5.17.2020

In These Times


Pandemic poems are elusive
like snapshots
seemingly from another timeline
remembering mostly unretrievable
as if a dream sequence

Did I have small children once
did they love the backyard
kiddie pool
soft serve
what is soft serve anyway
and were they afraid of bees

Words fade forward and dissipate
before the chance to write them
as new horror barges in
rendering poetics irrelevant

But still some stay
as if to hold me in their arms
(I need you to atect me)

5.03.2020

May Flowers


66,000 dead?
Unsure and unknown
where to find out
or whether it’s true
once I do

But I do know
we’ll suffer in June
for our collective enjoyment
of May
in America

5.02.2020

Broken Heart Emoji


Unmasked chant 
     FREEDOM
while demanding to work
as cogs 
    in the machine ~~

4.24.2020

At Ten


Ten 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 ten years old today! *cheer*

4.18.2020

Now


I like
the way it feels
lying next to you
the way it looks
outside our window
and the way your breath
warms the unspoken
everywhen of this moment
soft like sunrise
brilliant like fresh snow
clear like yestervision
hopeful like tomorrow morning
but still persisting
in cracking just a bit
like I am


For Friday Flash 55 offered by Joy at Verse Escape

4.10.2020

Proper Usage During a Pandemic


This week
marked my first use
of panic-spiral as a verb
to describe us together
washing cans of black beans
packages of basmati rice
and birthday presents
as though they held 
land mines
ticking to explode our hearts
already full up
with quarantine anxiety 
but then a sudden rush
of sequestered desire
incited in me 
a gratitude-spiral so profound 
that I pray this kind of love 
goes viral

4.02.2020

Math Problems


Math was never really my thing
but I used to take
3 trips for groceries each week

There are 4 people in my family
and 13 veterans died last week
at the local Soldiers Home

They say best-case scenario
is 100-240,000 Americans dead
there are 16,000 people in my town

162,000 in the whole county
7 million in the Commonwealth
where we’re to stay home this week

And for the foreseeable future
so you’d think in this circumstance 
the streets would be empty 

Against exponential increase
but from my front door and screens
I’m watching everyone walking by


We should NOT be taking it to the streets now, friends
Day 2 of Poetry Month in the Imaginary Garden

4.01.2020

Poems From a Distance


April
is poetry month

And we fools
now are told
100,000 to 240,000
Americans will be dead
by summer

So this is my poem
for April


The Imaginary Garden is open in April for Poetry Month!!

3.28.2020

The Virus Is the Clock


The virus is the clock
we’ve learned
struggling to do our part
protecting

While others
like schoolyard bullies
calculate what they’ll do
with nobody watching

But now is different
with clock-watchers
following rules
of both charlatans and saints

When breaking them 
means vainglorious achievement
in running out the clock
or that we’re out of time


For Friday Flash 55 offered by Joy at Verse Escape

3.22.2020

Contamination


Close your eyes
for messages
at doors locked
against heart-sick
pinking from grey

3.15.2020

Some Kind of Legacy


This 
is your inheritance
nothing valuable
or all that interesting
unfinished poems
scrawled in ballpoint
stash of coffee beans
frozen vegetables
in case of emergency
your own drawings 
on paper scraps
and placemats
handmade greeting cards
from every occasion
all of your baby teeth
how to hear birdsong
listen to trees
and for catch of breath
indicating shock
pleasure 
or deep disappointment
In the end I hope
you find there is value
in kindness
empathy 
and all the love


For Kerry’s March word list @skyloverpoetry on Instagram
Reminder that I am also there @runawaysentence

2.29.2020

Skirmishing


If I could only start
my words would race
pandemically across pages
threatening the unsteady détente
nurtured for this long
between nightmares and daytime tasks
organizing the immediate
and planning a future free from what 
is impossible to write down
waiting impatiently
for reconnaissance skirmishers
distracting just enough
for constrained imaginings
to go viral


For Friday Flash 55 offered by Joy at Verse Escape

2.02.2020

Going Out In a Blaze of Maybe


Foolish 
enough to fall
for the idea of a person
so that even after fireworks
when seething ashes
have turned bitter-blue
and almost forgotten
the idea of that person
remains
faint but always present
one still-warm ember
brooding below
capable of igniting
the memory 
of the idea of this person 
and tending it to full-blown
catastrophe


For Kerry’s February word list @skyloverpoetry on Instagram

2.01.2020

Heart-Root


My heart’s 
like a succulent
retaining 
a lifetime of wrongs
fleshy with nerve
Hardy
equipped with tools
for surviving 
long periods of neglect
blooming infrequently
if at all
In feast times
I’ve learned 
overstoring leads to rot
and after long drought
replenishes
So I adapt 
but it’s hard to cultivate 
new growth
in this climate


For Friday Flash 55 offered by Joy at Verse Escape

1.21.2020

Sorrowing


I am a mourning dove
considering what to do
about a day grey with worry
and consternation
Have I saved enough
studied taught enough am I
what is enough?
Uncertainty
like pigeon milk
roiled in morning’s belly
sunrise swaddled but I am
erect
perched with coo
It is up to me to decide
no permission required
sovran and innate
so I am
bragging my old wings today

1.07.2020

Conflagration


We’ll require
more helicopters 
to enforce compliance
with the national curfew
and ensure that nothing
gets out of hand
during our regular
celebratory bookburnings


Weekly challenge at Earthweal: FIRE

1.05.2020

Circular Logic


Listen 
for the sooted canaries
springing from rain grey
January days
concomitant moonless nights
as they
reveal the consequence
of unrestrained might
sustained disregard
for their faux-winter song
right in front of our earthworn 
weary and solitary faces
they are trying to warn us
if only we would 
listen


For Kerry’s January word list @skyloverpoetry on Instagram