April prompt #22

April prompt #22

Write about your blind spots

Janet’s #6


Not so much a spot of blindness

but an absence of vision,


frosted gray circled

by lack of clarity, an odd distortion.


Not like the walls

that closed in, slowly


at first, then fast,

swallowing up all


but a thin vertical line,

and then the rest,


and opening again,

strangely, on a train


in the midwest.

Not total, like that.


There is light now,

and periphery, but


everything is too large.

Faces are elongated.


It is not possible

to make out any words.


At a certain distance,

everything has a shadow-


image, an echo below it,

tilting to the left.


At night, the usual clues

disappear, lights line up


in curious ways. It’s best not

to approach on my right side.


I’ve learned to close one eye.

I’ve learned to turn my head.



sunrise,Cape Royal


~for David Brynn 


Focus on our pockets, you said,

and you didn’t mean

trouser pockets stuffed

with wallets, plastic and loose change.

You meant the ones that hold other things:

pebbles and prayer beads,

acorns, pumpkin seeds,

a useful knife, a fountain pen.

Music and fires and feasts.

This coffee shop, that bookstore,

that slope of forest,

these people who remember

to light candles in the dark.

November Writing Challenge #3

The dumbest so far:


November Writing Challenge #3

Scene: If I knew how to do sets, I’d have some kind of backdrop that makes the pinhead (spotlight) look like it starts out the size of a real pinhead. But I have no idea how this could happen.



two scholars, in doctoral robes

Angels—dancers—enough to fill a spotlight that covers the whole stage

Lighting guy—barely visible above the stage until the end, when he/she is spotlit him/herself


The scholars stand stage right.

Scholar One:  How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Scholar Two: I have no idea. Has anyone ever asked them?

Scholar One:  I don’t think so. Hm. Shall we try? pulls a pin from hat and holds it up

Both Scholars (shouting): How many of you can dance on this?

The shout echoes and echoes while the lights go out and the Scholars exit.  A small silver-white spotlight appears on the stage. Dim lighting elsewhere. The angels enter, stage right, in a line. One moves into the spotlight and dances. The light is just a little bit too big—clearly two angels could dance in it. The next angel in line is invited into the spot and the dance goes on—in a tight formation. This continues until the spot extends to the edge of the stage. The angels waiting in line should be like anybody waiting in line:  checking fingernails, stretching, texting, talking on phones, whatever. When the stage is full—and the angels are all fairly annoyed:

Voice of a Scholar, loud and echoing from the wings:  So, how many of you can dance on the head of a pin?

An angel:  (shouting toward the ceiling) How big is the damned pinhead?

Lighting guy: How big do you want it?


The Last Prompt of April

April Prompt the Last

Ray’s #5: a tour of the alchemist’s garden




Immortality, they call it,

silver against green in spring,

again when the maples turn.


All gold is contained

here:  Mary’s gold.

So easy.


Do you understand

the bitter of parsley?

The twinge of sage?


These nettles

draw their power

from the bottom of the sea.


In the dark soil

beneath this tomato vine

the cave of a tiny dragon.


Feed stones to the roses.

Blood to the greens.

Shells and bones to everyone.


Each bean pod,

each pea pod–

a nest of homunculi.


Every spoonful of soil

a constellation

of worlds.


Carrots gather

underground. That’s where

the light congeals.


Forgot to post this one:



a non-Ogden Nashy Spring Poem in a form



~stilted, but not Ogden-Nashy  

(“O April Morning”  Really?)


Another winter gone and we are still alive.

Wind blows from the south, driving

urgent geese. So much will be born,

and born again. So much has died.


The south wind blows, driving

the first wild April storm

to wash away the winter that has died.

One robin, brave enough to sing


his wild song through the April storm–

does he rejoice, or mourn?

And am I brave enough to sing,

strong enough to give


(though still I mourn

small things that did not survive)?[]=09o-

Make me brave, help me give

the song I have, O April morning.


Small things that did survive

fly and rustle, singing, warming.

Here’s the song I have, this April morning:

The cold is gone, the birds declare the Spring.


They fly and rustle, singing, warming.

So much will soon be born.

The Earth has turned, and we proclaim the Spring,

Winter gone, and we are still alive.


March is a painting of silver and gray.
Water everywhere.

Anything might happen:  snow or sun,
daffodils or ice.

The Queen of March lifts the balance and rattles
the pebbles in her pocket.

We ought to leave honey-cakes for her
at this crossroad

so she will leave us in peace while
we wonder:

Will something move the stone or this time
will death win?

We teeter on the fulcrum while
light plays on the beams.



Two versions of the same poem.  The second version is one I ran through Translation Party and compressed and tweaked.  I think I like it better than the first version, which is itself a revision of an older poem that didn’t quite work.  



Remember the occasion.
The lake just before sunset,
after the hotdogs and corn on the cob.
Your mother’s old friend,
your best grown-up friend
visiting from Wisconsin–
showed you how.

Choose a flat stone.
Hold your fingers so, 
angle your arm.

Remember when it first happened–
the miracle of stone slipping over silver water,
carving an orange path that bound
the beach to the mountains and the sun.
Gulls reeled and screamed.
Your mother packed up the basket
and your father extinguished the fire.

Can you do it now?
Can you float a slice of Earth–
for an instant make every necessary connection?
Can you believe there is somewhere
an answer you can still understand?


They cross the lake,
carve ripples toward the sunset–
the miracle of stone on water.

Along the violet path
gulls cry home,
clasps on the silver chain.

So many questions.
Choose the smoothest stones.
To transcend the limits

of the Spirit, you must trust
that the answers are complex. You must
learn to float stones.