The Dark Place

Day 23 of NAPOWRIMO. Sanaa’s prompt is to write a ghost story or a story that calls to darkness.  It is open link day at Toads but I am following the prompts for the 30 in 30.

The Dark Place

…”when the sun hides its face for years at a time, and little children
are born and live and die all in darkness while the direwolves grow gaunt and
hungry, and the white walkers move through the woods” George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

in the woods across the road there is a corner –
dark amidst the brightness of green
and tree filtered light.
the corner is in the northwest quadrant
and in that space is a small stone, old
and covered with moss beginning to crumble.
on the stone is Rest in Peace and it points
to the west – not the east.
the people who buried this person
hoped he would not rise again.
the corner is dark, even at high noon –
heavy dead vines, like calcified snakes
strangle the life out of the two trees
in that corner, no green growth,
no animal life, even the fallen leaves
blow away in the wind leaving the hard earth
bare. I don’t know who is buried there.
I just know I walk past
the place quickly, with my fingers crossed,
and my head down.
The darkness calls out to me
but I dare not heed.
I dare not heed.


It is the 22nd Day of NAPOWRIMO. For Fireblossom’s last prompt at Real Toads. she is asking us to pick a pic and write about it. The pics are based upon her posts throughout the years. The title of the prompt is Beware of Poor Substitutions! Shay, thanks for being a friend and a poetic mentor.

“I know it’s not butter.” Anthony Bourdain

instant coffee – Postum no less.
Ersatz powdered crèamer.
Powdered artificial sweetener.
No wonder I can’t get going in the morning.
Or rather,
the false dawn in which my digital alarm goes off.
tokens in the fare slot on the bus,
a Danish with artificial jam.
No wonder I crash and burn before 9:00 a.m.
my plane crashes on the runway –
I don’t stand a chance.


The Notes: Postum is a powdered roasted-grain beverage popular as a coffee substitute. The caffeine-free beverage was created by Post Cereal Company founder C. W. Post in 1895 and marketed as a healthful alternative to coffee.

No Substitutions Allowed

For Fireblossom’s prompt over at toads for Day 22 of NAPOWRIMO:  Beware of Poor Substitutions


No Substitutions Allowed
“I can believe it’s not butter.” Anthony Bourdain

Years ago I went to a sleepover at a school friend’s
and three of us spent the night and stayed for breakfast.
I was 12 at the time and come to think of it,
that was the first and last time I went to a girl’s sleepover.
Giggling about boys, fixing up each other’s hair,
doing makeup, reading teen mags and swooning over
the lackluster stars contained therein.
for lunch we had bacon lettuce and tomato sandwiches and
tuna salad sandwiches and I presumed, coca cola.
My first bite into the BLT caused me to choke.
horror of horrors they had used generic mayonnaise!
Not Hellman’s mind you but…no name brand!
I held the bite in my mouth and went to the bathroom
and there I spat it out.
Not only that but the tomato was a flavorless
mushy tomato from somewhere,
not a good summer tomato.
I returned to drink my glass of cola
and discovered…
you guessed it,
it was Generic Cola,
not coke.
I went home and stormed to my parents –
As god is my witness I’ll never eat
generic mayo and winter tomatoes again
and drink no name cola again!.
People with no taste buds should never ever
invite people to eat a meal with them.
That’s all I have to say.
and margarine instead of butter?
hell no

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.


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

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