Friday, February 28, 2014

Ice Blue /Your Ways

Ice Blue/Your Ways
Two Variants on the Rhyme Royal

Ice Blue

How can  the sky be so fire-orange true,
as if the horizon burned time red and gold
in a winter when wind blows trees ice blue,
and night screams as it comes in fear and cold?

Not much is sure of what we hold,
not why nor how nor any way back,
least of all the white road that's striped with black

or the peacock colors of who we are
that change as the sail trims light or dark,
just your wrist that burns with the pulse of a star,
that laid under my breast holds down the heart

made wild to fly, then fly apart,
a snake of smoke to the bonfire sky
blown on the wind of you and I.

Your Ways

Your leg lifts a sail gone slack on my thigh,
your wrist knocks its pulse beneath my far breast
holding down the heart you made wild to fly,

and fly apart, with each chamber pressed
each moment peeled, each beat undressed

blind with the shine of this folded hour
drunk with the moon in her swaying tower.

Nothing is certain, not life nor days.
Nothing is certain in dark or bright.
Nothing is certain except your ways

when you come to me here, to summer the night
on the road stark black but waved with white

against a peacock sky so fire-orange true
in a winter that blows the trees ice-blue.

~February 2014

posted for      real toads
Fireblossom Friday: Rhyme Royal & W.T. Benda
The ever devious Fireblossom (Shay's Word Garden) who is known for her allergic reaction to haiku, has chosen to tantalize us with a form challenge today, the rhyme royal. The form is written using a seven line stanza with a rhyme scheme of ababbcc, or with either of two variants: 
a quatrain and tercet,  abab  bcc  or a tercet and two couplets,   aba bb cc.  
For full details, see the Toads link above.
I have written the same poem twice, reversed, once for each of the latter two ways. I also worked a word or two in derived from the illustration below by W.T. Benda.

~WT Benda

Photos: Scruboak Sunset, Darkwood, by joyannjones copyright 2012,2014
All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bed And Breakfast

Bed And Breakfast

Stones in the bowl
breakfast of nails,
sun on the roof,
time off the rails.

Flies in the soup,
bright knife in the back;
you can sell your soul but
your bones turn black.

Dust for your tea, 
tar sand in your bed;
it's too late now
to sleep or get fed.

~February 2014

55 dessicated environmental disasters for     the g-man
(count includes title)

California is currently in a state of severe drought, something we dustbowl refugees can always relate to--there's a storm headed their way this weekend though, so hopefully things will turn out to be less grim than this poem, which reflects a larger state of dysfunction.

Image, Folsom Lake, by Associated Press, via Huffington Post

Monday, February 24, 2014



There was a pain that came
that changed me like rain
and I was thankful to have it
when there was nothing else
engineered to maintain
the shape of a self.

Your eyes were all purple
lie-bruised and encircled;
your hand shook at the plug
where you took your last charge
for the strength to go hurt-culled
to not cry when it buckled,
when you had to go large.

The room was as empty
as a January pantry
when Christmas is ghostly.
You wore me over your clothes,
my skin protection mostly
from the strontium flu, plastic froze

to the blue while you stayed prime
and when I dissolved in time
you burned me, love
like a pair of blood-stained gloves
still wet from the scene of the crime.

~February 2014

posted for      real toads
Open Link Monday

Images: Untitled,  by Zdislav Beksinski
May be protected by copyright~posted under fair use guidelines via

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Love Story

Love Story


He lives alone
with her
and I suppose it suits
them both
for each a given room
built for something shattered 
long ago, patched, imperfect
hanging stiff, a prosthetic
to protect
from the pain
of being touched.


But together
things get done.
The long illness of life
is a fog they
navigate with muted beams,
brassy horn of a crabbed
autonomy fussily sounding,
while traffic doctors mumble,
 there should be a lane change here;
less sideways, more forward,
some turn
toward recovery.


She lives alone
with him
in carved out rooms
that never touch,
her music mute before
it drifts too far,
his face obscure behind print, the
picturebox that swallows his couch.
She only comes out
when he sleeps,
to look at the stars
to blind herself 
with the fire, the moon,
a glass of cold stone-flavored wine
its petrichor the ash of auto-da-fé
on her  tongue.


In the mornings,
they laugh at cats,
penguins, politicians, fools;
make their way to town
for words and bread
point at the house for sale, 
talk about the weather domed
over the chaos where independent
a delicate mechanism
still whirs, clicks and
joins the invisible

~February 2014

posted for     real toads
Sunday Challenge: Play it Again,Toads
Margaret Bednar once again brings three vintage toads' challenges out from the vault and asks us to reconsider them. I have chosen to write more directly than in my first attempt to the old Fireblossom Friday prompt  called Lights!Camera!Love! where Shay asked us to tell a love story of two people that might be a movie.

Top Image: February, by Michael Sowa
May be protected by copyright~posted under fair use guidelines, via
Footer: Caravan, by Remedios Varo
May be protected by copyright~posted under fair use guidelines, via

Friday, February 21, 2014

Northern Lights, Southern Cross

Northern Lights, Southern Cross

I was there when you asked
What kind of love have you got
and thought O you don't
want to go there, down under the trestles,
darkness on the edge.

Just a poor girl
in a rich man's house
the day the night man kicked us out
of  California, I dreamed
you were the fortunate one.
I screamed

it ain't me 
with the star spangled eyes,
but it was, opal silver
not red white and blue---that
was our curtain over the cannon,
the wave that hid the room 

where tears of rage
tears of a thief
soaked postcards of the hanging
with rain no one could stop,
panned a heart of gold no one
could bend, chromed it

to a wheel
on a broken glass frame
rolling toward the trades
outside on
the long
downhill run.

~February 2014

Process Note: The title of this poem is the title of an old mixed tape of mine. If the words are familiar, it's because I have sampled freely here from lyrics of the following recordings :

Victim of Love /Hotel California, the Eagles
Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce Springsteen
Emotional Rescue, The Rolling Stones
Fortunate Son,/Who'll Stop The Rain, Credence Clearwater Revivial
Tears of Rage, The Band
Desolation Row, Bob Dylan
Heart of Gold/Long May You Run, Neil Young
Heart Like A Wheel, Linda Ronstadt
Southern Cross, Crosby Stills and Nash

All copyright (and gratitude)belongs to the original authors of the words I have borrowed

posted for     real toads
Challenge: All Mixed Up
The tropically inclined mind of Corey Rowley (Herotomost) lures us into the tempting world of mixed tapes. He asked that we write about love in a cheesy, real, non-ethereal way--I did my best,but the only cheesy stuff I really feel is authentic here is my miniskirt, above, almost covered by the outsize security guard coat I loved back then for some reason. 
Thanks, Corey--I had fun with this one.

A couple of the tunes, for optional rocking :

Photo:  American Flag, Me, Eddie Sneath & A Sixpack of Bud, San Francisco, circa 1971, 
copyright joyannjones, 2014
All Rights Reserved.