Followers

Friday, December 30, 2011

Cowbell Angels

“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.” It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946








Does the clang of the cowbell,
If the saying is true,
Signal angels that disco
Or angels that moo?


Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Mystic

The mystic peers into the scrying glass,
Searching the swirling mists of time and space
For clues of events that will come to pass,
Finding no outline her finger can trace
Of my waiting path or the trials I’ll face.

My story is one only I can write.
Tarot cards and runes hold no magic sight.
The future is shaped by my own choices;
Required actions, no matter my fright;
Never determined by mystic voices.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Festive Farewell

As we gather to bid
A festive farewell to a difficult year,
The whiskey, rum, and memories flow.
Opportunities for celebration
Have been fleeting
In a year marked
With much tragedy.
We pause to acknowledge
The empty seats at our table,
Taking comfort in knowing
They still join us in spirit.
We dance with no sense of rhythm
And sing horribly off-key,
Oblivious to the video camera
Documenting our foolishness
For future entertainment and embarrassment.
We eat and drink far too much,
Choices we will certainly come to regret.
Most of all, we renew
The bonds that link our hearts
And pray we survive
To gather yet again next year.

The Truce

Balmy summer days find him
Tending his lawn with
The same pride and work ethic
That carried him through forty years
In the smoke of a dimly lit factory.
Age and weather have carved
A constant scowl onto his face,
Intimidating any children venturing
Too near his perfectly trimmed lawn.
The squirrels, however, show no such fear.
The furry insurgents conduct
Daring raids on his bird feeder,
Build bunkers in the backyard
To store winter provisions,
Taunting him from the treetops
With their chattering propaganda.
This cold December morning
Finds him on his front porch,
Something resembling a smile
Cracking his aged features,
Carrying a peace offering
Of walnuts and cashews
For his tiny adversaries.
It is the season of peace on Earth,
And peace shall reign in his yard,
At least until the spring thaw
When the hostilities begin anew.


The Journey

The journey of my life
Has taken many odd twists,
Detours both unwelcome and unplanned.
To correct my erratic course,
I must demolish the barriers in my way.
I seek to transform my life,
To forge a new path forward.
Hazards hide around every turn
On the treacherous road ahead.
A wiser woman would
Abandon this foolish crusade,
But an instinctive sense of direction
Tells me I must press on
If I ever hope to reach a better resolution.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

One Wish

A shooting star
Flickers in the sky,
Magical sparks
Trailing through
Endless emptiness,
The wish it carries
A ray of hope
For a lost soul
Wading through their own
Endless emptiness.

A Partial Self-Portrait



I've pondered the self-portrait I’m creating,
More Monet than Picasso,
Countless points of poetic color that
When viewed from a distance
Form a reasonable rendering of me.

No manger in this Mary’s destiny,
No shepherds waiting sore afraid in the fields.
The tidings heard in my life
Are seldom ones of joy and peace.
I’ve walked the path of sorrows.
I’ve fallen prey to the relentless talons of fear.
Unfortunately, a heart given in haste often attracts both.

I live by own decree,
Ignoring the wise counsel of others,
The glimmer in my eyes more imp than angel.
Self-restraint and prudence rarely appear
In my ever-changing color palette.

This self-portrait is far from complete,
And, in the end, I hope I was proven worthy
Of adding my signature to the canvas.

A Gift of Perspective

A lesson
Taught mother to child:
A world view
Through softer
Eyes, to see the poetry
Where others cannot.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Twelve Haiku of Christmas

I.
Some Christmas spirit
Can uplift our weary souls,
Heal our broken hearts.

II.
The polished children,
Fidgeting in their finest,
Sing cherished carols.

III.
Heart like a stocking,
Child-like dreams waiting to be
Filled with Christmas joy.

IV.
The cookies baking
Perfume the air with smells of
Christmas at Grandma’s.

V.
Mistletoe kisses,
Given or stolen, delight
Hearts of all ages.

VI.
Silent Night echoes
Clearly through my memories,
Notes of Christmas past.

VII.
Child in a manger,
Unlikely inspiration
That still lights our way.

VIII.
Keep your partridges,
Swimming swans, lords a-leaping;
Golden rings I’ll take.

IX.
Faith shines brightest in
The sleepy eyes of a child
On Christmas morning.

X.
The ghosts of Christmas
Past, present, future, can save
The Scrooge in us all.

XI.
The greatest gifts one
Can give are good will to men,
Peace, faith, joy, and love.

XII.
Angelic praises,
Heralding the miracle,
Bring joy to the world.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Prayer

Image by Mary Mansfield


As snowflakes fill the still night air,
I offer up a simple prayer:
That life turned out as you hoped it would be,
And that you smile when you remember me.

