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
gone.

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

disappointed
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

Carousel

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


Blessed
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
cautions

Blessed
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