Friday, April 30, 2010


Testing a new system to see if it works.


PAD 04/30/10

Day 30 of the Poem a Day Challenge.  Prompt:  Letting go


So it's been over for a while.
You haven't wanted to admit it.
Remember that in most cases
you  tried your best.
I know:  so many bitter days and nights.
Sift through it.
Move away from your human eyes.
See the world as another animal.
Open all windows and doors.
Shed the old life with no more care than
the snake sheds its skin.
The mayfly also changes
and then is ready to fly.
Love calls you to it.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

PAD 04/29/10

Day 29 of the April Poem a Day Challenge.  Prompt:  And suddenly______


she found herself in a clearing in a dark wood
trying to appreciate every aspect of her new condition:
sights and sounds, awareness of self.

Coyotes sang but kept their distance.
Owls sat vigil in the trees.
Mice scurried under leaves.

She lay on her belly, dropped into dust.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

PAD 04/28/10

Day 28 of the April Poem a Day challenge.  Prompt:  end of the line


on a hot day in the third grade
after coming in second in the spelling bee.

First prize was to drink first at the fountain.
I don't remember the word I missed
just the winner's lips touching the cool water.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

PAD 04/27/10

Day 27 of the Poem a Day Challenge.  Prompt:  hopeful or hopeless poem.


Let's hope she didn't spend
all her money on this cr@p.

Sure he quit her and
she went nuclear
but the billboards!
All over the city!
Her enfolded in
his big arms.  Big hearts.
Big L-E-T-T-E-R-S!

Wouldn't you just hate
to be that wife?  Those kids?

"Oh, man"--
that's all he has to say
about that.

Monday, April 26, 2010

PAD 04/26/10

Day 26 of the Poem a Day Challenge.  Prompt:  More than five times.


At first I felt kindly
toward Baba Yaga
but after she'd
tipped her beer
more than five times
she began haltingly to dance

and I saw she wasn't
different from any other woman
who'd ever thought herself as being
at the back of the line
who went to parties alone
and had no one to sit with.

She took off her shoes
threw her gnarled hands
into the air and said
I am so happy; I am so, so happy.
Why wasn't she dancing
among us with her fiery skulls?
Why weren't we afraid?

Next she'll be wearing
rhinestones, cheap earrings and
face cream from Avon.
Next we'll be able go to her house
for cookies and sandwiches
kiss her old wrinkled cheek
leave her house in the dark
forest completely unscathed.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

PAD 04/25/10

Day 25 of the Poem a Day Challenge.  Prompt:  a song.

T-Bone Blues

My whole body was soaked
I ached from the cold
walking back from White Gate

Cemetery where the dead of
the West Virginia State
Penitentiary are buried

Every truck and car that
passed sprayed me
with dirty rain

No one stopped
I remembered T-Bone singing
do you ever think of me?

That night, under the moon
the lonesome sound of trains

Saturday, April 24, 2010

PAD 04/24/10

Day 24 of the Poem a Day Challenge.  Prompt:  Evening poem


I walk out

of my house
in the evening

in the rain
and the cats

in front of me

crying for food
and attention

not caring about
getting wet

I don't care

show me
a happier thing

we are abundant

we are inspired
and so alive

Friday, April 23, 2010

PAD 04/23/10

Day 23 of the April Poem a Day Challenge.  Prompt:  exhaustion


when I'm too tired
to tell my stories

when lucille's fox*
comes to the door

and I have to say
come again another day

when all the terrible
stories say to me

I am locked in the blood
and here to stay

*Lucille Clifton

Thursday, April 22, 2010

PAD 04/22/10

Day 22 of the Poem a Day Challenge.  Prompt:  earth poem

chilly spring day
in the firewood

PAD 04/21/10

Three weeks into the April Poem A Day Challenge.  Prompt:  According to_______________


the spectacle that could not be stopped
is finally coming to an end.

She is plucking cool grapes from their stems.
They are for her husband who is dying.

