Tuesday, December 19, 2017


There is gaiety
'mongst the laity
for the season is a spinnin'.

The priest can't hold
his pride or peace
amid such wanton sinnin'.

"Shame, shame,"
he thunders, "flames
shall burn you all to cinder!"

"Promise?" cried a bawdy wench.
"I'll need the heat
come winter."

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Friday, December 15, 2017


all my
smells like

a burning car
a burning cross

on my

peace, a language

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Being Born

I don't remember being born,
my mother's face, or my father,
barely old enough to shave.
I don't remember being lifted
into sterile space -
my toes without nails,
my tenderest openings undone.

None of us is truly finished.
The cut umbilical cord
slowly regrows itself
like a lizard's tail,
and what lizard's tale has ever
had a happy ending?
None of us

remembers being born,
the child faces of our mothers,
or our fathers, barely old enough
to shave.

linked to Open Link Night at dVerse

Sunday, November 26, 2017


There is rain on your breath when you lie
in the shine of my silver tresses -
bankrupt bones, but beautiful

and rushing

into my muscled arms and silence.
I am your house of ill repute
on the banks of your river, bankrupt,

but rushing.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Saturday, November 25, 2017


I'm afraid of these capsules
clattering in my gut.
I'm afraid they won't work.
I'm afraid they will, but

will dissolve me

from the inside out
loosen my limbs
and loosen my mouth

to a trumpet vine sounding
nothing but Taps

and flat.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Strangest Rain

It was the strangest rain
that star fall night

mare galloping.  Hooves
churning and hurling

hunks of the black
eye sky.

Blind, it left me, blind;
my tongue forked with wishes.

Goddess bound and blind -
bridled to ride.

For Midweek Motif~Meteor Showers at Poets United

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


An elephant is Dumbo.
A tiger is a Tigger.
A clownfish is a Nemo,
until a child grows bigger

and is sent off to a teacher
who schools the proper names.
Elephus maximus is correct,
but it doesn't feel the same!

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Thing

It's not the thing,
it's the description.
Sun squint amber eyes.
A tangled mane,
thick and coarse.
Muscle and roar and fire.

It's not the thing,
it's the description -
the sweet, savanna sigh

of a lion
or the lie
of a man.

For the Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Revisionist

He cried for Lee in Carolina.
Appomattox an afterthought.
He spends his nights in crisp white sheets;
his nights hooded like a hawk.

The revisionist lives and breathes his history
and dreams the South will someday rise
again; till then, he stands a rebel
monument to misplaced pride.

For The Tuesday Platform at  Real Toads

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Rapunzel, Rapunzel

Woman with Long Hair
Man Ray (1929)

Tress the tower gold!
I will save you by your hair!
calls a good by grounded man.
He seems harmless standing there,

but he hides scissors
          his back.

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

Thursday, November 2, 2017


These blind November days,
these layers of brick and bone!
These nights of slow stars and stones
skipped across the water of the moon -

Remember June?
The full throated songs
of summer carried on a breath,
the blood sun burning overhead -

Death is next.
All that's left of the roses is the thorns.
What will keep you warm when your heart turns on itself?
What will keep you warm when its November and nothing else?

For Get Listed at Real Toads

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Saint's Heart

without ceasing
wetting the trinket box
its locked in and hallowing
the ground.

for Father Stanley Rother

Submitted to Midweek Motif ~ Saints at Poets United

Sunday, October 29, 2017

My Name

I'm named for an actress,
and I've been misspelled all my life.

Everyone ends me with a why
instead of I.

Fitting, yes?

More or less.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Friday, October 27, 2017

For Lexie, When It's Almost Over

Don't staunch the bleeding, love.
I'll find you by its slow,
ferrous flow.  Break
a bone to give me compass;

I'll navigate
by the storyline of your
suffering.  There are no
accidents; just causes,

quick kisses, and confusion
on this merciless plane.
Disowned and rejected,
breaking bones comes

as a comfort.  There is no staunching
this bleeding, love,
this slow, ferrous flow.

From the word list at Pineapple Gloss

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hero's Journey

Wonder, woman, was it worth it,
that saving a world that will
not save itself -
the choking man
that bites
the fingers
in his throat;
the child
of drought
striking matches
in the trees.
I wonder, woman,
what it's like
to watch the sorry,
daily news
go by -
feeling worn
and feeling older,
your hero's journey
never over.

For Midweek Motif ~ Journey at Poets United

Sunday, October 15, 2017

This Side of Heaven

If there's any justice this side of heaven,
may the most powerful man in the world
wake up tomorrow morning
sprawled face down in Puerto Rican mud.

Homeless and with less
than one hundred forty characters
to his name, may he learn just how long
empty promises stick to the ribs.

