borrowed from University of Bergen. Fair use, no infringement intended
borrowed from University of Bergen. Fair use, no infringement intended


air is thinner
what does that mean, ‘thinner’
like paper? like me
young, not old

like the veneer on that Ikea table
and not a solid oak desktop
or the air a mile high
– two miles below Kibo hut on Marangu route –

so I couldn’t push on to Kili’s summit
because of the damn jackhammer
the arteries in my head had let in.
still, the view was spectacular

when I could look up between vomits.
some of the others pushed on –
they set foot on Mawenzi, on Uhuru
on the top of the center of the world

and I wondered: what if my feet had taken me there?
would I feel differently today about summits,
about achievement, about seeing the sky?
but then I remember the cloud tops.

the summit? it’s a push, either way.



for Shay’s Fireblossom Friday: Touch of Gray prompt, in the imaginary garden with real toads

In 1987, I didn’t quite make Kilimanjaro’s summit, but did make Kibo hut on the Marangu route, to about 15,500 feet in elevation. No food for 2 days then 1 bowl of tomato soup in, equalled 3 bowls out. Yucky and looked terrible and felt terrible but was actually pretty funny – to the damn Belgian tourist taking photos of me yacking. Damn tourists.


from the archives, reposted to The Tuesday Platform in the imaginary garden with real toads, because I haven’t really anything new.

here’s the original video:

video and copyright Islands & Rivers – Liberty Smith and Sophie Windsor Clive. No infringement intended – author will remove if requested.

and if it matters, here’s a reading:


video and copyright Islands & Rivers – Liberty Smith and Sophie Windsor Clive. No infringement intended – author will remove if requested.

We’ll murmur and tingle and fly will we
above the lapping wave
settle into a wing or three
the humble and the brave

we’ll tumble and loft and catapult
dip dive skim high and low
we’ll wish our skins into the skies
leave earth so far below

let murmur and exult and rush take hold
let’s hush and swoon on the sea
let’s you and I and the moving winds
set us, let’s set us free

we’re wings, we’re winds, we’re the earth and the sea
we’re the sky and the boat – you and me
let’s murmur and tingle and fly for ourselves
let’s joy in this rhapsody



a bit of an unfinished piece for Kerry’s Rhapsody challenge at imaginary garden with real toads

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Amawalk River, NY
Amawalk River, NY

small hands and small feet
hair black as night

and closed eyes.
the earth wobbles on her axis

the melting poles tilt us with all that water
once locked, now flow(i)n(g)

and your brothers now taller than me.
your urn has no eyes, no hands, just dust

inside and out
while your mother carries you

inked to her wrist, light
but ever-present.

my only ink lies
on this page: you are impermanent

as ever
now, you are for ever



for Brendan’s Harrows and Hallows prompt in the imaginary garden with real toads

face / 25

here’s the last 4 minutes of the last day of the last writing I will ever do
this month.

and so the clock slams its face against my nose, its hands grabbing mine
saying NO, no, there isn’t time
there isn’t time.

but never underestimate courage
or desperation
or the taste of the very last moment



a final 55 for Day 30, NaPoWriMo 2016

no where close to prompt anywhere.

don’t forget to visit the imaginary garden with real toads

we were / 24

we were the water that bumped and smooth-flowed, wet
but not cold, bonds that slipped and let go.

we were the crawl.
we were the reach, the arch, the rising spine.
we were opposable

thumbs, rocks, sticks, we were splinters and bombs
we were words, the puncture kind that poke and split and sigh.

we are near and nigh, in your ear, in our eye.
and so what I remember is less

than what I saw is less than what I felt
when the door closed, and more

hope, it seems, is what I remember.
hope, and surrender



inversely (abstract versus concrete) to Maureen’s I Remember prompt for Day 29, NaPoWriMo 2016

and sort of to Bjorn’s Instapoetry prompt in the imaginary garden with real toads, where I’m looking out the window at the soon to open Monmouth Park Track near the roots of Bruce Springsteen, in New Jersey, and this came to mind.

ima / 23


I’m dirt.
I’m a rasping sack of air that noisily, poorly, dilutes oxygen with carbon.
I’m a bag of warm water and bones.
I’m laughing.
I’m a sack of precise, mutated DNA cluttered with random social instructions.
I’m a glimmer in my parent’s eyes.
I’m not even a thought.



Mama Zen asks, in under 50 words, Who Are You? in the imaginary garden with real toads.

Maureen says to write backwards for Day 28, NaPoWriMo.

there was not time for tea / 22

In Sandy Hook the killer spreed and wanton death was made his creed – but first came powers from the sea – from faceless Hurricane Sandy.

There was not time for tea; not time for rest, or to love gently; the ocean flowed, overly, removing all trace of humanity days before the human did.

Yes, it’s a different Sandy Hook, in Jersey than Connecticut – but both were lashed with wroth and froth.

Now, where do we sit when the clouds blow, and the black powders blow, when the pesticides have laced their black wings into the leaves which we steep in hot water and take into ourselves?

Where do you sit now that we know the wind will never stop blowing?



sort of for Rommy’s much gentler prompt on The Way of Tea, in the imaginary garden with real toads.

and sort of to the long sentence prompt, at Day 27, NaPoWriMo

sorry for not commenting – been so busy – but will be back around in a week or two to pay more attention…

I’m near Asbury Park and Sandy Hook, NJ, where in 2012 Hurricane Sandy devastated the area. A few weeks later, in Sandy Hook, CT, a killer tore into a school with his bullets.

Flying into Newark, witnessed both the awesome and awful handiwork humans have wrought on the landscape. Flying over the Great Lakes, looked down at the brown effluent flowing into the great blue – a brown/ tan hue, swirling like a Nike swoop. Perhaps it’s time for tea…