Thursday, October 3, 2013

Drifting By

Orion like a cool breeze wakes
Me from Scorpion sleep
Strikes summer mosquitoes
Away with my blood.

The big and little dogs bark
The pond sings back
In minor key
What is done is done.

Fine stranded dispersal
Of time
Seeding the future
Drifting by.

Me on my planet drifting by
Watching Orion in the sky.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Visas for Allies

Two syllables on the radio
The word heard
In two contexts
Theirs and ours.

Our captain asks,
". . . what good is our word?"

In a country made of words
We the people
Need allies.

In one nation under God,
Theirs and ours,
We should not have to fight
To keep our pledges to our allies
And our ally in our pledge.

It is a dishonorable discharge to us all.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Face in the Wood

Gnarled face in knot of wood
Stares back through wall of time
The lines of which unravel
Revealing strength of face
I would follow into the polished wood
And imprisoned world of spirits there
Where gods once walked in natural forms
As white horse emerging from morning mist
Or wolf plucking dewberries with gentle fangs
But the wild wood hewn
Can only compel my gaze
And whisper to me now.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Reality Squared

Reality squared
       Impoverished beings that we are
Equals the square root of our hope
       That we are something more.

The truth we know rewrites itself
Disordered anew to resonate
With chaotic drift to landing place
The harbor of our souls to compensate
With golden coins of history
Stamped with human face of deity.

Reality squared
       To dust and ash our bodies revert
Equals the square root of our hope
       That we are . . .

That we are more than the cuneiform, 
papyrus, vellum, cloud drive of our words.

Posted at Poets United Poetry Pantry #155.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Seahorse Day

I wrote letters to my father
He never wrote me back

I said my prayers to God
He gave me but a book

The voice I sought to guide me
Paternalistic hidden

I now wish for a seahorse
To carry me through the flood

A pony express through time
To the man who heard my voice

And under jealous eye of goddess
His naiad I would be

Dancing on the moonlit lake
From which the horse does drink

Waiting to carry off two lovers
In memoriam 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Crypto Cat

Suspicion frowns upon the black panther
Whose myth resurfaces four times a year
Like a season of fear when the woods won't breathe
And its creatures won't stir to brave stalking death.

When somewhere in the backwoods
Two hunters meet, eye to eye, breath to breath,
The two-legged speaks, "Your black coat is mine."
The four-legged smiles a Cheshire smile, "You won't want to go there."

And each released from sudden blindness, brothers part,
Contenders for a greater truth
As elsewhere the debate goes on:
Puma jaguarundi or melanistic cougar crypto cat.

And renewed the mistrust and spewed the disrespect
Between the experts of the ivory towers
And woodsmen of the virgin bowers
Contending the range of the elusive beast.

Posted at Poets United Poetry Pantry #153.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Weather Channel

God oh my God oh my God oh my God oh
my God oh my God oh my God oh my God
oh my God oh my God oh my God
oh my God oh my God oh my
God oh my God oh my God
oh my God oh my God oh
my God oh my God
oh my God
oh my God
oh my

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Lose religion
Find faith
Add your god
To the pantheon
Fill your cup
With philosophy
Crucify another
The god gene pounces
Cat and mouse
Hold this rock
This unhewn stone
This burden
Fuels your flight

Futilitarian Joy

Road submerged in drought too long, rain too late,
The work that must be done will have to wait.
Futilitarian joy it is to me
That I must love this flooded day.

This is Sunset

When the solar arms embrace your aura
And fill your well of hope that all is well
With a world on the edge of darkness,
This is sunset.
When the sun is set
And the moon yet lingers in that embrace,
Soothing balm of light
Heals earthly eyes from glaring truth.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme

Garden guardian,

Stand over the silver sage.

Thyme, nullify time.

Chocolate, Beer, and Bookstalls

TV on I hear of chocolates and go about my business.
Then a question:
Which of the 300 Belgium beers will you try?
I answer the travel documentarian -
And reeling me in from my lack of attention,
I am caught on the line:
Every other shop a book stall.
My wanderlust unleashed,
I want, want, want, want, want
Chocolate, beer, and book stalls.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Feed the Awe

The hunger of a wolf cub is fed
Through the pads of her paws
And satiated mile on mile
Ley line on line of butterflies
And other curiosities.

