Saturday, October 31, 2015

Naming Night

Ramshackle raw,
seed and salt,
this need I caught
on naming night

for the stretch of syllables,
yes, my syllables
from your tongue.

All that I am
and all I can be
you gave to me
on naming night.

A warm, slow ferment,
temper and torment
I can't cure
and wouldn't wish

55 words for Kerry at Real Toads

Friday, October 30, 2015

Clearance Rack

Just as I was giggling
at the clearance rack and wondering
what kind of certain age woman
wears Marilyn Monroe,
wouldn't you know -

there she was

with a knee high leather boot strut,
ripped jeans on her mom butt,
and Marilyn sprawled
proudly across
the work of Dr. Gus.

Uh . . .

Because I am a poet,
I tried to see the poem,
really tried to see the poem,
but all that I saw was

a message -

some things are bigger
and blonder
than the best of us.

Written by a certain age woman currently dressed as a witch and wearing Marvel Comics Toms . . . for Margaret's Artistic Impressions at Real Toads.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Stop / Motion

I'm a little jerky frame to frame;
a little stiff,
a little lame,
but I can't stop.

My animation's a trifle blurred.
It will have to serve;
it's the best I've got.

A body in motion
stays in motion.
A body in motion
stays in motion.
A body   mantra
prayer   emotion.

Can't stop.

For Midweek Motif ~ Animation at Poets United

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pit Pony

When the words spur(n) me,
I'm like a pit pony pushed to the light; I blink
and drink in the riot 

of the leaves 

the cancerous cage of the mine, my mind,
there is air to spare -

it's amazing to me

all the grace that awaits
when I stop chasing 
some damn turn of phrase

and just open my eyes.

A work in progress for The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Monday, October 26, 2015


a bare branch trembling
a north wind leaf shuffling ache
under the weather

For Haiku Horizons

Sunday, October 25, 2015


photo: Daniel Murtagh


sewed a Halloween costume
fashioned garments for gods.

picked up my daughter's new glasses
brought sight to the blind
and made
tomorrow's lunches
manna fall from heaven.

washed clothes and dishes
conquered creeping chaos
and kept
father / daughter from fussing
the world at peace.

I am
exhausted and frustrated
the stuff of scripture.

I am
bored and angry
the mother of myths.

I am
a cautionary tale
a sonnet 
of sainthood

Saturday, October 24, 2015


Didn't want to be Daisy Duke.
I dreamed of being Bo or Luke
cause they could drive.

65, 85,
just like
taking flight

Faster and faster,
through fences,
through pastures,
they'd drive.

Southern devils and souped up saints.
Sure, Daisy looked good,
but the boys got to getaway.

When I was 8 or 9, my two favorite things in the world were my go-kart (it's a wonder I'm still alive) and the Dukes of Hazzard.  These memories brought to you by It's Ma Thing . . . Nostalgia and Play It Again at Real Toads.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fetching Lies

Storytellers fetch lies from the eyes of the world
and offer them to little girls
like ice cream
with chocolate swirls,
but I know better.

I can read numbers,
the weather - the leather
on my Bible is near worn through.  It's true.
So, I don't need you

to once upon a time me,
fairy tale find me,
or kiss me
off my cross -
I'm not lost.

The bread crumbs behind me weren't to guide me home;
they were tossed

by me
for the birds to take
while I went wandering with wolves
wide awake.

Still not entirely happy with this one, but I'm submitting it to Marian's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

$100,000 Pyramid

blonde . . .
bomb . . .
fawn . . .

playboy bunnies named Bambi!

long . . .
gone . . .
John . . .

break-up letter, good-bye letter!

and on
and on

words that sound like someone yelling Mom when you're trying to take a shower!

ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Last Day Of Summer

Autumn stole the last day of summer
and left a promise of winter in return
in a thin kiss of frost on the window
and a paler sun.

I thought I was safe in September
from the sting of solstice's breath.
But autumn stole the last day of summer
and promised death.

A bit of fall for Karin at Real Toads

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Ladies Of Longhand

Writers are retro as rotary phones.
Ladies of longhand,
our Rosetta stones
hunt hieroglyphics
through blood, ash, and bone,
but the pyramids have fallen

For Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Needs And The Wants Between

I breathe,

and dream of pretty things.

I cover myself,
keep out the rain,
and climb when the waters rise.

I sharpen sticks,
fence and brick
and boundary

out the wild things.

Feed the fire -
Feed the fire -
too tired

to self-actualize.

A little fire for Poets United

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Edges

these slant spaces
in our faces
scare the crows, my dear
bone grin edges
airing out the gut

of bloated midnight
and the corpse of cusp

leaving dead men
still staring at the sun.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Monday, October 12, 2015

Thousand Storms

George Tooker, self-portrait

dance delirious
to the thousand storms

inside your head
not yet born

inside your shell
torn from the sea

inside a girl
a girl like me

For The Mag

Sunday, October 11, 2015

If You Want

If you want to see
my summer house
unlaced and lyriced
just go down
between the rows;
honey, suckle,
and let yourself in.

For The Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Saturday, October 10, 2015


I like my heroes tragic,
my nights misty,
my bodice ripped,
and the way you kiss me
rough and hard;
you take my breath.
Now, get me out
of this goddamn dress.

Up Close and Personal in 10 lines or less for Kerry at Real Toads

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Graveyard Hymn

Naught, naught, naughty -
graveyard grin
hampered by the hook and eye
that holds my hallows in.
A finger for the feed dogs
keeps the reaper grim.
Naught, naught, naughty -
graveyard hymn.

For M's Get Listed at Real Toads

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Frog House

I choose to make myself blue,
I know,
when I dig up these bones -

the little creek I'd sneak to
with gum and string
to catch crawdads
and escape things
I didn't have names for.
A door in the blackberry
only I could see.

By the water,
I'd stick my feet in the mud
as far as they could go,
then pile on more, smoothing
and patting and shaping,
making a frog house.
The barest twist of an ankle.  Slowly

wiggle out a foot.
Lots of times, the mud was too thin
and the roof caved in.
But other times it held firm
long enough to dry in the sun
and stand so fine

I could almost live there.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Monday, October 5, 2015

Measured And Cut

At the nexus of threat and promise,
where Fate winds her thin, tender threads,
I was measured and cut,
pressed and filed flush,
till a square could have stood in my stead.

Still I share a heart with a hunter.
She's the eyes in this skin/skull house.
And one day I swear,
I won't leave her there;
I'll bid her come and call Fate out.

At the nexus
of here and now,
I bid her come
and call Fate out.

For the Sunday Whirl

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Six Days In Oklahoma

Annual Fair
(to the tune of Animal Fair)

Trump went to the annual fair.
The news and police were there.
He stirred up hate
and swore he'd make us great
with a wave of his magical hair.

The rednecks they got drunk
and cheered long and loud for Trump
till he flew away
in his private plane, saying,
"What was the name of that dump?"

Friday before last, thousands converged on the Great State Fair of Oklahoma to hear Donald Trump speak.

Killer Cocktail

"We make a killer cocktail,"
insists my sovereign state.
Then they lethal an injection
with potassium acetate.

Chloride! Chloride! Chloride!
should have read the order sent.
They're not cruel and unusual;
they're just incompetent.

Last Wednesday, Richard Glossip received a 37 day stay of execution when it was discovered that the Oklahoma Department of Corrections had procured potassium acetate, a food preservative, rather than potassium chloride, a heart stopping agent, for Glossip's lethal injection.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Thinnest Ice

It's too late
for thinking twice
when your feet have found
the thinnest ice
where the wine sweet shine
of spring's first thaw
has loosened
winter's grinding jaw.

It's too late
for turning back
once you've heard
that sharp, clean CRACK
and far too late
for wondering then
just how deep
and cold the swim.

55 words for Kerry at Real Toads

Friday, October 2, 2015


She's my stars strung bone to bone.
Weather walking east to west.
Everything the gods know -

She's the cross clasped to the breast of night.
The smudge smoke for appeasing saints.
The stone I sleep and dream upon,
and when I wake

she's the rain.

Still I drove a dozen dawns
to seek counsel on the mountain.
Climbed until my hands were raw
just to hear a wise one say,

"Be still and know that I am dog -
stars beyond your ken and counting.
Worlds beget more worlds,
but some truths never change.

The only cure for drought

is rain."

A rough draft for Hannah's prompt at Real Toads.  I've had a sick kid all week, so I haven't got much brain left.