Dandelion, Regardless

A fresh and vigorous weed
introduced for food and medicine
invasive or welcome (an ongoing debate)
nectar for early bees, smell of sunshine,
a blazing path that leads endlessly on.
Leaves like flags that say: Victory!
Regardless of everything, I am here.
Today’s prompt at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads was to write a poem based on any of several quotes by poets born in April. I chose this one:

“A fresh and vigorous weed, always renewed and renewing, it will cut its wondrous way through rubbish and rubble.” — William Jay Smith



The naked mole rat
was born to be a person,
but it was too beautiful,
shocking the stars into silence
(they used to sing)

and causing the sun’s great factories
to grind to a halt. They remain halted
even though the naked mole rat

was banished years ago,
by the queen of all things, to live
largely unseen, underground.

All hail the queen. Yes, all hail her now —
she has dispatched her competition
in loveliness, that she may reign.

Today’s prompt at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads was to write a myth about an animal.


903 N. Knight

Shortly before we moved away, the Ben Franklin store burned down.
Is it possible that I saw, in the ashes, a single cut-glass punch bowl
as if still on display? Is it possible that I saw this from the car window
as we left for Dayton, Ohio (the last move before the last one)?
The road out of town took us past that Ben Franklin store, and also past
my elementary school: Northrop, now torn down, from what I hear.
Still standing is the Rusty Nail: a bar, or a lounge downtown
that my parents whispered about. Am I right that there was a murder?
There was something unsavory,  I know, and highly unusual for
Thief River Falls, Minnesota — this was years before the Coen brothers
punched a big hole in the folksiness of Fargo and towns for miles around.
I know there’s still a Rusty Nail because (get this!) I’m Facebook friends
with a total stranger who lived in our house before we lived in our house —
her parents sold 903 N. Knight to mine. Imagine! What a gift, not to lose places.
What a gift, when you only lived there for two years, but can still smell
the dusty screen door at Erl’s, where your smaller self bought
Archie comics and candy wax pop bottles, never dreaming it wasn’t
forever — never dreaming just how soon you’d be gone.

I regret that this one will almost certainly not present how I intended because it needed to be in long lines, which my WordPress theme haaaaaaaaates. Anyway, today’s prompt at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads was to write a poem that incorporates names of some places you’ve loved — inspired by the Canadian poet Al Purdy.


April Pity

Pity the guts of the crocus,
smashed to the ground by wet snow,
ruined before bees could arrive.
Do not take it lightly, this small death,
as the blue sky looks on
and shudders.

Today’s prompt at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads was to write a poem of 100 words or less, incorporating a group of four words (with a few groups to choose from). I chose pity, guts, crocus, and blue.


Right Here, Right Now

With terrible visual effects,
Fatboy Slim explains evolution
and ends it all with a fat joke.
But now I’m flashing back to 1998 —
20 years ago — and I’m supposed to be
writing about now, the moment
Right here, right now I am cranky
and have things I can’t tell you
and a black-and-white dog
wedged into a corner
of the black-and-white couch.
Right here, right now I dread
walking the dog, flashing forward
an hour from now, into the sleet
or whatever that is outside.
Right here, right now,
I have things I can’t tell you
and a mind that doesn’t speak Now.

Today’s prompt at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads was to write about being in the moment.


Sailing for Daisies

We sail for daisies at midnight,
having joined the daisy navy
several nights ago

(while drinking).

We sail for daisies, but you are still
inside your dark house. The time
draws near, and now I fear

that I will sail alone for daisies.

Will you remember my name, if I am
taken by the sea? Will you remember
my name in the harbor town —

my name and how valiant I was,
alone in my stem-green slicker,

alone and sailing for daisies?
Today’s prompt at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads was to write a poem inspired by a Kandinsky painting. I chose The Golden Sail (which is covered by fair use):

Image result for kandinsky gold sail


Operation, That Endless Game

Operation, that game of
endless BZZZZT
endless fun where
BZZZZT you remove a rib
from a man with BZZZZZZT
a red nose, uncomfortably
BZZZZZZT naked body
and an alarmed BZZZZT
look on his BZZZZZZT
look on his BZZZZZZT
on his BZZZZT
his face. Operation,
the game BZZZZT
that my brother BZZZZT
that my brother and his
BZZZZZT and his friend
BZZZZZZT had to play
BZZZZT in the
BZZZT play in the
basement because BZZZT
when I was BZZZZT
when I was three BZZZZZT
when I was three years old
I was afraid of

Today’s prompt at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads was to write about a children’s game.