Category Archives: Poetry

The 18th of NaPoMo 2018

This year I decided to take a more holistic approach to NaPoMo, because writing is only part of my work as a poet. On the days I haven’t drafted new poems, I’ve been revising existing poems, looking for places to send them, and READING lots and lots of amazing poetry from around the world.

Here are a couple I drafted from phrases in a post at the Natural Dreamwork blog. They are a hybrid of found poetry and erasure poetry.

Natural healing process

skin your knee, the body mobilizes
the wound closes, the bleeding stops, a scab forms
leukocytes engage and destroy
fibroblasts build new skin
eventually the scar may fade


Failed dream

it’s against the law to remove antlers
from a national park
the wounded elk might be easy to miss
buried in a narrative

dreams are not narratives
they are a movement of feelings
the experience of space, time, and feeling
aren’t really separable

an image appears and beckons
wants to be my mirror
that bloody wound is my medicine
to face it becomes a healing

story-making spins away
distances, fails to notice the image
making it about anything
but feelings

the medicine isn’t always delivered


Source material:



The 12th of NaPoMo 2018

I’ve been so busy writing and revising and READING wonderful poetry and posts about poetry that I’ve not done any posting of my own. Here is something I dashed off this morning between seeing the girl-child off to school and preparing for a 9:30 business meeting.

While you are away

eating avocado toast
alone is not the same:

there’s no one to give
the burnt pieces to



National Poetry Month, again

‘Tis April, and the lively poems
Do rhyme and meter on the page:
All tipsy are the editors,
And poets hold the stage.

With no apologies whatsoever to Mr. Carroll and his Jabberwocky, I hereby dive into National Poetry Month and NaPoWriMo 2018.

I may or may not post every day, but I’ll be reading and writing and revising. The little parody above came to mind yesterday. Today’s found poem was inspired by a post from poet Leslie Wheeler:

Poetry Season

poetry as a dance with absence
all that white space, evocation, closing in
on loss, image and fragment

finding my way towards a poem I feel
I’m dancing with presence: stories written
everywhere I’m not skilled at reading

so I begin with my head full of names, partial
walks in the woods shaping, spending
time each day expanding



Shape and color

leaf 26oct17Another week, another poetry class. Here’s the poem I brought to class and a beautiful red leaf I saw while walking the dog today. The shape is almost more amazing than the color.


How silently this clay sinks
into the soft arms of the earth.
How easily these ashes dissolve
on the spade-turned soil.

Without fanfare, without effort
we return, as a leaf settles
into trembling grass, as snow
vanishes on the drifted bank.

That ain’t workin’

leaf 17oct17I’m really loving this poetry class; each meeting is like sinking up to my neck in a claw-footed bathtub of hot water and bubbles. I emerge relaxed and refreshed, my mind cleared of all the mundane things that drag me away from writing.

Bad news: my life and the world in general have not cooperated with my expressed wish to do nothing but write poetry. Good news: I’ve managed to keep up with my assignments anyway and do some work that feels valuable both as process and product. This week’s assignment was to express an abstract idea by means of a place, objects, and sensory details, ten lines long, no more than five sentences of varied length and structure.

(This lovely little leaf was waiting on my windshield when I came out of class.)


She drives on fumes to her studio
apartment, where she opens the refrigerator
to confirm there’s nothing in it
but bottled water. She drinks
by dancing television light and the naked
walls echo waltz and tango as she watches
beautiful couples twirl and dip
alone from the bed. Her stomach rumbles,
empty as her wallet and the third
finger on her left hand.

Back to poetry

leaf 10oct17I did it! I successfully completed the writing challenge I posed myself during the month of September, writing and posting a poem each day. Thank you for reading!

Knowing that I was registered for a poetry class to begin October 10, I took some time off to catch up on things (such as housework and bookkeeping) I had neglected during the challenge. It’s a good thing, because I wrote four poems during the first class meeting yesterday and have so many ideas for more that I don’t want to cook or clean or leave the house again, ever.

This is the best of yesterday’s drafting, after a poem by Jan Beatty (“My Father Teaches Me to Dream“) and prompted by a painting by Samantha Gee (“Portrait of a Kitchen“). I photographed the leaf while walking the dog.

My Mother Teaches Me to Sing

You want to know what blue is?
Blue is an empty vase on the shelf.
It’s a ribbon tied to a basket.
It’s a glass you put in the dishwasher,
then in the cupboard, then on the table,
then in the dishwasher again.
It’s a towel hanging from the door.
It’s a fire that traces the kitchen windows,
billowing in from the deep
blue night.

30 in 30, day thirty

sept 2017 30-30I worked most of the day in the yard, where I met a most charming fellow, elegantly dressed and with a great sense of rhythm.

Light on his feet

tiny jumping spider with shiny green
body and black legs – except
the first set, which are tipped
in ivory: gentleman’s gloves
and baton or cane

he leaps from fold to fold
along my sleeve, first legs waving
like Toscanini, keen eyes alert
for a lady spider to share
his dance of love