Tag Archives: dverse poets pub




would have married the girl and had children
and been less overt with his teachings
of peace and love too radical
for a world immersed in their opposite.

He would then not have changed the world, perhaps,
but  only lived in contrast
to that power popular among those who needed it
and effective in keeping those averse to it quiet.

If he had married the girl, the world would probably have ended up
pretty much how it has anyway, but he might have had a different ending.
Grown old, had his cronies over to talk about the good old days,
converted water into wine and served them loaves and fishes.

Mary Magdalene would have danced for them in their memories,
and all of his grandchildren would have listened in awe
to hear the tales of how he walked on the water,
bade Lazarus to rise from the grave.

He would shush his cronies as they started in
with tales of how he smashed the souvenir stands
and threw the money changers out of the temple.
Not stories for young ears not quite ready to learn revolution.

And all of the ill done in his name might have happened anyway,
but at least he would have had a good life.  Would have suffered less.
And some other savior might have found a way to save the world
that would have worked.


FordVerse Poets Pub: Write a poem about a deceased person.


Enforced Reflection

Enforced Reflection

I’m keeping my composure and compensating for
the fact that they won’t let me venture out my door.
Given lemons, I make margaritas—take the opportunity
now that I can’t wander about in the wide community,
to revel in the riches that abound right here at home,
watching Jesus painting murals all around my dome.

I’m baking lots of cookies, although their fate is sad.
After painters ate just one or two, Diego was so bad
that he raced into the kitchen and made off with all the rest.
One friend suggested delicately it might have been best.
Would I have eaten any that remained? Yes, it’s true, I might.
I must admit my waistbands are getting sort of tight.

Perhaps it’s lack of exercise. Perhaps it’s medication.
Since I so rarely don street clothes, I have no indication.
I avoid the scales because, you know, they are so changeable.
Up one day but rarely down. (Wish they were more arrangeable.)
With nature as our trainer, perhaps we will be changed
in other crazy pastimes in which we’ve become deranged.

Fracking and polluting, casting all our trash
out there in the ocean, making a god of cash.
Nature has to teach us to change our foolish ways
by sending us all to our rooms to pass our “time out” days.
And perhaps now I’m sequestered and set upon the shelf,
Diego’s her reminder to take care of myself.

The image of Diego with a cookie in his mouth is from a retablo/art collage I’m making that is recording my time spent in Mother Nature’s Time-Out period. Why don’t you join me? Mine was finished but then I have to keep adding to it. At least a story a day. Diego was that day’s.

Prompts for the day are composure, compensate, opportunity, revel and trainer.
And, for dVerse Poets Pub prompt: Solitude.

Word Processing


Word Processing

Lightning flashed,
sparking the current which fueled the dream.
Letters zinged across a field of white,
waiting for justification to join other letters
in neatly-spaced rows of words.

For split seconds between thought and white space,
they danced into the dream.
Smoothly, straight-backed l’s and i’s
slid together
in magnetic minuets
while b’s and d’s bumped heavy bottoms,
vying for position.

Into the dream they went,
and then,
their brief dances over,
they froze into equal rows upon the stage
to watch the choreography
of each new letter as it joined them,
for the dream was of
entire dictionaries of words––

syllables holding hyphenated arms with syllables,
antonyms crowding synonyms in tight ironic cliques,
articles moving in swing rhythm
toward their appointed nouns.

Four rows of tables
faced the stage,
one fat spectator sitting on each table,
third row back,
surveying the white screen of the dream.

Applause issued from the table-sitters,
pushed out in broad solid farts––
brief ovations as they jumped from table to table
in swift movements
so that they themselves
seemed dancers on hot pavement.

When they paused,
it was to hover lightly over each table
before pounding short applause
with their fat rumps
and moving on.
Yet their applause was indispensable,

for it fueled the dream.

When lightning flashed again,
the dream stood still.
The dance over,
the spectators vanished
like the single-fingered ghosts they were.

Rain tapped the window,
adhering to the spider web
which hug like an intricate rope ladder
between the bougainvillea
and the window frame.

A distant alarm clock
burred into the silence.
A door opened,
and a woman
entered the empty room.

The dream called out to her from the screen,
but she did not heed it
as she disconnected the cord
that ran from the machine to the wall,
destroying its memory of the dream.
And so the poem died.


For dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night # 262.

Ocean Airs

                        Ocean Airs

The surf and sand we fell down on—
a bed provided by the sea
that smoothed the sheets we lay upon.

Those stories spun out by your tongue
slipped out of you through parted lips—
portals through which your life was sung.

Letter, syllable and word
was carried by the power of breath—
each a lovely soaring bird.

How did they know to find their way
to one who coveted their sound—
their whisper and their plaintive bay?

That night stretched out upon the beach,
finally, we fell to rest
and tell our stories without speech.

For the dVersePoets Pub, we were to write a poem of tercets, using three of these sets of words as ends to lines. I broke the rules and used all five.


She Used to Say


                  She Used to Say

“How many loves, Senora?” she used to say.
“Perhaps twenty,” I  would tell her.
I was forty when I married,
and I had traveled the world.

She had married at fifteen
and was a mother at sixteen.
By twenty-six, she was a mother of five.

When he drank cerveza,
he had beaten her.
She had not missed him when he left.

No more men, her children had demanded
and she’d agreed,
for the young man from El Chante who courted her now
was handsome and had money
but was not in her heart.

Still, I could see her pining
over the tall Arab
who hired the men of her pueblo.

He neither looked at her nor talked to her.
But in the night, I imagine she pined,
Arabian nights unreeling in her imagination
impossible and foreign.

