Monthly Archives: December 2012


stainforth cigarettes








Midnight, smoke chases
lost dreams through moonlight.

3a.m., burning embers fade
while verse pushes sleep away.

5a.m., ideas reduced
to ash — nothing rises.

7a.m., caffeine replaces nicotine,
morning steam dances with lost dreams.


Written for the image prompt for the Mag using the above RA Stainforth pic.



Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts


When I post a piece of this nature I like to prelude it with a warning of sorts. It contains content of a political nature that is somewhat contrary to the prevailing mindset of most in the poetic community. Which is also why I choose to post it on a Friday night when not many are online. So, you are warned. If your blood boils, it is not my fault.


By 9:30 — it was Friday, two weeks ago —
I was two meetings into my day, one
potentially profitable, the other probably
less so, when the exuberant news anchor

starts spouting the horrid information.
Most of which was false, but newsworthy.
By days end the count was twenty dead
first graders plus teachers and staff.

The world wept.

I was horrified and offended when the outcries
began; pundits, politicians and activist
blaming a tool, pushing an agenda before
the pools had dried or the names were known.

I was horrified and offended when the rebuttals
followed close behind: activist and ‘rights’ groups
defending tradition and spewing tired slogans before
the pools had dried or the names were known.

I was horrified and offended when the President
of the United States turned a memorial service
into a political stump speech, a bully pulpit,
taking advantage of grief and circumstance

while the world still wept.

In 1920 we banned alcohol, drinking flourished
and a new class of criminal prospered.

In the 1960’s racial discrimination was declared
illegal, ignorance and bigotry still flourishes.

Now there are screams to ban a weapon,
thinking less children will die.

Meanwhile, on that same Friday, across the U.S.
3500 children died, denied a chance at life,
but this is ok because their mothers
were allowed to choose this course.

And no one wept.


Filed under Poetry

Catch and Release

It is often in the early morning,
before dawn has begun to spread,
when I will chase the rare enigma
through the rustle of spacious
forest floors.

There seemed a purpose when
the quest began,
an insistent need to capture
an idea
while still pure and wild.

But what then…? Clench it close
enough to absorb the rapid
beat of my heart, filling it to the point
where it burst?

Or release it in a spasm of exclamation,
hurl it out to catch the wind
and ride where it will?

Held tight it loses potential, hidden
and harmless in my grasp.
Free there is the risk of havoc, retribution,
enlightenment and beauty.


For the Sunday Whirl Wordle


Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

In Which Posture is Mistaken for Inclination


I may appear
to bow
the onslaught
of your power,
do not be misled.
I refuse
to be


For Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday Image prompt


Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

What the Beggar Knows

Each day the beggar man sets out his mat
at the top of the cathedral stairs,
visible to any who may care to look
but out of the way of foot traffic.
He never calls out to the passers by
as they rush past on their important errands,
no overt attempts to lighten their pockets.
Most, of course, avert their gaze,
repulsed by the thought of his dirt-slicked hair,
offended when he dares to scratch an itch,
afraid of what they might see if they look in his milky eyes.
Each day the beggar man sets out his mat,
places his cup and listens to life drift past.
He can judge the purpose of the parishioners
by the haste and weight of their stride and the
echo of their footsteps against the glassy marble,
to know emotions by the timbre of their breath.
He has known the joy of wedding parties,
felt the burden pall bearers shoulder,
shared in the pride of baptismal celebrations,
today though…there is something new.
Today he heard a tragic sigh intertwined with the wind,
pulling tears from otherwise useless eyes,
though he did not yet know why.


Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts


The first hint of news brings dismay,
a smattering of details stirs fear,
full knowledge releases tears,
agony felt for other’s loss.
Fury will accompany the
morrow, loss of sacred
innocents. Questions
unending will be
asked. Nowhere
will acceptable
answers be


Begun from Kellie Elmore’s word list, interrupted by the news.

Our prayers go out.


Filed under Poetry

To the Sea

Innate strength is hidden beneath
her delicate features,
forged in fires of relentless stress,
also, and always, hidden.

Shoes polished to a shine.

If only spared a glance, one could
consider her appearance bland,
until she smiled
and the full spectrum would shine
from her face.

Perfect crease in my trousers.

The power to rejuvenate
in her touch.
Gentle, reassuring and knowing,
yet firm, strong and in control.

Button up my last starched shirt.

She was reluctant in her leaving,
knowing there would be
a space to fill,
a void in the fabric of life.

Brush the lint from my overcoat.

Sometimes hope and faith
and power of will are not enough,
prayer provides no cure
and the disease runs rampant.

Lock the door behind me.

There were no tears on that final
day — against her nature in every way —
she smiled, stroked my hand
and talked of our
times at the shore.

Secure my hat, head for the coast.

English: The road to the sea

For The Sunday Whirl wordle


Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

Sparks in Dead Leaves

Looking back, autumn does seem an odd
time to begin an affair…

We raced for the sunset,
she trying to capture falling
leaves through the open sunroof,
me attempting to drive while distracted
by desire. Only luck and diffused light
through the trees enabled me to follow
the proper westward fork in the road
so we could see the final glow, witness
the last sand of the day fall.
A manic need to be present for another end,
as if it would ensure another beginning.

Love is not dependent on the seasons for change.
There was no snow to signal our chill,
merely a disconnect, the spark no longer finding
the fuse, wax from spent candles left in disfigured
puddles on the floor. Hearts were not hewn, gods
did not clash when we parted. We both smiled,
she kissed my cheek and we parted down
different paths, neither turning to watch
the other leave.

I drive through the woods on occasion,
usually at night with the sunroof open,
trying to capture moonbeams as they fall.

sunroof view

sunroof view (Photo credit: sky tastes like blue)

Notes: This started from a couple of different ideas and evolved to include the Sunday Whirl Wordle words. It is a bit different from me simply from the standpoint of longer lines, which always make me think it would be better suited for prose.


Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

Missing You

It is supposed to get …
A little time, a lot of effort —
some things take effort.

Mostly it is an issue of breathing…
and control.
Focus comes into play,
being able to block out
useless thoughts and distractions.
Focus…yes, this is where I usually fail,
Things start to go awry.

Friends try to help,
offer hope and encouragement,
but some things you have
to do alone.

Too many nights spent
sitting in the dark,
it is time.
No more excuses.

Control my breathing — slow, shallow —
a steady hand,
remember training,
careful aim this time.

I won’t miss you again.


Something tells me this is not what Stu had in mind when he asked for a poem about ‘Missing You” at the dVerse Pub tonight. The sentimentality just would not come for me, could not get past this image, could not stop myself from going through with it.

Bang! 🙂


Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts