Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Amber

I've words kept in amber
saved for some later
day when I'm braver

and rice paper rubbings
of an epitaph left
on my living stone.

I've embroidered skin,
blown glass eyes; my teeth
are polished black bone.

I'm a scrapbook soul
at the mercy
of stories untold.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Untitled (Stripped)

"Untitled" (America #1) - Felix Gonzalez-Torres
(Untitled) America #1, Felix Gonzalez Torres


this started 
out as a sonnet,
then I stripped it

syllable
by syllable
as you like it

skin from muscle
muscle from bone
to narrow
marrow meaning

a bare bulb swinging
shadows
and throwing heat

For Kerry's prompt at Real Toads

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Incidentals

She only took a suitcase when she left
for her brother's in Joplin, Missouri.
All the rest she left behind;
the incidentals of a life.

Full blood Choctaw, her tribal pride
displayed on every side of every room -
dreamcatchers, moccasins, baskets half woven - she's been removed
from the red dirt she's called home
as long as she's lived.  She can't be
alone anymore
they tell her.

So she packed a suitcase and left
for her brother's in Joplin, Missouri.
All the rest stayed here behind -
the incidentals of a life.

For Kerry's "final twilight" prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sister

Sister Mary Dry as Dogma,
it's time to wet your knife;
the plums this July
are to die for.

Sister Carry Cross for Comfort,
you might just take a shine
to the sweetness of a flesh
you haven't tried before.

Don't try to weed the garden -
just let something catch your eye.
There's more to apples
than the apple core.

Sister Magda Lean and Longing,
you stink of sacrifice.
Don't you ever pray for something
to be forgiven for?

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Root Deep And Rise

Root deep and rise!

Uncurl from your seed sleep
reach / seek the trickle seep of rain
tendril / tunnel through
freshly turned dirt
toward the sane certainty
of season, sun, and spin till earth

green boned and bloom bellied spring breeze sway
sure of the way and want that you're made

to open -
sweet glimpse of your creator's eyes

Root deep and rise!

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Kitty Cat PJs

It's cute
that you think
my kitty cat pjs are sexy

and that my messy hair and unbrushed teeth
hide a seductress
just dying to leap

your bones.

But, no.
Just no.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Friday, December 2, 2016

Rapunzel, Rapunzel

Exactly WHY
can't I lock her
in her room until

she's 35
or I DIE,
whichever comes first?

Why CAN'T I tower
her away until
her hair is grey

and, like Rapunzel's,
tumbles
to the GROUND?

Let whichever prince
or princess
she's found (SOMEHOW!)

try to make that climb
 - that careful hand over hand -
while I stand under her window,

wizened and weary,
but with my SCISSORS and tongue
still sharp.

For Izy's prompt at Real Toads

Anybody else having formatting problems.  I cannot get this to format like I want it to.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hasn't Hurt Me

Bryson has two mommies.
It hasn't hurt me a bit.
I once pissed in a stall
with a girl born Paul
on the other side -
and I lived.
I've kissed a girl and liked it.
I've kissed boys and liked that, too.
And I'll be damned if I deny myself either
just to pacify a bigot like you.

For Midweek Motif~ Social Stigma at Poets United
Also submitted to The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My Shadow

Stretched tight -
the umbilical
between my shadow and me.

I fetch light
for the coming night.
My shadow, I feed

bits of sun
till morning comes
to keep her here with me.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, November 20, 2016

I'm Like That

Put a cricket
in a skillet,
and he'll sing hot and fast.
I'm like that.

Lord, I'm like that.

I like my bridges burning
off the straight and narrow path
and my cats

bony black.

Don't try to be the bushel
where you think I hide my light.
Don't come dragging in the day
or dragging me from night.
You'll end a hollow haunting at the feast
while I swing from lean to fat.

Yes,

Lord,

I'm like that.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

If you have a minute, I have a poem in issue 8 of Firefly Magazine.  Check it out!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Last Tarot

dirtworshipingypsy:

fortune teller. early 1870s

Crown of thorns.
Celtic cross.
Empty pocket eyes.
You can fill them with your future
for a shiny, silver dime.

She lays the circle, lays the staff
with quick and calloused hands
and whispers, "Would you be a god tonight,
or leave this place, a man?"

For The Sunday Mini-Challenge at Real Toads

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Blue Door

Behind
the blue door -
the blue-lipped crone
I'll be
I am becoming.

Behind
the black door
the black-eyed girl
I'm bound
to leave behind.

Behind
the red door
the angry voice
of truth
a dream / a drumming.

Behind
the green door
rest, a self
caress -
want sanctified.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Friday, November 11, 2016

Choctaw Road

I.

Yesterday, I drove my daughter out west on Choctaw Road
just to show her the country mile I came from.

I wanted her to see the sunset that has sustained me -
the scissortails on the telephone wires,

the ponds her Papa wrestled from the red dirt,
the back porch where her Grannie churned ice cream.

I wanted her to see the little blue house
where my Mama loved my Daddy

and they both loved me.
But I barely recognized the ruined

orchard, crowded out by a double wide,
the prize winning pear tree, gaunt as a graveyard gothic,

or the cottonwood where all us cousins had carved our initials -
now, lightning split and leaning,

with our scratches burned away.

II.

I didn't know what to say to my little girl
to bridge the awful before and after.

What could I do but try to pick
a flower from the wild, weedy overgrowth of my history,

talk it real to her as it is to me?
What could I do but reach

back as far as I could reach to where the old stories sleep
unrusted and shiny as a night's first firefly?

What could I do but try
to trap one in a Mason jar and spill it

into the tender cup of her hands?

A very rough draft for Fireblossom Friday.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The P(l)ath

Image result for buddha quotes on path

While I sleep,
Bell Jar Buddha
whispers in my ear,

There is no p(l)ath to happiness,
happiness is the p(l)ath.

In the gas hiss of the coven
of the oven,
I can hear,

You cannot walk the p(l)ath until
you've become the p(l)ath -
and a lamp

to burn bright the p(l)aths

of all the other Mad Girls.

For Midweek Motif~Path at Poets United
Also submitted to the Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Renewal

I want to renew myself
like a magazine -
nine ninety nine for a fresh new year
with special offers
(just check here) -
free tote bag
included.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Down The Rabid Hole

A novel-tea party.
All is down the rabid hole.
Eat me.
Drink me.
Like me - go
and vote.

