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


Friday, December 24, 2021

The Yule Goat


Happy Yule to All!

Goat watching

Yule Goat

In December’s dark descent
across crackled breaking sky ice
slivered with dagger snow,
bells ring in whitened night, sharp
hooves stamp on the cloudcloth
shaking pearl dust stripes on
emerald spruces' candelabra arms,
turquoise and white pinwheels
circling their wands
of bitter bark raven haunted.

The god of thunders 
pulls the sun's shadow,
flickering hammer tucked
in his brace of clouds,
drives his twin goats
toward the time when day
and night are strait, equals at last
as Odin's wild hunt 
passes damned, mad,
howling overhead

The Snarler and the Grinder
fleet of foot, heedless of fate
run on; tonight's feast, tomorrow’s
feat, killed for meat this starveling
night, raised at dawn.
Spread the skins and 
let each bone 
fall with care so
those here reborn 
race again on the solar wind.

O bright black eye
split with too much knowledge
devil’s mask, canting voice
of the abyss, god's bearer, hunger's enemy
come bless us this Yule with your
yellow stare, ignite yourself
against the hag’s winter storm,
flute your flames through a straw ribcage. 
Watch us make the old dance new again
under the reckless stars.

December 2011

In Norse myth, Thor was not only provided with his mountain-shattering hammer Mjölnir, his magical, strength doubling belt Megingjörð, but a chariot in which he traveled through the sky pulled by two goats, Tanngrisnir (Old Norse "teeth-barer, snarler") and Tanngnjóstr (Old Norse "teeth grinder") spoken of in the Prose Edda, who could be slain for food at Thor's discretion then resurrected with the power of Mjölnir and returned to the traces.~ from wikipedia: 'The Yule Goat is one of the oldest Scandinavian and Northern European Yule and Christmas symbols and traditions. Originally denoting the goat that was slaughtered during the Germanic pagan festival of Yule, "Yule Goat" now typically refers to a goat-figure made of straw. It is also associated with the custom of wassailing, sometimes referred to as "going Yule Goat" in Scandinavia.' As always, I've taken a few liberties with the letter of the myths.You can read more about the folklore of the Yule Goat here  and the Wild Hunt here.

Header Photo: Goat watching, by on flick'r
Shared under a Creative Commons License 
Footer Photo: The Gävle goat burning, author unknown
All copyright belongs to the copyright holder