Posted tagged ‘dVerse Poets Pub’


October 20, 2013



Got a camera for my birthday;
I take pictures all day long,
sometimes they’re of my brother
sitting on the john.




Some people call him John.
(But his name is Michael.)


I take pictures of my mother,
take pictures of my dad,
take LOTS of pictures of my dog
whose eyes come out so sad.


Sometimes I try to catch a crime–
I mean, what could be neater?
So far the only pic I’ve got
is “man kicking parking meter.”


Not sure that’s even illegal–
the man says it didn’t work.
Don’t know if I believe him
’cause he called me a little jerk.

My folks now say that nature
is better for me to shoot–
stuff like deer in our backyard
and, in a nearby swamp, the newt.

At first I groaned, how boring,
but, actually, that’s not true
cause there’s something cool my camera does
whenever I look through.

It makes the world turn special–
sure, it’s special anyhow.
But my camera makes it special-er
adds in some extra wow.


So now my camera’s with me
’bout everywhere I go–
my imaginary friend, I guess,
but don’t tell that I said so.

Especially don’t tell Michael
(that kid “some folks” call John)
’cause he’d probably try to snitch it
if he knew it was so fun.

‘Course, then, I’d get his picture–
red-handed as can be,
still, better keep it secret (sigh)
between just you and me.

Here’s a new little poem written and illustrated for Victoria Slotto’s prompt on dVerse Poets Pub to write a poem for children. I did poem and illustrations today, so they are very rough–especially towards the beginning where I wasn’t sure how to best get the joke of the big brother across and just repeated the same drawing with dialogue. Also very uncertain of the title–any suggestions, let me know. All fun. Check out Victoria’s prompt and the other children’s poems on dVerse.

Finally, if you like the elephants, check out a children’s book I wrote and illustrated called 1 Mississippi, available on Amazon.

“The Elephant In The Room” (Anaphora)

June 27, 2013


The Elephant in the Room

There’s an elephant fills a lot of rooms–
(‘cause even when elephant hides, he looms–)
This elephant’s as elephant as elephants can be
(no shrimpy shrunken trunk has he).

Fellow roomers ape that they don’t see
the elephant squashing their settee,
the elephant slurping afternoon tea–
(by the bye, Earl Grey’s his favorite brew–
though bancha slips down smoothly too),
but see they do, though throats go dry
whene’er that pachyderm’s derm is nigh.

All wings fold flat, all steps mince small
“cause elephant don’t leave room at all
for swaying sleeves or dancing pants–
no, all free space is the elephant’s.

But sometimes roomers got to breathe.
Though O2 won’t make elephant leave,
they find when they straight-elephant talk,
that elephant beat retreat to sulk–
Down in a corner, down in a crack-
and folks can take their parlor back.

Soon, tail’s a tassle, hump’s a knob,
elephant tea’s left on the hob–
Sure, traces linger of elephant smell
but if folks try to cover it too damn well,
sharpen it will to a great big whiff
that signifies a new trunk’s sniff–
the trunk of an elephant come to stay
in its elephant elephant elephant way.


I’m calling it a draft poem because it’s new and I’m a bit too tired to truly analyze rhyme and meter, so here’s a draft for dVerse Poets Pub’s Meeting the Bar prompt by the wonderful Victoria Slotto on Anaphora, which means the use of a repeated word. Followers know I have a thing about elephants – though I’m not sure they belong in rooms–

Lonely Song

June 12, 2013


Lonely Song

The lonely list to a wayward song,
rocking still as it drones on,
its croon sway-swooning mid-cry, mid-moan,
a scaling slide from wane to bone.

Some break this with a wheedling song,
it pleads, don’t leave me here alone,
it sighs and groans but betrays their case,
importunate need scaring off all grace.

The learnéd lonely let go at last,
hold solitude locked close and fast,
shrink when passers-by come near
(turn up the TV not to hear.)

But some stay always neophytes,
unskilled at solipsistic rites.
These lost somehow can’t learn by heart
the lyrics that make lonesomeness an art.

Here’s a poem, belatedly, for dVerse Poets Pub Hundredth Open Link Night. One is never lonely at the pub! Check it out and congrats to Brian Miller and Claudia Schoenfeld who are the masterminds of the site.

Also, sorry the above photo is so melodramatic! I took a few of these pics, and was a bit rushed in choosing.

Final apology – I don’t think learned has an accent, but did want to emphasize the -ed.

Final final apology – am uploading from a mobile device. The pic may not show completely on an older browser. Just click on it, if you want to see full pic. Thanks!

Tiered Inside

June 8, 2013


Tiered Inside

My true self will read all of Proust someday.
Its eye on the ball, it will glass-slipper its way
past every stroke of twelve. It will delve deep
into great ideas, its genetic alleles still
maintaining a Nietzche
in what’s-right-now hip.

Oh, that true self–
that would-be me if I would only be it–
that shit.

