6.15.2017

Thursday

I can feel myself retreating
into my own mind while wanting to tell
my friends I love them. I want to do nothing
but lie on the floor holding my kids in my arms
occasionally running off to bed with my husband.
I need to write but want to watch movies, read
a book but my body demands sleep. I want to drink
while sober, take a nap instead of exercise.
I’ll work hard but really want to quit my job,
resist yet surrender. Sparkle and glower. Holler
and whine. I want to run away but stay home.

For Sanaa's prompt in the Garden: OF INSOMNIA AND SLEEP

6.14.2017

Little Bow Haiku

Back door wide open
to morning sounds, garden air
like nothing has changed

6.13.2017

To/For, About, With

    in loving memory of Tracey McCartney

We balk
at the task of writing
about the life of a beloved
because it seems impossible,
the audacity of eulogizing her
rendering us wordless at first
but we try anyway.

We listen to Neil Peart
for inspiration
to pen stories and poems,
write songs and blog posts,
issue proclamations
using words like fierce
and justice, steady and strong,
talent and uproariousness,
passion and compassion
and love.

We search inside ourselves
for the same qualities,
wondering about the unnamed thing
that draws one person
to another
whether across time
and miles and constant change
or tucked in together
belly to back
every night for eighteen years.

We are drawn to her,
our brightest light.
We warm ourselves nearby.
We curl up beside her,
ever-closer as her flames begin to dim,
fervently scribbling down words
describing how much she means to us.


I wrote this poem for a Celebration of Life this past weekend in Nashville and it was read by Tracey’s spouse Nan. Deep sigh. Much love.

Sharing with the Toads on the Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden.

6.10.2017

The Judgment

Surrounded by beauty
needing no reminders
a peculiarity of souls
lines up to account
for thoughtless actions

The worst that could happen
is likely to happen
& souls judge harshly
but I will persist
as advocacy is my jam

As emerald favors pink
or as moths thrive in moonlight
I’ll observe from the floor
for as long as it takes
then dust off & keep on

I picked a tarot card as suggested by Mama Zen earlier this week, then responded to Magaly’s prompt: I AM MADE OF

5.30.2017

Observing Love, Broken Things

I threw open a window
to melancholia
of cold and rainy spring

Lonely breezes blow in
like electricity
raising gooseflesh
straggled strands of hair

All I can think is
there’s so much love
yet everything is broken

 Sharing on the Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden

5.29.2017

Birthday

(I wish I had created this. I love it.)

5.28.2017

Living Room

Bare walls,
straight chairs--
the only color
in this room
is his black piano

Kim asked the Real Toads to write about a place through a person or a person through a place: PEOPLE AND PLACES

5.21.2017

The News Cycle

News charges forward
like the kind of train
that encourages counting
while we wait
behind flashing barriers,
shelters all the hobos
and intellectuals,
expects us to keep up
despite its desperate rush
toward the damsel
approaching the tracks ahead,
anticipates everything
except the cunning of women
who have held too much
for long enough
and are done with all of it,
who are ready to wield power
like never before,
who are ready to strike out
and torque that train
right the hell off its tracks
before we have the chance to say
I think I read that somewhere,
maybe in yesterday’s news

Brendan asked the Real Toads to opine in verse about The News.

5.18.2017

#SML

Followed a car
with the plate
   SML

Some drivers might read
   SMALL
   SMELL
   or SMILE

but I could only see
   So
   Much
   Love

and appreciated
the reminder

Susie asked the Real Toads to write a poem from our immediate surroundings: MIXED MEDIA ART (I jotted some notes at a traffic light and wrote this upon arrival. Heh.)

5.16.2017

The Wishing Chair

When
the Tyrant
is impeached
What
will I say
is the reason
for my depression

Sharing with the Real Toads on the Tuesday Platform

5.11.2017

Etch-A-Sketch

Brilliant analysis of modern times in Slate:
Donald Trump Wants an Etch A Sketch Presidency
Everyone should read this to remind ourselves: "[T]heir persistent insistence that we do not see what we see or know what we know is its own form of madness."