The wonder of a child is awed
By a clear night of stars
And the howling in the wilderness
Stirring up restless fears
At a safe distance.

Monday, April 29, 2013


We build shelter
Alike in industry.
We strike defensively.
We tend the garden
For the greater good.
We share our stripes
We understand
It is their reaction
That makes them swell indignantly.


Bird of paradise -
High-voltage territory
If you're an insect.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


To blooming daughter
I have passed the torch of spring
Fire in flower.

My Hero

My hero is not the sort 
I've read of in the books,
But a frail man in a wheelchair
Who's giving me the looks.

Knees shot up,
Bayonet in the arm,
Shrapnel in the head.

He says,
"I've got a bronze star,
a silver star,
for letting people shoot at me."

I also know he has three purple hearts
and 173 are dead.

My hero is the sort
I've read of in the books,
But now he's old and forgotten
His courage never waning.

Poetic Dementia

The Lord's sitting on a haystack laughing.
The bees look up, tilt their heads.
A farmer's afraid to put his hand near.
The Lord pets the bees.

The Lord is going to pick you up
And use you in a way you don't expect.
I know you love the Lord.
I know you love bees.

You can't swear around the bees, it upsets them.
Do you know what happens to your communication
When you say God damn it, God damn it?
It gets broken.

As a nurse I receive a lot of jumbled words from minds crazed by pain, drugs, or dementia.  Some of the words make vague sense, like a poem.  If there is already a poetic form which is a transcription of such altered mind states, then this is my attempt at one.  If not then here it begins.

Posted at Poets United Poetry Pantry #148.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Woods Not So Heavy

Down a road where spiderwort
Weaves a web around the woods
That swallow up the way
An abandoned turtle shell
Points in circles
And the weight of the world
Falls on the intruder who is lost
Until deep-rooted wonder
Displaces fear
And warnings given branch to branch
Transform to comforting chatter,
The woods not so heavy anymore.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Read All About It

Nine earthquakes shake state since early Tuesday morning
Severe weather possible Wednesday
Please join us for a renovation celebration

Cigarette makers send billions in payments to states
Honor what is sacred, quit commercial tobacco
How do you define 'best interest of a child?'

Norman man arrested in child's death
Man accused of running around naked in front of children
Dr. King is now accepting new pediatric patients

Alleged coon-dog killer collared
What government found in meat
Take our 90-day food challenge

Boston bombs said to be made from pressure cookers
Stress management, night guard help relieve bruxism
Photo of young victim Martin Richard now a symbol

Found Poem taken from headlines and advertisements in the Talihina American,,, and

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Abstractions of Civilization
grow a Tree
but fell the black oak
the white oak and
the red oak
to make Floors,
first floor Deep and
penthouse Towering Transcendent,
and as Words less particular
expand in number and meaning
Man climbs out of his Cradle
and ages Wise and Philosophical 
but there is a Grave that lies in wait,
for what Civilization has been able
to stand its Ground without
the Black Oak
the White Oak and
the Red Oak.

     This poem grows out of my epiphanic confusion brought on by reading the following from The Story of Civilization:  Our Oriental Heritage by Will Durant.  ". . . Choctaw Indians had names for the black oak, the white oak and the red oak, but no name for oak, much less for tree . . . abstract terms seem to grow in a reciprocal relation of cause and effect with the development of thought; they become the tools of subtlety and the symbols of civilization."  But it seems to me that as civilization matures itself in abstractions, the ability to know the difference between an oak and a maple, much less between a black oak, a white oak, and a red oak, is civilization's dementia and ultimate demise.

Posted at Poets United Poetry Pantry #146.

Monday, April 8, 2013


photo by Libby Meador

A word
Impaled on my brain.

A name
For the family tree.

A rose
That drought could not quench.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Natural Selection

by Libby Meador

Where pondside edges dissipate
Into molecules of calm and space
And restful alertness supercedes 
The weariness of modern dramas
Natural selection
Ebbs and flows in every breath
And this is living.

Where edges are defined
Building towers to the skies
Sidewalks crack the bottom line
And from this ecological niche
A dandelion thrives
Reminding passersby
That nature's not a fragile mother.

Posted at Poets United Poetry Pantry #145.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Stages of Humor

Trying to catch a sunbeam
My little guy
Reaching for the shaft of light
Shining through a closed door
Chubby fingers grasping on emptiness
And giggling like only babies do.

