Tuesday, May 30, 2006

So now Howard and Julie have gone and started more madness - JuPo. The requirements are to write one poem every three days, or ten for the month, and to establish a personal standard/challenge. I've chosen to write long poems (minimum 20 lines). I'm thinking sense of place, narrative, dialog, villianelle (maybe), long poem with economy of language throughout, strange diction and metaphor for freshness (wordplay experiment). We'll see what develops as we go along and where my muse takes me.

And in the meantime, I've really got to start posting my MaPo poems here. Aiy, the time, the time - there's never enough.

Monday, May 29, 2006

So, finally, for once, I take a quiz and am thoroughly satisfied with the answer I get.

You Should Be A Poet

You craft words well, in creative and unexpected ways.
And you have a great talent for evoking beautiful imagery...
Or describing the most intense heartbreak ever.
You're already naturally a poet, even if you've never written a poem.

Friday, May 19, 2006

So, as Julie says, today is a day of suck. My stepfather passed away today around 1pm. I haven't written about him here in the blog all that much lately simply because I've been busy as hell running between nursing home and hospital, doing the NaPo thing, cleaning out the basement from hell...(sigh)

So, here we go again, and only 6 months and 10 days since mom passed away, too. I'm very sad, but I'm not upset - if that makes sense? I feel mostly relieved because his suffering is over now, and he's finally at peace. We were taking it day by day anyway, knowing he was going to go at any time. And what kind of life did he have anyway? It's funny, too, because he's been quite lucid this past week - you'd never know he had advanced dementia at all. We've actually had meaningful conversations that lasted for quite awhile. But I suppose that's just how dementia is. Still, I'm grateful he came back to us for a little while as the pops he used to be.

So, that's about it for today. I'm pressed for time (my life story lately) because we have to go make arrangements and phone calls, which I'm dreading. It has to be done, but this is what will probably get me all upset emotionally. (sigh again) I'm only here because I have a little time and was checking my email and well, wanted to keep myself occupied for a bit. For me, dwelling on things like this is like eating poison. It's best to keep busy.

So, now my new motto will be: Have you talked to your parents today? Just do it.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ok, so these are out of order, and I'm too damn lazy to rearrange them correctly. This is the remaining lot of poems I wrote during April for NaPoWriMo at www.everypoet.org/pffa better known as PFFA. I've stripped out all the commentary so all that's here are the poems themselves. If you want the commentary, you'll have to visit my thread at PFFA. Any comments and suggestions on any of these will be greatly appreciated. I hope you enjoy.

My next blog entry will be for the MaPoWriMo poems. I decided to continue writing a poem a day past April to the end of May (who knows, maybe even longer if the muse is still up to it. In that case it'll be JaPo)to keep me in tune with my muse. So far, I've been able to do it, though it has been getting harder to do as I get deeper into May. There are two other nutters out there who are doing the same thing as me - Howard and Julie - you can visit their blogs if you want to view their MaPo entries (and I highly recommend your visiting them - both of these poets are sublime if you ask me, and no, I'm not being paid to advertise - I think hard work deserves some reward.) Tell them I sent ya. The URLs for their blogs are


And so, without further adieu, here are my poems.

April 14

Reflections on an April Morn

Today, just for a moment, the scent of honeysuckle
laced me with it’s yellow joy as I walked in sunshine
along the hedgerow where chittering sparrows nest.

Nature has slipped from winter’s clasp and changed
out of her hoary nightclothes; she turns the land now
from brittle to pliant, and wears a new wardrobe.

On the surface, all seems good in the earth again;
flowers bloom in droves and even the neighbor’s
wave and say hello; but I ache to know
you will not ever see it again.

I can only hope your view
is much better than mine.

April 15

Daydream 1

Water scenes on the walls splash
a salmagundi of Caribbean bluegreens
against my office’s beige bricks. My eyes
settle on a shot of a horizontal palm tree
whose trunk extends like an arm
to support a hammock.

I imagine myself face up in it
bikini clad, the sun’s hands slick on my body
as trade winds rock my sisal rope cradle.

I drift and dream...

Marooned on an island, I have grown wings
in a heaven of sand and sea; I have no needs
other than to breathe the briny air and feed
on the thought of his coming to carry me
into the blue where we’ll float to oblivion...

