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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Buried Deep

image source
Winter's whispers gather in the oaks
Summer's secrets buried now in snow
Trees that once blazed with the fires of fall
Ash-like grey pierced with the black of crow

Limbs that sported pumpkin colored suns
Colorless as water's own reflection
Can not hearts have seasons of their own?
Love withstands the chill of disaffection

Though I try to speak of this to you
Snow lays its cold blanket over voice
Membrane between me and what I want
Hope you understand I have no choice.

submitted for Poetry Jam, Deep

Monday, November 28, 2011

Love In Vermilion

photo: Christine Donnier-Valentin
You loved me once
I held you in my arms
You lay your head against me 
and dreamt
Now I'm trash
fit for the alley rats and junkies
an embarrassment
You used to revel in my riot of red
We danced so hard, boy
the springs broke
and you laughed
Does she let you do those things
to her?
When did your life turn beige?
Look out your window
Can you hear me singing?
It's raining
and my vermilion is washing into the street
Please bring me back inside.

submitted for Magpie Tales, 93

When We Were Wild

Memories of Youth by AlGrega
When we were wild
we owned the world
 we laughed too loud
we knew it all
hung with our crowd
When we were wild
we smoked some pot
we drank too much
and all we saw
was ours to touch
When we were wild
we broke the rules
we could not bend
we vowed our love
betrayed our friends
When we were wild
we grew apart
then we grew mild
so long ago
when we were wild.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Another Day

image source
White roses symbolize those who have passed
Five hundred stems prepared and wait amassed
Each mourner enters and receives a bloom
The ache within the air is more than vast

Her rose caressed as if it were her groom
and she the bride, perchance life to resume
Her eyes blink wide, awakened by a thorn
Returning to her lot in this sad room

Unwanted children, burning tears are born
She chides herself and shakes her head with scorn
Another year, another rose to press
Another day, another day to mourn.

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

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Where The Wild Things Are Not

image source
I went for a walk in the woods the other day
and found a large, white paper band across the trees
"Sanitized for your protection" it read
The trails had been swept free of mud and leaves
and were paved with astroturf
Insects had been eliminated and replaced
with cute googly eyed clay replicas
The trees were all trimmed and
the animals had been bathed and deodorized
Apparently too many lawsuits
over poison ivy rashes, animal bites, and twisted ankles
had nearly bankrupted the National Park Service
This way was much safer for everyone
I started to cry
and an animatronic chipmunk offered me a Kleenex
then pointed its tail toward a green trashcan
and hand sanitizer
Laughing, I tossed the Kleenex on the astroturf and left.

submitted for dVerse Poets Pub, dVerse Poetics, Wild

Friday, November 25, 2011

Once Upon a Time

Lost Paradise by Judith
Evie was a lackluster student at Magnolia High
worked part time at the Garden of Eden Flower Shop
then babysat her little brother
while her mother worked the night shift
at the Fairhaven Peach canning factory
She was an average but bored girl
a dangerous combination

Evie found him a bit beastly
but thought his snakeskin boots were really cool
and wanted to feel the leather seats
in his red Dodge Viper
so she asked him for a ride
home from school
Of course, he smiled
and answered "Yesss"

Her mother became fretful
and somewhat envious
Evie sported that look that girls get
when they're in love
supreme happiness mixed with supreme stupidity
Mama knew her baby was headed for a fall
but she couldn't stop it
any more than she could stop
her starry eyed fool of a husband
from buying roses for Valentine's Day
when carnations were cheaper
and lasted twice as long

And so the night came
when he whispered "Let's go
your Mama's at work-she'll never know."
She had never broken her mother's rules before
but he was so tempting
and his lips tasted so good
so she went with him
and spent the night in the Paradise Motel
which it was not

He dropped her off at school next morning
she never saw him again
but did notice
birds stopped coming to her yard
and a black snake appeared in her apple tree
and would not leave.

submitted for Poetry Jam, Paradise Lost

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kiss Kiss

one of our dogs, Puck
Like a pink party blower
uncoiled in a puff of warm air
his tongue escapes its cage
of little white barbs
Unfurling against my face
it rubs my skin
until wet becomes
a fine sandpaper
A dog's kiss
pure sloppy guileless

and The Poetry Pantry #76 at Poets United

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Crows

photo by Dorothea Lange
juicy berries ripe for the picking
hungry hands fidget in pockets
pilfered produce
scouted, squeezed, bruised, tasted, devoured
when did you learn to turn away
pretend not to see?
look at your garden
the fences won't keep out the crows
they circle as you sleep

submitted for Poetry Jam, A Time to Ponder

Thursday, November 17, 2011


image source
I still can't believe you chose me
I am a frenzy of wildflowers
yet you treat me like an heirloom rose
You nurture my mad incongruities
coaxing the buds to bloom
in all their gaudy colors
and wearing them proudly
against your heart
as if they were a white boutonniere
on a groom's lapel

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


image from rubyblossom
Reaching back in memory
to when I was a child
the border between wakefulness and dreams
was a gauzy curtain
and I often peeked through
spying on one side
from the other.
I could conjure my favorite dream world
and leave when it threatened to turn nightmarish
but I could never bring back
my dream treasures.
Vague and hazy now
I remember brightly colored toys
cuddly stuffed animals
a sweet, delicate music
and a profound happiness
that I yearned to bring with me
to wakefulness
I always awakened
with empty fists
and arms hugged around nothing
but myself.
When I cried
my mother would ask if I'd had a nightmare
I could never explain
that I was crying
for a happy dream
that I had to leave behind.

Little Ghost

image from Magpie Tales, Google images
She was the kind of girl
everyone talked about and
no one talked to
There were rumors 'bout 
what her daddy'd done
but no one really knew
In the mirrors at the Cut N Curl
the women clucked her name
said she was a pretty thing
it really was a shame
The menfolk of the town
they shook their heads and
mumbled low
through clouds of smoke 
with whiskey graveled breath
don't want to know
She had a haunted look about her
seemed to hurt to smile
she was just a little ghost
dying all the while
Then one day she was gone
in her place an empty chair
no one knew what happened to her
and no one seemed to care.

submitted for Magpie Tales, 91

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Still Life

 Put the flowers in the vase
     they will never wilt
Set the dishes on the table
     they will never get dirty
Place the cake in the middle
     no one will ever eat it
A doll's house
     still life in miniature
     tiny perfection
no dog pee
 on the little carpets
no leaky shower
 in the little bath
 just antique footed 1:12 tub
no phone calls
no complaining
no demands
battering diminutive plastic ears
no noise
small quiet
still life
stilled life
still life?

submitted for Poetry Jam, Still Life

photos by lolamouse of my dollhouse

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Family Reunion

At first I was happy to go on the trip
I was going to visit my kin
but Momma and Daddy got talkin' and then
I had to start thinkin' again.

They said that my Uncle Tim's store was a mess
that he was real deep in the red
He wouldn' stop counting his money and that
they thought he had just lost his head!

My poor sweet Cousin Barbara
was really just much too naive
She never would find a husband, they claimed
wearing her heart on her sleeve!

And Granny is having a case of the nerves
along with her dizzy spells
The family is trying not to upset her
and walking around on egg shells!

My cousin is dumb as a bag of rocks
so they say, bless his heart
and I really wanted to play with him
so much for my Cousin Bart!

I thought I might have a laugh or two
with my favorite Uncle Eugene
but Ma and Pa say that since his promotion
he's making the family green!

Now I really don't want to go visiting
Can't Momma and Daddy see that?
I'll sit in the car real quietly and
keep my tongue far away from the cat!

submitted for d'Verse Poets Pub, Poetics, Idioms

Winter Poem

Winter by whooa
The cold has slowed the noise of restless Fall
and hoarfrost coats the grass beneath our feet
From Autumn's warmth descends December's pall
The cold has slowed the noise of restless Fall
Eath's shoulders draped within a white prayer shawl
We contemplate another year complete
The cold has slowed the noise of restless Fall
and hoarfrost coats the grass beneath our feet.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Alice in Migraine Land

image source
The Queen of Hearts
has baked some tarts
but they had MSG
now Alice has a migraine
and can't hold down her tea.

Her head feels like a blimp now
her legs are made of lead
There's pounding in her ears and
Alice wants to go to bed!

The caterpillar's smoking
is making Alice queasy
If pain vanished like Cheshire Cats
then life would be so easy!

One potion makes her larger
One potion makes her small
but Alice knows the awful truth-
There is no cure at all.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


from a long day of
but mental masturbation
and self-flagellation
Brain packed with eider down
fuzzed filled
The clock
the enemy
ticking away the day
time to rally 
move the leaden limbs
accomplish something
maybe tomorrow
I've been shot down
in flames
and I want to believe
in rebirth
but I'm still waiting
burnt feathers

Monday, November 7, 2011


Suffering is no more
Surrounded by much love
Soaring free from fetters
Suffused with a new hope
seen with eyes become clear
Such pain you have carried
Such strength lies in your grace

Free Fall

Along the Window Sill by Artistic-Feet
In her mind
window ledge tiptoes
earth's sweet scent
free fall swan dive reverie
She wipes clean smudged glass

submitted for Poetry Jam, Windows

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Black Isn't the Color of Death

Black isn't the color of death
Death is red
blood splatters and pools
carpet stains
an entire industry spawned to clean up afterwards
Death is  blue
Mama's little baby
footsie pajamas and smelling of milk
goes to sleep one night and doesn't
wake up WAKE UP WAKE UP!
Death is sometimes yellow
eyes and skin
toxic brew of destruction and denial
dragon's breath burning
anyone caring or stupid enough 
to get close
Death is white
hospital walls
sheets bleached threadbare
faces of families
numb, dumb, blank canvasses
of misery and confusion
Black isn't the color of death
not the only one
Death takes all colors
and makes them hers.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dona Nobis Pacem (What's So Funny?)

Blog For Peace!
We ask for peace
but are at war in our own households
We tell soldiers to abandon their weapons
while we sleep with guns
under our mattresses
We expect countries to share borders
and we can not share our own children
without tearing them apart from inside
 How can there be peace
when our hearts pulse with anger and hate?
Who will teach love
to the child whose mother was murdered
by her father?
Who will bring peace
to the child who sleeps with
his brother's ashes in a coffee can?

A classic from Elvis (no, not Presley!)

submitted for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Peace
and BlogBlast for Peace 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011


How dare you?
You slipped under my shell like water
when I didn't even know
I was thirsty
I wasn't looking for a friend
I thought I was complete
but you showed me what was missing
introduced me to passions
asleep for so long
I had forgotten their names
Now I drink your words like wine
I need you like a drug
Damn you
I never wanted this
but you live in the contours
of my mind
you echo through the spaces
in my heart
You are within me for always now
like a virus.

Come Sunset

image source

Come sunset
crazy time
reality twists and turns

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


image source

Come to me, she beckons
dark curves seducing me back
to this place of ambivalence
Desire, destruction hopscotch across her body
She smiles
keys cracked and black stained
rotten teeth
meth mouth
gaping hole waiting to be filled
with my words
she mocks my impotence
I wave the white flag

submitted for Magpie Tales 89