Wednesday, April 23, 2014


And out of order, too.  Damn it.  Oh, well. 

Open Window

I opened the window today
and the world invited itself in,
boisterous, sound splashing
off the walls, chasing out
winter’s cotton-wrapped quiet.
Birdsong comes first, sneaking
through the screen.  The bark
of the dog three houses up
follows, chasing the ceiling fan.
An occasional car hums in, sits
in the recliner for a moment,
then wanders out again.
The neighbors across the alley
are playing mariachi polka—
the beat tangoes up my steps
and challenges my piano.  Children
and bikes flit through, small bright
birds of sound that shatter winter’s
grey residue of silence.


Playing catch's that mid-month lag thing, right?  And a little out of the order in which my prompts rolled in, but so be it...

Egg Ruba’i

Gold for morning, green for luck,
Orange for tulips, blue for pluck,
Red for love, dipped in twice,
And purple for doors that won’t stay locked.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


My photo prompt for today was "sky."  So I give you this poem, which is a conglomeration of several prompts: the "sky" prompt (the article I got the "borrowed" lines from is about Mars); and a couple "official" NaPoWriMo prompts dealing with "borrowing" lines from an online article, and a second one dealing with writing a poem where every line is a question. Don't judge too much...I sort of like how it turned out. :)

Borrowed Poem Q&A

Where is the sky hiding?
The search for life on Mars is now in its sixth decade
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
The closer we look, the more hostile the planet seems: parched and frozen in every season, its atmosphere inert and murderously thin, its surface scoured by solar winds
What is childhood but a pleasant dream?
Still, we keep going back. Like a delinquent sibling, Mars is all we’ve got
What are the chances that it will all turn out right in the end?
It was a dart flung at a dartboard twenty thousand feet away.
How can you care about something so big?
he did his best to act as if nothing were at stake.
Where did you sleep when you were a child?
True, it was a wasteland.
It was? What is it now?
The signs of life are self-erasing.
Mama, can the stars see us?
This wasn’t just a little detour
Do you remember the night we drove across Nebraska, hit Colorado at sunup?
It’s a self-eating watermelon of despair.
Have you ever seen snow by starlight alone?
the rover would swing like a pendulum as it flew
Can all things fly, if they try hard enough?
The air is so thin that the first glimmer of sun can throw it into violent convection, lofting up into towering thermals, twisting into dust devils, and collapsing back down as they cool.
The sand beneath bare feet, cooling with the evening, the tall beach grasses whispering—is all that still there now that we are not?
Lucky socks were worn
What is luck, good or bad?
ZERO margin of error
How do you tell a lesson from a mistake?
the giddy days that followed
How many stars are there, really?
born under a blue moon three weeks after
Is the moon really blue, Mama? Is it?
the cycle starts over.

The "borrowed" lines come from the article entitled "“The Martian Chroniclers:
A new era in planetary exploration.”
by Burkhard Bilger, dated April 22, 2013 and available on 


I laugh

I laugh because there is nothing else to do
I laugh because you look cheap and I don’t
I laugh because it keeps me from crying
I laugh because the baby pooped in the bathtub
I laugh because this is not how I imagined it
I laugh because the snow is already gone
I laugh because a typo makes it the Big Band Theory
I laugh because my daughter asked me, “What’s a penis?”
and I don’t want to answer so I change the subject
and I laugh because I am my mother after all
and I laugh because why the hell not?
It beats the alternative.



Water spits back the sky,
making the changes it sees fit:
ripples for interest, a tree branch
for emphasis. The sky, in turn,
doesn’t give a damn—it is
itself, no more, no less. We
are not so simple. We edit
and layer—lipstick, hairspray,
brick red nail polish to match
the handbag—doctoring
the canvas of ourselves,
daring the reflection to ripple,
trying to trick our mirrors
into seeing what we
think we should be.


Today's poem and photo don't match in subject matter.  Maybe in color/tone...either way, here they both are.

April Snowstorm 12:38 a.m.

Woman shadow detaches
from the black mass of house
across the street, shields face
from the breath-blade of
the North Wind as she
picks her way, carefully,
down the steps, wet snow
pulling her ankles, to the
low, cold cave of her car.

Sunday, April 13, 2014



Hot green sizzles up
from black earth, wearing dewdrops
like melted butter.