Archive for June 2013


June 29, 2013
By Diana Barco (From "Going on Somewhere")

Drawing By Diana Barco (From “Going on Somewhere”)


You know, a brain is not nearly so large
as what it holds, the lodgings of joy and sorrow,
exhilaration and despair, jammed tenements, walls thin
as a hair’s breadth, everyone pounding
against the noise–

I don’t know much
about the addresses–whether ecstasy holes up at 413 South Cortex,
and grief, 414, to the front–
only that the brain passing through experience
sometimes derails, its trains of thought caught
in synaptic whiplash, its emotional impulses shorting
sparks, catapulting blow-outs and when the
tracks get swarmed, new routes
are formed, and that old byway
that climbed through spacious fields
where long-stemmed grass was starsprayed
with pale fleurettes and the deep red mouths of poppies laughed
as big as Jupiter, and the sun shone gold,
and you, as warm, held me,
our bared ribs twined
like clasped hands, swerves suddenly
into changed lands, fixes on a switchbacked
track, no going back and though we still hold on, up slides
down and gathered gold, outweighing
balances, seesaws the scale, and here cut flowers mound
to memorialize the missing, those who are no more are known never
to return, and ecstasy–
though I will have just passed through
her door—now pushes me
out her window, and despair alone extends
a sharp-spined net, offers me
a floor to sleep on, though I don’t sleep,
only wait till I can catch my breath
and the next train home.

Here’s a poem for With Real Toads, Fireblossom’s Friday, to write something about heartbreaking loss.    I am also posting it for dVerse Poets Pub open link night. 

I hesitate to post a poem of this kind for fear it will be deemed autobiographical by readers.  All I can say is that poets are poets — we write about all kinds of human experience, and poetry, by its use of distillation and metaphor, tends to make that experience seem hyper-dramatic and perhaps more personally intense than it may be.

The drawing above is by a dear friend, Diana Barco, who illustrated my book of poetry “Going on Somewhere.”  (This is a new poem, written today and not in the book, though I do urge you to check out the book! As well as my other books, Nose Dive –a humorous mystery, and 1 Mississippi, a counting book for those who like elephants.)

“The Elephant In The Room” (Anaphora)

June 27, 2013


The Elephant in the Room

There’s an elephant fills a lot of rooms–
(‘cause even when elephant hides, he looms–)
This elephant’s as elephant as elephants can be
(no shrimpy shrunken trunk has he).

Fellow roomers ape that they don’t see
the elephant squashing their settee,
the elephant slurping afternoon tea–
(by the bye, Earl Grey’s his favorite brew–
though bancha slips down smoothly too),
but see they do, though throats go dry
whene’er that pachyderm’s derm is nigh.

All wings fold flat, all steps mince small
“cause elephant don’t leave room at all
for swaying sleeves or dancing pants–
no, all free space is the elephant’s.

But sometimes roomers got to breathe.
Though O2 won’t make elephant leave,
they find when they straight-elephant talk,
that elephant beat retreat to sulk–
Down in a corner, down in a crack-
and folks can take their parlor back.

Soon, tail’s a tassle, hump’s a knob,
elephant tea’s left on the hob–
Sure, traces linger of elephant smell
but if folks try to cover it too damn well,
sharpen it will to a great big whiff
that signifies a new trunk’s sniff–
the trunk of an elephant come to stay
in its elephant elephant elephant way.


I’m calling it a draft poem because it’s new and I’m a bit too tired to truly analyze rhyme and meter, so here’s a draft for dVerse Poets Pub’s Meeting the Bar prompt by the wonderful Victoria Slotto on Anaphora, which means the use of a repeated word. Followers know I have a thing about elephants – though I’m not sure they belong in rooms–

One Thing

June 26, 2013


One Thing

It is one thing to know that you will die someday;
quite another
to live with the consequences.

How is it done–going on? Knowing that you,
and all you know–but let’s just focus on the “you”–
maybe even call it “I”–the “i-You”–will, like any
device, any byte
of compressed data, some day, possibly today,
cease to function, then, to exist.

The answer–after taking a moment
to let the question sink in
along with the sun on your t-shirted belly,
the trilled interval of chirp overhead,
the soft bass of your partner’s chew to the side,
the clack of knife on his plate (more butter)–
and that always-palpable pain behind your eyes even
as they happen onto a sunflower propped
in a clouded jar–
comes first as another question: all gone?

And the answer: maybe.
But we are talking about just you–
you gone–

And the answer: he’s spiraling honey now
and letting it drip down
onto the toast, there,
from the gray knife’s edge.

Here’s a sort of draft poem, posted belatedly for dVerse Poets Open Link Night.

Also! Many many congratulations to all my dear gay friends and family members (and also to all those gay people I don’t know) re the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act. I wish you love, luck and all good things.

Fire gyre cat

June 26, 2013


Fire gyre; log turned cat.
There’s a lot you can do with a camera app.

(I see the charred log taking the form of the back of a cat, but I come from a clan of those allergic to cats so do not know much about them. Click on pic if you cannot see the whole image.).


June 24, 2013


We accidentally disturbed this nest hidden in willow stalks by a pond but were able to re-situate before it hit ground or water. Quickly left it and kept our distance. The mother seems to be revisiting it today so hopefully all is well.

If you cannot see whole image, please click on it.

What Little Dog Don’t Like (Flash Friday 55)

June 21, 2013


What Little Dog Don’t Like

“Top Dog” sound good when you’re jes’ small,
but, Little Dog, he don’t like to fall.
Don’t like to tumble, fumble, spill,
(better stay humble, low and still.)

But stand at base, you bear the weight,
and, Little Dog–he don’t like that fate.
What he also hate are stupid clothes-
Grrr-grrr ribbons, grrr-grrr bows.


55 for the inimitable G-Man, if you don’t count ever single grrr as a separate word.  (And you better not, growl!)

I am also daring to post this as a set of really profound thoughts for a Real Toads prompt with Heretomost.  They are very profound thoughts for Little Dog.

All rights to the drawing, as of all materials on this blog, (except where specifically excepted), belong to me.  Please, in other words, do not reproduce without permission.  Thanks!

“Temper” (Sedoka)

June 20, 2013

Cast Iron Pan


Words pop like mustard
seeds in a fry pan, skitter
across a cast iron will.

Even heavy heart
can’t damp the heat, skillet words
cast by a crossed iron will.


The above is an attempted sedoka – not the numbers puzzle (my first impression!)  but a Japanese poem based on a two stanzas with a syllabic count of 5-7-7.  For more, check out the inspiring article by Samuel Peralta on dVerse Poets Pub. 

(Sorry for the re-use of older image.)  

In Praise of the Big Cheese

June 19, 2013


(Posting from iPhone– if either mouse or “moon” missing, just click on photo to see all.)

PS. The standing figure is my drawing of a Buddhist guardian figure or bodhisattva (an enlightened figure who helps others attain enlightenment). Either the figure has large ears–for better hearing–or little wings behind the ears. The mouse is not sure which.

Long Day

June 18, 2013



I appreciate that these do not look like the same elephant – not even early in the day and late in the day – but I can assure you that they are the same dog!

P.S. Uploading from a mobile device so difficult for me to tell how big anything is. If the pictures don’t show BOTH elephant and dog, click on them, and they will appear in full. (I hope.)

Seeking Light (and Sweaters)

June 18, 2013




I am uploading from mobile device which sometimes makes the photos too big. If it doesn’t show up on your browser–and you are not freaked out by insects– click on pic.