Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Ghosts are not always frightening, and sometimes we hold them hostage rather than the other way around.

The Poetry Bus runs on Monday, and Liz Gallagher asks that we write a triolet or some other poem about Halloween business. This poem began as a triolet and evolved into a villanelle. It's funny how words will have their way.

Or will they? 


all my ghosts are friends
things I should but did not say
I’m haunted by my sins

damnation never ends
redemption lies one breath away
all my ghosts are friends

familiars whom I did not send
but held until the tongue decay
I’m haunted by my sins

unspoken and unpenned
persistent shades with whom I lay
all my ghosts are friends

whose present tense attends
to bind and hold my soul in sway
to things I should but do not say

till time shall split and world transcend
till reticence shall fall away
all my ghosts are friends
things I should but do not say

Friday, October 22, 2010

In a Name

Argent's driving the Bus this week, and our challenge is to write a poem about a meeting. Meet contemporary American poet and two term Poet Laureate of the United States Billy Collins.

See the challenge and read the entries of other passengers here.


You'd think that by this time,
We'd be familiar--
Sweet William,
Wild Bill,
Maybe Billy Boy.
After all,
He's naked in the hallway,
Turning circles
Shuffling round the house.
Every night I sail with
Billy Collins.
And still it's Billy Collins, first and last.
I have known just Keats alone,
And Shelley. Shelley,
He's still three as in the past.
But as for my new lover
Billy Collins,
It's Billy first;
It's Billy Collins last.
Now I spend my nights with Billy Collins;
We're drinking tea and writing hard and fast.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

In the Balance


Notice how she waits in expectation,
contemplating maybe, just how justice works.
Does she sense it hangs on holding steady?
Does she sense unbalance in the end?

Doesn't she look like somehow she might not know
that the weight she holds so level will shift as on a whim?

One little thought falling like a feather or one wrong move heavy as a soul;
one of her decisions, shiny as a pearl or light as a pocketful of poesy--
just one small word and the world can lose its balance.
Just wash it from her hands and it all falls down.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


NanU's driving the Bus on Monday, and her challenge is to write in a time, place, or circumstance outside of our usual writing environments. 

Many times, I am struck with inspiration while driving but lose my thoughts because I can't stop to write them down. This morning, two things happened that allowed me to fulfill the Poetry Bus challenge. First, I noticed that a barn I pass every day had been razed, and second,  traffic stopped right in front of the scene. I grabbed my handy iphone and used my thumbs to type the following poem on the Notes page, then I emailed it to myself. Okay, NanU. How's that for Progress? Hmmm...


In the field
where the barn
used to stand,
progress has left
only a scar --
a few black wires
hooping out
of the ground,
brown earth
scraped clean,
packed down,
devoid of any living thing.
In the pasture,
white cows turn their heads
and look the other way.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Shades of Falling

The Poetry Bus is being driven this week by Niamh Bagnall, and her challenge for us is to find and write about an article in the news. I have a confession to make: I wrote this poem and then went looking for an article that would suit. Believe it or not, when I Googled "burnt orange fashions," I found three web articles published today and numerous articles published in the last several weeks.'s the poem I wrote this morning, inspired not by the news but by the color of my new soft fall jacket. You can read other poets who probably followed the rules here.



The last time I wore
this particular shade,
it was also fall.
I was seventeen.
It was the Fireman's Ball,
held in the hall of the local Guard.

My burnt orange dress
fell from my firm young breasts
in the Empire style,
but you were the one who laid siege
until you conquered me.

It was fall, and we were
a young fireman
and his even younger sweetheart,
falling in love
in the spring of our lives.

They say if you hold on
to anything long enough,
it comes back into fashion,
just like all of this
comes back to me now
in shades of orange,
as burnt and sweet as autumn.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Spinning Wonder


I'm showing you the poetry
In a silken strand that shoots
From tree to bush then waves
On the wind over the water and back
To land upon the branches of the trees,

And I'm thinking of this magic,"Let it be,"

While you try so hard, over and over
In that way you have of never letting go to sail
On strands of magic, to explain the science
Of spinning such a marvel to one who only wants 

To live her life in astonishment and wonder.