the coldness of the moon (20160711)

the feelings appear
like a sudden moon
shining in the night sky
darkness ripped away all at once

but the stars are so small
and so very far away
far away from me
far away from each other

i will own this sadness
though it’s not authentic
this melancholy that turns
like a record in a jukebox

that spreads its roots
like a tree growing
from my chest, bursting through
bones and sinew

i will carry it
because letting go is cowardice
and facing it is cowardice
and writing this is cowardice


the secret keeper
Weekly Writing Prompt #45

The Daily Post
Daily Prompt: Cowardice

a long time ago (20160710)

my pulse dances in your veins
no small victory for me
knowing that i once moved you to wonder
to see more than obscuring clouds
more than the blinding sun in the sky

mukashimukashi, i saw the heavens part
and though the angels were not visible
i felt their eyes upon me, reducing
my organs to ashes
i hold them out to you now


the secret keeper
Weekly Writing Prompt #44

norns (20160703)

the woman sits at the loom
thread in her hands
she measures a cord
an arm’s length equal to
the length of a man’s life

if she coughs
or bored, looks out the window
as she pulls the skein
the measurement
might lack

if she sings freely
a song that makes her smile
or remembers a boy lost
to all but memory
she may add an extra span

she adds no knots
weaves no pattern
that task goes to
a sister already tangling
measured threads

the pattern and the knots
disguise the true length
hiding years, hiding dead ends
hiding where the third sister
kissed it with her blade


the secret keeper
Weekly Writing Prompt #43

grounded dreams (20160621)

i don’t know the meaning
of dreams anymore.
i raise my hands but there is no
parting of the clouds.

i tried automatic writing
once. i let the other
take over. scribbles and cries–
i don’t know. the meaning

may be buried under the ground
struggling, but ready to bloom.
or is it just the decay
of dreams? anymore,

i find that it doesn’t matter.
i don’t need to understand
how the automatic door works.
i pretend to use the force.
i raise my hands.

it obeys, and opens.
i find that there are still
surprises left to be surprised by,
and maybe one more
parting of the clouds.


the secret keeper
Weekly Writing Prompt #42

metamorphosis in red (20160531)

pain paints a soft portrait in reds
subdued in whisper-light silk threads
(cover us in dark cocoon)

what will appear? we dare to ask
while tugging at the silken mask
(the texture ruptures much too soon)

flame emerges to clear the way
swept out like dancing sparks of day
(we shame the sun, we shame the moon)

with wings of midnight, ashen eyes
we make ascent to starless skies
(dancing again to pain’s red tune)


the secret keeper
Weekly Writing Prompt #39

your woods (Poem 20160504)

i search the wild place
inside you where you left me
you invited me into your woods
under the pretense of a picnic
i expected sandwiches under
these trees, to serve tea, watch
the sunlight dapple the leaves
but i have become lost inside you
my compass is slag in my hand
stars move about the sky unfixed
where the earth should be hard
it moves like water
caught in some legned or fairy tale
i curse myself for not leaving
a trail of small white stones
and listen in this silence for your voice


the secret keeper
Weekly Writing Prompt #35

assorted ruminations (Poem 20160424)

the secret, the corpulent old pater familias
said, scratching his gut, is in keeping your
fidus achates close and your nemeses even closer

how i wish you would speak plainly, i said
you treat words as if you were struck
by some demiurgic fit

pulchritude in language is a gift, he wheezed
you should not treat your conversations as if
your words emerged from a bag of rocks
quarried from some vulgar site

i laughed at this
alack and alas, i said, i only asked for change
for the parking meter


National Poetry Month
NaPoWriMo Day 24
Mix and Match


the secret keeper
Weekly Writing Prompt #33
(5) Words: | PLAIN | LAUGH | SITE | ROCK | SECRET |

Poem 20160407

i couldn’t wait to leave this town
by mule or bus or wagon train
and let the memories all fade
the bells though never seem to fade
i hear them ringing from the town
above the mournful clacking train
clack of wheel on iron–o, train,
the distance should recede, should fade
the hallmark past, the breathing town
the town is here, the train just fades

the secret keeper
Weekly Writing Prompt #31
(5) Words: | TOWN | TRAIN | FADE | HEAR | HALL |


National Poetry Month
NaPoWriMo Day 7

Poem 20160329

there are signs
it wants to break free

straining against its chains
skin raw meat
at anklesĀ and wrists
testing its strength
against cold, fire-forged links
of its own making

what would you do with your freedom?
a love potion? curse? plague?

the muse rattles her chains
and grins
showing blood-slicked teeth



the secret keeper
Weekly Writing Prompt #30
(5) Words: | TEST | POTION | MUSE | OWN | SIGN |

Poem 20160326

strands of web
lock me in this place
like a fly
i wait for
my own apex predator
this night full of stars

in the blackened sky
i don’t know
how i lost
or why now as the web sings
–a plucked violin–

thoughts of you
your laughter and tears
one more star
my spider–
i won’t leave a scratch, she says
as she now leans in

the secret keeper
Weekly Writing Prompt #29
(5) Words: | WEB | LOST | BLACK | SCRATCH | LOCK |