Tag Archives: dVerse Poets

Confessions of Hatface

Confessions of Hatface

My father calls me hatface because of my addiction
for wearing things upon my head because of my conviction
that I look prettier in hats or hairdos most original
to make me look exotic––French or Greek or aboriginal.

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I wear my cat under my arm, my socks upon my head.
Rather than be ordinary, I’d rather be dead.

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Sometimes I walk my rabbit. When he walks on his hind feet,
for sure, we’ve the attention of everyone we meet.
My rabbit sheds his rabbit skin and wears a shirt instead,
and me? I change my head socks and put bows upon my head.

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Our skin is very pliable. It stretches like Band-aids,
so Sis and I just pull it up in pretty little braids.

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In sunlight, flowers surprise me by sprouting from my head.

I never know what to expect when rising from my bed.

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I have two patron blackbirds perched one upon each shoulder.
They’d be perching on my head if they were any bolder.

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A bluebird doubles as my kite, the string held in its mouth.
Sometimes he flies me east or west, and sometimes we fly south.
I’m a very special girl. I’m not at all predictable––
a miracle that Jackie Hurlbert found me this depictable!


Thanks to Charmed Chaos for thinking up this picture prompt for dVerse Poets and to jackie Hurlbert for letting her use her beautiful paintings as prompts.  We were to choose one to write about, but I chose all of them. Click on her name to see more of her work.



When I strolled down to the market to buy a piece of fish,
I had no other shopping list. I had no further wish.
Except for some cilantro to stuff into its cavity,
I suffered from no other acquisitional depravity.

But on my way to aisles that simply dealt in fishes,
I stumbled upon vendors selling other tempting dishes.
I bought some chanterelles and then some green tomatoes,
some Michoacan peaches and fingerling potatoes.

I could not resist a table covered with such things
as necklaces and bracelets and pretty silver rings.
I tried on clogs and three-inch heels, then bought their matching purses.
I purchased four used mysteries and then a book of verses.

Baby diapers by the dozen, though I have no kids.
A set of second-hand cookery minus all their lids.
Thank God I found a shopping cart for sale just half way through
or how I would have managed, I have not the slightest clue.

I mounded up my bounty, then turned down the next aisle,
my eyes seeking out treasures, mile after mile.
So by the time I found the fish, my cart was out of room
unless I hung my salmon from the handle of the broom

that stuck way out in front of me like a chivalric lance
wedged in between my brand new Spanx and bras and underpants.
I bought two whole red salmon and suspended them out front,
then turned my shopping cart around to puff and pant and grunt

wheeling it uphill this time now that I had decided
that it was time to take my bounty to where I resided.
An hour later, out of breath, I’d slowed my former pace,
a small parade of alley cats preceding me in space.

Eying my bag of salmon, they leapt onto my cart.
I shooed them off my underwear. I fended off each dart.
I avoided their advances. I matched their yowls and hisses,
grabbed up the broom and battled those felines for my fishes.

While with the other hand I dialed animal control,
I fear my cart got out of hand and it commenced to roll
down the hill that I’d just climbed, shedding pans and Spanx
while cats made off with both my fish, not bothering with thanks.

The rest of all my bounty was lost in its descent.
I do not have a single clue where all my treasures went.
The broom, a silver ring and a new hat upon my head
were all I made it home with. The rest was forfeited.

The cart has a new owner who fills it full of cans.
My Spanx no doubt are holding in other chubby fans.
Those cats are lying somewhere, dozing and replete
from all that lovely salmon that I did not get to eat.

And I have learned my lesson. The next time I need fish
or any other foodstuffs to complete another dish,
I’ll simply dial the grocery store to have it all delivered.
When it comes to the tianguis, I’m freshly lily-livered!

*A tianguis is an open-air market or bazaar selling new and used goods as well as fresh produce, meat and fish that is traditionally held on certain market days in a town or city neighborhood in Mexico and Central America.


For the dVerse Poets prompt, “Market.”


