Fraiku: 90 seconds to Midnight

We dodged the nuclear bullet
only to devise a slow extinction by climate
then got bored when that took too long

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Fear Itself

That big angry dog
at the end of my paper route
half German Shepherd
half fear itself

The one who barks and snaps
at my tires as I pedal away
fast as my twelve-year-old
legs can pump

Some days he’s just inside
menacing from behind the door
but some days he’s loose
in the yard lying in wait

I worry the whole route
stomach churning worry
stink worry sweating
worrying worrying worry

Once I even threw up
as I turned down his block
puce anxiety and dread
in a puddle on asphalt

And when I got his house
he wasn’t even there

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Happy New Year!

I’m proud to announce that my poem I Think Too Much is featured at Ephemeral Elegies. Hop on over and check it out.

Thank you, Tiffany Renee Harmon, for posting my work.

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Fraiku: Winter Night

Shooting star spits across the sky
ignored by the pine trees
glazed with ice

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Coalesce Broadsides!

For my dear readers who can’t visit the Eno Arts Mill Gallery in Hillsborough, North Carolina, this month but still want to check out the Coalesce exhibit of visuals paired with poetry, you can do it online and even buy the art at Coalesce Broadsides.

I must admit, I prefer the idea of one of my poems with Theresa Arico‘s mosaics framed on a wall to having any of my books sitting on a dusty shelf somewhere. I’m even more honored if one of my poems is stuck to a refrigerator door with a green banana shaped magnet but maybe that’s just me.

And, yes, if you buy one of the two broadsides featuring my poetry, I will get a substantial cut of the purchase price. So, thank you, in advance.

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“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

“The arc of the moral universe is long,
but it bends toward justice.”

Justice does not come from police
executing choke holds and no-knocks.

Justice comes from citizens of conscience
breaking unjust laws and accepting punishment.

Freedom does not come from an army
of men carrying guns.

Freedom comes from an army of people
carrying signs, marching the streets.

This moral arc only bends to justice
because protesters are pulling.

(for MLK Day 2023 and the LP weekly prompt.)

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Fraiku: My Black Cat

Born on Friday the 13th
he crosses humans’ paths
just for fun

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Last Friday, about the time my Fraiku posting, I was reading two of my poems to over a hundred art lovers at the opening night of an exhibit in my town of Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Coalesce, A Collaboration of Poetry and Art, is sponsored by the Orange County Arts Commission. They paired ten poets with ten visual artists. Each poet offered a poem as inspiration for a new piece of visual art and each visual artist offered a piece as inspiration for a new poem thus creating twenty new objets d’art.

I was fortunate enough to have been paired with Theresa Arico, a mosaicist based in Chapel Hill who has done everything from stunning public art to gorgeous handheld trinkets.

Theresa asked me to write a poem based on her mosaic above, entitled “I Wanna Ride My Bicycle”. Click the pic to get a full resolution image for a better look at her craftsmanship and to read my response, “Freedom”.

I asked her to do her magic on my poem “Self Portrait”. (Long time readers may remember that it was recently published in Panoply.) Definitely click the pic below to get a close up view on what she created. Wow!

The opening party was crowded and noisy so, feeling overwhelmed, I left once the show was over to enjoy the winter night sky under a full moon.

I went back Saturday afternoon when I assumed it’d be less busy to relax and absorb the poetry, paintings and sculptures. If any of my dear readers live nearby, I strongly encourage a visit. It is a wonderful, immersive art experience which I’m having trouble articulating. And that’s my job as poet!

The exhibit is open Tuesdays through Saturdays 12pm to 5pm until January 28th.

Theresa Arico and I
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Fraiku: Not just a little shy

When I grow up
I want to live under the sea
where it’s quiet and dark

(for this month’s Visual Poetry Prompt.)

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7 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll be Able to Keep

If you’re feline:
Knock more things off desks.
Take more naps in the sun.

If you’re canine:
Sniff more trees. Mark more trees.
Roll in something stinky every day.

If you’re human: talk less, read more,
pick up after yourself, don’t be mean.

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