Monthly Archives: September 2010


the girl with dreams in place of a heart

she liked books about horses
and often concocted
epic adventures for a girl just her age
with golden palomino ponies,
glossy black stallions and blue roans.

always, in imagination,
there would be triumph
blue rosettes, golden trophy cups,
racing silks like motley,
purple as mardi gras.

when the plots began
to hinge on human males
imagination drew romance:
something old, something blue
white satin, lace,
and a golden ring.

for more color, visit

and see how many ways there are to look at a prompt


whimsy’s progress

Whimsy: “a product of Capricious Fancy”


my whimsy
is on backorder
an e-mail from the company
………………..(with frown-y faces I discovered,
………………..images displayed just this time)
declared with rueful glee
they’d gotten orders
………………………….past imagination

responding to their ad suggesting

a bad, bad thing

__ back atcha layta, they said

my whimsy
is en route

an e-mail from the company
took forever to download and open
perhaps due to the embedded flash
showering the page with pink and pastel purple
pixels of ecstatic joyous symbolic confetti

a cache of whimsies was uncovered
by a team of steadfast warehouse workers
a room entirely filled with boxes
labelled ( by mistake) OFF-Color

a party has ensued, but the whimsy’s in the mail

__ back atcha layta

dear Frances,
I just got the official notification that my whimsy has been shipped.
Guess we under estimated them, or over estimated the amount of
alcohol mislabeled in the back rooms of that warehouse,
which I now know is in, of all places, Buffalo. When you were in
school there, were there warehouses of off-color whimsy around?
Perhaps shipped in from Kodak in Rochester? I would have
put money on China, but there is a logic to Buffalo.

is atcha layta a suburb?

an e- from UPS
no bells and whistles
charts the progress
of my whimsy
in six-hour increments
by longitude and latitude
the package, when it comes,
is described as oversized, but
weighing >6 (?)
It may be expected on the
front porch no signature required
TODAY between noon
and six pm

my whimsy arrived
3:17 pm according to it’s tracking label
does anyone have access to a crowbar?

haibun. or not haibun (?)

Write a travel log in which you encounter a mythical creature. You can write the poem as free verse if you like, but if you want an extra challenge, write your encounter as a “haibun.” If you prefer, you can ignore the mythical creature entirely, and write your haibun about an actual trip you have been on.

I was not comfortable trying this.  Still, I have been reading some of the interpretations of haibun style that others have found for the Big Tent prompt, and  I have an attempt of my own now.  No physical supernatural beings present.


I am eight, listening to my uncle explain to my grandfather that God the
Omniscient gave mankind Choice, holding in his mind the knowledge of
what each choice will be. I am rocking the porch glider, pastel green and
cream white. The two men are in the two matching chairs, and my father
is sitting by them on the top step, smoking. My cousins are inside, punished
for being too old to argue at the table. According to my uncle,
whatever I do next is pre-destined, and at the same time freely chosen.

the dogwood petal
slowed by molecules of air
must fall beautifully

My grandfather seems to disagree with my uncle, but seems to say the same.
He gestures with his cigar while he talks. I have no opinion, but will remember
their serious faces, and their pleasure.

Seeing Roc City

Big Tent Poetry wants a haibun with a mythological character

I am sure many of you will have produced beautifully crafted haibun.  You will have included the requisite flying horses or fairies gracefully while describing some place in such a way my mouth will water while I read.

I could not write a haiku if my life depended on it, and not a good one even if it would save me AND make me wealthy.   As to the narrative, well, I am not bad at beginning, but there is a reason I do not call myself Novelist Wysfool.

If you can’t recognize it in all the verbiage, this is an apology for what follows.  My only excuse is that it’s a rough draft.  a very puny excuse.

One who has an irrational fear of heights, or a rational fear of extraordinarily large birds, would be advised to avoid the Outrider Mountain Peak Experience.  I am one of the later, but no one warned me beforehand that the only access to the workshop, the only transportation to the peak, would have to be just such avians.  Rocs.

Outrider Mountain is impressive, as old, eroded mountains may still be.  It is the first appreciable elevation one encounters traveling east across the plateau from the central basin.  Miles of rolling eastern prairie run up against the ridge of Outrider like carpet at a wall.  One turns off the highway a few miles before the road turns upward to cross the barrier by way of a low shoulder.

At this junction there is a gas station with attached restaurant and shop.
The Roc’s Roaster sells a great variety of unfortunate useless things in addition to the usual sodas and sandwiches, and also–as attested to by large peeling signs for miles in advance–fifteen flavors of roasted RocNuts.  These are, in fact, small brown bags of peanuts.  The place is depressing to say the most complimentary thing that comes to mind, and I wish to god that I had stayed there.

[here would follow description of the winding dirt and gravel road that skirts the mountain for miles, the boulders that fall with frequency, occasionally landing on some farmer’s tractor or cow.
[then we would discuss the landing site and the process of strapping into the harness by which the birds carry you, and the deeply unsettling sensation of rising one thousand feet into the air under with nothing between you and oblivion but the wings and badly maintained feet of two foul tempered birds.]

The Rocs and their handler spoke to one another in a rough and unhuman language, but it was obvious to me that they were discussing my weight at some length, and it seemed for a while that the birds would refuse me passage, though I am only guessing:  at no time did the birds or their attendant speak to me.

When I at last staggered to my feet after landing, the larger of the birds muttered something and the woman who was assisting me out of my strapping laughed heartily.  When she pointed me in the direction of my cabin, she handed me a wooden disk.  It was red with the number 2000 in yellow.
“Baldy says you’re heavier than you look, ” she said, as if it were an explanation.   “Seems to think
you must have some triceratops in your family. That’s your diet.

blue love

blue love

you settle in his arms
as a rowboat rests above
the names of blue
cerulean, periwinkle, ultramarine.

his fingers on your forehead
on your cheek
call your skin magnolia, lotus blossom, rose
his breath upon your eyelids names you midnight,
royal, cornflower, pacific, summer sky.

sparks along your nerves
are neon
fires inside your chest
are steel
you swim in depths of indigo
and memory of him
will never be without
a taste of blue

Fisherman, Vane Kosturanov

This painting, Fisherman, is the week’s subject from the Writer’s Island.  There is a lot of blue in it.  There are a lot of blues.  I do not know which colors go with which words, but their names are beautiful enough to be a poem on their own.  I didn’t go far from that.