Monday, December 30, 2013

Muse Monday 12/30/13

The prompt:

Muse Monday is my offering to (hopefully) inspire some art (written or otherwise). I invite you to join in and share whatever the prompt has triggered either at Show Offs (a G+ community) or by adding your site URL to the comments section of this post.

I believe we learn and love best by sharing so, here is your invitation. ;)

Random Wisdom: Carl Bard - Endings

“Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.” 
~ Carl Bard

Milking My Mind

A cold reality applies
pressure, pulling
the ripcord on a stream
of consciousness forming
a white puddle of reason
as poetry
the brain's bucket.

Inspired by No-Talent Tuesday's prompt at Show Offs.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

From Our House to Yours...

May you find peace this night... and may every day forward be filled with good health and happiness.

Yes, that is our living room (photo taken tonight)... Merry Christmas everyone. ~Lettie

Muse Monday 12/23/13: Under the Evergreens

Under the Evergreens

They offered up
a corporate cordial,
sickly sweet and served
with a sly smile.

I declined.

As co-workers nibbled
on tidbits and held tight
to their raffle tickets,
I bought my own bourbon
and wondered what justification
will be used
this year
to put our wages on ice.

My inspiration from this week's prompt...

Monday, December 23, 2013

Muse Monday 12/23/13

The prompt:


Muse Monday is my offering to (hopefully) inspire some art (written or otherwise). I invite you to join in and share whatever the prompt has triggered either at Show Offs (a G+ community) or by adding your site URL to the comments section of this post.

I believe we learn and love best by sharing so, here is your invitation. ;)

Random Wisdom: Sharon Creech - Expectation

“What I have since realized is that if people expect you to be brave, sometimes you pretend that you are, even when you are frightened down to your very bones.” 
~ Sharon Creech, Walk Two Moons

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Muse Monday 12/16/13: A Wily Wyrm

A Wily Wyrm

Creativity perched
upon the tips of my fingers
smoulders with internal fires
ready to bite
or take flight
at the slightest flinch.

In my stillness,
I can feel its tiny claws curl
as it begins
to nibble on my nails.

My inspiration from this week's prompt... and, while the Poetry Plus community is no longer, I will continue to post Muse Monday on The Rogue Nun. To join in, just add your link in comments. :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Muse Monday 12/16/13

The prompt:


Muse Monday is my offering to (hopefully) inspire some art (written or otherwise). I invite you to join in and share whatever the prompt has triggered either at Poetry Plus (a G+ community) or by adding your site URL to the comments section of this post.

I believe we learn and love best by sharing so, here is your invitation. ;)

Please consider joining me at Poetry Plus:

Random Wisdom: Jacob M. Braude - Composure

“Always behave like a duck- keep calm and unruffled on the surface, but paddle like the devil underneath.” 
~ Jacob M. Braude

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Persistent Prodigy

Small sneakers pound pavement
running into wind.

Tiny fingers grip frigid fencing
as the body bounds over would-be barriers
to go as the crow flies.

the young heart beats faster--
eyes fixed on the improbable coastline
impatient to swim
in the sea of possibilities.

Inspired by: Awesome Instrumental Rock Song #12 (Through Action Comes Change)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Muse Monday 12/9/13: One Tough Cookie

One Tough Cookie

Hard and half eaten
without a crumb for company,
it sits discarded—
a cast-off confection
by the overindulged.

My inspiration from this week's prompt... won't you join me? What did the image conjure up for you?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Muse Monday 12/9/13

I haven't had my tiny brainstorm yet but here's...

The prompt:


Muse Monday is my offering to (hopefully) inspire some art (written or otherwise). I invite you to join in and share whatever the prompt has triggered either at Poetry Plus (a G+ community) or by adding your site URL to the comments section of this post (no linky tools for me, thanks). 

I believe we learn and love best by sharing so, here is your invitation. ;)

Please consider joining me at Poetry Plus:

Random Wisdom: Mark Twain - Contentment

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” ~ Mark Twain

Monday, December 2, 2013

Muse Monday 12/2/13 - A Dawning Yawn

Beginning today I'll be offering a prompt on Mondays to (hopefully) inspire some art (written or otherwise). I invite you to join in and share whatever the prompt has triggered either at Poetry Plus (a G+ community) or by adding your site URL to the comments section of this post (no linky tools for me, thanks). I won't be crushed if I get no takers. Yes, I have a healthy enough ego to continue without others joining in but... I believe we learn and love best by sharing so, here is your invitation. ;)

The prompt:

My response:

A Dawning Yawn

The gray of the day smudges
time out of focus
as I sit
without urgency or intention
waiting for the snow.

Please consider joining me at Poetry Plus:

Random Wisdom: Khaled Hosseini - Anticipation

“Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.” 
~ Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013 - An Acrostic Poem

The silence of the morning
has a centered stillness all its own.
As the sun breaks the horizon,
nature greets the day with birdsong,
kindling a gladness of spirit
soaring above the worries of the past.
Gaining a softer perspective,
I sit quiet
vacating my mind of what was,
inviting the grace of what is,
nestled safe and comfortable and
grateful for this day.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Random Wisdom: W. B. Yeats - Perception

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ~ W. B. Yeats 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Random Wisdom: Franklin D. Roosevelt - Going Crazy

“When you get to the end of your rope. Tie a knot and hang on.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dinner at the Inflight, December 12, 1998

Crumpled, tattered,
and crusted with dirt,
the letter trembles as I read it
to my attentive old friend
sitting across the table.

Concluding, I ask him
why it's continually rejected.
I speculate--
it's simply too straightforward,
too short, or just too plain.

He shakes his head and smiles,
taking the letter from my hand.
Then, folding it gently
and carefully tucking it
into his left breast pocket,
he tells me it's time
he hold it for safekeeping.

Mag 194

Happy 15th, Greg. It is my hope that by December 12th you will be seeing well enough to find this and read it for yourself... again.

Retail Dreaming

Weeknights and Saturdays
stuck at Levine's
making less than four dollars an hour.
Counting buttons,
sorting ribbon,
and lost in Butterick pattern books.

Inspired by: Diversionary Writing #116

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


First wind
than water rushing
sixteen feet high in fists
to smash the city of Tacloban.
The ocean unrelenting
surged to take the children--
to rip them from their parents arms
and wash them out to sea.

Reading of the carnage
from the comfort of my home
proves almost as unbearable
as the stench of rotting victims
trapped under heaps of what once was--
one daughter, innocent
and impaled,
pleaded with her clinging mother,
"Ma, just let go. Save yourself."

For a list of links to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan please click here.
May their suffering be comforted.

Le pléadáil chun na bhflaitheas (A plea to heaven)

Bracing for yet another onslaught,
I face the fierce wind
with teeth bared
and broadsword drawn.

Slicing though the shadows of can't,
gutting doubt, I wield the blade
with guttural rage--
screaming for the heavens to hear me
and stopping short of nothing but
the unabashed demand
for mercy.

Inspired by the music: Enter The Haggis - Lancaster Gate

Degas Debunked - inspired by Edgar Degas, ‘Dancer Adjusting her Shoulder Strap’, c. 1895-96

The Photograph 
betrays the bones
of what lies beneath
a pastel's peaceful pose.

The master, with time
and colored chalk,
breathes life
back into the dance.

Written from image prompt: Mag 193

A Door Ajar

Having swallowed the river,
I dive into dark water
to surface with the sun--
ever uncertain if
I face the dusk or dawn.

Inspired by: Diversionary Writing #115

Monday, November 11, 2013

Random Wisdom: Rumi - Balance

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds' wings.” ~ Rumi, Essential Rumi

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Le flutter de Juliette

A stolen glance fills
the cavern of her stomach
with feathers,
tiny wings beating fierce--
the friction blazing
an exquisite flush
of innocence.

Inspired by two sources: First (and most appreciated), Sir Charles' poem "Butterflies within" and second, Pibgorn by Brooke McEldowney who is currently running Romeo and Juliet as a comic strip in his usual beautiful (albeit slightly twisted) fashion. Thank you gentlemen. :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Donning the Vertical Stripe

Wondering when work became the priority,
into the closed door I was prying open
walking ass first
I'm thrown in reverse,
Band-aiding the gushing unfixable.

Inspired by the question: What if everything in the world were backwards? What would that mean to you? How would that look? How would it work?

So... I originally wrote this the other way around and reversed the lines for it to be read backwards. ;)

Poets on Parade

Revelling in some kind of medieval
hippy procession of electric guitars,
beating drums, and blowing horns,
they dance in bright hues
of blues and yellows,
lime green and mandarin orange--
frantic as bees,
confident and lively
and daring the world
to dismiss their weirdness
and to try to deny
their existence.

Inspired by: Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention - Who Needs The Peace Corp (Instrumental version)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Random Wisdom: Coco Chanel - Success/Failure

“Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.” ~ Coco Chanel

Quilting Needles

Log Cabin
Brunswick Star
King's Crown
Jacob's Ladder

An heirloom made of many pieces,
built for warmth
and comfort, sends instead
short painful shocks
like a cheap electric blanket.

Inspired by: Diversionary Writing #114

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wary of the Waltz

Hardships strung
like a string of pearls
broken and
scattered on the dance floor.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Melancholy Mindset

I step up to
an imaginary bar
as the tender pitches a highball--
some non-existent bourbon
to the brain with hope
the mind will find a way
to cease trying to fix the unfixable.

Without success,
I wrap my hands around
the cup of tea and stare
out the kitchen window
wondering if there's warmth outside
in the light
of a dying autumn sun.

Inspired by the music of: Queen - My Melancholy Blues (Instrumental)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Funambulist

Walking the wire
I brace against a head wind
and wait for fate
to pluck her harp string.

Self Portrait in Still Life

A porcelain pitcher
adorned in blue hues
sits silent
in the center of the table.

Filled to spilling,
the vessel barely balances
water teetering at its brim,
shivering at the slightest sound
and threatening to abandon
all self-restraint.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Making an Impression

Blue jeans frayed at the heel.
Black bobos worn almost gray--
the holes in the the soles
patched by rubber cement
and duct tape.

With a Copenhagen tin ring
etched in his right back pocket
and a Snap-On cap nearly rotting off
a head full of unkempt curls,
he takes all of his seventeen years
to the street, strutting
with an air of confidence
he doesn't really feel.

Inspired by: The Byrds - Stranger In A Strange Land (Instrumental)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Random Wisdom: Eleanor Roosevelt - Fear Quote

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


The tiny jewel
catches first light,
its reflective fire
more brilliant than the sun.

Polished to perfection,
it holds the world suspended
in a bubble of beauty--
both captured in
the gossamer setting
of a garden spider's web.

Image Prompt for 10/16/13 at Poetry Plus

Monday, October 14, 2013

Holding Hands

Without words,
the gentle pressure of fingers entwined
firmly reassures
that he's still here--
still steadfast and strong,
wading through the waters
beside me.

Inspired by: Diversionary Writing #111


In the gray mist
before dawn,
spinning in slow circles,
the amber oak leaf dances
in its fleeting moment
of freedom.

Inspired by: Sakura "Cherry Blossoms";Traditional Music of Japan, Classical Koto

Hopping the Fence

So innocent
with his ice blue eyes...
the gentle face
of man's best friend
stares from the missing slat--
unable to follow me
and what remains of the seat of my pants.

Inspired by: Mag 190

Random Wisdom: Abraham Lincoln - Mind over Matter

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. ~Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sitting in the Glen

Finding space deep within
the forest of my mind,
I surrender
as the pop and hiss of creative fires
burn back the blackness,
allowing me to listen
to the sea of memory
gently breaking on the rocky shore
of consciousness.

Inspired by: In Flames - Timeless

A "Heady" Limerick

In the past it has often been said,
if you sever a talking man's head,
you'll be clean out of luck
for he'll never shut up
even after the poor sap's been dead.

Just getting into the Halloweenie spirit... ;)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Measured Tinkering

A clockwork imp
with mischievous fingers
winds my day for a bit of fun.
Pushing hands
both fast and slow,
he'll play with time 'till my day is done.

The morning's work will drag and crawl
the afternoon will grind
but just as I step foot outside
he'll choose to change his mind.

Evening twilight
should bring long hours
as daylight comes to close
but not for me, the imp decrees
and spins himself
on the grand clock's nose.

Inspired by: Mag 189

Fabrication by Default

Random points draw together
to make something of nothing.
Like finding faces
wandering in wood grain,
the mind makes associations and,
aided by emotional upheaval,
twists benign events
into maliciousness.

Inspired by: Poet Share 10/5/13, Number Twelve

Monday, October 7, 2013

Random Wisdom: Henry David Thoreau - Quiet

If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment. 
~Henry David Thoreau 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Perception is Everything

A single black line
on a crisp white page
defined only
by perspective

A demarcation of horizon
a dividing ultimatum
or simply
a line drawn
on a blank page

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cooking with Gas

Inspiration hits like a cast iron skillet
and he writes.

Mood sets itself--
each sentence a gleaming clever
as his fingers find the keys
and put the plot to boil.
some well done,
others half-baked, begin to breathe--
to speak his words
no longer his own.

Beating on the backspace button,
he struggles in vain
to whisk himself away
from the tale's tenacious grip
but the story has set
and the diners are at the door.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Random Wisdom: Laini Taylor - Opening Doors

“She knocked and waited, because when the door was opened from within, it had the potential to lead someplace quite different.” ~ Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

A Pause Between

Delightfully confused
by sudden freedom from pain,
he is giddy--
flittering from room to room and out
into the open expanse of the world
like a firefly beaming
on a warm summer evening.

Seeing these streets--
his streets
falling away as he drifts higher,
he hovers
taking in the beauty of a skyline
he never took time to notice.

Unencumbered now by time or expense,
he sets sail on the wind
to walk upon the Tor in Glastonbury,
to perch upon a spire in St. Petersburg,
to sit upon the stairs of Machu Picchu,
to see all the splendor
he never saw in life.

And as the dawn
sets the upper atmosphere aglow,
a greater light pierces him
with a bitter sweetness.
His soul laments all he has lost,
and with a moment's hesitation,
he lingers
before dissolving
into nothingness.

Inspired by: G. Holst - The planets Op. 32 - Mercury, the Winged Messenger - Berliner Philharm. - Karajan (3/7)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Loosening the Laces

I first danced in his arms
then on his toes
as he told me not to follow
in his footsteps
but to take the risk,
push down the petal
and grab the wheel
with both hands.

As the path grows longer,
into the halls of necessity,
I find myself wearing his shoes
and long to run barefoot.

Inspired by: Poet Share 9/28/13, Number Eleven

Monday, September 23, 2013

Late Night Wrangler

Throwing open the door
to the desert's only 24 hour
convenience store,
he storms to the beater truck--
Stetson pulled low,
boot heels crushing gravel into dust.

Kicking stones in a skid of speed,
tires spin then bite hard
launching him onto open road,
heedless of the hour--
hell bent
on getting milk home to baby.

Inspired by: SV - Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow - Still I'm Sad (vinyl)

Random Wisdom: Henri Matisse - Serenity

What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter - a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue. 
~Henri Matisse

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Portrait of an Airship Captain

Grown and gray
in top hat and tails,
proud in a steampunk style
of burnished buttons and crushed velvet,
he dances with a dirigible--
lost in the romance
of cogs and gears,
machine oil and old lace.

Inspired by: Poet Share 9/21/13, Number Ten

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Things That Go Bump...

Reading aloud to my love,
we step into the tale together--
we laugh
we comment
we push past the need for sleep
to squeeze in another chapter.

Hoarse and tired,
I close the book and my eyes
as he asks why
it seems so many stories go subterranean--
he not being a fan of deep dark places
and our current scene being
the sewers of 1860's London.

I sigh
and remind the horror writer
of what makes his work successful.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

R5 Ride

The train's steady click mingles
with a soothing sway
and early morning muteness
descends into daydreams.

Telephone wires rise and dip
in a dance of distance
waltzing behind backyard trees
and empty lots
turned fields of wildflowers.

A scene almost serene
suddenly skips
as silhouettes flash staccato,
thrashing like a broken film reel
severed by the passing commuter train.

Motionless people moving past
at breakneck speed
sit silent like specters
travelling back to where I've been.

Inspired by:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Random Wisdom: Christian Nestell Bovee

Panic is a sudden desertion of us, and a going over to the enemy of our imagination. ~Christian Nestell Bovee

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mission Control

Self-assured, it configures the path
on which to launch its rockets—
telling itself with scientific certainty
that the vision outweighs the risk
or the means.

With digitized eyes
tracked and focused,
eager for epic discovery,
it monitors the vast unknown
thinking itself omnipotent—
counting the seconds down to lift off
and, eventually,
to an epiphany of self-destruction.

Written as part of Poet Share-Prompt Number Nine. 
To view the prompt, please go to:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Music Monday - Song Eleven: Blue Butterfly by +Niels Bonke

A Glimpse 

In the briefest of moments,
a single shaft of sunlight
pierces through a tinted window
half hidden by piles of paper--
the proverbial light
at the end
of a work day tunnel.

To hear the prompt go to:

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ekphrastia Gone Wild Virtual Publication Party

Be sure to tune in to the Ekphrastia Gone Wild Virtual Publication Party, Sunday September 15 at 2:00 pm (pacific time) to hear poets from the book read their work on a special Poetry Super Highway Live broadcast.

And, yes, you will be able to hear me read my contribution during the broadcast even though I continue to maintain my aversion to being recorded. ;)

Random Wisdom: Appreciation

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you'll find that you have more of it.”
~ Ralph Marston

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Music Monday - Song Ten: THE STREETS OF MADRID by +Niels Bonke

Sangria Weekday

A bounce into the barrio
sets the late summer sun ablaze
with loud laughter
erupting from a playful argument.

Children chase each other
running through the streets
dodging cars and a heavy bass beat
punctuated by a splash of Spanish guitar.

Sweating with a smile,
I pass another
cacophony of conversation
understanding nothing
but the joy.

To hear the prompt go to:

Monday, September 2, 2013

Random Wisdom: Enjoy Life

“Even in the mud and scum of things, something always, always sings.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Path Over Travelled

I hitched a ride
with the evening news
to wander around the world for a while.

Detouring politics
and skirting business,
we accelerated toward African famine
and Middle Eastern turmoil.

Cruising through earthquakes
and wildfires,
tornadoes and floods,
we slowed to witness atrocities
in countless colors and denominations
lingering on what seemed
every street corner of the globe.

It was when I saw the slaughtered children
that I jumped out the window
and tumbled to the soft grass verge of home --
wishing simply walking backwards
could wipe away the vision
of splattered blood.

Written as part of B.S. Poets/Poet Share, 8/31/13, Prompt Number Seven.  

1. Write a short poem or vignette about the Gif or image. 
2. Link back to Poet Share/B.S. Poets from your post. 
3. Sign up in the Mr. Linky list, linking directly to your post, AFTER you've posted. 
4. Read the other pieces and leave a comment after linking.

As we support and encourage others, we support and encourage ourselves. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Woeful Awakening

with my failure
to heal the sick
and feed the poor,
I walk in morning moonlight
feeling guilty
for disturbing the crickets.

Trending Exclusive

Long tresses,
short bob,
braided, bunned, barretted,
spiked, straightened,
frosted, and/or colored.

fussing for the one unique style
result in a look-alike line
standing at a bus stop
in the rain.

Written as part of B.S. Poets/Poet Share, 8/23/13, Prompt Number Six.  

1. Write a short poem or vignette about the Gif or image. 
2. Link back to Poet Share/B.S. Poets from your post. 
3. Sign up in the Mr. Linky list, linking directly to your post, AFTER you've posted. 
4. Read the other pieces and leave a comment after linking.

As we support and encourage others, we support and encourage ourselves. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Music Monday - Song Nine: Amerantropoid - Dead End Dub Metal by +Deafboy Deft

To be -- in but not of... 

Operating under self-imposed
sensory deprivation of all
but the very tips of one's fingers,
the masses fold
into the convenience of consumerism
staying within the safety
of technological advancement--
the secure separation
from direct contact with others,
with nature,
and with oneself.

When waters rise,
walls crumble,
and guns fire--
when even the most processed of foods
become scarce,
who will step forward and
out into the rain
leaving behind
those who will simply stare
slack jawed
at a blinking cursor?

To hear the prompt go to:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Random Wisdom: Focus

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. ~Mark Twain 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Inaccessible Enclave

You can't get there from here.

The island,
surrounded by deep dark turbulent water
filled with denizens of doubt
and topped with white capped waves of worry,
is close enough to see
but much too far to touch.

The concrete certainty of tactile experience eludes;
leaving one to wonder if what is only envisioned
is ever truly attainable.

Written as part of B.S. Poets/Poet Share, 8/17/13, Prompt Number Five

1. Write a short poem or vignette about the Gif or image.
2. Link back to Poet Share/B.S. Poets from your post.
3. Sign up in the Mr. Linky list, linking directly to your post, AFTER you've posted.
4. Read the other pieces and leave a comment after linking.

As we support and encourage others, we support and encourage ourselves.

Fantasy in a Fool's Paradise

Crawling between the gilded pages
of a once upon a time,
she waits among the wildflowers
wishing to be whisked away
by the battle-worn knight
from a yesteryear that never was.

Shire horses and whitetail deer
calmly roam her bucolic dream scape
as witches brew infernal nightmares
beyond the shadowed glade--
conspiring to cast the fated bolt
to jolt her back into reality.

Written as part of B.S. Poets/Poet Share, 8/10/13, Prompt Number Four

1. Write a short poem or vignette about the Gif or image.
2. Link back to Poet Share/B.S. Poets from your post.
3. Sign up in the Mr. Linky list, linking directly to your post, AFTER you've posted.
4. Read the other pieces and leave a comment after linking.

As we support and encourage others, we support and encourage ourselves.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Music Monday-Song Eight: Bitbot by +Steve Taylor

Fleeting Loveliness 

Summer breezes blow
late-blooming blossoms
from their branches.

They fall
in random pirouettes,
gracefully alighting on the water
only to be gently pelted
by a quiet rain.

Currents pull and tug
in swiftly changing channels
all leading down
into a clear abyss of deeper depths.

Beautifully battered,
the flowers swirl
and settle in the silt,
letting go of life
in an unspoken Bashō haiku.

To hear the prompt go to:

Monday, August 19, 2013

Random Wisdom: Kindness quote

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. 
~Lao Tzu 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Music Monday-Song Seven: Somewhere - Mark Ehrenfried (Original Composition)

Escape Route 

Car doors close quietly
with respect
for the early morning hour.

Wheels roll slowly along
silent streets
but once on open road
they sing,
rejoicing with the wind whistling
through the wound-down windows.

The sun still sleeps
as shimmering stars
guide the way to freedom.

To hear the prompt:

Random Wisdom: Silence

“He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Marking Books: The Bones of Avalon by Phil Rickman

Reading aloud to Greg, writing poetry and working to keep a roof over our heads doesn't really leave me much time to read for myself... but I do, no matter how long it takes me to get through a book. The Bones of Avalon is one such novel that I believe has taken me over five months to read through absolutely no fault of Mr. Rickman's.

While not for the faint of heart or for what I term "bubble gum" reading, The Bones of Avalon offers a magical and, at times disgustingly, realistic dive into 1560's Elizabethan England. The use of just enough Elizabethan speech helps to guide the reader back in time without confounding the "modern" mind and gives the story an overall sense of authenticity. As one may come to expect from Phil Rickman, a wide range of characters to both adore and abhor are introduced through a mist of mystery, plot twists and treachery at the highest levels.

At the same time I found myself affected by the inner and outer turmoils of Dr. John Dee, I grew especially fond of a rather minor character, a very colorful "maggot" by the name of Joan Tyrre and I was left curious to know more about her. Mr. Rickman, as always, was kind enough to include notes and credits at the end of the book to clear the path between fact and fiction and, with his much appreciated source citing, I am able and eager to read more on Mistress Tyrre's account.

I guess that is the hook with which Phil Rickman has successfully snagged me -- he has such a wonderful way of cultivating existing truth and legend into a beautifully dangerous garden of imagination that once I've finished enjoying the fruit, I wish to dig deeper to explore the very seeds for myself.

Yet another tantalizing tale from "across the pond," The Bones of Avalon was well worth the long read and has left me wondering when I can pencil the second Dr. Dee novel, The Heresy of Dr Dee, into my schedule.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Norn's Distraction

Drawing water from the well
to care for the Yggdrasill tree,
she spies the bubbles of the lives
that only she can see.

She watches as the lovers dance
and as harsh wars unfold;
she sees the quests of those who wish
for nothing but for gold.

Slowly, she pulls the strands of hair
to weave the twine of fate
for they'll not know of her idle folly
until it is much too late.

Written as part of B.S. Poets/Poet Share, 8/3/13, Prompt Number Three.

1. Write a short poem or vignette about the Gif or image.
2. Link back to Poet Share/B.S. Poets from your post.
3. Sign up in the Mr. Linky list, linking directly to your post, AFTER you've posted.
4. Read the other pieces and leave a comment after linking.

As we support and encourage others, we support and encourage ourselves.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back in Black (Print that is...)

I am very happy to announce that my poem, "A Memory of Madrid" has been selected to be one of the works included in the newly released anthology Ekphrastia Gone Wild: Poems Inspired by Art (Ain't Got No Press, 2013). The collection features 87 poets from around the globe, including the Nobel Prize winning poet Wislawa Szymborska (click here for the complete list of contributors).

To make an already exciting celebration that much more thrilling, there is (dare I say it) a "movement" to bring Ekphrastia Gone Wild to the attention of every 9th and 10th Grade English teacher in the United States. With the new Common Core Educational Standard being adopted by schools all over the country, there is one requiring 9th and 10th graders to examine a poem alongside a work of art that inspired it and I personally feel (no bias here, mind you) Ekphrastia Gone Wild: Poems Inspired by Art would fit the bill quite nicely (see: English Language Arts Standards » Grade 9-10 » 7 ).The idea that these poems could be included as part of regular course study boggles my mind (in a good way).

If you have any connections to 9th and 10th grade English teachers, English department chairs and/or curriculum developers in your community and would like to help make this anthology an essential resource for their classes, please contact Rick Lupert at Ain't Got No Press (or me, if that is more comfortable for you).

I am honored to be a part of Ekphrastia Gone Wild: Poems Inspired by Art and humbly thank Rick in appreciation of his poetic efforts and vision. Please visit Poetry Superhighway as well as Lupert: It's The Website for more on this extremely talented and hilariously unique poet and editor.

To get your copy of Ekphrastia Gone Wild: Poems Inspired by Art, order directly through the Ain't Got No Press website or from

And... thank you for all of your support. Without those of you who have believed in me (for quite a few years now), I wouldn't have the confidence to "put it all out there" (and here) in the first place. :)

Music Monday-Double Dip Song Seven-New York Herald Tribune - Martial Solal

Seaside Sonata

Stars wade upon black water
softly swaying with the whisper
of a night surf lullaby
as young lovers mimic
midnight sandpipers
chasing each other beneath the pier
and laughing as the tide ebbs
and flows outside of time.

To hear the prompt: 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Music Monday-Song Six: Ministry - Faith Collapsing

The Mystic Apes

Driven by the promise of
salvation from the "Self,"
progressive feet pound
in great masses, pushing
toward the outer edges--straining
and grinding and bent
on being the first to grab
the gilded ring.

Group thought forms
in a swarm of shadowed veils--
compliance dressed in
safety blankets and wealth assured
by total transparency.