He walks into my office,
our eyes meet.

I feel the sizzle of sun,
the taste of salt,
and float...

April 16


She feels like a taut rope
in a game of tug-of-war; looks
a harrowed eyeful holding a glass
of merlot weakened by tears.

Always off to work
for long hours, he travels
to become someone else; a lover
of the places that seduce him.

Plaited personalities, each
with ceaseless needs; their strands
unraveling into separate threads
unless she can become an anchor, and he
notices her empty glass.

April 17

Daydream 2

Orion peers at us from a diamond dust sky
as we drive home from dinner. The top is down,
wind whips my hair wild.

We pass a mass of lights torching the dark -
a roadside carnival. I can see the fun
house, the games, the glittering carousel.

I close my eyes, imagine...

I am straddling a Pegasus with my thighs
clamping his sides, marveling
at his resplendent wings
when I hear a squelch of gears.

My body jerks forward, we spin
with the merry-go-round
moving up and down;
gaining speed, flying

as carnival music thrums in my ears.
I become giddy, dizzy; reach out
for the brass ring (three will get me
a free ride on my thumbnut steed);

my long hair ruffles behind me
and my summer dress billows up
like Marilyn Monroe’s, blowing free
in the lift and suck of passing wind...

His hand on my knee wakes me; my Pegasus
come to lay claims, and I am anxious
to fly again.

April 18

About a Blue Balloon

At a glance so gay and bright to see,
lighter than air though it fears sharp objects
that might prick or rend its taut, round skin.

It loathes the leash it wears, choiceless
but to obey the yank at its neck,
yet fears floating free moving ever upward
until air pressure ruptures it.

And if not there’s still the eventual end -
the long, drawn out release of air
as it deflates and gets left behind,
shriveled up like a condom.

April 19


Mist arcs in pale rainbows over the river
and the dappled moon disappears
into another red dawn.

A damsel fly flits past in its spangled blueness
then hovers a moment above dew-slick creek moss
before it disappears downstream.

Swallows sit like plump clothes pins
on a line of sheets hung yesterday and swing
in the easy breeze.

Wells of rye turn their ripening eyes
to follow the sun and stare
towards the endless distance,

but here in our flesh warmed bed
we stir to life and listen
to a meadowlark’s benediction.

Daydream 3

Cozy in bed reading Bog Queen from Opened Ground
I am caught up in a master’s words and sounds;
reading for the third time, imagining how she looked
before being macerated by the carious moor
when I nod off...

Tonight along the windward bluffs
the breeze buffets me with steady strokes;
below the moor reclines in her verdant robe
sashed with gray-purple heather, as fog
draws its mist-slick curtains
and settles in for the night.

Ten minutes more and I see the thatched roof
of Crane Neck Cottage, with its lavish fireplace
and hideaway loft. There is a soft, flickering
candescence coming from the kitchen window,
where supple shapes run in silver rivers
along leaded diamond panes.

The door opens and I catch my breath
as he welcomes me into his arms,
takes my cloak, offers me wine. We sup
on lamb stew and a loaf of fresh baked bread;
hot and satisfying like his kiss, his hands.

After supper we sit and talk at the oak table
by the hearth; I grow languid, content
to do little more than lose myself in his eyes
and listen to the timbre of his voice
as I anticipate the ample gifts of his bed...

The alarm jangles and I jump into a new day,
leaving all my warmth behind
in the bedcovers.

April 21

Life Cycle

The old grist mill’s cog finally snaps
and the wooden grinding wheel
wobbles in skewed revolutions
on its axis until everything flies outward
in chunks that go clink or kathunk.

Dazed by the swift, utter damage
it braces for the furnace’s flamed
breakdown to ash and a voyage
on the back of the wind

until it finds a place to settle,
with luck, to become a tree again.

April 22

Early Stages
for Tanya

An embryo, pliable and immediate
the first blush of a new romance
trees, before the clipper ships
the foundation of a home not yet built
Adam and Eve, after the apple
the first, unsteady steps of Secretariat
the first draft of a poem
a canvas, unpainted -

without beginnings
great things would never become.

April 23

Eyes in the Sky

As day rushed into shadow
two eyes opened in the sky;
storm cloud dark, roundish,
their edges a yellow nimbus -
twin orbs of an angry God.
Then sunlight sabered through
their centers and glared down
with its bright certainty.
In a blink the eyes changed
their mood, became dual moons
with white ephemeral lashes;
those double beams a silver glow
that painted leaf tops pewter
and backlit my trivial breath
as it curled up through the air.

April 24


I am the pooled paraffin that keeps
the wick lit when the light has gone.
I am a slow dissolve and fear nothing
save the leech of flame that siphons
my liquid essence.

I have the power to ensnare your senses
with myriad scents as I pirouette in the air;
and when you need a diversion
I shall entertain you
with shadow dances on the wall.

I shall be as patient as a cat stalking a mouse
until the curtains are drawn
and a new flame is struck.
I will melt until I am no more
than a scented afterthought.

April 25

The Dream Maker

She stirs to life, opens half-lidded eyes,
stretches muscles then moves towards
the dominion of dreams where you sleep.
Her fingers dip, gingerly, into cachets
of colorful memories stored in the clay pots
and cedar boxes of your minds apothecary.

The breeze sighs, restless as it ripples
the translucent curtains of her primeval copse,
as she sifts and sorts through your minds’ recipe book
and decides this evening’s remedy.

No matter your mercury-bright desires
for she selects which visions manifest
in the synapses of your mind, projects
them inside your curved screen of skull;
her glass blower’s breath will give life
and form to your molten orbs of fantasy.

The barometer of her mood decides
the raw ingredients of your dreams -
a dash of joy or a pinch of sorrow -
it’s all the same to her,
for she is a fickle mistress
driven by a moment’s whim.

But there are options: elect to forget
all of what has been conjured
when you are woken by sound or sight,
or write it down to remind yourself
of those twisted threads of hope.

April 26


Satisfaction is Another Name for Lindor Truffles,
for Donner

the dark ones that come twist-wrapped
in sapphire and white foil. The cocoa
essence whiffing from the bag brings drools
of anticipation, a memory of the velvety inside
that melts so delectably upon the tongue...

and satisfies that sometime crave
for something you cannot quantify.

You call it that yen that pangs relentless
every now and then; and when it does
you give in, gorge like an addict,
pop in one burnt umber globe after another
and think with a fleeting sense of guilt
screw the diet and the waist,
and please be blind, oh Lord,
to this second deadly sin.

My trick is to melt the shell
without biting in, to let it dissolve
while savoring the flavor,
bit by bit, make it last
somewhat longer than a sigh.

Each moment is so flavor-intense
it’s almost better than sex (yes!
that old cliche IS true);
that ambrosial, semi-sweetness
on your tongue turning liquid...
that taste of heaven sent to earth.


Beware the Scrubber Bubbles

Adieu, mildew, with your sooty spores.
You thought your dirty feet were dug
too deep for exposure. You thought
you could creep unseen in the crevices
of my tiled floors and up my walls,
blackening my clean, white foundation
of grit. I’ll have no more of it.
Now taste my caustic brew.

here's a link to a photo that's a good example of the scenery in the north fork

April 27

The North Fork

in looks is a little reminiscent of Tuscanny
with its wide, sculpted expanses; a narrow plain
that harbors a windblown swell of low hills
dotted with red and gray cow barns,
neat rows of ripening grapes, earthen fields
bordered by cyprus, birch and oak; a finger of land
jutting defiantly into the sea.

The fork runs about five miles by thirty
from Riverhead to the tip of Long Island’s tail.
Small townships claim names like Mattituck,
Cutchogue, Peconic in honor of Indian ancestors
and boast old, set back from the road Victorian homes
replete with porch, swing and gingerbread.

The slight beach at Orient Point teems
with tide-stranded scallop shells and capiz
in shades of yellow, bronze and pearl
that scrunch like sand against a driven spade
as you wade through and sink to your ankles.

Looking south Montauk stands regal on the horizon
with his emerald buzz cut, jutting up from the ocean.
Beyond that crisp Atlantic currents swift by with ferries
steaming north to Connecticut casino country.

In the spring and fall roadsides morph into parking lots
while people stop to pick their own crops, or roam
through endless miles of cornfield and grape mazes
while others sample the season’s wines,
tottering from vineyard to vineyard.

