Frogs Slowly Boiling

He’s destroyed the sparrow nest
and he leaves the detritus

piled beneath the bird box.
This morning I see feathers

weighted by raindrops to the wet
grass. I take inventory, six

of them plucked–from a kill?
Surely too many from preening.

I have found corpses–decay so foul
I gagged at ten yards–warming

their nests. Do they worship a god
who insists all this is theirs to

conquer, the lives they displace
have no worth? This malice is not

personal. It’s deep-seated elitism.
They casually kill the living beings

in their way, like colonists in
a new land, destroying the native

population with no remorse,
not even an inkling of the despair

their actions leave a trail
of destruction. My stance crunching

bones of the ones who came before,
I heed this niggling twinge,

the trace of my society’s crimes.
There is no peace here. In the tangled

roots of jealous acquisition,
we nurture the beast blindly

take comfort in the slow
poisoning of all we know.

Inspired by Jealous, Inventory, Peace and Nurture and the reason it’s unedited is because it’s written for the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt: leaves.  The rules are no editing, just write it and press publish.  So difficult to do!


Essential Ingredient

If there is something in nature you don’t understand, odds are it makes sense in a deeper way that is beyond your understanding.

If you see fraud and don’t shout fraud, you are a fraud.~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Under a quivery yellow

tulipifera—in this breeze,
lit by a sunbeam right before

the rain comes. Who can hear secrets?
What is the sound of a thousand

trembling leaves? A stage whisper
reaching into the receptive

cells that vibrate living. Can we
recognize the song cascading

past the stained-glass windows? In the
fastness, pious people kneel eyes

closed before their almighty white
patriarch, chanting, gulled and farmed

for their subservient tithing
to the very ones who kill the

sacred mother, dispossessed of
even her holy spirit. Saved

by random unrecognized
movers like this impossible

black swan, unpredictable
catastrophic consequences,

slipping into our collective
shadows unclaimed and unnamed—

look, just there in the blink
between dreams and soft waking.

There is no other place to go.
There is no better song than yours,

issuing right now off-key and
fun, original lilting you.

Written prompted by: Almighty, Original, Kneel and Farm.

I wish

Oh, daddy, so wise, you always knew
that if you mistreated any woman, you harmed

me, your beloved daughter. You presented
a C-note tip to every waitress, paid handsomely

all those who taught me. Your secretaries
drove luxury cars and sported designer

jeans. The women who toiled to clean
your home, you treated like royalty.

You preached fair exchange, devout
and dedicated to the females who

rocked your world. You even petitioned the
God to bring back the Goddess,

kicked out by that old white guy
in the sky now laughing, splashed in mud

by his earthy lover. You insisted
that my worth be known to all,

instead of gratis, you taught me
to negotiate a salary with aplomb

and absolute certainty my demands be met.
Model for every father, you gave

me this platform so firmly supported
that I extend my hands to every

woman on this patriarchal planet,
look where we are today,

celebrated and loved, thanks
to the utmost respect and

endless toil to secure our rights,
by these dear and loving fathers.

Inspired by: Insincere, Gratis, Daddy and Father.

No Passage

I’m stuck today
in Disenchantment Bay

what lies beneath the
surface like a sacred Inuit

name seething below the
whiteman map–you can’t get there

from here so value plummets
cold as this glacial wind

blowing the stumps of cedar.
Turn the ship around and curse

this holy water, patriarchal
stain on ice. Don’t think twice.

Another woman you have failed
to penetrate, alone at last.

Inspired by: Glacial, (Sammi Cox’s weekend writing prompt to write exactly 66 words making sure glacial is one of them!) and the beautiful land around Hubbard Glacier.

Round Peg, Square Hole

Biological resilience and sustainability require the capacity to endure, to adapt, and to maintain a dynamic stability in the face of sometimes-chaotic environments. They require the cognitive flexibility that enables the genesis of technological innovations. We will have to think outside the modernist box to find new forms — and new uses for very old forms, just as natural evolution does. It seems clearer than ever that the survival of our planet depends upon it.~Michael Mehaffy

I can’t think inside this box,
the squares curtail the spiral

patterns of growth.  Give me
open sky and stars

clouds scudding, leaves dancing
in breezes. A round place

like a wigwam womb for retreat only
during storms. Anything but these

harsh straight lines, the walls
like cages. I sit clipping coupons

searching for bargains
to keep me focused on staying

inside this phony narrative.
Anything to delay my exit:

a square door on a blocky
garage, roads to the brick

and mortar miles of aisles.
My quandary again is down

to narrative stamped upon me
as a child, habits of thoughts

ungrounded in biology, marching
me up and down in cells

of society’s making, so busy
turning sharp corners, tucking

in neat, organized and steady,
rhythmic and forcing

–conform, no ballerina twirls,
no soft vulnerable curves–

look, on the rectangular screen,
a rom-com horror crime show,

binge, escape, the square
will keep you safe.

Inspired by: Phony, Quandary, Delay and Bargain.

Maybe Today

Sliding open these glass doors
I want that great blue heron to

believe I am no threat–he’s
flying across the lake in croaking

protest. I’m considering how to treat
the things in my life with respect.

Bidding goodbye with gratitude to
what no longer gives me joy.

I thought I was spartan but
possessions cling to me like burrs.

I once traveled for three months
carrying only a small backpack.

I found that every gift
lightened my load. Hiking boots

for my huge feet hung from my
shoulder. I remember traders

from Otavalo fingering the leather,
offering exchanges of colorful woven

treasures. We settled on a spare
camera and my sketches from San Agostin–

an eagle swallowing a snake, a two-
headed warrior, mysterious deities

carved into stone, abandoned so
long ago the sculptors’ only trace.

My towels are hung slipshod,
my drawers higgledy-piggledy,

sulking in the dark the things unwanted
as I push them further, filling

my space with everything I have no time
for and a some day that never comes.

Inspired by The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, the book I opened in response to the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt:  “open book, point, write.” Pick up the closest book to you when you sit down to write your post. Close your eyes, open the book, and place your finger on the page. Whatever word or phrase your finger lands on, write about it. (And, as always, the post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.)

Stuck In Story

Invested so deeply into
the game, a fair exchange far-fetched

beyond fairy tales we’re stuck in
Cinderella and our evil

stepmother and self-righteous kin
are bilking our inheritance.

We hustle, scavenging for coins
beneath the dirty table, wipe

the sweat from puzzled brows, too tired
to question. This is normal, right?

Pretty blue screens keep our focus
as we fracture under the weight

of our owners, holding them high
for their last grab: water and air

we don’t have time to breathe. Don’t try
to instigate some David and

Goliath scheme. We’re in between
a rock and we can’t form a fist

while penny-pinching, following
the trails of crumbs that lead us not

into salvation but drop us
here, the chocolate-box cottage

where the sweets rot our teeth even
as the oven converts us to

the fuel we have always been, our
delicate beauty erased by

pure unadulterated greed
—not just by our masters though we

firmly deny our consent to
this false narrative, we’re driven

to surrender by our craving
to candy up our sour lives.

Inspired by: Hustle, Exchange and Instigate.