The Christmas Rush

Wrap the presents. Trim the tree.
Run to the store for batteries.
Time to hang the stockings up.
Pour fresh eggnog in my cup.
Bake the cookies, it’s getting late.
Try to save one for Santa’s plate.
Out of coffee, need some more,
Go back to that blasted store
To pick up everything I missed.
Now where did I put that stupid list?
Check the broken Christmas lights.
Wish I could have a Silent Night.
Learned my lesson, next year I’ll begin it
Before the absolute very last minute.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Cruelest Game

Come to me, my darling,
Wrap your arms around me tight.
Pretend that you’re in love with me
If only for tonight.

I’m standing at the crossroads
And from both ways I see pain.
I don’t know how to walk away
And find real love again.

I know there is no future
In my world of make-believe.
With you I’m always honest,
But myself, I just deceive.

When the passion fades away
And emptiness begins,
I plot my next move in our game
And know I’ll never win.

Wild Hearts

Wild hearts cannot be contained
In boxes of conformity.
Submission will never be attained.
Wild hearts cannot be contained,
Denied, defiled, constrained,
Or daunted by life’s enormity.
Wild hearts cannot be contained
In boxes of conformity.

Discards

Gathered around our glowing tree
We sing festive songs of hope reborn,
A belief that love extends to all on Earth.
Your voice rings with misplaced conviction
As you rumple, crumple, discard my weary heart,
A wrapping never meant to be recycled.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Morning Ride

The roar of American steel
Slices through the morning stillness,
A chrome phantom lingering for a moment
Before motorcycle and rider
Disappear down a blue highway.

What the Fairy Tales Missed

As a little girl I dreamt of my fairy tale ending,
Like the ones in my bedtime stories,
Karma’s lessons taught by
Monsters, dragons, and evil stepmothers.
My heart was much simpler to operate then.
Puppy love requires little sacrifice.
Sorrows lasted just until the next boy came along.
Experience creates a different hierarchy,
A sober understanding of the value
Of love and it’s sacred mission.
No one warned me lies and betrayal are a cancer
Eating away any foundation of trust,
Leaving only a malignant anguish
That infects every aspect of life.
No one ever explained how a fairy tale princess
Survives the death of a dream.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December Reflections

I stand at the crossroads
Of the waning year and the next,
Casting weary glances in both directions.
Never merely a game,
Life has dealt a difficult hand this round,
States of profound sadness
Leaving imprints on my soul
I fear will never fade.
The future is always uncertain,
Both luck and trouble can happen
Without cause or warning.

I turn my eyes to the heavens,
Searching the deepest purple
For a hint of the dream
That has guided citizens of the world
For more than two millennia,
Hoping to see angels bending near the earth,
But not all angels know how to fly.
Perhaps it would do no harm
To lag here among those angels,
If only for a moment.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cold Regrets



Time melts in our hands
Like snowflakes caught in the December sun,
Lingering just long enough
To amaze us with its intricacies.
We cocoon ourselves in regrets --
The words never spoken,
The hugs never given,
Opportunities lost to the ages --
Poor shelter from the harsh winds of eternity.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Magic of Mom

I.
A mother’s magic
Can transform skinned knees and tears
With only a kiss.

II.
Kitchen sorceress
Conjuring tempting meals from
Her meager pantry.

III.
Dishes washed.  Laundry
Folded.  Mysteriously
The house cleaned itself!

IV.
Tooth Fairy, Santa,
The magic of childhood made
Possible by Mom.

V.
A magic potion
Able to cure any ills:
Mother’s chicken soup.

VI.
Her mystic wisdom
Proves the old adage is true:
Mother does know best.

VII.
Immortality:
The one magical power
Mothers just don’t have.

A Poet's Heart

I was cursed with a poet’s heart,
A blessing in disguise.
I dissect life to its smallest part.
I was cursed with a poet’s heart.
I taste the sweet but crave the tart,
Trading smiles for tears and sighs.
I was cursed with a poet’s heart,
A blessing in disguise.

Bottled Message



This is my last whiskey bottle,
Emptied to carry my last message to you.
I remain trapped in a sea of corn and soybeans
On a small island that grows smaller
With each passing day.
The natives are friendly
But persistent in tracking my activities,
Much harder to tolerate
Given the lack of whiskey.
Still waiting for that rescue you promised.
I miss you.

P.S. If you can’t send a rescue plane,
       Or if you expect another message,
       Please send another bottle of whiskey.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Drowning



Black water swirls.
The pressure builds.
The crushing weight
Of this ocean
Forcing the air
From my lungs,
Pulling me downward
Into the waiting arms
Of death.