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The dogs made their usual frenzied protest at his leaving. “This time he’s not coming back,” I told them just before opening the gate for them, even though I knew that all I had to do, really, was to think it. They were his dogs, but they were psychically attuned to my thoughts.

Their “tracking”  brays grew fainter but more frenzied as they vanished behind hill after hill, and finally, when far away—an interrupted cry as a shot rang out.  Then the yelping of one dog. Or was it two?

Was it fear or mourning for a master already forgiven that brought about the brief caesura that followed the gunshot and preceded the wailing––that trio of sounds that have reverberated, in sequence, down through my life since then.


For the DVerse Poet’s Pub, we are to write a flash fiction prose piece of no more than 144 words and to incorporate this line from a Robert Frost poem, “When far away an interrupted cry.” 

Smooth Talker: Ghazal for dVerse Poets



Smooth Talker

Whatever tales you chose to tell, after dark,
perhaps filled out your empty shell, after dark.

Those blusterings that in the day came to naught,
may all have served you very well, after dark.

But all those love lessons that your voice once taught
no longer ring out like a bell after dark

As in the web of years you find yourself caught,
you may as well your passions quell after dark.

Since my affection’s not so easily bought,
your words instead become a knell after dark.



I apologize to this young man for always using his photo when I need an illustration of a very handsome man. In no way is he the real subject of the poem.  The ghazal is a very complicated form that involves repetition of words as well as internal rhyme.  I’ve added the end rhyme just for my own satisfaction. For an explanation of the form, see: dVerse Poets

East Meets West

East Meets West

I’m fueled by fire yet pulled by the moon.
Everything used up too soon, oh too soon.
I’m a pig by my nature. I want it all.
I love my home, yet hear the world’s call.
Adventure and travel I had in full measure,
but now it’s my home that affords me my pleasure.
Nesting, then flying patterns my past.
Change chasing change in the past was a blast.
But now I prefer for the nesting to last.
As a crab in my shell, my future is cast.

Born a fire pig according to the Chinese calendar, western astrology brands me as a water sign—moonchild—crab. In the last quarter of my life, I would say that water has quenched fire, but of course all of these elements reside within us always. I just now find more sedate ways to express them.

For dVerse Poets.

Wise Habit (Lai)


Wise Habit

Try this exercise
to see through disguise.
Take note:
To locate the lies,
examine the eyes.
I quote:
Life’s ultimate prize
is to become wise
by rote.

This is a strange poetic form know as Lai which looks to be a very simple form composed of a five syllabled couplets followed by a two syllable lines. The number of lines in each stanza is fixed at nine and the couplets must rhyme with each other, as the two syllable lines must also rhyme. In English this line is probably the most difficult part of the poem.

The Lai is a very old French form and tradition states that the short line must not be indented, it must be left dressed to the poem. This is known as Arbre Fourchu (Forked Tree); there is a pattern meant to be set up as a tree.

The number of lines in each stanza is fixed at nine. The number of stanzas is not fixed and each stanza has its own rhyme pattern. The stanza’s rhyme
pattern is… a. a. b. a. a. b. a. a. b.





My best friend taught me about limbo and saints,
Showed me their stacks of National Geographic.
You had to be invited into membership, she said,
not everyone could join. I rated them against
my mother’s Ladies’ Home Journals

and felt deficient, somehow.

No wine in our Methodist kitchen cupboards.
No tuna and salmon tins
stacked up awaiting Friday.
All those cans on my friend’s mother’s shelves in limbo
all Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,

that long summer when we were still twelve.

Wanting something we didn’t yet know the name of.
Restless stirrings the little boys our age 
did not know how to respond to.
All of them inches shorter than us
 except for one—a tall country boy
new to town school,
the most innocent of all.

How we waited to be chosen—
the fact that we’d already chosen in our minds
having little consequence.
How we watched. How we kept secrets,
even from each other.

I knew what to call it, at least,
if not much else,
that summer I turned thirteen,

nothing changed.


The dVerse poets prompt is “Limbo.”

But Jimmy Cliff says it best!!!!

And “Limbo” of a different sort was two years in our future: