Watering Whole? — a poem

When I entered
the room, all — predators
and prey — were assembled,

At the periphery, not joining
in, pushing to bring
muzzle to a stilled
surface; but watchful —

The ones that couldn’t,
wouldn’t be tamed
outside, quenching
a wilder thirst.

I quietly stepped
back out, returned
to the safety of my cage.


* * *

A simple visual prompt on The Sunday Muse, one of two. What could possibly go wrong?

Justice in the Cave — a flash fiction

Carrot Ranch

Justice Ranes was lost. Spelunking! he thought. He considered his predicament. “Lost in a fucking cave is what I call it.” His words bounced off rock walls pressing in. He picked a direction. His torch would hold an hour at best. The way seemed familiar.

A turn unremembered. Back track? Determination overcame reason. He pressed on.

Ahead shadows. Switching off his light he detected a faint glow. Stepping forward the light increased. At the mouth he stopped. The sought for entrance was instead a cavern. He was doomed.

Justice was undone by a fallacious bioluminescence lurking beyond the passage.

* * *

A flash fiction challenge at The Carrot Ranch: A flash piece, 99 words (no less, no more — just like the tombstone in… um, Tombstone), where you use “the light at the end of the tunnel.” Without the cliché.

She Shall Be Called Woman — a poem

Mary Pickford

Silent then;
bound by technology
and mores.*

Without a voice
of her own —
tinsel and ornament,
purposed to entertain
to cook, clean, and wean.

It would be decades before she roared.

The struggle,
the progress —
but far to go.

But now where is woman?

bound by decree.
Without a voice,
a name.

Silent, then.



* the fixed morally binding customs of a particular group

* * *

Blame this one upon The Sunday Muse …and politics.

2021 Pudding — a poem

Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Archive/PA Images — manipulated

1 egg, large
1 cup sugar
1 cup cocoa
½ cup brandy
2 cups milk

Mix the egg and the sugar (it’s going to require a good egg to get through all this, sugar!). Beat well (we can beat this if we try!). Blend in cocoa (blending in will be of ultimate importance this year!). Begin heating the milk over low heat in a saucepan. (No snarky comment here; just heat the damned milk, okay?) Place the brandy in a glass (any kind of glass… really, you have a snifter? I didn’t think so.), drink to taste.

Keep stirring the milk in the pan.

Keep drinking the brandy.

Pour more brandy (it’s going to be a long year!).

Keep stirring the milk.

Either add the mixture to the milk… or just keep adding brandy.

I mean, you survived 2020 — you deserved to get faced.

Or, you could make the pudding.



Advice to Those Imperiled by the Encroachment of Personal Civilization — a Poem

A lucent thought at the beginning of 2021.

Life in Portofino

jim-harrison Borrowed from the internet somewhere — Dunno.  But this is author/poet Jim Harrison.  The one in front.  The meaner looking one.

Don’t bite the chain.

Be like the wild-wise ones.  Do
what they do — measure
the links, feel when it tenses.

it back — then run
full-bore.  Stop
just at that point.  Make
the chain break
itself.  Don’t settle
for civilizing kibbles.  Range
free, and eat

Be the dog the rancher won’t let near her cattle!

* * *

Written in response to reading Jim Harrison’s poem, “Tethered.” 

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Stille nacht…

Stille Nacht…

But unstill, unsilent,
the family gathered,
the friends invited —
food, drink, stories and laughter —
children off watching the classic movies
or locked in virtual bloody battle;

perhaps there is one curled in a corner
lost in the silent commotion of a book.

…heilige Nacht

Home for the holidays,
at all costs we set aside
this week; these two weeks
for a pilgrimage —
whether we travel or not —
to a land other than
our workaday world
to celebrate and remember

our own form of yuletide,
our personal blessed event.

Alles schläft…

Even the “chosen” sleepwalk
through the unspoken,
unheralded exclamation.

…einsam wacht

It is to the shepherds, outcasts of their day,
and to foreigners, far afield, drawn
by who knows what and who knows why,
that this night speaks and has spoken.

* * *

A tad late. But there it is.

Topgear, Fer Real! — a poem


Bad news crew on a road trip,

not slowing for the infrequent dip;
out drop-top cruising on a starry
night.  Passing

wheatfields, crows startle,
parrots gossip, the humming-
bird drinks from thorns — time

flies.  Though we melted
down the enslaving clocks
in honor of unreality —

we have time on our side.
The crazed Spaniard riding
shotgun calls out directions
to the driver. “Quel?” He lends
an ear, but does not comply.

And the two women enthroned
in the back seat are keeping

their peace.

So, this is my first response to TheSundayMuse (Sunday Muse #131), and my first response to any prompt in a long time.  At least, my first that I’ve bothered to post.

This piece only plays well if you know the players well.

About to Snap — a poem

(Image: © NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration.)

The universe is stretched too thin.
We listen for the resounding snap.
Scientists are baffled; poets laugh.
Philosophers gear up for a sudden freeze.

Dark matter we’ve covered; dark energy, too.
Neither can be captured, seen or weighed;
but once hypothesized, theorized, it’s proven
unless and until the next best theory butts in —
and still a theory lives… a proven theory.

Tonight I waste little thought matter,
dark thoughts on cosmological diddling.

My universe is stretched

as far as she will go.


In Search of the Lost Couplet — a poem

A hard night; mind won’t rest.
At the grocery in search
of consolation in a Napa Valley plonk,
some accompanying gnosh.

A whim, I opt for a New York red —
“Five Finger Discount.”
Lake Region humor, no doubt.
Triscuits and a Wisconsin Brie.
God help me!

Back to the cottage to compose.
Or to slowly do the converse.

…very slowly.