Archive for January 2015

Her Body Soon Following After (Heat-Seeking in 55)

January 31, 2015


Her Body Soon Followed After (A Heat-Seeking Missive)

Her nose fell first, head over heel,
his smell of warmth so strong,
the opening of his elbow
a window to a long
sun’s day,
his ribs a heated clay
that no
other kiln could fire,
his loins a hearth she could feel
even from afar.


Here’s a 55 (including the title, which some might feel has been deliberately lengthened) inspired by both the inimitable G-Man and Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on With Real Toads.  Kerry has given the added challenge of using a Robert Herrick style form for the poem.  Kerry  suggested breaking up the Herrick lines by a word count, which would equal 55,  but I’ve gone for a syllabic count, which is why my poem needed such a long title.  (Ha.)

The pic doesn’t really go with it, but since I’m still away from home, using what I can!

What I Might Hunger For (If I could Just Concentrate)

January 27, 2015

IMG_3647 copy

What I Might Hunger For (If I Could Just Concentrate)

Sitting in a diner just outside of
trying to write about what I hunger for,
which is not (like my husband) hash browns–

when a large flushed (for morning) foursome
squeezed round the next table, says loudly
”there was this movie–”

but words
The Big Lebowski
“what’s in a white russian–”
(believe me, there was much more)
(about the movie and kahlua, bowling) —
“Your sour cream pancakes–”
as I try to think about, you know–
“I LOVE Victoria”

Words with an edge
(that, the locale of)
“like the sign at that hotel in Canada,”
(someone’s retirement party)
“that said: newly weds–the nearly dead–”

words that wedge meaning
“that rockstar with the name”
into meaning
“like the exit off–”
You know, meaning?
“Route 5.”

All punctuated by–
I feel my own face flushing–
the clink–
as I really do try–
to write
and the cluck
the cluck, the cluck
but not those words I–
“you know there are people in Arizona–”
“your scrambled”–
“who actually HATE”
lettered lenses
that carry me farther than–
I imagine a word chariot, I imagine it drawn by
“the Sea Hawks–”

Words, I want to scream
not even hungry
for the eggs
on rye


A little frustrated sort of poem.  Posted for the Tuesday Platform on With Real Toads, hosted by the inimitable Kerry O’Connor. This poem was originally inspired by Mama Zen’s words count prompt to write on what you hungered for–I could not get it down to sixty words, which was her limit.   (The Sea Hawks for those outside of the US are the Seattle football team.) 

I am using an old picture for this post–I do not have my iPad with its terrific drawing programs me, so this doesn’t really work–supposed to be a blank notebook–(and eggs)–

Night Feeding

January 25, 2015


Night Feeding

As the baby nursed,
fingers opened like petals bloomed,
coaxing the breast

as if a huge bee–the breast,
being all the baby knew while nursed,
her mother in flushed bloom.

If flesh were cloth, they would be loomed
as a single weave, the breast,
the fingers, the baby, mother, nursed,

the shuttle sighing, nursed back, forth,
the pattern resting its bloom
against night’s breast.


Here’s a tritina of sorts (like half a sestina) for Margaret Bednar’s Play It Again Sam on With Real Toads to return to a selected archived prompt.  I’ve used Kerry O’Connor’s prompt to write a flowery poem in an unflowery or uncliched way–this is rather flowery and rather a cliche, I’m afraid–but in writing it,  I was also thinking of Hedgewitch’s cascade prompt–a poem with repeating lines.  Repeating lines were too much for me, but this repeats words!

Essentially, I am saying that I cheated on both prompts, but since I use two–perhaps it adds up to one submission.  (The drawing like the poem is mine; I’m not much good at hands; still, all rights reserved.) 



January 23, 2015



We move at nights as if through sliding sands,
hands cupped.  They’re true sands of a sort–time’s grains,
brain’s siftings–what shifts down from the dreams we man,
woman.  We’re close, yet sleep’s a lonely lane,
feigns, only, a residing populace.

You kiss me back, when I kiss you, surfacing,
pacing contact like swimmers pace the turn,
churn, of head, the breaths in crawl’s spacing,
hastening–but slowly (for in these dunes,
moon’s dominions, all snails glue-footed)–to sink,
unthink, unlink, ourselves, slipping down,
‘round, into, oblivion’s sole skin.

