Monday, November 29, 2021

The First Crack


The First Crack

The first crack
always seems easy to mend,
an almost invisible fracture in
 an otherwise perfect thing; so, too,
 the first pock on the face of the moon.
Yet let a few years pass and her skin
is a ballgown of craters.

So I knew when the peacocks
cracked November with their
idiot's scream, when you spit the last
 blackberry from your stained lips, that the
 first bleach of sun on Rhea's hair
would turn your head, 
make you thirsty

for the black cup of ocean, the yellow
manes of lionesses blowing on the sand,
the kelp smell and the wind-draggled lillies,
leaving me alone in this Pharisee's garden
with nothing but a raddled moon
and the smugness of

November 2021

posted for Shay's


Rhea was a Titaness, a goddess, daughter of the earth goddess Gaia and the sky god Uranus, the consort of Cronos and mother of Zeus, as well as grandmother of Persephone and Dionysus.
Images: Lunar Craterr, 2015, ©Æstronomær shared under a Creative Commons License
Peacock Consorts, © Charles Tunnecliffe   Fair Use

Thursday, November 25, 2021



Mayon volcano, Philippines

is a kind of ash
that blows in volcano wind,
falling opal feather-scales hissed
off by fire-snakes 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
Reposted from 2012 for Thanksgiving 2021
at DVerse Poets 

Happy Thanksgiving to All 

 55 serpent feathers for  the absent g-man; grateful always
Shared under a creative commons license
Footer Image: rendering of Yaxchilan Feathered Serpent Diety, byEl Commandante
public domain, via wikimedia commons 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Things That Stay Behind


Things That Stay Behind
(A 55)
Things that stay
behind memory's cold coals:
child's slipping skates
clipped with a key,
grandfather's rough-work hand
velvet on cottonpuff cheeks;

the margin of wild
the great lake stole from concrete,
that wish washed blue home where
only gulls screamed;

how suddenly it came, the frayed
squall of your kiss
at high water
washing childhood away.
November 2021

 posted for dVerse Poets
a talent taken too soon
Images: Sunset Squalls at Connemara, © Fay Collins  Fair Use
Vintage roller skates, Photo by Sam Figueroa via Flickr Creative Commons  Fair Use

Monday, November 22, 2021

Stage Set:The Ninth Tailor


Stage Set:The Ninth Tailor 

"Nine tailors make a man." ~anon.
The night was dark-haired and delirious.
The cheeky moon clung precariously
to a crooked branch, a bibulous marquess
embracing a lamp post, ready
to strut a whole dancehall
for a cigarette and another chance.

It was the last act of a first edition.
Drying at the prompt, they walked on the
edge of a feather. She'd stopped feeling sorry;
her heart was a trespasser in Vienna,
silent at the soiree instead of begging to
strip to the skin pour épater les bourgeois.
He knew he was passing his prime,
going flabby at center, his bons mots
withering like December dahlias. He'd lost count
 of the hands that had picked his pocket, stroked
his celebrated champagne hair, each morning
  combed back unsteadily at the hotel

before the bitter waver in the mirror.
When the curtain came down
it was too weak to exist in more than
one dimension, but it knocked the play
into next week, and left behind its mournful bell
broken at the ninth tailor.

November 2021

posted for Fireblossom's word list at

epater les bourgeois: to shock or startle the coventional
Nine tailors: "As explained by John Shand in his 1936 Spectator article The Bellringers' Art, 'Nine Tailors' means the nine strokes which at the beginning of the toll for the dead announce..that a man is dead. A woman's death is announced with 'Six Tailors'. Hence the old saying ... '" ~wikipedia

Images: The Human Parody, circa 1878 © Felicien Rops
The Hanged Man At The Bell,  1867, © Felicien Rops

Saturday, November 20, 2021



 "Hell is empty and all the Devils are here." ~William Shakespeare

(a 55)
The door to
the henhouse is
always unlocked
for inside there are
only wind eggs.
The Fall 
is a tryptich:
blackness, dead hearts,
disingenuous calculations. At
the apex

of chaos we have our
no thaumaturgy created
cures corrupted

 turn the key
to lock in nothing; 
just open the door
for the foxes.
November 2021


posted for

On November 19th, 2021, Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, was acquitted of 5 counts of homicide for the August 25th 2020 murders of two men and the attempted murder of a third. The men were protesting the shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake, by a white police officer in Wisconsin. The jury ruled that Rittenhouse, who crossed state lines with an assault weapon to "protect property" not belonging to him, acted in self-defense.
wind egg: an unimpregnated, yolkless, or imperfect egg egg with a soft noncalcareous shell
decumbiture:1 obsolete : confinement to a sickbed. 2a : the time of taking to one's bed from sickness. b : a horoscope of such a decumbiture.
thaumaturgy:: the performance of miracles
Images: Photo of Door, title and author unknown, Fair Use via Sunday Muse
The Fox: Fair Game, © Alexander Pope  Public Domain

