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.


vagabonding, I spin–
adrift on the edges of time,
casting reflections
like an afterthought—

adrift on the edges of a time
that whispers of ladders to the moon,
my chimerical bubbles burst,

casting reflections
steadily westward until
they become an abstraction,

like an afterthought–
carelessly lingering in the dreamless
realm of the rising sun

I’m sure you could calculate it mathematically, but the seemingly random appearances of the moon outside my window is a mystery to me. These were taken at dawn this month from my bedroom window, which faces south–but sometimes it sets outside my kitchen window to the west, and I see it while making coffee. Sometimes I only see it early in the night or in the middle of the night when it wakes me shining through the window. Sometimes it grazes the buildings, sometimes it’s so high in the sky I have to get right against the widow and look up in order to see it.

I like the way that last photo becomes an abstract composition of geometric forms.

Colleen asked us to to write about the view outside our window for Tanka Tuesday. I’ve written in the trimeric form. I’ve also used words from the Random Word Generator.

And here’s a recent sunset from the bedroom as well.

I’m lucky to have lots of sky.


a misted bridge forms
across the water–
our voices dance
as if they were winged

across the water
we float airborne
touching the sky

our voices dance
scattering the light

as if we were winged
needing no reason
playing with life itself

For dVerse, where Lisa asks us to play. Also inspired by the photo, above, by Terri Webster Schrandt, provided by Colleen for this week’s Tanka Tuesday. I’ve written another trimeric poem.


the bridge to night,
hushed and wakeful,
asks me questions–
the words cast spells,

hushed and wakeful,
delicate and cobwebbed, into
ice—a sudden snow

asks me questions,
but I remain cloistered–
self-contained, undreamed—

the words cast spells–
maps sailing silent
unknown boundless seas

Boughton, George Henry; The Lady of the Snows; Walker Art Gallery

I started to construct a quadrille for dVerse, using the word ice given to us by Mish, and words from the Random Generator which Merril posted on Sunday. When I saw Colleen’s Ekphrastic prompt, above, it gave me a focus for what I had begun. I used the trimeric form.

ancient history

just fragments
reduced to a series of numbers–
take a photo to remember,
to contain the unknowable

reduced to a series of numbers,
ink on paper,
blurred now, salty–

take a photo to remember
the spirits now dispersed,
unable to find a vessel

to contain the unknowable–
all the infinite subtractions–
what remains has no name

A trimeric poem for Grace at dVerse. It’s very like a pantoum I think, so of course I like it.

I did this torn painting 6 years ago ago for a post mourning the fact that governments all over the world were destroying ancient art if they did not like the culture or religion it belonged to. Like the earth’s resources, once it’s gone it can never be replaced.