Bloated heads swim through crocodile tears 
to drought facts and fan fears;
hacking circular paths for a cock/ass race 
that no one wins but Koch.

The Pantsuit Queen is sane enough,
but breeds scandals like White House rabbits.
Years of questionable habits
wiki-leaking like Russian rain.

While the Mad Hater with the wild March Hair
dares us to do our worst.
Where there's bigger walls, there's smaller hearts -
he's a whiny little . . . curse.

Is there no haven from this writhing mess?
Time is punishing us all, I guess.
I'm tired of all this riddling
and fiddling while we burn.

I can't eat this shit and call it cake.
I don't like the smell; I don't like the taste.
This is the dumbest party ever.
God, won't we ever learn?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

everyDay Of The Dead

I haven't seen her headstone, but
I'm told it's beautiful.
Being there for the burning
killed any interest in the ashes.
I can cry anywhere -
why go to a piece of granite?

Still, my own ghost
pulls at my skin.
My name is listed
beneath hers.
Daughter - will you come
early too?

I suppose I could wander
through the plastic flowers and angels
looking for the tree
I vaguely remember -
the hearse cutting to the right
to back in -

until I admit defeat and give up.
She will be missed
Beloved Mother
Another angel in heaven
Grief repeats itself
stone to stone,
so what's the difference?

When I was fifteen,
cemeteries were a place
to smoke pot and drink.
We'd dare each other
to venture outside
the halo of headlights

and tempt the spirits.
There was a grave that was said
to glow when the moon
hung right, and all the kids
swore it was haunted,
but I never saw

a thing, despite looking long
and hard into the dark.
Maybe I wasn't quite high enough.
Or maybe, the haunt
was waiting for me
years away in a different place -
a different graveyard -
a different grave -
stone glowing
when the moon hangs right.
Daughter - will you come
early, too, and soon?

For Midweek Motif~Day of the Dead at Poets United

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Holidaze

It's HalloweenThanksgivingChristmas.
I'm grateful for the ghosts and gifts
brought by the 3 wise zombies -
turkey, pumpkin spice, and brrrr,
baby, it's cold outside.
Deck the halls
with spiderwebs
and Christmas lights.
What child is this?
Trick or treat!
Carolers at the door.

In honor of hearing my first Christmas carol of the season YESTERDAY.  Seriously?

Submitted to The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Switzerland

I am Switzerland.
I was born to be Switzerland.
Too small to be significant,
but for my gentle
refusal to take sides.
Neutral.
Choosing,
by choosing not to choose.

I am appeasement.
I learned to be appeasement.
Stretching minutes
of Munich Agreements
into uneasy
pieces of peace -
at any price
priceless,
but impermanent.

I am America.
I grew up to be America.
More powerful
than I know how
to justly be
sometimes, but trying,
always trying,
for a quiet moment
on all fronts.

A rough draft for Midweek Motif~Neutrality/Objectivity at Poets United

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mothership

Why shouldn't I speak
stars into being?
I am mothership,
nest, and egg.
The plastic birth
of the smallest hours -
stacked stones
of a thousand deaths.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Friday, October 21, 2016

Faith And Works (the least among you)

"How many times can a man turn his head,
And pretend that he just doesn't see?"
                                             --- Bob Dylan

There's a preacher who prays
for me - sometimes
we talk about the weather.
He blesses me
when it rains,
but I still get wet.

Come Sunday, he lays
hands on me and a wafer
on my tongue.  The cracker
and wine are nice,
but I still leave hungry.

The mayor and his lovely wife
tithe their ten and wear
white tie for charity,
but pass me
on the corner.

I'm a man without a face;
the woman you can't quite place;
the grace
you failed to show
to the least among you.

This is a bit rough, but I didn't want to miss Kerry's Bob Dylan prompt at Real Toads.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Conversation

Be careful what you say - be sure
to make yourself quite clear,
for sometimes what you say
isn't what I hear.
My heart has its way
with connotation and intent
and, ever fearful, hears a hurtful thing
where no hurt or harm was meant.

For Midweek Motif~Conversation at Poets United

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Letter To A Young Girl

There's no way to say this gently.
You'll never be the easy child.
Not at birth
or five or nine;
not at thirteen,
or any of the times between.
You are going to be need -

need, need, need, need, need.
Needs that she can't meet.
Needs that she can't bear to see unmet.
Needs that won't let her
untangle failure from love.
Needs that will get both of you feeling
that if she only loved you better and enough

you'd be more like the easy child,
the happy child,
the child she turns to to affirm herself
as a mother,
as a good mother,
as good.

Look, I know all of this is impossible to see when you're in it.
Just know that when she tells you she loves you, she means it
with all she has.
You aren't a bad kid,
but you are harder.
When you have your own daughter,
you'll understand.
You'll understand more than you want to.
You'll understand,
and you'll forgive.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Thin Skin

Mummies shrivel
in the branches and wrinkle
like crones, a slough away
from the meat -

beneath the tree
fallen fruit and leaves rot

stench and incense
on the thin skin
of October.

For Magaly's prompt at Real Toads.  Also submitted to Poetry Pantry.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Meddling And Miracles

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'! - Audrey Hepburn


How does it feel
to be everything impossible made possible

and real -

a dream drawing breath,
the star-spun wheel
busted and bested?

What do I owe
the goddess for such a striking show

of generosity to me 
despite my animosity
toward meddling and miracles?

A (possibly dreadful) rough draft for Hannah's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Horse

Trumpets glint
in the dying sun.
The toms and bass begin to gallop.
Blood thrills
as the pace builds
to the speed of a thousand
racing hearts.
Full brass!
Trilling the high notes
then letting them collapse
into the gathering night.
The flutes flower
four beats - power
rumbles through every chest
white gloves
pull the reins
war hooves
rest.



For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads.

Note: I have a couple of poems up over at Sick Lit Magazine.  Drop by if you get a chance!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Trash Day

One man's trash,
another man's treasure -
in this windy weather,
it's all on my lawn.

Tipped, tossed, and scattered
bins; it doesn't matter
to me - trash or treasure,
I just want it gone!

