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

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Two By Two

When he leaves you,
really leaves you,
let him leave you;
believe he's gone.
Don't try to carry on

or do your best.  Rest
in the small death scattered pieces of you.
Let the bloody matter dry.
Then cry -

forty days and forty nights
and out of sight of dry land.
Wait for his dove with an olive branch;
strangle it with your bare hands.

and with time
the flood inside you
will subside,
and you'll have learned
the lie
of two by two.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United