She rinses them out of habit.
Realizing this, she weeps.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

PAD 04/20/10

Day 20 of the April Poem a Day Challenge.  Prompt:  looking back


let us decide
once and for all
there will be no more
looking back

at the house
on Chamber Rock Road
the kitchen smelling
of squash and sage
Bach's Concerto
a kitten mewing
at the door

of the small bathroom
the mirrored medicine
cabinet holding peppermint
lifesavers, aspirin,
Q-Tips, cough syrup
a red pencil bearing

the imprint of your teeth
biting remarks
witty comebacks
arranging ourselves
self-conscious thoughts

of dishevelment
what was any of it
if not the most
astonishing moment
in the 20th century

Monday, April 19, 2010

PAD 04/19/10

Day 19 of the Poem a Day Challenge.  Prompt:  Use a name as the title of a poem.


touched the wound
which is our mortality
he had to know
was it warm?
did it have a pulse?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

PAD 04/19/10

Day 18 of the Poem a Day Challenge.  Prompt:  To __________


god's will be done
our will goes the other way

having chosen jail
we're free to live
in the paradise of the mind

consider Emily
when she descends--
she's laughing
the lilies in her arms
burn like stars

Saturday, April 17, 2010

PAD 04/17/10

Day 17 of the Poem a Day Challenge.  Prompt:  Science


you cannot retrace old steps
a torch reveals what
lives in darkness
melts what is cold
there are his shoes
today's neural reward
your new addiction

Friday, April 16, 2010

PAD 04/16/10

Day 16 of the Poem a Day Challenge.  Prompt:  death poem

Blossoms: Early Spring

Lying in my tub
listening to a northern wind
I'm angry that tomorrow
my pear blossoms will be
blown away and dead

Thursday, April 15, 2010

PAD 04/15/10

Day 15 of the Poem a Day Challenge.  Prompt:  deadline

Rushed Elegies

imagine if Rilke
had written them
according to a deadline
if he'd shrunk himself
to fit a ring
he'd already inhabited
written them from
the perspective of a life
going backwards
into the already known

one must come to the world
like the first human being
Eden was timeless
and the first ones
got to name the animals

and now we are
the homeland of Things
which would be invisible without us

the elegies were written
going slowly forward
going through the labyrinth
without thread

angels are not so terrible
when you've already seen them
face to face

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

PAD 04/14/10

Two weeks into the Poem a Day Challenge.  Prompt:  ______ Island


This is where Margaret
and Harman had it all
and lost it all:
house, servants, the library
filled floor to ceiling
with leather bound books.
I take off my shoes and
wade into the river.
The bottom is slick.
The shore is peppered with lumps of clay.
Margaret's grave is over there.
On arrival to the new world
she was an exotic jewel. 
Trying to get up a steep bank, I slip.
My hands land in stinging nettles.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

PAD 04/13/10

Day 13 of the Poem a Day Challenge.  Prompt:  an anti-love poem


Herbie was such a child
I wore his ring
it wasn't love

kissing him was like
kissing a balloon
one night

in the parking lot
waiting for my mother
another one called Ken

gave me his tongue
my mouth tickled all night

Monday, April 12, 2010

PAD 07/12/10

Day twelve of the Poem a Day challenge.  Prompt:  City poem.

Martins Ferry

to James Wright Avenue
pass the church
with the open doors
where the congregation
sings Ave Maria
a few steps more
to the bar
with the open doors
the maid is cleaning tables
to the river
where the willows drink
and the mountain on the other side
is blue with shade

Sunday, April 11, 2010

PAD 04/11/10

Day eleven of the Poem a Day Challenge.  Prompt:  The Last _________


A day comes when you realize
you have the last pets you will ever have

you remember what happened
to other people's pets

like Bowillie the cat
who'd crouched loyally

under old Charles' death bed
all the long days and nights

the day old Charles went
out like a gas light

he pet the covers
thinking they were Bo

good ole Bo he said
in his fevered death-dream

good ole Bo
the oldest stepson took Bo

for the long trek home to Florida
conveniently lost him along the way

Bo whom old Charles had
fed the tenderest food in the mornings

and then let out to play
stroked his fur with soft sponges

the day comes and you realize
that you're going to have to be satisfied

with the birds in the yard
the groundhogs in the field

the dying baby rabbit that some stray
has dragged onto the porch

Saturday, April 10, 2010

PAD 04/10/10

Poem a Day challenge, day 10.  Prompt:  horror poem

I'm going to withhold this one. I want to submit it for possible publication.  I was so happy with how it turned out!

