that which is not

night has no dimension, open
to every wandering
walls dissolve between now and then–
time sails a yondering


is it possible to exit
when there’s nowhere to go?–
narratives engulf you, cosmic
tides that whisper: hello–
join us

The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to “pick a poem you drafted earlier in the month and write a poem that contradicts or troubles it”. I chose “Who Is”, here

The collages above were first published in The Time Issue of the journal Feral last April.

Day 30. I made it.

Eat Me

Our relationship with food
is complicated–

calories, allergies,
chemistry, biology

Food never comes to our table
without context—

farm, factory,
consumption, waste

Food once grew itself–
humans gathered—

fruit, tubers,
grain, seeds

Do you know your food?
Haven’t we met?

earth, air,
fire, water

Can you name what it contains?
Read my label.

flavored and colored fruit pieces
treated with sodium sulfite to promote color retention

Can you point me out in a crowd?
Do you recognize me?

carrot, apple
corn, sunflower seed

Eat Me.

I didn’t really understand the NaPoWriMo prompt, but my poem has two parts and the food talks.

It also gave me an opportunity to resurrect some old drawings that prove I once knew how to draw still life. What do you think Aletha?

Can you guess what I made after I drew the second one?


sunny April
afternoon, now
cold, shivered, closed

part of the heart
on the edge of
your atmosphere
not weeping but

paused in because
tiny box of
lies and last straws—

hard tuneless chord–
this life in a
wordless, cleft, scarred

I wanted to do Punam’s music prompt earlier this week, but I always have trouble making random song titles sound natural in a poem. I was also intrigued by Sangeetha’s DoReMiDo nonce form on Muri’s April Scavenger Hunt list, but uncertain how to make it work. My solution was to attempt to combine the two.

I did slant the rhymes, but managed to merge both into a somewhat coherent form, incorporating one song title into the middle of each stanza of the poem. This week’s Random Word List also helped out.

For dVerse OLN, hosted by Grace, and NaPoWriMo–two days to go!

This is the music under my embroidery, above.

The Pines of Memory

The reservoir always feels deserted–
needled earth, filtered sun,
a perpetual twilight pining away
eternity in framed minutiae.
I can taste the scented secrets,
the startled rustle of the unseen–
familiar shadows of currents bedeviled
by ghostseeds scattered unpollinated,
left hanging unconed.  I hold
the image of what is not there–
fragmented, pierced, and resinated–
painting everything in deep
dusky raw rudimentary green.

For the NaPoWriMo prompt today: write your own poem titled “The ________ of ________,” where the first blank is a very particular kind of plant or animal, and the second blank is an abstract noun. The poem should contain at least one simile that plays on double meanings or otherwise doesn’t quite make “sense,” and describe things or beings from very different times or places as co-existing in the same space.

Not sure I met all the parameters, but the title seems right anyway.


the dark shifts into
wakefulness—I open eyes
to the clear calmness
of the moon—she understands
all languages of the night—

how to repattern
the spectered endings into
way stations—a pause
between shadows cast backwards and
those strung with celestial light

Off prompt for NaPoWriMo but on prompt for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday where she asked us to capture a moment in the tanka form.


you forgot
to tell me you loved
me, and I
hended the missing words be
tween the lines, the gaze

held toolong
ingly—the invi
tations (so
benign, off
hand) that failed to penetrate
the walls I hid be

hind, clinging
to an imagin
ary ves
sel that had
long ago left me out of
range—I was not wise

in subtle
ty—only in retro
spective re
gret do I
understand the quandaries of
the roses you did

not give—re
duced now to sparse thorns
bleeding fu
tures that re
main unlived—flashbacks—heart eat
en out with whatifs

Inspired by ee cummings, NaPoWriMo asked us “to also write a love poem, one that names at least one flower, contains one parenthetical statement, and in which at least some lines break in unusual places.” I do those line breaks in shadorma all the time, so that’s the form I chose.

“A Question Can’t Be Wrong”

A good question for me is one I keep
thinking about.  I don’t need to make sense
of it.  Serendipity, cosmos, time.
A good question for me is one that meets
in the middle.  One that begets intense
wide journeys, floating deep between the lines.
A good question follows me into sleep.
It rearranges and reframes events,
is more than just the words I can define.
A good question reshuffles how I see.

The NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a poetic review of something that isn’t normally reviewed. I decided to look at some of my book reviews on Goodreads for an idea of how to approach it. The first quote in my review of Kiese Laymon’s book “Long Division” (a book I highly recommend) is what I used for the title of my poem. I’m not sure if if this is a review of asking questions or of questions themselves. But I am always asking them, and of course I have a lot of thoughts about them. I borrowed some of the ideas from the review too.

Even my collage box art is always asking questions and commenting on asking questions.

I’ve written in the form of Muri’s Dizzy poem. The motion is mostly interior, but it’s present, even though not necessarily seen.

The Summer of my Childhood

watching clouds
lying in the grass
slow dreaming

are there any four
leafed clovers?

hot dogs kick-the-can

rain falling
no thunder—dance with
sprinkler sky

dragonflies tadpoles

free to roam–
be home for dinner–
alive, full

My childhood between ages five and ten really was idyllic. I don’t think it’s nostalgia. I haven’t spent time in that place for a very long time.

Kind of on prompt for NaPoWriMo.

I Ask Emily Some Questions

…not that I can tell the difference
between an instant and a moment–
What is, exactly, the fundamental unit
of time?  Is it a pause, or is it a question
of how the equation’s processes
are organized?  Where is the boundary
between thriving and decay?  When
do cobwebs begin to appear
in the corners of the mind?  Does
the soul, too, become dust, or
is it like zero, pivoting on an axis
that has no location?  Is time
elemental like earth, like fire?
Can it fall into ruin? –or is it
integral to the devil’s work, a way
of placing things on a line, consecutive
and immutable?  Is slow really
opposite to fast, or, in fact, only
a different way of measuring?–and
where exactly is an instant to be
found?  Can it be held in place, or
does it have no material form, no
law to explain it, no real identity at all?

The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to make your own poem from an Emily Dickinson poem. I chose Crumbling is not an instant’s Act (1010). I went through and selected words and, using them in order, wrote my own poem around them. This is a method I often employ, using words from all kinds of sources. Emily is a good source.

For some reason what I wrote reminded me of Dylan’s Love Minus Zero/No Limit. OK, I did kind of borrow “like ice, like fire”. Here’s my favorite version, by Joan Baez.