They were Strange Men

They entered our village
no explanation offered
began killing

They believed their officers
we were sub-human
not worthy of remark

They were from some legion
left no one
to carry the dead

(For this week’s Weekend Writing Prompt and Living Poetry Prompt.)

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Fraiku: Regrets

Full of shoulds and coulds
An effigy of myself
Shall we burn me down?

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Lake House

Watercolor by Barry Phillips

Lake House

She rests in forest
vivid green from rain
living breath of earth
cool summer morn

Mirrored in the lake
mist spinning ghosts
dawn spilling over
guardian mountains

She welcomes me back
slipping her doors
with comfortable warmth
surrounding my frailty

No longer exposed
finally at home

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Fraiku: Nightowl

Crickets serenade
My solo lucubration
Dawn arrives too soon

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See You Next Year

See You Next Year

Doc says I should eat better,
exercise more. I know.
I know.

He asks if I remember
what we talked about
last time.

I scour my crusted memory
but these wellness visits blur
together like a field of pinwheels
in a lightning storm.

I suppose I could drink
a little less, leave the bar
before my Honda carriage
turns back into a pumpkin
but why would I want to outlive
my doctor?

We have a nice arrangement—
I visit every October,
listen to his lecture,
feign concern at numbers—
some too high, some too low,
shake hands after he’s wiped
away the Vaseline.

See you next year.

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Fraiku: Jazz

My parents are jazz musicians
Years ago they improvised a duet
I am the echo of that song

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Seat 14B

Seat 14B

She’s didn’t want to talk
as the airplane turned
from taxi to runway.

This woman, brave
as any I knew, wanted
me to shut the hell up.

All my memorized statistics
my calculated probabilities
could not abate her fear

that this thin aluminum tube
with wings full of fuel
was about to crash.

She, who could turn strangers
into friends with no effort
beyond mere conversation.

She, who could deflate
a corporate meeting bully
with a well-timed jibe.

She, who could give a speech
to a ballroom full of customers
and suffer no stomach flutters.

As the simple physics of acceleration
forced us hard back into our seats
I offered my hand

 _ – _ – _ – _ – _ – to hold
and remained in her panicked clench
until the ground fell safely away.

(For this week’s Living Poetry Prompt.)

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Fraiku: Equinox

Sun skims horizon one last day
in the Arctic— a failed experiment
to untilt the planet


(For this week’s Living Poetry Prompt, though I only used two of the three words supplied and, of course, Wednesday’s Equinox. Happy Autumn to my fellow Northern Hemispherians.)

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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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