December 16, 2012

Watery World

Photograph by Donna Donato

clouds move across the sky, and reflect
what is, what was, what is to come
what becomes a watery world

laughter, love, the living, moving
green grows the edges of this world
dried leaves of brown, yellow, and golden

float the crisp edges of time
to sail away to softening realms
of watery worlds to float, to see, to live

the unfathomed depths, the heights, the space
into, onto, moving here after, by and by
strengthen the edges of falling leaves

December 12, 2012

Run Run, Run Away

You are walking slowly through the crowded sidewalks, last minute shoppers looking, looking into the stuffed display windows, but seeing a child’s eyes looking back.  What was it like, all those Christmases long ago?  What was it like being that child and seeing through her eyes?  Was Santa real, was he bringing that wished for toy; a wish you’d had all year, waiting for that morning to arrive, and hoping to see it under the tree?  Would it be there?  Would that wish come true?

I run the city streets
The gamut, down the block, to the corner, a mile

I run the country roads
Through fields of green, or frozen ice, to the end 

Take a pill - run away
Shirk a duty - run away
Drink a shot - run away

Lie in the grass; or on a dune by the sea
Sit on a curb, or a bench
Catch a breath with me

Tiptoe by a door
From the night
A dark whore
Run away
Run, run
Run away

Passing, never to come this way again 
Dark nights, street lights
Entering, never to feel this way again
Remember this scene.....

You remember a fortress, where barren trees wait to live. Life surrounds you with evergreen.

Cars pass in the night, shining through window panes.
A face is seen, within a fractured light.
The rumble of tires, you run on, on to the cracks in the pavement.  Those same cracks, stumbled over in front of a window - eyes stare back.

November 30, 2012

To Change or Not To Change, That is The Question.

The following is a copy of the piece I wrote last week, titled, Breathe, and an explanation as to why I won't edit it.


These shoulders of mine slumped in pain.
I could no longer stand on my feet, my knees buckled under the strain.

In circles the ground lifted; top soil gathered and skittered side to side, the particles landed and flew...up, up, and up once again, filling to blacken the sky.  Dust flew past, and into my eyes.

The soil, once goodness of labor produced, now hard pan, a cement to destine our journey across this land.

Bouncing and skimming the cracks, sideways, forward, and backward, we hold on, hold on to the words and memories we once knew.

Hand to mouth, we tried to hold on when the dust rose up, but now rains in these clouds come down, and down, floating life away, taking breath in smothering rain.

Starving words sailed out of my mouth to give thanks, the wind blew them away.

God help us all!
We cry.

Wind whipped the earth
Breathing is shallow
Lungs filled with mirth
Land lay fallow

God help us all!
Until we die.

Last night I read this piece of writing to my writer-critique group.  A line and a word were discussed, to possibly change the word, and delete the last line.

To omit the last line of this piece, and to change the word "Mirth", which means happy, or gleeful, etc., would change the effect of what I had in mind when I wrote this story.  And I do have to admit, it’s hard for me to clarify my intent at the time of writing, therefore I was hard pressed, after reading it last night, to give an explanation to why these words can’t be changed.  As I read over what I had written, again today, I felt the need to explain this intent of mine. 

1)  The last line, “Until we die”, reflects the line, “We cry”, and appealing to God, as these people were God fearing people, didn’t feed their mouths.  Over and over their lament was to God, and even their last breath was for help, but they died anyway.  The reasons for their dying is in their story, but they did die, as we all do eventually.  It’s a given, but it is how they died that touched me so.

2) The word, “mirth”, was written in a place that sounded out of context.  I agreed, last night, I didn’t know why I’d written that word in that particular place.  My mind doesn’t always let me in on why it wants one word; opposed to another...I just write what I hear.

The wind is whipping these people to death, and as their lungs filled with the dirt they were standing on, their land that was being taken with so much force, it was as though the land was laughing at them...they were inhaling that telling them they will only lose against this mighty force called nature.

I don't try to make excuses for what I write, nor do I usually give explanations, but in this case I tried to give an explanation, only because I have the feeling this story is going to continue at a later date...this is just the being of the first chapter in these people’s lives.

I have yet to write a review of John Steinbeck’s story, The Grapes of Wrath, written over eighty years ago, because it’s a story that continues to this day.  It’s hard to know where it began, and where it will end. 

I wrote this piece in response to how Steinbeck’s migrant workers left me feeling, after I closed the last page.  It was a hard pill to swallow, let alone digest...I hope I can continue this story....

November 26, 2012


These shoulders of mine slumped in pain.
I could no longer stand on my feet, my knees buckled under the strain.

In circles the ground lifted; top soil gathered and skittered side to side, the particles landed and flew...up, up, and up once again, filling to blacken the sky.  Dust flew past, and into my eyes.

The soil, once goodness of labor produced, now hard pan, a cement to destine our journey across this land.

Bouncing and skimming the cracks, sideways, forward, and backward, we hold on, hold on to the words and memories we once knew.

Hand to mouth, we tried to hold on when the dust rose up, but now rains in these clouds come down, and down, floating life away, taking breath in smothering rain.

Starving words sailed out of my mouth to give thanks, the wind blew them away.

God help us all!
We cry.

Wind whipped the earth
Breathing is shallow
Lungs filled with mirth
Land lay fallow

God help us all!
Until we die.


November 14, 2012

You Win Some, You Lose Some

I’ve come to the conclusion, or so I think it’s a conclusion, that friends can come and go like the wind, and heaven knows I’ve written enough about the wind this past year, to make this point clear.  It isn’t always nice.  I was going to talk about love, but I’ve also worn THAT subject out.

If you want to know who this hateful person is, never shying away from the human condition (whatever that is), who writes in metaphor, you need to learn to read between lines.  But I’ll save you the trouble - I lost one of my dearest friends because of my metaphorical writing. 

Was I too straight forward, too honest, to be believed or not, as I encompassed many people in that big lump of metaphorical dialogue?  How many read my blogs?  I doubt a whole lot, but this one person happened to that day; and the next day I had a change of heart, and removed it, dumping it into the trash, unknowingly along with our friendship.

Understanding metaphor is to understand a conundrum; puzzle pieces of minute intrigue.  My words can be harsh; seemingly uncaring in the lack of compassion, while getting across my inner-most feelings through this type of writing.  I don’t write compassionate metaphor, I aim for the gut, and most often than not, it’s my gut that is hit and splayed for viewer consumption.  Mincing words is just not my idea of honesty.

But, we all have our comparative notes on what honesty means, as we watched the candidates debate for high offices in government, sliding right through one big commandment, and into the valley of the Kingdom of Lying-Hoodwinked.  And, they honestly believed all those words they spewed to the American public.

Enough about friends, truth, lying, metaphor, and Hoodwinkleddom, it just means that the human condition isn’t always what we think it is, or should be.

  Honesty is put in the pockets of many, pockets with holes....falling to the ground, stepping over, on, or around, but none-the-less falling; falling out of sight - out of sight, out of mind.....falling as you win some, and falling as you reluctantly lose some.

One Last Time

Is it for me
or is it for you?

One last drink
one last time.

Amber liquid; beautiful and bright cosmic liquid shoots into the gut, like stars bursting apart.  

Yet, there is darkness all around. 
Stars fall to the ground. 

Black holes left behind; solitary and alone, to tear away light, one last time.

