My hair holds stories
tied back loosely
against the chaos
of letting it down
each strand
carrying its own lie
just barely contained


Mud & Guts

scouting for babies
reduced to side-of-the-road mud
& how it all changes for fawns
       watching from the woods

For Just One Word in the Imaginary Garden: MUDDY


Behind Blue

seems useless
musing on blue
when moon and rain
bend the riverway
as she sways
I have mused
on these truths

Now tree
swallows riot
rose bramble
behind fences

And so it seems
out of tune
to go on musing
blue moon truths
the riverway as
she bends and sways
and rain and rain
and rain

For Margaret’s COLOR prompt in the Imaginary Garden


Park Street Pastoral

Walk through town
to a shady bench along the bike path
next to a drinking fountain
and an always-filled dog water bowl
across the way from the bagel place
and the fire station
and an honest-to-god picket fence
the whole scene is amazingly idyllic
down to a greying man strolling by
transistor radio in his pants pocket
blaring The Sound of Silence

Sharing on the Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden



She sits behind me
in the last row of desks
next to the windows
belly pressed hard
against melamine and a box
of stashed pencils

And books never cracked
her soft brown eyes
in a field of freckles
behind long lashes
and lanky bangs
dream of anywhere but here

When she stands
that belly protrudes
from unzipped Lees
and unbuttoned flannel
challenging every 14-year-old
eye to ogle

And wonder who
and remember how far
from here is everything
to this day
and I just realized that baby
maybe stares down 40

For Kim’s weekend prompt: PORTRAITURE


The Dark

The dark
is too thick to crack
wide enough
to swallow thoughts
about time and healing
and high school
because by now
it's been entirely too dark
for too long

They say you can't
go home again
and you know they mean it
because home is where
it happened
it's entirely unsound
and unyielding
home is brittle-boned
and dark

SUMMER’S END in the Imaginary Garden


Nearing the End

comforting about
a petty argument
at the end of the world
it’s familiar after all
and we possess the tools
to navigate this
So let’s kiss now and make
impending-apocalypse love
the super-presenting loss
of individual autonomy
that faced together becomes
our superpower

A non-ironic poem for Magaly’s weekend challenge: POETIC IRONY


Missing Person Verse

Ghosts linger in plates
brought curbside, trimline phone,
faint blue dot just above the knee,

Memory gnaws like a hungry
belly, ache of phantom wisdom teeth,
lyctinae eggs in open pores,

Here and gone again,
from forest to pencil to powder--

For Rommy’s Tuesday Platform: GOING BUGGY


When Your Head Strikes a Pool Table

The baize will be soft
against your cheek
while the rail jabs
like to break your neck

You’ll wonder
are those stars in your eyes
or sights
as #2 blue fades to black

You’ll consider the texture
and velocity of wood
shaped as sticks
and spheres and tables

Two things will come clear
you’ll forever tug at your jeans
and blue
is no longer blue

For Just One Word in the Imaginary Garden: APART


Hyacinth Heart, Illustrated

My amazing daughter Anne illustrated one of my April poems!
The poem is about the anime The Promised Neverland.

I’m sharing the cover photo but please click
to see the entire poem illustrated on Instagram:

I'm completely blown away. Beautiful! 

Illustration copyright @KangLinNuriko


April Epitaph

When I die
plant obscene dahlias
in my backyard
throw a loud rock show
invite all the neighbors
the police
everyone I ever knew
make sure my cat is there
let the red wine
undrunk while I was alive
flow freely
fly poems on paper airplanes
from Mount Tom
and a crop duster
tugging an aerial banner

#NaPoWriMo Day 30! Whew.
For the Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden
and Skylover’s Word List: EPITAPH
30 poems in 30 days! I did not think I had it in me this year.


Treading vs. Stomping

In battle
between my wide-stance
booted footfalls
versus your dream-cloths
who would win?

#NaPoWriMo Day 9!
For Bjorn in the Garden: ASKING QUESTIONS
And Skylover’s Word List: JOURNEY
*nods to William Butler Yeats and Captain Marvel*



Substance earned you this
and mine, lingering weak
You’d stop me with a kiss
before I think to speak--

Now counting empty days
till we two kiss again
Bosomed in my domain
I pen this verse for you--

The kiss by Clarence H. White (1904)

#NaPoWriMo Day 28!
For Margaret’s photo prompt in the Garden
And Skylover’s Word List: SUBSTANCE

With a suggestion that all of you Gentle Readers
find a way to see this new film about Emily Dickinson
that--no exaggeration--has changed my life.
For the better! Wild Nights With Emily


The Years Can Be Cruel

Spied my eighth-grade teacher in the supermarket aisle,
still gorgeous with age, trying to hide a black eye--

#NaPoWriMo Day 27!
For Toni’s prompt: IN THE STATION OF METRO
And Skylover’s Word List: CRUEL


Morning Breath

The green dream
true sweet rain
of blue morning
sigh welcome
lonely souls
give cover to grief
give time for pause
and the chance
to try again

#NaPoWriMo Day 26!
For Karin in the Garden: RE-BOOT, RE-BIRTH
And Skylover’s Word List: GRIEF


Advice for Achieving a Modicum of Liberty

count losses
sit beside them
painting woes
the colors
of the sea
count your stones

The Sea and It's Raining. I Missed You So Much
Artist: Wura-Natasha Ogunji
33rd Bienal de São Paulo
Photograph: Kenia Santos

#NaPoWriMo Day 25!
For Kerry in the Garden: IMAGISTS
and Skylover’s Word List: LIBERTY


Hyacinth Heart

Fragrant blooms
from her open blouse
forever-spring smile
dead eyes

#NaPoWriMo Day 24!
Skylover’s Word List: SPEAR
Sherry's Natural Wonders in the Imaginary Garden

Today is the 9th birthday of the runaway sentence!
I posted a video to Instagram for the occasion, come and see.

This humble blog has been such an influence 
for good in my life. I’m grateful to you, gentle readers, 
for visiting and engaging with me here. Love to all of you!


Can't Shake Hard Times

Hard times
gotcha by the collar
right up in your face
with its sour breath
and spittle

Hard times
pours from the sky
like it’s never rained before
floods your basement
with its guttural gulps

Seems like hard times
is counting your mistakes
then multiplying
by a factor of 4
some days 400

What to do with hard times
but eat them for breakfast
lunch and dinner
as hard times is all
you can afford anyway

#NaPoWriMo Day 23!
Kind of a horror in daylight? Sanaa? Tuesday Platform
Skylover’s Word List: SHAKE