Prompted poetry: bluffing

Though I apologize for my prolonged absence, I’m not going to try to explain beyond these two words: marching band.

My poetry buddy Doug Self tweeted for a word prompt last week, so I obliged. Here’s a link to his response ( and below is what I came up with.

Job Search

It’s a cat-and-mouse game, he said. One plays
dead, the other feigns disinterest. But which
is hunter and which is hunted? No, that’s not
quite right—

it’s a game of chicken, where each tries to guess
how far the other will go, who’s bluffing, who will flinch
first. Then again, he mused, the one who blinks
is the loser, so maybe

it’s more like dating, where each puts the best
foot forward. He nodded. The catch is, you don’t know who
is looking for a long-term relationship and who just wants
to hook up.

Oh, she said, you always have to assume
the latter.

Life poetry: untitled

Someone dear to me died suddenly and unexpectedly yesterday. Words are not enough, but they are all I have at the moment.

today my heart wears
sackcloth and ashes
squats dumb upon a heap of dirt
too sad even to keen

in time the One who keeps unsleeping
watch over those who struggle
will turn this mourning
into dancing, but not today

Prompted poetry: wanting

I took a little break from copyediting today to glance back through my journal for something to post. This is from early April, using a prompt I signed up to receive via e-mail during National Poetry Month.


yet again she had been
weighed in the scales of friendship and found
wanting, though she did not
know why, she felt certain
there had been cues, unreadable to her
misfit understanding, arcane signals
she did not receive
correctly, so once more she stood
apart, watched the turning
rope and tried to decipher
how the others knew when
to jump in

Overdue poetry: Fresh produce

I’m dreadfully behind despite the fact that I’ve been working like crazy for weeks. How is that possible? Some factor in this equation remains hidden to me at present. If you have any insight or suggestions, please share!

In the meantime, dear reader, please accept this summertime trifle as a token of my appreciation.

Fresh produce

the cantaloupe of desire
sits ripe and round
on the counter, its curved
fishnet skin giving off
aromatic hints of creamy
flesh within

Day thirty poem, LexPoMo 2014

LexPoMo2014-blog-pic02-1024x878Reblogged from the Lexington Poetry Month blog.

The dry spell ends

it was raining most gloriously
soft, gentle, steady
and she wanted it to continue
all night long

Day twenty-six, LexPoMo 2014

LexPoMo2014-blog-pic02-1024x878My parents would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this week had my father not died 26 years ago.

Reblogged from the Lexington Poetry Month blog.

Our 50th Year

there will be no party, no surprise
trip to Hawaii, no family photographs
it feels so hollow, this
anniversary, a golden clanging
bell with no clapper, like me
without you

Day eleven poem, LexPoMo 2014

LexPoMo2014-blog-pic02-1024x878It feels strange to post a day eleven poem on day twelve. I offer the following by way of explanation.


today I must write a lame poem
because I don’t have time to write
a bad poem — truly bad poetry
takes as much skill and effort as good
poetry — perhaps even more