October 8, 2012


A bell chimes.  A glass breaks.  A flower dies.  A lightning bolt strikes
Wooded area that surrounds is full of sounds; chirping, slithering, rustling, growling

Restless, deep within the forest of trees; deep within logs of decay
Deep within the novelty of life’s breathless air

Movement curbs the silence
This movement wakens each step, yet cajoles these limbs, shakes these nerves to act
Where, where to take that step
Into a night filled with secrets, or out into the light of dense fog

Footfalls of progressive energy
Footfalls of strength that lacks luster of sunlight

Away, into the ocean
Away, into the dark waters of salt and foam
Away, into tastes of salt upon lips, skin, eyes that seep the same salty tears
Away, stepping into the sand

Testing, no not testing, because one knows where it leads
Beckoning, yes, beckoning forward to drift

Moonlight drifts across water
 Waiting water touched with blue, cold, light
to sleep, yes, that chance
 sleep will come

August 10, 2012

Nanner-nanner-nanner Eat a Bananner - An Ode to The Last Bananny

The little brown-speckled bananny
sat on the sink all alone
where are my buddies?
she asked the ol’ crone

they were eaten this morn
sorry for your loss
and left forlorn

The little bananny smiled
as an idea came to mind
I know what you can do for me
if you’d be so kind.

The  crone nodded to the little bananny
Never mind those yellow nanner flakes
age spots are beautiful on you
a prerequisite for cakes!

The bananny flipped
happy as happy could be
but fell from the sink
the crone stepped and slipped

the crone

What a pip!
Not to worry my mashed bananny
saves me one step in time
after I get off my fanny

July 23, 2012

The Wall

One stone at a time
One brick at a time
One board where nails are hammered to spine

Up and up, and up it goes
where it will stop, only God knows

Concrete blocks, cemented by mason’s trowel
dripping with sweat and grime
Who will hand in the towel?

Up and up, the wall will climb
faster and faster, a race against time

Across the earth, the ear hears a rumble
weight over years, weather and tears
down and down, the wall starts to tumble

A pile of stones, bricks, and boards litter the ground
guarded by memories of  history abound

Who was this mason, who builds a wall
look at your hands, who takes it down
You are the one, who answers a call

July 8, 2012

No Title

Thoughts unwound, a love was lost.  It swept through the air, passing me over. 
I spread my wings, searching

A beating sustained in my breast, and everywhere

Tender in the night, lulled and sleeping
I waited, and felt it drifting
Upon my flesh, shifting

A soft caress, but no one was there

June 9, 2012

The Memory Package

All wrapped up in a pretty package, that’s what these memories are
That’s the way they would like to be viewed
But, memories are here, they are there, they are everywhere

They come in, and turn themselves around
Damning the fear
We face them

Do we need them? 
What do you offer?
 A censored answer

They are yours, they are mine, they are ours

The bow is tied, on the memory package

June 2, 2012

What Is Left?

Poetry writing is like a thorn 
you want to pull it out 
when it jabs into your skin

What is left is a hole
relief for a while 
until a numbness enters

Filling that void 
poison soaked vacuum  
deadness sets in 

"Nothing left to write about" 
does the mind run from the truth 
or does it run toward another thorn?  

Words are gone, you've said it all along 
so many times, in so many ways 
when you ask yourself, again 

"What is left"?  
And the answer becomes 

May 24, 2012

The Ringmaster and The Tiger - Act 1

The tiger paces the ring, waiting for the Ringmaster to enter.  The paws move, one forward, then another, forward, slowing, silently, creeping in a never-ending circle, around and around the center platform of boxes, the tiger paces. 

Where is he?  I know he’s coming.  He always does.  He waits for me, as I wait for him. 

The tiger is patient. 

I hear a creaking sound. 

The sound is familiar.  A shuffling sound, another follows. 

I turn.  My head jerks up.  I stand still.  I wait.  I watch.

More sounds echo within the empty room. 

The crunch under foot, nearing; nearer, while I wait, with legs that tremble with anticipation.

Another door opens. 

I back away, perceiving this the final door, before he enters. I back away.  I stiffen my legs to keep them still.  I watch the door as it opens. 

There he stands, tall and straight.  A black cape hangs loosely from his thin shoulders.  The right hand contains a long black whip, a leather strap dangling from its tip, to be held back by one little finger.

