Category Archives: Big Tent Poetry

Return of the fool

I am sad to see The Big Tent fold. The founding sisters have moved on to another project, which includes some inter-referential writing. An interesting idea.

Some things in their work triggered this, so thanks, good ladies
( in the best sense )

reference to

A Fine Kettle of Fish
Where trees used to be Carolee Sherwood
The Disguise of Mascaraed Lashes Deb Scott

soil conservation techniques for women

the erosion.  we respect it more
than green blankets, or slopes draped
with double crochet pines in files or
space apliqued with that spreading
tree of life.  we respect
the erosion like a man
with blue lights and a gun
(or a woman) (with a gun)
it is definition, like a line drawn
or a levee raised on the loose soil

blot up those tears when they have done their work
and your eyes are clear of motes and cinders and those
lashes, thickened with brown mascara because black
was too bold for your face, lashes that washed down
onto the salt pan.

gather up those old discarded lashes
and plant them around the weeping sore
with a spiral magic wand and a dab of brown
and it begins a terraced garden,
more to be respected even than erosion.


feet, centimeters, parsecs, wards


 two leftist effete intellectuals
who measured in parsecs, not yards
ran for November election
but a win wasn’t in the cards.



this is no country for dead men,
thought the one who was feeling peaked.
the dead man was feeling rained on.
troubles poured down on the head of the dead man.
holiday spirits haunted his waking hours.
the dead man had never tried a hot toddy, but wanted one.
he wanted warmth and sweetness and above all alcohol.
the dead man wanted to receive the spirit.


the dead man would have liked to stroll around the neighborhood, looking at fairy lights.
the lights were twinkling at him through his foggy windshield.
red and green and white and plum and amaryllis and blue blue Christmas blue, they winked.
the dead man coaxed the old, not classic, Mustang across the stop street on the hillside, praying.
the clean black pavement was visible beneath the ice, but his crusty black tires did not know that.
the dead man knew as he knew to the foot how far he was from his front door.
still, the night was clear, and there were stars.
the new year beckoned.

at Big Tent Poetry, you can find out more about Dead Man poems, and even read some good ones.

enough luff

Laugh, then, you old duck.
You’re bound to chuff it out soon.
You knew I bought into that
mischief you came wound around with.
I ought to have fought through
that huff and puff, but who could
have thought you’d slough off 
that gruff crust and be all soft
and tender underneath.  Now
I’m caught.  It’s a tough knot
I’ve tied around my own scruffy
throat like a muffler.  Hell. 
I love you, and that’s the truth.
Come see if I do that thoroughly

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