On Being Megan

cheese tray

photo by J. C. Lyman


The young guy with the La Closerie des Lilas apron steps out into the courtyard, beret not cast rakishly to the side.  Give him time, I think, he’ll learn.  His gaze scrapes across the crowd, seeking a target.  He carries a beautifully-crafted cheese board.

“Megan?” he calls.  A Spring bird on his way back north.

He steps forward, looking here and here.

Raises his voice over the guitarist playing ‘Round Midnight.


After yet still no response – and I wait for it – I raise my hand, “Here.”

His look tells me in advance I’m going to win this round.

“You’re Megan?”  He is beautiful in his confusion.

I eye the tray and smile, “Absolutely!  Set it here.”  I’m a big guy; a bit intimidating.

He obeys.

For a cheese tray like this I will gladly be Megan.

“Um, anything else?”

I consider.

“Why yes.  I believe we ordered two glasses of your fine Pinot Noir.”

As he heads back toward the door, I hold up half of a strawberry in salute to our valiant server.



Bonnie Jean’s Retort

In response to A Red, Red Rose, by Robert Burns.


O my God, to bed with thee, ye sot!
What’s gotten into you?
O a rose is it that I am?
More likely said in brew.

Which lass court you in whiskey cups
That call ye rose as such?
Ah, weel, Bill plied thee with drink
Till a’ your brains slosh much.

Till a’ your brains slosh much, old fool
And your clothes reek wi’ the smoke!
I cart off ye here, old fool
With the stench o’ pub and bloke.

And you sleep while I’m off to pub
Before the closing bell!
May be I’ll home again ‘fore dawn
Or off with some gentle swell!


Posted to dVerse Poetry Pub, Meeting the Bar.  The prompt is “Response Poetry.”  Write a response to a well-known poem, “I have recently been rereading How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry by Edward Hirsch.  In the first chapter Hirsch talks about the relationship between the poet (writer) and the reader.  He refers to it as being a form of communication between two strangers, often across time, space and cultures.  This triggered for me that moment in a literature class when I first read Christopher Marlowe’s famous The Passionate Shepherd to His Love and the response, A Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd, written by Sir Walter Ralegh a few years later. These two poems take the communication between writer and reader a step further because Ralegh’s poem is in direct reply to Marlowe’s poem.

“Both poems are from Poetry Foundation

“The challenge is to write a poem that is a direct reply to another poem.  While Ralegh kept Marlowe’s form and meter, it would certainly not be necessary to do that.  I encourage you, however, to test your poetic limits by mirroring the form of the original poem.  You may also choose to take the challenge to another level by writing two poems in which you respond to an original poem of your own.  You may go humorous or serious, ironic or sardonic, but whatever direction you choose, have fun with it and raise your personal writing bar to new heights!

“As always, take care to credit the original poem that you are responding to with a source or link that we may continue to protect the work and rights of all artists.

“Is there a poem that you have always wanted to respond or reply to?  Now is your chance!”


Also posted to imaginary garden with real toads.


Tigger-Like, I Spring

wolf pounce



I bounce

because there ain’t much meat to the ounce.

I sniff ‘em out and pounce.

Not much fight

in them mousies.

“Love to eat them mousies…!”

I bounce

because it’s mousies I have to trounce.

Till it’s Caribou time.

That’s when I flounce.


Posted at dVerse Poets Pub, Quadrille night.  The magic word for the night is “bounce.”

kliban cup

Art by B. Kliban

Charley/qbit Renga


Saturdays are promises misspoken that carry
ammunition for the week.  We enter

a range of exhaustion,
bullet bright, concentric motifs

that rifle us past the Sun.  Mooning our loss
of respite from the race, a legion rattles

Is velocity even a question?
What deserts scorched at perihelion?

Melting sands swirl – camels in glass.
Weapons droop into ploughshares.

Still the hardened days untillable,
“until” hocked like a promissory

note.  Hooked on through dies Martis.
Humpday comes as oasis breather.

Then Fire-day our trial by splitting
the distance between caravanserai

and the Gobi-tween.  Dates blend.
Hookah left at the next pyramid.

Time burnt in offering, smoking skyward.
The camels shift nervously in their traces.


qbit has taken up my Renga Challenge as a part of Jilly’s January Casting Bricks to Attract Jade Challenge

A Renga Challenge


Saturdays are promises misspoken that carry
ammunition for the week.  We enter


I’m starting this Renga Challenge as a part of Jilly’s January Casting Bricks to Attract Jade Challenge.  If you are interested in taking on this challenge, simply respond to me, and I will set us up with a fresh page.  (To keep it open, we can wait until it’s finished to give it a title!)

From Jilly’s blog:  RENGA Challenges:  Renga is a Japanese collaborative poem that involves two or more participants. The idea was suggested last fall by qbit at The Quantumverse and has been great fun!  If you choose to kick off a Renga, include the word ‘Renga’ after your name (qbit – Renga Challenge).  It will be up to you to assign volunteers to work on a Renga Challenge.  I am linking you back to qbit’s explanation from September on this for guidance.

The Jewel

after James Arlington Wright


In the dark
behind me in my sober
thoughts – nothing but air
and memories – mine and mine
In the sanctuary burns
the light of poetic
muse who whispers
wind, gently urging
me to stand in the poet’s
place before the flame.
The light flows
through me changed,
refracted: I become


A bit of backstory here: I encountered this incredible, indecipherable poem by poet James Wright entitled, “The Jewel.”  The last line eluded me.  If you don’t know his work, you should look at “A Blessing,” and “Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota.”  And then you’ll understand why he is one of my favorite poets.

James Wright, The Jewel.


Posted to dVerse Open Link Night.

Misbegotten Moment


It was not the shrapnel
the verbal assault that followed




it was the major



“Oh                    really!”

that gave me reason
to believe my response






Posted to dVerse Poets Pub, where Björn is behind the bar for Meeting the Bar.  Tonight he suggests, “…it’s time to talk about silence in poetry. The special silence filled with rhythm and meaning. The caesura. A pause to breathe, to accentuate the meaning. Silence and pauses are as crucial to poetry as any other device such as rhythm or rhymes.”