One day, returning early,
I found her asleep on the divan,
a Mexican novella
rolling out of the television
into the eyeless air.

What futile dreams superseded
all these vicarious heartaches?
What magnolia-scented air
slumbered heavy in the hot layers of her sleep?

“How many loves?” she had asked me
on the road home from Guadalajara.
“Oh, many loves, “ I told her.
“I was forty when I married,
and I had traveled the world.”


For dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night



There are moments caught between heart-beats that fall into crevasses where they nourish our dreams. Streaming rivulets that escape our conscious daylight world swell these moments until they become full-grown nightly adventures––what we have hoped blended with what else might be possible, tempered by fears and regrets. What part of us orchestrates these dreams has never been discovered––some grand arranger of self that does not allow itself to be controlled by any conscious part of us, perhaps. It is a cinema we construct for ourselves—a relief from or a censor of or a collector of those parts of ourselves we would otherwise not deal with. Those parts of ourselves we struggle to forget and throw away? There is no detritus in our lives. Some great hoarder within us reaches out a hand to capture and arrange them, then calls them dreams.


The dVerse Poets Pub prompt today was to write a 144-word flash fiction piece making use of the first sentence in my essay above.



I breathe you out
and breathe you in
as you restore my lack.
With your passing,
fine hairs on my arms
stand at attention,
as though reaching out
for the mere touch
of you.

You surround and enter me,
then beat a hasty retreat,
in and out like children
passing through
a kitchen door.

Needing something,
then needing to be gone,
 called in again
by request or need.

You fill and nourish me.
You lift my tresses
from my shoulders,
tangle my fringe,
blow the insignificant
from my life.
Deposit autumn leaves,
like sad reminders
of your passing.

For the dVerse Poets Pub prompt: The elements.

dVerse Poets Pub: Answering Neruda

“Who sings in the deepest water in the abandoned lagoon?”
—Pablo Neruda

Answering Neruda

Who is the one who
sings my dreams here
in the velvet shade of
the river’s guardians ?

Deepest secrets are told here.

Water, the mother of us all,
in league with
abandoned voice of this
lagoon’s ministry.



For dVerse Poets Pub. See the challenge HERE.
Read more responses to the challenge HERE.





I am a mountain waiting to be climbed,
its slopes slippery and rough
with fortifications.
This poem is the face
I am inviting you to scale,

not taking the clearly defined path
that prose would provide,
but a harder course with handholds and footholds
that will not give way if you
use your mind to select a wise course.

If I did not trust you so, I would give you a secure railing
like one provided in showers and bathtubs
for the elderly;
but I know, if you have made it this far,
that you have the stamina to make it on your own.

Every mind is a majestic mountain waiting to be climbed
and also a climber sometimes bent on climbing,
at other times, content
to stand at the mountain’s base,
waiting for the scree to come to him.


This is a rewrite of an earlier poem For dVerse poets pub. Majestic

How Come the Thumb?

How Come the Thumb?

Your thumb
looks so delicious I can almost taste it.
And I can see that you’re not going to waste it.
But, after you have had a few more sips from it,
do you suppose you could remove your tongue and lips from it
so I can see your face
without the thumb in place?
I thought so.

Well, that’s okay. I’m used to seeing little kids with gums
around their thumbs.
In fact, I’ve never seen a little kid from North or South
Who could keep a thumb as good as yours out of his mouth.
Thumbs need comfort too, I realize.
And a mouth’s the perfect size
for a thumb to hide
In fact, a tongue
is strung
just right for chewing it,
so I’m not blaming you for doing it.
Bigger kids have learned how not to suck their thumbs like that.
But you’re too young for that.

Anyway, I think your thumb is great. I wouldn’t want to knock it.
I just thought, perhaps, you’d like to store it in your pocket
for awhile. Of course, in there it’s sure to get fuzz stuck on it,
which might affect your further plans to suck on it.
So, you would have to find things for your mouth to do
while there’s no thumb in you.

For instance, maybe you could hum
or chew some gum
and blow a bubble big enough to stretch from here to here
(from ear to ear.)
Or, if you could learn to purse your lips,
we could rehearse your lips
to teach them how to whistle the same song
all day long.
Which is guaranteed to irritate your dad and mum
as least as much as sucking thumb.

I’ve got to tell you, though, you can’t get any songs or gum in
with that thumb in.
So, why not jerk that thumb from in between your lips?
You’ll free your mouth for sips,
for lollipops and jawbreakers.
Why not just let your thumbs be paw shakers?
Develop a grip. Shake hands with friends.
They’ll love your handshakes with no soggy fingers at the ends.

Now I don’t want for you to take this wrong.
You wouldn’t have to take it out for long.
But if you’d pull that thumb out for a while,
Just long enough to show your smile,
I’d love to see your face for once with nothing in it.
Of course that’s hard for little kids––Hey, wait a minute.
Just what are those
two pink things there beneath your nose?
Are those your lips without a thumb in them?
And filled with just the teeth that come in them?

Is that your thumb so dry and pink?
I think
it’s feeling better out in open space
than it has ever felt there in your face.
You must have had that mouth with not a finger in it
for at least a minute.
And you are looking very debonair
without those fingers waving in the air.
In fact, since you have ceased to suckle
on your knuckle,
you’re acting so much bolder,
that you are looking older.

So, now my only question is, how come
you never thought before to give up chewing thumb?


For dVerse Poets Pub. Somehow, these two Kafka quotes below wound up leading to the children’s book/verse above:
“I usually solve problems by letting them devour me.” from Letters to Friends, Family, and Editors
“Beyond a certain point there is no return. This point has to be reached.” from The Trial