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Costume Shopping

Vampires don't check voicemail.
Werewolves never shave.
Zombies can't taste ice cream.
Witches sweep all day.

Superheros never get a day off.
Villains talk too much.
Divas spend half their time primping.
I think I'll just go butch.

For Words Count at Real Toads

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Irregular

I have an irregular smile
just like my irregular Mom.
I limped a thousand irregular miles
to find my irregular god.
I gave my irregular heart
to an irregular man.
Now I play my irregular part
in this irregular world best I can.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Antisocial Butterfly

The antisocial butterfly
wished she could be a worm again,
a fuzzy wuzzy worm again,
cocooned with covered eyes.

The antisocial butterfly
whispered to a bird,
"We both have wings;
have you learned

the why of flying

when every day and every night
we're dying?"

The bird replied,
"well -
 just to be in the sky!"

55 words for Kerry at Real Toads.  Also submitted to Poetry Pantry.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Devotional

April is a reckoning,
a beckoning
of robins -
one to build,
one to sing,
both fat from seed I've spilled.

Kissing bees,
the lilacs list,
lips slick and plump with pollen.

Bees buzz with the promise
of honey
and of sting.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hands

More sketch than sonnet,
her spun sugar hands
faint with freesia
and the latest need met.
She is my soft path
past all regret.
She is the high road
I've never taken.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, September 18, 2016

I Was There

I was there - could she hear
my feeble comforts in her ear
or does nothing
carry clear into that wait?

All my tears
and snot and sobs
in the breach -
couldn't stop
the stilling spirit
come to rob,
come to take.

So I bargain with the beast -
come and gather,
go in peace.
But after all of this
at least
give me a sign

that she goes to a better place
into gentle arms of grace.
But all I get -
an open grave.
Faith is not kind.

For Karin's prompt at Real Toads.  Also submitted to Poetry Pantry.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Old Mother

Old Mother Old Mother in her small, country home,
her days as coquette long journalled and gone,
lit her last lamp at midnight, then pulled from the sea
a woman of knowing robbed, cruel, from a dream.

Her hands were pure pages from the book of the heart,
tattooed with sonnets, the foundation of art.
The skull of a mouse and the skull of a man
rode on each shoulder and spoke in slow stanzas

rich with the romance of suicide seas
to gentle Old Mother down to her knees
to bare breast and bone to the touch of the tide -
then fully alive, she died.

For Susie's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Christening

Woman swallows a star
and calls it hope.
The smoke and burn,
she names desire
and likens labor's pain to love.
Birth, she christens fire.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Note:  I have three poems in the September issue  of Ygdrasil (click over, scroll down to September 2016; it's a free PDF download).  If you have a minute, check it out!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

This Skin

This skin is too thin
and a size too small;
I'd like to make a return
and exchange it
for something a little more "in"
and less likely to wrinkle and burn.

I'll need something fair
that goes with my hair
and take off a decade or two.

This tacky old skin
has never been
a good fit; I want something new.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Quickening

When there is nowhere left to bury
bodies.  When throats are slit silent.
When our last language is a creaking of the gallows.
When all of our best are beneath us.
When those above us are saliva slick teeth -
spring trap jaws, snapping and grinding.
When all of the colors of collateral damage
have fallen face first in the dust.
When every bandage is a rusty ruin soaked through.
When there's noting left to do,
but cauterize the wounds
and sear the flesh.

Yes -
the quickening of burning.

For Izy's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Gray Man

We're afraid.
With the internet, any fool can make a bomb.
We're not safe.
Not our selves, our jobs, our kids, our place
in the world; it's a race
to the bottom,
the breakneck bottom,
of a fall.

So let's kill them all.
Build a big, beautiful wall.
Make America white again -
show her might again.
Our leadership these last
few years has been (black)
weak and stupid.
What we need now
is strength (not a woman).
Only I (an old, rich,
heterosexual, Caucasian male)
can fix this
(hateful, hateful
browning).

But it's unfair to only air the nasty
sound(ing) bit(e)s.
Some of them, I guess,
are good people, right?
Deport eleven million
or two million
or just the bad ones.
And ban all Muslims -
well, not forever, just until
we figure out what
the hell
is going on and come up
with an ideology test
'Merican as apple pie
and Kardashians.
There's my African-American!
Black Lives Matter.
Every time a black woman dies
by gun violence
a Twitter bird
gets its wings.
What have you got
to lose?  And Blue
Lives Matter, too.  Let's arm
everyone.
More Kevlar,
less health care.
Sick cops are low
energy and boring.
Our military,
our heroes in uniform,
deserve our utmost respect
(don't you dare exercise a right
they fought for by kneeling
during the national anthem),
but I know more abut ISIS.
I studied military strategy
during my numerous deferments.

What is a simple soft target
like me or you to do?
I'm as base an animal as any.
My ears are tuned to self-preservation.
But if the enemy of my enemy
is also my enemy,
who is my friend?
Not him,
not some empty man of gray -
the sorry sum of left unsaid
and what he can't unsay.

A rough draft rant for The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Norman's Finest

Norman's finest waits
at the end of my street
in case my dogs bark.

My neighbor called in a tip;
swore he heard a yip
or maybe a growl.

It'd been a while since I'd seen
a man so buff
carrying handcuffs -

enough to drive a woman
to kick her dog
to make it howl.

Note: True story!  The police officer that came to my door was just a kid, but he was HUGE. Coincidentally, I read a story in my local paper about him just a few days later; he's a world class competitive bodybuilder.  Not to be outdone, the neighbor mentioned in the poem is a world class asshat.

55 words for Kerry at Real Toads.  Also submitted to Poetry Pantry.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Ngombi


Ngombi - Metropolitan Museum of Art - Photo by Margaret Bednar


Frail in this fall through world -
so merely mortal,
so innocently ignorant -

your evil is endless
and your better angels sleep.
Even the stones weep.

All of the mother's tongues have forked.
Their legs have spread; their eyes 
are rolled back in painted gourd heads

Unheld, you hold a virgin instead -
stroke her neck, ride
her belly on your thighs.

Let the thin string question high,
and the God string grumble low.
Silly Sister of your creator,

it's you who plucks them both.

A rough draft for Margaret's very cool prompt at Real Toads.

