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.

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

Ferlinghetti 21.25

Casting her eyes to heaven
she meandered through what was.
If only
she’d sensed his other half,
those gentle hands fisted as
love pummeled, possessed too far.
She lie now, crumpled to the floor, that
human mass he abandoned in the night.


Sometimes poetry can be written to call attention to an endemic problem. This is dedicated to all those who face domestic abuse. Written for dVerse in a unique format that takes one or two lines from another poem and uses these words, in order, as the end words of the new poem. Photo credit: Linda Lucerne

Ferlinghetti’s poem titled 21 is from the 60th Anniversary Edition, City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology, edited by Lawrence Ferlinghetti:

was only half as far that night
at the poetry recital
listening to the burnt phrases
when I heard the poet have
a rhyming erection
then look away with a
lost look
‘Every animal’ he said at last
‘After intercourse is sad’
But the back-row lovers
looked oblivious
and glad

Forecast Error

Once delicately balanced
upturned to the sun,
finely veined plumeria petals
lie strewn across the path.

Last eve’s maelstrom winds
unexpected. Wreaked havoc.
Battering, felling
these blushing blooms.

Perfumed scent mingles
with rotting leaves.
They shall decay
and disappear.

I trusted you,
until you became another.


National Poetry Writing Month continues with day eleven’s prompt: write a poem in which you closely describe an object or place, and then end with a much more abstract line that doesn’t seemingly have anything to do with that object or place, but which, of course, really does. Photo Credit: Bert Grantges.


Gaggle me group think
wisps of snipers
brooding, hence their evil
festers in murmuration.

Starlings not, cowards yes,
they prey on innocence
maim, murder,
crow hatred as they kill.

Life and exhaltation, a lark to them,
bombs strapped on chests
with heaven their goal,
wing straight to hell.

Let us become congregations
like plovers in flight with doves.
For they are small as one
but pure of heart,

powerful as they soar
symbols, nay beings
of peace and love.


Written for dVerse. De asks us to write a poem using the names given to gatherings of birds. She thoughtfully provided a wonderful list from which I’ve chosen the following: flight of doves, brood of hens, congregation of plovers, exhaltation of larks, gaggle of geese, murmuration of starlings, murder of crows, and wisp of snipe.  Photo credit: Nevit Dilmen.


What Fury We Hath Wrought

Moon sliver fades in and out through shards of clouds in pitch black sky. I peer from my window, wrapped in warm flannel, pane thrown open. Tree frogs mute with wailing winds. And I know, though I cannot see, ocean currents are whipped in fury, hurling themselves upon eroded shore.

Mother beats her breast
mea culpa my children
peace I cannot bring.


Written for dVerse Poet’s Pub, Haibun Monday #9. Hosted by Rajani who asks that our subject include the moon. Photo by Lucretia.