The Realizational Quality of Birds

Thonk against the house
in my early morning kitchen
curtains still closed against the grey
almost-dawn and in a flash
I thought I was dying
by invasion from the back porch
and a terrible end but it turned out
to be a big bird bashed against
the window so I sighed not exactly
relieved to remember the thonk of tires
and a magnificent grouse
fluttering at the side of a road
looking back in the rear view
and blood unrelenting for days
upon weeks occasioning my visit
to the doctor requiring that drive
and the passing
thought that I was dying
the only explanation for such a torrent
but it turned out
to be a function of change
even good and necessary change
and looking back from a vantage
of what I realized in my kitchen
this morning is actually seventeen years
(which makes me think of rock songs
and girls of seventeen) since I stopped
bleeding and so much else that now
I listen for thonks as a way
of acknowledging change
both good and unkind but all in time
and I know for sure
I am dying

Whew. Inspired by Avant Gardener in the Imaginary Garden



but there’s no one here
who can address your question
no one here is taking complaints
now or for the foreseeable future
for your expense and trouble
in travelling all this way
as no one here is taking complaints
and that scurrying is certainly not
the sound of anyone hiding from you
we are not at home
feel free to leave your number
but don’t expect a call from us
as we are not taking complaints
and have nothing to say
even though we were expecting you

The Temple by Tomasz Zaczeniuk
used with permission
@fotowizjer on Instagram

For Kerry’s Art Flash prompt in the Imaginary Garden
featuring the work of Tomasz Zaczeniuk


Hiding Places

My love hides
in pillows under my eyes
under my pillow
or under my bed
or mixed with dirt
in the bed along the back steps
under wet leaves all winter long
so fragrant when dug in spring
reminiscent of the way your eyes
smell when your hair hangs down
my head on your pillow
my love hidden
under the covers
unrelentingly beautiful
until you tie it back
almost too much
to bear

For Magaly in the Imaginary Garden: STRANGE NEWS


Experience vs. Understanding

When a butterfly
lights on a frozen branch
of the shrubbery
outside my window
I must be seeing things
but then geese honk over
and I’m not so sure

Seems now
I’m at a crossroads
between one good thing
and a dark setback
yet I entertain random ideas
like the taste of nectar
whether I’d fly in formation
or set out on my own
or what it might feel like
to be frozen to a branch

I know the sensation
of observing what’s solid
unquestionably existing
explained the opposite
but I can think
of no explanation
for a monarch in winter

SENSATION in the Imaginary Garden


Monuments (for Mary Oliver)

The sky glowing
mother of all pearl
over a still-brown city
at Mary Oliver’s sundown
reminds me
that the softness
of my animal-body
belies its core strength

There was that fever after all
and chills
knives and heartbreak

I know warm days are ahead
and might just yet
erect my own altar
to the unsung strength
of small things
the good of shiny things
like today’s
abalone sunset



I think I was about 9 or 10
and it had been a very bad year
with the retching death of my always
and favorite cat Sunshine named
during my John Denver phase who
lived freely and ran like a cat
with his tail on fire until ingesting
rat poison at the lumber mill out back
the yard and it was decided that cats
were too much risk of heartbreak
for a young cat-girl to bear so
I was alone
until one day the VW trundled along
country roads apparently directionless
pulled into the driveway of an unfamiliar
house and I was admonished to head
right up there into the garage where
a surprise awaited and sure enough
here tumbled a fluffy puppy all tongue
and tail with the stubbiest legs
for jumping a white stripe up her nose
to her brow I named her Jinx and loved
that day and that dog until well forever

A joyful childhood memory for Magaly in the Garden


Holy Bound

father embraces
with pride
a glimmer of himself
      -- revelatory --
in his son
who simply loves
those same qualities
in another man

REVELATION in the Imaginary Garden



One stubborn apple
frozen to a branch
of the lone wizened tree
in a clover meadow browned
fractalled under frost cover

-- this path slants romance --

Hazed-vantage horizon
painted from a dirt road
of an almost forgotten
cheap & ramshackle adventure
in may-as-well-be solitude

Playing with PUENTE in the Imaginary Garden


Sunday Night Tanka

& scratch ticket
indulging fantasies
last cash til payday
    pizza’s a winner


Subject to Change

Our little ecosystem
is subject to seasonal impacts
as we become heated
risk of contamination strong
but feels irreversible
this feeling
this bloated feeling
seems new normal for our environs
in a warmer taxonomy

MONO NO AWARE in the Imaginary Garden


Maybe It's Just Me

settled in my chest
flutters like a bird
struggling to get out

It could be me
but I think you know
this fluttering
inside of you too

It could just be me
but maybe
this is how we are bound
in the post-world

When the bird
of despair
catches in our throats
let’s struggle together

I hope it’s not just me

Giving thanks with love poems in the Imaginary Garden


Backyard in November

I should rake leaves

but I decide
to do something else

when thinking about
leaves and wind
and justice

photo by Marian Kent

Night Descent

My belly

rockets for the ceiling
as though hung by the moon

towing the rest of me
hips and shoulders limp
fingers brushing the floor

Playing with the CHERITA in the Imaginary Garden!


Any Friday Afternoon

What would happen
if I spent this hour
watching my clock
like it might sprout wings
latch on to my mousing wrist
with its desk-clock feet
and launch us both
out the sixth floor window
over the YMCA rooftop
and three tenement high-rises
to I don’t even know what’s
beyond those
beyond my imagination
far beyond my expectations
for a clock-watching Friday
at the office
wishing to fly



I confessed to tears
at news of slaughter
from my old neighborhood
but in reality didn’t cry

I stopped crying years ago

Now I store suffering
behind my eyelids
and wonder
when the storage will be full

And what will happen then

Meanwhile I realize
it would take real courage
to admit being unable to cry
or ask for help

So that’s not what I’m doing here


Satire, Truth, Life, Death

Jostled from morning dreaming
with sing-song chanting
bouncing around in my brain
charlie hebdo
charlie hebdo
bouncing through the morning
in a rhythm from the dream
jostling coffee mugs & such
charlie hebdo
charlie hebdo
cat jumps abruptly in my lap
meows her cat-breath in my face
all as if to remonstrate
charlie hebdo
charlie hebdo
against opening the daily news
bouncing bone saws in the consulate
& accidental dismemberment
charlie hebdo
but we accept your explanation
& this will all blow over soon
it’s normal & entirely credible
jamal khashoggi
jamal khashoggi
jamal khashoggi
jamal khashoggi