Note: I have some new poems in the fall issue of MockingHeart Review.  Check them out here; I'd love to know what you think!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fibromyalgia Checklist

The back of my head
underneath my hair
my neck
the span of my shoulders

the sides of my breasts
the curve of my ass
my heart and its trip rush beat

my elbows
my hands
my hips when I stand
my thighs
and behind my knees

my calves
my ankles
my feet
all of me

seems to hurt

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Four-Footed

It's the lack of wildness
that's turning me wild
and feral
in this furnished space;
curving my spine,
bending me four-footed,
animal.

Animal -
beautiful
spirit of suburban streets.
Four-footed,
feral,
an animal.

Four-footed -
an animal -
I tear at the civilized skin.
Swift to the scent of the marrow

of this furnished space where blood has been
bending me
four-footed
animal.

Playing at being "megafauna" (an animal greater than 100 pounds) for Gillena's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Small

I'm so small and all
I see around me is so big.
I dig and dig and dig

for a mustard seed of faith in me
to sprout;
can't find a twig.

How am I supposed to move
that mountain
great and tall,

when I'm so small
so very small and all?

For Marian's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I Wonder

Every early morning,
I watch light cure the dark;
still, I wonder if there is a god.

I have opened my body
to seed and seeking fingers,
have arched into teasing tongues;
still I wonder if there is a god.

I have stretched skin inside myself,
safe guarded a soul into the world.
I bear the mark of connection on my belly still;
still,
I wonder.
I wonder.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Shallow (Under The Skin)

Turn me inside out
and all you'll find
is leftover whine
(I need more rest)
and a heart blood hope
that thrums my chest -
what's next

has got to be better.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ugly Americans


Pissing in the streets,
lying to police,
cover of the scandal sheets -
the best the we could bring
to the games?
Oh, the shame!
Ugly Americans.

For Kerry's "not what we came to see" prompt at Real Toads.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

This Dream Is Fraught With Meaning

The road is straight enough,
but it needs work.
Cars rough and tumbleweed
to stay between the ditches.
A billboard leans in the wind;
cracked, peeling, but constant
in my passenger side eye.
This Dream Is Fraught With Meaning
in Comic Sans.

"You know that much about music?" he asks.
I don't care for his tone,
his insistent hands,
or the crush of his too shiny boots.
Why, yes, I do, friend.  That and more.
I know that a waltz is not a two step
no matter how
you dust the floor.

For Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

That Sleepless Summer

of heat and grieving,
it wasn't enough to nurse my mother,

I also had to make sweet to her cat -
a leonine, lacking in all social graces
ragdoll named Annie.

Annie slept with her claws out;
spit, hissed, and scratched
at passing bare feet;

curled atop my mother's chest
and dared my efforts at care.
I hated her,

and she hated me, the intruder.
But as mama faded,
more and more often

I would wake from my rocking chair doze
to find that cat in my lap purring comfort;
she knew, I know, that loss was close.

Close to both of us.
Close as a shallow breath to silence.

For Midweek Motif ~ Cats at Poets United

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Life

1952-2014

Mother.
Daughter.
Grandmother.
Wife.
A life.

Kennedy.
King.
A man on the moon.

Joplin.
Hendrix.
Gone too soon.

Nixon.
Carter.
Oil boom and bust.

Nursing
and farming
and working too much.

Loving hard.
Loving unwise.
Loving reckless with wide open eyes.

Murrah.
McVeigh.
Nine One One.

Osama.
Obama.
Wars undone.

Wandering lost.
Wandering home
to the arms of her savior.
Dates carved in stone.

Mother.
Daughter.
Grandmother.
Wife.
A life.

For my mother.  

Submitted to Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Loco Time

Black mesa eyes.
Thighs banking honey creek.
Loco local time -
when 2 foxes 3.

String the broken bow.
Broken arrow - snap!
Lone wolf low.
Dog days swallowed by the cat.

Note: edited since first posted.

For Get Listed at Real Toads.  Black Mesa, Honey Creek, Loco, Fox, Broken Bow, Broken Arrow, Lone Wolf are all places in Oklahoma.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Now That I'm Grown

Now that I'm grown,
I want to know

how I used to bareleg tramp
through unmown pastures
without getting so much as an itch,

what magic ingredient made Vick's
salve a cure-all in my Grannie's hands,

and when simple stray cats turned
so fearsome and feral.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Medicine's Altar

At the cardiac clinic, my grannie
allows the first test, but refuses the next.
"I'm not afraid my heart will stop," she says.
"Just that it'll falter."

In that moment, I know
how much I've grown
since living my mother's death.
It hurts to lose someone less
than to see them meat
on medicine's altar.

55 words for Kerry at Real Toads

Thursday, August 4, 2016

After Fasting

I've fasted all night, and my eyes
are hungry for light to blind
the second sight of my bad dreams.
I crave blooms and birds to sing fifths and thirds -
that wild mix
of harmony.
Sing, world, sing!
Words emerge, not by will,
but by waiting.
Sounds shape syllables.  Syllables
settle on my shoulders and whisper in my ears
Be gentle with the morning.
And, I am, for a moment, I am.
Soon enough, though, my eyes wander towards work.
There are weeds in the zinnias,
the tomatoes need water,
and it's getting hotter by the minute.
I remember that last night's dream had a grackle in it.
His feathers were pressed flat against a pane of glass;
he was trapped and struggling to get outside.
Now, awake, I wonder at a blue sky
alive with flight -
black wings cutting through white clouds
like words on a page.

An rough draft for Stacie's prompt at Real Toads

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Stars

I will write my love in stars;
let every letter burn and fall
bright - my wishes where you are.

My want is strong enough by far
to shrink the world between us small.
I will write my love in stars.

Need is wild within my heart,
beating thunder at the walls
tonight - my wishes where you are.

I love with every piece and part;
my skin, my cells - you have it all.
I will write my love in stars.

So let a longing for me start.
A want, a need, a love; call -
don't fight - my wishes where you are.

I'll split the earth that keeps us apart
if you give me any hope at all.
I will write my love in stars -
light - my wishes where you are.

For the Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Thank you for all the good wishes for my husband.  He's recovering, but he's pretty miserable (I'll have to recover from his recovery!).

