Abandoned Kitchen

For Carrie’s Sunday Muse Blogspot.

Abandoned Kitchen
“Did you ever wonder Why abandoned houses looked so sad Much like the people Their exterior was only for the function.” Maria Lehman, The Dreaming Doors

the door opens.
The smell hits you –
dampness, mold,
cold lifeless things.
there is a darker sort of silence
as if the kitchen is holding its breath,
holding it for so long
it had forgotten how to breathe.

Sleeping Bee

I went out to check on my bees because there have been some very cold nights. I put the stethoscope next to the hive and listened rather than breaking the hive open and letting in the cold air. To my satisfaction, my bees are fine. This is for Kim’s challenge on Real Toads, The Uncertainty of a Poet. I don’t know if I did this right. It isn’t my style at all but it is interesting.

Sleeping Bee
“We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.” Marcus Aurelius

I am a bee in a hive.
I am a sleeping bee.

I am a warm bee safe in the middle
of other sleeping bees.

other sleeping bees are warm
and snuggled together.

I am a snuggling bee sleeping through winter
winter is outside the hive

outside the hive winter roars
let the winter roar

I am safe within my hive
I am sleeping in a hive

I will awaken in spring
I will sleep no longer

sleeping bees

Poison Ivy

I was in hospital for several weeks while I was six due to a horrible poison ivy infection.  The first thing I did when we bought our house was to search out all of the poison ivy on the place and use a special weed killer to end it.  For Kim’s prompt on dVerse, Sylvia and Ted. Writing about useless things that grow.  Tersets. I guess.  Write in the format of Sylvia Plath or Ted Huges.


Poison Ivy

“Inside leaflets like mittens will itch like the dickens. Leaves of three, let it be.” Old Time Thymes about poison ivy.

poison ivy is sneaky
lying in wait for
the unaware

horrible itchy rash –
covering your body
from head to toenails

Poison Ivy

All the Songs Are Sad

For Carrie’s Sunday Muse BlogSpot.

After The Rain
Cyril Rolanda

All the Songs Are Sad
“The sadness of the incomplete, the sadness that is often Life, but should never be Art.” – E. M. Forster

nothing but sad poems,
sad songs today.
it seems in spite of the sun
it is raining everywhere
and it is a hard cold rain
flooding the landscape.

13 Ways of Looking at Autumn Leaves

For Frank’s prompt at dVerse – imitating poetry. I don’t care for rhymes and rhythms so I am doing poetry ala Wallace Stevens

13 Ways of Looking at Autumn Leaves
“Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.” ― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

autumn leaves float
on the surface of the pond
dreaming of summer
wind blows through the trees
rustling the leaves.
they become
an ocean of sound
an owl sails through
the night sky –
the autumn leaves sleep
leaves sunk to the bottom
of the pond
are the color of the eyes of deer
crows in the trees
cackle and crow –
the leaves fall in silence
blown by the wind
the lacy foliage of a cedar
captures an autumn leaf
cold wind causes the leaves
to shiver and shake –
bitterness under a full moon
leaves fall –
the branches are almost bare.soon, soon.
picking up an autumn leaf
all the colors in one.
under the fallen leaves
hickory nuts hide from the squirrels.
leaves like fallen banners
stick to the asphalt.
crows hop from bare branch
to bare branch – they enjoy the sun.
the last leaf clings to the branch.
snow begins to fall –
the last leaf finally lets go.

The Awakening

For the Midweek Motif at Poets United:  Awakening

The Awakening

*”S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse A persona che mai tornasse al mondo, Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.  Ma penciocche gammai di questo fondo Non torno viva alcun, s’i’odo il vero, Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo”   “If I thought that my reply were given to anyone who might return to the world, this flame would stand forever still; but since never from this deep place has anyone returned alive, if what I hear is true, without fear of infamy I answer thee.”  Translation from the Italian in Dante’s Inferno

**Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table….” Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, T.S.Eliot

I was eleven. I was bored.
I wandered into the kitchen and whined.
My grandmother was busy making strawberry jam.
I whined until she said,
take this spoon and keep stirring.
She left and went to our library and returned
10 minutes later.
Here. Read this. This will keep you amused for a few days.
She handed me a battered book.
I took the book and went up on the sleeping porch
and to the wuftwuftwuft of the overhead fans,
I began to read.
I read the whole collection of poems
over the next couple of days.
My mind was blown.
“Till human voices wake us, and we drown.”
I was awakened.

*Epigraph to Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
**Beginning of Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock




Day of the Dead – Dia de los Muertos

The holiday is celebrated from October 31 – November 2, approximately.  It honors the departed spirits of our loved ones.  I got this idea from my friend Jo who saw the flickering lights in a graveyard.


