Saturday, April 30, 2011

For All I Know

For all I know

For all I know your earthen eyes
have long been lidded, stopped
pouring light into the world long ago,
or perhaps not yet.

On the barren moon, no air
to lift the empty dust, no motion
except the blows of cosmic debris;
is this the derelict garden

where we will never meet again,
a passive absence, slapped silence, stillness
round nothing? Little matter if it is
you say, we’ll never know

as we don’t know now, and there,
Laocoön-like  in the curves of the wyrm, is
where we worry at the strangling knot, no more 
than huddled kobolds over a scroll

in which we are forever illiterate
and which in our play we deface.
Perhaps even cobalt darkness is better 
than black if within it we can put lights.

Here flat stones to cover us, carved to
mimic all the layered leaves of lies,
tell us, wait for the day
when that beam of unlight, unflesh

will pierce us all and hang us
on its string, a blowing ornament
in the solar wind,  eyes wide open,
each pupil some bright new star,

or else, perhaps some
phosphorescent decay.

April 2011

Photo:Face of the Moon, 
Courtesy of Jet Propulsion Laboratory/NASA


Friday, April 29, 2011

Three Fetches

Three Fetches

Three fetches came to the door last night.
I  watched them come pouring,
pale blood from the world’s wounds,
toward the pearlgrey house of self where I live
but do not own.

There where I sat writing
at the convex monocle of the front window
my eyes pushed against them,
hoping to blink them out, away, back
somewhere, anywhere,

yet still they slithered, ternion missiles
faster than white fire consuming a paper leaf,
than the killing icemelt of cataracting waters,
a sepia triad of naked grue and clutch,
bony fingers long as the last mile.

Before I could run, they slid 
crawling on their bellies, inevitable as the tic
of thunder to lightning, three vapid mouths spreading 
in a parody of breath, closer, faster, to the only door 
on that blur of a street that never was.

They had no bones, they had no souls, 
no voices, only infinite need, 
an abyssal void to fill and the means to fill it.
I screamed. I screamed your name.
I screamed: “Three Fetches!”

You laughed,
you told me it was just
Anita, and Raul’s wife and
the soldier’s widow, coming to the dead house
where you let them in.

I looked before we went down
and saw no wives or widows
nothing named
just the cold wet dripping teeth
the black unblinking amphibian eyes.

April 2011

(Originally posted for Friday Poetically  at the inimitable OneStopPoetry)

Image: Release the Ghouls,   by ~pixiepoof
courtesy deviantART

fetch2  ~noun
wraith ( def. 1 ) .Origin:
1780–90;  perhaps short for fetch-life  one sent to fetch the soul of a dying person  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Friday Flash 55 ~ Science Fiction

Who Are These People?

26 percent of Republicans say they would vote for Donald Trump.*
41 percent of Republicans say they're not sure if the U.S. President is an American**
37 percent of Americans say they‘re not sure if Donald Trump is an American***

Intercepted Venusian message finally decoded:
“Invasion going as planned- expect total domination by earth year 2012”


 Trump cartoon by Mike Lukonch source link

Science fiction that's a little too close to non-fiction,

Posted for   Friday Flash 55  at the G-Man's

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blue Masque

Blue Masque

We took a break from the butcher’s ballet
to dance a few steps where the bank met
the whittling river.
You wore your blue mask, your milky skin,
your matchbook eyes
umber and ruminant.

They lamped the meadow,
illuminant for all the wayward
menagerie of my fancy
there in the black
New England midnight
when the fireflies began to burn.

Your cloak your russet hair in dark folds stippled your face
that day, the day before I cut it for the road. It
hung the shadow in my eyes, blew like dying stars
on the long wind, snapped across the night
to catch in my lips, give them a taste
of salt surprise and you a veil

for the look you always had to blur.
The balefires burned while the world hissed and spat
nowhere near that shingle of void where we kissed.
Lives came and went, the planets placed a pirouette
rippling in your face that showed only
the crabshell mirror of the halfmoon’s smile.

The whispered words, the sentient fingers
flicked lingering on my stops so much more
fluently than on your instrument of brass,
the reed of my desire that ever bent between
your tongue and will, all of me you caused
to make that music never heard on stage;

the truth that spilled like blood,
the plangent harmonics
beyond the bordered breaths,
the sighs, the cries, the tears
coming to us unseen
walking on the riptide of the years;

that was the blue masque we made
the music we played there before you blazed.
Then, while the bonfires of war
burned brighter and the mill
of the gods
ground small.

 April 2011

Top Image: Fireflies II, by ~Quit007
courtesy deviantArt

Tuesday, April 26, 2011



Crows sky high
above the blank road
eighteen wings
into parabolic glides
brash applause of caws

Push of wind
today's instructions
       marked in black      
crow letters
  against a chalkboard of cloud
fly away, cry high

April 2011

Posted for  OneShotWednesday  at the inimitable OneStopPoetry

Monday, April 25, 2011



The whole subsuming
mackerel smelling abyss:
with a few words I can unmake it,
change it to a wine-rich wave’s warm kiss
let the disconjunctive dark forsake it.
But when the neon tide comes rolling in
the bloated bodies float and the gulls scream
and there’s the sharp swift pierce of a bone pin,
heart nail pounded in a dream within a dream

Kaleidoscopic lenses bend
the light, red icestones throb beneath the unquiet lid.
Greensick invaders pulse, fluoresce on the march.
Alien guerillas the cortex can’t forbid
blow the bridge and deconstruct the arch.
A turn of the wrist and everything goes black,
the limbs arrest, the sutures come undone.
The hands spin round but the hours can’t fall back
to that which was so ardently begun.
The colors change and change, without an end.

April 2011

Posted for Magpie Tales #63 

Uncredited photo provided by Magpie Tales removed.
comments closed due to bot activity 2/13

I am Stylish Now

Shay(Fireblossom) at the Word Garden  has nominated me for some oddball award these crazy young whippersnapper intertubes people pass around, which requires that I bare my soul to a universe of prurient strangers. Oh, I don’t have to write a poem? No, I merely have to list seven unusual, unknown  things about myself. Apparently this process conveys an automatic gift of stylishness which will overcome all natural laws hitherto prevailing in my life, which is about as stylish as a wen on Kate Millhouse’s cheek would be. Oh, it’s Middleton? My bad. Anyway, here are seven diverting and deeply secret things about me which should disqualify me for any kind of stylishness accolades, but seemingly, like so much of life, have the opposite effect:

  1. I have never had a manicure. Well, when I was little, my mother sawed my nails off with a dull scissors, and painted them fire engine red a lot, but I’m assuming that doesn’t count.

  1. My first pet was a cricket which I caught under the streetlights one night when I was about nine and kept in a little cardboard box. I was devastated when the  Mean Little Boy in the upstairs apartment told me it was not a cricket but a gross giant waterbug. My budding interest in entomolgy died at that point.

  1. I have named all my cars. And bikes. And computers. My current computer is called The Beast, and my car is V*ger, as in the Star Trek movie.

  1. I  am not a packrat per se, yet I find it impossible to throw out articles of clothing I have worn in some positive and happy context, which have long ago ceased to fit me or ever even remotely have the possibility of being worn again unless we have world famine and I also contract a wasting disease. I have a red velvet mirrored Mexican Wedding Dress from 1969 that is only recognzable as a piece of clothing by supreme efforts of the imagination, yet still sits in my closet, barely holding together enough to stay on the hanger.

  1. I had a horrible maiden name which is so secret in my whole life I have only told three people who didn’t know me then. No, I’m not telling it here, either. Suffice it to say, all my married names have been words of one syllable. I won't say I actually chose my husbands for this reason, but it certainly didn't hurt their chances.

  1. I love reading and won a prize for reading the most books in my entire school over the course of a year in fourth grade. It’s one of my proudest accomplishments.

  1. My least stylish secret: when I was twelve  I promised my grandmother (born in the early 1900’s) never to wear make-up. This request came about because of my mother, who liked to shock her with-- you guessed it-- fire engine red 40’s style lipstick, plucked eyebrows, coal black mascara and bright green eyeshadow. I kept that promise as long as she lived, and seldom wear anything but powder and a little neutral lip gloss even now when I probably desperately need a full paint job.

