Saturday, November 12, 2016

White Bird In Snow

White Bird In Snow

This unsleeping night
remembers winter for me
as it remembers the January hour
I was born, seeing past the still
green curl of April's exhausted leaf
the chill glassful of north wind,
so delicately sipped now
before the drowning.

It knows my name, it calls me
winter girl, drifted witch, 
snow-woman globed from rolled
frozen fog, compressed cloud wrack,
sentinel-eyed and carrot-beaked,
ice fingers melted then
rigid again around
a hollow pen;

bent wrist, bent back, ages
old, so old not even an ash-furred coal
glows from the parsed fire in my pale
flattened face.
The sleepless night
rustles with husks and remains;
a coyote stutters his hunger 
to the planked stars

and here where all things pass,
long sleep comes down the grass
where I wait
invisible and surprised
as a white bird
in October snow.

~October/November 2016

for Brendan at real toads 
from a still, white place


Images: House in Snow, 1890-94, by John Henry Twatcham
White Birds in Snow, by Ohara Koson
Public domain.

Thursday, November 10, 2016



When the way is smooth
we trip on nothing
because we're made
 to kick things down.

When the belly's full
the brain cramps,
sells thought
for adrenaline.

Small griefs swell like seeds;
so the vein sprouts the needle,
the mountain's slick slope 
shakes its entropy, an avalanche

rumbling us down while
the summit recedes.

We forget

when living's too easy,
we make times get hard.

~February 2014.  revised November 2016

an old one revised, for Fireblossom Friday

Top: Aerial View of Capitol Hill, Public Domain  via wikimedia commons
Footer: Ruins of central Amarna, Egypt, the little temple of the Aton(Amarna B√Ętiment du centre ville, zone du petit temple d'Aton)by Kurohito
Shared under a Creative Commons License  via wikimedai commons

Tuesday, November 8, 2016



The warrior walks
across the sky tonight
spinning the tale of resilience
twisting the tale of valor
wearing the worked hide of stars,
supple in battle yet
turning no blade;
marked for an early death
or a bloody age--
yet who would want to pass
through this night of sorrow and wrong
without a fight?

~Election Day, 2016

Image; reproduction of the Golden Horn of Gallehus, via wikimedia commons

Friday, November 4, 2016

Glass Alligators

Glass Alligators

Glass alligators
slide on their own bloat,
plagueships that float
over the muck
slurping it up, spitting it back;
it's so easy to break
if God finds the mistake
so they've learned how to make
their eyes look like toys'
too blank to annoy.

The glass alligators
stir their swizzlestick teeth
in a light liar's grin 
as they soft-lick your skin.   
(They just want to win.)
Their slick smoky sides
aren't built to hide
what's moving within:
the clockwork tossed salad

of death and money,
blood for oil, power-honey.
Their brittle scales ring
like a bad novel brings
out every cliche
on the side of a truck
to turn a quick buck,

and each soiled rotting page
bleeds the end of an age.

~Four days before the 2016 U.S. Presidential election

for grapeling, and my real friends at Real Toads

Optional Musical Accompaniment

Image: Muddy Alligators, 1917   by John Singer Sargent
Public domain