New phone, who dis?

I used to fantasize

my family tree grew

from the nobility.

I’d say, “Off with her head,”

to seize my cousin’s power.

— Maybe this is a Scottish

Stuart thing.  A child, I’d watch

with a fire, my heart

desperate to make sense

of the outright imbalance

that no one acknowledged.

And then the teenaged avalanche

of insights, someone didn’t 

share and we are all

descendants of that

hoarding evil.  We started

as stardust, so why do we

idolize these pretty faces

glimpsed on their expensive yachts,

their feet firmly planted

on our delicate necks?

We don’t even squirm,

lost in our visions —

perhaps even their

merest touch

will gild our desires.

When will we rise

and claim our connection,

tear down the illusion

walls and awaken

to hear

the cries

of our cousins?

Inspired by:  Nobility, Watch, Avalanche and Fire.

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.

I Hear You Calling

The bay iced up, buffleheads

dive in the shrinking

open water, hundreds crowding

as the lake borders close.

Surely spring is percolating

through this late winter

but more snowfall is predicted

tomorrow.  They’ve hunkered

down, as have their kind

farther south, who were 

expected yesterday.  I worry

with my bovine dullness

how this will affect their mating

meetup in the wilds of Canada.

Will the latecomers arrive

too thin and weak to attract

the healthiest mate?  Will their

contribution to the gene pool

be lost, another achievement

of humankind’s oblivious

obstruction of the euphonious

whole?  We take, steal, bargain

for the cheapest price,

the hidden costs piling

like the mountains of rubbish

discarding as a

matter of course in our boredom.

Even when we notice

something is wrong, we can’t

track the cacophony 

inherent in our screaming society,

the rumbles of traffic above

and below, the livestreams,

airwaves bloated and our

ears beleagured.  The drumbeat

of our hearts subdued

under sleeping pills.

How can we wake up

and hear the song of love

that holds us

tiny insects

crawling on the skin

of our living mother?

Inspired by Percolate, Euphonious, Bovine and Achievement. and this song, Ancient Mother.

Grimm Wrongs

To deconstruct these tales, I must

call in the guild

of wise-women witches

to rein in the team of wizards.

I propose to dismantle

machinery that flattens

our focus, fans this desperate

need to be told.  We are poised

on the foundation

entranced by the architect

of a patriarchal castle,

wary of the woods

owned exclusively by the king.

The wild things seethe there.

Out of his control, they must

be wicked.  We’re engrossed

by the glossy pages waiting

for some specialist’s sterile

white-coated stethoscope

languaging lingular lobe

diagnoses in that wa-wa

voice.  There is no sense.

We clutch our symptoms,

victims in the dark

written into what we’ve

swallowed whole and 

sits undigested like

worry.  Sunrise is just 

expectation

someone will save us —

Jesus or a white knight,

a superhero.  It obviously

must be male.  

And we must pay.

We’re on our knees

or asses, beaten

to exhaustion, no space

to hear the inner calling.

Our own sacred voices

filtered out.

Admonished:  keep your eyes on the

skies.  Make a vision board

for the Big Dream.  Hypnotized

by the flimsy metaphor

that can’t tread water.

Test it, throw it into 

the deep end.  

There’s no saving

what becomes apparent.

Shall we give up

the waiting

to compose

new fairy tales?

simply

flowing

naked

fury

we

integrate

children

watch

now.

Inspired by Victim, Lingular, Guild,  Team and the flow of metaphors mixed up in today’s riptide outpouring. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Resistance Is Futile

This morning prompts

cue a diatribe

lambasting chivalry,

that elevation of war

poets in monotonous patriarchal

prisons.  I’ll sing instead

for my health,

lively, as I speculate 

that we can simply

resonate in a higher 

vibration.  Shaking off

and leaving behind

the old ways

colonial shame

and the ancients praise

this day

so long-awaited,

the constellation tuning-forks

above us in polyphonic

intricacies.

We listen to the deep

places between these bouncing

molecules, sensing

the long-sought-after harmony.

Inspired by Monotonous, Health, Speculate and Chivalry.

Spring Tidings

The sandhill cranes insist

noisily that I come out

to gape at their typical touristy

ways, a squawking commentary

like rowdy spring-break teens

hailing the ancient trees and this

lovely lake.  These crocuses

and the green shoots of daffodils

are too small for their high-flying eyes.

I could be mistaken. They vee

north where surely spring is still

too fragile to feed them, but

I’m frozen by this overstayer

winter so what do I know?

Like clockwork the buffleheads

arrive by their precise

reckoning.  My yearly delights

follow a calendar far more

exact than this Gregorian compromise

that rules my days.  Black and white

divers tease the water into rippling

sensuous shudders as they go under,

hundreds of them, a quick wiggle

to disappear into her mysteries.

She’ll be accepting snowfall

later today, to complicate this dance.

Such a trial for this hostess, plunging

temperatures forcing a cold

shoulder to guests only here

to kiss and make up

before the long trip,

boreal breeding grounds beckoning.

They won’t miss that flight,

their boarding passes etched

into their cells, and so I count

the thirty days slow and sweet

standing before this cold window

an essential piece of the living world

they enchant.

Inspired by Reckoning, Enchant, Trial and Fragile.

This Wild Ride

I slip past the expectations

of people who knew me

before now.  Fluid as I

paddle in this iridescence

to summon my magic

at the bottom turn.  That tiger

shark, lurking, makes such

a strong case to stay on my board.

I surf through this sea

of change to catch

a wave, flying past

with an exultant cry before

my magnificent wipeout.

A rag doll in a washing machine,

so long beneath the surface

before I can rise, thrashing,

to reunite with my breath.

I’m here with death, my old

friend, finally learning

to enjoy the ride.

 

Inspired by:  Case, Iridescence, Magic and Learning.

The Magic Eye

The rush-hour drive transformed, we approach

from the march that protects the magical

forest I inhabit.  Closer we creep

and the skyline’s a mystery.

I’ve never seen these fantastical

castles he counts, six, seven, eight!

Eight, shouting and there must

be dragons.  I’m driving; it’s cloudy,

but he can see these radiant beings

with the superpowers his great

grandmother sewed into his cape.

How to appease a sad boy

whose genuine entreaties are ignored?

Please come.  I offer a large crow

but suddenly the enchanted

creature is in the back seat.

His name is Jerry and he’s friendly

so the chances he’ll scorch us

are slim.  Turn this way, my storyteller

directs, but I’m in the wrong lane

and he’s on his way home.

We leave the skyscrapers

to their work opening up the realms

of newness reserved for the most brilliant

stars among us, here to remind

and include all things lovely

curious and highly improbable.

When I drive home later, alone

in this new landscape, my sight

changes, the noose of reality

loosens and I can’t stop grinning.

 

Inspired by: Radiant, March, Fantastical and Appease.

What’s At Stake

The practical mathematics we explore

look suspiciously like witchcraft.

Silver-locked grandmothers dancing

around the family tree

measuring with diametric

precision while praising

the infinite always get a

bad rap from the likes of Big

Pharma.  Unmedicated, noncompliant

so he can learn the burning

love triangle, child and parents,

the long chains of ancestors

as visible as smoke

I teach him to see.

We both devour these moments

fully present in the is-ness

emerging

to be seen and celebrated

in the fullness we give each

other in these flames.

Inspired by:  Chain, Diametric, Infinite and Devour.

Love of My Life

If you’re wondering, who is

this auspicious star, it’s me

illuminating every puddle.

Here you are casting shadows

with that serious face

oblivious to the solar

language of my kiss.

Come, play in these gray

last winter days, shiver

anticipate that moment

when I finally pierce

your cold constellations

and you let go of your grief

to look up

praise

the listening at last.

Inspired by: Auspicious, Wondering, Puddle and Language.