry at Real Toads

Friday, January 30, 2015

Lavender Left

Lavender left
in the crease
of a pillow
scratches slumber's cheek.

But lavender left
in the swoon
of its furrow
soothes the stars to sleep.

For Hannah's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


War is like obscenity;
I know it when I see it.

Little girls clinging to camouflaged legs.

Scars and stumps.

Corpses, collateral damage.


is an obscenity.
I know it when I see it.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Girl Is Not A Flower

"The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot."

--- Salvador Dali
A girl is not a flower.
Flowers are dumb.
Ground, seed, water -
bloom is just what they do.
But, a girl like me or you?

She must say "yes,
yes, yes!"
and topple worlds.

Revisiting Kerry's un-flowery flower challenge for Play It Again at Real Toads

Friday, January 23, 2015

If I, Then What

If I
just let you lie
in your listless logic;
let your sensible sediment
sarcophagus stiffen and fossilize;
let "no" become stone on your lips
and lead weight in your heart;
if I let you,
then what?

Half a Quarrel with unrhymed one iamb lines for MTB at dVerse.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


The moon is delicious tonight.
Vanilla with a hint of lime,
time-turned and bottled
in blue glass.
The stars are sugar in my spoon,
and the last

planet is a plum
in the curve of my tongue.
I've orphaned the sky,
but for the sun.

It waits in the hollow of my pillow.

For Words Count at Real Toads

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Retracing My Steps

"Aloneliness" by Totomai Martinez

My pockets are empty, so I retrace my steps

back to the house
that was my mother's house;

back to the sickroom,
now, just a room;

back to the bedside
of a bed that's not there.

I could swear I left it here -

my heart
for doing the next thing.

For Mary's prompt at dVerse

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pokemon In Love

While flesh and blood sleeps,
plastic creeps
throughout the house

two by two
to rendezvous

in lego love shacks
and the narrow back

seats of Barbie cars -
Sailor Moon and stars

Pokemon in love

have at it
like assembly line rabbits

and double by dawn.
Pikachu and Umbreon.

Snivy and Flareon.
Oshawott and Vaporeon.

More and more and more
clutter the floor

by morning and greet
my sleepy bare feet

like sharp, little Japanese shuriken.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Saturday, January 17, 2015

(Under) The Influence Of A Dreaming Cat

Stopped by a slant of sunlight.
I'm turning, turning, three times turning.
Siamese by gaslight.
Arching, stretching, curling, purring.

I wrestle your bell from my neck.
Silence its hateful jangle.
Push the door with the half loose latch
and slip the tangled knot

of all your no's.
I've got to go

show the mouse some teeth.

For Kerry's prompt at Real Toads

Friday, January 16, 2015


I tell my story
so I can edit.

I edit to be
less tragically flawed.

for MTB at dVerse

Thursday, January 15, 2015


If I could
I'd hibernate
like a bear

on my own fat
and sleep

till winter's
a melt
and a memory

in the honeyed
of spring.

For Shay's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


I keep you between the lines of a poem.
Real folded with rhyme.
I've missed you longer than I loved you.
But what is time?

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Where We Were Happy

In that glass circumstance
with it's garden of rocks -
each rounded right for a palm.
In light's impossible love
for a certain shadow.

In wishes widowed
from their makers.
In birds bled
of their song.

In the mate and melt of a moon
with its suicide dawn.

For Grace's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Mile Marker 9

1979 Monte Carlo.  Identical to my first car. Lord, it would fly.

stars blur
fall south

your mouth
between the ditches

my hands 
in your hair

how are we still alive

I learned
to hug curves

in an old
Monte Carlo

new moon

down to mile marker 9

for Corey's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Ice Cream Trucks

Grew up in a world
without ice cream trucks;
too far for the weasel to reach.

When I finally got
my taste of town -
wasn't sweet
as I thought it would be.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Waiting For The Bus

Roots in the wind,
hands on the wire;
it's the birth of God.
I'm setting fire
to my station of the cross
and getting lost.

Been waiting on the bus all day.

West of where
I didn't go.
Now here, nowhere
can I stow-
away in your leather
lack of wreck/oning?

Damn bus ain't coming anyway.

55 words for Kerry at Real Toads

Friday, January 2, 2015

Poet Garden

For last year's words belong to last year's language
  And next year's words await another voice.
--- T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

I'm going to put my hands to the earth this year -
pull the prairie grass,
bust the sod -
till the red dirt given to me by God
is bare.

Then I'll till it and turn it with my tongue,
search my book of seeds till I find the ones
right for my mix
of shade and sun,
and I'll plant them there.

Dante, Dickinson, Shakespeare, and Poe.
Oliver, Angelou, Collins, and Lowell.
Poets and poets,
row on row -
with proper care

they'll take root in my oil patch rhyme,
and bloom new languages in my mind
if I dare

to listen.

For Susie's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, January 1, 2015


Shadow side my mother's bed,
I lost the music in my head.
Lost my grip on rise and fall.
Lost the words that bound

all of my feathers to the wing.
Now, I'm a bird

that cannot fly or sing.

For M's word list at Real Toads