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

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Red Tulips

art by Baslee Troutman

Before you died,
you planted red tulips in the front yard
You never asked us first if we wanted red tulips
but I didn’t mind because they were beautiful

After you died,
the tulips still bloomed each spring,
pushing up through the snow and hard earth,
rising from the dead
It seemed to me somehow metaphorical
Spiritually significant

Then the rabbits ate the red petals,
leaving only headless stick-like green bodies
and the voles and squirrels ate the wintering bulbs 

Now we have no tulips
I’m not sure what the metaphor is supposed to be
but I see you looking down,
shaking your head,

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ode To a Frayed Sweater

Each time I put it on I notice frays
The colored fibers are no longer bright
A yellow cast has taken over white
This sweater surely has seen better days

The surface yarns are full of pulls and strays
The weave’s too thin to keep me warm at night
though I’m not, so it’s grown a little tight
but in my dresser that old sweater stays

For it gives me a warmth that I can’t buy
that I can't purchase new at any store
It’s thick with memories woven in the ply
so I just love that sweater even more

To some things we must hold on tight and true
They cannot be replaced with something new.

submitted for Form For All, The Librarian, the Poet, and the Snowblower (Miltonian Sonnets), at dVerse Poets Pub

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Not to be Reproduced, 1937 by the Belgian surrealist RenĂ© Magritte

You play a dangerous game
Sell truth to the highest bidder,
buy excuses on the cheap
Practiced at the art of the deal,
you trade tarnished falsehoods to refurbish
offer explanations two for one
You collect lies like rare coins,
toss them out in the street,
watch the people grab them up and
pocket them like treasures
When you look in the mirror,
can you see yourself
or are you as illusory
as your reflection? 

submitted for The Mag, Mag 161

Full Moon

Full moon
mocks the morning sky
Empty dinner plate
lays on the breakfast table
Night does not end
with the sun
I awoke alone.

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Words Count With Mama Zen

Monday, March 25, 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Picasso Dreams

Faun, Horse, and Bird, 1936
Pablo Picasso
They came to me in a dream last night-
a horse, a bird, and a faun
There soon commenced an awful fight
that lasted until dawn
The horse accused the bird of theft
He cried, "You took my feathers!
And now I cannot lift my heft;
my hooves to ground are tethered!"
The bird replied, "Well, look at me!
I was the king of kings!
I used to have fierce claws, you see
not just two fragile wings!"
The faun then sighed, "I've had enough!
This fighting is absurd!
So you believe you've got it rough,
friend Horse and Mister Bird?
You used to be a Pegasus
and you a Gryphon strong?
I think you have it better now;
your attitude is wrong."
The horse then said derisively,
"What do you know of me?"
The bird next spoke decisively,
"With horse I must agree!"
 The faun said, "Think about your state
You each have but one soul
A horse or bird may be your fate,
but each of you is whole.
I do not know just who I am
I always feel amiss
When half a goat and half a man,
I'm that and then I'm this."
The horse and bird considered what
 the faun had just confessed
"We've been such fools complaining but
we now know we are blessed."
As I awoke from dreamy sleep,
I thought of what I'd heard
I learned a truth that I would keep
from a faun, a horse, and a bird.

submitted for The Mag, Mag160

Friday, March 22, 2013

We Regret To Inform You

In that moment, her world split in two:
Before and After
and the chasm between was too wide to ever cross.
A gulf of time,
created in a second,
now so deep that she was drowning.
The shores held no safety;
memories brought an ache so profound
it rent her to the marrow.
The future held emptiness,
a void into which she feared she would disappear.
Wavering, she hovered in the nowhere,
her core unstable,
her existence untenable.