Thursday, April 30, 2015

Final Words

Over in the Imaginary Garden Izy presented us with the following writing prompt:
A few minutes from now, you will lose all means of communication with humanity.  You will not die, but will no longer be able to interact with the world.  What’s the last thing you say?  

Quite a bit, as it turns out!  I've been having trouble finishing up the 30 poems in 30 days, but it turns out with this prompt I came up with a couple of very different responses.  (And yes, I'm counting this as three poems for NaPoWriMo.)

The first thing that pops into my mind is the song from the Carol Burnette Show, “I’m so glad we had this time together, just to have a laugh or sing a song.  Seems we just get started then before you know it, comes the time we have to say so long.” 

Then I wrote the following:

If I couldn’t
with the world
would that
be any different?


If I couldn’t communicate
with the world
would I want to scatter
all my pearls of wisdom,
my humor
my clever, profound ruminations
that the world simply cannot live without?
Look out for the military-industrial complex
tell the people you love that you love them
but keep the people you hate guessing
be kind, be fair, be generous
use your parking brake on hills
remember the stories your parents tell you
time rules your life
be kind to animals
Earth is the only home we have
(so far)
show her some respect
Remember to water the plants
tell your gods to stop fighting
hang up your wet towels             
and the answer is


When I can no longer talk 
to you
perhaps it is time to listen

Friday, April 24, 2015

My Wish for You

Wistful and wishful
what more can I give:
a ladder to reach
and a screen to sieve
Then twine your fingers
through a meteor tail
and whatever lingers
collect in your pale
palms and drop through
your colander,
gather what’s true.
That's my advice 
for as long as you live.
Wistful and wishful
what more can I give?

Over in the Imaginary Garden we have been asked to write about fairy tales or with a "wishful" quality these stories often have.  The first poem is one I wrote today, and the second is several years old, but fits the prompt so well I couldn't resist adding it here.  The image is from what I believe is an open source,  If you know this to be incorrect please contact me via email and I will remove it.

Bedtime Stories

Somewhere out in Nowhere Land a songbird waits for me,
and sings of things that never were, and that will never be.
I’m smitten with the music that he warbles sweet and clear.
He’s in the treetops high above, and yet he sounds so near;
and if I close my eyes and rest
I feel wings flutter in my chest
and magic places far away in space and time seem near,
like they’re more real than my home, and what’s around me here.

Princes bright and dragons bold fight battles round my bed,
and giant ogres want to grind my bones to make their bread.
Witches cackle, donkeys bray and cats wear leather boots,
Children run through forests, and play tunes on magic flutes.
Then knights and trolls and goats come out to skip across the floor,
and Irish women selling clams clap hands and call for more.
So bears and pigs and wolves join paws and dance ‘round in a ring,
and mermaids swim up to the shore to hear the sirens sing.
Old men grow young, and strong and straight,
whilst black birds argue and debate.

And it does not seem strange to me; I do not feel perplexed.
I shake my head and laugh and wait, to see what happens next.
Then the moon smiles down at me and asks me to come swim.
The stars agree. ”The air is fine,” they say, “so come on in.”
I dip my toe into the sky, and it does feel just right
and so I close my eyes and dive head-long in to the night.


people of ash
despair in the wind
rituals broken


people of ash
dance with the wind
ritual opened

For PAD Day #24

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Food for Thought: Are You Pulling My Leg? or Does this Bug You?

Why my darling,
your legs are
said the spider to the fly.


always been
a leg man
said the caterpillar
to the


The average chocolate bar contains eight insect legs. –Yahoo Answers(and you KNOW it must be true if it was on the internet)

Over in the Imaginary Garden Karin has asked us to write about some aspect of  "last" and/or "legs". I really couldn't think of anything, so I did what I usually do in such situations - I went for absurd, gross, adolescent humor.  Really, that's all I could come up with, so apologies to Karen and the rest of the toads. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The (Im)perfect Love Poem

Over in the Imaginary Garden we were given the formula to write "The Perfect Love Poem."  It is as follows: x (p + b + c + o), where P = Pattern (meter and rhyme,) B = Brevity, C = Comparison (describe the love or lover with a comparison), O = Obstacle (the difficulties inherent in a love affair), X = Mystery

But I was told there would be no math, so I didn't quite follow the formula. Instead I give you two imperfect love poems: 

My first love  poem is more like y(p+b+c+o), where y = humor.

