Saturday, April 30, 2016

And the years go by....(National Poetry Month #30)

First glance
Shy smile
Flirtatious wink
Casual contact
Hands held
First kiss
Hand on the back of the neck
Shiver down the spine
Tentative explorations
Learning the language
Passionate embrace
Heart racing
Breath caught in your throat
Mouth gone dry
Then wet
Shivers leading to shudders
Heart pounding
Deep breathing
Legs shaking
Fingers tracing
Deep sighs
Contented happiness
Shorthand language
Hand holding
Knowing smiles
Deep contact
Hearts beating together
Last looks

Friday, April 29, 2016

Found Poem...(National Poetry Month #29)

Today's poem was a total experiment in a new form. Found poetry.

It's where you take a printed page and find a poem in the words.

I liked the idea and wanted to give it a try sometime this month. And well, since we are almost out of month I decided today would be the day.

Well then came the other challenge. What printed page? And I got the brilliant (HA!) idea of using Donald Trump's recent foreign policy speech. I mean, come on, that would be outstanding!

Except it was really hard. He repeats words. A lot. He leaves out common usage words that make things flow. And it was on foreign policy so it wasn't all too poetic to start with. But being stubborn I soldiered on. Soldiered...through the foreign policy...ha!

Then came another challenge. In a lot of found poetry people draw these great pictures or doodles around the words. Well, I am not artistic in that way. So how do I get them to stand out? I came up with something that works, I think. But that led to the next challenge.

How do I post it on this blog?

I settled for a scan of the original document and we will now see if I can get that to paste in here...

If you click the picture it will get a little larger. I also translated it here for you:

Speak to the randomness
chaos and visions
the timeless theme.
Then we heed history;
after a time.
Less foolishness and arrogance
After mistakes.
Grow the idea.
Experience surprise.
Lives complete.
Vision. Purpose. Direction.

Not so great of a poem, but a really great challenge. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Quick! (National Poetry Month #28)

Oh Fuck (I shouldn't curse)
But I forgot to write my verse
It's 4 O'clock where to begin?
To skip a day would be a sin.
I was so focused on the sonnet
Just like a bee inside my bonnet
That when I scratched that impossible itch
I forgot three more days were in this bitch
But under the wire I will perform
Just like a rhyme tornado, a perfect storm.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sonnet for my Father...(National Poetry Month #27)

Don't ever confuse my meekness for mild.
Or think when I am quiet you have won.
For I will always be my father's child.
The youngest of his daughters and his sons.

I was much smaller than the rest of them
But my father never changed his firm stance
Determination, not size, brings the win.
What is your plan? You can't leave it to chance.

When he imagined a thing, he made it.
Clever hands bringing forth an invention.
Solving a problem, not throwing a fit,
See the issue, you must pay attention.

So now when the world is lost in its rage,
I pause. Stop. Then I put words on this page.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Small bites....(National Poetry Month #26)

I thought
 I would be a chapter
 in the story of your life;
 turns out I was just a bookmark. 


Why are all the books about romance
And all of the poems about heartbreak?

We all think we want that story
But we've all written that poem.


She looked in to his eyes
And saw herself
Reflected in his love
And she was beautiful


Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday haiku and explanation...(National Poetry Month #25)

Cold knife edge cuts deep
Ghosts of the past are restless
Winter wind chills me.

Water like clear glass
Reflecting emerald trees
Topsy turvy world.

Water falls into pools
While the tears fall down my face
Swimming with heartbreak

Okay so these three are just for a friend who felt my mathiku didn't count as true haiku. And in one way he is right. Traditional haiku is about seasons or nature. It's also 100 stanzas long and in Japanese so... But modern haiku is more fluid. A moment in time captured in verse. I don't follow many rules in anything I do. For me pseudohaiku is the best haiku. It makes me pare down a story to not much more than a thought. But here are a few that might satisfy my friend a little more.  At least the first two. They are season, then nature, the last being nature and emotion but much loser than the first two in connection.  

