Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021


 Everything is fine until it isn't.
Stars wheel in the sky, then turn back upon themselves
as we have, deaf dancers to music with too many sharps.

Gazing at constellations,
no one sets out to disarrange them.
Most of us aren't cruel by nature, don't dark our own world,
we just forget to tend the light, like distracted keepers
who look up and lose hope,
the shore obscured,
the hour too late,
the storm already arrived where no soft word
or brave promise can stop it.

for Dverse "Dancing Queen"

Monday, November 29, 2021

Word Garden Word List #2 (Plath)


Hello friends, it's me, Shay/Fireblossom with your weekly word list writing prompt! This time, the list is taken from the writings of poet Sylvia Plath, and includes words from many of her best known poems, and some from other, lesser known works. 
  The idea is simple: just write a poem of any style or length, OR a flash 55 (a poem or flash fiction consisting of exactly 55 words, not counting the title) using at least 3 of the 20 words provided. Then just copy a link to your poem and leave it in the comments. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 
  This prompt remains "live" through Friday.

Here are your words:


Dr. Morphia

A doctor was sent for the season
called counterfeit by
summer's heart.
No use in the cure, or the reason
that shadows and rings
keep apart
from the cure that coils in the foyer
of the house that love recommends
to the moon and its lilies who crave for
the stitches that wound
as they mend. 

The doctor prescribes herself autumn
and waits for ice to inscribe
a vow to be broken at midnight
by the needle
disguised as a bride
and when the old brag fades to nothing
and the peacocks their colors remove
the idiot winter with moon lilies wins her
with remedies
and blue.


 In a nutshell, meat and wings
and infinite other disturbing things
that rise and rule with iron fist
the little nest that crowns your kiss

Curse the summer, curse the tree
that swelled such nutshells patiently
gardener saw, gardener knew
even as those nutshells grew.

written for quadrille monday at dverse "crown"

image: syd barrett, a founding member of pink floyd whose life was derailed by mental illness. However, this poem is about whatever you think it's about.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

To Those Dead On Public Transport


To those dead on public transport,
we do not judge.
Perhaps you do not know, and not knowing
is just a vacant compartment that the Clerk
Of All Knowledge fills with folded messages.

The various vacuum attachments,
marrow spoons,
foreign capitols,
all may confound and confuse.
Majestic death takes its place with these.

To those dead on public transport,
you needn't concern yourselves further
with stops,
or other petty matters.
Your destination has come to you instead.

Have no worries about your husk of flesh.
If muscles relax and give way,
water is the same whether in glass or lake;
soil the same whether in pot or prairie.
If others snicker, 
they have forgotten their own beginnings.

To those dead on public transport,
this bulb, this skin, 
this womb in which you gestated
now opens.
You emerge. 
It is not the end, but merely the end of the beginning.

You need do nothing but exist vividly,
God's bauble,
taken up,
cut and polished,
worn with pride,
shining brightly.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Emmeline, In November


Emmeline, darkling darling of November
wears russet and red and the rain at dawn.
Her summer-gone ways turn miser to spender,
Emmeline, darkling darling of November.
Her cucks in the churchyard rotting, remember
the rose and her wrist that dropped it down.
Emmeline, darkling darling of November
wears russet and red and the rain at dawn.

this is a triolet poem. 

the image is French language singer Mylene Farmer.

I have written about Emmeline before.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The Drowsing Moon


"Take the ribbon from your hair

shake it loose and let it fall"

--Kris Kristofferson

The moon drowses now, in her compartment

made of asters on a train to the sea

and she seeks in her dream the department

of missent lilies, mislaid carelessly.

Her petition is dancing so sweetly

that the gods search their memories for tears

to stitch where her silver crescent appears.

The moon is blemished now, by dawn and time

and the train master calls for her sorrow

to be served as gin with a wedge of lime

and then forwarded on to tomorrow

where what they can't buy, the asters borrow

a mixing of winds as a bandage to bind

her with thread of forgetting, serpentined.


for Tuesday Poetics: Fay Collins

art by Fay Collins

this poem is a rhyme royal

Monday, November 22, 2021

Word Garden Word List Prompt #1 (Fitzgerald)


Hello and welcome to a new prompt I am going to host here at Word Garden. Every Monday at midnight for as long as I shall dig it, and excepting major holidays, I will provide a list of words derived from a themed source. 

Please use at least 3 of the 20 words provided to write either a poem of any style or length, or a "flash 55", which is a piece consisting of exactly 55 words not counting the title. Variations of the words are allowed. Simply leave the link for your post in the comment section. Prompt remains "live" thru Friday.

This week's 20 words are all derived from the writings of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Here they are:





















The February of a Heart


Here is something from the February of a heart,
cigarette smoke caught in a bell jar,
roses in river ice.

