When I drink…

featured in the poetry forum January 24, 2023  :: 0 comments

When I drink freezing cold water
from the Britta in the fridge, I sit on the edge
of the Pennypack, trailing
my fingers in the water, clouds
swirling overhead as if coming
down to earth to greet their little
mermaid, fishtail iridescent
eyes green as the sea foam.

editors note:

You can’t buy THAT in a bottle at your local bodega! – mh clay

ALEXA, Play “Sky Pilot”

featured in the poetry forum September 8, 2022  :: 0 comments

ALEXA is out of control and plays “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.”
Here come our groceries we ordered this morning.
Frozen salmonburgers swam upstream and will be great with organic ketchup.
I go outside equipped with scissors. Always something in the suburbs.
That scream was from me.
Tiny black and white insects, gorgeous as the Gabors
in their high heels,
Coat an innocent twig. They are nymphs that will kill the mighty oak.
We sic them into the Yellow Plastic Bin
and call “Die you harridans, die!”
Opening the lid I see them scurrying up the slippery sides
like The Rockettes
and call “Die, children of Satan, die.”

editors note:

Suburban serenity satisfied by insecticide. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum June 26, 2022  :: 0 comments

Oh no! Not again. The brother and sister cats have moved once again.
Margaret, no, not Princess Margaret, who passed away, sad to say, of a stroke, after several daring marriages and leaving behind wealthy heirs,
but Our Margaret, still very much in the swing of things even after her very frightening move to a spanking clean housing development.
Susie Clemons is the name of the place where she now lives with her two beloved kitties.
On fair days, they peep outside the bedroom window.
What do they see?
This is a housing development. It is not a project. They spot grass as green as on a baseball field on television.
Their whiskers can almost pick up scents. Of what?
Of mice, silly!
Of garter snakes, with long sinuous bodies like dancing girls in Irma La Duce!
Is Shirley McClain still alive?
Not only is she alive, but she is telling people’s fortunes.
Our Margaret will have none of that.
Life happens once. And you better pay attention so you don’t miss anything.
A jingle is playing outside of Susie Clemons.
Kelsey and Nelson are familiar with it. They look at one another and rub noses.
The truck is white and soon many children line up behind it.
Great excitement fills the air.
When the door opens, steam rushes out.
A voice is heard saying, “May I have a Dixie Cup with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sprinkles, and rainbow sprinkles?”
Margaret puts one hand on Kelsey and one on Nelson.
So sorry, my darlings, but cats might die if we feed them this tripe.
Their sad cries and whimpers can be heard all over the brand-spanking-new apartment.
How will they get out?
Someone has come to fix the bathroom tiles.
In a single bound, the cats escape to where the ice cream truck still stands.
On the ground are ice cream flavors – Rocky Road with marshmallows, Butter Pecan – and leftover sprinkles.
They hardly know where to begin.
But begin they do. Their whiskers, bless the little fellers, are a lovely mess.
Their little pink tongues can barely keep up with their passions.
Bumble bees and honeybees are in the air. Nary a cloud floats in the sky.
Children’s playground equipment is ridden in a frenzy at this first day of Easter and of Passover, a Jewish holiday.
Sated. When Kelsey and Nelson are so full they feel as if they will burst like balloons, they scamper into their new dwelling.
Margaret must never know.
And she never will.

editors note:

I won’t tell if you won’t. – mh clay

The Snoop

June 18, 2022  :: 0 comments

Willow Heights is a lovely neighborhood where many of us know one another. During the pandemic many folks bought dogs, whose fondest desires were to trot around the block with their owners. Around 3PM, the school kids pass through my back yard. Fine with me. Do parents still wait for their children and give them milk and Oreos? I certainly …

Key Lime Pie for Dessert

March 26, 2022  :: 0 comments

Honestly, how can normal people fall for scams? I received an email from a woman we’ll call Valerie who wanted to meet me. Why? Because I run the support group New Directions, which attracts loads of people. I was to meet her at a fancy restaurant downtown. She would donate $100 to our support group and pick up the tab. …


featured in the poetry forum March 16, 2022  :: 0 comments

This is a mammoth hospital round these parts.
For days I receive their emails. “We have
processed your test results. Open patient portal.”
I can open a jar of peanut butter but patient portal?
Passwords are not my thang. I may end up dead.
Remember that my boyfriend gets the purple pitcher
shaped like an eggplant. I shall miss you, darling,
for want of a password.

editors note:

Peanut butter, we can pass. Even we will pass. But, please, not another word. – mh clay

A Shadow on the Wall

October 30, 2021  :: 2 comments

She had just clicked off the remote and closed her eyes. “Oh no,” she thought. “The house is settling.” She had lived in her red brick home for nearly nineteen years. She had paid a fortune for termite control, bees entering through the bathroom window, wasps on the back porch, and now there was a new noise. Unrecognizable. Could it …


featured in the poetry forum July 5, 2021  :: 1 comment

They quiz her, the two bards, as if she is a liar, her
suicidal ideation fascinates them, cigarette smoke
swirls toward the ceiling and she wears a sundress with
patterns like Picasso. She reads her famous poems,
pushing up her eyeglasses. In one, she was too ill
with madness to take care of her daughter. Suicide always
on the runway like Burt Parks and his Miss America Pageant.
Jump! No, she will not jump.
Pills! No, she will not die of pills.
It’s the terrible “locked in the garage” till you die.
She, blackened, like the burnt pancakes in the griddle.

editors note:

We can choose how we go, but not how we’re remembered. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum January 20, 2021  :: 0 comments

Mother had a knack for buying beautiful things.
Why she gave them to me, I haven’t a clue.
Look at this gilded saucer, is it?
Fringed with gold, blueberries, des peches,
And crunchy apples bequeathed.
Look at the hand towels that swing in the downstairs
Powder room. Five of them, knit by hand. Colorful,
as alive as Mother is dead. Floral bouquets you can
almost smell.
But wait! What am I doing with her souffle pan? White
As her corpse, and when I try to read the maker, all
I see is something akin to Cosi Fan Tutti.
“May the wind be gentle as you traverse the seas.”
Mother be true to me. I will watch for you when
The Full Moon lights up the sky and visions
Of Autumn Leaves fall like stars on my patio.

editors note:

Hold and remember. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum August 31, 2020  :: 0 comments

Slow down.
Park at Kremp’s Florist.
Pack a picnic lunch
if you so desire.

Feast your eyes, with
or without binoculars
across the dust-filled

A crane is reaching for the clouds.
It has no wheels, but treads like
an armoured tank.
It can go as high as
a 20-story building.

Will it tip over?
Nay, the back is weighted
down. The job of the day
is putting in the parking
garage. Pre-fabricated
panels make it easier.

Chorus: Oh, the men in orange
hard hats and glowing orange
vests. Oh, their Igloo containers
filled with water and Orange Crush
and Italian hoagies from Wawa

Crows – count em! – fly high
and squawk over the scene,
thinking Humans are so complicated!
“We just use twigs, cigarette stubs, and innards
of seat cushions for our comfy nests.”

Max, get your daddy to drive you over.
A sight like this you will never forget
I can just see you jumping up and down
and catapulting over and into the
swiveling crane, to help while the driver rests.

editors note:

Crows may squawk, but none can gawk better than we. – mh clay