Sunday, January 31, 2016

Planet Fear

Here on planet fear,
if we see something,
we say something.
Here on planet fear,
our ears are open wide.

For all that we hold dear,
we throw our billions
at box knives.
"Better there than here"
while we let here rot inside.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Choices

The doctor's voice
start-stutter-stops
like a malformed heart

that failed to twist . . .
form walls . . .
at your age and with . . .
the medications you take . . .
all organs compromised, all . . .

I wait

for him to start-stutter-stop
like the malformed heart
struggling for its beat inside me;
I ask,

what choices do I have?

Proper as God with a gun, he says
you don't.

For Bjorn's prompt at Real Toads

I've done some heavy editing of this piece since I first posted it.  The original wasn't getting its point across, I fear.  Perhaps I've done a better job with this version.  We shall see . . .

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Circus In A Hearse

Piled my circus in a hearse
cause clown cars are for funerals.
Taxis are for city girls,
and the bus don't run this far.
I let the lion drive.
Leopard's got a lead foot.
I'm halfway out the window
navigating by the stars.

Open up my circus tent
outside the city limits.
I like my normal at a distance
with money in both hands.
Housewife with a ticket.
Lawyer with a fetish.
They like peeking through the keyhole
and cheering in the stands

till the band
plays
them back to Main Street.

Pack up my circus tent.
Make one last stop for coffee.
Watch the clerk watching us -
he thinks he knows the kind we are.
Gonna let the monkey drive.
Bear can't work a stick shift.
I'll take my turn at the state line,
Lord, if we get that far.

Navigating
and always chasing
after stars.

For Susie's prompt at Real Toads.  Hope this isn't too much of a stretch.

Note: One of my poems was selected as a Runner Up in the Shiny Poetry Competition.  You can read it here (it's the second poem).

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Remedy


I made a resolution
to find a remedy for war,
to consult with all the experts,
to knock on every door,
and beg from them a remedy,
demand from them a remedy
for the killing and the dying,
the grieving and the crying.

First I asked a politician
wrapped tight in the flag.
He claimed we need a bigger stick
to beat the dangerous back.
Strength's the only remedy
understood by the enemy;
bomb the bastards - done!
Bomb the bastards till we've won.

The old general was reluctant
to agree or disagree.
He said he's just an instrument,
a sword another swings.
But he's seen death - no remedy.
He's ordered death - no remedy.
Now his eyes are haunted
by ghosts he never wanted.

Still there was this crazy name
all the leaders threw around,
and desperate for an answer,
I finally tracked it down.
Turns out Jesus was a hippie freak
who taught to turn the other cheek,
who taught the only remedy
for war
is peace.

For Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Courage

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Before The Internet

Chlorine and sunscreen and summer
lingering on my skin
long after an afternoon swim
in the city pool.

Crimson and clover on a handmade quilt.
An open book of pretty horses.
Choices sprawled in a slant of sun.
Blonde still in my hair.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Note - I've done a little remodeling around here.  Please let me know what you think!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Topography

This is my mountain made of things I've lost;
this is the valley I've lost things from.
One gets higher, the other gets deeper;
they're never done.

This spot on the prairie was all I could carry;
the things I've kept or found.
But even the prairie beneath my feet is unsettled now.

Shaky ground.

Maps redrawn.

For Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Mountain

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Blind Spot

I don't know
what makes me sadder -
the stupid
miserable things I've done . . .

or that I'm the only one
left
who remembers them.





For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Crying Room

There was no crying room
at the Countyline
Emmanuel Baptist Church.
Just the red carpet halls
and Sunday school classrooms
back behind the choir.
Just grannies patting
bottoms and rocking
in time with Amazing Grace.
Just a feeling of safe;
seeds of faith
in the heart of a child.

For Poetry Pantry

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Birch Tree

Birch trees reaching for blue sky -
white flags -
I surrender.

For Margaret's prompt at Real Toads

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Breakfast

It's early.
We're late.
And all but the bacon
is left on her plate.

Breakfast - a mother's first fail of the day.

Scrambled eggs?
Cinnamon toast?
Frosted Flakes?
A bowl of oats?

Breakfast - this mother's first fail of the day.

For Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Food

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Berry The Mouth

Berry the mouth and thorn the finger.
Wash in the creek and hightail home.
Offer yourself to the porch light and Mama.
Thank God Daddy's still gone.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Here Lies Island

It's bigger than I remember, this black boned monster rising
from the scorched earth, soft tissue sea of me.
But the same old sign is there caught in mid swing -
reptilian writ -

Here Lies My Shit.

Where dreams rise up to greet me -
bile from the belly of regret.
A fly bloat buzz of memory -
winds thick with sins I can't let rest.

It's miles off the me I let people know;
this island helladise that grows and grows.
Find it in the dark where the map is ripped,
and the shadow's split -

Here Lies My Shit.

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

Friday, January 8, 2016

Writer

(I'm not)

deep / slick
philosophical black
on black wet city street
light broken
open mic check one two
purple bled blue

read

For Open Link Night at dVerse

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Shapeshift

I leapt nimbly like a deer
through January's frozen drear
to find that February's here,
but you're not.

So I hibernate like a wounded bear;
don't wash or eat until I scare
my friends.  They say I shouldn't care -
you weren't THAT hot.

Come March, I finally stretch, yawn;
and wake with aching hands and gums.
My claws are back and my teeth have come,
strong and sharp.

I'm a big, bad cat, and April's cruel.
What you did to me, I hear she did to you.
I've eight lives left, and, now, you're the fool
with the shredded heart.

For Marian's prompt at Real Toads

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Dust Motes Danced

Dust motes danced the light
in Ms. Carter's third grade glass;
companions to the giggles
when Ms. Carter turned to ask

me if I had anything
for the annual talent show.
I squirmed with horror in my seat,
but no stuck in my throat.

Shy and shocked, I nodded
and slowly found my feet.
Then with hands clenched tight in terror,
I began to sing.

God's love is like a circle,
my voice rang sweet and sure.
Always I will walk with him -
every note was pure.

When my song was finished,
all the girls and boys
stared at me with awe-filled eyes,
and I discovered joy.

For Midweek Motif ~ Joy at Poets United

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Where The Poets Are

Land to land to land, I ask -
is this where the poets are?
I try all the tongues of man,
but no one answers me.

Sky to sky to sky, I cry -
is that where the poets are?
There are birds and clouds of words,
but none will fly or sing.

Sinking into the ocean of me,
I finally see where the poets are -
verses vaulted, loved and salted
away in the depths of me

like treasure at the bottom of the sea.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Monday, January 4, 2016

If I Wear Water

Charing Cross Road 1937, by Wolfgang Suschitzky


If I wear water falling -
cool against my clavicles
and wraith wrapped round my wrists,
its kisses clinging to my hips -
will it mean I'm clean;
a purer sort of animal,
or swine-like

will I insist on finding mud?

For The Mag

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Rock - A - Bye

I was a baby,
a rock-a-bye baby;
I wanted the cradle to fall

out of the leaves
and into the weed I smoked
to make sense of it all.

Nickel night rock star
celebrity skin
got harder and harder to shed

till all I could croon
was that old off-key tune
"Jail, Institution, or Dead."

55 words for Kerry at Real Toads