But my main reason for making this post is to emphasize that poetry should be yours. I know a lot of them have rules and structure and it's why I've been struggling with writing a good sonnet, or something in iambic pentameter. To first find an idea, then to find the words, then to fit it in to a prescribed form? So much work. So I generally don't do that. I play with words, with the pattern of the lines, with the shape and feel of the sounds in my head and in my mouth when I read them out loud. And what I really want you to take as you read a poem, any poem, not just my bad poetry, is to take what you want out of it. Who cares if the structure is off? Who cares if it follows no form? Who cares what the author meant when they wrote it? Who cares what it is supposed to REALLY mean? What does it mean to you? What do you take from it? Even if it's nothing more than a word you like the sound of, or an image that makes you pause, that's good. That's what it's there for. 

Or at least that is the way I think about it. So now you understand why I don't get really worked up about following a stricter format. Or a traditional pattern. I am not going to be mad at you for pointing it out. But I'm also not likely to change my ways. Expect more pseudohaiku than structured. Expect prose written in passive voice. Expect the hero to not be all that likable. And then expect me to change all of that when I think you are expecting things to go a certain way. That's the poetry of life...

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Haiku...(National Poetry Month #24)

Sunday haiku day
The last Sunday in April
Aren't you so relieved?

Counting on fingers
Trying to find a rhythm
Math poems are fun.

Thoughts on iambic
A sonnet that alludes me
Makes haiku comfort

Cobwebs cleared out
Or at least begging for prose
Poetry month win?

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Quick updated nursery rhyme...(National Poetry Month #23)

Sugar and spice

Barbie Dream House
With a die cast Chevy parked in back

Perfectly manicured toes
On muddy feet

And just a touch of vice

A welcoming smile, a comforting hug
A touch of "suck it up, sunshine"

A wave hello
A middle finger salute

Quips and tales

A warm cup of tea
A stiff shot of tequila

A 100 ways to say I love you
And as many more to say fuck off

And successes and fails

Kisses and hugs
Tears and shouts

Love deeper than an ocean
A temper hotter than the sun

This is what women are made of.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Questions...(National Poetry Month #22)

Where does your mind go when it wanders?
What do you see in the day when you dream?
If you follow your thoughts where do they lead?

Out the door?
Down a path?
To the sea?

Or maybe back to me...

What do you wish for upon that star?
When the candles are lit and the song is through?
When you cross your fingers and close your eyes?

Success and fame?
Wealth beyond measure?
Happiness for ever more?

Or maybe one more day with me...

What do you need when the world turns cold?
What do you seek when the light all runs away?
What do you crave when the darkness is too full?

A light on your path?

Or maybe your hand in mine...

No matter where you wander.
No matter what your wish is for.
No matter how scared you are.

I will wander with you.
I will wish next to you.
I will stand strong with you.

Me. One day more. Your hand in mine.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Just fine, thanks...(National Poetry Month #21)

She spent so many years

Too many years

All of those years

Trying to fix herself

Trying to get it right

Trying to be who they all said she should be

Why couldn't she just be like them?

Why did she have to be so difficult?

So challenging?

So odd?

She spent so many years trying to fix herself

Then she woke up one day and knew

Deep in her heart

Solidly in her soul

She had never been broken.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Totally counts...(National Poetry Month #20)


Okay, that makes it count towards National Poetry Month. And also I am using the work of a friend at the end of this rant to double down. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it's fast and loose with the rules but HELLO! I made the rules so you know they were squishy to begin with.

AND as this is a rant it's disorganized and ranty as rants are wont to be.

People are worried about silly things right now. Like where other people pee. I want to break this to you as bluntly as I can. You have already shared the bathroom with a person who is transgender. You just didn't know it. Because it wasn't a big deal. They peed. You peed. You both washed your hands (please tell me you washed your hands) and then you left. If you even noticed their face long enough for it to stick with you I would be shocked, let alone tried for a peek at their genitals.

Because we all know that trying to look at stranger's genitals isn't okay. We actually even call them privates or private parts because, well, they are private.

Now here is the other argument I keep hearing. "I'm not worried about transgender people, I'm worried about perverts who will now use this as an excuse to use the women's restroom." What? Do you even hear yourself when you talk? Why in the world would you think this would happen? Honestly? You think that there is a large contingent of people just waiting out there for an excuse to go peek in washrooms? Let me let you in on something, there aren't. You know it. If you just stop letting some fear of it drive you and look at it logically for just a moment, you know it's not true.

"Oh I am concerned about the women and girls in my family being raped or molested." Okay, well, again, this isn't going to change that. Rape and molestation are already illegal. And a bathroom bill that makes it illegal to use a women's bathroom if you are male on your birth certificate won't make anyone safer. Transgender does not equal rapist. It doesn't. They are much more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators. Violent crimes. Like getting beaten up because some idiot is pissed that the very attractive woman has a penis. Which he wouldn't know if she was allowed to use the bathroom like every other woman.

You are giving transgender adults two options. Out themselves thereby exposing themselves to potential violence OR break the law and use the bathroom they identify with.

"If you are born a male you are a male!" Okay, well, no. And let me blow your mind again. You can actually get your birth certificate changed. So you are no longer identified as male (or female as the case may be) on any document and pee freely. Oh sweet pee freedom!

So stop and think for just a minute about all of this before you start spouting your opinion based in fear. Why are you afraid? If you say it's not that you are worried about actual transgender people but just perverts, rapist and molesters, why do you think this will change their behavior? If you are afraid that men are just waiting around to sneak in to women's restrooms ask yourself again why? Why would a man suddenly feel the need to don a dress and sneak in to a bathroom? Do you really think men are that out of control? Are you of the belief that all men should be watched extremely closely because they are just rape machines waiting for the right trigger? Or would you think that was ridiculous? Because it is.

If you are worried about the safety of those around you. Then watch them. And more importantly teach them to watch out for themselves. I'm 47 years old. The only penis I have seen in a women's restroom I brought in there myself. Which, by the way, would be illegal under these laws. I would have needed to send my 3 year old in to a men's restroom all by himself. Not going to happen. I'm 47 years old. I've never seen a stranger's genitals in a bathroom. We have stalls and doors and privacy. I'm 47 years old. I live in Portland, OR, I've traveled to a few major cities, I'm sure I've shared a restroom with a transgender woman. It's not an issue.

The only time I've ever come close to being raped was by a good Christian boy, that I happened to be dating at the time. It wasn't in a bathroom. It was in a car. If I had waited for my father or my brothers' to rescue me I wouldn't say "close" to being raped. As it was I introduced his testicles to his stomach and the contents of his stomach introduced themselves to the ground. Teach your daughters to protect themselves. Teach your sons to protect themselves. Teach your daughters and your sons that rape is wrong. When they are too little to look out for themselves look out for them. Don't pretend the boogy man is a stranger in a dress in the bathroom stall. It's your clergy. It's your coach. It's your neighbor. It's your relative. It's your friend. Those are the odds.

Stop letting fear guide you. Listen to reason. Realize that you are victimizing an entire group of people that are already victimized at a high rate. And you are not making anyone any safer by doing it.

And here is the bonus content I promised to make this really fit with National Poetry Month.

Lyrics by Malcolm Risk
To be sung to the tune of "There are Worse Things I Could Do" from the musical Grease

There are worse things I could do
Than go for a number two
Even though the bathroom bill
Implies I'm there to rape or kill
The simple fact is that's not true
And there are worse things I could do

I could hide my wealth offshore
Pay zero tax for-evermore
Strip rights from low paid employees
Squeeze them till they're on their knees
Then still refuse to pay what's due
That's a thing I'd never do

I could go out on the stump
Wave a flag for Mr Trump
Support a guy whose mind's so small
That he wants to build a wall
Cause if you're different - fuck you

I could hurt those in my care
Steal innocence while no-one's there
I don't hate, I don't abuse
But I can suffer for your views
Although, to some of you, that's news...

But to pee next door to you -
THAT'S? The worst thing? I could? Doo???

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hoarders... (National Poetry Month #19)

Humans are not designed to let things go.

We buy houses with storage room.

To keep things we never use.

We rent out storage sheds.

To keep the things we don't need.

We take pictures of everything.

And never look at them again.

We read the book.

And put it back on the shelf.

Our bodies replace our cells.

But we keep our scars.

We literally store our dead in graveyards

Where we can go and visit them.

And figuratively put them in heaven

To always watch over us.

Humans are not designed to let things go.

But we tell ourselves we have.

We are practicing minimalism.

Keeping only things that bring us bliss.

