Dementia Drowned

Today is brewing, steeping.
Clouds blur within my head.
Grass pricks feet like shards
or linoleum with eyes.
They’re supposed to be on faces.
And that song, Tiny Bubble, goes with a ukulele.

It’s yesterday again, or Tuesday tomorrow.
I shall pad to the upstairs water closet.
Run ocean waves until steam rises like fog
and drains clog with long dulcimer hairs.
I will slip under the sea
to become an anemone.

No one can miss me.
Because i have not been here
for a long long time.


…in the darkness ye shall find…

Namrah, my mythical creature.
Born of another time, not of humans.
Birthed from energy of Sun and Lightning’s bolt,
dust of Canyon swirled in Wind’s strong breath.
Eyes that see all, informed by Truth.
Wings that enfold to protect, and when unfurled
span the land of many, emboldened to soar.
Gentle in touch and love,
strong in girth and resolve.

Oh Namrah, through darkest nights of fear
I close my eyes to find your soul.
Seek comfort within your folds,
climb to rest upon your back,
face nuzzled in the curve of your spine.
Take me above this temporal place
where words can be bereft of hope.
Let me feel your simple grace and flow
as we seek new heights and soar above this earth.
I shall feel your strength and gain your confidence.
I shall be enabled
and I shall live.


Shared with dVerse for Open Link Night. Somehow, Namrah has become a fixture in my mind. I first wrote of him some time ago for Friday Fictioneers. Is this the equivalent of a young child’s imaginary friend — a shape-shifter that has become more real in old age? It remains a mystery to me…but the name Namrah has become a mystical presence. Photo from Mount Rainer National Park.

The Escape

Threatening clouds blew cross once blue skies.
Dark, sinister, he stood incensed.
White-knuckled fist shoved in her face,
words flew like lightning bolts.
Slut. Idiot. Whore. Landing like blows,
so in sensed by her dulled brain, they chilled her soul,
like hoar frost on some distant trampled land.

But this time, she alone knew the secret she’d hid.
Just three small steps to that small new gun.
Her shaking hand pointed as he turned his head,
and the nightmare was over.
This knight in shining armor crap,

And so she took his keys.
Rode down back roads, kicking up dust,
never looked back, only forward.
She’d find a place, somewhere,
with hope tinged clouds
in tomorrow’s dawn.


Written for Tuesday’s Poetics at dVerse, a virtual pub for poets where today I’m tending bar, asking people to write a poem with at least two homophones. Homophones:  words with same sound but different spelling and different meaning. For example: two/too, and ball/bawl.  Homophones in The Escape include blue/blew, incensed/in sensed, whore/hoar frost, new/knew, nightmare/knight, rode/roads.  The trick in this prompt is to insure the “sense” of the poem, its flow and meaning are still the focus . The homophones need to fit in, rather than stick out boldly. Pub opens at 3 PM. Photo Credit: Linda Lucerne


City lights blink like fireflies, regardless of season. High rise windows shine where brick meets sky in a busy horizon.

Ten thousand steps a day are easy here. Church, mosque, supermarket. Post office, synagogue and hardware store. Restaurants serve Italian, Chinese, Ethiopian, French, Japanese, Greek, seafood, pizza, tapas, ribs. Department stores, yarn shop, coffee shops, and burger joints. Museum of Fine Arts and African American Meeting House. Beauty and nail salons, barbershop, shoe repairs, dentists, doctors, optometrist and palm reader too. Freedom trail and river stroll.  I am carless in the city. Well-worn walking shoes upon my feet and a cornucopia of things to do.

Iowa girl
fifteen acres
first-picked tomato
dripping down my chin.
Transplanted to cityscape.
I still carry heartland habits,
greeting surprised strangers
as they pass me by on city streets.

Written for dVerse, the virtual poet’s pub, where Bjorn is hosting Haibun Monday and suggesting a modern take on this form — put it into a city poem and the haiku that follows the prose may or may not be about nature; may or may not follow haiku form. Pub opens at 3 PM…come visit other’s views of city life! Photos taken from our 7th floor deck in our highrise in Boston.

Rotting Fruit

They ignored the name, blood orange,
plucked it from apples in the bin
and then they were surprised.
Layer after layer peeled away
through pock marked rind
through white pith,
only to reveal a rotten core.

They chose the brightest orange one
mr. jack-o-lantern
pre-carved, with the biggest grin.
Set it out for all to see.
Surrounded with goblins,
they left it on the porch too long.

Rot and mold began to take its toll.
They watched in great dismay
as it slumped and caved
into a misshapen ugly thing,
far earlier than the target night
it was expected to shine.



And What Shall Ye Say?

Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.
Words from Bob Dylan’s iconic song, Blowin’ in the Wind

The airways reverberate
vitriolic hatred, spewed humiliation
despicable, visceral crudity.
Not crudité as in aperitif.
Main entré of spoils.

The wildfire is aflame
catching drafts of ignorance.
No longer can we pretend.
These are not embers
quietly waning in desert sand.

We must be the douser,
each by declaring no.
It must not be this way.
It cannot be this way.
It is not this way.

The answer is not blowin’ in the wind.
The answer is us.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Bjorn is hosting and celebrating announcement of the Nobel Prize for Literature to Bob Dylan. Whether you agree with the selection or not, there is no denying the power his words had for so many during difficult times in America’s history. It seems to me, we are in the midst of trying, frightening times again. This poem is dedicated to Bob Dylan’s genius talent, and to Michelle Obama for having the courage yesterday, to stand up and speak out. 

Birthday Celebration

The room had a sour smell,
filled with canes, walkers
tv guides, checkerboard games,
and the people that accompany them
in a place like this.

He sat up tall, expectantly,
waiting for that age-old song
from the high-pitched warblers
hunched over the tinny piano
pulled out for occasions like this.

Balloons hovered overhead.
Candles dripped life-time moments
onto fondant flowers.
He patiently held a paper plate,
too thin for the thick slab he desired.

And so I asked the centenarian
for the secret of his longevity.
Well sonny, I always say,
close your eyes to dream.
Just make sure you open them wide
to watch where you step.


Posted for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Walt asks us to write a celebratory poem or one that uses the word “celebrate.” This is actually one of my first poems, a character study, reworked for this prompt.

…and the earth prays

Clouds slung over land
like a prayer shawl before the dawn.
They cling softly to earth’s shoulders,
until sun begins to warm her soul.
Mist slowly slips away
leaves moisture upon her limbs,
like tear drops shed in supplication
seeking grace for this day.

Monday’s quadrille (a poem of exactly 44 words) for dVerse, that virtual pub for poets, where today Kim is tending bar and folks are writing about clouds. Bar opens at 3 PM Boston time. Stop on over and imbibe in more clouds. Photos from a past trip to Alaska.


…and I shall imbibe her beauty…
shape-shifter clouds, wisps and trails…
lemon sherbet sun with melting rays…
pink sand beaches beguiled by sea glass…
aquamarine waters, clear and bright…
yellow kiskadees sing to dawn
as loquats plump for picking…
oh Bermuda, I do savor thee

Photos taken in Bermuda this past February and March. Here, the loquat are just ripening. Posted for Open Link Night at dVerse, a virtual pub for poets. Bar opens for OLN today at 3 PM — stop on over and read what others have to share!