Posts Tagged ‘words



Your breath
is wasted on
words. Words change nothing…now
Let’s find something else to do with
Your mouth.


Fail Wail

I planned to never be one of those parents.
The kind who rolls down the window and yells,
“Where are you going? School’s the other way”
When they see a kid walking at 9 am.
I was never going to be one of those moms
Who screams and acts as if she’s going to faint
When she sees young people engage in what
Used to be called foreplay outside the school door.
Most of all I was hoping that if I
Stayed ever hip and cool I could avoid
The wail. That vocal expression of pure horror
Bestowed by teenage girls on their mothers
If Mom does something terrible like mix up
The Beatles and the Monkees or forget
Which Jonas Brother is known as the cute one.
And yet…

I heard it in my kitchen this morning.
“I was supposed to have an idea
For my Chemistry project by today,” she said.
“It has to do with polysaccharides.”
“That’s what makes up sugar, isn’t it?”
I asked innocently as mothers have
From the Dark Ages through earlier today.
There was an audible intake of breath and then
“Polysaccharides make up fiber, Mom!
A disaccharide only forms a sugar!”
Neither of us spoke for a while. And you know
The shame is that- hidden in my head- there
Is a truth that we’re never going to share.
I know that Nick Jonas is the cute one.


Self Identified

Confucius said to
Call things by their right names is
How wisdom begins.

It’s impossible.
If everything is in flux
You will never know

What to call a thing
Unless it declares itself
And tells you its name.

My name is dazzling
Violet seeker of best words.
How may I know you?



To be or not to be:
That is the quickbread.
Whether ’tis nobler in the mineral
To suffer the slipped disk and the
Arroz con Pollo of outrageous forwarders
Or to take armchair against a seabiscuit
Of trout
And by opposing, end them.


Stimulation: A Spenserian Sonnet

To create, the brain needs agitation-
Something to make the neurons jump around-
As long as there’s sufficient stimulation
The brain could not care less where it is found.

It could be a new idea, a tale handed down,
A barely-glimpsed scene, an overheard song,
The remembered scent of lilacs, an old flannel gown,
A rap on a bathroom door, “Why’re you in there so long?”

Once the stimulation’s received, it shouldn’t take long
For things to percolate and concepts take form.
If you can find a place safe from the tumultuous throng,
Somewhere clean and dry where the coffee stays warm.

Stimulated both inside and outside, my brain’s churning fast.
I’d best jot down this sonnet ‘fore the moment is past


What Are You Doing?

What are you doing?
I’m writing a poem.
What’s it about?
I don’t know yet. It’s not done.
If it’s too hard, maybe you should color a picture.

What are you doing?
I’m writing a poem.
Can you read it to me?
And you’re the grown-up. Ha!

What are you doing?
I’m writing a poem.
Is it true?
Well, some of it.
And the rest of it is like lying?
Not exactly. Are there crayons somewhere?

What are you doing?
I’m writing a poem.
Is it about a cat?
Is it about a blue car?
Is it about a girl who has a really beautiful ballet dress that’s pink and she can’t wear it because her brother is wearing it and her parents won’t make him take it off even though he’s a boy and can’t ever be a fairy princess or Ariel? And he won’t give her back her Kim Possible sweatshirt either?
No, but it probably should have been.

What are you doing?
I’m writing a poem.
In your book?
Why do you have that book?
To put my poems in.
Why do you want poems anyway?
A poem is a special way of saying something so people can understand it.
Why don’t you just talk? Use your words.
Like now?
Yeah. Are you done?
Oh, probably. Okay. Stick a fork in me. Let’s go play.

When I was in the classroom the kids were fascinated by my writing poems. They wanted me to read them aloud and eventually helped me write some as well.