Tag Archives: poem

Split Seconds

Split Seconds

On Valentine’s Day,
standing dizzy on a dry summer country road,
between weekend dances in different towns,
sweet 16 and finally kissed.

 My eccentric English professor,
slapping down his briefcase once, twice, three times
on his table at the front of the room,
opened the clasp, drew out our first papers,
and chose mine as the one to read aloud.

I felt the gun barrel pressed against my head,
heard the gun fire,
fell into the street and rose above
to see them lift his wounded body into a taxi,
my body lying in the street.

The woman in the dream
walked toward me across the barroom,
threw her drink in my face,
then hit me over the head with the glass
and I woke up soaking wet, with a knot on my head,
screaming, “Just wake up!”

I saw him for the first time
on the stage at the little coffee shop in Santa Monica
reading love poems he’d written to another woman,
and it was as though I’d been with him
for my whole life. Then afterwards,
I was with him for the rest of his.

He met me
at the plane
with a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup and a rose.
Hours later, in his kitchen,
after the long ride southward,
luggage spilled sideways on the floor—
another long-delayed
first kiss.


The NaPoWriMo prompt is to “write your own poem that provides five answers to the same question – without ever specifically identifying the question that is being answered.”

Cryogenic Ponderings

Cryogenic Ponderings

I hear that they’re researching cryogenic preservation,
and I admit I view it with a certain hesitation.
I’m drawn to such longevity, but must admit I worry
about what aftereffects such a heedless act might curry.

As wily as I now may be, as cunning and as clever,
will irresistible qualities remain with me forever?
Will I be packed with garlic to keep me fresh and bugless?
Will I still be so sexy after eons going hugless?

Can minds be kept as fresh as flesh? Can kind hearts be conserved?
Can intellect and soul be saved and memory preserved?
What good will body do one in a thousand years or more
if they can not conserve those things we hold here in our core?

Prompt words today are drawn, irresistible, wily, garlic and cryogenic.
Image by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash.


Story Time at the Library

Story Time at the Library

Cluster here around me. Cross Your legs. Open your mind.
I’m going to tell you stories of a slightly silly kind.

Or lie back on the carpet, close your eyes and try to see
all the varied images that are going to be.

We’ll be crossing to another land where we can be whatever
each of us may want to be: beautiful, brave or clever.

Light the bulbs above your head. Imagine what you hear.
For the next half hour or so, you’l be “there” and not “here.”

In imagination’s magic land, all your dreams come true.
Climb aboard my story train and I’ll share it with you.

And now as then, the crowd being both clever and magnanimous,
They decided they’d all come along. The voting was unanimous.

And so the children climbed aboard to hear a tale or two—
precisely the same stories in the past that I told you.


Prompt words today are clustercrossing, bulb, unanimous and carpet,

More Fire on the Mountain

Above are photos taken yesterday morning (May 3.) What looks like a bank of clouds is actually smoke from a fire that has been raging for five days on the slopes of Mount Garcia, the extinct volcano across the lake from me.

The grainy shot above (taken with my phone, so not the best photo) was taken at about 1 a.m. this morning, May 4th, from my rooftop terrace. If you want to get a better view of the fire, have a look at the time-lapse video for the past 24 hours on this site: http://www.ajijicweather.com/lakecam.

When Forgottenman suggested I write about the fire, I reminded him that I actually had written about fires on Mount Garcia many years ago, and he further suggested I reblog that blog, so, always willing to please, below is a link. The Maria Phoenix restaurant I mention, which became a favorite of mine after this first visit, has since been sold to new owners, but still, as regular as clockwork, Señor Garcia (as locals fondly call the mountain) continues to wear his yearly sombrero of smoke. Here is the link to my poem about the fires eight years ago:




Evolution’s done with behemoths. They take up too much space.
They were too slow and lumbering—lacking in poise and grace.
For this they paid the penalty of their eradication,
replaced by small creatures who consumed a smaller ration.

The intention was that humans would be weaker and less needy.
Who knew that they would turn into creatures so cruel and greedy?
Anything but genial, they grabbed what they could grab,
bringing devastation via bomb and gun and lab.

If larger didn’t work, it’s clear that smaller did no better.
Once again, nature’s creations have turned out her debtor.
She extracts her interest through flood and hurricane,
drought and deadly plagues and other methods more arcane.

Working up from smaller—from the atom and the quark,
nature reached its summit in Jurassic Park,
then created on a smaller scale ’til it arrived at man—
Homo sapiens her newest failed flash in the pan.

Now, where will she go from here? Tinier or bigger?
Will her next experiment be flyer, swimmer, digger?
Will she rue the excesses of the human brain
Or will she make the same mistake over once again?

