Magnificent Desolation

Magnificent Desolation

The second man on the Moon called it “magnificent
desolation” when he first stood upon her powdery surface.
I wasn’t even born then but in my spacesuit,
patching solar panels, I find no better words.

We’re the invading aliens in our shells of titanium,
surrounded by grays and shadows darker
than the deepest night of my childhood
on that blue-white orb hanging above the horizon.

While I consider Earth home, I’ve adapted to this gravity.
If I returned, I’d collapse under unfamiliar weight
but the colony’s recycled air is fresher and mined water cleaner
than any found on that polluted tempest we left behind.

We lost Eden for all the profits to be made
from the magnificent desolation that we laid.

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Fraiku: On a hike

Dark woods under heavy clouds
thunderous applause from exhausted leaves
drought cracks like lightning

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Squirrels have Personalities

Squirrels have Personalities

I’ve got no beef with the quiet ones
who go about their squirrely business,
turning over brittle brown leaves
in search of fatty seeds and nuts.

It’s the ruffians and scapegraces
in the yard, taunting my cat, Moriarty,
with their harsh chitters and chuffs,
flicking their bushy autumn tails.

“Winter is coming,” I comfort,
“You’ll be warm inside, feasting
on canned meat, watching snowflakes
cover their frozen nests.”

But Moriarty lives in the moment.
So I let him out to have his fun.

(Inspired by a news story, today’s Living Poetry Prompt and Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt.)

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Fraiku: Thunderstorm

Night thunderstorm over the Gulf
distant lightning flashes off high clouds
disproving a flat earth

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A mated pair of White Ibis
stride across the Sonic parking lot
adapting to the asphalt covered marsh
french fries— their crayfish

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On the Gulf Coast

The pelican folds herself into a harpoon
to impale the water and erupt from the waves
with a quivering gular pouch

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The Last Pig on Spillwords

During the 2020 April Poem-a-Day Challenge, I wrote The Last Pig in response to two prompts: “The Last blank” and “Piggy”. I never expected it to be one of the most viewed poems on my site for the past year! So, I offered it to Spillwords and they posted it today. Check it out and, since I crave external validation, don’t hesitate to click the little red heart just about the title. You don’t even have to sign-up for an account there.

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Fraiku: On the Interstate

Teenagers play in traffic
I almost sacrifice one lamb
on the altar of social media

I’m heading to a week-long writing retreat and something odd happened on the way. I was on I-95 in the middle of South Carolina, nice clear highway ahead except for a car which had just pulled over under an overpass. I see two people emerge from the car but they’re well on the shoulder so it’s no big deal.

Then they both run into the travel lanes as though they’re going to cross the highway! I slow to give them plenty of time and curse their stupidity but instead of heading into the median, they start running directly for my car which is still traveling at highway speeds.

Continue reading

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Sappho’s Song (2021)

Sappho’s Song

Sing me no songs of the daylight
for the sun is the enemy of lovers.
Sing me instead of shadows and darkness
and the memories of midnight.

Sing me no songs of domestic brews
for the lite beers do not intoxicate.
Sing me instead of red wine and absinthe
and the grace of my intemperate muse.

Sing me no songs of everyday women
for the office ladies do not inspire.
Sing me instead of strippers on stage
and late nights at the club.

Sing me no songs of bleached blonds
for they have nothing ‘neath their curls.
Sing me instead of smoldering red heads
and the grave misfortunes of virtue.

for Justine

Sharing a poem that appeared in my first book, Wednesday Night Regular. The first stanza is shamelessly stolen from the ancient Greek poet, Sappho. I made some minor changes to my three stanzas tonight to bring it into my current style and punch it up a little with what I’ve learned over the past decade.

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Fraiku: Pebble

Each year a pebble
added to my cairn
the pilgrim carries a scythe

This Fraiku for the Living Poetry Prompt.

Bonus: my latest poem, A Boy’s Afternoon in Summer, is up at Whispers and Echoes.

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