Down the Rabbit Hole — a poem


Imagine a rabbit nibbling grass
out by the portable classrooms
of a city high school —
the students, raised on technology,
immersed in STEM curriculum,
staring blankly at what clearly isn’t
AI and what doesn’t fit into the laws
of probability, unless you account
for an infinite number of variables;
perhaps chaos theory enters into it.

Many of the students will glance
but not perceive. It requires too great
a paradigm shift to observe and recognize.

But then there is that one student
who sees, smiles up at me as I hold
my classroom door open, and says,

“A bunny.”

That child will suffer greatly in this
world and conceivably become a poet.





My Response to Will Shakespeare’s 18th Sonnet for Mrs. Johnson’s English 4 class — a poem


My girlfriend is not all of that.
I mean, she holds her own against the weather in June.
The heat and storms ramp up in May big time,
And they just go on forever.
Sometimes you step outside and the sun will knock you over —
                for real!
Other times you go weeks under clouds and rain;
And they call it The Sunshine State!
But yeah, my girlfriend’s better than the weather here,
And she’s always fresh, you know?
So, I’m writing this so others will know,
And maybe spray it on the wall that surrounds her neighborhood —
Make her immortal like.
Maybe I’ll get an “A” for this, you think?




A Natural Source of Nitrogen for Plants — a poem

A Photoshop/AI truth,
whether city or flower
or humanity’s wisdom.

A sad reality we see
and believe no matter
the lack of honesty.

Crack in the façade
overlooked, jumped
over, for the agenda.

Should a flower bloom
in city center, a sprout
unwanted, then blame

the fertilizing BS spreaders.


* * *

Another quick response — unexpected and unintended — to an image on The Sunday Muse. I never know where these things are going to take me.



Lisa Learns the Stutter Step — flash fiction

It was nearly closing time. I was wiping down the counter one time before laying out the paper mats and setups. Val is kind of adamant that we have everything ready for the breakfast crew. It’s a crap diner and the pay is lousy, but in 1981 I’m lucky to have a job, and every now and then I get a decent tip. Every now and then I meet a guy who is pleasant, is happy with the service, and isn’t trying to get into my pantyhose.

I didn’t notice when the college kid in the charcoal overcoat left; just heard the front door close.

Over at his booth I discovered enough cash to cover the check and a decent tip, and the book he’d been reading: “Jitterbug Perfume,” by Tom Robbins.

The check ended up on the spike, the cash in the till minus my tip, and the book ended up in my purse. My dogs were killing me, but it looked like tonight I’d be dancing a bit before I fell asleep.

Later, in bed with a glass of red and Knuckles purring at my feet, I opened the cover and discovered a note:

            “The book is an acquired taste. You anticipated my every need tonight.
            Not trying to pick you up. If you like the book, maybe give me a call and
            tell me why. No strings. — Neil — 822-0820”

Shit! I stayed up all night reading. I liked it. I liked it a lot.

Now what?


* * * 


Trying my hand at a writing exercise — write in a voice different from your own. In this case, that of a woman. Stirring up memories of a diner I knew as a child. I would appreciate feedback on how well… or less than well… I did. Also on how well I placed it in the early 80s (if you dare admit you have any memories of them).

Also posting this on Weekly Scribblings #62.



Process of Elimination — a poem

photo by Charley

tell the truth
but tell it by saying what it is not
rather than what it is.

from “EGGS” by Matthew Sherling


It isn’t that I started out by being a hermit;
or that I discovered a deep-seated distrust
for my fellow human beings — really.

It wasn’t that I felt the need to escape life
as I had lived it, casting off technology,
time, and ever-pressing deadlines.

It won’t be that you’ll come upon me smiling,
looking like years have been peeled away,
in better emotional and physical shape.

It all turned out to be necessary, though.



Ode to the Cha-Cha Salt Life — a poem

“Dance with yourself with all your heart and soul, and occasionally others….”
                                                                                                                                                                     — Homily, by Jim Harrison

“…if I in my north room
dance naked, grotesquely
before my mirror….”

                                                                                                                         — Danse Russe, by William Carlos Williams


I tripped

along the razored

stone, high above pounding

waves, baptized

in sea spray.


by ecstatic solitude

I performed

charismatic obliques.


by the Spirit of the deep,

I sprang

into an arabesque joy.

When you entered

the sacred dance

floor, we wedding-marched

down onto the soft-shoe

sand and began

to jitterbug

our love, acknowledging

the applause of our adoring

crowd of breakers.

* * *

I owe everything I know about writing from Jim Harrison prompts to my favorite poet, Jilly.

The Lost Vermeer Rediscovered

An ekphrastic poem with a twist — it’s based on a forgery of my own making.

Life in Portofino

The boy walks out of the canvas.

He looks directly at you from under
the shade of a hat, misshapen –
whether from the poverty of material,
the torment of Dutch seasons,
or the disregard of paupers and youth for fashion.

His eyes are what first arrest
you – a clear glance formed
using ultramarine, smalt, a touch
of bone black for the pupil, a swipe
of lead white and lead-tin yellow to highlight.

They peer out from under the shadow
of his hat, under the fringe of dirty
yellow hair.

His face is stern, thoughtful.
Dirt teems around tight lips, nostrils flare
in the cold, reddened by much wiping.

About his neck is tied a white rag
aping a scarf.

The costume of this waif is black peasants’ rags,
noticeably fashioned to appear unclean
and worse for wear.  His feet remain in shadow
as he comes out of the…

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