Restaurant Scenes

childhood trio

now young career women

dinner dressed and splurging

decadent courses

wine flows copiously

among the storied laughs

warmth emanates

burbling from our table


jarringly adjacent

he vocally hurls

jagged knives

at his companion

louder, escalating

accusing and berating

her dinner fare

horn of shame

served with a side of tears


the poison darts

pierce our joyful repast

dish up outraged



warrior spirited

we scheme in whispers

rescue on our minds

her danger palpable

this tearful damsel

I slip from my seat

follow rest-room bound

waiter enlisted

in delay tactics


brashly accosting

I fervently tell her

all the messages

you have the right to be safe

you do not deserve this

there are people who will help

we can call someone for you

I am worried for your safety

she listens and nods

minimizes her risk

it’ll be better when he sobers up

he’s not always like this

not quite saying

it’s too overwhelming for me

to process your strange intrusion

I’ll go home with him

It’s what I know how to do


decades later

I feel the urgency

of failed mission

I wonder

if she ever


her warrior self


Surprise Party

when she least expected it

they threw her a party

it was a fabulously festive fete

decorated in lavish

ballooned festoonery

hued in iridescent luminosity

tinted in fairy twinkling stardust


there was no calendared occasion

for this carousel of carousing choruses

chambered in octet octaves

orchestrated by rocking seraphim

harmonizing with oceanic refrains

breezing on celestial whispers

sung in angelic dulcet tones


the banquet was catered

by Dionysian attendants

bearing fruits of Gaia’s garden

reaped under harvest moon

cornucopia’d on Celtic crystal

draughted with Ambrosia

dribbled fingertips to lips


the ambience was perfumed

with subtle scent selections

wafting hints of honeysuckle

floating through tunnels

of aromatic essence

fragranced in lavendered layers

spiced with redolent seduction


they decked her out in haute couture

choreographing costume changes

tantalizing skin softly

draped in diaphanous silks

bewinged of gossamer feathers

cloaks of cascading chiffon

her words outdid themselves


(image: pinterest)

Trouble in the Keys

I’m a little worried, lately

that my words are up to something

mildly nefarious.

It’s not a mutiny just yet

but insubordination

is undeniably on the rise.

In ways subtle and nuanced

these alphabetic characters

are skittling out of line

Look! these just

S  c  r  a  w  l  e  d their way over here.

They have dragged me into

conversations when I wasn’t

quite prepared and pull me

deeper in their witty repartee

leaving me to tongue-trip

in the wake of innuendo

flirtation or smart-ass comebacks

wisely left unstated



There was that time                                   e


I sent them on a missive                   n


and they went off on this odd t

e   r   b   o

p                      l

y                             i

to return eventually, on a h                                  c arc


Time and time again

I find I’m sweeping

up behind them

as they drop crumb

trails of implications,

connotations and second guessery


I arranged them in a montage

all artistical and fancy

they left me hanging

with some dangling participles


I have this sneaking suspicion

they are writing checks

I most surely cannot cash

now I’m hunting for receipts

digging through the trash


I crafted a tasty mélange

mixed metaphorical medley

they wrote it prosaically

in meteorological meter

like a simple simile


I frequently discover

my meanings have gone missing

between the text and subtext

context and supertext

(oh wait that’s superscript)

and while I’m fighting

stubborn formatting

the onomatopoeia

went swooshing off the stage


Sometimes, exasperated

I take a handful of the buggers

throw them against the page

just to see how they’ll behave


set to take their marching orders

others slump and fade

bored and disaffected

while still others

take off running

at some other poet’s bidding

the rest fumble


while they wait

my misdirection


With all of these vocabularies

Mein Gott!

how did this happen?

they promised

eloquence and lyricism

led me out

on a cracked limb

all I can say is

Qu’est-ce que c’est


Hey, how did this get here?

