Poems From a Distance

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!!


The Virus Is the Clock

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

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



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


Some Kind of Legacy

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
or deep disappointment
In the end I hope
you find there is value
in kindness
and all the love

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



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


Going Out In a Blaze of Maybe

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
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

For Kerry’s February word list @skyloverpoetry on Instagram



My heart’s 
like a succulent
a lifetime of wrongs
fleshy with nerve
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
So I adapt 
but it’s hard to cultivate 
new growth
in this climate

For Friday Flash 55 offered by Joy at Verse Escape



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?
like pigeon milk
roiled in morning’s belly
sunrise swaddled but I am
perched with coo
It is up to me to decide
no permission required
sovran and innate
so I am
bragging my old wings today



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


Circular Logic

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 

For Kerry’s January word list @skyloverpoetry on Instagram


Ever-Rising Star

My Sister-Poet Kerry O’Connor created this precious gem for me
in response to my last music prompt in the Imaginary Garden
and in honor of our friendship, for which I am always grateful
and may it last forever. I had to share to kick off the new year.
Love, love you, dear Kerry! Here’s to a creative 2020 xoxo



wearing bleakness like a blanket
at the end of a belligerent year
I’d like to yell don’t let the door
smack yer ass on the way out
or better yet good riddance loser
get the hell outta here already
Even the threatened ice storm
has fizzled to a bitter rain
and I’m sitting here over-maudlin
drinking coffee from all my beans
ground in case of power outage
cotton ball my new uniform
reading outright awful old poems
and writing new ones with titles
cribbed from word-a-day emails
Pathetic really
but at least the cat’s still on my lap
and it’s true I will miss our Garden 
of Promethean inspiration
mostly gentle critique
even the occasional melodrama
that gave fodder to salty poetry
This is beyond truth
more like canon the awkward feeling
that a part of me is about
to go missing with warning beforehand
A weird sensation
but apparently months of knowledge 
about end-of-year transitioning
has not inspired adaptation in my case 
and anyway I don’t know what to do
except to stay right here drinking coffee
scribbling doggerel and hyperbole
what did you say again?

Doing my salty best for the last prompt in our Imaginary Garden.
This is for Susie’s prompt featuring poems by Amber Rose Tamblyn
featured in Kerry’s Play It Again today.
Upon reviewing today’s offerings I’m a little sad to note a number
of these terrific prompts to which I haven’t already responded. 
But, I guess that means plenty of inspiration going forward.

**Long Live the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads**


Big Deal, It Looks Bleak

I struggle
to muster hopeful words
about joy in resilience
collective concern
and youth action
but I do believe

can see our gifts 
for the burdens they are 
and will demand more
as they know 
rules of society 
are our own making

So let us 
raise a global cheer
that they refuse 
to follow 
the rules
of previous generations

For Sherry’s last prompt in the Imaginary Garden: WILD WOMAN



Let’s celebrate
this dog named Bear
who bounds to greet us
wagging it’s always 
so good to see you

"Bear" by Toril Fisher

For Margaret’s final Artistic Interpretations prompt in the Garden


Winter Solstice

It’s easy to imagine
the coming darkness
that seems somehow closer
in bone season

Brittle like stones
or reaching branches
dunked in ice
praying for a little light

But imagine 
if we had the power
to breathe in darkness
breathe out light


For Just One Last Word in the Imaginary Garden: IMAGINE
and also inspired by this: