whither the Wind

catching dreams,
enveloping friends,
gloaming heavenward
in just knowing--
love may never
only pine quickly--
staying tucked
under verdant winds,
your zephyr.

For 1 to 30, A to Z, the last Real Toads prompt for National Poetry Writing Month. This is poem number thirty! Raise a cheer! (Or a Z!)



Clever how he uses
catch phrases, expressions
commonly known to call
clear his heart’s storying,
communicate soulful
commiseration, sighs,
creating worlds in worlds.

Poem 29 of 30 in April for National Poetry Month! Ack!


(and this is only rehearsal)

How strange
to stack up my stories
side by side the words
of women unlike me
yet like,
their stories not mine,
yet mine--
How wonderful to wrap
their words around my words,
struggles alongside mine,
another mother’s hopes
and fears
twined round my heart--
They call that an a-ha,
that moment
of profound
yet simple recognition--
yeah I get that,
it’s like that for me, too--
I won’t soon forget.

Getting excited for Listen To Your Mother Providence! It's next Saturday! Today was our final rehearsal, and I'm telling you, this show is going to be unforgettable. And it's April 28, which means this is poem number 28 of 30 for National Poetry Month. Whew!


Shivering Sentiment

though it’s sunny spring,
the cold
where you removed your hand
seeping across my thigh
like a damp-air shadow.

Poem 27 of 30 in April for National Poetry Month.


Austerity in Strident City

freight train
brights on
in broad Daylight--

Gonna jump that Train
to Strident City
where I’ll be welcome
despite Austerity Policy

Productivity Counts
in Strident City!
Thus, I won’t be Required
to hold my Tongue.

Poem 26 of 30 for National Poetry Writing Month.


Zombie Apocalpyse, Cliffs Notes Version

  wants to be wanted
          is an aphrodisiac
get off on killing

Izy asked the Real Toads to write a Cliffs Notes version of a favorite story. I like The Walking Dead (and the whole zombie genre, actually). Poem 25 of 30 for National Poetry Writing Month.


cold/holes in your hosiery

These natty tights
have been sporting holes
for many weeks of wear,
but finally today
they’ve reached their limit

along with the letter
signed Love Always
& the glossy photobooth shot,
one on the lap of the other,
lust-blind, vacation-tanned.

It’s too cold for reflecting
on beaches, lust or letters,
so pad to the kitchen
in homeworn slippers,
& toss that shit in the trash.

Susan prompted the Real Toads to write on a theme of hello or goodbye. Hello, this is poem number 24 of 30 for National Poetry Month! And today's the third birthday of the runaway sentence, hip hip hooray!

three years

runaway sentence
three years old

happy birthday!

(don't be shy, now)

Look at how much she's grown! Here she is at one year old and at two.


Redolence of Glycerin

Glycerin bar
with Honeysuckle.

Honey who?
Honey, You--

bathroom is this?
Honey, yours--

Gotta snag me
my faithful
tea tree.
"The sweetest honey is loathsome in its own deliciousness. And in the taste destroys the appetite." Shakespeare, from Romeo and Juliet

Susan prompted the Real Toads to write a poem inspired by lines from Shakespeare, in celebration of his birthday. This is poem number 23 of 30 in April, for National Poetry Writing Month!


Port Authoritarian

Early Spring
set for journeying
in City streets
mapped on the Heart

Couch Council
advice rendered
hushed with Urgency
results in wasting

I swear I know
my way around
so how can It be
that I cannot find

A $1.10 bus ticket
circa 1989 & now


You’re sometime else
inexplicably Lost.

Poem 22 of 30 in April for National Poetry Month, shared with Real Toads, where it's Open Link Monday.


Spring Lune (-acy)

bitter morning rooms
secede as
kids fling windows wide

oldest question yet:
whose man in the moon
is up there?

waiting for the day
blanket the whole lawn

spring welcomes girls
skipping city sidewalks, sporting tears
in jeans knees

Grace has introduced a new (to me, anyway) form for the Real Toads (and you!) to play with: the LUNE. 1 & 3 here are my first attempts at the Kelly Lune, which has a syllable count of 5-3-5. 2 & 4 are samples of the Collum Lune, which has a WORD count of 3-5-3. I’m gonna count all of these as one... so the Lunes are number 21 of 30 for National Poetry Writing Month. Getting there!


the Poet & the Bean-Stalk

She plants words with trepidation,
unsure of their reception
in a world quick to mow weeds.

She tends her seedlings,
loathe to water them down,
as they spring from her source.

Once germinated, words mushroom
like that magical bean-stalk,
lengthening and strengthening,

an offering for others to climb.
Even if some wield axes, draw blood,
her words hold up, sturdy and perennial.

