Archive for the ‘55’ category

Trappist-1 (I Won’t Even Look Across the River)

April 2, 2017

Trappist-1 (I Won’t Even Look Across the River)

No ship will be big enough
to take us all.

As for me, if I’m in the vicinity
of Washington, D.C.
I’ll lie face down
upon the ground at Arlington,
among blades worn
by those whose wars
are done,

just listening
to that grass grow.



55 for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on Real Toads.

Process Note – Trappist-1 is a new planetary system recently discovered by NASA astronomers, with planets that may be inhabitable by humans.  (Rendering above, such as it is, is mine.)

Arlington is the U.S. national military cemetery, located just across the Potomac from the national mall in Washington, D.C., a place where U.S. veterans and spouses have been buried since the Civil War.

No Wall – Tourists in Berlin, ’65

February 12, 2017

No Wall – Tourists in Berlin, ’65

The wall was made of riddled cinder block with barbed wire atop;
my parents bought me
a pipecleaner-bodied doll in a dark felt
uniform, supposed to be
a border guard, his nose incongruously
round, his eyes incongruously
googly, the ones we saw shadowed
about the eyes, at least so they seemed
at the checkpoints.


Draft 55-word poem for Marian’s prompt about a wall, posted belatedly to Real Toads.  Pic (such as it is) is  mine.

Too Heavy a Freight

September 6, 2016


Too Heavy a Freight

I tried to put our love
upon a scale,
but not wishing to be weighed,
it swam away, slipping on
slick fins, scales then only armor,
though too flimsy, oh mon amour,
to repel much ill.

Yet, how that brittle mail lightened
each swish-sway,
my sun, moon, hanging
in the balance.


55 word poem of sorts for Kerry O’ Connor’s week-end prompt on Real Toads, special bonus for poems inspired by the marvelous paintings of the Nigerian painter, sculptor and musician known as Twins Seven Seven, born Prince Taiwo Olaniyi Oyewale-Toyeje Oyelale Osuntoki (3 May 1944 – 16 June 2011) in Ogidi, Kogi State, Nigeria.  This painting is “Golden Fishes in Dark Sea.” 

55s – Female Laocoon; In a Laconic Moment

August 7, 2016


Below two 55 word poems for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on Real Toads, to think about the word “lacuna,” meaning gap, cavity.

Please don’t feel obliged to read both!   (Or either!)  As a process note, Laocoon was a Trojan who warned his fellow Trojans against the Trojan Horse. The Trojans did not believe him, and the gods who favored the Greeks (Athena, Poseidon) struck him and sons down with great snakes rising from the sea.


Female Laocoon

She warned against the gift horse, but some people like
gift horses, think that they deserve
gift horses–gifts
only what they are owed, and any horse of theirs
a sure winner–so those joined in
with the forked tongues, circling
muscle, as they rolled the enemy right
into their sleep-folded night, walled




In a Laconic Moment

When, in the heat, even the grass lies down
and brain’s buzz stills,
into the wilt creep words
like rape;
though creep is correct enough,
the words come more
in flashes, teeth
in a leer, fear collared
by bone,
and she screws up her eyes
at the flattened lawn, roots showing pale
where mowed.


Both pics mine; all rights reserved. 



1 July 1916, The Battle Of —

July 2, 2016


1 July 1916, The Battle of —

It was not the sum
nor any total–
columns of men rounded down
into boot sole,
flesh ground not to dust but mud, pus-

Tanks be to God
for that now deep sod.

Oh, tanks be to God
as the Somme was
to an end,
except for them
dead then,
except for them.


For Kerry O’Connor’s Flash 55 prompt on Real Toads.  Kerry also brought up the fact that these days are the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme in World War I, a horribly bloody battle whose first day brought the British more casualties than any other day in their history (over 56,000 with well over 19,000 dead).  It is my understanding that the battle also marked an introduction of the tank. 

Photo is mine; all rights reserved to it and poem, as always. 

December Morning (55)

December 6, 2015

December Morning

The frost sprouts violets in the field today,
seeds stars,
makes proof of the universality of
the universe–
that is, what I saw in the sky pre-dawn
now shows itself
upon the ground.

In the sparked blinks
of that bright dew
how can we fear
we who so long
to be found


Here’s one came out in 55 words first go–I did trade a couple of initial words “after-go”–but it really kind of arrived. Unfortunately, it is really hard to capture a good picture of frost.  The one I am posting shows it furring apple trees and not the glisten.

This is a second poem for Hedgewitch’s 55 prompt on Real Toads, based on holly and ivy and pairing–I can try to justify this, but will just apologize and post.  k.

Teeth Brushed by Leaves on the Way Out

December 5, 2015

Teeth Brushed by Leaves on the Way Out

I’d like to speak sometimes
in Tree–
pronouncing branches
that catch, when splintering,
in your limbs;

or Dawn,
my words, enlightened;
detailing, without wooden exposition,
those branches held
in a crux of you.

Other times (though too rarely)
I’d speak
in Listen,
the tenses of bark
muted by that past, that present, that sweet



A draft flash 55-word poem for the marvelous Hedgewitch’s (Joy Ann Jones) prompt (based on the flash 55 meme by the inimitable G-Man) on With Real Toads.  Special bonus for a pairing.  Not sure this qualifies!  (Photo is mine–all rights reserved.) 

This is actually from a much longer poem written today, with other verses, but maybe better to keep this short version!  Hurrah for editing.  

Speaking of editing, I mistyped the title on first posting!  Agh! 

Not the Best Name For It, Maybe

October 31, 2015

 Not the Best Name For It, Maybe

My boohoo won’t
to a shirtfront press,
its ring-ding wringing of face
needing space
from pat flattening,
forced comfort.

Boohoo not the best name, maybe,
for what laments the same not being
the same–
you not being the you,
the true not being the true–
that voodoo of what we do
to one another.


A drafty 55 for With Real Toads, hosted by the wonderful Kerry O’Connor.   Sorry for the long hiatus.  Going through a terribly challenging period at my job.  Photo (not sure it fits but like it) is mine.  Milkweed fluff on a frosted leaf.

August Night

September 5, 2015


August Night

The mist would not show
the full moon, but glowed
outside the window
like snow just fallen
and about to fall,
the night both pale and flushed
as if it had snuck out to a dance
for which it was far
too young, shoulders swathed
in a stole borrowed
without the owner’s knowledge–


55 for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on With Real Toads. (It was also my first try for Hedgewitch’s tonal prompt on Toads, but couldn’t quite decide it was done.)   Pic is mine; all rights reserved.



Not Bird (55)

July 4, 2015

Not Bird

I swung into the early
of my life, pumping the vine-veins
of its woods with sweat-salted limbs
that could rewind,
I thought, warped

Swallows swoop
to rise,
but what humans swallow,
they tend
to keep down.

Too much of my flight
a fleeing,
soars sorry, fleeting–you
not there–
nor me hardly–


A 55 word poem of sorts influenced by Dante Alighieri, poet of The Divine Comedy, for Kerry O’ Connor’s prompt on With Real Toads–

The pic is from the recent Plains Indians exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC ==a ghost dance drum.