Archive for August 2015

Old-Style Ditty

August 31, 2015


Old-Style Ditty

Her hair was black as any curse
and though she’d ride fast as wind,
darkness heavy as a hearse
tailed her close as man trails sin.

His heart was like a lilting song
that learns itself on others’ lips.
But when she sang, the tune turned wrong
and clung like wings unto her hips.

But these were wings that had been heart,
wings that once had flown him high,
now flesh was turned to gossamer,
and clotted earth cut off from sky.

For clay he was and clay he’d be
for the rest of all eternity,
while she with hair as black as tar
flew with the loft of his lost star.




A little ditty written with a book of “1000 Years of Irish Poetry” used as a source for prompts.  (Not meaning to cast any aspersions on the Irish or the poetry!)  Will likely link to Real Toads Open Platform. 

The Last Supper (Four Courses)

August 29, 2015


Warning!  (Ha!)  Four draft poems below for Corey Rowley’s (Herotomost’s) prompt on With Real Toads to write about a last supper.  Please feel free to read one or more!  Thanks!


Last Supper

We no more will be eating
when we slip into that night.
No, then we will be feeding
those still fueled by light–

the grass that curls,
the grubs that pearl,
whatever sups on ash–
We’ll take them where they might be bound
until their past too seeds the ground

and together there we’ll lime the corn,
not waiting for what next is born;
for we’ll know not wait nor want alike,
when we are eaten by that night.



The Last Supper

Before the restoration
the fresco barely lingered on the wall
like the last taste of broth
in a bowl,
its drawing as fine
as the shadow of hair stranded
along a temple,

worn by that water
that walks everywhere on air
for years and years and

a wear that wore the pigment
to aura, washed it with
such seeming beatitude, that we never even thought
of how people truly sit
around tables, or of a man working with
wet plaster, egg, the glue
of a rabbit skin, his own
bread, wine–


No More Roving of a Sort  (After George Gordon, Lord Byron)

So, we’ll no more go out eating
so late into the night
though the heart be still as hungry
and the street lights still as bright.

For a child at home’s asleeping–
at least we’ve put her thrice to crib–
and she’s now too big for squeezing
‘twixt the table and our ribs.

So, tho’ waiters’ feet be fleeting
as they promise service soon
we’ll no more go out eating,
beneath the bistro’d moon.

Last Supper

He stopped eating several months
before death
as if his mouth could only manage

“But you love tomato soup–”
“Don’t tell me that egg’s
not soft enough–”
“Come on, it’s getting

Sometimes his chin would swell
with the tight clamp of lips,
skin shiny as its own lamp,
as if, like a kid, he wouldn’t,
when he couldn’t–

for the person inside
wanted to live, certainly,
not so much for himself,
as for the one re-heating
the soup.



Special thanks to all who got to the bottom of this post! The painting is by Leonardo da Vinci, a fresco of the last supper–this pic, pre-restoration; no copyright intended of photograph whose source is unknown to me.  k. 



To You, Who Likes William Carlos Williams

August 25, 2015


To you, who likes William Carlos Williams and other Imagists–
One Way (of Undoubtedly Many)
That I Am Different From Them

I can’t write simply
about a red wheel barrow, glazed
with rain, and the plain so-much
that depends upon it.

Too much is appended to
my red wheel barrow.
Though its front tire is uninflatably flat,

it still carts
a chimera, shaped, while you protest
the extra effort required in
my lurching slog, by your endless searches
for the right tool, pot lid that
fits tight, true fix

while I’m fixated on moving
damp leaf mulch right
this minute.

And, in its undelayed but belaying veer
to its rain-glazed side,
may be found my pride
in poor but immediate equipage, my age-old
reliance on a single
serrated knife, pot metal spoon, whatever tilting top
or melt-handled spatula
comes to hand.

