Archive for January 2016

Here’s The Thing About the Brain

January 31, 2016


Here’s The Thing About the Brain

Here’s the thing about the brain–
it gives you no free lunch;
sorrow’s bunched
with the teeming new–askew,
but there it mews,
and when, and after,
you pull out this, that and the other,
it spins from under cover,
and you, who have opened every fence
to let in the green you’ve culled,
are pulled
into some corded stem,
that knows in all its DNA
the lay of primordial muck,
but has not yet learned
to crawl.

Draft poem just because (without a prompt.)  Pic is an old one of mine. 

Night Mare

January 30, 2016


Night Mare

As I age, what the night mare carries
on her broad black back
is more often grief
than fear,
joys foregone rather than horrors
to come,
friends who never reached
their rightful ends,
the loved who had to leave,
with no more days
tucked up a sleeve, not even
a sleeve,

and I, who walk this earth
that mounds around them, weep
by the darkest side
of that night horse.
I cannot, in the remorse of here
even lean into her warm hide, cannot breathe the balm
of hard-run sweat, yet bending past

my divide, she nuzzles me; she
snorts, resettling her hooves
in sound sparks whose ring against the doved rise
of my winding sheet is so surprising
that I am able to turn, at last,
to the warmth,
in the way a tree might turn
when the wind winds down,

and apologize to those
who have gone.

But if they reply, I do not hear them
for those beats as the mare
moves on,
for those beats
as the mare
moves on.


Poem for Bjorn Rutberg’s prompt on With Real Toads to write something on the theme of nightmare.  This pic is a recycled one of mine;  Bjorn also suggested using a painting or drawing of Francesco Goya.  I love love Goya, but confess to having written this poem before choosing the picture, as I could hardly bare the grimness today (so I’m not sure the pic really fits, as I am thinking of rather a more benign horse.) 

This poem has been slightly edited since first posting; and probably will be edited again!  


Keyhole (At Some Time in Many Lives)

January 29, 2016

Keyhole (At Some Time in Many Lives)

the blur eddies
around a single truth
like a broken tooth

the well of the cavity
in its vacuum roar yelling (silently)
that he doesn’t love you–
or, he loves you
but just not that much–

your tongue longs to touch
the sore place, to explore
the rutted prongs, the darts
of the anti-Cupid

until the pain becomes
a habit–
you chew
around it, breath
in one-sided whistle, and yet
the tongue probes, sometimes
his, both avoiding and relishing
the quick
of naked nerve–

the pain is not your friend, no, not
your lover,
but at least a reliable
companion, one
who always shows up,
stays the night through,
eats breakfast with you–


Draft poem for Susie Clevenger’s prompt on Real Toads to write something inspired by the idea of a keyhole.  I’m sorry if I’ve missed returning any comments– a busy few days, but will catch up.  

The above is a picture I took at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York of a piece in their permanent collection;  unfortunately, I do not know the name of original photographer (though I’m guessing from the age of the photograph that it may not be under copyright.)  I will certainly take down upon request from copyright holder. 

Listening With You Tonight to a Mozart Sonata

January 26, 2016

 Listening With You Tonight to a Mozart Sonata Somehow Makes Me Think of When I was Very Young

I am minded
of the bell metaled gleam that welled
those so-gold-that-they-
were-purple cups
at Patty and Susie’s–the important

the pale smell of mown lawn, greened

the scree
of yet another hill whose slippery stones
one managed (racing) to climb

when one was me and
you weren’t even you yet–my you–

unknown, but loved,
with every gilded swallow
and step-found stone–

in the way this run grows into
this other run
as symmetry turns
towards the sun;

in the way that blue rests.


Very much of a draft poem, posted for With Real Toads Open Platform. 

Just Might Be Too Small To Keep (Twitter Poems)

January 24, 2016

In my Head (Walking)

Minnows school the road shoulder
I see the bright fins at last
for what they are
seedpods sown
by the wind winnowing
this neck
of the woods


Aging Parent

Some of the gone
a gift-
her best friend’s grandson killed,
her immediate
drive over,
the question for years after
but what
could I do?



Twitter poems!  (Of softs.)  140 characters w/spaces (but not titles!  Yes, cheated.)  Tor Mama Zen’s twitter prompt, hosted by Kerry O’Connor, on Real Toads.  

A note re pic and seed pod poem.  I thought about this image months ago when the seed pods were considerably brighter.  I only took the picture today when they are rather dessicated, so the pic doesn’t give a true idea of what I am getting at here, I’m afraid. 

Space Oddity (Poem of Sorts)

January 22, 2016

Space Oddity

When I was a child and learned that astronauts, in training, were spun around and around, I knew that I, who could hardly manage the back seat of a car, was not bound for space.

Though I never really wanted to be an astronaut.  What I wanted
was to be an astronomer.

I’d read of a woman astronomer so it seemed like something
a girl could be, though she (Maria Mitchell) was born in Nan
tucket, which the book (whose cover showed a night sky over
a peter pan collar) said was near Martha’s
Vineyard, so I worried that maybe
you needed to come from a place somehow devoted
to women, while my suburb was named
for oxen.