May he be pelted with paper towels
by an idiot.
May he be chastised for his lack
of gratitude.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Saturday, October 14, 2017

As Above

of black swans above
me below
me my man-
ster burrows into my bones
till I break

For Marian's prompt at Real Toads

Sunday, October 8, 2017

How To

How to diagnose and fix everything.
How to lose belly fat fast.
How to work for yourself: 100 ways
to make everybody love you.

How to grow a vegetable,
analyze people,
say no,
make money online.
How to survive the zombie apocalypse
and write a sizzling synopsis.

How to get others to do what you want.
How to write erotica
and fail at almost everything.

How to answer interview questions,
bake a murder,
start a profitable blog.

How to remove
all negative items
from your credit report
and be
a 3% man.

How to write,
learn liberalism,
lose a husband,
ruin everything.

How to develop
strong, positive habits
to conquer the future
when there is none.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Note: If you have any positive energy to spare, please, send it my way.  My Baby Puppy is in the hospital.  The prognosis is positive, but I'd still appreciate your prayers.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


She bathed
five times
in the honeyed stomach of September
and let chaos crown her wild
nest of titian hair.
Pomegranates wept:
truth or dare?

She smiled -
seeds stuck
in her teeth.

Inspired by the "honey" word list and Marley Raine and submitted to Poetry Pantry at Poets United.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

My Soul

My soul, oh, my soul, my unfettered soul!
My ancient, my infant, my untethered soul!
Soul of sweet substance - angels' delight.
Soul of rank darkness - devil's own night.
Not fit for heaven, but still somehow divine.
Soul, oh, this soul of mine.

Oh, this soul of mine,
spirit unshined.
Impatient, uncertain -
sometimes unkind.
But gentle enough
for forgiveness to find.
Soul, oh, this soul of mine.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, September 24, 2017

When I Left You

When I left you,
I left you
the tattoo on my left arm
that I let you give me
that 4th of July.

I left you the heart
with the butterfly wings,
but I kept the red rose
that climbs
up my thigh.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


strings of stars
from navel to heart
rib weave
octaves of
drum tight skin
egg belly
blood nest

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, September 17, 2017


Raven rides the line above
and chides her weary hunter.
Want her dead or live, you'd love
to bed her ugly under
the dirt     of the murder tree
on your knees     plot and graving
clad in widow's weeds     raving

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Why Women Didn't Speak Up Decades Ago

because they were raised
to make peace
not waves
because they had little
real power
despite their new power suits
because they had bills
to pay and kids
to feed
because they just
to forget

For Brendan's prompt at Real Toads

Friday, September 15, 2017

I Am Not Seeing

place, lovely as
it may be.  All I see
is the vacancy beside me -
the ghost.

For Sanaa's prompt at Real Toads

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Sometimes Solace

Sometimes solace shadows sunrise,
slipping in with the spreading light -
slow and sleepy from a long night
aligning stars

with where you are,
restless in your bed.

She whispers, "Peace will come
once your promises are kept."

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Heretic Heart

I had a heretic heart
cool and skeptic in my chest.
Prideful of its wildness,
it beat quick with testament.

Then one day I found my love
for madness less than pure -
my heretic heart was humbled
by a craving to be sure.

For Words Count at Real Toads

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

After The Flood

There is no dove,
no olive branch,

just mud.

Sucking, slurping,
sludge to shovel

mud .

Murky water, mosquitoes, mold,
and mud.

The meek are drowning
in their earthy

For Houston and The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Flashlight Tag

Like a mannequin
in the marigolds, still
as a statue.

Let the flashlight circle of sun      pause,        then pass you by.

Don't laugh       run fast
for the streetlight.

Flying braids and bare feet -    Tag!  

Too slow     this time.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Thursday, August 31, 2017


August was a monster.
It twisted us all into strange fruit.
It cradled the worst of us to saggy man tits
and twittered nothings with two mouths.
August fattened itself on black shrouds
and the freshened bones of old corpses.
Then, it groomed itself and bloomed, whorish,
into a full, fetid swell of shame.
August was a monster
in an America
made great again.

A rough draft for Kerry's prompt at Real Toads

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mother Wichita

Old Mother Wichita wets with twilight.
Blackjacks bruise purple but for the green

lichen half-rubbed away hip-high
to an old bison's itch.

A rich robe of Indian Blanket sways and drapes
the hill to hollow hovered

by a red-tailed hawk circling
in the blue becoming gold becoming thick

with cicadas, fireflies,
and mockingbird song.

Summer light dies slow,
lingers lazy and long.

Then she sighs herself into a star
for night to wish upon.

For Midweek Motif~Nature: Her Words at Poets United

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Egg Hunt 1978

hand me down     mary janes
a size     too small
- pinched toes
and panty hose
          bunched up at the starting line
in the field     behind the church
half-melted chocolate eggs
sticky as the mud Julie pushed me in

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Thursday, August 17, 2017


I only dance
with other girls -
suns with coronas
of swirling skirts

or younger men -
moon blind
and easily eclipsed.

