NaPoWriMO # 25 Clerihew

Sarah Louise Palin

suffers from chagrin

she stalked a high office

but fell on her faux pas’s



Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

words sometimes seem overdone

she hid from the world in her home to the end

its workings too cruel uncomprehend

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NaPoWriMo # 24 Parody

I really never liked the Joyce Kilmer’s poem Trees.  I had to memorize it in 4th grade and recite it without barfing in front of the class.  No, I wasn’t suffering from stage fright – even at that tender age I loathed excessive sentimentality.  It may be that my brain is turning to mush, or that my life-long struggle to grok and sometimes hit a universal note in my writing is finally paying off (even today people love Trees), but I did feel a rather grudging respect for some of the imagery when I read it again, as if for the first time, in reaction to today’s prompt. The line about the hungry mouth prest (his spelling not mine) to Earth’s sweet flowing breast-though incredibly embarrassing at the time-is really gorgeous and I think brave, considering  he wrote it in 1918.  Trees made him famous and his words immortal in the way only poetry can survive death.  It also made him an easy target for many other poets, most notably Ogden Nash

So, I admit it’s a cheap shot and I did try this with some of my favorites, but it made me queasy.  Nevertheless, I send a deep bow Kilmer’s way, wherever he may be (I pray he’s been digested by a tree); we should all be so lucky as to write a poem as famous as his.

Poetry: With Apologies to Joyce Kilmer and the Trees About Which He Wrote


I think that I’ll never see a tree

lovely as a poem can be.


A tree is tied to Earth’s sweet breast

but poems travel east and west;


saunter, run, crawl, dance, fly, play

sometimes curse and sometimes pray.


A poem outlasts the centuries’ wear

is intimate with fox and hare,


makes cat feet out of fog and rain

strolls with us down Lover’s Lane.


The Goddess blesses fools and trees

but saves her heart for poetry.

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NaPoWriMo # 23 Cartomancy

I pulled the High priestess from my Ryder Waite tarot deck. high priestess It’s the deck I learned to tell the cards with and its still my favorite because it incorporates so many plain, simple and universal symbols.  However, I have a problem with the tendency,  imposed by our culture, to rank everything in stereotypical orders of hierarchy.  My priestess is not about that, she would not allow the designation “High” with all it implies to be attached to her title.

After I wrote my initial paragraph-timing the writing, never taking pen from page, extracting the phrases which held the most juice, and writing the poem-I went looking for an image of the card I pulled, hoping to insert it in this post.  Having found her, naturally I scrolled down to look at the rest. This  one immediately caught my eye.High priestess  I can’t tell you her provenance. I wish I knew, but she comes from a Pinterest page with no attribution.  It’s such a beautiful card and exemplifies the priestess in my poem – complete with dogs!! Synchronicity comforts me with its implication that magic is indeed afoot. So here’s to the Living Goddess and the priestesses who serve Her!


High Priestess


The priestess sits before a curtain

embroidered with pomegranates

hung between two pillars. She appears

to sit in judgement, but in the inner ear

of her analytical mind the voice

of judgment becomes ever more quiet.

Tenderness, hard-won compassion

demand she sacrifice pity, sympathy, empathy

to witness with neutrality

evil/good gadflies spinning and buzzing

in the restless brains of those she serves.

Oldest of the Old, she replaces high with low,

brings what’s been hidden into light

applies dark poultice on angry burns

inflicted by excessive light.

Dogs, known for their loyalty, ferocity,

and ability to scavenge

accompany her rounds.

Her rituals circumvent death

retell stories of seeds and babies

who destroy their cocoons to enter life.

The priestess serves Ancient Mothers‑–

Isis, Persephone, Hecate—

Death in Life/Life in Death.

She is doorway, valve, portal, membrane standing

between seen and unseen, known and unknown.

She invites you to pass through…


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NaPoWriMo Post 22 Pastoral Poem

Outside My Window


Texas skies make grand canvases for Gaia.

She stirs the clouds into tornadoes,

rumbles warnings, lights her work with strobes

no angst defined avant-garde artist

will ever best. Gotterdammerung

defines her work on days like these-

moody grey and overcast with portent…

No matter that in half an hour the sun

will shine from cloudless heavens

washed crystal clear and limpid blue,

that mercury will rise




and bloom-filled flower beds,

brave petals ripped by hailstones

still sparkling on the ground,

will wave brave leaves in greeting

paying homage to their planet.

