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.


Hollow mute barren.
What is left
of the flesh
but bones, bereft?

are the thoughts and prayers?
Fallen—buried in the sundered earth.

Unseen currents scatter
the fragments that once
cohered.  Ashes dust
atrophy rust.

what once was written in stone.
Fallen—buried in the sundered earth.

What will future archaeologists, whether human or from alien civilization, will make of us? is today’s NaPoWriMo prompt. I’ve used Muri’s Running Repetition form (I hope I got it right…) for my reply.

far from the tree

every bite contains
the stigma of desire as sin–
knowledge as forbidden, evil–
the seed that will eventually die

the stigma of desire as sin–
perhaps you are smitten
by what is golden, delicious

knowledge as forbidden, evil–
sweet honey, crisp autumn–
always a malignant aftertaste

the seed that will eventually die–
immortal gods in their gated gardens,
fertilized by the ignorance of man

The NaPoWriMo prompt today is to “write a poem that contains the name of a specific variety of edible plant – preferably one that grows in your area.”  I’ve always been fond of apples and we have many varieties that grow here in New York, including Smitten, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, and Autumn Crisp. The prompt also asks that we “try to make a specific comparison between some aspect of the plant’s lifespan and your own. “

This trimeric is not is not the first time I’ve considered the story of the Forbidden Fruit. I’ve used Alice Neel’s painting Symbols, below, as a reference on several occasions, as I did for two of the collages above.  And I’ve made many representations of the Tree of Life as well.


essence roots itself
in a trace of breath—silent,
ephemeral, runed–

essence roots itself
without location, time or

in a trace of breath, silent
universes take
hold, as if infused by clouds—

ephemeral, runed–
needing no gods, no hourglass
to spell out what is

I’ve written a troiku for Muri’s scavenger hunt which comes slant at the NaPoWriMo prompt to “describe something in terms of what it is not”.