Sunday, September 17, 2017

Conclave of Imps

Conclave Of Imps

The palms lose their balance
boiled in a cast-iron sky that
rattles its lid in a steam-engine wind.
I walk  here alone, far from the wet-country
bitter with night coffee and gypsy bad dreams.

Dreams start so well--full-skirted, dancing
with warm wine, soft whispers and wanting--
to end as a moonscape of concrete and slag,
a juice of war enriched with uranium,
goose-stepping soldiers and killing machines.

Why does reality invade me like a border state
occupy my  ears with its sugar-rush newscasts
besiege me with idiots and their paper tiger words?
Instead of a candle we get thermonuclear glow,
smothering wildfires, powerless streets.

Instead of sweet reason, a conclave of imps.

~September 2017

posted for Brendan's   Juice

Images: Melancholy Atomic, 1945, © Salvador Dali   Fair Use
Palm Tree in Hurricane Irma, via internet.  Public domain

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday 55 September 15 2017

Greetings, fellow travelers, and welcome to this Friday journey  which follows gleefully in the footsteps of those who blazed the trail in this unique short form for celebrating words--55 of them, to be exact--and the writers who work with them. Should you choose to join me, you pick the mood, you pick the style--light, dark, free verse, formed poetry, prose fiction or non-fiction, or any combination thereof, so long as the end result is 55 words, no more, no less. Post a link to your 55 in the comments, and I will most gladly visit to see what you have wrought and, of course, provide wishes for a kickass weekend.

As always, comment moderation is on to weed out bots, ego-freaks, dilettantes and trolls.

So, without further ado, my 55 for this week:

The Apple of My Eye

The jade moon canted slant,
fruit flew through the air;
I wore only black
with white-painted lips.
 I danced in your shadow
or on your sharp teeth,
tongued into oblivion;
an unseated eye
in a caramel apple,
wobbled in chaos
by a sticky-fingered brat
back when love played
at Surrealism
and twirled its Dali mustache.

~September 2017

 For background on this meme, and the man who created it, Galen Hayes, go here.

 Note: For me this meme will always be about getting together with friends and having fun, but I want to emphasize that there are no strings, nothing obligatory, no rounds to make except those you feel up for--use your 55 to connect if you so desire, or simply as a vehicle to provide that nudge when you're stuck, the challenge to be concise, a fillip of honed idea to take you into the weekend. There's nothing wrong with reaching out to support others (except when it strangles the desire to participate at all) but many many sites exist for that, so here it is purely optional. 

Image: The Eye, 1945, © Salvador Dali

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Nest

The Nest

In the dark of dreams
the heartbird flew
far and wide till she came to my arms.
I built her a nest of silver and blue
wisps and mirrors and scraps of sky,
lined with the down from my own broken wings;
but she cocked her head, blinked her jet-bead eye
and jumped to my breast.
With head tucked to my chin,
her warmth and mine 
and entwined,
together we slept
through the tempest outside
heartbeat to heartbeat
the cold tide.

~September 2017

Optional Musical Accompaniment

Images: The Phoenix Bird, 1990, ©Viorel Marginean     Fair Use
Oak Fractured By A Lightning, 1842, Maxim Vorobiev   Public Domain

Friday, September 8, 2017

Friday 55 September 8 2017

Welcome to the first step on my new Friday journey, friends, where in memory of Galen Hayes and better times, I will post a 55 word poem each Friday, and respond with unabashed delight to anyone who chooses to join me. To do so, just leave a link in the comments section to indicate where you have written, or if you prefer, leave the entire piece itself.  I want to stress that this is all for writing support and camaraderie, and there's never a need to make anything about it obligatory--do as much or as little as feels good to you. (To read more on this endeavor, go here.)
Comment moderation is still on, and no insincerity, ego-trips or trolls will be allowed to mar our fun.

So, without further ado, my 55:


The musical cricket
who lives in my walls
vigils with me these dry dead nights
when sleep's a fantasy
and the fountain-moon
no longer wells.
He plays his body,
as mine once was played,
leg on fiddle leg,
to break the night with beauty
to remind the blind mind
still hides in the dark.

~September 2017

Image: Wheat, Stone and Cricket, 1976, © Ding Yanyong    Fair use.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Friday 55 Preamble Ramblings

 Greetings from Castle Hedgewitch

 Forgive the long screed, all, but these thoughts have been brewing in my head a long time.

