charcoal heads droop, their glowing halos
weighted with the heft of so much cheer
petals flame this dinner table hearth
lightening the heart of this happy home
sunshine yellow arms outstretch to embrace
or supplicate, cut from their grassy beds,
their tendrilled roots removed, replaced,
stabilized instead by a shallow red glass
its life-giving water dries up all too soon
*Thank you for visiting my blog! I hope you enjoyed the poem. If you are interested in reading more of my work, please check out my craft posts on my Patreon! In the meantime, stay safe, stay well, and read often!
the world opens up as a new monster looms on the horizon, belching fire, slaughtering victims without thought to gender, creed, or age: the smallest of the small, resistant to her older brother’s charms, no longer spared infectious breath.
not content to massacre millions by breath alone, she melts crematoriums whose iron frames soften, run from the heat of so many bodies burned in so few hours, days, weeks of death; chimneys crack from overuse, appalling mockery that mimics hospital beds buckling from the influx of live bodies they strain to save and might despite their failures. Parks no longer host festivals but burning pyres that brighten twilight like bonfires left behind by the wyrms’ warm feasting
or colossal candles lit in earth’s cathedral for each of those extinguished lives, bright enough to catch the eyes of the gods in their heavens or the demons down below.
the beast that plagued last year seems tame beside his younger sibling, the serpent virulent exhaling flame who does not deign to spare the lives of children.
Will she leap across the waters, span the ocean, leave that far off land to spread her curse upon our slowly awakened shores?
Does she await our recovery only to make her scourge more felt?
# Thanks for stopping by my blog. If you’d like to read about the crafting of “Plague of Dragons,” check out my Patreon next week for a free technical breakdown of the poem.
“last year’s revels”
the toddler rolls from bed,
a ballerina princess excited
for the special day ahead,
anticipates her long-awaited party.
strawberry-topped chocolate cake
with a grape soda chaser,
she’s fueled for festivity:
rainbowed streamers wave
above a table piled with gifts,
sunshine yellow ribbon
seals each shining gold wrapper,
as storm clouds gather unheaded
outside her window’s thin glass.
she tears a first package apart,
eager, greedy for its contents,
frowns at the dimestore damsel’s
impossible figure and painted smile,
tosses her aside for another
bright box’s glinting temptation,
enchanted to find inside
flint enough to fire her tinder home.
caffeine-fueled and sugar-dosed,
she blazes pirouette on tip-toes,
ecstatic homage to firenadoes
swirling flame outside her door.
she watches in delight,
her face crimson bright
as a demon risen to scorch
this mortal earth with hellfire.
hay-colored landscapes wither,
flames kindle the world: fireworks
enough to entertain her swollen
all-too-childish brain. she collapses,
in a fit of giggles watches murder hornets
bloom across the blood red sky.
her joy indisputable on a face free
from the thin cotton mask she refuses to wear.
she knows these days are hallowed,
these endless nights will last
for years to come.
exhausted from her revels,
she tears the Barbie’s bloodless arms;
the doll’s blank eyes reflect nothing,
the hollow chest holds her silent scream,
her frozen face beaming
an eternally vacant grin.
If you’d like to know more about the craft that went into this poem, next week I will be posting a poem dissection on my Patreon–which is free during the pandemic. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, stay well, and read often!
I hobble out of bed at daybreak an Igor with dreams of being both doctor and creation, waiting for just one spark, juice enough to fuel that night's creation.
Excitement looms on this horizon pregnant storm clouds heavy with rain, whipped overhead by hurricane winds, ready to strike, incite the dead to life.
Petrichor coats my tongue, fills my head, lightning flashes, blue-white channels blaze down these rods to these hands, fire enough to burn, birthing this beating heart.
My blood boils, my eyes open.
*Thank you for visiting my writing blog. I hope you enjoyed the poem! If you’d like to read about its creation, I will be dissecting it next Friday on my Patreon.