I never chose this fate.
I never chose this ocean.

Refusing to accept
Inevitable defeat,
I struggle, then escape
The swirling blackness,
Breathing in life,
Breathing in freedom.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Zombie Apocalypse

“So what do you need to do before zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen? First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house. This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp…”
Excerpt from a blog post from the Centers for Disease Control Public Health Matters Blog on May 16th, 2011 by Ali S. Khan.



“We ask that everyone please remain calm.
The zombie horde approaches,
Mindless entities bent on destruction.
We have yet to identify the source of mutation,
Whether a voodoo ritual gone horribly awry,
A failed laboratory experiment,
Or bacteria seeking retribution
Upon the makers of antibiotics.
Those in close proximity are asked
To barricade themselves in their homes,
Venturing out at this time will
Only increase your personal risk.
We will bring you further information
As the situation develops.”

We sit in silence behind our locked doors,
Blankly staring at our televisions,
Unaware that when the hungry mutants breach our defenses,
They will find they are far too late;
We became them long ago.

The Secret of Magic

Talismans,
Incantations, and
Potions hold
No power,
Ancient rites just meaningless
Attempts at control.

True magic,
That rare, potent force,
Only comes
From within;
Faith and belief -- conduits
To the possible.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cosmic Voyage

Always an observer,
Face pressed against the glass,
Until one kiss fueled my heart,
Released from gravity’s grip,
Into rapid ascension
Through the atmosphere,
Tumbling weightless
Through the spacious cosmos.
A splash of his rare elements
Formed an enigma in me,
Allowing the pulsations of distant stars
To echo through my soul,
Creating yet another love struck voyager
Searching for the true final frontier.



Note: I'm not terribly happy with the title to this and would welcome any suggestions you may have :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Artificial Holiday

We trim our plastic tree
By the glow of battery-operated candles.
Silk poinsettias adorn
The mantle of the electric fireplace.
We greet each other
With forced smiles and feigned affection,
Saving the animosity
To serve with our New Year’s hangovers.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fault Lines

Tremors and aftershocks,
Seismic accusations
Jolt us from complacency
Into survival mode
As fissures grow
In the shaky ground
We stand upon.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

War Crimes

She was a passive observer
To her own life.
She knew resistance,
Argument,
Even independent thought,
Might trigger another “incident.”
She sought refuge
Behind her white flag,
Surrendering
To her lot in life.
He broke the rules of engagement,
Leaving her as his first
Casualty of war.
The Geneva Conventions
Never did apply
On the battlefield of matrimony.

Derailment of Thought

When my train of thought
Careened off the tracks,
I stammered and fiddled;
Desperately searched for a clue
In the faces of my companions;
Employed the polished political art
Of overstating nothingness
In as superfluous a manner as possible.
Thankfully, the conductor regained control
And order was restored,
Before I looked like a complete buffoon.

The Bouquet



Defiant
Yellow weeds gathered
In toddler
Hands may be
The most beautiful flowers
I’ve ever received.

The Poet's Path



Dreamers
Drop poems
Like breadcrumbs
Along their path,
Hoping someday
Another dreamer
Will walk
Their footsteps,
Remember,
And understand
The journey.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Merry Kitchen

Every December
I undertake a delicious mission.
The subtle smells
Of vanilla and cinnamon
Give an inkling
Of the treasures my kitchen holds,
Tins and jars laden with
Pecan-crusted raspberry thumbprint cookies,
Almond bark swirled with walnuts and raisins,
Banana bars studded with chocolate chips,
A snowy dusting of powdered sugar on top,
Treats guaranteed
To arouse amorous thoughts
In the most jaded of eaters
And to entice
Devout dieters
Right over the precipice.
As I set another
Warm pan of holiday cheer
To cool on a trivet,
I genuflect briefly
Toward the North Pole
And continue creating
Peace on Earth,
One batch at a time.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Answering an Old Question

We are here
Bearing witness to
Creation’s
Miracles.
Unseen beauty is worthless;
Our eyes add value.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

On Fitting In (A Message for the Sheeple)

They tell us
Behave and conform.
How boring!
Jettison
The mob mentality and
Just be who you are.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Standing Strong



I battled angry dragons
Breathing fiery lies,
Barbed wire talons
Designed to rip flesh from bone.
Possessed lovers,
Their demons unexorcised,
Forcing me to
Pay penance
For their sins.
The walking dead surround me,
Urging me to settle for
The ordinary,
The mediocre,
The mundane.
They seek to destroy
The light that guides me,
The faith that strengthens my resolve.
I’ve watched my dreams
Besieged,
Bloodied,
Condemned,
Abandoned in reality’s wasteland.
I sense the approaching evil
Seeking to insinuate itself into my life.
The new day brings
A new menace,
Pushing me to
The edge of oblivion yet again,
But through the impending hellfire,
Risking all in the face of catastrophe,
I will stand strong.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Evening the Odds

