Archive for April 2017

No Heel

April 27, 2017

No Heel

He tried to speak in boot, but worried that it came out
in penny loafer–

The problem was that he didn’t want to speak
in the tongue of just any
boot–not goose-stepper, arse-
kicker, not

but rocker, worker, hiker,
Frye–he’d even have settled for high-top, which was rather like boot, if cloth–

Oh, bass weejun could, he supposed,
talk the walk,
but his words felt flat, soulless–also, he really really
did not want to sink
to topsider–

Then he met her,
and one night at a party full
of ankle-covering (if

she took his hand and pulled him outside
to a lawn fresh-soaked
with summer night,
and sighed–”isn’t it so great
to have slip-ons–” slipping
hers off–

He accepted then
some part of himself,
which felt snug, in a good way,
and almost as warm in that moment
as her side–


drafty poem for Real Toads prompt by the wonderful Marian Kent to write of shoes.  The pic above is a charcoal (photograph modified) of mine, and for interest I post one I made on iPad below.  Thanks!


April 26, 2017


His body was no longer outside the spark
that had sputtered and flamed,
that had fluttered and beaten
that, guttered by his limb and skin,
had flickered and flown in him.
She tried to breathe it in.



For my own prompt on Real Toads based on the idea of an outsider or outsider art.  Pic is mine, based on a pieta at the Metropolitan Museum, but the poem is not meant to refer to the pieta or to be overtly religious.  (I am just using this drawing, in other words, because I like it.) 

A warning that I may post a lot (if I can) in the next few days to catch up to April quotients.  Ha.  We’ll see, I guess.  k. 


At some age

April 25, 2017

At some age

Her eyes tailed him–
he was just so cool and she so
the opposite
that whenever their paths actually crossed,
her gaze was grounded,

till it got to to where he sat down
and she felt blindfolded
not that she was so bound
to the hind parts
of the his anatomy,

but because she so missed
his dart and swish
(the white formica of her own tabletop
a visual white noise)

that she could even seem blocked from
the thrill in
her ache–


Belated poem for Margaret Bednar’s prompt re peacock on Real Toads.   I am some poems behind for this April and may try playing catch-up if I get a little time.

After Re-reading “The Sleepers”

April 23, 2017

After Re-Reading “‘The Sleepers”

You look so beautiful when you’re asleep,
he says, and I say, no, yet,
having read Whitman, I also know
what he means,
how faces soften
when sleep comes,
how the sneer of even the hardest heart calls
a short cease-fire,
how the scowl of the unmoved makes
a temporary peace,
as if between the wrinkles of sheet and skin,
against the rock-dark grid
of pavement or sheen
of sateen, on the slope
of slack-jaw,
the features find some child that is so young
it still is willing to embrace them–you know how unconsciously kind
the very young
can be–

And I wonder now about the sleep
of other earthen things–whether stone softens
as night falls or if we just imagine
its velveting,
whether grass puts down
its blades–
only grass, it seems to me, is just as likely
to snooze on a midsummer afternoon–I’m sure I’ve heard
its snore–in fact, this is one of the qualities of grass
about which I have
mixed feelings–

and, I don’t, I say to him, you probably just think I look nice asleep
because I’m not talking for once

 No, he smiles, bending to kiss the knuckles
of one of my hands,
and I know in that moment
a peace that can also be found
fully awake–


Drafty poem for Gillena Cox’s Prompt on Real Toads to write in response to another poem; in this case I am writing a poem after re-reading The Sleepers by Walt Whitman.  This poem is quite different from that, but that started it out.  Drawing is mine; all rights reserved. (This has been edited since first posting.) 


April 22, 2017


You expect green, but, in the mountains,
Spring edges in with head tinted red
and brown carpet slippers, yet


After a shower,
even trees dress
for the occasion.


Poem for Susie Clevenger’s prompt on Real Toads asking for a response to the beautiful lithograph of Mi Young Lee below.  Above pic mine.  All rights reserved to holder. 







Stroke Of –

April 21, 2017

Stroke Of–

If he’d planned for it, he would have joined the glee club.
Hell, if he’d planned for it, maybe he would have quit
the god damn smokes.

But he’d not planned for it,
and when all that his mouth would loose
was what he’d learned,
preferably to music,
he was stuck with nursery bits, saved
like a favorite sweet, tooth-marked and not really suited
for bed.

So “twinkle twinkle,” he sang when he needed to pee,
and, when he wanted to know the time, “hickory dickory,”
though there was a big clock he could just make out if he let
his good side loll, and the nurses couldn’t tell what he was aiming at
anyway, but simply scanned
his torsoed sheet–

if he could even come up with a jingle, but his tongue was a backside caught
in a collapsed

until that time he looked at the nurse he thought of
as her,
as she tried to help him shift,
pulling one sheet side, her eyes reminding him
of a cow’s eyes, the one
that jumped over the moon–but in
a good way,

brown curls about her face like bovine eyelashes,
as thick as cream

and a voice that he almost recognized tilted into
“oh beautiful–”

and she stopped mid-tug–
“for spacious skies–” some part of him went on,
unconsciously smoothing the sheet with the hand that still
only really, this had nothing to do
with that blue sheet–
“for amber waves of grain,” quavering–

“Aha,” she said, but her eyes somehow then became rain
to him, that gentle droppeth, and more like moons
than cows–

“so, you’re getting hungry, huh?” she tried,

and he was pretty sure that wasn’t what
he meant at all, still what could smiled.


Another drafty poem for April 2017; Magaly Guerrero’s prompt on Real Toads, to talk of idea of “I have no mouth but I must scream.”  Here I write of a phenomenon where certain stroke victims lose the ability to speak but are able to recite poems or sing songs because the words are stored in a part of the brain other than the speech center. 


(Song at the end is America the Beautiful lyrics by Katherine Lee Bates.)

Trace of Crow Snow

April 20, 2017

Trace of Crow Snow

wings finger the snow
like hands pushing up from a bed–
who cares what he said/she said (you/me)
in the face of crow tracks
the bones of flight, nighted,

oh caw, here’s
my response–oh,



drafty poem for Fireblossom (Shay’s) prompt on Real Toads to write something relating to crows. Pic is mine, all rights reserved.