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?

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.



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.

Learning to Dip Doing the COVID Shuffle — a poem

DeerMask1 (3)



Oh, God! I feel the elephant’s foot pressing
or is it his ass as he sits on my chest?
when I gasp it is not surprise that I experience
too many jacks strewn across the kitchen floor
a world that feels like a booby-trap exhibit
in an arcane warfare museum just off the road
to Flagstaff or Fayetteville, selling Turquoise
trinkets, sun catchers, and tribal documents
If you join, if I join, then we won’t be catching
hell or COVID-19

Alone at my Zoom window I sip confusion, watch
reality become other, another with each announce
meant to reassure but ends up doing anything
but — what we know so far is that we only know
so far
The window mists over as I stare too long into it

The elephant gets up, lets me up as he slumps
to the corner; I’m not saying anything you haven’t



An Outlook Occluded — a poem for Independence Day



A Full Buck Moon about to rise,
and this the 4th of July — celebrated
most years as a day of unity —
but now we have two anthems.

Will we soon have one for every color?

And our country, the States United
(if you can grasp the infernal irony)
is all but torn asunder.

Florida is setting
new bars, contracting
a novel virus.

We’re either second or third.

Those who aren’t fighting the race wars
are arguing over wearing masks and distances.

And, damn it, the sky is clouded;
overcast, like it would be for a launch.