Contextual Tango, Greened

Written in collaboration with a very Clever (make that Ward Clever) poet


From across the room

you catch their eyes

smile hazeled twinkles

while crooking the finger

of your jostling thoughts

the words don’t realize

they are wending toward you

until they stand breath held

two steps back, left side


Bending to your will

their eyes follow, captivating

whispers pouring from lips

right hand on the small of your back

your green emeralds fractured

hearing them in kaleidoscope

they form in mist on window glass

you finally exhale

breathe in secret messages


Under centripetal force

of your dancing syllables

they twirl in burbling cadence

threading whispers through stars

jades of your soul refracting

waft in impish perfume

scatter gems of hinted meaning

on a symphonic whim

each breath a studded lifetime


Furtively, like Cupid’s assassins

they gracefully stalk your senses

arching backs, hazel lights ablaze

shooting glances into hearts

savoring verdant spirits

intoxicating to discern

dizzying lyrical harmonies

breaths escape in laughter

with smiles, the chasers


In metaphors’ enchantment

swim arcs of fantasy

scented emerald as the isles

you spin through luscious syntaxes

orchestrating heady liberty

fleetfooted and provocative

they pause, softly wink

you gasp inaudibly

anticipate the leap


Hands meet in chiasmus

the steps foretold in dreams

leaving softly spoken footprints

in sea foam scrubbed sand

they harmonize in dulcet tones

daring your aerial motion

catching you in sweet nothings

breathing in lullabies

singing songs of your grace


Their choreography phases

shifts to luminous humming

draping across your soul

kelly blankets of intuition

bridge known and connotated

touching sips of permanence

in the pause between notions

drift murmurs salted sweet

your breathing sighs apace


Shadows from every letter

waltzing to minuets

stars twinkle to dazzling darkness

strobing, midori afterglow

their effect forming rivulets

streaming down your memories

you mouth the words

falling from sage lips

with one last tranquil breath



(photo: mine)

Storming In

I was that storm

that swept through last night

upended your world

unearthing all that was

in my gusting

I ruffled your hair

while riffling unabashedly

the tendrils of your soul

I whirled away

seedlinged doubt

dispersed dusted bunnies

of languishing ennui

I blasted past defenses

left you breathless

quiescent and wasted

in a balmy kind of calm

I poured upon your pores

running rivulets

between your lies

and universal truths

in my deluge

I quenched your thirst

while dousing in perpetuity

all your raging fires

I swirled away

careworn etchings

washed out ill-used notions

of staid propriety

I swamped status quo

left you gasping

engulfed and drifting

in the waves of my wake


Menage a Trois with Demons and Kittens

absent warning

no whistles, bells or sirens

they catapult you

through a raging firestorm

slam you into stone ramparts

you slide, noodling

down jagged wall

Wile E Coyote reeling

bruised and battered, alive

they build gator-infested moats

across which you creak

tiptoeing a crickety drawbridge

in breathless quest

of ephemeral treasure

they carom you, dizzying

to Everestial peaks

where you commune with Buddha


they drown you, dredging

humanity’s sifting bottom

of decaying depravity

dangling reprieve, tantalizing

they tattoo themselves

double-helixed among your DNA

tonguing your undiscoverable

cortical crevices

conceding the logical

ecstasy of lobotomy

in desultory slices

they strip you skinless

to bloodied bones

with tacit accolades

in light-fingered seduction

they melt clothes away

you swim beatifically

defenseless among anemones

in the kiss of a lightening jolt

they careen you

from shock and awe

to ooohhh and awwwww

my words weave power

I vow to wield them


Ode to Poetics

inchoate community

scrapes a foothold

in consciousness

amorphously distinctive


who listen and respond

they can’t place

the staccato

of her hurried footfall

but begin to recognize

the thunder


measured words

they can’t trace

the jaw-jut

of grim determination

but start to see

firm sketching

o’er chalked outlines

they can’t track

the timber of her voice

pick it from the masses

but catch the strains

of love and loss

or laughing in fate’s face

as she drags

herself upright

they can’t anticipate

the upper octaves

of an impending

stifled shriek

but spot and chorus

outraged indignation

they don’t hear

the trembly quaver

of heartaches’

plaintive pleadings

but witness

the scratchy whisper

coarse suturing

of her soul


No Pens in the Pen

in the middle of the uprising

all the inmates

in all the jails and prisons

picked up their shanks

stuck them


to the page

in the enormous

echoing silence

they spilled

the charcoaled baby oil


of their truths

authenticity authored


cell to cell

shackle and chain

up and down the range

and the wardens



the guards

issued the edict

“More shanks!

Incite a riot.

All this truth-telling

does not serve

our purpose.”


The Chase

this stalking business

is exhausting


stealthy approach

to avoid

frightened flight

breath muted

ears perked

 the sidelong sneak

pursues winged prey

flight patterns

feeding habits


retreats haunted

clues tracked

whistles trailed

relentless quest

for elusive quarry

she hunts

evasive poems

flitting about

muddied underbrush



she analyzes

these denizens of creative space

who people her vacant hours

(at least she assumes they are people-

not Trussian bots;

after all, all she has left to steal

is her mind)

creates character sketches

patchworked pieced

of observations

hypotheses, conjectures

phantasmagoric mental meanderings

she deciphers their


and animates

there is the disciplined


whose dual diurnal

posts remind her

time for work is nigh

there are the tenacious


who hemorrhage heart

ooze angst and agony

via soul-borne

stanza and word

there are the methodical


students of natural life

chroniclers with creative

bent of mind

turn of phrase

there are the principled


who raise pen

(click-tapping fingertips)

highlight suffering

self, individual or

regime inflicted

there is the enigmatic


(she labels, admiring)

blood-nibbed calligrapher-

cum-performance artist

whose sourcing baffles

fact or fantasy?

her fabricated


morphs and coalesces


Wonderland world