sad funny son

for a dear friend… 

Isn’t life funny Funny, I mean oddly sad in ways that sneak up behind you in bright alleyways while lugging groceries out of TJs calculating the bottles of wine to food ratio First world problems, wine instead of water then whine about floors that do not come in cork color or was it burnt umber The dog ate a million biscuits again today Who the fuck cares they say, she is just hoarding, remembering life as a stray How can I worry about anything when she is wondering how to plan a newborn’s funeral when his brothers still lay in wait, tiny hearts matching fluttering beats of emerald hummingbird wings juxtaposed from ruby throats, color of spilt blood Do we pray to the son who gave us red wine Do we hail mary or toast an empty sky A wrong way sign, we turn glassy eyes to the third world haze  She would love the luxury to weep on trivial things Little hand holding the right one that blesses life away Lest we forget, dip bloody hands in holy waters, life blood, thirst quenching third world wells help save Hell, how can I justify breathing when her whole world, body and heart, has gone ripped open, part of her ancestral fabric taken away Too many deaths today justified as ‘his way’ Should they continue to tear children apart on main street Mean street is now found anywhere in this occupied universe where humanity has turned the wrong way Perhaps it is time to savor a simple moment, to save her or her and him or and The ands could go on forever, but we are too consumed with right now to hear I fear this small world may swallow us whole, a swan song plays, a million beating wings burst open the cloud Fly away home, dear one, we pray to hear your melody in the sun, a sad funny son


(To all who have been kind and posted comments – please accept apologies of no reply or perhaps delayed visits – I shall try to catch up soon. I always appreciate your thoughts, esp when people whom I’ve not ‘seen’ for a while pop in to like something – it warms me to know you are doing OK. My own personal life issues seem rather trivial when I found out a friend faces such a difficult situation in which she has no control. I listened to a lecture about writing prose poems with one ear while this poem continued to rise… peace  ~ a )

to ED – a letter of possibility

Dear ED ~

Please pardon this posthumous post -

I figure your are positioned properly in paradise
aloft looking from one of your perfect windows, a precipice perhaps
waiting for another poetic form to present itself -
not a poem, per se, but a possibility …

You must know, poets posits possibility a la Emily upon their pavilion -
during a poetic parade of words! How I smile at its dramatic pause

You, dear prolific one – a peacock who painted our world – your power
your feathers spread wide
not for publication, but to push poetry -
preaching to periwinkle, pinking heavens as planets crawled upward
imagining pure power in possibility
knowing that to forsake one’s pulsating internal music
(part melody / park beat denied) was to
perish, to become a puddle only to
vanish in tomorrow’s sun

But we push on, don’t we -
we poets playing off the margins
painting pictures not always personal or perfect
but certainly attempting to a point of progress
remembering to plow our pastures daily
to plant persimmons, purple coneflowers and pink roses
in between the outgrowth of pines -
​it is here within this peace filled place,
perchance call a palace of hope,
we will generate a pleasing vision,
a rectory built of parchment
where whirls of paint produce words
and these words generate another

What become of these pursuits -
one can only dream
not of publication (as you well know)
but of discovering a new path
finding untraveled pavement to dirty our pure soles
pacing to our powerful rhythm set by no one
but all a culmination
of all people who walk upon this earthly plain -

(This is in response to the second to the last ‘assignment’ for the online course I’ve been taking from Iowa.  This poem is to ED and with the set constraint of using the letter P as much as possible)


  • mirage

    They said snakes coiled along the canyon edge,
    a warning of copper illusion that could strike dead

    I hiked on, believing in the hatchet hooked to me
    and the golden eyes sought would protect.

    It was those eyes, embedded in fine, iridescent feathers,
    that sent dust laden soles deep into a burnt landscape
    each exposed inch of flesh chalked cinnamon.

    A sacred valley turned burial ground no longer visited by the ancients
    who had lined its four corners to mark the red road home.

    How life would have been different if we had not stolen their paint horses
    and killed all their white buffalo. A hungry man’s lust for gold turned his own humanity.

    Least we forget all our hands are line, no matter colour or ancestry
    our notes to be read when we finally return home.

    I roamed this earth for a stolen bird of beauty
    its own life symbolic of resurrection,
    its many eyes watching God or is it God watching within them…

    As the light dims, the world opens its organic skin
    a thousand stars appear to echo a watery sphere -

    It will be years before someone recreates my attempt to dive
    into its shadowy depths after glimpsing a coppery eye ~


    (the assignment was simple – to write a poem that is a delight or to savor, that is rich in experience…tonight, the ink failed to dip into something rich, but rather wished to explore the dry desert in search for life… peace ~ a)

    late bloomer – a not quite love story

    It was to be my summer of love,
    or so I thought.
    A kitschy love that can only be
    product of a late blooming plot.
    It was a harsh summer,
    even for sinners.
    Urchins of urban
    struggled in layers
    of mother’s humidity.
    A midnight dip
    in a mud slick
    pond left me wanting more.
    But, as he slept next to me
    there was a voice of prophecy
    and damn it all, she was right.
    That summer was preparatory
    love life’s classroom
    for unaware late blooms
    that survive despite harsh weather
    poor things, they know no better.