She was dark haired--half onyx, half common crow,
a revised edition of herself,
a slow-fused Chinese firework.

What is there to say now, in too-bright summer?
Her presence made one feverish,
a Vienna of the blood, a powerful champagne.

To be delirious is to be happy, as falling birds are, briefly.
Her smile a trespasser, she owns unsteadily, carelessly, 
one's fine, burning, hotel of the moment.

Here is something from the February of a heart--mine.
One recovers precariously from enchantment,
feather in hand, but sorry the way birds are, when they die.

art: Gustav Klimt "Golden Tears and Kiss"

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Je Ne Regrette Rien


Here is the door you did not go through.
You, ghost handed, 
the handle deaf, 
non-days gathered,
a luggage pyramid entombing clouds and afternoons
discovered centuries later 
by fictions wearing anvil boots.

Come, recover here as the iron rails of empires
rise and intertwine, cobras
reciting the Romantics
with voices quilted from collected rhododendrons.
Stay with what is real,
the blistering sun, or the blue ice calving
every next minute 
into each moment's astonished respiration.

I love you.
I don't love you.
I have never met you.
I can't live without you.
What use the playing cards of a ferret scrying in a tumbler?
There is another door,
an infinity of mirrors,
One True Path
and a million sherpas hauling sermons
up Everest for nobody.

Forget this door, Fortunato its drunken ticket taker.
Walk away,
go home, 
slip yourself into a vase bed and bloom wildly
between the cracks of dreams.
regret nothing,
and proceed in any direction
as even the slightest blade of grass will, like a deity.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Ten Years In Five Lines

babe, around my heart
a rusty saw tooth of words
both spoken and unspoken
venoms the sugar core--
the magnolia darks to blackthorn.

a Wayra for Dverse Poetry Form.

note-the berries of the blackthorn (sloe) plant can be eaten, but the seeds are toxic.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun Rides Again


Halloween is fun but it's over and the 
candy-scamming spooks
are back in class.
Turkeys wearing pilgrim hats are taped
on the windows and the President
pardons some tom
who has no idea what these talky apes are laughing about.

He'd rather be out in the woods,
eating fruits and nuts
and taking a run at your car on a dirt road when you blow by
for cider and a donut.

From what I read, pilgrims
were a pretty constipated bunch.
When I was outed, the family holiday invitations
dried right up. Poof!
After Halloween, the faux dead rest, but when real people die,
sometimes it takes some time.

Some make nice
some get high
some find a new family
some suicide.
Me, I survived, hanging out with the fruits and nuts,
and my blood and kin?  
Dead to me as if they'd fallen on some foreign shore.


for Dverse Poetics: Epiphany In The Time of Holiday

Friday, November 12, 2021

The Willow & The Swans


I talk
about swans
in the obscuring haze of dawn.
My fear overhangs like a willow
and trembling.

White swan,
black swan,
I mock you from a distance,
light myself afire to scare you
but I
betray myself
in brilliance.

I  bring
you bread,
my poems, my hair, my jewelry
despite myself, I reach for you
and feel
you flying
through me.

A trinet poem for Sunday Muse #186 "illusion"

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

I Remember Coyoacan

"I remember Coyoacan," Jay told the interviewer,
sitting under mahogany-and-cane fan blades on the veranda.
Leaning back, legs crossed,
He smiled easily and added, 
"He didn't believe in me, Trotsky. Too bad.

"The palms were dripping that day, but the rain had let up.
Mercader set his raincoat on the table
with the ice axe under it.
Trotsky was reading.
When he looked down, Mercader withdrew his weapon,
swung and sculpted  a new Winter into Trotsky's mind."

Jay shrugged, as if to say what can you do?
"The guards rushed in of course, and beat that man like a pinata.
Each fist was an eloquent argument,
each kick a blow for the worker."
He waved His hand dismissively.
"It was too late of course. Mexico is devout, but unforgiving.

"Trotsky knew he was dying, and said so. 
An aide brought a basin for any final ideas,
and someone put on a phonograph record of Russian dances.
Across the room, Trotsky could see where Death had scrawled
Te veo pronto
on the mirror above the sink in red lipstick.

"He never asked for me, and died the next day."
The interviewer followed Jay's gaze to the flower garden--
dahlias, the Mexican national bloom. 
"The Aztecs used to eat them," he told the interviewer.
The scribe wrote this down on his pad from the hotel,
with "Bienvenida a Coyoacan" 
in bold script across the top like a leaflet or a prayer card.

for Dverse Poetics: In the light of other days.