Can she find a way at last to alter the machine,
by infusing it, at last, with the human gene?
Is a cyborg race of men the way that nature’s going?
Will mankind be coupled with things whirring, blinking, glowing?

Will we all be halfway clones of who we were before?
Will we think past generations to be the stuff of lore?
Have humans made themselves passé or will they rise once more—

a little less self-serving , less blemished at the core?

Prompt words today are behemoth, space, penalty, genial.


Click on photos to enlarge.


I’m swamped with obligations, let alone what I like doing.
If it were Halloween, I would have no time for booing.
Gargoyles in the garden would have no satisfaction.
They could haunt me all they want, but they’d get no reaction.
I don’t have time for feeling, for music or for fun
until all of the tasks I face are finally through and done.
I can’t finagle time to merely mess around,
for I fear it is my habitude to be completely bound
by my check-lists and my calendar, and no, I don’t know why.
It’s simply in my nature to do and do or die!


A “friend” once told me with great irritatIon, “If you’re going to do all these things, Judy, just do them, but don’t for God’s sake talk about it!” I fear I’ve broken her injunction, finally, after all these years. This poem is tongue-in-cheek. All things I enjoy doing…but I do know how to make a mess.

Prompt words today are swamp, finagle, gargoyle, habitude, feel and music.





I don’t want to know what I’ll do ’til I do it.
If it’s preordained, it’s too late to eschew it.

If it’s a surprise, I would say that I blew it,
for there’s no surprise when we simply redo it.

With each future sorrow when we must preview it,
there is no advantage—just more time to rue it.

The vase will still break and we’ll still have to glue it.
The syrup with spill and we’ll have to ungoo it.

Would I accept foresight or merely poo poo it?
When push came to shove, I guess that I would boo it!


For Eugi’s Weekly Prompt: Foresight.



This is the perfect climate. Now is the perfect time
to do all that you can to make your world sublime.
No more empty promises. No rain checks or excuses.
No masking of reality to obscure your abuses.
Look back in your history to see the full extent
of all the possibilities that in the past you meant
to “see about” tomorrow. Then tomorrow never came,
for when it did, it seems that you made it just the same
as the day that came before it, so now you’ll never know
what your life may have turned into if you’d only let it grow.
Relaxation’s fine if it’s used as a reward––

but it should be an end result that we are heading toward.
It cannot replace doing. Doing is what life is for.
Without learning and accomplishing, existence is a bore.


Prompt words today are promises, sublime, history, extent, relax and mask. (The captions on the photos below may seem disjointed, but I decided to leave all the captions from earlier times I’ve used these photos. They do, in a disjointed way, create a little story all their own.)

Click on photos to enlarge and read captions.


Amused: OctPoWriMo Day 11: The Muse

IMG_2907(photopainting by jdb)  


When she enters, I’m in her thrall,
and I have no control at all.
Sometimes she carries a riding crop
and drives me on so I can’t stop.
She rides in smoothly from my dreams
inspiring reams and reams and reams
that must be written when I wake.
I’m driven onward for her sake.

If my muse should feel abused,
believe me, she is not amused.
She mounts my back and spurs me on
until all her words are gone––
released upon the teeming pages
while she rides off to join the sages
sitting there upon the shelf,
and I am left with just myself.

For OctPoWriMo Day 11

On the Road

Remember many years ago when roads were just two-lane
and strings of Wally Byamers would drive across the plain,
swarms of silver trailers, in a never-ending chain
that made passing all of them a headache and a pain?
With oncoming traffic to take into account,
It was an endless chore of weaving in and out.

As a little girl, I’d stand beside the highway,
watching all the traffic whizzing by my tiny byway.
And once I saw a cherry top wave a trailer down
that was leading a whole caravan of airstreams through our town.
“Yada yada yada,” said their leader to the cop
when he gave the orders for their caravan to stop.

What was their infraction? They’d done not done one thing wrong!
The problem was their caravan, the cop said, “It’s too long.”
Thirty airstreams in a row was courting a disaster.
Couldn’t half of them just try to drive a little faster
to create a distance, giving other cars a break.
A little space between them before they overtake

another clump of traffic that will have them in-and-outing,
rolling down their windows and gesturing and shouting?
But, proud as any Samurai, the leader shouted, “No!”
“Without me here to lead them, they won’t know where to go!”
And that’s why thirty airstreams are parked in our back field,
waiting for their leader, who has refused to yield.

He’s camped out in our jailhouse, relieved if truth will tell—
rescued from constant wandering and cozy in his cell.

Word prompts for the day are yada yada yada, only, caravan, proud and samurai.