Helena packed her things for the roof deck: water, phone, goggles, new swimsuit. The deck had a pool, one of her favorite features of their apartment complex. She swam almost every day, as soon as the sun came up, as soon as you were allowed to swim, except on Sundays. On Sundays, she always made Sam breakfast first, carrying a …
PREDAWN LIGHTfeatured in the poetry forum March 16, 2023 :: 0 comments
Winter sheets strap the writer to the window,
Predawn, a Rorschach sky –
Unhinged, white, puff-packed clouds,
Edges unstable, celeritous and projecting,
Against a fading blackboard,
Speckled with flecked stardust
Diagnostic moon peeks opportunistically,
Watches for clues, stares;
Antlers bounce over razor-round hooves,
Kleck-klecking across concrete and shadows
Nearby, a blaring spotlight works to blot the many,
Bare, gnarly branches on some bricks,
Whilst a jingly-collared schizophrenic hound
Makes a pair of fox personalities split
From the predawn light
What we see with sleep in our eyes. – mh clay
The Butterfly EffectMarch 11, 2023 :: 1 comment
Johnny looked at the various cases of our dad’s butterfly collection and said, “Remember that character, Buffalo Bill?” “Weird,” I replied. “I was just thinking about the same thing. I first saw that movie while on a date with Will Wreck.” “Will Wreck? You dated him?” he asked, with a hint of incredulousness in the asking. “I know, right?” I …
GhostJanuary 3, 2023 :: 3 comments
My morning routine became non-existent after my husband died. I’d only sit there drinking coffee, staring off into space, as Dexter looked on, expecting breakfast and a walk. I did eventually provide both, but not as usual. Time had no meaning. At some point, I met Ghost. Now, about five years in, Ghost texts me twice every morning, just before …
OUTSIDE DRESSfeatured in the poetry forum December 12, 2022 :: 1 comment
Closeted on a hill near the pond,
you stand in a uniform line with
relatives, extending your breezy arms to
pull on my scent while I shade.
I lay beneath you,
peering up at bare strips previously
made under a rutting moon.
You woo me with your glamorous
You have a pullover me.
Under autumn skies your getup,
magically costumed in morphing silk until
you are not wearing a stitch,
varied decay of threads around you,
dyes wearing thin.
I stomp on them to reach your body,
clinging as the larvae and lichen do.
It looks strange to passersby.
I don’t care.
I bid farewell, for soon,
a thick white blanket will swaddle you,
your perches an icy array.
When this happens, I cannot stay.
By design, I am limited.
Riddle me, love or tree. – mh clay
IMAGINATIONfeatured in the poetry forum September 26, 2022 :: 0 comments
The local honey laces my smoothie,
creates a thought:
I wonder which flowers I am tasting?
So much happens outside my window,
time and space of the occurrences a mystery –
imagination fills in the spaces.
Back in the yard, bees now buzz
Autumn Joys, for the poplar’s
tulips already left their sky garden –
they pepper the perennial beds.
That squirrel with the white back patch
doesn’t scavenge under the feeder anymore;
A tasty morsel for the red tail, perhaps?
I prefer to think it on vacation.
The smell of ham bone soup
turns me away from the window.
The vegetables are from the sun garden.
Did the rabbits watch me harvest them?
Much happens inside these windows, too.
I step to the busy chef to curl my arms
around him, like newly sliced parmesan,
hearing a tasting slurp as I do.
Rain might get the best glimpse
as they drip over the window glass –
Do they feel the vibrations and wonder,
‘Is that the piano or laughter?’
Or does the imagination fill in the spaces?
The imagination of rain? Imagine that. – mh clay
RESTORED PORTMANTEAUSAugust 27, 2022 :: 0 comments
Sara It was a fantabulous ski trip, until a snorm caused fragitation for travelers, including her. Put up in a motel, she arrived with EarPods on, podcast pulsing, ginormous swollen portmanteau challenging her every move. That snarky pre-gate agent with the one-inch ridiculashes had doubted that the luggage latch would hold, she thought. Hah! Ready to chillax, she plopped the suitcase down and …
SIXTEEN SQUARESfeatured in the poetry forum July 16, 2022 :: 0 comments
Three jays in the lower sash,
One in ten, two in nine,
Cry like hawks, readily push fear,
But not through the glass;
Tail of squirrel in eight, torso in four,
Missing its head as squirrels go,
Until the head comes around
When the oak permits two-way traffic –
Like a losing team, before its teammates release
The tree blossoms for stealing, seconds splitting
Into minutes, until the Mourning Dove rests on seven,
At Dogwood Square, where a house finch slides
From second to third and beak-first brothers
Parachute down, below grilles thirteen through sixteen,
Sparrow in five, four, three, two, one, gone.
What do you see through your windowpanes (how many)? – mh clay
SACRED SEQUENCEfeatured in the poetry forum April 15, 2022 :: 0 comments
Prayerful fence-post meetings
Of the little sinless trespassers
Strawberries spied and thieved
Whilst the Waiters wait
Perfect pepper plants
Slip-tied like martyrs to poles
While celestial vines
Explode inside cages
Tiny bright beloved yellow
Untainted green orbs
Filling to glow red-like until
Tomato trios cling aerially
Like mobiles over babies
Nearby butternut blooms burst
The surprise takes
When the gardener arrives
Dappled yellow and green
Novitiates will begin
A pious pose
In veneration of the sun
Until beveled pinstripes hug
Hippy buttery frames
On the gardener also
Bending to collect earth’s offertory
The beans make the preordained
Climb righteously up the metal trellis
Where catbirds rest and revere
The sacred sequence
Sinless trespassers and all; how does YOUR garden grow? (We welcome Marie to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay
Read the SignsFebruary 19, 2022 :: 1 comment
Story of my life! I’m in my head instead of wherever my feet are planted and it’s all about me. That’s what happened last week and I’m still afraid to go back to the gym. Should I find another? Pretend nothing happened? Ask that authorities get involved? Why can’t I decide? Here’s what I did or didn’t do. It was …
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