Five Years of Shrieking in ALL CAPS!

r u n a w a y   s e n t e n c e
i s
f i v e   y e a r s   o l d !

f i v e   y e a r s
o f
s h r i e k i n g   i n   A L L   C A P S !

At five years, it was time for some sprucing up. My old man Aaron has always been the creative design brains behind this blog, and he whipped up a fancy updated masthead and logo to celebrate the birthday of runaway sentence. Isn’t it beautiful?

Thank you, gentle readers. Some of you have been here since the very beginning (and even before that). All of you are treasured friends. Here’s to another five years of poetry and occasional mayhem!



5 minutes left
of the requisite 30
after your hot dog
before swimming
picnic table uncle
she’s got legs
that go all the way up
to her butt
diving raft out the lake
wish you were there

#23 of 30 in April! For Karin’s prompt to the Real Toads: Last Legs


Local Author Series: Marian Kent

The best part of this interview is being referred to as a "successful Easthampton poet." Heh. I'm flattered and appreciative of being inteviewed by Vanessa Pesa for this lovely series. Check it out:
Local Author Series: Marian Kent

Perfect, Love, Poem

When first
we made our love,
conspiring together,
we knew not that years would welcome
and gain
in volumes unspoken before,
measured in soft footfalls,
rhyming heartbeat

#22 of 30 poems in April! For Kenia’s prompt to the Real Toads: The Perfect Love Poem


Invisible Fountain Reading!

Saturday, April 18, 2015
with Florence Poets Society
at The Invisible Fountain

Up With the Storm

Springtime storm-child
bed-bright dream
thundering thicket
bare-branched apple trees
wizening toward
run for all you’re worth
collapse in a cloud huddle
here I’ll hold you

#21 of 30 poems in April! Shared on The Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden.


What You Learned When You Had Kids

Seems impossible
to divide love in half
but you learn
about the vastness
of your capacity for love
When you give it all to one
then turn around
and give the entirety again
drink from my cup
it may not be running over
but it’s always half full

#20 and late for Karin’s prompt to the Real Toads: Going Halvsies

Mother of God

If I were
the wished-for child
I would float
instead of rebelling
bitter waves
buoyed by regret and salty tears
out to sea again

A small rumination on the origin of my name for Bjorn’s prompt to the Real Toads. This is #19 of 30 in April; now I’m a day behind, having had a wonderful family day yesterday at Mystic Aquarium. Gotta catch up, watch out for sea-life poetry!


Rocket Ships

Rocket ships
are exciting
but so are roses
on a birthday.

   -- Leonard Nimoy

Roses deliver
but so does a chicory spray
by a toddler

Diamonds excite
but so do love songs
scrawled in chalk
across blackboard sky

Love’s lyric
needs no byline
when adorned with adjectives
tattooed above the heart

The etymology
of our love affair
can be traced from the air
like cropmarks

#18 of 30 in April, whew! Kerry has prompted the Real Toads today to take inspiration from the legacies of Leonard Nimoy and Sir Terry Pratchett.


Haiku Day!

Grey lifts
incessant chatter
gift of sunrise


Old maple’s
bare branches
soon will give birth

sways to earth
aid after my fall


Sweet sleep
by wicked wishing


Back porch squirrel
peeks indoor with longing
I pine for out

Hannah reminds us that it’s International Haiku Poetry Day and asked for nature haiku to mark the occasion. These are unrelated impressions from this morning and are unfinished, but I’m sharing anyway for #17 of 30 in April. Haiku seems so simple, but I think it’s actually quite challenging to write GOOD haiku. I wouldn’t say these fit the bill, yet. :)

Also, looky looky! This was in our local paper yesterday. (I was shocked; I certainly did not send my photo to the paper with a press release!) My poetry group, Florence Poets Society, has a fun evening of spoken word planned tomorrow night at The Invisible Fountain (fantastic art space). If you are nearby, join us!


These Feet Were Made For

Looking down in the shower
you can see your feet

It wasn’t always so, years
of carrying babies and all that followed
so you never
paid attention to your feet anyway

Now your feet are wiser
supporting struggles and your noticing
every small thing

Including your feet below your belly

#16 of 30 for April! Linking up with Lolamouse’s visionary art prompt to the Real Toads; the photo below reminded me of my big pregnant belly full of promise. 