If you would like to read more of my writing, I will be posting once a month (both here and on my Patreon) for the foreseeable future; I’m concentrating on my next poetry collection, as well as writing a novel.
i remember when i thought twice, thrice, a dozen times moreover whether to call myself writer, a title hallowed in my heart throughout my childhood years, the ones who wrote the books i devoured with my every free hour, my escapes into worlds of make-believe, my gateway to learning beyond what adults prescribed for me
i’ve known too many writers to be intimidated by the title, known their kindness and generosity, heard of others’ lack lucky enough not to experience it myself
i remember when i hesitated to call myself poet, the title seemed too pretentious, too artistic to apply to just anyone, like lumping Van Gogh in with the man who graffitis the roadside in the dead of night. but why not? why should a canvas command more respect than the underside of an overpass? why should the verse of authors long gone hold more esteem than the coffee house clique reciting their rhymes in the meeting place of modern minds? the old and new both live
i’ve known too many poets to be awed just by the word when their humanity alone humbles me my own attempts to grasp each abiding image, each emotion collaged upon these pages like flowing script, rivers of ink and electrons imprinted upon our collective minds
with or without title, i’ll write these words, this verse, hope someday they will be read, felt, imbued with life
words change form throughout time as organic as a climbing vine growing with each age titles are more specific, rigid like concrete i call myself the words the titles themselves unknown
“She Who Was the Helmet Maker's Once-Beautiful Wife"
you didn't know what awaited you
when you began the long trek to see your son
bare feet and fallen arches old bones aching
with miles of marching your final journey
all for one more glimpse of your boy
become a man
why bare yourself for the artist's art?
how much more could you have to give?
the tragedy of your worn form outlives your mortality,
the young girl you were forever trapped in iron gray.
*Rodin’s model for She Who Was the Helmet Maker’s Once-Beautiful Wifewas the mother of one of his male models. The photo I used reminded me of a younger version of Rodin’s model, since I was unable to obtain permission for an image of the original sculpture. You can find an image of Rodin’s masterpiece here.
--in memory of Winnie-cat
the Milky Way empties itself
of pure white light
into the moon's shining bowl
the cat stretches languid
her body liquid smooth
she reaches for
silent and thirsting
Her head dips into
the cosmic saucer
rough pink tongue
darting in and out
lapping up this lunar feast
Luminosity fills her
beneath each fluttering eyelid
*Although this poem was inspired by a tweet, I’m posting and dedicating it to my sweet kitty, who died January 2nd. Rest in Peace, Winnie.
on the eve of my mother’s birth and the swearing in of a new leader
last night i dreamed: i came upon a strip mall and stumbled upon the store my father had built from scratch all those years ago
i did not dare believe my eyes though it seemed too real not to be believed i ran inside hoping for a glimpse of the man that ruled my childhood my hero who taught me chess gave me his own bike to ride
today i thought i saw another gone silhouette perched upon the windowsill
he died so long and yet not so long i longed so to see his familiar face i could not help but catch a glimpse his bald(ing) head and bright brown eyes
today my mother opens chocolates “her president” as her present she says as each morsel melts washed down with a cup of steaming Lady Grey
i couldn’t quite catch a glimpse of another dear departed, gold fur and eyes brown as warm caramel, i couldn’t quite help but wonder what else dies and is born today
sometimes we need to coat our tongue with warm sugar, sweeten our swallowed bitterness
is this a new beginning or another end?
**In my previous post I said I was going to resume regular scheduling in February, but since this poem is topical I decided to post it today. Normally I let poems sit between edits, but obviously that would not work for a timely posting, so (although edited) this poem is more raw than what I normally share.
Happy New Year! Hopefully, 2021 will be less problematic than 2020.
In the meantime, I’ll share the books I’ve read in the past year. Due to the recent interesting times, many of them are books I’ve read before. When I want a comfort read, I’ll often reach for old favorites: Cyrano de Bergerac and The Walking Dead graphic novels are among my favorites. Since the list is pretty long (I’ll reach 100 one of these years!), I’m listing them by title. If you would like me to go into detail about any of these books, just leave a comment or contact me on social media. I love discussing books!
If you’d like to read one of these selections yourself, I’ve included links. Many of the reads were ebooks and audiobooks via various platforms, often through local libraries. I’ve always loved digital format, but in the past year it’s been more important than ever. Enjoy the list! Maybe you’ll find something you’ll like too.