I wish that I could leave a journal
and pen by my bedside table
so that when I woke from sleep
I could jot down my dreams
but I rarely remember them
unless they are frightening
and I flee from them
to the waking world

instead I daydream
and make up stories
and on occasion I manage
to tell a story
that is inspiring to others
or so they tell me

there have been stories
of strange, enchanting lands
where the people sleep
beguiled by the lotus

there have been stories of bold heroes
with torsos bulging with muscles
alluring maidens who wait for the hero
or go off on their own quests
a devious villain to antagonize
the hero or heroine

what is incomparable
is not the pleasure of writing
because it’s not just play

I work at it
more than I care to admit

but the joy of reading
what others have created
and I take immeasurable pleasure
in reading the comments
on what I’ve written

that is what is incomparable
the kinship of readers and writers
none of whom are my actual kin
just kindred spirits

/ / /

This poem was written in response to the Incomparable prompt at Writer’s Island, using the words from Wordle 8 at The Sunday Whirl.

Addendum: This poem also works for the cocktail of words prompt at We Write Poems.

Hymn to Boeuf

O glorious animal that God has set for us,
we honor you by taking your life
and making it our own, your flesh our flesh.
This is as it has been and how it shall be.

We sear your flesh, drive the evil out,
so that our nourishment is pure, only love,
just as your milk nurtures our children.
This is as it has been and how it shall be.

O divine cholesterol, we take you in,
as God has prescribed, for we have dominion
over the animals of sea, air and earth.
This is as it has been and how it shall be.

The protein builds our muscles so we
may worship and praise God. Our arteries
clog so that we may die and go to heaven.
This is as it has been and how it shall be.

We thank you for this divine gift,
life, which we take with swift mercy,
so that we may live with compassion.
This is as it has been and how it shall be.


* * * * *

This poem was written in response to the Day 15! prompt at NaPoWriMo:

write a poem… in the form of a hymn to something that is bad or that you dislike.

Full disclosure: I am vegan. I do not eat animal flesh or anything that comes from animals, like dairy products. So, I am not being a hypocrite here. In fact, what I’m complaining about, the thing that I dislike, is the hypocrisy of people who claim to be compassionate but who do not extend that compassion to animals. I will apologize in advance if you find my “hymn” offensive, but I’ve had people quote the Bible at me to justify their actions.

Public Service Announcement

Drivers, start your engines!

Show pedestrians and other drivers
your inattention and rage.
Driving with two hands is not permitted.
Your dominant hand must
at all times be occupied
with something other than driving.
Options include texting,
changing settings on your stereo,
and applying make up.
You are not limited to these options;
we urge you to be creative.
Do not bother signaling lane changes.
Tailgaiting, honking,
flashing your highbeams,
and flipping the bird
are expected and encouraged.
Excessive speed is required.

This is an open course.
You are amateur drivers.
Please drive irresponsibly.

Thank you.

* * * * *

This poem was written in response to the Big Tent Poetry prompt about what you would shout down the street.


A man and his wife had two sons.
Both were intelligent. One let
his heart rule his mind, while
the other was ruled by his mind.

Second Brother was never satisfied.
He always tried to live up
to the reputation of his older brother,
but he always found himself wanting.

Eldest Brother ran a profitable
company, outwitting his competitors.
He knew the name and face of every
employee, and also every spouse.

Second Brother always had a woman
on his arm, and sometimes more
than one in his bed at night.

Eldest Brother hosted many parties.
And was invited into the homes
of many, for he was talented
in the ways of song, wine, and women.

Second Brother lived alone because
no woman would tolerate for long
his rash decisions and mutable nature.

Eldest Brother was brought low
by his neighbors when they uncovered
his repeated and widespread deceit.

A quick-tempered man does foolish things,
and a crafty man is hated.

* * * * *

This poem is in response to the Day Nine prompt at NaPoWriMo to write a poem backwards:

Today, try to write a poem backwards. I don’t mean letter by letter, or word by word, but line by line. Start by writing out an old saying that takes the form of a declarative statement. Like “Birds of a feather flock together,” or “A miss is as good as a mile.” That will be the last line of your poem. The next line you write will be the second-to-last, and so on, until you reach the “beginning.”

Process Notes: I found a proverb from the Bible that appealed to me, and started with that ending. I did not write the poem line by line, but stanza by stanza.

We got back Sunday evening from visiting family for Easter, so I will be catching up on reading poems and leaving comments. I have not been online since Saturday morning.

“I am sorry about my fear”

I am sorry about my fear
it was my mind’s way
of avoiding pain

I know you loved me
you asked me to stay
that made me want to leave

I loved the feel of your
body beneath mine
it was always best

in the morning, the sun
on your skin, the bottles
of Speakeasy beer on the floor

by the bed, but the burning
inside my heart was not
passion, but fear

and the beer smelled
and the sun was too bright
and I just wanted to be without

* * * * *

This poem is in response to a prompt at Big Tent Poetry that begins “I am sorry about…”. I also used a Prompt Mash-Up from Not Without Poetry:

The following prompts are from Bill Alton. Use them as titles, opening lines, or combine all of them into a single poetic form.

1. My body is a speakeasy.
2. Morning comes without the sun.
3. I loved him most when he asked me to leave.
4. Pain is the mind’s way of burning through fear.

Process Notes: I took all of the nouns from the sentences above (body, speakeasy, morning, sun, pain, mind’s way, and fear),  some of the verbs (loved, asked, leave), one adjective (burning) and one preposition (without).

Doggy Love

i’m willing to eat your dis / once
because you are a kid
and don’t know any better / yet

watch as i pull / a long pink balloon
from my mouth / blow it up
twist it into a doggy for you

you will play with your doggy
for five minutes
until you turn away your attention
and your doggy falls
to the grass / pop

i’m willing to eat your sadness
over and over every day
if i have to
because i love you

you ask for another doggy
but i am out of balloons

i offer you a hug instead
it helps calm your tears
but it doesn’t make you happy
and we both know it

but the hug makes me happy

* * * * *

This poem was written in response to three prompts: one, a love poem at Poetic Asides, a poem beginning “I’m willing to eat…” from We Write Poems, and one in which you pull a small object out of your mouth from Big Tent Poetry.

The inspiration for this poem came when I was reading “Willing to Eat Worms” by Amy Barlow Liberatore at her blog, Sharp Little Pencil. Thanks for the inspiration, Amy.

Richard (aka Mr. Walker)


one design
shackles, forging links
of strength, to keep one powerless?

Why is it so difficult for
us to touch someone
with softness
and bonds

* * * * *

This poem was written in response to the prompt at Poetic Asides to write a big picture poem.  I have also used a prompt from Sunday Scribblings, design, and One Single Impression, shackles.

Nursery Rhymes

Holy Moley lived underground,
and he had faith in above.
So his thoughts did resound
that life was guided by love.

* * *

Nowy Cowy was very zen.
Live in the moment did he.
The eight-fold path he walked
and at sometimes rested beneath a tree.

* * * * *

These two short poems were written in response to a prompt at NaPoWriMo to write a nursery rhyme.

These poems were originally posted on my other blog on Monday, April 11, 2011. I have reposted them here as I have linked to them from another poem.

“Never Again”

hearing that phrase reminds
me of watching Jazz
the film by Ken Burns
where Dave Brubeck recounts
the time when he was a boy
growing up in Salinas

and his father called over
an elderly black man
he employed on the farm
and asked him to remove
his shirt so his son
could see the whip
scars on his back

and his father said
this must never happen again

it was that message
shown by a loving father
to his son who shared
with tears in his eyes
that lesson for us to hear
that moved me most of all

tears in my eyes too
and it wasn’t about the music

* * * * *

This poem was written in response to the prompt at Poetic Asides to write a never again poem.

I am reposting it here. I originally posted it on my other blog on Friday, April 15, 2011.

Flattery Is Not Forever

flattery is not forever,
it lives a mayfly life

if it could sing
it would be all crescendo

shouting its message
to the world     then nothing

a silver phrase heard
by others also gone

not even divine perfume
could recall that memory

a body fallen, rotting,
leading to the sprouting

of new life from the scars
of the old life now fled

but flattery is not a song
it is a crude utterance

an inept attempt at love
that recounts only desperation

* * * * *

This poem was written in response to the Sunday Wordle prompt from Brenda at Beyond the Bozone.

I’ve enjoyed writing poems to Brenda’s wordles; this is my third this month. But this one was especially difficult and challenging, because four of the words she chose were from one of my poems. Thanks, Brenda.