Friday, May 29, 2015

Constellation In Glass

I said, "I have the sea inside a glass flower vase.
I have the stars on a necklace string, leather and light."

You said, "Oh, for the blue behind the moon;
the rain that never rains enough--
the silence--the ivory key--the night."

The etched leaves on the face of the flower vase
tell about your fingers on my skin.

And the necklace? Its silver clasp 
opens only once--releasing 
the lonely orderly stars...again.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Murder Because (for Leelah Alcorn)

Murder because God is not a bludgeon to be used against your own children.
Murder because you couldn't stand the truth.
Murder because destroying a soul in the name of God is an obscene lie.
Murder because everywhere 
to be seen as feminine is to be seen as less.

Murder because you hammered nails through her wings and called it a cross.
Murder every time you called her "he".
Murder every time you used the name she knew was not hers,
and drove the despair in a little deeper every time you did.

Murder because of the rape of spirit that is conversion therapy.
Murder because you stuffed God's mouth full of your own lies.
Murder because this must not happen again.
Murder because you drove the sanctimonious unstoppable truck
that she stepped in front of and was smashed by dogma dressed up as Jesus. 

Murder again and again even after she's dead, through the things you say.
Murder because there is no bible anywhere that says it is better to bury your children
than to love them for who they really are.
Cisgendered, transgendered, genderqueer, gay, bi, or straight,
America's children are talking; don't let God be the only one who listens.

On December 28th, 2014,  sixteen year old Leelah (born Joshua) Alcorn killed herself by stepping in front of a truck. She did this after having told her parents that she was transgendered; their response was to declare her truth "a phase" and to send her to Christian conversion therapy. Feeling isolated and hopeless, she decided that ending her life was her only option. Even after her death, her parents spoke of their "unconditional love" for their "son." 


Monday, May 25, 2015


Alice stepped through the looking glass,
but was stopped by security and searched;
detained and taken before a magistrate
for the contraband found in her purse.

They asked her her name, and she said it was Alice,
this morning to the best of her knowledge;
The gavel came down: "Guilty! Read the charge!"
Now enrolled in penitentiary, not college.

A champion appeared, a man with a queer
predilection for romancing minors;
wrote her story for the press, claiming duress
by the bumbling fools who'd tried her.

He got her released, and Alice was pleased
to be gone from the matron, a sadist;
now Kate Beckinsale plays her, and the studio pays her--
that's what the moral to that is!

for Warning the Stars Saturday #23...Alice with a twist.



Remembering all who served.

Especially my fellow airmen.

 To those who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms, we salute you.  May you fly with God.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Book Review: "The Winter People"

The Winter PeopleThe Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"The Winter People" takes place in two time periods, 1908 and the present. It tells the story of a small family, a creepy rock formation called The Devil's Hand, and a legend about "sleepers"--the dead brought back to life--that may be true or may be the rantings of a madwoman.

I liked the 1908 storyline much better than the present day. Some of the situations in the present day thread, especially in the second half of the book, just didn't seem believable at all to me, even given a little leeway for the sake of a good yarn. The 1908 thread, on the other hand, is engrossing and truly scary.

The tagline to Stephen King's "Pet Sematary" was "sometimes dead is better." That applies to this story, too. In Sara Shea, who loses her son and then her daughter (followed quickly by her grip on reality), McMahon has created an unforgettable character. Too bad nobody in the present day segment comes close to being as interesting.

In terms of sheer entertainment, "The Winter People" is pretty good. It's hard to put down. However, the first half is better than the second half because of the silliness of some of the present day scenes. I think she should have just stuck to the 1908 story by itself; it was genuinely frightening. She didn't, though, and the novel is the poorer for it.

View all my reviews

Saturday, May 23, 2015


"What matters most is how well we walk through the fire." --Charles Bukowski

The maple keys are falling, as they do every year.
I have taken to reading out in the yard,
while my new dog wanders.

My walnut tree, the one the winter nearly killed two years ago,
is green again, a home and pantry for squirrels.
It is Michigan cool, late May, but warming.

I don't dream of your body as much as I used to,
but my dreams are full of you all the same.
I line up these poems like dolls, a puppet show to please you.

Books end, dogs die, summer runs its course.
Stay, won't you, sweetheart? Call me when you can--
I will be here, spinning like a maple key, still your breezy northern girl.

For Play it Again, Toads. I chose Kenia's challenge to start with a line from a poet you don't like. I dislike Charles Bukowski, the idol of many. Too much booze, too much ugliness. I got the idea to write a very gentle poem about a very bold thing--making it through this life with some sort of grace.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Types of Birds

Types of birds:

blue jay

All birds love the church.

the tower nest
the tower bell
the sky spread out overhead, inexhaustible altitude.

Stacked stones in geometric statement offer sanctuary.

cardinals and a heart to beat them into the world.

My love, lit match, black book, dark eyed juncoe,
taloned starling,
raptor asleep in the afternoon,

I have gathered every rain and made these glorious stormy wings.

Why can't I touch God?
Why the gauntlet between us, the tether, this madhouse distance?
Wrap your one wing around me as I will mine for you; we rise together semi-divine.

Types of birds:


cartwheel in the open air.

Have faith in Me, sayeth the Lord.
Just trust in us, baby. At midnight, music playing.
Types of song, shades of color, each requiring light, air, love.

We do the best we can. We pray. We kiss. We fall willingly into the sky and vanish.

for Real Toads.