For Poets United, Poetry Pantry

“She noted, more than once, that the meteor shower was happening, beyond the overcast sky, even if we could not see it. Who cares if she can kiss? She can see through the clouds.” ― John Green, Turtles All the Way Down

silent as dust falling in the sea of night
the Orionids light up
the dark still sea.
stars like floating bits of
phosphorus sparkle in the ocean of space.
I lie in the lawn recliner
wrapped in my grandmother’s quilt,
a thermos of pressed coffee on my lap,
black and strong as the devil’s heart.
I watch the bits of detritus
from Halley’s Comet drift by,
catching fire as they hit the earth’s atmosphere.
Gazing until the black turns to grey,
the thermos empty by now.
A faint bit of orange shows through the trees.
Stiffly I unwind and put the quilt on the
wash line, slightly damp from dew.
I check on my bees, still asleep and warm in their hive.
small *kim dishes are filled with sugar water.
I go into the house and fix my husband breakfast.
I fall into bed to sleep, to dream
of falling through the sky on fire.

*kim dish – a very small shallow dish used for dipping food into soy sauce.

Cartoon Chefs

For Victoria’s prompt on dVerse – pop art  and poetry.


Cartoon Chefs
“I love poking fun at myself. I have a rather mean sense of humor.” Alton Brown

Bam! It’s a good thing.
Now how easy is that?
Oh bother.
The phrases of the popular chefs on the tv
roll off the tongue
like cartoon colored plastic knives.
I don’t use a one of the phrases
sometimes I use a technique
or a recipe.
I love Bourdain, Brown…
sexy men who walk out of a Warhol painting
and steal my heart every single time.
Bam! Let’s kick it up a notch.
You will love it,
I gair-on-tee it.

Alton Brown puppet from Good Eats

Back in the Summer of Big Hair

Back in the Summer of Big Hair

“Your best days are ahead of you. The movie starts when the guy gets sober and puts his life back together; it doesn’t end there.” ― Bucky Sinister, Get Up: A 12-Step Guide to Recovery for Misfits, Freaks, and Weirdos

Many years ago,
back in the summer of big hair
I was cheffing in a small restaurant in PTown.
I was turning out 500 covers a night
and sucking down cocaine like it was Vick’s vapo-rub.
I carried my addiction with me for years
along with alcohol.
I went in and out of lovers like I went through nightly covers –
an endless production of food.
One night sitting at the edge of the ocean,
feeling the water getting higher and higher and higher
I sat until I was almost covered.
It came to me –
stupid. You are killing yourself.
I stood up and slogged myself to the shore.
I bottomed out and went the way of 12 Steps.
I picked a good sponsor. I got sober.
I learned to live not high.
I went to Japan.
I learned to honor the seasons.
I learned to love myself.
I came back home to the South.
I learned how to really live.
It is now October,
October of the season and October of my years.
I sit up in my oak tree
and enjoy the peace of the woods,
the impossibly blue sky, the sound of animals.
I love October.
I love the autumn more than I ever
loved the burning hot summer of my youth.
I draw the bow across my violin and begin to play.

La Musica Notturna Delle Strade Madrid from my personal playlist, a short version from the movie at the end of Master and Commander

Why are all the sexy guys chefs and…geeky?

Anmol is hosting dVerse and asks us to write a profile of someone.  In the title, I am referring of course to Chef Alton Brown.  I love a knife wielding man with brains and humor.


Why are all the sexy guys chefs and…geeky?
“Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it.”
“Laughing brains are more absorbent.” Alton Brown

He is a southern boy,
says po-lenta and grits are the same
and proves it.
He constructs a pepper grinder from
a grinder and a power drill.
Builds constructs of sugar crystals
and fat from Tinker Toys.
Interacts with puppets representing yeast
or bacteria.
He is the science guy.
He is the chef.
He is a member of a band
and does a mean two step.
He is witty and chops veggies
like he was on fire.
And he alive and loves life
and food and his rescue dogs.

Newborn Autumn

Newborn Autumn
“An autumn forest is such a place that once entered you never look for the exit!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan

we don’t think of it as newborn,
but it is.
tender green leaves on the trees,
aging and turning bright.
apples on the tree and pumpkins in the fields.
nuts on the ground – hickory – my favorite –
opening their hulls and showing what was hidden
all during the summer.
the crisp air and the impossibly blue sky with purest
white clouds at a standstill in the midst of the blue.
lakes and oceans gasping their last
bit of warmth until the cold overtakes them.
newborn autumn –
getting older until the first snow.

Enough Bullets

Enough Bullets
“The moon rode in the sky – a hunted thing dodging behind wisps of tattered cloud, and the air was heavy and wet and redolent of dying leaves. (“The Refugee”)” ― Jane Rice

in times of war
no matter how little gas they had
or food or medical supplies,
they always had enough bullets.

beneath the moon –
the full moon or new moon
or crescent moon or half moon
they killed each other.

under this full October
hunters moon we kill each other
and this earth.
soon only the moon will remain
looking on in somber disregard.

Autumn I

a gogyohka. An untitled Japanese form of five lines. There is no syllable count per line but each line must be a short stand alone phrase. The lines can be between one word or more, but the phrase is brief. It was invented by Enta Kusakabe in Japan and translates literally to “five-line poem.” An off-shoot of the tanka form, the gogyohka has very simple rules: The poem is comprised of five lines with one phrase per line. That’s it.

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”― John Howard Bryant

new born autumn
leaves still green
autumn blue sky overhead
grass is fading
hot weather still hovers

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