Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lamenting The Muse

I bleed her visions vivid and verbose.
Wrought words weep from wounds
Staunched solely by
Tightly tied tourniquets of text and tone.

I, by her infrequent indulgences do illuminate;
Exigent examinations express enthusiasm,
Elicit empathy,
Or, on occasion,
Invoke ire.

I, rabble-rousing raconteur,
Revisit rural rumors with relish,
A fanciful fetish fraught with folly;
Lines laced with laudable
Alliteration alleviate her need . . .

I, at times, pen posturing poetry
Or pedantic prose
Adapting ardor to odor,
Rending ruminations on the remnants of a rose,
Roaring at restrictive rubric . . .

Yet I am not amused
By my muse’s manic manipulations:
Mellifluous manuscripts martyring meaning—

I would fain bleed free from her.

A Little Winter Snark

Mother Nature's in a tizzy
Laying down the snow
She's been keeping pretty busy
See her flakes a' blow

'Course, this morning it was raining
Temp was forty-four;
Mister Cold Front came complaining,
"It's December, w----!"

Affronted by such garish jargon
Mother played at nice,
Offering Sir Cold a bargain--
Turned his ass to ice!

Father Winter watched with humor
At her clever fix,
And, to make the storm a boomer
Threw sleet in the mix!

But then Jack Frost flew quickly in
(Lest he be left out)
A' drumming up his mighty wind
To blow the snow about!

Mother, so proprietary,
Could not stand it longer
Adding hail to make it scary;
Proving she was stronger!

Now, of course, it's near two thirty
In the afternoon
Driving home will be quite dirty
Mother: grant a boon!

Whisp of Summer

Butterflies flutter
Aimless scattered paths amidst
Dandilion puffs

This one won the Haiku Harbor challenge


To grasp at a gleam;
To fight those forces making
Corpses of my dreams

Nieces and Nephews

It's hard to strike a
Stentorian pose when they
Keep tickling you.


Come the holiday season I stock up my shelves with the items I need for my baking,
I've inherited recipes, methods, and more to make holiday treats for the taking.

When they come into my kitchen they know by the smell that the season has finally come,
For the wafting aroma of cookies doth tell, and the stain of the flour upon my thumb.

In my kitchen the memories of Christmas long past come alive with each item I make,
From my grandmother's meatpies that I alone craft, and meme's pumpkin bread that I bake.

Happily shared traditional delicacies that evoke such memorial hunger,
I shall treasure these recipes all of my days until passed along to one much younger.

Yet for now I create, making family treats, only pausing to let the dough leaven
And I hope that when all of the baking is done that the scent makes its way up to heaven.

This Challenge was about Holiday Traditions. I don't remember exactly what the Challenge question stated, though.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ornamental Sacrifice

Surrepetitious stalker, I,
In search of perfection, find you.
Waiting in the shadows nearby
I softly edge up behind you.

Weapon in hand, yet uncertain,
I caress your soft, trembling limbs
Hesitant to pull the curtain
For what now seem like merely whims.

Yet duty calls, a harsh mistress,
Demanding your young sacrifice
Regardless of my own distress,
Dismissive of the heavy price.

I grit my teeth and go to task,
Rending with the blade's serration.
I hurry, time is fading fast;
They wait with anticipation.

Finally, with your undoing
I pray your soul flies fast and free,
Soon your beauty they'll be viewing
So merrily: our Christmas Tree.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Blue and Green

My life streams in colors seldom seen
From red to violet,
In between--

You are my blue.

Your touch
White light to blind me
Your kiss
Amber to focus my eyes once more
Your laugh
Gold and silver streams to find me
Your eyes
So blue they shook my soul to the core.
Your embrace
Every color at once,

We seize in white sheets and I see rainbows.

I used to run from rainbows.

I’ve always been green,
Weaving rapid 'round the rainbows.
Running from others' colored expectations
Hiding in the green
Gazing up at blue.

You’ve said it’s my eyes that pulled you in
“A sea of green,” if I remember right
And I do.

I remember everything blue.

I’ve always been green
Running from the red
From the violet
And all the colors in between
Thinking my heart was black from emptiness
They called me yellow

But I’ve always been green.

In all of my running from rainbows I almost missed you.

I almost missed my Blue.

Pedestrian Poet

Nursing a dream he holds inside
He softly assays the now,
Toiling pedestrian in stride
As circumstances allow.

He peddles wares in middling ways,
Patrons served largely by rote,
Cogitating,"One of these days,
My name will be one of note."

Hopeful, but resigned to the now
He smiles, observant and sure,
Chipmunking the details of "how,"
Preserving the moments pure.

Mechanically moving through days,
Observing subtle detail,
He sees things in radiant ways:
Lives that succeed and fail.

