March Prompt #8: Art Mangling


March Prompt #8

90% of everything is crap.

   ~Sturgeon’s Law

Crumpling works for poems and stories and manuscripts,

for drawings and lighter paintings, too, perhaps.

Crumpling and tossing, with a flourish, into the basket,

and missing sometimes, so that the floor

is dramatically, artistically strewn. Later,

one’s lover can retrieve a piece, smooth

it out and say, “Why, this is genius!”

and the rest is history.


Burning is excellent. Oh, the notebooks and canvases

crackling in flame while one cackles

and takes long swigs from a bottle of red wine!

Bonfires are best. Small fires on the edge

of the driveway arose the suspicions of neighbors.

Is there genius feeding the fire?

Who knows? Who cares?

One can always claim that, in after years.





I will not be forever

maiden—that flimsy dress,

the little bouquet.

I am tired, so tired of helping

Mother with the spring.

Nor do I want to sit, solemn,

beside my ancient lord.

I am too old to be innocent,

too young to be still.


I want to be Queen of November,

Queen of March,

of coming snow and melting snow,

of browning leaf and stirring root.

Queen of half-moon, gibbous moon.

Queen of labor room, death bed,

first cry,  last word.


I want long bright corridors,

doors and windows open

to the music of water

and changing wind.

A land where every step is new.


I want to be Queen

of sketchbook, unrehearsed script,

melody stirring in the throat.

Queen of poems that twitch

just out of reach,

Queen of stories emerging

from the dark.

Winter Prompt #27: Something left behind in a place you’ve never been


Winter Prompt #27

I left two novels.

I left five collections of poems

and scripts for six plays. I left

an article about conodonts

and a treatise on the rights of women.

I left them on that island in Maine—

I can never remember its name—

it was a two hour ferry ride—

where I didn’t live

in a small, low house in a meadow.

Not right on the shore since I couldn’t

afford it, but a short walk to the rocks

where I didn’t sit with my notebook

and my thermos of coffee

early every morning

whenever the weather permitted.

I left a few pottery bowls there, too,

a cello, a field of daffodils,

and in the shallow soil the buried bones

of a couple of dogs I loved.

Oh, and a little lilac bush that didn’t

amount to much because of the wind.

Winter Prompts #7: Gear I Can’t Live Without


Winter Prompt #7

It’s six a.m., an easy time to answer.

This pen—silver, with a gold arrow clip,

a gold nib. My real godmother (not

my official one) gave it to me.

It was her mother’s. I cannot

write in my notebook without it.


This coffee mug—the blue one,

made by a local potter whose name

I keep forgetting. Jim somebody?

It’s pear-shaped, textured,

with a pattern around the top,

an underglaze and interior

of honey-color. I can fit all

of my big fingers through the handle,

and either hold the handle itself

or wrap my hand around the cup.


A notebook—this one is spiral bound.

And unlined. Always, always unlined.

There’s something about lines on pages—

perhaps it has to do with school,

with blue-books. But lines on pages,

like ball-point pens and cups

with delicate handles, tighten my hands,

pinch my nerve, keep me in.

Winter Prompts #5: The Postman


Winter Prompt #5


He called himself Havenor Greene

when he wrote poems.

The rest of the time he was

Mr. Barry, the R.F.D. postman

who every morning drove up

to our mailbox on High St.,

leaned way over the passenger seat,

and delivered the mail.  Mother,

who talked all the time

and got to know everybody—

who knew how she knew

about Mr. Barry’s secret name?—

told him her eleven-year old daughter

wrote poems, and the next thing

I knew, I was reading

to the Poetry Society of Vermont

in the upstairs room of some building

in St. Albans.  The older poets

were deeply respectful of me

and my convoluted rhymes.

After that, if I chanced to meet him

at the mailbox, Havenor Greene

talked to me as if I were a colleague,

as if what I was doing was real.

April prompt #13

April prompt #13


Mary’s #2


Don’t think about walking down the stairs.

Don’t think about tying your shoes.

Whatever you do, don’t think about

taking off a pullover sweater

or backing up the car. How do you

turn on your computer? How

do you brush your teeth? Drape

your coat over the back of a chair?


Funny how the brain works,

how long-term potentiation

takes over. Remember when

you learned to ride a bike?

Or when you learned to type?

Music to set the rhythm,

the weirdness of qwerty.


Now I’m going to try it:

to type the word “poem”

and see where it goes.

Pinky upper right,

ring finger upper right,

middle finger upper left,

index finger lower right.



pinky upper right,

middle upper right,

index lower right,

middle center right,

index upper right

right thumb



index upper right,

pinky upper right,

pinky upper right,

middle upper left,

index upper left,

right thumb



index upper left,

middle upper right,

index center left,

index center right,

index upper left,


oops  i forgot the commas

this could take all day