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Encyclopedic (Post)

March 13, 2016

Encylopedic (Post)

I wrote, as a child,
to my dead dog.
There is something about death that outweighs even
not knowing how to read,
meaning that delivery seemed a bigger issue
than comprehension.

I posted my letter at last
in the “D” section of my Junior Britannica,
though her name began with “C”.

This was not (at least not consciously)
because D stood for Death.
I wished for some Dog Heaven (with a post office)
where any passing Canine (drat)
might pass on a missive
of sore missing.

I never opened that Junior Britannica again,
though honestly, I’m not sure I’d ever opened it before then–
it was a single purpose
Britannica, a dead dog letter office.

Still, I cherish its cherry spine
more than any Santa’s nose
or maraschino memory.
There could be worse fates.


Drafty poem for Magpie Tales hosted by Tess Kincaid.  Tess posts a photo prompt each week, and the above pic is her prompt.  (All rights reserved by copyright holder).

I’ve written of this subject before; on one level, I apologize; on another, I note that it’s the kind of thing that sticks with you.  (I’ve edited enjambment since posting.)


March 29, 2015

Manchester by R.A.D. Stainforth


We both were in love
with an other–
not an ideal basis
for a relationship, though everyone likes to have
a witness to
their suffering–
still, there must have been
something else–his  sarcasm,
my sensitivity
to sarcasm,
his self-indulgence, my
self-deprivation, as in, when there were graduate school dinners
he insisted upon cigars while I boycotted
not just the pudding but also the cheese accompanying
the port meaning that all this happened
on cobble-stones
in the UK where
we ended up not in love,
not (oh my lord) in bed, but
in that kind of long-armed limp-led dance where, when I did not appear
for several days, he made
a search, and when he went undercover, I sent
notes–all the time knowing that each of us
was nothing
compared to the other–
that one who did not seek, write–but who, when he happened
to glance over
his beautifully sculpted nose looked
just beautiful–

unlike us, whose noses
when we walked in the rain (or maybe even not)
dripped, who guffawed
when we laughed, that is, who groaned
even as we laughed, and this, you see,
was the language we spoke to one another–
this friend and me–guffaw–which is not a language
spoken by just anyone–ha!–
not, at least, without an accent–no, you have to groan
in your bones to speak
it properly; you have to
have grown up
with rejection, to have learned by heart ache
the short “a” in cat, the long “o”
in rote, that “oo” sound
that makes up the moon that you jump over
again and again
as if you were a sodding cow, and as if, you know, cows
could jump, cows with legs too thin
for their bulks, and those long-keening


Poem of sorts for The Mag, hosted by Tess Kincaid, photo by R.A.D. Stainsforth.    Also linking to Real Toads open platform, hosted by Marian. 

Crocodile? Alligator? (Arboreal Uncertainty about the Family Tree)

March 22, 2015


Crocodile?  Alligator?  (Arboreal Uncertainty about the Family Tree)

The tree, which traditionally only studied matters
ornithological, had neglected to ask the large lizard its genus,
and, ever after,
regretted the precipitous gulp.

Though there were ample other reasons for regret–
the creature had thrashed about with remarkable dexterity
for the barked,
nearly severing
a major root system.
(The phloem at the bottom of its trunk still felt loose.)

Since that distending swallow,
the tree had taken a great interest
in all things snout-shaped,
under-or over-bitten–

the word alone might still
raise a flutter
if it had given its leaves the slightest leave–
But it was a hard wood, and would not let its emotions engage
in the type of blow-back it associated with only
the most unstable life forms–
the unrooted seas or those mini-oceans of irridescence
that shimmered across those who waved, wandered,
wriggled, weeped
(damn willows)–

There would be–it always swore–nothing of the pigeon
about its limbs.

Though still, deep in its heartwood,
it pondered–
what had made it see such red
at the beast’s slow creep?

All it could remember was an old saw–
not something to live by–

and a smug grin that, for all its ties to the primordial,
knew nothing of the jaws
of trees.


Really more a drafty prose-poem than drafty poem!  For The Mag, a photographic blog prompt site of the very stalwart Tess Kincaid.  I believe this is Tess’s photo (as did not see other credit.)  No copyright infringement intended.