The Oracle is Abstruse

she says that they are secrets, each to the other

Not only was the Oracle exceptionally cryptic this morning, I was uncertain how to punctuate her message.

how is never?        how is never
like a star,               like a star?
its life is finite

no she said
that cannot be

but who is this voice?     but who is this voice
and why?                          and why
are the words broken?

I wait this one out

as if the night
could bring me
its open secrets

The birdlings are always welcome, day or night.

As Echoes

My nights are glimmers, like the stars
I almost see behind the haze
of misted air—reflected dark–
a shadow of what?  I cannot say

for certain what bewitched my mind
and held it captive in the sky
outside my window—its edges shine
like invisible wings that silent, fly

between the fragments of absent dreams,
beyond the capacity of words–
I sail on sheet-tossed restless seas
awaiting dawn–the songs of birds

Laura at dVerse asked us to write an alternate rhyme poem–3 stanzas of 4 lines each–borrowing alternate rhyme pairs from a published poem and using them in the order in which they appeared in the original poem. A cursory look provided no inspiration from other poets, so I looked at the sonnets I had written and found three that were appropriately rhymed.

I chose the first 12 lines from my sonnet “Purple Dreams”–itself inspired by the song lyrics of Prince–because how could I resist a final word list that began with stars and ended in birds?

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.


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 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.

“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.