You cannot be the cause of the problem
and seek reward for being its solution.

this orange turd will never soar…

fools know not how to solve
moon dust equations — Elites!, they cry.
these misguided “patriots” cannot exclaim
both joy & hatred, community & vitriol.

it does not compute!!

how do they think we’ll ever get
to where it is we want to go? have they
given any thought, any consideration
to our happily ever after?

People!!

It has to be a collective ‘our’,
a collective ‘ever after’.

Why can’t — or won’t — they see that?

Serrated leaves of brethren black-cherry trees
wave to me outside our sunroom windows.
Empty wire-mesh feeders sway
in the muggy almost-autumn breeze.

Sluglike, I cross to the mailbox,
COVID-gloves in hand.
Wasted effort: Political flyers
for a candidate I’d never, ever vote for.

Didn’t I read somewhere
that September’s segue to fall
dictates longer sleeves,
cooler nights, solid shoes?

My sugar-self craves a hot cuppa chai
but not when The Weather Channel
tells me what I already know — we’re dying here
in this ninety-degree muck, reprieve not yet our due.

Predictably, others will soon
protest winter’s snowfall, her howling winds,
those frigid blasts of icy, northern air.

                       But I won’t…

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up a book or two on Blackout Poetry at Barnes & Noble or other bookstores but always figured it just wasn’t my thing.

Until now…

Unable to sleep in the wee hours of the morning, I got out of bed, tore out a page from a book I’m currently altering for collage art and created my very first Blackout Poem. It was fun! I’ll definitely try this again. 🙂

enthusiasms in decline
or already dead

motivations lacking
or never-were

faltering footprints of self-pity
give way to immobilization

boot straps — broken nubs…

curled up, knees to forehead
sunken cheeks, cool to the touch
eyes a-glaze…
covers in a heap, empty side of the room
noon whistles blasts
the requisite three and a half minutes

yes, covid is a thing
but, girl, you’ve got to
pull yourself together

This summer I participated for the first time in POPO 2020, the August Poetry Postcard Festival. When you sign up, your name is added to a list of thirty-one others. Due to COVID-19, the festival began earlier than usual this year but the premise of the activity is to send a postcard to each person on the list by the end of August. The idea of which is to just sit down – on the fly! – and compose a poem for the recipient. And, to further challenge one’s artistic bent, use whatever means to communicate your poetic message (or not!) by decorating the other side of the postcard. You are also free to use any kind of postcard such as those to highlight the community or area you live in. You can use an already ‘decorated’ card if you prefer not to flex any artistic muscles of your own. Anything pretty much goes!

Here is a showcasing of some of the cards I decorated. Um, as for the poems — well, let’s just say maybe some other time! But the gist of the exercise, to get us to let our thoughts FLOW on paper, was enjoyable and time well spent. I’ve sent all my cards out and I must admit to having a few withdrawal pains! It was fun. I photographed every card and poem I sent and will let those verses marinade a bit. Later, I’ll see if I can’t just do a little bit more with them!!

If anyone is interested in participating in next year’s Festival, here’s a couple links with more information. Registration for POPO 2021 begins September 1st! You can also search for them on Facebook.

How It Works

Poetry Postcard F.A.Q’s

Some weird shit, man.
COVID-19 and all the ways of the world
mangled, twisted —
set on fire.

Another confirmed case,
the county adjacent to ours.
Close enough to us now
that it totally feels real.
Like, how real will it be
when friends, family,
neighbors
begin to die?

I could be one of them.
Compromised, weakened immune system
and fragile, as my sister tells it…
This fiend could slay me.

It could.
It really, really could.

My 2019 goal was to publish five poems. When I met that goal midyear, I expanded my horizons and made ten the new magic number. Well, I fell just shy of that by two. Still, I’m happy and pleased that eight of my poems were selected for publication. Here’s Numero Ocho. It’s called Horror Vacui and it was published in SPLASH!, an online journal courtesy of Haunted Waters Press.

Horror Vacui

~ the fear or dislike of leaving empty spaces, particularly in an artistic composition

yesterday, I watched cumulonimbus clouds dance their anvil jig

tomorrow, I will cruise among their almighty thunderheads

today, I hunger for the tart, clean texture of a Colorado peach

today, I yearn for the lusty breezes of spring,
winter remnants skimming across novice green grass

today, I adore the pungent taste of black licorice
puppy’s exquisite kisses, until I cannot handle them even one minute more
the exhilaration of a rowdy wind in my hair, pedaling my Townie Electra fast as it will take me
street photography, subjects unaware, placed within my viewfinder, chill and aloof

today, I crave the scent of ciabatta bread fresh-baked with my own two inarticulate hands
flamboyant array of hats and scarves, crocheted with love
the impactful power and reach of the written word (occasionally, my own)

alway, I seek joyful reassurances from authentic hearts
nestled snug and warm within a canvas that lacks for nothing

nothing at all

LINK: https://www.hauntedwaterspress.com/horror-vacui/

It wasn’t often
I was invited to a friend’s house.

A grand adventure
for one always told

No,
we can’t afford it.

My mother’s touch
of the feminine.

I’m tempted
to live in ignorance
agnostic
of the partisan divide
that threatens our democracy
unity we once held dear
disregarding
the ubiquitous Breaking News,
turning away
from chaotic commentary
manufactured outrage

the whole darn world gone mad…