My dance
is a bellied beast,
a planet
panting drums.

I dance
till I'm slick with stars
and here gives way
to there.

For Susie's prompt at Real Toads

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Things Found When I Wasn't Looking

The Hanged Man in the spokes
of the paper girl's bike.
A tin cup
salt ringed like Saturn.
Wings without wounds
shed in favor of walking.
A key and a memory
of trees.

For the Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Fair To Say

I guess it's fair to say
I grew up
oil field trash.
Never knew a man
to wear a suit
except the preacher.
Every Sunday
I put a quarter
in the collection.
Oh, Lord, may I
wake one day
with wings.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Starfish Quilt

Great-Grandma stitched
this old starfish quilt;
she never saw the sea.

Not with barns to build,
Mason jars to fill,
and children to feed.

I never knew her, but I've heard tell
she slept every night with a shell
held to her ear till she fell
into a salty dream.

For Margaret's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Green Corn Rebellion of 1917

In the Age of Lynching

a Working Class Union

was the Green Corn Rebellion

of whites, blacks, and Indians

draft dodgin' trash

saw a rich man's war

hid up on Spear's Mountain

and swore to resist

with dynamite and guns

all the way to DC

till a thousand man posse

hungry for justice

come to Seminole County

in August of '17

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Terrapins Cross The Road

for Johnny

Terrapins cross the road before it rains,
I explain.
His expression doesn't change -
same desire to please me.

He's 58 going on 3;
retarded, as it used to be
called, before bureaucracy
turned him into a person with . . . name malady.

Now there's outings he doesn't want to take.
Moves to integrate he doesn't want to make.
Terrapins cross the road before it rains,
I explain.
His expression doesn't change -
same desire to please me.

For Karin's prompt at Real Toads

Note:  Not long after the passage of the American's with Disabilities Act, the federal government outlawed the practice of placing otherwise healthy individuals with developmental disabilities in nursing home.  However, it allowed persons who had lived in nursing homes most of their lives (an many had!) to remain in place as long as special programs for independent living and community integration were provided.  The results were mixed and sometimes hilarious.  The story above is true. I laugh every time I remember pulling over to the side of the road to capture a terrapin for my client to examine, and my client's long-suffering tolerance for my enthusiasm.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Just Right

In the room where we do our living,
everybody has a chair;
Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Cub
(don't call her Baby Bear).

Mama Bear has a rocking chair
to rock back upright despite the news
on the TV that's always on
(she doesn't care for silence).

Papa Bear, when he's home at night, thrones
himself in leather and puts his feet up
(he's had a long day);
now, he's master of the remote.

The Cub (don't call her Baby Bear)
reluctantly rides the couch.
She's got better things to do,
but she's occasionally persuaded

by strawberry shortcake or guilt
to watch Law and Order with the elders.
Who killed Goldilocks?
Just right.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Hand Wash Only

The tag said hand wash only,
but I got busy living life

and careless tossed it

shrunk it down
at least a size.

Oh, my precious, precious hair shirt!
I've worn it most my life,

but now it's tight
and doesn't fit right anymore.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Saturday, July 22, 2017

400 Songbirds

At the foot of a building that is not a tree,
reflected in glass that is not sky,
400 songbirds broken in flight

litter the concrete that is not grass,
the cracked pavement that is merely a path
to the next stoplight.

High above on the 14th floor
at the branch of the bank
where my name's on the door

a crash - a boom -
as of nature at war
with the beast of a building that is not a tree

and its swindling glass that is not sky.
We're drawn from our cubicle nests,
every eye

on the concrete below that is not grass,
on the pavement below that is merely a path

to the next stoplight.
400 songbirds broken in flight.

A rough draft inspired by a recent news story for Kim's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sin Eater

Related image 

Sin Eater,

you missed my hearse
and now I'm bound for hell or worse.

I've guilt within this gilded coffin;
feed before I waste and rotten.

How can I fly with frothy wings
deadweighted by life's sordid things?

Sin Eater,

meet me at my grave;
my tender, tainted soul to save!

For Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Just War

just war - (noun) - a war that is deemed to be morally or theologically justifiable

Trust the church to give us cover
and comfort; war is righteous
to protect lambs
from lions.

But when the lions borrow
talons from the eagle and teeth from the bear -
when the sheet covered bodies stretch row upon row
it's hard to see who or where

the lambs are.  The wool is pulled too tight
over our eyes
to see our Just War is just     war;
both lambs and lions die.

For Midweek Motif ~ War & Peace at Poets United

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

First Date

First date.  Acceleration.  Horns honking.  Squealing tires. A sudden veer
through traffic, and I'm sliding across the seat.  My head
smashes against the passenger side window.  I see something less
than stars.  An elbow jabs roughly into my throat.  He is leaning past me,
over me, screaming, giving some guy in a silver Camaro the middle -
finger.  Curses and spittle fly.  Then, it's done.  It's as if I imagined it all.

