Archive for March 2016

Of Clay, Maybe Wattles

March 29, 2016

 Of Clay, Maybe Wattles

Some now, one of us will arise and go,
our doughy flesh like paper grown,
rattling before the window’s close,
though the other tries to keep a hold.

But one will have risen, will have gone,
the one behind left holding moan;
might as well corral the moon, the sun,
to stop their rise, their arc’s move on.

In the between we lay us down
where moths tag panes with tapping sounds,
each wing a chip of night that’s found
some light it longs to make its own,

as you are mine and I am yours,
our skins tucked close against the fears,
one’s glow lassoed by the other’s light,
our darknesses clasped, oh so tight.

Here’s a drafty poem written thinking of Yeats’ The Lake Isle of Innisfree but going to a slightly different place,  posted for Real Toads open platform.

My Mother’s Coat Easter

March 27, 2016

My Mother’s Coat Easter

The salmon coat not just
a fish out of water but a stucco of the sun
the son;
I know that my redeemer liveth steepling like
the church roof, our fingers treed
in short gloves white
as sycamores;

salmon only pink in the way that a marigold
is not yellow, a kiss

And, though my mother now heard how
we would stand fleshed
at the end, and where is thy sting
she could not not-believe in that sharp sting, having
felt it–

so that even as the stone rolled away
and her coat leapt high
into the day,
tears steepled–

it was not a morning you could not mourn in

until, child of her flesh,
I took her by our short gloves
to swim the concrete, to roll us through
the clouds and stone, the hyacinthed
jollying her
as if a smooth-keeled boat–

floating till blue too
would pass away, some summer night,
when bared-armed
and fireflied,
something free
would come alive,
warm darknesses
our feet jumping
over waves of purpled grass
as if driven by pure

I write of this
now older than my mother
as if it were only she then
who felt
such sorrow.

A revision of a draft poem posted last year for a prompt by Izy Gruye on Real Toads, that I revised thinking of Easter and the current real toads prompt (from Shay) about a crack, a fissure.   The picture is in fact of a coat of my mother’s. 


Not Really a Magritte Morning – March

March 26, 2016

Not Really a Magritte Morning – March

Frost chicken-scratches
the drive;
flakes feathering stems into found
pipe cleaners, only ceci
n’est pas
une pipe–not in this sea
of spring
where peeps hardly sound,
the downed stars at our feet
as silent as
the wind, only shushing this morning
a mist that does not emanate
from what is not an ember
at hill’s horizon,
lighting what feels
as if it’s never
been seen before: this, that is,
this, that is not–


poem for Real Toads Play It Again Sam, hosted by the wonderful photographer and poet, Margaret Bednar.  In my case, I specifically use a returning prompt by Mary Kling asking one to write of the ordinary.  Frost in the morning?  It’s so beautiful that it is hard to know if it qualifies! 


Ode to Lined Paper

March 23, 2016


Ode to Lined Paper

Oh you blue guided,
oh you straight swayed,
oh you not-wide-dotted
as child’s work/play.

Oh you stretched
for the sinuous (that double-dutchness
of slant loop)–oh you thread
of my tale, you tail
of my thread,
you path
to be read,
you orderly gift to gab, you dignifier
of what sounds stupid solely said–

Oh you road through blinking
deserts, you remembrancer
of sky–


A very draftish poem, meaning just now written, for Real Toads Open Platform.  As one may infer from my little (recycled) drawing, this (like my previous poem, Ode to our Feet) is somewhat influenced by Pablo Neruda’s Ode to my Socks


Ode to Our Feet

March 20, 2016

Gingerbread Feet

Ode to our Feet

Your feet are like slabs of dough
that could be kneaded, folded even in two,
and still would rise back with a little time,
into something between
ciabatta and submarines

that seek mine,
which are like caged birds
with cloths draped over
to get them to sleep–I speak of the socks I must wear
and not our sheets–
and speak of birds not so much
because my feet sing–except sometimes when nosed
by icy submarines–
but of how they twitter inside,
electrically, their too-many bones hooked
to those wires, my feet
being caged,
of how they need a wing to hide their heads,
being also birds,
and of how, being finally feet,
they are wingless,

and I speak too
of how you roll down the socks
and simply hold them
sometimes in the span
of mittening hands,
sometimes in some nest
of rib, some cove
of torso,
knitting a warmth
that wool just can’t
provide, purling from even these
splintered planks, a pooled

and too I speak
of how my poor bony birds feed
on that uncrumbed warmth
cast so sweetly
on these dry waters–


Here’s another drafty poem for my prompt on Real Toads, to write something “under an influence.”  In this case, the influence was Pablo Neruda’s Ode to My Socks, which particularly appeals to this big sock lover. 

The pic is of some Christmas cookies made by one of my daughters (or friend) some time ago, and below is one of the pics from the prompt that is a watercolor of mine (that has some fit for the Neruda poem, where he describes his feet as fish.) 



Song of a Wandering Gustafson

March 19, 2016

 Song of a Wandering Gustafson

I walked out to a corporate wood
because a fire was in my head
and cut my gathers from my skirts
and lined their darks with pin-stripe thread,
and when white moths were on the wing–
by that I mean some flits of art–
bad enough to be a she–
and not, as well, an odd man out–

But soon I lay me on the floor,
the fire blown to full-haired flame
by need’s hot rustle with what-for
as other needs called out my name,
and what had seemed a glimmering girl,
if not with apple-blossomed hair
(nor cherry lips nor beauty fair),
called herself my name and ran
and faded through the track-lit air

Though I’ve grown old with wandering
through dollared lands and billing lands,
I will find out where I have gone,
take back my lips, take back my hands,
and browse among long dog-eared tomes
and write my own and write my own
beneath a moon as bright as bone
beneath a sun as white as bone.


This is very much a draft poem for my own prompt on Real Toads to take inspiration from another poem.  I really did not mean those doing the prompt to be so imitative, though mine is –my source poem The Song of the Wandering Aengus by Yeats.  (I’d like to have made it more lyrical, but well, this is what came out.)  The painting is mine.  All rights reserved. 

Post Dusk

March 15, 2016

Post Dusk

The horizon a cut-out
of crest fallen sky,
geese honk
flying by, horns caught
in some rush hour
towards spring,
as smallish birds that don’t yet sing
buzz imitations of tree frog, bug,
define overhead wires in this grey hour
with ciphers of what’s just
gone West
(and its caress)—
I know one’s days are numbered,
but please not
the evenings.


Drafty poem just for myself and Real Toads open platform. 

Encyclopedic (Post)

March 13, 2016

Encylopedic (Post)

I wrote, as a child,
to my dead dog.
There is something about death that outweighs even
not knowing how to read,
meaning that delivery seemed a bigger issue
than comprehension.

I posted my letter at last
in the “D” section of my Junior Britannica,
though her name began with “C”.

This was not (at least not consciously)
because D stood for Death.
I wished for some Dog Heaven (with a post office)
where any passing Canine (drat)
might pass on a missive
of sore missing.

I never opened that Junior Britannica again,
though honestly, I’m not sure I’d ever opened it before then–
it was a single purpose
Britannica, a dead dog letter office.

Still, I cherish its cherry spine
more than any Santa’s nose
or maraschino memory.
There could be worse fates.


Drafty poem for Magpie Tales hosted by Tess Kincaid.  Tess posts a photo prompt each week, and the above pic is her prompt.  (All rights reserved by copyright holder).

I’ve written of this subject before; on one level, I apologize; on another, I note that it’s the kind of thing that sticks with you.  (I’ve edited enjambment since posting.)

(Freed by)/a Stroke of/the Pen

March 12, 2016

 (Freed by)/a Stroke of/the Pen

Mine was a despair-amour.
He licked me all over
then traded his tongue for–
at least entangled–mine,
branding it with his want.

A cant of can’t
was all that I could voice,
amazed, at times,
throat lumpen with his gorge,
to make any sound at all
(forgetting that despairamours
like to hear the moans
they’ve forged).

‘Til then I found,
though my mouth could only fit round
that he’d left my hands free;

and that opened up
all sorts of possibilities–

draftish poem for Brendan’s prompt on Real Toads to write of a paramour that led us to write. Brendan’s prompt, which is a very interesting read, discusses certain Greek traditions of poetry.  Which lids me to the pic, a painting I recently did. I’m not sure it fully fits, but it was my version of a a Roman painting (which was Greek to me).


March 10, 2016


My friend was my red
balloon and I
her blue.

I held her ribbon tight
though she let me slide through

a fretting ascent;
even gravity and my wilt
would not free me from
those power lines–

until, like a nickel flipped
to see how often heads
would tail (and just as I felt sure
I’d failed),
she’d catch me, a smile itself
full touch.

Oh, how much
we loved,
through the lows of halls, the highs
of wished-for falls,
street, sky– all rising
for some brief while
like bread, sun, moon, warmth, hunger–


A drafty poem for Grapeling’s ‘get listed’ prompt on Real Toads.  Pic is mine.