30 July 2010


perfectly still
window open
moisture beads
trails down waist
slight breeze
stirs sigh
fingers trace
curved hip
head moves
whistles cool
salty streams
shiver still

Thank you to Poets United for the prompt. Visit the link for an assault on your sultry sensibilities. ha!

Imaginary Guest

for Thyra and M. M.

The night Marlee Matlin came to dinner
at our house, my daughter’s face became a
glowing orb. Matlin felt her pull and was
drawn into an exquisite expression of thought
flowing from fingers faster than I could read.

Third wheel, I served curried potato soup
and refreshed tall glasses of Arnold Palmers
to tinkling ice singing for my ears, a private
symphony echoing the clinking of silver
on ceramic plates. Dessert followed, hot cherry
pie topped with old fashioned vanilla ice cream.
Plated pie entered to noses exploring air.
Eyes exchanged rapture. Fingers kissed from
lips spread yum. Pie disappeared and my daughter
laughed as Matlin reached across the table to
dab a cherry red drip from her chin.

In this picture you can see how excited Marlee was to meet Thyra. ;-)

Shout out to Big Tent Poetry for the prompt.

“This week, start with a list of pop culture icons that interest you. Imagine one of them in a mundane setting: Marilyn Monroe doing the dishes, Elvis mowing the lawn, Lady Gaga carpooling the kids to soccer practice. Poem an icon into a situation they may never, in real life, appear.”

While Marlee Matlin is not exactly a pop culture icon in the hearing world, she is a pop icon in the Deaf world in the United States. Matlin is an academy award winning actress and a role model for many deaf and hard of hearing girls across America.  My daughter looks to Matlin as a role model.

To keep my conscience clean, the movie Matlin won an award for is Children of a Lesser God.  The treatment of Deaf people as needing to be fixed in that movie raises Thyra's hackles.  Deaf people do not need to talk to live full lives, nor do they need to be fixed.  They are not broken.

28 July 2010

be present in your life

a gentle reminder to self

construct of mind
echoes into morning
sans concrete existence

precious gift
holy moment
birds fly by
Earth and moon circle sun

promise parade
mucks up

Honor memory
create coherence
be present
set free agendas
live each now

practice kindness
a child laughs

be the change
you want
to see in the world

Thank you to Mary at We Write Poems for the prompt. The prompt challenged me, and I went beyond the three suggested stanzas. The italics at the end are Ghandi's words.

27 July 2010

Navarasa ~ for POW ~ Rallentanda


underwater sitar sounds
strum thump rattle jing
serpent arms
charm aria threads
weave apparitions
snake revelations
filter Sanskrit figures

hooded eyes on
scaled pillar sway
strum thump rattle jing
Krishna advises Arjuna and
chariots cross the Ganges.
Ravi enlightens Anoushka
and sitars ring.

lotus hands flutter
ghost stories
rising myths
strum thump rattle jing
long necked string song
conjure water currents
cascade sound
enchant and unfurl my soul

This poem is my response to track 4, Ghost Story, of Anoushka Shankar’s Breathing Under Water, available at iTunes. It accompanied me over and over again as I struggled with this piece. It bore fruit, but Rallentanda’s prompt at POW this week did made me work hard. Thank you for the challenge, Rall. It was fun to become intimate with Shankar’s music.

In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna advises Arjuna to fight a righteous battle. Arjuna embraces “ahimsa,” or nonviolence. Krishna is persuasive and waxes poetic. It is a beautiful read.

The title for my piece, Navarasa, comes from the following quote of Ravi Shankar.  The link takes you to his website.

Ravi Shankar on Music - January 2009
"How does one put the spiritual significance of music on paper? Music transcends all languages and barriers and is the most beautiful communicative skill one can have. Music makes us all experience different emotions or the Navarasa as we call it. Different types of music, whether it is vocal or instrumental, Eastern or Western, Classical or Pop or folk from any part of the world can all be spiritual if it has the power to stir the soul of a person and transcend time for the moment. It makes one get goose-bumps in the body and mind and equates the highest mental orgasm and the release of grateful tears!"

ABC Wednesday B ~ Benton Lake Haiku

Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge July 2010

floating reflections
of cloud claim clear glass water
mirroring the sky

Please visit ABC Wednesday.