Astronomy a leap anyway since I could only see anything at all
through my child’s telescope
if I flattened one hand over the eye that did not look
through the tube,
which was awkward lying down on the sidewalk in front of
my house, one hand propping up
the seeing side, the other, blinding.

But here’s the thing: we are women;
we make up nearly half
of all humans, though that figure may be lessening due
to the killings, and we raise
so many propping hands, and so many covering hands that it seems
we are all hands–
and still (or, maybe, as a result),
we sometimes get so low, we wish we could just use those hands
to cut ourselves
out of the whole picture,
just be the paper dolls they (and we) make of us,
to be swooped (flatly) as a voice affecting squeakiness squeals,
I’m flying.  

But what we also know is this
(when we do look far away):
there is no blue more beautiful than
the seas seen
from beyond the sky;
no brown more profound than land where
it’s only pull,
and, here we are, women–and okay, some men too–our own
softly swirled planets, with our own land masses of bone
and gland and tissue, our own cartilaginous
tributaries, arms that hold,
about our equators, or up near our
North Poles, those beautiful puffs of cloud and ray
we get to call, briefly, our own (whatever it is
we love and hold)

and oh
how we love you earth,
even from this still
second-class berth, where so many yet
are hardly granted space;

even in
this birth.

Sorry sorry sorry for the length–a discursive draft poem for Izy Gruye’s prompt on Real Toads to write something influenced by David Bowie.

Fee Fie

January 20, 2016


Fee Fie

Fee Fie Foe Fum
I smell the blood
in clock’s tocked hum.

I wish I may I wish I might
be myself
before this night.

Georgie Porgie puddin’ pie–
cross my heart–even these
will die–

Yet we, nimble, play at quick,
yet betray
our candlestick

as if it twinkled like a star
seen post-mortem
from afar.

But Time’s the old King Col(d) of all;
Time makes us roll uphill
that ball

of rock and string, of rubber band,
through slipping, sliding, shifting

and if we let the knave of tarts
steal away our
unclean hearts

then e’en before we tumble down
we’re jacking up
a broken crown.

So, let us please be quite contrary,
not shells of others’

and gather rosebuds, though they be thorned
about our own skins, though they’re torn–


Drafty poem for Real Toads Open Platform.  Pic is mine, all rights reserved for it (as well as draft poem.) 

Bullet Points (From Mars)

January 17, 2016


Bullet Points (From Mars)

Bullet hole eyes
blanks espied.
Bullet rip mouth
lips unhoused.
Bullets gutting
stinks rutting.
Bullets split
limbs spilt.

Belly swells
bullet’s well.
Cratered head
the body’s own
red planet.

For my own prompt on With Real Toads to write of something real, with artifice, if possible influenced by Picasso.  In this case, very influenced by Picasso’s WWII sculptures seen at the ongoing MOMA show. 


Arriving in the Country First Time That Summer (alone with kids)

January 16, 2016

DSC01175Arriving in the Country First Time That Summer
(alone with kids)

We lay outside
even as night fell
and this was kale
for my whole life–something

the sky turning deep greens
to violet,
the way that summer evenings are
inviolate, an inked imprint of yes,
I voted for this–

I may have even
read aloud a teeny bit, squinting,
as we drank last year’s lemonade–all that was left
in the freezer, and
ate, delightedly, popcorn made from a jar found
in the pantry, a bottle bobbing
at sea–

Not even that dusk’s aura ever
actually leaves–our blanket, a comforter (you know, stitched)–
and big enough (you two knit
to my sides),
to fit the smocking
of stars above,
to shield us
from the blades

which felt so cold
to our bare feet, when, at last,
we ran in through the
long dewed grass,
though we laughed, laughed–

A poem for my own prompt on Real Toads about something real (expressed with some artifice); the pic is of a sculpture by Picasso from the show currently at MOMA; I do not know the title, photo by me. 

Without Nine Lives

January 10, 2016


Without Nine Lives

When I think of a child
being killed,
I think of how a child feels
when a cat is run over,
of a chest too small
for its grief, of a small chest tight
with disbelief–

I make no parallel between the deaths
of child and cat, I am talking about how the child

how he or she wonders what kind of world
could let a cat
be run over,
and whether that cat will go
to heaven and whether some day
(picturing clouds)
he or she will see
the cat there.

Maybe the child will even write a story
about the cat, the way its markings made it look
like a pirate, and how its fur could sometimes give off a spark aside
the softness, its slide
about everyone’s pants’ legs, and
the pink black white brown yellow
of its impossible

Only when the child reads aloud
the story, the page rumpled in the way of a sea seen
from a cloud,
the part about the cat being run over
will crowd
his or her throat, though
the words are short words, words that fit into
a small palm, and he or she will hand
the rifled page to us, we who already know
what kind of world, saying,
you read. 


Draftish poem written for no reason other than that I have been thinking a lot about gun issues since Obama’s announcement of his executive orders (basically an effort to enforce existing laws.)  I will probably link to Real Toads Open Platform.