The Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes

Day 19 NAPOWRIMO  Kerry’s prompt at Real Toads – your muse

The Sensitive Plant Frank Dicksee

The Girl With Kaleidscope Eyes
“Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes And she’s gone.” Lennon/McCartney

Sitting in the ancient oak
thinking –
his empty eyes
as he hung from the ceiling,
remembering the look in my mother’s eyes
as she lay dying.
Hearing the birds in the forest
and across the way,
the one lone crow.


For Susie’s prompt at Real Toads, day 18 of NAPOWRIMO: Bells and flowers

The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them. Saint Francis de Sales

Flower bells silently ring in the
soft spring breeze.
Bees busily climb in and out
emerging yellow with pollen.
Lily of the vally,
Campanula in shades of
Sky, rose, cloud –
Late blooming narcissus with
their tiny tea cup blooms
and honey sweet fragrance.
Across the yard floats
The sound of cardinals,
their bell-like tones
filling the air with music –
calling the creatures to come,
Worship spring.


I ask you

I have always been into the Beats. I used to write “beat” style poetry to copy them. then in 1980 I said fuck it. I am going to write as I would write it, not some guy in San Francisco. This is a poem from 1969 which I revised in 1980.

I ask you
“The best writing is what’s right in front of you. Sometimes I’d walk down the street with poets and they wouldn’t see anything. I’d have to shake their arm and say, ‘Look! Look!” Lawrence Ferlinghetti

so I ask you
What is poetry?
you give some long winded pretentious ass answer
which I promptly forget and move
on to my own answer.
What is a poet I ask you.
You ramble and natter on
saying this that and the other.
When I say a poet is a terrorist
and that a poet sometimes speaks truth
but mostly they write what they think
the world wants to read
and say, this is so evocative
this is so powerful
this is raw.
this is so beautiful.
I turn my back on you and laugh at you.
And I ask you if all the cathedrals burn down
and all the temples churches mosques
cathedrals burn down
will there still be a god and prayers?
You weep and mourn for the burned down
cathedrals mosques temples churches.
better weep for those these
churches cathedrals mosques temples


Haibun: Summer Tomatoes

A haibun of exactly 75 words in the manner of Basho for my prompt at Real Toads, Day 15 of NAPOWRIMO. A haibun is a Japanese poetic form consisting of a true autobiographical part and ended with a seasonal haiku.


Haibun: Summer Tomatoes
“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” Lewis Grizzard

It was the middle of July; mama had died mid-June. She is the one who taught me all of my gardening and canning skills. The tomatoes hung thick from the vines. To encourage more blooms, I buried the fertilizer spike.
soft like my mama’s cheek
I held the tomato to my face –
watered it with my tears

blood is blood

A Poem for Magaly’s prompt on Real Toads: three titles one poem. Today is Day 13 of NAPOWRIMO, There are eight book titles in this poem. At least three have three or more words. Titles: The Nasty Bits, Blood is Blood, Some Danger Involved, The Violet Fairy Book, The Secret Life of Bees, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Road to the Deep North, The Witch’s Gift, Pet Sematary

Blood is Blood
I often referred to my trip to the farmer’s market
as the road to the deep north because of the distance.
I started up the side steps and stopped –
a rabbit ear lay in the center of the top step –
a little chewed –
all was gone, even the nasty bits.
I looked at the seven pair of golden eyes
staring at me – the feral cats I feed.
Did one of you do this? I asked sternly.
the witch’s gift, I muttered.
I went into the house and came back with a sheet of paper towel.
I carefully picked it up and grabbed the shovel.
I shook the tears from my eyes and contemplated.
this bunny had started life not knowing
there would be some danger involved.
I went to the edge of the woods,
to the area I called the pet sematary,
dug a hole and inserted the ear,
covered with violets and dirt.
Take this child oh Mother for blood is blood
you take it unto yourself.
I walked back to the house and sat on the back steps.
This spring the back yard exploded in violets –
like the violet fairy book, they spread everywhere –
white, deep purple, lavender and rare pink.
I watched the bees going back and forth
between the violets and the hive.
I gained peace watching the secret life of bees.
The front lawn was perfectly smooth
the back yard was wild with clover and wildflowers.
The perks of being a wallflower,
Alone, living and growing under the sun,
drinking the rain and dew.

LES 1970 – 1985

For Margarets’s prompt for Day 14 of NAPOWRIMO.  Write about a street in a city where you like to stroll.  I went back to my wild days with my Cousin Billy with whom I went to Woodstock and with whom I later lived the dangerous life in the mid-70’s to mid 80’s.  She went to Brooklyn recently for her son’s wedding and was inspired.  LES is localese for LOWER EAST SIDE: Brooklyn, Bronx, Harlem. The song by Johnny Thunders is true, alas.

LES 1981

LES 1970 – 1985
“I missed all the great art at the time. I came from heroin, and I came for music. But other than that, I didn’t live here. But man, a lot of people didn’t make it, and I remember, I guess around 1980, it was like, ‘Something was happening and no one knows what it is.’” Anthony Bourdain

“You can’t put your arms around a memory” Johnny Thunders 1978

my cousin Billy and I drifted down to LES
from Montclair NJ and Durham NC.
I wonder that we made it out alive.
dangerous, smelling of raw sewage
sex and dope.
fires fueled by arson,
hostility fired by cops,
in places between buildings, in holes
the size of a car we bought our dope –
we smoked snorted shot it up.
the people had a lean and hungry look.
it’s a wonder we made it out alive.
we spent the night in the apartments of
strangers and all we had to do was
to be cool. be cool man.
sex pistols, joe strummer,
Deborah harry, cro mags,
the Ramones – sheena’s a punk rocker…
the music exploded in our ears
and we held each other up as the crowds held us up.
poetry art movies films all new and outrageous.
I learned about Dylan Thomas from some punk.
it is a wonder we made it out alive.
the summers were our reward for being good
during the rest of the year.
andy Warhol was new
people slept passed out died on the sidewalks.
now I walk there and it is like walking
among the land of ghosts.
we passed over the bridge into LES,
crossing the river styx
we crossed by over the river of lethe.
different now.
it’s a miracle we made it out alive.
President Ford said he would not bail out NYC
when it was bankrupt.
NY responded: Ford Drop Dead

LES Alphabet City 1975

The Smell of Roses

For Shay’s Prompt on day 12 of NAPOWRIMO. Write about someone you loved who didn’t know you loved them.

The Smell of Roses

“Whenever you look up, there I shall be—and whenever I look up, there will be you.”Gabriel Oak, character, Thomas Hardy

I met you on a warm June day
the smell of roses and the river in the air.
I looked up into your eyes,
the color of rich dark chocolate
and like dark chocolate,
they made me shake my head in amazement.
I wondered how your lips would taste,
would feel when pressed against mine –
just the slightest bit and then harder.harder.
I fell in love with you then and have
carried you around in my heart all these years.
You left. Never to return.
You smiled and said goodbye.
I wonder again and often
how your lips would feel, would taste.
I wondered at the feel of your hand on my skin.
I wondered at the taste of your skin under my lips.
I wondered at the smell of you after sex.
A warm June day
the smell of roses and the river in the air.
Nothing but ashes on my lips.

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