Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Shark Adventure


Some sharks move to suburbia.

They are mutant land sharks, able to breath and speak in their
strange, halting pidgin. 

Their spawn, er, kids sign up for Little League
and eat burgers at picnic tables after the games--
A lot of burgers.
Okay all the burgers.

At little Maria's birthday party, there is a pinata. 
One of the shark kids bursts up from the lawn,
opens its gaping maw,
and consumes it whole, along with much of a maple tree. 
Version 1) Maria runs inside, crying.
Version 2) Maria starts writing "Mrs, Maria Shark" over and over
in her school notebook.

Some customs elude the sharks.
Someone brings over a bundt cake as a welcome gesture.
Mrs. Shark tries for an air kiss on the cheek but sends the woman to the hospital. 
It is awkward for everyone and permanent for the neighbor.

The sharks notice that PTA mothers' and golfing dads' smiles
have turned to scowls. 
Country Club sponsorships dry up. 
The sharks make a holiday visit to the community pool and everyone runs away screaming. 

The sharks start wearing disguises in the grocery store and at the bank.
"I am a harmless minnow," says one shark
from a few rows of dagger-like teeth.
During a visit to a local gallery, all the sharks wear berets
and funny eyeglass masks.
No one is fooled.

Realizing that things have gone too far for remedy,
the sharks shrug, as sharks will, 
and solve everything by eating the school principal, 
the HOA president, and the local chief of police, 
all in a single afternoon.

They pack up all their stuff and return to the sea
where people are not so judgy and unforgiving.
They playfully sink a fishing boat and eat all the occupants, fish, tackle, and the mast. 
They are home. Their stomachs are full. All is well.
Brody and Hooper may kiss their fantastic finned butts.

for Word Garden Word List--Shakespeare Bats Cleanup 

Music: Baby Shark (You're welcome!)

Monday, February 26, 2024

Word Garden Word List--Shakespeare Bats Cleanup


Happy Monday, my little seamheads! It is almost the end of winter, and down in Florida and out in Arizona, the baseball teams have gathered once again. Can spring be far away? In honor of the return of my first and truest love, your word list this week is taken from a fun little book called Shakespeare Bats Cleanup by Ron Koertge. 

The book is the poetic (?) musings of a young first baseman who finds himself felled by a case of mono, and with time on his hands, he starts writing. He may not have known a ballad from fruit salad when he began, but somehow a certain knack starts to appear. 

Says Koertge: One night my wife and I drove to Lake Elsinore to see a game. It was 10-zip in the fifth, so I started working on a poem. Not far away, while his father dunned him about batting stance and gumption, a boy of ten or eleven was writing something too. We exchanged a conspiratorial glance. On the way home, I told my wife I had an idea for a new book. 

Whether you've got chalk dust on the brain from baseball or blackboards, I hope you'll enjoy this List. What we do here is to use at least 3 of the 20 words provided in a new original poem of our own. Then just link up, visit others, and root, root, root, for the home team! This List is active through Sunday. 

Your List:


Thursday, February 22, 2024

Gray Area


Impossible things--when I was little
there weren't very many of them. 

I thought--I might be like a girl I read
about, who woke up speaking Italian
though she never had before.

I thought I might discover a talent for
playing the piano
or hitting a softball
or performing feats of memory.

As time went on--well, you know.
Good at this, not so much at that.
Lucky at neither cards nor love. 

You have--oh, where should I start?
(should I start?) 
gray eyes like my father's,
amused and kind, but in a woman's face. 

I like--how you look in that flannel shirt
of gray, blue, and white, with the maroon henley
underneath, and old blue jeans. 

I like--your bedroom with the pastel
gray walls and cream trim. Yes, I looked
on my way to wash my hands
with your milk & honey soap. 

I'm nervous--but in such a delicious way.
Should I tell you what I'm feeling? I could
ruin this bright beginning, I know...

Your hair--it looks good gray
I want to touch it, touch you,
but chances have gone wrong before.

It's a gray area--how you might react,
how these things are done 
when nothing is familiar or sure. 

Impossible things--Alice's Queen believed
in at least six of them before breakfast
I'm wondering, could you?
Would you--take a chance on Wonderland with me?

for What's Going On? Colors Passing Through

Music: Denise King Stuck On You

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

launch code


soul is constant
a bell whose rope is already pulled
ringing in my ears all day long.

my body is its dog
sticking close, loyal as hell,
but short-lived. 

stars are soul
that couldn't be contained
kissing the dark with intention.

one day my body
past all nursing past all curing
will open like an underground silo

and everything
will expand in an instant BOOM
wow, hi, i'm not

an ant, i'm
a piece o' god on fire across the sky--
icarus eat your heart out.

for Word Garden Word List--Gerard Manley Hopkins 

Music: Shay Torrent Flying Fiddles

Monday, February 19, 2024

Word Garden Word List--Gerard Manley Hopkins


Good afternoon, my frolicsome flock! It's time for another Word Garden Word List, and this week the words in our list are taken from the poems of English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Hopkins was a Jesuit priest as well as a poet, though his verse did not achieve popularity until after his death. 

Turning to the religious life in his early twenties, his calling was hard on him, as were his issues with his physical and mental health. Life was a struggle for the poet whose work is often filled with bright, dazzling imagery and an awe before nature and God. 

Here is a quote from Wikipedia that reveals some of what Hopkins struggled with:

According to John Bayley, "All his life Hopkins was haunted by the sense of personal bankruptcy and impotence, the straining of 'time's eunuch' with no more to 'spend'... " a sense of inadequacy, graphically expressed in his last sonnets.[19] Toward the end of his life, Hopkins suffered several long bouts of depression. His "terrible sonnets" struggle with problems of religious doubt. He described them to Bridges as "[t]he thin gleanings of a long weary while"

I had some difficulty in creating this list. Hopkins uses a lot of what is now antiquated language, and also loves to combine two words into one of his own invention. I skipped all of both of those types in order to provide a List that lends itself to modern sensibilities. 

What we do here is to use at least 3 of the 20 words provided in a new original poem of our own. Then just link, and visit others. Easy! This prompt remains active through Sunday. 

Your List:


And this week, a bonus word: "adamantine" so as to include at least one of Hopkins' rather flowery choices. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Aubade II


All those songs about waking up in a lover's arms--
I don't know what they're talking about.

Oh, I've known the happy wedding night mattress on the floor
amid the stacks of packing boxes
and the delicious view when the world narrows
to a single cherished face.

The bee, though, doesn't live inside the bloom,
and goes still inside a jar.
Touched on every side by an adoring indigo night,
there is still just one Moon. 

Allow me morning alone in my garden
with just my mug and dog.
It doesn't mean I never loved you, or loved you less.
There is only one dawn--this one
and it only waits so long. 


For What's Going On? "Aubade"

Don't forget, the WORD GARDEN WORD LIST is active through Sunday. 

Music: George Harrison All Things Must Pass

Tuesday, February 13, 2024


 I was playing cards against my own poem, penny a trick

"I brought you into this world," I began,
but she turned into a fog of lemon-fresh Glade,
then to a tiger wearing a bell,
and sat there smiling at me like a dime store Buddha.

She had the keys to me, that's the trouble,
and took them with her when she went. 
Strangers know me backward and forward
and I can only stammer at them, clueless and dizzy. 

She turns me to a gawky bird standing in the sawdust on one leg
while she builds her house around me. 
I am password protected, listed on the National Registry
and greenies stick spikes in me so she can't cut me down. 

I lay an ace and she
spreads out a peacock fan of kings and queens,
Russians and Persians,
lilacs and shade-loving violets.

I am playing cards with my own poem, stanza a hand,
but a newer poem brings me coffee, licks my ear
winds his slender self around me like a climbing vine as I
sweetly purr, "and I can take you out of it." 

For Word Garden Word List -- T S Eliot.

Music: Josiah Bell Change In The Weather

Monday, February 12, 2024

Word Garden Word List--T S Eliot

 Hello friends! Please pardon the brevity of this week's blurb. I woke up today with a sore and pretty useless right arm, so typing and moving the mouse around is difficult, but the List must go on!

This time, our list is taken from "The Waste Land and Other Poems" by T S Eliot. I encourage you to look him up, and please forgive me for not including more background this once. 

What we do here is to use at least 3 of the 20 words provided in a new, original poem of our own. You may include an echo or homage to do with Eliot, but it isn't necessary. The only requirement is the 3 or more words from the List. Then link, visit others, and sit back with a smug sense of self-satisfaction! Me, I'm off to give my arm a good talking-to.

Your List, which remains active through Sunday:


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Safe House


Welcome to the safe house.
No one will find you here.

The ambulance is like a big rolling cotton ball, isn't it?
The siren has been modified to sound like a waterfall.

Please do not share this location with spouses or children--yours or not.   
Their tread on the white front steps would jar the keyboard of your recovery.

Meet helpers Jenny and George in their clean gray smocks. 
Yes, it's hard to tell which is which!
Many guests forget them even as they stand there smiling. 

In the parlor we have an electric fireplace
and framed Kincades on the eggshell walls.

We ask that you leave your red hats and rainbows with Susie at the door.
A few teensy tiny rules:
no weapons
no newspapers
no Facebook
no over-exertion
no stimulants
no sex
no drama
no poetry.

In a week or two, the nightmares should stop,
along with any disquieting longings or regrets. 

Non-attachment is our way.
You may even levitate, like a balloon.

If you get confused, just follow the white tape on the beige tile.
It can be difficult--even for staff! --to tell the bedrooms from the morgue.

for What's Going On? "Safe". 

Music: the Pretenders Every Day Is Like Sunday

The Word Garden Word List is still HERE through Sunday! 


Monday, February 5, 2024

Shay's Word Garden List Prompt Returns! ---Yusef Komunyakka

 Hello friends, and welcome to the revival of the Word Garden Word List poetry prompt! February, as you know, is Black History Month, and so I thought we'd feature Yusef Komunyakka.

Born in Louisiana, a carpenter's son, the cadences of the black church and the bible were his first introduction to poetry, His poems weave together personal narrative, jazz rhythms, and vernacular language to create complex images of life in peace and war. 

THE DEVIL'S WORKSHOP (link to this poem will open in a new window.)

Komunyakka is a recipient of the Wallace Stevens Award, the Ruth Lilly Prize, the William Faulkner Prize, and numerous others. He currently serves as Distinguished Senior Poet in New York University's graduate creative writing program.

LUST (link will open in a new window,)

What we do here, my lambs, is to use at least three of the twenty words in the following list in a new poem of our own. Then simply link so we can visit, and visit others yourself. This prompt stays active through Sunday. That's it! Enjoy. 


Three Views of a Singularity


There were
     a fox 
     in the wildflowers,

a coyote
     in the weeds,

and me
     lying in the lilies, waiting.

The fox offered
     certain pieties
that the red-necked chicken
     spoke tacitly against.

The coyote carried
     a lucky amulet
that the rabbit might be missing
     could she rise from his belly.

There was
      a soup
     strained from April,

a blues
     blown from 
     scents of oranges

and me
     lying in the lilies

For Word Garden Word List--Yusef Komunyakka 

Music: Anouar Brahem The Astounding Eyes of Rita