Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

You, Double

What are words worth
when we wield them as weapons?
We whale on one another,
whisper wicked wishes
We're wretched wrecks
We were wonderful once
Weeks waxed and waned without worry,
warm and willing
Where are we now?
Waiting, weary
Welcoming winter.

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Open Link Monday

Friday, April 25, 2014


Willard House by Lisa Gordon Photography
They took my books
Said all that reading wasn't good
for a woman's mind
So I started writing
They burned my papers
and spilled my ink
Said my useless nattering
just proved that I wasn't 'right'
What else could I do but paint?
I painted the walls with my monthly blood
I painted the nightmares that visited my bed
I painted the screams stuck in my throat
But mostly, I painted rage
Deep, dark, red rage
I should have known better
An insane woman is an embarrassment
An angry woman is a danger
So they put me in this place
with bars on the windows like a jail
or a zoo
to be punished
and tamed.

Lessons on Lying

I was never really his friend
I hated his orangy hair and luminous pale face
his omnipresent cardigan,
the color of burnt cinnamon
But he came from a good family
I mean, from money
and I was not at all rich or romantic or polished
so I pretended to love him
The sex and all?
How I hated that stuff!
Kissing his spongy lips
was like diving face first into a container of raspberry Jello
But my philosophy was
to do whatever it took to escape
Little did I know
that he was waiting to escape too
and he did-
from his family
and from the dark alley of my dissemblance
When you least expect it,
someone grows up
and gets it right
I doubt if I ever will.

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Next Stop Wonderland, in which we are asked to randomly open 3 books 3 times each, pick words that catch our attention, and use them in a poem. My 3 books were The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Catcher In the Rye, and the Orchid Thief.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Devil Child

evil eye amulets at Cargo in Portland, OR
Foot of the rabbit, evil eye
Moon birthed a daughter on the brink of July
Wear a horn and sign the cross
All your gold will turn to dross
Devil's child with angel's hair
Lock eyes and you best beware
She'll kiss you then she'll eat you whole
Leave your bones but take your soul.

Mrs. Murphy's House of Heads

photo by lolamouse (Cargo in Portland, OR)
The advert in the paper read
"Mrs. Murphy's House of Heads"
I found it down a dead end street
A small house, completely discreet
except the window sign that said
"Mrs. Murphy's House of Heads."

I went inside to have a look
and in each cranny and each nook
was tucked a head, some big, some small
I couldn't even count them all!
Some heads were happy; some were sad
Here was a lass and there a lad
Some heads were ugly; some were fair
Some heads were bald and some had hair.

Each head upon its neck did sit
I found it creepy, just a bit
But I had come to buy a spare
It's said I lose mine on a tear
I wondered what a head would cost
and how the ones in here were lost!

I stood there staring, lost in thought
when someone asked me what I sought
Twas Mrs. Murphy, her fine self
arranging heads upon a shelf
"How can I help you?" she asked me
"I need a head you'll guarantee
will stay attached should I get mad
much better than the ones I've had."

"Come right this way, I think I know
a head that will fit you just so!"
She lead me to a little room
all full of heads that I assume
were packed with thought, with smarts, with wit
the choicest heads that would befit
a person of my pedigree
but which one would she choose for me?

"The head you have right now's first rate,
but if you want to trade it - GREAT!"
"But I want an extra head
I want to keep mine too," I pled
She said, "That's fine, no need to beg,
I'll let you  pay with your left leg."
"No way! I want to keep the pair!"
"I hardly think that that seems fair!"
she said to me with great alarm
"But I suppose I'll take an arm."

I spoke, "You know, I've changed my mind."
I thanked her but at last declined
It costs too much to get a head
I'll keep just what I have instead! 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Passover Blessing

We remember
Our lives as slaves
Long  ago  in Egypt
Eat unleavened bread
to   commemorate
the    Exodus
And we pray
for others
to be

 Ba ruch 
 A  t a h 
 Ad o nai 
 M e lech 
a s h e  r 
 kid 'shanu
v ' tzivanu
 l '  had lik
neir  shel
Yom Tov 
Art Thou
O,   Lord
Our  God
King of the
Uni v erse
Who  Hast
Us to kindle
the light of 
the holiday

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Mini Challenge for Easter Sunday

The Last Supper

tHE wine won't wash down the dreary WEariness
of this
meant to NOurish so why am 
I empty
the plates
fistS under napkINS
I fold
Dinner's COLD
as YOUr stARE.

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Avant Edge: e.e. cummings

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


We found them
when we cleaned out your house
You had saved them
all these years
My letters
tied with a pink ribbon
kept in a shoebox
in your dresser
As I read through them
I saw my writing change
from big, round letters
to cursive
to hearts dotting the 'i's
to hurried adult scrawl
I met myself
as a child
a teen
and an adult again
Thank you
for giving me back a piece of

submitted (late again!) for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, FB Friday, Postmark: Poetry

Tuesday, April 1, 2014



 There are things we kept secret
After all, who wants to know everything
about the one they love?
Mystery is more enticing than mundane
and the unknowable is irresistible

So there are things we kept secret
after even decades had passed
and thousands of nights in the same bed
There are words we never spoke
Wishes we never shared

Walking around with dark glasses on
we bumped into edges of expectations
and tripped over each others'  hopes
until we were both so bruised
it hurt to be around each other

There are things we kept secret
after they didn't matter any more
after we bled until there was no more blood
when it was time
to either mend the holes
or die.