That's all for today. Thanks for being here.

5.09.2017

Both Sides Now

The sky at sunset
is a child’s science project,
tugged-thin cottonballs
& pink cotton candy cyclone
tacked to robin’s egg blue
construction paper,
pinned-on chunks of tree moss
for mountains, and high above,
a cut-out glossy photograph
of the waning gibbous moon.
Does a child notice this,
looking up? Imagine
if we all looked at clouds
like second-grade scientists.

Good morning!
Sharing on the Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden

5.07.2017

Untitled (Early May)

I wish I could show you
what I saw today--
a modest and orderly orchard,
trees planted like gravestones
on a lazy slope
behind a roadside apple stand,
perfect spring blossoms
glistening in the stately slant
of dinnertime sun
as if to say here’s how to stand
when it’s your turn to go
to seed

Flash 55 for Kerry and the Real Toads!

5.02.2017

Essence of Effervescence

Fear becomes you
in a lockdown culture,
  violence is beauty--
Greed has wings
  to try trouncing
even the most quiescent
cloud-walkers amongst us--
But she will float on
   beyond your berating
            float on

May! May! Mayday! Sharing on the Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden

4.30.2017

Photo (Album) Synthesis

I think
you’re like spring umber--
just a glimpse of you
before all’s chartreuse.
One minute you’re here,
then away--
and in the next, I realize
you’ve always been gone.

Hey, it’s NaPoWriMo Day 30! What?! We did it!
This is for Bjorn’s prompt in the Imaginary Garden, having to do with particle waves and photoelectricity or somesuch.

4.29.2017

Refection on a Stop for Death

As you believed
the egregious Miss D
should have stopped for death--
Reminded me that dashes
as punctuation
were used by you for your own
nefarious purposes--
I understood your meaning
and expected you to snort.
No cat’s pajamas! No sirree!
You simply could not see it.
Reflected that one never knows
who might be a worshipper--
You forgave me, but never her--

NaNoWriMo Day 29! A poem for Brendan’s prompt in the Imaginary Garden: VOYAGE'S END
Crafted from the penultimate text conversation between me and a dear poet friend prior to his death-- his own voyage's end-- musing on-- well, you know--

Padiddle

Rhythmic back-seat sway
& soft country music
lulls a small child
to drowsiness
while her parents talk up front.
Beams across the headliner
grow in intensity
awaking sleepy curiosity
so she shifts to look ahead
into the darkness.
White light eyes fly by
against the treeline
faster and faster until
in the distance a creature
with only one bright white eye
bears down on the family car.
Upon fearful questioning
Mama explains it’s a padiddle.
That sounds friendly enough,
but it looks really mean to her.

Late, but here is NaPoWriMo #28! For Rommy’s Boogeyman prompt in the Imaginary Garden. This is very much an incomplete draft. I got all wound up in this idea and couldn’t get my mind off it, but also I haven’t been able to satisfactorily express it in verse or come up with a conclusion. I need to put this aside for now and move on to the next prompt. Maybe after a bit I can come back and actualize what I was thinking about. Sigh!

4.27.2017

Ernie Was Right to Wait Up for This

Uncomfort
-able not knowing
    when but cer-
         tain (as can
         be)  the moment
will come
when          the other shoe
dramatic
  -ally       drops

Photo by Marian Kent

NaPoWriMo Day 27! For the Real Toads: WRITING SHOES

4.26.2017

Hard(l-)y Out(side)

Feint
back
before
         losing hope
entirely
         as with
mourning blue buries
                betrayals
mount until too heavy to hold
           & limbs start breaking

(c) Karin Gustafson (all rights reserved)

NaPoWriMo Day 26! For Karin’s prompt in the Imaginary Garden: OUTSIDER ART and featuring her whimsical but somehow weighty artwork.

4.25.2017

Caught Up in the Glower

"All my poems are dark,"
I said, "But people insist
there’s a bright light
radiating from within them."
You said, "That’s the thing
with poems and housekeeping."

Challenge, Agnes Lawrence Pelton (1940)

NaPoWriMo Day 25! Linking up with Kerry on the Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden.