Monday, May 12, 2014

you think - The Mag 219

image by Martin Stranka 

you think
last resort of liars and thieves
the self
your mind a parachute of
wheres and whys unpacked
and at home
here in this moment
falling floating flying
in_different to out_comes
only now wind buffeting sleeves 
ruffling cuffs pressurized
ears clattering a cocoon
of eye lids closed
dried leaves collecting
in a gutter of toes
ground rushing stomach lurching eased
into without thought or (even) an I 
ever knowing
if this is death
or really finally living

posted for Magpie Tales

 dedicated to the enjoyment of poets and writers, for the purpose of honing their craft, sharing it with like-minded bloggers, and keeping their muses alive and well.


1) Write a poem or short vignette using the picture featured in this post as your inspiration. Feel free to take the image to use for your post.

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Big Poetry Give Away Results and Poetic Asides April 2014 Poem A Day Challenge - Days 21-30

The Random Number Generator has Spoken... 

First of all thanks to all 16 participants commenting at our cupoetry blog- the odds were in your favor for the giveaway but only 2 could survive. 

Congratulations to Lissa and Lynn - The Random Number Generator will decide the fate of which book you will receive - and it has spoken. You will find out in the mail.  As a bonus please check out their blogs

Lissa at Thoughts on life, writing and japanese and south korean culture    
and Lynn at

both are very interesting and accomplished writers and bloggers - please check out their sites. 

And in keeping with the spirit of this website please search out your own local sources of poetry in your own communities and get involved ...  in worst case scenario you can always create your own group. Blogging is great but nothing really beats sharing your writing face to face and in front of an audience.

 And here are the last 10 days of the April PAD Challenge- Congratulations to all of the participants - no matter how many poems you have written this month - so what did I learn? Like forms, challenging yourself to write everyday can force you to write in ways you would not normally consider. Being creative takes a great deal of energy and can drain you- similar to a physical fitness bootcamp- but exceeding your perceived limitations will allow you to grow - Happy reading and writing and sharing everyone -

Day 30 - calling it a day poem

Eve calling it a day

When the boss Adam said let’s call it a day,
I’m sure Eve wondered what he meant by that phrase
given she was expected to prepare them both dinner,
feed and put the children to bed, clean up the dishes
and please her husband before his loud snoring
finally allowed her to rest,
or perhaps he was back at his old inane hobby-
the naming of things-
which made a lot more sense
here in the hard scrabble world than it
did back in the unchanging garden,
it did not help however that he kept renaming the
same things over and over again to suit his own purposes
or to pretend he had not forgotten
what he had called them originally -
the only constant she could count on now
his constant complaining about
her “nagging”
when all she ever really wanted was clarification
of her place in his growing hierarchy of creation
and of all things – his love

Day 29 - two for tuesday magic and realism poem

at work at a job for an hourly wage
whose only benefit of working harder or better
is to keep from being fired
I am known by all of my coworkers
as the bodiless grin from down the hall
magically popping in for monthly meetings
popping out at the first sign of break room dramas
and completely disappearing just as soon
as the clock gets punched-
concerned by this condition they sent me to the doctor
who despite endless tests can find no evidence
of any kind of grin - bodiless or otherwise
and has decided to find out what's there
that shouldn't be
by slowly slicing my body into thin layers
in an MRI machine
less a torpedo tube
than a crematorium
where I am told to relax but don't move
the green laser cross on my forehead confirming
what I have always known
I am neither grin nor body
though I find it suddenly impossible
to disappear or let go
despite their grim diagnosis
that I am now completely
and utterly gone

Day 28 - settled poem

You will not settle for less than everything

and what will you settle when there are no new people's to exploit
will you make money your land to be conquered at any cost
water like our children's blood expendable
in your pursuit of mammon, your idol,
your false god of never enough
sick, ruthless, unsettling your doubling down
in times of trouble doubling your riches
while halving our worth
we are not you and never will be
even if we wanted to you would never let us
join your lot
we simple commoners who once thought
the commons were for the common good -
now mere money pits for you to swim in
and leave burning in your wake
a fitting tribute to us
attending our own wake from you
your dead and dying proselytizers
as we watch
the world burning inside us
as we burn the world

