Friday, April 30, 2010

Mendacity

Mendacity


detects you from a corner
next to the potted Anthurium,
a poster child for normal behavior
in the ghetto.
It sneaks up and tries to get cozy
then proceeds to suffocate you with an invitation
to ponder
justifying past deeds,lining them up for the firing squad
aiming for the whites, in a sea of gray.
Drowning in delusion
it comes up for one last gulp
one last vain attempt,
to stay alive.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lawns Horses and Pigs

We moved into our new, old house in 1985.

A new adventure, on
a dead end road in the country,
away from the noise and traffic,
a piece of the rock to call our own.
2.1 acres that we had to rope and tame
rough doesn’t even begin to explain it.
Imagine carving out a lawn with hand tools
and brute strength and doing it after work with lanterns into the night.
It took years to even think about having a lawn,
fifteen years to be exact, by then we had two houses
and a three car detached garage.
Add fruit trees, flowers and a pond not to mention a giant lawn.
Our ancestors would have been proud.

In the beginning we purchased a bull
and went to work.
During the day we had our business to attend to
Roofing and Vinyl siding, when it was slow we painted and did interior renovations, hell we did it all.
After work sometimes by flashlight
we would pull weeds, and hack away at California grass
about six feet high tough and tangled
choking upon itself in the humid tropical clime.

Bully the steer was our first new addition to the family, and then before I knew it we had Billy and Jennifer, two goats and then chickens and roosters, not just any chickens mind you, we had feather dusters. After that the ducks came along, six of them, and they would be joined by six geese, two horses Beauty and Hoku, which you couldn’t ride just one, both had to ridden or else, and I began to think the farm life was for me--except for one thing

I object to ducks swimming in my pool-- too much poop
and with the poop came the flies, so many flies
that I couldn’t enjoy laying out by the pool in the sun after work when I wasn’t doing anything--yeah right!

Oh and did I mention the pig--

did you know that horses and pigs don’t get along?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Excavating Bones

Inspired by Poem a Day--Academy of American Poets April 2010 and by Spencer Johnson's, "Who Moved My Cheese."

Excavating Bones

Skeleton in ice
gently thawed
and cradled;
hair
and bone
worn down to marrow.
Frigid strength
icy lover;
your contact sears
callous scrutiny.
I can hear your muffled scream
preserved
in time’s frosty cavern,
concealed in cheese
station C, and me
in E, advanced and alone.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Caterpillar Dreams

Caterpillar Dreams

Inch your way
on tiny feet
climb into the tree of dreams.
You are not yourself
the monarch lurks inside.

Spin
a strong silk pad.
Sleep,
you are not yourself
the monarch lurks inside.

Hunger for
red clover
goldenrod and
fluttering breezes
beneath the cool shade
of the
stately palm.
You are not yourself
the monarch lurks inside.

Awake
from nature’s baptism.
Shed your former skin.
Declare your magnificence.
Dance atop
yesterday’s fragile petals
soar into the callous wind.

Fly
dazzling insect.
Show off your large
tawny orange and black wings.
Rise
potent prince,
wander throughout the provinces.
You are magnificent.
You are Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor.
Fly brilliant monarch,
Fly!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Compost at Dawn

Up at Three—not a pretty sight!!


They say the older you get the less sleep you need.

I’m here to tell you that they are WRONG whoever THEY ARE.

It is a bald faced LIE.

Those THEY’s need a good bitch slapping

and I know just the person to do the job.

No thinking about it or talking it over--just a grim reaper.

That’s what you get when you mess

with a crazy person—two shots directly

into the brain—no questions

no dilly dallying

just cold hard steel

right between the eyes

and then I’ll go work in my garden,

start a compost pile.

Don’t you love fertilizer?

The flowers love it

I can hear them screaming now

pile it on—we’re starving here!!

And by the way--Have you ever heard of this other element—it’s called WATER!!!

