Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mary Mary

Mary Mary quite contrary,
Mary had a little lamb,
Proud Mary rollin’ on the river
Won’t tell you who I really am.

Mary Mary where you going to?
Honestly, I have no clue.
I’m not Mary Jane on her last dance
Or Ricky Nelson’s Mary Lou.

That list of tunes goes on forever,
But let me tell you just one thing:
No one else can write my story.
This is my life, my song to sing.

~~~ This was written for the latest prompt in the poetic memoir series from Poetic Bloomings asking us to write about our nicknames.  For me, it wasn’t so much a nickname as continually having songs sung to me with my name in it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Her Song

She would lift her voice every chance she got,
In front of any audience she could find,
A wallflower who blossomed in the spotlight,
But one who should have applauded loudest
Became the harsh critic who silenced her,
Leaving her dreams muted and abandoned.

Eventually that critic exited her world,
But his words echoed for years,
A quiet refrain reminding her
That she “just wasn’t good enough,”
Her confidence transformed into acute fear.

The turning calendar pages hushed his criticisms
But not the dreams she sang in her silent soul,
Until one night in the smoky haze of karaoke night,
Someone pressed a microphone into her hand.
That night she found the courage to face her pain
And her song rang true once more.

~~~Note:  Yes, the video is actually me singing karaoke at home, just in case you were wondering.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Little Angel

Baby Angels by Peter Griffin
image from

Spread your wings, little angel,
As you fly away from me
Into the loving arms of Jesus
And your waiting family.
Though I barely got to know you
And it doesn’t seem fair,
Spread your wings, little angel,
Peace is waiting for you there.

Don’t be afraid, little angel,
You have nothing to fear.
If you look inside your heart
You’ll find I’ll always be near.
I’ll keep your memory with me
Until my dying breath.
Don’t be afraid, little angel,
Love lives on after death.

Don’t cry for me, little angel,
Let a smile light up your face.
There is no room for sadness
In that heavenly space.
Your spirit is much stronger
Than this mortal flesh and bone.
Don’t cry for me, little angel,
I’ve got tears of my own.

Fly high, my little angel,
Spread your golden wings and fly.
Find your first taste of freedom
In that great sacred sky.
When my time on Earth is over,
Please take me by the hand,
And I’ll fly with you, little angel,
Into the promised land.

~~~~  This was written for a prompt over at Poetry Jam asking us to consider all kinds of different genres.  I ended up deciding to take my cue from bluegrass music.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wishing for Wings

Soul's Wing by Ella Wilson

As a child I wished for wings,
Dreaming I could fly away
From my despairing landscape,
Taking formation with a migrating flock,
Performing effortless cartwheels through the heavens.
Summer winds carried no angry words
To wound an innocent heart,
And the smiling stars in the night sky
Were the friendliest faces I’d ever seen.
My flights of fantasy
Carried me through my childhood,
Although those temporary escapes
Faded with the passing years.
These days my grown up feet
Are firmly rooted on the ground,
But even still there are times
When I can’t help but wish
I did have magical wings,
That I could just fly away once more.

~~~ This poem was written in response to a photo prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.  You can find more of Ella's work over at her blog Ella's Edge.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Unintended Influences

Woman and Wall by Jiri Hodan
image from

Those bullying girls skilled
In the art of middle school torture,
The dishonest men who received affection
But only returned derision and betrayal,
The non-believers seeking to inject
Their doubts into my resolve…
They’ve taken their shots,
Scarring my ego,
Almost destroyed me,
But they fueled my defiance,
Made me push me past my limitations,
And they continue to drive me
To build a legacy worth leaving behind.

~~~ This poem was written for the latest prompt in the series Poetic Bloomings is hosting to help us create poetic memoirs.  This time around we were asked to write about someone (outside of our family) that has influenced us.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Playing with the Master

Chessboard by Anna Langova
Image from

I was completely taken in
By your opening gambit,
Not noticing the pawns
You were willing to sacrifice.
Your counterplay was genius,
Promising that the king
Would protect and cherish his queen,
But your maneuvers
Left my heart en prise,
Lost in a series
Of perpetual checks.
I foolishly forgot
The role of the queen
Is to protect her king,
Sacrificing herself if necessary,
And by the time I remembered
Even Caissa herself could not save me.

