switch / 18

Being a parent has not been the same as being apparent. I struggle
to remember 17, and why I forgot – the brick wall towering
between that child with a fearful heart and the exposed-nerve world
and this one, here, raging again
/st those profanely boring comfortable shoes
worn by his teachers, and their teaching
to the tests.

Where was he happy?
Either he.
Is, I suppose. Is.

Maybe by flipping the bird lid and asking the most obvious question:
how to cut through the poetic bullshit
the candling words, the license to lie
because turning a noun into an adjective is cute
but doesn’t show him happy.

Maybe it’s this backflip into the waves. Maybe it’s the fine arc
inscribed by a frisbee, from his hand to mine. Maybe it’s not
any of these, just the steady breathing that you hear
when sharing the same room, which isn’t something
you can do when you live apart.

Maybe here’s the switch: to take the lines on this screen
and turn.



for Brendan’s Turns of the Tale: Poetic Surprise prompt, in the imaginary garden with real toads.

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads
and linked to Day 18, NaPoWriMo, where Maureen prompts us to look for the sound of home. This would be its antonym, perhaps.

(t)ripple / 17

the Blind Melon version: 3 is a Magic Number

one’s too lonely
two’s quite homey
but three make family

it’s always 3
for bad news or babies
not to conflate the 2

supple ripple
couple triple
three the witchy nipple

I shouldn’t go on. It’s past 3. But something wrinkles
the blanket, burrs the saddle, spurs the flank
even when little’s left in the tank



more fragments and NOT haiku, this time for Hedgewitch’s Poetry to the Third Power prompt in the imaginary garden with real toads.

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

off the almanac prompt, but linked to Day 17, NaPoWriMo 2016


main / 16

image by Karin Gustafson, via real toads
image by Karin Gustafson, via real toads


tongues. get lost in tongues:
French say ‘main’ for hand

so is remain
hand it over again?
over your eyes a visor
under your pits: cold
wave in the air like you just don’t care
is the main thing

main once meant open ocean
so is remain
being again at sea?
do you squint at the distance?
or shiver in her somber embrace
as each wave brings you closer, takes you far
from the main thing



fragment for Karin’s In the Remains of the Month prompt in the imaginary garden with real toads.

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads
linked to Day 16, NaPoWriMo 2016, if not really to the prompt

remainder / 15


for the remainder of the month I’ll count
backwards, reverse, but if I start

today I’ll be one short
and not know what to do

at the beginning, at the end
with one shiny day

empty of slanted words
waiting words

weighted words.
perhaps you’ll tell me: start

again, perhaps

there will be enough light



a 55 with a twist on the doubles prompt for Day 15, NaPoWriMo 2016





not linked, but visit Angie’s challenging word list prompt in the imaginary garden with real toads

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

indiscipline / 14

Indiscipline, by King Crimson. Fair Use


I repeat myself when under stress
all the damn time
singing past stop signs with Crimson or the Heads

as singing is more of a caress
than screaming – it’s a sign
that I’ve stopped time to care, my head’s awake

just a bit longer – this time, the skull’s not dead –
but should the song stop – well, then, I didn’t brake



a pedestrian san san for Day 14, NaPoWriMo 2016. Visit the other poets for better examples.

NaPoWriMo 2016
NaPoWriMo 2016





not to Kerry’s interesting In Other Words prompt today at imaginary garden with real toads, so not linked, but pay a visit for inspiration.

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

walls / 13

image via real toads
Caplica Czaszek in southwestern Poland. image via real toads


we are the same
dust as you, compressed

we are the same bones
as you, undressed

don’t worry
we’ll wait
to add you to our story



to Mama Zen’s If These Walls Could Talk prompt, in the imaginary garden with real toads

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads
linked to Day 13, NaPoWriMo 2016