But Wishes Breed Not

Fallow time, moon-dark: no power

of words nor healing much less

smiles tears or beauty-making

(feeble light flickers in clouded lantern)


You know the black river under

starless skies ever cold and silent

No remedy but surrender

touch bottom (source-love)

and resurface


Title borrowed from “We Lying by Seasand,” by Dylan Thomas.

Bird Watching

It rained all night. Today

I dry-muse, inside, on tall roses

prolifically budded pink, yellow, red,


rising behind landscape layers

of glossy green. A blackbird thrashes

to the surface of the window-side shrub.


Ungraceful she is, faded black

with an eye duller than poets suspect:

nesting. Good mother, she must not blink,


must keep her head eternally cocked,

wary gaze on the shadowy unknown.

I wait, unmoving, not wanting to intrude.


(Ear eternally cocked, not even wanting

to listen, I hear the distant metal screech

of the city-bound train. Good-bye


for real, she said, stooping to kiss

her faded mother. She’s dressed for a party,

brilliantly plumed.)


I think this is an answer, of sorts, to the beautiful Prom night by Jenifer Cartland (Poems from in between).

Abyssus Abyssum Invocat

There is a chasm between two souls

deeper than the deepest ocean rift

and more full of watered mystery


To have given birth is not enough

To have carried and nursed is not enough

To love with this whole fractured being is not enough


We have a deeper communion, perhaps

with Other than with each other

That knowledge is not enough


I’ve often dreamt of your drowning

torn from my arms and lost in black water

It is the deep calling to the depths in us


Shall we take the plunge? Shall we sink ourselves

to the very floor of the abyss—abandon all

claim to one another and therein find our kinship?


*9 May 2015…A year since I wrote this, I’m realizing it’s a Mother’s Day poem of sorts…

Inspired by We Drink Because We’re Poets Prompt #9: Write a poem inspired by a Latin proverb. I was interested to find that there are at least two interpretations of this one, “deep calls to deep” (taken straight from the Latin Vulgate translation of Psalm 42) and “hell calls to hell” (meaning, loosely, that one bad thing leads to another). I’ll have to prefer the first sense.


Crossing an ocean counter to the sun

has brought me forward both in space and time:

my home was long ago and far away.

From my person then and there (O frantic soul),

this journey takes me farther every day

and settles me more nearly in my rhyme.


I found it wasn’t hard to bid farewell

to places I knew I’d one day see again,

but here each sight is rich, unique and brief;

I want to linger and yet race to the next.


This will be a goodbye full of grief.


I thought I’d mess around with the NaPoWriMo Day 26 prompt: Write a curtal sonnet. I made a bit of a mess. It’s also partly about goodbyes, which is the Day 30 prompt. *sniff*

After Seventeen Years

I am poured and swelled to bursting

like the brimful cup. You would say,

surface tension. You would say,

internal pressure. The molecules

at the top, not being surrounded

by the same, are pulled, irresistibly,

inwards. You would say, this contractive

tendency allows the surface to resist

external forces. It will push back.


I would say,

it makes perfect sense.

I would say,

I can even name the molecules:

failure, love, grief

wrongs, love, forgiveness

child, parent, love


Starting out in a completely different place, I found myself using lots of repetition, perhaps still pondering Quickly’s Prompt for April 22. Thanks to Wikipedia for a crash course in “surface tension.”

Spring Sun Sprung

Spring sun, you sound of blackbirds’

piercing arias (declarations of sky-dancing love),

rustle of lancet leaves uprightly translucent

in harmony with color-spun clattering chimes,

noble bees’ never-stinting rumble-hum,

grass growing


Spring sun, you smell of ripe-bursting blossoms, moist earth

under last year’s dried debris:



Spring sun, your touch is returner’s embrace

(peace), a long daydream-dozy centered in

riot of nature’s joy,

uncurling of winter soul-muscle tension,

needless of hurry or self. You give the Now,



Inspired by (my interpretation of) today’s NaPoWriMo prompt: write a poem using sensory detail (at least 3 senses). Mostly I just wanted to sit outside, so my thoughts went in an obvious direction.