Hollywood Swimming Pool

Hollywood Swimming Pool

(90 – 100 Words + Random Prompt: Your first prompt is to write a poem set entirely underwater


From my perspective,

headless socialites don’t need to learn how to swim,

they are buoyed up by their falsies,

and the greatest social trauma seems to be the lack of a Brazilian.


For those who have gone off the deep end,

there is a ghost from a 70’s party wearing shiny polyester

doing that dance move with the pointy finger – up and down.

He never knew what happened to him.


Deep down I find ditched wedding rings, multi-colored teaser condoms,

and a lone martini glass rolling across the bottom.


Everyone remains pretty shallow

by comparison,

the deep end is not for sissies.

The Swallowtail Jig


 We crisscross patterns across the forest

a force lifts us into the air

to float and whirl above the mountains


the jigging birds and clouds

Circle up, flutter

circle up, flutter

open wings


Untitled – Ekphrastic Poem

(Random Prompt – Ekphrastic – See below)


The bear growls about graffiti and lack of proper trees.


The fox drags its tail,

tired of being clever,

it just wants to try The Brew and Shrew,

the local artisan gastro pub.


The girl is all business in red and green

out to save the world,

if not for herself,

at least for St. Nick, the bear and the fox.


The bear and the fox warn her not to get too serious.

They’re grumpy but she loves them anyway,

smiling brightly beneath her Elmo hat.



Random Prompt (Ekphrastic)

Write an ekphrastic poem to go with this image. An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the “action” of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning.

This painting is called Coalition and it is by Kevin Peterson.




Sisters / A Kind of Being I Do Not Know

She grasps her white orb egg sac

and runs for the cover of the rocks.


She has a brood, unlike me.

I envy her, resting in naturalness,

a kind of being I do not know.


I find her sisters hanging on to their own egg sacs

inside a nest of warm stones.

They hunker lower into the corners.


I am torn between rescue and the work I must do.


I say, I am sorry.

I am human, I can’t just let things be.


I prepare for the extension of the human house.

As long as I can, I will avoid the places with the spider moms.

I hope, under cover of night, they might move to safer ground.

I scratch at my ankle.


She says, I am sorry.

I am a spider, I had to bite.

An Unhumble Plea


Using lines from The Prayer That is In My Blood

by Gary Copeland Lilley


When he finally arrives at the pearly gates my, my,

he‘s gonna bribe St. Peter with a Five.

If the saint doesn’t take his five dollars, or his word,

he may attempt an inappropriate prayer,

or present a tally to the Lord,

a list all the things he could not have

when he was the one without mercy.

his complaints go on and on

Oh, how they turned on me.

Socks Before Coffee


My seams are showing

I’ve exposed the wrong side to the world

bumpy, backward

the colors are strange,

messy little threads, a patchwork.


This happens when I put my socks on before drinking my coffee.


The vampire squid does not care, turning himself inside out,

using it to his advantage.

Lemon Lime Still Life

The lemons in the still life were beckoning me,

so shiny, so sour and full of a certain je ne sais quoi.

The limes were meh, so-so.


The lemons felt justified I think.

I’m not sure why.

Perhaps they felt stronger than the limes,

whose green skin was slowly fading in the bright sunlight from the window.


I’m not sure why fruit should feel so self-righteous.

Perhaps the lemons feel they are more useful than the other fruits

lounging in their exotic purples and reds

in their more perfect roundedness.


Perhaps it is the pressure to ripen in too short a time,

I really don’t know.


I guess the fruit doesn’t get to choose which side of the bowl it is arranged in,

or have any say at all about the talents of the painter.

Huckleberry Camp

We hid from the big kids,

ducking down into secret pockets of green,

guarded by alder, cedar and Douglas fir.


Thrush, flycatcher, robins sang to us

fancy free,

the Downy, Harry and Pileated

knocking up the trees.


We waded into the edges of the pond in our new back-to-school hush puppies,

because the frogs were just waiting for us to catch them.


The huckleberries were huge, the biggest ever.

We picked and ate, picked and ate,

Collected some for salmon-thimble-huckle-black-berry pie

Or smushed them all up in a bowl with sugar.


The huckleberry foliage was delicate and soft,

kinder than blackberries with their stickery thorns

that drew blood.

The Gondolier (Random Prompt – A poem about solitude)

His skiff is full of provisions –

Wine and cheese, sweet fruits,

An umbrella to shade lovers,

soft blankets for chilly nights,

an old mandolin.


There are mirages out here –

the call of sirens, chimeras of dry land,

adventures, bird song and ripe coconuts.


He saw the last lovers during the flood,

after all the promises had broken,

Pieces of a shipwreck,

swept away, reaching for each other

pulled apart.


The gondolier still sings to the stars

And to the old city

far below the mirror of the sea.

Seven Cities About to Sink


Chao Phraya

Tsunami travel dreams


New York,

Broadway underwater tours,

Lady Liberty’s wet bloomers,

It’s up to you.



We have a problem

Major Tom

Can you hear me?



Play umbrella chess

The skyscrapers shrink back from the sky.

Check mate.


Mexico City

Eight inches a year

We dig our own graves.

D í a de meurtos.


New Orleans,

Playing the blues like in the final scenes of Titanic

Electrifying trios,

not so cold but just as wet



The gondoliers still sing as they ply the waters

their old city below the mirror of the sea