Leon Trotsky, living in exile in Mexico, was assassinated in 1940 by Ramon Mercader, using an ice axe. Trostsky lingered for a day before passing. He was an avowed atheist.

Te veo pronto = see you soon

Sunday, November 7, 2021

In The Birch Forest

In the birch forest,
my lazy sister poses as a river.
In her hair, rims of ice 
where she runs an orphanage for birch leaves.
The chill black water is God's mustache.
He has crows for barbers
and my sister is His postmistress.

A workman carries in his sack
things said to his wife,
a few hours from a week in July,
and a small statue of St. Joseph.
His train will come soon, smelling of hay fields and lady slippers.

People say to me, is that your sister?
We invite them to stay, but they fade as we forget them.
Papa arrives home in the winter.
He is the Northern Lights, we are belled reindeer.
As Russian Orthodox,
we celebrate Christmas in January and Easter out of doors.

Papa carries my mother's lost babies in his work sack
where they turn into inked letters.
His love is their postage,
my sister their patroness.
Once each year they return, with ice in their hair,
to sit by July and remark how his whiskers look like birches in the breeze 
when he sees them, and smiles.

obligatory link back to Dverse OLN

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Carrie Nation (or How I Became An Interesting Girl)

 I don't like it either, sometimes,
but there it is, like a cop 
parked behind a billboard
a funnel blowing the barn apart.

Now here's this guy,
He needs a drink before he spits it out,
termites working in every smile,
his suit already pooling in the chair.

And now I'm the one, the home town
you can never go back to.
"You've changed," is usually spoken with that face one saves

for finding out your sports hero shoots skag
or the sweet old lady next door has renters under the floor.

Rivers flow,
rats run up the pole.
Clocks tick,
clouds form and blow.

Carrie Nation knew it was true,
as Lizzie B. did, too,
that the most interesting person in the room
is always the one swinging the axe.

Friday, November 5, 2021


 I was raised on the page of a magazine,
a pencil rammed down my spine that I might
keep better time.

My mother said, here, marry this potato,
this barbell,
this party hat,
this disease.

In the night they came to me
on the night trapeze.
I collected hallucinations--Laika in a capsule made of experts.

That winter, my husbands built priests in the garage,
confessed to plates of spaghetti
and drove down mine shafts to golf club coffins.

Now, I begin with new bones,
eyes placed on coins like hor d'ouevres 
for the Oracle who breathes deep

and tells my future
even knowing that no one will believe her.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

The Notion Of You


I loved you
and that has left me
a sister of a dead order. 

I carry in asters
gone from purple to brown
to lay on the altar
but can't set them down.

Faith is a funny thing and I carry a cross
though the texts are tainted,
the deity lost.

St. Catherine of Alexandria
was nourished by milk from doves--
not by the relics and bones
of the notion of you, that I loved.

I am of the order, but not the abbess
at whose jeweled theca ghosts bow--
I carry my head like the body and bread
of the Chosen One loved by you now. 

for Dverse Meeting The Bar "Conceit"

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Remember the Maine


(My) lovers might last longer
I say to the dog, a philosopher of sorts himself,
were they more like Teddy Roosevelt
or even Alice. 

They'd look killing
in stiff collars
of khaki
or Irish lace.

Things are never the same
as they appear in the catolog.
Lovers are never as nice
when they want you to do crazy, perverse, upsetting things
like leaving the house.

That innocent carton
knows its milk will go bad, but won't say so.
It still wants to talk about forever,
especially at 3 a.m.

I always recommend blaming the Spanish
for any little thing that may happen to blow up.
You have such honest eyes,
such lovely hands when you take mine.

"Talk to me," you say,
in a voice as warm as Havana Harbor.
"Remember the Maine!" is what I say as you get up to pack,
but Teddy would have grinned
and Alice would have understood.

Image: "Woman Standing In Doorway" by Albert de Belleroche (1864-1944)

The Park


The cement company shows up at the city's largest park and goes to work.

First, a cement river full of cement goldfish and cement turtles;

Some mistake the river for a sidewalk and drown.

Next, cement pigeons and other birds...

Branches fall everywhere--

Lines are down.

Across the city, cement birds fly out of telephones and crash heavily into framed landscapes which fall from the wall.

At the park, work continues.

Cement children appear, presenting cement bouquets.

Cement adults are charmed.

The sun, also cement now, shines down, strangely cheerful.

Look at the city we have made, say the workmen.

Come and live with us

Among the statues.


For dverse poetics.  A--ahem--"concrete" poem I wrote in 1980. I realize a new poem was expected, but i just couldn't resist. Sorry not sorry. :-P

Note: from what I understand, the difference between cement and concrete is that concrete has stones and stuff in it. You can pave your walk with either, but avoid using abstract. Still not sorry.