All this and more bellies
its red basin–the scratches already
on my new camera, your attention
to socks, and–yes, I know of it–your secret seasoning
of my cast iron–

huff-puff being the thing itself for me,
while you, who urge the purchase soon
of some new barrow, possibly blue,
then, as if much depended upon it,
put another shoulder to
the wheels.


Agh! Drafty sort of poem for Kerry O’Connor’s Prompt on William Carlos Williams that was part of Margaret Bednar’s Real Toads “Play it Again, Sam.”  I am linking on Real Toads Open Platform.   (Based on Williams’ poem about “The Red Wheelbarrow.

I know the pic doesn’t exactly fit, but am not in a situation to put in a better.  And I rather like the poor weeding elephant.  Thanks! k.


August 21, 2015

Photo by Douglas Salisbury


As I swam out one evening
breaststroking a mountain pond,
the green sigh of the water
was deeper than any sound

that I had heard that whole long day
and deeper yet again
than I had heard the rain-drummed night
before that day began.

The water did not whisper,
we did not talk at all–
but it returned each every stroke
along my short and tall.

It pressed against each wrinkle,
caressed both swell and crack,
swallowed me within its float–
oh how I loved it back.

And up against the apron
space wears when being sky,
a slivered moon shone like a chance,
I thought had passed me by.

I swam out one evening
after a so long day,
and where I came to shore again
is nought that I will say.

Here’s a very drafty poem for Susie Clevenger’s ( prompt on Real Toads based on the photography of Douglas Salisbury at Moments Captured Photography.


August 16, 2015




Time–she had a stitch or nine,
because she ran so hard and fast;
it sewed itself along her sweep
until she slowed her pace at last;

and all of us who tie our shoes
and dash our morning faces wake,
slippered into sudden sigh,
though carapace began to shake–

By that, I mean our peanut shells
so welded by centripety,
their brittle case won’t whittle down
even under battery

(though we don’t batter much our shells
for arms are thoraxed tight within
and Time’s bright gait so blurs our view
we miss the spinning at our end.)

But as Time slowed, if for scant breaths,
the dervish dance cast by her draft
unspooled and drooped, and feet adrift,
we swayed, then lurched, as on a raft

that washed up from a sea of notion–
each own’s idea of what this ocean
of floating storm is made up of,
this life we row, this row we motion–

Next landed on a slant shore’s sands
and while Time’s hands massaged her side,
we, creatures of a patterned beat,
assayed a waltz through lapping tide–

Soon enough, Time ran again,
with seams unstitched and hands a’scissored–
in her upswings how we whirred,
and at her strokes, how quivered, quivered.

A draft poem of sorts–meaning freshly written and little edited for my own prompt on Time on With Real Toads.   The drawing is an old one, not perfect for this poem,  but my laziness makes me a believer in recycling–


From a Crawlspace

August 14, 2015


From a Crawlspace

Dear Mom (she wrote),
I worry when I don’t see you,
and when I see you,
I worry you do not
see me.

Our tragedy.

Trying to please the other,
as if the other
were the mother–

And you, winded and wound
are now pleased
by nearly all–

while I’m still wound
up, beached
in some gone breach–
the caked dust at the roots
of your window, the viscous air
we swam through
room to room, the much-vacuumed
carpet, its green closer
to a uniform at war
than a blade
of grass–

Why can I not get past
the so long past?
grasp what is nearly over–
understand it’s time, in time.

dear mom (she wrote), dear mother–


A draft poem of sorts for Izy’s Out of Standard on “Pigeon Superstition” on With Real Toads.  Note that all poems are not autobiographical! This is an odd one for the prompt.

The pic is mine, done on a paper tablecloth at a restaurant (bar!)



August 12, 2015



The sky is grey on white on robin’s egg
this late leg
of the day,
soon to be pale
over moon–
or you could call the clouds a veil,  I suppose,
its net unrolled
in crimped folds
from a pillbox hat,

but what I’m really trying to get at
under this cloud cover
is that some day we all will filter
through grey to robin’s egg
whether as ash
or mist over humefying soil,
our bones toiling to net
a resemblance in the air
to what stars let down
when stars let down
their hair–

Only, there is nothing I can say
except, sincerely, not you
not yet,
which brings me also to the plea,
not me


Draft poem for Real Toads Open Platform.  The pic is taken from the Metro North train line, along the Hudson River.  All rights reserved. 