If you're interested, I have some poems featured at Sick Lit Magazine.  Check them out and let me know what you think!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

why, after all these years

this is my heart 
on my lower back

the man was a train; I lay
on the tracks

and forgot to remember
love goes south and slack

but the tattoo's forever-
that's why I still  Jack.        

For Kerry's prompt at Real Toads

Note:  I'm going to be really slow to visit.  My husband just had surgery, so things are a little crazy at my house.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Boots / Tea Ceremony Pt. 2

Tea Ceremony Pt. 1 

"Experience is the key."  - Sen No Rikyu

The killer wears boots.
You can tell by his tracks;
a wolfway saunter,
he never looks back.
Walking with dawn
and a moon barely gone
to call upon
Father and Mother.

Father! he calls from just inside the door.
No answer; he'd flayed father
two nights before.
But is that a whimper -
upstairs, second floor -
or just noise inside his head?
Erotic noise inside his head.

I'm coming, Mother, the killer said.

Note:  I wrote a rather ghoulish piece (see link above) for the first tea ceremony prompt, so when it came up again at Real Toads, I couldn't resist doing a follow-up.  Forgive me, Magaly; the flesh is weak.  Today's nod to the "The End" by The Doors was inspired by a comment that Shay left on my original poem.

If you're not completely sick of me yet, I have a new poem up at Enclave for the #FINALPOEMS series.  Check it out; I'd love to know what you think!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Lord, It's Hot

Perspire turned to sweat
ten degrees ago.  My ponytail
drags dew thick dirt, and my alligator
curls at my feet.  She is the mother
of deadlines and reptilian
revisions, quick slashes,
aggressive, quick, efficient punctuation,
and bare bones evolution.
Dainty deadly, she demands
coldblooded treks
through swamps, sewers, strip
malls, and cemeteries.
Bring out your dead!  Bring out your dead!
The art is in the autopsy,
someone should have said -
but, Lord, it's hot
and hard to be quicker than the rot.

For Hannah's prompt at Real Toads

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Woman Card

Ladies!
Duty calls;
vote!

Our Sisters bled
blood coming out of her wherever*
for better than this.

*Republican nominee Donald Trump on Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly's performance as moderator of a Republican debate.

For Midweek Motif~Suffrage at Poets United

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Whites

On Sundays I study the sacred
and sort the laundry.
The difference
(if there really is a difference)
blurs when I'm washing whites.

We all want to get our stains out
and be clean again
We all want to be fresh
and sanctified.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Social Contract

Offer your word,
your bones, your sweat,
the fleshy swirl
of your fingertips,
and your X.

Accept
the market value
of being eaten.

When you consider yourself, consider
you're one
of the lucky ones.

Nevermind the breach, my peach.
Nevermind
the breach.

For Karin's prompt at Real Toads.  Also submitted to Poetry Pantry at Poets United.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

What A Tongue

Art by Milena Pavlović Barili (via Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade)
Milena Pavlovic Barili

can tell is ripe

or rot
with a single taste,

a heart cannot.

For Words Count at Real Toads

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Fragile Things

I can be trusted
with most fragile things -
an infant's sleep
or a butterfly's wings.
Nothing is subject
to rough handling
by me
it seems
but me.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Day At The Fair

She's twelve, and she wants
to spend all day
tromping the midway
and tasting everything
so I fish for dollars
and somehow refrain
from sermons
on what's really fair.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United.

Note: I have a new poem (Silent Movie) in this week's issue of Page and Spine.  Let me know what you think!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

For X

Breathless, restless, spell sick.
Starved for touch - anorexic.
Damned, drowning consumer
of every whiff of rumor.
Are you, will you, would you?
What would I do should you
uncover my unseemly wanting
and put flesh to this whore boned haunting?
I hide my clinging in plain sight
crushed in the crowd at your side
just to brush against the burn of your sun -
symptoms of a secret love.

For Shay's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

At Old Navy

Some little girl wants a straw fedora
just like my little girl who is becoming
such a big girl

posing in front of the mirror
checking out her coming curves
in an Old Glory bikini

not even on clearance,
but more than 50% off.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Weeds Are High

The weeds are high
the water's low
the path is thorns, but still I go
barefoot by the firefly glow
to meet you.

North of the Southern Baptist Church
where daddy preaches and sinners burn,
where Solomon sings the sweetest words,
and I keep you

secret
as a deacon's favorite vice.

For Rommy's prompt at Real Toads

Note:  In case you missed it yesterday, I have a new poem ("Microorganism") at Maudlin House.  Big thanks to all who have already checked it out and / or commented!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Comic Con
















I turned 45 in a Flip Joan wig,
stack heels, and a too tight dress.
My very best Homestuck's Mother Lalonde
for a day of cosplay
at Comic Con.

What?

Hell, no, I didn't want to go!
But I'm a mom, and I'd promised, you know?
So I took my meds and kohled my eyes,
paid for my ticket, and went inside

a place alive with color and sound -
writers and artists all roaming around,
and comic creations brought to fan favorite life;
everyone a hero or god for a time.

Soon I was one of their own.  The nerds took me in,
and I understood that I'd been given a gift -
the gift of getting over and out of myself
to walk again on the child side as somebody else.

For Midweek Motif ~ Birthday at Poets United

Update: I have a new poem ("Microorganism") up today at Maudlin House.  Please check it out; I'd love to know what you think!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Espresso Machine

When the dog soaks my carpet
(I just took her out!),
I fantasize a machine
space age sleek on an uncluttered counter
dispensing a rare roast caffeine.
And I dream of a me -
a swish of sibilant silk
and heel clicks precise on the floor.
A woman spare and serene
like I can scarce hope to be -
but that's what dog piss daydreams are for.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Something's Missing

I skin the spoils of another's hunt.
I cook, but I don't gather.
I suspect that I don't matter much,
and it hurts.

I fall back on talking tough;
fake a fierceness I don't feel.
Fill my days with another's work,
another's will.

Crawl in bed at night
and release myself to dreaming.
Lying by your side;
our shadows on the wall.
Crawling deep inside
my land of little meaning
where I hide
and no one seeks at all

till the cupboard's bare,
the clean socks aren't there,
or something's missing.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sailing

I went sailing once when I was a girl
barely big enough for a life jacket.
I remember the sun sparking the water,
the strong, tan legs of my father,
the sleek, white lines of the boat.
I don't remember the capsize at all.

Not the fill of lake water in my nose.
Not the crack of my skull against the hull.
Not even the screaming scrambling search for my mother
trapped in the ropes below.

Years later, mama told me that her only thought
as the water took her air
was that her daughter was up there
watching her drown.
But memory is a funny thing I've found.

All I remember is sun on the water,
tan legs,
a sleek, white boat,
and I know that I've been sailing      once

and that once      is all I've cared to go.

For Gillena's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Poorly Animated Girl

Too long, too leggy, too limber, too liquid -
all anarchic angles aching the eyes.
Vaginal vertex obtuse and open -
charcoal smudging the spread of her thighs.
Bobble head blonde

homogenized
to a doll

constructed
with primitive technique.
Nipple fixation -
pink, pink, pink
slick lips. A glimpse
of kitty cat tongue -

purr come baby come baby come baby come

baby lips can't refuse,
fingers can't form a fist.
arms spread presentation
no-ego thrust hips.
Poorly Animated Girl -
make wish
kiss kiss.

For Susie's prompt at Real Toads

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

When You're As Old As Me

When you're as old as me,
you'll see that days clamor for attention
while years
barely whisper
as they pass.

You'll see your body as a temple
with a bit of sag
in the ass.

You'll see laugh lines
as signs
that you've lived right.

A bit of Resilience for Midweek Motif at Poets United

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Someone Somewhere

Someone Somewhere told me
that dogs
don't smile.

Someone Somewhere,
your dog
just doesn't like you.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Sister Night, Sister Death

Sister Night and Sister
Death wear the blackest

habits.  Barefoot and barely breathing,
spider skitters on the wall.

The Sisters swallow whole the snakes
of scripture and shed venom

tears of cross and comfort.
The Sisters bless us all.

For Kerry's prompt at Real Toads

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Lady Versus The (Bearded) Dragon

I put my fist in the dragon's mouth,
my finger to his fangs,

and he bit me.

Just a nip at first,
then locked jaw worse.

He bit me.

Straight through my skin.
I banshee'd when

he bit me.  Little shit!

Now my fingernail is cracked, blue, and black,
but I didn't have the fire to bite him back.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Devil's Jar

Penny dreadful,
Penny bright -
a jingle in the devil's jar.
Penny jonesing for a ride.
The devil drives a big black car.

Find a Penny, pick her up.
Penny can go head or tail.
The devil has the damnedest luck.
Devil spends his Pennys well.

For Magaly's prompt at Real Toads

Friday, June 10, 2016

Out Of Sight

Andrew Wyeth

I can't see you clear enough
to see you were once like me. All I can see
is a steel cage doing service as a second set of legs,
sagging, long nippled breasts
milked dry and shapeless,
and a pair of spectacles dangling on a chain.
False teeth, dress stained; no, I can't see, if I look away,
that you were once like me; I put you away
and keep you
out of sight and out of mind.

For Margaret's prompt at Real Toads

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Her Natural State

A poet in her natural state
is neither early nor too late,
but always halfway out the door -
the unmade bed
her metaphor.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Yes, I Could Heal You

Yes, I could heal you
with some blue potion
equal parts star and shine.
Still, I hesitate to ease your fever.
I've come to love its steady climb.
If I heal you, my hands
will just be hands,
still as sleeping stones.
But here between healed and heaven,
you give my hands somewhere to go.

55 words for Kerry at Real Toads

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Baseball

Yours truly at about 7 years old. 

All the girls in town
played softball.
All the girls had a daddy
but me.
I was the only girl in town
to play baseball;
I thought my daddy
might want to come see

a girl play baseball,

and the girls at softball

would see my daddy
with me.

For Midweek Motif ~ Parenthood at Poets United

I have three new poems in the June issue of Sugar Mule.  Check them out and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ode To A Guinea Pig

She was an illustration
of  twin deadly sins;
sketched black and white,
then filled in
with a furry fountain pen.

Round as a world,
she was gluttony hinged
to a bellows gut that blew high,
whistling notes of malnutrition

at any hint of empty.

And sloth?  Such stillness
should shame death to slow its pace of decay!
But we loved her anyway;

our pretty fat pig.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Update: I have 3 new poems in the June issue of Sugar Mule!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Naughty Lola

Naughty Lola naps
like a tigress who knows
no enclosure can hold her
if she chooses to go.

No leopard can best her,
no lion contest her;
the goddess has blessed her
with stealth in her soles.

Note: Lola the tiger escaped her enclosure at my local zoo and promptly picked a fight with a leopard.  The zoo was locked down until Lola could be recaptured.  Fortunately, no one was injured (including the leopard).  As you might imagine, the tiger enclosure is undergoing extensive renovation.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Beat Of Butterfly Wings

Your shirt slides
to the floor -
a beat of butterfly
wings.  In Florence,
David shatters.  In Tibet,
a poet dreams.  A Montana
bird turns stone, falls, and is found
by a blonde locked girl.
Here, I am still as stone myself,
as your shirt
slides to the floor.

We each reach
for the infinite other
closing the distance
from star to star.
The sky kisses
the open mouthed sea;
far is near and near is far.
You kiss me; I taste
salt on your tongue,
salt and something more -
the silvery skin of a butterfly's wing
as my shirt
slides to the floor.

for Bjorn's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Water Tower

We couldn't fly.
So we climbed into the Oklahoma sky.
Didn't matter
that the water tower ladder
wasn't welded tight.
We couldn't fly.
So we climbed.

We couldn't leave.
Both of us were just shy of sixteen.
You'd spin me round,
and I'd point
to some spot out on the prairie.
We couldn't leave,
but we could dream.

We never fell.
Though a time or two we thought we might as well.
Gettin' through
the growin' up
sometimes felt like hell.
We loved each other,
but we never fell.

For Shay at Real Toads

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Lullaby Creek

Artist: Rachel Pentergrass

The birds at Lullaby Creek have blunted beaks
from pecking the eyes of dolls
dumped as trash in the south side ditch
just where the land drops off.

Their nests are strands of flaxen hair
woven with lavender lace
and lined with strips of plastic pulled
from Sippy Susie's smiling face.

By day the creek is silent -
not a single bird finds a song.
But when it gets dark on the Lullaby,
birds cry Mama all night long.