She sits alone in the darkness,
Cold steel in her hands.
He was her fulcrum of chaos,
A black hole
Devouring sunshine,
Hope,
Her gullible heart.
Her head is spinning,
Subliminal whispers of his guilt
Rush through her mind.
Tears stream across her ruddy cheeks
And the fading echoes of his anger.
She gives a slight shudder,
Knowing he will return soon,
Smug,
Mellow.
Confident he has broken her at last.
She hears a rustle at the door,
The lock tumbling,
Venomous cursing
About the untidy state of his house.
Consequences must be paid.
Tonight, she evens her odds
As the cold steel in her hands roars to life.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Blood Story

I offer my vein
In sacrifice
To the medicine man,
Watching my life force
Fill a plastic test tube.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Memorial Mosaic

I’m creating my mosaic
One poem at a time,
Crafting and arranging
The fragments of my soul
In a tribute I fear will never be complete.

Heroes

Heroes don’t
Court fame and fortune,
Pushing self
Above all.
My heroes wear combat boots,
Fighting for freedom.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Memories

Nostalgia
Transforms memories
With a thin
Veneer of
Self-deceit, an illusion
Of what never was.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Burning Memories

Love letters
Read a thousand times,
The heartbreak
Revisited,
Deserve proper burial.
Fire will consume all.
Lingering
Smoke carries away
Lies, anger,
Betrayal.
I can finally find peace
Amongst the ashes.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pilgrimage to Parkersburg



For our family, in November
All roads led to West Virginia,
To Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving.
The first few to venture downstairs
In the predawn quiet
Would find Grandma in her armchair,
Coffee in hand,
Chesterfield smoldering in the ashtray,
Tosha pacing around her feet.
He would permit a few ear scratches
Before retreating with a regal yowl
That only a Siamese can muster.
After few more cups of coffee
And a few more sets of helping hands awoke,
The final dinner preparations would begin.
As the turkey was washed and stuffed
And the potatoes peeled,
We would share our stories,
The ones retold often enough
To become our family’s mythology:
Aunt Rose’s bean catastrophe,
How Uncle Ronald rescued Muffin as a kitten,
The time Grandma undercooked the holiday ham
And hid behind the refrigerator in shame.
Through the laughter and the chopping and the endless dishes
Our bonds grew stronger
As we added new stories to the family mythology.

 Today Thanksgiving still finds me awake before dawn,
Coffee in hand,
Cigarette smoldering in the ashtray,
And I feel Grandma’s presence at my own table
Much like at hers all those years ago.
Through the chopping and the endless dishes
She whispers her stories to me,
And our bond, though tinged with sadness,
Is still as strong as ever
As I help add new stories to our family’s mythology.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Little Traveling Music

Jeff Healey holds the keys
To my time machine.

Every time I hear him sing “Angel Eyes,”
I am transported back to 1989
And piercing blue eyes
That saw right through my hollow heart.
Together on the hood of my Camaro,
We spent hours plotting
Our course through the summer stars,
Flicking spent cigarettes into the gravel,
Watching the shallow arc of the embers in the darkness.
Our teenage sense of invincibility
Made our future seem certain.
Soon enough we learned
That type of arrogance
Strips away illusions,
Leaving misery and pain in its wake
As the final chord of our love song
Faded into silence.

Jeff Healey can have the keys back now,
At least until my next trip into the past.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Raspberry-Flavored Wisdom

Granny’s overgrown raspberry bush lie
Next to the faded green garage.
The sprawling canes seemed
A writhing mass of snakes,
Poised to bite any who ventured near.
I would be sent into its midst,
Deliberately picking my way through the tangled branches
In search of its gleaming black gems.

“Sometimes,” Granny would tell me,
“To find the sweetest fruit,
You have to be willing to brave the thorns.”

Garlic

A clove of garlic
Can help ward off vampires and
Potential lovers.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Whenever, Wherever

Opportunity
Plays hide and seek,
Cruel in its strategy,
Lurking in shadows,
Teasing from around corners,
Until our stealth pays off
And we seize the intangible.

Carpe diem, my friend, carpe diem.

Whenever I Dream

Waking ends the dreams that
Haunt my days,
Echoing through the hours until
Night and dreams come again.
Eyes of darkest espresso,
Visible smile lines crinkle the
Edges, something sad and lost
Revealed in the depths.