All the while, three monkeys sit
with hands over eyes,
over ears,
and over mouth.

To listen to the prompt: 

Random Wisdom: Trusting Oneself Quote

“Self trust is the essence of heroism.”  
~Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Thursday, August 1, 2013


A thought
expressed in lines
heavy with emotion,
a short simplistic but heartfelt

I wrote the cinquain (pronounced: siŋ-kān; or "sing-CANE") using the American Cinquain Form: A poem of five lines... 

Line 1: one stress (usually iambic meter with the first syllable unstressed),  two syllables 
Line 2: two stresses,  four syllables 
Line 3: three stresses, six syllables 
Line 4: four stresses, eight syllables 
Line 5: one stress, two syllables 

Thanks to Bekkie Sanchez for reminding me of the form...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Music Monday-Song Five: Coldplay Instrumental - Clocks

The Gull's Commute

Filled with scraps
cast off by
big wheeled garbage barges,
she spreads gray-white wings
and lifts herself from
the black top terrain
of an inland grocery warehouse.

Catching thermals
high above
the maze of moving highways,
she soars free
of both exhaust and human footfalls.

At last, the clamor and commotion
give way to rolling hills
flowing down to meet the marshes.
With dunes in the distance,
she sings with the wind--
calling upon the surf
to welcome her home.

To listen to the prompt: 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Random Wisdom: Perseverance

"Grappling with fate is like meeting an expert wrestler: to escape, you have to accept the fall when you are thrown. The only thing that counts is whether you get back up."  ~ Deng Ming-Dao, Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Stopped Watch

Riding the rails
of a runaway clock,
she burns the candle at both ends.

And in the eleventh hour,
as it barrels around the bend,
the car splits in two
and she flies 
into a torrent of choas.

Limbs flailing,
back breaking,
life ending
all for another's task--
and ultimately unappreciated.

I really need to find another job. LOL! Please believe... it really isn't THAT bad. ;)

1. Write a short poem or vignette about the Gif or image.
2. Link back to Poet Share/B.S. Poets from your post.
3. Sign up in the Mr. Linky list, linking directly to your post, AFTER you've posted.
4. Read the other pieces and leave a comment after linking.

As we support and encourage others, we support and encourage ourselves.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Music Monday-Song Four: Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts IV - 29

Human Resources

Flywheels spin in a hiss of steam
as teeth bite into teeth
and gears turn.

The grand machine,
oiled by its own flesh,
is determined to wring blood
from a stone.

I had Metropolis (the original 1927 Fritz Lang version) going through my head for this one. Thanks for the inspiration Ian!

To listen to the prompt:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Tossed and tumbled
in a dichotomy of light and shadow,
between the desire for expression
and a strong sense of practicality,

I struggle to move--
to progress
and find myself
in the ice of indecision.

Written as part of Poet Share, B.S. Poets, 7/20/13, Number One.

1. Write a short poem or vignette about the Gif or image.
2. Link back to B.S. Poets from your post.
3. Sign up in the Mr. Linky list, linking directly to your post, AFTER you've posted.
4. (Added by me...) Read the other pieces there and comment when moved to do so. As we support and encourage others, we support and encourage ourselves.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Random Wisdom: Believe in Yourself Quote

Whatever you want in life, other people are going to want it too. Believe in yourself enough to accept the idea that you have an equal right to it. ~Diane Sawyer

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Music Monday-Song Three: Robert Fripp - Sky


Weightless and rising through
the obliqueness of white mist
refracted into pristine prisms
by an indeterminate light.

Remembrance reverberates in sounds
unspoken yet all-encompassing
as white gives way to black
and diffused rainbows meld
into nebulas and galaxies spiral
to dance with the stars.

Mass is no more...
all dissolves into nothing
and everything.

Well I certainly got something 'lighter' didn't I?! ;) To listen to the prompt go to:

Random Wisdom: Emerson Quote

“Every man in his lifetime needs to thank his faults.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Prompt Tuesday (Image 12)

Hearing the Hammer 

My father once told me
he wanted to sculpt--
to release the hidden treasure
sleeping in the stone.
But our backyard in suburbia
wouldn't accommodate a grand adventure
and he didn't have the time.

Da Vinci.
I cannot look upon their work
without feeling
my father's hand upon my own
to pick up the chisel--
to breathe life
into his desire.

To view the prompt go to:

Music Monday-Song Two: Sleep Party People - I'm Not Human At All

Sifting Through Aftermath 

Feet shuffle past
debris of what was--
now wanton wasteland.

Weary voices watered
down as if talking
through tin tunnels,
grasp at fog
while wind chimes,
punctuate the would-be pain.

Interesting choice for prompt this week... hopefully something a little brighter will soon be on the horizon. To hear the prompt, go to:

Monday, July 8, 2013

Random Wisdom: Possibilities Quote

The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react. ~George Bernard Shaw

Thursday, July 4, 2013


in family fun and fireworks

by the promise of apple pie
and a high school marching band

taken for granted
by a generation
respecting nothing
but the self-importance of now.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Prompt Tuesday: July 2, 2013 (Image 11)


Focus blurred by bleary eyes struggling
with the language of legalities--
theretofore and henceforward,
the soul surrenders to the whispers
of ancient wisdom pleading
a case against pragmatism--
making art of monotony,
pivoting plain proposals
into poetry.

To view the prompt go to:

Music Monday-Song One: Sigur Rós - Brennisteinn

On the Run

Concussion waves
turn dust to smoke
obscuring all but impact.
Light filters in frantic
fingers pointing at nothing
as pathways fade to black
sucking shoe soles
into an undertow abyss.
Staccato shots pierce the din
followed by further detonation
and all goes dim--
not stopped
but stunned
and so, the chase continues...

Thanks for the inspiration Ian! To listen to the prompt go to:

Monday, July 1, 2013

Random Wisdom: Forgiveness Quote

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." ~Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Knives stab at knots
in the lower left lumbar as
the bells toll
Willing forward motion
to give the dog
his morning walkies,
popping pills
to punch the clock just
to make the mortgage,
feet half step
half shamble
like walking dead
praying for poetry
to voice the silent scream.

Not really that bad this morning... but close. :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Random Wisdom: Balance Quote

“There are moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have a feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well. So I take the memories as they come, accepting them all, letting them guide me whenever I can.” ~ Nicholas Sparks, Dear John

No-Prompt Thursday: June 20, 2013 (Prompt 7)

The Critic's Poniard

A flash of pugnacity
as whetted metal
stabs and stings--
every word
a subtle slice
to prolong the point
and make wounds weep.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Prompt Tuesday: June 18, 2013 (Image 9)

Unexpected Ember 

Caught in a web of memory,
she could not breathe.

His gruff tenor,
resounded from behind
the closed door--
warm to her ears
as it shattered
what was left of her heart.

To view the prompt go to:

Monday, June 17, 2013

Random Wisdom: Self-Realization Quote

“When you connect to the silence within you, that is when you can make sense of the disturbance going on around you.” ~ Stephen Richards

Saturday, June 15, 2013

No-Prompt Thursday: June 13, 2013

Wary on a Wednesday

Greeted by caution tape
strung outside my cubicle,
I paused wondering...

