Ravaged

She sits slumped,
rot gut whiskey bottle
clutched in hands.
Stitch in side, she aches.
Time blurrs
lost in last nine shots.

Pennies by her feet
tossed by do-good passerby
don’t jar her mind.
Can’t think straight or at all.
Too far gone to live
not quite enough to die.

bottle-2257787_1920Written for Tuesday’s Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Jilly is hosting and asks us to take one or two well known adages and significantly change them! Can you find the two I’ve used?
Photo from Pixabay.com Answer Key: Stanza 1 from “A stitch in time saves nine.” and Stanza 2 is from “A penny for your thoughts. ”  Explaining further, in case you’re not familiar with having a stitch (pain) in your side:  often happens to people when they’re running … or can be a sign of other medical problems too. 

Desolate

The girl sat awhile,
gazing out over the waves
from a solitary sandbar.
Pebbles and rock ground fine,
parched by harsh sun,
as wave after wave came,
again and again.
Awash in waves of guilt,
drowning on dry land.
Nothing curled in the air
but the sound of nothing,
the hymn of nothing,
the humming . . .

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Written for Real Toads where the prompt is to write a piggyback poem:
First and last lines should be quoted from two different poems. First line here is from Maureen Hynes, The Horses, the Sorrow, the Umbilicus; last line is from Mark Strand’s She. Photo from Pixabay.com

Disillusioned

“apologizing to the other passengers. As if car sickness was a crime.”  page 111, 5th line in 3rd paragraph of The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

“You the sand I’ve crawled across.” page 111, 5th line in 3rd stanza in Jelly Roll by Kevin Young.

Disillusioned

Apologizing to the other passengers
as if car sickness was a crime.
Commuter train to end of line
end comes everyday.
Nauseating life of dregs,
there and back and there again.
Everyday merry-go-round hell.

Cell phone glued to your ear,
apologies for my stench.
I was you until I burned,
abandoned by the man.
You happy across the aisle,
my respect tossed to winds
abracadabra, like magic dust.

Path of self-worth, weed-whacked,
lost soul like tumble weed.
Arid dunes, grain smothers grain,
insurmountable pile.
My brain is a desert skull.
Bleached-bare eye sockets,
parched blind of caring.

And you sit there like him.
You the sand I’ve crawled across.

desert-1761930_1920

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Amaya asks us to bridge the gap: take a book near your bedstand, open it to page 111; copy the 5th sentence/line in the 3rd paragraph. That is the first line of your original poem. Choose a 2nd book and do the same but, this is the last line of your poem. And she admonishes, NO CHEATING! When I saw the  line in The Kite Runner I was ready to pick a different book!  But, no cheating…so Disillusionment is what came out of this prompt.

Desperate Corners

Spinning. Top handle pushed.
Heel of hand slams down.
Pumps up and down,
fast, faster as head whirrs.
Manic music loop hums, buzzes.
Commuter rail speeds like top.
Speeds to dos, never dones.
Programmed straight line
but circles back. Races there
then back again. Then there,
back, and there again.
Riding circles in straight line track.
Back and forth and back . . .
going nowhere somewhere same.
No exit, detour, changing lanes.
No corners to cut.
Desperately need to circumvent.
Hell’s spinning in my head.
Straight line circles on track,
back and forth and back again.
Flat circles straight through Dante’s hell.
Cats in the cradle fingers frozen.
Razor feels cool in hand.
Razor-cut corners. Find corners,
arcs through blue veined tubes.
Red globules travel through body
to heart through body to heart . . .
. . . till corner is cut and circle is . . .
. . . your image blurs slowly . . .
like over-used hopscotch chalk.
Jump off grid at double squares.
Heel of hand feebly strikes on top.
Off line, pace slows,
sounds slur, world blurs.
Circle spins slower . . . slowe . . .
slow. . . slo . . . sl . . . s. . .
Stop chasing tail.

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Written for Day 22, Napowrimo.  Prompt: To write a poem that disproves the statement “A circle can’t have corners.”

shroud

deep within the soil
perennial seed lies dormant
safe from winter’s scorn –
would that I could sleep as sound
oblivious to my pain.

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Frank is hosting today at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. He’s asked us to write a poem about sleep or to use the word itself. My post today is a Tanka: 5 lines with a 5, 7, 5, 7, 7 syllabic content.  A Tanka should include a shift in tone after line 3 or 4. Here, line 4 shifts from nature to the personal.  Added note: written in the voice of another.

Driven

He lost his head that day.
Disappeared into green lush woods,
the gardens of his mind.
Some nurturing space of his own design
between the borders of insanity and reason.

City engineer.
Day in and day out
he plotted and planned.
Highways, byways
throughways and roundabouts.
Traffic control,
exit ramps and entry lanes.
Cement road-snakes for autopilot mannequins.
Metal caskets on wheels,
rushing here and there and everywhere.

Head full, he just stopped.
Could not cope.
Could not recognize
patterns, directions,
escape routes from today
into the morrows.

And so he stared,
that morning at his desk.
Never moved.
Retreated into a nowhere,
his forest of nothingness.

IMG_6094

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today, Grace is hosting and asks us to use the word “border” within the poem or in the title. And, extra credit if we write somehow about a mental state.
Sculptur i
s in the de Cordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln Massachusetts. Eternal Presence by John Wilson, 1987; a study for the full size, seven-foot tall sculpture which stands outside the National Center for Afro-American Artists in Boston.