Perhaps Go With Red Instead

Winter blue begets blue
as seasons change, so too
those who question color
reject red, embracing blue

Blueish wind hangs back,
on notice from those who
wait on springtime zephyrs
to blue up wallflower blues

Who am I to question use
of blue as metaphor for blue
representing another stage
blue belaboring all that blue

Flash 55 in the Imaginary Garden: Color



blue begets blue,
metallic warms to black,
pregnant & revelatory

Music in the Imaginary Garden: Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Time (The Revelator)


This Week in Poetry

C’mon over to the Thirsty Mind in South Hadley, MA on Wednesday and warm up with coffee or tea and some spoken-word poetry! Gonna be a fun evening, for sure. Hope to see you.



my love for you
is like describing
how a vowel glides
to a diphthong
there’s no explanation
it just does

our love as a tree
would be trying
at the start
by extraneous phrases
antiquated pedagogy

like ellipsis
clauses lain doggo
for a preposition
at last deemed
perfectly punctuated
by you

For Michael/Grapeling’s word-list prompt to the Real Toads: ABSENT



A season fraternizing
with gallery ghosts,
red-curtained brooding
means seashell-iridescent
skyshine shocks,
suggesting beach-balm breeze
and a promise that bitter
might actually end.


Winter Affirmations

You said
head north to go south
so we ringed the fingerlakes
in a blizzardy fever
staring straight ahead in case of deer

Plastic bags waved in maple branches
like rice paper
or prayer flags
rice noodles searching for cucumbers
seasons away

You said I love you
as we approached the river
considering the currents
still rushing under layers of ice
and my inferior vena cava

If we sink
there’s a supply in the trunk
canopic jars especially for afterlife
but keep my heart intact
true north

For Karin’s prompt to the Real Toads: (Hopefully) Promising


Ways of Looking at the Snow Moon

Read a book aloud, observing
the space between words

A long hair in the shower looks
like the Madonna and child

Peek in on your sleeping daughter
blanketed in snowlight

Oncoming traffic headlight stars
are maybe moons

Globe of frustration
behind your eyes

Lost baby tooth,

Still light
at 5:30

(With apologies to Wallace Stevens.)


Love on a Desert Planet

Don’t put a cactus shirt on a mannequin.
He likely will resent you forever,
certain to develop a prickly sense of humor
that would spoil any friendly endeavor
you employ.
Too busy being angry to enjoy
love sooner,
he’ll resist your touch, still
wondering whether you’ll try again, and again
doubting your intentions, sharply, until--

Flash 55 PLUS Kerry’s super-hard word-counting Robert Herrick stanza.



Appreciating paperwhites
lanky window-angling before dawn,
creeping awareness of cold.

Turn on the heat,
radiators immediately seep lavender,
inviting an old lover to visit.

Struck with desire
to lick Italian cooking-class splashes
from the crooks of her elbows,

Futility comes up with the sun.
You stretch toward its light,
remembering the cold.

Inspired by Hannah’s prompt to the Real Toads: LAVENDER FIELDS


She Wishes By the Seashore

echoes unwise
undone alone
unknown pinkest
surges cresting
not best but most


Cowgirl, Interrupted

You can feel
the bumpy rhythm
of the carousel horse
in your teeth
her low moan
in your clavicle

Giddyap sister
let’s bust these poles
& skedaddle

Out beyond
the grassy sighs
of home
to wide open hollers
sprinkled with a few
frustrated hearts

You are
so delicious
get along, little--

50 words for Mama Zen on the subject of HUNGER


Mail Delivery in Harsh Climates

The mailman
your letter

Shut the door
winterday blue

the inevitable grey
of your words

Wind sharpens
black ice
to cleave my breast

You say
you don’t love me

For Fireblossom Friday in the Imaginary Garden: WINTER


Oh Dammit

Thought me a haiku
committed to memory
promptly forgot it


Making Wishes

Hang on to Sunday’s
mysteries woven in the blue
of night sky and golden honey,
ablutions like specks
suspended in beams
of gauze-filtered sunlight,
just floating there.
And Monday’s workaday ache.
Hold on to every day,
because ghosts come faster
now, waving your immortality
like gauzy flags, or shrouds.
Everything could change--
today’s melody quaint and tinny,
if you remember it at all.

Late entry for Grace’s challenge to the Real Toads, inspired by the poetry of David Huerta. Thank you, Grace.
Sharing on the Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden!


Phantom Clutch

On the whole, heated seats
for manual transmission
seems an even trade. But my foot
still reaches for the clutch
when Charlie Chesterman sings
about that shabby dress,
when turning right on East Street,
when I drive in heels, when I feel
the heat on the back of my thighs
and allow myself
to think of you.

For Corey’s prompt to the Real Toads: ROAD TRIP


So-Called Haiku #48

My haiku's busted
scrambling after syllables
all over the floor



Wondering whether
all our tomorrows travel
fast like yesterdays


This Reason Trumps So You Can Ignore the Rest

You’d like to run off
but objectively compelling reasons
make you stay. Kids, for one thing.
They seem to need a stoop
from which you holler for them
that it’s time for dinner
so get your ass home and wash up.
They seem to need home base.
Otherwise you’d be outta here.
Also, the cat.

Flash 55 for Real Toads, in memory of the G-Man, Galen Haynes.


Daybreak Over Chicopee

    cloudy grey
& hematite grey
    constitutes earthly boundary,
aspirations too other-wordly
            for mortal hearts.


It Will Be Happier

Give up seasonal mirth
for a cheap approximation
if it’s all you have.
A parking lot brawl will do.
Reduce your lover
to a shadow of what you had
like last week’s recycling
left curbside
for someone else to pick up.
Already you’ve forgotten
nights when the bottles were full,
when you got drunk
on her,
how it felt to be seen.
She’s last week.
Tomorrow you’ll go invisible,
park your car the next street over,
walk the extra block.

Susie prompted the Real Toads with this quote by Alfred Lord Tennyson, from whence this poem sprang: "Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, It will be happier." Best wishes for the New Year!