Posted tagged ‘poetry’


April 3, 2019


Somewhen a car roams,
the shape of my torso already
ghosting its hood;
stairs I will have fallen down
a stream slips around the sometime rocks
in my pockets;
the sea breathes me.

They all speak late at night, sotto voce–
They think that I don’t hear them.
(They know that I hear them.)
(They count upon my hearing them.)

In the cone that is a too-bright light lit late,
the car hood blinks, the stairs shrug,
the stream blushes – the sea too feels sheepish–embarrassed all
by how they need me
to make them into fates–
embarrassed all of them, but not so embarrassed
as to simply let me be.

Another would-be poem for Sanaa’s prompt on Real Toads about late nights.  It is difficult for me to return comments till this weekend, but will. 


Tried to Make a Nest

April 1, 2019

Tried to make a nest

She tried to make a nest upon his chest,
as if by folding into him
she could get him to hold her.

She liked to think of the light there as blue
but it was grey.
The chill of cement
as she walked to him, then bent to look for
a hollow, to fit into
a hollow,
could still be recalled
by her bared feet,
the hard cement beneath
whatever they covered it with.



Draftish poem for Marian’s prompt on Real Toads about changes in love. 

Evening Porch

August 30, 2018

Evening Porch

I went out to an evening porch
because a bur bit at my heart.
I could not tell if it was you
or your loss that stung so smart.

The crickets rubbed a murmur synched
to a wholeness I could barely hear;
my forehead had to listen hard
harder even than my ears.

The breeze that rose from somewhere North
felt a bit like fingertips;
you too were raised in a place of cold
but rarely touched my face, my lips.

And yet this sweep of ending day
whose deep’s deep blue except where green
speaks to me of you, of you,
and means what I would have it mean:

that you loved me and I loved back,
that foreheads can be made to hear
(as now beneath the crickets’ arc
the stream’s rush cushions far and near)

so that on the planks I walk
beside a door that leads to light,
beside that blue that you’re blurred in,
I find a seat that bears with night

and try to write there till it’s dark,
write there even in the dark,
letters that feel their way along
this burdened page, unburred heart.


Here’s a poem for my own prompt – Going, Going, Gone, on Real Toads.

Painting is mine, though not sure it goes with the poem! All rights reserved. 

Good News, Bad News

January 25, 2014

Good News/Bad News

Good News/Bad News

And then there was the man–look!–
who fell out of an aero plane.  That was the bad news.
But, phew! he fell onto a haystack–
the good news:  that apparently his back
was not broken
through the intervention of
dried grass.
But hey! there was
a needle in that stack–bad news.  Except, wait–
he turned out to have a camel
in his pocket, which fit exactly through the eye
of that needle–good news–
for that took him straight to, do-not-pass-go to,
the kingdom of heaven, not
so much because he was a rich man
but because the haystack hadn’t worked that well after all–
not against a fall
from the sky.

This is the reworking of an old rather silly poem that is actually in my book Going on Somewhere.  I am posting it for Mary’s post “on the other hand” on dVerse Poets Pub.   Check out dVerse.  Check out my books!  

“Love All” (Tennis, Federer, Not Quite Wimbledon)

July 8, 2012


Roger Federer (surprise surprise!) won Wimbledon. I confess to have been rooting for Andy Murray (so the Brits could at last get the title.)  Still, congrats to Federer – it is impossible not to admire his nimble grace and iron composure.

Wimbledon is, of course, played on grass, where Federer excels. Historically, however, he has not been such a winning machine when he plays on clay, particularly on the bright orange surfaces of the French Open.  Here’s a freshly revised poem, written during one of those French Opens.


Would-be Poet

I, who must be purposeful at every minute,
even when lying in bed on a Sunday morning, call to ask you, miles away,
for a prompt, something to write about, something
outside of myself.

You are watching tennis. You’ve taken the phone into
the TV room, but, far
from its home cradle, it emits a steady cackle.
Earlier, you left the TV, but this is
my second call of the morning, and Federer, the champion for umpteen
seasons, is being trounced.

