Tag Archives: #FOWC

Ode to a Grackle

(Click on images to enlarge.)

Ode to a Grackle

A variation of the crow,
you strut wherever you may go
unless you’re flying post to tree
to get a better look at me.

You stick your chest out, spread your tail
horizontal, you haughty male,
then fold it neatly, like a fan,
to vertical, because you can!

Three toes in front and one behind,
a songbird of the perching kind,
at a moment’s notice, you’re on the wing,
soaring above everything.

No cat that ever stalked a grackle
succeeded in his stealthy tackle.
No quagmire brings about your fall,
for you just glide above them all.

Every grackle that comes along
sings an ever-changing song.
He chirps, he purrs, he clucks, he whirrs,
whistles, squeegees, chatters, chirrs.

No bird save you, my coal-black grackle,
has such variety of cackle.
And when you deign to land en masse,
your music sounds like broken glass.

Though Mexico was your first home,
both south and north you chose to roam.
Like me, you dared to spread your wings
to see what that adventure brings.

And when you perch upon my tree
to share your company with me,
such varied music swells from your chest,
of all loud neighbors, I love you best.


*Grackle feathers were used ceremonially by the Aztecs, who it is speculated, brought them northwards for this purpose. Zanate is the Aztec name for what in the north we call mynah birds or grackles.

Prompts today are save, variation, grackle, quagmire and chest.

Pierced Dove

Click on photos to enlarge.

Pierced Dove

Art historians aver
and modern artists would concur
her paintings are a visual feast
inspired by the dreadful beast
that consumed her from within.
She painted it time and again.
Her sketches were a handbook of
pain of body and of love.
The thorn, the arrow, the pierced heart—
the years together and apart—
her happiness oft on the wing
prompts the cash register’s cha-ching
more than sixty years since she
finally set her spirit free,
leaving part of her unfurled
in paint, on canvas, for the world.

This is the piece I did for an exhibition in Mexico City honoring the 100th year since Frida’s birth. Its title is “Painterminable” (Pain, Painter Interminable.) I was very honored to be one of two non-Mexicans invited to exhibit. It coincided with a retrospective of her work. Sorry that my piece is so much larger than two of hers. I wanted to exhibit all three of her works as a gallery. Click on them to enlarge them. 

Prompt words today are cha-ching, handbook, sketches, aver and feast.

Little Jobs

Little Jobs

Why is it that just as I find a time for resting,
I think of another job life seems to be requesting?

Little jobs pursue me, destroying all my fun.
Life comprises all of them until my day is done.

Dogged and determined, I fulfill all of them,
tolerating constant toil, my life filled to the brim.

I am a proper martyr. I toil with little resting.
I have no time for joyful acts like partying and festing.

Tasks that are debilitating to much lesser folks
are to superior ones like me, merely nature’s pokes

to spur me on towards greatness—to glory and to fame.
In the annals of history, you’re sure to see my name.

So thank God for little jobs, for they add up at last
into that great accomplishment within which fame is cast.


Prompt words today are debilitating, doggedresting, comprise and tolerate. Image by Irena Carpaccio on Unsplash.

Mismatched Hearts

Mismatched Hearts

She overdosed on tinder, declaring it a bomb.
She’s through with OKCupid and over Match.com.
In fourteen introductions, not one has turned out kissable.
If she had to rate them, she’d rate every date as missable.
Not one man she’s been linked to has been skookum, smooth or smart.
Not a single one of them has satisfied her heart.
Fatuous or condescending, under or over-dressed—
each one she has been matched to has left her unimpressed.
No plangent love bells have rung out.  No lover has been gettable.
One theme that’s been repetitive is that they’re all forgettable.


Prompt words today are skookum (strong or brave) repetitive, fatuous, plangent and smooth.


Slip of a Man

Slip of a Man

Heredity’s not all it’s made out to be.
Some fall a bit far from the family tree.
Though his father is heavy, he’s a slip of a man
who dines on fine china while dad eats from the pan.

He’s a  Jane Austen reader and a Volkswagen fan
while his old man likes football and drives a Ram Van.
Though the elder’s been known to go off on a binge,
when offered a drink, his son pours just a tinge—
a small drop of rum in a glass full of Coke—
a drink that his dad considers a joke.
Not at all like his father, he walks his own walk.
I guess you could say “a slip off the old block.”

Prompt words today are block, slip, tinge and heavy .Image by Ricky Grigore on Unsplash

Outta Here!

Outta Here!!!

The preponderance of people do not scintillate
when they tell a story wherein they relate
all the various aches and ills of their last operation,
hoping for our sympathy and our cooperation
in asking for each detail about defective parts—
their livers or their hip joints or their kidneys or their hearts.
Of course they know they’ll wow us and turn our knees to jelly
as they relate the drama of the opening of their belly,
never knowing that we’re blocking out all memory of their story
that is boring in recital, though its details may be gory.
All-in-all they need to know they’re in double jeopardy
first of losing bodily organs, and then of losing me!!!

Prompt words today are block, preponderance, jeopardy, scintillate and jelly.

Soliloquy of a Nut

Soliloquy of a Nut

I’m ready to be sassy. I’m tired of being dull.
This toothsome nut within the shell is set to leave her hull.
My shape is callipygian. I’m hippest of them all,
and when I’ve reached maturity, you’re sure to see me fall.

When the air turns algid and its cold air cuts,
you might want to console yourself with some roasted nuts.
When you need to feed your hunger, come crack me from my shell,
for to satisfy your appetite’s exactly why I fell.

Prompts today are ready, sassy, callipygian, algid and feed.

Fun News

Fun News

Litigation is imperative to end this maudlin folly.
We must petition powers that be to make the news more jolly.
Fill it up with cheerful stuff and cover up the crime.
Scrub the whole environment to cover up the grime.
There isn’t any heartache and prejudice is over.
Cover up the poison ivy. Embellish the clover.
Dealing with reality simply isn’t fun,
so let’s whitewash reality until the the world is done.
Reality shows are way more fun than boring old reality.
So let’s cheer up the news again with fictional banality!

Prompt words today are folly, maudlin, petition, imperative and litigation. Image by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Good Humor Rumor

Good Humor Rumor

Chocolate chip is best, but I’m amenable to berry
when we hit the ice cream aisle at the cash and carry.

Afterwards, we’ll both lie low until the carton’s finished,
for if we share our ice cream stash, it is too soon diminished.

But somehow when we’ve paid a visit to the frozen section,
it never seems to escape our neighbor’s keen detection.

Instant company always comes knocking at our door
when we get back home again to where we were before

So if you’re not prone to sharing , I really must advise,
that if you’re bearing ice cream, it’s best done in disguise.


Word prompts today are lie low, restriction, instant, berry. amenable 

Couturier Extraordinaire

I admit this is the weirdest poem I’ve ever written. Forgive me,Robert Frost….

To be sung to the tune of “Nothing Could be Finer Than to be in Carolina!”

Couturier Extraordinaire

Nothing could be finer
than to be a dress designer
a hum di-i-i-i-in-ger.

Dealing with disaster,
sewing faster faster faster
on my Si-i-i-i-in-ger.

Nothing that they do can ever h-e-e-e-ex me
even fashion stalkers cannot ve-e-e-e-ex me.

Marketing their copies
to the stoners and hip-hoppies,
they can’t ma-a-a-a-at-ch me

Gleaning all my leavings,
they are surely misconceiving,
They can’t ca-a-a-a-a-tch me.

No one in the industry can best me.
All their machinations cannot test me.

That’s why nothing could be finer
than to be this dress designer
I give wa-a-a-a-ar-ning!!
for no one can beat me
and for sure they can’t repeat me
at ado-o-o-o-or-ning!!!!!!

Prompt words are designer, perplex,  gleanstalk, disaster,