Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Bright by daylight,
but you get dark early, babe.

You make me shiver,
when you wrap yourself around me.

Your blackcat ways
and the things you say,

leave me to smile, 

33 words for Words Count with Mama Zen.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


In the clutch,
a stone--
dense as a widow's heart.

The stone
is an un-bird,
cursed nonetheless with a damned restlessness.

through the bottom of the nest,
it takes the whole thing down,

end over disintegrating end
like the Creation Wheel gone graveyard.

Sister murderer,
brother destroyer,
be born into dirt, burrow and grow blinder.

Mother was stoic
and tossed a rose without a tear,
but went home with a hawk in her hair.

She tore at it,
banging her head and rocking to get rid of it,
sitting alone in the hallway to the kitchen, screeching.

Ah well,
this stone is like all the rest,
inside her, a clutch, cracking, then demanding everything--

bald, sightless
helpless boiling monsters
with their black holes open, perversely alive, impossible to satisfy.

for Play it Again at Real Toads. I used Ella's visualization prompt. I saw a hawk with its wings spread.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

So Still, My Love

So still, My Love,
but even so,
you seem to me to be in motion.

So still, My Love,
but in the way of a springing-off point
when the runner has passed by.

I will always love you,
and will always be the mother you need,
as long as (whatever it is that is me) exists.

So, still my love,
no matter these passages,
I love you and send my soul in the easy draft behind you,

my constant runner,
my only heart,
my adored and beautiful boy.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

So long, best friend

In the summer of 2003, I brought home a four month old puppy and named him Bosco. He quickly became the reigning star around here for the next eleven years. However, diabetes has robbed him of his sight, and now of the circulation in his back leg. Tomorrow I will go with him to the vet to say goodbye. I am heartbroken, and shall miss him more than I can express. It is awfully hard to let him go.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Travel Story For Girls

One had a boyfriend,
but never found Howland Island.
The other was an odd duck
looking for mermaids after every rainstorm.

One was Catholic,
the other Lutheran.
Both believed in female clergy
wearing Roman collars, and red hair long.

One lived at home,
the other in a flat where the gulls glide.
When they kissed the first time,
whole flocks moved in circles, like stars.

One liked Anna Ternheim,
the other, Eva Dahlgren.
When they made love the first time,
it was like piloting through easy clouds.

That May it rained every day for a week.
Water landings are dicey things;
Selkies find their buried skins and go back home,
forgetting they were ever human at all.

One moved away,
but the other stayed and wrote swells of storm-blue poems
about transformed women 
wearing Roman collars, and their red hair long.

for Magpie Tales #238, and for Bjorn Rudberg's mini-challenge at Real Toads.

I've featured the this song once before on my blog, but it is so hard to find, and so cool, that I'm featuring it again. Plus, it fits the poem perfectly. Anna Ternheim is a Swedish singer who performs in English. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Her man didn't understand
about the ghosts she said she heard.
The knocks, the noises,
the whispering voices--
impossible. Absurd.

Her man didn't believe in anything
he couldn't hold in his hand.
Such a feckless
show-me skeptic--
such a fucking man.

What was the thing that scared the children,
made them leave their room?
A creaking beam,
a childish dream?
Or maybe, just the moon!

At the stairs he declared there was nothing there,
then was pushed from the back.
He split his head,
now he's dead--
that's just a natural fact. 

for Kerry's "Superstition or Science?" challenge at Real Toads

Sunday, September 14, 2014


"Abra was ready ere I called her name;
and though I called another, Abra came."

When I was little,
the dog and I followed my father into the woods.
He was enchanted,
and he allowed me to become enchanted in turn.

The smell of wet leaves sweetly drugged me.
Black-bark trees lean across every dream I have ever had since,
like middle-aged women toweling their hair after a bath;
you look at them, witchy naked and year-rich,
and they don't blink, don't cover themselves,
they just let you decide
within yourself, girl,
whether their dark eyes have that family pull you'll know is yours to get lost in.

My father was like a 30's gangster car
if it were full of books and papers, radios and a gun moll.
He was from Schenectady, New York,
and his mother had been a local beauty to be reckoned with.
This is the daddy I like to recall--
stepping over a mossy log,
telling the dog and me about a black bear he once saw--
my atheist father in the woods, in love with God.

Here in Michigan, in the autumn,
the vines that wrap themselves around the oaks and silver maples
show themselves, 
wearing shawls with colors for the first time distinct 
from those of their lovers.
I feel it, every September,
this restless longing of a northern heart caught in an ice stream's spell
of wolf and weather, fox and freeze.
My father told me the story of the wolverines,
gone from these woods a hundred years;
loping angel-devils, my sisters,
carrying in their coats a memory I have stayed behind to find.

the two lines in italics are from a 1718 poem by Mathew Prior, and are also quoted in John Steinbeck's "East of Eden".

for the Real Toads mini-challenge: "September Sky". It is 41 degrees here this morning.