Reprise (Week of November 12, 2018)

Whoa. Go.
This poetry prompt was to write a poem using words that contain only two vowels.

A bit of self-evaluation.

My newly adopted campaign to repair the reputation of the much-denigrated pendulum.

Treasure Island
Another foray into story poetry.

I missed the beginning of November’s Poem-a-Day Challenge, so I’m playing catchup. Here’s a poem that comes from two prompts.



Unsurprisingly, reality isn’t like the movies.
It’s not a set of tumblers that click
into place, just so.

It’s not a matter of just typing
furiously and loudly, the way we shout
at someone who doesn’t understand English.

It’s more subtle, exponentially more complex
than holding a stethoscope
to a safe door.

It’s reversing a recipe, trying (vainly)
to separate eggs from flour from milk
out of one bowl of batter.

It’s quiet complexity.


Prompt (also)

Treasure Island

“Aye, watch that ole Pegleg wobble
His way from bow to stern!
We’ll cross this bloody, deep lagoon
And more’n ten years’ wages earn!”

Before they ran the ship aground
In search of wealth and plunder,
A typhoon blew, did not relent;
And rain and darkness kept them under

Cover of their ragtag shelter
Until the storm had passed on by,
Then Pegleg roused the men again,
“Up, ye worm-dogs, use yer eyes!”

He blazed the trail with memory’s map,
Not parchment chart in hand.
From beach to jungle we trudged on
All went according to plan.

At last the Captain swore and stopped
And pointed at a set of caves:
“In here, ye lily-livers, in here!
Onward, ye cowards, be brave!”

He led them through the rightmost hole
With nary a torch or match,
Into darkness so thick it grabbed your neck
And every step it snatched.

How far they trudged none could tell,
But it felt like miles and miles;
Finally, Pegleg’s voice rang out,
And in it you could hear him smile.

“Aye, aye, behold, the treasure here
Is like unto none ye’ve ever seen!
I’ll take my share, double of your’n,
And leave the rest for ye!”

He struck a match to light a torch,
And left the sailors dazed:
He scurried away, chest in hand,
While the dynamite’s fuses blazed.




The pendulum gets a bad rap.
All motion is inconsistency,
if consistency is stillness.

For playground swings and grandfather clocks,
consistency is inseparable
from motion, from change.

The sounds from each––
tick-tocking, squealing glee––
express life.

While time ticks and there are opportunities
for “Higher!” and “Whee!”
keep the pendulum swinging.



Reprise (Week of November 5, 2018)

This one surprised me. It’s one of the times when the poem announces itself as complete before I expected it. It’s a fun feeling.

Voyage (decima Italiana)
Feeling adventurous? One of my first story poems. I hope for more in the future, perhaps even elaborating on this one.

The prompt was to write a “disobedient” poem. It’s disobedient in more ways than one…

A strange poem from a strange poet.

Technical Difficulties
Perhaps you sympathize with this one. It’s been my experience more than once.



Have you ever looked at something under a microscope?
Something normal, mundane, boring?
Isn’t it strange
how abnormal, extraordinary it is?

A speck of dust is a world of mountains and craters.
A worrisome bug is a fearsome monster.
Isn’t it strange
how significance changes with attention?




Common Meter (

The boundaries were clearly marked
With wire and dogs and signs.
My reading all the warnings sparked
Desires of many

Sort through the feeling, reason why
Such latent wants exist;
Power before untried
Rears its head in starts and fits.

The cadence and the rhythm built
Within nature
Disrupted by disobedience
Remade by the Maker.