Tuesday, December 6, 2011


 Just another Magpie Tale...

I see you there.
You who is doing such a good job of blending.
You who moves among them all, but is the only one taking monumental steps.
I see you.
Eating your baloney sandwich in methodical bites, straining against societal norms.
Earning your place one lunch table at a time.
So this is what breaking the glass ceiling sounds like:
Slurping soup and stirring spoons.
No time for small conversation for you.
There are revolutions to be won.
Don't worry, sweetheart,
their eyes may be in their coffee cups,
but they all see you, too

Saturday, December 3, 2011

winter whispers

This winter brings
dark days
shadows stretching
despite my chasing them; despair
This winter brings
endless nights
Time slowing
freezing tracks on my face; paralyzation
The return of
My old Foe,
oh metronome of misery--
I hear you ticking
from the other room.

       The prompt of "what is your soul's whisper at this time of year" from Poet's United was a great way for me to put into words how i feel at the beginning of every winter season--anxious and restless.  I suffer from seasonal affective disorder, and winter is the hardest part of the year for me.  This year I am trying to be proactive to continue fighting, moving, when all i want to do is sleep.  Thanks for listening guys.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rapid Eye Movement

Time for another Magpie Tale...

It's that tail end of a dream before waking,
when all things make sense.
The confetti of chairs
leftover from a party you attended
(you don't remember why now...but you did.)
The girl you followed
through the dead fields and the fog
(you don't remember why now...but you did.)
The chairs you know but don't understand--
The girl you know but don't recognize--
Upon waking none of it makes sense,
but, there for a flash, it did.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Here Dead We Lie--A.E. Housman

Here dead we lie because we did not choose
To live and shame the land from which we sprung.
Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose;
But young men think it is, and we were young.

This book is not about poetry. 

English Poetry is not yet fit to speak of them.
Nor is it about deeds, or lands, nor anything about glory, honour, might,
majesty, dominion, or power, except war.

Above all I am not concerned with Poetry.
My subject is War, and the pity of War.
The Poetry is in the pity.

Yet these elegies are to this generation in no sense consolatory. They may
be to the next. All a poet can do today is warn. That is why true Poets
must be truthful.

~Wilfred Owen, from a preface to a planned book of his poetry.


We who are left, how shall we look again
Happily on the sun or feel the rain
Without remembering how they who went
Ungrudgingly and spent
Their lives for us loved, too, the sun and rain?

A bird among the rain-wet lilac sings--
But we, how shall we turn to little things
And listen to the birds and winds and streams
Made holy by their dreams,
Nor feel the heart-break in the heart of things?

The Next War

Out there, we've walked quite friendly up to Death;
Sat down an eaten with him, cool and bland, -
Pardoned his spilling mess-tins in our hand.
We've sniffed the green thick odour of his breath, -
Our eyes wept, but our courage didn't writhe.
He's spat at us with bullets and he's coughed
Shrapnel. We chorused when he sang aloft;
We whistled while he shaved us with his scythe.
Oh, Death was never enemy of ours!
We laughed at him, we leagued with him, old chum.
No soldier's paid to kick against his powers.
We laughed, knowing that better men would come,
And greater wars; when each proud fighter brags
He wars on Death - for lives; not men - for flags.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Wordle: van g
please visit more takes on the duality of color at dverse

your mutilated ear
has stained my porch deep crimson 
and if i look closely enough
i can make out a starry sky
in between the folds of cartilage
of your ruined flesh.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

She's got the Block

Oh, Tess. Why, with your beautiful writing, must you mock us so?  --- this writer, regarding this Magpie Tale

Ernest Hemingway: There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.

Templeton:  But how, master, how?

Hemingway:  Do not worry.  You have always written before and you will write now.  All you have to do is write one true sentence.  Write the truest sentence that you know.

Templeton:  But today this typewriter mocks me! One sentence you say? Alright...