Not once does the poet conceive
He's not fated for success,
Yet until that fateful reprieve,
He toils under such duress.

Anonymous soul, simply "him,"
The genius we've not yet met,
Often composing on a whim,
A talent we'd not forget

And when night falls he sleeps so sound,
Wrapped in this dream held so tight;
He knows one day he'll be unbound:
One day he will get to write.

For all of you aspiring poets out there. :)

Ego Trip

Freelance, you came along and said,
“Entrance me with your verse,
Parlance so rare it’s almost dead
Perchance reverse the curse!”

Now such entreating shook my heart,
How it appealed to me,
Thou knew that I would, from the start,
Bow to my vanity.

This is an example of a Lento: 8 lines, abab cdcd rhyme scheme, and the beginning of the first four lines should rhyme, as should beginning of the second four lines.

Snoopy Dance

Wanting what you cannot have
Wastes all your time in doubles,
Time itself is simply salve,
And not the source of troubles.

Shake your vision, grow a dream
Hope to make it something more
Carry out a grander scheme
Dance and love from shore to shore.

Laugh with friends until you cry
Breathe in deep each meadow green
Sing your babe a lullaby
Write a verse of all you've seen.

Spend your days in utter joy
Drink your gin without vermouth
Wiser words were never writ:
Life well lived means more than youth.


Fall is dead.
Winter rises howling from its grave,
Stinging tempest, banshee
Of ice.

Wailing dread
Frigid spinning pestilential plague,
Arctic necromancy

Gorgoned trees
Stand immobile frozen in surprise
Watching crystals grow on

Horrid breeze
Howling, moaning, tearing at my eyes;
Winter gathers its breath--
And blows.

The fury that assaults my senses,
Gathering armfuls of

So, dreading,
I watch his rise without defenses--
Resurrected: Old Man

Forward March

Change emanates from
Imaginative Leaders
Poets with Power

Not Yet Creaking

Gray hairs in stubble
On chin and cheek betray me;
I am not that old

Prop 8

I weep for justice,
The mob that votes as many--
They once were the few

Rock Star Poet

I'm the rock star of poetry
Screaming fans galore
Many millions come to read me
Few who know the score.

Penning verses controversial
Spanning space and time
Fanfare of alliteration,
Meter, rhythm, rhyme.

Watch them all line up to read my
Righteous rock and roll
Fame and fortune long decreed by
Sursurrating soul.

Accompanied by entourage
(Coleridge and Keats)
I deal in morals camoflage,
Alternating beats.

So tune in to my poesy
Make no bones about it--
I am the rock star poet, see?
Don't you ever doubt it.

Off the cuff and just plain silly. :)

Dressing As Dracula

On each October thirty-first
I do my worst
To scare, and chill
And give a thrill

I sometimes dress as ghost or witch
Though it may itch
My face I cake
A monster make

Blood, when the children reach our stoops
From false fangs droops
So real seeming
Kids run screaming

This is a Minute Poem and won the TPS Quill award for October 2008. This is one of two poems I've had published in TPS Spash of Verse 2008.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Not Enough Time

Visions carried deep within me keep the world at bay
Echoes of your lifting laugh defend me
Remnants of your subtle scent distract me all the day
Conversations carried on pretending . . .

Every morning as you sleep
On you I lay kisses,
Hoping in your heart they’ll keep,
Love as deep as this is

Busy work to pass the time until the bell is rung
Halfway concentrating as I ponder
How the blessing happened that we met when we were young
Hoping that the nights would last much longer

How you linger in my thoughts
Senses steeped in silence
Smell you, taste you, soul distraught;
Separation’s violence

Every single chance I get I call to hear your voice
Speaking innuendo nonchalant
Laughing, joking, flirting, oh there never was a choice;
From the start ‘twas you my soul did want

As we tumble in the night
Cherished time together
See me glow from love’s own light
Hold me there forever.

How Much Is A Million Pounds?

It turns out I'm a millionaire
Soon as the check is cashed
A relative I never knew
Was in a plane that crashed

I found this out by email, see,
It happens all the time,
Like when I won the lottery,
A million pounds. Sublime!

The funny thing, I think you'll find,
Is this time's not the first
These ne'er seen relatives of mine
Their type of luck's the worst!

They're scattered all around the Earth
(In pieces now, it seems)
And left me many times my worth!
Enough to live my dreams!

The only thing contemplative
About these new bequests
Is that these wills from relatives
They come with odd requests!

Why do they need my bank account?
A check will do just fine.
Why send it all in small amounts?
Isn't the money mine?

And one thing I've sincerely learned
Through this affair insane
Is when in Africa, be warned:
Don't ever go by plane!

Inspired, of course, by those damnable spam emails!

