Slow Down

     Eight years
     meanders like riverbends
     then soars
     ever cloudward
     peeking shoulderwise

     Everyone blinks how
     we arrived at this place
     damply imagining
     what lofty follies might follow
     at such heights

The Runaway Sentence is eight years old today! Happy Birthday, Girl!

Sharing on the Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden, where many friends are writing a poem each day in April to celebrate poetry month. I’ve been a little sad about not being up to the challenge this year, finding my time spent almost entirely in the work and family realms. But that’s okay. My kids are growing up fast, like this here little blog. Time flies even when it crawls.


Too Many Slides

I’ve been invited
to describe myself
in a five-minute presentation
PowerPoint optional
or in a four-letter initialism
(ENFP of course)
or in a few lines of verse
for each of my many sides

Today is only
the fourth day of April
National Poetry Month
and I regret to inform you
that given the above realities
this not-very-subtle reflection
will have to substitute
for metaphor

Not sure this is responsive to Brendan’s Transformations prompt in the Imaginary Garden, but I think (hope!) maybe in April the rules are loosened up a bit.


A Case of the Fly-Aways

I wish I could grow
long grey sideburns
like wings
of pigeons
seemingly socialized
living as they do
so close to us
but careful
honing in
will cause angry scattering
I should let my hair go grey
and fly away

Day 3 of National Poetry Month! Sharing on the Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden


Second Sight

I’d like to see you
in the first light
in the last light
in the dim light
washed in sunlight

We can try to
turn back the hour hand
turn back this month’s page
turn into someone else’s
sit in the back seat

Let’s try to make it
all go away
make it magnificent
make it to Friday
make it to second base
if we can make it home

So much I want to
see you brand new
want to see you as though
even with all we know
I know that I’d choose
old you in the new-now

Day two! For Karin’s April SECOND prompt in the Imaginary Garden.


Remembering How It Felt on Spring Days at Eleven

wondering whether
anyone will notice her gone
whether she should go home or maybe
    just disappear

Kicking off National Poetry Month in the Imaginary Garden!


Untitled 3-11-18

When memory’s but a whirl
in the always-roulette twirl
you’re a woman not a girl
begetting life in this world

When forever feels the wait
to live dreams amongst a spate
of unresolved ugly aches
with you I commiserate

When even luck is rotten
and besieged with ill-trodden
dreams frightening and sodden
let it all be forgotten

Whew! Trying out the tanaga form in the Imaginary Garden today. It is difficult, yikes.


When Stars Collide

Recall me as when we first met
cheek at your cheek, friend of a friend,
ill-conceived but not to forget

words upon words to conscious end
of day, then nights, as transit moon
for Venus strayed, could not pretend

to love her less or leave me soon.
Sputtered protestations blustered,
tuckered out, tossing my fortune

in fortune’s lap having mustered
little strength to orbit, this bond
now thrives despite the frustrated

circumstances of its birth--gone
beyond chance collision to love on.

The Toads are trying out the TERZA RIMA form in the Imaginary Garden. This draft is less than stellar but am currently all wound up in the weird rhymes and have lost track of what I’m trying to say. Yikes!


Some Advice For Living in the New Normal

Don’t think too long
about what might be laying eggs
in your breakfast cereal
or nesting in your walls
there’s enough to worry about
in plain sight

It’s easy to lose focus
with headlines pummeling
like heavy rain
and the never-ending parade
of household tasks and advocacy
that add up to an adult life

We see your exhaustion
but we need your good faith
for the revolution
and we need your blessed children
to want something greater
than rank survival

So don’t think too long
about the half life of stink bugs
the detritus of everyday
lift yourself up and the rest of us
in dreamy solidarity
will follow you to higher ground

It’s Wednesday night but I’m sharing this on The Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden


Wish Upon a Scar

Find a way to stanch the slow
flow-wound of sorry
worry from your open pores
worn as though a mask
has morbidly attached itself there
Wary of siblings
living with lies
Try to ignore the well-deep itch
which scabs over and scars
far from Earth-truth
smooth across your nose
supposing this fabrication might fly
heard in the balls of God’s ears

Practicing chained rhyme in the Imaginary Garden!


I Was Just Trying to Find a Seat With a View of the Stage

Although I wore a crown
I found myself
crouched in a kiddie pool
in a country club dining room
craning my neck
to observe children
performing A Christmas Carol
trying not to get soaked
as the upper-crusters
surrounding me
avoided eye contact and whispered

Finally a kindly elder
perched on a throne-like chair
pointed out that the kitchen
had erred
in serving dessert
as the fanciful spiders
adorning her pastries
were each a different color
Rising and dripping still I said
they are different species
I think the spiders were real

Responding to Kerry’s prompt in the Imaginary Garden: CAMERA FLASH!


If Only All We Need Were

How woefully wrong
every single thing is now
with Brat Boys of America
running all the shows

It’s amazing how quickly
respect turns to regret
in higher-circus atmosphere

We are endlessly capable
of scudding what’s right for us

But for love’s indefatigability


Another Cavalcade of Seasons and Songs

Fold the year’s pain
into renzuru--
everything you lost locked
in the heart,
head full of yearning,
like showy tailfeathers,
all your melodies memorized
in the wings.
Keep your crane of ghosts
and minor chords
creased in your notebook,
carry it with you,
stashed in your pillow for dreaming.

Sharing an older poem that seems both topical and timely.


Untitled: America

In the USA
the following is acceptable

A man’s last moment alive
groveling on the floor
of a hotel hallway
multiple killing machines
trained on him
following snarled orders
to crawl forward
keeping legs crossed
not to move
for life
his fatal mistake
an involuntary movement
to pull up his pants

The gun that killed him
inscribed with the words

This is acceptable
to the police
a jury
our government
and the court of public opinion
is not universally decrying
an obvious miscarriage
of justice
and basic humanity

There is something very wrong
at the most basic human level
in the USA
on this earth
and I don’t know how
to end this poem


Possibly the Fussiest of All

What will become
of the one whose
fear comes calling

First snowy day
blows away thoughts
of maybe not

Kitty prefers
to nap, stir not
she purrs all day

What about love
dreams made of clouds
above our hearts

The Real Toads are trying out a challenging and very fussy little form
called THAN BAUK in the Imaginary Garden. Yikes


The Collected Poets Series

Hello, Friends, it’s December! Next up, I am thrilled to announce that I’ll reading as part of a distinguished poetry series at my favorite coffeeshop in my favorite town on Thursday night. Look here for photos, bios, poems: THE COLLECTED POETS SERIES

Marian Kent & Irene Willis
The Collected Poets Series
December 7 at 7:00 pm


Busman's Holiday

These days play
like the movie Groundhog Day
and not in cute and funny way
more of the same gut-wrenching
anxiety upon waking each day
assuming there’s been any sleep
today brings more weight to bear

Advice to look to the helpers
and helping others yourself helps
but there’s no escaping
that sinking sense of coming
catastrophe heavy responsibility
particularly inability to protect
children from the coming storm

It can’t be healthy
living this day after every day
but health wellbeing happiness
are no longer the American pursuit
just ideals we will remember fondly
charming artifacts from simpler times
if there’s any time for memories
in the new holiday season

Christmas at the White House, 2017

Well! *deep breath* THIS uplifting verse is #30 of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans! Today's theme is HOLIDAYS.

Thank you, dear readers, for cheering me on this month. Please take a moment to scroll around and read poems you might have missed this month. My kids also successfully finished their challenge to create 30 drawings each on the same themes. Amazing!

I hope my friends might also consider making a donation of any amount to Center for New Americans. Here is our fundraising page:


Naming Conventions

It’s one thing
to create something
and give a name to your invention
like a newborn
or your favorite mojito recipe
but the human tendency
to explore and excavate
naming things once discovered
seems different
I’m not saying it’s easier
to travel through space
for the chance to name a star
or to discover
a new-to-us insect species
but maybe these things
already have names when we humans
come upon them I don’t know
I do know I've been discovering
a lot of new things myself lately
about human nature
at least as it plays out
in my universe over here
digging up previously unearthed
artifacts and gems
a few that scurried away
preferring to be unexamined
and one or two so bright
it was impossible to look at them
with my naked eye
but despite my obvious
human tendency toward curiosity
I feel reluctant
to name them

#29 (penultimate!) of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center For New Americans. Today’s theme is STARS.