As should we.

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NaPoWriMo #21 Letting Go of Prose

I took a page from The Elusive Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy.  In the passage below Emmuska Magdalena Rosalia Maria Josepha Barbara Orczy describes a puppet show in a Parisian park at the height of the French Revolution depicting a decapitation by guillotine.

I chose the following words, including the title, for my poem and left them in the order in which they occurred:


A red

looking sky. “Too red!”

some people said.

A number of little figures

no taller than your hand,

beautifully made little dolls

dressed in all rags and wooden shoes

massed together in groups

arms all turned upwards.

In the center on an elevated platform

miniature wooden posts close together,

a miniature basket between the two posts,

at the top, a miniature knife

which ran up and down in a groove drawn

by a miniature pulley.

Lo and behold!

a loud whirr of wheels, a buzz of internal mechanism,

very thrilling, very terrible:

a certain air of hushed awe



Chapter IV : The Richmond Gala

…And you could not help but be convinced of the truth of it all, so
cleverly was it done. There was a background of houses and a very
red-looking sky. “Too red!” some people said, but were immediately
quashed by the dictum of the wise, that the sky represented a sunset,
as anyone who looked could see. Then there were a number of little
figures, no taller than your hand, but with little wooden faces and
arms and legs, just beautifully made little dolls, and these were
dressed in kirtles and breeches –all rags mostly–and little coats and
wooden shoes. They were massed together in groups with their arms
all turned upwards.

And in the center of this little stage on an elevated platform there
were miniature wooden posts close together, and with a long flat
board at right angles at the foot of the posts, and all painted a bright
red. At the further end of the boards was a miniature basket, and
between the two posts, at the top, was a miniature knife which ran up
and down in a groove and was drawn by a miniature pulley. Folk who
knew said that this was a model of a guillotine.

And lo and behold! when you dropped a penny into a slot just below
the wooden stage, the crowd of little figures started waving their
arms up and down, and another little doll would ascend the elevated
platform and lie down on the red board at the foot of the wooden
posts. Then a figure dressed in brilliant scarlet put out an arm
presumably to touch the pulley, and the tiny knife would rattle down
on to the poor little reclining doll’s neck, and its head would roll off
into the basket beyond.

Then there was a loud whirr of wheels, a buzz of internal mechanism,
and all the little figures would stop dead with arms outstretched,
whilst the beheaded doll rolled off the board and was lost to view, no
doubt preparatory to going through the same gruesome pantomime

It was very thrilling, and very terrible: a certain air of hushed awe
reigned in the booth where this mechanical wonder was displayed…


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NaPoWriMo #20 Doggerel: The Last Resort



Everything changes

nothing stays the same

left at rest, one’s restless mind

soon plays other games.


Scent barely whiffed in passing

floral, musky, sweet

can upset equilibrium

sweep strong men off their feet.

~ ~

Butterfly flaps happily by

tsunamis hit Saigon,

tree falls in the forest

trade winds bless Ceylon.


One can’t predict good fortune

foresee drear tragedy

the only thing one’s left to do

is very simply be.

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NaPoWriMo # 19 Landays

I hope you  all read the article on landays.  I’m fascinated on many levels but mostly by how ancient the form is.  I am so consistently amazed by how forms, symbols, ideas, customs persist through millennia. In spite of myriad changes taking place in every culture some things persist, sometimes in their original form.  It’s enough to make you believe in memes!


Far from home, passing a bar door

country music, my tears water the sidewalk.


You speak in tongues I do not get

yet your eyes are eloquent enough.

Forbidden Fruit

Father is busy in the orchard

Come! Nibble these apples, sip this sweet cider.


Women reckon up the price of war

knowing who will pay the price men’s god demands.


I dream in HD, lie in your arms

your heart beats loudly beneath my lonely ear.


Where are the fingers that stroked my flesh

the mouth that kissed, the sweet rough games we played?


I want a green tattoo, a serpent

circling mouth to tail inscribed upon my cheek.

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