Hazel & Edna

This photograph by Lyndon Wade inspired Edna, the narrator in this piece. Her wistful appearance initiated the journey this piece takes.

Hazel & Edna
Hazel and I were born in Blue Earth, Minnesota, where an 8 foot statue of the Jolly Green Giant stands sentry near the local Wal-Mart. I remember the day the giant was erected. As he rose. my best friend whispered to me, “Oh my good golly,” she paused, and looked at me with sparks shooting from her eyes, “a jolly green erection.” My laugh turned every eye our way. My face reddened, eyes turned down, but Hazel pointed her chin up, and said “You are a clever one, Miss Edna,” leaving the crowd to think that I said something witty and wise. Hazel’s brazenness filtered over to me, only after she died. Hazel’s absence sparked that change. I envisioned her hovering above me at different moments, pleased with my new found spunk.

When Hazel passed over I recalled Red Rover, the childhood game where we met. Until my dad was killed, and she went back to work, my mom homeschooled me. I attended public school for the first time at 10. We played a game that first day out in the field at recess with locked arms grabbed wrist on wrist. My team screamed, “Red Rover Red Rover send Hazel right over!” A girl with cinnamon hair and the bluest eyes I had ever seen locked those eyes on me before starting across the field. Hazel ran into my arm hard, rolling her weight against me until we landed a giggled embrace. At ten I felt the world shift.

Every day, Hazel encouraged me to “grab the bull by the horns.” She is the reason I made it through high school. We spent hours together at the library pouring over tomes. Whispering stories and details from books we journeyed through enchanted kingdoms, high society teas, factory workers sweaty struggles, and illicit sex. We grew up in the Blue Earth public library. In between the arts and literature Hazel touched my hair. “It’s so black.” she whispered, “like a raven.” She made a sound that cooed shivers through my shoulders. I turned to face her. “Yours, Hazel,” I picked up a strand and gazed at it, “looks like fields of wheat tinged red by the sun’s low hanging light.” Hazel pulled me to her, I lowered my face to hers and we kissed. Mouths open, lips wet, our tongues explored each other’s dark caves between the 700s and 800s in Blue Earth Public Library, our love fest began. It didn’t die until Hazel passed, at 83. We fell in love between the stacks, and we loved each other every day that we lived.

In '72 we bought a Victorian house in Blue Earth. Its staircase spiraled to the second floor. Back then, Hazel would swing one leg up over the banister, slide down, body forward, arms up high--"Woo Hoo!" she'd hoot. Not me, she was the brave one, my friend, my lover, my life. She slid for the day we might walk out in the world, hand in hand, not hand in hiding. Our sexuality remained hidden for nearly 50 years. We were born into a world that didn't understand us, wouldn't accept us, might even persecute us. We knew that, and pretended to be roommate spinsters.

Funny story this one coming: Hazel had t-shirts made. Spinsters-in-Arms headlines a picture of the two of us 73 year old ladies touting Rugers, shoulder to shoulder shooters, in front of the Eagle's Eye Shooting Range. That idea was Hazel's. She wanted me to be able to defend myself should she pass first. One day, Rugers in hand, she asked a patron at the range to take that picture of us. She entered it in a contest and won $750. "This is our chance to show everyone who we really are." Hazel said. She used all the money for t-shirts, when they came, she showed me one. At the bottom of the tshirt it said, "sharing guns and a bed since before you was born." Ha! You reach a certain age, and something like this just needs to be out there. We wore our t-shirts with pride and gave them out free to every member of Eagle Eye Woman's Trap Club.

It isn't really true that we fell in love between the stacks. Well, it was Hazel's truth, I suppose. It was not my truth. For me, it was the day she lay on top of me in the field where we played Red Rover. It was the moment I looked up at her and saw sky peek through the slits where her eyes were, framed by the sunlit grasses of her cinnamon hair. We were never persecuted, people got it. Hazel said that "They must see the love in our eyes." I think they could feel it ripple like waves between us. It ripples still. I feel her, I'll feel Hazel in me until I stop breathing and join her in the waves that strum the universal hum.

24 July 2010


an introduction
of many realities confuses
one track minds
causes a closing of open ears
a famine in the plenty

we are shapes of the Earth dancing
in the magic valley and
They’re mining us on our
one journey through her fields
“The Earth was the mother,”
the voices said
“The Earth was the mother.”
rivers flowed from open mouths.

It rains in valleys
south of hell
mining intelligence
monsters beat unholy bells
children never Born 18
blaze incoherently
to ash

Every word has power
The Beast feeds on thought because
certain things just got to be looked at
we live in shadows
of eradication

the other day
a thousand years ago
what happened to the tribes of Europe
makes spectators thirst for blood
attacking spirits,
democracy reigns terror
stifling voices
shouting from the sidelines
“You just don’t get it-
save yourselves
there’s nothing wrong with us
lift me up
so everything you do
doesn’t hurt anymore.”

Here is the prompt as written at Writer’s Island. (Thanks for the prompt, Rob!)
••> The “lucky” thirteenth prompt for 2010 is something a little different — just for fun. The prompt is: TITLES… Please permit me to explain a bit more. Go grab your favorite music album/CD that contains a number of different songs. Look at the titles, then use all, or as many or few of these “complete” titles as you wish to create your written piece.

I confess to cheating, in that I used a spoken word CD rather than music.  Tracks is the track titles from John Trudell ’s spoken word album, JT DNA. It is available for download at iTunes. Every title appears, in order, in Tracks.

List of spoken word tracks on John Trudell’s cd, JT DNA.
1. Introduction
2. Of Many Realities
3. Famine In the Plenty
4. We Are Shapes of the Earth
5. The Magic Valley
6. They’re Mining Us
7. One Journey
8. The Earth was the Mother
9. The Voices Said
10. The Earth was the Mother
11. South of Hell
12. Intelligence
13. Born 18
14. Every Word Has Power
15. The Beast
16. Certain Things Just Got to Be Looked At
17. The Other Day
18. What Happened to The Tribes of Europe
19. Spectator
20. Democracy
21. Shouting from the Sidelines
22. There’s Nothing Wrong With Us
23. Me Up
24. Doesn’t Hurt Anymore

23 July 2010

flax blooms blue

rain awakens
dormant seed until
blue covers fallow field
serendipitous flax germinated
in this cool wet Montana summer

chase a monkey

Chase a monkey through your poem
let it swing through the stanzas to come.
Make it the piggy backing shadow
of your character’s dark desires.

Send it to the aid of an organ grinder,
where its dancing fills cups with coins
and keeps them in bananas and rum
lifetime friends, monkey and man.

With a bright moon rising
pursue your primate
through the dusty streets of Mysore
simply to conjure the heady scent of sandalwood
that permeates the hot night air.

When it stops to screech
or scratch its hips
with monkey fingers flapping,
screech back at it.
Dare to dodge
the tiny pellets of poo
it keeps flinging up
from beneath your words.

Check out Big Tent Poetry, for excellent writing every week. This week we were asked to write a piece inspired by a favorite poet. Catch a Monkey is inspired by Billy Collins, Introduction to Poetry, where he suggests dropping a mouse into a poem. A monkey dropped into mine.

22 July 2010

Taluna's Revenge ~ A Magpie Tale

Something always comes knocking on Georgia’s brain reminding her that things are never quite right. Last night it was Johnny’s sister. Georgia sat up at 3:33 am and saw an image of Taluna hanging from the tip of the crescent moon. Her eyes all bulged out. She almost woke Johnny to warn him, but he didn’t put much stock in her “flashes of insight,” as he liked to call them, using his fingers like quotation marks in the air. Johnny’s constant ridicule wore thin. Taluna told her to leave him twenty years ago, but Georgia just couldn’t do it. She wished it was Johhny she’d seen last night. Not Taluna, not the one person who understood what Georgia endured with her big brother. Taluna planted a field of poppies in Georgia and Johnny’s back yard “to soothe your journey, Georgia, to soothe your journey.”

She woke to an empty bed, flicked open her cell phone and pushed the 2. When Taluna didn’t answer cold flooded Georgia. She knew. Sure enough, Taluna was found in her fourth floor walk up loft, hanging from the rafters. With her eyes bulging out, that much Georgia knew. When the police ruled it a homicide, she decided to tell Johnny about her vision.

