Poetry–“Goodbye, Copernicus”

Goodbye, Copernicus

According to astronomers
the world is round but
when we lived in Indiana
the cornfields behind our place
spread out as far
as anyone could see.
In winter, snow piled high
so that our chimney
stood alone on the horizon—
a tombstone marking the
demise of heliocentricity.

The prompt for this poem was “According to…”
I have to admit, it took me to unexpected places.

3-D Self Portrait on a 2-D Plane

3-Dimensional Self Portrait on a 2-Dimensional Plane

My image in a mirror
reflecting in another mirror,
(front and back likenesses)
disappears into infinity,

merges into a single
vanishing point within another,
fuses the present
and the past as one.

Prompt: write a self-portrait poem

Poem: “Alternate Uses for a Steak Knife”

Alternate Uses for a Steak Knife

I know better
than to dig blindly
in the tool box.

The knife—
sharp as it was
the day he died

ten years ago.
A bit of rust next
to the handle

crusted with dirt.
I can see him

beside the Sago
Palm, uprooting
stubborn weeds,

opening boxes,
slicing through
years of crap

to get at truth.
Then he would
sharpen the blade.

Listen carefully,
hear the song
of steel meeting flint.

That last time,
could he guess that
I would bleed?

Re=posted 6/15/13–forgot I had this one about my “third” father. I’m linking it to a prompt I posted Monday 6/10/13 for Father’s Day. Join us if you like.

“Wounds”–A Poem


A birch—
smooth bark dotted
with eyes—
omniscient voyeur
spying on passersby.
Down its trunk
a scar splays open.
Wide, like a wound
I used to pack with sterile gauze
and normal saline.

(My patient’s name
was Forrest.)

In the gutter, red blossoms
from a nearby
Indian Paint Brush
pile in heaps
like clotted blood.

Forrest’s gash—
the result of a barroom brawl—
or so he’d told me—
never healed.
He didn’t bleed to death.
Just died by the inch,
lost the will to fight
when the woman went off
with his opponent.

The tree has been like this
for years.
Over time some miscreant
continues to inflict like damages
on other branches.

“Borrowed Life”–Poetry

When I take a look at my blog’s stats, I’ve noticed that searches are often prompted by the tag “kidney transplant.” That’s what came to mind when the poetry prompt for April 4th was to write about history.

Those of you who have received a donated organ or who are waiting–I’d be interested in hearing your reactions to this poem. Thank you.

Borrowed Life

Before it hitched a ride
in my left lower abdomen,
my kidney belonged to Paula.

When I asked my friend
if she was sure—
if she really wanted to take

the risk—when I said
“What if someday…”
(You fill in the blank),

she said, “God put me here
for you. Don’t you believe
that He’ll make sure

someone’s there for
me? For my kids?
For whomever needs

a second chance at
destiny? Just
don’t waste a minute, okay?”

Poetry: “Drowning”

Since I was in a caregiving mode a good part of the last two weeks, my writing and blog have suffered a bit of neglect. In particular, I haven’t kept up with the PAD Daily Poetry Challenge as I had hoped. I’ve caught up now and hope to spend a good amount of the time remaining in Palm Desert writing, writing, writing.

The April 2nd poetry prompt was “water.” Here’s my response:


In my dream
swollen waves
surge upon the sand,
mount craggy cliffs,
swamp the earth.

Today I look
upon a mirror of
still water.
Beneath the surface
roil sleeping monsters.