Thursday, April 10, 2014


This poem was written after one glance at Odilon Redon's "Mystery" and as part of the IGRT challenge by Hedgewitch to write an ekphrastic poem on one of Redon's works. The lamb in the poem is from both the painting and an experience shared with a dying loved-one who asked, "Who is that man over there?" When asked what man she meant, she pointed to blank space and said that man with the sheep." She was a lifelong Catholic. She "should have" seen a man with a glowing heart. She saw lambs. Mystery.


the final mystery
hanging on the wall

a man
a lamb
a cup

a man with a lamb in his hands
a man cradling a cup
like Lazarus, a man raised up

around my neck
upon my wall

that man 
that plan 
that mystery

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What the Net Holds

“the tongues of dying men / 
enforce attention like deep harmony.”
                                                                   —W. S. Shakespeare

One final time, we wait 
for you to speak the truth 
we know you knew.
Your dry tongue clicks,
lips like gaping fish.
Not air you strain
from or to, but the wish 
to speak of beauty, harmony, 
and truth. Too late.
We come too late in the day
for you to say, and yet we stay
suspended in the possibility
that the air we breathe
has molecules of you
dissolved and thrown 
against the deeply mortal reef.
When finally we leave,
our nets are filled, heavy with
the poetry we seek.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How the Peacock Got His Tail or The Night Has a Hundred Eyes, a Hundred Eyes, but None Do See

In mythology, the story of Zeus, Hera, Io, and Argus is a tale of lust, trickery, death, and honor.  In brief, jealous Hera turned Zeus's lover Io into a white heifer and set the hundred-eyed watchman Argus to guard her. Hermes, a god known for trickery, lulled Argus to sleep by playing music on a reed and by telling monotonous tales. Zeus was able to recover Io, and Hera placed a hundred eyes in the tail of her favorite bird in tribute to Argus.

This tale of the tail is written for the April 1 d'Verse prompt to write about an animal. That's my recently created artwork up there, so I have peacocks on my mind (obviously). Why? I don't know. Why not?

How the Peacock Got His Tail
the night has a hundred eyes, a hundred eyes, but none do see

One hundred eyes to guard the prize,
But every eye did close.

As Argus fell to Hermes' spell
That lulled him to repose;

And Zeus did laugh to take the calf,
Sweet Io, from his queen;

The watchman gave his life to save
Hera's pride supreme.

And Hera, moved by gratitude,
Although the fight she lost,

Placed the eyes to memorialize
Poor Argus and the cost.

The peacock's fan, to modern man,
A thing of rare beauty;

In ancient days, a tribute made
To eyes that no more see.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Me, You, Mockingbird

Much Madness is divinest Sense to a discerning Eye ~ Emily Dickenson

Sometimes a poem means just what it means. This is inspired by the Wordle of We Write Poems, a play with sound and sense.

in the Madness Woods,
across the Rabbit Blue 
far beyond the Melting Wind,

"You, me, Mockingbird."

It teases life again, 
faint and growing thin:


Monday, March 17, 2014

Caterpillars drop from trees

Photo of African Emprer Moth caterpillar taken by Lillian Reddy; borrowed from (and poem inspired by) Kerry O'Connor and Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads

Caterpillars drop 
             From trees,
                Curled with hope
                          And possibility.
                            Watch your tread;
                             Even one less
                          Is one too many.
                      Even one moth
                  Less is chaos, 
              A kingdom
Of infinite loss.

Friday, March 14, 2014



After, suddenly, 

Cotton in the ears,

underwater bottom 


Stopped clock, 

empty house,
Absence quiet.

Transcendent, ascendant

chrysalis quiet.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

On being a poet

On being a poet 

It's awful, having nothing to say,
To sit silent like a toad,
Breathing in and breathing out.

Yet how pleased he seems
To sit, sun and shadows,
Breeze to stir the reeds.

Look how his sides heave,
A bellows of deep rhythms.
Nothing in the bright bead eyes

Of shame or want. No whipping 
For missed flies, regret or condemnation.
Only is. Only am. Only he,

Uncensored by his mind,
Free to breathe. Little Buddha, 
Free to be. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Old Wounds


Old scars if rubbed
Will scab and bleed;
Old aches return
With pressure.
A wounded heart
Of anger freed
Heals and breaks
In equal measure

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Day

Snow Day

Again, the call disturbing fitful sleep.
The ground, the whole world,
White and swirling.
The children, swaddled, nestled, snug,
Turn in dreams,
Their math the geometry of crystals,
Their compositions written in the sky.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Honk If You Love Jesus

Honk  if you love Jesus

From Heaven, it might sound 
like bleating sheep;

Up close, a gaggle of geese,
warning one another.

Right here, it is the horns 
of locking cars, testifying

that we store up earthly treasures 
against the dangers of church parking.