The world of blogging has changed a lot over the last seven years. I remember how excited I was when I encountered my first poetry prompt site, and how amazed I was at all the other writers out there who read and commented with such enthusiasm on each other's work. It was exhilarating, intoxicating, and inspired a flood of writing and of relationships that otherwise I'm sure would never have occurred. A few of these relationships remain, and are among the most significant ones in my life. Yet blogging feels like it's dying.

When I began 'archiving' my poems here in 2010, I never expected anyone to read what I put on my blog--well, now except for those few friends who still remain, those expectations are unfortunately realized, not just for me, but for many of us. All the fervor and fun seems to have seeped away like the helium from a child's balloon. Lots of people in our never-large community are laying down their pens, closing their blogs, or just dribbling out a poem when they can on Facebook.

I've had all these symptoms of bloggery malaise myself. I've resigned from every prompt site I ever volunteered for.  I've closed this blog at least four times, and taken extended breaks many more times than that. And who knows, I may again. But I've found I can't live properly without my poetry.

I can't pinpoint when the camaraderie of writers became instead a burden of obligations, but it did. The muse refuses to dance, and however willing the spirit, the voice becomes quieter and quieter, til now it's damn close to silent.

The saddest part of this is that we have never had times that needed poetry and camaraderie of kindred spirits more. One of my favorite prompts to nudge me out of the unable-to-write doldrums used to be the Friday 55, a flash fiction meme run by a unique human being named Galen Hayes, otherwise known as the G-Man, from his site, Mr. Knowitall, where this simple notice of his passing says all you really need to know about him.

He had a kind and often hilarious word for anyone who participated in any form--so long as it was 55 words, no more, no less. He always felt more like a friend than a 'site administrator,' made you feel that there was a real and human relationship happening, as if you stood face to face with him, he with you, and with all the people linking, and missing a Friday was just...not fun.*

The fact is, everywhere, no one seems to care if you have a kickass weekend or not any more, or feel that there is a relationship between those who come to a meme and peoples' real selves. (I maintain there is, because there are no selves more real than the ones we reveal to each other in our poetry.)

So, purely for myself--and for old times sake, a little--I have decided to begin writing a 55 word piece--no more, no less--each Friday whenever I can, posting it here, and calling it what it was always called--Friday 55.

It won't be the same of course. Many of the 55ers are long gone from my sphere in one way or another, and I am no Galen Hayes and never will be, but I remember him and what he did for me and so many others. Anyone who wants to is invited to join me in the writing, and if you leave a link in the comments--or the 55 itself, or tell me you have one on Facebook, I will be delighted to read it.

I will reprise the gist of this on Friday when I begin this personal journey, but I wanted to get this up so my few but dear readers could digest it ahead of time. Love to all of you, hands across the chaos, and let us all do what we can to keep our love for words and those who work in them alive.

via Mr. Knowitall





*When Galen passed, the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads took up his meme, but even in such good hands, and despite gallant attempts to carry on, it only appears occasionally; I make no attempts to compete with that of course. This is not about the dreary rounds of Mr Linky.

Monday, September 4, 2017



When I found you
washed up by the sea,
a bottled message inked
in tears and scars

I imagined that your love
would be alive,
white and pure, discrete as
pale stars of grassflowers

which no eye but mine
would prize.

But soon I saw
that you were wanton,
no hatch
of sea or meadow,

only alive as fire is
when it uses all it can
for its fluid beauty,
dropping gems of ember'd flame

blistering the hand that tries to
pull them from its dirty smoke.

So my ash sifts like snow
on the grassflowers stiffening
now into fall and their giving,
while you burn the hills

out of control in your own
whipping black wind,
a gaudy and a wailing priest
to death.

~September 2017

Note to my remaining few faithful readers: I am discontinuing linking to prompt sites, but I will be using this blog still to archive my poetry as I write it, assuming such felicity should occur. Meaningful comments are always welcome and will be returned. I have some plans to use both this blog and facebook to try to revive the Friday 55, at least for myself; and of course, if anyone should care to join me, I would be delighted to read your work. More coming on that on Friday.

 Images via internet.  Fair use.