Johnny flew into a rage, drove his truck straight to Ace and came back wearing his toolbelt, a piece of plywood under arm. Georgia watched, bemused, as Johnny got the ladder from the garage. “I’m sick to death of your little “flashes of insight,” he whined, “this oughta take care of it once and for all.” He trudged up the ladder with that plywood and started to hammer it over her window. A gust of wind picked up. It sent Johnny and the plywood sailing end over end until they landed with a thud in the yard.

Georgia ran to Johnny’s side. She could see that this was the end. “I killed her,” Johnny moaned, “Taluna, baby, I did it…….” His eyes closed for the last time. Georgia shuddered.

That morning Georgia woke at 3:33 a.m. and looked out the window above her bed. There was Taluna, swirling with poppies through gusts of wind. Georgia could swear she saw her wink.

This story is in response to the picture prompt offered by Willow at Magpie Tales.  Be sure to check out the link other creative responses to the picture.  And thanks, for stopping by!


Sophia Sophia Sophia
flashing red yellow beast
pirate bird
run across the top of your cage
to screech at doves on a wire
I wonder
if the windows rattle
as deep as the nerve in my soul
that knows you need to be free,
knows you need to be wild,
knows it’s too late,
you’re a wild animal
living in a cage in my house
screaming at freedom

at night you whisper
I love you smooth as rain
that slides down glass

Sadie Sadie Sadie
hanging from a bar
across the top of your
habitat you flap
blue gold wings,
folded behind your back
with a repetitive
aaaah aaaaaah aaaaaah

life with John
keeper number one
wife came
children came
you became
I wonder if you miss John
who took you in the yard
near the Missouri River and
let you fly to the tops of Ponderosa
I wonder if you miss John
when you hang your mantra
from that black metal pole
moaning behind plexiglass
for my viewing pleasure

The Poet’s United prompt for Thinking Thursday is sound. In my house, sound and birds go hand-in-hand. I took advantage of the prompt to write about two of the birds that live with us. To read a kyrielle I wrote about Sophia, click on the “sophia” label below this post.

I also wrote this piece to get this message out: Stop purchasing parrots. They deserve better than us. We purchased Sophia six years ago from PetCo when they told us she was moving to another PetCo as she had a deformed toe, and they could not sell her. We had been visiting her there for 3 or 4 months. Her toe has since fallen off, and she’s fine. We inherited Sadie last year. Living with these birds can be extremely aggravating. I’m sure life for them is extremely aggravating.

If you want a parrot, adopt one that is no longer wanted. There are estimated to be over 100,000 unwanted parrots living in the United States alone. We don’t want ours many days. I feel guilt and sorrow for these beautiful creatures. We love them, and do the best that we can for them, but they don’t belong in houses.

….another cautionary note? Feeding them is expensive.

Leave them be, don’t bring more in, and if you are a breeder of exotic creatures like this….you need to take a good hard look at what you are doing. I’m just saying.

21 July 2010

Going to the Sun

for Len

Where do we go from here
when the hollow pit of nothing
opens its gaping mouth and
swallows us whole?
Why do illusions of perfection
conquer lives lived simply for regret?
When will we let go of childish pride and
ride to the sun forever in our hearts
forever in our arms
forever in us
Wounded words sink in
whalesong whirling
to the bottom of tumultuous seas,
while shadows of forever
whistle in the breeze.
I love you,
bigger than the little me
who whines so pitifully.
I love you.
Will I ever learn to dance it
through a filter gracefully?
With poetry,

Forgive me for my part in
shaking up forever.
Let your strong arms pull me down to
stitch me back together.

In response to Rallentanda's prompt, What's on my mind?

Angel You

Angel You
 sits on rock
formed before time

love for you
pours from me
like water
over Virginia Falls
where other angels
hover reflections
of your so bright light

Angel You is for my daughter, Thyra.  She's always on my mind.  Rallentanda at POW asked that we write about "What's on our minds" this week. 

I chose "Angel" for ABC Wednesday Round 7, A.  Jump on board, poets!  ABC Wednesday has many picture posts from around the world that are a delight to check out every week.  There are also quite a few writers posting words.  Check it out!

I took both pictures in Glacier National Park last Sunday.

20 July 2010

for the children & Step up Non Believers

First off, thank you to We Write Poems and to Nicole Nicholson for the prompt. I loved it! Be sure you check out Nicole’s writing if you haven’t already over at Raven’s Wing Poetry.

