one eye closed


Bessie with one eye


what if I were to say no
one was hurt.

what if I were to mourn his great-grandmother
her car, taken from us ignobly

and sudden as a rat-trap.
what if I described disruption

and betrayal, how his friends took his trust
and car without permission

only to crash, yards from school
and how pain in the flesh

how you can focus on it, curse it, push against it
might be preferable

to that hollow, churning pit-sense
we forget we have, until it bites.

what if I were to give them all time
machines to travel in

and the wisdom to choose differently
what if I were to give that to myself?

one eye closed, Bessie will have none of that.
only what comes next.



obliquely to Kerry’s Let’s Go Back in Time prompt, in the imaginary garden with real toads.

Note: yes, this was today. My elder son’s “friends” took a (very short) joy ride in his car (which once belonged to his great-grandmother).

No joy in the ride, nor in the foreseeable future. We won’t dwell on the boys’ truancy, or lack of actual driver’s licenses, or how one of them fled the scene. Thankfully no one was hurt, and my son was not in the car.

My present 12-hour workdays just got longer, so please forgive my relative silence…

hand a’shoulder

© 1998 Center for Creative Photography: John Gutmann, Two Midget Clowns Backstage, 1940. John Gutmann Archive
© 1998 Center for Creative Photography: John Gutmann, Two Midget Clowns Backstage, 1940. John Gutmann Archive


what’s uncommon
you might have guessed:
sympathy; hand a’shoulder

both ears open
not waiting to add
a word

a feather to your own cap
confident in the one you have
comfortable enough

in waiting
just to listen.
either that or waiting

for the right moment
to sneak your friend’s smoke
the second he looks away



double dipping, and getting in before the rush: offered to Words Count with Mama Zen, with the focus on ekphrasis in under 60 words – and to Flash 55 Plus, where Hedgewitch is subbing for Kerry, and the Plus is exploring 2’s in exactly 55 words – both in the imaginary garden with real toads

Dread (not)


I dread to read the raid is dead
The captain’s feedbag filled with head
The ocean floor became their bed
So many words now left unsaid.

Naught but dread! Not that crippled craft
Crowned by a sole, limping raft
Open to every drop, each winding draft
– The limp-eyed cap who only laughed

As the great grey prey turned, ringing
Blackened cannonballs singing
Happy (to them) songs of mirth and bringing
Dread to once-hunters, now cringing

At how quickly grin sours to grim.
But not him, not him, not him –

Dread the welcome goose that bumps his skin
Dread his closest friend; his only kin.



Been floundering of late, but this hooked me – for Fireblossom Friday – Dread prompt, in the imaginary garden with real toads.


at Penn's Landing, view before sunrise- Ben Franklin Bridge peeking
at Penn’s Landing, view before sunrise – Ben Franklin Bridge peeking


Franklin slept here between bolts
of cloth and a cold
that curls up the cobblestones
like a friendly cat
turned mean


Before we even saw them: two lithe young men
etched with smiles and dark eyebrows violined
a sonata I can’t pretend
to recognize, notes sparrowing up the escalator
off the ceiling far overhead Jefferson Station



edit – now officially for Kerry’s In a Grain of Sand Micro Poetry prompt, in 10 or fewer lines, in the imaginary garden with real toads




today was to be your day
and tomorrow, and yesterday, and everyday

is the day you are dead.
there is no marker

set in stone on a wall or lain in grass

just these electrons

for I have no chisel, nor even a pen
anymore; I have left

all the words
scribed in your ash




prettypetalstudio at Getty Images. Fair Use (non-commercial)
prettypetalstudio at Getty Images. Fair Use (non-commercial)

you turned 18
next week.

your eyes crinkled at my dad jokes.
you ankled lace-up boots and floated
a crinoline dress to prom
the same way dandelions flit and puff on a breeze.

you gave up
your seat to a stranger on the bus
upon noticing how she cut her hands
on the bag straps.

you cried when you broke
that boy’s heart.

you beat your heart faster
than your chest could hold
18 years ago

and now the only truth is the last



for Izy’s Out of Standard prompt, to write of something that never happened, in the imaginary garden with real toads, and De’s Let’s Get Jambin’ prompt on enjambment, at dVerse.

Caleigh would have turned 18 on November 10th.