April 28

Dinner Date

A glass of pinot noir sweats
its fine bouquet while I finger
a folded napkin in my lap,
take tentative breaths
shallow and short
wait for him to show up
and ease the pulsing in my neck.

He has a knack for making me laugh
and for ushering the sun into dim lit rooms
as though it were a balloon on a tether.

Fifteen minutes has tiptoed past
while I pretend not to notice curious eyes
glancing from adjoining tables, do my best
to make my face an unrippled pond
unreadable as the Sphinx.

Fifteen minutes more brand me
like brimstone before armageddon
when I decide to up and leave, but
he appears, sun in tow,
and lights up the room like Broadway.

My face is impeccably placid
as the napkin unwinds in my lap.


I have the gait of a gila lizard
and cannot fit buttons into holes;
knuckles are knobbed, fingers splay out
in obscene angles.

Bone men say stay flexible: walk,
avoid damp drafts and stairwells,
swallow happy pills, lift weights.
But there’s no cure for joints
that stiffen like starched white shirts
when the weather turns wet.

I bend my frowns into easy smiles
and dread being labeled disabled,
not ready to imitate the cat
curled up in a quiet corner.

Daydream 4? (Not sure yet) -


They nicknamed him that
because of the way he played
the keyboards. Arms and legs
splayed to either side, fingers
flitting along the keys double-time;
legs pumping the pedals below,
pumping up the electricity
for sawdust floor crowds;
his body slung in the gap between
two rows of gleaming ivory teeth
bobbing to the top ten beat.

I never told him how I felt
about the force of his music or
his piercing eyes and sensual hands,
or how the sight and sound of him
carried me off in a carriage of dreams
where we’d meet backstage
at the end of his gig, get lost in a dark nook,
his fingers playing my piano strings
with precision rests and stops
done with perfection
sending me into oblivion.

Humanity, Mostly

This skin is tight, this paraffin wrapper,
that encloses my carcass and gives me
smooth form and protection. Underneath
is a variety of chopped meat - pork,
beef, lamb - bloody and messy
to look at. But then again,
who ever said we were pretty inside?

Perhaps that’s why we keep
our clothes on
and our lids shut tight.

Mirrors are only one dimensional;
to see below that you must look
deep into your eyes. But who ever
looks into their eyes in the mirror
long enough to see what’s really there?

Even if they do, most times
it just doesn’t register.

April 29

for Nanphi

Bring forth your wands and wily ways;
misbehave and cast slapdash spells
on weary travelers who dare to sleep
too deep in tulgey wood.

Hang gems of dew on spider webs
and tutor larks on how to brood.
Spread thistle bloom and silver weed
along untrod ways, then streak
a stardust path to home and brugh
and bid your kinship well.

Chase lightening bugs then dance a jig
in fey enchanted rings, toot your horns
and bless the crops with your ancient songs.
Steal dairymen’s milk and the weaver’s
wool and put them to good use; braid
meadow rue into your hair and sleep
in sheltering wood.

Dream Seekers
for Annie

If I could send my thoughts flying,
send my gypsy spirit riding
upon the stars silver-bright rays
moving quickly, westward always
across this vast countryside
to you, over on the other side;
and if you should catch them
as they came, and sharing them
dream this dream of mine the same
and decide to join me in this game...
perhaps if we could meet this way,
our thoughts as one, perhaps we may
at all times be united, close
in thought and heart, our hopes
might merge our distant lives at last
and lead us to adjoining paths.

April 30

First Morning In May
for ADK

Humidity lavishes the children of spring,
her dew slathering their birth of bloom.
Tulips raise cupped faces to drink the sun;
trees dress for celebration.

No pastels in this palette, only passionate
reds and yellows and greens and blues;
all of it harmonious, balanced;
coordinated to offer an ethereal view.

The Music Box
for Pearl

Its tinny tune-maker voice
makes metallic tinks and tonks,
spins a spiked wheel of song;
snaps its nubs like a thumb
swept across a brittle-toothed comb.