We don’t have any feet or THUMBS,

so if you could just

pay us some attention

we will show you

something nice to look at

tomorrow morning,

when you are still awake

and NOT SLEEPING!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sneaking up on Roosters

They wander the windward campus
 clucking amongst themselves.
Searching for the most juicy bug, fighting
for crumbs tossed by meandering poets and writers,
breaking for lunch and a stroll.
Intellectual folk who thirst for
candid photos of roosters
and hens, stray cats, grasshoppers or
even dead centipedes, adjusting optical zooms
and praying for that perfect shot.
The shot that will
inspire; stop them dead in their tracks,
produce sighs and email home clearly, to Mom and Dad.



Saturday, April 24, 2010

Contemplating the Wind

The wind rises at three a.m.

still drunk as it rushes about

looking for things to stir up.

It snakes the orange and pink bougainvilleas

as it reshuffles their geometry.

It blusters at the Manila palm

who bend and bow

as it howls at the front door

demanding to be let in.

It spews loose sediment

as it turns away

relentless and finally settles

on a blade of grass

and lifts it up

skipping it across the driveway.



Friday, April 23, 2010

A Call to Reason

The thing about reason is it
gets raped from behind;
leaves too many doors open
to getting your head chopped off.
As an infant, we start out with infinite trust
and if we are lucky we leave this world
relatively intact, abused but whole.

Time is the key.

Since the beginning man
has killed. It is instilled
into our hard drives. We learn how to protect ourselves
from an early age something that never loses its
significance lest we fall victim to indifference, obscurity
and terrorists plotting to infuse us with their religion.
We sit on a lower rung
on the ladder of evolution
pushing all the wrong buttons
pondering the ape/man ratio
erasing unpleasant history from memory
like a crack addict obsessed with getting his next high.
We live in a world where
stupidity reigns alongside legalization
brothers on the same see-saw.

Only until we are able to
subdue these primal urges
will we ever be able to move up
the ladder, whether it be here
or as a future virus on a brand new planet.

Time holds the key.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Life in a Glass Bottle

Circa: Earth Day 2010

Life in a glass bottle
longs for a calming breeze
butterflies and bees.
Hears the pop of
daylight, dawning
as it rises yawning.
Is pitched by cobalt seas
and daring fish that please
to give you the evil eye
and consequences ply
as they nudge you
and toss you in the bay.
But then let us say
that you are not tossed and
Abused by the cost
and still float aimlessly about
and get hooked by a snout
of a humpback whale and her calf
out for a laugh
swimming and diving at play
that manage to avoid the plastic nooses
and glass ball cabooses
aluminum cans, fish net and twine
dumped and left behind for
a poor fish to find
strangled alone on the reef
hooked like a thief in the night
By this human blight that litter and waste
proud and uptight, in childish haste
Now concerned about the earth
pondering its worth
on a planet
spewing rebirth.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Mother’s Strength

A preview from my new book Letters To A Prisoner

Crawls on bloody knees to protect her young
would rather die than betray her child’s blind innocence
chokes on the creaking silence of an unanswered call
lies awake in empty rooms fighting back a flood of tears
summons courage from deserts of dry wells
shows up with a pail of forgiveness every morning
stares down dismay for years on end.
Her love is fierce.
Her love is granite.
She is god.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Shama Thrush

White-Rumped caller flaunts
black feathers, chestnut belly
trills rich shy solo.

Monday, April 19, 2010

GOLF, RAIN, OCEAN

New Poetry Syllabic Form: five lines 7, 4,6,4,3,

designed at Celebrate Reading at University of Hawaii --Manoa
with Brandy McDougall and Mahealani Perez-Wendt

Golf
Trying again to follow
a set of rules
designed by ancient trolls
intent on hard
ball tactics.

Rain
I can hear the pitter pat
of Pele’s tears
sliding down the valleys
in between the
Koolau.

Ocean
Waves crest and fall thrash shore, small
sandy grains dance
signing with native drums
in ancient tongue
to the gods.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Revisions Revisions Revisions

**Write about the loss of that child—three different versions.

He would spend hours playing with his Lego’s barking in his make believe world

All of his Tonka Trucks had dents because he would use them to dive bomb the

Lego land village pretending they were bombs dropped from an airplane, buzzing and careening; buildings continually blasted to smithereens that wrought destruction in his volatile game. Debris would collide with half drunken Pepsi cans their contents spilling into the faded lime green carpet leaving indelible traces. I can still hear the vroom vroom noises, voices he would’ve later mastered, his control limited to the special world he left behind the last vestiges outlined in the droopy eye of a stuffed green dog.