I can hear his voice,

Desperately calling my name,
Reaching out to find me,
Elusive, but still present
As I seek to find
My dreams in reality.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Best at Finish

Racing the clock
Racing the best
Best of the best
Best man wins
Wins don’t come easy
Wins mean all
All on the line
All or nothing
Nothing to lose
Nothing to gain
Gain a position
Gain respect
Respect the drivers
Respect the tradition
Tradition of excellence
Tradition to preserve
Preserve your sanity
Preserve your racecar
Racecar on track
Racecar is fast
Fast is good
Fast is first
First to the line
First to victory
Victory lap
Victory lane
Lane rubbers in
Lane opens up
Up on the wheel
Up for the ride
Ride the lightning
Ride the edge
Edge of disaster
Edge of glory
Glory days
Glory road
Road to ruin
Road to legend
Legend is earned
Legend is forever
Forever young
Forever free
Free to run
Free to race
Race to the front
Race to the finish
Finish first
Finish strong
Strong
First

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Love's Lost Cause

Another
Attempt to keep me,
To prevent
Departure,
Without realizing that
I left years ago.

Echoes of Regret



Looking back,
The unfought battle
For his heart
Haunts my thoughts.
Worlds have turned, yet I still cling
To yesterday’s ghost.

On Aging

Silver hair,
Crow’s feet, sagging breasts,
Time’s brutal
March goes on
Carving away my youth, too
Late to reverse course.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Revelation

Love went wrong.
Bloodied, desolate,
Heart open,
Split by force.
A secret surprise revealed:
Not pain…emptiness.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Once Upon a Yard Sale

Welcome bargain hunters, fifteen years of accumulation
Arranged on folding tables in our front yard on Saturday morning.

Girls’ clothing in all sizes.
                           A chronicle of her march into adulthood.

Children’s books, well worn but in good shape.
                           And committed to memory from repeated bedtime readings.

Toys, boots, mittens.
                           More proof she’s not my baby anymore.

Women’s clothing, very little wear.
                           And steadily decreasing sizes, the diet is working.

Four place settings of green floral china.
                          A wedding present that has served up nothing but dust.

Assorted housewares, knickknacks, and linens.
                         Not sure where it all came from, just know it needs to go.

Too much more to mention,
                          Something for everyone.
Come see our family history
                          Clean, neat, and priced to move.

Once Upon a Prompt

Bleary-eyed poets
Grasping for inspiration
Will seize any straw.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Opposite of Love

The encroaching grey apathy
Creeps into the corners of our lives,
Writhing tentacles
Devouring light and memory,
Leaving two solitary hearts
Trapped in an endless void.

Tears and Tequila

“Here’s to red-haired cowboys
Who ride the wind to a lonely gas station
And steal an innocent heart,
The dreams set free for reasons still unknown,
And the nights I clung to my pillow instead of you.”

I stare at the ashen November sky
And savor my cocktail of tears and tequila,
Searching for the place in my yesterday
Where that seventeen year old is still in love with you.

Deadly Love

Dreams never come,
Every breath spent
Agonizing, waiting.
Do I die this night or
Live to face more anger, more abuse,
Yearning for an escape?

Love like this
Often ends in the inevitable:
Violent
Eternity.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thoughts on the Poem a Day Chapbook Challenge so far

I’m now two weeks into the Poem a Day Chapbook challenge over at the Writer’s Digest website, and I’m having a blast.  I was a bit concerned when I started this that I would not be able to grind it out every day and that I would run short on inspiration.  That has certainly not proven to be the case.  I’m more energized about my writing than I have been in years, and so far creativity has been flowing.

My biggest surprise so far in this is my renewed interest in form poetry.  Normally my poems fall into free verse, but so far this month I’ve tackled an acrostic and several shadormas (which may be my new favorite poetic form.)  I’m working on my first villanelle and may even try to tackle the dreaded sestina.

My goals for participating in this challenge are pretty straightforward.  I want to complete a poem every day this month and put the best together into a chapbook.  I hope to improve my self-discipline when it comes to my writing, putting paper to pen on a regular schedule after the challenge is over.  And finally, I’d like to connect more with some other writers on this poetic journey, both online and in person.  I know from experience how much feedback helps me, and through the Poetic Asides blog at writersdigest.com and exploring some of the blogs of the other poets participating in the challenge I’ve been able to find a few.  I’m also planning to try attending more meetings of the local poetry society, met a great bunch of poets there even if it is a small chapter.

I’d like to thank everyone that has been stopping by to read my poetry. The comments and the climbing view count totals are so encouraging to me.  As long as you’re still willing to stop by and check things out, I’ll be happy to continue posting my little poems here for you.  Happy reading!

