Haiku 752, 753, Shadorma 248

From Use All Your Eyes to See, published 2020.

Haiku 752

Ravenous work hours
their appetite for chaos
swallowing daylight


Shadorma 248

The lone tree
dead in a dry field.
The full moon
Does the owl make you shiver?
Have the shadows moved?


Haiku 753

label on tin can
sassy-spiced bowl of chili
cues up stomach growls


Little Vines 10/19/20

New Little Vines. Here is this week’s array.

To summarize: you’re small and useless
and that is just fine
with you.

three minutes of inconsolable
Why couldn’t it have been someone else
fake eyeballs crying in a glass jar on her desk
reminds me yet again why I dislike her sense of humor

lazy lawn chair with a malevolent streak
my mother yelling for help
who knew it could fold up a grown woman like that?

a passable drudge on the golf course
but as a murder weapon?
You can’t do better than a five iron.

I made no arrangements
to combat the possibility of occupational drowse
Just put my head down on the desk and let it happen.

my eyes concentrate on
the joy
of the freed birds flying away in the pink sky

in a jar
three small cold shoulders
frozen hard before I got here
showing no signs of thawing out any time soon

the next year arrived and quite suddenly, too
given how much baggage from previous times
it was forced to drag along

my name is Not-Bee
Flakes of pink paint adorn me
I spurn not the absurd. Kiss me times three.

the forecast
lacking an indicator
wandered in dispirited circles

You are an especially complicated
variant of mental congestion

said the boss. I wish I had a tissue.

I live alone.
I’m divorced.
My life has finally gotten itself on track.

swallowed a fly –
for a fleeting instant
I liked the taste of it

they were just two crazy kids
hooked claws crooked teeth and all
who knew twenty years later they’d still be in love?

I didn’t like the look of that slice of toast
Even after scraping the burnt layer off of it
I still saw the image of your forked-tongue mouth yelling at me

Don’t pull that thread
Don’t unwind it from the spool
It’s all that’s keeping me in one piece, that thread.

Looking back I am ashamed I didn’t intervene that day
in the impertinent scouring of your timid neighbor’s secrets
with your Brillo-pad questioning techniques

the octopus man
not the most popular of our mannequin styles

admitted the store fixtures salesperson

intact one hour ago now fragmented
using the medium dispersal method –
the dark cloud now dissipating itself as drizzle

The empty beach
its dark gray sand
bruised by the pounding surf

the house in the alley
the shattered glass in the front window
the dining table inside standing on three legs

The pale green rug on the bedroom floor
weak and tepid in the sunlight
the color of indifferent vomit.
All wrong for the impression you wanted to make.

miles out in the country
a marzipan night sky and sugar sparkle stars
draped over this perfect sweet cake of an evening

all the spoons
clustered together on the tray
a happy jumble of silverware
clattering their way to a party

I was young and you were charming –
not even the gloomiest fairy godmother
would have hesitated to say we were an enchanted pair –
Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary to us!

a pinstriped shirt
crisp and surprisingly willing to argue
whether the customer is always right or not

he wore an olive green T-shirt
wrinkled and shrunk short:
an arrogance in its own way

First Shift

From Use All Your Eyes to See, published 2020.

First Shift

stepped along to work this morning
nice look
sharp ironed creases
folded into neat corners
fresh and

all for nothing now
wilted and damp
with the effort of getting the job done

the dishtowel
takes a short break
over the oven door handle
shakes out the morning’s wrinkles
mopping its brow.


Desolate Winter Sunday

From Count Syllables on Your Fingers, published in 2020.

Desolate Winter Sunday

Somber blue
paint on a matte sky
in windows
gone blind-eyed cloudy and dim
Small pale houses crouch

shoulders hunch
gray wind licks up leaves
Narrow street
cram-packed tight
forced friends uneasy neighbors
In bone-tired front yards

brittle stalks
dead flowers in pots
cracked ripples in a birdbath
turned broken mirror

shadorma chain

Life is Messy

From Use All Your Eyes to See, published 2020.

Life is Messy

If he taught me anything
it’s that life is messy

I said
and then
I slammed my hand down
on your half-built clay sculpture
leaving a fist-shaped crater.
I was not sorry at all about it.
In fact I felt great. I hit it again.
Life is messy.