I noticed the droopy eyes of a lime green dog perched on his bed. It was a sad dog his stuffing peeking out of a torn seam. The room was now clean an uncommon state since this rambunctious child had infused that space. Every square inch resonated his being from the smashed Lego village to the dented yellow Tonka Dump Truck it oozed him even the curtains screamed his name.


The green dog had one eye that followed me inside to look one last time at his Lego’s and Tonka trucks which had been overcome by a 7yr. old. Never again would I hear the vroom vroom bang screech of metal and plastic colliding and exploding into the four corners narrowly missing the Pepsi can. No more crunch of Fritos beneath my feet. The silence followed me out the door and hung from the high beams flashing its baleful smile.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Digger Files

(Write from the point of view of your character-see First Draft- Revision)


The Digger Files

MMM- I love Pepsi and Fritos
Now- where was I? Oh yeah
I need some new Lego people
a cop and a fireman to go wif
my new Fire Engine vroom, vroom
whirr squeal, bush—shifting gears, and here comes the siren
eeoh eeoh eeoh, eeoh eeoh eeoh, eeoh eeoh eeoh
 honk, honk honk-- beep the horn Mr. Fireman
beep the horn.

Now I’ll smash that Lego land town wif my
tuf Tonka Dump truck and then I’ll build it
all over again, only better.

Now I want you people to LISTEN TO ME
It’s time to get outta here. That’s an order people.
Katoosh—booom—smash
(Blue, white, red and green pieces fly in all directions
The green dog with one eye, now has one yellow
and one blue eye.)

Whew this is hard work
My mom needs to buy me some more
chips cos this is the last bag.

Ma-let’s go shopping okay?

Friday, April 16, 2010

First Draft- Revision

List five words--use some or all of them to describe a child and write a poem
Trucks, stuffed animals, bag of chips, can of pepsi, lego's

At seven he was a messy child
traces of sweat smeared with mud
bare foot and shirtless
even his hair stuck out at weird angles.
He directed each day like
a drill sergeant
barking at his Lego people
making deliveries with his tough
Tonka trucks mimicking the hum and the whir
and the vroom of life with childish enthusiasm.

We named him Digger, because he liked
to dig holes in the back yard, usually at odds
with our instructions, but we asked you to rake leaves.
Totally oblivious he would happily recite his accomplishments
at dinner, and note that he had done it all by himself.
Lips smacking
teeth crunching doggedly toting a can of Pepsi and snacking
on a bag of Frito’s corn chips, too busy
to sit still, his mind would race
contemplating his next project.
Proud and perturbed we would shake our heads
as the stuffed menagerie
on his bed complacently watched entertained.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I Want To Be A Poet

I want to be a poet because
I need to know
Who I Am,
HOW- --I am.
WHY I AM
like breathing or SEX.

Like Starbucks coffee
to choose from an endless list
of black and strong
with cream and
sugar.

I want to be a poet because
it doesn’t mean a thing
if you ain’t got that zing
to people in the bayou
with alligators for neighbors
and mosquitoes as big as flying
saucers that want to drink your blood
and leave welts the size of basketballs.

BIG—ORANGE—HARD-- BALLS

The BALLS that it takes
to stand up and SHOUT
about
SENIORITY and AUTHORITY
and about
the Assonance and Consequence of
our ACTIONS.

I want to be a poet
because of the reason and the rhyme
marking time
dripping off my tongue-- aged like fine wine.

Lyrical and magical—ALICE
chasing a rabbit into a hole
filled with soul, out of control
hanging on a cliff
with a NOTE
high on hope
instead of dope.

Set adrift
on a boogie ship
with a Fever
unrehearsed
and cursed ----to just be.

I want to be a poet
because of sibilant s’s
and because I want to weigh the wind
on an impossible scale
next to a fish tail that never pales
or smells stale---or fishy.

I want to be
shackled
to a form and not mourn.
To show the flaming red dawn
like a phoenix riSING from the ashes
to give birth to the
MUsic of my faith
over, and over again.

