Yard Work

Pardon me
while I step out for a moment;
I need some fresh air
for my Grievances.
Got this spot out back
where I confront Dark Things,
propping them in a corner
facing the stockade fence
wearing their Dunce caps.
I guard my Complaints,
patrolling before them,
brandishing my spade,
ensuring their compliance
with the terms of their Banishment.

A friend wrote to tell me how much he enjoyed this poem in my book SUPERPOWERS or: More Poems About Flying. He referred to it as "a perfect (barely) Spring poem," so I thought it might be a good time to share it here again. C’mon, sister Spring, you can do it!



There are Monday mornings
following every escape,
shadows behind turned backs,
whispers behind closed doors.

There are footprints leading
away from joyous occasions,
fogs lifting from melting ice,
ragged blooms in mud season.

There are memories wound tight
in skeins of regret.
There are things we kept
secret after all.

Kerry asked the Real Toads to complete and use in a poem this line: "There are things we kept secret after..."


That's Why They Call It Perennial

raggedy primrose
sporting only three
yellow petals
pokes through amber ice
near the drainspout,
like a chime
from another Time’s steeple,
a reminder
of all that’s passed,
and that Spring arrives at last.

Margaret has the Real Toads interpreting flowers today.


Jung Would Have A Field Day With This

Finding meaning
in a dissociated dream,
searching for the right track
at the train station
with a girlfriend,
dressed up like tarts:
garters, stockings, no underwear.
A dream-sargeant finds you
before you board the train
and subjects your tender girlfriend
to a cavity search
for unidentified evidence.
You have no inkling
what this might be about,
but you are ashamed anyway.
The dream-sargeant turns to you,
that you are excused this time,
but her finger’s on the trigger,
hammer cocked.
Best to get dressed
and wipe off that mascara
before the consequences are amplified.

Hedgewitch challenged the Real Toads with a word list derived from Carl Jung’s Man & His Symbols, including: meaning, dissociated, tender, inkling, trigger, and amplified.


Weak Pulse

my heart's absolving
& all of its patterings
beyond scrutiny


Walking On a Wire

If you want me
to walk
to the edge,

I will trade you
my words
for your nerve.

All I got for you
is what I wish,
and that
is quite a lot.

(A snippet from my first book, Responsive Pleading.)


Wing Clipping

She was in shock when she awoke,
Her dreams suggesting bigger things,
For while asleep, she’d flying wings.

At first she thought it was a joke.
This cannot be, her conscience said
Until the truth filled her with dread

And fear embraced her like a cloak.
Afraid to speak or breathe or move,
Imagined all that she could lose--

Her heart’s percussion overtook
And paralyzed with shaking ease,
Cut her, quivering, to her knees,

Berating her. She never spoke.
In silenced moments, never sweet
She’s languishing, cowered and beat.

Kerry has the Real Toads trying out a new (to me, anyway) poetry form: CONSTANZA


Conneaut Lake Park

WOW. My friend Ron Mattocks has a terrific article about Conneaut Lake Park in West PA Magazine. My copy just arrived, and it's so wonderful! For any of my friends who have fond memories of Conneaut Lake Park in northwest Pennsylvania, you really must check this great story out. Great historical photos too.

I grew up in Conneautville, the next town over from Conneaut Lake. I spent many a summer day at the Park or at its adjacent beach, and worked there for one (very) memorable summer, making the famous French Fries, no less. My prom was at the Hotel Conneaut, and my grandmother chaired the local Jazz Society, which held concerts at the Hotel. 

Sadly, Conneaut Lake Park has experienced a series of fires in recent years which have left it in bad shape, so much so that the apocalypse-themed movie The Road (from the Cormac McCarthy novel) was filmed there. Yet, as Ron says so well in his article, "From its inception, Conneaut Lake Park's resilience has always been fueled by the love and cherished memories of people who, to this day, refuse to let the park's summer lights fade into dusk." Hear, hear! I think the Park will rise again.

Ron is working on a young-adult historical fiction series set at Conneaut Lake Park that I can't wait to read. You can follow his adventures in researching for his books on Facebook at The Briggs Brothers Detectives.

I'm thrilled, too, that Ron included a snippet of one of my poems in this great article. (You can see the excerpt in the photo above.) Whoosh! All of the above is really worth checking out, friends. You're welcome.



I learned
in a work workshop
that I am an Extraverted Intuitive,
easily triggered
by violation of Values and Principles
as well as physical exhaustion.
Apparently I’m prone to obsessing
about Injustice,
and to withdrawal, and to depression.
Isn’t it just so unjust,
not to mention depressing,
that I never get enough Sleep?
I’d like to Extrovert-Intuit-Type that.

Mama Zen asked the Real Toads to write about insomnia.