Archive for January 2015

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. 

At Night

January 12, 2015


At Night

So, I breathe your chest
the way the Moon breathes
the Sun’s skin, inhaling
one half of the month, exhaling
the rest.

So, I rest upon your breath
the way the Earth rests
in the path of the Moon,
nearly centered.


Here’s another poem that came from the springboard of the prompt of Grace (Everyday Amazing)  on With Real Toads on David Huerta, a Mexican poet.  I am probably linking to With Real Toads Tuesday open forum.  All rights reserved (as always) in drawing and poem. (Yes, I know it’s not much of an elephant!)  

An Older Lady Walking Out In The Teens (Farenheit)

January 11, 2015




An Older Lady Walking Out In The Teens (Farenheit)

Sun masks the cold, sort of.
I think, as I walk out, of a thin blanket
thrown over an elephant in a living room–
you are sure something looms, but can’t quite make out
its toes.

Or maybe the toes are all you’d see–
maybe, in fact, the toes would be all that actually sticks out
from under
that blanket.

All I know is that I keep stepping through the tracks
of feet out here–
the sewing machine stitch of mice (the seams running straight
into our house’s foundation),
the tricorne sloop
of a hare,
the deeper divide of hooves,
and up the snow-blazed hill, the beaded cicatrice
of vole tunnel.

But I am tracking youth and vigor
and so trek slowly down a ravine where only snips
of the sun’s thin blanket (and me) slip
through the firs, and wonder, once I’ve slid down,
how to cross the small stream, how to ford
the ice-rivered gush, whether–even if I manage to edge farther
along the steep–I’ll find a possible pass,
when I notice the imprint of paws marking a path
over the snow-crowded stones
and follow with clumsy boots
the way chosen
by the animal.

Though these are big prints, the cluster of some being distinctly
carnivorous–so even as I follow,
a part of me longs
to turn back, and I hold tightly
to the large stick I use to stake my passage–
happy in its sharp point, its snub wooden muzzle–

The sun blinks both eyes
when I get to field again,
a there where almost any step will do–
and yet I find myself following the tracks still,
those paws whose imprint looks both like a heart
and a brain, a small hive, a huge

wanting not to see the creature
and yet also to spot him–
How is it that we so crave connection
with the wild–we with our cold-toed boots
and our elephants in
the living room–


A draftish poem for Poetry Pantry on Poets’ United.  Note that the pics above are of tracks, but not a close-up of the paw print.  Below are some pics of the tunnels of animals under the snow, and also a bigger stream than the one I crossed–but you get the idea re the freeze–and elephants!  (The fabric a beautiful gift from a family member who kindly brought it for me from a military tour in Afghanistan.)  (All photos are mine, all rights reserved.) 




Prayer (After David Huerta’s Poem of the Same Name)

January 10, 2015


Prayer  (After David Huerta’s Poem of the Same Name)

save this moment.

It opened as if we two were feet
in a coupled walk, bits
of a walked beach–tide, ebb,
sand, wave;
as if our mouths might have sparked the light
of a leading moon–

It began as if beings who are sand and wave met only
in a frisson of foam, a bubbling
of rainbow,
which sounds
so stupid now—

as if waves didn’t crash,
as if sand didn’t flatten harder
than houses,
as if feet could not be buried
in an instant, buried again.

It opened as if we could not be weighted down
then tossed around;
as if neither of us could be drowned
by what spewed from our own throats;
as if we were known to emit waves
of soft sound only, and as if
a moment, any grain of time’s sand,
could withstand
our onslaught–

Lord, who even in this crush
knows found quiet,
who breathes
like the stars in this night
wider than ocean,
stars too far to care
for a glow going out,
and yet lend theirs–

save this moment.


This is very much a draft poem and not about any particular current incident, but I’m sure we all know about moments gone sour!  It was written for Grace’s (Heaven’s) prompt on With Real Toads to write something in the style of David Huerta, a truly wonderful Mexican poet.  My title and first line are taken from Huerta.   

PS –this has been edited since first posting, as I think I was not very clear in the first version, seen by the first six or seven commenters.  (It’s still probably not very clear, but that may be okay.)  

Prompt – That First Vehicle That Gave You Freedom

January 9, 2015


Prompt – That First Vehicle That Gave You Freedom

Sometimes I feel like I never really got away ever.
Someone else has steered the wheel
the whole damn time and I don’t mean
Even though I know the rules
of the road, passed
my drivers’ test.
Even though they–the great big capitalized
They–issued me some kind
of license.

Sometimes, the driver’s a nice person,
if only she wouldn’t constantly look out the window
and yammer,
but sometimes she’s mean as hell, riding
people’s bumpers, scooting by
on the wrong frigging side– then–
just when they get back to their toodle,
slamming (bam) the brakes
with a vagrant squeal
that sounds almost like road kill,
but the one she’s got her gimlet on
sits just there–you know–
in the frozen squash of the vinyl,
not knowing how
to ditch that ride,
hitch another, way too afraid
to open the door even if
she would slow.

But then, sometimes
of a sudden, long and lost,
the car will wander into the desert,
its chrome burnished orange
by buttes that store sunset,
or it will glide by the side
of a sea held level in its glass,
or it will simply lose itself
in the long pitch of horizon
and that bitch of a driver will go
completely away
and yet the car–the car–
will stick right to the road,
moving on.

A poem of sorts (yes, a draft poem) for Herotomost’s prompt on With Real Toads  – “Road Trip,” to write about the first real vehicle that gave you freedom.  (This has been slightly edited since first posting and first comments.)