Forever drunk on strong words
ringing in my ears --high above the herd
until my last
MEASURED   DAY--- On Earth.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

No S’ss Here

Prompt--Write a poem without any S'ss

Come child
do not dawdle
family fault line crack
produced a tidal wave of truth.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Revisiting Lex Luthor

The springs creak as I lower the stairs and climb up

into the attic, into my past.
I inspect the cobwebs frozen in time
marking a sticky corridor, lined with daddy long legs
scurrying to stay inside the shadows.
A shaft of light from a small window
pierces the gloom
exposing the intricate web.
Far away in the corner
packed on top of the
pink insulation, is a stack
of old cardboard boxes
carefully penned in black sharpie logic.
A remnant of youth balefully stares
like an abandoned child.
At first glance with no trace of recognition
but then comes with open arms
to grasp my shoulders and close me in.
I try to suppress a shudder
as I descend into the contents
revisiting a haunted domain.
A musty kiss
brushes and lingers on my cheek
raising hairs, as I open the flimsy cardboard
flip the contents and watch
as it slides out and lands into a heap between the beams.
Haunted flashbacks
of Clark Kent and Supergirl
mingle with betrayal of innocence
and blankly stare from glossy pages.
Dead super heroes
overcome by red kryptonite buried
along with their evil counterparts.
Self obsessed monsters
like Lex Luthor shape shift
and ROAR,
tricked into this Bizzarro world
and left behind
to brood over their misfortune
now reconciled with shrewd eyes.
Lex Luthor, still plotting Superman’s downfall
planning his destiny
as the ultimate ruler
of Planet Earth
and his escape from obscurity.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fortuneteller

Glass shards gouge bloodless vein
tarot cards show disdain.

The writing prompt on another forum yesterday was to write an essence poem.
A short, structured form of two-lines, six syllables each with an end rhyme and internal rhyme.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Therapy

Come early for
your appointment.
Fill out this form in triplicate.
Use blue or black ink.
Don’t leave anything out.
Please write firmly and legibly.
Which do you prefer your proper name
or your nickname, she asks
as I approach her couch
and lie down.
My vision blurs and then adjusts.
A kerchief is wrapped around her head
it is worn; her dress is tattered but clean.
So tell me, why are you here?
An engraved request appears
like writing on a black eight ball.
I proceed to vomit last night’s dinner
onto the faded white shag next to a recent
stain. It ponds and congeals
into a purplish brown glob
and she addresses it rapt
poking and prodding into yesterday’s veal
and mashed potatoes.
Years spin past and unravel like dark blue thread
and a large deck is pulled out of a drawer
and dealt as
strange points of light appear on the horizon
like distant flickering
stars exposing black holes and
revealing
the mysteries of the universe.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lethal Fungus-Tanka

Umbrella opens

providing tempting shelter.
Seductive white cap
emits toxic slumber, slams
naive visitor at dawn.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April Snag-limerick

There was a young girl from County Cork
was rumored six times, with Sean O’Rourke.
She was a strong Philly
seduced his poor willy
then delivered twin pickles, the stork.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pineapple Express

Last year this time
nine members
of my family came to visit
from upstate New York.
They all stayed
at the Queen Kapiolani,
which is on the zoo side of Waikiki.
This included my parents, both of my sisters, one brother-in-law, his parents
and my niece 11 and nephew 13 that I hadn’t seen in
ten years.
They rented two cars
plus my Hyundai made a caravan.
My brilliant husband, volunteered to stay home and cook for the tribe.

Two unforgettable weeks of hurry up and wait, from hiking up Diamond Head to strolling Waimea Falls. Patiently looking for this one and that one in the forty ninth ABC store in the International Marketplace. My camera snapping hundreds of pictures, capturing precious moments.
One of the highlights was a kids fishing contest for golden tilapia on Easter in my small fishpond.

