Pete Seeger, Thank You

Surrendering hate--
A practice
Many might follow,

In favor of love.
What that would be like.


No Moss, & Not Proud

When the season turns Blue,
bruised by silence buried in snow,
no end in sight,
light a distant
remnant of Noontimes forgot,
fought over, then ignored,
stored for another dark week on Earth,
it’s worth recalling how it feels,
heels entrenched,
benched like an understudy waits,
ingratiates the Moon to draw its curtains back,
black like night,
flight impossible, no one watching under
cover of the greyest shroud--

Margaret has the Real Toads visiting past prompts, thankfully reminding me of the wonderful chained rhyme, first introduced to us by Hedgewitch.


Mad Saltshaker

These days, my eyes are red when I rise
and leak intermittently throughout the day,

lifting pink to my left cheek, salty
smears announcing my mood: maudlin, probably.

I worry about the raised white pills floating
in the grayish sag framing orbs ordinarily

exclaimed and celebrated as crystal-blue
reminders of the soul of a person. (a poet

who carries the weight of wondering why
her eyes leak all day though she swears

she isn’t crying) (oh she’s sad all right,
anxious too, but those eyes, they just leak)

They just leak. That’s how it is now with eyes.
That’s how it is with mood and soul and poetry.

Peggy has the Real Toads writing about eyes.


Shale Heart

Yesterday’s promise,
layered like fissility,
encouraged pica--
I, being merely human,
compulsively ingested.

TANKA for Real Toads!


To An Old Friend, Now Estranged

Don’t ask me why
I always think of you
while washing dishes.
I don’t associate you
with cleaning,
or preparing food,
or enjoying a meal.

Each time, I think
I should call
or write you an email
or a postcard
but my hands
are in hot water
and I get distracted
while towel-drying,
forgetting again
until the next time.

At least
I wash a lot of dishes
so that means
I think of you often.
Sometimes I think
I should hit the road,
show up at your place

But there’s too many
waiting to be washed,
too many waking dreams,
solitary imaginings
probably better
left to the imagination.

For Corey’s prompt to the Real Toads: Persons of Interest


Asters, Lilies, Roses

The room in which I slept
when visiting my grandparents
had twin beds with lily-floral duvets,
rose wallpaper, stained-blue vanity.
I always liked the matching stool
with its spinning mechanism
and needle-pointed aster cover.
I’d sit with my back to the mirror
torquing back and forth just slightly
reviewing the sparse assortment
of paperbacks scattered on shelves
amongst framed family photos
and covered tissue boxes.
I think I was eleven years old
when I swiped a copy of In Cold Blood,
reading it on the sly, fairly
certain I wasn’t supposed to
but wondering why they’d leave
such a book in the kids’ guest room
if they didn’t expect us kids to read.
Reading in the bathroom, in the closet:
“The Last To See Them Alive.”
Asters, lilies, roses. Blood.

Linking up with Write On Edge! “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” (L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between, 1953).


Muse Let Me Down Again

You rattled me from dreams
at the hour I’ve reserved
for your appearance--
  (Reality is debatable at 4 am,
   so maybe you are my dream?)
Planted verse so true-to-life,
certain I’d recall upon waking
to write it all down--
  (What is it with dreams,
   the ones in which you scream?)
But of course I forgot it all.
It’s fruitless trying to hold on
to you, like an elusive lover--
  (And when it’s over, I’ll be
   unable to explain what it means.)

"Thaw" by Elizabetta Trevisan
For inspiration, Grace shared the fantastical art of Italian painter Elisabetta Trevisan in the Imaginary Garden.


On Jaybird Street

essence of mocking
bird song flits ethereal
essentially kind


Guess He Really Missed Out

Pablo Picasso
never sketched my lopsided
face, nor my elbows.



All I need's
a compass
& a bright star
to navigate
this new year.

photo by Marian Kent

Driving Through Central Pennsylvania In Late January

The road
cuts through frozen cornfields
like a causeway.

If your foot
wasn’t on the gas pedal,
you’d think you were moored in ice

& about to sink.


Fairest of Them All

Been a long time
since I pored over
my reflection
in any mirror,
but now I avoid
even a casual
or sideways glance.
I don’t recognize that woman.
Who is she?

Kerry asked the Real Toads to reflect upon our creative aspirations for 2014 and write about our resolutions. I am reflecting! But so far, this is all I got.