Second date.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Friday, June 23, 2017


The dead don't mind
if I sing off key
and seesaw their femurs to rollick along

to the beat
of a heart
bludgeoned and ceased,

but for the beauty
embalmed in my songs.

Bass clef cut -
my hands to start to treble
at all of the insides God's hidden away.
A score finally settled
and spread on my table.
A stillness, a movement,
a sheet to be played.

A little something for the Beautiful Freaks Fest

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Whatever Metafiction Gets You Through The Night

I cannot call you mine;
let me call you to the line
break -

I miss  you.

I miss you like a misplaced heart.
Like I'm an incomplete constellation
and the starless space of you is a scar.
I miss you         some other, better metaphor.

Every syllable of me is stressed.
My symbolism undressed.
All I have left
is naked longing.

Sonnets written for you.
Bitten from the neck for you.
Nocturnes, aubades,
couplets coupling in between.

this - this flawed
flowless piece of free verse
written by a poet
anything but free.

For Kerry's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


In my wilderness, I met a woman
who knew God -
a genteel beauty who chased
the moon at night.
She was silver tongued
from eating ashes,
but I can't pray like that.

I met a man who'd wrestled
with the Devil.
Winning left him with a face
of wax.
He preached safety and salvation
outside the sun.
I can't live like that.

Last, I met a little girl
with a giggle.
She sugared suffering, but didn't claim
it sweet.
It was just the way she'd found
to get the hard stuff down.
Give me that.

I can pray to that.

I can live like that.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Monday, June 19, 2017

Pepper Spray Eyes

What I need now -
     pennies weighting your pepper spray eyes.
          Did I speak aloud?
Surely, not I.

This love is wrongs
     wrapped in placental shrouds throats
          clogged with feather down
tongues tied.

It's the dog at her dead master's feet
that gets buried alive.

A quadrille for Kim at dVerse

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Already Fallen

I've cancelled Spring

in favor of your Winter kiss.
Summer can't compare
to the heat we hold between us.

Autumn won't be needed.

I've already fallen.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

My Husband's Laugh

My husband's laugh is the fingers
on a pair of mischievous hands

that sneak and stretch
across melancholy miles

to rub at my ribs
till I'm tickled.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Saturday, June 10, 2017

I Am Made Of

riddles and eyes that bloom with surprise
rebel yells in a liberal throat
naps in the shade of a sunflower
his scent
tangled in my hair

selfishness and sacrifice
woman's flesh on a mother's bones
years poured just to sip an hour
alone somewhere

the ache that constellates my nights
for the God I know or a God I don't
weak-(k)need for some higher power
ellipses in . . .
my prayers

For Magaly's prompt at Real Toads.

Note: This is my attempt at a rimas dissolutas.  I stole the idea from Rosemary.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Queen of Cups

Image result for queen of cups

A well that never runs dry
no matter the heat of summer.
A clear creek's moonlit murmur.
A rain-on-the-window sigh.
She splits the stone of time
and wears its shards between her shoulders.
Should you be lucky and behold her,
sip from her cup and be wise!

For Words Count at Real Toads

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Penance Post

I clicked on the social media priest
to confess that I was lonely.
He instructed me to sugar the crow
and eat before all that know me.

So I chalked my status one hundred times -
too damn complicated -
on the blackboard of the cybermind,
hoping you'd erase it.

The likes were coming thick and fast
from strangers and from friends -
all begging for an update -
how does the story end?

I refresh until the poor mouse squeaks
and my trigger finger aches.
I've done my penance post on facebook;
must I apologize to your face?

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Nothing Died Today

Nothing died today, unlike yesterday,
when I cleaned my daughter's aquarium
and killed every single frog -
Nemo and the snails she had caught at the pond -

all floating

Nobody cried today, unlike yesterday,
when I confessed
that I am a murderess
with mollusk and amphibian skills fatally flawed.
My angel held in her tears,
so I wouldn't feel guilty and all.

I'm a terrible mom.
A terrible mom.

I have no pride today, unlike yesterday,
when I acted in charge of the world -
until I was taken apart
by a look from a brown-eyed girl

that I'm not anointed,

but what can I say?

Nothing died today.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Bird And Mouse

The last lilt-
ing breath of a bird

fell from its throat
to rest on the curb

in front of my house -
mouse crept from the shed

to nibble the notes
and sing for the dead.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Stories Start

Stories start
with sympathetic vibrations,
shared suns,
and revolutions;
it's second chapters
that just might change
your life.

Middles are more
of a muddling through
anarchy -
all you didn't do -
and feeling your way at the fray-
ing edge
of hindsight

to the half-past midnight

of the bitter end.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, May 21, 2017


Someone told you that you're dying
of a disease that you don't have, and now it's killing you -
filling you
with tumors calved

from air and sound.

Carousel goes round.

Pick your horse.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Friday, May 19, 2017

Flood And Tonhawa

at the corner of Flood and Tonhawa
a mohawked man with a Mountain Dew
statues in the middle of the street
and dares oncoming traffic

four blocks north
stands a bed and breakfast
to destress you
all you can afford
there's a shitty little shack
with a yard full of junk and a sign
offering something for nothing

in the library
homeless ladies gossip
rest their feet
and praise the Lord

For Susie's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

For My Daughter On Her 13th Birthday

Hard to believe it's been a year.
How quickly childhood disappears!
There's hints of woman in you, girl.
Glimpses of grown-up that the world
sees where I still see bedtime tears.

You wear my shoes, and you're damn near
tall as me when I pull you near.
I know that every bud unfurls -
it's hard to believe it's been a year.

I've whispered warnings in your ear.
Taught right from wrong through all these years.
Kissed your face and brushed your curls.
Fastened diapers.  Fastened pearls.
You're beat and breath to me my dear.
Hard to believe it's been another year.

I wrote this for Baby Puppy's 13th birthday.  Hard to believe she'll be 14 next month.
For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Coyote And The Peacock

For beauty, the coyote carried the peacock
across the desert in his teeth.
The sand was a sear on his paws,

but his trot was steady, and his grip was gentle.
Six sleeps, six fires in the sky.
Six star spun lullabies, six wakings.
For beauty, the coyote carried the peacock
across the desert in his teeth.

For beauty, the coyote swam the river
with the peacock slung on his back.
The blood warm current dragged
at his fur.  The mud mother
called for his bones.  But his paddle
stayed sure and his head held
just high enough above the water.
For beauty, the coyote swam the river
with the peacock slung on his back.

In the desert and river, beauty's as fleeting
as sugar dissolved on the tongue.  The river
stained the peacock's feather a dull red.
The desert blemished his eyes
near blind.  The coyote looked, but could not find
the beauty that he had carried and that had carried
him so far.  The coyote learned that beauty is beauty
is beauty, but is not love.
The peacock learned the hunger of a coyote.

Written for Margaret's April "Beauty" prompt and submitted to Play It Again at Real Toads.  Also submitted to Poetry Pantry at Poets United.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Psalm Of A Girl

Agnes Millen Richmond (1870-1964) Victoria Louise, 1955, oil

is the girl

who     when bit by a small dream
swats it
like a mosquito
a bloodsucker

She is fluent
in verbs and deaf
to the usual

is the girl
who spits the bit
and breaks the bones
of riders

She grows old
and fat with memory
or dies young
the stuff of songs

For Margaret's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Cold Comfort

I was the only sinner
at the Cold Comfort church -
the baptismal font was dry.
But in a pasture alive
with Pentecost wind,
I found God in a gift horse's eye.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Shakespeare In The Park

My lines

leech the strength from my tongue.
It's sunny at the seams of the night

sewn by smoke break witches -
Do they belong in scene III or V?

All this iambic plays hell with my limbic
system, and my dress is too tight.

What's my cue? I forget. Is it all over yet?
I'm killing Shakespeare in the Park tonight!

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Thursday, April 20, 2017

My Love Is Crow

My love is Crow, but I am not.  His wings
are black against my skin.  His voice is raw and rough,
and his English is terrible.

Skyless, I call him down to dirt.
Not born to ground, he begs me climb
to the top most branches of the oak tree -
we kiss high and hidden.

We're found when Fall and Frost take the leaves.
A sheriff comes with a shiny badge. A deputy ogles
my fine feathered body.
I stare back, unblinking.

My love is Crow, but I am not           not yet!
His blue is out of reach.
Weak winged, I cannot fly with him -
I'm falling.

For Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Hard Rain
Gilad (173) Photobucket

I toss and turn beneath a sheet of rain.
The streetlight flickers fancies across my face.

I'm cornered at the corner of 4th and Main.
Caught between the weather and whether to wait

here pillowed by the pavement cold and awake
half-dreaming to myself you're late,

but coming.

A quick and dirty draft for Kerry at Real Toads.  Also submitted to Poetry Pantry at Poets United.

Friday, April 14, 2017


You are not
a consumer.  You are

but not breath.
but not song.

Your heart is a drum,
but no one marches
to its staccato

hitch   hitch   hitching itself
to a long dead star.

For Marian's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Loud, Untethered, Free

Rocky Mountain Way
on the radio, I play
air guitar and sing -
loud, untethered, free.
Got no one bossin' me,
nowhere I gotta be,
but I'll get there -




Inspired to have a little fun by Kerry at Real Toads

News and Notes:  Sherry included one of my poems in a beautiful feature about daughter-inspired poems.  Sherry always does such a great job with these features.  You can read it a Poets United.