~~~ Note:  En prise is a chess term referring to a piece or pawn that has been left undefended.  Caissa is the goddess of chess.

~~~ This poem was written in response to my prompt over at Poetry Jam providing the topic of games.

Escaping Home

Row after row
Of rusting metal shacks
Masquerading as homes
For the desperate,
Our trailer very much
Like the others…
The yellowing linoleum,
The dingy shag carpeting
That never came clean,
The claustrophobic brown
Of the cheap paneling
That oppressed joy
And consumed laughter.
Home was never a refuge,
Rather a prison to be escaped.
I would sit on the metal steps
Leaning back against
The dented white metal door
Until the grates wore grooves
Into the backs of my thighs,
Notebook in hand
Furiously trying to write
A happier ending
Than the trailer park promised.

~~~ This poem was written a prompt from Poetic Bloomings asking us to describe our childhood home as well as a prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asking us to describe a neighborhood where we lived.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Missive from the Lair, Part 3: The Happy Dance of Victory

Doomsday by AndreeWallin @ deviantART

I’m telling you,
The life of a super villain
Bent on world domination
Is not as glamorous as you might think…
Success can be nearly impossible
With those pesky heroes
Swooping in to foil my evil plans,
And if you think the glass ceiling
Exists only in the corporate rat race,
Try being a woman in a circle of bad guys,
Never taken seriously,
Chosen each year as recording secretary
Rather than Head Arch Villain,
Always asked to provide refreshments
For meetings of our Unrelenting League of Evil…

Karma proved a much better ally
Than the treacherous colleagues
I’m usually forced to choose.
Those violent rumblings beneath your feet
Are the repercussions of your own actions,
The fire and brimstone raining down upon you,
Reducing your world to smoking rubble,
A fitting outcome considering all you’ve done.
Not only did I defeat you,
I destroyed you.

I will dance in the ashes of your deceptions,
Merrily kicking at your withered corpse in celebration.
My transformation is complete,
From betrayed victim to vengeful victor.
You will never underestimate me again.

~~~ This was written in response from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asking us to write a poem about doomsday with a happy twist.  This is the latest installment in my Missive from the Lair series, be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Job Description

In shadows of the ordinary,
The poet seeks out the unique,
His findings recorded for
All to see, without praise
Or condemnation,
In snapshots of
The moments
Of our

This nonet was written for this week’s Vice Versa prompt from Poets United, using the antonym pairs unique/ordinary and condemn/praise.  I stretched it just a bit by expanding "condemn" into "condemnation."

Monday, August 13, 2012


Photo by Don P. Northup,
I tag my walls 
with poetic graffiti, 
littering the overpasses 
and abandoned shells
of my existence 
with the verbal vandalism 
of a desperate dreamer 
screaming to be heard 
in a cacophonous world.

~~~ This was written in response to a prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, asking us to consider the idea of “poetry written on a wall.”

A.K.A. Mom

They only know her as Mom,
Keeper of the healthy snacks,
Organizer of impossible schedules,
The queen of comfort
In her yoga pants and cross-trainers.
They would never recognize her
In the midst of her miscreant days,
Black leather mini skirt,
Hair teased to the heavens,
With a weakness for musicians and motorcycles.
They’ve never seen the butterfly
Forever fluttering on her right hip,
And they would never guess
That the haphazard tune she hums
While driving the Wednesday carpool
Is vintage punk rock.

~~~ This poem was written for a prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asking us to use the word “miscreant.”  I’ve included a video for the song that helped to spark this poem.

Those Mountain Women

My Great-Granny, Grandmother, and the four oldest
girls in the mom is the littlest one trying
to hide behind her sister.

I come from a line
Of strong mountain women,
Rugged as the terrain they called home.
Great-Granny and her life steeped in grief,
Burying babies and a husband taken by typhoid,
Looking so tiny and frail
But tough enough to carry on.
And then Grandma,
Difficult times made more desperate
When abandoned to raise six children alone.
They wasted no energy on complaints and blame;
Understanding the immensity of their burdens,
They persevered,
Driven by necessity and fierce love.
As years have passed,

More generations of daughters
Have scattered across the country,
Feet planted on the rolling prairie,
In the blazing Texas heat,
Under endless Colorado skies,
With burdens of their own to bear
But with the same fierce love of family,
A part of their hearts
Still rooted back in West Virginia,
Still channeling the strength
Of those mountain women.