Love Poem #1

Your love is like the bite of a tick
unnoticed at first, then making me sick
with fever and chills, aches and pains.
I hate that my heart doesn’t have any brains
when it sees this disease
that brings me to my knees.
If there was an injection
to stop this infection
I could save my heart from your rejection.
but I seem to be a philosophic waxer,
and a crazy, wild-eyed anti-vaxxer.

And my second love poem is sort of x(b+o)

Love Poem #2

You are 
the feel of wind
on my face,
the moon’s reflection
in my eyes,
the lens through which
I see the world.
You live
in the hollows of my bones,
in the lining of my skin,
in my dark center,
patient, waiting.

Poetics of the Road

     Image: Northern Ireland by Mary Bach

Step out my dear and don’t look back
adventures gather ’round the bend,
and they’ll make up for what we lack.
Step out my dear and don’t look back
with sturdy shoes and rain-proof pack,
a map, a compass and a friend.
Step out my dear and don’t look back
adventures gather ‘round the bend.

 Over at dVerse Poets' Pub we have been asked to write "poetics; of the road" in eight lines.  I've chosen the eight line form called Triolet, which is defined as a stanza poem of eight lines where the rhyme scheme is ABaAabAB, and often in iambic tetrameter: the first, fourth and seventh lines are identical, as are the second and final lines.

Monday, April 20, 2015


Here I am,
half way through
(if I live to be a hundred)
and what have I accomplished?
Not a lot…
a half-time job that
I only half hate,
a half-assed attempt
at a novel and a poetry book,
half a dozen children
and a husband who’s  
a half-wit,
gives me a full measure
of loving.

Meh…not half bad.

Alrighty then, over in the Imaginary Garedn Karin prompted us to write a poem that somehow used the word or concept of “half.”  Sorry, I was only half serious about this one. ;-)

In the interest of whatever interest there might be, I have taken some poetic license  in the above poem to incorporate the term “half,” i.e. I have two children, not six and my husband really isn’t really a half-wit.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Supporting Actor

“If you don't turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else's story.” 
-Terry Pratchett

She is a minor character,
the sidekick
the wingman
her job:
to serve as contrast, support.
she will never sparkle In the spotlight
but that’s ok.
She’s grown comfortable here,
in the wings
with less pressure,
less attention.

She comes from a from a family
of safety seekers.
Her dad used to say,
“Bid ‘em high and sleep in the streets.”
So she will stand aside,
and watch the big drama
splash across the stage,
lend support when needed ,
then disappear to the wings
during the grand finale. 

In the Imaginary Garden we have been asked to use a quote from either Leonard Nimoy or Sir Terry Pratchett as a jumping off point to inspire our writing.  I have used a quote from Sir Terry.  While I adore his humor and satire I didn't that direction with this.  Perhaps another time... RIP to Terry Pratchett and Leonard Nimoy.  The the world is a bit bleaker and weaker without you. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Transforming Skies

   Wiki free images

Sun-shot, spun gold clouds
graze the morning sky above 
stratospheric flocks


Grey-stained spitting sky
crackles with power and life
sending out the winds

   Open source image

In the Imaginary Garden we have been asked to write haiku for Transforming Fridays with Nature's Wonders.  This is National Haiku Day, so go crazy in 5, 7 and 5 syllables!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cosmic Egg Roll

    Cosmic Galaxy Egg by Andrew Logan

Time swirls across the cosmic egg;
what wonders will it hatch?
and what came first? the question begs.
Time swirls across the cosmic egg -
come roll with me on this next leg,
grab all the moments we can catch.      
Time swirls across the cosmic egg;
what wonders will it hatch?

Over in the Imaginary Garden Lolamouse asked us to write a visionary poem about an image from The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, MD.  I chose the Cosmic Galaxy Egg and wrote a sort of Triolet.  This is a stanza poem of eight lines. Its rhyme scheme is ABaAabAB: the first, fourth and seventh lines are identical, as are the second and final lines, and often all lines are in iambic tetrameter (though not this time).

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

AnOther Folly

I started my project years ago,
with great enthusiasm.
I began without a blueprint
but as time went on
I dreamt up ever more
elaborate and outrageous designs.

But it seems the walls were built
without enough support
or a proper foundation.
Corners didn’t meet and
dovetails didn’t slide together
but from a distance it looked so lovely
I couldn’t bear to tear it down
and start over,
so I’d just add the next bit,
assuring myself this part would be better
until the haven I intended
was empty and labyrinth-like,
echoing with the sound
of broken promises
and better times that never were.