If that's not enough poetry for you, I also have some poems up at Five to One Magazine.  Happy Poetry Month!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Field Is Fallow

The field is fallow.

A breath
held.  A death knelled by an old belled
cat.  Till it, turn it tenderly,
check the almanac and the weather.
Consult the moon and your
arthritic knees.

The field is sown.

 It's too wet too dry
too wet too dry too wet -
the righteous and unrighteous alike
have sunburns and muddy boots.
Bankers never die.  Any morning you
could wake up with a sheriff's
sale in your stock pens and your daughter's
pony being led away by a stranger.
All because it was too wet too dry too wet
too dry too wet -

Before the sickle or scythe

From the air, the whole county
looks like a patchwork quilt.
Section line squares -  brown green brown green.  Beautiful.
So goddamn beautiful.

the field must grow.

You know
how ice tumbles in the clouds.
One drop. Then another
rises faster freezing falls
flattening all flattening all killing

The field is fallow.
The field is sown.
Before sickle or scythe
the field must grow.

For Sherry's prompt at Real Toads

Friday, April 7, 2017


Tree Girl with Woodpeckers (1960)
Kaoro Kawano

All bark and no bite -
that's the story of my life.

Rooted in place no matter
how rude the circumstance
or crass the company.  Fertilized
with bullshit.  Bladed by boys
to impress girls and scarred
long after C ceased
to LUV T 4-EVER.

This is not a smile -
it is a rictus, and it aches.
Beaks buried to my sap: tap, tap, tap.
Tap, tap, tap.  I've heard voices say
the shade is nice this time of year.
My face stays tilted to the sun,
my branches martyred.

For Kerry's prompt at Real Toads

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


Time is relative
when dining with relatives
who voted for Trump.

Or, when working your way
through a ginormous dump
of Algebra on a weekend.

Time fits and starts
like a schoolgirl's heart
with a crush on an inappropriate boy.

It spins like a wind-up toy
and runs down -
a middle-aged mom at bedtime.

Slipping away
by inches -
your child's height surpassing your own.

Time flies.
It flew.
It has flown

through the bones of your fingers.

For Bjorn's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


He called me beautiful.
In the middle of sex, but still -
he called me beautiful-

and I came
to believe him.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Monday, April 3, 2017


It is warm and wet,
but still winter,
despite the spring wish
on the wind
that whispers wake.
Winter winks his weather eye -
it's still his time.
Warm and wet
for this circle and tilt,
for this spin and slant
but the stay of the sun
will be too short
for suckling -
just enough to stir
the sluggish blood
of stem and bud
with whispers wake.

Winter, blind your weather eye!
With a sigh, I eye Old Winter -
withering, winnowing Winter -
not wicked, but wise to cling to the ancient turnings
and yearnings of before and always.

My half-formed flowers,
wintered still-births;
my blooms undone by night
winds from the north
that whisper
and wail like witches
at Winter's wake.

A rough draft for Magaly's prompt at Real Toads 
Still tinkering with it

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Baby Birds

I want her to remember how I let
the grapevines grow wild for robins
and called her outside to see the nest
full of delicate blue.
I want her to remember that I was kind
those brittle, black-boned mornings
and how we held each other and cheered
for each baby bird as it flew.

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

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Section Line Road

and words wound with music.
Sun sneaking through the blackjack trees.
I learned my lines where the hay met the hollow -
walked the stage with dew wet feet.

I slopped hogs with the palms of a poet.
Called cattle with a choir in my throat.
My treble and staff - my own two hands -
I danced down Section Line Road.

How I danced down Section Line Road!

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, March 26, 2017

In The Early Hours

This silence
is fragile.
I handle it with care.
and climb it

like stairs
to share with you-

shhh . . .
my finger to your lips

Shh . . .

you'll wake her.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Somehow I got
from girlhood to gray
with barely a scrap
of booking.

I forbid my photo taken,
despite being very good looking.

But now that I'm old,
I'd sell my soul
for a camera's flash
in my eyes.

At my age,
every picture of me
shows my insides!

A note: After a recent medical procedure, I was given a set of glossy, color photos of my . . . innards. Can anybody tell me what I'm supposed to do with these?  Christmas cards, maybe?  WTF?

On a slightly less disgusting note, I have a new poem up at The Five-Two.  Check it out!

For Words Count at Real Toads

Sunday, March 19, 2017


Nurses wear white.
Hookers wear red.
Nuns wear black,
and the dead
                            wear nothing at all.

Assuming the moon is right.

The thief wears a suit
and a fine silk tie.
The judge wears a blindfold,
but uncovers an eye
                             he drawls -

make sure the noose is tight,

the branch is strong and high,

our tracks are covered, the blood is dry,

and the money's green.

For the Poetry Pantry at Poets United.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

My Stretch Of Sky

My stretch of sky
is clouds

dead dying


removed from the land

from removal
we've been settled

let's feather at first light and fly
like arrows backward

into the bones
of old black fires

of life
and good death

when the night
still shattered

stars for kindling

and stories
were worth the burning.

For Brendan's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, March 16, 2017


Your teeth are my teeth.
When you scent the night I follow

to a hunker low in the high grass -
God     twitch/still     a rabbit.

For Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Seamstresses

Each star's a stitch mending night
for the sky to wear to meet morning.

Morning's a stitch pulled tight,
ending night and making day.

My star  stitch, stitch, stitch
I wonder which stitch will scar

what I dream tonight.
I wonder who the seamstresses are.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Monday, March 13, 2017

Smoked Glass

Driver's side -
smoked glass.
Passenger side -
smoked glass.
But the windshield -
dumbass -

is see through
so I can see you
in my rearview picking your nose!


A personal pet peeve for Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Friday, March 10, 2017

Invisible Things

Unwrapped stars
taste of chocolate,
but only once
per wish.

The moon crescents
into a kite -
I'm a stick girl
sodded to earth.

Michelangelo painted
a womb, a brain,
a man
navelled to nothing.

My tongue's out to taste
every apple crisp
temptation in this garden
that's not.

For Real Toads

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Peony Town

Peony peony
peony blue
blue as a girl left
by someone untrue

untrue to his whispers
whispers do get around
about girls who bloom fast
in a peony town

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Friday, March 3, 2017

A Ghazal: Perfume

A bruised blossom bleeds the strongest perfume.
A laywoman's potions - vials of perfume.

The light notes, the sweet notes, are the first notes to die.
A child sneaks a touch of her mother's perfume.

The mid notes are family to which you belong.
Girlhood gives way - the crush to perfume

the base notes that fix you and hold you in place.
Pine, pine - humility's perfume,

the mix of a Merlin, the Guinevere's Lace
I wear at my throat and call simply perfume.

Kind of rough, but I didn't want to miss out on Susie's prompt at Real Toads.

I have 3 poems in the latest issue of The Woven Tale Press.  It's a gorgeous publication.  If you love art, I highly recommend checking it out.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Marvel at the marbled sky
with more than just your earthly eye,
for each fraction of the firmament
hints at heaven's whole intent.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, February 19, 2017


Found hanging by her chastity belt
from the apple tree
in the garden,

a girl schooled in Creation,
but not in how she might create

and become a host to a ghost of cells,
or how her mother's face would harden

till she didn't recognize her,
or how her father would turn away.

When explaining the reasoning behind his bill that would require women to obtain written permission from her sexual partner before obtaining an abortion, Oklahoma State Representative Justin Humphrey described a woman's body as the "host."

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Ellis Island

Approaching Ellis Island

I look at Ellis Island's mad parade -
the photographs of those who came; foreign
faces, almond eyes, pale skin and dark skin,
bearded, veiled, belted, booted, swathed in sways
of colorful, exotic dresses handmade
of Irish wool or Asian silks.  Women
gloved, hatted, haggard, fearful, and fierce.  Men
uprooted, but still upright.  They came
from old worlds in search of new, better lives,
and they were strange.  Odd clothes.  Odd food.  Odd gods
and twisted tongues.  Alien and unlike
us.  But they came and became us.  A thought:
how dare we, now, push shades of brown aside,
when our first immigrants were pasty white?

Image result for the original homeland security

For Margaret's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Heirloom (2)

Since she was small, she's liked tomatoes
warm from the sun and straight from the vine.
Just brush the dirt and bite -
little heirloom girl.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Known You Better

How I wish that I had known you better.
How I wish that you had known me at all.
Coupled in school by a surname letter,
we had side by side desks each fall.

I'll bet you don't even remember me
or my knack
for invisibility.

How I wish that I had known you better
and let you know me.

I had a small crush on your brother
and an even bigger crush on you.
I was the latch key kid of a single mother
always mismatched compared to your cool

natural ability
to be who everyone
wanted to be

I wish that I had known you better
and let you know me.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Friday, February 10, 2017

Future History

Here, the famous ten foot wall
we owe to Trump and Pence.
Built to keep illegals out -
now it keeps the legals in!

For Marian's prompt at Real Toads

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I Sing, Daughter

I sing, daughter,
of sacred spaces,
woman's places
of birth and breast
by any preacher's prayer.

Bring, daughter,
your shivers and night.
They're flesh givers, ripe
fruit for your lips
to curve your hips
and sweeten the shine of your hair.

I'll carry, daughter,
the pits in my palm,
proverb and psalm,
to where land meets the water
and offer them, daughter,
to the East, to the Earth, to the Air.