As the silence on your end
of the line extends (but for
the crackling), my mind’s eye
sees your legs–you wear tennis
shorts for the event–they bounce
from heel to thigh, not with impatience, but
compressed excitement, so that your
hips barely rest upon the edge of
that bed (so very far
from mine); I imagine
your face too, gaze glazed
with the brilliant orange
of the beamed clay surface.

I want to shout
over the static: But Federer is never his best
on clay! Don’t you
know that already? Doesn’t
the world?

Instead I whine something
about really needing
a prompt, and you, squeezing words from
the small bits of brain
not glued to the brilliant screen, say, um…
how about…’photosynthesis’?

You are not a poet; you don’t pretend to be a poet; why
do I even ask you, a non-poet, for such help?
I groan.

you interject, with renewed
vigor (someone’s just made
their serve), how about ‘love
and photosynthesis’?

I groan again.

‘Asparagus’ then, you laugh,
making some distracted
but cheerfully inane
remark about how
it’s like your love for me, endlessly growing.

While I, who must be purposeful
at every moment, turn green, so jealous
of the TV that grips you, of
the clay, the ball, even the frustrated
Federer, that uncaringly
hold you so close–but mostly
of you yourself, your ability to just sit there
and watch,
guiltlessly, lovingly, full
of bright orange beams.



Posted also for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night. 


Weather or Not – Villanelles (Traveler’s Wedding Side by Side A Nap)

July 7, 2012

Monsoon Skirt

I am posting the villanelle below, an older one, for dVerse Poets Pub Poetics challenge, hosted by the wonderful Stu McPherson, to write a poem influenced by the weather.   To spice up this villanelle a bit, I have made a doublespeak audio recording of it,  pairing it with another villanelle called “The Nap (Post-Fight)” (whose text may be found here.)   I personally find the mixed audio more intriguing than reading the single villanelle bel0w–there is a really odd music to two villanelles together, that, as incomprehensible as the words are, kind of transcends the texts –at least my texts!

Traveler’s Wedding/Nap (ITunes)

Travelers’ Wedding – Bangkok

The monsoon sky grew slowly thick with grey
as sweat like traffic stalled the steaming city.
It didn’t feel much like the first of May,

not even in his shirt saved for the day,
nor in the Indian skirt she’d thought so pretty.
The monsoon sky grew slowly thick with grey

as they hurried to the bureau where they’d say
“I do”, or if required, some learned Thai ditty.
It didn’t feel much like the first of May;

still was, and, as they found, a holiday.
Closed office doors made clean clothes somehow gritty;
the monsoon sky grew slowly thick with grey.

“Tomorrow then,” they sighed, feigning dismay,
and then made jokes that almost passed for witty.
But it didn’t feel much like the first of May,

stained, like his shirt, with portent and delay
as sweat, like lifetimes, stalled throughout the city.
The monsoon sky grew slowly thick with grey;
it didn’t feel much like the first of May.


Thanks for your patience with this new technique!  I definitely have a long way to go with it.  K.

“Oh, the Red Roofs” – 15th Day of National Poetry Month-Magpie Tales

April 15, 2012

"Red Roofs" Marc Chagal

Oh, the Red Roofs

When young, the roofs I longed for
weren’t crimson but

terracotta; they clustered beneath 
Florentine skies whose Giotto blue was propped by crusty bread
and the dusky wine that poured from pitchers 
sprigged with painted poppy. 

So much better, I thought back then, than the darker shingles
of triangulated humdrum further North, those shelters of bricked-up
dreams that held at best (I thought)
the wafting steam of milky tea.

In my midlife, I sought a specific deep red roof most often seen
from snow, a house whose windows of yellow light
beckoned like lanterns across sky sea,
where too the wafting steam of tea warmed fingers
like nothing else except perhaps (hours later) red wine and your
ribbed side.

Now older–tea drunk, wine swallowed, kisses exchanged–I think
of the deep red roofs of mouths, and beneath them

so many once-housed words– the rounded vowels of terracotta, the
shingles of hinged consonants, letters 
traced on snow-fogged glass,
prayers emboldened by Giotto blue–

Now, older, I think of the deep red roofs of mouths.

The above poem, posted a bit late (I’m sorry), is for Tess Kincaid’s Magpie Tales.  Tess’s prompt this week is the Chagall painting above, “Red Roofs” though I think this poem probably owes more to Walt Whitman than Chagall.