Saturday, May 28, 2011

Never Forget


ironic emblem
for Memorial Day
for a nation's conscience

sand, boredom,
taste of blood, beer
smell of tobacco
burning flesh
sound of laughter
screams, explosions, curses

honor, bravery, sacrifice
young soldiers 
with ghosts behind their eyes

So much to remember
so much to forget

Thank you

I submit this poem with humility.  I have no direct experience with war, other than watching the news coverage, such as it is.  My intention is to express honor and thanks for a sacrifice I can't even imagine.  Also linked to Poets United poetry pantry.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Road Outside My Door

Today I drive fast
through the cold, overcast morning.
I’ve traveled this highway many times -
know the blind curve
before Hansen’s driveway,
and watch for draft horses
pulling the cultivator
as I approach Krueger’s.

Spring fields
are just beginning to show
a chartreuse sheen,
but I have seen them palest yellow
burnished gold
lavish green,
a dozen shades of grey beneath snow,
deep black, glistening in the rain,
or so dry that dust clouds
follow tractors down the rows.
Dutch Crick runs parallel on the west,
Some years it swells from spring rains
so the waters push up out of their banks,
over the dip in Piskey’s driveway,
impatient to reach the valley’s end,
like me.

Along the side of the road
I have seen dead deer and cats and coons
and possums and fox and birds,
and one live dog,
who now makes his home with me.
Today turkey vultures gather,
like congress,
shoulder to shoulder
in a nearby field.
They pick and tear at a bloated carcass
greedy to get all they can,
like congress.

In January, bald eagles light
in the oak trees at the edge of the road,
across from Sandman’s farm,
I’ve counted as many as seven.
Wild turkeys dot the side-hills in spring,
too many to count,
so we have hunting seasons for them.

There are mornings
when the ground fog nestles in the valley
and I drive up and out
into the dazzling sun of a different day.
In fall when the leaves turn
Brown, yellow, orange,
Oak, birch, maple,
I count these days precious,
and the smell of wood smoke
rising from the farmhouse chimneys
is a gift.

Coming home in the afternoons
waiting behind the school bus
I wave to children
who wave to me
through the back window.
Butch drives the bus
through the valley,
depositing each child
at his rightful place
along the road.

At night the warm light
from each farmhouse along the way
that punctuates the dark
marks a home, a family, a circle of souls
that calls to me;
yet, there have been winter nights
when the full moon
has shown so brightly on the snow
that I have turned off my headlights
and driven through the valley
marveling in

As I race down Highway 162,
from between its lines
tucked and twisted through the hills,
I recall the thousand faces
this road has shown me,
through different times and seasons,
and I slow down, and look
for it will never be just this way again.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Better Late Than Never

If I could save time
in a bottle
I would,
cause I can always use
a few more minutes.
is my fashion statement -
but oh,
that last minute
Is always the most

Written for Sunday Scribblings weekly writing prompt.  Click on the title to go there.

Friday, May 20, 2011



it strikes 
like a bolt of lightening
out of the blue
and we are left
where to hide the bodies

This is a repost that seems to fit OSP (One Stop Poetry) Friday Poetically's theme.  Click on the title to go there.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


To step into the used book store
and breathe in that bewitching scent
I know my paycheck’s all but spent.

Perhaps I’m just an old book whore
but urgently they call to me
insatiably, I must have more.

Not safe and not expedient,
to step into the used book store.

This is written in the form called Octain, created by Luke Prater. It has a rhyme scheme of
A-b-b a-c/c-a b-A, with the 'A' meaning that line is repeated, and the 'c/c' being a line with internal rhyme. Also each line has 8 syllables, ideally iambic tetrameter. The photo is from Magpie Tales (#66) where Tess Kincade gives a weekly writing prompt. Thank you both.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mag # 65

decadent boy
you have
the divine spark.
My peace I give unto you.
Fioretti along the path,
count each blade of grass
as your miracle

Down through the years
this shall be our rule of life:
give - give it all away.
Birds, beasts, powerless poor
treat with most exquisite tenderness

Brother Sun sing your canticle
Sister Moon shine bright, precious and beautiful
Sister Death simplify all

Stripped down
enter the fire
and emerge

*Written for Magpie Tales, where Tess Kincade provides a photo prompt. Click on title to see.

Monday, May 9, 2011

For Erica

you look just like
the man
I fell in love with
long ago
how I miss him…

Sunday, May 8, 2011

May - Sunday Scribblings #266


Buds swell on the stalk
greening, growing opening
tasting sun and rain and wind
sweet-talking Summer
take my hand and follow me
all we have is potential

This poetic form is called Sedoka, which consists of two shorter poems, called katautas, smoothed together. A katauta is a three line poem that has a syllabic pattern of 5/7/7. So of course the Sedoka has 38 syllables over six lines that read as 5/7/7/5/7/7.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


The following poem is probably the most difficult I have written thus far, for two reasons. First and most importantly, it's about the death of a dear friend. The other reason is the form of this poem. It was created by Luke Prater, who's blog is called WordSalad, and can be found here:
The sepcifications for this form are:
14 lines, 14 syllables per line – aBaBcDcDcDeFeF
where lowercase are iambic heptameter (7 units of two syllables each, unstressed-stressed, per line), and uppercase trochaic heptameter(7 units of two syllables each, stressed-unstressed, per line). This yields a perfect ‘checkerboard’ of stressed and unstressed syllables (14 x 14, equalling 196 syllables). Depending on where the Volta arrives (the ‘turn’ – resolution, or at least, change in tone) there are several different stanza layouts, which I will spare you.
So, finally, here is the poem itself:

I’m standing at the vestibule between the here and there;
lately I’ve been spending time among the dead and dying,
so many of the ones I love have stepped through to that lair.
Just last week another left me reminiscing, sighing.

My talk-a-mile-a-minute Angie left so much unsaid.
Cancer ate her breasts, then liver faster than we reckoned;
I never knew, although time flew, how soon she would be dead.

Skin as orange as Betadine, insistent death had beckoned,
But she found peace before she left, she whispered without dread.
Blinking, looking face to face I said, ‘Another second.’

Though I don’t get to choose the time that’s best to come or go
Fifty-four years doesn’t seem like long enough for living;
but which of us can know with certainty what’s apropos?
Kismet chooses for us without caring or forgiving.

This has been linked to One Stop Poetry's One Shot Wednesday. Click on the poem title to go there where you will find a group of talented poets that you can read and/or join.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sunday Scribbling #265 - Cake

Sitting here beside myself,
Myself, I said to me
How and why and wherefore
Did this ever come to be?
I might be spoiled just a bit
I know that may be true,
But just between myself and me
Honestly, I just don’t see,
Why I can’t have my cake and eat it too!

This little piece is for the promp 'cake' from Sunday Scribblings.