Picasso’s Dog


Image source: http://kellywalkerstudios.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/picass1.png


Picasso’s Dog

You wandered in, made yourself

at home there

in an artist’s arms, and unaware

of his status or yours

you simply lived

as man’s best friend

un tres bon chien

unwittingly deconstructed on canvas.

I wonder if you saw yourself

in that single, ink-black stroke

a portrait, or an artist’s joke?

If you’d found him earlier in his career

perhaps there would be more to you than

one black line, continuous and thin

 “Garçon avec un chien”

must have made you howl

with jealousy.

Perhaps that’s why it’s rumored

you developed a taste for canvas and so

became le chien qui a mangé un Picasso?



Just having a little fun with a poetry prompt from TS Poetry, where they are talking dogs this month.






she holds them, cupped in dirty hands

raised up to the light

palmsful of blossoms, fuschia spilling over

and the scent of honey, of myrrh.

how can it be, she asks

that this treasure grew

from that tangle of thorns?

i put them in water, cut-glass winks in

filtered sun

touching velvet petals, fingers trembling

i remember other treasure

the roots of which twine in painful thorns

how beautiful, that which is born

in bitter, piercing weeds




I have worn out my soles
pacing this pebbled shore
eyes grown weary
watching the distant other
I have the courage, I think
to cross the water
cast my paper boats adrift
 set them afire, watch them 
blaze down the river
like burning stars against
a watery blue sky.
all that holds me here
is the fear of one day standing
on that other shore
and (improbable as it seems)
longing for this one

Word Candy….

When did it become
a foolish thing
to love wholly,
 submit to abandon
embrace the risk of passion?
Who taught us 
to give, instead
a calculated sort of love
measured out in teaspoons
rationed by fear?
Despite convention,
I wish for you
the blessing of a broken heart
the grace to experience
the beautiful, broken now


take them in your hand
spilling over
through trembling fingers they pour
sliding, one over another
smooth brown seed coats

broadcast them wide
sweeping out
let them fly through open hands
released, a gift
cotyledon-encased embryos

wait for them now
taking root
in rich soil while your hands, empty
fold and rest
know that where you cannot see, they

My admiration to you
who came before me, in your
dress that brushes worn plank floors
there in some cabin, far from
your hands are about laundry, your mind
about the azure sky above
scrubbing thread-bare daughter-dresses
knuckles against the washboard
and children laughing
through tall grass that waves like an ocean,
silvers in the summer sun
you, looking up
pause a moment and just breathe 
gaze over it all
with eyes adjusted to distance
and these miles and miles
of open, wide open
under all that sky
This photo, a writing-gift from friend Darlene, inspired me to write a poem.  Somehow, I saw in it the pioneers….I could see this being the view from the porch of a little log cabin in there under the scrubbed-out sky, could feel the breeze blowing and see the grass wave.  Perhaps it was because Middle Child is sitting behind me, reading Laura Ingles for the 99th time…more likely, it’s because Darlene is the closest thing to a Pioneer I’ve ever met…she, there, in her little house on the hilltop under all that sky with her horse-trough bathtub and wood cookstove, weaving words instead of stitching samplers and wearing Wranglers rather than petticoats, but?  She’s the real deal, yes she is.  And, thank you, friend, for a reason to write!



In the azure place
where earth and sky collide
and stone rises, turns its cool face
to sun’s radiant caress
in the soft sound
of water falling, whispering
a thousand voices distant in its wake
in the lush expanse
of fragrant green where future
meadows sway in seed-heavy blades
are we closer, somehow
to answers that dance
just here, only inches
out of reach

A Poem…This Broken Faith

This Broken Faith

O pilgrim, know your bruised and fractured soul
shines beautiful, like sun sparks through the rain
and though the darkness longs to claim its toll
this broken faith glows brilliant though the pain.
What words are there to still the baneful voice
whose lies in blackest darkness now you grope?
Such strength it takes for us to make the choice
to silence despair’s siren call with hope.
To struggle on when everything seems lost
and you can barely lift your voice to pray
Oh, God forbid we underrate the cost
of simply moving forward day by day.
So true, sometimes the very bravest act
is moving forward, longing to go back

For some reason, it needed to be a sonnet.

Monster (Supermarket Zombie)


she saw him
between the baked goods
and cereal isles
towering tall, shoulders wide
lumbering forward
his thick fingers grazing
slipping over carnival-colored boxes
claiming them, one at a time…
Lucky Charms, Fruity Pebbles,
Count Chocula

Zombie in the supermarket
large and hulking
wearing flannel pajama bottoms
a jean jacket you could use for a sail
on any sized boat
his face a white moon
eyes glazed
plank-like feet shuffling
down isle nine

her hand slipped in mine
mother, she said,
do you think it’s possible
that zombies go shopping
and buy cereal
write out a check at the register?
Do you think that zombies
might look just like anyone else
but still be dead inside?

Of Course Not, I said
squeezed her little hand
delivered a six-point sermon on
the non-existence of monsters
reassured her through four more isles
shuffled to the register
wrote my check
tried to erase the vivid picture
of the living dead
spooning Fruity Pebbles
into gaping mouth
milk spilling over chin, into collar
pooling in the slow, empty smile
teeth flecked with bits of red and yellow cereal