The Feminist Deconstruction of Humpty Dumpty

I warned you!
and the spiders have taken heed . . .

You cared not to sit with ordinary blokes,
dangled your feet and watched all their woes.
You squirreled me away with Peter’s wife,
stuck in a pumpkin shell for life.

I am not addled nor scrambled in wits.
And so in the evenings of hey diddle diddle
your eyes on the cow and the cat and the fiddle,
I found my way out, maneuvering the vine.

I added more bricks by the light of the moon,
layer by layer, higher it grew.
Til I smiled in the window that final day,
snacking on pumpkin and watching you swoon.

You sat on your wall, looking down upon me
sneering and laughing and kicking in glee.
And then with bravado, a tip of your hat,
you leaned forward and laughed
until . . .

All the King’s horses and all the King’s men
couldn’t rewrite you together again.

The wall is demolished, Jill’s bucket is full.
I am quite proud and raucously so,
to sit on my tuffet, secure in my ways,
eating, nay feasting, on curds and whey.

Kim is hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, a virtual pub for poets. Bar opens at 3 PM. We’re asked to take a character, fictional or non-fictional, and re-write their story from the point of view of their husband or wife. I’ve taken the liberty of assuming Little Miss Muffet was married to Humpty Dumpty:)  Photos from Childcraft, Volume One Poems of Early Childhood, copyright 1947.  I may be a tad older than my readers so these photos provide the Mother Goose rhymes alluded to in my poem.

Cherished Memory

He was a quiet man. I don’t remember playing with my father or hearing words of praise or love. I don’t remember hugs. But I do remember a few summer mornings each year when I was young. A silent drive to the lake. A long walk out the pier. He’d take a wriggly worm from an old tin can and put it on the end of my bamboo pole. And we’d sit. Just sit. A skinny little girl with giraffe-knobby knees and her whiskered dad, under the rising sun and ever bluing sky. No need for words. No need to catch a thing.

Steadfast sky and sun,
their promise always fulfilled.
Light shall break through clouds.


It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Toni asks us to write a haibun about the day sky. Thanks Toni. Your prompt brought back this cherished memory.

Kaleidoscope of Life

youth invincible
quick stepping through raucous times
kaleidoscope shifts
colored prisms less defined
pace slowed coming round the bend


A second Tanka shared with dVerse — although I’ve broken the rules a bit and added a title for this one. Tanka:  5 lines with syllabic count of 5-7-5-7-7. Third line contains a cutting shift; no punctuation; no capitalization.

Tanka for dVerse

waves crash in full tide
rush starts at epicenter
full moon excitement
night’s passion touched rekindled
we lie in sweet exhaustion

Toni hosts the bar at dVerse today (bar opens at 3 PM) and asks us to write a Tanka, a Japanese form of poetry comprised of five lines with the following syllabic count: 5-7-5-7-7. This form is older than the haiku, first appearing in the 8th century!  There is no punctuation, no capitalization, and no title. Third line is a cutting or pivot line. The first two lines examine an image and the final two lines are a personal response. Tankas were considered a “female” form, written more by females than males and were often sensuous. Photos from Bermuda.

Be Ye Not Desolate

White curtains flutter.
Breeze billows through fabric,
createing long cloth ripples
filled and unfilled by unseen wind.

Door left ajar.
The void space within its frame,
a vacancy that waits
filled with hope.

The null set.
Emptiness that knows,
change by one
changes everything.


Written for dVerse, a virtual poets’ pub, where Bjorn is tending bar today and asks us to write a quadrille (44 words, not including title) that makes use of the word jar. A bit of poetic license: did include a jar (ajar).


For Sale

Hands scraped, pulled and peeled.
Stripped bare in three hectic days
she gave up secrets long unseen.
Layer upon layer
she revealed her past.

Mauve moons, café scenes
wedgewood-blue stenciled designs
pale rose buds the last.
Memories removed, she stood
waiting, exposed

until they came again.
Colors slathered, rolled.
Taupe, beige, and palest grey.
Senses dulled, she cowered,
pale in disbelief.

Windows wide-eyed,
she watched
as strangers came to gawk.
Pried her private parts,
talked as if she was not there.

Once so full of life and love,
a shell of what she was.
just a house
lifeless on the streets.

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At the Gate

The mare, so far away,
a sense of movement in the fields.

I stood watching,
belly nine months large.
Motion rippled through the grass
matched by rushing winds.

Mane flowing, she galloped toward me,
legs in synch with some internal pace
ears pinned against the breeze.
I stared, mesmerized.

She sauntered close,  approached the gate
then slowly turned and bent to graze,
beads of sweat upon her flanks
breathing deeply at her task.

I stood watching quietly
until arms jerked reflexively,
hands to back as waves within me
grew to jabs, a quickening pace.

And so I left the mare that day,
neighing softly in the winds.
She watched me as I’d watched her,
when I placed the latch upon the gate
and crosed the creek toward home.


Posting today for OLN at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Gayle opens the bar at 3 PM – drop in and imbibe some words!

Green Lake Visit

I sit
splayed on Adirondack chair,
porched on rustic cabin,
built on rustic site.

Vista before me,
cropped not by gilded frame
nor dimmed by darkened glass
or visor’s cap.

Sentinel woods stand tall,
surround calm rippled waters,
beckon bare feet to rough hewn dock
and yet I sit.

Adirondack sky stretches above me,
bluing clouds to their brightest white.
And I breathe, deeply,
deep green forest scent.

I sit quietly content,
imagine myself
as notes within the loons’ song.
Eyes closed, I drift within this space
and imagine myself to stay.


Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse where De asks us to write a poem that has to do with “blue.”
Photo taken this past week at Green Lake in the Adirondacks. I was indeed sitting on the porch of a rustic cabin at this beautiful remote site when I took this photo.
In the poem “blue” is used in the sense of “bluing.” According to  Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing site, there are 300 shades of white; the most intense includes a slight hue of blue. Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing is a laundry aid used to “brighten whites.” Hence the idea of the blue sky making the clouds appear even more white!