An Act of Kindness

Perhaps the
Greatest kindness is
To simply
Let someone
Know you have walked through their pain
And you understand.

An Epitaph to Reckless Love

Addicted
To adrenaline,
Wide open
Heart at risk,
Diving into the abyss
Impetuously.

Her thin cord
To reality
Snaps. Crashing
To ruin.
Bungee lovers were always
A dangerous breed.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Seven Snapshots

Memorial by dongringo @ deviantART


One kiss.

Two hearts.

Three whispered words.

Four delighted grandparents.

Five years of deployments, waiting, and homecomings.

Six men in black in a somber parade with a flag-draped casket.

Seven rifles, each fired three times, a final salute to the hero of her heart.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tales from the Couch

Someone relegated me
To the Wednesday morning curbside trash pick-up.
Newlyweds who couldn’t afford more rescued me,
Washed my black vinyl,
Patched my rips with duct tape,
And made me part of their lives.
I held a nursing mama and baby
That September day when tears and towers fell.
I’ve been a train, a fort, and a trampoline,
Surviving leaky diapers and spilled apple juice,
But now I’m more duct tape than vinyl.
Today the newlyweds are getting a brand-new living room set,
And I’ve has once again been relegated
To the Wednesday morning curbside trash pick-up.

Secret or Spoken

Silent truth
Sometimes holds more weight
Than screaming
Voices when
Dreams flicker into dark, when
Hearts crumble and die.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Haunted

Harsh breath on my neck
As the spirits circle
Under and around,
Never fully manifesting.
The shadows slither, whispering
Ethereal warnings of
Doom.

My Gift

I can touch
Forbidden knowledge
In dreams and
Tarot cards,
A gift both blessed and cursed but
Inescapable.

Monday, November 7, 2011

For Emmy, at Age 10

I miss:
Teddy bears and Blue’s Clues.
“Mommy, can you tie my shoes?”
Sticky fingers.
Piggy toes.
“Are we there yet?”
“Got your nose!”

When I look into your eyes I see
The woman that you’ll grow to be
As you start to venture out into the world.
You’ll always be your mama’s baby girl.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Smoker's Choice



Ash and smoke
Feed my nicotine
Addiction.
With each drag
Extended suicide creeps
Closer and closer.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Shards of a Dream

The porcelain couple
Slips from my fingers,
Bride and groom
Tumbling end over end,
Hurtling at full speed
Toward chaotic disintegration
On the hardwood floor.
In the bride’s shattered smile
Lies subtle symbolism
That I notice
And he never will.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Unpacking the Past

From a book of Dylan Thomas
A faded photograph fell,
1992 on the back in my hand.
Two lovers’ smiles,
His wide and cocky,
Mine thinner and a bit forced.
My make-up is heavier:
Concealer carefully layered and blended
Around my right eye;
Eyeliner slightly darker around the left,
A deliberate strike
To counter the effects of
His deliberate strike;
Lipstick the color of dried blood,
Unflattering but sufficient camouflage.

Familiar emotions resurface
As I stare at the woman
Who only exists
In that picture and my memory:
Shock.
Betrayal.
Anger.
Shame.
I rip the photo in half,
Permanently unpacking that bit of pain,
And find one more emotion
I’m finally prepared to add to my list:
Forgiveness.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sort of Struggling for Inspiration

Sort of tired, sort of bored,
Sort of at a loss for words.
Sort of wish the muse had stayed.
My poem sort of got away.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Perfect Cup



“If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.”
~Abraham Lincoln

I start my day with coffee,
Without it I don’t budge,
But when my husband makes it,
It tastes like bitter sludge.

I try the local café,
Still craving my first sip.
I spit it out without delay
With grounds upon my lip.

I contemplate the drive-thru
And my hands shake with dread.
I think I’ll hit the mini-mart
And buy a Coke instead.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Poet Deferred

I inherited poetry from my mother,
Who recited Keats and Dickinson from memory
To two young daughters,
Her passion adding value to their words.
Early on I discovered my own passion
For cadence and phrase,
An ability to sculpt pain,
Smoothing the jagged edges,
Carving out minute details
In monuments to human emotion.
I found I could dive into the darkness
Searching the soul for the salvation of truth,
But the darkness frightened me.
Darkness had trapped so many,
Lost to addiction, to insanity,
And fear enabled responsibility
To silence the dreaming artist.

Poetry and responsibility,
Two warring partners
In the dance of my life.
Laundry, dishes, finances,
All stepping forward to take my hand
And waltz me down the sensible path.
The dreaming artist inside
Still plays the muse’s song,
Just audible enough to haunt my days,
An endless tune I can’t escape.

