Track Meet

The boy hurtles himself into the air,
his limbs outstretched over the hurdles,
which he clears without injury or slowing down,
reaching for that finish line, its siren call
never fading, only growing stronger.

He never turned his gaze towards the others.
It was not close, no toss-up who won.
It was as if he flew the entire distance.
This was a first victory for him,
and as he flashed that fresh, winning smile,
he was glad he flossed after breakfast,
no flecks of cereal between his teeth.

/ / /

I finally finished this poem in response to Wordle 11 at The Sunday Whirl.

I’m only three weeks late. It’s not a great poem. Frankly, “It was as if he flew the entire distance” is probably the most cliche line I’ve ever posted, but my self-imposed challenge of writing a poem to all of Brenda’s wordles is intact.


you have to open the curtains,
their edges touching the bookcase
with the gilded leather covers
standing at attention, waiting,
their wisdom rendered from life,
and blink for a moment
at the light scattered by the clouds,
cast your scattered thoughts aside,
let the whir of your mind cease,
do not scan for the plot twist,
just marvel at the natural world,
where nothing is reprehensible

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 14 at The Sunday Whirl.


the divine spirit walked
onto the celestial balcony
to observe humanity,
their rhythmic jostles,
as they ignored the ominous
and fell prey to illusions,
flapping about in search of meaning,
a pantomime of the real,
fearful of the day
they’d be but bones
beneath the emerald lawns,
worried about the void
between earth and heaven
and not seeing the void
between each other

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 13 at The Sunday Whirl.


Logic is just one river
that empties into the Sea of Thought.

It flows, a path of nature,
as true as the river of Instinct
and much more so than Emotion,
that twisted tributary
feeding into Whim,
as so many others do,
and drink from as well.

But Logic is clear and cool,
not muddied like Fantasy
by all the unicorns and centaurs
galloping along its banks,
a world all its own
and yet just part of ours.

And Logic flows calmly,
no buzz of mosquitoes
in your ears
from stagnant ponds
looking for blood.

I don’t understand
why some resist,
just refusing to drink
from this wondrous river.

Or why those who do drink
are not quenched of their thirst.
Maybe it’s the lack of taste.

Then my eyes fluttered open,
and I realized I’d been floating down Dream.

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 12 at The Sunday Whirl.

I have failed utterly to write a poem to Wordle 11, which is part of the delay in getting this one posted.

The Waves

The Waves

It’s great to move.
I never tire of it.
And to rush up
and throw yourself
onto the coarse sand,

And the slide back,
merging with my brothers,
that divine feeling
I always feel.
That swirling and tumbling,
watching the air bubbles rise.
They tickle.

Then we gather
together again
to wash over
the sandcastles,
to pull the sand down,
tumbling each grain
a little more smooth.
They want to be round
like the Earth.
So we do
the best we can.

And we free our brothers
trapped in the moats.
I hate being there.
We rush back home,

High tide,
low tide,
it doesn’t matter.
There’s always
something fun
to do.
When you’re
not tied down.

“According to the waves”

According to the waves
sand castles are not allowed to stand.

They come rushing up
then falling back
whispering as they go
maybe next time.

And come back they do.
Sometimes near, sometimes far.
They gather strength
to strike again
but are undermined
by their brothers
rushing back to sea.

Always uphill,
they climb up the beach,
then the slide back,
tumbling rocks and broken shells.
But eventually
they make it all the way.
They pour over the walls,
overflow the moats,
and bring the sand castles
down, dragging them seaward,
smoothing rough human
edges away.

Sand castles,
according to the waves,
are not allowed
to stand.

So much better
to run uphill
and then slide home.

/ / /

“The Waves” was written in response to two prompts from We Write Poems: I hear voices and Revisionists unite. “According to the waves” is a poem I decided to revise, from last year’s Poem-a-Day Challenge in April, but I was stuck on how to approach it. I still think it needs work, but decided to write a new poem from the perspective of the waves themselves.

The Shape of Grace

First there was the shade of the tree
over the front steps, taking the sun’s glare
out of our eyes, and when we opened the door

to my grandmother’s house, it was inhaling love,
more than just the smells that came from the back
of the house. The living room we stepped into

was clean and silent and poorly named.
We did all our living in the kitchen.
At least my grandmother and I did.

I quickly made my way to the kitchen,
wanting to get there first. She was peering
into the steam of a boiling copper pot

and when she heard me at the kitchen doorway,
that swinging door always creaked on its hinges,
she set down the wide wooden spoon on its rest.

We met midway, by the marble countertop,
a funny thing to have indoors if you think about it.
She set her hazed-over glasses on that

cool, smooth, rock surface, kissed me once
on the forehead and then enveloped me in her hug.
Then she was flitting out to greet the rest

of my family, but returning to the kitchen
with the grace it deserved. She glanced
at the cuckoo clock by the dining room table,

then turned over the hourglass she used as a timer,
its salt and pepper sands falling, building up
that miniature sand dune that said dinner was ready.

She called me over, saying time for kisses.
My grandmother never called them pinches or dashes.
They were kisses.  That was the shape of her love,

us standing side by side by the old gas stove,
tossing kisses of salt, herbs, and spices
into the family meal. That was what I loved to breathe.

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 10 at The Sunday Whirl. I’m very late with this one, writing it just the other day, but I have to write a poem to all of Brenda’s wordles. It’s just a challenge I’ve set for myself.

Fourth of July Weekend (small stone)

going thirty miles per hour on I-80
watching the shadow
of the seagull
change lanes ahead of me

/ / /

This poem is my first posting of a small stone as part of a river of stones.

I’ve been away for the long holiday weekend, and was busy in the days before that preparing food for me to eat over those days away from home. It’s one of the prices I have to pay being vegan in a non-vegan world.

I hope to try to catch up, but there are some prompts that I just may not get to. I already have two prompts from We Write Poems and The Sunday Whirl that I hope to get to, but I make no promises.