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

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Girl In Black

I am the girl in black
I wrap myself in blind heartbreak
thick and dark as pitch
The people have branded me
a witch of sorts
What facile assumption!
I, my dear, am a werewolf

I have no need for spells
or dolls with pins
I have claws more caustic
than a scorpion's sting
Teeth that tear through flesh
easy as butter

Men fear me
I am blood
and bite
I am tides
and howling at the moon
They hunt
what they can not understand
or possess

Are you afraid?
Come a little closer
Can you detect my scent?
I wear my blood like perfume
It is quite enticing
once you get past the gore

I know what you're thinking
"She'd be wild in bed"
Well, come lay with me
and I'll show you wild
I will devour you
Savor your taste
on my tongue
and lick my lips 
when I am finished.

submitted for Magpie Tales Mag 278
and The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 207
and Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Tuesday Platform

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sarasota Summers

Children Playing on the Beach by Mary Cassatt
I walk along the ocean's edge today
I feel the warm, wet sand beneath my toes
Remembering the times I used to play
With grandmother in summers long ago

Collecting seashells buried in the sand
Like treasures waiting just for us to find
Along the beach we wandered, hand in hand
Our shoes as well as worries left behind

And though today  I walk the beach alone
I still keep my eyes cast upon the sand
To search for seashells even though I'm grown
Our treasures there to seek within the strand

I gaze upon my shells and feel so blessed
Those Sarasota summers were the best!

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, The Edge

Monday, July 6, 2015


artwork by Eoin MacLochlainn
You let loose your crows
to pluck the grains from my splintered heart
I stand in the field
cracked and open
Bones escaping skin
Blood colored earth
red clay beneath my collapsed form
A broken scarecrow
Plucked too clean
to even crawl away

I tried to protect what was mine
But your talons were razors
against my flesh
Your beak too acute
Go on and scatter the seeds
of my trust
Your garden will grow to be
such an attractive quilt of lies.

submitted for Sunday Whirl, Wordle 206

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Swimming Lessons

Bathers, 1950 by George Tooker
The smell of chlorine and sweat
stings my nose and throat
My feet scrape against
unfamiliar concrete,
step in puddles 
of warmish water

The sickly sweet scent
of suntan lotion
fills the air with
artificial coconut
My bathing cap
covers my head
in gaudy rubber flowers,
the strap pulled too tight

I gaze around the grass,
try to find an open spot
to lay my towel
and glasses

Now I am a mole
in the overbearing sunlight
I want to tunnel
back underground 
Here I am too exposed
My pale skin protests
the scorching light

Shouts and laughter
of other children
are a foreign language to me
I am an outsider
I know my otherness
will be discovered
any moment

Whistle blows
shrill and ominous
The lesson begins
Cold water assaults
my skin,
uncovered and unprotected

We line up
at the diving board
I feel like a cow 
being herded to slaughter
One after the other
the children jump and dive
Then it is my turn

I feign confidence
and walk to the board's end
pray silently to Poseidon
and jump

The sting hits 
my belly
as it always does
My nose fills
with water
My eyes
with tears

I climb up the ladder
Bright red slap on my belly
and a matching one
on my face
I look at the clock
and calculate 
how many more assaults
I must endure
until the hour is

submitted for Magpie Tales, Mag 277

Saturday, July 4, 2015


The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. Dante Alighieri
Black woman dared
climb above white men
Silenced hatred
Led away
in handcuffs
Black churches
burn to ashes
Barely make the news
Black men
black boys
shot by white police
We shake our heads
Baltimore burns
with anger
and hopelessness
We turn off the TV
Hell is on the way
It's coming for us.

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Flash 55 Plus