Saturday, July 24, 2021

Lightning Tree


 Lightning Tree

When I was a child
pewterblue eyes round
as green walnuts, yellow pigtails
pulled tight in shredded rubber bands
I breathed up a world where I
lived in the storm, thunderheads panting like
mastiffs, tongues lolled over the lake, wind

secret as the monster under the bed
smiling, lightning fairy-dancing
into a forest 
of wild branches;
I didn't blink for the peace of it
covering the screaming, the blows,
cleaning my face
of a toy's tears. 
I breathed it in, petrichor
and the smell of power,
a brew of walking cobwebs
that piggy-backed me away,
a broken-eyed Dorothy doll
searching for Oz.
When I asked you to
kiss me like rain, you took me
up high on the lightning tree.
You had a web there, gunmetal strong
and sticky with grief. On the 
edge of those sudden wires,
one foot already caught
you don't even know you're dead.
When you fight
to run with one eye blind, 
and feel the tremble
coming closer
you learn everything
you lost
you never had
 and that you 
can never trust
a storm.

~July 2021


 posted for Fireblossom
 Note: Comment moderation has been turned on. Apologies for the inconvenience.
 Images: Lightning in West Texas © Ryan Smith Photography   Fair Use
Broken doll, via Sunday Muse   Fair Use

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Driving With The Incubus





Driving With The Incubus
(Incubus VIX) 
When I first saw you, neither man
nor woman, flesh nor fowl,
you'd brought round the car; a wisp
of sulfur fog hung from the grill.
It snaked up your shoe to your 
black and white smile
neither corrupt nor immaculate,
misting my face like tomorrow's shadow.
You held the sedan door wide;
I might have walked away but I was young,
and you were the best chauffeur
the devil could find, with
that changeling's face, the hellpit's flare,
black peacock eyes and velvet hands
for the gears. You put them
over my fog-wet lashes;
 through the holes
in your skin I saw pinpoint stars
as you smoothed the rucked sheets
of my cheek to finger 
the bed of skull so soon to be yours.
It was a black car without a brake
made to run the asphalt years

when the heart 
was a cindered highway,
each crossroads a Celtic knot
the devil my driver
til we stood at journey's end,
neither man nor woman
nor flesh most foul,
incorruptible corruption
tipping at the edge of the wailing abyss
where all I can see
are waning stars,
sulfur skin steaming fog, your

sharp teeth scarlet through
a feral smile.

June 2021

Posted for Fireblossom, at

Process Note: I've written many poems for the incubus over the years. He's always changing his face. You can find them by searching the blog or by clicking on the label "incubus" below.
Images: top via the Sunday Muse Fair Use
Bottom Untitled, © Zdislaw Beksinksi  Fair Use

Saturday, June 12, 2021



I am the witch of dying things
of things that cling
to a life that's passed,
custodian of the broken-wing
who shakes in the bush
and tries to sing.

I soothe the stings
of the white-nosed pup,
his few days left like clay that clings
to the potter's hands when the pot is thrown,
wagging his tail, eyes growing dim
unsure on his feet, afraid of alone.

I was the watcher 
as life leaked away, you
winding off slow as a traveling snake
loose in the snow, slipping into the maw,
dead at first frost like a turnip top,
grey dust on a root both bitter and raw.

There's none left to be
my watcher, my witch, 
to soothe the sting 
when they see me there
remembering the sun, pretending to live,
old knots of love caught in winter's hair.
I am the witch of dying things
learning their ways
while midnight sings.

June 2021

Posted for 
Image via Sunday Muse, Fair Use

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Sun Kiss


Sun Kiss


The sun was on me
that day. 
It came
through the bars
selfless as my
grandmother's kiss;
 clover mead light,
sweet on the lips
of winter's dead dream.

I turned my back
on the itching of buses.
I forgot 
the black lilies
spearing frozen worlds, 
nova'd stars.
Promises overflowed
the bottles of my eyes.
For a moment
I even tasted
the blackberry vintage
of you
decanted before me,
then dust
once again.

May 2021

posted for  Fireblossom

Images: Photo, artist unknown Fair Use
Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun, 1889, © Vincent Van Gogh  Fair Use

Friday, December 25, 2020

Friday 55 Holiday Edition 2020



 Welcome all, to the final Flash Fiction prompt of 2020, a Holiday Edition of the Friday 55. This year has been a slog, and it's not over yet, but the time has come to acknowledge it will not last forever, and in fact is in its last throes of weirdness and upheaval as we speak. Whether your mood is celebratory, contemplative or still an utter roil of feelings, you're invited to write it all out here, in 55 words, no more no less, on any subject that strikes your fancy.
I will leave the page open for contributions til December 31st at midnight since this is a busy time for all, even in isolation. 
Post the link to your 55 in the comments below, and I will be by to mark the passing of this Hell Year with you.

