My Inner Howl


Coyotes cry in the distance dark
but, by stars and leaking
humankind’s phobia,

They sing,
these tricksters wild,
to draw in the heavenly ghosts
that natives round fires danced
into an uneasy treaty of peace.

A meteor bows to their plaint.

Or perhaps the falling star sent
from the Great Spirit will lend
his voice to join the harmonizing
of the outrageous choir on the bluff.

I, in a place too well-lit to free
my voice to the heavens, hum
softly in unison with dogs untamed.

And hope my neighbors don’t hear.


This is loosely based on a long-ago experience of listening in on a dark night howl of a band of coyotes.  Firstly, I don’t think coyotes are technically dogs.  I know they are not appreciated most of the places they still survive.  But I don’t know anything that can raise a ruckus on a quiet night than a band of drunken coyotes.

The photo is from:


Too Narrow the Focus


photo by Kamil Porembiński, fiddled with by Charley

A thousand knights on war-bred horses ride.
And sparrows sing the fog away in morn.
When wine and bread my gut do fill betide,
I’ll sing the battle psalm like manner born.
In troth a dry comfort I sucked and cried,
but learned to climb and handouts did I scorn.
Tis when we’ve pockets filled our past is lost.
A circle joined, a place, at such a cost.

It’s Ottava Rima night at dVerse Poets Pub.  Barkeep Frank bids us post our iambic efforts and peruse the gallery.  Come along and join in!

The Dungeon

Heady Brew

photo by Charley

Locked in a dungeon built sound, dank,
deep the poison of thought I drew.
A heady brew as any rascal drank
has tainted true workers, a good many few.

Ah, but what wond’rous visions to me revealed.
I imbibed creativity; my future is sealed.

It’s Quadrille night at dVerse Poets Pub, and our tender, Victoria, has asked us to belly up with an offering that is sound in one way or another.  …just for the fun of it, see below.

Summer — a Haibun

lighting in a bottle

photo by Charley

The alchemy of our evenings under lamplight,
firefly light,
bottled lightning under the watchful eye of the thrush,
cease to happen with the onslaught
of Summer (natsu) and the boiling
heat that accompanies.  Our gathered
moments huddled
around a fire, where we suspend
over hungry flames a subliming
mallow – solid to solid, yet transformed – cease.
It is too much to suppose s’mores happen
in the season when humans melt.

Green lizard –
are you ready to occupy
our porch for the summer?

It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets Pub.  Björn is serving up recipes from the Bartender’s Guide, and challenging all comers to offer up recipes of their own… seasonal recipes, to be exact.


The Gate


When Christ was fixed upon the cross
A thief to him for heaven pled –
The sky turned dark, all seemed a loss –
T’was for his gate the sheep was bled.

How shall we count the man who died?
Was it for naught the scoundrel cried?
The sky went black, the curtain tore,
And Christ the thief to heaven bore.

This poetic form is called a Rispetto.

Listing to Center

Pick up toothpaste
Pick up on the guitar
Pick up the pace
Pace yourself, Charley

Going to the grocery store.
Why do we call it a “grocery store?”
What else do we use “grocery” for?
Is there a grocery pub?

Sidle up to the bar.
Raise the bar.
Bar none.

Bar nuns?

None the worse.
Better or worse.
Worse than I expected.
Expected to be rich by now.

Run to the store.
Run in your socks.
Da do run run.
Socks you in the mouth.

I used to be OCD,
but I organized,
and alphabetized
and filed…
CDO all the way!

List to center!
List to center!
List to center!

dVerse Poets Pub poses the challenge of writing a list poem.  For better or worse, here is mine.

Dishing the Dirt

Dead End (2)

photo by Charley

Wind throwing
dirt raising
dust irritating
eyes blurring
tears welling
no telling
breath catching
dog fetching
feet raising
dust blowing
sky showing
rain lacking
drought not slacking

Tonight in dVerse Poets Pub, Björn, the barkeep asks us to write about the soil.  Rather a dry topic (here in Florida), but fertile ground for poetry nonetheless.


Too Soon the Press

Peace River Audubon Society

Peace River Audubon Society

I remember when I flew
the nest. On my own to fend,
I questioned what should I do

A juvenile Blue Jay is sitting
on our back fence, quiet,
very unlike an adult; the grown ones learn
early on that life is chase and catch
or wither and die.


Very much I long for her to stay
pleasantly at peace.
In place. Soaking up
the glitters
on the pond, chattering
under the crisp late Spring
breezes that have followed
this morning’s cold front.

The day that started
dank and smothering has been blown
clean behind the zone. The moon becomes
crystal, the sky glass,
the few clouds exclamations.

Still I know that birds must get busy
being birds. They haven’t
the luxury of time to sit
on the fence observing
unless it’s for food… or predators.

Like Monday through Friday, thinking
dreaming, philosophizing
gets in the way of worm gathering,
bug picking….

Life moves quickly, young bird.

Get a flap on!