Cosmic Galaxy Egg by Andrew Logan


Make of Our Hearts

At hospital
for another baby
you warned of pain

But you knew
was my sister

The brain
not the body
experiences pain

And the head
not the heart
is what gets broken

You stroked
my hair
but I thought of her

#15 of 30 for National Poetry Month!


Write Minds, Spring Edition

Tonight, tonight! Poetry tonight!

Outside Listening In

Grey lifts to chatter.
I tiptoe, hover, listening in,
bewildered by verbiage,
maze of fanciful descriptors
entirely out of context,
challenged to even begin imagining
context for your best ruffian argot.
Where are you inside your pillow fort?
I wish I could go there.
But you recognize
despite my languid protest
that adult concerns counterbalance
your bright menagerie of words
with which to play I am no longer invited.
Instead, it is my privilege to witness
from a short distance--

#14 of 30 in April! Sharing on The Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden. Sigh!


Time Is the School in Which We Learn

An old story,
Not for nothing,
Older than
Heaven turning its face toward
Refusing her.

Sisterhood amongst the wise
Pines, coniferous forests bereft
Of envy,
Never knowing heaven’s sweet bounty
Should have been
Earlier than then.

#13 of 30 in April! For Susie’s challenge to the Real Toads--my title is a Joan Didion quote.

I had the day off from work today and wrote acrostic poems with my kids. Typically, they totally smoked me in this exercise. Here are some of theirs, the first two by my daughter and the last by my son:


On the couch sleeps a kitty
Lying, waiting, dreaming of tuna
Instead of squirrels
Very, very sleepy kitty
Every cat dreams of tuna


Bonk! A bunny hopped on your head.
Uhhhh, a bunny hopped on my head?
No bunny jumped on my head!!!
No no no, I know that a bunny did not--
You know there was a bunny!!!


On a cold Autumn night
Lying in the moonlight is a black cat
Dancing in the shadows are the ghosts.

Witches flying high in the sky
Over the blood moon.
On a hill is the Pumpking
Dragging the dead away.
Spider hissing in the distance.


The Sad Man

The moon, that sad man,
Comes through tears and protestations,
That sad man.

His almond eyes heavy
In shadowy backyard half-light
Stay awake.

Disenchanted stars
Stand still while mourning doves
Stay awake.

I sleep, wake, toss,
I sleep, wake from screaming,
Stay awake.

The sad man sighs down
Grasping heartbeams and resisting arrest,
That sad man.

#12 of 30 in April. Grace challenged the Real Toads to be inspired by the poetry of Wallace Stevens, someone whose poetry has long been an inspiration to me. This poem is something of a response to his poem The Brave Man. Not long ago I wrote this one: Ways of Looking at the Snow Moon


Star Stuff

Madness swirls
fuzzes in like static
out like late-night television haunts
waking hours as well as dreams
   darkening darker
still deeper each day till summoning
will for living seems
          your daughter

My children remind me why I am here. Thank you for asking, Sherry: MESSAGE FROM THE LITTLE GRANDMOTHER 

#11 of 30 for April. Today is my daughter’s ninth birthday and I am a bit ferklempt. Love to you, friends... Love one another.


To Posterity

for leaving you
lurched aching like android
unsettled travellers farther
but we disbelieved in further
gestures hoping wayward
longing would wave

#10 of 30 in April, for Mama Zen’s prompt to the Real Toads: DEAR PAST, DEAR FUTURE



Write the moon and the stars
and meditation variations
write the songs of horseflies
on compost butterflies lighting
the reediest mullein spike out
back write hope
write the rings
in your maple tree stones skipped
across open water
or hurled in anger
write protest
write songs
rhymes marching shouting cracking
frustrated tears voices
cracking the sidewalk
cracking buckling splitting wide
engulfing voices in awful arrogance
demanding averting but still
but still
you must write it all down
write the abstract crazy of it all
the blood the beaten down how can
this be
the shot how many times of it all

For Ella’s prompt to the Real Toads: WORDS VS. PICTURES

I was thinking about an exhibit of the paintings of Romare Bearden and this is where it went.

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.” William Faulkner


Surface Principle

In writing
on losing you, memory
allows only mundane elements,
lists of almost-facts stacked up
   like matryoshkas,
lathed half-truths layered impossibly
deep, revealing only
fine luster.

#8 of 30 in April, for Real Toads prompt EVERY DAY I WRITE THE BOOK