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

Monday, May 30, 2011


photograph courtesy of Diana Lee

 Grace these boughs with rain and snow
Black winged angel of the wood
Sheltering the fawn and doe
Grace these boughs with rain and snow
Pine scented nests on earth below
Let doubters stand where Thoreau stood
Grace these boughs with rain and snow
Black winged angel of the wood.

submitted to Photograph Prose

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The City

image courtesy of Scott Wyden
For him there was no prom
He walked across the stage at graduation
There were a few claps
And a few more snickers
He packed his bag, hugged his mom
And left
He had no delusions
That he would be better loved
In the city
But at least there
He could find
Places to hide

and a belated Friday Flash 55

The Duke

image courtesy of Bluebell Books
The visit began just like last week's. "See if you can find a John Wayne movie on the TV. I can't figure out how to work it anymore."

"Okay, Dad." Of course, I found one. Seems that John Wayne movies are always on.

"Yeah. The Duke. Now, he was a real man. Don't see too many of his kind anymore. So, you find a job yet?"

"I've told you, Dad. I have a job. I'm a writer. That is my job." I wished I could blame this conversation on senility, but it was just his stubborn refusal to accept my vocation.

"No, I mean a real job. Oh, I know you got a couple of stories published in some magazines, and that's great and all, but you can't really expect to be able to support a wife and a couple of kids some day living like that."

I let that comment drift off into the whir of the box fan he had sitting by his Lazy Boy. If we began that conversation, not even the Duke would be able to save me.

submitted for Short Story Slam-Week 2, Bluebell Books

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Builder

image source

“I build a painting by putting little marks together–some look like hot dogs, some like doughnuts.” – Chuck Close
  Break me down to make me whole
Stand back and admire your skill
Creator, master of control
Break me down to make me whole
 Revealing secrets of my soul
My life essence you distill
Break me down to make me whole
Stand back and admire your skill.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Who's Gonna Save Them?

Stole the cash from Mama's purse
To buy the test after school
Along with a candy bar, nail polish, and lip gloss
To look casual, you know, like she did this all the time
Cut her morning classes to pee in peace
After Mama went off to work

Who's gonna save them
Now that they're here?

Wrapped the bad news in toilet paper
Hid it in the trash
Passed her boyfriend a note
He hung his head and slammed the dirty cafeteria table
Later he offered to marry her
If she wanted
Or give her the money
To do something else

Who's gonna save them
Now that they're here?

She tried to keep her head up and walk tall
They called her "whore" and "baby killer"
Pushed pamphlets at her with pictures she didn't want to see
She told herself she'd come back another day
But she never did
The sting of Mama's hand across her face hurt the worst

Who's gonna save them
Now that they're here?

submitted for WD Poetic Form Challenge, The Bop, at Poetic Asides

The Bop is a poetic form created by Afaa Michael Weaver. It is a poetic argument made up of 3 stanzas, each stanza followed by a refrain. The first stanza (6 lines) states a problem, the second stanza (8 lines) explores or expands upon the problem, and the third stanza (6 lines) presents a resolution to the problem or tells of the failure to resolve the problem.

Sounds of Falling Angels

Did I disappoint you?

Your Ivory Soap girl

Isn't even 99 percent pure

Think I give a damn

That I didn't  live up to your expectations?

Find a new saint to worship

Find a new pillar to stand by your palace of virtue

I ain't no virgin

And I've already been sacrificed

And the blood I spilled wasn't for you

So stand back

Or you're gonna get splattered

With the bloody tatters

Of your icon.

submitted for Poetry Jam, Forgetting, May 30, 2011 
(this was written for someone from my past whom  I would love to forget as he was a pompous jerk!)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Untitled (for David)

image source
I travel the roads
Of you
Tracing well-worn paths
With my fingers
Over your brown skin, your muscles
The territory familiar
Warm, welcoming
Like returning to a favorite seaside haunt
Where the locals know your name
Where you know
the best pizza dive
and the creamiest ice cream
and can say, "Here is the perfect place
to see the sand dunes at sunset."
And you never want to go anywhere else because
You crave
that salt air on your face
that ice cream on your tongue
and your lips on my lips traveling over only you
Because nothing else could ever be
So good.

submitted for May Poetry Challenge, Travel, at Verse in a Nutshell

Monday, May 23, 2011

Eat Up!

Tournier's Banquet Scene With a Lute Player courtesy of Magpie Tales 67
I may be a courtesan
But I have got a master plan
I'm going to escape these men
They won't bother me again. 

See the one playing the lute?
He's nothing more than a brute.
And the one with the eye glass?
He is nasty, cruel, and crass.
The other two are even worse-
They sport habits most perverse!

They wanted a little food
To set the tone, to set the mood.
Over dinner I will serve
Exactly what they most deserve.

Lots of arsenic should suffice
To end their dinners off real nice.
They may detect metallic taste
Never suspect their meal was laced.

