Erecting Barriers to... Pretty Much Everything

How many fences
do you need?

fortified with stockade

and balkanized
by chain link,

nary a gate.
Who or what

are you keeping out
or keeping in?

For Just One Word in the Garden: HALVED


Blame It On the Beach

The beach was weird
sassy breeze pushing waves
to throw rocks at our shins
rain and lifeguards
clearing the water
because of marine life
All this in bathing suits
never my favorite
but we pranced and played
sat our fine asses in the sand
for waves to wash over
flicked our hair 
    (caught glances)
bleated like goats
pronounced the ocean female
laughed and laughed and laughed
cried hey sister ocean 
here we are
sassy and strong and shining


Music prompt in the Garden: JUICE


Summer Storm

I can feel the rain coming
before it arrives
a vibration across my forehead
like a sweet hum
increasing darkness
portending storm after a thick day
maple leaves lift and turn
slender branches of burning bush
stalks of monarda 
black-eyed Susan
sway and bend back and forth
a monarch dashes from milkweed
the breeze smells like the ocean
having traveled 200 miles
and the blessed evening rain comes
comforting like a cold cloth
on my forehead

Kim asked the Toads to pen pastoral poems in the Garden


Life Under Water

My heart a trinket

tangled and weighted
bobbing at the surface

until a storm levee breaks
surging all rubbish downstream
rendering mine free but drowning

This poem is for Magaly! XOXOX


Under Cover

The book of poverty
dog-eared with possibility
shines bright as it waits
for stolen moments
its weary reader seeking
an iridescent forgettery
of phantasmal escapery
absorbing responsibility

While a gold-plated volume
pristine and uncracked 
glistens forever
on an oft-dusted shelf
its rapacious protagonists 
static in gross veneer
covering no evidence
of any imagination at all
Chernobog & Belobog by @anarh1a

55 for Kerry’s Art Flash: CHERNOBOG AND BELOBOG
Visit the wonderful artist @anarh1a on Instagram


Lichen It or Not

Patch of lichen
suggests growth
and damply verdant
on the shady side
of my favorite tree

But another patch
suggests thinning
by erosion
to a husk-leaf
dried and holding on
against intrusion

Sharing on the Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden


Safe and Sound

How far will be the thugs,
the tyrants, the knobby despots
of the demilitarized zone 

when comes the last flash,
the end gale, the gaudy finish
to our gold-plated tyranny?

Far enough, but we’ll be right here.

From this morning’s news for Bjorn in the Garden.


And Then Someone Brings Up The Dreaded Real World

All of this is fragile
smoky sunset
evening coffee
maple leaves in soft breeze
song of whip-poor-will
this delicious feeling

If I look up
the greensuckle sky
floats a warning--

Comfort is fleeting
satisfaction a momentary
result of imagination

Soon enough
lucidity rushes in
to fill the space
between clouds and skull
rendering downtime dreams
impractical again

From Fireblossom’s Word List: GREEN, MOMENTARY, LUCID, RENDERING


My Lover the Mountain

So often
have I draped my limbs
across this loving mountain
that her granite
is softened by my rocking
her conifers
flattened on one side
from supporting my rest
her maples
reddening early
in anticipation




My hair holds stories
tied back loosely
against the chaos
of letting it down
each strand
carrying its own lie
just barely contained


Mud & Guts

scouting for babies
reduced to side-of-the-road mud
& how it all changes for fawns
       watching from the woods

For Just One Word in the Imaginary Garden: MUDDY


Behind Blue

seems useless
musing on blue
when moon and rain
bend the riverway
as she sways
I have mused
on these truths

Now tree
swallows riot
rose bramble
behind fences

And so it seems
out of tune
to go on musing
blue moon truths
the riverway as
she bends and sways
and rain and rain
and rain

For Margaret’s COLOR prompt in the Imaginary Garden


Park Street Pastoral

Walk through town
to a shady bench along the bike path
next to a drinking fountain
and an always-filled dog water bowl
across the way from the bagel place
and the fire station
and an honest-to-god picket fence
the whole scene is amazingly idyllic
down to a greying man strolling by
transistor radio in his pants pocket
blaring The Sound of Silence

Sharing on the Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden



She sits behind me
in the last row of desks
next to the windows
belly pressed hard
against melamine and a box
of stashed pencils

And books never cracked
her soft brown eyes
in a field of freckles
behind long lashes
and lanky bangs
dream of anywhere but here

When she stands
that belly protrudes
from unzipped Lees
and unbuttoned flannel
challenging every 14-year-old
eye to ogle

And wonder who
and remember how far
from here is everything
to this day
and I just realized that baby
maybe stares down 40

For Kim’s weekend prompt: PORTRAITURE


The Dark

The dark
is too thick to crack
wide enough
to swallow thoughts
about time and healing
and high school
because by now
it's been entirely too dark
for too long

They say you can't
go home again
and you know they mean it
because home is where
it happened
it's entirely unsound
and unyielding
home is brittle-boned
and dark

SUMMER’S END in the Imaginary Garden


Nearing the End

comforting about
a petty argument
at the end of the world
it’s familiar after all
and we possess the tools
to navigate this
So let’s kiss now and make
impending-apocalypse love
the super-presenting loss
of individual autonomy
that faced together becomes
our superpower

A non-ironic poem for Magaly’s weekend challenge: POETIC IRONY


Missing Person Verse

Ghosts linger in plates
brought curbside, trimline phone,
faint blue dot just above the knee,

Memory gnaws like a hungry
belly, ache of phantom wisdom teeth,
lyctinae eggs in open pores,

Here and gone again,
from forest to pencil to powder--

For Rommy’s Tuesday Platform: GOING BUGGY