Pad 04/09/10

Day 9 of the Poem a Day challenge.  Prompt:  a self portrait


I had evil thoughts today
and shameful expectations

I told lies
and ate more calories
than I'm allowed

If I was famous
the public would storm
my castle with torches

I would pay my consultants
to find me a way out

They would advise me
to do a commercial
with the voice of my
dead father berating me
for my crimes 

and I would do it

Thursday, April 08, 2010

PAD 04/08/10

Day 8, poem a day challenge.  Prompt:  a tool


on the meditation practice

there are 108 beads with a summit
called a sumeru
that should keep you busy
for a long while
there are many online sources

to assist you on your path
choose your mala wisely
tulsi sandal rose rudraksh
ebony crystal navgraha
bodhiseed or lotus
each material has different properties
that affect the subconscious mind
why use a mala?

because the mind is a naughty child
jumping out of classroom windows
wandering off into the forest
beyond the playground
to get lost in the thick
of imagination
where live the wizards
princesses and kings
or wanting to throw a stick
for the loyal dog to fetch
or you might go to sleep

or be beset by fantasies
of espionage murder control
of never growing old
or failing the ones you love
move each bead in rhythm

with your breath
a mantra helps
unappropriate thoughts
are prevented by the action
upon the beads
what an accessory!

it's like a close friend
or those boots you
just can't throw away
because they know your feet
by heart
or like the shirt

the one you keep in the closet
because it still holds the smell
of your lover's body
count the beads
so you can forget all that

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

PAD 04/07/10

Day seven of the Poem a Day challenge.  Prompt:  "Until ________"


under that bridge
flows the Arkansas river
where my brother almost drowned
when he was seven

and I almost drowned saving him
under that bridge
I spent the night
sleeping on a piece of cardboard
I didn't know until morning

that the cardboard covered a dead dog
under that bridge that child is sleeping
dead  these thirty years
for better or worse
that's our life

until the light takes us
if it will take us

we will go home

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

PAD, day 6, revised

PAD, day 6, Revised


I imagine her this way
Pocahontas in skins
lithe as the young doe
loping behind her
its tail risen like a flag

October leaves in browns and reds
the world turning toward
death and discovery
the fatal ship already on the horizon
etched on white clouds

the sky darkens
her hair blows back
as she runs

Monday, April 05, 2010

PAD 04/05/10

Day five of the Poem a Day Challenge.  Prompt:  "too much information"


a mystery even to him
his life with her
the one thing
he'd meant to do right
how could he tell her
too much information
and she'd fall dead
oh god she would
he'd have to turn his back to bear it
look instead at the silent barn
with gaping holes for doors
humans aren't made
for encounters like that

Sunday, April 04, 2010

PAD 04/04/10

Poem a Day challenge, day 4.  Prompt:  history poem


then finally you will get to Devils Tower
it should be warm by then
a hint of breeze blowing
through the prayer bundles
tied on limbs of trees
the Evil Wizard will not follow you there
remember the story of the man who was
magically transported to the top
I pray this happens
it would give you strength
and if it does make note of
the buffalo head
that Wooden Leg talked about
you will have to pray all day
so that when you go to sleep
the spirits will carry you down
I cannot come to you
confounded as I am by fear
of things I have done
comforted only by this moon
the only clean thing left

Saturday, April 03, 2010

PAD 04/03/10

Third day of the Poem a Day Challenge.  Today's prompt:  Partly __________.


leave this place
I beg you
the evil wizard has fallen twice
on the wet shale
but he'll be here so very soon
warm clothes are a must
gather your loose hair up under your cap
don't look back
at the yellow porch light glaring in the fog
that is all
I'm only partly to blame

Friday, April 02, 2010

PAD 04/02/10

The second day of the Poem a Day Challenge.  The prompt is "water."  This poem written between classes:


the first to mature
scatter across the river
for the birds to eat

Thursday, April 01, 2010

PAD 04/01/10

Time again for the Poem-a-Day challenge for National Poetry Month.  The prompt for today was a "lonely" poem.  Here's mine:

Robert Desnos

I summon the one I love
church bells and Amazing Grace
a bat flies out
make a wish
underneath the maples
echo of a voice



About Me

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Northwest Ohio, United States
"I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . . Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing? Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun? Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . ." --Conrad Aiken


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Fave Painting: Eden

Fave Painting:  Eden

Fave Painting: The Three Ages of Man and Death

Fave Painting:  The Three Ages of Man and Death
by Albrecht Dürer

From the First Chapter

The Secret of Hurricanes : That article in the Waterville Scout said it was Shake- spearean, all that fatalism that guides the Kennedys' lives. The likelihood of untimely death. Recently, another one died in his prime, John-John in an airplane. Not long before that, Bobby's boy. While playing football at high speeds on snow skis. Those Kennedys take some crazy chances. I prefer my own easy ways. Which isn't to say my life hasn't been Shake-spearean. By the time I was sixteen, my life was like the darkened stage at the end of Hamlet or Macbeth. All littered with corpses and treachery.

My Original Artwork: Triptych

My Original Artwork:  Triptych



Little Deer

Little Deer



Looking Forward, Looking Back

Looking Forward, Looking Back

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