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Category Archives: Experiments

The Moon’s Report

She writes:
You asked about humans.They are easy to describe, since I see everything in my light—with some small help from the Sun. I’ve watched and I know. I can tell You all about humans. As You hoped, they are very wise.

But, really, how could they not be filled with wisdom? You handed them understanding on a silver moonlit platter. Honestly, not that it’s my place to criticize, but their world is a little too obvious. Look at the hints You gave—on their round home, with their round heads and round babies, they couldn’t possibly miss the point. Then, all those wheels and spirals everywhere—seashells, seasons, nests, rings buried in tree trunks. And besides that, all the going and returning—tides, of course, but flowers, blizzards, leaves…oh, the list goes on and on.

How lovely it is for them, how clear. My advice: It would have been more interesting to give them a challenge, or at least a tiny puzzle. A static world, or one where all movement was linear. It would have given them something to figure out, instead of surrounding them with answers.

Look how they dance, how they gather together for births and weddings and deaths, living their circled lives on their round planet, calm and joyful, with so much evidence to show them the difference between finished and unfinished.


sounds cold, no
humor or passion.
Instead, see
as ballet—perfect timing,
gears in pink tutus.

How To Interpret Dreams

        The baby on the pogo stick at the top of the stairs? That’s your career, teetering, ready to leap into what looks like the thin air of disaster.

        Oh, the one where you and he barricade yourselves in the bedroom, barring the door to keep out the maniac with his face, his name? Well, that’s tied to the dream where a mountain lion prowls the divorce lawyer’s office, hungry and sleek.

        These other dreams, over here? The goldfish bowl floating on the ocean, or the one where you shelter from green rain beneath the theater marquee? They could mean anything at all.

        Last, the dream where you’re scrambling for the right pen in a drawer full, hurrying to write the poem before the door opens and it slips away?

        Well, we all know what that one means.

The Wild Couches of Spring

One by one, they escape–couches, sofas, davenports.
They sag by the curb, breathing deep the fresh air of front yards
nonchalantly, as if we might not notice, as if this were their native habitat.

Another sign of spring, shy couches familiar as robins, rain, forsythia.
But one faded floral holds a sign in her lap declaring herself,
brazen as as a teenager with a slogan on her t-shirt:

I Am Free.

Plus: Vacation Shadorma

Shadorma is a poem of counted lines of syllables, like this: 3/5/3/3/7/5

plus my same old life
plus you, friend–
wine, laughing
long walks, longer talks, good food,
the plain world blossoms.

Hold That

Here at the Office of Catch Phrases, Cliches, Slang (All Types) and Mixed Metaphors, we are always working, Hard at it, No rest for the wicked, Nose to the grindstone, Concocting new expressions for your pleasure and overuse.

This week we are concentrating on new ways to say Be Patient. Wait A Minute. Don’t Rush In. You’ve used our golden oldies since God was a boy. Remember Hold The Phone, Hold Your Horses, Hold That Thought?

Now try these,new and improved—Hold That Boulder, for the deep breath before tackling a weighty problem. Or how about: Hold That Calamari, before plunging into a situation full of strange tentacles that may wrap you up, may drown you.

We invented Hold That Evergreen for you to use before picking up an idea that is sharp to the touch. This led us to many tree analogies. Such as—Hold That River Birch, for water thoughts and white memories. Or, our personal favorite, Hold That Willow, for the moment before you get lost in a daydream, the breath before you step into the cool, green shadows and stand quiet and drenched within the fall of leaves and water.

Thursday’s Tentative Elephants

First, one elephant
climbs on top of
the yellow Volkswagen.
Worried about his weight
and the clash of color,
yellow car, purple toenail polish,
he finds his precarious balance.
Then, one by one, from the long line
in the quiet street,
each new elephant
clambers up
till there’s a tower
of elephants
on that car—
Graceful or
On Tiptoes,
Awkward, or Humming,
each thinking their own thoughts—-
One multiplies fractions in his head,
another plans her European vacation.
The last elephant in line is basking in nostalgia,
remembering the old lion tamer
with his shabby mustache and his
pet monkey who hated all elephants.
And only the first elephant,
the one at the juncture
of yellow car and
gray bristled skin,
only he is Tentative
about this whole Arrangement.
And, honestly,
I can see why.


According to Robert Lee Brewer, on his wonderful poetry blog, Poetic Asides, Shadorma is a Spanish syllabic poetry form, structured in 6 lines of syllables like this: 3/5/3/3/7/5. You can link sets of 6 lines together, he says.  Here’s my first attempt:


Sounds like a
warrior princess
on the side
of good poems.
Soldiers, peasants, conquered foes
listen as she reads.

Their faces
open like windows
long shuttered
as each poem
echoes off her pink armor.
Another war, won.



“It is as if you are writing in a beautiful new language that utilizes English vocabulary and syntax but is not quite decipherable to an ordinary speaker of the language.” ~Steve Kowit, In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet’s Portable Workshop on the technique of cross out poems, which involve circling or crossing out random phrases from a variety of newspapers, magazines, and poems, then mixing the phrases together to create something new. To read a much better description, with examples, consult Mr. Kowit’s inspiring book.

Fortune and sweet smelling waves
tell the history of summer,
rain and words falling like open blossoms
formless as a mist on your hair.
Rosemary and peaches, deep blue air
and ten thousand books
full of the philosophy of kids
which dictates something for lunch
(meaning pastries and cakes)
days of board games and the virtues
of winning a second round.

The next moment,a parking lot
covered in moss
nothing but oaks westward
into the silent woods
and down to the water’s edge.
Pleasant, a romance shimmering.
She grew still for a moment,
like touring the Swiss Alps
knowing when to yearn, dressed for home,
holding a ticket stamped Open Return.

Across the street,
this new world wasn’t easy in the air.
They said it was a path to the sky,
direct and westward, into.
But what proof do we have?
Silence and the warm wind.

American Sentences: After the Valentine

American Sentences is a switched-up version of haiku invented by Allan Ginsberg. He defined it as one single 17-syllable sentence instead of  the 5-7-5 syllable, three-line format in other American interpretations of Japanese haiku.  

Valentine’s Day over, time to take down paper roses from the door,
and past time to put away that basket of glittered pink hearts you kept.
Sweep the floor, and open into shamrocks with the wide green spring ahead.

The Novel Bunch

aka: The Happy Bookers

Red Wolf Prompts

I came to where you were living, up a stair. There was no one there.--John Ashberry, "The New Higher"

typewriter rodeo

custom poems on vintage typewriters

A Poet in Time

One Poet's Writing Practice

Writing the Day

A Ronka Poetry Practice Since 2014

Invisible Horse

Living in the moment

Leaf & Twig

Where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry.