Tag Archives: dVerse Poets

Venus in the Year 2020


Venus in the Year 2020

She is in us, this woman with a skull face
and feathers for hair.

She rises over the bones of her past
with a slow shield
and a fast axe.

From the crest of her walking stick,
hair streams in the wind
as though head and staff
have traded adornment.

She has painted detachment on her face
and tucked emotions under a skin cloak
shredded by the teeth of her life.

She wears her seeds
wound around her long throat,
streaming down her front
to end in a pendant
made from bones
whose stories
only she

Behind her and beside her,
the skeletons of her memories
and riches
in hide pouches.

With few secrets left,
she stands sentinel
on the mountain.
If she could fly?
She has plucked
her wings
for ornament.



For dVerse Poets Open Link Night.


IMG_0005 2


A cow is screaming across the arroyo. Fireworks explode in honor of whatever saint’s day is being celebrated this week, drowning out her loud shrieking bellows. It is twelve hours later that someone finds the cow, her horns caught in the wire fence. Too late to save her, they do the kind thing and a single shot rings out. When her owner leaves her for the buzzards, a stench settles over the neighborhood, and we pay a man to cover her in quicklime. It is months later that someone ventures up to find a perfect effigy of the cow—jaws open in her last cries of agony. In mistaking concrete for quicklime, the man we paid to do away with her has instead constructed her monument. Immortalized on that mountain where few others will ever see her, I often see her in my dreams.

For dVerse Poets, we were to write a story of 144 words or less that made use of the line about the screaming cow above. You can read the stories others wrote on the topic by hitting the dVerse link above. This one is exactly 144 words. True story, by the way.

Seaside Soliloquy

Seaside Soliloquy

Out beyond the breakers, you curl and curl and curl,
until you reach that breaking place where you start to unfurl.
Then you slap your underbelly on the sand’s soft lap.
Before sneaking back and under, rolling back out there,
past a reef of coral, without a human care,
free again,
’til you begin
to curl and curl and curl.


For dVerse Poets, Apostrophe  (Apostrophe is a poetic device in which you address an inanimate object, animal or a person not present.)




That crepey neck.
I’m going to look like my Grandmother.
But I refuse to wear blue tennis shoes like her,
and when my jewelry starts turning black,
I’ll stop wearing it.
I won’t use straight pins for buttons
or rat my hair and roll it in a bun.
I won’t  save Cracker Jack prizes in canning jars
or give all my money to the Seventh day Adventists.

I will not save food in my purse to take home from family dinners,
and I won’t let so many cats sleep in the henhouse.


For dVerse Poets Open Link Night

If You Can’t be Real, be Surreal (I Just Get My Religion from People)


I Just Get My Religion from People

She hooks one long red fingernail
and her left ear disappears.
She points the nail tip to her thumb
and the table rises into the air.
She wrinkles her nose and the table
comes down but the lights go out.
When they come on,
she’s gone but her shoes are still
under the table,
one toe pointed backward––
one heel broken.

Music shows in the air,
hung there by its black tails.
I open a window, blow
jazz to the corners of the room.
I open the door and her shoes walk
out on the wrong side of each other.
“How’s she doing today?” asks the doorman
on my way out.
“We’re getting her act together,” I say.
Catch up to her shoes at the
taxi stand at the corner,
hail them a cab.

For the dVerse Poets Surreal Poetry prompt.





New Birth

New Birth

The phone rings four times in the very early morning.
I reach between the bars of the hospital bed
I have been sharing with you for the past hour
and grab the handset of the phone,
hear the long beep of the fax connecting
to announce Art Fest 2001
for the fourth time in the past two days.

Three times I’ve asked to be taken from their list.
Yet still, in this early morning
more intimate than our honeymoon,
the phone rings and rings,
as though even as you decide
to be rid of the world, the world is not quite rid of you.

At the end of your life, we pull ourselves into this house, then into this room.
“Roll the pain up in a ball,” I say, “and toss it away,”
And so, just as we had decided to venture once more out into the world,
the world rolls up into a ball of pain suspended in the air above your bed.

The morphine works only as a distraction.
You moan and make broad gestures, trying to pick the wildflowers
you see growing from the ceiling.
You say they are blue. “Not my style,” you say,
as though any flowers are your style.

You grow imperious,
calling out for chipped ice, not cubed, in the bottle, not the glass.
Knit socks become too uncomfortable, their threads pushing against your skin,
so you ask for those more finely woven.
I ease them over your swollen feet–like trying to squeeze gut over fat sausages.
You bark commands like a general, crabby no matter what the outcome.
Finding fault seems to be your new virility.

It is not the tender moments that fuel the long long days.
Your ill humor and harsh demands
raise a spirit in me where before I wavered.
I need not answer back to feel my strength growing day by day.
I can do anything–deal with any bodily fluid, most abuse.
I can take the blanket off and put it back again
a dozen times in as many minutes.

I take NoDoz for the first time since college,
trying to stay awake to drive you to the doctor’s office.
After so many nights with little sleep,
I pound my hand against the wheel to hurt myself awake.

Trying to make you comfortable
has become an impossibility,
and although it breaks my heart,
it does not break my soul.
You are constantly mad at me,
I always on the way to being a little mad at you.
That’s the way we get through this.

When you fall in the shower,
you lie as though crucified,
your body slight now–
Christlike in your suffering
as the water rains down on you.
When I turn it off and reach out to help you,
”Leave it on!” you snarl,
like a dog protecting his bones.
Ten minutes later, you are too weak
from the hot water
to stand on your own.
I put your arms over my shoulders
to carry you on my back,
like a penitent.

What pain feeds your anger these long weeks?
Is it the cancer or the slow hard truth
as your wife becomes your mother
and you, a child–
petulant, demanding,
are borne once more,
this time away from her.


The dVerse Poets prompt is to write a poem on the subject of birth.