My little genius
Philosopher to be
Giggling like only a teen can do
When left unattended for one minute
In a Hobby Lobby
Rearranging wooden letters
Painted in sparkling pastels
To spell the word "poop."

Proud I am he showed restraint
Having imagined some other word
But saying to himself,
"Well, that's too vulgar
For there are little kids here,
And they will think 'poop' is funny."

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Map Turtle

Map turtle
Show me the way
To stretch out my neck
For a good cause
Bearing the weight
Of my own small world
Yet knowing there is time
To set aside
That never-ending task
For time to bask.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Henbit and Chickweed

If henbit could cluck
And chickweed could chirp
Then green-combed roosters
In fine flowered finery
Would be to spring
What their avian counterparts are today:
Sound settings to wake people up
The good old fashioned way.
For few avian patriarchs
See enough light of day
To remember their job to greet it,
Subsisting as they do in free-range factories
To feed cloned appetites.
If henbit could cluck
And chickweed could chirp
Would they spread gloom and doom gossip
Of a weed killer come to judge the earth?

Monday, April 1, 2013


Damned if I am
Damned if I ain't
The fool for the day.

Not wanting to draw down
The attention of the gods
I didn't say my prayers.

But there's freedom in knowing I am
Damned if I do
Damned if I don't.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Tranquility of Eternity

No need to worry.
When clover sparkles with rain,
Tranquility reigns.

No need to hurry.
When flowers reach for the sun,
Eternity waits.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Of Doves and Buzzards

                                                     Of doves and buzzards
                                                      There are pairs
But the lone coyote
Does not have the cares
That paired ones share
And keeps more distance
Not having wings to fly away
To begin with.
But of doves and buzzards
With voice of night
The lone coyote sings
                                                     Broadcasting plaintive plight

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Salty Eternity

From the winged elm efflorescence
A cardinal's song is born
And flies to heart grown numb with noise
And makes it feel again.
And much of trouble, more of pain
Pulses through its core
Like bitter water sweetened
Through deep artesian well.
And one tear overflowing
Is all the elm will need
To remember a timeworn taste
Of a salty eternity.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Epitaph to a Tree

Lay down arms
And sleep the good fight
Long live the tree.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Out On a Limb

We don't mind when you go out on a limb
To make us laugh.
We don't mind when you go out on a limb
To help us.
We don't even mind when you go way out
To annoy us,
Because you are the Annoyasaurus.

But no more going out on a limb!

Angst Revisited

Teen angst penciled
by my son . . .
I am impressed,
but wonder where it comes from . . .
Then I remember
those dangerous formative days . . .
And know not all my angst
has left me.

Eyes of March

The eye of Spica
Star of Virgo

The eye of Josiah
Hiding, his bath to forgo

The eye of Acorn
Soprano of burro concerto

The eye of my daughter
Hears souls crescendo

The eye of her camera
Finds mementos. 

Rain AND Roof


                                                                                    U ntil 
E vade




Posted at Poets United Poetry Pantry #141

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hades' Flower

Like meat cured
Packaged and preserved
Labeled 100%
Of what it is not
You are cured
Only there is no cure
Only preservation
Postponing the ultimate
Reservation made by worms
As recorded in Job
One wholly at ease and quiet
And one in the bitterness of his soul
Alike in the dust these lie
And the worms taste both
These states of mind.


This forgotten ground
The shape of this mound
Where Hades' flower blooms
A feast for the eyes
A cure for winter's gloom and doom
Despite knowing another banquet
Here was held
Sweet dirt the crumbs
That nourish life
And cynicism.

Prompted by Verse First ~ The Cure at Poets United.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Releasing Daffodils

Photo by Falls From Tree

Geometry in the moment
In my child's mind grasped
Enlightens both of us

She finds meaning
In the measure of the earth
And I behold knowledge bloom

Upon her face 
Made even more beautiful
Like a winter landscape
Releasing daffodils and catching suns

Upon my face
Dried grasses that could start a fire
Enough to keep us warm
Through any winter.

Posted at Poets United Poetry Pantry #140

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lamb on the Lam

Twenty minutes on the clock
The face of my free spirit
Against the window pain
Of my working soul
Looking out to the forest
Through subjected eyes
Would jump through the pane
And frolic like a spring lamb
But the wolves of hunger
Snarl at dreams on the lam
And keep me punching in
And punching out
Penned inside a body
Enslaved by brick walls.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Stay the Night

56 degrees is a thaw of heart
To tree frogs getting an early start
Sighing over shiny water
Waiting for a moonlit lover.

Fog hovers near the river
Slowly dancing with her giver
Long hair curling with the music
Flowing through the undercurrent.

The sun unwilling to lose this sight
Holds on to both the edges of tonight
Onto the east the moon shines over
Onto the west the pink spreads under.

Into this glory I am cast
Would this mud could hold me fast
But on I trudge about my business
Far removed from the art of living.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Scamps and Jesus

From thoroughbred racehorses to donkeys!
Go figure.
From enhanced excitement and frantic frustration
To funny fiascoes and eclectic emotions.
Is this indicative of a downhill slide on the ladder of life?
I think not.
Here I might find tranquility,
Find joy,
Find Jesus.

By Trudy Jo Watkins
Old Lady of the Woods

Bright and Empty Space

The white page is the light
When I have nothing left to say
The black letters
Little birds that fly away

The two together bound
Of gentler thoughts made
A cage of unruliness
Where fears are played

Until submitted to paper
Perched in sleep
Silenced prayers
My soul to keep

My fingers turn another page
The light is bright
And empty space

Wednesday, February 20, 2013




a world


living cohesion

an expansion of creation

wave of wonder to concretion from a word spoken

patterned paternity in maternal matrix of hanging gardens hinged by spacetime

seen in single spiraling galaxy of sunflower seeded Fibonacci sequence pollinating one honey drone's ancestral tree

Prompted by Verse First ~ Fibonacci Poems at Poets United and for love of numbers.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Inside the Hourglass

Time heals all wounds
But mortal ones.

Immortal ones
transcend time

Repeating the beating
Until karmic pawn released.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

For Love of Place

For love of place
Where a baby garter snake consumes an earthworm
Where the newt and desert toad wrestle and roll
Where the Triops is awakened by rain
Where the sunflower and globemallow grow
Where the maligned thistle hosts hummingbirds
And ladybugs and twenty other species
Where mated ravens swoon from the sky
Where the coyotes raise pups in the gulch
Where packrats construct prickly pear barricades
Where the chickens held their own free range
Where the bobcat pads
Where potatoes and carrots grew sweet in mountain dirt
Where a house of freedom was built
Where thunder rocked the roof
Where the stars tell stories
Where silence speaks
Where memories sleep and time forgets us
Where was our home
For love of place.


The American Nightmare

The American nightmare
Begins with a dream
And ends with foreclosure

Is a beautiful mind
Sent to school
For a dumbing down

Is a horn of plenty
Made of nothing
But corn

Is purchased
With the wages
Of two or three jobs

But that is okay
We have always been
Hard workers

From the time
We were captured
Or indentured

And not much has changed
We still have it made
In our first world

Though most everything
Is now made
In China

Where I would venture
To compare blades they use
With the ones they sold me

In American markets
Of mediocrity
And planned obsolescence

Where the trash piles up
And overflows landfills
Where nothing can grow

Polluted plots
Not fit to build
A home on.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Contents Under Pressure

They are but balloons
Inflated with anger
Afloat with bloated indignation.
Would they could pop and spew
Foul contents on he who holds their strings,
Except that I am caught in the middle
Juggling the bedpans and emesis basins.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Black Wing Conspiracy

Why ravens are not here I do not know.
The crows reside in Oklahoma
Aloof avian shadows
Curious but pretending not to notice,
Not like the bumptious ravens
Who introduce themselves
Dropping snowballs on your head.

Reserved and studiously shy
Crows are harder to get to know
But I will try like a raven.
For it is my code to crack
This interspecies lack
Of communication.

My Rosetta Stone
A shiny polished rock
Thus far deciphered
Reveals, I am certain,
That a family of ravens
Is not an unkindness;
A clan of crows
Is not a murder.