But then there’s that other bit–
it’s not a self, so much as a space,
a tier infesting the chest
like the stateless thirteenth floor
of a building too fearful to count–
a sob story–not a tale, but the level where quashed sadness
convenes, recording minutes in blobby diligence, but not
reading Proust,
looking through the glass darkly rather than snookering
into its fine shaped shoe.

This bit does not understand
either Nietzche or the hip, but it does get
that life is a blip–
even the life of the true self, even the life
of the would-be true self, even the life
of whatever self finally just lets be.

This bit grips hard when the selves
loosen, tells them who’s boss.


Here’s a draft poem for dVerse Poets Pub’s prompt on Entwin(n)ed Poetics, about twins, opposites, divided selves.  Do check it out.  (Also, sometimes photos do not show completely on older browers- if it looks weirdly truncated, just click on it.) 

Odd Shoe

March 26, 2013


Odd Shoe

And then there is the loneness of the odd shoe atilt
in the closet; a singleton,
it can’t even manage “akimbo.”
Sloped sides speak
of particular toes; they stood, stepped, sweat,
swanked, sidled, made
their mark.  But where now
is my fellow? the shoe pleads (whether
or not tongued, pumping dust
for some clear lead.)

And you, whose soul is also scuffed
but whole, insist that the shoe
still fits, insist on
wearing it, though
you limp, clump clump, even with
the trial, though even that you fear
may hear.


Draft draft poem for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night hosted by Tony Maude.  Wanted to join in the fun.  You should too.  (Sorry if you’ve seen drawing before.) 


November 27, 2012



He holds his fingers, swaddled
in plastic, then linen, with the slight bend
of a benediction, sprinkling –  like so, like so-
what seems to be

After a rub
of my dark-nubbed toes, he dips
pawed fingers
into a cannister of black as thin
and deep as spiders’ bellies, fresh
widows’ skirts, sin
in tunneled night.  He is

short, born where height
adds insult
to climb, and since I’ve been perched
upon an upholstered throne, he stands
at my feet, stroking now
my blushing-if-they-could
shoe ribs.

His caress penetrates
the leather which serves as medium,
conductor–how we manage
in this unjust city–and, as he kneads,
paints, buffs, lightly lightly
whips, I think–not about what you
are thinking of right now – but of the feet
of statues,
patina-draped icons
in cathedral dim, whose feet have been supplicated
into stumps of tongue by those
seeking blessing–though here, everything’s
who blackens my uppermost sole, blesses
me, making my worn

It is something of which we do not speak.


I am posting the above rather odd re-write of an old poem for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night hosted by the wonderfully intellectually curious Claudia Schoenfeld. It’s about the very few times I’ve had my shoes shined (professionally) in New York City.  I always find it a very affecting experience, and one–and I’m not a foot fetishist (that I know of) – that I find strangely intimate and spiritually satisfying.  The shoe shine people have always been just incredibly kind.  It’s a hard job so if you do get your shoes shined – it’s worth giving about 100% tip.

I have edited this twice since first posting.  Taking out and putting back the last line!  Any thoughts?! 

From Indigo, Aqua.

August 7, 2012


I’m taking a chance today, posting an excerpt from an old (and, at this point, very page-scattered) manuscript of a novel called INDIGO, about a couple traveling in India.  I thought of this after taking the above photo–yes, I know it’s  not aqua – because the manuscript includes several short segments that bounce around shades of  blue.  A few caveats – the manuscript is entirely fictional – in fact the voice below is even supposed to be a man’s; secondly – warning–there is some “adult” content.  

I am linking this to the wonderful dVerse Poets Pub Open Link night.  Thanks so much for you indulgence; sorry sorry sorry for the length.   


From Indigo -“Aqua”

Aqua–the color of water at my childhood pool, chlorine a somehow trap for sparkle.

As a boy, that blue crystallized all that summer should be, though now I think it was the lamps I loved the most–the pool open till 9–those underwater headlights set into asphalt walls.

In the sunset nights of early summer, their glimmer barely showed, but as the long days waned (though summer itself grew hotter and we stayed late), the lights turned brilliant, each disk radiating the white-embered halo of a magic cave or chest, or, as I liked best to imagine, a sunken porthole, which I, a creature of the true sea (some great mermoth), both battled and defended.

In India, this aqua–a kind of turquoise, truly–can be found in the North, set into Himlayan silver–though, to me, it will always be more of a Native American blue, house paint in New Mexican desert.

I keep wondering what would have happened if I’d gone South instead of East; if I’d taken to shooting those geologically raw mountains of Guatemala or Peru; that macho of green. 

But I came instead to these worn plains, crowded steps, thronged cities; came and came again.

Men hold hands in Delhi, Bombay, of course, here too in Varanasi, arms on necks, a caressing slide around the shoulders.

I’d like to think of aqua as the color of Helen’s throat, too light for Shiva’s. He inhales all the poison in the world, refuses to swallow, turns blue with not breathing.  It makes sense that his blue, so troubled, is darker than aquamarine.

Though she’s not breathing now either. I can feel the caught swell in her throat, the pulse and not-pulse. .

