shutting up (20170627)

sew my mouth closed
pack my tongue in
pickling salt and alum

i have no benediction

blessed are the hungry
they will be told to get a job

wire my jaw shut
pour fast-drying wet cement
up my nose
and leave my head in the sun
to dry

blessed are the infirm
they will die in misery

replace my head
with one of stone
use my vocal cords
for penny guitars

blessed are the other
they will be forced into corners
into alleys
into slavery of all forms
cut out of their skins
and trapped within them


dVerse ~ Poets Pub

six views of silence (20170406)

the air doesn’t stir
or ring

you look my way
and pretend to smile
but not even a whisper
passes your lips

like dropping a pin
in a vacuum
no tinkling chime

oppressive and heavy
being mummified
wrapped in heavy wet bandages
soaked in eucalyptus
hard to breathe and move
but harder still to
want to move

your laughter is a ghost
hollow and absent and see through
and everywhere at once
and all in my head

horses spin
a sickly pantomime
the calliope
rests in ruins
scraps of metal tubes
black and white keys
broken wooden legs
discarded brass ring


It’s National Poetry Writing Month!
Day 6

Check out these sites:

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

Poem 20160226b

in the graveyard in my chest
buried things
we don’t say anymore
a reliquary of abandoned words
discarded phrases
each bound by
invisible threads
unbreakable threads
to that singular muscle
also trapped in my chest

with no shovel
to break the frozen ground
i try to dig them out
using my fingers
but pull back hands
broken, bloody, covered in bites
where the silence set its teeth

Poem 20160127

silence steals
between all our words
–like a sponge
it expands
filling up the space between
what we say and don’t

quieting even
the slow sounds of our breathing
–where to rest our eyes
our lives are made of silence
we don’t look at each other

our hearts drum drum drum
beating beneath the silence
a silent rhythm
(shadorma, tanka, haiku)

The Secret Keeper Weekly Writing Prompt

Poem 20151210

it wasn’t the end
but it was an ending

a significant pause
that turned into
a significant silence

no return to
the easily constructed
papier-mâché future

whimsical joy-filled towers
poorly engineered
made of something thinner than tissue

the first rains damaged them
the last rains
tore them apart

beautiful even in
wet, sodden disrepair

Poem 20150822

waiting for the sound
of the previous word to finish
waiting for the sound
to form the beginning of the next

watching the mouth shape the sound
the lips open
the lips round
the tongue moves
the teeth glisten
the jaw works
and the word emerges


an eternity between words
unbearable as a distance
that can be measured
but not compressed

inspired by this poem and a comment i left that germinated