Punctuated

featured in the poetry forum July 28, 2022  :: 0 comments

I dream I emerge from a coma comma
run depressed to the lake again
jump in dash
no way up to the surface period
I learn an important lesson colon
people can pass themselves away
without ever having used
any kind of blade slash

editors note:

And enclose yourself in parentheses. – mh clay

Swagger goes, tears flow

featured in the poetry forum May 29, 2022  :: 0 comments

A novel dream windhoved in —
late spring day, America finally birthed
real change — helped boys, guys,

expel rage, begin to breathe,
toss Berettas, Glocks, Colts away.
Sacked, purged deep urge to kill.

Let children play, laugh, live.
Made school yards safe. Even rabbits,
ravens, robins, wrens escaped,

no longer practice targets
of the killing craze. Quite a change,
deranged shooters — always men —

throwing aside the tough guys pose,
not blogging hate, not firing away.
People everywhere melted guns —

generals buried grenades, rockets,
missiles, drones. Males, young, old
began to think. They cried, cared,

admitted feelings, stopped the swagger,
ceased to seethe. Women sighed,
reveled in relief — loved the peace.

editors note:

Must this just be a poet’s notion? Why not make it today’s news? – mh clay

Snippet

featured in the poetry forum May 5, 2022  :: 0 comments

I drop my sewing needle,
open screen, let in what’s left
of day. On a whim, use scissors,
cut me out of her photo album —

toss the ragged bits away.
Still un-cleansed, upset, I snip
a passing fly in half. One winged side
gyres down, a gossamer glide —

the other dives. I feel a modicum
of sheared delight, hope briefly
to discover if self-loathing contains
intricacies beyond mere suffering.

Maybe I’ll find within a single
trimmed snippet whether impulsive,
mesmeric frenzy has anything
to do with random vasectomies.

editors note:

If THAT was random, it WAS “impulsive, mesmeric,” indeed. (Ouch!) – mh clay

Outsmarting ants

featured in the poetry forum February 22, 2022  :: 0 comments

Ragged barrier of bleach laid down,
I know it won’t stop them all.
Like student painters, they crawl
the perimeter, search for shallow crossings,
intend to bring every morsel
of burnt burger back. My sponge
from above daubs up rogues, scouts
on point for damp trip to patio edge.
I squeeze them free. They begin
a new path to the supper dregs. Intent,
nozzle ready for any who succeed,
I sense your presence behind me.
Drawn by the sheerest of nighties,
I find a direct route to bed.

editors note:

Exterminatus interruptus. – mh clay

Sowing

featured in the poetry forum November 23, 2021  :: 0 comments

Upon my arrival, I share with phlox,
verbena, firebrush, rose,
where I’m from, how I garden,

the plants I’ve grown. To be embraced
in her yard, I must set broccoli,
peppers, beets, even chard, at ease.
 
He, before me, disliked flowers,
ate meat, not veggies, hated
to sow, water, weed. Lantana

remember this betrayal, so do
radishes, anemone, beans.
I slip among them, bend, listen,

whisper low to each. The cosmos
bow acceptingly in wind. Kudzu,
suspicious, stays out of reach.

editors note:

A gardener’s guide to getting along with her. – mh clay

High-pitch

featured in the poetry forum September 4, 2021  :: 0 comments

I dream you back, a butterfly —
flit in, dance past belly, thigh,

touch cheek, settle on sheet.
I offer texting thumb, you float down,

vibrate there, do not flee.
Maybe you’ve changed, will stay,

vacuum, massage me, clean the sink.
You sleep. I grab phone, snap photos,

store your rainbowed slumber —
an Instagram treat, red, lilac,

gold, green. You wake, unfold wings,
transmute to drone, rise,

hover briefly, high-pitched whine.
I wake too, you zip off east.

editors note:

When “sleepin’ alone in the drone of the darkness…” – mh clay

Redacted vision

featured in the poetry forum May 22, 2021  :: 0 comments

I spot a life going bad, mine, sort of,
obscured by dark pits on the front
of my eyes. They swim across,

slowly erase good choices I’ve made,
blind a bit with every blink.
A whole spatter ruins my view

as I gaze skyward, them back and forth
in the foreground, Rorschaching
fluffed white clouds sable —

inkblots with Sharpies
clearly intent on turning
even my peripheral memories black.

editors note:

Of frets and fears be free? Eyes front! – mh clay

All memories left

featured in the poetry forum February 12, 2021  :: 0 comments

do not haunt me
as much as the ones
that fled like virus deaths.
Blew out, in fact,
like a mistral, mask-less,
whipping toward Arles,
like police, all white,
taking another Black body south
to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer,
a pile of them on the beach
by the deceased sea.

editors note:

To be ghosted by such is better. – mh clay

My conclusive dance frame

featured in the poetry forum October 24, 2020  :: 0 comments

rigid, classic, like parentheses
trapping a flutter of sparrows

mid-theft, chicken coop, after grain.
No match for hers, corseted tight,

white-laced, as she denied my bid
to diagram our pas de deux

across the ballroom floor. A feud,
two stern teachers, each certain —

how to construct the perfect sentence,
our grammar book of would-be love,

unbound, sections lying random
among whirling couples, the chapter

beneath us, ironically, open to rules
on passive voice, page thirty-three.

editors note:

A duo’s dance-a-thon devolves into a two-step for one. (Read another on Timothy’s page; a sad sequel for sterility. Check it out!) – mh clay

Viral ending

October 24, 2020  :: 0 comments

Lifted masks, brief kiss, on the lips.
Turned away, skipped some stones,

she went to tinkle (feel free to call it
urinate or pee). Once out of sight,

doubled back. I Purelled, waited,
dreamed, paced like a cat. She packed,

empties my place. Took can opener,
tuna tins, T-paper, stopper for the sink.

Left bleach, vacuum, blue vinyl gloves, a
stale bag of Lays, litter box to clean.

editors note:

Love’s dereliction or anti-social distancing? Two for one? – mh clay