All Hallows’ Eve . . .

Caldron nearby
she is the enigma,
silver flowing garb
white hair plaited high.
Index fingers encased in wax,
flame extinguished
by gust from fleeing bats.

Eyes heavenward, pointing skyward
she seeks illumination.
Answering nay, consumed by clouds,
lunar glow dims and disappears.
Tear soaked cheeks
dried on thinnest cloth
sHow dwindling faith . . .

     consumed moon
          pearls from tissue
               candle salve
                    skulls of saints
                              spiritual songs


her crooning voice cracks
this hallowed eve.
This burial ground,
last chance
to find her gods.
All sounds, all hopes
cease.

Pleas unanswered
she returns to abysmal cave,
forsaken and alone.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Laura hosts and refers us to the American Poet, Samuel Greenburg. His “…feverish tubercular episodes gave him a verbal recklessness that lent itself to surrealism.” In The Pale Impromptu, written in 1915, he strings words together in indentations and to Laura, they appear like charms on a bracelet. She has listed for us twenty-one of these “charm” phrases from The Pale Impromptu and asks us to use five of them in our poem. I’ve attempted to use his form as well as five of his “charms” which are italicized for easy recognition. My apologies to Laura and Samuel Greenburg if I’ve not explained this very well.

Photo from Pixabay.com

Arachnophobic . . .

I should have known.
She silked the room,
entered with swishing skirts.
Eye-lashed me
in that coquettish way.
Wove words into delights.
Spinning wheeled me,
unlike any woman I’d ever known.
I could not escape her wiles.
I skeined under her spell.
First hands, then arms,
then eyes, then heart.
My senses spooled as one,
tautly captured in her clutches.
She left me,
forever specimened.
Pushpinned my veins
until I was but a dried shell.
Once a vibrant man,
now locked in despair.
I shall never love again.

Written for Meet the Bar at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets from around the globe. Today, Bjorn asks us to “verbify” in our poem. That is, to use a noun, or several, as verbs in our poem. Photo taken a number of years ago at Ricoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires.

Mother Dearest

I don’t know why I was surprised every time love started or ended. My mother taught me love could be turned on and off. As a teenager, I could only go steady with a boy for six weeks. She kept track on her calendar. I hated her every time I fell in love. But then, after about five weeks, I’d tire of the boy and happily blame the break-up on my mother.

When she died, so did my excuse. So I became a recluse. Until I met John. He surprised me with his persistence. We met in coffee shops at first. Then his place. I was a good girl and told him no sex until I got a ring. I marked that special day on my calendar. Now I’m in widow’s weeds with a blood encrusted knife holding this year’s calendar on the wall.

 

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Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today is Prosery Monday.

Merril is hosting and asks us to use, word for word, the line “I don’t know why I was surprised every time love started or ended” in a piece of flash fiction that is exactly 144 words or less, sans title. The line is from Jane Hirshfield’s poem, I wanted to be surprised. 

Back Again

She’d agreed to this assignment. Put retirement on hold for one more case to smoke out a mole. The honeypot. Dumb blonde stereotype. She still had the body for it, so she gave in to their persuasive pleas. And he’d fallen for it.

Now as he snored, she quietly rolled over, about to get up and finally walk out on this life. Until a cold blade chilled the back of her neck. No sounds except her gasp of shock. There are moments caught between heart-beats. Some see their whole life flash before their eyes. She saw only what could have been.

His hand tangled itself in her hair. Jerked her head back. One last look at that god-awful bare ceiling fixture. It looked different from this angle. More sinister than when she was lying on her back. The yellowed light flickered. Then sputtered out.

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Kim is hosting Prosery Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to use the line “There are moments caught between heart-beats” from Louis MacNeice’s poem Coda in a piece of flash fiction that can be up to or exactly 144 words. Back Again is 144 words. Photo from pixabay.com. 
YES! Even though dVerse is usually poetry….this is a prompt for flash fiction, using an exact line from a particular poem.

Lifer

Beneath blood-red sunset
she met her ex.
Tinction blotted sky
with angry cloud canopy,
festered over sea.
She should have known.
Fatal mistake.
His, not hers.
His passion revealed in fists.
Her dignity recouped,
but at a price.
Life sentence.
Sky now cement blocks.

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Posted to dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today Linda asks us to use the word “extinction” or a form of the word, in the body of a quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words, sans title). Extinction does appear in Lifer. Do you see it?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines tinction as the act or process of staining or dyeing: coloring matter.

Photo taken in Provincetown, Cape Cod.

Rend Asunder

Simmering . . .
daze on end.
Days and weeks
on the back burner.
Simmering . . .

Until what?
Fingers drumming.
Unanswered calls.
Bubble bursts.
Boils over.

Hot blooded,
she explodes.
One – quick – STAB.
His blood flows
till warm no more.

Days later he lies
beyond the pale.
Forever stilled
beneath the earth,
cold to touch.

As is her soul.

I’m hosting dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets. Prompt today is to somehow involve the idea of “temperature” within your poem – in any of its diverse meanings or uses. The word itself does not need to be in the poem….but we must be able to tell how “temperature” is related to your poem. IE — to take one’s temperature, red-hot with anger;  temperature of a nation, being in hot water, passion, etc.  Prompt goes live at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!
And apologies to my readers today….I’ve gone over to the dark side with this post. Photo from Pixabay.com

Wandering Troubadour

Serial killer, folksong singer,
croons Pete Seeger tunes.
Strums guitar strings
while pressing fret on neck.

Wicked smile then splays his lips
when nightfall comes, he changes gigs.
Metal strings undone from fret
now seek a human neck.

Reminder note:
new strings needed tomorrow.

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Kim hosts Quadrille Monday today at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to include the word “fret” or a form of the word, in our post. Quadrille: a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Photo from Pixabay.com

Cruelty, Thou Art Life

Is there a beauty in insipidity,
blending in to all around? Stupidity
amassed beyond the pale,
in group-think, mass-appeal.
Invisibility, thou art cruel
spiteful invalidity.
Tread instead through morbidity
following ancient ways
as Plato did with Socrates.
Follow deeper still
with final sip,
hemlock
release.

Mish is hosting Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today she asks us to include the word “sip” within our exactly 44 word poem, sans title. For some reason, I went to the dark side with this one: “insipidity” and “sip.” Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

Illusions of Evil

Magician, sleight of hand his trade.
Quick undetected moves.
Misdirection while abracadabrahing.
No white rabbits.
No multicolored scarves
tucked up his sleeves.
Ladies’ man supreme,
handsome and mysterious.
Meandering lover, he savors the travel,
one step ahead of wanted posters.
Disappearing wives his specialty.

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Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where it’s Quadrille Monday! De hosts and asks us to include the word “quick” within our quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words, sans title).  Photo from pixabay.com

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.”