Was it was to warn me
of the tile work
out in the front hall or
of the emails
lying in wait for my log in?

Prompt Tuesday: June 11, 2013 (Image 8)

Momentary Lapse

A path to nowhere
in the middle of nowhere
centered somewhere
in the dark recesses of my mind.

Fighting a temptation toward panic,
I stand still
focused on being
now here.

To see the prompt go to:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Random Wisdom: Strength Quote

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ~ Lao Tzu

Friday, June 7, 2013

No-Prompt Thursday: June 6, 2013

Wallpaper from Wonderland

Swirls of bright hues offer
their pleasant distraction on
this dreary morning.

Having awakened with a brain
bustling and flipping
through the monstrous rolodex of things to do,
I find myself swept
into a curling embrace of color
whispering of Munch, Van Gogh
and the sweet,
sweet softness of Monet.

As the first clear chords of
"Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds"
echo in my internal ear,
I smile -- fully armed
against the day's rain.

*Thanks for the inspiration Bekkie!*

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Prompt Tuesday: June 4, 2013 (Image 7)

A Bench with a View

Put me at ground zero
when the folly of men
push that demonic button.

Let me feed the ducks
and contemplate the clouds of
some serene vista
as I vaporize.

It is enough to be at the mercy
of political foolishness
without being made
to suffer its aftermath.

To see the prompt go to:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Random Wisdom: Right Action Quote

Right actions in the future are the best apologies for bad actions in the past. ~Tyron Edwards

Sunday, June 2, 2013

No-Prompt Thursday: May 30, 2013 (Four)

Mounting Anticipation

Like stones on velvet
silent and shimmering,
the words lay
scrutinized under the poet's loop
scoured for inclusions,
imperfections, and

Pretty pieces,
precious but as yet unadorned,
patiently wait
for their proper setting.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Prompt Tuesday: May 28, 2013

Lungwamen (Lenape: "To Dream")

I watched the crowded fog creep
down the Blue Mountains
in a billowing rush
of silence.

As I stood scanning the oncoming oblivion,
a cross-eyed crow stared at me
from both sides of the veil.
Cawing, he climbed into the mist--
his black wings dissolving
into white nothingness.

As I waited,
walking trails wound back
to a time without train tracks,
without hollowed out houses
and miles of broken asphalt--
where derelict steel stacks
were something as yet to be imagined.

A mountain hawk pierced
the unseen stillness with its cry
and turned my attention
to the gushing Lehigh. Here,
I could sense an ancient wolf
padding along side the sacred spirit
surveying a modern world
arrogantly disconnected
yet ignorantly dependent.

To view the prompt go to:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Random Wisdom: Attitude Quote

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” ~ Winston Churchill

Thursday, May 23, 2013

No-Prompt Thursday: May 23, 2013

Merops apiaster

The West African beauty
flits and struts in pretty plumage--
always watchful,
intently listening,
waiting for the worker bee
to foolishly fly in front of her--
freeing her from the drudgery
of having to hunt for herself.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Prompt Tuesday: May 21, 2013


She came in answer
to his call only
to ultimately
find herself lacking.

Molting inadequacies,
she shed angelic feathers
with each woeful tear.

See the prompt image at:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Random Wisdom: Adjusting Quote

Life at any time can become difficult: life at any time can become easy. It all depends upon how one adjusts oneself to life. ~ Morarji Desai

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Question of Filth

How do you get to spotless
when you don't start out that way?
How do you scrub for hours
or days
or weeks
or years
to remove the dirt,
the grime,
the scrapes and smears that others
leave behind
for someone else to wallow in?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

No-Prompt Thursday: May 16, 2013

An Invitation to Walk

Stepping off the cobblestone
to follow a moth flown path
of loose circles turning a tighter spiral toward
a flickering flame of bitter self pity,
her mood is eclipsed by a brighter light
coaxing it gently
to stop the spin
and fly for fresher air.

Prompt Tuesday: May 14, 2013

Wretched Vacancy

Silence unbroken
by dust motes floating
in a single shaft of filtered blue
beaming through a ragged rip
in the old drawn drapery.

Knees pulled to chin,
bare toes gray with grime
save neon pink polish,
chipped and flaking, paired
with purple fingertips and
bright brown eyes burning
holes across the ceiling.

No one is here
as a floorboard creaks overhead.

See the prompt image at:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Poets of G+ Prompt of the Week: 5/12/13

A Moment to Breathe

Gone before he wakes each morning,
she enters softly with the twilight
to come and tuck him in.

Evidence of how hard she pushes
to pay the bills,
to feed them all,
to keep a roof firmly overhead
shows in deep lines on her face
and calluses on both her hands.

Still, her eyes shine
as she gazes upon her little boy
so sweet as he sleeps,
recognizing he’s the reason
she breathes between sunsets.

The prompt: write a poem that contains the phrase "breathes between sunsets".

Saturday, May 11, 2013

No-Prompt Thursday: May 9, 2013

Sound Check

In the excitement of
the early morning hour,
a bloated silence seems
about to burst--
its thin membrane drawn
tight across the brim.

Waiting for the perfect prompt,
the pencil perches
on the page and with
the slightest inspired breath,
the instrument
begins its serenade.

Inspired by No-Prompt Thursday at:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Prompt Tuesday: May 7, 2013

Le troisième cavalier

The black horse trudges every track,
a cloud of dust raised
from each plodding hoof
on would-be well tended land.

Its rider, with weighing scales clanking,
whispers darkness on the wind--
encouraging the corporate farmers
to let growing fields lay fallow
and alter grain for yield
regardless of nutrition.

His skinless grin
and empty sockets survey
the line of women walking,
suffering harassment,
forever risking rape,
to collect contaminated
water for their families.

A human right means nothing
to a servant of apocalyptic greed.

See the prompt image at:

Friday, May 3, 2013

Random Wisdom: Peace Quote

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. ~Jimi Hendrix

Found at

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Prompt Tuesday: April 30, 2013

A Visit with Norma Desmond

She told me
her cat was Gloria Swanson
returned from the dead
and ready for her close-up.
I told her
she needed to move farther away
from Sunset Boulevard
and to cut back on the microwave popcorn.
She persisted
and placed the black and white beauty
on my lap
where it perched
with hooded eyes
and a haughty flick of its whiskers.
As the feisty feline climbed up closer,
apparently to sniff my nose,
the thought occurred that psychosis
could very well be contagious
as the kitty began to purr,
"DeMille... DeMille... DeMille..."

Prompt Tuesday?
Bekkie Sanchez invited me to the Google+ Community called "Show Offs" where she posts a writing prompt on Tuesdays and gives those who wish to participate a week to enter. Bekkie also posts the "Prompt Tuesday" entries on her Show Offs Community Blog. If you have a moment, please check out the community and the blog. The community is about a whole lot more than writing.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Silk Beauty: Inspired by PSH Poetry Prompt 4-30-13

When I was small
the mimosa tree stood tall
and graceful in our front yard--
its long fans of leaves
and puffy pink flowers marked
my pathway to faerie-land.

