Category Archives: Poetry

I’ll Ask You Only


Writer, teacher, student, daughter,

introvert, lover, poet, scholar.

All these describe you, but in the end,

I’ll ask you only to be my Friend.

 

A person who shares my deepest sorrows

and comforts me with fresh tomorrows.

One to who, I too, can lend a hand

when the ground around you is sinking sand.

 

Your passions, above all, I beg that you reveal;

and every stir of your soul they make you feel.

Your worries, also, please always expose;

my duty as Friend is to lighten that load.

 

Times of madness, times of brilliance,

ideas, wishes, dreams, experience.

Heavens and hells, comings and goings,

I pray you have these to overflowing.

 

The hurts will happen; don’t quake, Dear Heart!

They arise to make you more stalwart.

Without anguish, we would never see the Light.

Without pain, blessings wouldn’t burn nearly as bright.

 

The delights of your life I hope are so many

they drown out the heartaches you have, if any.

The tears you shed, some will be sad,

but with my help, joyful ones even more will be had.

 

We two, so different, and yet just the same

walk paths unalike, play contrasting games.

Our lives go on, ever changing, but in the end,

I ask you only to stay my Friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Survive and Thrive Workshop: Prompt #3


MM.

How many times did you autograph that monogram

and wonder,

What if they realize I’m not really

Her?

They’ll be so mad when they find out

that this piece of paper

isn’t worth a cent.

I know.

I know what it’s like when people think

you are someone you’re not.

Sure, I’ve never exactly obtained the fame you did,

or been described as the ultimate “sex symbol”.

But,

I guess I’ve had my moments.

Yes, I get it;

Wanting to drown your sorrows in a bottle of gin

so deeply

that you forget the real you

and actually become the glittering figure

They believe you are.

They say you were either

the greatest actress that ever lived

or the biggest joke ever to grace

the silver screen.

Having great tits

tends to make people not take you seriously.

And yet,

you pursued your search for love,

still working toward your goal of becoming a

“real actress”;

even in the end,

you had Them fooled.

As the ambulance drove  your adored body away,

They continued to refer to you as

Marilyn Monroe.

But I know the truth.

You were so much more than that.

 

 

 

 

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Survive and Thrive Workshop


One of the really good reasons for having a best friend as an English major is that you get invited to join in such things as writing workshops on occasion. This is one of those times.

Our writing prompt for the day was this: What are your two most prevalent inner landscapes and how would you describe them?

My response?

My inner landscapes…. I’m not really sure they can be separated.

After all, can a person separate a piece of themselves from himself? There’s certainly a farm, although it’s been many many years since I’ve actually spent a goodly amount of time there.

As if that matters.

It is as vivid in my mind as this afternoon’s lunch.

There’s a hill across the gravel road that always seemed huge to me, which in reality is probably much more considered a grassy knoll.

Forgive me. I was small when last I saw it.

A barn, where countless hours were spent shoveling cow manure to the musical ramblings of The Judds and Alan Jackson.

I do wonder now why shoveling shit held such glamorous allure for a ten-year-old. Odd.

Over there, an almost matched pair of classic Chevy trucks are parked, given new life by a cousin I always thought was “the coolest”.

Behind the barn sits a row of pig huts, and beyond that a rather unimpressive cattle pasture seemingly bare of grasses, but still entertaining enough that I spent hours wrestling boulders the size of my head up,catapulting them onto the barely crusted-over cow pies.

What glorious explosions of leafy green poop!

I grin to myself, remembering the thrill.

That was then, a simpler, more innocent time, but it’s still here within me somewhere.

Moving on.

The landscape of now is rife with imagination; mixed, too, with the stress and unease of humdrum, everyday life.

Oz, Neverland, Wonderland, and Willa Wonka’s Chocolate Factory all appear at times, though my yellow-brick road is sometimes blocked with piles of unpaid bills and regrets.

No. No regrets. I must remember there are no regrets, only choices that have taught me more than I might otherwise have known.

To my left is Ireland, because who DOESN’T want to go to Ireland?

It is, after all, the place where all the epic fantasy movies are made.

Alice’s white rabbit runs past, late as always, across the moors of England to my right.

You know- the ones Eustacia Vye spent so much time on.

It depends on which day you are here, what other places you might see.

New York City is never too far, the night lights of which rival Vegas, which is just there.

You see? Don’t mind the mostly nude women walking about- we all need something pretty to look at.

If you prefer, I can point you in the direction of the menagerie.

The unicorns and mermaids will be awake by the time you get there.

Of course, it snows on occasion, because I AM from Minnesota; our weather here can be….fickle. worries. The sun will come out tomorrow.

A little red-headed orphan told me so.

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For Grampa


I noticed the sky this morning,

the morning you left us.

It was beautiful;

rose-colored and coral.

I thought of the old saying-

you know the one-

Red sky at morning,

sailors take warning.

And I started to cry.

It wasn’t warning sailors,

and I knew it.

It was warning us,

all of us that are left

that the world would be a little bit darker soon,

because you were going Home.

I knew;

that was why I held your hand maybe a little bit too tight

right before I had to go.

I figured it might have hurt,

but I knew you wouldn’t mind.

You would have done the same

if you’d been able to.

Now I have to figure out

how exactly my little boy is going to

grow up knowing just what a great man you were.

He’ll only see pictures of you,

the ones that prove me right-

that you were the best-dressed man that ever lived,

and so handsome.

(More handsome than all your brothers. Shhh.)

When he grows up,

he won’t get to remember what it was like

to wander through your garden with you,

admiring the stunning array of flowers

you and Gramma worked so hard on.

My son will never watch

Gramma, with the most tender of touch,

comb back the glorious strands of white and grey

from your forehead.

You know, I didn’t mind it a bit

when you missed a haircut or two.

There are far too many balding older men in the world.

It always seemed a shame to clip

the admirable abundance of hair you retained.

I’ll tell you a secret now.

Don’t be mad.

I always hated your favorite hymn.

In the Garden was never quite grandiose enough for me.

But you know I’ll play it for you anyway,

when it’s time to say goodbye.

The words, I really don’t mind, though.

And when I am digging in my own dirt,

I’ll sing them to myself

and think of you.

“I come to the garden alone,

when the dew is still on the roses…”

I maintain my opinion that

Crystal Gayle was always prettier than Loretta Lynn.

I keep saying it,

hoping you’ll come back and argue with me.

Loretta never knew what she was missing,

but all the rest of us will,

until we see you later.

 

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Freakshow


I ran away to join the circus,

thinking I might fit in better there.

But when I arrived,

the ringmaster looked at me dubiously

when I told him I wanted to be part of the Freak Show.

Clearly, he wasn’t able to see my obvious freakdom.

When I tried to explain,

he nodded, as if he understood.

He wrapped his crimson-clad arm around my shoulder and said,

“Let me show you something.”

He guided me past the bearded lady,

who sat combing her legendary whiskers into a intricate braid.

Past the snake woman,

whose glorious scales twinkled amber and teal in the sun.

I thought he would stop by the two-headed man,

whose twin faces smiled kindly at me,

but he seemed to quicken his step instead.

Past all the other human curiosities we walked,

until we were standing outside of the colossal striped tent.

Only then did he wave his white-gloved hand

toward the crowd awaiting to see such oddities.

He pointed to one man in particular;

a man who, after a first glance, not a soul would remember.

He was plain, and insignificant.

“That man beats his wife.

His second wife, now. He killed the first one.

That child there,”

The ringmaster pointed to an adorable boy about ten,

whose hair stuck out in mischievous tufts.

“He tortures small animals,

before cutting their heads off and burying them in a hole.”

He nodded toward a middle-aged woman,

her ridiculously-enhanced breasts threatening to expose themselves.

“She,” He said, almost affectionately,

“has been married four times.

All of her husbands dead from old age.

She now preys upon younger men half her age.”

My eyes had begun to open;

he continued.

“That girl there,” a young lady, very pretty,

“was raped by her cousin,

her uncle,

and her father’s friend.

She has told no one of her pain,

but will kill the next man who is unfortunate enough to try to touch her that way.”

He looked at me then,

his eyes searching mine, before he asked earnestly,

“How can you join the Freak Show when you’re already part of it, baby?”

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Smell


If you were to ask me

“What is your favorite smell?”

I would smile,

and offer you a seat.

Such business

should not be discussed

in haste.

You would look at me

in disgust, maybe,

when I begin with,

“Raw onions and horses.”

It cannot be helped.

I wish I lived in the age of the

Wild Wild West,

just so I could bury my nose in

my trusty steed’s dust-filled mane.

There’s really no explanation for the onions.

I continue,

“When you’re performing some monotonous task,

like grocery shopping,

and a man, (or a woman) walks by

smelling of sensuous perfume,

and the only thing you want to do is

trail behind them throughout the store,

just so you can get one more whiff.”

You nod, and smile,

we are on the same page now.

The words fall out of me now.

“The smell of last night’s sex

when you wake up.

The odor of lilies on a breeze

when you walk through Gramma’s garden.

Burger King, and McDonald’s, and even White Castle,

when you drive by them starving.

Puppy breath, and baby breath,

both horrible, really,

until you connect them with

innocence and everything good

left in the world.

Bleach,

because it’s clean.

Mud,

because it’s dirty.

Old people,

who were once young,

and the smell of my lover’s skin.”

You laugh,

because you never expected

such a simple question,

to have such a complicated answer.

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Drink


As I sit here drinking rum

at ten-thirty in the morning,

I begin to wonder if maybe

I might be a pirate by the time the bottle’s gone.

Wouldn’t that be ideal?

There certainly seems to be

a goodly number of drunk men

thinking they are Superman….

I can see the commercial for it now.

No need for higher learning!

Drink what you want to be!

Like, if you long to be a cowboy,

break out the Jim and Jack!

You’ll be whoring and meeting your enemy

at high noon in no time!

You aspire to be a great writer, you say?

Well, what kind of writer do you wish to be?

Do you wish to write brilliant

yet depressingly dull fiction?

Hemingway preferred absinthe.

Mind the green fairy, though.

She may put a shotgun in your hand

and bid you blow your brains out.

You have a journalistic edge?

Wild turkey was Hunter’s poison.

(I do wonder if maybe you might

just turn into a turkey if you drink that though.)

Wouldn’t it be grand?

If instead of just being called an alcoholic,

you could be called Marilyn Monroe?

What if you constantly drink vodka?

Will you turn into a Russian anarchist?

I’m not sure all Russians endorse anarchy,

but there sure seems to be

a hella lotta movies portraying them that way.

The question really is….

if you drink sea water,

are you actually a mermaid?

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