Like this book.

On how to practice minimalism.

And this sign that reminds us about our bliss.

Humans are not designed to let things go.

And now you know,

Why goodbye was so hard.

Humans are not designed to let things go.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Soul Mates... (National Poetry Month #18)

He looked in to her eyes,
Cupping her chin in his hand;
"We share a soul."
She swooned.
Until there came the day
That she knew,

He had none of his own.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

If it's must be haiku...(National Poetry Month #17)

Evil thoughts abound
Cruelist twist I've ever done
Dana will love it


Slowly waking up
Lazy Sunday with no plans
Life is wonderful


Politicians speak
But nothing is really said
Do people notice?


Sunday means haiku
Thoughts measured out by the beat
With no extra room


Working on sonnets
Thirteen days left to write one
Rhyme patterns are hard.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Life.... (National Poetry Month #16)

Where there is sunshine and roses, 
There are bugs and thorns.
Where there is spring rain
There are mud puddles.
Where birds sing joyfully
There is poop on your car

Life is sunshine on your face,
With a sunburn on your nose.
Life is a walk in the woods,
With a mosquito bite on your leg.
Life is swimming in a lake,
Filled with ice cold water.

Rainbows need the rain.
Sweet offsets the bitter.
Happiness comes from the sorrow.
Sunrise follows the dark.
The calm craves the storm.
Perfection lies in the imperfect.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Inspiration...(National Poetry Month #15)

There! Quickly!

Did you see it?
Out of the corner of my eye.
Moving quickly.

Could you hear it?
Like a secret.

Just beyond my fingertips.
Almost caught it.
Just out of reach. 


Maybe tomorrow...

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Bonus Haiku (National Poetry Month #14)

Dinosaur or bird?
Pterodactyl or heron?
Flight of fantasy.


It's not you. It's me.
She nodded in agreement.
It always had been.


Rain after the sun.
A chill after the heat wave.
 Spring keeps us guessing.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Puzzling... (National Poetry Month #13)

She looked at the box
Then looked at what she had
Some of the earlier pieces weren't perfect
If she could go back and start again
Maybe they would be smoother

She mentally shuffled them around
Thought about moving a few to different places
Or maybe move them out of the picture all together
Then her puzzle would look like the picture
It would be closer to perfect

But when she looked at the box
Really looked at the picture of the puzzle
She realized that though it was smoother, more perfect
The problem was when you moved the pieces
It stopped looking like her

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Reincarnation...(National Poetry Month #12)

When I come back I want to be a cat.
Graceful. Strong. Fierce.
Stalking a jungle.
Or sleeping on a couch.
Big or small. Lion, leopard, house.
I want to be a cat.

He smiled at her.
I cannot imagine what I would be.
Being here with you. This is all.
I believe I have reached the top.
This is my highest form.
My luckiest moment.

She smiled at him.
And then he saw,
She already was the cat. 
The gleam in her huntress eye.
The flash of fang at her lip.
And still he was content to be the mouse.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Predator... (National Poetry Month #11)

Like a hawk...
Circling, watching
Like a panther...
Stalking, pacing

Around in circles
Watching for movement
White lights in the red
Closer, closer, closer

Finally she gave up.
Nothing close was free
Only back row spaces
Too far to walk

She would go to the gym another day....

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Angry poems... (National Poetry Month #10)

So persecuted
Having to share protections
Equality hurts

Bigots hide behind
Religion and trite phrases
Jesus would be sad

Men worry about pee
Telling me which stall I use
Bored with vaginas?

Your bible doesn't
Tell me where I should go pee
You shouldn't either

Jesus said "go two"
So ask what would Jesus do?
He would add cupcakes.

Hatred shouldn't be
Hidden behind backward laws
Time for a new job.

Optimism lost
Looking for a soul recharge
Turn off the T.V.

Don't bet against love.
Open your heart and your mind
Me, you, them? All we.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

! ...(National Poetry Month #9)


Eat this!
Watch this!
Change your life!

Change your life...
Watch this...
Eat this...

Friday, April 8, 2016

Freedom Fries Friday.... (National Poetry Month #8)

The scientific formula for her tears was water, salt and him. 


Life began when he saw her eyes; before that there had been only practice. 