At least not of me,
For a raven saved my life one day
Or marked me for another world.
What a crow one day
Will say or do . . .
My soul awaits.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Racehorse, A Barn Owl, and I

Fog descended on the track
In early morning deviation from the delta
Sudden coming with galloping hooves
Enveloping eardrums with equine pounding 
As all other sounds were muffled by gray mist
And my own quickened heart beat
As vision obscured without warning
And ground underneath disappeared in cloud
And a racehorse and rider took flight
At the exact moment a barn owl did alight
On the rail
Our only tie to earth that for a moment
A racehorse, a barn owl, and I left behind.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


My dog is dead
By senility led
To wait for me in the road.
My lightened load
Not having to put him down
Does not relieve soul's frown 
Or cause hope to bloom
In this morning gloom
That in deafness he didn't see
That he soon would not be
Waiting longer for me there,
But in another place somewhere.
And if my best friend ain't there,
I don't need to go.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Crone Knows

The maiden does not know
What she does not remember,
But when she recognizes in a man
His power to move the earth
Out from under her feet
It begins to come back to her.
Maiden, mother, crone.

The mother known
Does not have time to remember
For she is consumed with
The procreation of children,
An artistic madness to produce
Works of art in her own image.
Maiden, mother, crone.

Children grown with children of their own
With children of their own
The crone knows
And babbles incomprehensible mysteries
Into the void of understanding
Between her and her caretakers
Who mistake her malady
For the dementia of old age.
Maiden, mother, crone.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


It comes
One last breath
And does not remember
Birth, the first breath taken,
Or all the breaths in between.
It takes us from breath to breath
Whether we notice or not and teaches us
From cradle to grave there is nothing to learn,
For knowing is neither created nor made it just is
The weft and warp of worlds woven or unwound around bodies.

Prompted by Verse First ~ One Word At A Time at Poets United.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Waiting for a god to speak in still small voice,
A booming dirge of angelic warning!
To a soul of indecision left to choice,
Waiting for a god to speak in still small voice,
Any direction given is a cause to rejoice.
Freedom of will begins with mourning
Waiting for a god to speak in still small voice
A booming dirge of angelic warning.

Submission, a triolet.
Shared in the Poetry Pantry.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Duir Way

This door to the west
Might leave me refreshed
Or dead in my tracks
If wisdom attacks
In form of the serpent
Before I repent
But to just walk this ley line
I would lay my all on the line
And believe it all for the best
To seek this sweet rest
And be reborn not in the future
But in the past
Having come the full circle
At last.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Rumex acetosella, Where the People Are

I searched for you
Half the morning
And in frustration asked
The question in my mind
"Where are you?"
And you replied
"Where the people are"
And sure enough
Sheep sorrel
Your tendency to domestication
Like your namesake
Shined through this wilderness
And by a campfire ring of rocks
I found you
Clinging to disturbed soil
Of where your people trod.

Oxalis stricta and I

Potted with peace lily
Yellow wood sorrel
Wild weed sowed
Sunny in windowsill
Reaching skyward 
Erect with pickle pods
From chaos
Escaped to cafeteria
And iceberg lettuce
Imagining how 
We two souls
Without the confines
Of your pot
And my sterilized halls
Would have room to grow
Enough to share your flavor
With my salad and
To resonate your gift
Of freedom to the sky
But like a good little shamrock
You will stay on your sill
And when the sun sets
Fold your heart felt leaves in sleep
And I will clock out
And go home without you.

Reflecting on a Moment

Riding shotgun again with my brother,
Wind blows hair on my face to smother.

The hot rod's candy-apple-red paint
Makes me shiver and feel faint.

The rumble of the powerful motor
Makes me thankful it's not yet over.

But he's 66 and I'm 69 years
The nostalgic beauty is all in the tears.

By Old Lady of the Woods
Trudy Jo Watkins

Friday, February 1, 2013

Merry Mint and Savory

Between January gloom
And March bloom
Is February
A time to jump the gun
Get a head start on spring
And outrun all that is sedentary
For no false start here
In any freezing year
Can diminish my merry
Mint and savory
Ice palace of thawing hope.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


some are cold and blue
the proteins formed
crystallized points
never forgotten
slept upon over time
an acupressure bed
of stored energy
released recuperatively

Prompted by Verse First ~ Icy at Poets United.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

"They will kill me . . . "

The dissonance of a political dissident
Sounded cliche
To my United States of American
Ears accustomed to hearing,
"My dad will kill me if he finds out"
And other idioms of death
Thrown about meaninglessly.

In my defense I did not know he was
Dissident; he was just a groom.
He was not just another Mexican.
But all those countries south,
To the average United States of American,
Are the same.
Even Guatemala in the 1980s.