Revisiting Dolls Revisited for Play it Again at Real Toads

Friday, May 13, 2016

Chasing Butterflies

When your days are more flies
than butter,
you must be quick with the click
and the shutter.
But when I saw that monarch flutter,
I forgot to focus at all.

For once I let go
of the urge
to capture; I just observed her.
A fleeting thousand word moment -
mine, then gone.

For Kerry's prompt at Real Toads

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Hawks

Not even hawks fly
when the summer storms like this.
Still, I watch you sleep.

For Midweek Motif ~ Birds at Poets United

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Fine As Fireflies

If I snake myself around your staff,
Doctor -
will you let me pet
my thought-fed dog?
I've seeds of spells beneath my skin;
it's harvest time again,
and my handfast hands are yours -
if you just unfasten this lock.

You can't tell me how to purge the evil,
Doctor -
that curls inside my gut;
a cautionary tale.
Give me a borrowed constellation,
a bit of strange Sapphic sedation,
and I'll be fine as fireflies.
Doctor -
say I'm well.

A rough draft (I've got some WICKED writer's block) for The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Secrets

Here comes confession!
I'm a dog collar priest;
call my coffee
holy
water.

You're still giving head,
but you've stopped eating meat,
and your daughter
your daughter
your daughter

completed parole;
now her life on the pole
is good.
I've got pictures; they're recent.

Little has cost me
more peace and quiet
than the rumor
that I can keep secrets!

For Midweek Motif~Secrecy at Poets United

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Chapter And Verse

Alone
with a book
beats out
in a group
any day of the week,
any day that I'm weak.
When I can't bear the strain
of interacting, I'm safe
any day of the week,
any day that I'm weak

from cradle to hearse
in chapter and verse,
chapter and verse.

Cradle to hearse.
Chapter and verse.
Chapter and verse.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Ugly Places

Lots of pretty girls end up in ugly places;
me, I'm worse than most.
I've got push pins in my pilgrim's map
for all the dark bends in the road.

It's not accident or error;
just a belling in my bones -
every ghost needs a house to haunt,
and every haunted house needs a ghost.

55 words for Kerry at Real Toads

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Ninnekah

Debris wrapped tree
mattress in the branches
Oklahoma Maypole

For Magaly's prompt at Real Toads

Note: The very small town of Ninnekah, Oklahoma was hit by a tornado last night.  In the news photo that inspired this poem, the mattress (presumably from a home) is actually hanging from telephone wires.


Friday, April 29, 2016

Rainy April Day

Another rainy April day.
Wish I could pack these clouds away
and have them saved
for August
when I'll need them.

A little instapoetry for Real Toads

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bio

I'm the angry music
of feral girls
and boys with black balloons.

Every word is the right word.
Every word is a night word.

I tuck the pennies
I earn for my thoughts
deep down in my sing-song shoes.

I once had bangs and the blues,
but I've since recovered.

For Words Count at  Real Toads

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tea Ceremony

The killer takes his tea with honey;
just a drip
on the tip
of a truck stop girl's tongue.
Salty   bitter   sour   sweet;
he hates to eat and run.

Seven times he rang her,
then cut crescent her bowl belly moon;
scooped the sun from her skull -  he'd smoke . . .
but that would be rude.
She'd been a lovely host,
blue in a burning room.

She'll make a lovely ghost
inside him,
consumed.

Inspired by Rommy's Japanese Tea Ceremony prompt (believe it or not) at Real Toads.  Happy Birthday, Rommy!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Nocturnal Women

I come from nocturnal women.
Paper read and coffee on.
Beans set to soak on the counter;
a day's work done before dawn.

I got it from my mama.
My daughter, she gets it from me.
We spend hours knitting the bones of nights,
but we never flesh them with sleep.

For Susie's prompt at Real Toads

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Honey Bee

Honey, honey, honey bee
show your hidden hive to me.
My biscuit's buttered; pretty please!
Honey, honey, honey bee.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Elephants

In this room full of elephants,
no one forgets
we're gifts
that nobody wanted.
Poachers pirouette
through with drinks
and wait
for the perfect pink.

We're vacant houses on a seller's market
too big
for a family of four.

We're not afraid of mice anymore,
but we've nowhere to fly.

For Shay's prompt at Real Toads

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Wish

A woman
made a wish
to be less
of a lady
and find the bedtime story
in the heart
beneath her hands.
She wanted certainty of endings
in the making of her midnights,
strong arms for a cradle,
a lullaby, a man
to call her his- to call her baby,
but something in her wish went wild.
Now she's treated less a lady;
she's treated like a child.

And the rough drafts just keep getting rougher!  This one's for Magaly's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Rocking Chair

The old rocker creaks
to speak its mind -
the behinds its held
through too long nights.

String pulling kittens,
napping dogs,
teething babies,
and diapered dolls.
Heartbroken girls
kindergarten to grown.
Giggling girls
just glad to be home.

The old rocker creaks
just doing its job
for a third generation -
the throne of a mom.

Written for Hedge's 3 prompt, but posted late to the Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Monday, April 18, 2016

Fragility

Here I am, all facts and flaws.
No gathered lace, no place to hide.

No dulling drape of darkness.

No rhymes to maintain distance.

Here I am, all ache and fear -
fear of my own fragility,

fear that you'll want less of me

as there's less of me
to want.

For Brendan's prompt at Real Toads

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Storm Signs

The wind woke wet
this morning,
tattled through the wind chimes,
and tore a hole
through the gardening
I'd thought I would do today.
It's a bluebonnet breeze -
Texas bred
with bad intentions -
hungry for roofs
and the bones of houses.
All the house cats belly crawl,
mew,
and make small,
and terrapins
slow cross the road.
Animals know
storm signs
better than man.
Even the fish
swim deep.
Birds hold their breath
song silent in their nests.
Dogs doze,
but refuse to leave the kids.
Sometimes you will find them
still nestled
with remains.

A rough draft for Karin's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Year Of Drought / Midnight In The Garden Of Okra And Beans

Three
hundred sixty five

nights spun

black

ballads
and verses

of lack.

Rain flirted
with dirt
the tender turned
                         
earth

until drought

dragged the dry line

back

to the south 

or the north

call the rainmaker

in
to the barn

to the cellar

what weatherman

can holster the twisters

and lightning;

it's water I need

to baptize my okra

and beans.

