November 2013 PAD Challenge


Day 16. "Half-Way Poems" 

In the rearview mirror

In the rearview mirror
the flash of mountains
the crest of waves
the gentle lapping
lull of a looned lake
at sunrise
In the rearview mirror
infants born in mystic
magic mystery
real red outrage
and go
In the rear-view mirror
grandparents wave
and tangos in
moon- light
on soft sanded
talcuum beaches
beat bongos
powder puff past
wind blown
in the rear-view mirror
tides are rushing
and receding
to a fine thin black line
in the mirrored
of this middling journey
falling fast forward
into the shimmering
rear-view mirror

All the way or no way at all

No half-way
tries for this
whole world
half offers
fall flat
In this whole
world rumbling
with trouble-fixing
from warming earth
to that child waiting for
a net as the skeets buzz
Don’t give me no
half-way measures
As grandpa said
they just don’t cut it
you just don’t cut it
half way doing is
no doing at all

The Walk

Across the waxed wood
a smile o’er
as I
pause on
trembling legs
and begin again
to make my way

I don’t want no half-way hands

I don’t want no halfway
hands – fumbling over
me, leaving fumbled
fingerprints on my
heart, in my head
I want all-the-way
hands grabbing me
hard and sure
and lovin’ me
certain – solid

Day 7.  "Poem from another Perspective" 

The Non-Poet 

She sits there
eyes adrift
finger flashing
words float
from her lips
as she watches
me eagerly
for a response
and I
do not have
a flippin
idea what
the heck
she’s talking

Day. 4  "Blank" .... Sheet 

That Damn Sheet" 

He had been "on the job"
long, long ago
proud NYC cop

Despite decades done
they still came 
on a wintry day

Two young NYPD uniforms
inserted oxygen, called him sir
hoisted him onto a gurney, 
down the hallway, into 
the elevator through the lobby
to a waiting NYPD 'bus'

"Bad ticker" he might
have said but didn't.
Annoyed and ashen
on his way to the hospital
silent under that tight white sheet
loosened and pulled gently
over his face by the youngsters
to block the frigid

From under the sheet
he spoke.
Oh did he speak!
In a voice that 
the cold 
with hot outrage
"I ain't dead yet!"
Get that damn sheet offa me" 

Day 3. The last time I was here .... Kaitlin

The last time I was here
in this woe-begone and
lovely town with its created
shops and perfect hot chocolate
and whipped cream whirled crest
The last time I was here
walking with Caroline
looking for Kaitlin
Kaitlin who had
danced away in
barefoot in the
August sunshine
The last time here
I believed as Caroline
that she would be found
and now I see but
a scrap of yellow
caught on a bare
autumnal branch
of my imagination
Note: as you might assume I am still working on my novel that arose from a series of “Kaitlin” poems about a raped and murdered four-year-old little girl and the resulting search for explanations.

Day 2.  The News of the Day 

“Houston Homeless Man Lay Dead For A Day As Passersby Took Pictures Of Him, Did Nothing To Help”
He lay there
the pavement still
warm not yet
chilled by weather
nor frosted by apathy
of all those spectators
walking by
so very far from
this brother’s protector

DAY 1.    9 poems 

(1) Appearing

After the sturm and drang

And cups crashed dripping

And eyes swollen shut black

Over bloodied puffed lips
And tear spigots 
Soaking days into
So much sodden paper mache
With illegible writing

You appeared


(2) All A High-Wire Appearance

High above
the center ring
twirling en-pointe
all sparkles and glitter
she let’s go
to meet
his waiting hands


(3) Heart Brand

The humid heat
Solemn palm trees
Swaying outside
Louvered windows-waiting
As, she lies
on frigid aluminum
Singing, singing, heat of life ready
To burst, screaming from her womb
With the power of each Pagan Goddess
Madonna, Sarah, all minions of Mothers
She pushes for, and of, and with them
And he, red faced, ball fisted
And screaming
In victorious rage
Cuts deep and forever her heart
with his particular place


 (4) Second Call

Ah we rejoiced
At the doctor’s call
Just a shadow
A shadow
Imagine that?!
We laughed
Ringing each other
Typing emails
As the phone
Rang for that second
Time at something “else”
Unseen at first



(5) The Cardinal

My mother
somewhat after the
fact decided that
somehow cardinals
were connected
My father loved
all that flew and
walked and stirred
in the breeze
the pounding ocean
the calm lake
the frog he found
in the pond nearby
that he was certain
was the same each
early morning
when the air
was still crisp
no matter the season
but my mother
insisted that
a toddler child
pointed to the
sky the day after
he had flown and
said “Look Papa”
and there was
a flash of red
and then a blanket
of cardinals on
her back deck
never seen before
or since
It is a nice story
I was not there

But was this morning
at the window
far away in time
geography and thought
as a cardinal sat in
the apple tree
bright and red
and watched me
with eyes piercing
and fixed and
did not spread wings
and soar away
until I our eyes met
and held

in the winter sky
dun winds blow the day away
first, a red cloud puffs


(7) Navy sky

At Yom-Kipppur time
the men went
to temple while
women and children
waited for their
food fragrant
on best-china tables
even though Aunt Cindy’s
best-china was something
called Melmac it was whispered
but wherever they gathered
the children waited and stared
until the sky was navied
and the first twinkled star
signaled the end of the fast


(8) Ticket to Ride

Breathe they told her
In, hold for four
Out hold for four
In, out,
Ticket, license
Boarding pass
Socks so
she won’t stand
on the floor
with bare feet
Breathe in,
Breathe out,
People do
this every day
The line moves
and behind her
she turns
in time to see
a rifle
and forgets
how to breathe
at all –

Flight cancelled
Perhaps permanently
White Knight

Who knew?
A serious child
With an “old head”
They said
I gave up on white knights
And princes on unicorns
And all those sorts of childish
Things while still in childhood
Until I heard hoof-beats
And you
I never thought much about
White knights parking and
Staying for thirty plus years


(9) Appearing Now Today

Each November as leaves here turn

scream colorful Bon Voyages 
they fall limp and languid 
in the rain 
invariably soddens their crunch

Each November
You all appear

Bright, vibrant, singing

from all corners of the
globe meeting on
 The Street

to kick some leaves together
that are forever vivid

as we fall into one
 another’s words

and arms



  1. Wow! These are all wonderful. I love your take on the sheet prompt. And what a great idea to write around your NaNo character.

    1. Thanks Linda -actually worked on reverse Kaitlin appeared as a character in a poem I wrote - there are a series of 12 on this site and then 3 years ago in my first NaNo I wrote a novel with her as a character ....