~~~~ This poem was written in response to a challenge from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asking us to give voice to an ancestor.  With as long past as that particular challenge is, I've linked it with their Open Link Monday.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Value of Freedom

The Declaration of Independence - John Trumball, 1819

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  From the United States Declaration of Independence, 1776

Fifty-six men
With pens on parchment
Changed the world,
Declaring their intention
To pursue an ideal
Of equality and freedom,
Knowing that failure
Would leave them branded
As traitorous cowards
Hanging in the public square,
Knowing that the cannons of war
Would destroy the lives
They had sacrificed to build,
But inaction would cost so much more.

Those fifty-six men of vision
Understood the value of freedom
And were willing to pay the price.
Do we still possess that courage,
The willingness to stand
In the face of tyranny
In defense of the values
Earned by blood and cannon
All those years ago?
Sacred honor is a concept
Forgotten by politicians
Masquerading as leaders,
Relegated to dusty books and epic movies,
Yet in the heart of the patriots
Spread across these United States,
The burning desire for freedom survives,
Just waiting for someone to fan the flames.

~~~  This poem was written in response to a prompt from Poetry Jam asking us to write about value and values.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Turning the Page

The pages of my life are filled
With revisions and false starts,
Abandoned plots that led to nowhere,
A supporting cast that has failed
To live up to its billing,
The occasional villain who sought
To defile, revile, desecrate, and violate me…

But as long as I have the strength
To pick up my pen each day,
I know that the next chapter still lies ahead,
Waiting for me to put my destiny into words.

~~~ This poem was inspired by a prompt from Poetic Bloomings, asking us to write about an accomplishment we are proud of (children and family not allowed.)  This is the second in a series meant to help us create a poetic memoir.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Remember Me

© Teresa ~ Razzamadazzle

Remember me
As more than just a lonely stone
Covered in moss
In an neglected corner of a cemetery.

Remember me
Shooting hoops
On the playground,
The queen of the court
At age nine.

Remember me
Laughing in an August downpour,
Splashing through puddles
Hand in hand
With you.

Remember me
In that black slip of a dress
You loved so much
And afterward
When that dress
Laid crumpled
On the floor
Next to the bed.

Remember me
And my stubborn pride
And the time we wasted
On angry words and accusations.  

Remember me
As the one who got away
Or the bitch who broke your heart.

Remember me however you need to.

Please, just remember me…

~~~ Imaginary Garden with Real Toads posed a challenge to write a poem inspired by the photography of Teresa from Razzamadazzle.  Be sure to check out her wonderful work.  I’ve also linked this up with Poetry Jam this week, where the prompt was to pick a verb and make it the topic of our poem.

Caged Wolf

Wolf by Yorvig @ deviantART

How can the wolf remain
True to his wild heart
When harnessed by a gold ring,
When feral nature is traded
For a matrimonial cage?
How can his lupine essence flow
As freedom ebbs away
In a cloak of polite civility?
Creatures of the night
Are meant to roam unfettered,
Guided only by instinct.
The hunter who stays in the den
Instead of stalking and feasting
Will soon find his happiness
Replaced by his soul’s starvation.

~~~~  This poem was inspired by a prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, where we were asked to consider the Sinead O’Connor song “The Wolf is Getting Married.”  I’ve included a video for those not familiar with the tune.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Who Do You Think You Are, Mary Mansfield?

you still remember me by nailass @ deviantART

Maybe an old soul
Arcing through the mists of time
Remembered the joys of physical form,
Yearned to complete a journey
Begun eons ago,
Ethereal freedom
Traded for

Maverick tendencies
Amplify the contradictions
Nestled within me,
Sarcasm cloaked in sweetness,
Fundamental flaws
In one seeking a more spiritual side,
Eccentric yet predictably normal,
Likeable but intimidating, and just a bit

~~~~~ This poem was inspired by an interesting prompt from over at Poetic Bloomings.  We were asked to write an acrostic poem using our full names entitled “Who Do You Think You Are, (insert your name here.)”  This is the first in a series of 20 prompts that is supposed to result in a poetic memoir of sorts.