Much like the garbage disposal, my words are clogged.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Coming Up Roses

Conflation: Melding two unrelated topics. See also: dverse poetry.

Born with two brown thumbs
I water. Don't water. Shade. Don't shade. Rinse and Repeat.
Leaves crumple with an audible scream. Wither and Die.
Abandoned on the window ledge
This indelible reminder
that i can't make them grow
I bury them in the backyard.

Born with two left feet
I flirt. Halt. Ignore. Seduce. Rinse and Repeat.
Men crumple with an inaudible scream. Wither and Die.
Abandoned in a dinner booth
This indelible reminder
that i can't make them grow
I bury them in the backyard.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dear Artemis

This week's prompt at Gooseberry Gardens was "Nature, Forests, Rivers, and Mountains". My response is at the bottom.  First, a little background info:

             Artemis is the goddess of hunting, wild animals and forests. She is also considered the protectress of young children, women, animals, and the weak--as well as the goddess of transitions and sudden death. Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo who is often associated with Moon and silver since it was believed that she wore silver costumes and had a silver chariot and came out in moonlit nights. The name "Artemis" is derived from the Greek word "artemes" which means healthy and energetic and who also serves as the source of strength and vitality for other people.
                 •The last wish or demand that she had was to give her all the mountains on Earth so that she could live on any one of them. She was the first woman to place her opinions openly and to claim equality with men, especially her brother and father. The character of Artemis represents an indifferent woman of free spirits who defies all the norms of female archetype of being submissive, humble and restrained. She is carefree and denies being a victim of all these norms and prejudices. She establishes her freedom and equality from a very early age.

By Poushali Ganguly

Dear Artemis

I still haven't forgiven your precious mountains
or the sleet and snow
or you

I still haven't forgiven that vengeful tarot card
or the empty chairs
or God

I still haven't forgiven that spot of highway
or the maniacal elements
or myself

So, Artemis, take your beloved woodland and cover
  vulnerable creatures with your wings
upon forest floor

While I, Mortal, journey through decaying foliage
hunting for arrows
you left behind

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Operation Gloria

The following story is a Magpie Tale and submitted at dverse
          Gloria never saw herself as a revolutionary.  And she sure as hell never saw the protesters migrating in and out downtown over the past few weeks as revolutionaries, either.  She was just an angry old lady on a mission. 
         It was a Tuesday morning. A Tuesday morning strung at the end of a parade of countless Tuesday mornings.  Tuesdays meant rice pilaf and beef stew, toenails clipped, and the weekly Wii bowling tournament in the rec room.  She would miss beating Dolores and Synthia today, but it was alright because this Tuesday she had bigger fish to fry.  She could let one of the them win this week.  Hell, maybe even a newbie would win and take home the traditional grand prize of pocket-sized hand sanitizer.  Gloria had won so many pocket-sized hand sanitizers over the years that she began sending them to her grandchildren and giving them away to the help.  (One of the great things about being old was that she could get away with giving people horrible gifts, and people would just smile and gush as if she had given them the queen's jewels!)  Personally, Gloria was skeptical of any washing that didn't involve good old running water. 