And by the time they long for bed
If all goes well, they should be dead.
The final course I save for me-
When they are gone, then I am free!

submitted for Magpie Tales 67


The artist's paradox: 
image source

To capture a moment
To recreate it
     With paintbrush
Destroys the moment.

Putting a frame around it
means one is no longer
in the moment 
but an observer.

The mystique is gone
for the artist
but is evoked again
in others.

submitted for May Poetry Challenge, Mystique, at Verse in a Nutshell
and Poetry Potluck 36, Sketches, Images, and Impressions, at Jingle Poetry

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Blue Pill Blues

image courtesy of Walter Parada
Economy's down
The budget's tight
We have to make some cuts
We'll lay off teachers
Reduce food stamps
Tighten belts we must!

And out health care
It's so wasteful
We can trim some frills
Use generics
Just keep our blue pills!

They can manage
Without their injections
But without
Our Viagra
We'll have no erections!

Fingers ache
From arthritis
Hurting to the bone?
We don't care
Meds cost money
We want groins of stone!

Who gives a damn
If some woman
Has another pup?
Birth control
Doesn't matter
If we can't get it up!

So go ahead
Cut our health care
Fix financial ills
But don't you ever
Touch our manhood
Give us our blue pills!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Honky Tonk Jam

His left hand jangles the chords of the piano
image source
While his right hand clutches a warm beer
And after every few sips                                                        
He tries to get a few tips
By playing songs that someone wants to hear
And the honky tonk is swingin'
But nobody is singin'
They're drinkin' and they're looking' for a fight
Then she walks into the place
He won't look at her face
She says, "I know you think I'm loose but let's get tight."

"Lady I'll buy you a drink but then you best be on your way
If you hang around here much longer
You know they'll be hell to pay
If I told you once, I told you at least half a dozen times before
Don't come walkin' back into my life
Once you go walkin' out our front door."

She sits down next to him on his piano stool
So close that he can smell her new shampoo
Says, "I know that you miss me
I know you wanna kiss me
I really didn't want to be untrue
It's just I get so lonely
But you're my one and only
Baby, tell me that you're gonna take me back
We'll buy ourselves some cheap wine
And I will treat you real fine
Take me home with you and I'll unpack."

He begins to play some chords on the piano
A sweet tune that she hasn't heard before
She starts tapping along
Swaying to his new song
Pretty soon she's out there on the floor
Says, "Sing the rest to me
Imagine what we could be
Dance with me and we'll forget the past."
He just shakes his head "no"
Tells her that she should go
He wrote that song for love that's gonna last.

"Lady I'll buy you a drink but then you best be on your way
If you hang around here much longer
You know they'll be hell to pay
If I told you once, I told you at least half a dozen times before
Don't come walkin' back into my life
Once you go walkin' out our front door."

submitted for Poetry Jam, Honky Tonk

Friday, May 20, 2011

Help Wanted

image source
Families living in cars
Men sleeping on heating grates
     with newspaper blankets
Weary women begging for quarters
     so their children can eat
Fighting with dogs and rats for scraps of food
Nameless, faceless nobodies
Wandering the land of milk and honey
Stepping in sticky, dried puddles of beer and urine
Looking for streets paved with gold
Dying on streets covered with blood

submitted for May Poetry Challenge, unemployment, at Verse in a Nutshell

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dishin' It

  I can't believe it!
My gosh, have you heard?
I can't believe it!
Don't say a word!
Amy told Lauren
and Lauren told me
We all were sworn
to secrecy.
Do you think it's on Facebook?
I'll bet there's a pic!
What is that password?
Log in now, quick!
Go check on Twitter
See if it's trending
OMG, you guys
This is mind bending!
Let's get our cells
We've gotta text
Go through our contacts
Contact who's next
By homeroom tomorrow
The whole school will know
This will be epic
Can't wait for the show!
We just love gossip
We all agree
Come on, dish it all
Just don't talk about me!

submitted for Theme Thursday, Gossip

The Circus

When the circus came to town
We got tickets for the show
Underneath the big, striped tent
We sat in the top row

We ate some cherry sno cones
And we laughed at a sad clown
But when the acrobats came on
My tears came falling down

How can I explain it
That sometimes little things bring it all back

I'm sorry

I wish I could contain it
But sometimes my thoughts jump a train

Don't worry

It's just that I thought you would be the one
To hold me up if I should stumble
But you were holding someone else
And you just let me fall away and crumble

Now I feel like I am walking
On the high wire all alone without a net
And though I have forgiven you
It's still too soon to say I can forget

So let's just watch the lion tamers
Laugh at all the jugglers and the clown
And maybe I'll forget her name and
All the things you did to bring me down

And maybe I won't cry next time
I see the acrobats
When the circus comes to town

submitted for May Poetry Challenge, Circus, at Verse in a Nutshell
and Thursday Poets Rally, Week 44