Friday, November 19, 2021

Way(ra)s Of The Past




Way(ra)s Of The Past


There is a road, cold
as stark nightmare's mane, weaving
a winding-sheet memory
choke-tight, wringing the eyes
dry, smearing the heart, called the past.
There is a tollway
never cheated by moonlight
never unwatched by day. Don't
squander your soul walking
down it; the past collects its debts.
November 2021


 posted for dVerse Poets


Images: Footsteps, 2016, © Joshua Philip Hart
Photograph of the Author, 1956, photographer unknown,  Public Domain

Saturday, November 13, 2021



She wanted out
before they came with
the Chicago overcoat,
but her luck was never aces,
like a filly four men own a leg of;
still her eyes. She had lamps like
two shots of fizz, a nightcap in themselves
and the bob she got to peeve her mother
she thought fit her like a laurel glove
when she left the farm behind her
when life began to wind her
like a two dollar watch.

She climbed the satin stairway 
to a sky of empty sockets just west
of Hooverville and the L.A.summer moon.
She bumped gums with the butter and egg man, 
the man who stepped on stars, another flicker
for his candle on the purple velvet couch. He cast 
her sixth behind Lugosi, the girl who screams
her heart out in a movie off the cob. He gave her eyes
a number in a book with a hundred others
who ran away from their mothers
to an apple filled with worms.

After Fatty took the Rappe,
before the Dahlia bloomed her ink smudge,
she hollered, "Abyssinia," kissed off
 the painted desert, hooked up
with the junior props boy, and threw the watch
away. They moved to North Dakota, and
she told her grandkids nothing
about being sixth behind Lugosi,
about cadillacs and canaries
about L.A. in January,
about the girl too many owned a leg of
or the man who stepped on stars.

November 2021

 posted for Fireblossom at
The Sunday Muse, whose theme today is
Note: Abysinnia is '30's slang for "I'll be seeing you." A Chicago overcoat likewise for a coffin. To 'own a leg of' a horse is to be part of a syndicate which mutually invests in a racehorse for profit, bumping gums is to talk aimlessly or too much, especially about yourself. You can look up the rest of the slang I've used   here,   the Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle/Virginia Rappe scandal which rocked 1920's Hollywood  here,  and the notorious Los Angeles Black Dahlia murder case which sold so many newspapers  here.

Images: Mischa Barton posed as early film star Louise Brooks, via Sunday Muse  Fair Use
Still from the 1929 German film Pandora's Box, starring Louise Brooks and Fritz Kortner  Fair Use

Thursday, November 11, 2021



The war was lost, the way
worse. I felt
the tired mare sigh
a heart-green path to
my old lover, the oldest lost
 and brown-eyed truth,
 a place to fold us
peel to apple,
bird to song.
I rearranged his
forest home as if
it were mine
and so it was
the old mare sighed.


 November 2021


 posted for dVerse Poets
This poem has been edited since first posted.
Images: Illustration for "Vasilisa the Beautiful." 1900,  © Ivan Bilibin  Public Domain
Peasant Girl Near A Cabin, 1895, © Camille Corot   Public Domain

Saturday, November 6, 2021



In another century
I was a girl of a certain flavor
grown to twist and pruned to bear
a fruit never eaten, only pressed.
You were the satyr,
the goat-song in the convent, a
dovecote of vestals who cooed as you
taught them to break their glass vows.
At the bacchanal we all danced
indifferent to stares of the Keres. You stole
the god's thyrsos and wound it with lamb's ear,
soft and treacle sweet as your smile.
That cup that was
filled then to overflowing
is broken now, but too late, I think
for those who've already drunk.
November 2021
 posted for
earthweal's Open Link
thyrsos:  a staff or wand of fennel used in Hellenic ceremonies, espec. Dionysius ~wikipedia
Keres:  female death spirits who roamed freely during the yearly Athenian festival of  Anthestria .~wikipedia
Images: Wine glasses, author unknown, via Sunday Muse  Fair Use
Marble relief of a maenad and two satyrs in a Bacchic procession. AD 100, British Museum Public Domain

Friday, November 5, 2021



My eyes have
made small islands in their sea
that float between me
and what I want to be there,
all desired clear
but now obscured,
invisible for what they are,
and never heard.
Palm trees instead of paragraphs,
not faces, forms, but homemade rafts
drifting across a wavy film, not words,
but blind reality.

 November 2021


posted for Meeting the Bar
Images: Clouds In Finland, 1908 © Konrad Kryzanowski,  Public Domain
Boat, c.1918 © Salvador Dali   Public Domain