Little Vines 10/15/20

New Little Vines. Here is this week’s array.

all I know is:
though she told him the whole sad story three times
he has yet to have had time to listen even once

my thoughts so shapeless in public
the phrases I tried to form
blurred along their outside edges

I wanted to explore –
the mysterious attracts me –
and it was these phrases of the moon
I wanted to explore

a dim light
in public
she sparkled in her own living room

Her a shallow three
Him a wise eight
They an infant one and a precocious two.
I could go on. You for instance are an insipid four.

bedazzled by bard’s book
brandishing brainy blurbs, I peruse –
but… pot-boiling page-turners
pique my pocketbook into paying up

remind me who signed us up
to put up with you in a
blank rolling boil of a mood

ancient tan jacket
I had forgotten you, here at the back of the closet

don’t go alone
into the low mist

she said, her low voice thrilling with urgency
without your raincoat

in some empty seconds this morning
she found shreds of the last two years
under the stove, along with a dead mouse

moth buzzing the bare yellow light bulb
hanging from exact center of the ceiling in the garage
ten o’clock at night in the third week of July

competition that made claws sharper eyes keener
after which the ladies left the golf course
for lunch on the clubhouse patio

in my near panic
your screwy friends and their dubious methods
suddenly seemed attractive to me

the electric wire that swings in the wind
the bedraggled bird that sits on it
the neon sign that flickers in the second-floor window

the words of our ancestors rattle like coins in a bag
So I’m told. But how many of them
are counterfeit or of small value? No one’s talking about that.

a red scarf
knitted in the jovial intricacies
of laughter patterns unspooled in the living room

It was dark and I made a mistake
that’s left me lying on the wet pavement
strobing red and blue in the lights of the police car

oh surely there is somewhere
where my headache
would matter to someone

they wait,
hope washing their three small very young faces
their joyful patience will not be misplaced

I’ve got lazy and furious
in a jar right here.
Don’t pour it out. The fumes alone are toxic.

The wailing in the kitchen
a cherished melodrama that
I never have the heart to interrupt.
Instead I join in. Howl louder than any of them.

a key
a warehouse
a bolt of red shantung silk
Let’s see what kind of story you can make of that

a diamond pattern of tree branches
reflected in a puddle:
I slide the scene on to my memory charm bracelet

Haiku 747-749

From Use All Your Eyes to See, published 2020. These haiku were written 10/24/19.

Haiku 747

tiled constellations
stars glazed lapis blue and green
scattered underfoot

Haiku 748

the crawling insect
tempting sprinkles of sugar
the table wiped clean

Haiku 749

Showery nighttime
Dark wet leaves slap at the ground
The porch light burns dim

A Sense of a Soul

From Use All Your Eyes to See, published 2020.

A Sense of a Soul

Irregular quadrilateral times four
you are
a truncated pyramid
topped by a loop handle

a grandmother in a silver dress

each of your sides
a circle-pierced grid of mouths
lower lips drooping

a kitchen idol come down from the shelf in the corner

your mouths
arranged in ranks by strength of appetite
tiny morsel-biters on this side
swallow-a-slice on another

a destroyer who passes no judgement

all of your mouths hungry
more than ready
to chew up a block of cheddar
scraped down the rows

a remover subtracting here and adding there

cheese grater
scraped knuckles
a pile of gratings on a plate
an orange block diminished
the night behind the kitchen window

a finger of the soul of things reaching in


Just Enjoy Yourself Marathon 2020 Week 42

The Marathon journey is in its fourth year. Just Enjoy Yourself is its current incarnation.

I continued the activity I’ve been doing the last few weeks, writing to fit some random photos I took around my house. I’ve finished up the array of photos so I think next week there will be a new plan.

I also wrote some poems from cards I made from random phrases cut from discarded library books.

I’ll see if I can include some of each of these categories.

Here are two tanka for the same photo. I guess I really like my glue. Here is the first one…

The orange twist-cap.
The rounded contoured body.
The bottle of glue
and how well it fits my hand.
I squeeze. Watch the first drops fall.

and the second one…

His rounded shoulders.
His jaunty orange ribbed cap.
Friend since my childhood.
My sticky fingers grasp tight.
I squeeze him in affection.

A shadorma. I run the thread out until it is gone and then some.

spool of white
unwinds its last turns
The machine
pulls the thread
the greedy needle consumes
beyond the last inch

A shadorma. I used these for various art show purposes; an enormous box cost the same as a few tags. I have found many uses for them.

shipping tags:
blank manila card
hole for string –
this box of one thousand for
as many journeys

I feel as if I may have already written something for this picture. If so, well, I did another version, didn’t I? I have several measuring tapes, and they feature in my earliest memories, because my mother sewed all our clothes when I was a child and we always needed to be measured because we were always growing! Here is a shadorma.

Springed Out
and now gone Disrolled.
Busted off
too-tight Tight
for Detwistification
and then Laid-Out Flat.

Here’s a phrase poem from late last week. I put it on a postcard and mailed it.

frayed-nerves iguana mom
ungainly in looks agile in pragmatism
overlooked the kookiest antics of her daughter
the frothiest flippant teenager she’d ever seen
instead she took delight in
the ultraviolet swoop of her offspring’s tail

Lacking a photo of the iguana mom, here is a view of my studio and my desk in a double exposure. Kind of like my head feels when I have a lot of ideas rolling around in it!

Thank you for reading.