Bags of Sage Are Just for Cooking

featured in the poetry forum November 3, 2015  :: 0 comments

She lights a candle
and I think she wants it
to imply wisdom

when all it means
is that the power has
gone out

but again
with the candle

holding it out
in ceremonial

dripping wax all over the carpet
which doesn’t seem wise
in the least.

editors note:

One waxes wise while the other wonders. – mh clay

Travel Plans

featured in the poetry forum June 23, 2015  :: 0 comments

Fly in the suitcase, why have you died on me?
We still had many good hours together
pestering one another, but secretly in love
me with a rolled newspaper, you playing hard to get
the ceiling fan spider oscillating third wheel jealous…
fly in the suitcase, did I forget to pack oxygen?
my scatterbrains spilling out over my shoulder onto my shirt
so yours do not have to
the hydro company now buzzing
for you
out along the high wire
fly in my suitcase, let me ball up
my socks beside you
let customs ask their many inane questions, my friend,

no need to

editors note:

The best plan; preserve your true love, packed, always present. Let those questions come…  – mh clay


April 8, 2015  :: 0 comments

A couple
down on the street
walks by
holding hands.

I want to hold hands too
but the last time I joined in
there were issues.

So this time
I remain calm
and refrain from running down
into the street
in my lucky

I have two hands, I think,
why can’t they hold each other?

And I hold hands
with my hand
and it is Spring

and we are very much
in love.


featured in the poetry forum April 8, 2015  :: 0 comments

I squash the bug
making its way across
the cracked linoleum
and then I remember,
turning my shoe over
with much regret
I look at what is left:
a few random legs
a black splash of innards…
taking my finger
I poke at the mess
I have made
and wonder –
Kafka, is that you?

editors note:

An ahimsa encounter with literary greatness. Ouch! (Another mad missive from Ryan on his page – a different kind of encounter, check it out.) – mh


featured in the poetry forum September 6, 2014  :: 0 comments

The man on the plane
beside you
is a plane.

He speaks like a plane
and laughs like a plane
and when the stewardess brings him
a pair of headphones
for the inflight movie
he thanks her like a plane.

He seems a little redundant to me.
Why put a plane inside a plane?
Perhaps this is the new way of doing things.
A way to save on fuel.

No one can be sure.
The airlines are far from forthcoming.

The plane asks for a pillow
and closes his eyes.

When the plane falls asleep
he snores loudly with his
mouth open.

I lean over and peer inside
to see if there is a plane
inside this plane


editors note:

Here’s some plane speaking for the hard of airing. – mh

Mint Condition

featured in the poetry forum March 18, 2014  :: 0 comments

I keep a treasure chest
with nothing in it
to remind me that things
that seem too good to be true
often are.
But it doesn’t work.
I often lay awake at night
wonder what could
be inside
open bar
at a Russian wedding,
a loving sea goddess
with gills
instead of shortcomings,
the fountain of youth
built to scale,
a Babe Ruth rookie
in mint

I’m a romantic, I’ll admit it,
bordering on the

I know there should be
nothing in there
but that never stops me
from looking.

editors note:

Provocative! What would you put in yours? – mh

More Lightbulbs Than Sense

featured in the poetry forum July 27, 2013  :: 0 comments

She falls asleep with the light on
like it will help in some small way,
she has never been fond of the darkness
was not allowed to watch horror movies
as a child
scares easily,
it’s as if she thinks death
has an aversion to luminosity;
at night, she bathes in neon
like apocalyptic flies:
belly up, no longer buzzing,
lifeless as a dish

She sleeps lightly, wakes often
with a scare,
seizing my hand;
expecting me to tell her
everything will be alright
when I know nothing
of the kind.

editors note:

In the face of eternal uncertainties, keeping the light on will have to do. – mh

It Had Been a Busy Day

featured in the poetry forum March 9, 2013  :: 0 comments

The crown prince
put the shovel into a hole
already dug
lifted out some dirt
tossed it
for the camera.

Then the crown princess
stumbled over in heels
lifted out a little more dirt
tossed it gingerly
for the cameras.

They were both then ushered off
to a waiting car
back to their hotel.

It had been a busy day.

Both lifting
and tossing,
remembering to smile
all the

editors note:

When faced with a reeking, royal mountain of manure, the secret to rapid removal is: keep that shovel moving. (nose plugs help, too) – mh

Washing my Hands Under an Assumed Name

featured in the poetry forum July 17, 2012  :: 0 comments

The pressing matters of the day
are as important as potato salad;
get the mayonnaise right
and the rest falls into place.
You’d think my water bill would be
a little lower
washing my hands under an assumed name.
You’re only as clean
as your dirtiest member.
Relay teams and shipwrights
with quadriplegic anchors.
I left my mind somewhere between psychosis
and Santa Rosa.

Leveled thumbs line the interstate
like track lighting for the soul.

editors note:

Now I understand! Cleanliness is next to Santa Rosa; just follow that track lighting. – mh

Best Actress
in a Supporting Role

October 13, 2011  :: 0 comments

She’s crying
in the parking lot
outside the Movie Time,
and I wonder if she is just practising
for the tear jerker she has rented
for tonight,
starring Hollywood’s finest,
which is not saying