wearing bleakness like a blanket
at the end of a belligerent year
I’d like to yell don’t let the door
smack yer ass on the way out
or better yet good riddance loser
get the hell outta here already
Even the threatened ice storm
has fizzled to a bitter rain
and I’m sitting here over-maudlin
drinking coffee from all my beans
ground in case of power outage
cotton ball my new uniform
reading outright awful old poems
and writing new ones with titles
cribbed from word-a-day emails
Pathetic really
but at least the cat’s still on my lap
and it’s true I will miss our Garden 
of Promethean inspiration
mostly gentle critique
even the occasional melodrama
that gave fodder to salty poetry
This is beyond truth
more like canon the awkward feeling
that a part of me is about
to go missing with warning beforehand
A weird sensation
but apparently months of knowledge 
about end-of-year transitioning
has not inspired adaptation in my case 
and anyway I don’t know what to do
except to stay right here drinking coffee
scribbling doggerel and hyperbole
what did you say again?

Doing my salty best for the last prompt in our Imaginary Garden.
This is for Susie’s prompt featuring poems by Amber Rose Tamblyn
featured in Kerry’s Play It Again today.
Upon reviewing today’s offerings I’m a little sad to note a number
of these terrific prompts to which I haven’t already responded. 
But, I guess that means plenty of inspiration going forward.

**Long Live the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads**


Big Deal, It Looks Bleak

I struggle
to muster hopeful words
about joy in resilience
collective concern
and youth action
but I do believe

can see our gifts 
for the burdens they are 
and will demand more
as they know 
rules of society 
are our own making

So let us 
raise a global cheer
that they refuse 
to follow 
the rules
of previous generations

For Sherry’s last prompt in the Imaginary Garden: WILD WOMAN



Let’s celebrate
this dog named Bear
who bounds to greet us
wagging it’s always 
so good to see you

"Bear" by Toril Fisher

For Margaret’s final Artistic Interpretations prompt in the Garden


Winter Solstice

It’s easy to imagine
the coming darkness
that seems somehow closer
in bone season

Brittle like stones
or reaching branches
dunked in ice
praying for a little light

But imagine 
if we had the power
to breathe in darkness
breathe out light


For Just One Last Word in the Imaginary Garden: IMAGINE
and also inspired by this: 


Look At What I've Done

The truth
that weighs me down
like a stone pashmina
when I want to be
as wild horses
in a sundown distance
or an afternoon
tucked off the grid
is so heavy
and rock-hard
as to imbalance 
the rest of it
even all my stolen time 
with you

Inspired by Bruce Springsteen
My last music prompt in the Imaginary Garden



Breathing While We Still Can

I hold my 
breath and the future
arrives just 
as water rushes in

We knew we could
only hold for so
long as earthly containers

To brim with
other matters
more when considering
roses and thorns

There’s no fixing 
any of this
the world just starting
to bleed out

For POETIC BITS OF KERRY in the Imaginary Garden xoxo



All these missed dances
got me thinking
our love is illusory
a curiosity
scrawled in sand
or invisible ink
developing slowly 
as fog clears to reveal
a lambent almost-flicker
at an event horizon
we can never really reach

For Kerry’s December word list @skyloverpoetry on Instagram


The World Writes Back

Collaboration with my daughter Anne 
for Emily Dickinson's birthday! 

Emily was born December 10, 1830. 
To celebrate, The Emily Dickinson Museum invited 
"The World Writes Back: Postcards to Emily Dickinson." 

Anne drew this gorgeous portrait for our card 
and my poem is on the back.

Happy birthday, Emily!

Portrait of Emily Dickinson by @kanglinnuriko


What About the Low Moon, Swollen Like a Belly

What about the low moon
swollen like a belly?

What about a belly
swollen like the low moon?

A swollen low moon?
What about it? A belly!

What belly

What moon

Low about a belly,
low about the moon.


The low moon
swollen like a belly?

Love this prompt from Kim in the Imaginary Garden:



Rub until
the red rises
then moisturize
to perfect patina
approaching verdigris
easy to routinize
rub till red again

Just One Word in the Imaginary Garden: BURNISHED


Walking Away

They say no trees touch the sky
but my feet scrape as I walk
starting to understand my place
in the order of things

The sky 
regularly celebrates itself
with showy flashes as should I
but they don’t last
that is the definition of sunset

Those trees
are firmly rooted here
no one has to tell me
they thrive despite neglect 
and even outright hostility

As a girl
I was told to pick up my feet
when I walked
but the sky makes its own rules
and no one tells trees what to do

Which is all fine and good
except I know
what happens to trees
when we humans assert our place
in the order of things

Still the sun
will rise and set tomorrow
in flames or mostly unnoticed
my feet
a bellwether for what’s to come

Sylvia Plath would have been 87 years old today.


Where There's Smoke

I hope the sun
warming my respite
ignites infinite 
dormant fuses
that have waited 
their turn to burn
everything down
including the smolder
in me

For Just One Word in the Imaginary Garden: DYNAMITE


This Week's Share


There’s lettuce in my coffee
as I navigate a volume
of produce from this week’s share
seven pounds to be exact

In a break from chopping kale
I learn that Donald Hall has died

Guess it’s not so surprising
I just then had been thinking
about what aging feels like
in the extremities to be exact

So let me raise this cucumber
to farms and poets and living

Honored that one of my poems is included in Silkworm 12, the annual review 
of Florence Poets Society. What a gorgeous volume, full of gorgeous poems! 

Florence Poets Society is such a warm and generous group, full of support and talent 
and inspiration. I'm grateful to our members, and to have a role in publishing Silkworm. 
(I'm the producer, behind the scenes.) Bravo for poetry!


No Further

As nights 
               are darker
  the hollow 
 between my hips
         grows sharper
    tastes bitter
              sounds minor
and I find
    I cannot write 
about the moon
your hands 
 any longer

Commissioned Piece (Untitled) @mc__monster
Used with Permission

For Kerry’s Art Flash prompt: McMONSTER
I was trying for a 55 but got this done in 30.