in time of ill regard

If only love could be attained
by shuffling under a birdless sky
as the cafeteria tray of clouds
presses closer to the sidewalk
and the weeded quarter-acre
on which you’ve staked your claim,
hanging your only shingle.

If only one could mark years
on rice paper with edible ink,
discarding poisoned moments
and supping heartily on the rest.
Cloudward in home’s direction
pestilence falls away like sorrow--
If only love could be attained.


  1. Amen, sister. I've often wondered why something so easy has to be so difficult...I love your imagery in this poem - it is always fresh and original but the cafeteria tray of clouds particularly struck me as unique.

  2. if only...alas thats not to be.instead we seem to be stumbling more on self-created problems.lovely, as always.

  3. Lovely share Marian ~ I specially like rice paper with edible ink ~

  4. Beautiful, Marian ~~ I love it, so true to life.

    BTW, I was allowed/forced(??) to hang a second shingle.
    This one is still getting better for the both of us,
    even after 40 years of marriage now.

  5. Some very nice imagery here. There is an old saying I'm fond of which perhaps captures the essence of this poem:

    "If the dog hadn't stopped to pee, he'd have caught the rabbit."

  6. I adore your last three lines. ~andy

  7. Fabulous, Marian. I tried to choose my favorite parts, but couldn't, probably because I got caught up remembering the first time I ever saw rice paper. We were children, and Dad brought home candies wrapped in rice paper, and told us to go ahead and eat the paper, too. We were horrified, then surprised, then thrilled.

  8. There's plaintive, and there's weeping: the former, if handled with skill and control, makes for powerful poetry, and the more control, the the better, whereas the latter is dependent on nothing more than least-common-denominator cheap emotion. Happily, this is strongly entrenched in the camp of the former.

  9. beautiful. i <3 your diction.

  10. I love the images you create.

  11. ah, thank you, friends. glad this one resonates. :)

  12. I'll take the fluffy cloud on the right and just a small spoonful of the one closest to the ground. :)

    rice paper with edible ink... lovely line!

  13. This is a fine point wrapped in a flannel nightgown and set on fire with Chopin's Bercuese being played in the background. This really was a mini script for almost half of the movies ever made. You always outdo yourself.

  14. hah, Chopin, really? all right, then. xo


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!