Archive for the ‘elephants’ category


February 3, 2018

Circus, Budapest, 19 May 1920 Andre Kersetz


I peeped on one leg
through the hole at the head
of my life
pressing my face to the knots
of future’s would,
as if to squeeze through an eye
and with it drag
a soul,
thinking my “I” a needle
and the fabric of the world something it could pierce
and then re-piece —

It would have been better,
I realized somewhat later,
simply to stand on two feet, forgo
the eyestrain.

Poem of sorts inspired by Kerry O’ Connor’s photographic prompt (the photograph above) on RealToads.

I have two new children’s books out, which I should devote a whole post to–they are Melanie’s Twinkle and Good Light Room.  They are both (I think) pretty cute and I am very proud of them.  Check them out!  Get one!





January 24, 2018

Charcoal on paper, 2018, all rights reserved.

What to do?

January 21, 2017





Keep faith.

On Hearing of his Suicide (New York City Story)

October 1, 2016


On Hearing of his Suicide  (New York City Story)

She wondered if she’d have seen
the depression
had she known his name wasn’t actually
(that, only some
Americanized version.)

As it was, she’d always imagined
a teen mom in Eastern Europe,
loving some dream tenderly
as she danced with her two-stepping toddler,
his eyes even then
darkly circled, brow somehow
weighed down.



55 drafty words for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on Real Toads.  Sadness felt too on hearing this news about a young man I did not know well.

Back Then You Swam Rather Like A Butterfly

May 30, 2016

IMG_1330 - Version 2

Back Then You Swam Rather Like A Butterfly

Somewhere, a sneeze–

its moist blow haloing fellow passengers
in some careering car
of a trained train–

the mucilaginous scree
catapaulting me
to my bed with a bad flu,
while you, not yet a drop
in my bucket, made

my husband catching it too,
and too recovering
in that same bed.

God bless, I may have said,
in subway’s weary blear–but how was I
so blessed?

Your essence bright blinked some
months later, newborn eyes as dark
as so many kinds
of wisdom–that earth that nourishes
roots, that night that blues
dawn’s horizon, the lifting sides of all the different wings
that astonish us–
what just flew there–flies–


Poem of sorts for Bjorn Rudberg’s prompt on Real Toads about the butterfly effect.  (True story may be a little more complex. Ha.) 

Giving It A Rest

May 4, 2016


 Thanks as always for your support.

When Elephants

April 21, 2016

Christina's pictures 398
When Elephants

I read a book
“when elephants weep”
about tears that look like tar, as impossible
to scrape away

about the grief
of elephants–the messages
sent through shaken

and then I put the book
on a shelf made of composite wood
and only every once in a while, would catch
the title etched grey along
black spine, maybe while fetching
my raincoat–

wanting somehow not to feel,
to cover, how our world eats
I don’t mean meat here, or only–
cows with their kabuki faces
in spring, elephant calfs pink
as raw steaks–

but how we eat land,
trees, air–

and how so many only worry about elephants as large canaries
in this
cold mine–

Oh Christ, we think,
unable to number the species
whose paths we’ve crossed–

another draft poem for some day in April, for the heck of it, and also for Fireblossom (Shay’s ) prompt on Real Toads about elephants. (Second of those–neither is a great poem! Agh!)  Pic is of some old bones at the American Museum of Natural History (I believe some here may be of elephants/mastodons given what looks like a bit of tusk protruding.) 

Inner Elephant

April 21, 2016

IMG_3294Inner Elephant

I’m so mad.
I’m so sad.
Here’s the thing–my inner elephant
is matriarchal
and its bony spine, bellying up through its back
like that dark line from the navel
that forever defines a woman
who’s given birth
is sick of bowing, sick
of bundled sticks, sick
of switches–and, though it likes, in fact,
to sweep, it (my back) is sick of being suited
with a broom as an

Sick of being bulled, it wants
to keep its slightly sunken calf
between its legs,
doesn’t care if it must trumpet dust, wants just
to strumpet, let
me be,
says my

inner elephant,
wrinkle kneed,
thick toe-nailed, trunked
like a blubbery eel–stop
telling me what
to feel

let me wobble,
all my loosening body parts
in loose tow,
so creased my whole being pleats
like an old neck, what
the heck—

here’s the other thing–when you, female,
are an inner elephant,
you somehow forget
about being physically


Very much of a draft poem, some number for April, and for Shay’s (Fireblossom’s) prompt on With Real Toads about elephants.  I actually have a couple for this prompt, but not sure I’ll get my other one together (or that this one is together particularly.)

I’m sorry by the way if late returning comments–a really busy week.  Sorry also that the drawing is a recycled one.  Just a hard week. 

Not I(sle)

April 19, 2016


Not I(sle)

I will not go as I arise
to till another glade
though its clay be good for bean rows
and bees may have it made.

I don’t care to find some peace there–
it won’t happen if we’re there too–
not because we drop things–
but because I’m me, you’re you.

You’re sorry about the singing–
I know–you have explained–
and in bed, you hate that purple glow–
(though I dim my phone when you complain.)

Still, I’ll not go when I arise
for always night and day;
I want your side close-lapping
especially, by the way,

when I’m in the City,
upon the pavement gray,
also when in the country
where linnets’ wings hold sway.

I want your side close-lapping
as we shift limbs old and sore,
even through the fleece and flannel,
to feel your deep heart’s core.


poem of sorts of some number for April–for Brendan’s wonderful prompt on Real Toads about turning something on its tail, poetic surprise.  I fear I’ve cheated a bit here, cribbing  from one of my very favorite (and much mined) poems, The  Lake Isle of Innisfree by Yeats.   Recycling older pic too.  (Any port in a storm.)  All rights reserved.

At a Bar Where they’ve Read Some Eliot

April 16, 2016


At a Bar Where they’ve Read Some Eliot

So, I says to that wreck of an Archduke, I says,
hurry up please it’s time.

and he says to me, leaning across the bar, belly dragging through these slimy stumps
of vegetation ( why he don’t eat the olives, I just
don’t know) 
jug jug jug jug tereu–

and I says, I’m Madame
to you; I don’t care what
they says at Kew.

But then he gets so quiet–one of  those frosty
silences–I couldn’t even get a chirp,
so, I says, at last, what you need man,
is some water,
and on the rocks, he shouts,
(and even then I have to hold it
to his lips–
swallow swallow)

only in a flash, he goes
all mad again, breaking into some deep
sea shanty
mixed with London Bridge–

and if this is how
the unguented live—
cause I tells you he still did smell good
under the gin–
let me stick
to my people, the humble
people.  (One has to be
so careful these days.)


17th draft poem for April.  This belated for Angie’s prompt on With Real Toads, to write an upbeat poem based on words for Eliot’s The Waste Land.  I’m in a real rush today so posting much re-cycled pic–supposed to be based on Prufrock.   Thanks.