the whir and whine
of blackberry clouds
voices going around
cliffs be damned
and then coming around
mother heeding her daughters’ cries
at long last
licking her wounds –
sure –
but also, finally, theirs as well.

Days long gone
carefree and electric
parallel lines, swim lanes
deep blue
shimmery diamonds
glinting in the sun
three dog night
blasting through the summer heat
wings too: band on the run
diving and thriving
submerged
across and back
in a single breath.
Our own water world
adolescent explorations
body images exposed
celebrated
and shapened,
social intercourse
hits and misses
for six young girls isolated
from small town city life
laughable, now
considering
our burg’s population: 3000
hardly a metropolis.
Municipal swimming pool
our Shangri-La, our Shambala
our Midwest Martha’s Vineyard.

Seen
not undone
nor remade.
Certainly never
snookered
or forlorn.
Naked Goliaths
running toward white lights
seams bursting
flesh tearing
in mellow frames
of neon tomorrows.
Rest, ye weary
boots on wings,
schooners on rails.
May your mysteries
be elevated to higher seas
limned in crystal fire.

Quiet back roads
Late day light
Me and my cameras
And a full tank of gas

Windows down as I drive
Locusts in the trees
Imagining their tiny wings
Creating sound with friction

Wooden sheds
Rusted trailers, wild chicory
Cars in their graves
Alone and abandoned

Flowers in a cowboy boot
Hung from an oversized mailbox
Tied with a paisley bow
Faded from the sun

Young does alert
But I pose no danger
Yes, I will shoot them
Using my Canon

Empty farmhouse, still
Ancient oaks hemmed in by hot wire
Fencing in ghosts
And a few head of cattle

Trestle bridges, planked flooring
Once mighty
But still grand
Loud in the crossing

Steepled churches, crumbling cemeteries
Barns, silos, limestone foundations
Unexpected treasures
I seek what I don’t know I’ll find

Don’t snuff out your own bright lights
Bad enough that others will try to do that for you
Assemble your efforts to reach ever higher
Ascend those jagged rocks to pinnacled peaks
Find your own beauty and grandeur
Finesse your own sweet way in the world
Leave stifling to old reruns
Shame on anyone who would seek to undo
your sense of purpose, your sense of self.

Leave them, and go.

Daily Prompt: Stifle

The rough edges of
how I appear to the world
require daily filings
if only the angle required
to get at it all
wasn’t so confounding.

Your eyes grabbed hold of me
more than ten years ago.
I’ve been haunted by them
ever since.

Sitting on a bus
between classes
I noticed you
in the backseat of a car.
You were hugging the window.
How frail you looked:
lost, bewildered, afraid.

We exchanged glances
and I wondered then
(and yet still today)
if you were neglected.
Perhaps abused.
Did you feel unloved?
A ship at sea, unmoored,
tossed and battered and ungrounded:
that’s how you appeared to me.

I’ve thought of you many times
and wondered what became of you.
Has life treated you well?
Was joy a part of your days?
Have you been happy?

I hope Love called your name.

Actinic keratosis
seems hubby was right
liquid nitrogen’s burn — and tingle
deftly applied to
persistent spots
on my face, my legs
parts of me forever exposed to the sun;
denial, years in the making.