Archive for June 2015

Ode to A Rock (On a Bedside Table)

June 20, 2015

Ode to a Rock (on a Bedside Table)

You’re heavier than
your grey,
and so rounded
you’d pass for a stone
if rolled some way.

And I (meaning me)
could use you, my husband says one night,
to throw at the forehead of
a gunman, knock
him out.

This casts you
in a somewhat different light–
no longer an oversized bite
of forest floor, something to hold open
a door,
but a possible means of deliverance
like the rock rolled away
from the tomb.
Only not.

For I’m not sure gunmen are swayed
by rocks, certainly not rocks
of faith, ages–

Hard to understand
even when your heft
weighs down my hand
that you will outlast its flesh–
that all our individual flash
will transmute to dust, ash,
while the wind still feeds on you–

So, life seems to pass faster
than a speeding bullet for some,
while for others, it is taken away
at exactly
that pace–

A draftish poem of sorts for my own prompt on Real Toads to make an ode to something relatively quotidian.  This one, of course, is very influenced by the horrible tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina, this past week, at the Emmanuel African Methodist Church. 

I’ve edited this since first posted, as the end didn’t quite get across the meaning I was aiming for.  Thanks. k. 

Picture of (add music)

June 18, 2015



A not-haiku inspired by Shay (Fireblossom’s) prompt on with real toads to write a poem beginning with the words “Picture of”, and also by one of my favorite songs.  (And beverages.)

All rights reserved.

ps – the pics were all uploaded from my iPhone–they may not show up in full on some brewers; just click on pic to see (if you wish!)

Giving Thanks (on Train)

June 17, 2015

Giving Thanks (on train)

What has been a day thick
with humidity
blossoms mist
over the Hudson.

Oh, father, why did I never thank you
for the incidental

I do not write here of God–
at least, not mainly, of God, I add,
as I look back out the window
where an archetypal depiction of heaven
halos hills, a godhead’s parting
of cloud by sun over water.

How long he would wait
to drive me home–after school, after
rehearsals–all that seemed
so important–me, who could not stand
to wait–

Do I think of this because the river shines
like a windshield swept by night,
because the train drums the tracks
with the rhythms
of tires’ turn,
or, because the sky, so big at heart,
asks so little of me?

Do it now–give
thanks–and often.
Do it knowing
that the oncoming
has already passed, that in
the endless revolution of then,
no amount of clackety
can take you back.

Do it for the mist
and the missed
and in the midst of all
that you will not
then miss,
you with your eyes
full of sun
and cloud
and water.


Though much revised, this is still very much a draft poem for Real Toads open platform, hosted by the wonderful Kerry O’Connor–

The pics are in fact from my train ride (Metro North) along the Hudson yesterday evening. 

Thinking About Scott Walker in Eleven Haiku

June 14, 2015

Thinking About Scott Walker in Eleven Haiku

Why workers joined?  Locking them in from smoking breaks
was worth their death by fire.

One hundred and twenty-three petticoats; twenty-three shirts–
what a waste–

Some will abase themselves for money.  I’m not talking about

How about I scotch pensions?  Will you give me
one hundred mill?

Chicken farmers are not allowed to balk.  They talk? No
bucks, far worse fowl–

The Company Store kept them in the mines, all spent
before even coughed up.

So.  At least, garment workers crushed in Bangladesh
had the right to work.

Maybe… we degrade education, no one will know enough
to know–

Hey!  Who likes teachers anyhoo?  Says the guy who could never
finished school.

Who can I cut? What can I gut? What hard-fought battle can I

What future can I flush?  And since you’re flush–another
hundred mill, please?


Very much a draft poem for Grace’s prompt on With Real Toads to write something in the style of Marilyn Chin.  This was influenced by a series of one-line haikus she wrote–each of the above 17 syllables. 

Process note, especially for those outside the U.S.:  Scott Walker is a GOP (Republican) candidate for President of the U.S.  His claim to fame as Governor of Wisconsin is breaking down unions and attacking the University of Wisconsin, through budget cuts,targeted attacks on professors (especially it seems those with an environmental outlook)  and attacks on the institution of tenure (though this is actually enshrined in the Wisconsin State constitution.)   He is supposedly the chosen candidate of the Koch Brothers, oil billionaires, who plan to spend hundreds of millions in upcoming elections.  The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in 1911 was a factory fire in New York City which 123 women garment workers and 23 men died largely because they were locked into their factory floors.   

Poultry farming is a big business in the U.S., with actual farmers under the thumb of big corporate chicken producers.  An interesting clip on this subject by Jon Oliver may be found here. 

Composite pic is mine–all rights reserved; no copyright infringement intended in underlying pic. 

