Backwards . . .

it must be a dream . . .
or time-machine . . .
or machinations of an addled brain.

Used to be a woman’s road
to pregnancy and through pregnancy
was determined by men.
Their genitalia and their laws.
Used to be coat hangers
bloodied in cavities,
did more than hang up coats.

It’s not a dream . . .
or time machine . . .
or my septuagenarian brain.
Once again, a woman’s body
her insides, her uterus
are ruled by men.
Their genitalia and their laws.

Two Aphorisms Created for Our Times

I.
Life is a card game,
play your hand wisely.
Seems like we’re caught
in a never-ending bridge game.
Trump suit named,
trick after trick after trick played.
Anyone ready to change the game?

II.
When parade horses leave a trail of shit,
sweepers must follow.

Seems like we’re caught
in a never-ending parade
of show ponies
with far too few sweepers
willing to clean up the mess.


Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today, Ana returns to dVerse and asks us to consider Gnomic poetry which is the practice of moralizing in verse. We can start or end our poem with an aphorism; create our own aphorisms; or be inspired by a myth. We have many choices in how to approach the prompt but the “focal point” of our poem must be a moral or assert a philosophical position on life. And she tells us that just because we’re moralizing, doesn’t mean we must be serious. We can add a bit of humor or irony. Images from Pixabay.com

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead . . .

I’m melting, melting. Ohhhhh, what a world, what a world, destroy my beautiful wickedness.” Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz

I planned it. Me and Rudy.
It was all fixed.
The machines, the ballots.
All a disaster.

Millions believed me.
They didn’t drink bleach
but they believed I won
because I said so.

This commission.
These videos. These emails.
My people spilling it all.
Gutless.

This witch hunt . . .
closing in . . .
my battery is low
and it’s getting dark.

Laura provides a unique prompt for today’s Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. She provides seven quotations of famous departing words. We must choose one and include it in a “deathbed poem of our imagination.”

The line provided by Laura: “My battery is low and it’s getting dark.” Mars rover ‘Opportunity’

The prompt got me thinking about Donald Trump and the January 6 Commission. May the vast amount of evidence presented be the demise of the Big Lie and expose the danger Donald Trump presents to democracy and the well-being of this country. May his power and cult-like status among otherwise sane people melt away, similar to what happened to the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz.

A Lunker or Two

Spelunker by day
lady’s man by night.
Stalactites his game,
caves his domain.

Met his match at the local pub.
Spellunker by night,
scrabble her game
words her fame.

Challenged him
after a pint or two.
She won the game
he won her heart.


Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Sanaa hosts Quadrille Monday and asks us to use the word “spell” somewhere within the body of our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Had a little fun with this one.
PS: a spelunker is a person who explores caves. Image from Pixabay.com

Watching the Unimaginable

So many have blood on their hands.
Mirrors avoided to save face
hands folded to avoid guilt tremors
heads bowed – horse blinders unavailable.

In another world,
nineteen children don angel wings.
Their days playing on the beach
never to be again.

Together with angels from Sandy Hook
they hover, watch intently, hope . . .
surely this time
change will come.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Merril asks us to consider summer and write an ekphrastic poem. She provides a number of paintings that are in some way related to summer. We are to choose one or more to work with. Our poem should be inspired by the painting; not describe the painting. The painting I chose from among those provided is Summer Day, Brighton Beach by Carl Zimmermann.

To clarify the references in my poem:

On December 14, 2012, in Newtown Connecticut, twenty children, ages 6 and 7, were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Attempts to enact stricter gun laws in the United States failed.

On May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas, nineteen children, ages 9, 10 and 11, were murdered at Robb Elementary School.

Ruminating

Lately, there’ve been too many days when I want to escape somewhere to a place where news does not exist. No headlines. No statistics. There is so much horror around us. And our “around” is no longer just our neighborhood. It’s the world.

Some days, I want to pull inward to savor the good I know exists. That’s difficult to do when images of Ukraine and murdered school children invade my thoughts. I feel guilty even writing this. But I wonder, could the twenty-four/seven news cycles exist in a thirty/seventy topical format? Surely at any given time, there are thirty percent of the things happening across the world that are good? These are the things they don’t tell us. I think we need to know about them. Maybe then we won’t be so debilitated and would be motivated to turn prayers into action.

Image: me ruminating some years ago. Although for the prose above, there should not be a smile on my face…..or perhaps I’m thinking about the good?

Written for Prosery Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Lisa asks us to include the line “These are the things they don’t tell us” in a piece of prose (not poetry) that is no more than 144 lines in length, sans title. The line is from Girl Du Jour, from Notes on Uvalde.