“Sit at a table with pen and paper; put yourself in a ‘receptive’ frame of mind, and start writing. Continue writing without thinking of what is appearing beneath your pen. Write as fast as you can. If, for some reason, the flow stops, leave a space and immediately begin again by writing down the first letter of the next sentence. Choose this letter at random before you begin, for instance, a ‘t’, and always begin this new sentence with a ‘t’. Although in the purest version of automatism nothing is ‘corrected’ or re-written the unexpected material produced by this method can be used as the basis for further composition. What is crucial is the unpremeditated free association that creates the basic text.”

Included are my process notes and stream of consciousness writings. If the details and “hows” of the poems don’t interest you, scroll down to the titles(in bold) and read. It won’t hurt my feelings a bit. 
First Piece / Thursday
Immediately after reading the prompt at We Write Poems, I selected the letter h, and the following flowed. It didn’t seem connected after writing the first three times, so I stopped and reread. Then I continued. Rereading helped it go somewhere.

Oh---I did not use pen and paper for this prompt. I love my trusty keyboard. It is one of my fondest friends.

One more thing before you start reading my streaming...for the first piece I listened to Peter Ostroushko(accomplished mandolin, violin..wow!) while composing words, while I wrote the second piece in quiet. Interesting that the first piece rhymes....

Streaming . . .

hours of time can dwindle away when you listen to what other people say the world

harbors thoughts of existence people free to be you and me and the thousand gazillion insects that fly from tree to tree

hiding inside bees’ hives underwater in the deep blue sea where every spider plays a mandolin and dances sweet with me

hallowed ground and hollowed gourds girder what’s to be and all the world slips silently beneath a troubled sea let it be let it be why must we mine our mother to supplant our nasty greed take heed take heed why must we mine our mother to supplant our nasty greed

hands inside the water shaking up the hive makes all the children wonder if anything’s alive the fear and deadness in their eyes is really no surprise when the only thing we’ve left to them is gaping gray skies
Here’s where it went:

for the children

hiding in a bee’s hive
underwater in the sea
every spider plays a mandolin and
dances sweet with me

hollowed ground and
hallowed gourds
girder what’s to be as
all the world slips silently
beneath a troubled sea

let it be

why must we mine our Mother
to supplant our nasty greed
take heed
take heed
why must we mine our Mother
to supplant our nasty greed

hands inside the water
shaking up the hive
make all the children wonder if
anything’s alive
the fear and deadness in their eyes is really no surprise
when the only thing we’ve left to them is gaping gray skies

Second Piece / Tuesday

Process ~~~~> I followed a stream of consciousness using the letter e. What follows blurted out so quickly I couldn’t stop my fingers. I watched The Fourth Kind this week(a film about alien abduction in Nome, Alaska), and it definitely colors this piece. Interesting to me is the fact that I had not consciously given the whole abduction thing much thought before writing this (I hope that does not mean I’m next….ha!).

AHA! I just posted the link to this piece at We Write Poems, then came back to reread this poem (not the streaming, just the piece). My husband and I fought recently, I said things I shouldn't have said, he withdrew. (dirty laundry :) I think Step up Non Believers is actually my response to those feelings. It was an interesting enough aha!, that I wanted to share it with my fellow poets---so there you go. (Sorry for airing our dirty laundry Len...I love my life with you.)

everywhere you look people are picking up the pieces of lives they no longer feel they control themselves everywhere lightning flashes until skies cave in and the atmosphere sucks them into the sky for the people to see what if feels like to be wanted to see what it feels like to be pulled spinning through a worm hole to an existence outside of this one, to a different reality

early on angst covers the people until the spinning screams and each body sucking through space tubes wails terror memories of being wanted fade when the vacuum tube spits them back onto Earth trembling piles of flesh
Now it’s time to play with it. :)

Step up Non Believers!

everywhere you look
people pick up pieces of
out of control lives
lightning flashes
until skies cave in and
atmosphere sucks the people into sky
to see what if feels like to be wanted
to see what it feels like to be pulled
spinning through a worm hole
to an existence outside of this one,
to a different reality
early on angst covers the people until
each body sucked through space straws
wails terror

memories of being wanted fade
when the vacuum tube spits them
back onto Earth
trembling piles of flesh
no one will ever

19 July 2010


live spirit pictures
spring from my fingers
until eerie stillness lingers

tentative digits
press keys and delete
to edit empty defeat

inside from outside
recycled through soul
poems come and poems go

At POW this week Rallentanda encouraged us to write what's on our mind. Check out Rall's poetry this week. Also check in the comments of her pieces to read more excellent poems this week, there are sure to be plenty!

