Foolish – a Rondeau

(with a bit of nonce* in the style of Lewis Carroll)




You may find me mad and foolish —
my head in a sky full of stars,
hiding poems in socks and jars.
Do you think that’s gimb and trulish?

Of course I learned from monks prulish,
to tell tall-tales and steal memoirs.
That may well sound cruel and foolish,
make your head spin, your eyes see stars —

Are you feeling ill and mookish?
Yes, I stack books in damp bazaars,
and my methods won’t sell cigars —
so your judgment may be roufish.
Still, I like me odd and foolish!

*nonce (näns/) – adjective
  1. (of a word or expression) coined for or used on one occasion.

    “a nonce usage”




Poetic Asides #April Poem-A-Day Challenge – PAD #1:

For today’s prompt, write a foolish poem. It’s April Fool’s Day, after all. Let’s loosen up today with a poem in which we’re fools, others are fools, or there’s some kind of prank or tomfoolery happening. Fool around with it a while.




The poetic form focus for my PAD 2016 Challenge is the Rondeau — 13 lines in 3 stanzas; rhyme scheme: ABba/abAB/abbaA (uppercase letters are refrains) Usually 8 syllables per line. For info:






I am the Hollow


My flesh is a bowl
— words dripping
from the brim.

I am the place
where words breathe,
beat as a pumping heart.

I am a cavern —
empty, and full of
echoes and bodies,

spilling out words.
They cry in pain,
dance in celebration.

I am where words go
— to mingle, and to flirt
— to kiss, and to fuck.

I am the hollow,
and I am the spoon,
dipping out language.

I am white linen —
a bed dampened
by the sweat of ink.

I am the cup —
words — the elixir,
the heat and the cool,

from which a soul sips
reason or rhyme–
sometimes both.

I am the sanctuary
where verses pray,
incantations rising.

I watch them slip through
cracked, stained glass
— a poem taking wing.



Ink – a love poem


You are blood-ink that spills across my paper,
stains these trembling-too-much fingers,
bruises my swollen lips and tastes like
summer wind, in all those 4:00 a.m. trees.

You first came, book in hand, sipping coffee.
Stories dripped steadily from your chin.
I watched hungrily, as your mouth bled,
gulped the words, like a river bed long-dry.

You’ve been here, spilling stories–
for one-hundred-and-fifty-six days.
I’ll sit beside you fifteen thousand more,
my heart wide — a blackbird’s throat.

I can’t quench my thirst for your words.
They cry in my chest — a winged cacophony.
Ink rages in my veins, and I’ll bleed out fast
— a murmuration, whirling from my pen.



True Red — After Flyleaf, All Around Me (a golden shovel poem)

I have the writer’s luxury of words (my 
body is a thesaurus) and my tongue 
drips with vocabulary like a child dances 
— with complete abandon. No hiding behind 
the expectations in my imagination. My 
poet’s fingers paint love upon these lips 
before I speak. I promise will ever search for 
the perfect shade, and always be kissing you.


golden shovel – Take a line (or lines) from a poem you like. Use each word as an end word in your poem. Keep the end words in order. Credit the original poet, ie. “-after (poet)”.




For today’s prompt, write a luxury poem.

Risky Business


So you want to love a poet? I can tell. I see the light in your eyes when I mention it, see how your skin ripples with that frisson of life as you nod enthusiastic assent. I know well this thrill you feel! I can assure you. There is a sort of romance in the idea, an excitement — I know you see, for I have loved a few poets in my life. They are a magical breed, an odd lot who see the world through a slightly different lens. I have loved them, yes — and lived to tell the tale — though perhaps, the reason is that I too am a poet. It is ink that runs through my veins, and I know what it is like to be loved by one who may not truly know what a messy, wonderful, risky thing this loving a poet can be.