I was given this award for Week 44 of the Thursday Poets Rally. Thanks so much!
I would like to nominate Olivia at  http://oliviasmindlymatters.wordpress.com/


Shoulda listened
I was told
You had no heart
Your blood was cold
You were a snake
In the grass
You played it cool
You played it fast
You fooled me once
Now shame on you
You fool me twice
No, that won't do
You changed your skin
But I can see
There's something you
Must want from me
You think you'll lie
To me again
Well that ain't gonna
Fly my friend
So don't come crawling
Back to me
Feigning your 
Go slink back off
Into the weeds
I need no more
Of your slick deeds
Snake in the grass
Yeah, that's right
Cross me again
You'll feel my bite

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


image source
Call me whore
I'm not afraid to explore
My sexuality with him
Or with her
But with you, I defer
Your eyes can undress me
But you'll never possess me

Call me bitch
Yeah, that's rich
'Cause I speak my mind
And I'm not always kind
You can't dismiss me
So you try and dis' me

Call me a cunt
'Cause I won't do what you want
I'm nobody's slave
Don't tell me how to behave
You know you can't tame me
And I won't let you shame me

Think I'm a whore you can buy?
Go on, fool, you just try
This bitch'll bark loud
She is smart and she's proud 
I'm not feelin' contrite
This cunt's got teeth that can bite

submitted for May Poetry Challenge, Power, at Verse in a Nutshell
One Shot Wednesday, week 46, at One Stop Poetry

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Record Breaker

image source
When I was a kid, I often would look
Through the pages of the Guinness World Record Book.
I thought that some day I would break one myself
And see my own name in that book on a shelf.
My plans about how to become such a winner
Were always forgotten when Mom called for dinner!

submitted for May Poetry Challenge, Breaking Records, at Verse in a Nutshell


image source

We live behind gates
    in our communities of strangers.                  
We make
     small talk
           with our
               small minds
                    while eating
                         small food
at the annual holiday party.
We roll our eyes over the cheap wine
and boast about how we buy
     organic or
We hurry back to our
     Fortresses of Solitude
     for another year. We have
          tvs in every room so there's always something to look at
          other than each other. We have
               everything we could ever want.
We live behind gates
     to keep out the undesirables. We deserve
     to feel safe. Is that so wrong?
But what do we do when the fruit is rotten from
     the inside?
          Polish our silver
                   detail our cars
                             landscape the yard
                                       enlarge the pool because our kids are
but starving for attention
     (at least that's what the psychiatrist says when he hands out the prescriptions.)
We live behind gates
     to keep in the kids.
We don't want them mixing
     with bad influences.
We send them to private schools
     where they can get drunk
                         carve their skin                  
with a better quality of friends than at the
     local high school and where the
lawyer moms and dads can
     make charges disappear
     if things go really wrong
because they're good kids, not like those others who live
    on the other side, not like us.
We live behind gates.

submitted for Poetry Potluck, Fortresses, Castles, and Palaces, at Jingle Poetry

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bubby's Books

image courtesy of Magpie Tales
The books you left behind are mine to hold
I read your notes and hear you speak to me
You treasured them as some would treasure gold
They brought you to a place where you were free

From you I learned that in my words there's magic
That beauty can be conjured from the tragic
From you I learned the value of my mind
The greatest gift that you could leave behind

submitted for Magpie Tales 66

Jasmine Tea

image source
Flowers on the tongue
Warm steam soothes away troubles
Drink in Heaven's scent

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Prince Morphine

photo by Fee Easton
Rode up on your white horse
I was face down in the mud
Said, "Hey, man, wanna buy a girl a drink?"
Offered me your gloved hand
Fixed me up real nice
Asked me to come home with you
I didn't  think twice

I wanted a Prince Charming
But I got you instead
I got Prince Morphine
Sleeping in my bed

Asked for a dozen roses
You tucked a poppy behind my ear
You sing me lullabies until my passion's doused
Your sheets are real soft
But your love makes me itch
I don't feel the pain no more
But I don't feel shit

I wanted a Prince Charming
But I got you instead
I sleep with Prince Morphine
I feel like I'm dead

photo prompt by the remarkable Fee Easton

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Modesty (Please!)

You may think you're hot
A total hunk
But modesty's best
When you choose a swim trunk

Your body's as bloated
As your big, fat ego
I don't need to see it
In a tight fitting Speedo

So before you go out
To the beach for a dunk
Please show some restraint
And cover your junk!

submitted for May Poetry Challenge, Modesty, at Verse in a Nutshell

Blogger, You Suck!

Due to Blogger's little tantrum, I was unable to post anything for a while. To catch up with the May Challenge, here are my poems for May 12-14, dedicated to Blogger.

Words flow like water
But where do I put them now?
Blogger's down again

No satisfaction
I stare blankly at my screen
Must I use paper?

Relief is in sight
Blogger to be restored soon
With posts vaporized