Category Archives: poems

Poems written my me.

The Summer Forecast

I live in a land of short trees,
tinder and kindling growing

wild on the blackland prairie.
The open blasting sky awaits

bottle rocket cigarette butt sparks.
Folks with an uneasy eye on

brown grass and the roadside
fireworks stands say we just

need one good hurricane.
The rocky soil is a doormat for

the chihuahua desert slinking
eastward. Its dragon’s breath wind

stokes the fires when they come.

PAD 2014 #18: Weather

Sonnet for July

With my feet firmly planted in the sand,
the seagulls might mistake me for a tree.
I’ve no idea why that would matter and
anyway, it’s good to be here by the sea.
It won’t be long before the sun goes down,
and one-by-one the stars fill up the sky.
Soon they’ll switch on the bright lights in the town
and then, we’ll see old Cygnus rising high.
When the fireworks begin to sing and pop,
smoky spiders will weave our summer night.
With each held breath, I’ll wish it never stops
until the dark of space is filled with light.
Do I hear mermaids singing each to each?
No. It is your voice calling from the beach.

PAD 2014 #15: Love Poems

King of the Beasts

In a house full of cats, strays, unwanted, feral,
a man called himself the king of these beasts.
He fed them and pretended to find them homes.
The whole place stank of ammonia and tuna.

A man called himself the king of these beasts
who made his house their lair and didn’t mind
the whole place stank of ammonia and tuna.
Every day, this king shoveled boxes and sang.

Who made his house their lair and didn’t mind?
He called himself king and lion and Caesar.
Every day, this king shoveled boxes and sang.
He loved them and believed they worshipped him.

He called himself king and lion and Caesar.
He fed them and pretended to find them homes.
He loved them and believed they worshipped him
in a house full of cats, strays, unwanted, feral.

Magpie Tales #215 | PAD 2014 #15: Love Poem

Imagining Rain

Can you imagine the glory
of the crow, a black spell,
a rippled myth? What goddess
broke the simple spiral shell
and carved its powers
on her belly? Children, do
you see green towers in
your tales of water, sun, and
trees? At what temperature
does dancing turn to liquid?
Can you sing a song of rain
and pay the price to bring the
sleeping goddess from her bed?
Do you smell ozone, brother?
The old timers say it comes
just before the pallid rain.

NaPoWriMo #14: 20 Questions | We Wordle #14

The Root of All Suffering

Desire emerges from the spider’s abdomen. Bright
rust-colored wings advertise desire’s ability

to deliver a powerful sting, described by experts
as blinding, fierce, and shockingly electric, it is

second only to the bullet ant. Desire is most active
in the daytime summer months. Desire flies low

along the ground. Desire’s long legs have hooked
claws for grappling with its victims. Desire feeds

on the flowers of milkweeds, soapberry and mesquite
trees. Very few animals can eat desire. One of the few

that can is the roadrunner. Many experts recommend
desire simply be left alone, but kids go for charismatic

emotions, and the beautiful, powerful and deadly
desire fits the bill nicely. When desire is encountered

do not make sudden rapid movements, but softly quietly
leave the area until it is gone. Head to the low country.

NaPoWriMo #12: Replacement | We Write Poems #208: Mythology

An interesting experiment from NaPoWriMo Day 12. The idea was to research something tangible, find some sentences and replace the tangible noun with something intangible. I researched tarantula hawks and replaced them with desire. I rewrote some of the sentences for transitions, brevity, and clarity. My sources were: Wikipedia, Mother Nature Network, About.com Pest Control, Insect Identification.org, and Durango Nature Studies.

In addition to the replacement prompt, I wanted something that felt somewhat mythic or that suggested mythic origins for the We Write Poem prompt on mythology.

Natural History

Maybe it was the medieval
music, the darkness, or your young
age, but when we stood in front
of the Magna Carta in the museum
in Houston, you clung to my neck.
I don’t like the Magna Carta,
the Magna Carta is scary
,
you whispered. I suspect it scared
King John too. Like you, he
probably would have been much
happier in the paleontology exhibit
with T. Rexes and Pteranodons, their
fossil teeth and mighty wings frozen,
stilled and silent. Somehow less
frightening than the freedoms
that old treaty began, freedoms
I know you’ll someday demand.

Sheltered Between the Rays

Unwrap each mote of dust
suspended in the sunlight

borrowed from a Saturday
spent dissecting almonds,

snakes, and birds. Our books
tell us almost nothing

of this goddess sheltered
in the ripples of the day

but open your palm to the
light. Feel her brush your skin.

Now sing us all the jagged songs
you suddenly can sing.

Magpie Tales #214 | We Wordle #13 | PAD 2014 #9: Shelter

Ripping Off Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams depart
Life is a worn-out athlete
With a failing heart

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams vanish
Life is an iron prison
Bleak walls and anguish

NaPoWriMo #8: Rewrite a famous poem

I like to have my students analyze “Dreams” by Langston Hughes and then write their own stanzas following his pattern. When we’re finished, everyone reads them aloud following the original. If it’s done right, if sounds like one long poem. The kids usually have fun with it, and some come up with some really cool metaphors. Much better than my weak attempt above, which I’m sharing in response to NaPoWriMo’s prompt to rewrite a famous poem.

Why Self Portraits Shouldn’t Be Trusted

Jazz or maybe rock, some country, when they
Ask that odd question about my favorite
Music genres and artists. But my tastes are
Eclectic. There’s always a bit of an internal
Squabble. It seems so odd. How do you

Determine which conflicting tastes should

Box you in? It’s as strange and unsettling as
Relying on physical appearances and style to
Understand anything true or honest about
Someone you’ve only just (or never) met, so
Here’s something that really happened:

I have gray hair, but momentarily forgetting,
I told the nice lady working at the DMV
It was brown. She took a photo for my license.

PAD 2014 #7: Self Portraits