Summer 2016, Encapsulated

No poems today
no reflection
on how light
follows darkness
how the sky feels
how a body opens
like a flower
how I love you
no words
though still true
it does
I do


Untitled, July 2016


of the day





Athena Shakes Her Head

There’s a throne
in this morning’s clouds
from which I imagine
Athena observes
skirmishes with no purpose
olive trees rot roots up
war with no end
She knows
there’s no slowing this march
no wings can lift us
above inevitable despair
The mind of God is blank
and no blue remains
even above the clouds


On the Nature of Air

We breathe
the same air
cologne & sweat
til fear seeps in
blood & death
in the end
we breathe sweet air

*Monday note: I've edited this and like this version much better!

Kerry called for short poems on the subject of Death and Night. This is also responsive to Izy’s prompt to write from a recently received text message (my first line here).


Nice Cage

Am thrilled to have a poem in the inaugural issue of Nice Cage, a new, gorgeous, very cool literary magazine. Fairly prescient that the issue's theme is Predator/Prey and the magazine's tagline is "Enjoy Being Human." It's awesome to be published alongside comrades Kerry O'Connor, W.K. Kortas, and many others excitingly new to me. Hearty congratulations and thanks to editor and co-founder Isadora Gruye.
Take a look: Nice Cage


For My Husband on His 40th Birthday

I’m thinking
of demanding spousal rights
to your gallbladder
when the surgeon takes it out,
bringing it home in my purse,
one stone for an earring,
one stashed
in the locket you gave me,
the last one under my pillow
for dreamkeeping,
your name bile-tattooed
across my heart,
flesh of the precious organ
buried deep in the dirt
of the old angel-wing begonia
that’s flowered our marriage,
spindly reaching for the sun.


Except the Memory of You

Sometimes I feel like
some sad old goddamn song
that everyone knows the words to
but just won’t sing along

        --Charlie Chesterman, "Mister Blue"

Laughing girl
tugs her beater over her belly
earns a stage shout-out
is easily amused
seemingly cheerful
like baby’s breath
in a carnation bouquet

She is rain on Sunday
bag of kittens in the river
last call banjo
at Nico’s Recovery Room
stumbling down Highland Ave
three flights up
to an empty bed

Flash 55 for Real Toads!


This Is All Leda's Fault

in the marvelous
incongruity of May
with her rages
and jewels
mixed with catastrophe
She is a rare gift
on hemorrhaged lips
taciturn yet stylish
syncopated and swanlike
Best make tracks
or tumble headlong
maybe both

(OOAK ART doll by Lina Macijauskiene.)

I learned about the fantastic art dolls of Lithuanian artist Lina Macijauskiene from my friend Jori, who owns the one in this photograph. Isn’t this doll wonderful? I love her.

More dolls at Lina Macijauskiene’s Etsy store: LinaMacijauskieneART
Jori’s cool blog: Shivers of Delight

Sharing this at the Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden.

P.S. I turned FIFTY on Sunday. What!?!


My Grandmother Would Have Been 106 Today

Happy Birthday to my grandmother,
Anne Gilmore Stewart!

My new book, Heart Container, is dedicated to my grandmother:


The Color of Goodbye

The happy chartreuse
of early spring on Mt. Tom
I missed this year
while not paying attention.

Your moan
yearning forward in many shades
of red, then blue,
then bloodiest-red again.

Everything vaguely
distressed Polaroid
through rose sunglasses.

Mourning doves,
oatmeal with honey,
when your eyes look green.

Sharing with The Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden today.



with the chance
of losing you
memory bows
to tragination
hysteria’s gate
a death shroud
while preparing
a fat-free meal


Rose & Hydrangea

Mother's Day.


Advice (Not Really)

Feeling sad?
Write a poem!
   (if only
came so
    if always
the spirit
moved melancholy
manufacturing hay)

Sharing with the Real Toads on The Tuesday Platform. May Tuesday!


The Roar Sessions

Tickled & quite humbled that a little missive by yours truly is included in the tremendous cacophony that is THE ROAR SESSIONS, curated by Poet, Promptress, & Coach Jena Schwartz. Read it here:
"The Roar Sessions: Using My Words" by Marian Kent


Formerly & 4-Ever

The artist
who really knew how to ball
slammed his last dunk
posthumously orchestrating
an exultant wave
of humanity
slanging it all skyward
looney-tunes constellations
raining his name earthward
while we
continue marveling
on the free throw line
at the exquisite contradiction
our petite giant
of arrogant humility
bestowed upon us
with purpose and accidentally
stumbling it all back home

Sharing in the Imaginary Garden today.


At Six (-teen) (-ish)

To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I ey’d,
Such seems your beauty still.

              William Shakespeare, Sonnet 104

I recognize myself
in the epigraph
to your book of poems
wishing to be remembered
as beautiful
like you are
Gone more than twenty years now
while I am feeling
painfully mortal
I was that girl too
attracting gazes
taking literally the admonishment
What you gonna do just sit there and watch?
Lately I’ve softened
let go
fallen into bed
abandoning grudges
because somehow
I know you
  (and Prince)
would have wanted me to
The violets are up in the backyard
their faces to morning sun
I am thinking of you
wishing for rain

I’ve completely lost my way in April, but this poem was prompted by Kerry’s prompt to the Real Toads recognizing Shakespeare’s birthday.

Also, today the runaway sentence turns six years old! Thank you, gentle readers, for encouraging me in this space for all these years.



off the rails
coughs & splutters
gotta endeavor
not to worry too much

Greetings to my friends in the Imaginary Garden, where I'm sharing this plea in The Tuesday Platform.


What the Heck, Haiku

Thank goodness it’s International Haiku Poetry Day. Here are a few seasonal snippets:

mild uncertainty
turns in springtime air
to wild insecurity

* * * * *

windows wide to spring
cat fur smells like open air
bury your face there

* * * * *

spring air reminder
what happens to us is true
and discernible

And this one from last night, demonstrating my frame of mind:
cold medicine
on Saturday night
I know how to get down


If We Are Not Careful

Soon comes
the implosion
when distance
finally digests itself
secreting apprehension
like so much fertilizer
and I will be left
looking back
tending the fragile thing
that once
(or was it a dream)
was a firecracker

Photo by Karin Gustafson

Lucky (?) #13 in April, for Karin’s prompt to the Real Toads: REMAINS OF THIS MONTH

Editing to add this little haiku I scribbled last night and promptly forgot. You know, it helps with my goal for April!
wild, wild Friday night
new battery in her book-light
finds her own delight


Spring Clairvoyance

He said
about April
what anybody would say
about such a month
that it breeds color
to beat back shadows
scent to tempt
even the most staid merchant
   to hooky
That is what April does
and we all know it
Why else songs
celebrating winter’s end
in the muddy throes of April
Why else a new sign
ignoring an otherwise
portentous horoscope
in favor of new bloom
Only in April
is lilac-breath acceptable
even encouraged
So when he says April
   is for lovers
April carries my tune
   in its gut
I shall wait until then
   to sow my seeds
it is April’s garden
of which he sings
We all know the words
and sing along

Poem #12 for April, for Angie’s prompt to the Real Toads using a word list from The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot.
I’ve been so sick! Seems I’m turning a corner and starting to feel better, but catching up to produce 30 poems in April? We shall see.