1st Day of Autumn

Greens have given way to yellows
Warmth has given way to numb
Bikinis have given way to jackets
Religion has given way to football
Graduations have given way to shitty jobs
Education has given way to school
Hope has given way to reality
Peace has given way to war
Bounty has given way to dearth
Dry has given way to rain
Sunshine has given way to moon light
Warmth has given way to wind
Bright has given way to grey
Forest has given way to fire


The absent sound of you playing guitar
Has given way to the strings
of my heart
Breaking



The Ice Beneath

Eternity drifts over and athwart freezing in place
Its dawn tipped shimmering powder bunches up
Like the way dust finds the sexy bare naked curves
Of history eventually resting into willing settlement
In only the most remarkable and compelling events
Gathering upon catenaries, craters, nooks, extinctions
Astroid vestiges, and within the dark side of Gaia’s womb
Woven testimony to earth’s stages of development
Twisting double helical strands of an arctic tapestry


Epoch epitaphs etched in gnarled waves of vast indigo
Gods of rock, marble, permafrost, sea, bones, breath
Forgotten icy dregs afloat in the wake of man’s shadow
The cold always numb, constant, plodding and slow
It vocalizes friction, snapping, pops and loud cracks
Like the joints of old men creaking in rocking chairs
Pining for good music and the way things used to be
Back when New Orleans, Bangkok and polar bears
Weren’t all gone and lying at the bottom of the sea



A Celebration of Life for Ice at earthweal

The Shadow’s Playground

Where do you keep your clowns?
What secrets lurk twisting in a storm?
A place for shadows to frolic
Upon shores of abandoned lighthouses
Dilapidated oceans dripping from sun
A phallic shaped memorial to circus
in the gloom with a rickety staircase
Sinistrorsely snaking around the shaft
A helter-skelter nod to the absurd
like a link to the atavistic need to prank
For the sake of shaking its tail afoot
to that last vestige of ridiculousness
A beacon to laughs and the bizarre
amidst all the misery and impending
cold.


An ekphrastic poem inspired by this wonderful image by Lee Madgwick. This was written for the writing prompt at dVerse tonight. There are more images and links to poems to inspire you there.

Beginning to Fly

The sky is winter
Wyoming wind wailing
Nestled in the purple
Choking vacuum of forever
All the air drawn and quartered out
I am its broken accordion
with torn bellows
I hear a b minor chord
faintly playing from the chest
of my dead Dad, lying on his back
Cold frozen light illuminates
his gazeless face
like the fading phosphorescence
of an old black and white
TV screen turned off
I kiss his cheek and regret
hating him for hitting me,
For all of the stupid shit
For all the things I’m sure
we’d have patched up
And for wishing
I’d be more of a man
like my brother

I finally snapped
out of my midnight daze
Rain beading down the windows
in the back of a dark ambulance
the EMT said I just had a seizure
I didn’t believe them
Miscast magicians holding
the ace of spades,
my dove heart and IV
In one hand while
making me reappear
In the other
after and before
the puff of smoke
and whorl of overdose
still wafting from a
strangers big glass dick
filled with smack
and god knows what else
in the back of his Chevelle

My heart landed between my legs
And my brain crashed close by
Watching from behind eyes
swept under the black asphalt
Detached and trapped behind
a whiskey bottle helpless
as my pistil forced and taken
wide open by his shiny gun
buried in my back
I prayed to God
to pull his stinger out
and stop raping me

but he never did

Four months
sober to this day
I pick up a baby
sparrow and set it
back in the nest
tho’ still young
next time it falls
it will know
to spread
its wings

and fly away.

Ready to Burst

Inflation rising
Debt market ballooning
Misinformation spreading
Covid at a fever pitch
Pakistani floods cresting
Monkeypox climbing
Droughts in Europe gaining steam
Melting glaciers snowballing
Catalytic converter thefts ratcheting up
Homelessness building
Raytheon’s profits exploding
Mass gun violence volleying
Child obesity expanding
Fentanyl overdoses shooting up
CEO salaries multiplying
Oil wells booming
Wildfires stoking
Ocean acidification spiking
Landfills swelling
Urban sprawl skyrocketing
Threat of apocalypse mushrooming
World War III escalating

It was cooler in the garden today.
Saw two squirrels fucking.
And my sunflower
finally,

bloomed.


Song O’ The Willamette

Seek ye sounds and hear the collective bugle calls!
O’ osprey n’ lumbering locomotive bawls
Hear its honking trombone plunger muted feature
Garbled warble like the voice of Charlie Brown’s teacher
Come down to the river! Bathe in its charming drawl!

The shoreline beckons, a welcoming stretch
To: down and outs, junkies, unhoused, and sketch
Stern ships and steam paddles once thundered aweigh
T’was trolleys n’ hoglines before the salmon swam away

I imagine them buoyed upon anticipation and swells
Pushing past, picturesque placid particulated shells
Gliding delicately o’er past century fast moving tides
Their fishing nets once bulging from the men’s pride

Sand sprawls underneath as I balance stones atop cairns
Glinting sunshine daps the surface, practicing my zen
I tiptoe by tangled plastic bags, needles, and appliance insides
Amid the whir from E-bikes, bicycles and sweaty joggers’ thighs

My heart beats alive in this cool water and bore produced song!
I love you, sweet Willamette! Oh joy to you in my bikini and thong!
Basking in your mien, laying rocks on one another
Despite the Melancholy Accident going on o’er yonder


My respite on the banks of the Willamette River
Finding the fulcrum can be challenging
My tallest stack
My bridge between rocks

Please see this week’s earthweal weekly challenge

Galileo

Before I ever met you
I’d spend entire days
perched on building ledges
and standing at front doors
Of potential dates and mates
Too scared to walk in or fly off
Like a broken gargoyle
Peeing down its leg
Incapable of warding off
even my weakest demons

Like all the famous
astronauts and astronomers
who spent days peering at the heavens
I’ve stared too long at the stars
orbiting inside your baby blues,
to no longer deny that God exists
I’ve adored them in all their phases
Like when we drank, when we cried
When we laughed at their gods
When we chanted to ours
And how they danced
When we made love
I watched them fall asleep holding
My kitty’s purr next to your chest
I still remember their sparkle
when you took my hand
and jumped off the edge
Into oblivion with mine

I obsessed with how the concrete
Might feel at terminal velocity
And how women in navy dresses
Wearing crooked, mottled hats
And crows in business casual attire
Will flock and point fingers,
phones, and beaks at me
As my guts, heresy
and brains seep out
You didn’t talk me down
Or notice my clipped wings
Instead you pulled me closer
Even after I told you I cheated

Five years in the grand suicide
Under the trials of gravity
I came to believe in infinity
and that there was no end
But like a tap on the shoulder
After just shooting up
The austerity of landing abruptly
came courtesy of Newton’s 3rd Law
I watched you drive away and over
my rived faith in a rented U-haul
Its ventricles, aortas, and nebulae
tamped into a beautiful
stellar constellation
Plotted out on an asphalt map
A daguerrotype and testament
published posthumously
Of my true love to thee

The Drought of ’22

Huddle close ye destroyers and sirrah
Come see the relics of bygone eras

Behold your spat out bodies, keepsakes
Forsaken and lodged in dried up lakes

Bronze aged artifacts pregnant with verdigris
Rusting Bud cans exposed within mans hybris

All being revealed from under Ma Ganga’s feet
Rivers once the life blood, boiled by record heat

Sun-dried evidence even still climate denied
Lack of rain couldn’t be man made, they decry

A 1200 year drought, who cares look at Miley’s dress
Scarce water yet ignorance, pablum and apathy in excess

The body of missing teen found plastered over headlines
Barely mentioned, the lake and its 500 year low waterline

A society that buries itself in fantasy buying virtual land
Will eventually realize that our bodies cannot drink sand


For the River, Gone challenge at earthweal

Prosopagnosia

Night and day’s faces tied to the plainly hidden
Double helical wrapped Christmas morning gifts
Open up like halos when street lamps first kick in

My memories of them trapped in an hourglass
They sink away within the insides of ocean sand
Their visages blur like anxious breath at candlemas

Some were contorted from being overworked
Some stretched too thin, some too serious
Some with too much sun, most unremarked

Faces belong to presidents and Tik Tok stars
Courtyards to the keepers of 7 of the 9 gates
Prisons for souls pressed up too close to the bars

I remember personalities and sounds, sadness,
And laughter and the way I think about history
That’s tied to a kite through waves of blackness

I saw auras and how they felt, faces not so much
And how my Mom’s wings came out when I cried
I recollect her scent like splattered tangerine guts

But mostly I remember

Your touch.

The Antihero

I am the un-drank cheer
and the spilled champagne
Of the New Year’s promises
that wind up supine, dead
In unmarked ravines
Or in the backs of vans
Speeding across dark skies
Like a wayward pop bottle
shrieking to a soundless grave

Gathered hope laid upon pyres
Names that I wore on my crown
The art of insect fueled memory
Perched upon my throne of branches
Bound by tireless nervous beaks
Of caw championed chants to hollow
Halls of great tree boughs and bark
Bramble cobbled twigs and thorns
Affixed into tinder before the match

I am the spavined birthday cake
Left out for more than a week
Touch my swollen ashy black scars
Bored out from forgotten candles
Left smoldering in the sweet of dark
Feel my pierced side, get your crucifix
Of double chocolate addicted heroines
Whom so many took their own lives
Like the tragic beauty of a falling star



A Love Letter To A Chameleon

I admire your art of blending in
I’ve watched how you exhibit
The mastered tricks of your trade
From early antlers into a crown
Like a faerie perfecting flight
Before you have your wings
When these were Viking days
You’d allegiantly wear his bones
But for today and your role now
Just his scars will have to do

I know because I wear them too
I stash his music inside my flesh
And his song woven from flute
He is my consort and my duality
My first particle & my wave goodbye
Lets revel in this shared Bodhi
Dance forth with wine
And pull the moon
Down over our cheeks

Like two shapeshifters
Caught in each other’s gaze
I see your headlights
The dear stuck inside of you
I see your cherry picked spots
and your juicy starring roles
We’re two conjoined stars accreting
A catenary between our souls’ hips
A tangled, tentacle mess
Like when cuttlefish fuck

We both know, we can’t hide
Our chthonic born skins forever
So lets uncover our smiles
And peer past the fig tree roots
Past the machinations of gender
Past the strangulations of convention
For just one glorious moment
Within the madness of these times

I see you

If I Was The Planet Mars

If I was the planet Mars
I’d take a stroll with Mercury
Tell him to slow down
We only get so many
Revolutions around this sun

If I was the planet Mars
I’d sweep Venus off her feet
Find love and forget everything
Dance with the benevolence
On wings of aspiration and youth

If I was the planet Mars
I’d have a drink with Pluto
And have a little man to man
About the value of money
And the virtue of paucity

If I was the planet Mars
I’d shake off Earth’s parasites
And tenderly hold her hand
Reassure her it’ll be alright
And that man will occult
and fade into foggy night

If I was the Planet Mars
I’d set sail with Neptune
Voyage to the centers of galaxies
Quest to find celestial treasures
Uncover wonder and mysteries

If I was the Planet Mars
I’d take a spin on Saturn’s rings
Drink from the knowledge of wisdom
That only time and age can quench
Discovering the beauty within

If I was the planet Mars
I’d pick a fight with Jupiter
Stand my ground for what’s right
Despite being overwhelmed and overmatched
Even if it means getting my teeth unattached

If I was the planet Mars
I’d break free from the Sun’s hold
And escape into the dark cold
Forge a path into the vast black
and never, ever, ever come back

This Muddy Wake

When he comes looking for me
Peering into suffused glints of shadow
Where cranky floorboards whine to nobody
In lonely fields of dead ends and sudden stops
Except my company of wind and its palpable silence

He won’t ever give up, my constant hunter
Like a wolf hot on me and my fox cradled scent
No safety in oak built canopy or snake spun rivers
My voice on constant repeat, “keep running”
Like the sun, the scared, and the prey

I am getting to that age that whenever
The wind blows just right and the moon’s
head is cocked perfectly I hear myself whicker
An aging mule in the candlelight of my bones
My rib tuned piano whispers sharper every day

Soon I’ll molt off my sun dried summer skin
And ditch the campfire and beer songs
To a cowboy’s goodbye, a wink and a smile
Knelling his shiny bell with his trusty steed
A sequin stitched requiem fallen fallow
On Fall’s fraying executioner’s dark hood

My bored out heart and overworked hands
Given to the worms, to soil, to dirt, to frost
Culled by bent beak rotting into oblivion
Praying that she’ll burst from my hollowed chest
Like a lotus seed growing from this muddy wake




Song Of Fawns

Here is my mark
Set upon gilded ivy
A sublunary creature
Swathed in antler and thorn
Stained holy the color
A throne for august queen
This vale of hearth
My elegant womb

This my mark of ash
Born from fire and rock
Whipsawed juniper scent
Hyacinth cracked seed
Smelt in pricked daisy blood
Swollen veins sated purple
Like split open echinacea
Or when beets fistfight

Here is my mark
Shaped by mountain
Raging river and still lake
Pocked by bird, beast
Tribulation and rapture
Engraved moments’ maws
Knelt to braves given chance


This is my sweet mark
Cradled upon foreheads
My matchbox of bones
Trellised across lit fuse
A pine steeped sacrifice
Set aflame set a hope
An immunity renewed
My song of fawns

New Anthology

I am pleased to announce that my poem Some Kind of Blue will be published and included in a new poetry anthology by Ingrid Wilson called, “The Anthropocene Hymnal: Songs of a self-defining Era” The description: A poetic response to the joint crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Featuring the work of internationally-renowned and bestselling poets including Gabriela Marie Milton, Ivor Steven and Sherry Marr. Voices from five continents join in song to protest the damage we are doing to our only home, planet earth: these ‘songs of a self-defining era’ are the poems which comprise The Anthropocene Hymnal.The editor Ingrid Wilson was voted Spillwords Author of the Month in February 2021. Her poetry has been widely published both online and in print. She is the owner and editor of www.experimentsinfiction.com.If anyone is interested in preordering it from Amazon for Kindle here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0993CM2PCOr if you want to skip the major retailer you can wait til July 24th and order it off Ingrid Wilson’s website www.experimentsinfiction.com...all proceeds she receives through her website will be donated to the WWF.

The Yawper and the Mute

Subtly or loudly
We green tree frogs
attenuate or project
our come fuck me calls
Sometimes it’s in the way
You move. Your thoughts
Like the way leaves lark
the wind and his shadows
Spiraling through tree boughs
and bony barked hands
As if all the shimmering
counter movements, recoils,
and serenades hide secrets
And formulas for making food
A sly cover for plunging roots
Stumbling around under ground
Like a drunk on a 500 year binge
pawing for water and nitrogen

Or the stars that burn so bright
The orbits that cling to them
Our mother of pearl strung beads
Arching into celestial necklaces
Fastened to captured hiding places
Torqued spheres of imagination
Brim bent iridescent captives
Bound with limitless potential

Niches determined by force
Like the gravity of breathing
And the sounds you make
when you drift away from me
Our hand clasped curious souls
crawl away from their human cages
Tucked behind cotton bed sheets
Snarling snored birdsong
calmed to whispering lagan
Your shipwrecked rage
lies sunken at the bottom
of my nacreous lipped nest

So howl and set it all aflame
Beat your chest, storm the gates
Somewhere deep within the z’s
I will be your deafly flitting finch
Silencing most all the scream
Chattering air mute on closed wings
Whispering our sleeping candlelight
into a bunting and wandering blaze






Photo: House Finch Photograph by Barbara Manis

My Town

I am dank morning street corners
And the cadence of an all day drizzle
Sipping on whiskey shimmering rain
A limping three stringed marionette
With one of its ashy torn frayed ropes
Dragging in vain awkwardly behind
I’m an erect middle finger to the puppeteer
In valleys full of folks sick of California
Doing their damnedest to make California here

I pride myself on my lush green forests
Then make a handsome king’s ransom
Cutting each and every one down
I create the demand, supply the supply
You can hear the bleeding sounds
of legalized heroin pulsing under my streets
One of my nick names is Track Town after all
I missed the memo that said sleeping outside
Wasn’t hip anymore and that flannels were done
After Cobain coaxed the explosive contents out
Of a nickel plated Remington 12 gauge shotgun
Rather than sell out, I’ve decided to develop away
Building condos pushing bourgeoise urban renewal
Killing my inner hippie is just business as usual

Re: Redrum

Average is the new gifted
Just look around
Noses buried
In palms of hands
Zombies walking
with minds bound

Sedentary and medicated
Pabulum entranced
Meme making
Virtual velleities
And a surprising lack
of meaningful activity

There is this blindfolded divide
Masking the glass glory holes
At the abattoir
And what’s in most Americans’
lunch bowls

A carnival of blood
Creaky carousels of subjugation
of the tortured and sentient
Wide eyed and scared
Naked and bleeding
Braised and bruised
Animal corpses splayed
On dinner plates

Cognitive dissonance
is best served well done
Tasty dishes of heads
buried in the ground
Squealing pigs in blankets
Vegan fed Bambis and Babes
Their moist tenderloins
Garnished with broccoli rabe


Steak, pork brisket, beef intestines
Cow tongues in cow asses
Fresh flank from a personal butcher
Chicken wings, chicken gizzards
Chicken cum, chicken feet
Black footed ferret testicles
Stuffed in Turducken meat

Rare Siberian tiger rump
Mink roast, minced pie
Turkey gobble, walrus
All you can ever eat
And just about
everything you can fry

Rubber band bound lobsters
Culinary Gehenna BDSM
Orgy crawfish boils
Chewy monkey brains
Barbecued in the blood of veal
Value menu genocide
Ordered take out
of a species hoodwinked
then served with fries

Scrupulously concealed
the slaughterhouse rules
One cannot record the cries
or bear witness to the atrocities
Yet one cannot go back
more than three commercials
without being sold a Big Mac

Wan souls that will only know
a life held suspended in cages
until their limbs grow around
their bars in confined spaces
They hear their only friends
dads, moms and siblings
and the one good thing
that they’ll ever know
die in abject agony
just minutes before

Please enjoy responsibly
and try not to think
about the origin
of the lives taken
Or their karmic blues
that now reside
inside of you

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