Archive for July 2014

Ammonoidea (Fossilized Shells)

July 26, 2014


Ammonoidea  (Fossilized Shells)

I like to think
that their dendritic prints,
algal caresses beached
in bleached stone, mean
that I will know the nuzzle
of your whisked-white chin long
into the next paradigm;
though even now I’m shaped
by the whorl of your chest
where time’s sand stills
its hands
and I hear in your warmth
the sea.




A very belated offering for Mama Zen’s “Words Count” prompt on With Real Toads to write a poem on fossil in less than sixty words.  I’m sorry to have been quite absent lately, and probably will not be able to post much in the next couple of weeks, due to work and family busy-ness.    Miss you all!

PS – photo from Mama Zen–all rights reserved to her. 

PPS–I am hoping also to link to dVerse Poets OLN, hosted by the wonderful Victoria

Somewhat Wandering Ode From Bumbler to Rumbler (Brian Miller)

July 19, 2014



Somewhat Wandering Ode From Bumbler to Rumbler (Me to Brian Miller–NOT a would-be)

Oh you, who wander into trees mumbling,
counting feet on fingers, toed-sort bumbling–
Oh you, you would-be poet, you’re my kind.
Paths crossing, I used to send a secret sign–
a pantomime of Prufrock’s trousers rolled,
a shoulder shrug of Byron’s cloak’s unfold–
only my gesture, never adequately bold–
fell, I fear, quite flat, as you (of my same mold)
chanted unheeding by–pen, like mine, tracing
indecipherable squiggles, eyes facing.
either ground or sky, not even caring for
the proper shape of L’s–Hell, it’s more
than enough to walk, count feet, chew words–
saluting a fellow would-be seemed absurd!

But then all changed! With the coming of
a single line of hair that hovered above
a single head–Okay, Claudia helped too–
Kerry at her end–but he’s the ‘hawked who
manages a bee-line to one and all,
whether they post day or night–who hears the call–
dear Brian Miller–I send this ode to you–
though you don’t wander into trees mumbling,
and don’t like counting feet–(prefer rumbling)–
Thank you, poet, writer, family man–
for feats that far excel what counting can–
giving warmth, balm, light so very freely
even to those who still bump dark and treely. 


Here’s a very belated ode to a poet for the dVerse Poets Pub three-year anniversary–

Thanks to Claudia Schoenfeld and Brian Miller for the wonderful dVerse Poets Pub site that has honestly changed my life–  Thanks too to Kerry O’Connor at Real Toads also celebrating three years. 

Thanks to the other poet sites, that I’ve not been such a part of, but that are wonderful resources for bumbling, mumbling solitary poets, like Poets United and Poetry Jam and The Mag.  

But the energy, indefatigability and plain old embrace of Brian Miller, who posts wonderful poetry and prose (at an incomprehensible rate) at Waystation One, are particularly incredible.   Note the would-be poet of the first stanza is someone like me–the Ode moves then to a true life poet–Brian.  (I’m a little worried this part of the poem is unclear, but for now will leave as is!)  

The pic not fully suited–I’m a little jammed to draw and wasn’t sure if Brian would really appreciate a portrait–but was taken by me earlier in the summer.  All rights, as always, reserved. 

Re-animating July 2011

July 15, 2014

Two wonderful poetry blogs are celebrating their three year anniversaries this week–dVerse Poets Pub and With Real Toads. I have not written a new poem yet for dVerse’s celebration, but Kerry O’Connor of Real Toads has offered participants an opportunity to pick some piece from their archive.  I went back to look at what I was doing on this blog in July 2011 – and believe it or not–I had just discovered an app that allows you to make little animations on the iPad and was rather obsessed by it. (I had not yet discovered dVerse or Toads.)

None of my animations are terribly good–but these two sort of went together and one of them has words! And the other a kind of beat and a swallow. (Does that make them spoken–errr–swallowed word pieces? )

At any rate:



Thanks to both dVerse and Toads==k.

The Magdalena

July 13, 2014


The Magdalena

The Rio Magdalena in Colombia
washes up the no-named
washes their feet
on its strands, laps
eyelids that catch
the sky’s tears, unwinds
river weed.

Near villagers wear
funeral weeds
for the no-named
and as supplicants to a God
who might pick them too
from dark currents.



I often call my poems drafts as I am unbelievably indecisive about editing.  Here’s a poem that was relatively simple last night when I wrote the first draft–then grew very long and explanatory–then got simple and even shorter again, thanks to the brutal eye of my husband (who is a far better editor than I–why I don’t always show him things.)  I was going to post both poems, as they really are quite different from each other, but decided not to press my luck.  (And I even edited again since posting–agh.)

The poem was written for Grace’s prompt on With Real Toads, to write a poem responding to the work of Claribel Allegria, a Central American poet.  It was also directly inspired by the work of a filmmaker and photographer, Juan Manuel Echavarria, who’s made a film called Requiem NN, and also put together an exhibition of photographs, about Puerto Berrio, a town on the banks of the Magdalena, where many unnamed bodies have washed up (during periods of drug war violence).  Various townspeople would safeguard the remains and sometimes even adopt the unnamed victims, entombing them in large walls of sarcophagi.  (Of course, many townspeople had also lost family members to the violence.)

The above video is the trailer of the film, but does not really describe the adoption of the dead so much as the video below, an interview with the director.



