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Not Morse

August 6, 2017





Not Morse

They spoke in code, each word a secret agent
of another, so that, “I need more time
for myself,’ meant ‘I’m seeing
someone else.’
And so on.

At first, even uttered letters
delighted in the game, dipthongs preening
at devices, consonants peacocking
about the vowels, but soon language stretched
to strain, silence pained.



55 words for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on Real Toads, with a special challenge to write something stemming from the art of Erte.  A piece on the letter M by Romain de Tirtoff, known as Erté, above. 

Wound (Passed Down)

August 5, 2017

Wound (Passed Down)

My mother didn’t know
the contours of her wound
so had to sculpt mine
by feel
as if she were a blind girl
and I were a piano that she heard
by touch,
only that would have been a deaf girl
and she didn’t honestly
touch much.

At a certain point, I took charge
of my own wound,
but since I also worked by feel at first,
its deepening seemed somewhat haphazard
like the chance radio station
the frequencies always
default to.

It was only as I grew older
when I could see it in the mirror
or when I looked down
at my person
that I became conscious of where
I put in the dirk.



Poem for Margaret Bednar’s lovely quilting challenge on Real Toads.  Not sure this exactly fits but what I have.  The above an image from fabric saved by Margaret.  Process note: dirk is a small knife (probably more properly a small dagger of Scottish Highland origin.)


Opportunity Knocks

July 16, 2017

Opportunity Knocks

Hey, and people thought the corporate law of Delaware was so great.

It aint nothing like Delaware Antarctic!

Hell, your Delaware Antarctic company can do just about any old thing. We calls ‘em “limiteds” but that’s only as it relates to liability, am I right?

And you can keep all your profits on ice!  Not a tax in sight!  Not even capital gains!

‘Course we’re only dealing with short-term gains right now, the whole damn thing so… fresh, you know what I mean?



Diatribe of sorts for Brendan’s much more thoughtful prompt on Real Toads to write something stemming from planetary destruction.  Picture is mine, charcoal, chalk and oil pastels on paper, 2017, all rights reserved. 

Process note–Delaware is famous for the flexibility of its corporate law, making it a favorite jurisdiction in the U.S. and perhaps even the world for incorporation of companies.  Also, historically, there have been different U.S. tax rates for short-term and long-term capital gains.  Finally, of course, there’s that great big piece of ice now floating around.

Fragile Things

July 8, 2017

Fragile Things

Civil rights,
a neck, a spine,
a species.




For Magaly Guerrero’s prompt on Real Toads to write to a prompt of pics and phrases; I chose fragile things. Pic is mine; charcoal and pastel on paper; all rights reserved. 



What I sometimes fail to notice in my moroseness

July 7, 2017

What I sometimes fail to notice in my moroseness

The corn
in the corner of your eye;
the joke that floats in that blue
trying to rescue me from mine;
the bird song not made by my phone–
actually I do listen to it–but which,
in the absence of the smiles that glisten
on your fingertips, often lures me
into loss;
the sauce that is your teasing
of my bemoan;
your seriousness that says, but we are here now.



Poem of sorts for the wonderful M’s “get listed” challenge on Real Toads.  The drawing (kind of goofy) is mine also; all rights reserved. 




July 4, 2017


Then we went to the river
where everyone who has ever lived

It is so silted in parts
that one might seem
to walk on water–
at least to the very young
who do not know better.

There we wept
understanding that those we had loved
were well and truly buried,

even if the sand that time had made of them
washed the flow;
even so.



poem for Real Toads open link, hosted by Kerry O’Connor.  Pic is mine; all rights reserved.  



July 2, 2017


He died early enough
that there was time
for crying in the room
and listening to crying
before dawn shelled the
blinds, light cracking through the breaks
of tar and brick,
cobblestone and horizon, hill
and blue,
and though they were now done
with the hospital, they went once more
to the cafeteria, remarking as before
on the surprise of the food,
sitting down at a table shined
by window, before truly scrambled eggs,
which are not actually synonymous
with morning yet were
in their sunny warmth some link
to the ongoing availability
of goodness, murmured
about the wonder
of his life,


Here’s an aubade for Real Toads ‘Play it again, Sam’ prompt, hosted by Margaret Bednar, original post by Grace.