Let us sing, daughter,
of sacred spaces,
woman's places
of birth and breast,
and rest -
blessed by a woman's care.

For Midweek Motif~Space at Poets United

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Cicadas In July

Every cloud worth counting
is wisping the wrong way,
but the cicadas
are singing up a storm.
Won't be long
they rattle/buzz warn
the heat
breeds lightning.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Machine

cello buskers
pussy hats and poetry
with lovely lack of discipline
the choir

dialing drunk-
leave your message at the beep
nasty nasty women
on fire

the machine that swallows protest

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Saturday, January 28, 2017


Poem, be wren swift and sing.
Be shapely as woman's warm thigh.
Play young with words and be wanton.
Then let lie.

For Kim's prompt at Real Toads

Friday, January 27, 2017

City On A Hill

The shining city on a hill
is real, but poorly built
and fragile.
Thick with the dust of neglect and shelved
a short reach for grubby hands.

Shake, shake, shake!
the center quakes,
and our pitiless artifice shatters.
Of the shining city on a hill,
only ceremony stands.

For Real Toads

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Inauguration Day

It rained on Inauguration Day.
Much like birds blacken the sky before an earthquake.
An empty head became our head of state.
And hope and change changed to fear and hate.

Like birds take to the sky before an earthquake,
we took to the streets to be seen and have our say.
We won't let hope and change become fear and hate
or what's precious to us be trampled and twittered away.

Taking to the streets to have our say -
marching - may be the last, best way
to keep freedoms from being trampled and twittered away;
eroded - six or seven decades.

So let's protest every day in every way
this empty head that's become our head of state
who wants to drag this country back six or seven decades.
And pray love reigns next Inauguration Day.

A rather rough draft for Midweek Motif~Change at Poets United

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Ecclesiastes in the trees
if you listen.
Psalms from the rain soaked ground
if you slow down.
But I don't for fear of what
I might be missing -
moving faster
than the speed of Heaven's sound.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Voice Of God

I could bear the voice of God
if only it would stop

sounding so mean,
so male,
so Mars and misogynistic,

and so utterly de(i)void
of anything
like mercy.

For the Sunday Mini-Prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Earth Axis Girl

Earth axis girl
with a spring fever tilt.
Kneel dirty knees
wet with murder and milk.
You're flowering.

A beautiful flowering.

Ekphrasis girl
a paint by the blind
blood buried braille
for fingers to find.
You're sparrowing.

Starling and sparrowing.

You've got sky between your thighs.
You're built of the bones of archetypes
that know it's better to be alive
than wise and dead.
So open up your head

and let wildflowers seed.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Arsenic Mirror

When we scry with an arsenic mirror, poison
blackens the brightest suns,
fouls the fairest fortunes,
and smudges the saintliest souls.
Glass gassed with our own
undigested venom gives a glimpse
of the godless ghosts we're twinned
to in the womb.

Arsenic mirror (a highly unscientific definition) - an old method of detecting arsenic poisoning.  If the ignited gasses from the stomach of a corpse smudged a cool glass or plate, arsenic was present. Anyone else watching Taboo?

For Kerry's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


I dare you to love me
just a little bit wrong.
Forget what you've read
in my file and my palm.
Wrestle me down -
a robin and worm.
If I'm wet,
I'm easier to swallow.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, January 8, 2017


I'm a dinosaur -
bits of dinosaur -
a fossil buried deep

beneath a hundred feet
of shale and should.

I have a pickaxe in my backpack,
a therapist,
and some weed;

I need to know if I'm extinct
for good.

The unconscious -
my unconscious -
wakes when ego sleeps

and kicks the puppies
everybody loves.

I have a strong back
and a small sack
of symbols I found cheap

on the internet;
that will have to be enough.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Thursday, January 5, 2017


What will you make of me?
A wanted poster?
A tarot card?
An advertisement for skin or a warning against
such pleasures of the flesh?
Stern temperance or wet 
for your long stretch of dry county?

Around me
light is a thought barely spoken -
its utterance snuffed against my angular bones.
My eyes are the stones 
cast at witches and whores.
My cunt is old 
as the four edges of the world.

But I'm just a girl.
All alone, sir
and awfully grateful for your care.
A girl,
yes, take me home, sir;
take my picture if you dare.

A rather rough draft for Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


I've written my obituary and yours as well -
in cool, blue ink - the sperm of a star.
Every poet for hire in a hipster jacket
carries copies next to her heart.

The time has come to be kremlined, Comrade.
There will be sleep and sleep and sleep.
Let the Motherland read you the fake news at night
and tuck your covers around your feet.

Observe, the book - spider-cracked down its spine -
the broken back of the written word.
Behold, Students, the annexation -
the looming cliff, the herd!

Some musings on the future for Midweek Motif ~ Vision at Poets United