Blackberry Thorns




a spider’s single white filament
outside the bedroom window
dangles in the breeze
her wedding dress
on that solitary night
slashed by blackberry thorns
the berries liquid
splashed the dress with love
as she fled her loss of self
into the welcoming arms of the moon


OctPoWriMo – Day 8 – Prompt was color… say what you will about it. I’m late to the page today. It was a busy day, but I can’t stop now. It’s like physical exercise (well, it is an exercise) when you find one you like it pulls you in, and soon you reap the benefits.

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An Arduous Journey





In yoga class today one of the girls, woman, actually
we’re mostly women of a certain age inquires of the teacher
whether she should internally or externally rotate
her inner thigh.
And I think: what a degree of unprecedented freedom
is expressed in that query.
The same few women ask questions
about internal rotation or using props to alleviate compression
in the neck while upside down in a headstand.
I never ask questions. I do not like to draw attention to myself.
I am content to listen and do.
And anyway the minutiae of muscle rotation eludes me.
What I always think when these questions are posited is
the ease of a life that thinks to wonder how to direct a solitary muscle.
I do not forget that this same woman guided her mother through the arduous journey
to death from cancer. Her suffering, along with her mother’s, was exquisite.
Maybe it’s a distraction for her to conjecture about isolating a muscle
and turning it one way and then another. Maybe it’s a way to circumnavigate grief.
During these moments of muscular instruction I drift off
to the migrants in the vineyards that surround us how far away
from home they journeyed and how little freedom they have to ask any questions at all.
They take instruction and they do it.
There’s little I can do about their plight or the plight of my yoga friends
or my own potential plights other than be kind to them when I take a shortcut through the meticulous rows of wine grapes on my way to my comfortable home.


OctPoWriMo – Day 6. Prompt is freedom or life changes. Morgan suggested we count syllables like in a haiku but I opted to go another route. I write a lot of tanka and some haiku on Twitter where syllables, or at least line length, matter. Hence my desire to branch out.

Anyway…. thanks for reading!  Poetry5


Main Street in a Small Rural Town


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I want to do magic. I want magic to be done to me.
I didn’t say perform magic, but do it, make it happen.
Real magic. I want to shout, abracadabra!
And have the whole world listen.

Walking down Main Street in a small rural town
It doesn’t matter where, the Midwest, the South,
The Center of this vast country, I overheard a man
Talking to another man.

Fuck them, he shouted, grabbing the other man’s elbow.
I’ll take them out, every last one of them, if they try to tell me
What I can and cannot do.
It doesn’t work that way, said the other man, gently pulling away.

You’re either with me or against me, the red-faced man roared
Through clenched teeth, the sinews at his neck bulging
Like rope so taut it begins to fray, to split, to rip
On the edge of bloodletting when the capillaries burst.

Chet, the gentle man says, I don’t believe it’s as bad as all that.
I don’t believe anyone is coming to get you or wants to take what is yours.
I don’t believe what I hear on television.
And Chet replies: At your peril you dumbass motherfucker.

Hearing this makes me want to believe in magic.
I want to utter “open sesame” and open the closed mind.
To snap my fingers and part the clouds
And watch the light rinse the dark of intolerance.

I want to do magic. I want magic to be done to me.


OctPoWriMo – Day 4…. The prompt is “magic.” Will I ever lighten up? Maybe. Tune in to find out!

Thanks for reading!   Poetry5



Etymology of Paranoia



Hatred and fear blind us. We no longer see each other. We only see the faces of monsters, and that gives us the courage to destroy each other.  – Thich Nhat Hanh


Illogic drains me. Delusion, the madness in it. Without reason or cause a conviction that horror lurks behind every door. Fear in the perception of color. Raised voices. Rational discourse? As ancient a term as the Socratic method. It has ceased to exist. Poisoned by hemlock. A riot of aggressive, regressive states. A desire to return to the relative ease of a decade long gone. Instead of a chicken in every pot, guns in every cupboard. Blinded by the mania. Control your constituents through fear.

is the folly of men
in his ignorance
he shot himself
in the foot

OctPoWriMo Day 3. The prompt was “drain.” What drains you? I’m on the same topic as yesterday. Working it out through a tanka prose piece. I’ll try to be a bit more uplifting as the days proceed.

Thanks for reading!




Guns in the Classroom



Standing tall in front of them in his combat boots
and camo pants

His clothes stiff, unwashed, stained with the sweat
of anxious days

A golden beam of sunlight glinted off gray metal
blinding them

Stand up he commanded, if you’re a Christian,
and they did

Believing they might be safe from harm, from death
from bullets

They fell, nine of them, not from strict adherence
to their faith

But from the cold hard steel of a mental illness,
endemic in the USA

An evil malady of easily, legally obtained vehicles of slaughter,
of guns

We content ourselves, this time, that no one said:
he seemed like such a nice guy.

OctoPoMo – Day 2. We were prompted to write a cinematic poem. You be the judge. How many times have we witnessed this scene on the screen? A reality horror show.


Thanks for reading.