Today I make my choice.
I step forward to accept
The fate cast upon me years ago:
An artist brushing loss and regret
Across the canvas in portraits of heartache,
Interpreting human frailties to share with all.
Today I decide to dance in the darkness,
Assuming the title I’ve shrugged off until now.

I am a poet.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Misty's Song



  


When our angel lost her smile
And gained her heavenly wings,
Tears of heartache washed away
The joy a baby brings.

We know God has his reasons
But we all still wonder why
A baby’s life could end so soon
And leave us here to cry.

Her loving joyful spirit
Put a smile on every face.
Now she smiles for Jesus
In that special sacred space.

When we finally join her,
We’ll be greeted with a kiss,
When we all go home to heaven
And we see our “Little Miss.”


In memory of Misty LeeDawn Taylor
February 22, 2011 - September 25, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Snow Blind



The fluorescent gas station glow
Turned flurries into falling stars.
Matching footprints in virgin snow,
Hand in hand we walked.
He leaned closer, then kissed me,
One perfect moment
When the rest of the world melted away,
Leaving only the two of us
And a shower of stars.

But the snow melted
Much as he melted out of my life,
A memory etched in the frost of yesterday.
I’ve chased that kiss for twenty winters now.
I’ve sought refuge from the blizzard
With poor substitutes unable to thaw my icy heart.
One came close, but he turned colder
And I barely escaped his glacial chill.

I still brave the cold,
Hoping my lonely set of footprints
Will once again find its match
As I search for that perfect moment,
When one kiss made the world melt away
In a shower of falling stars.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Open Doors



I see you
At your doorway
Day after day.
When our glances meet
You always smile
Then silently turn away,
Just passing open doors
And never walking through.

Through My Eyes



If you could see through my eyes
You would not recognize the woman in my mirror,
Watching the happy façade that greets you
Crumble in the privacy of my room.
You would see my path is not of my choosing,
Crippled by an emotion too strong to forget.
You would see a world of tender fantasies
Dying of neglect.

If you could listen with my ears
You would hear the echoes of love,
All that a shattered heart will hold.
With my ears you would hear the yearning wind
Blowing your name through the willows each night,
A constant reminder of my pain.

If you could stand in my place,
You would walk my lonely streets
And understand the tears I never reveal,
The life I can’t piece together.
You would battle for my sanity,
A victory slipping out of reach
With each breath I take.

If you could dream with my heart
You would remember the prince
Who rescued and condemned me with one smile.
You would find I’m losing my faith,
Releasing the hope I embraced for too long.

If you could see through my eyes,
You would know why I love you,
And why life without you will kill me.

October


The chill of a dark October wind
Blows a type of madness into the brain,
As Druids trek through the countryside
While ghosts and goblins
Dance with an autumn storm.
The summer is gasping its last breaths,
Unwilling to step aside for winter’s fury.
The high priest performs his father’s rituals.
Smoke from leaf fires mixes
With the aroma of a witch’s brew
Enticing one and all to taste,
If they be strong enough.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The World Unknown

Faltering lullabies fill this dark room
As I surrender her to the world unknown,
Cradling her until Peter delivers cherub’s wings
To this child who shares my lifeblood.
I cling to my fragile faith,
Struggling to recall verses Grandma read,
The sermons in that tiny country church,
Any comfort memory might hold.
My only means of survival,
The assurance of one day
Meeting an angel with my eyes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Porcelain

He blows away her dust,
Smiling as his friends compliment
His exotic doll kept in a glass showcase.
He locks her doors tightly,
Afraid a single breath will shatter her skin.
He prays to keep her from harm,
Not noticing the cobwebs around her heart
As she prays for rescue from his dollhouse

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Deep End

I haven’t gone off
The deep end.
I just like to dangle my feet
Over the edge
And watch my toes twist
Light into dark
And back again.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Lesson Plan

When we are young
Parents and teachers
Promote our American opportunity,
Potential limited only by our imaginations.

“You can be a doctor.”
“You can be an astronaut.”
“You can even be President of the United States.”

(Unless, of course
You are a conservative…and a woman.)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Media Whore

Vicious graffiti
Aimed at a woman
Whose only crime
Is standing with the citizenry
While chasing her American dream,
Reported with glee
By those who prostitute the truth
In the dim red light of their cameras.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Box

A white wooden box
Trimmed with squares of molding
And brass handles
Holds an honored place
In the center of the table,
Photographs and pink roses
Lovingly arranged around it.
A box that well-crafted
Was meant for mementos -
A first pair of shoes.
Baby teeth thought to be in the care of the Tooth Fairy.
A lacy white Communion dress.
A fourth-grade spelling bee trophy.
Prom pictures.
A wedding garter.
A box like that was never meant
For an angel so precious
That God decided to keep her with Him.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Gypsy


I whirled in gypsy firelight many lives ago,
Free and in harmony with Mother Earth.
With flowing skirt and bare feet,
I’ve found luck and doom in tea leaves,
Never seeing the eternal wanderings in my own palm.