The neighbor would complain
long after the rain
of the mess of flowers
clogging his windshield wipers
and would curse the way the seeds
would spread like weeds
in everybody's garden.

When the trunk cracked
at the branching "Y"
I mourned and watched the axe
close yet another door
to Neverland.

The prompt for April 30, 2013 was submitted by Stanley H. Barkan from Merrick, New York: "Write a poem about the trees of your childhood..."

The last prompt for National Poetry Month 2013... let's see if I can keep it going.

Bent on Being Banned: Inspired by PSH Poetry Prompt 4-29-13

So the cops booked me on trumped up charges
and I find myself in a Catch-22.
Out on the Animal Farm,
I walked among The Color Purple
to meet The Catcher in the Rye
when The Lord of the Flies came
To Kill a Mockingbird and
instead stumbled on a Brave New World
where The Sun Also Rises,
and killed me instead.
As I Lay Dying, giving A Farewell to Arms
and a host of mea culpas,
the EMS arrived and declared me An American Tragedy.
As Their Eyes Were Watching God,
this Native Son came back from the brink
and penned an end to them all In Cold Blood.
Now, sitting in the slammer,
I sing a Song of Solomon,
my mind now Gone with the Wind
and I’m damned if I’ll talk...

The prompt for April 29, 2013 was submitted by Suzanne Lummis from Los Angeles, California: "A prompt inspired by Suzanne Lummis’ essay defining the poem noir, forthcoming in Malpais Review: Write a poem that begins 'So the cops booked me on trumped up charges' and ends 'I'm damned if I'll talk'. Somewhere along the way the poet must incorporate one foreign phrase or word, or words."

Okay... Latin counts as foreign , yes? ;) For more information on banned and challenged books, see The American Library Association or simply use any search engine to look up a list of banned and challenged books.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Pondering Divinity

Sometimes I wonder if
God is watching as we wade
through those parts of our lives like
ants in molasses.
I wonder if, as we flail
and kick and curse
in fierce determination
to meet some esoteric goal,
God props Himself up on his elbows
to witness - fascinated as a child
and entertained by the struggle
or if he merely shrugs
and walks away,
knowing our choices
bear their own consequences.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Battling the Frigid Fiend

I try not to think of the pain--
the short sharp jabs
in my feet
my knees
my shoulders
my back
and I can't even speak of my hands.

As I sit cold,
all but numb
at this desk typing
and filing
and longing to be out
in the sunshine and warmth,
my endeavors to ignore the imp
who pricks me with his nasty pick
are thwarted by the little bastard--
as he mercilessly

I really do need to find a way to keep warm at work... 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I Didn’t See It: Inspired by PSH Poetry Prompt 4-24-13

I didn’t see it--
the source of the
in rapid succession
then pause
and tap-tap-tap-tap-tap.

close to my ear
but as yet unseen,
the tap-tap-tap-tap-tap
through the early morning air,
betraying the presence
of a red bellied beauty
to my delight and,
no doubt,
to the bark bugs' dismay.

The prompt for April 24, 2013 was submitted by Scott Wiggerman from Austin, Texas:
All too often we get caught up with purely visual images; this is a prompt focused on aural ones. Go sit somewhere outside (e.g., a park bench, front stoop, bus stop, etc.). Listen carefully to all the sounds you hear, making a list of them (close your eyes if it helps eliminate visual cues). Use approximations of sounds if need be (e.g., wha-wha-whee-ee to describe a bird noise). After you have a sufficient list, read it aloud (more aural!) and choose five sounds, words, or phrases that resonate with you (or perhaps suggest additional images you hadn’t considered). Use these as a basis for a nature poem titled "I Didn’t See It."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lunar Longing: Inspired by PSH Poetry Prompt 4-23-13

Climbing high
in the chill of midnight
shining with the glow
of tomorrow's hidden sunlight
and singing to the sleeping crocus flowers
closed and blue and waiting
for another day,
I would smile with the stars
and gaze down upon the quiet world
and the woman that I am,
wide-eyed and reverent,
looking up at me.

The prompt for April 23, 2013 was submitted Jerry Carlin from Concord, California: "Write a poem about the desire to be the moon in spring."

Friday, April 19, 2013

And A Dinosaur Roars...

You would think
with all the "i" technology:
we would learn:
  I can
  I do
  I will.
Maybe the next new thing could be:
  i am
with free apps for:

 Just musing... ;)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Impeded Inspiration

Lump of nothing.
Block of blankness.
A stymied slab of squat.

Illumination everywhere
but the puckish muse
         with invisible ink.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bearing Witness to Boston

I wasn't there
and those whom I love
were nowhere near the blasts…
but I am affected.

As angry as I become
looking at the footage--
thinking of the malevolence that had set this plan to pass--
seeing pictures of exploded pressure-cooker pieces
and the metaphor it evokes in my poetic mind,
I find myself in tears only
upon reading acts of kindness--
of angels risking their own wings
to help a stranger scared
and down
and bleeding.
It is the evidence of yin and yang,
of light and dark,
of the universe always seeking balance
not in the form of Muhammad
or Buddha
or Christ
or Krishna
but in the love shared among common souls
that overflows my eyes
and fills my humbled heart.

For Molly and Dave and Maggie... and everyone else.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Intonation for Insomniacs: Inspired by PSH Poetry Prompt 4-16-13

I've been told
many times
that my voice is comforting--
that in the early morning hours
the timbre of my tone
is soothing.
When he lost vision in one eye
with diminished sight in the other,
I began to read to him
and more than once--
many times
I have stopped to find him sleeping.
Perhaps I should read with more inflection...

The prompt for April 16, 2013 was submitted by Eloise Klein Healy from Sherman Oaks, California: "Write a recipe for curing sleeplessness."

Monday, April 15, 2013

Passive-Aggressive Poetry

If I am destined for Hell,
it will consist of cubicle catacombs
perpetually lit by long banks of bare florescent bulbs.

Teetering on the brink of bleak,
staring at a multitude of columns and rows
filled with inconsequential data,
I dare to decide
I need another cup of coffee
if only to warm my hands.
It’s Monday and I long for inspiration outside
of this mundane establishment.
With a recklessness borne by dire desire,
I risk the “write-up” and steal company time
to create a pittance of  poetry –
exercising the audacity to think beyond
the working drone in a wasteland of compliant servitude.

If you hadn't guessed, I'm "off-prompt" again. Perhaps it is my mood or just that I have such a great and natural aversion to authority of any kind. I could have predicted that I wouldn't stay with a "guided" plan for National Poetry Month for very long... Ah well, maybe tomorrow's prompt will push me back in line -- or not. ;)


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Unimaginative Static

My mind mashed by countless keystrokes
and convoluted requests to shift
their work to
my desk,
I struggle with being
by a prompt I prayed would save my brain
as a software conversion snaps my synapses,
crushing my creativity.

The prompt for April 11, 2013 was submitted by Mindy Nettifee from the Portland, Oregon. It fizzled for me so, I wrote off-prompt but if you are interested: "HI, THIS IS AWKWARD -- Have a conversation with something or someone or some idea that can’t speak back to you. Give it power over you. Small or profound, this power it has over you is f***ing with you. It’s preventing you from doing something necessary. By the end of poem, find a way to ask for the power back."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Culinary Contumacy: Inspired by PSH Poetry Prompt 4-10-13

outside and in,
I start a pot of soup.
Chicken for strength,
spinach for health,
garlic and onion for taste...
but, alas,
the blandness of the day
has permeated my palate.
With temerity,
I toss in a can of diced tomatoes
and more than a dash of hot sauce.

The prompt for April 10, 2013 was submitted by Dorrie Johnson from the United Kingdom: "Name a herb, a spice and a weather condition.   If you need to, add a place."

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Love at Lunchtime: Inspired by PSH Poetry Prompt 4-9-13

I watch in the side view mirror
as he sits at the top of the back stairs
head slightly cocked
white ears perked
dark eyes bright
for the moment the engine stops growling
and mama opens the car door
to tear down the concrete path
and dance on his hind legs
snuffling kisses while his tiny tail
threatens to wag off.

The prompt for April 9, 2013 was submitted by Michelle Angelini from Hollywood, California: "Relationships: dogs & their humans"

Monday, April 8, 2013

Off the Wrong Side of the Bed: Inspired by PSH Poetry Prompt 4-8-13

Floating in a haze of disbelief,
I parade along a bank of seven story cabinets
and feel the stack of files
multiplying exponentially in my arms.
I weave around electricians' legs
dangling from the ceiling at odd angles
and maintenance workers laying crappy carpet
over brand new marble tiles.
A flock of shirts and skirts
pass titillating tidbits
at the water cooler--
peering out like pigeons
all at once
to throw disgusted daggers
from their beady little eyes.
Dropping the files, now
too heavy for my hands,
I hurry to hide in the bathroom
only to find it closed for cleaning.
My cubicle,
a final refuge,
stretches beyond my reach
as a raffle basket rushes past
proclaiming the praises of the United Way
and strobe lights scream a sudden siren
as my alarm clock reminds me
it's Monday.

The prompt for April 8, 2013 was submitted by Fern G.Z. Carr from Kelowna, Canada: "Write a poem whereby you turn a nightmarish situation to your advantage:  ex. You awake to find yourself completely naked at an important job interview.  Incorporate the word “titillating” into your poem."

Okay, so I didn't really turn a nightmarish situation to my advantage... but I did incorporate "titillating" into the poem. ;)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Marking Books: 11/22/63 by Stephen King

Greg said that he wasn't interested in reading a book about the Kennedy assassination even if it was written by Stephen King. Then, my best bud out there in California sent 11/22/63 our way saying she liked it and that is wasn't what Greg thought it was. Julie's recommendations rarely miss when it comes to books and movies and she certainly wasn't wrong about this one.

Yes, the Kennedy assassination is addressed in this book but 11/22/63 is not about JFK. It is about a high school English teacher who finds himself thrown into a skewed reality that blurs both past and present. With 11/22/63Stephen King strings together yet another page-turner -- all 849 of them with accompanying questions for discussion, author Q & A, a playlist, and a menu with recipes. As the story unfolds through the eyes of Jake Epping (our reluctant would-be hero), Stephen King pulls the reader back and forth through time as small (and not-so-small) choices have cataclysmic consequences down the line. The truth of the human condition -- all the dirty, clean, loving, hating, horrible, beautiful mess that it is -- unfolds masterfully as Mr. King unveils the simple reality that there are no easy answers.

I wouldn't classify 11/22/63 as "horror" so much as a suspenseful drama where you think you know the history but quickly realize that history, like everything else, is relative. I definitely recommend this one (having read to Greg until I was hoarse on more than one occasion) and send out a huge "Thank you" to Woo for forwarding the book all the way from California.

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Bitter Morning: Inspired by PSH Poetry Prompt 4-5-13

Staring out her mother's windshield,
stewing in disgust
for the throng of classmates
cluttered on the corner
in the cold,
she sits swimming
in resentment of her mother
moving here--
away from her father
and far from Society Hill.
Grunting a good-bye
as the battered bus arrives,
she slams the door and measures her gait
with intentional effort
to make others wait--
lifting her chin
for all
to behold her superiority.

The prompt for April 5, 2013 was submitted by Lori Williams from Brooklyn, New York: "We see many people in our day to day lives... while going to work, shopping or simply taking a walk. Often we just  pass them by without a glance. In your travels, find an interesting looking stranger.  Use your powers of observation – note their clothes, demeanor, gait, etc.  and  write a poem from their perspective about what is going on in their life."

I actually wrote the poem below first, then realized that I hadn't written "from their perspective" and wrote "A Bitter Morning" to follow the prompt.

High School Peacock

A crowded corner waits
for its daily trek to LHS.
Every ethnicity represented,
shivers together in the early Spring frost.
Finally, a yellow behemoth rumbles to a stop
and the stampede shoves on board
as one straggler--
much too delicate to stand with the rest,
steps from her mother's warm car with a swish of silky hair
and saunters to her seat
with an air much colder than the morning chill.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Reading Exhaust: Inspired by PSH Poetry Prompt 4-4-13

Jesus says he loves me,
But Satan thinks I'm cool.

         Mean People Suck


                 I Love My Granddog

Spending lunchtime hungry
catching up on bumper sticker slogans
waiting for the flagman to finish his sandwich.

The prompt for April 4, 2013 was submitted by Daniel Irwin from Illinois:
Start with the line: 
    Jesus says he loves me,
    But Satan thinks I'm cool. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Death by Pushpin: Inspired by PSH Poetry Prompt 4-3-13

I couldn't do it.
The thought brought out
a thin white lab coat
with a pushpin
turned into a pithing needle.
Even the ratty old copy of Ethan Frome 
(required reading with its dreadful broken pickle dish)
was spared the stabbing
for the sake of inspiration.
As much as I despised the story,
the book still lives and breathes--
its yellowed pages
like wrinkles on the face of an old friend.

The prompt for April 1, 2013 was submitted by Jim Knowles from Andover Massachusetts: 
The "push-pin with coherence" method. 
1) get an old or clearance book (yellowed paper pierces easily) (eloquent author makes it cool) 
2) wiggle/pierce a pushpin through the book in a spot 
3) So it is not random, pick any word from within one inch of the hole on each page. Your mind will try to force some order, to ‘cohere’ the words, as you pick the next and the next, the fit the prior words. 
4) Now, when you have about 20 to 100 words, insert connecting words and shift the words you took  (verb tense, synonym, etc) 
5) You should see a theme emerge, with some catchy phrases. Feel free to chuck or rewrite at this point. There are scenes emerging, hopefully. Oddly enough, the original author counts. Former best sellers from  the dollar store can be good. Old, badly oxidized acid paper makes things easy... those cheap books at the used book store that are crumbling. the job easy.