With Love from Angola

rough stones emerge from muck in hands
and cross continents, oceans, more hands
white stones graded, polished, cut
set in gold, platinum, silver
riches and love
finger gems

the first pair of hands
digs to eat, to feed families
while the richest rebels in Africa
The Revolutionary United Front
(known for chopping off limbs)
barter diamonds for weapons
terror chases 500,000 people
from home
butchered diggers’ blood flows
through Angola’s rivers and congeals
along their banks

on the last pair of hands,
a finger
flaunts forever

Look! He went to Jared’s.

For a stone that retails for $10,000, a digger receives ~$800, and that is only if a man with a gun (or worse) does not take it from him first. Most diamonds only bring around $20 to the digger.

Different estimates lead me to believe that approximately 15% of the world’s diamonds currently at market come from Angola. Statistics skew both ways…this seems to come up most frequently.

Do I wear diamonds? No, I never have worn them, but my reasons are far from noble. I don’t like the way gemstone rings catch on things. I talk with my hands too much.

I found this prompt at Poets United, check out the link for more takes on the prompt.

For readers not in the U.S. Jared's is a jewelery store, television commercials repeat themselves so often, that "he went to Jared's" has become a euphemism for "he bought me a ring!" I do not know where Jared's buys their diamonds.

17 July 2010

the hermit

Running from reunions
requires rock hard discipline
living without looking back
snip the red threads that
connect you to
every life you ever touched
every path you ever crossed
Hermit! Open the door!

Critters all of
forest and sky
are the spirit threads
I need to get by.
Chopping wood,
the chickadees sing
a Gilead’s balm for
humanity’s sting.
In mountains far
I built my home.
People! Leave me alone!

Visit Writer's Island for more pieces on the prompt: reunion.

16 July 2010

currents of myth

The phoenix engulfs itself in a blaze
before its progeny rises from ash.
Some things burn to the bottom of always,
500 years disappear in a flash.
Beneath burning flames a beak, with panache
rips through its shell beneath smoldering oak.
Scarlet bright wings stretch out wide against ash
as it twists and twines through spiraling smoke
riding currents of myth immortality woke.

Shout out to Magpie Tales for the inspiration I took from the word fire. I wanted to try a new form this week, so I searched until I found the Spenserian stanza:
The Spenserian stanza, the invention of Edmund Spenser, consists of nine lines, the first eight iambic pentamenter, the ninth iambic hexameter (twelve syllables) rhyming ababbcbcc.

infinite loop

wisps unfurl
a gluttonous famine
of forgetting until
obsolete memories scratch
on the present
illuminating emptiness
opening soul chasms
into angel moons that
blind you to yourself
duped into believing
words won’t flow
unless your monkey eats
wisps unfurl
a gluttonous famine
of forgetting until

This piece is entitled it infinite loop, as it should be read continuously over, and over. The hidden message is up to each interpreter(or maybe it's just words?).

Shout out to Nathan Landau at Big Tent Poetry for the prompt. Poets were instructed to use stenography in their pieces, or "hide something in plain sight."

14 July 2010

after the rain

After the rain
in that single
moment of quiet
before birds
remember to sing
all the wonder
of all the world
rests in potential—

magic waiting for release.

Shout out to Robert Lee Brewer of Poetic Asides for the prompt, which is also the title of this piece.

Lord Ganesha

In my dark bed
every noise registers
your heavy presence
on the shelf near
the door
entering our office.
(A bed-to-statue drill
takes less than
2 seconds.)


Dear Ganesha,

Remover of Obstacles
Patron of Arts and Sciences
Deva of Intellect
Patron of Letters
Bestower of Good Beginnings

Let our life together
be filled with
a successive flow of
words and learning
with no real life trauma
where I ram your long
brass arm into the eye
of any “obstacle”
who enters my home
uninvited in the middle
of a deep dark night.

Shout out to We Write Poems for the prompt.  Visit the link to take in some marvelous poetry.

13 July 2010

breakfast in bed

for Len

Never in that
dream of dreams
childhood sent my 
nighttimes to, did I 
imagine You, my 
love. Even

as gray shoots 
through your dark
outrageous curls 
certain brown eyed
glances bring 
moistening and we 
relinquish our day
to the bedroom 
faire l’amour.

You become my
dark prince
and trusted stallion—
rider and horse 
as one.

In the morning,
tethered to fields
of rich dark coffee,
my tongue
follows a sweet dark 
rivulet from 
pain au chocolat
up the long 
slow curve
of your 
succulent chin.

A big thank you to Rallentanda at POW. This piece would not have come without her prompt. "Write a poem in the style of Prevert with some French sprinkles. Please provide a translation if you are going to use big chunks of French .I look forward to some very varied and interesting poems next week. A toute a l'heure."

I read several translations of Jacques Prevert's poems before writing my own. I wanted to write a piece that included coffee and love. ha!

12 July 2010

for the BLNWR birds

Common coots, and
eared grebes float on
benign white pillows
in mirrored miles
of sky surrounded by
lush marshes of cattail
and native grasses.

A wee marsh wren,
in knee high reeds,
repetitive shrieks
to remind me
this is Its
set aside
not mine.

Everything quiets
in response to
its tirade,
until again
voices rise and call.

Imperceptible signals
or shifting winds
dispatch ample wings
to ride eddies
in dizzying dance.

A congregation in flight
praise and fury at
being wild and alive
in this wetland marsh
where people seldom tread.

BLNWR stands for Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge, it is north of town. My husband and I spent several hours there reading, writing, and listening this weekend.

Check out some more poetry on board the Monday Poetry Train.

Magpie Tomato Lune

iron vines cling tight
until rot
liberates spent fruit

Shout out to Magpie Tales for the picture prompt.  Check out the link for creative takes on the picture.

Thank you to Robert Lee Brewer of Poetic Asides for his description of the lune. “The lune is also known as the American Haiku. It was first created by the poet Robert Kelly (truly a great poet) and was a result of Kelly's frustration with English haiku. After much experimentation, he settled on a 13-syllable, self-contained poem that has 5 syllables in the first line, 3 syllables in the second line and 5 syllable in the final line.”

09 July 2010

dropping like lies

House parties seethe pretty people in
haute couture. Nose jobs, brow lifts,
and botox eat original face.
People keep dropping like lies.


Shout out to Big Tent Poetry for the prompt!

07 July 2010

Spirited Road Trip

A flashback heightens my chest, laughing
as we head down MT 12 east toward my hometown.
A billboard, that fisher of men, tells stories of Jesus and Truth
(corporate church folk mining our spirits, conjuring).
Back in Straw listening to Strange Angels
wind rushed through my chest
in a house with no walls
my eyes moved miles across the Big Sky.
Rivers of clouds passed time before a low hanging sun
as everything yellowed eerie and strange
anticipating the tornado that took Hugo’s
sheep— Fourth of July in ‘71, the morning
he fashioned a lady in Kicking Horse Reservoir
breaking down his despair with love, (story of my life).
Later, twirling ewes slammed into my backyard, freakish fireworks.
Today, frogs fall sideways from nowhere, slapping our windshield
as we finish our weekend lost in ghost towns
exploring Montana’s past.

A prompt and a road trip generated this interesting piece. Shout out to Mallery, over at We Write Poems for this prompt with specific instructions for each line.

1. A feeling
2. Observe the scenery of your immediate surroundings
3. Personification of an inanimate object
4. Use a metaphor
5. Spend four lines recalling a prominent memory
6. Use symbolism in a statement
7. Associate some form of weather to the feeling in #1
8. Tell a lie, about anything
9. Make a reference to a holiday or season
10. State a fact about a favorite artist or poet
11. Compare yourself to a specific piece from the artist/poet you used in #10
12. Negate the lie you told in #8, or further support or restate it
13. Describe a daydream or parts of a dream you’ve had
14. For the last two lines, refer to a vacationing location

The poet I refer (and included in my lie) is Richard Hugo. Hugo was a Montana poet who passed in ’83. I used two of his pieces as inspiration. The Lady in Kicking Horse Reservoir, and The River Now. I’ve included a picture of the billboard I personified, we saw it on our way home from a great road trip Sunday. It made me laugh so hard that we turned around and went back for this picture.

