everybody’s happy (20160819)

these rooms overflow, voices ringing with laughter
i too let my voice, a small bell, ring with laughter

but it’s false and hollow in my ears, fakery
of the worst kind. they watch me, ringing with laughter

because they see inside, they smell the rot of me
their noses wrinkle, their throats catch, stifled laughter

ah, if only i could slip away unseen now
then they could resume, a profound choir of laughter

but i stay where i am, eyes on my back, my neck
cadaver cold, waiting for the end of laughter


Jane Dougherty Writes
Poetry Challenge: Gazahl

trilune (20160810)

looking in your eyes i can measure
how much distance has grown between us
you took such care in planting the seeds

you split my bones with all your regrets
wiped me from your shoe like something foul
driven mad like apocalypse steeds

and now–i’m dust, some blood, little else
mere memory of a summer breeze
shadow moon your tide no longer heeds


Jane Dougherty Writes
Poetry challenge #43: Trilune

caught without umbrellas (20160727)

neither of us thought to bring
an umbrella
though all the signs were there
dark, sullen clouds in your eyes
and the thunder of silence
rolling between us

i pull my coat around me
and you do the same
with your own coat
self-comfort without any warmth

i make an umbrella for you
out of my bones
stretch my skin across the ribs
and this rain falls
red as a river of regrets
and never gets you wet

falls as red as everything that
ever entered or exited my heart
my cloud-shaped heart
and you are untouched



for Jane Dougherty Writes
Poetry challenge #41: In the rain
Franz Marc In the Rain(Im Regen) (1912)
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

my feet on the roof, off the ground (20160714)

Marc Chagall [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

night sky floating
decapitated head
sing and i’ll dance right off this roof
and down

your song
doesn’t interest the cat at all
but my love dances too
past earth’s long curve
to me


Jane Dougherty Writes
Poetry challenge #39: Sleep walking

antique lions (20160622)

the light is gone, replaced by gloom
cold water laps my feet unseen
by all but keenest twilight eyes

i linger long before your tomb
antique lions patinaed green
my sole companions of great size

i wait here with them for my doom
above the darkness grows between
the stars wink out so many lies

you said you’d wait while pale you grew
i’ve killed this world to join with you


Jane Dougherty Writes
Poetry challenge #36: Drowning leaves/trilonnet
First line: The light is gone…

this summer evening sees no stars (20160603)

this summer evening
sees no stars
set into the night sky

perhaps an eagle took them
on silent wings to line her nest
this summer evening

or the man who cannot shut his eyes
buried them and now he
sees no stars

or rather than theft, is it the rippling
golden expanse of laughter
set into the night sky


Jane Dougherty Writes
Poetry challenge #33: Silent cascade

The Daily Post
Daily Prompt: Sky

shards (20160526)

molten glass beautifully drawn
long glowing threads and soft blisters
that cool and shrink, now lifeless yawns
drop it–it lives again as shards

young love, stepping so like a fawn
upon new grass under new suns
how quickly shadows strike the dawn
drop it–it lives again as shards

my heart beat once strongly upon
your every glance, you resurrected
it, and you were careful not to
drop it–it lives again as shards


Jane Dougherty Writes
Poetry challenge #32:
Dreaming trees/Kyrielle

the message is the medium (poem 20160519)


ignored by meandering seabirds
thrusting beaks into retreating waves
the bottle sat sealed

the occupant
a cylinder of paper rolled
into a tight tube
the way a child would
form a makeshift telescope

no ethereal genie ready to escape
in a plume of silver smoke
no trio of wishes to be granted
by pulling the cork

only paper

paper and words written inside
so that the tube must be unrolled
and held up to the light

do not forget
do not forget
but please
do not remember


Jane Dougherty Writes
Poetry challenge #31: Message in a bottle

useless wings (Poem 20160505)

i would make dust devils
if a pair of wings
sprouted from my back
like those pictures of angels
from a kid’s illustrated bible
–you know, the one with blond jesus

ah, those wings, so bright
so electric fluoride white
were they just for show
i don’t remember seeing
the angels fly in those pictures

one image i remember–
flaming sword in hand
staring off at the horizon
not even looking at adam and eve
but ready to set up the hue and cry
as they slunk away in the shadow
of its petrified glowing wings
with shame-shadowed stained faces

or maybe he stared at them
disappointment smeared across his mug
insects trying to steal their way
back into a prison called paradise
or envy since they soared
without wings and without
having to carry that dead weight
around on their backs


Jane Dougherty Writes
Poetry challenge #29: Tears