To Either of My Daughters As Infants (Or Both)

July 11, 2014


To Either of My Daughters  As Infants (or Both)

What I want to say is
there was no present like
that time–

What I want to say is
there are no eyes as blue as the sky
around a full moon
some evenings–

except perhaps yours
looking up at me,
your face as fair
as some faces are,
too young to have seen much sun–

and my arms felt like the sky,
encompassing time and effortlessly

And though there is something in me
that forever times
the present, that is bluer
than evening sky and more alone in that blue
than even the starless–

what I want to say is
there was still that time, your presence–
eyes looking up at me
and me looking right back
when there was nothing
we wanted for
and all to be said,
was said,
in soft high pitches.


Here’s a draftish poem for my wonderful daughters and the wonderful prompt by Herotomost on With Real Toads “I Must Refrain.”   This has been edited a couple times since first posting. 

PS–my job has kept me extremely busy lately, so if I’m missed returning a visit–please forgive—or better, let me know!  




Like Clockwork (For The Mentally Cursed)

July 9, 2014


Like Clockwork (For The Mentally Cursed)

Sadness struck
like clockwork,
a chain across the cheek,
linking life’s blood
to its drain.

There was no joy
that could not be exchanged
for despair; a disrepair
of synapse that collapsed
the soul,
made holes in wholeness
burst the midrange, found pain fresh
each go,
as if locks overflown
had never been breached, as if the beseeching
of God or DNA
were not a speech
in a much-aired play–
a to-be, a wherefore-art, a who-goes-
a not-I,



A poem of sorts for a word list prompt  by Grapeling (It Could Be That)  on With Real Toads.  It’s been edited since first posting. 


The drawing is mine–a repeat I’m afraid due to busy-ness here in NYC. 




July 6, 2014




I let my tongue slip–
I think to whip
some moment into shape–
but it flips out, flop,
sloppy eel, pink as a weal
of scar, blinking
in any brightness.

It won’t re-swallow
so I tug the big lug
over my shoulder
trailing a fug
of mouldering
i really didn’t. 


Here’s 55 for Mama Zen’s prompt on With Real Toads.   The drawing, such as it is, is mine as well as poem; as always, all rights reserved. 



Dwarf Star

July 3, 2014


Dwarf Star

My mind wants so much
to relive those nights
we danced like fireflies
that it forces itself
from its scalp-shelled sheath,
squeezes through the sponge
of gray matter, pushes
through the pores of cranium,
to rest, panting, in my then-longer hair, which shifts
as I skip, galumph, swoop arms
in free-frolic–I was never
the most elegant mover even when dancing
like fireflies–then climbs through the
slide of strands as best it can– for the mind also
hasn’t such well-coordinated arms–
until it stabilizes itself
just at the shelf
of my left ear.

There, it strains to hear–
and smiles as it does–my own panting breath, chipped
by laughter;
smiles as it listens to
the panting breath of feet, mine bared, as they inhale and ex-
the dew-drunk grass, blades clumping together
like buddies on a long day’s night–

delights in the voiced context
of tree-frogs–the intervaled keen which it cannot help comparing
to Phillip Glass, Steve Reich–it’s a mind after all,
and rather high-
the bass thunks of the bigger ones
out in the pond–

Mind shivers–once, twice–
in the cool indigo drapes,
and marvels, as blue blackens,
at the mirrored starscape in the field, the fireflies
dancing just like themselves, in blinkered

The mind wants so much
to still this moment, even though it’s long
past, to stash it–

as if flicker
could be stilled and stashed,
as if the pure delight of movement–
movement as free as the barely seen can sometimes be–
could be re-membered–then’s arms and legs re-fitted
and made to dance–
as if stars could be mirrored
by something palmed, fisted, ferreted
as if anything
could live that way– 



Here’s a poem that I am still calling a draft for now, but that I like. I’m not sure about the title–also thinking of “Re-membering”– and I’m not sure about the close.  I am linking it to Alan’s prompt on Poetry Jam about thirst and also to Real Toads open link Monday.  Something strange has happened to my comments so that I am not getting notifications of when they are posted, so I am sorry if I am late returning visits. k.  



Hobby Lobbied (2)

July 2, 2014

Christina's pictures 271


Hobby Lobbied (2)

The fact is
they are not
paying for your birth control;
they are paying for
your services.

You sort, you stack, you stand
at counters, sit
at desks, taking grief
and making change
from appointed hour
for many hours.
You climb ladders,  you go
to the back;
you do what you
are asked, within reason, it’s
your job.

Their job
is to pay you-
did you really think
they were giving you something?

The pay of that man who works across from you,
the one who’s super sweet, except for all
the sweat,
includes health care covering his prostate, and also what’s
next to his prostate,
medication for his football injuries and his earlier onset
heart disease–

But birth control–well, the operative word is

They think the world was better
when you were more firmly under

As if you work
just to feel freer.
(Yeah, from debt).

As if–
if they can just pay you less–
like they have
for so many years–
the world will turn back
into something it never actually was.
They think that world was something they liked
because they were so much smaller when they imagine
it to have existed,
and they felt safe
when they were small
and knew little.

Another Hobby Lobby poem–sorry to be on a rant.  I’ve actually written a poem on a completely different subject, which I’ll likely post later tonight/tomorrow. 

But this case is still on my mind and I expect on many people’s.  My Hobby Lobby 1 poem may be found here.  The photograph above is by Christina Martin.