Archive for July 2013

Late Amniotic

July 27, 2013


Late Amniotic

By this time what she holds is the entire
world, floating not in space but in the slosh
of her, uterine ocean a gyre
that squeezes galaxies into a blood-washed
ball–not all ball–squiggle limbs, globe head–
hers not working well–she remembers
a friend whose wool tights had ballooned, she’s said–
she thought she’d peed (weeping)–as husband tendered
her seeping bulk–that woman–into the car.
She’s still dry as sweat, lights flickering, or lids,
thin as cotton swabbed over belly’s shore-
‘I love you, I love you, I love you–‘ bids
she offers now–all she might ever be–
as she waits on the breaking of that wine dark sea.

When I am not sure what to write, I tend to go for a sonnet. The form forces decisions, and hopefully, makes a bit of its own music..

This is a new one, still a draft of sorts, that I wrote for my poetics prompt on dVerse Poets Pub about a body or bodies of water.

A few side notes – my computer has overheated so it is possible I will be visiting people through a mobile device that sometimes uses the moniker “outlawyer.”

Secondly, I recently passed my fourth anniversary here at Manicddaily. I have really enjoyed blogging and I know I will continue with it, but life has gotten very stressful of late, and I may need to cut down. (I always say this, and I never do, but I am concerned that the wear and tear shows in the quality of the poems I post.)

Do check in as I’m sure I will be still posting, maybe even tomorrow–there are all these great prompts out there, including one by my friend Hedgewitch on WithRealToads. But after that, I really do intend to slow down a bit.

Thanks for your past support and your ongoing friendship.

A Poem In There Somewhere Maybe (Friday Flash 55)

July 26, 2013


A Poem In There Somewhere Maybe

I tried between
job work and shirk, to poeticize–
first, like a fern, springing,
then, growing sharpish, considered thistles, busy
with heedless bugs, bemoaned
Buddhists and the tugs
non-clinging missed,
but no poem clung
to the page,
being Buddhist perhaps
or a sprung fern
or a bug done
with its thistle,
now far flown.


A belated 55 frustrated moans for the G-Man. Let him know.

Above and below, some thistles with bugs.



Shoe Letter – Written From Left to Right

July 23, 2013


Shoe Letter – Written From Left to Right

My dear…. fellow,

I don’t even know what to call you, buddy,
except gone.

I don’t know what to say,
except come back.

‘Course, it could get rough–
you have some kind of tongue on you
and I can be an awful heel–
still we had something–
we were together–just us two–and that was the way
I guess I thought we always would be.

Only now–now, you’ve walked, and now
I’m left behind, more left, and there don’t seem nothing
I can do to bring you back–

Look, you were right. You were always right.
You thought out of the box
from the very start, even back when everything
was so tight.
Then later, when you finally made me come
out of the closet–
sure, I was pissed (damn dog)–but you stayed by me
through the whole darn muck of it, stayed
right by my side.

And what stinking thing
did I do in return?
Insist I wasn’t having
strings attached, me
who was always so straight-laced anyway,
what did it even matter
about me?

Honestly, when I look out the window–into our old corner of sky
and telephone line–I feel almost
like hanging myself–
but I don’t think I could even dangle
on my lonesome.

I’m just useless
with you gone, moping by the side
of the bed, half-crazed
with worry
and want.

Oh yeah, I know people think of me
as the strong silent type–but beneath that leathery exterior,
I am crying, babe.

Just because no one hears don’t mean
it aint real.

Cause I am crying, sweetheart,
crying for you.

Sole mate,
soul mate,

That is what I can call you, all right–
dear one,

Here’s a little sort of poem very belatedly written for Kerry O’Connor’s challenge on With Real Toads to write a love letter between two inanimate objects. The prompt was based on very creative performance poetry by Sarah Kay. In my case, the objects, if you hadn’t guessed, are a pair of shoes–one gone missing, the other unable to cobble together a new life.

I am also posting this for dVerse Poets Pub Open LInk Night.

PS – I’ve realized since posting that I made my drawing of the right shoe rather than left! I’m very right handed – will try to fix if I have time.

Meter Maids

July 20, 2013


Meter Maids

I don’t much care for painting by numbers
but we made poems up
on our hands, my mom and I, counting syllables
on our fingers in the bath, the rumple
of her skin grown red, me in front or back,
being little, trying to find lines
that would ta-da right.

