Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Novena Writing Prompt #8

Human hands
trying to undo what human hands
have done.
This is why humanity is so great
and so terrible.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Novena Writing Prompt #7

The Elephant

It's gray immensity thudded out the door,
and the air filled with the smell of hay and dung,
a wild smell, stronger than the horses in the street,
pushing back the sweet, burnt sugar smell of the cotton candy,
making me want to ride the rails,
and see all that it had seen.
Novena Writing Prompt #6

These shadows are no photographer's trick.
The lens saw the truth, not he.
My eyes in darkness because of the deceit they have seen.
My mouth obscured because I have no voice.
My cheeks bruised by life's blows.
My chest cut in two by love's jagged knife.
These shadows are no photographer's trick.
They are the story of my life.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A psychotic break is never pretty, but when it happens to a nurse shark, the Nurse Shark as a matter of fact, it can be particularly ugly.

For years the Nurse Shark had cared for the children of the other sharks. When the Great Whites left for the summer to terrorize the beaches of Australia, she showed their children how to hop on the ocean floor like kangaroos. When the Tiger Sharks left to prowl their jungle reefs, she watched their cubs while they batted great balls of kelp. When the Hammerheads volunteered for Habit for Humanity, she entertained their children with Bob the Builder videos.

It was a selfless existence and she gave too much of herself. One day she snapped. The baby sharks were darting here and there and everywhere. "Sit still!" she commanded, but they wouldn't listen. Something inside of her broke. Scooping up each young shark she stuffed them in bottles.

At last they were still.

Novena #4   8/23/14

"Have you ever gone skinny dipping?" she asked.
"No," he said and blushed.
"There's a first time for everything," she whispered.
"I guess so," he answered and smiled.
That was the start.

Friday, August 22, 2014


Novena Writing Prompt #3

The ever-changing clouds float over the parking lot
Billows piling high as a Texas bouffant.
Clouds mean change, an order constantly reordered,
ever transitioning
and shading an order man has imposed.

Below lie rigid lines, black pavement
cars whose roofs glitter like the carapace's of beetles
spread in an entomologist's tray.  Not sterile, but lifeless. Waiting

Waiting for rain to make iridescent rainbows in puddles,
Waiting for hail to dent the the cars and break the street lights,
Waiting for heat to crack the pavement
Waiting for weeds and ants and wind and sun
to reclaim what man has made.



Thursday, August 21, 2014


Novena Writing Assignment #2

She summoned us here you know
and now she cannot make us go.
What society says she must repress
Guides us here like a GPS.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Facebook friend (meaning someone I have only exchanged about twenty words with in real life) is holding a writing workshop on Facebook. The idea is to write a novena of poems in response to a prompt. This particular cycle is asking us to write an ekphrastic poem in response to a work of art. The first poem is to be in response to this photo:


This is what I wrote:

I bet I could do that.
Let my hands be feet and feel pavement,
Lift my feet in the air to enjoy the view,
Flash my belly to the sun and wind,
And look at the world upside down.

But I can’t do that.
My hands are twisted by the weight of a gun,
My heavy-booted feet lift only to march,
My belly is camouflaged, guarded by grenades.
I’m armed in a world turned upside down.

It’s been too long since I’ve had that view.
The view kids get by swinging as hard as they can
And throwing their heads back, or
From hanging from the jungle gym,
And outlasting their friends.

And how will he remember me, my sneakered friend?
Will I be the upside-down soldier
Marching through his young dreams
Or the right-side down soldier

Causing the screams?

Monday, August 18, 2014


Right now I have a stye in my eye.