I tried staying there,
but it couldn’t hold up to the last big storm.
It’s been condemned;
declared unsafe.

From now on
I think I’ll just rent.

This is for the Imaginary Garden where Hedgewitch asked us to write about a folly; the kind that is, "...a building constructed primarily for decoration, but either suggesting through its appearance some other purpose, or merely appearing to be so extravagant that it transcends the normal range of garden ornaments or the class of building to which it belongs." - Wikipedia

Noisy Neighbors

I hear coyotes
through the open window,
whooping it up
like frat boys

In the morning
a chaos of chirping
migrates into my dreams
until I wake
to the
final stars
winking goodbye

First night of springtime,
sleeping with
the windows open

Day #14 PAD, just a wee bit late.

Monday, April 13, 2015


"Time is the school in which we learn."  -Joan Didion

The waiting room attendant
is bright, chipper, relentless
as an alarm clock.

The room itself is filled with
soft muzak and soap opera dialog
competing to be white noise, but
at least they cover over
the florescent hum.

I sip elderly, burnt coffee
without really tasting it
as I recite silent prayers and promises
to learn the lessons of patience.

In the Imaginary Garden we were asked to write something based on a quote from Joan Didion.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


     Painting by Daria Petrilli

When I went
to the doctor about
the growing lump in my abdomen
no one suspected I had an ocean in my womb. 
that did explain  
the leaking and the smell.
My uterus has become a coy (kio) pond; 
I am retaining water.

the doctors
an immediate hysterectomy. 
But they were not sure if it should be done
by an OB-GYN,  or marine biologist, or ichthyologist, 
or some other –ologist altogether

to wait and see.
Meanwhile, I’ve stopped
eating sea food and developed a fondness for kelp. 
Also, I’m considering a tattoo – maybe compass points 
on my right thigh.
After all,

I am
Mother of the Oceans,
caring for my realm.
I am
Goddess of the Waters
deserving your devotions
I am
Queen of the Seas
favored of all daughters
and all your marine dreams
reside in

*Amphitrite: In ancient Greek mytholog Amphitrite was a sea-goddess and wife of Poseidon.  Under the influence of the Olympian pantheon, she became merely the consort of Poseidon, and was further diminished by poets to a symbolic representation of the sea.  -Wikipedia

Saturday, April 11, 2015


    Four Seasons in One Day from Open Source Images

After drooping heat,
grey autumn rain chills into
winter’s mocking snow
which settles on bud and shoot.
That’s April in Wisconsin.

This is for PAD Day #11 and the Imaginary Garden, sort of. 

Dear Future Granddaughter

Your daddy was a funny kid
he loved dinosaurs more than anything
and even when he was only two
he could carry a tune
like nobody's business.

Aunt Kate was a cute little kid,
carting around kitties
and giving them “giggly hugs”
with her orange curls bobbing.

Grandpa had the best memory
he would say, “Three years ago today
we had an inch of snow
and the Brewers beat the Cubs three to one.”
You had to tag along after him,
cause he never stood still.

Grandma read to you
and told stories with you as the hero,
The cats and dogs loved her best,
and she always looked sort-of far away.

Great-grandma grew up in South Dakota;
she used to shoot prairie dogs
from her bedroom window.
She worked when no one's mom did,
but mostly she was kind to everyone.

Great-grandpa was sooo funny.
When he was little he loved cars and licorice.
He was always into mischief
with go-karts and fire crackers,
skating and card playing
and telling stories.

Remember the stories -
tell your children,
and their children
for as long as you can.

In the Imaginary Garden we were asked to write to your ancestors and/ or descendants.  I've chosen to write a very personal one, to my future descendants about their ancestors.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


   Sculptures at the Bottom of the Ocean by Jason deCaires Taylor 
     image from

Poets are not afraid to drown. -Janet Frame

From little on we are
rocked in cradles
on waves,
pulled back and forth
by sun and moon.

As we go deeper
we do not fear.
though we are ruined
we do not fear.
through countless days and nights
poets are not afraid to drown.

I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.”  -Anais Nin

Over in the  Imaginary Garden we were asked to to combine words and art. using a work of art and a quote to inspire our writing.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Inspiration, Post Haste

Dear St. Cecilia,

I could really use some help here.
My muse took off
with a two-bit musician and a bottle of hooch,
and here I am just a week and a day
into Poem-a-Day month.
I’m desperate!
Could you sprinkle a little
magic dust from an old thesaurus,
whisper sweet nothings
(or bitter, sarcastic anythings)
in my ear?
Please, do something!