I am here to tell you a truth — there is a risk to giving your love to a poet. I admonish you, do not enter her world blindly, seeking to know her heart, drawn by the magic you see like fireflies to tall grass in a summertime back yard. We are a lot of scrappers. We are able spies. We are thieves. We will do whatever it takes to ply our lyrical trade, to work our spells and create our poetic art. You — especially if we are in love with you, too — are not safe from our trickster ways! Consider this fair warning, we are good at what we do. There is no other way, it is in our genes, in our blood, and it is what you risk, when we choose to share our hearts with you.

A clever poet will a rifle through your pockets, scrabble through your text messages, raid your innocent (and not so innocent) conversations —  for language, for phrases that either please our ears or prick our skin. We’ll even steal from those odd and funny things you mumble when you’re talking in your sleep. We’ll carry pocket notebooks, and stubby pencils, licking the lead once or thrice before we jot them down on scraps of paper, fill our own pockets, steal napkins and matchbooks, text ourselves  to catch thousands of letters and words, just so we can stash them away, sift them through our fingers, like a king counting gold coins in the depths of his castle, as the magpies look greedily on.

We will watch you hawkishly, like spies, alert for the slightest change in your facial expressions. We’ll make note of the way your body moves when you shift in your chair, or stroll toward us up the driveway. We’ll watch the way your mouth moves when you smile, and the way your breath catches in your throat when you say our name. We will record every hungry, probing kiss, every blazing touch that sets our skin on fire, we will make ebony ink from the ashes and and we will spill that ink, in copious amounts, attempting to capture the essence of these moments with you. We are bound by our very nature to repeat this exercise a hundred thousand times or more, for as long as you allow us to, chasing your light, your darkness, your essence, with our ink stained fingers gripping worn out pens.

We will steal from you, the notes you scratch on the edges of the pages in your favorite books, your late night love song dedications, your starry-eyed gazes at the full moon in the midnight sky, your rumbling growls of desire and your steamy sighs of satisfied release. We will listen in, as you sing in the shower, or tell jokes to your friends, we will draw from your your childhood stories, like pirates stealing jewels and gold doubloons. We will take whatever we can — your beating heart, your faltering breath, your ability to think, to form sentences, to express yourself clearly — so intoxicated will you be on the air we breathe. Are you prepared to surrender these things, to love us? For this is the risk of loving a poet, I can tell you there’s nothing more true. The costs should be carefully weighed, before you choose.

But take heart my friend, for the rewards of loving a poet are many, and may well outweigh the price you’d pay. The treasure lies in the music of our verses, the passion in our lovemaking, the soft sounds that spill from the backs of our throats, the ecstasy of meeting our eyes across a crowded room. These things will be worth the risk, if you truly love one of us.   We will help you see the world with new eyes, show you how the trees sing to the night sky, and the way the shadows march across the hill in a fiery sunset. We will point out the way the sunlight creates the shadow, defining the beautiful curve of a face, and how a dotted yellow line unfurls like ribbon down an endless highway — we’ll make you want to chase it like a playful cat. You’ll find our inky fingerprints on your tingling skin, and note how our spoken rhymes match the rhythm of your beating pulse. We will be the drums that move your hips and feet, and remind you how wonderful it is just to be alive.

So come with us, if you dare. Fall in love with a poet, and dance along the edge of the sea. Empty your pockets, your heart, and your mouth of the words we need, and we will repay you a million times over, with music and beauty and love. We will write you into our lives with indelible ink, and you will be the poem we create. Keep calm, and fall in love!

From My Bookshelf (found poetry)


the gentleman poet
bedtime stories
of gravity and angels
the traveler’s gift
an uncommon education
where I’m from



some remarks
sweet fire
her fearful symmetry
the gifts of imperfection
deep purple
a night without armor
illegible address
sure signs
love is hard work



I thought it was just me
in the company of Rilke
pleasure and purpose
words, words, words
the sum of our days



Found Poetry

These poems were created using only the titles of stacked books from my own personal library.

