Monday, January 30, 2012



You're delusional
he says
when I don't remember
he says
I said
a year ago.
There's no reason
to call names,
I say,
making it all
about the words
he said.
All the while,
I pull
(singular, possessive)
like rabbits
from my head.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Weight of Memory

Weight of Memory

On the shelf
of the thrift store,
amid detritus
of other lives,
a teacup,
cracked and lined,
and I am in
another time
when she was likely
as young as I
am now, and I was
hardly old enough
to climb
onto the chair alone.

We drank tea from
flowered cups.

She gave me little gloves
she kept in a drawer
of the hutch.

Lace and buttons.
Tea in flowered cups.
My knotty hand
can hardly lift it up,
it weighs that much.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


The Mag photoprompt this week is this. I must admit that I've pulled the seaweed from Tess Kincaid's sushi. Visit other Magpies at http//


I lie
naked as I came,
tied to earth
like seaweed.



In the warm
of night,
bare breast
the distant light
of stars;
cold lances
the heart
that stills
beneath the trance
of otherworldly
and splits
to the night.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Who Shot Jesus?

This excerpted from local TV news:

There's outrage and sadness in one local community after an act of vandalism on a sacred symbol -- a Jesus statue that was shot.

They're asking, "Who shot Jesus?"

“My grandchild ran in and said, ’Someone shot Jesus in the head,' ” Pastor Bobby Adkins said.

Someone drove by the Lundale Freewill Baptist Church in Logan County and shot the church's Jesus statue nearly between the eyes."

Not much to do in the hollers (yes, hollers) of West Virginia, I guess. Me, well, I'm doing something much more productive. I've been attempting Grace's challenge at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads to write a Tanaga,

Here it is:

A tanaga is a short poem of four lines, each line seven syllables with a single rhyme. Today, other rhyme schemes are used, including freestyle rhyme, but for the purpose of this exercise, let's try to stick with couplets.

So, here's our form:


The tanaga is traditionally presented without a title, has an extreme reliance on metaphor, should be emotionally charged and ask a question that begs an answer.
You can see other tanagas here:

Here's mine, inspired by Who Shot Jesus?


Who shot plastic Jesus' head?
Don't they know that plastic's dead?
If that's true, then why the start
Of extra bloodflow from his heart?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

One Word, Two Word, Red Word, Blue Word or Don't Swallow a Rotten Fish

My habit is to rise early to read and write. If I wake in the night, I cannot, no matter how I try, go back to sleep. What's the matter? Words, words, words! ;-)

I've been reading to my granddaughter, so I can thank Dr. Seuss and Nora for this!


It's words that call me from my bed,
That fill my head with rushing roar!

I cannot make a single sound!
I chew words up and force them down.

Their poison tiny, tiny parts --
I spit them out in fits and starts

Into some other sweeter form,
as if this illness were the norm.

The words I've swallowed won't digest!
They rumble me and make a mess

Of all my peaceful sleep and more --
I puke them out onto the floor.

*I think of the all-time nastiest words is "puke." I won't list the rest.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sometimes I Try Too Hard

Thanks to Michael Rhyne for the title. Visit Magpie Tales for other takes on the photo prompt.

Sometimes I Try Too Hard

Solid prayers break
against the deep;

chances fall like manna
out of reach.

The salted sea settles
round my feet.

Sometimes, I try too hard,
as if this cold were not

seeping through the pillar
that is me,

as if some god were
there to span the breach.

Monday, January 9, 2012



Today, I saw on t.v.
a camel
tricked out in gold
entertain a crowd
of dark-eyed men.
The animal
danced and pranced
and nodded to the music
of his master.
Turbaned watchers,
stooping in the dust,
shook their heads,
I could't help but think,
this day,
of other beasts,
footsore and worn,
nodding to the sound
of other choirs,
and of those
other watchers,
kneeling in the dust,
bowing their heads,

Sunday, January 8, 2012


This is in response to the prompt #99 from Tess at Magpie Tales.

Apologies to Shelley.

image: Friedlander


You are
Standing legs apart
Hands on your hips
Off with their heads
On your lips
If they but disobey
And yet you
Are moved
By the way
Her skirt
Twirls about her
And her voice
Drowns the
Desert noise
The ululations
Of a dying nation.
I tell you
King of kings
These things are
Like the dust –
Your legs
Will crumble
Beneath your lust
And kingdoms all 
Will tremble
At your fall.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Years Day

New Year's Day

No one else astir
this dark, cold morn --
just the stars and me.
The thin drift of grey
flung across the blueblack sky
gives me a sense that
everything's in motion.
I'm almost dizzy,
looking up at these familiar friends.
They're the most eternal things I know,
keepers of all history.
And I, their small and silent witness,
breathe a prayer of thanks
before returning
to the warmth and light
inside my little home.