Friday, January 28, 2022

The Edifying Tale Of Braxis The Barbarian


The Edifying Tale Of Braxis The Barbarian
(a 55)
Braxis the bold barbarian,
of axe and bone,
traveled alone.
He slayed them all as he mauled Gaul
leaving a pall
of smoke and blood.
(Brax was no good.)
Then Fate had him camp in a cave
containing Dave,
barbarous fare
for Dave the Bear. 

 January 2022

A minute poem for
Note: Word count for the 55 includes the title. Total nonsense, I'm afraid.
 Image: DnD 5E barbarian sketch, artist unknown, via Fair Use

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Child As A Postcard

The Child As A Postcard
To the passing postcard written in
the massing uncolored sky, posed
in the medium of ice and flesh surely
my child-self seemed the response,
scribbled head high to the bare lilacs,
a winter blackbird lost in a fragrance
dancing to cold.
While the wind was witching, while it was
twitching my skirts, and its white book
came clattering down with the frost on every
page, while the sky snowed down with the pomp
and swagger of a drunken policeman, did the
heft then of my grandfather's arms know me
for myself as I determined,

as everything I determined 
thereafter came to be? Song or catastrophe,
the wide smile of the chimera, or its
diamond mask, the bright white light
of a lilac breaking bare in the snow while
I watched time plow its path
across my life;

not a moon-fair there, not a star to be seen
dropped from the basket of a lover's dream, 
only a stillness of snow haunting the hour
of papier-mache in a maundering dazzle.
January 2022

posted for
Shay's Word List # 10
Note: I have not tried to emulate Stevens' style. That is far above my pay grade. But I have tried to infuse the poem with some of his moods and fancies as I interpret them.
Image:Snow Effect: Winter In The Suburbs, © George Seurat
Public Domain. I have manipulated this image.

Thursday, January 20, 2022



(A 55)
when we were two
trout climbing Sahara sand,
two flamingos wading snow,

two zebras
grazing rock, stalked
by an avalanche of clocks
worse than any lion.

our nights stitched from
oak's blood and violins
torn from the big cat's teeth.

Come home again
before the door breaks,
before memory's last meal
is gone.


January 2022

posted for dVerse Poets
using words from
Images: Sleeping Zebra, 1959 © Carel Willink  Fair Use
Plant Archetecture, 1962 © Remedios Varo

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The Feral Baby


The Feral Baby
In the dark 
before breakfast I dreamed
that the baby fell on its head. It wasn't
my fault. It just climbed up my shoulder
and jumped. I only borrowed it
because you made me. It wasn't mine.
I am not one for babies.

it cried, so I put it in my purse
for the gypsy. She offered to give it a casserole.
  (Or was that use it in a casserole?) I said,
"It doesn't like my purse, but it wouldn't like a
casserole any better." I'm not one for babies,
but I know that much.
I took it back to you 
at the urban university lab. You put
 a ribbon on it, called it Jean, kissed it.
 It was fine then. I was tempted to
sneak it back to its mother, but
you'd turned her into a starling.
And that's how
she came to be my child. 
I'm not one for babies
until they learn how
to fly.
 January 2022

 posted for 
Note: No babies were harmed in the production of this poem.
Images: Creeping baby doll, 1871   Public Domain
Starling Murmuration © Menno Shaefer    Fair Use

Saturday, January 15, 2022

The Night Dancers


The Night Dancers
 (a 55)
The song dreaming night
  is a film over the world
hiding a thousand dancers
painted with
the blood of the moon.
They hum
as they spin, but
I never hear them speak.
Dawn's claw-hammer
beats them to dust
leaving a flicker
of chamomile and orange,
 ghost breath of a
seen best
mist-green glass.

January 2022

posted for
Images: Blond Nude With Orange,Blue Couch, 1925 © John French Sloan   Fair Use
Glasses, author unknown, via Sunday Muse   Fair Use 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Hatchet Job

 Hatchet Job
Tricks and teases made a hatchet for the autopsy. 
You couldn't
just say it was over, oh no. Too many cows
wanted gingerbread. Too many women
in the cellar wanted more time...

Tesla's ghost was on the radio for years
while the black nightingale sang but hardly
anyone listened. 
Too much static fuzzing. Too much 
imitation current clogging the waves...

I swear you gave my ear a permanent scar
with all that dizzy disarray, tricks and teases,
bluffs that bragged with musky electric tusks...
Put the body
on the table and have done, I said. I'm through

discussing second grade and your mother's
lonesome eyebrows.You don't care about
the cause of death anyway...
just the wonderful way
you can chop. 

January 2022

posted for Shay's Word List # 8: 
Images :Hatchet, via internet. Fair Use
Moon and Cow, 1963 © Alex Colville   Fair Use

Monday, January 10, 2022

Quadrille Of The Star


The Star
I wrote this for you when
you were the star in my heart
to give back light for light
as we traveled time's tempest
Who knew then
you were the last;
 last star before the sunrise,
last ghost spun
from the broken wheel
 January 2022


 posted for dVerse Poets:

Images: Winter Night In The Mountains, © Harold Sohlberg  Fair Use
Paysage Orangeux, artist unknown, via internet    Fair Use

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Factory Girl

Factory Girl

I remember that midwife year
you found me at the factory
holding the hand of water and
making shadows for the moon.
It was the year of cakes and blood
when everything was sharp with fear
waiting to be lost or born back to me
piecemeal in a box of sand.
You had a gambler's gift for tongues; fortune
loved to ripple where you stood.
Three times I turned a rose to tears.
Three times I spat your sugar melody
on the ground. Three times I made a man
from fire to fit your form; too soon
I saw the fourth time was no good.
Now I have no dreams, just hands
on fire for the work expected by the moon,
and faces in the ash I never understood.
January 2022

 posted for dVerse Poets

and including words from
Images: Record Breaking Workers At The Factory ©Pavel Filanov  Public Domain
Lightning and Volcano, unknown artist, via internet.  Fair Use

Monday, January 3, 2022



 He was just 
one of too many
born black for the factory
taught to make salt
into roses and clocks, just
a sole to spare the parade marshal's foot,
a board for the floor, another pot
of coffee for the landlord
but there was something
he got from the moon; that weary
knife-smile, a jones for books and
bitter truth, a taste of jazz
in his blood, and so

he became instead
the blister on the heel, the knot
in the plank, the spider in the cream,

the argument for faces.
January 2022

 posted for 
Note: The photo above is a snapshot of Hughes with his good friend and fellow activist, Louise Thompson Patterson, both thorns in the side of contemporary white/status quo culture as members of the Communist Party and prime movers in the Harlem Renaissance.
Images: The Shoemaker,  1945, © Jacob Lawrence   Fair Use
Louise Thompson and Langston Hughes, shipboard, circa 1915-1925  Public Domain