Wednesday, January 11, 2012



Ducks ripple the pond
this wet April morning
the blue heron
rises from the mist
a lone turkey
struts the field
and the grass
green as Ireland

Alone I reap the years
when I squandered
my bankroll of compassion
guarded my solitude with fangs

No one to fling his arm
round my neck
draw me close
No one to share words
in coffee steam
no your shirt is misbuttoned
comb your hair
where are the keys

Turn it all around
begin again

Wrens fly from nest to worm
squirrels chitter and chase
I press seeds into soil

Sunday, October 30, 2011

At the Millay Colony

At the Millay Colony

up the road I pace,
then down to the pond
where ice forms like fat
rising in chicken broth,
where the cherry tree,
fallen one thunderous night,
spans the water.

There, straddling the trunk,
wrinkled mastodon
awaiting the caretaker's saw,
when he gets to it,
I watch the four-toed
salamander lap the cherry's shadow,
watch my mutable self
mirrored below the sky,
without fire.

Across the dry-grassed meadow
the poet's cabin stands: woodstove,
childlike desk, pen,
blank notepad. Blank
as the rain-streaked window
until late that afternoon
framed in a pane of glass
the setting sun's reflection burns
bright as the light
on my typewriter's rim
signaling on.

an older poem, date unknown

for more poems in response to this prompt see Magpie Tales.

Thanks to willow for the photo.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Blood of a bat

The Blood of a Bat

Webbed wings wove
dark blankets
on the cave ceiling
sonic whispers echoed
through narrow tunnels
lantern light pierced the dark
hats covered our hair
hands and knees scraped and torn
pregnant woman's cave
spelunker's kindergarten
Ahead, daylight grins
Dracula's kiss

In China the bat symbolizes
longevity and happiness
Put in that, o put in that

italics from the witches in Macbeth

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bird Point Magpie Tales #72

Bird Point

We walked the corn fields
that sweltering Missouri July
I in summer-hardened bare feet
a polka-dotted sundress
you in those obscene cut-offs
cowboy boots, can of beer in hand.

We searched for arrowheads
there'd be dozens you swore
Pulaski county--once home to the
Quapaw, Missouria, and the Osage.

Heat dazed, I followed your
long-haired, flat-assed self
shared your bitter beer
visioned another me
in buckskins and braids
beads and moccasins
pounding meal from corn
both me's oblivious to
coming dissolution
in moonshine and disappointment.

We returned home
sunburned and tipsy
the single chipped bird point
rough in my hand.

It rattles in my handkerchief drawer
even today.

read more poems and tales around this prompt at Magpie Tales. Photo of Van Gogh painting provided by Willow.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011



He comes to visit
my friend's crazy son.
I'm not sure why.
A frisson of fear
outweighed by compassion
and a bit of wonder.

The year he works at
an auto sales he
arrives in a spiffy silver
four door, AC, push-button locks
something an insurance
salesman might choose. Certainly
not myself.

"Let's take it for a test drive," he says.
"You'll be sold."

Now and then I feed him lunch.
Once, I find him standing at the back
of his car, trunk open,
brushing his teeth.
A jug of water and a spit cup.

He calls me asking
for a ride to the bus station.
I find him leaping around
his living room searching for a sock
an open suitcase on the floor
clothes scattered.

"We just have a few minutes,"
I say.

"Let me drive," he asks as he throws
himself and his suitcase together.
I decline.
Later, I picture myself a prisoner as
he drives past the bus and onward to Maine.

The scent of his aftershave lingers for weeks.

photo courtesy of Willow. For more stories and poems evolving from this image see Magpie Tales.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011



I, perched on the arm
of the chair
he, comfy in its embrace
the book open on his lap
in a voice resonant with music
he read.

Night after night
until eyelids closed
then opened and closed again.

That wonderous gift
given kindly with love
for words
for literature
for me.

for more poetry and prose inspired by the above prompt see Magpie Tales. Top photo courtesy of Willow. Second photo from my family archives. Me and Dad of course.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

On being an artist

On Being an Artist

The rose window fractured
by a fierce wind
shards on the grass
till he came along
collected the fragments
crafted a kaleidoscope

by the tornado of life
for two years I lay on the rug
my thoughts scattered
Now I must turn my mind around
create beauty from the ruins

photo by Willow. For more magpie tales using this photo as a prompt click here.