Saturday on the Beach

From space they look like pollen,
(the umbrellas blooming on the beach)
row after row by the shoreline,
like a pollen garden
planned and plotted on a grid
(this section for yellow blooms,
this one for the blue)
with precision, obsession,
waiting for the wind or wasps to
collect them and carry them away.
Sometimes I wonder when the
world will sneeze, open its sinuses
and, when the infection clears,
start with something new.

{Taken from the hour three prompt).

Slipping Away

lovers took to the mountain
and lay under the sun in the grass,
his hand on her thigh. She said, I cannot
surrender a gift so precious but
this memory will be yours to keep.
She laid his hand on her breast. The
sweet swell of succulent flesh took form
within his dreams, that place where
wishes and fantasies belie the
reality of rejection on the mountain.
His moment, escaping like a hare
spooked by an approach too sudden, has
passed—plans which were carefully lain.

(Prompt 8: golden shovel based on Memory by William Butler Yeats.)

Practice makes perfect

I’m the best student in the school,
the smartest student in the history of students,
I can talk my way into an A
before you can eat your lunch.
You think you have an after school job?
My job is the greatest after school job
ever, driving with my dad to the slums
and evicting losers.
You wish you had my job.
You, fight me? I can beat you with
one hand. One finger. My pinkie finger.
I have a strategy to keep me
from ever losing, but I won’t tell you
cause if I did, you’d know what
I intended to do.
Trust me, I never lose.
If I can’t beat you I can
talk you into a deal to
save my skin. But I can beat you.

I’m the best negotiator to ever hold office.
I will make the best deals in the history of deals.
I can talk China into moving jobs here
before you can draw up a contract.
The Presidents who took office before me
will wish they could have been as good
a President as I’ll be President.
You want to fire your missiles at us?
I have a strategy to disarm your missiles
before they leave the launch pad,
but I won’t tell you because I want you
worried about what I’ll do next.
Besides, why would you fire at us.
I can make you a deal so good
you’ll want to become the 51st state.
And if you won’t take the deal,
I’ll wipe you off the map.
Prompt 21

Exploratory Surgery

It’s like you dissected me, exposed me, beginning with the heart
and slowly working backward through the ribs, the dermis
Your idea of love is a poem you’ll never write.
then outward leaving notes in my skin with your scalpel
and delete line after line until you find one that strikes
You stand at the door, texting while I’m at work
leaving directions for the next woman to search for
a treasure you say they’ll never find.

Prompt 7, write a poem from inside out


a forest painted on
a glazed china cup
is no less lifeless than
a forest choked by
auto exhaust.

prompt 20

Infinity by Comparison

After dinner at Chez Désespoir,
when the wine, the brie,
cherry gazpacho, the sole,
the fruit and cheese with
honey glaze were cleared,
after he gave her a ring with
a rock as big as Jupiter,
she buried her face in her hands.
She said, “I need space.” He said:
“You want to be an astronaut?”

The next morning he popped up
at her work, deed in his hand to
a split level house in the suburbs.
Two thousand square feet
and that was the garage.

She watched him waving
in her rearview as she pulled away
back seat bulging with her bags.
Wiped from her cheek a single tear.
On the surface he was all she’d
ever want—sexy, successful, sweet.
But the universe was a tiny ball,
hidden in a thimble,
next to the space inside his skull.

Prompt 19


He could have served her tea
before the conversation swerved to
seeing her at the station with Jack
who she dated back before they met.
“Will you leave me for Jack?” She left upset,
He remained, gazing at the leaves in her cup.

Death Resists Metaphor

and proverb too,
its walls unblemished
by strikes that snuff
the brightest stars.

Pick one,
toss it to the grieving.
Study their faces
for gratitude.

Now picture this:
You cradle your
breathless child,
kiss his face,
surrender her to
men in masks
and gowns.

Imagine the
sound of an
empty glass,
that metaphor
unfurled to
comfort you.

Prompt 17

Siren song

one flick
with one tail
whisp of white
whipping past
battering the bow
drowning a dream
that drove him
for decades

prompt 16

Origin of the Green Man

Prompt 15

The fire consumed the fruit from
my brother’s vineyard. Nothing remained.
My stag, prepared upon my altar
remained untouched, undesired.
God’s glory radiated from his golden hair.
The dragon the drives me swelled within.
You have nothing. For him, the world.
My verdant scales sprouted from
my pores, spread from neck to toe,
my fingers wrapped my spear and
skewered him upon his altar,
burned his flesh as sacrifice.
The scent drew the Lord God to
this grove. He knelt by the altar
to savor the meal I prepared. His
nostrils flared. “Where is your brother?”
“Did you task me to tend him?”
I spit the words like venom.
His finger brushed against my scales.
My scales split open, fell away at my feet.
The Lord turned his back to me.
I collapsed before my brother’s
corpse and wept. In the morning
I walked into the woods,
covered my body in leaves,
took root in the soil and stayed,
frozen in time, a sacrifice to
bring forth his rebirth in the spring.