A Toad's Affidavit

I do humbly swear
Upon this Holiest of tomes
That I observed Mister Malingerer;

Fever bright in his eyes,
Fingering the Sonnet of another
With malice aforethought;

Upon only a moment’s hesitation,
Lopping up said Sonnet like milk
Between bourbon-infused lips;

Wresting the aforementioned
Most Sacred of all Last Lines
In the grip of daggerly canines;

Washing said Sacred Last Line
Down the greediest gullet
Saturated in a shot of Jack;

And finally,
Absconding with the glory
Heretofore belonging to the Poet

Formerly known as S.A.;
And further, I hereby swear
That before said abduction,

I was able to review
And preserve for all Posterity
The Gist of the Famous Last Line:

But Lo, Malingerer: A Hero, At Least To Most.

Whodunit? Only the Toads know.


Just Need A Little Time

"Let me sleep on it,"
she said. "I need time to think."
Let her dream on it.


Drumbeats at the Precipice

You are the master
of your own fate, she quipped,
clearly a Believer.
But I wasn’t so sure,
what with that cosmic Hand
thrusting itself upon me
in unprecedented furor.
I mean, I always liked edgy,
but this kind of pushing
(rapidly, cryptically)
was really taking it way too far.
I replied No--
just a broken doll,
ain’t got no leverage against Sin.

Whatever this is, it was written with words from Timoteo’s Word List for the Real Toads, including: master, leverage, crickets, edgy, believe, precipice, thrust, cryptic, rapidly, drumbeat, and broken.

Which reminds me! Do you have your copy of Timo’s great book, Darwin’s Moon: A Memoir of Pain and Glory in Poetry and Prose? If not, you are really missing out on something special and you should remedy RIGHT NOW.


more fibonaccis!

When Life Is Like Checkers
she cried
as she sprang
without checking first
& no parachute, free falling--

Turn Me Upside Down
mix tape
hit rewind
& play it again
oh it’s magic when I’m with you.

busted like
music box dancers
jaggedly pirouetting home.


Bottled Up

washed out
with Dial soap,
that’ll teach you, girl--
Lessons learned, grievances stored up
like canned tomatoes in the cellar till they explode.

For Hedgewitch’s weekend prompt to the Real Toads: FIBONACCI


Pavor Nocturnus

A girl
Who writes of dreaming
Sleep-journeying furtively past
Lover’s arms
Intended for entangled rest
Instead shake her awake
From screaming.


Circular Reasoning

The summer the bridge was out,
we took the long way home,
bypassing the trepidacity
of our day-to-day routine.
Everything was hunky-dory
till they built the roundabout.
Now, speaking for myself, anyway,
I think I’m getting the runaround.



Now that you’ve gravitated
to my starry side,
help me with the buttons.

Tease aside the linen,
threadbare from aged dreams,
exposing my moon-breast.

This is my only gift:
uncommon, like the eclipsing
of my heart with your presence.

photo by Isadora Gruye

For Izy’s prompt to the Real Toads: Blue Moon Special



at the edge of pain
results in dizzying
at the crossroads of no
and hell-no
like a drop of spit
clings to a blade of grass
before deciding
to let go
and join its brother the dew
in earthy retreat.



I might consider
trading freedom for love,
as most days
I feel about as free
as a housecat
prowling its suburban domain,
king of the shag carpet,
whereas love
begets love, even in confinement
and no one commands
thoughts, not even a lover,
not even when mated
for life.
So let me lick my chops in peace--
seeming illicit seems delicious.

This illicit ditty is vaguely responsive to my own prompt over at Real Toads: Freedom for Love


As If On a Sitcom

In the seventies,
my purple banana bike,
touring neighborhoods.
Pedaling, not visiting:
It was better not to stay.


Room With A View

my window maple
hurricane barometer
sturdy cloud stirrer 


She Never Wears Sunglasses

into the sun,
realizing tension
carried between furrowed eyebrows--


Minor Key Riots

night, this feeling
like ripe dahlias--
escaping the laden
shrill étude
that is
Is that
étude shrill,
laden, the escaping,
Dahlias, ripe like
feeling this night--

For Grace’s weekend challenge to the Real Toads: PALINDROMES


Things Having Been Lost

back as I blink,
my eyes in your temper,
curiously tangled under
wild snarls--
has receded, together with
sobriety instincts,
wishing for you

For Hannah’s prompt to the Real Toads: Salar de Uyuni


Bonding with Muriel

Corey and Marian went down to Boo'ya Moon and brought back a story to tell our friends. It's here, hope you enjoy:
In Tandem! Mexican Radio meets runaway sentence: Bonding with Muriel


Life's Work

     That image:
        a few moments--
               The sun comes up,
their public images
           considerably more structured,
                        even magical moments--
     a sleight of hand.

Inspired by an exhibit at Mass MoCA called Life’s Work by Tom Phillips and Johnny Carrera. I stole words from the page (91) to which I randomly opened the first book I grabbed off my bookshelf (The Ballad of John and Yoko by the editors of Rolling Stone, 1982) and created a magical poem for Mama Zen’s prompt to the Real Toads: VOODOO



If love is a scrimmage line
you huddled as I lay dying,
taking sides--
Truth is, I was true.

Even though I was a fool
myself, too distracted to fight
for what was mine--
Truth is, you were right.

Like bagpipes in swollen lines
marching over broken hearts
with plaintive song--
Truth is, we were wrong.

For Kerry’s challenge to the Real Toads: Sara Teasdale


August Holiday in 1925

Grandma is going
to Catawba Island with Uncle John.
She’s going on the train.

Dad and I went to town.
We went to the Historical Society,
and also to a show.

We’re on our way to Asbury Park.
I’m sleeping in the lower berth
with Mom, Dad’s in the upper.

Got in Philadelphia this morning.
Changed trains for the Park.
Are staying at the Gardner.

Went bathing in the ocean.
You have to hold tight to the ropes
the waves are so rough.

Swimming again.
Went to Sea Girt on the streetcar
and came back on top of the bus.

New York. Prince George Hotel.
Bus ride to Grant’s Tomb. Took ride
on land subway. Came here by boat.

Pretty chilly for bathing
because there was a wind.
We went in anyway.

Came to Philadelphia. Are staying
at McPhersons. Before we left,
Dad and I went bathing. Dandy.

Came to see Lois. Will stay
till tomorrow. Met a nice little girl
here named Dot Campbell.

Lois came to McPhersons with me.
Took a bus ride to the Navy Yards.
Home tomorrow.

Riding from 9:30 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Lunch on the train. Hot as blazes.
Beautiful ride otherwise. Home.