Posted tagged ‘#napowrimo’

A Thing About Word Games In Hard Times

April 13, 2022

A Thing About Word Games In Hard Times

The good thing about a word game
is that it occupies your mind,
fills the brain like a picture
in which you find

the hidden objects, the candle
that looks like a bed post,
the hour glass disguised
as a crust of toast—

Such puzzles take up space
and if done fast,
make words like “blood” or “puddle”
pass in a flash, 
as you move on to the next
word, clue, combination—
a way of avoiding thinking
about abomination—

But, when those who head
armies, parties, states,
play so very heartily,
the charm abates—

the “hidden objects” now bodies;
words like “puddle” and “blood”
not flashing by, but huddling
in yards and streets, a flood

of the unspeakable. Lies, slurs, and
misdirection by the hour.
oh, what games are played
in the name of power. 


Another poem for April, and all going on.  Very much a draft.  (This poem is not really about the subway attack in Brooklyn, but my heart goes out to my very dear New York City, all the brave people there who have put up with so much.)

Would note in passing that the poem is also not just about Putin’s comments on the Ukraine (though obviously the picture is oriented towards that) but all kinds of misdirection everywhere—

Have a good day.

Just Then

April 12, 2022

Just Then

There was a bluebird,
just when I needed him.
Sky backed, cloud-bellied.


Another little poem for April. All rights reserved. Have a great day.

April in North Country

April 11, 2022

April in North County

It’s still too cold to rush
into the dawn, the clear blue cold too old
for me to want a fresh experience of it.  

Though I know it is a different clear blue cold
than March’s, or February’s, or early
December’s, still, 

I’ll let it sit over there
on the other side
of the window, while I sit here
beneath a blanket, waiting
for Spring.

Yes, I’d probably find it faster
on foot; it’s my guess that Spring anoints the shivering
more briskly than those under blankets;
imbues the bold
with a fresh and lively damp,
but I’ll just camp here
for the moment.


Little poem for April 11.  The above is a picture from one of my favorite children’s books, Snail Taxi.  (I’m not sure that Snail Taxi takes place in April but I like the pic.)  Snail Taxi is not yet on Amazon, but is available on Blurb here.  Check it out—it is a very sweet little book (and I think it’s on sale right now!)

Have a good day!

Ode to Old Mystery Novels

April 10, 2022

Ode to Old Mystery Novels 

Oh, mystery novels of old
whose plots escape me so readily
that I can re-read them so steadily,
with even greater mild delight
in the details that bring to light
the epiphanies to come
(ah, I remember now)—
how the hero/heroine will sum
up all the side stories, save
the complicated day—

Oh little time capsules with a couch,
sinkholes of possibly otherwise troubled hours—-little bowers of
wrongs righted (and so cozily!)

I can even walk, reading you—
and if someone talks to me, say completely unselfconsciously, “huh?”


Poem for April 10.  Have a good day!

Time Poem

April 9, 2022
Time Flies


I think about time
and picture a stream bed,
in which I put my hands to catch something—the water?
Sand?  Minnows—

All I get is glow—
my hands wet in the flow—you can’t stop time, hold it—
even when you wade right in—it only makes
your whole body shine (maybe) for as long
as you can stand
the rush.

But often, I avoid thinking about time, as if that might make
time stop.
I spend hours, whole days, weeks,
in a little moving box that tries to blank out time, blanketing
its windows (my little moving box has cut-out squares)
but time doesn’t stop
just because I’ve not thought about it—

And then I picture time as sand, endlessly falling sand—(that comes, I guess,
from hourglasses) and why
I wonder, do I imagine the fall of that sand
to be endless?


Another draft poem for April.  As always, pic and poem mine.  All rights reserved.  Stay well!


April 8, 2022


When my mother was very old she would push back her hair
from her forehead. 

Actually, the white hair, ascending from a widow’s peak, was already trained

But she would pass one hand over it again
and again,
talking of how she loved her mother to do that
when she was small, and how comforting it was (she had recently realized)
to rub the hair back herself. 

I find my hand at my forehead in the pre-dawn darkness, 
reaching for a pass over my hair, but I do not find
it comforting—

though I too loved my mother caressing my forehead
when I was little, loved laying my head upon her lap.
This was usually in the car—we did not have car seats then,
and it was a time
when she was still.

Even just thinking of it, I can remember
the cool warmth of her hands, her lap—
that’s how it was, cooling and warming at once
as we hovered above the roll
of wheels and road.

But this morning the feel of my hand at my forehead
freaks me out; I cannot be so like my old mother
not now, not yet.
I pull the hand back beneath the covers and even when I tell myself
to just try it, try it again, I cannot make myself lift my arm.

Give it twenty years,
(if lucky.) 


Another draft poem for April.  Not sure about these things.  Sometimes I cut them in ways that they are probably not comprehensible to others and that’s terrible; other times I feel like I go on too long, and lose clarity in too much explication.  Agh! 

Take care.  (As always, pic/poem are mine; all rights reserved.)

About Face

April 7, 2022

About Face

The man is angry; his face looks like it just
spat a slur,
the face looks that way a lot, sneer-shaped,
chin a smear—seriously, his chin is blurred in its firm set,
like the tip of something spray-painted
on a concrete

How do you smooth
such a face? With cash?
With fear? 

How do you whisper in a way that it will hear:
you were a baby once,
you will die some day,
you are causing
terrible suffering. 

Can you only threaten, tell the face it too
will suffer?

I don’t know, I don’t know. 

Can you remind the face of beauty? 
That it belonged to a baby once, a child (this feels somehow
that geese fly in incredible Vs;
that an unwounded sky pearls wonder.


Another draft poem for April. The pic doesn’t really go with the poem, but I don’t have a lot of drawings of angry faces, or couldn’t find one on the fly. I’m not sure that this picture depicts the figure in the poem, but it felt okay to use. All rights reserved. Take care.

Not Another Moon Poem

April 6, 2022

Not Another Moon Poem

I haven’t seen the moon for days now.
Not true—I caught a crescent the other night, a flash
through glass, and stepped out into the cold
to hold it, making a note of where to look
the next day, next night. 

But since then I cannot find it, no matter the hour
or direction.

I miss it—the moon what one has
In an unpeopled place, that curve and trace
of curve, that glowing ghostly solidity.

I haven’t gone out much in the pandemic, and now
hardly want to. 

But I do want the moon, the company
of the moon. 

When you see it you can’t help but think
how beautiful the world is, how much you love
this world–


Another poem for April (and also, for the moon.) Take care! (And if you have time, check out my books! Especially the new stories!

(As alwarys, the picture, such as it is, as well as the poem, are mine; all rights reserved.)

Modern Day Haiku

April 3, 2022

Modern Day Haiku

Bone marrow patch blinks
firefly green through the undies,
saying, still here…here….


Still don’t know if I’ll manage a poem a day for April–Poetry Month, but here’s a try. The patch described above is given to counteract immuno-suppressive aspects of certain chemo therapy drugs. All rights reserved. Have a good day.

Wish (3)

April 2, 2016


My grandmother talked of her horses
knowing the way home,
how she could just
let loose the reins—

I wish I knew
the loosening of reins, the letting lead
the soft strong beautiful,
the flank’s dusk-silvered shiver,
the found home of sound steps.

A drafty poem, number 3, for April for my own prompt on horses on Real Toads.  I call this one drafty because I’ve done about fifteen versions and can no longer tell which I like best. Ha!  Will try to keep and review at some later date. 

Pic is mine, watercolor.  All rights reserved.