Settle that whole muddied water middle you
and clarify yourself
hands not your hands until you
think their work
into being
suckling dance edge of
paper delineation
all that's flat turned over
beyond dimensional
line to shape to knowledge
unfurled unformed to formed
like Rodin birthing solid stone
a ballerina goddess head swaying in a
clear sky
feet in the clouds beneath
scuffling the map of a universal
split god infinitive
creating all worlds

Day 27 - monster poem

To be a monster
you must be acknowledged
as a monster
some of the most heinous monsters
never ever knowing they were monsters
even in death,
but lucky for me I know now
my legacy is up for debate
my teenage daughter says I am one
for not letting her stay out past the midnight
witching hour which I tell her
is when the real monsters
both outside and inside yourself
come out
that last point of who and what are monsters
having already long ago been decided
by the winners of history
or in this case by a loud as long as you live under my roof
and who's paying the bills around here discussion -
unbearable teen aged children
the exception
proving the rule of course

Day 26 - water poem


Black ice
in its obscurity
just waiting
for you to cross her
and you don't even know it -
hang tight
always on the edge
or over
its layered self
all gravity and melt water
weighting her down
to destruction
yet what would she ever be
without them

Day 25 - last straw poem

the last straw

Scythes are so 2 centuries ago
humans are so wound up these days
Death's moved his throne into the game room
and just sits back
watching us go
most steady as pocket watches or pendulums
or musical metronomes methodically
stepping us down
into old age
others giving it all in one go
drop their steel clacking ball
into other steel balls
a loud chaotic newtonian cradle
of hitting and being hit until it all
inevitably stops
a few though seem to like to ratchet things
up notch after teeth clenching notch
hoping to spin and fly and crash
like giant forever wind up toys
never really knowing how far they can go
until that one last turn
when it all just gives and gives and gives
and everything is lost
and there's nothing to left
to hold on to

Day 24 - tell it to the "blank" poem

Tell it to the NSA

who says your government doesn't
listen to you anymore
Tell it to the editor
when you complain
you've heard that joke before
No really, at the end of every gmail
tell it to the NSA
in obscene yo mama jokes
and veiled turbaned threats
what's the worst that could happen
Then tell it to the guys at guantanamo
the simple cabbies
cleared of any wrong doing
but now too dangerous
to leave
Go ahead
tell it to your doctor
preexisting conditions
won't deny you coverage anymore
but they just might cut to the chase or to the quick
or to whatever else the kids
are cutting it to these days
So let's just tell it to the NOUN now shall we
but don't expect him to do anything about it
it's not his job to be actively
or passively anything at all
No matter how much you keep
telling it to your self
it never has been
and never will

Day 23 - location poem

This distance from you
to me we've got down to a
T - I'm here, you're there

Day 22 - two for tuesday optimistic/pessimistic poem

It’s a rule in our house
you have to say you believe in the Easter Bunny
in order to get any Easter Candy.
Being 12 years old, you’re hip to the game now -
chocolate still a strong incentive
to cling to your childhood for at least one more year.
I tell you I stopped believing when I was eight years old
and how do I know
because ever since then I’ve never received another
Easter Basket.
You text your mother for help saying I’m from the dark side
trying to tempt you away from the light.
Of course, I say, I am your Father -
the world is a dark and dangerous place
and it’s my job to prepare you for it.
But I’m secretly glad every year
just to watch you lying to us
and yourself for a little while
that the world is indeed a place full of hidden treasures
if only you’re able to convince yourself
to just keep looking.

Day 21 - back to basics poem

Back to basically breathing
chest and abdominal muscles contracting
with a will to force such sick lungs to inflate
and let go
I watch her breathe
from a hard backed chair by the window
and can not help
the first green of spring
feasting my soul with a hope
that my grandparents once bottled
into a tonic for their lean bodies
after long winters of want
Each breath I breathe with her
is a season
and all this small body knows
of the world anymore -
the air feeding her blood
with each arc of her struggling
her soul fighting for the faith
to keep releasing it
again and again

Chair with the wings of a vulture - The Mag 218

Chair With the Wings of a Vulture, 1960, Salvador Dali 

crucified on a chair
with the wings
of a vulture
ladles of wind charms
clicking full with showers
of blood storms
we who are the road kill
of this world
eaten by you as upon a time
we once ate you
your 10 candle watt sun worship
wing tips trembling out stretched
(prey)ing to catch
any hint of worship
on this alter
ego of redemption
peek out from behind your book
and see what moves this world
how you have made this world
what you have made of it

posted for The Mag

dedicated to the enjoyment of poets and writers, for the purpose of honing their craft, sharing it with like-minded bloggers, and keeping their muses alive and well.


1) Write a poem or short vignette using the picture featured in this post as your inspiration. Feel free to take the image to use for your post.

2) Link back to Magpie Tales from your post.

3) Sign up in the Mr. Linky list, linking directly to your post,AFTER you've posted.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Poetic Asides April 2014 Poem A Day Challenge - Days 16-20

Ok only 10 days left in the free poetry book give away and I have commented on... let's see - one site so far - Don’t be like me and wait til the last minute go to Book of Kells and scroll all the way down even in the comment section for more- and of course go to our own cupoetry blog for our 2 great selections -
So how's the Poetic Asides PAD? A poem a day and it’s up to day 20??? - Robert Brewer had some good advice - “’I’ve been playing with forms a little this month. It’s something I do when I start to feel a little stuck in my writing. Imposing rules–oddly enough–seems to free me up a bit.”  So using that advice wrote an anti triolet triolet about family - whew only 10 more days - you can still join too -

Day 16 - Elegy

elegy apology

I am sorry I abandoned you
my sorry string bag
of navel oranges
tipped and spilling
end over rolling end to the edge
of a slick granite counter
that first slack then splayed then juggling
never ever fast or good
to catch them all moment(s)
I thought I was helping you
this too
late a pungent now
turmeric and coriander hallway
blast furnace door
of us
shut tight
but you were too young
room temperature cold in transparent
endless mazes
puerile and shiny as thumb rubbed
to be all alone

Day 17- Pop Culture

Why did the developer take the flappy bird app off the market?
What is this some kind of joke?
A retro phone app earning 50,000 dollars a day and the developer
withdraws it because of its “addictive nature” - easy to learn, hard to master,
simply tap to fly or fall from gravity, get a point
for each mario tube you navigate, only has 1 bell and 2 whistles
and an infinite playing field.
He said he might bring it back if there were a warning label on it.
For 50,000 dollars a day I would put a warning label on my life -
little necktie me tapping buttons at work or falling into homelessness,
navigating the everyday crap that keeps popping up
like stepping on the cat or having the wife yell at me again,
the next day getting up and doing it again
and again endlessly until I really finally die -
who wouldn’t want a distraction from this tedious
addictive warning labelled life and if flappy bird won’t do it,
splashy fish I know you will,
you see I’ve always been afraid of heights
and it’s been said we all come from the ocean anyways -
simply tap to keep afloat, it has 1 splash and 2 bubbles,
so just relax and concentrate like hell
to avoid being eaten alive

Day 18 - Weather

whether weather

weather it will be
changeable as a tired
mind flat in a just you wait
a midwestern minute
depends on whether
fogged over eyes
a brow clouded with concern
tears falling like rain
mouth an open headlight “o”
of an approaching train
roar time to head for cover
now siren
or all clear

is our cocoon
in this life
even indoors
we must change in its presence
pressured to open windows and doors
or close them
the hard chrysalis
of a coffin cracking open
our only release
from this burden

Day 19 - Color


is not brindled
nor mottled light diffusing
layered leaves leaving us cold
on our school picnic
or calamitous jane fingering her 6 gun
except in our imaginations
nor is it muslin or linen
or a trifold hat
no matter how much it would like us to think so -
she purrs such a small defective motor
blind and deaf
to all else but hunger and touch
maternal mammalian desire insistent within us
we comply crowding the cage to be next
in line to bottle feed the writhing
rough cloth of tongue and paws
certain traits are always carried on we are told
as are the anomalies

Day 20- Family poem

For your family Hallmark cards are always best
for saying I love you I miss you and I’m sorry
give the triolets and fancy imagery a rest
for your family Hallmark cards are always best
you only see them for important events now like death
and your being different will only make them worry
so for your family Hallmark cards are always best
for saying I love you I miss you and I’m sorry