Bugging Me

My brothers hid to fling grand-

daddy-longleg spiders in my hair

to my horrified screaming dance.

I learned

their sticky legs

curl-caused panic

to the tune

of laughter so hard

the boys fell onto the grass.

Fool, my mother said later,

they do it to hear you scream.

The rules of engagement

clear, I enacted an impervious

shell:  Spiders are my friends,

I said, so calm, thank you

for reuniting us.

I was ten.

Their faces fell as I quenched the

joy I felt as malice,

assuming nonchalance

over my inward shudders.

Let me confess right here,

I still quiver when extracting

tiny legs from my locks,

although they say today there is

ninety percent less chance

of contact, the pesticide companies

capitalizing on our squeamishness

and my brothers have

grown rich in their application

of poisons

for that country-club-illusion

monoculture.  The hives have collapsed,

the bats and swallows hunger,

our tricks turn on us.

We follow the money with

that taste of toxins,


the way ahead is obstructed,

the shell is cracking,

and the names of what we know

are humbug.  Our inter-being only now

becoming clear

in these last days of the surd

edifice of man.




Inspired by: Fool from three places!

Do It Again

You can check-out any time you like
But you can never leave ~ The Eagles

I’m so done

like the buffleheads fleeing

their feast two weeks early,

the paltry offerings of this winter-

wrecked lake no longer fetching.

Migrating en masse

and who can blame them,

though the waters will suffer

tomorrow in the warm and

wild proliferation

of mollusks and all the larvae

spared with the seeds

of pondweeds and bullrushes.

Will they feed the fish,

or does this tip the scale,

like imbalance

tilts clothes hangers

during an earthquake, 

that startling slide-tinkling metal

that wakes you in a cold sweat

as you realize that gravity

can’t be counted on,

not always.

In the aftershocks

all the difficult

people grouchy and sullen,

I want to ascend


I’m outa here

but I sit

just a bit

longer, releasing the need

to feed the closet

righteousness, mirrored here

even in the fast-tracked

migration of my cousins.

Written while ruminating on feast, paltry, closet, fetching, and The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible by Charles Eisenstein.

Chilled To The Marrow

The news a barrage

of Arctic blasts delivered

like icy fingers probing

my structural weaknesses.

Creaking through my dreams

where wanderlust

leads me through new dimensions,

constellations hovering just outside

the global campfire

where we huddle.

Listen, their dainty voices

splinter like ice

through the deep dark 

without ever penetrating

our eyes.  When I was young,

we looked to the stars

for salvation, aspiring to

bold acquisition,

infinitives split.

Our only hope

to export this zeal 

conquer all dissidents,

erase difference

a blank blacktop of boxes

Starbucks, McDonalds, Walmarts.

Everything branded, possessed.

We are poking through the scraggly

roadside weeds, wondering

where are the forests

as we add another log to the

blaze before us, paltry

attempts to warm

these frozen hearts encased

in old languages.  I scatter

seeds for the birds

fluttering through the single pine.

Risking frostbite to reach 

my sisters who sing

perched on perilous life. 

Inspired by:  Dainty, News, Wanderlust and Barrage.

Leaving So Soon?

I proudly claim my refusal

to give one more cent

to Jeff Bezos.  The plutocrat-controlled

news is dismal; we have lost.

The human race leaves our

ignominious signature of greed-

spawned desolation


in virtual reality,

an illusion relying on the existence

of the very forests it is programmed

to raze.  Without their leaves,

no air

no water

endless drought-flood-hell-

fires long promised

with slavish faith

to the words penned by sly monks


the wild wisdom of ancients.

How do we embrace

the abhorrent


we are all connected?

I cut off the flow

of wealth to the one percent,


in my mad consumerism.

I embrace the downtrodden

humiliated, tear-gassed pieces


feeling powerless

to effect change

with my tiny voice.

Finally admitting I am the one

plundering the planet

refusing to pay the cost

as I clutch everything

to my empty heart

and wail.

When I can no longer walk,

I will crawl

gasping for air.

I need more.

Inspired by this article and Leave, Lost, Walk, and Dismal

Global Warming

The process of rewarming is extremely painful; the tissues will not hurt at all until they are rewarmed, but once they begin to thaw, the pain is intense. – Williams College Health Center on frostbite

I am in a state of shock
and I feel powerful.

I want to end this life
and I want to stay and heal.

I am disgusted by the rampant
dingy soiled sheets
aired and called clean
on the public streets.

I am frightened by the lies
like treacle, treacherous
and sticky, cloying
and repressing all decency.

The welfare of the planet
mocked and denigrated
the airwaves controlled
by greedy powerseekers

who blast this continual
filth, inspiring the basest
among us, the psychopaths,
to strike out

in their justified fear,
following the hateful prompts
ringing in their ears
24/7. The numbers don’t lie,

the hate permeates
the call to resist
promising more
to resist. I ignore the ephemeral

pull, relax into the ocean
of movement.
I’ve already discovered
the disconnect inherent

in the specialists’ diagnoses:
angry inflammation of cells
the condition in this moment
inexplicable, everlasting.

I call bullshit.

Colonialism creates an entire system
based on consumption
and it consumes us,
holy hell

our need inflamed
and the soothing sublime
solution, so long locked out,
is going to hurt

when we allow it back.
We listen and slowly
invite what is outside

what is frozen within us,
in this torment

hosting the thaw

screaming and allowing
because this change
reorders our chaotic lives

and it’s time
to leap
into the creative flow
all together now

our global hive mind
to change this moment

on this planet
we hold in our very cells.

Written in response to #OctPoWriMo Day 29 prompt: By the numbers, and inspired by: Repress, Dingy, Ephemeral, Sublime, and Welfare.

Joining The Chorus

…a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,   
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings—
I know why the caged bird sings! ~ Paul Laurence Dunbar

Tell me more about
fortuitous blessings that arrive
after my diligent practice.
The number-crunchers assert
the planet won’t bear my weighty
insistence on posh digs
with my kind, careless
poisoned carnival-goers
making merry
while the bodies writhe,
the bonfires blaze.
And so I sit.
Center inside
and still
I crave assurance
that the miracle can arise
like breath
or fog on the cool dawn lake.
The atrocities reverberate
down the generations
bomb-blasting our present
ears stunned by this tone-
deaf assault.  In our knee jerk
reflex, we stand, speak
to the smirks and sneers.
Listen, we beg, and try
to chop the slippery
truth into bite-sized pieces,
now frantic in their swift
sweep under the rug.
How do our voices hold
the whole notes with these
hands covering our mouths?
Locked in the dark room,
the air sirens silenced,
the blitzkrieg so relentless
warnings are no longer
needed.  We know.
Together, holding hands
with every wretched being,
the bleeding wounded and
the sword-wielding
in the darkness, our inner fire
holding this space,
and where, oh, god,
where is the grace?

Inspired by:  carnival, smirk, slippery, fortuitous, posh, number

Rewriting The Definition

Tall black-eyed susans push past

a low cloud of moonbeam

coreopsis. A crowd at

the strictly enforced border.

A blushing nymph

waterlily suns herself in the lake,

invasive as all get out

a pithy warning —

settlers’ sly insistent creeping.

There’s no room.

We squeeze each other out,

every inch of this perfect

green lawn saturated

with poisons for perennials,

marauding insects, crushed. The sweet autumn

clematis has leaped

to the shoreline, her bold daughter

blooming in white fragrance.

Chocolate mint escaped a container

to luxuriate in this lakeside

property.  The natives are absent

except for one ancient poplar

and her old granddaughter.  They hold long

conversations underground

minding the aquifer.  Their silly leaves

play peek-a-boo with the beings

who flitter in branches and sing

nursery rhymes.  The chill

in the foreboding air.  The after-

taste of toxins.

Surely spring

is bound to follow

winter with vibrant new

species, resistant to the cancers

so carelessly created

as we succumb, unseeing

in our technodaze

to the newest wave of life

wanting to live.


Inspired by: definition, pithy, absent, bound

Last Dance

The earth considers

herself sunlight-

dancing full-moon-passionate 

tangos with hurricane-twirls.  

Spinning in the rising heat, 

shoulder-shrug pause

an earthquake-scratch 

at the man-tumor rash

spreading. Awake,

humming, she shakes out her

long volcano-hair, concocts 

her sixth sleeping-potion.


Inspired by a prompt at dversepoets to write a 44-word quadrille using “earth.”