He makes contact with my eyes.  We stare, motionless, neither of us flinching. 

The Ringmaster reaches his left hand behind his back, closing the door, latching it. The air is dense, close.

He takes five steps towards me, then stops.  He holds my glare.  He knows this look of mine, as I know his every thought that comes across the air.  He knows I will not move until he moves.  He knows this.  He knows me.  He takes another forward step, and I step back two.

The Ringmaster starts to circle around the platform in the center of the ring.  He raises his arms, the whip bends, as his wrist dictates a single wave of motion. Swinging the loose leather tip around in the air above his head, releasing harsh cracking currents of atmosphere, comes near the tiger’s ear. 

I step forward one step; he backs away two. 

The whip cracks in mid air; one, two, three times. 

I jump to the first level.  He cracks the heavens, and I jump, again.  Again, and again, he repeats his signals. 

I leap to the uppermost box and stand motionless. I wait on the platform. I am ready. His eyes and mine, never leave the solid line that connects one to the other.  He knows I will stand there until he signals me, up, up.

He signals, not with the whip, but with the nod of his head. I rise to my full height, clawing the air to keep balance.

He is the director, the conductor, the leader. He is the master musician, the Ringmaster, who leads me around and around. I am the tiger that leaps and bounds, and watches, and listens, heeding his every wish. 

The Ringmaster throws his whip-clutched fist towards the ground, the leather tip raising a cloud of dust into the air.

I jump down and fall in front of his feet.  My legs stretch to meet his.  He bends forward, reaching out to stroke my head.  I lower in submission, sawdust scratching my belly.  He strokes me.

The master. The beast.

I wait.  I am still. The controller of my destinies, in the tone of his voice, as he coos me, and lulls me, and persuades me to move at his next command. 

The Ringmaster turns and walks away.

I rise, without command, and walk along side his leg.  I brush against it, warning of my power. Feeling my strength, he knows me with intimacy. Showing equality, side by side we walk together over thresholds.

Boundaries are set, as the lock on the cage door is opened.  The Ringmaster enters.  He closes the door.  A chair is in the middle of the cage. His arms sag. He drops the whip at his feet.  He sits to wait for sleep, closing his eyes, allowing his body to go slack.

I do not enter this cage, but walk to the far corner of the room. I will wait. We will sleep, the Ringmaster and I.  Around and around in a dream we will pace, repeating our day’s refrain. 

Into The Ring - Act 2 - The Ringmaster and The Tiger

The tiger paces
 then becomes still
all remain standing
breathing suspends
anything but tranquil

The tiger leaps
all in one bound
one movement
no warning
no sound

Life falters, tilts,
a whip sways into view
no crack
no current
no separating the two

Watched by eyes, harsh amber flames connecting with mine
sawdust rises from beneath, meeting forced strides to stand
up, up this solid earth connects to bare souls
down, down, a falling face in the dust
distinguishing time

Bare Souls - Act 3 - The Ringmaster and The Tiger

The crowd stands,
suspended in a transcending moment in time without motion.
Breathing halts.
Hearts pound and are bound,
connecting a dangerous cadence.
Eyes watch, as splinters of light filter down
down through the big canvas top.
Dust particles swirl up, up in the heat,
thick with a tannic odor, metal of a nature unseen,
dropping upon bare souls.

Exhale - Act 4 - The Ringmaster and The Tiger

Exhale, nostrils flare
mouths open
grabbing air

Anger rises, turmoil pursues
craning necks
fights ensue

fists to the skies
a rush to the ring
stares meet bulging eyes

arms hug the scene
then drop
to the dance in the ring

The Ringmaster and the Tiger lie motionless
blood drips off of bared teeth
The Ringmaster takes a breath
a cloud of sawdust stirs
The Tiger licks the wound
The Ringmaster belongs to Her

May 20, 2012


The night was beautiful, until the fog rolled in to cover the vision, a dreamscape unannounced;  Fog, a low lying humid droplet of water blanketing the earth like a snake combing the ground for prey.

Slithering, sneaking around
underlying danger, waiting, not a sound
Turning to cold droplets, after a warm night’s breath 
 tears, a faint pulse, then quiet, quiet death

May 8, 2012

Laughter of The Wind

Bernice L. McFadden's novel, The Warmest December, inspired my thoughts here.

come here
go there
listen to the wind
the voice laughs in my face

full blown strength gutting my image
stripping, smearing me the length of the field
no flowers, just spikes sticking out of the ground

you wait for me to appear
you whisper to me sweetly
you soak me up like a sponge
I’m lost to your voice completely

brace yourself, the wind tells me
as I careen around the edges of my fate
laugh, wind, go ahead and laugh!
your thorny nettles settle deep within my skin

quietly I wait
for a tender sound
you pick me up
to throw me down

April 29, 2012

A Pebble Washed Ashore

One little pebble, that’s all

just one little pebble I saw

a little pebble is not a big pebble

no weight, no heft, nor credible

An unusual shape, round on one side, flat on the other - it wanted to nestle down into the sand, but it rolled and tumbled with each wave that came along. and to skim across the water was impossible, it fell with a little plop

it was ready to stay
just wanting to sway

but it rolled and flopped
when a wave lifted up

In the turmoil of winter, in the heat of the summer, and in the rain of the spring 
and fall

the little pebble was stuck

at the hands of a waves beck and call

April 24, 2012


Feel with the tips of your fingers 
Feel the sigh, as my breath lifts
Can you feel the air change, the earth move 
or the displacement of a grain of sand?

Can you feel the clouds, the sun, the moon, the rain pouring down upon your heart?

Can you feel the twinge, the essence, and the reverberating spasms of life giving lyrics birth?
Is this where we start?

Hold those feelings, as capturing a bird cannot be

Hold that touch, as softness turns the world around 
from a cacophony ear splitting sound

April 20, 2012

Ruminations: By The Water’s Edge

Photograph by Kathleen Sara Shattuck

Time, time is everything.  Why think about time, why now? 

Time goes by, time stands still, time solves the problems of the world, and time is spent, used, and given.  Time is whole, halved, cut, and cherished.

Sitting by the water’s edge, surf just far enough away as to not wholly encompass me, just the tips of my toes is enough. 

Lapping against time, a crease and wrinkle are born; time takes its toll, and sun burned skin turns brown.  

Age takes time.  
Age anchors time.

Patience, stay patient I tell myself.  You’ll get there soon enough.

The tiny bubbles of foam slide across the hard packed sand, assuredly going out and coming back in, to soak another grain before I wiggle my toes, hiding beneath its wet surface.
Hide, I tell my toes, hide before you are exposed to the sunlit day.  Hide before you can be revealed; look out, I say, but the foamy suds breaks the surface of time.

The enemy, the foe, the friend, the lover, a consumer to those who wait, envelops the distance of time. 

Swirls seek, and find the time hidden beneath the water’s edge.

April 3, 2012

The Whippoorwill

Listen now, upon the hill
Can you hear the whippoorwill?
Listen to the quite verse, listen to its song
Open your ears, your heart, through the strident throng

There is a world outside of this world in which we live, in a forest of trees, where the Whippoorwill resides, a world within a world we feel, to hear, to know, or is it too still?

Maybe it’s the walls, barricades, fences and hedges that surround us, tall and deep
The world appears to have abandoned those feelings that seem to want to seep

Yes, they ooze, and puddle on the ground, in tears, when no one
 is around
The Whippoorwill tells us a tale, she tells us to fly, lift your feet up off
the ground

Speak to me, oh, speak to me. I’ll try again, and listen as she speaks to me
Will you listen too, or will you only hear a bird whispering in a forest of trees?