I would have taken you to Cymru, in the west

We’d rent a car and drive the wanderers’ roads

We’d seek the house where Dylan Thomas lived


We’d walk the fields of summer sheep-cropped green

Through gates and gaps in criss-crossed dry-stone walls

In the heart of hilly Cymru, in the west


I’d carry snacks and guidebook; you, the map

You’d ask about my work, and deep in talk

We’d seek the house where Dylan Thomas lived


You’d stop and smoke and gaze up at the crags

We’d argue myth and Merlin and gray kings

In the heart of hilly Cymru, in the west


We’d stop for a pint and just at end of day

In a salt-scrubbed scruffy village by the sea

We’d find the house where Dylan Thomas lived


We’d hear the local singers spin their tales

Of loves and feats of heroes long at rest

I would have taken you to Cymru, in the west

We’d find the house where Dylan Thomas lived


Mad-eyed from stating the obvious

and weary withal—what did you

expect from your sojourn

with this crudely formed clay?

Where obvious is the flavor du jour

every journey must result in frustration

a new vow to renounce

it all for your cave and a bagpipe-drowning

of the still, small voice

The days of sackcloth and ashes are gone

we will laughingly proclaim all our sins

in a most barbaric yawp. If you prayed

for subtle or sublime

you have come to the wrong town


Inspired by Quickly’s Prompts from April 9: Take a line from a newly-discovered (in my case, rediscovered) favorite poet and use it as a starting point. I used a line from Richard Wilbur’s “Advice to a Prophet.”

When Prompted

The day more than halfway

gone gray clouds cool

evening birds uprising

endlessly over my head

(to the sky beyond drear sky?)


Shameful drivel-spouters

we come running

to shadowed whistle

(who am I to talk of ‘we’ who am I

to mistrust metaphor?)


Inspired by today’s NaPoWriMo prompt: Use five song titles from a randomized playlist in a poem. (Mine are Halfway Gone, Uprising, Over My Head, We Come Running, Shameful Metaphors, Who Am I?)


Rebellion Basic for the New Learner

So Mere Extent is one of the rebellions

(we respond so well to representation)—

both of mutation and in mutation…


So basically, Partisan (of what is rebellion

in mutation?) allows us to leave ourselves.

In some small weakness, it allows us to shift

and adjust our reception.


Inspired by a prompt from The Found Poetry Review: Select a passage from one of your newspaper articles and replace each noun in the passage with the seventh noun following it in the dictionary. My “newspaper” choice was “Play It Again and Again, Sam” by Alix Spiegel for NPR’s All Things Considered.

Welsh Hills

I loved you before I knew you

deep-rooted, firmly based on legend

and childish dreams. No, not childish—

I loved you with steel of sword

and dragon’s fire, for your crystal

caves and heroes’ havens

your mantles of mist your still, cold pools

those crossing-places of darkness

where anything could be true


A lifelong affair—should I be ashamed?

I have met you, now

more solid and yet otherworldly

where princes once gazed

sheep now graze in grassy courts.

Your kissing gates, low stone walls

green valley views framed by moss-

crumbled doors broken stairs:

a trysting place for old souls


Inspired by today’s NaPoWriMo prompt: Write a love poem to an inanimate object.

Patio Garden Mosaic

Bird-song, breeze-song, cloud-daubed blue sky

Green green green green green

Bark-brown, chair-brown, mulch-brown, stone-brown

White blossom (set off by green)


Pale pink, deep pink, fuchsia (pinks’ pink)

Plummy, scarlet, blush

Soft yellow, glow yellow, speckled-on-the-leaves yellow

Two kinds of greens we can eat


Inspired by today’s NaPoWriMo prompt: Look out the window and make lists of what you see (nouns, verbs, colors); mix and match to make a poem. It was a beautiful day so I skipped the window view and went straight to the patio. I think I got stuck on the colors…

Old Sarum

A tourist visit running its course when

September mist rolls over

the plain, lapping at the

crumbled stone walls. Flowery-

spired in the distance, the new cathedral sharp

marks the town, but here within pasture’s

buffering silence I stand at the edge

of the ruined castle, listening hard for spirit unseen—

a prisoned queen in impotent state, the

days of her scheming become salt

scribes and prayers for a glimpse of ocean.


Inspired by NaPoWriMo’s prompt: Write a “golden shovel.” The last word of each line is a word from the first stanza of William Carlos Williams’ “Flowers by the Sea.” Last fall I visited Old Sarum in southern England, where I learned that in the years 1173 – 1189, Eleanor of Aquitaine was placed under house arrest  in that castle (and others) by her husband, King Henry II, after she incited their sons to rebellion.