Day of the DeadDia de los Muertos
“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” – Thomas Campbell

the graveyard sparkles at night –
all the little lights, solar powered of course.
at the base of each stone
glows red, blue, orange, white,
some flicker some hold steady
but they light the way
for the departed souls.
all the elements are there –
water, wind, earth, and fire.
a wind whispers through the stones
lifting the paper banners,
bread is left on a plate –
some sweet rolls, some whole wheat,
some crackers, whatever the live person can afford.
water to quench the thirst of the spirits,
bread to sate their hunger.
we celebrate our departed dead
as they return this day to be with us.
throw your kiss into the wind.
shout with joy that they are here with us,
not just today but everyday.



Trees Speak Louder Than Words

Linda asks us to explore surrealism in poetry.   Stream of consciousness poetry or surrealism doesn’t have to be long.  Joyce, Wolf, Faulkner, Proust, Kerouac, Vonnegut were masters of the craft of surreal or stream of consciousness writing.  I’ve read them all.  Obviously my SOC is not messy – organized SOC.  But when it goes, it does wander.  I wrote this last year in the winter. I have shortened it by cutting the poem in half.


Trees Speak Louder Than Words
“Listen: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time…” – Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five

and so it goes –
do I dare to eat a peach
or do I dare to eat an apple…
the trees speak louder
than a letter being opened with a boning knife –
rolling down the road hoppity-skip
and into the ditch.
you act as if you are the queen or king of creation.
yet I look at you as if you were a waterfall.
no flarf for me.
soc…stream of consciousness
the massacre of the Lakota Sioux
at Wounded Knee…
the sound of trees is louder
than a bullet through the air

image from Slaughterhouse Five

Curtain of Night

A quadrille for De who hosts today at Dverse Poets Pub. A quadrille is a poem, any form, sans title, of exactly 44 words using the prompted word. The word today is “crack” or any variant of the word crack.

strong>Curtain of Night
“I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.” – Jack London

the earth passes through the remnants
of Tempel-Tuttle asteroid.
Fire flies past quicker than thought,
in the blackness of the night,
the curtain cracks
letting the stars pour forth.
sit motionless and silent
becoming one with the stars.
gaze through the window of night.


For Bjorn’s prompt at Real Toads.  He asks us to flashback to a time and place in our memories.  Smells, songs, words will all take us there.  Thank you for the interesting prompt! 15 lines on the 15th in Honor of Shay Fireblossom, a true poet and friend.

“Ghosts don’t haunt us. That’s not how it works. They’re present among us because we won’t let go of them.” ― Sue Grafton, M is for Malice

The sign said, Pansies for Sale.
I closed my eyes and remembered
pansy eyes.
I am surrounded by ghosts.
I remember lovers, chefs, drugs, family.
Mostly I remember the pansy brown eyes
of my grandmother dying from bone cancer,
my mother’s pansy brown eyes
as she lay dying from the effects
of dementia and heart failure.
Even in winter I remember that perfect June day.
She closed those wilted pansies
for the last time.
I remember that perfect June day
not long after she died of your dying by your own hand.


Dark Country Road

This is for dVerse Poet Pubs, Prosery.  I don’t get Flash Fiction.  I hope I did okay.  I thought this had to be written in prose form but apparently, it doesn’t. I will do as I will next time.

Dark Country Road
“A swift rhythm is played out by my hands, a cadence known only to those who have strung tobacco. To many, the meter and rhythm of stringing is the only poetry they’ve ever known.” ― Brenda Sutton Rose

Hot night in July – needing to be out of the city, rolling down a smooth country two lane blacktop, Black countryside, no lights showing in the few houses. All are sleeping the sleep of exhaustion. Folks have to get up early go to work in the surrounding tobacco fields. Rolling past rows of tobacco broken only by the dark houses.  Past another small house, dark. Ahead off to the right a dirt road. I pull off and go down it slowly. Dust invisible but I can smell it, thick whiffs of sharp iron and sweeter lime. In the headlights the road is pale pink but in the daylight, it will be red as blood. A meteor shower explodes in the night sky. I stop in the middle of the road to stare, amazed. If it’s darkness we’re having, let it be extravagant.


tobacco farm and barn

Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

For Anmol’s prompt at Real Toads, perspective.

Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off
“You say potayto, I say potahto. I say tomayto, you say tomahto…” George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin

I say a shite poem is a shite poem.
You whine and get angry because I didn’t
say the usual that it is epic, wonderful, blah blah blah.
the critic says the play is a flop,
the audience gives it a standing O.
the customer sends the dinner back
and says it is garbage.
The chef laughs and calls the customer a
boor with the palate of a cement mixer.
It is a matter of perspective,
of opinion of taste.
So Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.
Let’s not be honest anymore
and only speak in emojis and superlatives.
Let’s give it a AAA when it deserves
an F-…okay?

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