Many thanks to my dear friend Shay, especially for listing me among her favorite poets, and I am passing this stylish award on to Sherry Blue Sky, at StarDreaming, and even though he's a guy, the most stylish-est of bloggers, Galen (aka the G-Man) at Mr Know-it-All

If this award were instead for most serious, substantive, topical and diverse blog, I would pass it on to my friend, writer, photographer and post-modern Renaissance man, Petteri Sulonen, who runs a little place called Come to think of it, as well as helping me here with my technical issues. He writes on everything from politics to Zen Buddhism with insight and clarity. His current post is on renewable energy, well worth reading.

I'd also like to thank one of my favorite poets,and one of the most gifted, Brendan at  Oran's Well, for including me in a list of twelve recommended online poets. The entire list is well worth exploring for those who love poetry, not least of all  Brendan's own site.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Out Of The Gate

Out of the Gate

My bike was a pony once.
Lacking all originality,
I called her Buttermilk, after
Dale Evans’ fairy buckskin,
but after all, I was only

We rode the trails of north chicago
cantered through long-armed elm-roofed tunnels,
barely escaping their scrabbling fingers,
across acres of glass-strewn treacherous
desert concrete, along the weedy mountain ridge 
of the el. She picked her way with intelligent care, 
one delicate black hoof after the other
through the perilous car-infested rapids
of sheridan road.

Wherever we roamed on that big range
she never let me down.
She stayed like a quarterhorse
when I dropped the reins
and ran like a thoroughbred out of the gate
when I raced her with Donny
whose bike had no name at all.

Now I’m on a new pony, waiting
at the gate, under a leafless roof
looking down the long stretch,
sitting slumped in the saddle
surrounded by fences,
no legs to pump the peddles
but, still…

I wonder how fast
she can go?

April 2011

Posted for OneShootSunday at the inimitable OneStopPoetry 

Title Image: Photo by Greg Laychak

Saturday, April 23, 2011

On the Lam/Rant

On the Lam

The math police have found my poems
and tell me they do not add up.
Something is missing O not meaning,
we don’t read for meaning, just for obedience,
for the drumming of integers, 
the solid thumping of cadential boots
the singsong buzz of stinging stresses strung just so.
Unsequential imperfect necklaces must be 
snapped and broken
and the  beads of lapis words
that drop crushed underfoot.

I slink to my hidden den of vines,
wild witch dodging the hobnails
aimed at my pagan bastard's
face. All my life I've run 
from the dominion of zealotry.
There's only death for such as us
in the mind that closes around what it knows
and sees nothing else.
Here in words, there in ideas.

And what do I care if my iambs are lost lambs?
I hang my lines, my life, to fly a banner
not build your pillars of fault.

What matters is that the words stick
like a hooked seed in the fur
of  thought, barb themselves in
till they release in comprehension
shake loose, or rot.

The words are eggs not clockwork birds,
sitting on a mental wire in a robotic row. 
However scrambled, they invite a broodiness.
So I dip my finger in sour yogurt
and write graffiti on a white wall
where only the flies 
and the one who comes to clean
get close enough to see.

I come and go to whisper and sigh,
laugh not replicate. I've run from the shapers
since the day I dropped from my mother's womb, 
and it's my pure pleasure now
to flip them off, along with their droning coercion
to give, give, give
the asked for thing
the wanted word, demand for justification
and my own invalidation in a
graceful surrender, useless denial,
automatic agreement
and/or respectful silence.

I’m old and
done with that.
I'm on the lam, baby. 
And I've got 
one more silver dollar.

April 2011

Image courtesy Scientific American

Musical Interlude~King Harvest

Discussing my last poem, Yellow Moon, put this song in my head and it insisted on staying. Kind of suits our drought right now, as well as the whole Union busting movement raging currently also, so I'm sticking it up.  King Harvest appeared on the eponymous second album from The Band, released in September of 1969. Lyrics are by Robbie Robertson.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Yellow Moon

Yellow Moon

Yellow Moon

If I could write the moon tonight
I’d write it full and round where it rides so near
 a circled teardrop of sunny ink 
to carry on black sky paper, my own balloon
of yellow, a whisper from a friend in a noisy room,
a school of chambered magic 
for those who do not sleep,
teaching the one who drank the blue rain
from yesterday’s boot
 that not only the sun drops golden light,
not only boats sail, beans sprout, but
old worms turn, old sorrows burn, sour can be sweet 
enough to eat, 
and lead an old woman's feet 
from here where there is no sound
to a green dance and music by a pool of dreams.

April 2011

Posted for Friday Poetically at the inimitable OneStopPoetry

(The exercise was to write a poem using a list of words taken from Shel Silverstein's  child's poem, One Inch Tall )

Image: Yellow Moon, by Martin Cathrae, posted on flick'r
Martin Cathrae's photostream

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Friday Flash 55 ~ Crapshoot


The gust front swaggers in,
bankrolled like a Texas oilman,
inviting spring to the big crapshoot.
They smile at each other but neither 
speaks the other’s language. 

Someone's bound to lose.

Just like that 
the tree’s pulled from 
the ground,
a long-stemmed 
on the roof.

The dice are loaded, 
and spring's rolled snake-eyes.

April 2011

Posted for Friday Flash 55 at the G-man's

Image: Bridge Creek Oklahoma F5 tornado, May 3, 1999
source link

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dry Spell

Dry Spell

The drought is a dead mother, all silence and negation.
It breathes the void and makes inaction action.
It gathers up possibilities and reduces them by fraction
to a still cipher that sucks the multiples from creation.

The drought owns nothing but the dead empty and a name.
As green falters and begins to change its mind,
the bright is bleached out grey, limping down a stony wind.
The sky is stripped. There’s no giving left to find,
except the gift of wind not breath, just scorch, the whip of flame.

Serial and sere, Ceres surrenders, hushes and renders
her variegated voice silent that sought to sew the cloud
to earth in her soft singing seaming, terrestrial to celestial.
Instead the steel wind has dry lightning on its fenders;
it drives the wildfire down the highway, smoke impenetrable
and all the still or wavering things are burned up in that shroud.

As I’m burning through this empty coughing dream
of nothing where your song once sewed the seam.

April 2011

Image: Texas Wildfires, 2011, courtesy CNN video footage,   source link

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Compost of Earthly Delights

Compost of Earthly Delights

When you think there are no horrors left
that’s when the real horrors come.
When flesh is wrung and sense is numb,
and it’s a joke that a tear could be wept,

then the stone is wet where the killing’s kept       
and your spindly withered legs won’t run.
Then the rabbit's eating the toes of the nun,
and your silent scream is all that’s left.

When the scarf enfolds and frames your face
a delicate beauty, balanced, right,
that’s when a roach crawls out of the lace.
That’s when you lose your appetite.
When you think no monster’s there in the night,
that’s when the bed starts to lift in place.

April 2011

Posted for  OneShotWednesday  at the inimitable OneStopPoetry

Image: The Garden of Earthly Delights, inner right wing detail, by Hieronymous Bosch, Oil on Panel, (circa 1450-1516)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Evening Song

Wind and Rain

Evening Song

Sing me far a song tonight;
take from me these things I know.
Fly my soul a summer bird
the wind has asked to fall like snow.

Sing me far don’t stop for breath;
take away the things I’ve done.
Let my heart break up at last
a sea fret gone in ragged sun.

April 2011

Photo: Wind and Rain, by Petteri Sulonen
Petteri Sulonen's flickr stream

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Blue Nowhere

Blue Nowhere

Riding a blue wind
into nowhere
she hangs on the sea line, blowing
like a sail from the rippling filament,
above the ever torn and ever mended waves,
and nowhere peace.

The wind has stripped her will,
the shadows and the sun have
blinded back the black and vacant rocks,
given restless wrack and seething foam
a splashing spurious pirate gold,
but nowhere peace.

The perfect angled arch, the symmetry
is hers, the art and all
the making hand of man,
the walls that crumble,
the bleeding words that ran,
and nowhere peace

except the peace
her being brings
unknown, past measure.

April 2011

Posted for OneShootSunday at the inimitable OneStopPoetry

Image by the gifted poet and photographer, James Rainsford


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Something Small

Something Small

something small
faceted, refracting, chucking
hot white splinters to wince the eye
winking from the country of the dead
where no light stumbles except
to be changed changed changed again
in that crystalline splitrail corral

something small
a silicant irritant a tiny mote
gets under the skin encysts
insists itself and carpenters
its own infected radiant bliss
taut ruddy and inflamed the setting
drops the pearl

something small
crawling flat to feed
glossy grey and many legged
inserting its needle nose into the skin
drawing out what makes it fat
to bursting, obscene itching resistant 
to removal except by fire

something small
a point of steel a tiny blade
hard as the trickster’s heart
so thin, so almost invisible at the cut
except for the drip drip drip
of ruby it leaves in its voiding 
wake of words

April 2011

Photo: Bug on Lacebark, by joy ann jones 2010 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Flash 55 ~ Casting the Runes

Casting the Runes

You ask but how can I explain?
The truth and beauty; neither parse.
What hides itself in a sea of pain,
I ask, but how can you explain?

Not every fish is for the seine.
The drama flops when played as farce.
We tell our own but can’t explain
the Truth. And beauty doesn’t parse.

April 2011

I've taken a bit of liberty with the triolet form here and let the runes fall where they may.

Posted for Friday Flash 55 at the G-Man's

Thursday, April 14, 2011



So few times
I haven’t had to pretend.
Under the scrub oaks once
one time
when the spider had barely begun
to spin the hex 
of change and decay
when above us there was blue
around us there was smoke
and beneath us there was earth
earth that was enough
but even then
there was a buzzing
like a bluebottle
singing his carrion tune
a tiny smut in the sky
a rent in the web
a jet blowing
grey airdirt from its tail
where there should have been
only a noiseless hawk.

Dead people write better poems;
lessons, like all the spoils, are easiest
from the dead.

April 2011

Photo: Blackjack Oak at Sunset, joy ann jones 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Stormy Monday

Stormy Monday

Drunkard’s kiss, a used beginning,
a try for that embrace that seems to promise
what no human hand delivers.
We took the long riff into every alley
and found beneath the ground the big abyss.
That life and you are dead and gone,
child of pain, long gone
with the crazy smile, the amber trusting
thousand mile stare.

When I first met you I fell hard
into your painted desert 
whose beauty held no peace,
tumbled laughing down the graffiti'd walls
and hit the hard valley floor,
where the only thing to drink 
in all that stretch of badlands
was a bubbling whiskey river snaking through,
where the only stars that shone in the cold
perpetual night were the flickers and splinters
that came and went
in your liquid red rimmed eyes.

We were never alone, never still
with Johnny Walker and Johnny Winter,
B.B., Muddy Waters and Stevie Ray at the long party.
The eagle flies on Friday, Saturday we play. Sunday
never came and day was night and night day
in our crowded moving house where the music played on
the faces grew pale and formless
and time was spun forever in a whirlwind of denials.

But you were never made to wear the harness.
I remember when we blew two weeks pay on
those cases of pink champagne from France,
sweet under the bed in a room with no heat
and drank them in a week without glasses;
how you always traveled with forty dollars
in your pocket and 16 wine coolers
in the trunk of the Monte Carlo
(for emergencies) even when we
were running on empty.

And after all, you kept every promise.
I was the one who gave out like
a rented mule, a deathbed conversion, 
you who knew where all the kisses went
who kept a golden box of all the hours
who gave your back at the last for me to cross,
a bridge to span the deep abyss
from which you watched me walk.

Some nights I still can see you where I left you
looking up as if you’re seeing
something bigger than a kiss.

April 2011

Enjoy the music if you care to. There never was a day without it in the life of the man I wrote this for, gone on to the last party in 1992.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Epistemology: Angels

Archangel Gabriel at Doge's Palace

Epistemology: Angels

What do we know about angels?
We know they have wings.
They are not us but
they fly and sometimes
they fall.

They are so much
softer than clouds, 
harder than diamonds,
because they know everything,
and need to feel nothing.

Their bones are fog and lightning.Their eyes 
stare blindly. They carry the message
under their tongues of fire,
choose when, know who,
aren't saying why.

They are able to be all white,
not black not grey not devil red,
never blue nor orange,
never mixed never solid, only beings 
of air and distance.

That is what we know
about angels now.
But we don’t remember
all of angel time
when angels first saw

the daughters of men
and found them more beautiful
than god, beautiful as you, my love
with your silent tongue of fire
and pale wings.

We know
about angels.

April 2011

Posted for OneShotWednesday  at the inimitable OneStopPoetry

Image: Archangel Gabriel at Doge's Palace, posted by  valix on flick'r
Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License 2.0
valix's photostream