Gingerly, we reach–when self once more floats up
cup-palmed–to catch, to hold–but soft– but softly–touch.


Here’s a sort of sonnet, inspired originally by the wonderful chained-rhyme Scrimshaw Sonnet, of Hedgewitch, Joy Anne Jones.  I am posting it also for dVerse Poets Pub Prompt, by the inimitable Brian Miller (!), called “breaking and entering” about using a form but also breaking the form.  In this case, I’ve used very poor slant rhyme at times, and there’s at least an extra foot or two in the last line!  Plus I’ve broken up the sonnet in an odd place–after the fifth line, rather than sixth or eighth.

This poem has gone through vastly different iterations.  The places that rhyme leads you are always quite surprising to me–and a few changes of words can and did lead to extremely different poems.  I’m not sure any of them quite say what I wanted!  Still, I rather enjoy following rhyme’s lead–it releases the mind from certain types of decision-making in a way that is quite freeing.  

I am actually posting this from an airplane–a long flight–so I am way too cramped to make a new drawing and re-did this pic I had saved.   I am not sure that the above really works–it’s supposed to be a couple lying down in bed!  (Perhaps moving through sand?) 

In the Soup

January 20, 2015


In the Soup

The soup at the mouth of the river
is–broadly speaking–vegetable,
despite its heavy oil content,
(not fish chowder, not

The ocean at the underside of the plastic wrap
has not preserved
its freshness.

Whales within range
of sonar waves
swim like the punch drunk
if the punch drunk were puppet-strung
to fall up.

Whales, falling up, surface
too fast; fail.

Even whales that get down again
after their falls up,
face failing.
A swallow
of plastic wrap
is a surfeit
for a whale.

The soup at the mouth of
the river
is like one of those dishes
made of leftovers that, constantly added to,
never diminishes–
octane a la king
heavy metal tettrazini
nitrate roulade
petro-chili goulash bisque
(sometimes with rice).

There are ever more buckets
of it, tons
and megatons.

Maybe as many
as there are drops
of plastic-wrapped

Certainly more
than tears shed
for dead whales.


Here’s another sort of drafty poem riffing on Kerry O’ Connor’s prompt to use a book title for a poem; I am posting this one for the Real Toads Open Forum.  The photo, modified by me, is subject to a common use license–originally made by Whit Wells (Wwells14). 

The Winter of Dreaming Bears

January 18, 2015


The Winter of Dreaming Bears

It began with grubs,
which the bears felt, instinctively,
were the hub
of the universe.

Bears always dream at least a little
of grubs,
but this was a winter of
false starts, faked ends,
and the slips from freeze to thaw,
from thaw to bone
the drips that sharpened into ice picks, then melted
to mud-dulled pools, unmanacled
the bears from their annual
mummification, nudged them
into a snail’s swim, where their ursine minds churned,
overturning remembered stones, snouts
salivating, paws miming a scratch
for those whose burrows they could surely feel
in their fur.

While the grubs, also disturbed
by the fits and starts of
damp, stayed far
from bear furrows, funneled deep
into earth and root–though neither did these sleep,
as trees upended by wind and mud mooned
the mountainsides, discs of rootball
sheared—moving the grubs, in a mote
of wriggle, to dream too,

Only the grubs–they dreamed
of the dead; a corpse–be it rotted wood
or bird or mammal–a kind of copse to them, their homeland, godhead,
creating Brahma–

And the dead–what did they dream of?
They will not say; we can’t
surmise–only that when we walk the laced snow pierced
by persistent grasses,
under a sky heavy with new powder turning
to sleet, we like to believe that their sleep
envelopes us, that we too animate
their wintering subconsciousness,

for the dreams of bears do not only
house grubs, the hub
of their universe,
but apples whose rounds shine nearly
within their reach, skies that stretch beyond it;
the dreams of bears smelling
of stars and musk, desire and
bared earth, the dreams of bears,
like so many, following the steps
of a dark, warm, gambol.


A freshly written poem (I’ll call it a draft of sorts only because it’s quite new and I’m still editing it) for Kerry O’Connor’s wonderful prompt on With Real Toads to write a version of a chosen title.  In this case, the title I used was The ________ of Dreaming _________ (from The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moer.) (I’m afraid to confess I haven’t read the book.) 

The watercolor above is by Jason Martin.  (Unfortunately, my reproduction of it is a little askew, but it’s a very cool painting.)  

PS I have edited since first posting. 


No Person An Island

January 17, 2015


No Person An Island

Secrete, he said,
and I, not hearing right or not
understanding, said, maybe–
if it were once more March and
flowers murmured their bright ahs up
to the sea-mirrored sky,
but he said, no, hide it–
in your pocket-

and, if, I went on heedlessly, mosaic dolphins
still rocketed off
the lintels of Minos’s palace,
their blue amphorae for
that glow that echoes
about well walls or the curve
of a cenote.

But no, he said, that’s not–
while Japanese tourists smiled
at their cameras’ gaze, lenses aimed
towards the poppied fields, and not
the Ionic
(an iconic blossom, red,
posed at the ear).

Seriously, he said,
as I followed the remnant cobbles
of an excavated maze, a lover who didn’t
much love me, the muscle-buried column of
his spine, sheets footed from
their moorings, creased waves below
the window frame–

until you, this guy here speaking, said
this guy who never even pretended
to love me,
this guy marooned
in my wax-winged brain,
until you, this guy with no fingers for thread, said,
you, he said,
are impossible–

and though that seemed, just then,
so much better
than being possible, so much fresher
and bluer and bigger than all that knotted silence might secure
(the linted grey of the meaninglessly
coveted, the stowed un-
examined), I did not


Here’s a strange sort of drafty poem, very belatedly written for Abhra Pal’s prompt on dVerse Poets Pub to write about a secret (not told).  Minos’ temple is on the northern coast of the Island of Crete, at Knossos, with beautiful mosaics of dolphins.  (That’s a doctored photo above.)   (PS–sorry for my lateness in visiting commenters on latest posts–will have a little more time today.) 

Just Ten (Twice)

January 16, 2015


Just Ten (Twice)  (Not Including Titles–Ha!)

Dizzy With It

Headache slings hammock
between closed eyes, tries
to slow swing.


Writing Technique

One way to hold a pen–
as a life raft–


Two ten word poems for Victoria Slotto’s prompt (and Brian Miller’s ten word form) at dVerse Poets pub.

Not Pulling It Over Anyone’s Eyes Here

January 15, 2015

Brrr….. (Note that wool socks are not being worn)

Not Pulling It Over Anyone’s Eyes Here

The cold is truly fine for those
with knitted wool upon their toes.
Silk liners make it even finer–
(forget your cottons, hose nyloner).
Wool underwear’s another must
over your bum and on your bust.
And sweaters–wool again, my dear–
else the cloth of some clove-footed peer–
a goat, alpaca, maybe yak–
(frizzy fuzz from someone’s back).
More wool or fleece to wrap your legs
or down, if on bent knee each begs–
(for down, oh down, I rank it highest,
though perhaps it’s best when cold is dryest–)

Picture your bod as princess pea–
your layers multi-mattressy
(not only are you safe from freeze,
your limbs will also bounce off trees).
Though novices claim itchy pain,
wool never hardly shows a stain,
so you can scratch that same long john
without a break all winter long,
unless, of course, you’ve got the heat
of someone else beneath your sheet.
Oh sure, sometimes space can get tight,
the two of you may even fight,
but a cure for any winter schism
is the other’s high metabolism,
keeping far the bitter cold
just as well as weave from 
sheepish fold.


Here’s a sort of poem for Fireblossom (Shay’s Word Garden) Friday on With Real Toads to write about winter.  I realize that, as a vegetarian, I neglected to extoll the virtues of fur–I’m not really in favor of new fur (given my sense of how it’s produced), but if you can find something old and long ago taken, it is also pretty darn warm. 

The picture is an old drawing of Pearl, also now gone.  I alway tried to persuade her of the virtues of wool, but perhaps being a lamb in wolf’s clothing–or the reverse–she was wary of it.