Sunday, October 30, 2005


Tonight I contemplate circles, like the halo
that surrounds the cheesecloth moon
spying on me through the window,
and wonder if I’ll wake to snow.

I think about how circles never end,
and the power they have to keep things
apart or together, depending on which fork
of the path you walk.

I trace the circular paths of my life
and end up ambling backwards to him
and I think, all over again, about how he’d feel;

his skin against mine smooth as a velvet drape;
how he’d cradle me against the cushioned contours
of his chest; what his lips would taste like

and what he’d do to cast the light
back into my cobalt sky;
and why our circles do not intersect.

copyright 2005 by Cookala

Saturday, October 29, 2005

My lovers, they come and go

My lovers,
they come and go
like a motley procession
of possibles and maybes.
In between
I have my muse,
and Ben and Jerry’s,
for company. You

can always tell
my state of the union
just by looking.
The toilet seat stays down,
and only one toothbrush
sits in the holder.
No mismatched socks
lying in clandestine arrangements
on the floor. I’m

still looking for my diamond
in a wall of stone.
Maybe tomorrow
I’ll find the mother lode.

© 2001 by Cookala

Thursday, October 27, 2005


My camera captures the season’s first snow
as a moment shuttered in gray and white
chiaroscuro, its flakes suspended
across the photo.

Out back a wagon wheel lies
propped against a tree, just visible
in the yellow spotlight that sensors
itself on and off, disturbed
by the motion of my passage.

Tonight, the wind is a banshee
who screams high in the atmosphere,
whose frozen tears needle my face
who reaches down and wraps
a blanket of shivers around my bones.

Its only after I go inside and peer
into the playback viewer that I see
the strange face above the wheel
and its vaporish composition.

Two eyes, nose, long hair;
it looks at me and I
am oddly unsettled,
not knowing
if it’s demon or angel,
or if it follows me still.

copyright 2004 by Cookala

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Speaking Through Him

Think of me as the glint of the sun
upon freshly lain snows. Feel me
in hesitant breezes, gently caressing
like a kiss upon your cheek.

See me in the dancing heads of barley,
glowing gold and bursting in ripeness.
See my warm, foggy breath upon the mountains
or skimming the mirrored surfaces
of lakes and small ponds

and when the days grow short and crisp
see how my blood purifies the leaves,
instilling in them the most glorious color.

I have not left you alone.
I am in all things living and wondrous,
all things unknown, reminding you
to wonder now and then at the beauty
of what I am and of what
I have always been to all my children.

© 2001 by Cookala

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Breakfast in Bed

How wonderful to come awake
wrapped up like a gift,
cradled like rare porcelain,
to the stillness of a new day.

Our bodies sandwiched
and cozy where we touch;
a half-formed helix of flesh
occupied in intimate conversation.

I turn to face you. Your eyes
open and reflect my smile,
telling me you’re hungry
for our first meal of the day.

© 2001 by Cookala

Well, I'm home again today. Sheesh, what one will do to avoid work *wink* and I'm feeling a bit better, and less cynical, though I don't feel quite up to writing. Hell, I really don't feel like doing anything other than lying in bed all snuggled up and watching some movies. And ya know, that's just exactly what I'm going to go and do.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Four Kus

The waves and the wind
smash and howl at the shoreline
as eyes turn away.

The ocean’s tempest
and the strength of the gale winds
are peaceful allies.

Shells on the sea’s shore
in no logical pattern
arranged, disarranged.

Shimmering sunlight
reflects upon the surface,
masking the sea’s depths.

© 2001 by Cookala

Can you say upper respiratory? Crap, I sure can. I really hate getting sick, because when I do it generally means a few days in bed. Germs just beat the piss out of me. My body doesn't know how to have a regular cold, all it knows is succumb and worsen. *sigh* And then, because now I'm pissed for getting sick, I get into this moooooooooooood, where even the hairs on my head bother me.

So, that said, today will be my first Pet Peeves Day. Why not? I feel crappy enough and there are enough moronic in this world to supply me with a list that would last until doomsday. Let's start with doctors. A subject fresh in my mind right now.

The first thing is making the appointment. You have to wade through ten menus of instructions to connect with The Voice who makes the appointments. God forbid I should be having a heart attack. Then, after 5 minutes of pushing buttons, The Voice answers with a too, too happy tone and immediately puts me on hold before I can utter a word. *sigh* Sound familiar?

10-15 minutes later, The Voice comes back on and you tell The Voice you need to see The Doctor. Then The Voice gets into a long discussion about what your ailment is, repeating the same frigging questions over and over again, until, finally, The Voice tells you what time to come see The Doctor.

So, ok, time comes to leave for the appointment so you bundle up and get into your car, high on Sudafed, and drive yourself to The Doctor's Torture Palace. Everything aches and you can't breathe, you're coughing every 10 seconds with a sneeze thrown in now and then for good measure, and you're all sweaty from the the time you get there you're wiped, and all you want to do is get your meds and get back home to bed. Is that so hard? *sigh*

You sign in and give them your credit card for the billing, and they make you tell them AGAIN why you need to see the doc. For God sakes, are they blind and deaf? All they have to do is take a look the snot dribbling out of my nose and listen to the way I sound (which is similar to Elmer Fudd). Maybe they think I like torturing myself?

You'd think the worst was over, but not by a long shot. Now, you get to sit in the waiting room with a bunch of strangers who are even sicker than you, or at least seem to be. It's hot as hell in that room, and all the magazines are two years old or have titles like "Golf", or "Playtime" - definitely not your taste in reading - not that you could concentrate on reading right now anyway, but still. Some kid is whining in the corner, dribbling snot all over himself and the wall, while his mother ignores him. Never mind that the sound of him is like a high-speed drill boring into my skull. One by one people are called and led into the inner sanctum. Hours pass. You're just about ready to walk out when, finally, they call your name.

Yay! I actually feel a mote of happiness creep into my cells. But I should know better, because now I sit and wait, alone, in the examining room for another hour or so. *sigh* I begin to want to hit someone at this point, but I figure at least it's quieter and cooler and The Doctor will be in any minute...and then the door opens and The Doctor sails in, takes my vitals, listens to my lungs and heart, writes a prescription and, vamoose, is gone in a blur of white coat.

All that just to see The Doctor for 15 minutes, and millions of people go through this every day.
Why do we put up with this crap? Is it any reason why we all dread going to the doctor's office, even though we go out of necessity? I guess mom wasn't far off the track when she told me to try and marry a doctor.

So, I feel a little better now that I've expunged my angst. I still have this ordeal to go through though, later today. Maybe I should give The Voice the url for Cheesecloth Moon so she can read this. Heh, wouldn't that be fun?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Moorish Tableaux

Across the vast acreage
of heather strewn fen, over a pristine wasteland
of peat bogs, sedge, moss and perpetual mist,
the seasons diminish and build
only to diminish and build again.

The flowing winds seep through granite corridors
and ravage the desolate land, whisper mysteriously;
an endless passage along empty paths
overgrown from disuse, barely discerned.

The moor claims what wanders lost;
her maze of tangled underbrush leads to abrupt ends
as her mucky mouth greedily sucks
down to her cold, carious depths
and preserves well,
whatever stumbles in.

© 2001 by Cookala
Just thought I'd post this, for any of you poetic souls living in Pennsylvania:

RHINA P. ESPAILLAT at West Chester U.

The West Chester University Poetry Center proudly presents
the 2005 Poet-in-Residence
Rhina P. Espaillat:
Thursday, October 27
The West Chester University Poetry Center
Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall
High Street and University Avenue
West Chester, PA
4:00 p.m. - RHINA P. ESPAILLAT will talk on craft
7:00 p.m. - She will read from her own poems.

Contact: Katherine Northrop,


DANA GIOIA @ PennThe Kelly Writers House

in collaboration with The National Italian American Foundation
is delighted to announce our fifth annual Gay Talese Lecture
featuring poet, critic, translator, and current chairman
of the National Endowment for the Arts
Monday, October 24 @4:30 PM
The Kelly Writers House
3805 Locust Walk
A reception will follow.
Please RSVP to or 215.573.9748
Happy Sunday, day of rest, day of fun past times - not!

Today, shortly, I must force myself to travel downwards. I must follow the creaking steps down to the dungeon basement where I must face a trial by water damage. Ick. Believe me, you haven't lived your life to its fullest until you find yourself sorting through wet, sooty, slimy, oily pieces of cardboard boxes that have spilled their contents into the damp wet that remains from the previous foot of water that seeped in during the Nine Days of October Torrential Rain deluge. ugh. And then there's the delightful aromatics of the burner to clog up my already asthmatic lungs and mucal plugged sinuses. Oh yeah, and on top of all of that, I'm coming down with a head cold, and more rain is predicted for Monday right through to Wednesday. Ah well, I suppose I should look on the bright side of things - as least I have lungs and sinuses, though for how much longer I shudder to think.

So, today's offering will be brief. In fact, I think this is it.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Cross Currents

I. He

Impulses suffuse synaptic gaps
as movements repeat; the monotonos
slap-drag of mop upon granite
is a catalyst for thoughts that keep
returning him to a ship in the sea
where currents are swift,
and waters are deep.

II. She

Scenarios unfold in her mind
as she wipes the ocean’s spray off
mirrored glasses, notices the ship
seesawing on the horizon. She studies
the surf; it stirs unsettled by a rip tide’s tug.
Swimming would be dangerous,
but she longs to be refreshed.

© 7/03 by Cookala
Bear with me today, folks. Woke up with the fuzzies, which means I'm bound to go off on tangents if I don't watch myself.

So where to start today? Ok, let's talk about PFFA - an on-line poetry workshop I've been attending since May 2001. I have to say, the "regulars" and the mods there are an eclectic bunch - lively, surprising, fun, wacky, sometimes a bit mean-spirited, intelligent, and painfully honest. There have been times when I laughed so hard at the computer screen at work that my coworkers have gawked at me, or worse come rushing over to peek (I hate that cause then I have to logoff before they catch me slacking) There have been times when I actually cried because the crits I got were so scathing. There have been times when I got completely pissed about something or other, though now I can't remember the particulars. But always, always, I have learned about poetry.

I still remember my first post at PFFA. It was a poem that had a bumble bee as its central metaphor. The bee went from flower to flower having a good time pollinating them. Well, er, you get the gist of it then. Gawd, it was beyond bad. Really. And I remember several critters taking some mean potshots and generally tearing the thing to pieces like a pack of wild dogs clamoring for a piece of raw rump roast . But there was this one guy who stood up for me, calling the poem an ars poetica (at the time I remember wondering what the hell ars poetica was) and saying it would make a good children's poem, and the poor guy, he took such a solid thumping for that. Ouch. They all descended on him like flies on road kill...well, to make it short, he stopped posting at the site a little while after that but I stayed and tried to cover myself with the tatters of dignity that still remained. (I'd like to say thanks again to him for taking the heat off of me at the time.)

Yeah, it's a tough site. I love it. Thanks to several mods (who will remain anonymous for political reasons *wink*) and their unselfish tutelage from time to time, and to all the critters who have come and gone or stayed around for years (like me), my writing has progressed by light years. Oh, that doesn't mean "I'm there" - quite the opposite, I still have a long ways to go - but I feel now that maybe I'm at least halfway there when it comes to the craft of writing poetry. I feel a debt to these people. I can always count on them to keep me pirouetting on my poetical toes. I highly recommend the site to anyone who is serious about improving their writing and understanding of the craft of poetry.

A word of caution, though. Do not go there expecting a vanity site. If you have the courage to post your work there, be prepared for a good smacking and an even better learning experience. And be prepared to take that smacking with a smile. No egos allowed. I, myself, love and dread each smacking I get. You cannot take the crits personally. You must keep in line with the rules. No comments on comments in a crit, three crits for every poem you workshop. Lurk awhile before you post a poem for crit and do read the laws of the land (the guidelines) and study the Blurbs of Wisdom for at least a few weeks before you post anything in the critical forums. Start in General C&C before you move up to the advanced forums. Be respectful. If you can't do that, the site is not for you. We do not take kindly to trolls. I cannot stress these things strongly enough. Your goal is to fit in. Do not go there expecting them to fit into your agenda. It doesn't work that way.

So then, ok, enough of that. My brain is now suitably emptied and I am at peace. See you later.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A Redress of Clouds

They came from the east, riding
toboggans of mist; a diaspora
of low ceilings curled upwards,
wind beaten into lofty meringue peaks.

In the forefront were gauzy wisps;
long, flat streaks stretched north to south
along a meridian line. At the horizon
of sea and sky, a thick, titanium tongue
lolled against cobalt skin -
an abomination of fall weather.

Thirty minutes later they deliquesced,
except for one towering column
that refused to succumb, unplagued -
a grotesquely shaped serpent
rising up in a zed. In time,
its crooked steeple was blown apart
chunk by chunk. It toppled without grace.

By the end of the day they reversed,
headed back the way they’d come,
as though God had sucked all his breath back in
as I witnessed from beneath the sun.

copyright by Cookala, all rights reserved.
Well, I've gone and started a blog - as if I don't have enough to chew on already. But everyone is doing it and it seems like a good idea. So here I am. This is all new to me, so I'll ask - any pitfalls/non-pitfalls to be aware of?

I guess I should state my intentions for this thing - mainly, this blog will be a place where I can delve more deeply into my artistic aspirations. Right now, they are screaming at me for attention and manifestation and I'm such a wimp, I give in to their demands far too easily. Even if it means another lost hour of sleep. There is just not enough time in the day to do a) what I want to do, b) what I have to do and c) what I don't want to do but have to do anyway (this option may seem like a repeat of option b, but the difference is that this is stuff I really hate to do, whereas option b is stuff I don't really mind doing.)

My other reasons for creating this blog is to have a place to call my own until I can get a website up (aiy, another time drain). There will be times when I succumb to posting mayhem and madness, all in fun of course. This way, I can cover all the bases and feel free to comment on whatever comes up along the way.

So, welcome to you, whomever you are, I'll be back shortly.

Now, off to figure out how to add stuff to the main page.....