Sep 18

This is Skinny Love

This is not for the chaotic ride.
You must stick with until done--
scream at the top and sob at the bottom--
last until you are the only one. 

This is not for the feeble heart.
You must mend the gory wounds
and not mind the itching of scabs
to see the scarring all through.

This is not for the pleasure of life.
You must grab the core of my soul
and rip out the infection before disease
infests my body and does a fatal toll. 

This is not for the weak-minded.
You must hold my tremoring hand 
and hold me down when I cry for release
as I crumble at the last stand.

This is not for the long lasted.
You will grieve the nights I am not home
and pound fists into the ground of my grave,
but you will remember how I loved you some.
Sep 18

Taking Candy From a Baby

Yes, it may be easy 
To abruptly rip something euphoric 
From the hands of a growing human
Who is fresh into this world of cruelty
Learning the shapes and colors of life
And introduce the harsh reality 
Sooner rather than later. 

But why not let it marinate?
While the child still contains joy
While the child still sees the candy
As only candy and not cavities;
While they have the smile of a
Dentist office poster board.

They do not have the strength
To fight back, or to voice concern, or
To advocate for their rights to candy.
All they have is the older generation,
Who has had candy stolen, crushed, 
Eaten right in front of their faces
As tears poured down their rosy cheeks. 

Yes, it may be easy
To continue to be greedy and take
More than what we need or want, 
But it is truly far easier
To see this exuberant baby 
Sep 14
poem challenge: Flowers

Golden iris

In honor of my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Sawyer, who raised the best mother I could ever have.

This week during the steaming afternoon 
of a Delaware Wednesday in late May 
my mother told me she hated the in-

between of spring and summer. “Everything
is just green, there is nothing else,” but I 
tend to like the various shades of green;

some deeply saturated in the shade 
of maples, others pale and glistening 
in the sun's glance. I noticed a sole gold

iris standing stoic and proud to be
the last of her kind this season. Despite
such strength she possesses, she is always

positioned perfectly like a vintage 
painting you might find in a northeastern
continental mansion. She beckons the 

neighboring bees and insects to collect
their pollen, lapping up the light of the
sun like an overheated dog. She waves
Sep 12

Myth of the Reaper

The sounds of some louder men stain
The sheets of some quieter women.

Then grows the silence that reaps the hills
Where Death seldom speaks.

I've heard the voice of the Grim Reaper;
She is as holy as she is deadly.

She preaches the words of God
Like a mourning dove calling for her late lover.

Like the pastors lecture the sheep
While the shepherds heard the wolves.

The women whisper their virulent teachings
In bed with soothed men, finally, at peace.
Sep 09

Inquiries for Greek Gods and Goddesses

I want to shed my skin like a snake and 
be offered to gods of divinity;
Aphrodite is it possible to 
be beautiful without immortal youth?

I stick in the blunt tongues of sinners like 
peanut butter and honey, relentless 
in my demands; Dionysus can I
become drunk on my own satisfaction?

I give myself to the world like an art-
ist in the prime of their best creations;
Apollo is it still music if the
lyrics are offbeat and the notes are weak?

I exile my smiles to the forests like 
wayward boys learning to become soldiers;
Thetis is it true that violence is what
makes the sweet young cub a golden lion?
Aug 28
poem challenge: Colors

It's Memorial Day-

and the night sky is painted in bursts of color
that come and go in maniacal waves: first is ruby,
and then topaz, then dashes of seaweed and coral,
and finally, eruptions of violet and dandelion shine on 
the twilight blank canvas. I have never known
explosions to collaborate into rainbow mosaics
and was raised on crimson splattered across 
the frosted grass like blotches on a prize cow.
Children scatter throughout the backyard with
sparklers dangling from their hands. They
transform into shooting stars, jubilant comets.
The condensation from the chilled beer in the
hands of veterans and their sons (soon-to-be vets)
shimmer like far away galaxies named after our
nations heroes. As the new young sun, I am to 
burn for my country and spark fires in chests of
meandering planets and voracious black holes. 
This is my heritage of embers. I have never read
Aug 19

Mother Don't Leave Me

Mother don’t leave me, raise me like one of your garden beds.
Mother don’t leave me, teach me everything you know about soil, about nature.
Mother don’t leave me, show me how to navigate the forest after a storm.
Mother don’t leave me, ask me to till the ground and plant the foxglove.
Mother don’t leave me, work me until I cry about the blisters and then mend them. 
Mother don’t leave me, guide me into the wilderness and we will gather wild berries.
Mother don’t leave me, tell me the stories of my ancestors as we water the hydrangea.
Mother don’t leave me, give me your worries and I will cast them aside in the compost.
Mother don’t leave me, carry me when I am wounded, and kiss my tears aside. 
Mother don’t leave me, hold me until you are wilted and brittle and then I will hold you.
Mother don’t leave me, nurture me as you would a late blooming flower, as you would yourself.
Aug 17

Mother Deerest

My baby was stolen in the late afternoon of a wet spring day
as we grazed the forest in peace with no worry in our minds.
I had warned her of the greedy beast who stalked our home,
but it was our season to flourish and enjoy the sprouting flowers
and the frost melting to reveal plenty of pockets of chilly moss. 

She was dragged away into the woods bleating and terrified,
and the sun crept across the sky illuminating the covering canopy.
She pleaded for me, to run and save her from the merciless monster. 
Her cries grew further with each parting breath, I could not move;
my legs trembled like when my baby was born, a month ago from today.

Another boom rippled through the wilderness, but I shrieked to hear a
wavering call in reply, and suddenly my legs started to run in search.
I called again, frantically chasing the sound of my baby through the 
Jul 30
poem challenge: Writing 2022

A Bleeding Blooming

I am too terrified to love something that is right out of reach.
So, I dig a solemn grave for my decaying soul with indifference and leave
My body to harbor a sprouting stem and petals of a spring peony.
You absentmindedly pluck it, my heart from my chest, still blossomed and beating;
Cup it in your hands, watch ruby honeydew pool in your palms, still raw and bleeding.
Plant it in your front yard, the frontal lobe, behind the peripheral of your greed.
Water the soil with my syrupy blood and watch my new organs grow in speed.
Over time the patches of moss and ferns will foster into a forest of weeds.
Brambles found a latibule; the garden wherein my roots heal the core oak trees.
This thorny apparition is your cupidity latching to the wood like a disease,
You are my birth, you are my life, you are my death, will I ever have my release?
Jul 09
poem challenge: Writing 2022

Would That Be Too Much To Ask?

There is still hope for us yet. 
I only listen to Bon Iver now
because he is your new favorite artist,
just to learn something as personal as 
your eclectic favoring in music. 
Would that be too much to ask?

Is there still hope for us yet?
Like the minutes beyond an afternoon
shower, waiting for a rainbow, asking
politely of the clouds to move aside
to savor this nostalgia. 

Still, is there hope for us yet?
Because summer is cooling off like a
dog, and mercury will soon be in a 
retrograde, and I am too anxious to
ask for a sunset drive in your early
2000s busted Volvo. 

Yet, there is still hope for us.
Since we share but an essay of words and
a reflection of glances with hidden
messages laced in sunken irises, 
I have yet to learn why you love music
sung soft in a sultry tongue. 

There is still hope for us yet.