Let It Be Known

I had
an admirable
and an even bigger
for love

For Izy’s 4/30 prompt to the Real Toads: BANG, WHIMPER, HISS

And HEY it’s number 30 of 30 poems for NaPoWriMo! Yo, April, don’t let the door smack yer ass on the way out.


Mr. Clutter

Sensible and sedate
impressed interior
spongy immense
with glittery necessity
learned to cook
coconut cookies
charity cake
Spartan breakfasts
neither coffee or tea,
of course he did not drink.

An erasure poem character sketch of Mr. Clutter, one of "the last to see them alive," described in the first chapter of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. #28 of 30 in April, and sharing with the Real Toads on The Tuesday Platform. Somehow the photo "poetry spoken hear" seems to connect to In Cold Blood. Maybe it's because it's day 28.


Good Housekeeping

One part homework,
Two garbage nights,
Three loads of towels,
Half-serving cat hairballs,
Tetch of frustration,
Handful of mismatched socks,
Generous helping of Mama, Look!
Blend with equal parts mundane
and small joys.
(Best served with kisses.)
Dinner’s on the table.

#27 of 30 in April! For Bjorn’s prompt to the Real Toads: POETIC RECIPES


A-Z Challenge for #25!

Margaret has resurrected the infamous alphabet prompt from an April of yore for her Play It Again, Toads prompt, and I worked on this with my kids this morning! So thank you, Margaret, and here are our efforts:

Able bones
concreted down.
Every Fool gets his
in jealous knowing,
like machine noises
on piano--
quiet rhythm,
undulating Wellspring--
yet Zen.

Kitten Crazy (by Anne)
A bunny can’t drive every fish.
George, hi!
I, Jeffrey, kicking lemonjuice,
mumbling Nyancats on pizza.

Qwerty reality.
Seals tiptoeing under Venus
with xylophones,
yelling zebras.

The Nyan Apocalypse! (by Jack)
A bouncy cat
doing everything funny!
Ghosts hiding in Jupiter
knowing little messenger Nyancats.
Overflowing party!!!
Quacking rhino?!?!
Silly tie-dyed underpants
versus wet x-rays
yet zero....

(In case you are unfamiliar with Nyan Cat.)


Five Years of Shrieking in ALL CAPS!

r u n a w a y   s e n t e n c e
i s
f i v e   y e a r s   o l d !

f i v e   y e a r s
o f
s h r i e k i n g   i n   A L L   C A P S !

At five years, it was time for some sprucing up. My old man Aaron has always been the creative design brains behind this blog, and he whipped up a fancy updated masthead and logo to celebrate the birthday of runaway sentence. Isn’t it beautiful?

Thank you, gentle readers. Some of you have been here since the very beginning (and even before that). All of you are treasured friends. Here’s to another five years of poetry and occasional mayhem!



5 minutes left
of the requisite 30
after your hot dog
before swimming
picnic table uncle
she’s got legs
that go all the way up
to her butt
diving raft out the lake
wish you were there

#23 of 30 in April! For Karin’s prompt to the Real Toads: Last Legs


Local Author Series: Marian Kent

The best part of this interview is being referred to as a "successful Easthampton poet." Heh. I'm flattered and appreciative of being inteviewed by Vanessa Pesa for this lovely series. Check it out:
Local Author Series: Marian Kent

Perfect, Love, Poem

When first
we made our love,
conspiring together,
we knew not that years would welcome
and gain
in volumes unspoken before,
measured in soft footfalls,
rhyming heartbeat

#22 of 30 poems in April! For Kenia’s prompt to the Real Toads: The Perfect Love Poem


Invisible Fountain Reading!

Saturday, April 18, 2015
with Florence Poets Society
at The Invisible Fountain

Up With the Storm

Springtime storm-child
bed-bright dream
thundering thicket
bare-branched apple trees
wizening toward
run for all you’re worth
collapse in a cloud huddle
here I’ll hold you

#21 of 30 poems in April! Shared on The Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden.


What You Learned When You Had Kids

Seems impossible
to divide love in half
but you learn
about the vastness
of your capacity for love
When you give it all to one
then turn around
and give the entirety again
drink from my cup
it may not be running over
but it’s always half full

#20 and late for Karin’s prompt to the Real Toads: Going Halvsies

Mother of God

If I were
the wished-for child
I would float
instead of rebelling
bitter waves
buoyed by regret and salty tears
out to sea again

A small rumination on the origin of my name for Bjorn’s prompt to the Real Toads. This is #19 of 30 in April; now I’m a day behind, having had a wonderful family day yesterday at Mystic Aquarium. Gotta catch up, watch out for sea-life poetry!


Haiku Day!

Grey lifts
incessant chatter
gift of sunrise


Old maple’s
bare branches
soon will give birth

sways to earth
aid after my fall


Sweet sleep
by wicked wishing


Back porch squirrel
peeks indoor with longing
I pine for out

Hannah reminds us that it’s International Haiku Poetry Day and asked for nature haiku to mark the occasion. These are unrelated impressions from this morning and are unfinished, but I’m sharing anyway for #17 of 30 in April. Haiku seems so simple, but I think it’s actually quite challenging to write GOOD haiku. I wouldn’t say these fit the bill, yet. :)

Also, looky looky! This was in our local paper yesterday. (I was shocked; I certainly did not send my photo to the paper with a press release!) My poetry group, Florence Poets Society, has a fun evening of spoken word planned tomorrow night at The Invisible Fountain (fantastic art space). If you are nearby, join us!


Make of Our Hearts

At hospital
for another baby
you warned of pain

But you knew
was my sister

The brain
not the body
experiences pain

And the head
not the heart
is what gets broken

You stroked
my hair
but I thought of her

#15 of 30 for National Poetry Month!


Write Minds, Spring Edition

Tonight, tonight! Poetry tonight!

Outside Listening In

Grey lifts to chatter.
I tiptoe, hover, listening in,
bewildered by verbiage,
maze of fanciful descriptors
entirely out of context,
challenged to even begin imagining
context for your best ruffian argot.
Where are you inside your pillow fort?
I wish I could go there.
But you recognize
despite my languid protest
that adult concerns counterbalance
your bright menagerie of words
with which to play I am no longer invited.
Instead, it is my privilege to witness
from a short distance--

#14 of 30 in April! Sharing on The Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden. Sigh!


Time Is the School in Which We Learn

An old story,
Not for nothing,
Older than
Heaven turning its face toward
Refusing her.

Sisterhood amongst the wise
Pines, coniferous forests bereft
Of envy,
Never knowing heaven’s sweet bounty
Should have been
Earlier than then.

#13 of 30 in April! For Susie’s challenge to the Real Toads--my title is a Joan Didion quote.

I had the day off from work today and wrote acrostic poems with my kids. Typically, they totally smoked me in this exercise. Here are some of theirs, the first two by my daughter and the last by my son:


On the couch sleeps a kitty
Lying, waiting, dreaming of tuna
Instead of squirrels
Very, very sleepy kitty
Every cat dreams of tuna


Bonk! A bunny hopped on your head.
Uhhhh, a bunny hopped on my head?
No bunny jumped on my head!!!
No no no, I know that a bunny did not--
You know there was a bunny!!!


On a cold Autumn night
Lying in the moonlight is a black cat
Dancing in the shadows are the ghosts.

Witches flying high in the sky
Over the blood moon.
On a hill is the Pumpking
Dragging the dead away.
Spider hissing in the distance.


The Sad Man

The moon, that sad man,
Comes through tears and protestations,
That sad man.

His almond eyes heavy
In shadowy backyard half-light
Stay awake.

Disenchanted stars
Stand still while mourning doves
Stay awake.

I sleep, wake, toss,
I sleep, wake from screaming,
Stay awake.

The sad man sighs down
Grasping heartbeams and resisting arrest,
That sad man.

#12 of 30 in April. Grace challenged the Real Toads to be inspired by the poetry of Wallace Stevens, someone whose poetry has long been an inspiration to me. This poem is something of a response to his poem The Brave Man. Not long ago I wrote this one: Ways of Looking at the Snow Moon


Star Stuff

Madness swirls
fuzzes in like static
out like late-night television haunts
waking hours as well as dreams
   darkening darker
still deeper each day till summoning
will for living seems
          your daughter

My children remind me why I am here. Thank you for asking, Sherry: MESSAGE FROM THE LITTLE GRANDMOTHER 

#11 of 30 for April. Today is my daughter’s ninth birthday and I am a bit ferklempt. Love to you, friends... Love one another.


To Posterity

for leaving you
lurched aching like android
unsettled travellers farther
but we disbelieved in further
gestures hoping wayward
longing would wave

#10 of 30 in April, for Mama Zen’s prompt to the Real Toads: DEAR PAST, DEAR FUTURE


Surface Principle

In writing
on losing you, memory
allows only mundane elements,
lists of almost-facts stacked up
   like matryoshkas,
lathed half-truths layered impossibly
deep, revealing only
fine luster.

#8 of 30 in April, for Real Toads prompt EVERY DAY I WRITE THE BOOK



We don’t know
when you were born
but spring is kittentime
We don’t know how
you were harmed
before you came to us
Who would want to hurt you?
Years and a girl’s grit
drew you out
with the blood moon
And now is the perfect time
for us to renew our vows to you.

Flash 55 for Real Toads, #5 of 30 for National Poetry Month.

My kids and I wrote poems about our kitty together and they wanted to me to share their poems with you. You might recognize that we were studying Gertrude Stein. (Smile!) Our kitty’s name is Olive. We sometimes call her “tiny bully” because when we tried to adopt a second cat, she engaged in a long series of terroristic behavior and drove the other cat out. Meow! The first poem below is by my daughter (who is 8 years old) and the second was written by my son (who’s 11). I like theirs better!

Cute Kitty

Cute scratchy
Cute sleepy
Cute cute kitty
Look kitty
Look tiny
Tiny tiny bully
Can’t kitty
Can’t bully
Shrinking shrinking kitty!


Oh for a cute bully.
Jumpy loud
Crazy weird
Lazy weird
Lazy tiny
Lazy sneaky
Lazy lazy kitty.
What of a fluffy kitty that loves us.
What of a loud kitty that is hungry.
What kitty.
A cute little kitty.