Brighter Days Ahead.
~ *~
My 55, such as it is:


 Supplication To The Old Year

Jack Frost, Jack Frost
crack the wind
for what we've lost.
Kiss the tree,
break the wood.
Show us all that's gone for good.
Toss the cow over
the mad moon's head.
Put stars on her horns
in the land of the dead.
Numb my hand, burn my ear;
then keep your promise and disappear.
December 2020















Images: Vintage Victorian Christmas Card, circa 1890  Fair Use
Illustration for The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam, © Edmond Dulac  Fair Use
Cow and Moon, © Alex Colville    via intyernet   Fair Use



Saturday, December 19, 2020

Snow Blind




 "If it's peace you find in dying, when dying time is here,
just bundle up my coffin cause it's cold way down there,
I hear that's it's cold way down there, yeah, crazy cold way down there.."
~Laura Nyro, When I Die
Snow Blind
I sit remembering
when we were dragons,
our mating flight in October's
bloodbright sky, 
another country
that rush of scales and fire.
Or when you saw me first,
moth with green-eyed wings
on a factory rafter. You knew
 among the nymphs
I was a spriggan

twisted wry but quick and hot,
that on the mountain with the goats
I climbed the highest
to be alone, krampus-girl
too full to eat the darkness.
So come, wind of the north.
Blow this west-wind fever from me
with your ice-eyes and cheap bargains.
Mound the cold grey snow
upon this bed, shabby
goblin sheets to numb my sores,
rime my lids 
 snow blind, give me
shadow glow, hallucinations, lunatic
visions, his
living face candle-lit,

at me:
the glass dragon,
the dust-moth dry with
death's-head wings,
broken as easily 
as a candy heart.

December 2020

posted for Fireblossom

Spriggan: "a legendary creature from Cornish faery lore...said to be found at old ruins, cairns, and barrows guarding buried treasure. Although small, they were usually considered to be the ghosts of giants..notorious for their unpleasant dispositions...~wikipedia

Images: photo of Laura Nyro via internet   Fair Use
Moth Wing © Amelia Fletcher    Fair Use

Saturday, November 28, 2020

In The Tank



In The Tank
In the tank, watching
the last foam ascend,
no rockets from
this wet womb, nothing
left but the sinking

the spirit seed
warm-curled in rainsilk, is
a spark self-shielded,
a voice unheeded
untrained but turning, a
desire piercing

paper-dead husk
with green.
The birth cord was tangled,
the roots softly angled,
a woven squared circle
of sticky heartweb.

There in that secret
float of penumbra
I felt you move.
I felt myself
blowing, unwrapped and golden,
in the tears of the sun.

 November 2020

 posted for
Images: Artist and title unknown, manipulated,  via internet, Fair Use
Seedling  ©2017, joyannjones

Friday, November 27, 2020

Flash Friday 55 Thanksgiving Edition 2020




 Welcome all, to the Thanksgiving edition of the Friday 55. This year has seen so much turmoil, death, despair and anxiety that pulling anything up from a well of gratitude can be difficult, but there are indeed things to be thankful for, like those we love, the hope for change and renewal we have under a new administration, or like this gathering of writers remembering our history, our craft and an absent friend, the G-Man, who originated this meme and never lost his sense of humor or support for others in his quest for a kickass weekend for all. 
Thank you, Galen.

As always, this isn't a prompt about anything in particular, even gratitude. It's the 55. That is, 55 words of your choice on any subject, in any form, so long as the total comes to 55, no more no less.

Link your result in the comments below and I will be by to see what you have written.
Because of the holiday, the prompt will be extended from Thursday at midnight all weekend through Monday at noon.

Here is my 55:

 Over The Wind

I threw my leg over
the back of the wind,
or was it the mare
who gallops my sleep
your face
bounced in her bag,
leaves on her eyes
storms in her tail,
a jagged nightbird
with razorglass song,
by a child's sleeping breath?
And I the rider
faded as fable,
lightning passing by.

Images: Vintage postcard, manipulated  Fair Use
Photograph of Galen Hayes, source unknown  Fair Use
Donnerstag,  artist unknown, via internet  Fair Use
Dragon Awakens,   © Theodore Severin Kittelsen  Fair Use