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

Friday, January 30, 2015

Lavender Memories

If I could paint
I would paint the two of us walking
in a field of lavender
The sun warm on our faces
The bees dancing around our ankles
but never stinging because
we are so full of joy there is no room
for pain
You would tuck a sprig of lavender
behind my ear
I would nestle one in your shirt pocket
We would walk hand in hand
swinging our arms like kids
singing songs we make up
When we get home
I would place the blossoms between
dictionary pages so that when we open it,
scented memories would waft over us
This is what I would paint
if I could paint.

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Transforming Friday w/Nature's Wonders

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Moth Heart

I never fell for magic tricks
until I fell for you
You knew my cards
before I looked at them
Cut people in half
and made them whole
I was mesmerized

You made my heart disappear
under a silk handkerchief
and left in its place
a moth
The flutter of its wings
felt so much like heartbeats
I barely noticed it was missing
until the moth flew away
like one of your magic doves

I keep hoping you will return
to make me whole again.

submitted for Magpie Tales, Mag 255

Monday, January 26, 2015

Nature Bestows Strength

Nature bestows strength on her children
Sometimes, we listen to the quietest voice
and the delicate flower is the most tenacious

Every living thing strives toward growth
Struggles to survive even the unsurvivable
Nature bestows strength on her children

Within the grinding chaos and nattering chatter
A breeze whispers through spring grasses 
Sometimes, we listen to the quietest voice

Storms bring down the grandest oak
A lone blossom pushes through a littered sidewalk toward the sun
The delicate flower is the most tenacious.

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Play It Again Toads #13, Hedgewitch's Cascade Challenge

Friday, January 23, 2015


Boy, give me a burger
I don't want that ribeye steak
I need a little sugar, but
don't bake me a whole cake
I'll stain my lips with grape juice
Don't go pouring a French wine
I won't eat no lobster, but
your sausage mighty fine!
I don't need no gourmet dinner
I'm not really in the mood
Boy, you know just what I crave
I'm hungry for fast food!

69 words for Mama Zen's Words Count at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tonight the Moon

Tonight the moon
lays against the sky
Perfect white crescent
on  black canvas

Tonight the stars
shimmer in place
Janurary snowflakes
on jet black hair

Tonight the barred owl
questions the stillness
Waits for a reply
as do I.

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Tuesday Platform

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Girl At the End of the Rope

The girl at the end of the rope
dangled like a broken piñata
Her father found her first
Tried to breathe her life back
It was rejected
like an incompatible organ

Her mother screamed
A scream full of terror and grief
It echoed
in the house
in dreams

The girl's father had twice failed
Could not protect
his daughter or
his wife
like a man should
He became a cicada shell
an empty husk of what had been
defined now by its absence

The mean girls at school
rolled their mascaraed eyes
Said it was just a joke
Only a loser
would take their taunts and threats seriously
She did

Instead of returning from spring break
with a knot in her stomach
She fastened a knot around her neck
The girl at the end of the rope.

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Sunday Mini-Challenge, In Other Words

Friday, January 16, 2015

Seven Thoughts About Privilege

can walk down any street
No one
is afraid

can shop anywhere
Clerks say hello
Privilege isn't followed

walks behind people
who do not
quicken their pace

orders a pizza
It gets delivered
to the door

wears a hoodie
People assume
it is just cold

passes on the sidewalk
don't clutch purses tighter

says, "I don't see color"
It doesn't have to.

submitted for dVerse Poets Pub, One-Two-Three-Ten Word!

Thursday, January 15, 2015


It was the end of summer
that first time
We should have known
that something would grow
Everything was wild and
Death came
with the last of autumn's foliage
The maple leaves on the ground
red as blood
I raked them into piles
with a fury, desperate
to bring order to turmoil
It must have been December
when I noticed
my heart, covered in hoarfrost
like white mold
on a bruised strawberry,
untouchable and

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, FB Friday, Winter

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Black Out Poetry: The Heart

The heart
may be
presenting only

Its nature-
tangled masses of
deeply buried
ground fresh
through time

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Tuesday Platform (though inspired by a prompt I missed at dVerse Poets Pub about black out poetry!) I used one of my husband's outdated pathology books for this one!

Friday, January 9, 2015

In a Storm

The lightning's skeletal fingers 
pointed down at us
The thunder accused
"Sin! Sin!! SIN!!!"
We watched the storm
through the moon roof
Seats leaned all the way back
we were comfortable
in the darkness
Sometimes a car
isn't the safest place
in a storm.

submitted to Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Road Trip

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

There Should Be a Word

There should be a word
for the experience of newly washed cotton sheets
hanging on the clothesline
A word that expresses
more than the fresh, clean smell of linen
more than the buttery warmth of the sun
on your face when you look up
to fasten the clothespins
more than the feeling
of home
of renewal
of nostalgia for apple pie cooling on the window pane
(even if your mother never baked apple pie)
A word for the wholeness of the experience

I'm thinking of a word
like petrichor
Petrichor captures the entire sensuousness
of the just-having-rained feeling
Say that one word
and everyone knows exactly what you mean
(once you define it for them)

There should be more
of these words
but since there are not,
I present to you a picture:
Newly washed cotton sheets
hanging on a clothesline
I hope that you understand.

submitted for Magpie Tales, Mag 252
and Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, The Tuesday Platform

Sunday, January 4, 2015

To Portland

photo source
She knew she had to break away
from small town ways and small town minds
For sanity, she could not stay
Her spirit had been too confined

The left coast called to her again
And she would answer it at last
To thoughts of what she might have been--
A middle finger to the past!

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Flash 55 Plus

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year Ghosts

“For last year's words belong to last year's language And next year's words await  another voice.”   T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
photo by Alina R.

You invited ghosts
to the New Year party
They made the other guests
feel loud and gaudy
with their quiet shadowy presence
We could barely hear ourselves talk
over their humming "Auld Lang Syne"
again and again, like sad chant

when that girl wrote in your yearbook
"Plus ça changeplus ça reste la même?"
Well, I've been fighting that truth
ever since

I found new words,
a new voice,
a new sun to orbit
But you opened the attic
and let the ghosts escape

They glued hundreds of ripped pages
back onto the calendars
Tore out all of my bookmarks
so I had to reread from the beginning
They threw frail, faded petals
from old corsages
instead of confetti
And when it came time
to toast the New Year,
the wine had turned to vinegar.

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Bits of Inspiration, Happy New Year