She Swallowed the Moon


The night when she swallowed the moon,
its light gave a glow to her skin.
She felt transformation begin
at midnight the second of June.

She hummed a sweet song, out of tune
and danced like a top set to spin.
The night when she swallowed the moon,
its light gave a glow to her skin.

The stars all about her were strewn
like fireflies drunk on sloe gin.
Though she had no ink for her pen,
silvery words dripped from her spoon,
the night when she swallowed the moon.


A French form, similar to the rondeau and the triolet, consisting of 13 eight-syllable lines in three stanzas.
Rhyme scheme = ABba/abAB/abbaA

To Tie the Moon (a chance operation poem)


Women who tied
the moon, wrap it’s heart
strings, lows.
We dance, have
you again.

You rare body, to father,
belongs — but sorrow
on a shawl. Keep you
to you now.
It is a book of poems,
worked from your stay.

You loved man — absinthe,
poison and god.
Sweeten you — to
have your heart
to yourself like a diary.

Like ocean.


POETIC FORM: A Chance Operation Poem





To earn the “Spaced Out” badge, start with two dice and your source text. You’ll want to work with a smaller section of the text for this one. For each line in the text, roll the dice. Erase or remove the word in that line that corresponds with the number that comes up (i.e., if you roll an eight, erase the eighth word in that line). Continue to work through the text, re-rolling the dice for each line, until you’ve reached the end of your source text solution. Repeat this process, rolling the dice and removing additional words from each line, until you arrive at your poem. Experiment with space, illustration or other visual presentation to engage with the relative silence created. Post your poem to the site, accompanied by a source text citation.

PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson,  is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.




A Duck in Socks (a chance operation poem)


Tricks come easy for a duck in socks —
to battle these beetles and make tick tocks.
A bottle for cheese can break these clocks.
Won’t you be quick sir, and choose a box?
My mouth bends and I blubber for a minute.
A sock can be easy, when to sew these isn’t.
I come in quick with new socks to get
you to sew for me in a sock battle. Get it?
These bricks make breaks in three-trick goo
and a broom and a box can’t stop what you do.
Look sir, here’s a hose, and a sock on Sue.
Will you call Mr. Knox to sew for you?
My socks are easy for some to be in.
Joe isn’t slow — this luck’s for Ben.
Socks can get mixed, and stop tricks, when
you get a poodle and a fox duddled in.
Sue’s socks are slick and Joe sews some.
When a poodle and a duck sew, now paddles come.
A band breaks slow, when the tweetle socks come.
Won’t you have a minute now, to make Ben some?
I say very slow, look sir, that’s my sock.
Will you sew it quick, and get my box?
Will you be quick when the clocks tick tock?
My poodle can’t battle with a quick-trick fox.

POETIC FORM: A Chance Operation Poem




To earn the “Dialed In” badge, start by choosing a phone number — your own, one from a business, or one you make up. Write out the full number (including any area codes) as a series of digits without dashes or parentheses. Decide what your numbers will correspond to in your text – a word choice, sentence choice or page choice to your source text. For instance, if your first number is two (2), you could choose to grab the second word on a page, the second sentence on a page, or the second page in the book. Do this for each digit in the phone number. You can cycle through the phone number series multiple times if necessary to generate enough text for your poem. Post your completed poem to the site, and add a citation for your source text. Do not post the phone number you used, out of privacy considerations.


PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson, is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.


SOURCE: Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss

Word List:

a an and band battle be beetle beetles Ben bends Bim’s blubber bottle box breaks bricks brings broom call can can’t cheese choose clocks come comes do duck duddled easy for fox get goes goo grows have here’s hose I in is isn’t Joe Knox lakes like look lots luck’s make minute mixed mouth Mr. my new now on paddles play poodle quick say sew sews sir slick slow sneeze socks some stop Sue Sue’s that’s their these they this three tick to tocks too trick tricks tweetle very what when where whose with won’t you