Posted tagged ‘April 2017 poem’

Still Bargaining Against the Fall

April 28, 2017

Still Bargaining Against the Fall

When I think of you suffering,
I wonder how I can hurt
one thing–step
on a bug, eat

I am not comparing you to a bug
or salmon.

I only know that when I think of you suffering,
when I think of the possible loss of you,
I want to lessen suffering,
I want loss to go away,
I want you to stay.


A drafty poem that was inspired in part by Rommy’s  childhood bogeyman prompt on Real Toads, though I’m not sure it really fits the prompt, as it is not really limited to childhood, but it came up thinking of the type of bargaining one does as a child (and an adult) to keep something difficult from happening.   Drawing is mine–all rights reserved.  

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. 


April 19, 2017


I am asked to write about love
as an everyday object,
and I think of our down blanket, which we use all year
in the mountains, though you grow warm about as soon as you take root
while everything human in me seems cut off
from its grounding–I’m talking feet but also

And I think too (still waxing symbolic) of our lack
of bathing suits, an aspect of the isolated streams
in our mountains, the way that lack allows us
to really feel flow’s
caress and grip;

and okay, it’s a little precious
to talk of love in terms of down blankets and lacks
of bathing suits–even though I could go on at length
about loft and stretch–
because honestly it would probably be a lot more interesting if I’d just move
to the bodies beneath
the down blanket, the lack
of bathing suit–
to the lavender caverns of muscle (yours),
the pales of lugubrious flesh (yes, those would be
and whatever it is curves as gently
as a feather
when it rests,
what keeps afloat a head (let’s call it
your shoulder),
what blankets a shoulder
(let’s call it
my head),

that what
that touches both our sides
that warms,
that bares–



Very drafty poem for April and Sanaa’s prompt on Real Toads to write of love in the context of an everyday object.  Pic is mine–it wasn’t really drawn for this poem, but I like it!  All rights reserved. 

Getting Over

April 17, 2017

Getting Over

Some look for fences
even in open fields; how else
to find wings?


drafty poem for April for Isadora Gruye’s prompt on Real Toads to write above obstacles – over, under, through–drawing is mine, all rights reserved.  

Villanelle of Voices Overheard in Payback 2017

April 15, 2017

Villanelle of Voices Overheard in Payback 2017
(obviously, the “we” here does not speak for me.)

Rights for you? A damned disgrace.
So, why not just shut-the-“f” up
as we put you in your place

because we hate your [insert] face–
we leave the blank–you fill it up–
rights for you a damned disgrace.

Oh, maybe we’ll allow you space
to overflow, then wash, our cup,
as we put you in your place–

Your proffered talent?  Total waste!
Don’t tell us that our science sucks–
rights for you are damned.  Disgrace,

to us, but egg on face.
Ho ho, ha ha, it up we yuck
while we put you in your place.

Don’t care if our cum leaves a trace–
at least “true” rape should shut you up.
Rights for you a damned disgrace–
just let us put you in your place.


For Rommy’s prompt on Real Toads to write in the voice of a villain.  The picture (mine) doesn’t really go with the poem, but I am using it because I find that reading books is about all that gives relief in these depressing days.  Obviously, the “we” voice doesn’t speak for me here.  Hopefully, it doesn’t speak for very many in actuality–


All rights reserved. 

Chemical Attack, Syria, April 2017

April 5, 2017

Chemical Attack, Syria, April 2017

Walls left
in place and cores of joist
but seeping through the doors
of perception a fog of more than war, that takes
all space, all time–no place can escape
one’s skin, no line stand long
between lungs, breath; no barricade bar
this death.


For April and Real Toads prompt by Bjorn Rudberg on space time.  Heartbreaking what is happening. 

Drawing mine, based on Goya.


April 4, 2017


They didn’t want her to find
any treasure.

When her eyes went out, she went
learning with hands’ crawl the touch
of ore.

But when her hands were taken,
such methods worked no more,
her mouth could not walk, her tongue despaired of carrying
even the smallest gems.

In the sway of that dismemberment,
something gave way
to wings, the black beads of
blinkless eyes,
and though, this was wondrous
in itself, it took her some time not to miss the stones
she’d so long pocketed,
song still foreign to her,
words no longer familiar.


Poem of sorts for April, 2017, open link prompt on Real Toads, hosted by Marian,

Pic is mine, pencil on paper, all rights reserved for poem/pic, as always.