Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Cat's Cradle


Cat's Cradle
All that summer you stalked me
with your tiger-flower eyes 
yellow as saffron,
ochre-flecked with 
an unknown pollen,
blood-bright in
your weathered face,
and those few words you owned,
more rough than real.

Under the windy moon
light was as fickle and brief
as a glimpse of truth,
a falling star. Fish slid by
like lost ideas
dark as omens
beneath the emerald lake
that deepened the closer
I pushed towards shore,
their flat eyes swiveling back,
noodled to piscine
they waited like me
for the hook
to pull them up.
We watched the sun
burn its last amber coal,
and gave back its mirage heat
to the night like the
pave-stones of Babylon,
all that jungle summer
when I closed my eyes to time.

May 2020

 posted for dVerse Poets

"Noodling is fishing for catfish using one's bare hands, and is practiced primarily in the southern United States. The noodler places their hand inside a discovered catfish hole in order to catch the fish...the origin of the term is unknown." ~wikipedia

My compound words for the prompt were moonlight, starfish and sunburn. I also used an abundance of additional ones not carved to order, just for fun.

Images: Night, 1905 © Mikolojus Konstantinus Ciurlionis    Public Domain
Tigridia pavonia 'Aurea" (Tiger flower) photographer unknown, via internet   Fair Use

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

In The Still


 In The Still

In the still
of the silenced
so deep, I can hear
the gestation of dew, 
the guard-bird's desperate heart
at her nest, the moth's sibilant fumbling
where she lays her last egg;
yet not the padding
soft-footed sleep
that carries us empty
into tomorrow.

May 2022

posted for earthweal's Lessons from the Wild
hosted by Sherry Marr 

and dVerse Poets'
by sarahsouthwest
Images: Night Hill, © Andrea Kowch All Rights Reserved to the Artist   Fair Use
Remember, © Zdzisław Beksiński        Fair Use

Saturday, May 14, 2022

The Little God


The Little God
into the soft-gelled 
distance of a gentled day
after dreams of storm and blood
where war gods walk the night
opening every door
eating whom they will.
But it was you, belly-up
who turned the knives
to scraping in my brain,
your suffering
that is an offering;
a worship
I can't watch
to a little god
who cuts up hearts
to sew his cap 
and boots
and the black mask
that shades
his razor smile,
your ever-burning

May 2022

posted for earthweal's
also using words from qbit's list
derived form the poetry of Anna Ahkmatova
Personal note: I've been having a dead spot, but I miss reading everyone's writing and will be around soon to catch up. Thanks to all of you whose support keeps me putting pen to paper.
Images: Gentled Day, ©joyannjones, 2016
The Return of the Flame, © Rene Magritte, 1943     Fair Use

Tuesday, May 3, 2022




Rain-giver, hail-maker, tornado-farmer,
May's black hammer mesocyclone bouquet
falls into the world; 
a twist and wrench
of chaos-stacked air that knows
only one gamble,
hanging its fate,
its otherworld gate
over wheatfields and wiseacres
it will strip down to skin
in a boiling of sky,
where one will be wrecked
and another spared
by the luck
of the drawing wind.

After the storm,
the crash gasp flash drama,
light is softened,
sky-wrapped in puff-clouds
like a newborn in crochet.
Trees stir and push
to their wild/calm lover.
Birds streak back in sepia
down to a world
neither colored
nor monochrome.
We ride these last days
between daggers,
between fear and relief,
between the holy
and the unholy,
the quick and the dead
watching domestic
disputes of drunk giants
from a mousehole of hope.

 May 2022

posted for earthweal's

Mesocyclone: A storm-scale region of rotation, typically around 2-6 miles in diameter and often found in the right rear flank of a supercell (or often on the eastern, or front, flank of a High Pressure storm). The circulation of a mesocyclone covers an area much larger than the tornado that may develop within it. Properly used, mesocyclone is a radar term; it is defined as a rotation signature appearing on Doppler radar that meets specific criteria for magnitude, vertical depth, and duration.~NOAA Weather
Images: Binger, Oklahoma F4 tornado of 22 May 1981. Courtesy of National Severe Storms Laboratory, NOAA Public Domain via wikimedia commons
Stormlight, May 2, 2022 ©joyannjones

Friday, April 29, 2022

The Nag


The Nag

I try to smile at the morning,
even tho it shambles in
unsure of what to do with itself and 
wants advice. "You're all
the same, " I mutter.

Then you come the way you do,
pulling my hair.
"Look at me, look at me,"you say,
even tho you never see a thing 
except what isn't there.

"Do this, do that!" I pry
your centipede legs
off my neck, hundreds of them, each
one shoe'ed 
with crawling demand.

Talk to me," you insist,
your face in the mirror,
deaf as a blue-eyed white cat.
Explosions and tremors
make your bed. Rage
and misunderstanding
call you mother.
Peace will
never know you.
"I am the goat," I say
"who walks alone,"
and turn to ask
the morning
what I can do.

April 2022

posted for dVerse Poets

Images: The Smiling Spider, 1891, © Odilon Redon   Public Domain
‘Soulmate’ © Księżycolica, via internet  Fair Use

Wednesday, April 27, 2022



"..Let the doctor and the lawyer do as much as they can.
Let the springtime begin, let the boy become a man.
I have wasted too much time 
just to sing you this sad song..."~James Taylor, 1971 
In the madhouse
on beds of daggers
we slept like crickets
chirping to ourselves
while they tried their best
to make us cannibals.
The nuns were worse than
lawyers, praying like accordions,
tracking their sins into our soft 
wax skulls, wheezing like roosters
when one of us cried, laying the greasy ribs
of Jesus on our plates.

They kept you behind
door number six. I'd go to you
with a stolen key, when the noon
smelled bright as carnations, 
when the nights were
more purple than the jacarandas.
You spoke of your father
dead of snakebite,
a clockwork marvel with
his million-dollar suit of skin,
and your mother
with the viper between her lips.

I remember your kiss
astringent with reason
as bitter lemons, and the way
your hair blew back from
your dog-brown eyes like poisonous
smoke from the oleanders.

I thought these things
as beautiful as angels
whispering in the dahlias
when I was lost in the asylum,
when the doctors did all they could
to see that we ate each other
down to the bone.

April 2022

 Inspired by the words of Federico Garcia Lorca,
and a dream.
Images: The Madhouse, 1812-1814 © Francisco Goya  Public Domain
Vase with Carnations, 1886, © Vincent Van Gogh    Public Domain 

Saturday, April 16, 2022




Time is a wildfire loose in the willows
burning soft-stemmed boughs to hissing smoke.
Their weeping won't save them, or their green hearts,
nor the pleading of oxen, burnt out of their yokes.

It runs its red leg 'cross the suck of the slough
to harvest sheep's breath in its ragged pillows,
to garland the branch with burnt black buds.
Time is a wildfire loose in the willows.

Time races, time flies, time burns the bridges.
It eats church and saloon out of house and hope.
It's tongue licks the moonlight off the moon's mirror
and boils rainy hours to hissing smoke.

Time is a fire, time is a melting
that feeds on the whole and ashes the parts.
Time burns up May-brides into sere widows;
their weeping won't save them, or their green hearts.

And when black-cloud crows show to pick my bones
I'll say come, children come, and don't come slow.
Time's a quick flame, and we are its smoke.
Time was my harness; I'm soon out of its yoke.

April 2022

 posted for Fireblossom 
at The Sunday Muse:
Note: This poem is in the cascade form(with a few liberties,) which I felt fit in with Housman's general style, tho since it has been invented since his time, of course he never used it.
Images; Landscape Of Ruins And Fires, 1914 © Felix Valloton, manipulated   Public Domain
Wheatfield With Crows, 1890. © Vincent Van Gogh  manipulated,     Public Domain

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Three Tigers


 Three Tigers
(a 55)

Three tigers by the sea
waiting for my company,
frightened by the gunner's moon;
three tigers hungry soon.

Three tigers in the millet;
artist, lover and a poet
find their game, make it run,
eat the work when they have done.

Two wet tigers in the storm;
 I laugh and keep the good one warm.
 April 2022

posted for dVerse Poets
 Images: Dream Caused By The Flight Of A Bee Around A Pomegranate A Second Before Awakening,1941, ©Salvador Dali  Fair Use
Tiger In A Tropical Storm-Surprised, 1891, ©Henri Rousseau  Fair Use

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Gifting Of The Birds


 Gifting Of The Birds

They say a princess
will have the Fae come to her birth
to make her fate with augury for gifts,
but the peasant dreams in birds
 rainbowed as the sky, as sleek as night,

gathered round her cradle
with a liquid blackbird murmur
with two tumbling raven feathers
with six scarlet cardinal sins,
swarming seven snowy days

with all their gifts and curses, not sure
which to give her, some of this and some of that,
sum of love and losing, morning song
or evening silence, heart of grace,
tongue of willow, green mossflower, desert spine,
hard horse apples or sweet blood-oranges
of November moon, all or none of these
before they fly, on to the next accouchement. 
Still from time to time she sees them perching,
come back to check their work

cocking tiny heads aslant,
looking but not telling, never saying
more than a bird might say
about the time that's coming
when all gifts will be opened,

all the curses told.
What will you do at last, 
their bright eyes seem to wink,
with what we gave you,
before you can do no more?
 April 2022

 posted for 
Images: Birds of Paradise, © Vincente Manansala  Fair Use
Bird in Spectacles, author unknown, via Sunday Muse   Fair Use

Friday, April 8, 2022

Aubade Of The Scorpions



Aubade Of The Scorpions
At night the little scorpions come down
to watch us playing at our poison kisses
to study from the dustbath where we drown
the sting that sinks the deepest when it misses.
I found flowers once where you had touched me;
black poppies sown in moon-distempered hisses.
Now the sun is crawling through the ivy,
its dawn a flickered fire burning wishes.
You're a green ghost spitting from a tree;
promises float away like silver fishes
and Love's a child who suddenly confesses.
  April 2022


 posted for dVerse Poets:
Images: Crustaceans c.1873 ©Raimundo Petraroja    Fair Use
The Evening Gown, 1954, ©Rene Magritte     Fair Use

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Season's Whisper


Season's Whisper
(A Quadrille)
Birds falter
from the sky. Kapitans cry.
Bodies lie,
blind eyes on streets
rubbed down to bone.
the season whispers.
Living wings fly,
buds swell like grief unbound.
The wilding wind 
knows nothing
of our long drown.
The season whispers.
Life is found.
April 2022 


posted for dVerse Poets:

for earthweals' weekly challenge:

Note: "..Kapitan is a commissioned officer rank NATO officers rank system..[adopted by Ukraine,]used to specify commanding officers of company-sized units..."~wikipedia

Images:Detail of Scene in Bucha, Ukraine, April 2, 2022 after Russian retreat, ©Reuters/Zohra Bemsemra, cropped to sepia,  Fair Use
Magnolia buds against March tree canopy, 2016, © joyannjones

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Bluejay's Wing


Bluejay's Wing
The first time I saw the sea, its reaching miles
of life and emptiness that twinned,
I was a barefoot child who thought
herself a woman, made of light
and incapable of sin.
The sea is high again today
with a thrilling flush of wind.
By day I scan the amber sky and feel
its cheapjack promise scratched upon my skin.
By night I scout the evercoming storm
with my bareback diamond eye
and heart of tin.
The sea is loud again today
with a spoken word of wind.
I see now how a palette rich with sun
bleaches out as monotone, greyscaled and thin,
its broken colors robbed of breathing light
as bluejays pale away on cloudy days,
their feathers keeping all the blue within.
The sea runs high again today
with a humming requiem of wind.

I'll never see again the dazzled tide; 
my age is given to the prairie wind
but I won't believe I'll never see the sun,
or the mottled azure delicately brushed in
to point and praise a bluejay's cunning wing.
The sea is high again today
with a thrilling flush of wind.
March 2022


 posted for dVerse Poets Poetics:

Note: My opening sentence appears in the last two lines of the first and final stanzas, and is from Justine, by Lawrence Durrell, the first book in his Alexandria Quartet, which I count among my top ten early influences in writing. And some may sense here another early influence, Emily Dickinson.
Images: Untitled, ©Zdzislaw Beksinski 
Wing of a Blue Roller, 1512, © Albrecht Durer

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Song Of The Weavers

Song Of The Weavers
The Norns speak all they know
in pleaching and binding, in winding
on the spindle green thread from the Northlights,
white wool from the southern sugarmoon
as it sets in blood-orange dustfall.
Their rhythm curls out from
the tangleroot nest under the world tree
where they refresh the well
season to season, age to age, and all that was
and is to be is formed in their throats' call.
They have grown each feather
on the black raven's backs 
of thought and memory
and taken the Allfather's eye
for their balladry.
A hard hand makes a rock-hard life,
but their cloud-boned fingers can weave
hard lives into blooms made to jump up in sheaves
as velvet as rabbits, full-hearted sweet
as the last peach on the summertree.
They fire the wicker man's burn
and rain his ash into the fields
to weep for the rye
they will color again
in May's breath-dancing fly.
I only sit under the cooling stars
in the holiness of night with the 
owls' down floating, in the bright foundry of day
with the tongues of grass leaning
into the singing of their wild living cry.
March 2022

 posted for earthweal's
Images: The Three Norns, 1911, © Arthur Rackham    Public Domain
Northern Lights Over Iceland, author unknown, via internet  Fair Use