Donald Peterson

September 22, 2018  :: 0 comments

There was a long stopover from the American Airlines flight from Seattle to Cleveland. She wore a loose fitting dress with tiny birds seeming to fly off into the distance. Lucy disembarked with old carryon baggage coming apart at the seams. She made sure her name was visible on the small plastic card as she lugged it to the nearest …

IMPULSE PURCHASES

featured in the poetry forum September 16, 2018  :: 0 comments

Tic-Tacs, Orbit Gum,
slimy Beef Jerky.

What’s a huge Hershey Bar
with Almonds doing on the
rack near the National Enquirer?

Stealthily, this diabetic
puts it in her cart, along
with my healthy foods.

Driving home, I tear off the
brown paper wrapping, and
munch on it while the raindrops
pound on my windshield.

Is it worth losing my eyesight,
or having my toes amputated to
satisfy a five-minute taste
extravaganza?

The windshield wipers
sigh.

editors note: What doesn't kill you (now?)... - mh clay

YOU AGAIN, DAMMIT!

featured in the poetry forum July 22, 2018  :: 0 comments

Reading the love poems of
Rupi Kaur, I’m forced
Once again to remember you.

Doris said I’d like you
When she sent me to your
Carriage house on Chew Ave
To put you in our magazine
Art Matters.

The love was instantaneous
A cake loving the icing
The clouds, the sun
The moon her earthbound romantics

And so I loved you.
You died without me
Thirty years ago.

Did you bring our shattered love
With you to your grave? It’s still
Inside me, forgotten, for the
Most part, but easy to revive,
Like moonlight when I step
Outside at night.

editors note: Memorial moments where grief is gain. - mh clay

Splat

July 7, 2018  :: 0 comments

“I wish I could say things are better,” wrote Charlie Anderson, about his wife Callie, “but they’re worse.” The experimental drug for her early onset Alzheimer’s had not worked. “Now it’s like I have no wife. She can’t speak and has a blank look on her face like a dead fish.” I was on his email mailing list and felt …

SILENCE

featured in the poetry forum March 14, 2017  :: 0 comments

Be silent
Be silent when you wake up
in the morning light drizzling
thru your lavender drapes

Listen to the sounds of the world
whether the cars splashing up the
street – oh, so it rained last night! – or
the mournful whistle of the passenger train

Are you afraid to hear the
whispers in your own mind?
Give them room
Give them space
They have a right to be heard!

There’s that squirrel again
outside on the back porch
the same one I saw last week
Peering at me as he nibbles
an acorn – or is it a dreidl? –
as the world enfolds us both, unconcerned.

editors note: Again,  what we hear between silences shapes our world. - mh clay

Love That Moon: A Poem in Three Parts

June 21, 2016  :: 1 comment

One: Jefferson We sat on the front porch, the whole lot of us, the Washington family, knowing that yes our folk of all different hues of brown, were born of the first father of our country, our country too. Granny, born of a young slave girl, had nearly died today, fell down once again, not good for much, she was …

I AM THE BLIZZARD

featured in the poetry forum January 26, 2016  :: 0 comments

I pace back and forth
refrigerator full
hummus from the
Mediterranean
yogurt with chocolate
and raspberry so I
won’t pass out from
a diabetes low.

I stare out the window
such whiteness
a fresh bridal gown
laced with moon beams.

Slipping on my clogs
I step onto the front
porch. At midnight
an otherworldly glow bathes
my skin a milky white.

Listen! Does snow
sound as it falls? Do
it click or tap or
make melancholy
noise?

Its tiny arrows fall
from the sky, piercing
the peach fuzz on my
warm pregnant
cheeks with
a cold ouch!

Barely protected
beneath my
polka-dot PJs
I land in Siberia
where the cold
killed the right arm,
yes, the frost did
it, to a newly anointed
painter name of
Stankowski, not young,

His brilliant reds,
the oranges, the
Rothko blacks, slashed with
poetry, reach out to
embrace me.

I’d like to have his
work hanging on my
wall. There ’tis:
a painting
Huge –
squares of white
white and more
white
feathery white

Hands on canvas
I take a deep yogi
breath, the paint
smells like snow
as I walk right in

I will stay awhile
If I sleep, do not
disturb. Wake me
when it’s over
a live mummy
with frosty-
white hair and
a body that glows.

editors note: As the digging ensues, look out for a poet in a painting. You'll know you found her by "a body that glows." - mh clay

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

featured in the poetry forum November 26, 2015  :: 0 comments

I don’t care much what other folks
think, but at my age – pushing
seven-oh, I still can’t believe

I own my own house and my own car.
Yawning, though engaged, during the
film Age of Adaline, my mind jumped

ship to that favorite thought. I – see
me jumping up and down? – own my
own house and my own car.

Own! The sweetest song in
America. Listen to its verses
Property owner. Homeowner.

Homeowner’s insurance. Buy
both car and home for a
“buyer’s discount.” I am doing

cartwheels on the carpeted floor.
Though I speak with the royal “we”
I live alone. Solicitor’s come by.

Before we slam the door in their faces – a red door
I painted myself – I put them through
paces. A black guy named Dwayne

sat on the red couch and listened to
my poetry. Two Jehovah’s Witnesses
dressed in black, heard a tirade about

The God of Israel. Sammy put in the
storm window on my side door. Please,
dear God, I pray, let me not think

who will live here when I’m gone.
Roasted, while dead, like this week’s
Thanksgiving turkey.

editors note: Reason to be thankful, no matter how you slice your dream... - mh clay

A Mother’s Sorrow

November 13, 2015  :: 0 comments

I floated on golden cloud from place to place. All I had was my soft brown and white fur, my tiny pink tongue, my piercing blue eyes that melted the hearts of everyone who saw me. Meow! Meeee-ow! There were so many ways to express myself. But no meow could capture the way I felt when they cut me open. …

THE POPE COMES TO VISIT

featured in the poetry forum August 9, 2015  :: 0 comments

I had the honor of hosting the Pope from
Argentina in the spare bedroom of my house.
He was testing the waters before his official
visit to Philadelphia come September.

His white helicopter landed in the
back yard, its frightful noise scaring the cardinals and even the
bluejays, as it swept up dry leaves from the grass, blowing
them everywhere. They stuck to the screen of my back porch
art studio.

The Pope dressed in street clothes so he wouldn’t be recognized
by curious neighbors. I lent him the purple shirt worn by my ex-
husband when he visited, and told him the reason why I
left him. The Pope sighed and nodded his head.

We took our coffees out in the front yard and sat on
lawn chairs. We kept the conversation light, no talk
about gays and lesbians or the importance of abortion.

“You have such a variety of flowers and birds and
keep your bird bath filled to the brim.” He rolled his
“Rs” like the ocean waves that brought him to the
Vatican.

I stood up and twirled around in my blue-sequined
dress. Luckily I remembered to wear panties.
“I so love them,” I said, as a long-beaked chickadee
flew into his painted bird house.

“After I retire,” said the Pope, “if I do, no one can
predict the future,” he took a sip of his coffee,
“I will spend quiet mornings quite like this.”

I wondered where that would be, but he answered my
question.
“The Lord God above will show me the way, as He always
has.”

I looked at this man seated in the green lawn chair
with his thin white hair and merry brown eyes
and asked if we could pray together.

He took my hand in his and began to sing softly
“Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.”
The red-tailed hummingbird alighted on his shoulder
small, pulsing, long beak pecking at his cheek

All I could do was stare.

editors note: Awe of the office gives way to the officer's awe of life. - mh clay