Desperately and Uninspiredly Yours,
-Other Mary

P.S. If I don’t hear back from you soon my next letter will be to Bacchus. 

Abhra over at dVerse Poets Pub has asked us to write a letter.  Oh, and in case you're wondering, St. Cecilia is the patron saint of poets, writers, muscians and artists in general.  And I'll bet you know Bacchus is the Roman god of wine.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

On Love and Storms

We can’t always choose
spring rains quench, revive or drown,
but drought is lifeless.
Take your chances with the sky -
leave your umbrella behind.

This is for Day#7 of PAD and linked to the open write in the Imaginary Garden.

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Litle Schmaltz

    Image from

Under the stars
and over the moon
is where you take me, Love.

This is for Day #6 of Poem a Day for April, National Poetry Month.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

On Easter

     Photo by Mary Bach

This morning the moon  
begins to wane
in the lightening sky.
Mourning doves call to
you, you, you
but jays and wrens and barn swallows
are chirping too.
Outside the window
there are ten thousand branches, more
that were dead,
now, near bursting
with a million, million buds.
Don’t tell me there are no miracles.

Thank you for the prompt of a 55 word piece, and the subject of Easter in the Imaginary Garden with Flash 55 Plus.  This is also for Day #5 of PAD.  Happy Easter or Sunday or whatever you are celebrating today.

Saturday, April 4, 2015


    Ambroise Vollard by Pablo Picasso

Here is the child,
running and singing
and drawing before knowing
that drawing is hard
cutting class,
fighting and loving
and thinking
of the magic between pages
and stars.

Here is the parent, the sibling the spouse
giving and tender,
arguing, withholding
open, reticent, stern
eating potatoes, sorting the mail
thinking of winter 
and making love.

Here is the worker, here the boss
productive, proactive, lazy
smoking a cigarette
worrying about shoes
and overtime 
considering the nature 
of beauty and loss.

Here is the artist
crying and spitting and drinking gin
darning a sock,
selfish, doubt filled, egomaniacal 
trying to pay the rent
and save the world
with a pen
thinking of the magic
between words
and stars.

Over in the Imaginary Garden we were asked to consider exerpts from Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons, which has been called verbal Cubism, and write a poem about an object, food, or a room in the style of Stein. Alternately we could write a poem without any gendered pronouns, as she did.  I tried doing my own "Cubist-ish" poem, considering Wikipedia's definition, "In the Cubist Style subjects are rendered from multiple perspectives using faceted forms and simplified geometric shapes."  And this is also my PAD Day #4. 

Friday, April 3, 2015


We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and a mystery.  -H.G. Wells

I dread the ticking of the clock,
it dogs my steps, it shreds my wits,
and stabs my life with each tick-tock.
I dread the ticking of the clock
it’s both a weapon and a lock.
that snips my future into bits.
I dread the ticking of the clock,
it dogs my steps and shreds my wits.

This is my poem for Day #3 of PAD.  I got the idea of writing a "machine poem" from Robert Brewer of Writer's Digest where he is providing a prompt each day of April. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

First Home

I dwelt
under a cage of ribs,
and was fed from
blood pushed through
oxygenated by lungs
that sang and argued and
laughed and whispered

I was woven
from the dreams carded and
thoughts spun and
stories that knit together
in a tapestry of
sun and wind and plains
and paths into forests
and over oceans
leading ever

Mama Zen over in the Imaginary Garden asked us to write about the house they built us for day #2 of National Poetry Month, Poem a Day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Today is a day of lists:
return library books
board meeting 
mail statements 
grocery shopping:
  -Athlete’s Foot cream
  -sympathy cards…

for it is also a week of deaths:
agonies, endings
and the requisite attending
social conventions…

4 sympathy cards
1 wake
1 funeral
1 meal for grieving family
1 batch of cookies for grieving family

because after all, food really is love
or at least the only solace
we can figure

But poetry is solace too,
and this is the month of poems
so to the list I add
30 poems for April -
and for today
I sneak away
for one

This is for day #1 of PAD (Poem a Day) for April, National Poetry Month.  I'm linking it to the Imaginary Garden, because "lists" are not what sparks my poetic heart, but poetry is what saves me.