August 11, 2015

IMG_1839 - Version 2


The rains that show
the planes in the air
before they’re fielded by
our windshield.

The rains that exchange the traffic lights
for gems in a dangled stream bed.

The rains that weep in our hearts in French,
the rains that sweep multilingually
through towns, cities, burgs.

The rains that surge, the rains that
soften, the rains that waft
what floats, the rains that sink
what lingers,
the rains that batter roofs,
the rains
that do not behoove
the homeless.

The rains that loam tar,
the rains that just are,
even long after
their downfall.

The rains we cannot name
at first, the blip/drip upon our

the rains that propel us
through their pelt,
the silver-fur we shake,
wet through–

The rains that wash,
the rains that wash away,
the rains gulped in gouts,
the rains that seep into
pressed mouths.

The grey rains we’ve heard of, we say
we will never forget,
the grey rains that burden us, whose remembrance
we neglect,
the rains that do not wash
but wash

The rains that do not come
though much prayed for, the rains

that will not stop, the rains that mists-defy–

The rains that are so very different from coins
showering, the rains we catch on our fingertips, but that slip
through our cupped hands, the rains that make flesh shine
if given the chance, dancing.



Very much a draft I-don’t-know-what for Real Toads Open Platform, hosted by Kerry O’Connor.   Both pics are mine; as with the poem, all rights reserved. 

This has been edited since first posting. 



Certain Sounds in a Place of Mountains, Stream, Pond–

August 9, 2015

DSC00534 - Version 2

Certain Sounds in a Place of Mountains, Stream, Pond–

The murmur of a stream too far to be sure
we hear it,
the murmur of frogs exchanging night
in deep-throated gulps that would seem rude
if they were not frogs, all throat
but for eyes/legs–

the murmur of our own legs,
the murmur of the sheet that is
their night,
the murmur of stretch and fold, and the murmur
of knees meeting,
the caps of mine cupped
by the backs of yours,
or your caps cupped
by mine.

The murmur that is purple, truly mauve (neoned)
that is the shade sheets make of night
about our knees,
the murmur of sweat needing
to bead and sweat beading
and the murmur of the weave of those beads, the braiding
of limbs
and intention–

the murmur of your mouth, silent,
the murmur of mine, not,

the murmur we can hardly hear
for the thrummed beading,
the murmur of the heart’s throat beating,
the murmur of the cold night air

the murmur of eyes that know me, yet each time find me new,
the hush of mine not quite believing what you find,
the murmur of the heart that hushes
even as it does believe,
the murmur of the stream.



A poem of sorts written for Grace’s (everyday amazin‘) prompt on Real Toads to write something inspired by an Australian poet, Judith Wright.  I was thinking of Wright’s poem “Woman to Man,” but honestly, I feel like this could be Woman to Woman or Man to Man, so did not want to use that title.  

The pic is a photograph of a small watercolor piece made by my husband, Jason Martin, of a nearby stream with trout.

An Authority on These Things

August 8, 2015


An Authority on These Things

Be petty in
your enjoyments–
no breath too trivial,
to be now’s all–

Ask your death,
perched so unlike
Poe’s raven–always,
in your little-bit-more–
not on a dark mantel
but as a dark mantle,
collaring the shine
in your forehead,
(though you keep yourself careless
of its close fold)–

ask it–that, that contains
the shine in you, where
your light
should be cast–

If you take the trouble,
turn to your death,
you will not long wait
a reply–


Very much a draft poem posted very belatedly for Margaret Bednar’s post on vases on With Real Toads.  The photo was taken by Margaret Bednar at the Brooklyn Museum and all rights belong to Margaret.