For Kerry's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Edge Of Conversation

I'm the mother of a middle school girl;
I'm a middle school girl

all over again - at the end
of the table

at the edge of the conversation.
The old cliques have crows feet now -

but they still arrange the bake sale tables and weekend
sleepovers as if these

were natural things.  Just like junior high
I'm fidgety and dressed

for a funeral.  My thoughts are somewhere else.
I've never been a puzzle piece

that fit agreeably into the bigger picture.
No matter how mindfully NOW

I berate myself to be,
everywhere I look I still see

my smaller shadow.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Monday, April 11, 2016

Moon 6


This is my 6th remodel of the moon;
it still doesn't soothe me like it should.
I'd crawl in a crater and call it good,
but there's work left to do
on the dark side.

For Izy's prompt at Real Toads

Friday, April 8, 2016

Women's History

I woke up this morning
remembering women's history -
all my high school girlfriends
who ended up in beauty school
instead of college -
white trash from red dirt -
what else could they do?

I got up this morning
and like a woman from our history,
I prayed to God the father
down on bended knee.
Another man to bow to;
another man to please.
Can't be left or leave.

Little girl, in the dawning
freshness of your morning,
know your women's history,
know all that's gone before,
and if you can
move it forward
a little more.

For Sherry's prompt at Real Toads

Note: After reading Marion's comment below and giving it a good long think, I've decided that she has a point.  The first stanza comes off as snobbish, as if only the dumb girls went to beauty school or something.  Not what I meant, but it reads that way.  This is what I meant.

all my high school girlfriends
who ended up in beauty school 
instead of college or diesel mechanics or the seminary or the marines or professional boxing or . . .  -
cause that's just what girls do.

The poem was not intended to criticize any woman's choice; it was intended as a commentary on the lack of choices that women had in the past.  

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Blood Is Thicker Than Water

Pluto's no longer a planet.
I crave your dark orbit.
Blood is thicker than water
from the moon.

We're burdened by our botany.
Seven seeds of surrender
tender
as the stigma of a bloom.

Mars and Venus
between us
dangling from a bracelet
smelted by the sun for younger skin.

Pluto's no longer a planet.
I crave your dark orbit
to circle through
my gravity
again.

For Bits of Inspiration at Real Toads

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Moon In Virgo

1.  I will sweep
     the sky of stragglers and tidy
     all the v's of geese
     flying south.
     I'll close the gaps
     in the formations with clouds;
     stratus, or something pleasing
     to the earthbound.

2.  Math, muse, or magic,
     I'll use them all
     to finally find
     the fine line
     between partly cloudy
     and mostly sunny.
     Scattered showers will be strictly prohibited.

3.  Birds will be assigned sections -
     an orchestra
     of ornithology.
     Robins in the redbud.
     Mockingbirds in the mulberry.
     Owls in the oak.

4.  Neighborhood dogs will experience chronic constipation
     near my poorly thrown newspaper.
     The Asian lady three doors down
     will restrain her toddlers from playing in my driveway
     directly behind my SUV during carpool hours.
     Coffee will stay hot and fresh indefinitely.

5.  Okay.  Good morning.

Some compound words for Kerry at Real Toads.  From the list: newspaper, driveway, carpool, and probably some others.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Like A Man

Words have no weight in the book of the unwritten.
It's looks leaded with the unsaid
that hold you in a place
of closed blinds and shadows
sanitized for public consumption.

But I craved those shadows; the sweat,
cat quick kisses, and electric longing deep
as gravity and gods.
I didn't plunder the why of my want;
I was want

legs unlocked
and moon pale against the night.
Velvet roped by music
creeping into the street
from the other side of everything.

Inside, hotter heart blood pulsed
and muscled rhythms
held hips
loosely, like this
like this.  He guided me against

the bold black of his body;
into ebony arcs of his skin,
and I kissed
him.

He tasted just like a man.

I'm inflicting you with a rough draft.  I'm not sure that this gets across what I'm trying to say.  I'm very interested to know what you think.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Monday, April 4, 2016

Cloud Kittens

Cloud kittens playing
cotton pawed and tummy tumbling
through the blue sky afternoon
mousing a storm.

Sneak, stalk, jump!
Caught in kitten teeth
 -pop!- like a balloon
goes the sun.

Thunder stomp stomps
stomps in from the west -
splashing through the puddles
till the whole sky's dripping wet

and cloud kittens shake
rain
from their whiskers

grey sky afternoon
mousing storms.

For Margaret's Nature prompt at Real Toads

Friday, April 1, 2016

Fool's Errand

Clouds in my compass.
Rocks in my pocket.
In one hand a key,
in the other a locket.
I'm a mother, a daughter,
a step-child of heaven;
a Sisyphus sister;
a fool and her errand.

Gold in my teeth.
Weeps in my willow.
A stitch in my side
and snakes on my pillow.
A bruise on my cheek
for the meek shall inherit
a stone to be rolled -
another fool with an errand.

For Marian's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Rob The Cat Box


Happiness -
just a stone's throw away.
You put your speakers
in your window.
"Rock the Casbah,"
Joe Strummer sang.
The Clash on cassette -
our mix tape.

Happiness -
just rolling papers away;
a knock
on my bedroom door.
"Rob the Cat Box?!?!"
my mom would exclaim,
and we'd laugh ourselves limp
on the floor.

For Izy's prompt at Real Toads

Monday, March 28, 2016

This Do

painting by David Ligare

First born of the first families of pharisees!
Bow your heads.
You pew perfect women and broad-shouldered men
with cowboy hats in hand -
let us pray.

This do in remembrance

of the drowning space
between the red words
and the black;
of the dances
forbidden and the wars
cheered;
of the smug standards
and the whisper whips
that uphold them.

This do in remembrance

of a cross too heavy
for all the saints outside
now wearing a much easier yoke.
Even Jesus spoke of wine
and refused to cast the stone.

This do in remembrance

of the gospels of women,
the ebb and flow of faith,
and the dark birth discovery
that belief
is the decision to believe,
to take the body on the tongue,
to taste the copper in the communion cup.

This do in remembrance.

Amen.

Drink up.

A VERY rough draft for The Mag