        Owosso Valley Retirement Community boasted a "suburban oasis for one's golden years".  Gloria knew that this meant they dished out an extra penny to advertise with color brochures and installed fake lamposts in the entryway.  Another service Owosso Valley Retirement Community provided was a free shuttle service downtown every hour on the hour.  It was almost ten, and Gloria needed to hustle.  She couldn't remember the last time she hustled for anything, and her heart skipped a beat of anticipation.  It was a strange feeling, this urgency.  Most people would assume that as one approached the end of their life, he or she would feel more urgency in getting things done, but Gloria found the opposite to be true.  A lifetime had taught her that activities only marked time; that each second would come and go whether she was in church or the dentist's chair.
         She took a drag of a Winston-Salem and stubbed it out hurridly.  Bosco, her diminuitive poodle mix, jumped out of her lap and waddled to his doggie bed.  Gloria put on her coat and picked Bosco up, looking directly into his eyes. 
         "It might be a while before you see mama, BoBo," she whispered, "but this is bigger than the both of us.  I know you understand." Gloria set him down gently and shook a final finger at him.  "Don't try to manipulate those new housekeepers into giving you extra baloney," she stated, "you're already getting fat as it is."  And with that, she strapped the C4 around her waist and she was out of the door.
            Hugo drove the Owosso Valley Retirement Community van carefully.  He didn't want to get another ticket and God forbid one of these oldtimers crack an elbow or break a hip while in his care.  He allowed Gloria to ride in the front seat of the minivan because he had a good feeling about her.  She didn't seem like one of these quacks that would file complaints when they had nothing better to do.  The buildings passed by as they drove in silence, casting shadows in a million different places.  It was one of those days where the shadows play tricks on the glass, and everything is elongating or shrinking.  Hugo popped a Tylenol.

            Gloria's plan had come to her in the middle of shopping last week downtown.  She saw a bunch of people holding "Occupy" signs and she wasn't sure what was going on because the last time she had heard the term "occupy" being used it was in regards to the Nazi assholes.  She had been picking up some of Bosco's medicene at the vet next to the Bank of U.S. and chuckled at the demonstration.  Gloria had lived through the Depression and a hundred wars it seemed like.  She knew a protest when she saw one, and this was not a protest.  Some of them were even distributing bottled water and lawn chairs.  Imagine that!  There were no lawn chairs during the civil rights movement.  Gloria remembers the blisters she grew from marching when she was a young spitfire and was full of idealism.  Watson's restaurant had not allowed Negros to use their washstands and made them use a hose in the back.  Dolores, herself, and countless others had marched in front of their store for three days in the August heat before Mr. Watson broke and allowed his sinks to be used by anyone.  Thank God pocket-sized hand sanitizers weren't invented before integration!  We might still have a segregated nation! 

          Hugo pulled the van in front of the Bank of U.S. and opened the door for Gloria.  "Be back in an hour, okay?" he asked.
         "Certainly," Gloria winked.  "You know I like to chat with the girls at the vet and sit in the sun for a bit.  It's a lovely day, isnt it?"
          Hugo walked around the van without looking back.  There were so many protesters parked downtown that he had pulled in illegally to let the old broad out. 
          "Be careful, Ms. Clarke," he yelled out the open window.  "People can go overboard with these demonstrations and I don't want you to get hurt.  Crowds are unpredicatible. They're not allowed to block the bank entrance, though, so they have to stay on the other side of the street.  Stay on this side of the street and I'll see you in an hour," and with that, Hugo was gone.

           Gloria felt like a child again, right down to her arthritic kneecaps.  She felt the bomb pressing against her belly and the familiar thrill of smuggling gave her energy.  Yes, it was time.  She was going to relive the old days one more time.  The old days, when protesting something made a difference--not just a statement.  The old days, when comfort was a luxury and the issues were life and death.  The old days, when Milt was by her side and they were going to change the world.
          She smiled in the direction of the throng of people and crossed Main Street, where she allowed a man in a business suit to open the bank's front door for her. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Status Update

