Formerly & 4-Ever

The artist
who really knew how to ball
slammed his last dunk
posthumously orchestrating
an exultant wave
of humanity
slanging it all skyward
looney-tunes constellations
raining his name earthward
while we
continue marveling
on the free throw line
at the exquisite contradiction
our petite giant
of arrogant humility
bestowed upon us
with purpose and accidentally
stumbling it all back home

Sharing in the Imaginary Garden today.


At Six (-teen) (-ish)

To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I ey’d,
Such seems your beauty still.

              William Shakespeare, Sonnet 104

I recognize myself
in the epigraph
to your book of poems
wishing to be remembered
as beautiful
like you are
Gone more than twenty years now
while I am feeling
painfully mortal
I was that girl too
attracting gazes
taking literally the admonishment
What you gonna do just sit there and watch?
Lately I’ve softened
let go
fallen into bed
abandoning grudges
because somehow
I know you
  (and Prince)
would have wanted me to
The violets are up in the backyard
their faces to morning sun
I am thinking of you
wishing for rain

I’ve completely lost my way in April, but this poem was prompted by Kerry’s prompt to the Real Toads recognizing Shakespeare’s birthday.

Also, today the runaway sentence turns six years old! Thank you, gentle readers, for encouraging me in this space for all these years.



off the rails
coughs & splutters
gotta endeavor
not to worry too much

Greetings to my friends in the Imaginary Garden, where I'm sharing this plea in The Tuesday Platform.


What the Heck, Haiku

Thank goodness it’s International Haiku Poetry Day. Here are a few seasonal snippets:

mild uncertainty
turns in springtime air
to wild insecurity

* * * * *

windows wide to spring
cat fur smells like open air
bury your face there

* * * * *

spring air reminder
what happens to us is true
and discernible

And this one from last night, demonstrating my frame of mind:
cold medicine
on Saturday night
I know how to get down


If We Are Not Careful

Soon comes
the implosion
when distance
finally digests itself
secreting apprehension
like so much fertilizer
and I will be left
looking back
tending the fragile thing
that once
(or was it a dream)
was a firecracker

Photo by Karin Gustafson

Lucky (?) #13 in April, for Karin’s prompt to the Real Toads: REMAINS OF THIS MONTH

Editing to add this little haiku I scribbled last night and promptly forgot. You know, it helps with my goal for April!
wild, wild Friday night
new battery in her book-light
finds her own delight


Spring Clairvoyance

He said
about April
what anybody would say
about such a month
that it breeds color
to beat back shadows
scent to tempt
even the most staid merchant
   to hooky
That is what April does
and we all know it
Why else songs
celebrating winter’s end
in the muddy throes of April
Why else a new sign
ignoring an otherwise
portentous horoscope
in favor of new bloom
Only in April
is lilac-breath acceptable
even encouraged
So when he says April
   is for lovers
April carries my tune
   in its gut
I shall wait until then
   to sow my seeds
it is April’s garden
of which he sings
We all know the words
and sing along

Poem #12 for April, for Angie’s prompt to the Real Toads using a word list from The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot.
I’ve been so sick! Seems I’m turning a corner and starting to feel better, but catching up to produce 30 poems in April? We shall see.


Once I Was Ten Years Old

Once I was ten years old
and you are ten now
such a big girl now
It’s wrong
to call you big girl
you’re a young woman now
I don’t remember now
if I felt like a woman
when I was ten years old
but you grew up fast
You had to grow up fast
I think I grew up fast
but wanted youth to last
for you
Soon I’ll be 50 years old
Never thought I’d be so old
Don’t wanna be so old
Once I was ten years old
and you are ten now
I hope you keep playing
even as you’re aging
I don’t remember playing
Please, please keep on playing
I want to play with you
Can I play with you?
Let’s play

Number 11 in April, for this week’s Tuesday Platform, a quick (and somber, sorry) riff on Lukas Graham’s song 7 Years as presented by Kerry. I’m behind in my April madness! Am soooo sick, lost a whole day to bed yesterday, and was already behind, but I’ll catch up! 

*cough* *sniff* *sneeze*



Come, my best girl
to our marriage bed
my whole world
from youth to death

And if I should die
before I rise
I’ve lived my life
reflected in your eyes

Running a bit behind in my poem-a-day-ing, for good reason--celebrating my daughter’s tenth birthday! Wow, wow, time flies and she is soooo grown up. At any rate, I will catch up here soon, with any luck. Fingers crossed.


If Birds Could Talk

at the kitchen window
writing lines about
a circus of sparrows
companionably chippering
up the rose hedge
peeking in my kitchen window
as if to say
what’s all the yammering about
in there

#9 for Hannah’s prompt in the Imaginary Garden. April! Ack!


Couldn't Find You Even If I Tried

I knew you
under a pseudonym
eventually I lost you
to the hills of Virginia
I think
you went by Alice Paul
but that won’t help me now
Last time we spoke
you looked around my room
and said you kept
expecting a cat underfoot
I said you’re so right

#8 in April! For Sherry’s prompt to the Real Toads: SUFFRAGETTES



Link by link,
ticking down tyrannies
on ruby stones, wonderments via
Baltic amber. This bracelet is red,
counts fools until overwhelm sets in.
Occasional yellow
keeps balance.

For Susie’s prompt on Day 7 of Poetry Month: BRACELET




Your hair
is a tall tale
barely contained


like headwaters
seeking confluence
in your heart

And yours
strokes yesterday
behind your ears
in favor of someday

Number Six for Poetry Month! For Kerry’s Get Listed prompt to the Real Toads: COMPOUND WORD EDITION


Birds Fly

It’s time to whisper, as the birds have come
to folly us with song at morning’s breath
and tease our dream-scapes with relentless sun.

Wake up! They cry, the time for dreams is done!
Wake up your sleepy head, it’s well past death-
time, now whispering, and the birds have come

To bring us joy, to bring incessant fun
against our will, against our early breath,
to tease our dream-scapes off with endless sun.

Such sunny days are few, and only one
or two are worth this elegant throat-catch;
It’s time to whisper, as the birds have come.

Let’s turn our voices to forever-done,
tune in to birdsong, tune out all this mess,
embrace our dream-scapes and relentless sun

In exquisite display, my mourning one.
For you and me, forever-ness, unless
in time for whispers, sweet, sweet birds have come
to tease dream-scapes away with endless sun.

Poem Number Five for Poetry Month, sharing a VILLANELLE for Tuesday in the Imaginary Garden. If you can even believe it! My first ever, and probably my last.

Don’t hate the villain. Hate the villanelle!



If you could talk to me,
what would you say?
in your small eyes,
you seem ready to chat.
If you’d hear, I’d tell you
about sand and shells,
mama scolding me
for swimming out past the buoy--
now she has me tethered
to shore.
Wish I could fly out
beyond beach towels
sand castles
above the breakers
with you

Photo by Margaret Bednar
Number Four for Poetry Month! For Margaret’s prompt to the Real Toads: OCRACOKE ISLAND



Every kid
in the neighborhood
is out
on the basketball court

Idyllic as hell
hanging in clusters
under after-school sun

How’s it decided
who plays
and who hangs back
unlikely there’s a lottery
drawing straws seems dated

With a crack
from the god of thunder
everyone scatters
leaving one scrappy team
shooting hoops

Flash 55 for Real Toads Day Number Three!