Boys don’t wear their birthstones,
especially when they’re pearls.
Well, that’s what my mom said.

Walking the halls of high school
usually filled me with foreboding.
You probably understand why.

I looked to the northern skies,
and asked the twins for guidance,
but they were silent
about my past and my future.

There was often that Frustration,
that Worry about Normalcy.
I wanted to fit in so much.
I even doubted the Love
of my Family, which I now Regret.

Walking on the beach calmed me.
I loved the sapphire waters
and the indigo sky,
though I wondered why
I couldn’t find any cerulean shells.

Why am I the way I am?
I guess it’s biology,
or it could be (horrors!) Destiny.
No, I write poems because I want to…
not because I’m destined to.

I bought myself a charm bracelet
with an alexandrite gem,
but wore it in secret.

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Reverie Twenty-One: Charm Bracelet at naming constellations.

My Practice

The pursuit of happiness
that’s practical

I practice it everyday
because it’s so elusive

And poetry helps me
pursue that happiness

Reading poetry helps
but writing is the best

And writing this poem
made me happy

I’ll bet reading it
made you happy

Admit it
you’re smiling

That’s a good way
to pursue happiness

/ / /

This poem was written in response to the let’s get real prompt to write a practical poem at We Write Poems.

Planting Crocuses

He watches her hips
as her hands place the corms
for the crocuses in the soil

The grief of her cancer
is massive within him
though he affects stillness

Her marrow has turned
against her, only seen
through the window of medicine

They’ve kept it secret
from the children, their flowers,
and perhaps that is wrong

When the crocuses bloom,
the clatter of colors
will grieve him, but he’ll smile

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 57 at The Sunday Whirl.

Burnished Fossils

A flinty landscape for an austere man.
He scrapes away at the flinty earth,
And thinks scrape isn’t the right word.
It’s too rough for the work he does.

Nothing grows here except knowledge,
Drenched in sweat from heat, not hard labor.
The irony of brittle rock, hard but fragile,
Is not lost on the archaeologist, who is the same.

A blur of thoughts on this changing place,
This square foot of rock and fossil.
His rough tongue scares the volunteers,
Yet his burnished reputation keeps them coming.

He chalks it up to thirst for knowledge,
And the wonder of barnacles in the desert.
Geologic time, not human time, so limited
By our short lifespans and paltry imaginations.

Meaning in work, discovery, and quiet,
This season of digging, this cocoon
That will open back at the university,
Yet it’s here that he is the butterfly.

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 58 at The Sunday Whirl.

My work primarily ended for another school year on Friday, May 25, when I promoted another class of students to middle school. I have been so busy with grading, report cards, and various activities around the promotion ceremony itself, not to mention my son’s eighth birthday last weekend, that I haven’t written/posted a poem since the 16th, which seems to me a long dry spell after the busyplayfulness of April.

I have drafted a poem to last week’s wordle as well, which I plan on posting tomorrow. If you get a chance, please come back and read it.

Thank you to everyone who visits my blog. I do appreciate it.


Charged Memories

It was the third house we lived in,
though I have no memories of the first two.

Painted pink, it was at the eastern edge of town,
only three houses from cornfields.

I’m sure I was told to stay in the yard
by my mother. Definitely away from the road.

I was playing in the front yard, and for some reason,
I went onto the gravel driveway towards the back yard.

I never made it. There were two snakes
coiled up against the side of the house.

I ran screaming back to the front yard,
standing on the walk to our front door,

yelling for my mother to come to me,
afraid to be too close to the house.

I remember it as a long time, calling for her,
hoping my voice carried through the screen door.

She had to come to me. I couldn’t run to her.
She had to walk out to me and carry me inside.

That weekend, I sat on the top step
by the back door, watching my father.

He and a friend were cutting the long grass
of our backyard with scythes – or maybe sickles.

/  /  /

This poem was written to the old beginnings prompt at We Write Poems.

Process Notes: I know I have earlier memories, but none that I can recall so easily or strongly. There was no emotional charge to put those memories into the long-term parking. I have no memories of that first apartment in Indianapolis or the duplex in New Palestine, though I’ve seen a picture or two of the latter. My memories begin with that first house, of three in Morristown, that we lived in.


The indigenous name.
The goddess. The holy mother.

Sacred land.
Significance in the approach

to the summit.
And the descent.

The visitors
driven by demons within.

They respect the goddess.

They string prayer flags,
rituals to appease

the holy mother,
to seek her protection

for their elaborated
intention to summit.

Chomolungma. Shengmu Feng.
Sagarmatha. Mt. Everest.

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 56 at The Sunday Whirl.

It is also my first post from my iPhone.

A Judging Poem

I’m not judgmental

But I was judged
and deemed unacceptable

Now does that seem fair to you?

I mean
what did I ever do to you?
I certainly didn’t hurt you

Maybe I wasted
a little bit of your time
But that’s not a crime,
is it?

I mean really
Has it come to that?
That if I waste your time
you’ll expect me
to compensate you

And if I don’t
you’ll litigate

See, I’m here
for art’s sake
I’m not here
for the money

There’s no money in poetry

So, if you think
you’re going to get money out of me
you’ve got another thing coming

Like I said,

Look where I’m at

I mean seriously
You didn’t pay anything

No one made you come here
and read me

So don’t get all judgmental
on me

I’m just trying to do my job

Come on
Be honest
I’m better
than that last thing you read

/ / /

This poem was written to the prompt at Poetic Asides to write a judging poem.


and my son is ill.
The sun is
too bright for
me on this day; I want fog
to soften the light.

/ / /

This poem, a shadorma, started out as a haiku/senyru, but just wouldn’t work. I had to expand it out to a slightly longer form.


for the purposes of dramatic tension
we need people to be Lost

the creators Design a set piece
where there is no cell reception

miscommunication means People are
not where they are supposed to be

there is going to be no Rescue
you are on your own

or so they would have you believe
as Act one unfolds the story

but as the complications begin to Surface
we see the relationships deepen

and we begin to understand that
we are not alone, we are not Lost

/ / /

This poem was written in response to the playing favorites… again prompt – #54 at Poetic Bloomings.