        I'm sorry I've been neglecting you, readers.  It's not that I haven't been writing---it's just I haven't been posting them.  Call it writer's anxiety.  Call it laziness.  Call it seasonal depression.  Call it whatever...but I will try to be better about getting things from paper to the cyberworld.  I do a lot of writing during my graduate class.  My professor is one of those guys that painstakingly reads his own power point presentations, thus I retreat into my writing and far far away from his voice.
        Upon visiting some of you in cyberland, I see that the same for you holds true: everything has changed and nothing has changed.  Your words inspire me and help me feel connected to the world at large.  Please keep posting, commenting, arguing, and playing with words.  I shall do the same.
        It's almost an anniversary of a friend's death one year ago in a car crash.  This has prompted a flood of memories and disbelief at the passage of time.  I've been trying to write about her, but my words aren't coming together cooperatively.  They are defiant and inept and I'm forced to find someone else's words to express how I feel.  So until I can finish something original, I'll share some of my favorite poems that explain the feeling that I can't seem to explain right now. (For what else is there for the living to do, but go on???)
        The first poem is one I shared last night with my friends at a little memorial gathering we had for her.  I love the Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska's poetry; i totally get her.  And right now i'm feeling the uneasiness of seemingly random events in life and death.  About nine years ago I was witness to a fatal crash, one in which the driver of the semi truck admitted that he had a split-second decision between hitting me head on and a construction worker in a crane.  He chose the other person and they died.  It was midnight and we were the only ones on the road.  I had chosen to take a different route home from work that night.  This is for all of those who have asked, "what if I were two minutes late?" or "what if I was two minutes early?"  and the powerlessness that comes with that hamster wheel thought process.   It's for those of us who wished we could trade places.  Who still marvel that it wasn't us.

"Any Case"  
Wislawa Symborska (b.1923)

It could of happened.
It had to happen.
It happened earlier. Later.
Closer. Farther away.
It happened, but not to you.

You survived because you were first.
You survived because you were last.
Because alone. Because the others.
Because on the left. Because on the right.
Because it was raining. Because it was sunny.
Because a shadow fell.

Luckily there was a forest.
Luckily there were no trees.
Luckily a rail, a hook, a beam, a brake,
A frame, a turn, an inch, a second.
Luckily a straw was floating on the water.

Thanks to, thus, in spite of, and yet.
What would have happened if a hand, a leg,
a step, a hair away?

So you are here? Straight from that moment still suspended?
The net's mesh was tight, but you? through the mesh?
I can't stop wondering at it, cant' be silent enough.
How quickly your heart is beating in me.

       The next one is by my girl Emily Dickenson.  She's always one to insert a bit of whimsy into these serious subjects.  And we all know she didn't title her work because she didn't intend it to be published.  But I'm glad it was.

       Death is a Dialogue between
        The Spirit and the Dust.
       "Dissolve" says Death--The Spirit "Sir
        I have another Trust" --

       Death doubts it -- Argues from the Ground--
        The Spirit turns away
        Just laying off for evidence
        An Overcoat of Clay.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Food Chains

strange circle of life
ungainly walrus slays bear
grateful underdog

          This year I have been given a section of science to teach.  (I'm not a science teacher.)  I think I'm pulling it off well, though, as we have dug through owl pellets for bones and experimented with eating raw eggs.  Anyway, we watched a film about the circle of life today because we had been making mobiles that display various food chains.  It was eyeopening to see which kids rooted for the predators and which kids rooted for the prey.  Afterwards in a class discussion, some of my vegetarians said that they won't be mad when other people eat meat around them now because, "I guess meat's tasty to all animals!"  (I aim for accuracy, folks, but often accuracy takes the backseat in classroom discussions--i correct them on the big stuff.  For instance, recently one of the kids informed the class that Adam was white and Eve was black.  Hmmmmmm.....)  Another girl summed up the knowledge she had gained from the movie by yelling, "The circle of life sucks!"
          Long story short, the circle of life DOES suck.  And we are all predators and we are all prey.  For better or worse, we're the champions AND the underdogs.

this verse is for a new forum: dverse. You should check it out!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Over Lake Grindoryl

        Here she goes again.  We halt flying, immediately, and perch on a solitary rock midway across the turbulent lake.  She is like this every time it rains.  We must stop, and wait. 
         I don't mind shapeshifting into human form, but right now I'm chilled and I'm annoyed with her insistence that we stop and shift into humans every time a droplet falls.  She tells me that the rain reminds her of him, and that human epidermis is more conducive to water absorption.  Well, she doesn't express it like that--in fact, I believe her words were,
        "His kisses slide too quickly down my feathers, and they are gone in an instant.  When I am human, they seep into my pores and never leave..."
         If I could bring him back and tell him what he has left me with I would, then I would kill him all over again.  How is it, despite merciless death, he still pours on her from above? Hence I will have to settle for taking revenge in the afterlife--across this darkened lake--when we get there. 

