Splashes of Long Tint


It was all in her brush –
magic and dramatic broad strokes
that soaked colour across canvases,
and dripped long curtains of wonder.
Splashes of short tones for passion,
long tints for withering calm,
and every thought sought its own
light in expressions across
the sky with sun-railed rainbows.

Written for Poetic Asides Prompt Day 17: “Express”


AprPAD Day 16: Rioja and Tapas

Rioja and Tapas

I’ve never been to Spain.
I long to though, on those days when my feet
are cold as grey stones, and my nose stings
from inhaling frosty mist.

I want to drink Rioja
and talk over tapas – but fresh baked, not
warmed weakly like fingers in woolly mittens.
I want sharp sunshine to wake me
from the gloom of winter.

I want to slip
from my skin and drink in Spain. I want
to flee the source of this emerald isle, rain,
and end my long winter.

I want this old world made new.

Written for Recursions Day 16: Give a Man a Fish  This prompt was about metaphors: coursing, streaming, a river of metaphors. I’m not a handy-dandy with metaphors, so this is about the best I can hope for today.

A Few Thoughts On Childhood

A Few Thoughts On Childhood


The word impossible
should never fall upon
a child’s ear. Leave their
way clear of obstacles
but cushion your caution
with soft sensible words,
and any restrictions
with responsible care.
A parent shouldn’t close
the door to a child’s future
with the word impossible.


It’s entirely possible
that children today
will never learn to play.
They stay indoors on sunny days
tapping on PCs,
texting friends on mobile
phones, home alone, doing
this and that, nothing
really, hanging at the mall,
indoors, inside, hiding from the sun,
no fresh air, no vitamin D,
no climbing trees, no skinned
knees, no swings, no slides, no bikes,
no skates, no racing wagons
down a hill – safe, safe,
boring, boring, boring. Kids
nowadays just don’t know
how to play.

Poetic Asides Prompt Day: 16
Two-for-Tuesday Poems: Impossible and Possible

AprPAD Day 16: Selma Siri

Selma Siri (version two)

There was this brass bull
that I once rubbed for luck. Just the once though.
The right horn only, as rubbing the left
emptied your heart of love, as if,
but the right one was polished to flashes
of stroked affection.
And there was this girl who waited tables
nearby. Selma Siri was her name.
That girl, my-my, she was no polished bull –
she was rock hard and gave nothing away
when you rubbed her
the right way. She had a throaty sewing
machine kinda laugh that needled a bit
but we loved Selma Siri’s pretty name.

Written for Miz Quickly’s prompt Day: 16
Originally written as poetic form: Dodoitsu x4 stanzas, and reworked. My original poem is at http://miskmask.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/selma-siri/

181 Words About Fingers

181 Words About Fingers

I’ve been thinking a lot about fingers. Not
layers of buttery shale fingers wrapped
in chocolate, but fingers that bend and pop,
knuckles jagged and ragged with uneven
nails with ridges and dips, discoloured with
tints of green gardening, fingernails half-
mooned with craggy hangnails that bleed
and swell and redden, nails to bite, to tear,
fingernails to clip, to chip, to file and fiddle.
Fingers called thumbs that are sucked, stuck
into things like ears and fingers up noses,
or down your throat. Fingers with rings,
fingers that pick up bees that sting, fingers
holding pens, writing letters you’ll never
send because fingers crumbled the paper
and threw it away, fingers holding brushes
that paint memorable scenes of mountains
and streams and oceans, fingers that speak
with articulate signs, fingers that swear,
fingers that curse, fingers carrying an old
leather purse, fingers that dig, fingers that
plant, fingers on chins so a person can think,
fingers in winter turned cold and mist blue,
fingers to hold that say, “Yes, I love you. “

Yes, I’ve been thinking a lot about fingers.

Written for Joseph Harker’s Recursions Day 15: Create a poem that’s the opposite from your usual style and subject matter (paraphrased). For the full scoop on today’s prompt pop over to Joseph Harker’s Recursions Day 15:

Hot Dust and Bologna Sandwiches


It was a day when dreams are forged.
Long dreamy recollections of feet that ache
and ears that strain for the cold lineal sound
of the river. I still dream of it, walking into
the colour of morning and quietly slipping
through rain-washed ferns, stepping around

mist-slicked rocks in my long rubber boots.
I cut a fast stride through rushing water,
keeping up with you. This was Dad’s place.
His fishing hole. He’d bent the branch
of a cedar tree by the side of the road so he
could find this spot every time. He’d park

the car, and we’d walk through the smell
of unsettled dust and rising heat that competed
with the morning sun. Dad with his fishing gear;
we carried all the food. We ate bologna sandwiches
spread thin with butter and a slick of French’s
yellow sunshine. The bread gummed up our teeth,

and I developed a hatred of meat perforated
with pimentos and olives. And there were rocks
as big as my feet. Huge. I’d throw them with great
effort into deep, silent pools so I could feel
the water’s depth thundering through the soles
of my feet. It was a sound so deep and hollow,

so lonely that I knew no word to describe it then.
I do now, now that you’re gone – that lonely, deep,
long resonating sound that shakes my core,
vibrates through the soles of my feet –
it’s the sound of love, and of love lost.

Yes, these are the things that dreams are made
of – the things that keep my dreams awake.

Also posted to dVerse Poets Open Link Night

Written for Recursions Day 15: A free-write and an Artsy-Craftsy Twist
The method: free-write in the shape of a river with little tributaries, then cut out that piece of paper to the shape you’ve written. Now free-write thoughts, snippets from previous poems, whatever, on another sheet of paper, and place the river
paper over the second free-write page. See if anything sparks, notice new word combinations, and directions that your thoughts go. Now write like a maniac.

Here’s my messy free-write:

Pop over to Joseph Harker’s blog for an interesting exercise! http://namingconstellations.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/recursion-fourteen-gift-of-the-nile/

Scarlet Passion

clip_image002SCARLET PASSION

We played hopscotch
on the cobbled lanes of Seville;
old worn stones still echo
a tapping touch of steel heeled shoes,
sounds that pound hearts
to a fluttering flamenco spin. There
we danced scarlet passion for our
daily bread, broad Picasso splashes
from evening’s butterscotch sky,
and we sought life’s delights
on the cobbled lanes of Seville.

Miz Quickly’s prompt Day 15: Listen to a short piece of instrumental music. Listen to it several times, and then write a poem. I listened to Carmen. All of it. I love it.
Photo is from Wikipedia, Seville.

Life’s Dusty Junctions


A long slow cry filled the air with thick grey soot, the train
still many miles away, soft bosomed terrain
carrying its call through hills and vales, a plain
clear note carried on the wind. Hear its long complaint

at another junction, another dusty lane
where journeys ramble through fields of yellow grain,
red dust and sky-high stalks of corn. Our ears strain
to the tune of the Burlington Northern. So strange

that our childlike hearts jump; we’re unrestrained
by the shrill of the engineer’s call, his sweet refrain
to our adventurous want to travel this strange
lineal sound through summer sun and winter rain.

We’ll follow a life, unconstrained, and we will reign,
a freer life beside the tracks – riding the trains.

Written for both Poetic Asides Day 14: Sonnet and Miz Quickly’s Prompts