Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Science Of Forgetting

The Science of Forgetting

is a difficult discipline.
A woman may study it for years
and get no further along
than misplacing last week's tears.

Deconstructing a memory
is an engineer's fright.
Remove two weight-bearing
steel eye beams' sight

and the roof falls in, with
plaster dust in lungs smelling
thick as yesterday's loving;
a month, a year, a decade swelling

up later, liquid in feverish coughs.
Touch only the tip of the cornerstone---
the burnt bridge flies back
 from the black Unknown

so that ghosts cross it easily,
notes play, that particular song;
and it's all to live over again,
over again, all wrong.

The science of forgetting
should instead be our religion
where faith can clean the memory,
and  forgiveness our decisions.

~November 2013

posted for    real toads

A Birthday in December: Christina Rossetti
Kerry presents us with a challenge to write to the poetry of British Victorian poet Christina Rossetti, a personal favorite of mine. I was unable to come up with a sonnet or roundel, but did manage some rhyming.

Images: The Gate of Memory, and Golden Head, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Public Domain via

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Repost: Gratitude

Mayon volcano, Philippines

is a kind of ash
that blows in volcano wind,
falling opal featherscales hissed
off by firesnakes that coil
their islands in the sea,
all we have left perhaps
of rocky miles of ore and gold
stacked heavy in earth's shadowbox
melting in pressured flux
spit out to lift a mountain
from the core. 

~November 2012
Revisiting the sentiment for Thanksgiving 2013


55 serpent feathers for   the g-man
Happy Thanksgiving to All 

Shared under a creative commons license
Footer Image: rendering of Yaxchilan Feathered Serpent Diety, byEl Commandante
public domain, via wikimedia commons 

All The Things That Kill

Linen towel with drawn threadwork accented with embroidery in stem and satin stitch
All The Things That Kill

All the things that kill
are beautiful tonight
sleek with purpose
come to end promises
sworn in diamond dust;
the poison drop, the  quick
metal bee, the slick sharp edge;
all beauty's finality shining
under a flawless moon.

In my sleep I hear
the spell of no more
lifting the weight of life
boiling the clinging
off into black:
Let us unpick
the pulled-thread smockery;
return us the
whole cloth we were.

Let the light bend
into our blinking eyes
blinded by tiny needles'
broderie-anglaise tasked
to make order out of holes,
whitework fine-stitched over
vacant years by galled fingers 
in candled rooms 
too dark to see,
so at last we

are no longer terrified
by the corpse march
of  dawn after dawn
where we imagine
the uncaring dead
dance around us
potent,  grasping,
more alive
than our own blood.

~November 2013

broderie-anglaise detail, Broken Vows by Philip Hermogenes Calderon

Process notes: I mention in this poem three types of embroidery, described here:
"Whitework embroidery refers to any embroidery technique in which the stitching is the same color as the foundation fabric (traditionally white linen). Styles of whitework embroidery include most drawn thread work, [as well as] broderie anglaise...[which is] is a whitework needlework technique incorporating features of embroidery, cutwork and needle lace that became associated with England, due to its popularity there in the 19th century." via wikipedia

posted for     real toads
Kerry's Wednesday Challenge: Black and White
Kerry O'Connor asks us to think of the composition methods in black and white photography, and transmute them to a poem. I attempted to work with some of the concepts she presented, including high-key and low-key images, and her key words of" contrast, tone, mood, atmosphere, focal point, highlight, patterns, textures."

Images public domain via wikimedia commons

Monday, November 25, 2013



I think of you, Tomás
with your witchhazel tongue,
your feet like lost white sheep,
your flyaway mane long and

straight as the fault line
between sense and sensuality--it trips me
like that first stone free kiss
to know you must be--if you still be

at all--old now, reshaped and redefined
as a bare bristlecone pine;
a white-haired brujo with dark
natron eyes, a weather-wrecked scarecrow

whose snake-veined hands still
curl their long musician's fingers
in supple knuckled knots;
you should be a sight to frighten

the plump señoritas your
wicked smile has fetched
but instead I hear them
laughing like pigeons in your bed.

Our glances cross
in the night world--Ay si, mi amor,
it's good to be
a  witch.

~November 2013

posted for     real toads
Open Link Monday

Process Notes: "Brujería is the Spanish word for witchcraft....Both men and women can be witches, brujos and brujas respectively."~wikipedia

Top image: La mirada del "tío Brujo" by Mila-san, shared under a Creative Commons license

Bottom image: Tracht des Zauberers, des "brujos", beim bolivianischen Tanz Tobas by Awayumania
Public Domain via I have manipulated this image. You can view the original here. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Fall Garden

The Fall Garden

The lily has folded
her summer-gold hands

now as the storm slides
whispers from trees

in amber reluctance,
 vermillion release.

The womb of the lily
is growing her embryo

in white wooly root-wrap,
unworried by snow.

In the Fall garden,
Death's treaty is negotiated;

a sleep of the senses
for a winter of dreams.

~November 2013

55 buried bulblets for     the g-man

My back has decided to object to the frenzy of fall clean-up chores I have imposed on it, so bear with me if I don't return visits till I emerge from my meds in a more conscious condition. 

Image: Lily, by Leonardo da Vinci, c.1480
Public Domain, via

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Creation Myth

Creation Myth

I wasn't sure
what to do with myself
after I was invented.
There was a vague sense of gratitude
 to the Maker, but not enough to
overcome the inertia of his absence,
bored with his work, long gone.

I was still struggling
to understand why
you took one eye from an angel,
one from  a devil, and made
my legs out of fish
so that when I stepped in the wave,
they darted away free

while my torso of sand
my abalone-shell breasts 
untied, fell to rest on the sea floor, 
the angel and the devil staring up 
through blue eternity.
It all seemed a bit 

but perhaps 
 that's exactly
what you had in mind.

~November 2013

Top: Bathing Woman, by Joan Miro, 1925
Footer: Shell No. 2, by Georgia O'Keefe,
May be protected by copyright. Posted under fair use guidelines, via