When Immigration went on raids,
Carlos was afraid.
He always said,
"They will kill me if I go back."
How cliche.
When Carlos was deported,
We never heard from him again.

     **     **     **     **

History is the current event
Of yesterday
Within your comfort zone.
It is easier to take sides with the dead.
They don't require your helping hand
To pull them from a grave.
Your hands remain clean, not bloodied.

Your mental assent to their cause
Does not demand your personal descent
Into terror.
You can bury your head in the
Sands of history
And leave it there,
Safe from the sandstorm around you.

Know your history;
Escape the condemnation of
Repeating it.
Know that no one sits on the sidelines
Of its making.
Active or passive,
We all have blood on our hands.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Colors Learned in Preschool

The pigs,
That's what we called them,
Walked right in to wake me up
From my preschool nap.

The teacher,
She liked orange
Because it is a friendly color,
Chewed them up like a BLT.

Despite her indigestion
The pigs took me out
To the sidewalk by the green grass
For questioning.

They squatted in front of me.
It didn't stop my terror.
I'm pretty sure it tied my tongue.
Really, what could I have said?

Little white girl in a black neighborhood
Did not understand
What the problem was.  Is?

But I knew it had something to do with
The Twinkies.

My mom's friend was black,
You see, another color.
He looked suspicious
Picking up a brat like me.

He was pretty cool,
In retrospect,
Offered me a shiny red apple
Like First Lady Obama would.

But there were other colors
On the shelves
At my eye level
Like bright spongy yellow.

And I do remember throwing a fit.
And I do remember getting snatched
Up into his arms
With neither the red nor yellow.

I'm glad I wasn't there
When the black and white,
How ironic,
Cars surrounded him.

But I was taking a nap,
Because after the parade
He took me to school
And I fell asleep after Sesame Street.

Today I read Blue Ribbon owners
Will bid on Twinkies
And Ding Dongs
And other artificial colors.

Maybe I will drink their cheap beer
And remember an old friend.
I could do that.
But I won't eat a Twinkie.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

In Whose Image Build We Fences?

If I were homeless,
I would find a big box.

If I had an old car,
I would roll up the window.

If I were a subdivider,
I would fence my yard in privacy.

If I were a rancher,
I would use barbed wire.

If I were an emperor,
I would build of blood and bone a wall.

If I were a god,
I would warp time and space to keep me in and you out.

But if I were One,
I would not want any fences.

Prompted by Verse First at Poets United.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Shut Up

It doesn't matter.
I don't care.
I haven't the heart.
Just leave it there :]

That's enough.
It will pass.
It's not enough.
It never lasts :]

Just walk away.
There's nothing there.
I don't matter.
It doesn't care.

One Hundredth Monkey

It is written that poetry and mathematics
Are incompatible areas of study.
On what planet?
The universe and all that is in it
Is written in the letters of numbers,
From laws of motion and gravity 
Holding earth together
To the golden mean of the human body.
This language in the hands of a poet
Would create an awesome poem
And it might sound like a composition
By Bach or MozArt 
Read by the voice of Aslan
Singing worlds together.
Borodin the chemist composer
Of symphonic poem
Was not an oxymoron
More renaissance man
Like Leonardo
Our planet needs more of.
A think tank of them
Might achieve
World peace and unobtainium.
On what planet?
There will always be a Roman soldier
To effect the death of Archimedes,
He who wrote only one poem.
There will always be a fanatic mob
To scrape off the skin and
Beat down the likes of Hypatia.
There will always be a library
Set on fire burning answers
To our numerological fate.
But one day there will be
The One-Hundredth Monkey of our race.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


I never knew my ears were odd
Because they came to points like no one else's
Until I went to school for public teasings
As if I were human, but of some other species.

So when I was eleven
I escaped in books of fantasy
And there met creatures elven
And others even more fantastical.

Still I could not shake the stigma
Of being different
And wished my pointed ears away.
Half granted, an ear ripped off one day.

And now I look a bit Van Gogh-ish
With a wish that one ear left
Is enough to grant me passage
Aboard a ship that's sailing west.

Though no longer in a hurry to board her
To lands far, far away
For I've been given offspring here
Who are just as weird as me.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

For Nigh a Millennium

Another sestina . . . 