I was lucky . . .

The summers of my privileged youth were filled with riding bicycles with my best friend, June; drinking from the garden hose; drawing hopscotch grids with colored chalk; climbing Mrs. Jester’s apple trees; running through sprinklers in the back yard; and fishing off the Lake Michigan pier with my dad. Once every summer, my mom bought a box of popsicles and doled them out to me and my friends. Everyone else fought over the red ones. I always had the yellow ones to myself. I guess nobody else liked banana.

hot city summer
steam hovers over pavement
tempers flare, guns pop



Frank is hosting haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today he asks us to consider summer. Photos from my childhood, in the early 1950s. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

Haibun: one or two paragraphs of succinct prose, usually biographical in nature, followed by a haiku that amplifies the theme, but does not duplicate the prose.

Overheard on the Corner in Ptown

Walking down Provincetown’s main street,
I passed two men sitting on a bench
chatting in front of the courthouse.
It’s a popular place to people watch.

I heard one man say to the other
“I have a list of things I’m not allowed to buy.”
I started wondering,
what might that list include?

Possibly . . . M&Ms with peanuts,
wine spritzers and flavored beer.
Tie-dyed tee shirts, bumper stickers,
and coffee mugs for mom, dad,
grandpa, grandma, best brother
or best sister.
Cape Cod engraved silver spoons.
Salt and pepper shakers
in the shape of whales.
And possibly starfish from the shell shop?
Because he already has too many.

“So what would I buy if I had that list,”
I asked my spouse after writing this poem.
In his inimitable way, he simply said,
“Use your imagination.”

Image: photo of sign taken on our walk yesterday to the far East side of town, where automobiles first enter Provincetown.

Provincetown’s Ebb and Flow

Beloved Provincetown, how shall I pen you?
Sometimes mellow, sweet as honey,
dew dripped fogged another day?

Your fickle Spring brings brisk winds,
lean-into gusts that slow my steps
on low tide walks along the shore.
Horseshoe crabs spawn, two moving as one,
leaving intricate trails on sand,
caring not that I observe their intimacy.

Summer explodes in gulls and fireworks.
Two and four-legged beach walkers
skirt ’round children digging moats.
Engorged tour buses relieve themselves.
Nametagged visitors join throngs in streets
as bicycles weave their way through maze.

Autumn brings sweatered afternoons,
shorter ice cream lines, gardens’ last hurrahs,
and fewer buskers on the streets.
I stand alone in wool cap on deserted shore,
marveling at the glory of an amber moon,
light temptation for tomorrow’s palette of words.

When your Winters flaunt Nor’easters,
remaining locals, few in number, tread quickly
through snow-muffled quietude.
Behind once busy Commercial Street
in this, the most off of off-seasons,
ocean’s rhythmic tides still reign.

The ocean, in fog or sun or snow,
Provincetown’s constant gift,
no matter the time of year.



Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today I’m hosting and asking folks to “compound me!”

I’ve provided a list of compound words in the prompt . (A compound word is formed by putting two root words together to form an entirely new word.)

Writers must choose at least one compound word from the list and use it in their poem EXCEPT, they must take apart the word! They can not add any words between the two root words nor can they add any additional letters to the root words. For example: moonlight: writers can put moon at the end of one line and begin the next line with the word light. Or they may, within one line, include the two words moon and light, with no other letters added to the words and no additional words between the two root words. They may however, add a punctuation mark between the two root words.

Confused? Here’s the two lines from my poem above, where I’ve used the words honeydew and moonlight, which are in the list:

Sometimes mellow, sweet as honey,
dew dripped fogged another day?

and
marveling at the glory of an amber moon,
light temptation for tomorrow’s palette of words.


I do hope you’ll join us! Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time and you’ll find the complete list of compound words there. Choose one or more and compound me! Or just stop by to see what others write. The more the merrier!

Photos from our annual two weeks in Provincetown over these past 22 years. We’re here until Saturday, and as you can tell from this poem and the last few I’ve posted, it is my muse. We are smitten with our beloved Provincetown.

Video was taken yesterday!! Did you know …. May is spawning season for horseshoe crabs. They’re not actually crabs. They’re chelicerates, most closely related to arachnids, such as spiders and scorpions. They’re consiered “living fossils” meaning they’ve existed nearly unchanged for at least 445 million years, well before even the dinosaurs! Amazing to watch their spawning. Our first time in all these years, coming in May….and then we find out it’s horseshoe crab spawning time!