    (So, this weeks lesson for the MOOC is to write a sonnet – or whatever one wishes to deem a sonnet. I’ve taken some major liberty here – no 14 lines, no major rhyme scheme but we shall call it a sonnet anyway. The text was actually taken from a short story I just wrote about a summer memory – it was rather fun to try to condense 600 words into this thing. ~ a) 

    eyes closed – I write to “Long Night”

    Eyes closed and in my mind’s eye there appears a slash, a Rothko, or perhaps a Motherwell, it is really an echo of the laptop screen but we shall focus on something inside not the external environment that often overtakes words meaning, it is Gann’s piano streaming through these layers of metal that captures the image of life’s rhythm and for some reason the flat air sounds like a rushing ocean until a bird caws from a spruce tree ten feet away- why do we pretend to be someplace else when there is no place but here
    I try to focus as she says but I am more intrigued by the sounds intermingling with this lazy key stroke and the avant approach, no it is not really avant, what he is doing, but instead a weaving  a cacophony that reminds me of playing when I was a little girl in that peach colored room on an old plastic organ wishing it were a baby grand
    these fingers feel like sausages, they are not the graceful ballerina hands that  often interlude in winter, it is the heat of the day and the buildup of hours of use for there is no luxury of being one who just sits and thinks or contemplates tomorrow’s tomorrow
    yes, I’ve lost that free-flow , though it is how I write so often, I sit here with my eyes closed still, but still don’t focus until now – there should be no surprise as the keys suddenly click to the tinkle of his playing, that the breath has strayed as it is held and the body holds rigid
    when writing, I am no different than I am any other minute of the day
    waiting, holding a position just hoping that the shoe stays of the foot and that the hand continues to follow the command of this wayward mind

    (this was a true practice of freewrite – eyes remained closed while typing  this directly to forum after taking a few moments of cleansing breaths – I often have practiced freeflow writing inspired by music or outside noises – I tried to incorporate observation as instructed– thank you in advance if you have taken the time here… PS Gann is in reference to Kyle Gann’s Long Night – a piano piece that can be found on Spotify)  A MOOC exercise from poetry course at U of Iowa. 

    old maid

    We pledged our allegiance to a kind of girl power
    but we never sported pink
    our strength came in packs of Marlboros and 90s grunge

    Years gone past and distance becomes metaphor
    we drive the same roads
    yet our paths never converge

    Fourth of July’s call made rethink this independence
    as the blackbird mocked with its incessant cackle
    creating uncomfortable spaces in my mind

    Twenty years and we remain sisters without blood
    high school days seal our history forever
    but this pact has finally been lost to maturity

    You will be beautiful in ivory and diamonds
    and my lips shall smile the curve of champagne
    as I sit at the square table reserved with a lone card

    that odd queen, how she remains the same


    I read the blues ~

    bell ringing
    Holiday singing
    Will you smile inside that plastic capsule?
    even the birds seem still, someone is screaming
    but it is good
    I wish to dine with you at the automat – you’ll have tuna, no mayo
    and I will be Doris in mink -
    wine brings out silent longings
    don’t forget me, baby, when that last firework
    even cowgirls get the blues
    when their last saddle finally breaks down ~


    **assignment 2 for the online MOOC – this was a bit more my speed – repurpose old lines or just write an ‘epic’ and let the world (words) flow from around you.

    a sketch

    Hidden rot
    in heavy rains
    buries this house’s secret -
    the foundation darkens.

    This was a forced sketch– well, let us say, not forced but not my usual approach to writing poetry. However, my usual way seems to not be working as I’ve not heard a whisper of THAT voice for a while…well, okay, I’ve a few written randomly that I’ve just failed to post, but the premise remains the same. I’m working on changing this, but I think the creative road block is more about my mind telling me I’ve sold out, depleting my creative energies for a solid paycheck, so it has gone on strike until it feels loved again….

    While trying to find a solution, here is a link to what inspired this sketch ~  This is an open MOOC from the University of Iowa International writing program. It is free, just started this week and will last six weeks. The first video is a 20 minute lecture about sketching from poet, Robert Haas. I’ve not formed much of an opinion beyond the enjoyment of seeing a lot of peeps still like to write poetry.

    On that note ~ write on… ~ a

    she dances

    upon a violin string inside this brain
    and I dare not say anything
    just observe, each movement a feathering of earth
    hers is a dance of resistance
    witnessing artistic freedom thrown into a deep ravine
    how she despises the dirty shackles worn daily
    judging everything while sitting at the right hand of a powerful nonexistence
    they sigh, together, as I pray:
    deliver me from these binding chains,
    it is the beast of this human race
    this inability to escape
    a tinderbox of dreams
    if someone else is allowed to douse the flame

    stolen children


    Photograph by Susan Schied 2014.

    Photograph by Susan Scheid, 2014

    here i swing
    and my breath
    does not catch
    as i reach
    for the next ring

    for there is no question
    for there is no doubt
    within me
    for nobody has said yet
    you cannot be that thing

    and as beautiful as a bloom of spring
    filling this air around me
    blunting out the decay of this city
    i float within the breeze
    knees bent
    wrist ready

    a butterfly set free
    into the world after

    oh beauty, this sun
    that shines upon me
    please shine on them instead
    for they are not free

    here i swing
    for the next ring
    pretending it is I
    who is King
    who could free all those butterflies
    waiting, in his captivity


    Firstly, thank you to Susan Scheid for use of her wonderfully inspiring photo. I had asked a while back if I could use a photo from her blog for NPM…it is no longer April, but that matters not for poems can be written any time of year.

    I must also thank Sue for linking me to the music that was played while writing this poem. You may find the link here – it is the first performance, ff to around 10 minutes. One may think that the orchestra is tuning, but if you continue, it is very much as Sue described it to me – a wave in the ocean – terribly meditative this work by John Luther Adams.

    Finally, a friend text me wondering if I was no longer a writer (I’m assuming it is because the blog has been silent. My answer – am I really a writer? Writing could be my whole being, but it instead fights with my real life. The creative self often loses energy after the day has end. Since I still survive, can breathe, without writing (creating) then perhaps I cannot claim to be… 


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