Can Ye Not Discern?

PA Towns

How many there are who gaze
toward the sky but do not see,
or, more, those who wear blinders
to the sunset or the dawn.  They hide
their eyes from the face of the sky!

More oblivious than the Pharisees,
clueless as the High Council, seeking
what stands before them, asking
for what they are unable to read.

Gentlemen and ladies we stand
butt deep in prophets who wag
their tongues before us, declaiming
in chorus strident their fruited ignorance.

We seek a sign!  We seek a sign!
our hearts unanswerably beat out.
But what shall we ultimately be given,
but the whale’s tale, or a crap-load of bunkum?

When seekers from politicians seek
answers that of that kindred are kept
then huge lumps of lucre will pass
from hand to hand, and we shall know…

no better off are we.


Tonight at dVerse Poets Pub, Mish is serving up drinks and this prompt: “Today I’d like you to choose a sign as a visual prompt. Let it speak to you metaphorically or as an allegory. Let it take you to a deeper place or even a comical place. Your sign does not need to have words, as symbols have stories and voices too. The choice is yours.”

A Pinch of Pepper



Cryptic concept.

(Beach Boys bring Pets)

Sing-along singles.
Surreptitious signals.
Fifty years, hippies still seeking.

(Blue Moodies make many)

Starkey sticks it.
McCartney makes it.
Lennon envisions it.
Harrison Vishu’s it.

(Dark Side does one better)

Twenty… Fifty…

Paul still asking the essential question.

It’s Quadrille night at dVerse Poets Pub.  In honor of the 50th anniversary of “It was twenty years ago today…” we are being asked to include the word “pepper” (as in Sgt. Pepper) somewhere in our poem.  Join us and enjoy!



a question of pronouns

her dog would growl and chew my shoe
I don’t know why I’m good with pets
she never bit me her tail always wagged
I stopped seeing her her interest flagged

I don’t know why I’m good with pets
I stopped seeing her her interest flagged
you never know when it’s bound to end
we broke it off clean she’s not even a friend

I stopped seeing her her interest flagged
we broke it off clean she’s not even a friend
dogs read people well cats are a breeze
the trouble with cats is they share their fleas

you never know when it’s bound to end
she never bit me her tail always wagged
I don’t know why I’m good with pets
her dog would growl and chew my shoe

So what do great poets do when they are strapped for inspiration?  I don’t know; that’s why I’m asking.  What I did today was create a form (okay, a disclaimer: this may have already been a form that I just happened to re-create unwittingly… but it seemed like I was creating it, so until I hear otherwise….).  I call it the “B3elle.”  I called it that because we were in Bikes, Beans and Bordeaux, a local eatery (hence B3) and I added the “elle,” because, hey! it sounds poet-icky.  The rhyme scheme is ABC(1)C  BCD(1)D  CDEE  D(1)C(1)BA.  This is my first attempt at the form.

Tonight is Open Link night at dVerse Poets Pub; a fine opportunity to test drive the B3elle!

The Ballad of Eraser and Pablum

Erasure Head

Eraser Head Donnegan

Pablum McGurk

Pablum McGurk

Eraser Head Donnegan and Pablum McGurk
Wasted no time but went quickly to work
Quickly arrested and quicker set free
the two set out on a robbery and murder spree
Eraser handled the rub-outs Pablum the wheel
though a terrible driver she made tires squeal
They robbed local banks and a retirement home
and farmers and fishers, across the land they did roam.
The coppers got wise, glommed onto them in a snap
they planned a huge dragnet and then baited the trap.
“Don’t let’s go,” Pablum McGurk decried,
But Eraser was the head, and the two of them died.

Pablum got herself in a terrible mix
and she and Eraser got themselves… rubbed out.

Okay, it seemed like a simple, unassuming prompt.  Lillian, behind the bar at dVerse Poets Pub pointed us to a rogue’s gallery and double dog dared us to write a poetic response to an image.  I picked two… and that’s when things went kaflooey.  

Well Spokin’


In my dream I have a huge lead on the Nantua/Chambéry portion of Le Tour.  The hills are as nothing; climbing them on my feather-light Trek barely causes the slightest of humidity in my spandex.  I and my bicycle are one!  The adoring fans lining the road are aghast, asking one another, “Who is this imposter?”  I don’t mind, because they are asking it in French, a language I have yet to attempt.  I smile a smile built of conceit and excessive good health.  I am the wind; the Mistral from Minnesota.  The motorcycle-riding camera crews swarm about me as I enter the outskirts of town.  Sadly I awake before reaching the finish line – the champagne, the jersey – and I roll out of my hammock.  It is time for our ride, my wife and I.  The only reality that echoes my dream is that we ride Trek hybrids (not $30,000 racers), and we will ride about seven miles at a fairly good clip.  The Tour is a dream of my youth, unrequited.  Ah, well…  C’est la vie, no?

Storm clouds build hurdles
Pocket puddles gather frogs
Lightning fast we ride


It’s another Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets Pub, and Björn, tonight’s bartender has asked us to write about a sport.


Plane Irony


© 2013, Flagler Live


A guy in a Citabria was pulling
a huge banner – the advertising
kind – along over I-4 in Orlando.

The pilot, a fourteen-year experience
aviator, lost track of time or failed
to keep a close watch on his instrumentation.

It was when the engine began to sputter
that he noticed he was in deep kimchi.

Dropping the banner and declaring
an in-flight emergency, he scoured
the area for a suitable place to land.

The banner cast adrift settled
rapidly over the Sunday morning chaos
on I-4.

The banner, it was reported, read:
Buckle up for safety / Don’t drive

The pilot safely did a three-point landing
on the John Young Parkway, stopping
in front of the Walmart.

Okay, a disclaimer: This didn’t happen.  It happened in my mind.  Every time I see one of those banners I wonder, “What would happen if…?”  This is one of the most benign of my DIY scenarios.  Actually, I doubt you could add more chaos to the mess that is I-4… even dropping a banner on it.

My Spanish Moss

Spanish moss

photo by Charley

Spanish moss clings tight
It’s a parasite
Who knew?

Tops the tree, lost fight
But a pretty sight
Too true.

Live Oaks stand with might
I’m burdened with right
to do.

Tonight at dVerse Poets Pub, we are being asked to Lai It On!  The The Lai (as we will play with it) a nine-line poem or stanza that uses an “a” and “b” rhyme following this pattern:
The lines with an “a” rhyme use 5 syllables;
the “b” rhyme lines only have 2 syllables.