Saturday, April 30, 2016


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


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,

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


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


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,
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

hundred sixty five

nights spun


and verses

of lack.

Rain flirted
with dirt
the tender turned

until drought

dragged the dry line


to the south 

or the north

call the rainmaker

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
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

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

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
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