Archive for January 2016

Islands, between the Lanes

January 10, 2016


Islands, between the Lanes

She never considered the cold
of a collide,
not having had much to do
with car hoods;
thoughts passed mainly
in swerve anyway, uncurbed swirls
of blue air, splayed hair,
cracked refractions of jacket, taxi–

and though the islands between the lanes
were not writ in hieroglyphics, she understood well enough
that their rubbed cobbles
were cliffs–

and that she could–would, if she could–
fall off,
and whether what bade her stay
was the light
or what wasn’t light at all,
but, rather, that tunnel that she carried
at her neck, as heavy as mounded earth
and a long dark hole can be, she couldn’t say–
only that it was some kind of training
in either light or darkness
that allowed her to stand in those places,
during that time,
waiting for something
to change–

Draft poem for Brendan’s great prompt on With Real Toads on immrama; island hopping of a kind. 

What They Expected (thinking of Sandy Hook After Obama’s Speech 1/5/16)

January 6, 2016


What They Expected
(thinking of Sandy Hook After Obama’s Speech 1/5/16)

to hold a pencil
(which is actually kind of hard
to get right)
to learn to type

to stand in line,
maybe leaning a little–okay, super-a lot
maybe on
their best friend–
it was a joke!

to eat lunch stalked only
by the smell
of ketchup,
maybe too of milk, maybe even
chocolate milk.

to do a bunch of stuff
and again
and again
to get really good at it.


A draft poem for Real Toads Open Platform hosted by Kerry O’Connor.   This has been edited slightly since first posting.

Indian Wrestlers, So the Clay

January 3, 2016

Indian Wrestlers – So, the Clay

one to the other:
who will win today?
the man who makes the bets–
no, the man
who takes the bets
and though it knows
they’re but dough
to those men–spittle and small
acumen, ghee and
out the pit, each
peoples parts, bruise
and broken nose, hearts
rib-caged, eyes, I’s.



Another 55, rather a draft, for Kerry O’ Connor’s prompt on Real Toads to use a photo from the 2015 National Geographic contest; the above taken by Alain Schroeder in Maharashtra, India, of Kushti wrestlers. 



January 3, 2016



The browns of the grasses brown
as the peaches of the sky peach, in patches,
as if the morning had decided to mix it up
in order to help some Dutch landscape painter,
only this land more
the neverlands (like all land),
not outstretched to fit frames,
color schemes;
colder today,
fresh snow.



A little 55 for Kerry’s prompt on Real Toads.  This one to my own photo of the beautiful Catskill Mountains, upstate New York. 

Loss (And Thinking of Whitman Maybe) 55 x 3

January 2, 2016


Here is what some might find an interesting exercise, and others, not so much.  (Sorry.)  I post below three versions of a 55 word poem.    Please feel free to read one or all (or none!) 

They seem different lengths because in one I am using the title to get to 55 words and in the other two I am excluding the title.   I am posting this for the 55 word poem prompt by the wonderful Kerry O’ Connor at Real Toads.  (And, of course, in honor of the much missed G-Man, Galen Haynes.)


Loss (Thinking of Whitman Maybe)

Loss is planted
It is sown
with our bare feet;
it is sown with our
boxed feet;
it is sown by the foot that extends
over the pyre, the last
to come to ash.
It grows at first
as grass; we don’t realize, walking,
how it tiptoes below.




Thinking of Whitman Maybe

Loss is planted
It is sown
with our bare feet;
sown with our
boxed feet;
sown by the foot that extends
beyond the pyre, last
to come to ash.

It grows at first
as grass;
we don’t realize, walking,
how it tiptoes below,
parrying the blows of breeze,
bursts of sun, clouds’ knees.




Loss (and Thinking of Whitman, Maybe)

Loss is planted
sown by bare foot
sown by boxed
sown by that foot that’s coaxed last
to ash, that stretches beyond
the pyre.

It aspires
to be grass, the greens and blues
and greys of new mown
days; as we walk it carries below
blown breezes on tiptoe,
with clouds’ knees, snow.



Thanks to those who got to the end!  And apologies for any sense of  burden.  Thoughts welcome. 

PS photo is mine. 





From Leda’s Cousin, Marcelle (Writing of Things Past)

January 1, 2016

From Leda’s Cousin, Marcelle (Writing of
Things Past)

Swan, it turned out,
was not the same
as swain
and it was a good thing she’d first pressed just
a caress, meaning that only her thumb
(still screaming inside) was bandaged
and that the ER had believed her story
about the bread.

But now her head (read, heart) ached so–
not because she was grandiose
but because she was, let’s call it, scientific, her curiosity
terrific, and also, well,
at everyone who’d said that Leda’d lied,
that she’d just lain beside, you know,
some fellow–

And because she was also–and this feeling barely
made itself known, though its sound would not
be drowned,

for the fervor of
the not-so-much male–who could honestly tell
with a swan?
a being that, unlike a man, would understand
the trick of not
clipping wings,
the slickness
of fomented flutter, the feathering of
her breast–

But swans were not, it seemed, the way–
and holding her sore hand,
she knew she’d need
no further


A second and rather lighter approach to Shay, Fireblossom’s, prompt on Real Toads to write a response to a painting by Gerda Wegener.  I confess that there was a particular Wegener painting of girl amusing or amused by a swan that I was thinking of, but I had a very hard time uploading it to my blog, and thought maybe I better stick, in any case, to a different Wegener image–the beautiful one above.  Copyright may exist on the image–I will take down immediately on request.