Before Ever Hearing of Plato (And Frankly Even After)

June 12, 2015


Before Ever Hearing of Plato (And Frankly Even After)

The time was once upon a
and the place the space
between her bed
and wall, her head
and torso wedged
between box spring and

Can a human being be
the gold ring that is found
in the fish’s belly?
That ring, long lost,
that redeems an all?

The mannerless dust fingered
her nostrils; she sipped the air
as if it were a glass she were forced,
but thrilled, to swallow–

How worried they would be,
if they would
but look for her–
she imagined their alarm,
called it love,

though heard their voices leaf soft
as turning pages down
the hall, the changing of
a channel.

But this is not a poem
about love, there for the looking.
This is a poem about
the love of shadows–how sometimes
all three of your wishes
are to be
the mouth of your own cave–

how pressed against
some wall inside your head,
some time once upon a,
you love that dim,
that flickering,
that dance–how she
certainly did.


A poem, much revised but still, I guess, a draft, for Corey Rowley (Herotomost)’s prompt on With Real Toads to write about something you might think about in a cave.  For some reason I thought of both this scene and Plato’s Cave (from the Republic).  The drawing is mine; all rights reserved for it and poem.  Have a good weekend. 





In An Instant

June 10, 2015

In an instant–

In an instant
all I can remember are the shapes
of his fingers pulled
from the water, digits big
as cigars, and, though they curved
as I caught the arm, sodden under the shirt cuff, streaming
sleeve of suit,
the effect was of someone raising his hand
to ask a question–

I can only think of the one I had been calling out
the long blue minutes before, which still rebounded
about the floating surfaces,  a stone caught
in a single skip–
where are you?

A rather enigmatic poem. 

The pic, such as it is, is mine;  as with the poem, all rights reserved. 


Love In A Sweet Spell

June 8, 2015

Love Poem in a Sweet Spell

He was a prince
among the amenable,
which is to say
she knew where he stood.

More importantly, she also knew
where he lay,
where his head rested,
where his hands roamed,

and that his heart,
for all its fixed lodging–a room at her inn,
room for her within–burned
with a blue-red flame
as if the blood coursing through it
had simply added an “h”
(blood, of all elements
one that is able to spell)
for hearth,


A poem for no prompt but my dear husband’s sweetness.   I will likely link with Real Toads Open Platform.  

Not-Yet-Missed Flight

June 7, 2015

Me, with fellow flyers. Guess who’s who? (Ha!)

Not-Yet-Missed Flight

The knack of flying is throwing yourself at the ground and missing.”
Douglas Adams

I’ve long proved capable
of missing much–
deadlines, typos, you,
a last best chance,
the writing-on-the-wall dance–that diagram
of there
to somewhere
that didn’t look like here–

Yet, here
is where I am,
with only my feet (maybe)
scraping ground, my head increasingly shy
of six feet above–
Could be worse.


Another 55 for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on Real Toads to write a 55 word poem, using a quote from “Brainy Quotes.” 

PS  – I think I was about 5’6″ and a half or so at max;  not sure now!  Pic is mine, all rights reserved. 

You Learn

June 6, 2015

You Learn

You learn, if you’re lucky,
that no ‘happily ever before’
can be forged
from a ‘happily ever after,’ much less
an ‘okay now;’
childhood dance lessons not
retroactively rejectible,
nor will the mirror where hips swiveled
with an inner light.
Oh, heart, that wants its forehead soothed,
you must push
your own bangs back.

A poem that was 55 words first go; I am posting for the Real Toads Flash 55 poem, hosted by the wonderful Kerry O’Connor.  There were supposedly bonus points (ha!) available for using jumping off an aphorism from Daily Quotes, but all the aphorisms here are my own.   As is the drawing.  (All rights reserved.) 


From the Mouth of Irazú Volcano

June 5, 2015



Image by Sony


Image by Sony

From the Mouth of the Irazú Volcano (Costa Rica) Filled with Flower Petals
by McCann, Filmed by Sony  (No Help From Chekhov)

I’d as lief they left
my lava alone.

If I wanted petals,
I’d live under a cherry tree–
hell, I’d live under a whole
cherry orchard.
I’d write plays
of gloomy paralysis,
the intellectual class going

But my harvest
is soot, and my flow glows
even in the eyes of those
wearing little round glasses.

I’ve grown a hole
in this mountain,
filled it
with sky,
limned it
with fire,
rooted it
in rock–charging ahead
to the blossoming of ash
that all cultivate
in the end,
even ad men,
and when I use the word ‘lief’,
it has an I in it.

A rather silly draft poem for the wonderful Susie Clevenger’s prompt on Real Toads about a quite remarkable video made of flower petals dropped in a volcano (the idea to show the high quality of the color of the computer screen.)  All my best wishes to Susie and her family.