. . . for Eleanor of Aquitaine . . .

. . . my 25th great grandmother according to Mormon mythology and numerical probability.  This is my first attempt at writing a sestina, but not the first sestina written of one beloved by troubadours.

Latin and literature entrained her mind;
Music and poetry bound the book of her heart.
Fearless on the hunt, with horse become one,
With imprinted hawk aloft her screeching soul.
A girl growing like a rose a beautiful body;
Blossoming, in a world of men, with thorns and spirit.

This granddaughter of a Dangerose spirit
And a warring troubadour's mind
Tempted princes with her lustrous body,
Captured from crusading knights their collective heart,
And released the doves from a singing serf's soul.
And the songs sung of her were more than one.

Of kings she married more than one:
Wearied of the first for his weak spirit,
Poor leadership, and ill-prepared monk's soul;
Recognized in the second an ambitious mind
To secure her land and royal heart.
Gave to both the garden of her body.

She bore and birthed ten babies from her body
And proved to be a privileged fecund one,
Yet still learned to bear a mother's broken heart,
Though it never broke her queenly spirit.
And when her king made sport with ones of lesser mind,
She became the keeper of her own soul.

And thus her king could not condemn her soul,
Though for sixteen years he imprisoned her body.
Nor could he prevent memories of music refreshing her mind
And, because her keep was not a windowless one,
Her soaring with falcons from the aerie of her spirit.
And as queen mother she never questioned the choices of her heart.

She outlived the choices of her heart
And retreated as an old soul
To an abbey to purify her spirit
And free it from her aging body
And teach it to fly to the one
Who gave it and all along enlightened her mind.

For nigh a millennium her soul has flown her body.
For nigh a millennium her heart not that of an entombed one.
For nigh a millennium her spirit inspiring the poetic mind.

Mother Goose OULIPO

I have wanted to live
Under a hill
Earth sheltered
Bermed and of
Constant temperature.
So it is logical for me
To play OULIPO
With Mother Goose's old
WOMAN under a HILL.
So I tried N + 7.
It gave:

There was an old WORD
Lived under a HIPPOPOTAMUS;
And if she's not gone,
She lives there still.

Hmm.  So I tried N + 7
On Edward Lear's nonsense.
Lear's nonsense made more sense.

So I went back to the HILL
In my paperback dictionary
Figuring it is more a game
Of literary potential
Than structured chaos
So I tweaked N + 7
And got:

There was an old WORD
Lived under a HINT;
And if she's not gone,
She lives there still.

And that to me
Is more satisfying.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Work inside
On concrete floor
Rings loud hour after hour.
Rushing here and there
To keep ahead of Nora V.
Hands grow cold
And jaw clenches.
Mind overwhelmed by
Human suffering
Clings to compassion
But feels like sinking.

Work outside
On lonely ground is
So quiet the first half hour.
Gathering firewood
The internal fire lights up
Coat comes off.
Here to stay awhile
Mind empties to
Silence so profound
That at once the forest sings
Welcome to the neighborhood.

A Bird Came Down the Walk: A Cento

There is a singer everyone has heard,     
Trills a wild and wondrous note,   
Knowing he has wings. 
Now he hears a footstep; wakes a sleeping power;    
A change of mood 
Unable to suck in light 
He scans me with a fearless eye.  
My incessant voice is heard  
The warping night air having brought the boom  
Like strings of broken lyres,     
But they hold no secret   
What thou among the leaves hast never known,  
Now vaguely hinted - nothing more.   
The sunlight speaks.  And its voice is a bird.  
A bubble of music floats.
Out of a sound heart and merry throat,
Is it world-old pain that wells?
Oh, tell me, art thou voice of bird or star?  
Oh that I had wings like a dove!  
Flying through the sky,  
The rushing amorous contact high in space together,  
Close to the sun in lonely lands,  
Sound the way I sound forever.  
For then I would fly away and be at rest.
Lo, then would I wander far off.
And remain in the wilderness.  
A feather on the ground -   
An indecipherable cause.    

Thanks to 's Poetic Forms Database.
Read the Bird Poems featured in this cento.

A Cento composed of lines from the following bird poems:  Emily Dickinson's A Bird Came Down the Walk (Title), Robert Frost's The Oven Bird,  Olive Thorne Miller,  Victor Hugo's The Bird, Will H. Ogilvie's The Heron, Robert Frost's Dust of Snow, Ted Hughes' Two Legends, Celia Baxter's The Sand Piper, Lucy Larcom, Richard Wilbur's  A Barred Owl, Thomas Hardy's The Darkling Thrush, R. Moore's Crows, John Keats' Ode to a Nightingale, Eben Pearson Dorr, Harry Kemp's The Hummingbird, Lucy Larcom, Ralph Waldo Emerson's Chickadee, Jennie Kiefer's Meadow-Lark!, Emily Tolman's The Hermit Thrush, Joseph Kozlowski's  Red-Winged Blackbird, Walt Whitman's The Dalliance of Eagles, Alfred Lord Tennyson's The Eagle, Timothy Donnelly's Enrique the Crow Speaks Loudly into the Tuba, Psalm 55, Gary Snyder's Magpie's Song, and Wallace Stevens' Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.



Dreaming a
Now as


Posted for Poets United Wonder Wednesday #17 Wonder. . .  My eighth wonder of the world would be Dreamland.  You never know what you're going to get with your ticket to go there.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Count Dooku's Haiku

Five syllables here.
Seven syllables are here.
What should I put here?

     We, a free-versed family, will learn rhyming form and meter and walk across our pages with lithe poetic feet.  Today we tackle the haiku, because it is short and fits the attention spans of my tween, teen, and aging mother.  My son quick in wit and to get it over with gives us all three lines, the third to match the first.  
     My mother says, "At least it has 5-7-5 syllables, so many I read don't, but maybe I was reading a dooku or iku or sinku or tanku."
     I laughing announce, "Very well, but we don't have a leap of thought."
     My son thinks it, but my daughter's tongue jumps the gap first.  She says, "What should I put here?"
     We're done.  It's raining.  We will now watch Star Wars, again.  But we still don't have a title, so I say, "Let's call it Count Dooku's Haiku."  And now finished we are and rather proud of our creation; it took four of us to do it.  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

ABCs of Oklahoma

A is for Aldean
B is for Bryan
C is for Church, Coyotes, and Cusses
D is for Dodge, Dirt road, Donkeys
C  'cause you can't have Dodge without Chevy
E is for Eggs and bacon fried for breakfast
F is for Four-wheeler
G is for Gum, Guns, and toothless Gums
H is for Horse and bad Hay
I is for Iced tea
J is for Jesus riding a Jackass
K is for Kuntry store
L is for Little towns with Lightning bugs
M is for Mud and lack of Money
N is for Nature and Nothing of value
O is for Outhouses and Oddballs
P is for Puppies abandoned in a box
Q is for Quilt made by Choctaw
R is for Redbone coonhound
S is for Stone house and Snapping turtle
T is for Ticks spinning around in Tornadoes while I'm
Underground in shelter
V is for Venison and Vipers:
     copperheads, rattlers, and water moccasins
W is for Women in jail
X is for X-rays when I fell out of tree
Y is for Yacht, Yeah right
Z is for Tulsa Zoo
     where you can trade turtle shells for birds nests or vice versa.

  By Falls From Tree

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Oldest Professions

I know I have got it
From my baby-blue leggings
To the twirling whip in my fingers
To my long hair curling around my face
A breezy way.
My whip
Never hurts,
Is more to tickle;
And anyway it is a rule
I have to use it.

Yeah, so what if I am walking
On this sleazy street.
My profession usually does lead me
To the other side of the tracks.
I know what you are thinking
When you pull up leering
And roll down your window;
You leave me no doubts
When you open your filthy diseased mouth.
Go fuck yourself,
I have higher clientele.
And if you men looking for some cheap thrill
Mess with me again
You will meet the dagger in my boot.

He is the one,
The one with presence,
The one with it I saddle
For the thrill between my quivering thighs,
For anticipation at the gate
And its opening explosive.
I take pleasure in his sinewy strength.
Even the glory of his nostrils is terrible
And all that is heard is our breathing rush of life
To the place where tears stream from our eyes,
To the place we are one in power
And from which we are both left trembling.

Yeah, I know what you are thinking.
I will not tell you
What you can do to yourself,
Because I admit I led you astray
In telling my story.  But I used to be
Not a prostitute,
But an exercise rider.
For five dollars a head
I would ride a race horse
In a morning workout,
And some I would do for free.