distant generator

i began to notice
the cold spot on my leg,
children giggling,
my stomach growling,
your hand warm on my hip.

but i retreated,
turned you off
like the electricity,
leaving you shivering 
and wondering why.
Halloween's cancelled, we have a ton of snow and no power, no heat, no hot water. Stealing some heat and wifi to post a couple stormish poems. See you when the power's back on.


snow in october

the weather forecast
makes me wanna hibernate
before the snow flies.


about me!

Friends, I've updated my "about me" page, take a look?
about me. about my writing.


sick day

this morning he felt quite sickish,
nauseous & even throw-uppish,
his impish eyes muted grey.
she hated to see him sullen,
his sense of humor forgotten.
she brought him some ginger ale.

when she left work, she was stricken,
her tummy, too, had been sickened--
"go home" written on the wall.
he thanked her for the kind soda.
feeling good, he wrote this coda:
it's over, love conquers all.


be the change

They walked up Main Street holding hands, bellies full of frozen yogurt, her daughter singing as she skipped: "Oh that girl was full of fun, she was so fun, so fun! And she loved yo-gurt the most, after bur-ri-tos, which was her most fav-o-rite!"

On a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in autumn, the street was flowing with people--college students, older couples, men in drag. The stroller brigade. Street musicians.

Her daughter pulled up short. "Mama, there's another of those signs you never read."

"Wha--? What signs I don't read?" But she knew the answer even as she stammered the question.

"You know, mama, those cardboard signs you never read. There's another one!"

"Oh, baby, let's talk about this, let's talk later, I can explain what I meant by I don't read-- hey!" The child had let go of her hand and raced ahead, stopping directly in front of a woman sitting on the sidewalk. Pack of cigarettes and a worn cardboard sign. The woman looked up into her child's face.

"Let's go, love. You can't run away from me like that."

"But Mama, what--"

The woman reached for her daughter's hand. "Little girl, do you think I should not be sitting here? On this public sidewalk?" Her daughter stared.

She moved forward and grabbed the girl roughly by her shoulder. "That's enough. Sophia, come now!"

As she moved to pull her daughter away from the woman a figure flew past, close enough that she felt a rustle of fabric on her bare arm. She glanced back as a raised fist swung down and made contact with the woman's skull.

The slow-motion movement, the sickening thunking sound. That was no closed fist, he was hitting her with something, again and again. What was it? Amidst screams, running, yelling, she remembered with a start her own small child, glued to the concrete right there, close enough to feel the breeze as his arm fell over and over, her eyes wide and glassy.

"SOPHIA!" She bent and scooped the girl into her arms, squeezing her close, feeling her little heart racing with her own. She scurried under an awning and collapsed with Sophia on the sidewalk just as the sirens began to echo down the street.

"Sophia, are you okay? Sophia?" The little girl struggled in her arms until she could see the woman again.

Someone had subdued her assailant; two men held him on a bench, dozens of onlookers circling the scene. A young man with a purple nametag held what looked like a washcloth to the woman's bleeding forehead. Another woman sat by her side, murmuring. "You'll be all right, you will, you'll be all right." The woman growled in reply.

"Why did that bad man hurt her, mama? Why?" The girl shook slightly and her mother began to wonder if she would need medical attention herself. Maybe her daughter was in shock?

"Oh, baby, I'm so sorry, she is going to be okay."

"NO AMBULANCE! NO DOCTORS! DON'T LET THEM TAKE ME!" Medical personnel approached. Police officers swarmed around the bench, handcuffing her assailant.

"Please, please no, leave me be. Leave me. I wanted him to kill me. I wanted him to--" She moaned as they lifted her onto a stretcher and into the ambulance.

Sophia jumped up and pulled on her mother's hand. "Mama, mama? What does her sign say? Will you read it, what does it say?"

She stood and stepped a bit closer to make out the words.


I'm back in the Indie Ink Writing Challenge! This week, Kurt challenged me with a lyric from Elliott Smith's song, King's Crossing: "This is the place where time reverses/Dead men talk to all the pretty nurses/Instruments shine on a silver tray/Don't let me get carried away..."

I challenged the lovely Lilu with this: "The elevator was out of service, so he had to take the stairs." Go read!

News flash! This story is now posted over at Indie Ink: Be The Change 

alphabet stew

I came across this wonderful poem by Jack Prelutsky while reading to my children from his collection The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983, illustrated by Arnold Lobel). This poem, called "Alphabet Stew," introduces a section of the book. Words to live by!
Words can be stuffy, as sticky as glue,
but words can be tutored to tickle you too,
to rumble and tumble and tingle and sing,
to buzz like a bumblebee, coil like a spring.

Juggle their letters and jumble their sounds,
swirl them in circles and stack them in mounds,
twist them and tease them and turn them about,
teach them to dance upside down, inside out.

Make mighty words whisper and tiny words roar
in ways no one ever had thought of before;
cook an improbable alphabet stew,
and words will reveal little secrets to you.


poetic license

hot tears flow as a rushing stream.
she jerks like waking from a dream,
glossy gleamed eyes, wet with rage,
turn hard against who waits for her
in chapter six. her muse can't lure
fraught demon purrs from each page.


quabbin dream

woods like fiery calico
patchwork across the lake--
another season arrives with its bluster,
its demands stitched in crimson,
brittle-hearted like dry leaves.

 -- you are still gone --

picture my children greeting you--
smiles preserved in a weathered frame,
dancing like leaves in an autumn wind.
but all i have is your words
stitched in crimson into a fiery heart.


emerald city

who are
all these strange folk
wanting to take a peek
behind my moribund curtain?
i should
take note:
replace utilitarian
textile with voile portieres,  
spread the drapes wide


bulb show

surrounded by daffodils,
pussy willow fills the space
between, unwitting comrade
of death, aubade to green grace.

catkins, harbingers of spring,
oddly ring amongst forced blooms
whose garish gleams scream, "pick me!"
willows need not please so soon.

this juxtaposed foliage
now wilted, dredged for next year's
compost pile; willow wisps, dried,
will hide what gathers dust here.


no place to hide

i'd like to step inside there,
breathe for a while,
and come out a new girl.
a girl who stands her ground,
doesn't let the bastards get her down.
or maybe i can go in there
to confess my various sins,
recline on a couch, talk it all out,
eyes closed, visualizing
what my inner child might think of this.
her eyes would leak a little
as though she had been smacked.
but then she'd retreat to a book
and lose herself.
yes, the lesson is right in there:
take care of that girl. take good care.

I don't often write to photo prompts, but this one, issued by Kerry O'Connor at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, demanded my attention and made me write until I got this out. Whew.



in my dreams, you come around,
i've found i am accustomed.
love, don't leave me waiting here
for fear i'll never blossom--

capitulating moonbeams
shine mean on my wilted frame;
pot-bound roots ache forever.
(i will never be the same.)

glare, my giant, find me small
in rainhall, under bare light--
pretend it's as the sea goes
here in the faux western night.

Pirate Grace introduces us to traditional Welsh poetry forms over at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads this week, starting with this form, called awdl gywydd. It took me a while to warm my brain to this form, but now I think I love it. I predict more to come, as well as more of the lovely oddquain.

wild filly

if i rode
chincoteague's misty
across the dunes behind your
would see my fiercest loyal,
stormy true


mother of god

buoyed by a bitter sea
straddling flotsam
treading to shore
to waves of regret
out to sea

WWPSS (what would percy sledge say?)

we could discuss the vagaries
of impractical heartish unions.

ask, when a man loves a woman
will he really trade the world
for the good thing he's found?

can he think of nothing else?
and will she really play him
for a fool to bring him misery?

we could. but now, i just want
my kids to eat their vegetables.

Over at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Kenia challenged us to write a poem inspired by the song that was #1 on the charts on the day we were born.


the wind and the sun

The words to this song by Jonathan Richman are so achy and true, so simple, yet so special:
Even though I know I am the wind and the sun
I want to turn my back sometimes
Forget the angels sometimes
Do things my own way
Even though I know I am the wind and the sun
I want to put my arm around her
Want to be attached to her
Forget the stars
Even though I know I am the wind
I want to forget
Even though I know I am the sun
I still get afraid sometimes
Even though I know I am the wind
Even though I know I am the sun
Buy this song for 99 cents! Heck, buy the whole record, it is magnificent. Truly.


over capacity

this pressure on my head
gripping, bearing down,
brain rapping against skull
like a swollen brown river
beating against bare roots
over and over, washing,
wearing them down and away.
like white-hot searing lust
or overeager anticipation,
what other blinding is there?
there is always the possibility
that full to bursting, it explodes
into the hardness of white light.
that's enough, then. no more.


death & taxes

not writing poems:
"natural" consequence of
being audited.