John Trudell deserves mention, as well. His work, DNA, is downloaded on my iPod, we listened to him off and on through our travels over the weekend. Trudell talks about people and spirits being mined in different ways. His work inspires me.

06 July 2010

ABC Wednesday Y

wee yellow spider
still you sit
on potentilla

This arachnid showed itself on a potentilla bush in Anaconda, Montana on July 4, 2010.  The poem is an American form, the lune, which has two cultivars. :-) This one is a Kelly Lune.  For more creative pictures and words check out ABC Wednesday, you'll be glad you did.

her cursed eye

My eye will haunt you, far beyond this day.
Its yellow flecks will constrict your passions.
Like Poe’s old man’s heart, that’s what some will say.

It watches you spend your father’s rations
with gazes intent when lovers draw nigh.
Your slick-willy ways and stunning fashions

smash in your face when you mention my eye.
Your lover gasps, and asks if you’re crazy.
You say, "Can’t you see it, up in the sky?

Up there, by the clouds, maybe it’s hazy.
You really can’t see it? It casts a light.
The eye of my first love, now dead Daisy.

That day she cursed me, her eye threw a blight.
She may be gone. but I’m still in her sight."

Shout out to Rallentanda at POW for the great picture prompt.  This piece is a terza rima sonnet, a form Rallentanda had us working with a couple weeks ago.

01 July 2010

Magpie Cracker

from this to bits

soft pastel flecks
float below screams
of ye-haw! and holy shit!
as crackers
burst a boy's hand
into bits of skin
that glisten
in confetti fallout
on this fabulous
Fourth of July

Visit Magpie Tales for other creative responses to this picture prompt.  You'll be glad you did!

Responding to Victor


I am a                       bleeding
white woman            heart

sitting in a recliner 
imagining forgiveness
envisioning an educational system
where truth includes 


Could you forgive them, Mrs. Warren?

for specific atrocities, never

butchering mothers, 
babies in bellies
profaning female forms
dead and spread
vaginas: cut and dried hide 
covers for saddle horns
indigenous parts become
white man’s medicine
pubic scalps bring applause
conqueror’s eyes shine

I mean I know it was a long time ago, 
but could you forgive them if you was alive then?

me, plunging blades into soldiers’ breasts
until they take me from me, spent        no

no, Victor, not then

How ‘bout now, if you was Native now, could you forgive them?

holding onto hatred 
burns seething holes
through spirits
(don’t give them that)

forgiveness frees
it opens hearts—

open hearts 
spread kindness
and you already know 
how I feel about that 

Yeah, but you ain’t Native so you don’t know fer sure.


Think about this, Victor—
In 1972, I was 10.  
In 1972, Montana added Article X Section 1 to its Constitution.

 “The state recognizes the distinct and unique 
cultural heritage of American Indians and 
is committed in its educational goals 
to the preservation of their cultural integrity.”

In my 1972 Montana classroom, we celebrated Columbus Day.
Manifest Destiny rose up, a noble beacon of light.
Tribal diversity never entered the room.
Constitutional law, denied.

In our 2010 classroom, we uncover the bullshit, Victor.
Just like Coyote scams feathers from ducks, 
the United States government scams people to impel ideologies.
We know what Columbus did.

It’s nebulous.

Do I forgive the educational system for lying to me?  
No, It ticks me off.
But I’m doing something about it from within the system.
Get inside of the system Victor—figure out its workings.  
Only then, can you ferret out change.

Remember the ducks,
When they understood Coyote’s motives 
they averted his advances.

A big thank you to the muses Big Tent Poetry inspires. The prompts offered at Big Tent get me thinking. This piece was difficult to get through. I almost didn't publish it. Something my friend Kate said nagged at me, and I hit the publish post button. "You can't censor yourself."

Here is the prompt:
Is there a question you are burning to ask someone? Is there a person (living or dead) you would love to have a conversation with? Maybe, as our IRL poet friend shared, you have had a conversation with someone that bears repeating (and examining through poetry’s sharp lens). Perhaps someone has posed a question to you that you simply, at the time, could not answer. Take some time this week and compose your answer in the form of a poem.

A high caliber of writing exists under the Big Tent. Be sure to visit for other takes on the prompt.