Window Games



The playing field is small,
Just the space between our windows.

The rules are simple.
Look out the window
As long as you can
Without the other one knowing.

The penalties for getting caught:
Embarrassment,
Unanswered questions,
A knowing look.

Don’t talk to each other -
It’s the unspoken rule.
The game is silly,
Yet we keep playing
And no one wins.

The Lament of the English Student


Contact between mouth and brain is lost.
The floodgates of stupidity open,
Pouring out an array
Of double negatives
And overworked comparisons.
All rational thoughts have disappeared,
Leaving my participles dangling
Behind my shattered pride.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vision Quest


She walks along the hillside
And can feel the tribal drums
Pounding rhythms through her veins
As the next day’s morning comes.

The mournful North Dakota wind
Still holds the ancient chants.
She sees the tribe meet by the fire
To dance the sacred dance.

She can’t forget her heritage,
The world she’s never known,
How ancestors carved out their lives
From rock and wood and bone.

She knows she is a seer.
She envisions futures past.
She sees her bloodline rise and fall
And fears she’ll be the last.

She does not know her destiny,
Her path is unrevealed.
There is no one to light her way
And fate’s dark lips are sealed.

She walks along the hillside
And awaits a brighter day,
A woman searching for a home
And time that passed away.

Published in  Poet‘s Place in “The Bugle”  vol. 4 number 4 - Jan. 28, 2011.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

By Candlelight


She sits alone each evening
And she weeps by candlelight.
She’s dancing with his memory
On a cold Nebraska night.

She still can feel the velvet touch
Of his warm lips’ caress.
She still can feel his strong hands
Moving underneath her dress.

She promised him forever,
That she’d be his lifelong mate,
Not knowing how it all would change
With one cruel twist of fate.

He left her forty years ago,
Never to return.
Now she prays; “God rest his soul”
And lets her candles burn.

She lets her candles burn each night
And desperately she cries
Still married to his memory
For true love never dies.

Search Engine Synergy


An unsigned piece of soul
Carelessly discarded and burning through the ether
Lands on my computer screen via a random search algorithm.
Your cadence,
Your phrasing,
Your self-deprecation tinged with arrogance,
Still as familiar as the curve of your jaw
Or your breath on my neck.
Once we laughed and loved and chased our muse.
I see you too still answer her call.
Smiling down on our parallel lives,
The muse adds yet another cosmic coincidence
To the long-ago story of us.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tea Time



Do not be afraid
As I sip my arsenic tea
And pray to join my ancestors.
Life, like good tea,
Should be savored,
And my cup is still quite full.

Hearts



Greeting cards and pop songs
Would have us believe
Hearts are pretty,
Polished,
Easily healed to pristine condition.

In reality,
Hearts are ugly,
Scarred with the tattoos of youthful regret,
Riddled with bloody chasms of grief and loss.
We wander through the voids
And curse our futile attempts at normalcy,
Questioning how we arrived there
And how our damaged hearts can ever go on.

But, across the gaps and the scars,
We breathe.
We move.
We love,
And we never forget.

Welcome!



Welcome to Write Wing Conspiracy.  It is here that I will be chronicling my journey back into writing as well as my poems.  I believe that inspiration can come from anything that goes on in our lives, so I will also touch on a bit of my life, emotions, and interests along the way.  To quote a great sailor man, “I am who I am, and that’s all that I am.”  I’m not hear looking for anyone’s approval.  I’m not here to apologize for anything.  I’m simply here to share a slice of my world and maybe a little bit of art too.

Turning forty provided a great opportunity to examine my life so far.  I certainly have not ended up where I expected.  I’ve made more than my share of mistakes, made my life much harder than it really needed to be through sheer stupidity at times. Fate has also been a willing co-conspirator, taking every available chance to kick me. And yet, my inner voice tells me that all the trials and heartaches I’ve experienced, it’s all building toward my shining moment.

So I’ve turned once again to writing.  I know it doesn’t fix anything, but it does give voice to my world. (If anyone happens to be listening is quite another story.)   I’ve got much more determination to keep with it now instead of letting life get in the way.

Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to comment on what you find here and if you enjoyed it please recommend it to your friends.