This vignette was a Magpie Tale...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Plan B

The following is written for Sunday Scribblings.

Plan B looks like
me, letting go
of the wreckage i am drowning in.
It is taking advice
and switching canoes midstream
Leaping from one wobbly boat
to another
confident that this one
is sturdy enough to
take me safely where
i want to go.

Plan B looks like
you, getting smaller
in the midst of debris floating by.
It is taking advice
that this boat is not big enough
for the both of us
Rowing with all my might
away away away
hoping that this oar
is all i need to
take me eventually where
I can see the bottom

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Looking UP...

          Things are flying by so fast. where are the days going? I want to slow down and enjoy the ride a little more...(I hope you are soaking up some life today, too)
           I was gonna post my newest work, however, in my rush to leave my hellacious job on friday i left it in my bag at work.  Therefore i will just ask about you:  HOW are YOU?

(i'm listening....)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Because it's all i can do...

          Can you all just sit back and listen for a moment? Because if i don't vent i will explode.  What, you may ask, is the crisis?  That would be the next logical question.  The answer, i would then say, is my rage at being powerless, being mortal, not being able to control others.  For a long time i hurt myself and in my addiction i was able to exist (barely) in a universe where all of my emotions were muted.  Anytime a painful or unwanted emotion would crop up, i could quickly tuck it back down my throat---way down deep in my stomach into a well of nothingness.   I understand wanting to check out of life, to not participate, to watch the sounds and colors pass by in a continuous blur, never stopping long enough so reality could come into focus.
          Having said all of that, it kills me to watch a family member be stuck in this way of life.  I thought it was hard being on the inside.  It's more painful being on the outside looking in.  At least that's how i feel today. 
          I miss having a sister.  I'm sick of the shell that encapsules who she once was.  She has transformed into a terrible version of a podperson.  She's there, but she's not there.  I hate seeing her because i am reminded of how i once was, and i hate seeing her because i cannot make her unstuck.  I cannot make her shed the victim cloak and join the land of the living.
          I am resentful towards other family members who allow her to continue this way and to make excuses for her way of life.  They give her pills and give her another reason to stay in the basement.  They tell her she is sick and that the medication will save her.  I know the medication will kill her, even long before she is dead.  (But what do i know?)
         I experience the pain of the ancient mortal seer Cassandra, who was blessed with gift of seeing into the future, but also given the curse of being disregarded (and frequently thought insane).  While i stand on the shores, crying the forthcoming fall of Troy, those around me ignore my protests and discount my experience.  I, too, envision, destruction.  Destruction of a person that "just isn't there."  Cassandra couldn't change anything. She was only a mortal.  And, today, so am i.

The following poem was especially related to the prompt of Tomorrow by sunday scribblings.

         My mortal stands on the clifftops
         of a rocky shoreline
          Watching the legions of armies coming from across the ocean
         To spill their courage and lifeblood
          An odd sense of dejavu befalls her
                  I have seen these soldiers die before
                  Crushed beneath a thousand arrows
                  Fallen silent in the entrails of the their mighty horses
                  I know the ending of this battle
she says tragically
          The saltwater blows at her feet
           Stinging her saturated skin
           My mortal doesn't want to watch anymore
             because she knows she won't be believed
            Apathetic eyes will turn away
             and go back to sharpening their swords
            It must be hard seeing ahead the despair tomorrow
             Despite the calm and silence of today.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Conversation

I didn't know that what she was about to say would change everything.
I had come here with a idyllic dream in my head and a foolhardy song on my lips.
The humid August air suffocated us both, wrapping us up in cottony silence.
The cicadas buzzed all around us and that night everything, including my demeanor, was damp.
Making my way up the porch I saw her for what she was--a young girl, attempting to wear the new aspects of her womanly shape with confidence.  Her innocence always managed to shine through, and i could see underneath the ten year old girl that i used to chase through the meadows.
"I'm sorry," she warbled suddenly,"It's done."
The only noise was the wind blowing through the porch floorboards, and the toads chirping in condolence.

This was written for Magpie Tales.  I wanted to express a feeling without giving the specifics of the situation, allowing the reader to speculate at the backstory behind the dialogue.  What did you imagine?

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Crime Against Nature

Ghosts of amputees march silently on this hallowed land
They stalk through dew-kissed grass
Looking for lost causes
Midst the muted cannon's roar
Their charred limbs clutch the reeds
Unable to break them again,
For the fields have begun
to bear fruit once more.

While the angry spirits attempt their destruction in haste
The physical world shouts to them,
"Go back to your graves."
The earth is eager to swallow their momentary bodies
and to the refreshed soil
they all taste the same.

the following was written for Jingle's Poetry Potluck.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Your Audience

The prompt of "nighttime" from Poet's United brings me to create the following:

Somewhere between the neon lights
of your dreams of success
and the cold expanse of time,
I exist.

If I seem to blend in
with the moon and the stars
it is only because
I'm too far away to come into focus
The florescent bulbs hum your name
and the waves lap at your toes.
I applaud from my spot in the sky,
one among millions
eager for your show.

We don't even recognize
that the landscape trips us all up,
tricking me into thinking
that we are all part of the
same scene.

The tide is pulled back
away from you
towards me
and your exposed toes dry
all too quickly.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Great Game

the following is written for Magpie Tales, because i needed to go somewhere in my head today and they suggested an intriguing place....

O to be a Titan!
Emanating strength and power and reserve
Fly rhythmically above the earth
and in silent motion stir the heavens

I would carry the world in my arms
daring the others to play "keep away"
with the luscious blue orb
tucked safely in my grip

A fluid struggle would ensue
The other Titans chasing me
Reaching, straining rock-like muscles
Circle in merry-go-round fashion

O to be a Titan!
Emanating stealth and speed and cunning
You would turn a blasphemous face from me
you tiny, tiny man

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Freedom is to know what is good for my soul
             and be able to take it
Freedom is to know what is not good for my soul
             and be able to take it, too
Freedom is to having to tell you everything
              Freedom is not having to explain myself, too
Freedom means being allowed to argue my point of view
              Freedom means i can argue yours, too
Freedom says i can walk away whenever i want
               Freedom says i can stay indefinitely, too
Freedom is turning around midstream
               Freedom is staying the course, too
Freedom is not liking the flow and sound of this poem
              and putting it out there, too

okay this is for Poets United ("freedom" was this week's topic) and im not proud of this one because i want to sit a while longer and tweek it.  i am forcing myself to let it be imperfect--however much it sounds like nails on a chalkboard.  i am running late.  rather than coming back to finish it, i will let it be what it is.  ah, freedom!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Are you my mother?

        The bridge was mossy and crumbling, so much so that I held little Hanna in both hands as she clutched the rusty railing.  Like a tiny turtle, Hanna stuck her head over the top bar and peered into the babbling brook below.
        "Mom," she exlaimed quickly, "I see them! I see all the fish!"  Underneath the glassy surface ran a school of jumping fish--too many to even count.
         I felt her adjust herself in my arms to get a better vantage point.  After a watching for a minute, Hanna furrowed her brow and said, "Do you think the mommies know which ones are their babies? They all look the same."
         "I imagine so, " I smiled.  "Mommies know."
          She nodded her blond head, all at once relieved, and stated, "Good!" 

the preceding was written for Magpie Tales, a photoprompt provided by tess kinkaid