She won’t acknowledge it, of course. Neither of us wants to talk of any of this just yet, still thinking there’s a chance it will go away if we can just avoid mentioning it.

But the unmentionable nags, my mind picturing Tim’s hands between my legs, coupling my balls, a tremor of blue deeper than aquamarine, dyes that swirl in water.  When we meet him in the street, I ache even for the dark bristle of hair on the backs of his hands.

She wants me to just say no, as my entire chest tries to promise, while some other part of me–some careening crazy piece–silently begs him  to refuse any no that I might muster, begs him to make happen what I cannot begin, to turn my life into the dazzle of light on water, floating, irrefutable.

How clear that pool grew as night fell; how I wrapped my arms about the reverse shadows of those lights; how I lingered over them, submerged until I gasped, away from the humid darkness, guarding, loving,ide—I can’t explain it–she doesn’t want me to explain it.  While he already understands.

I feel like I am both dying and being born at once, that despair, that exhilaration, fear.



“Blackberrying” (With Pics)

July 21, 2012



In a daze of phosphorescent moss,
we make our way across rockbed, log and stalk,
to a field that’s sharply girded against loss
where nettle, thorn, and briar edge our walk.
Our eyes bore in on any sign of sheen,
a glisten beneath a leaf, a garnet chain.
They’re hard to see at first, then like a dream
we find them here and there and there again.
First scrapes sting, branches fiercely snag skin
of wrist, arm, shin, dogged to defend their own.
We reach around, above, even step within
thickets transformed to some more personal zone.
Not even tasting now, nor caring for prickers,
we feel ripeness alone, we blackberry pickers.

Here’s a sonnet for dVerse Poetics Pub anniversary poetics challenge, hosted by the wonderful Claudia Schoenfeld, on “process” and also for “With Real Toads.”   Blackberrying is one of my favorite processes on earth.
Have a great weekend. Check out dVerse and, if you have time, my books! They are fun! Children’s counting book 1 Mississippi -for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms, Going on Somewhere, poetry, or Nose Dive, a very fun novel that is perfect for a pool or beachside escape.


dVerse Poets Pub Anniversary – Best Poem?

July 19, 2012

dVerse Poets Pub is celebrating its first anniversary this week and asks all participating poets (a group which includes lucky me) to link up what they feel was their best poem posted to dVerse over the past year.

Figuring out one’s best poem is always tricky.  I don’t know if this one is “best”, but it is a poem that is close to my heart.  It was written for a very good friend of mine, approximately two years ago, in the couple of weeks before her death from breast cancer.   She had expressed to me her concern for her children, and I wrote the poem based upon her words.

The poem is a pantoum – a form with repeating lines.  And punctuation (sigh) is a fairly important element.  I may not have punctuated right, so I recommend listening to the recording really more than reading.  It is a pretty simple poem to follow.

Thanks so much!  And thanks to dVerse Poets – Brian Miller and Claudia Schoenfeld, especially.


The Last Thing – Mother to Child

The Last Thing –  Mother To Child

For Rhona Saffer
Know, that
when I must go,
I will love you
just the same.

When I must go,
I know it will not feel
just the same.
There will be cool air—

I know it will not feel
like my lips—
but there will be cool air
caressing your face

like my lips,
while your smile only,
caressing your face
(oh reflection of mine),

will be your smile only.
I never wanted to cause you pain,
oh reflection of mine.
That was the last thing

I ever wanted to cause you–pain.
No, I would love you—
that was the last thing.
Just the same,

know, I would love you,
will love you,
just the same.
Know that.



“At Sea” – “Verb-al” Poem Of Sorts – with Brother/Sister/Elephant!

May 19, 2012

Sailor Elephant?

At Sea


The boy hauled the roses like burlap sacking–
at a distance–navigating prickle
through kitchen door which he kicked
to the side for noise value,
hating his mother.  What he wanted was to man
the wood, where he could
lurk and spy and brick up
hideouts with clods of dirt and brush and never lean
to any whim or wish except
of sky and guttering stream
to whose blue wills he’d willingly tack
his whole young life.


The girl rigged her skirt to
the base of her hips,
tacking the elastic waist
to her pelvis, a convenient gutter
for fabric that would run its own course.
Bottling lips into an appraising O,
she weighed her chances, spying
navel in that belly as smooth
as the long sought shore, distant
yet within reach.


The above is a paired poem written as part of an exercise on verbs!  In this case, I used verbs associated with the life of a sailor/pirate, i.e. tack, navigate, haul, rig, weigh, spy. (Sorry if it seems a bit sexist!  I  have no particular problem with girls getting mad at having to cart roses around and boys adjusting their clothes.)

At any rate, I am posting this for the dVerse Poets Pub Poetics Prompt – “Tools of the Trade” – which I am also hosting today.  Check it out!

And, while you are at it, check out my books!  Children’s counting book 1 Mississippi -for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms.  Or, if you in the mood for something older, check out Going on Somewhere, poetry, and Nose Dive, escapist fluff.