Monthly Archives: October 2010

Skinwalker’s Toss

Skinwalker’s Toss

worn work boots, wing tips, stilettos, Birkenstocks,
flip-flops, moccasins, Doc Marten, Converse, bare
dog trailing a chain, cat, pigeon, owl, rat
no matter the form of the foot it will falter.
ecstasy or peace, the shapeshifter’s toss

on one street out of many in any small city,
a building with a doorway in no way remarkable
casts a lure of peace to any who can hear
the screaming dark moon,
like a wild cat in heat

throw off your skin and come to your sister
in the one form you belong to: none
unity, unity, fleshless and free
wild in the space between fragmented wholes

but the door whispers sanctuary, sanctuary, home

the future will hang like the last autumn fruit,
out of reach, out of knowledge
one last new skin could be destiny in flesh
or the anguish and formless insanity
who calls the winner when the coin doesn’t fall?
every dark of the moon
the same choice returns



have you heard the night rants of the Iowa bard?

bones from fairy tales, and borrowed skin, 100 words from the godmother for finery.  I’m ready for the ball, and by my count I have them all.*

have you heard the night rants of the Iowa bard?

with his gaze filled with gin and a chocolate nape
he fell in a dust pit as grubby as drudgery;
his maquillage smudged, his silk flecked with fruit juice and fig
he rose, oh he rose, primavera again
with a glow and a song and the lilt of the stars

the young buds were a green mist
against white distant sky
when he left the snow road, never to see
tattered gray jonquils lighten gold with the dawn.
they say he followed the rumbling bells
down, downfall and down beyond three magic doors,
and found fetid breaths of an icy tomb.
there beneath blushes of crystal roses, lovers like marble
trilled with moist laughter over torn still-live prey.
in crimson and carmine and coral and rust
they danced for a year in the heart of the hill.
for the red balls
the costume is blood.

the cherries were red gloss and warm in the sun,
alluring as love or the beauty of fire
when he gambled on seeing the world as it was,
woke to the damage and cried for escape.
he followed his heart to the surface
through a door of jet with a latch of glass
through an ocean door with a stormkiss clasp
past the choir of swans, past the sparrow the logs and sheep
to the desperate market gate.
for the barding,
the costume’s no frisson of fear.

the butterflies were a cloud of light
across the baked bloom of long tapered branches
when he found the highway he lost in the snowdrifts
switched for black tar, hot to his touch, cutting
mounds of goldenrod studded with wilted ironweed.
he followed the road past the school and the church
and the plant where the farmers turned gold into oil
urgent as thirsting, ardent as hunger.
for the homecoming
the costume is joy over panic.

the town seemed no more than a frieze in the dusk,
a polite lunch, a cool good-bye kiss, un-amazing;
life on earth was a dull stuff, modulated to trickling
the cool pallid stars turned to paste diamantes
the moon’s silver flash was a pap and a snap and a hoax.
he begged to take back that one throw of the dice,
to close his eyes willing away the dank pot of truth
but no one returns to the underground chambers,
though they still dream the wafts of a delicate trill.
morning brings nothing where memory was
for bitter regret
has no costume at all.

have you heard the night rants of the Iowa bard?
he rose, oh he rose, primavera again
with a glow and a song and the lilt of the stars
and he’s mad as the river in flood.

animal poem for WWP

animal poem for WWP

In answer to your question:
I can, in fact bwaawk like a hen.

( conversationally ) Bwaaawk, bwaaawk, bwaaawk.

( with excitement ) BWaaaawk!

( self-satisfied, or petulant, oddly the same )Bwawk.

and ( because there are always such moments ) Bwaawk?

It’s a skill; it’s a talent; it’s an art.

For other animal visions, see

Quantum Charlie

Quantum Charlie

there was a TV show.
a man’s mind bounced around
in past tenses, like a fly in a window,
and settled each week into some
different body’s set of troubles,
leaving suddenly just as things began
to clarify, about to go right.

week after week
with nothing but
Bukowski’s hangovers. – The World’s Poetry Archive 108

Question And Answer

he sat naked and drunk in a room of summer
night, running the blade of the knife
under his fingernails, smiling, thinking
of all the letters he had received
telling him that
the way he lived and wrote about
it had kept them going when
all seemed

Charles Bukowski

Exercise #1

One thing that came to me along with my husband was a book of essays, Vibration Cooking.  While it does in fact contain recipes, it is in reality a book about people making joy and home from the ingredients at hand.

The directions were clear enough, but not restrictive.
…………………….To question would require an act of imagination, or
…………………….the mind of a ten-year-old.

But adaptable.  There was no saying:  I don’t have that
and closing the book on the whole enterprise.
And why not be open to interpretation?

This was not neurosurgery,
or baking,
or contract law.

Locking the door behind me,

I stepped out into October, with the crows cursing the gray cat,
acorns clicking onto the sidewalk, dogs making exuberant remarks
about squirrels and personal property, and juvenile rodents devouring
the red ripe kernels of pomegranate-like magnolias

and began to

Walk At Least 5 Minutes Every Day