Friday, June 24, 2011

at first glance

From the picture
one cannot envision that night
when she drowned her infant in the bathtub
and ran, dripping, to slit the dog's throat
in the backyard while drenched in moonlight
and dancing
Guilty droplets of water spinning off her like a top,
long hair flying in ropes that, from a distance,
blended perfectly with the howling branches of the birch trees

one cannot hear her shrill cackle
taunting the various gods of the night sky
that they should not have challenged her so
 perceiving weakness
because the taste of blood was in her mouth
and who were they to tell her of
demons and descendants

The following was written for the photoprompt provided by Magpie Tales.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yin and Yang

Petite, hunched Chinese medicene man leans forward
  his birdlike eyes darting up and down my tense frame
     one liver-spotted hand reaches out to locate my spastic pulse,
        the other gently, ever so gently, cups the end of a stethescope to my heart

We sit silently as Roman statues in the cold sterile room
     I examine the whisps of hair on his head and his small feet on the floor
          Our breaths fall in line unconsiously, starchy and slow
              we hold our intimate pose, as if we have been here a million times before

He leans backs gradually, his paw darts back in to his creased white pocket
      I look into his soulful eyes and see the judgement of a thousand suns
          He has seen this story before--knows it will always come to a pained grin
              then he will say he cannot fix what is wrong with me

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Now i lay me

i wake up from a dream
of a war that i have never been a part of
scratches on my arms from
running, chasing, hiding
an imaginary enemy
i am fighting
without weapons
without safety
without reason

the air conditioner hums and cools
 the beads of sweat on my brow
the hostile branches i realize
are just clingy sheets
i am surrendering
without fear
without aggression
without pain

 i allow the fatigue to overtake me
the luxury of protected sleep
enwraps me as a warm blanket
tonight i don't have to fight
because someone else is
without name
without recognition
without hesitating

          This is my first entry for Poetry Slam.  Thank you for listening.  Thank you for hearing.  Thank you for remembering.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

this season

this season
means tulips pushing up defiantly
brazen icons of rebirth
wearing purple coats that refuse to bow
to a newborn bed of green

they signal the end of the silent gray
and the announce the first chords
of a jubilant song
telling the masses to rise to their feet
and get ready to dance

Friday, May 6, 2011

THis Little Piggy

I had a mom who tickled my toes
and let me squeeze her hand in the dentist's chair
and put notes in my lunchbox
and didnt yell at me too much when i accidentally lost my retainer

she was the first person i saw in the morning
and the last person i'd see before bed,
usually when she popped her head in my room
warning me to lay down and go to sleep or "else"

I had a mom who tickled my toes
and made treats for my class on my birthday
and always let me buy a book at Farmer Jack
and didnt yell at me too much when i left my retainer at Big Boy

she went on countless field trips
and would bring the soccer cleats i left at home
and lost countless hours of sleep
from the noise of 13 year old sleepovers

I had a mom who said "i love you"
in ways that resembled rice krispie treats and brownies
and would help me dig through the trash
when i accidentally threw my retainer away at school

even the piano lessons she made me take
were "good for me" i suppose
ill always be alright
because i had a mom who tickled my toes

Monday, May 2, 2011


Down a dark alley
I sprint--panting heavily
arms flailing
churning empty space
panic besieges my heart
chest tightens
constricting bands encircle
my fatigued lungs
echoes of footfalls
shake the night
and tilt the pavement underneath
wind rushing through my ears
as high pitched siren
precedes disaster
Shadows stab at my vision
shapes twisting up concrete walls
I dodge intensely to and fro
hot pain through my skull
drowning out all senses
run run run
     my body screams
 contracting muscles near collapse from the strain
       sweat is flung into the night
a corner approaching rapidly
swaying violently in time with my steps
down on the concrete i glance
look look look
      a silhouette grasping from behind me--
arms outstretched--
almost within reach--
it is him; Time--
and he is gaining. 

This was written for Poets United.  This week's theme was Monsters.