Still the days flew by, on the last day here I took them to Dole Plantation.
Having acquired some wisdom by this time, we decided to skip the Maze
instead we boarded the Pineapple Express
to ride the train and hear the history of the plantation.
Taking us back over one hundred years
to when the settlers traveled by wagon train
across the southern plains with the Navaho, Apache and the Hopi.
Everyone on the wagon train had their job, knew what was expected.
Most got along, because they had to, to survive.
When the leader said Wagons Ho--the smart ones all got
into their wagons and followed. When the Indians
attacked they circled, got out their guns and shot
anything that moved. There was a certain order to things.
Only this was 1900’s Hawaii, so it would’ve been the Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese,
Hawaiian, Japanese, Puerto Rican, Korean, Okinawan and let’s not
forget the haole (white man). And this was a pineapple plantation reminding me of the song
about owing your soul to the company store, another chapter of the story.

Yes we’ve come a long way since the 1900’s.
Today we tell each other our plans, agree
and then do something else entirely, makes you wonder
when we lost our ability to communicate, I mean how many families
do you know that resort to yodeling
next to the outdoor
kiosk at the local tourist attraction
torn between the handmade coconut purses and
the parking lot,
looking one more time
for your missing loved one.
Yodellleeeoh!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter-acrostic

Eat a chocolate bunny and stuff yourself silly.
Ask your scale to lie for one more day.
Satisfy your longings, and then call your loved ones
Tear yourself away from outdated traditions, invent new ones.
Eat one hundred jellybeans and then eat three more.
Rejoice in sweet memory and resurrect your dead dreams.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spring Fever


Peacocks race through field
practicing for Spring Fever
tall and small compete.

Mongeese watch from pond
take note of noisy neighbors
mad commentary.

Cardinals picnic
doves, myna’s and sharma’s feast
on Milton’s crackers.

Trees hum with bird song
fish flip for raucous new tune
syncopated beat.



Friday, April 2, 2010

Not Guilty#@$%

Two large crows CAW---CAW

in a cold dark brown koa cage
their shiny
black feathers flexed in anticipation.

The honorable raven presides speaking
in their native tongue. He is flanked
by two rooks, the first randomly calls
the lucky hens and roosters
their names plucked from a hexagonal cube, the other
leads us to the box where we are to be judged
as a good fit
or later dismissed.
I am the first,
my seat is pointed out,
my feathers only slightly ruffled
I try not to squawk or show any signs
of distress as my foot catches on the carpet
as I push through the swinging doors
proceeding carefully and cautiously
up into the box
an omen.

We are to judge the blond sheep
next to the plumper crow
he has been accused of
ferocious bleating, kicking and spitting,
however we are reminded that he is innocent
until proven guilty.
We are instructed by the raven
as to the laws of the wilderness
and will have to listen
to testimony from the witnesses
and watch for
certain markers of doubt as there
were no visible signs to be discerned
on the goat--she is called to the stand
and hunches like an old woman.
Her language is guarded, she preens for us
and disappears back from where she came.
The blond sheep is next- he bleats on about his
innocent baby, who was forced to witness
the alleged bleating and remarks of his tender love
citing just cause for any misconceived wrong doing.

We wonder why are we here- our taxpayer dollars
contributing to keep the wheels of justice grinding
are as blind as a thousand bats in a dark cave.
It takes ten minutes to decide the outcome
we are thanked and asked to come downstairs
where they will answer any questions we might have
we respectfully decline and leave
released back into the warmth far away
from that koa cage back into our busy lives.
Back into the fog from which we came.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

And Justice for All

Justice is not blind.
It is late.

It needs to
individually approach the bench
in private
to address all
the significant reasons
why nine tenths
of the jury pool need to be
excused as well as observe the rights of
the conscientious
objectors in the gallery,
the people who do not agree with the laws or the process
as it is written, and interpreted.

It needs to swear an oath to educate
its citizens on how to spot a liar
probable cause, evidence
and beyond a reasonable doubt
Yes, justice needs to dot all of its i’s and cross its t’s and make copies.
It needs to make sure that you aren’t so smart
that you recognize the hypnotic effect of being confined
and cloistered and it needs to
validate your parking. Take role call.
Find and arrest those no shows and have extra forms
for those who left their summons at home. And it
needs to do all of that by four and if
it cannot, then you the jury,
will have to report tomorrow at eight thirty
fight rush hour traffic, park on the other side of town.
And run/walk your ass to the courthouse because OMG

You cannot be late.

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