Tag Archives: heart

The Tin Man Talks to His Creator

The Tin Man Talks to His Creator

I’m just a “thing” made out of metal,
stovepipe legs, my head a kettle.
When it rains, I rust apart
and so expose my lack of heart.
It is no mystery, no riddle
that I’m empty in the middle.
Some say a heart is of no use.
It is a trap. It is a noose.
It is an organ of abuse,
at best of times, merely a truce
in the battle of the sexes
between them and all their exes.
They say, “When born without a heart,
there’s nothing there to tear apart!”

Yet still I feel that all that pain
would not, could not, be in vain.
I’d bear the sadness for the start
of love that I’d feel with a heart.
And so, I pine and wish and stew
that I might be born anew
with a beating corazon
so I’d not feel so alone,
and though I would be made of tin,
that living heart that pulsed within
would let me feel at last what they
take for granted every day.
What care I that I fall to dust
if I could love before I rust?

Once more, I pray to my creator,
to that great procrastinator.
I ask again to have a heart—
what I’ve asked for from the start.
I say, “The pain, without a doubt,
can’t be worse than going without.”
Then that Great Tinsmith in the sky
looks me firmly in the eye
so the truth I cannot miss
as he gently tells me this: 
“A heart’s not something I can bestow.
It is a thing you have to grow.”

Forgottenman says I should tell you what I told him about this poem.  I actually wrote it after midnight while sitting outside in what might loosely be called my hot tub. Since the night was quite cold and the water had been sitting for two days, it was something less than hot, even less than lukewarm. I was writing on lined paper using a flashlight with a magnetic bottom that stuck to the metal bench beside the tub. (I sent Forgottenman photos of my crumpled, water-dotted original manuscript and he insisted I post it on my blog.  If you are curious, see it HERE.) Once started, I didn’t want to stop so tonight I really did suffer for my art!  I believe I finally couldn’t take it anymore and the last few lines were written inside. I was driven by the fact that the last two pieces I’ve written for dVerse were not accepted because although I started them before the deadline, by the time they were finished, the Mr. Linky would not accept them as the deadline had just closed. So this time, I was superstitious and wanted to get finished in time.  Luckily, this time it worked. One day I need to figure out just how long the submission period is. I am terrible about such things.

Public Domain Illustration. The prompt was to write a poem about one of Dorothy’s three traveling companions  from The Wizard of Oz. For dVerse Poets. 

The Place


The Place

This year, 
all of the hard to reach places,
difficult situations and difficult people
are falling away,
and I’m letting them. 
I need an easier place for my heart.
Some gentler place
where my heart fits.

I’ve been misplacing everything,
and now it seems
that it’s my heart that I can’t find.

Knowing myself,
I know that I will never find it by looking,
but instead, must wait until I chance upon it
in some spot where I would never think to look.
Some place where it has been placed absent-mindedly
to free my mind for other tasks,
or perhaps  where a part of me kind to myself
knew it would be safe for awhile
while I was not in need of it

So I’m not looking for my heart.
Instead, I’m trying to build a new place
so that if I ever find my heart, it will have
a spot that it fits into just right.
A spot that has been prepared for it.
A warm spot and cushioned
away from elbows extended
just right for knocking hearts off ledges

The place for my heart
will not be a  high place–
no careless place that earthquakes
could spill it from.
It will not be a low place–
too near toes that might stumble
over a heart brought low.
It will not be a place in direct sunlight
that might fade a heart away.

The place for my heart
will be a handy place.
A place I don’t have to think about twice.
A dependable place like the door of my refrigerator:
grocery list, dentist appointments,
art openings, family pics,
and my heart—
here in this busy place near
other necessary things.

A place like that
is where my heart will want to go
once I get it back again
from wherever it has fallen
or been kicked to
or hidden.

In a whisper,
probably at night
while I am sleeping,
it will come into my dreams
with  a plan for where to put us both.
So I will dream harder,
watching for the heart I barely even recognize.
Listen  for its whisper.
Listen  for its shout.
Let it grab onto me and pull me after it.

Because while I’ve been building
the place for my heart to go,
it has grown so large that it no longer fits
inside of anything;
so that when I chance upon it,
my heart will just open its arms
and welcome me in.

Retablo, “Restoring the Peace” by Judy Dysktra-Brown  jdb photo

For the Ragtag prompt, heart.

Broken Hearted

Heart 3

Broken Hearted

My heart’s not fully functioning. Its working parts are rusted.
With all life’s empty promises it has become encrusted.
Friends tell me it’s been out-of-use and just needs to be dusted,
but so far no one’s come along that I feel can be trusted.
The truth is, it has been too long since I have truly lusted,
and so although they say that my heart’s just unadjusted,
I’m pretty sure the truth of it is that it must be busted.

Fiction, folks.  Really. The prompt word today was encrusted.

Love Stories


Dim Sum are little love poems shaped like a heart. I challenge every reader
to write one and send it to me! For the fun of it, I made mine into a chain of hearts.

Morning Metaphor
When you rise hours early
to stand in front of the window
and watch for the UPS truck,
I shift my dreaming over
to your warm pillow.
If you are a child,
I am a
The Computer
has become the new hearth
and heart of our home, now
glowing out in the darkness
long after we have moved
to the room next door
to try to sleep
in vain.
A Clock
on the wall of every room
speaks its midnight language
and intrudes into my dreams,
each one telling me I am
another hour closer
to leaving

NaPoWriMo Day 4: Fourteen Lunes

Day four’s prompt is to write a lune. The lune involves a three-line stanza. The first line has three words. The second line has five, and the third line has three. I have written a poem consisting of four stanzas containing two lunes each, plus another six one-stanza lunes.

Fourteen Lunes

I wake exhausted
from walking in your footsteps
through my dream.
Then I wonder:
were we in my dream
or in yours?

Although you say
I visit you in dreams,
I don’t remember.
Perhaps that ghost
of last night’s lovely dream
was really yours?

If I manage
to find a way tonight
into your dreams,
how many others
will I find awaiting you
when I arrive?

Oh, what if
while I visited your dreams,
you visited mine?
What midnight irony,
if you were here while
I was there.


Loud morning birds
seem to be speaking together
in different languages.

The wild heart
can choose what lives there
on its own.

It is pointless
to try to choose memories.
They choose us.

I keep forgetting
to look here at home
for my happiness.

At the stoplight,
no poem awaited me.
Only when driving.

A best friend
does not really leave you
when you part.