Category Archives: Poetry

Poems in many categories: Loss, NaPoWriMo

Sex in the Movies


Sex in the Movies

Brits may call it shagging and in the States it’s screwing,
but both these terms only describe the action that they’re doing.
Increasingly, both movies and TV  seem dedicated

to insuring that their viewers are sexually educated.

I admit I’m stymied at the surreal acts depicted.
Somehow the warmness of the act seems to have been evicted.
Loving touch seems relegated to a foreign place
and athleticism substituted in its place.

My aunt once said she didn’t know what bedroom scenes were for.
We’d know what they were doing if they just shut the door.
I quipped, “Not exactly,” and she shot back, “Well, I would,”

and with that, stopped discussion, sealing it well and good.

Ending in an impasse, we left it where it stood.
I would have issued no rejoinder, even if I could.
It was a family joke for years but now I have been caught.
I finally must admit that I’ve joined her in the thought.


Prompt words today are stymie, warm, screw, surreal and shag.
Image by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash. Used with permission.



Romance is better on the swings
for it’s true Cupid has wings
and if he inspires a kiss,
it’s clear that you don’t want to miss
that moment on your mutual ride
where your lips might coincide,
and on the teeter-totter or slide
it’s harder to go side-by-side.


For the Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Side-by-Side
Image by Brandon Couch on Unsplash.



Money was his nemesis. He rued its silvery glow.
The piles of it below his bed had nowhere else to go.
For although he was a hoarder, always craving more of it,
his life was not made better even by just a bit.

His clothes were all in tatters. His house was falling down.
He had outstanding debts and bills in every store in town.
Not one thing about him suggested his success.
Every single outward sign only signaled distress.

He lived his life in misery. Inadequate. Alone.
Miserly and miserable, life stripped to the bone.
But when he finally passed away, his name slipped into lore.
He was the man who wasted life simply by wanting more.

Prompt words today are nemesis, inadequate, silvery, while and signal.

Fourth of July 2021––Wordle 508

Fourth of July

The sky’s effervescent with bubbles of fire
rising ferociously higher and higher.
With a new surprise every minute or so,
where are the cowering animals to go?

The dogs bark their distress and squirrels in their trees
burrow down deeper into the debris
of nut shells and pine needles, avoiding the grief
of loud explosions, seeking relief.

Meanwhile, on the borders between land and skies,
children look on with wide saucer eyes,
waiting for each pyrotechnic surprise,
ooohing and ahhing as rockets arise.

The patterns they make as they rise ever higher
are finery formed from gunpowder and fire.
Their beauty paid for by distress to the ears,
first from the explosions and then from the cheers.

Forget the poor animals. Have your loud fun,
but my days of fireworks I fear are now done.
Snap me some photos and send me a card.—
I’m spending the Fourth right here in my backyard.


Wordle Prompt Words: fire, poor, surprise, rising, card, finery, sky, form, , effervescent, border, ferocious.

For theJuly 4, 2021 Wordle Prompt.



His precipitous departure and subsequent defection
belied earlier avowals of his most sincere affection.
As usual, his action in doing so was heartless—
his cruel revelation of his apathy most artless.

The opposite of nuance, he was blatant to the bone
as he crassly left her weeping to hit the road alone.
Doing her a favor, for he left the door ajar
for another suitor who had loved her from afar

from the time that they were children, but who had never spoken
who now seized this opportunity by handing her a token
that all of his affection he hoped he might expose:
a declaration of his love— single long-stemmed rose.

Carefully, he’d trimmed each  thorn, then ringed the single stem
with his mother’s engagement ring—a brilliant diamond gem. 
And so her recent heartbreak of being the one left
gave way to an elation so she felt much less bereft.

For unbeknownst to him, she had always felt the same,
although she had not shown it, for she feared the shame
of unrequited love if she had revealed how she felt,
but when she saw his token, her heart began to melt. 

And so they were soon married and the day their son was born,
her former love crested the hill, tattered and forlorn
to try to win the love back that he’d cast away so breezily,
only to find abandoned love was not won back so easily.

We learn from all life’s errors, both our own and those of others,
so I want to share this wisdom with my sisters and my brothers.
The moral of the story is be careful what you toss,
for a more farsighted lover may glean profit from your loss.

Prompt words today are
nuance, subsequent, revealing, precipitous and heartless.

Glean: to gather leftover grain or other produce after a harvest.


Different Strokes

Different Strokes

I believe I’ve lost my juju. I’m throwing in the towel.
If I were a mason, I’d be throwing in the trowel.
I’m too light on pragmatic and strong on fanciful.
I’m not achieving much but my life is never dull.
I’m terrible at numbers, organizationally lax—
a non-controversial drawback when it comes to paying tax.

I have a different point of view based on imagination
which works for writing poems but does not work for pagination
where “one” must always lead to “two” and “nine” must follow “eight.”
If I were timekeeper, the whole cosmos would run late.
The fact that I’m disorganized cannot be debated,
but it’s going way too far to say I’m addlepated.

The world needs many opposites to balance out each other.
For every north there is a south, for every dad a mother.
Sober’s stirred by silly and warm thaws out the cold.
Calm smooths out the erratic and meek balances the bold.
So if I tend toward fanciful, don’t issue an indictment.
There’s way too much reality. We need some more excitement.


Prompt words today are pragmatic, terrible, controversy, juju and towel.

Virtual World (Wordle 507)

Virtual World

Beamed into this lifetime, we’re bitten, bruised and lost,
not knowing it’s a virtual world into which we’ve been tossed.
Reality a spectrum whose limits have been blurred,
how many feel their life is just a thing to be endured?
If that grand player tweaks the board a bit, adding more disaster,
might the game be over an eon or two faster?

If he adds another virus to aids and chicken pox,
If he bundles up more pieces and throws them in the box,
will Earth breathe her final breath at last, gasping, torn and weak?
Is that the master game move? Is that his final tweak?
Or will the game start over with new rules the next round?
And will the moves go smoother once new game pieces have been found?


Wordle prompts today are: beam, virtual, box, bruise, bit, lost, spectrum, torn, tweak, bundle, breathe and time. HERE is the link to read other submissions for this prompt. Image by Robert Coelho on Unsplash, used with permission.



Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.


Incomplete women and incomplete men
schlep up the avenue and back again
bearing their bundles over their backs,
the remains of their lifetimes stuffed into sacks.

Patiently trudging with impassive faces,
trying to find the impossible places
where they may rest, be they new ones or prior,
to find a safe haven and build a small fire.

What have they done to warrant this life?
To live out existence that cuts like a knife?
A wife who couldn’t put up anymore
with an abusive husband? A bully and bore?

Are his brains addled? Is he confused?
Were they once children neglected, abused?
They sit collected, their backs to the wall.
What will society do with them all?

Collect them in shelters or drive them away
from Interstate medians where by night and day
they lie hidden by bushes, secure, so they think,
to dream away days or to shoot up or drink?

Such wasted lives that have slipped through the cracks,
stripped of their power, defined by their lacks.
They line our sidewalks, devoid of our riches,
to show us society’s obvious glitches.

Prompt words today are incomplete, bundle, patiently, schlep and prior.



At six o’clock, glib comments start to fill the air.
We’re hungry for frittata, but the table’s bare.
Darkness fills the kitchen, for mama’s gone on strike.
She’s gone off to the city. Alone, on papa’s bike.

It’s dicey whether she’ll return. She says she’s tired of cooking.
She’s in need of a vacation and so she made a booking
at a posh hotel that has its own cafe
where she will dine on coq au vin followed by crème brûlée.

For once, serving the rest of us will not be her fate.
Someone else will  wait on her and she’ll just sit and wait.
In the morning she will order service in her room
where she’ll not even make her bed or wield dust cloth or broom.

Her note says then she might come home, or she might just wait
and find a nice seaside resort where she can cogitate
for another day or two. She says we shouldn’t worry.
The pizza place delivers if we’re not in a hurry.

Her recipe book’s on the shelf. The stove is  under it.
Her apron’s in the closet and she’s sure that it will fit
each and every one of us while she is on vacation.
She says that fending for ourselves will be an education.

She says to wash the dishes even though it is a bore,
for if she sees a messy kitchen when she walks in the door,
she’s going to walk right out again until we prove we’ve learned
that things will be real different after Mama has returned!





Prompts for today are six, glib, frittata, dicey and darkness.

Small Towns in the Fifties


Small Towns in the Fifties

Tight pants were forbidden. Baggy trousers were the rule.
And if you ever broke it, they sent you home from school.
Even the most nervy girls didn’t take the chance
to show up in assembly wearing sexy pants.

There were no vivid colors in our little town.
The houses that weren’t painted white for sure were tan or brown.
All the local color resided in its folks.
Their foibles and their oddities comprised the local jokes.

Gullible new arrivals were sure to take the lure
and all the timeworn stories, therefore have to endure.
The time that Arlan Boe did this and Ellen Jones did that.
The time that Shirley Carson put Bon Ami in Dolph’s hat.

The trick that old Jeff Halverson played on the new teacher.
Crank phone calls that the Watts boys made to the new Baptist preacher.

It seems rules of propriety extended just so far.
In a small town what you look like matters more than what you are.


Prompt words today are baggy trousers, lure, forbidden, nervy and brown. (The names and acts are all fictional, although the message perhaps is not.)