No Coincidence

We met in that careless synchronicity wizards know.  Car seat between us, his handsome young face alit.  Trading secrets that silver-haired grannies like me hold, but in 30,000 rides, he’d seen the way of Tao. 

I told him I lived on a lake. 

His dream was to leave the windy city of his birth and open his heart to the waves, the birds, the peace.  

He said, “I could live with someone older, do the chores, relax.”  

I thought what he was flirting with was the incantation, as wizards do.  

“I meditate,” he confided, so we both know there are moments caught between heartbeats where we meet.  Strangers no longer, we waved our wands to solve the planet’s woes, just so.  

By Departures, we tarried a spell until airport security prevailed.  Another wave, he drove away.  I glanced, curious, into the mirrored door.

Flash fiction in 144 words written for the dverse poets prompt:  prosery between heartbeats using the line “there are moments caught between heart-beats.”

Featured image using Lunapic‘s Van Gogh filter on a recent photo.

And yet, I can

Half of the bay is iced,
a line straight from shore to shore.

Rippling bright cold on that side.
Frozen still by me.

Last night’s clouds covered the full
moon trying to cleanse crystals

stargazing on my window seat.
The architect of my dreams

is always me. The plight awakening
my soul held for ransom

by these tiny trauma places
obstructing my energy flow.

Ducks dabble at the edge,
perhaps flirting with danger under

this new boundary. Heads pop
up in the ceaseless current.

I’m diving into my inner self
worth, seizing each block

curling my feet and clenching
my hands. Signals to my wise

now—heal me! Love me!
All this young reaching out

turned inward to comfort
a broken heart. You’re not

good enough my poisoned
talisman, intelligent protection.

You’re too much. Truth will not
be received well, not here.

Shut up and survive.
Clutch this imperative: you can’t.

Inspired by: Can, Architect, Plight and Ransom.

Just popped in at the halfway point to say, I miss you, fellow daily writers! The writing is flowing like music, thanks to Lisa Cron’s amazing book, Story Genius: How To Use Brain Science To Go Beyond Outlining And Write A Riveting Novel* [Before You Wasted Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere.] (It works! Yesterday my word count was 38,646 out of my goal of 50K by the end of November!)

Just Open Your Window

It quickens, it thickens, you can’t put it down now. It takes you, it shakes you,
it makes you lose your thought. ~ Cake

I yield to the limits of what
my basket can hold, strange musings

fierce regret, unaccountable joy.
Moved into prose with a calendar

flip. My desk clears, notebooks brim,
I realign my mornings to accomodate

a different muse. No brevity here,
I enter the sea, moved by the greater

currents. We say we have no power
yet we call the world into being

with every waking breath. Asleep
and sighing, we shake from certainty

into the deep magnetic i-don’t-know.
Carelessly or with intent, we use

our now to create. I follow my fingers
into a new world blinking, astonished.

Inspired by: Basket, Regret, Strange and Yield.

November is here, and I must yield to my #NaNoWriMo urgings once again. I’ll see y’all December 1st. Happy writing to all!

Enjoy some Cake! (You think she’s an open book but you don’t know which way to turn to, do you?)

Author’s Woes

There are only a few books

huddling up high, grey-bearded

dust on their stoic spines.

Their authority undermined

by the vibrant lunatic tweets.

Even a poem is too much

work, feeling into the weird

syncopation of congo drums

and the leather mallet on the skins

of strange sacrificed beings.

And who can you trust

these days, even when you pay

for relational space, the therapist

is so rapt with your story —

the one that needs a decent

burial, because it doesn’t

matter even though its barbs

have sunken deep into the

fabric of your soul.

It’s time to walk naked

through the house at long last,

embracing your sacred craft

unhindered.  You’re sorting

through ancestral shawls and 

crocheted cosies, but they’re all

on fire, the world’s on fire

and it won’t wait for the likes

of you while you struggle

to find the perfect match,

dousing your incendiary self.

Keep coming back to the body,

the wild heartbeats

of your one true fear,

lighting the signal fires 

you’ve been seeking.

The Art of War

The internment of hundreds of thousands of poor and mentally ill people has been a driving force in achieving our record levels of imprisonment. ~ Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy.

This sweat of daily practice hones

my clumsy two-handed heft

of a broadsword and my intent

to decapitate the enemy

with one swipe.

It’s all a head game.

Raise my temperature

unholy passion.

The enemy is all around me

and I’m striking

because I’m good

means you’re bad

and I can’t let you in,

an evil virus infecting me.

No empathy; welcome

to the prison nation.

If you’re rich, you’ll pay

a fine, but if you’re a poor

sinner, you’ll become

the currency. 

Build more

places of incarceration.

He’s obviously guilty, my mother says,

or why would he be in jail?

Yet even she is nervously

watching the cop on her tail.

She’s white; he won’t shoot.

She thinks her daughter should write

about nice things, not stir up 

trouble.  In her police shows

the SWAT teams break down

the doors and trash the wrong

house, leaving without apology,

intent heroes

on the trail

of the real miscreant.

We count our wealth

hoping it will buy us salvation

because a prison sentence

would be fatal.  We lock

the doors against the threat

that follows us inside

like smoke, and we cannot

catch our breath, so busy

feeding the flames.

Inspired by Broadsword, Empathy, Temperature and Passion.

Money Calls

So it seems I must be derelict

in my self-styled duties

to follow the seduction

of money.  It is this daily

practice that forces me

out of the uniform

I don for society —

no, not these yoga pants.

I strip and strut

naked, hoping to fascinate

with my faults.

Everywhere I look, the signs

say poets must bare

precisely what they’ve never before

shown to the world.

And so my dilemma,

halt my morning peep

show to ferry secret missives,

hat in hand

because the larder is empty,

my fasts are long in the tooth,

and how I hanker

for a pretty dress and

a ticket to the symphony!

Poetry doesn’t pay

those luxuries, at least

not today, so I’ll continue

this love letter off the record.


Inspired by: Uniform, Fascinate, Fault, Derelict, and being torn between a contest entry that insists on poems that have never been published and the delight I experience every morning when I hit that pink “publish” button.

Unbounded Metaphor

The word daisy, for example, comes from an Old English word meaning “day’s eye.” ~ Merriam Webster.

Speech reaching for the

fluidity of presence

because we’re chattering apes

and the experience’s worth

is determined by the story

we tell.  Every word

dragging us into the indifference

cold separation

despite our intention to

illuminate this key

right here.

It unlocks the paradise

lost in translation.  Can you see

the stultifying power

of narrative? We are belittled

by interpretation. Pounding, hammering out

the rungs of a ladder

inspired by unfathomable depths.

Even when I sit

in the deep silence

feeling into my energetic

bonds and loving you,

still I open

my eyes

and compose this poem.

Inspired by Paradise, Lost, Indifference and Worth.


I live on the threshold of water and sky

forest and plain.  Sometimes on the path

I scribble, racing the red

traffic lights on my way

to a civilized place

where my wild poem won’t fly.

My guitar always at hand for

my ballad-crooning folk singer.

And my pop diva has such

a snappy chorus.  I’m so freaking

grateful for my mess,

thank you, test.

I overwrite

to convey

like a cheerleader with a megaphone

what dwells in silence

deep inner space

dropping each beat

following breath

past the labyrinth

to the chagrin of my disappointed

mind watching as we slip by.

Slow for every speed bump

warning from my body.

Honor the hum

of om

embrace the silent song

and come up singing

at the chime.


Inspired by:  Hum, Overwrite and Megaphone.

Growing Souls

“The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut

In the attic-boxed stories

illustrated with crayons

my name in cursive carefully

claiming this 8-year-old brilliance,

I enter the saga 

of Gertrude, a just plain

ugly little girl who doesn’t give

a hoot about fashions or what

the popular kids are parroting.

She stands against bullies,

a genuine badass.

And by the end of the story,

she simply doesn’t care

that the other girls

are following her.


This strategic thinker, casting

myself a writer

fueling a family belief

in my sanity: 

Oh, that child, such a wild

imagination!  As I prattled on

ghosts in my closet,

dream visions, premonitions,

seeing energy like most people

see a table, and feeling

behind slick smiles, knowing

“Well, to tell the truth”

is the opening line

of a lie lurking near the curtains

ready to burst onto the stage.  


I skirt around the play

with pithy comments,

the mainstream trap is clearly

insane, so I’m happy, hearing

my friends call me wacky.


I am Gertrude, I see

that horizon 

the liminal space

the threshold

where creation is the leading

edge, so we drop

habits like hot potatoes,

release lies squirming through

the nets, abandon

mental convictions


Jumping up from a poem


when a bird crashes into my glass

window.  We all do it,

the poplar reminds.

I proclaim it is necessary for stars

to splinter

through my indefensible

sensibility.  I acknowledge

at long last the words

spinning my constructions and

I praise

the spaces beneath 

the stories

where we all reside.

Inspired by: Imagination, Horizon, Trap

Ultimately, it’s this:

I’m just writing. And that’s my advice to you. Screw the rules. Just write about what you feel passionately. And then say it out loud. The world needs powerful voices right now who see the truth and can speak it. Who can cut through the distractions and point out what is essential. Who can remind people, hey, we’re in this together.  That is far more important than rules. Writing from your own unique life path, sharing your own incomparable wisdom that no one else can access until you show up and tell the truth.

Inspired by a question about rules from a beginning writer and the word Ultimate.