The Peculiar Side of Dreams

The Peculiar Side of Dreams

Sometimes when I’m on the spiral of sleeping,
when I slide dark into holes long as school halls,
I ponder those who looked for purposes dismissed,
for reasons that suit, I suppose. And I wonder
why we can’t choose our own name. Why must I
wear this label given by someone else. I’d never
wear another persons shoes, so why must I wear
another person’s name…. And I do so dream
the most strange and peculiar things.


Written for Red Wolf Poems We Wordle 25  

A Life Rehearsed


A Life Rehearsed

I came upon your arrested spokes,
Those rims of told,
stretched reach in dust,
And there turned beside your rimless soul,
Long bones of strength,
there too fell dust.

And did you go in sorrow filled,
spilled floods of tears
from those endeared,
Or was that travel to freedom’s flight
A joy traversed,
a life rehearsed. 


Written for Margo’s Tryouts, photo from


The Crumble of Lilac Blossoms


The Crumble of Lilac Blossoms

I can smell it, she said, and I could, too.
It was in the moss, gauze in the breeze,
an old man’s beard, like whiskers rough
and ruffled-up and stiff as net curtains,
and it was in the crumple of lilac
blossoms, dried and crook’d-pokery,
an old crone’s finger with accusatory
wagging. And it all sniffed of summer’s
end, smelled of those last few gnarled
days before fog slipped into long months
ahead, and gloom swallowed us whole.

Written for Creative Bloomings.

The Man with the Hanging Geraniums

The Man with the Hanging Geraniums

There’s a man who lives across the street,
He carts himself around in pain, his stance
Is the language of osteo-anguish, absence
Of postured erectness, he’s a geological rift,
A crumbling chalk cliff of broken rickety bones.
And did you see that, that stutter in his feet?
I think that only his hanging geraniums
Sustain his body’s longing for a stretch.
And so it is, I suppose, as longevity’s numbers
Take on flight, rattling by like cards pinned
On bicycle spokes, that we are all rattled
By the end, bones baffled, and yet ….
It seems our desires remain intact:
I often bring him cakes and bread.


Written for Sunday Whirl words: stutter, cliff, rickety, bones, cart, absence, rift, flight, longing, sustain, baffles, language

The Shape of Things

The Shape of Things

Given five minutes, he’d fall asleep in his big
Brown leather chair, soft as a belly, he’d sink
Deep into his dreams, but me, I take my naps
In a cotton thread hammock, a crescent moon
Waxing and waning between two low slung
Bare branches of an old apple tree, and when
The breezes play in my tousled hair, gently
Nuzzling my dreams toward forks and spoons,
Dishes and moons, and something about a cow,
Well, that’s when I wake-up with a sharp start
And begin questioning the shape of my mind.


For Quickly’s prompt: Shapes

Never Read

Three Words: Life, Letters, Twelve

Never Read

They were tied in knots, some with bows, a few bundled with kitchen twine.
Those last twelve were held in a tight block with white ribbon.
There they were – every letter, every postcard I’d sent her, year on year.
Every Christmas card, birthday card, wish you were here card, she’d kept them all.
My life tied in bundles and kept as if some ju-ju was part of the parcel.
She kept me in shoe boxes, saved, some letters never opened, not read.
Now she’s gone, and it’s left to me to clear this old house.
Not just her memories but also mine, including those last twelve she never read.

For Miz Quickly, Part 3 of September Warm-up

WikiCommons Painting by Giovanni Boldini

A Widow’s Dream


A Widow’s Dream

My dreams drop in swirled grey, and there you are.
There in our time lost. We are soaked in loss. We drop.
Embrace. Our life is here, in dreams never finished, life
Beyond my awakening, where finished is the beginning,
Never the end. All we need is here, our needs by daylight
Never met but these brief dream hours are for drinking
Slow our conversation, as clouds drink rain for their want.
And the horizon calls up another sunrise, calls the finish
Of dreams where we are loved, and we say farewells again.


Step 2 from Quickly’s Warm-up Prompt  Take six of the words and write two lines with each of them. Two lines that work together. Use your word once, or twice (or three times if you can manage it artfully). My words are: drink drop needed life finished call

Reborn to Race

Reborn to Race

a teenage tapered candle
the grand light of Africa
so swift on foot, rites said
on to Atalanta.
reborn to race. She sought
asylum in the land of Orange
swore allegiance to long gray
skies and cold frayed beaches
of the Netherlands.
a demimonde of the track
who ran with another flag.
reborn to race.

Sunday Whirl Wordle 174 

Inspired after watching the European Athletics Championships, where a good many Kenyans and Ethiopians ran under Dutch, Spanish, and Russian flags, claiming dual-citizenship.

Quickly’s Warm-up Remix

Turn each of these words into an independent phrase or sentence, not necessarily a verse, but poetic: drink, drop, sardines, needed,letters, terrible, life, finished, mentioned, twelve, call, oranges

Morning drinks in sweet Kenyan mountains.
Drop a dish, a cup, drop jaw, drop biscuits.
Sardines loathe a swim in tomato sauce.
She never knew what she needed.
She dreamt in letters and woke in a scrabble.
It’s a terrible noise, a hungry belly.
This load, this life, too short to carry.
He retired, and the iron finished.
He mentioned he was short.
Twelve shoes with nowhere to go.
Birds sing in the hide, a call to seek.
Peel me like an orange.



It’s a terrible noise, a hungry belly,
And we drop a dish, a cup, drop jaw,
Drop biscuits, and I’m told sardines
loathe a swim in tomato sauce.
Morning drinks in sweet Kenyan
Mountains, and he never mentioned
He was short. Then he retired,
And the iron finished, too. This load,
This life, too short to carry. Birds sing
In the hide, a call to seek as she dreamt
In letters and woke in a scrabble.
Twelve shoes with nowhere to go,
And she never knew what she needed,
So she said “Peel me like an orange.”

Later: (and yes, I do plan to do this later … )

If you have some time, take six of the words and write two lines with each of them. Two lines that work together. Use your word once, or twice (or three times if you can manage it artfully)

Later, still.
If you have time for it:
Use three of the words in a poem of six-to-ten lines

When you’re finished with writing, search:
Frank O’Hara, “Why I Am Not a Painter”


Written for Quickly’s Warm-up for September