Chubby hand reaching for my chin and I fall in love one more time. 


Contented sigh, milk drunk smile, dreams that can't be imagined, life is sweet.


I'm fine, the practiced lie, she was wonderful, but people get jealous.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

A rhyme for Marcy... (National Poetry Month #7)

There once was this Oregon chick,
Whose prose was incredibly slick
But when came the time
To bust out a rhyme 
She was grateful for this little trick.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

All the right notes...(National Poetry Month #6)


She still knew all the words
She could find the rhythm
Play the tune
Find the right melody
They were part of her soul

She could make you weep
Pull you in with the lyrics
Humming along
Swaying to the sounds
You would believe in the music

She kept playing over and over
Until her fingers bled
Her voice raw
You might believe but she didn't
She knew it was missing the harmony.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Spring showers bring....(National Poetry Month #5)

One drop of water slowly slid down the side of her iced tea glass
Gathering smaller drops in its wake as it forged a path through the condensation
A storm was coming. She had felt it on the horizon for days. Weeks. Months.

Turning to look at the dark clouds heavy with rain she thought of birth

Fat drops forming, filling.
Waiting to be released.
Potential vibrating from them
The storm would come soon
The rain would fall from its perch above to the earth below

To go where? To do what? The possibilities were endless
Nourish a tree. Give life to growth
To form a stream, a river, a lake
To be part of a glacier. Locked in deep, cold. Still. Thousands of years unchanged.
To be part of a flood. Joining others moving through causing change, destruction, death
To be deep in the ocean moving through time part of the whole yet untouched by the sun

Or a puddle
then burned
dried and gone

the sun
starting it all again
and again
new chances

The thunder rolled in the distance
The clouds shuddered in response
And released their burdens
She ran outside opening her arms
Turning her face to the skies

The storm came.
She had been ready
She knew now.
What would it be?

She felt the wetness on her face
Drops from her eyes mixed with drops from the sky
And she was reborn

Monday, April 4, 2016

Mondays.... (National Poetry Month #4)




Sunday, April 3, 2016

Spring...(National Poetry Month #3)

Spring calls for haiku
Like frogs singing in a pond
Constant night music

Trees bud with green leaves
Flowers bloom in bright colors
Eyes and nose glow red

Stop and smell the rose
Listen to the buzz of bees
Grab your epipen

Sunshine breaks the clouds
The last puddles go away
Drought worries begin

Birds singing Spring songs
Faces turn toward the sun
Happiness abounds

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Freeway...(National Poetry Month #2)

She watched the cars speeding along the freeway.
So busy. So fast. So many of them.
Red. Blue. Silver. Black. White.
Every one shiny with chrome.
Sparkling in the sunshine.
Blinding with brilliance.

If only she could catch one and hold on.
Gripping the fender as it sped along.
The wind blowing through her hair.
The world unfolding around her.
Seeing things she'd never seen.
Loving the speed. 

But before she could grab hold. 
Before she could choose, 
The cars were long gone.
Speeding down the road.
But there would be more.
The road was busy.

She usually loved the freeway. Loved the cars.
The sheer abundance. The shine. The speed.
Always chasing the thrill. The adventure.
The possibilities they brought to her.
But there were other times
When slow would be best

One road. One lane. One car. One chance.
Quieter. Slower. Maybe less shiny. 
Peaceful? Is that what she wanted?
Slow like a Sunday drive.
Enjoying the view
Taking it all in.

Yes, that might be a very nice way to live.
On a quiet side street. With fewer cars.
One at a time. Orderly. Neat. Calm.
But that had never been her brain.
She had a crowded freeway. 
Full of speed and shine. 

Time... (National Poetry Month 1)


Some people have impeccable timing
Arriving when they should,
Knowing when to leave.
Always on the beat.

She was not one of those people
Always late. Or too early.
Watching the exit.
A half a step off.

She had been born a month late.
Making her grand debut
In the hottest month,
At the worst time.

You will be late for your own funeral;
She'd been told more than once.
But would that really be 
A terrible thing?

Good timing was never her strength.
And she never really cared.
Late or early. She arrived.
Wasn't that the point?

But some things only come once.
One chance or you miss them.
But impeccable timing
Was never her gift.