"Rosalie" by Virginia Francis Sterrett

Kerry's challenge to the Real Toads features the storybook illustrations of Virginia Francis Sterrett. Poem 20 of 30 in April!


Man (Boy) Hunt

It was the post titled
Photo Of A Dead Terrorist
that pushed me over-capacity.

Melting into a make-it-stop
puddle, mixed with the mud
of what-have-we-doneness,

I backed away from the screen,
caught the gaze of ten-years-
until-nineteen, and wept.

Izy asked the Real Toads to write a poem about melting that does not contain references to fire or ice, heat or cold. This is poem number 19 of 30 for National Poetry Writing Month.


Words at the Ready

for Adrianne
Some singer-songwriter
Poetry’s everywhere!
(They talk too much.)

If Peter Mulvey says
there’s too much poetry,
That’s just like life.

I say we all keep our
Words in our back pockets,
ready to whip 'em out,
meant to inspire--

Bit of encouragement
lasts for a verse or two,
till you’re reduced to just
Hanging In There.

Susie asked the Real Toads to write poems with messages of encouragement. Today is National Poem In Your Pocket Day! So let's remember to keep our words in our pockets for when we or someone we know could use some encouragement. Number 18 of 30 in April, whew.

I'm having some fun with Peter Mulvey here, but you should take a listen to his song, which is not ACTUALLY mocking poets. :) Enjoy!


To Boston, With Love

As City Folk made the
ultimate sacrifice;
Mayor Menino knows--
hazardous Life.

Blasts are still smoldering;
City’s Integrity--
in darkest times.

Holy syllable count, it’s a double-dactyl! About which I just learned today from Aprille at Real Toads. Join us in creating double-dactyls from a rather impressive word list. This is number 17 of 30 for National Poetry Writing Month. Maybe I can move on to a different subject tomorrow.


Patriot's Day

Left them for dead,
Pressure-cooked at the finish line;
Left them for dead,
As Paul Revere mem’rably said--
They’re coming! It’s by their design!
Count your dead. Your broken. This time--
Left them for dead.

This is for my little day 16 of NaPoWriMo form challenge at Real Toads: I Say Roundel, You Say Rondelet. 

Friends, I'm always anxious when writing about topics of horror and loss in the news. At the same time, it usually feels very wrong not to. Many of you know that I live in Massachusetts; we are about 1.5 hours from Boston, and were not in Boston yesterday. But we certainly feel the impact of this tragedy here. To me, Patriot's Day is such a joyous, charming, quintessential Massachusetts thing, just beautiful. Yesterday, well--you know. I couldn't get the phrase "left for dead" or the picture of the young boy (the same age as my own kids) who was killed out of my head, so I wrote this. It's certainly not intended to be any kind of summary of or instruction for how to feel or react to or think about tragic and unnecessary violence. It is just a small comment. Thank you for reading.



I might need a pick
to chink loose
pinging in my brain.
Better yet to chisel
from a concrete heart.

Joaquin Sorolla, Victor Hugo's House in Passages
Hedgewitch provides a gorgeous review of Joaquin Sorolla's paintings for the Sunday Real Toads challenge. Poem 14 of 30! Harder than it looks, friends.


No Cover

Relentless grey
clogs pores,
as the Sun appears,

Picking scabs,
relish in scoring
of healthy Flesh
as it tears,

Curl in a ball
when blood rises,
Softness exposed
to passing Seers.

painting by Chelsea Bednar

Margaret has provided a fantastic prompt to the Real Toads today: Artistic Interpretations, featuring abstract paintings by her daughter, Chelsea Bednar. Please click through to enjoy some of Chelsea's other paintings. Poem 12 of 30 in April!


scene at Seven

I know Seven will be good,
but could we please say I’m Six
for just a while longer?

Baby girl with a stack of gifts
wrapped in silver and pink and daisies;
it’s a rainy day but we remember
that April showers bring May flowers,
plus, she’s not really a baby anymore.

No more babies in this house.

It’s like a dream, this birthday day:
the sun streams in, then hides again.

The cat swarms in wrapping paper
inspiring giggle and meow cascades.

Dada hauls the dollhouse downstairs,
sets it up in the middle of the kitchen
so all the new flower-festooned ponies,
princesses, knights, and riding-girls
can have a new home in the thick of it.

Mama snaps photos, bakes a chocolate cake,
leans back on a counter, sips coffee
from her favorite chipped earthen mug.

Can’t believe her good fortune, still.

This is the Best Day Ever,
and Dada told me that seven is lucky.
So I’m ready to be Seven.

Herotomost asked the Real Toads for a piece that describes a place in detail, sandwiched with dialogue. Here's a snapshot from my today, my daughter's seventh birthday. Oh and also, poem 11 of 30 for April!