To Face Myself

I am at heart the product of my choices
An unrepentant miasma of voices
Echoing my past

What once was a fractured duality
Is now singularly clear

One face for them
Swaggering boisterous typical male
Redneck chauvinistic epithets
Uttered out of expectation

Must fit in
Must belong
Must do this
Must be wrong

One face for me
Crumbling expectations
Shattered plans
Merciless self-flagellating

Must be evil
Must be crazy
Must be tainted
Must repent!

A decade of denial


Then a choice
The choice to accept
Become whole
No longer two faces but one

Shouldered tonnage evaporates with
Self acceptance
And finally buried denials

Damned? Not I.
Expectations be damned.

I choose to be honest.

To love
And be loved
As I was meant to love.

To face myself and be free!

Last Gasp

Sixty and sunny a week after snow,
November rebels for a beat
Hear the birds revel and bask in the glow
Of Autumn's reluctant retreat

Indian Summer, the short lived hurrah,
The seasonal spring in our step;
Nature's attempt at a faint Shangri-la,
A last gasp before Winter prep.



Before my chrysalis
I was an ugly thing full of venom
Bound to the earth

And a pale soul

Air that spoke without meaning,
Without breath
Simply devoid.

Wrapped within myself
My spirit slumbered




I fly unencumbered, unalone.

Beautiful, I have surpassed my prior self.

Join us up here, where we fly and do magic.

Born Bad: Prelude to The Witch

A savage place! As holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover !
–from Kubla Khan, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Inside the dome of Kubla Khan
Was born a child accursed,
Of raven hair and beauty wan,
Sheer evil at its worst.

In childbirth did her mother pass;
The child was held regarded
With wary eyes of empty glass,
As father, too, departed.

Her mewling cries did reach the Khan;
He came to see the cause
Her pallid skin and ebon eyes
Did give great Kubla pause

Unwilling, though, to cast her out
The girl was made a ward
The Khan’s discretion none would doubt
His people loved their lord

But those inside the pleasure-dome
From her themselves would keep
Their children not allowed to roam
Along with blackened sheep

She grew a timid, artful girl
And to the shadows kept
‘Til Kubla sent this devil spawn
To aid the dome’s adept

‘Twas he who saw what lay within
Her lithe and quiet frame
Only to find to his chagrin
The damage done by shame

He sought to teach her wizardry,
A role to fit within,
Alas, it was too late for she,
Neglected as she’d been.

Her mentor she would soon deceive,
Malicious magic maid,
She put on faces he’d believe,
But studied tomes forbade

In secret did she grow in skill
Concocting her designs
Perfecting all her spells until
Fruition showed its signs

For Xanadu’s surrounding caves
Were proof from second sight
‘Twas there she plotted newborn graves
In haunted moonlit night

She took herself a Demon-mate
Who promised ever more
Of power to manipulate
Than e’re she’d had before.

If she would send the souls of men
Upon which he could feed
Immortal he would make her then,
To which she soon agreed.

To set her plan in action, then,
She killed the wise adept
She loved him most of any men;
A single tear she wept.

Now silently she crept beside
The soldiers in their beds
She whispered thoughts of homicide
Upon their sleeping heads.

Her pallid puppets played their roles;
She unto battle sped them;
Then quickly gathered up their souls
And to Demon fed them.

The Khan alone could not be swayed
Through magics that she wove,
And so her demon-lover slayed
When through its heart he drove

Excalibur, the sword of swords,
Its blessed blade impelled;
The witch did shriek and curse the lords
Her sorcery dispelled!

The power of her sorrowed cry
It found the Nightmare-king
But that’s another lullaby
With horrors it will bring.

Conflicting Schedules

I wait on tenterhooks

A candid appraisal
Of erstwhile wishes
Leaves me breathless,
Expecting the inevitable synchronicity

The vigor of a forgotten afternoon
Rushes in, basking in memory
And the warm flush
Caused by your whispers
Betrays my anticipation . . .

Ah, glorious happenstance!
What singular satisfaction I gather from
“Remember when we. . .”
Cannot compare
To times we’ve had
Or could have had

And will, my love.

Just say the word.

As always, I wait for you.

Bound Witness

Behind my shuttered eyes I see
Me standing in a field
Constrained to utter voiceless plea;
Calamity revealed!

My nightclothes let the icy bite
Of wind assault my skin,
Though stings distract not from the sight
That ravishes within.

I hear a cracking horror sound,
Head tilting to the sky
A lone and silent mourner bound
To witness hundreds die

I stand a phantom witness born
Of metaphysic means
To feel their many spirits torn
In echoed frantic screams

A thousand booming thundercracks
Of spiderwebbing ice
Describe the hundred breaking backs
That burn in winter’s vice

But icy flames and billowed smoke
Cannot describe the fear
As others drown in bubbles, choke--
Immobile, this I hear. . .

My silent screams are heard by none
Over the crashing sound,
As tears fall silent one by one
Onto the frigid ground

AWAKEN! frightened, gasp and cry--
But tears a mom can heal,
“It’s just a dream,” she would deny,
“The nightmare isn’t real.”

Yet on the way to school that day,
She pulled the car aside
“A plane has crashed,” a man did say,
“With hundreds trapped inside.”

Vanish Little Morsels (Merry Widow Part I)

I love to feed the chickens
And the ducks and piggies, too
They cluck and quack
And oink and then
I feed them parts of you.

I didn’t mean to kill you
But you really made me mad.
I told you if
You cheated it
Would really be quite bad.

So when I saw the pictures
Well, I really had no choice
I cut you up
To shut you up
I couldn’t bear your voice.

Who thought that you’d betray me?
I know I never did.
And who'd have known
That anger sown
Would make me flip my lid?

So vanish little morsels,
They will eat while you’re still hot
Then you’ll be gone,
I’ll be alone,
And never will get caught.

This is the first part in a planned humorous series about a fed-up farmer's wife and her adventures in murder. Okay, maybe I read too much Stephen King.

Gramma's Chair

Unadorned, it silently sits
Yearning for days that will not come.
None left possess a soul that it fits—
None to its beckoning succumb.

Phantoms take once again their form:
Laughs, and old fashioned discipline—
That drumming seat that kept you warm
Stands empty; none will fit within.

Icon; relic; battered old friend.
How I wish it could embrace you
As it did at the very end.
Those memories I retrace, too.

Vivid recollections of youth
Gathered around the warming hearth
As you rocked and told us of truth
Eyes gleaming for all they were worth

But not now. Not without you here.
Now it but sits in that corner
Day by day and year after year
A worn, solitary mourner.

It seems I’m not the only one,
With my raw heart and empty chair
That you’ve left your impression on.
We wish you were still rocking there.

Ode To A Spider

I watch the nimble spinnerettes; a spider spinning strings
An avid agile dancer going through its flow and ebb
Particularly placing strands about the tender wings
Cocoon constructed carefully with mortem in its web.

Oh, black and silver phantom sewing life up into death
O morbid fate that mother nature brings
How fragile is your cosm unto which I blow my breath,
Then *splat* because I cannot stand you things.

Hockey Mom

Pitbull with lipstick
Could make a funny haiku
But I'll not go there

Come on, where else would you find a Sarah Palin inspired Senryu?

As Luna Cycles

This is one of only two poems I've had published anywhere. It is featured on page 200 of the 2008 TPS Splash of Verse publication.

As Luna cycles so do we, reflecting on the Earth
Through seasons of humanity we seek to prove our worth.

‘Tis only in the days of my own twilight that I see
What similarities apply betwixt the moon and me.

When I was young the moon above did fill my heart with awe,
Her constant gaze projecting love ‘til storms made her withdraw.

In love my heart shone also thus, a freely given thing,
‘Til thunder made of broken trust an end to love did bring.

I sought this empty void to fill by buying many things,
Yet only grew emptier still; a lonely heart that stings.

I thought perhaps that fame would be the answer I required
You may even remember me for I was quite admired

But fame begat in me a pride that did me justice not;
I shone without, but still inside an ache grew blazing hot.

The years passed by, I grew from boy to man and started living;
I sought to learn the source of joy and forged a heart forgiving

‘Til pride and power lost their luster when I found a mate
No longer did I blow and bluster, clashing swords with fate.

Thus ended naïve Spring in me, begetting Summer love
A wife and child, a family, and all the perks thereof.

I went through all the motions, all the heartache, and the joy,
I bought a home in which did crawl my precious little boy

I watched him grow as I had done, not noticing my gray
Until one day my Fall’d begun; just when I could not say.

Yet as my body slowed my mind still shone quite clear to me
My boy grew to a man quite kind and ever dear to me

I sought to teach him as I might of wisdom, worth, and truth,
To hold up those who cannot fight, and counsel jaded youth.

And now my Winter has arrived, my time is running short,
And Luna watches, uncontrived, to witness my report.

What lesson, then, are you to learn? What wisdom from this sage?
What value gained from hearts that burn, then flicker as we age?

Now in my feeble, fragile, form to you I do impart
The only piece of knowledge warm and sacred to my heart:

The time you spend in futile chase of money, fame, and pride
Is better spent by keeping pace with what you hold inside

As Luna cycles so do we reflecting on the Earth
Through seasons of humanity we seek to prove our worth.

The Witch

Hidden from the realm of men
The witch remembers deep
The time before, the time of when
She marshalled men from sleep

She made them do her bidding
With whispers in their dreams
Sent warriors for fitting
In steel and armored seams

Brazen witch, immortal hag,
She kept the Nightmare King
Together playing horror tag
With every sleeping thing.

Riches more than these she sought
While whispers winnowed will
'Til with enough souls, hers was bought
From Darker Power still.

King of Nightmares sensed her plan
And banished her from sight,
Coveting his power o'er
The visions in the night.

Now the witch waits lost in time;
She's plotting her return.
Careful where your visions climb,
The witch's whispers burn.

October Branches

Amber branches turning slowly
Capturing October's yawn
Dropping winter's warnings lowly
Cover high, reflect the dawn

Birch and Elm, and Sugar Maple
Fingerpainting morning hues
Cling to heaven as you're able
Hasten not with seasoned cues.

Venture slowly on your journey
Breath your last upon the bough
'Fore you end your earthen tourney
Dangle while I watch you now.

Wait for me, oh turning branches
Nature's dances taking place,
Neighbor reds and greens in chances
Paint anew the Autumn's face.

Zen-ku Very Much

Description defines
Poetry; good poetry
Defies description

Caveat Emptor

Doctors or Lawyers
Someone always graduates
Bottom of the class

Harsh Light Of Truth

Cloak drawn close with deliberate care,
She turned, eyes lowered, hair mussed,
A mue on her face as she took to the stair,
She rejoined her companion thus:

"Though kings have walked these halls in the past
Take care to whom you are speaking
You'll find my patience is known to wear fast
And you were just made for breaking."

No sound was heard but her determined step
As she stormed to the end of the hall,
Not hearing the faint voice say, with mocking pep,
"Well, you aren't the fairest of all!"

There was a picture of a large mirror that was used as this week's prompt for the challenge. If I can find it I'll amend this post so you can see my inspiration for this piece.

Time Flies

The boy and girl can’t get enough
Of play in hip deep grass
They kick at dandelion tufts
And watch the motes drift past

Time stops as green and white enfold
These children who collapse
From joy, and staring up behold
A thousand beating flaps

Of butterflies ascending high
Among the fickle flecks,
Parading blithely in the sky
The children crane their necks

Until the sky returns to blue;
The boy turns to the girl
And whispers, “I’ll do that, will you?”
So they begin to twirl

And play among the hip deep grass
Dancing like butterflies
And as they do, along flits past
The summer’s greatest prize.

What Love Is

Softly glowing embers of last night’s fire
Casting subtle shadows on your face
Rustle as you stir them; my own desire
Holds me in this warm romantic place.

Watching you by firelight I hold a sigh
Tracing every ripple of your form
Turning round you catch me and hold my eye
Smiling, you return to keep me warm.

This is what love is, content in this place,
Where the sharing completely abounds,
Quickening breath when a part of your space,
In your arms only hearts making sounds.

This passion that scorches my very soul
Is an aching my heart won’t unlearn,
Let the tinder burn down until it’s coal;
Though the embers may wane, we still burn.


When first I settle down to write
I know not where I'm going
Though fickle muse does every night
Just set the words a flowing

Sometimes I'm silly, rarely sad
Sometimes I write of love
Sometimes I get a story bad
And slap the muse above

I like to think I'm brilliant,
With fresh, unended tales
I think I've got a million;
The muse, she never fails

Now you may think this just a
Silly poem 'bout the muse
But see if in these simple lines
There's something you can use

I have no choice in this, you see,
The muse, she does dictate,
And in her fickle hand is ME,
Her willing empty slate.

The Best Laid Plans

Each year we plan extensively
New tricks for Halloween,
And so we scheme exhaustively
Our annual routine.

We run the local haunted house
And running it is easy,
The trick is finding ways to make
The horrors real, not cheesy.

We go to local horror shops,
And stores with real antiques
And dress the house up creepily;
It stays that way for weeks.

But each new year we top the last
By finding different things
Like sending down a witch by rope
That cackles as she swings

And that is how, when on my quest,
I came upon this vision,
I borrowed from the home this chest
(Ok, without permission)

I needed to be sure I’d fit
So took it to this field
When I got in, I’m sure the lid
Was not completely sealed.

My plan, it seems, has backfired,
Yet they’ll catch on, I’m hopin’,
Or else I’ll surely die in here
This coffin will not open!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


So sweet the face betrayed by saddened eyes--
Such melancholy time has etched indelibly,
Even written unto sleep.

Do fattened dreams lie supine in your mind,
Exorcised from expectations,
Seldom seen again, save in times of pondered whimsy?

I, entranced by such subtle sleeping form, and sighs,
Would weep, intent to fathom visions hidden deep.
Does such a soul that treads the day with trepid steps
Still dare to dream in slumber--
Or do I witness Circadian surrender?

If this should be the last those eyes should flutter,
I pray your dreams fly free in final whimsy.

I Must Be Dreaming

I lay and watch you dreaming
With your little tumbles to and fro
I think upon the dreams we’ve shared
And those still yet to come.

Like the time you told me
Unabashed in nightmarish honesty,
That you had dreamed I’d died.
I remember the tears in your eyes as you woke,
Remember holding you,
Kissing those salty memoirs of my death away
(Shhhhh, honey, I’m here, I’m fine)
Until you shuddered no more.

I, too, have dreamt your death,
And woken to find you holding me,
Telling me it’s just a dream
(It’s just a dream, love, be still)
Plying you with kisses
And a crushing embrace

I lay here now, still watching you sleep,
And think upon the dreams we’ve shared,
Together since the day we met,
Never sullied or sundered like so many others

I think of how you care for me when I’m sick
And make me chicken noodle soup
And how the only time I truly sleep
Is with you by my side.

I watch you lost to Morpheus’ enticements
A slight smirk upon your face

I laugh to think of all the times I’ve heard about
How long we’ve been together
Longer than many married couples
The spark of jealous disbelief in their eyes
And I wonder

How I ever won this lottery in life

You are my dream
My past, present, and future

And so I pull the blanket up to cover you a little more tightly
As you let escape a content sigh
That is all I need, and more than I could ask for.

To be so completely consumed by love for you after so long . . .
I must be dreaming.

A Duet:Lap Full Of Memories/On A Strange Porch, Rocking

I feel the need to preface this post with an explanation. The following two pieces are different approaches to a one-word prompt, the second of which actually won the challenge for that week. The prompt was to write a poem inspired by the word "Quilt." I hope you like the result. :)

Lap Full Of Memories

Glazed and gazing at the sun
Daydreaming of wife and son
I sit, while tears down my face run,
Upon a strange porch, rocking.

I do not know now where I am
Like a baby in a pram,
And no one seems to give a damn;
No visitors come knocking.

Enfeebled hands defy and shake
Despite the pills they make me take
And then the memories; a quake
Of patchwork glimpses passing.

On my lap in boxes square
Memories; how I despair,
Oh, would that I could still be there
Inside their love surpassing.

Like when John made MVP
Or got his college degree
My wife and I and son were three
Memories come flocking

Sweet or sad or bittersweet
In memory I would retreat,
But soon enough we three shall meet,
Not on a strange porch, rocking.

Free Verse Version: On A Strange Porch, Rocking:

Rocking on a strange porch
Yes I took my pills

Visitations few and far between
Can’t blame them
What good is an old man now

Feeble mind and quaking hands grasping
Patchwork memories
John, my son, winning the MVP trophy, or
Maggie gazing her last into my eyes,
Cradled in my arms after she was hit by
That car on the way to the mailbox

Sweet or sad
Or bittersweet
I assign the moments of my life
To neatly boxed-in portions
So I won’t forget

It works better than the pills
Or so they tell me

And I sit here
Rocking on a strange porch
Covered in memories.

Daddy's Diary

I sit here numbed in quiet loss
Confused and overwhelmed
For fate has sent an albatross
To life's ship I have helmed.

We buried father yesterday
In town by Macomb Wood
Enshrouded under skies of grey
Our congregation stood.

The wake was held at Macomb Hills
'Til it was six o'clock
Then home, and searching for Dad's will
I made myself take stock

To take my mind from father's loss
I cleaned and packed his things
His pipe, his rosary with cross,
And then I found what stings

I didn't know what I had found
But opened it with care
And read the pages barely bound
As if I shouldn't dare

This could not be the man I knew
Who taught me to play ball
Who showed me what a man should be
I thought he knew it all

So tucking my dread find away
I went in search of proof
And hurried out to Macomb bay
The house with broken roof

I pull the car into the drive,
Prayed that I had erred,
That someone here would be alive
That I was wrongly scared.

But as I opened up the door
And took a step inside
The path was blocked upon the floor
By bodies meant to hide.

The man I knew to be my Dad
Had been a killer, true.
How thoroughly we'd all been had
Not known what he could do.

For I found Daddy's Diary
When packing up his chest
I'm ruined to entirety
And, well, you know the rest.

Another spooky Halloween poem, this one a la Stephen King.

I Get More Free Candy This Way

Little demons, necromancers,
Witches, pirates, tiny dancers
Bumblebees and Spongebob in the drive

Little do these creatures know, then,
I’m a demon who can show them
How lucky they are to be alive

I was once a monster, too,
Batman, ninja with kung-fu,
Yet somehow I grew up from that state

Now I sit here in my chair
Waiting for these kids to scare
Halloween sets me in such a state.

First I’ll set the house to haunting
Burning jack o’lanterns daunting
Smiling crooked teeth into the night

Then I’ll set the boobytrap
That always seems to scare the crap
Out of those kiddies, giving them a fright.

The chair in which I sit, you see,
Is set right there, beneath the tree,
Next to cobwebs bought right down the road

I will sit there waiting for them
Past me they will walk; ignore them
Carrying their candy motherload

Hardest part is sitting still
Takes an awful lot of will
Waiting for them to walk back on by

Then I get them, all disguised,
Scarecrow in the chair, surprise!
Then they run; I laugh ‘til I could die.

Based on something my brother did one year when he was too old to trick or treat anymore.

I Remember Cattails

I remember seeing cattails four feet tall
Ducks in feathered flurry swimming round
Skirting skipping stones I picked from a wall
Little boy camping with his hound.

Sitting by a cove on a small fresh lake
Young enough to think the trees could breathe
Eyes wide open to the sips they could take
Catching every rippling, rustling heath.

I remember cattails rustling in breeze
Standing on the shore, tiptoe peering,
Waiting and watching eager as you please
Knowing by croak that frogs were nearing.

Owls hoot offbeat and hide in deep forest
Flurried feathers still circle cattail cove
Puffy clouds at peace beckon in chorus
Did I vow from there I would not move?

Poor Substitute

Many empty things I see
Bathe in their enormity
Like wounded words falling on a helpless page

Maker, I, composer, writer
Lover, friend, and sometime fighter
Parchment knows not how to staunch expressive rage

Open, heart; pour as never
Have before, twice as clever
All fluid emotion moves to solid state

Yet not love nor hate nor yen
Speaks as earnest from the pen--
Poor substitute for love; that’s a wordsmith’s fate.

This was my first entry for the Open-Mic at TPS, where you just step up and let it flow, no drafting, no editing.

Open Window

Leaves fall upward from the ground
Catching fragile branches
Windless dances without sound
Autumn makes advances

(Setting sun at early dawn)
Sun lights hidden places
Passes by a doe and fawn
The crisping air braces

Sounds of honking overhead
Lonely embered fireplace
Cold enough to wake the dead
A chill upon my face.

This was a Weekly Challenge entry at TPS. The Challenge was to write a poem that read backwards.

Peeping Tom's Curse

On cooling nights in autumn when the leaves are chilly bright
The scent of burning apple wood rises from streets at night
I often like to amble midst the storefronts and the bramble,
To watch my fellows traveling a forest made of light.

I see them with their overcoats that break the razor wind,
I hear their frequent commenting that winter will begin,
Oh how I watch and listen (and I sometimes catch ‘em kissin!)
These travelers who do not notice me beyond the din.

It’s not yet time for holidays, but up here in Vermont,
The fall brings many leaves to peep, and that’s the tourist want,
So they stroll oblivious to all my gazing devious
And never taking notice of the shadows that I haunt

Please do not tell the visitors I’m watching as they go,
They all are better off if they are never let to know
For those who can detect me, more than those who just suspect me,
Will never more find beauty in an autumn alpenglow.

Oh, please do not for one moment think that I wish them ill
I simply state the way it’s been for forty years now still,
Since I left the mortal plane this curse has brought nothing but pain,
And so I keep hidden from all those but the most evil.

When I was young I spent many a day upon the road,
Traveling Tom was my name, curiosity bestowed,
I walked around aimlessly, with nature on the brain, you see,
Astounded at the bounty that the trees would soon unload.

It was this fatal gazing that would prove my great downfall,
For casting my gaze all around it rested on the mall,
Where, between two businesses, and safe away from witnesses
I saw a murder happening and, “STOP!” out I did call.

‘Twas that impulsive outcry that would prove my fatal break,
Before too long I’d suffer the result of my mistake,
The villain heard my cry, and chased me down, and made me to die,
But first a curse I laid upon him had its chance to take:

“On you,” I said with final breath, “a curse I do impart
That nevermore shall anything but darkness find your heart,
My soul shall not splinter and shall haunt you every winter
Now let this ground be cursed when my spirit doth depart.”

But curses made with final breath do seldom find reprieves,
And as a ghost this spot I haunt; my vengeance it receives
I should have been specific rather than so damn sadistic

Remember then, when gazing, keep your eyes upon the leaves.

This is a late autumn/Halloween inspired poem.


Perhaps, though, I shouldn’t be bothered as much
By silly mistakes in spelling,
By little abuses of grammar and such;
They interfere in the telling.

It’s lazy not to learn the “to, too, and two’s,”
And hardly acceptable form
To not know the diff’rence ‘tween “loose” and “to lose,”
Yet commonplace errors are norm.

The number of errors with "their," "they're," or "there"
Increasingly seem to get worse
When reading they cause one to just stop and stare,
And just interfere with the verse!

Perhaps it's just me, but I find it a chore
To read of a character's hurt,
Yet only to find, upon reading some more,
He was stranded in the dessert,

So please, if you would, good sir, madam, or ma’am,
For all of the effort it took
If you just don’t know what the right usage am
Then please look it up in a book.

This was a bit of a ranting piece I wrote after reading atrociously ill-formed poems.

Birthing The Verse

Birthing the verse is a difficult matter
Slipshod constructions of letters and thought
Poets must often be mad as a hatter
To venture forth baring creatures they’ve wrought

These are my children, these poems of wonder,
Playing with patterns they’ve not tried before
Rending most obvious thoughts quite asunder
Seeking new truth behind each stanza’s door.

The smallest of poems, they tend to be wise,
The tallest are often most ponderous,
The twins play in couplets that oft feign surprise,
And all use devices quite wondrous.

Some are full of laughter, others are quite sad,
Some shift in meaning day by day by day,
Some speak of love they’ve never known or had,
Others speak not but hope to simply play

What do I wish for them? What should they become?
Why are they here, and where are they going?
Shall they impart greater insight, then, to some
While others read words without the knowing?

I hope they are cheery, I hope they are bright,
I dream they spring forth earnest, fully formed;
I pray that they outline love’s long, lost, pale plight,
Or touch a heart that has not yet been warmed.

For these are my children, these cradles of verse,
Bundled in beauty and rhythm and rhyme,
Out, then, I send them, for better or for worse,
So they may stand, showing truth for all time.


The world is purely relative
And we are naught but fools
To think ourselves contemplative
As if we knew the rules.

The things we do each day, and next,
Remain with us forever
And hate concealed in subtle text
Portrays us not as clever.

And when we’re done, and looking down
On all we have partaken
The question we must ask ourselves
Is will we be forsaken?

What actions, deeds, and words put forth
By me have truly mattered?
I hope to say mine all will prove
My soul was left untattered.

Fifty Arms At Yoga

Spring comes soon. It’s

Not quite here yet

There are trees behind me, and in front

Mud that sun will dry

Look, up where leaves will be:

Fifty Arms at Yoga

Jutting out from every side




And waiting.

This is a "shape" or "form" poem. The lines are arranged to emulate the "shape" of what the poem describes--in this case, a tree.

Somethin' Scorchin

One September morning before light of dawn
The stars in the heavens a’ twinkling,
A shriek from above to which all eyes were drawn
A streak through the dotted black, crinkling

Then, “BOOM,” stirring suddenly all those around
Who rushed to the place where it landed
The fauna departed, quite scared from the sound,
And villagers answers demanded

“BEHOLD!” came a bellowing voice from the throng,
“For this is the promise delivered!
See shining there darkly, as sought for so long,
A piece of our heaven unquivered!”

Clad greatly in robes of all colors and cloth
Strode forward a figure, majestic
The bearer of promises, fortunes, and wroth,
‘Twas he who ruled all things domestic

“I say,” dared this king, “that today marks the time
Our people shall finally flourish!
For this piece of heaven, cast down from above,
Our lands shall allow us to nourish!”

With this proclamation, the king, he then knelt,
And bowed his head til he was prostrate,
And, touching it gently, the king a burn felt,
Causing townsfolk to call him apostate!

The land, it did prosper, the people as well,
The stone from the heavens respected,
‘Twas thought that the king had been tainted by hell--
The burning these evils rejected

This black piece of heaven still sits to this day
And people still seek out its fortune
But children are warned not to touch it at play
Or heaven will send something scorchin’!

This was my first Challenge Entry at TPS. I believe the Challenge was to write a fable of some kind.


I know the words your eye conveys
Speak not! But show in other ways

I, too, am love--feel your essence
Clinging to me, lifting presence

And they know, too, guilty others
Watching, reading, would-be lovers

Separated, yet still I breathe
You from my shirt and underneath

This waiting galls; The knowing I,
Bereft of you, would sooner die

Your poet’s soul, warm, unbridled,
Far too long has withered, idled

Hush! The longing, waiting, is passed
Love me now, this year ‘til my last.

Apology In Case

Onto the nets then the old boy stumbled
Constant writing daily
Finding these poets, the old boy, humbled,
Threw his hat in gaily

Posting in places he'd not gone before
Daring, darting, wincing
Shamed by the beauty of sonnets and yore
Crafted and convincing

Still in the hopes that his craft could be honed
Practice, practice, practice
And with a dream that true praise could be owned
practice, practice, practice

And as he writes on the pages therein
Finding friends in forums
He hopes not to commit a cardinal sin
Or that they'll ignore'ems. :)

One of my first, tentative poems on the internet, posted for my newfound friends at TPS

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