Water gleamed off of her
in beams as she ran the washcloth
over shoulders, upper arms, breasts two dangling
streams, lips dry to the last face wash,
murmuring trial rhymes.

The poems were simple and, like paintings
by number, stayed within
the lines; still, absorption
fogged the room, wrapping us
in its bared wings, keeping my mother too, my busy busy
mother, so close and gently captive.

What a miracle it was–words
broken into a count that added up
to verse–a universe–and me an initiate
into some secret society
that had learned how to make it
stand still.

Here’s a poem, really an homage to my mother who introduced me to the idea of meter in poetry. She did not write poetry much herself, and her version was pretty much syllabic, but she did give me a very early introduction to the whole notion of the thing. Usually it was done in a shared bath, when I was really very small. I am incredibly grateful. I wrote this for for the dVerse Poets Pub Poeticsprompt on numbers in honor of their second anniversary (hosted by the lovely Laurie Kolp.)

(I’ve actually been very concerned about numbers today as I also corrected a sonnet that only had thirteen lines. The fourteen line version can be found here, and if one is interested in process, has a link to original.

I have also edited this poem since first posting.

Out of the Mix (“Bound” Revisited) (A Sonnet Has Fourteen Lines)

July 20, 2013


Out of the Mix

Increasingly, I move through life shaken
but not stirred. Smallish things upset me,
a minimart brand of earthquaking–
enough to jar some cans from their shelved lee
while leaving the ceiling intact, my buzzed bars
of tubed fluorescence penning up the sheet rock,
which, in turn, shuts out the invites of sky’s stars.

My inner spy well knows that attempts to block
the kiltered cylinders’ fall are misguided–
the creamed corn will not crack–but I’m still bound,
aisled, exiled, and can only confide me
to the greater swirl, whirl into the new-found
old-friend world, when Midas-fingered chances dance
through these leaden walls of coded circumstance.

Yesterday morning, I posted for prompts from both dVerse Poets Puband With Real Toads a thirteen-line poem that I claimed was a sonnet in the Shakespearean mode. I really can count–I’ve even written a children’s counting book – though come to think of it – that only goes up to ten–but somehow didn’t. Anyway, here’s a new version of the poem with fourteen lines. Also, one of the original prompts by Izzy Gruye, asked the writer to use a movie line without referring to the movie. In my case, the line was from James Bond, but I’ve been a bit freer about referring to Bondian matters in this version. (Sometime I may do a poem that fully focuses on the Bond, but this is still not that poem.)

Anyway, for those who are interested in process, here’s the original thirteen line poem, called Bound. It’s actually fairly different (with stewed tomatoes, for example.)

I am also posting a revised version of the original drawing. For those interested, changes were made with two great iPad/iPhone Apps–Brushes and Camera Pro.

Poet’s Really Bad Headache – Friday Flash 55

July 19, 2013


Poet’s Really Bad Headache

The word “vertigo’s” not apt.
You can’t go vertical; you can’t go anywhere
except into absolute stillness.  Compensating
for the spin.

Movement allowed – the swollen beading of brain, sweat, finger tips.

One droplet tells you that your sonnet
(written before full cloud)
has only thirteen lines.

Ha, you sort of think.  Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha


Mid-morning I was hit by a just super head-ache/vertigo/inner ear thing.  So, like any good blogger, I am telling you all about it now that I feel well enough to sit up and type.  Still not 100% but infinitely better.  Tell it to the wonderful G-Man.

And I’m sorry = I realize the sonnet I posted just before headache struck really did only have thirteen lines.  I am blaming on the “aura” and am going to try to fix it and post again.  But probably not today.

P.S. – I’m sorry I’ve not been able to return visits – also tried to work today (on phone as much as possible).  Will try to make it up tomorrow.  Many thanks as always for your kindness. 

Bound (Shaken, Not Stirred)

July 19, 2013



Increasingly, I move through life shaken
but not stirred. Smallish things upset me,
a minimart brand of earthquaking,
enough to jar all cans from their shelved lee
while the ceiling stays intact, my buzzed bars
of tubed fluorescence penning the sheet rock,
which, in turn, shuts out all chance of sighted stars.
As the kiltered cylinders fall, labels sock
my legs, shoulders, flat greens of creamed corn, stewed
tomatoes. I only vaguely shield my head
because I think I’m not truly there (though bruised),
the bond to the now so slack, and, in its place,
the shackles of passivity, blank space.

Here’s a rather grim sonnet in a Shakespearean mode (though I’m sure I do not have proper iambs and I also relied on slant rhyme) for dVerse Poets Pub’s second anniversary Thursday challenge, hosted by Tony Maude. (The challenge involved using a prompt from the past year. I refer to Gay Cannon’s article on basic sonnet forms.)

I also wrote this for Izzy Gruye’s Out of Standard challenge on With Real Toads to write something that used a famous line from a movie, without direct reference to the movie. In this case, it’s James Bond’s direction for the mixing of martinis.

Grasping At Straws (And Contentment) – “There”

July 16, 2013


There is so much we cannot fix:
a dear friend massed
with yellow glads; the green baize that masks
the upturned earth; the tumor
that takes over the torso;
time spent
more carelessly
than change
(loose minutes
rarely found
in turned-out pockets);

all those difficult years
when contentment was there–
there–there within our grasp had we just
grasped less;
flotsam straws we gripped,
drowning rafts, that sparkle now
in the current of all that’s past,

catching against far shoals–

Here’s a revised poem for dVerse Poets Pub second anniversary. Congratulations to dVerse, headed so skillfully and generously by Brian Miller and Claudia Schoenfeld, wonderful poets in their own right, and incredibly thoughtful and energetic teachers and mentors, in their commenting and their example. They, and the other dVerse staff, both past and present, as well as the many poets who participate in the community, have helped me a great deal in my own poetry, and certainly in my sense of myself as a poet. Great thanks!

The photo above by the way is the one I took the other day of a spider web by a stream bed, knotted with water droplets, over that beautiful stone, which to me at least, looks like a heart. If you cannot see full image, please click on it.

Malala Yousafzai – links to videos of U.N. speech and “Class Dismissed”

July 15, 2013

Malala Yousafzai is the young Pakistani girl who was targeted by the Taliban, pulled from her school bus in the Swat Valley in Pakistan in October 2012, and shot in the head and neck because of the advocacy of herself and her father of education for girls in Pakistan.  Here she is speaking to the U.N. yesterday last Friday, July 12.  (I believe it was n her 16th birthday.)  Her recovery if, of course, remarkable, but what is even more remarkable are her words and her delivery of them.  (It’s worth taking a look at some of the terrible comments that have been made to this remarkable video.)

We talk about a war against women in the States – and one is very conscious of this as a woman.  But it seems important to keep the context of the bigger picture in mind, which involves the subjugation of women, girls, children all over the world.  This subjugation relies on the denial of education for girls as well as opportunity  and freedom of women – every day, there are stories of  schools being blasted, teachers, social workers, students, parents, threatened and killed.   The speech is about 17 minutes long.  Even a few minutes is well worth your time.

If you do not know Malala’s story (or much about the plight of girls’ education in Pakistan), here is the link to the original New York Times documentary that initially garnered attention to her; a wonderful film by Adam B. Ellick.

Here’s finally a link to a not-very-good poem by me (well, okay poem) written about Malala right after she was shot.

Finally, we are, thankfully, in a whole different ecosystem re women and education in the United States.  But here too there are continual assaults on education, especially on education related to science, but also on education generally:  school budgets slashed, early childhood education attacked, teachers demeaned, loans for college made unaffordable, and a culture that increasingly denigrates the importance of facts, knowledge, study.   This is important stuff.  We are so lucky to have the possibility of education here – let’s take advantage of it, and try to help others also (i) have a chance for it, and (ii) see the importance of it.

Why Are Some – Rhapsodic (Maybe) Flash 55 (Um….)

July 12, 2013


Why are some….

so imprinted
with insufficiency; souls
lost fowl, cross-hatched between
chicken scratch and duck
waddle, the self-appointed undeserving, serving
an exacting God whom we carry in our foreheads
as an ache.

How escape?
In the ta-Dada of rhapsody,
chance of dance,
deep swallow;
through the reverse blink
of fireflies, pilots in night’s
blue sea.


This is another version of my Post-Eden II poem posted yesterday, written for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on With Real Toads re Rhapsody, and for the G-Man – Friday Flash 55 – do not tell him I cheated by calling the first three words my title.  

(For those interested in process, the initial version of the poem called “insufficiency”  “original sin” but I realize many people are not so involved with the concept of original sin these days – probably a good thing .  Besides, it is two words.)