Echoes in an empty box play best
when tightly wound; for in unwinding
the melody plinks down
to an off-beat, off-kiltered twang
that eventually stops.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Little by little, when I can find the time, I'll be uploading my NaPo and MaPo poems here, ande trying to match photos to them if possible. So, from where I left off we have

April 9

Becoming a Figment

Swift hands progress around times dial
yet I fritter the hours with mundane chores
that could wait for another day.
My feet feel like pails of wet sand as I trudge
on my overcoat, lock the door, head west.

Too soon the forty-five minute ride deposits me
on the shore of his ward’s great room. I notice
the dinge of dust has yellowed the walls
and windows; tinted the balloon valance curtains
from blinding white on a sunny day
to today’s low tide brown.

He sits with new friends, forty-two in all,
head slumped towards the table
like some post-modern statue
napping from summer’s heat,
invisible to me as I scan the room;
the attendant must point him out
before my mind blushes recognition.

My hand on his arm springs his jack-in-the-box
awareness. His tongue stirs and jumps
into overdrive as he remembers and says my name,
then blurts that he was once embalmed
and buried alive. I am startled
by the metaphor he makes.

He gibbers on as I observe
a surreal rendition of the movie Awakenings;
there is the hunched over, white headed lady
who shuffles from chair to chair non-stop
muttering nananananana and grabbing wrists;
the dark-haired woman who ambles about
pulling the diaper out of her pants; the black man
who stands facing a corner preaching a sermon
to a stain on the wall that looks like a face
and everywhere the smell of pine sol and urine.

The hour passes like the sap that seeps
from a maple tree. I grow saturated
with my pathetic quota of discomfort.
The urge to run leverages my internal tug-of-war
and my conscience tumbles into the mud
as I stand, pull on my overcoat, say goodbye.
He rises to go with me, dull eyes suddenly fire-worked
with cognizance. He thinks he is going home
but I must tell him he cannot come.

I leave quickly so I will not see him
sag down, close his eyes and hunch over the table again
as though I was never there.

April 10

No More

I’ll have none of it. No more
will I bare my neck or be knackered
by your champagne bubble promises.

I’m fini with reaching for golden rings
and grasping at wraiths in the air
while your carousel spins to circus music.

I’m kaput with crossing invisible bridges;
and before I offer to cup your tears
I must remove the patch from my eye
and look directly into your fun house’s mirror.

The ride has stopped, it’s timer’s run out;
now let me by
while I still have enough moxie
to disembark.

April 11


She is like a whisper of taffeta,
sensed rather than heard; a water sprite
skimming over a sunlit lake, her thoughts
rippling into my own.

She is a minx, a feminine Marquise de Sade,
this Mona Lisa of the mind; a woman of moods
as fitful and mysterious as the ocean’s
breath over the moors

she slips like a fog bank through my mind;
heavy and wet, then gone with a kiss from the sun.
She is a quicksilver stream of elusive thought;
an ethereal nymph who knows she’s brought

much beauty into this world.

April 13

The Raven

From a distance he is a mere smudge
of kohl on the sky’s blue lid.
Closer up his quills look prismatic,
like an oil slick risen from rain
on tar. Sleek and patient as a snake,
his onyx eye is drawn to glint
and unprotected nests.

Clownish hops and raucous caws
proclaim his imperial presence,
his black intent to rob and run.

Better lock your doors little sparrows
and guard your young!

(for maximum effect read with a strong French accent AND an attitude)

April 13

Le Chat

Bah! You infidels, you sorry pictures
of foul felines with brains of soiled
kitty litter! You’ve no idea
of my spectacular charms, you sons
of ugly whores, you’ve no stinking
brain the size of a baby pea
idea of what it takes to be

Le Chat

forever on the hunt for tasty snacks.
I am she cat extroadinaire, follower
of none, possessor of a champagne tongue
and sparkling wit of which you fetid
clumps of flea-bitten fur have none.

I am Le Chat!

Merde! You’ve no conception
of how to woo a prissy puss
or turn a tail, and lack the balls
to steal fresh bacala from beneath
a fishmonger’s nose;
you’ve no design for keeping
your stupid bellies full of fresh rats
while I can easily do all that, for

I am Le Chat!

You are all born of lecherous lineage,
you randy rogues who stink like fish water,
you foul possessors of guinea pig faces;
none of you are worthy of the grass
I squat on.

I am Le Chat!
She cat extroadinaire;
you’ll not hear me mewl
after the sad likes of you.