caterpillar poets


they sing
the most beautiful song of all —
writing each word
with ink of silk,
repugnant styli,
encasing themselves
in metre
and metaphor,
in simile
and symbolism,
pulling each phrase
until there’s no room for air.

then —

the images swirl,
tat themselves
into intricate lace.

silent rumination,
one day,
they burst forth —
breath-taking poems —
gliding on a warm summer breeze.


Day Eighteen

Prompt: Write a poem based on the title of one of the chapters from Susan G. Wooldridge’s poemcrazy, freeing your life with words. (Click on the “Look inside” feature.)

I am so happy to have been introduced to Woolridge’s book! I used the chapter title “caterpillar poets” from the Light and Mysteries section of poemcrazy, freeing your life with words. And then I ordered the book!

Suddenly Words


One day
when I had nothing in particular to do,
I took a thin slice of a book off the shelf,
a scant volume of poetry it was,
with words flying all about
in the margins and up and down the leaves.

I fanned through the sheets
not expecting anything at all
and there it was —
a line that struck like lightning
illuminating space.
It dashed off the page
and swirled in a fast-paced waltz
around the room,
sending cobwebs whirling,
scattering the dusty devils from beneath the bed.

There came the sound of a cello whispering,
in through the ears,
building in the heart to a crescendo,
then violently pushing insides out,
exploding like a kernel of corn in the fire.

When the whirligig wound down,
self shattered, all words torn apart,
and silence wrapped its gauze around my soul,
I found the slim opus beside me on the floor.

Memory of the melody
plays just beyond my ken.
Many times I have tried
to find those words once more,
that single holy line which shook the world
and touched my soul.

I am searching still.


NaPoWriMo — Day Twenty-Five: Write a poem that begins with a line from a another poem (not necessarily the first one), but then goes elsewhere with it.

I took a line from a favourite poem (Word by Madeleine L’Engle) and incorporated it in to this poem.  I fudged and did not start with Madeleine’s line.  Oops!

Wide of the Mark


The more we learn, the more we find
so many things are left behind.
Diverted energy, wasted time,
unused reasons, unfinished rhymes.
The brilliant piece I meant to write
defies the paper and takes flight.
Everything I try to do
measures half of what is true.

And yet in nature, perfectly,
grows dandy flower and tall pine tree.
Every blade of emerald grass,
Cobalt sky where sun does pass.
A craggy canyon, tadpole’s tail,
A tiny ant, humpbacked whale.
The stars, a snowflake made of frost —
Once created, nothing lost.

Like Father, I would awe(some) be —
To write and paint in harmony.

Retiring Day


Hot and humid,
trails of sweat running down noon,
pesky fruit flies circling her head,
mosquitoes whining in her ears,
weary Day
inhales deeply and terms a gust.

Slowly she pulls her dress
over her head,
tosses her gauze garment into the sky
(where it puddles as blushing cloud)
and wades into the sea.


blogging u

Today’s assignment was a fun one:

Write a post that builds on one of the comments you left yesterday.
Don’t forget to link to the other blog! Your blog is shaped by both your own thinking and by your interactions with others.  If you thought the original post was worth commenting on, that means it struck a nerve.

Yesterday I read and fell in love with Whimsygizmo’s Blog.  I adore her personification, and especially how she clothes the world.  Check out Persephone Puts on Pants and Paper Doll Moon.  Those poems and ideas inspired the above Retiring Day.


(brave) (new) world


The world has become such a confusing place.
Up is now down.  Right is now left.
Rules are changing faster than they can be recorded.
I stand and stare.
I don’t know what to think.
Half of me sees merit.  The other half sees doom.
Rome is burning
everyone is posting the event
from their own unique perspective.

How carefree, this new generation,
with no gravity to hold them down!
They will soar, they tell us,
to amazing new heights,
because they are not afraid
and everything is possible.

I try to warn them
about what is beyond the atmosphere,
but they shake their heads
and smile
as if to say,
You just don’t understand, Gogo.
and continue to rise until they top the trees
then disappear into water vapour.

Some do not make it.
I have seen their bodies strewn along the footpaths
muttering to themselves about laws and limitations.

But we clap for everyone.
Everyone is a champion.
No one is wrong.
No one is wrong.

And another bomb goes off in Beirut.


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like chalky cliffs above the sea,
I stood,

until wind whipped up a water fury
which threw salty fists,
relentlessly pounding me
from every angle.
I began crumbling
into the waves.

This evening,
weakened by the weathering,
I surrendered to the assault
and allowed the breakers
to carry me out to the briny deep.

Now I am resting on the ocean floor
waiting to be lifted up
once more.

in need of grace


I can’t say your name
or you’ll be real.
And if you’re real
then what happened to you is real.

I can’t look at your photo.
Though you smile
your eyes plead for a reason
and there are none.

I close my eyes and stop up my ears
but your blood cries out from the ground,
“How long? How long?”
And I have no answer.

Some seek revenge
and are satisfied with payments
made in eyes and teeth.
But nothing undoes what has been done.

I shiver
in the cold of human hearts
and turn my eyes to the hills
in search of grace.

you sit

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how quietly you sit.
you will not move
for fear of falling.

the choices are overwhelming

you say.

you just can’t decide

so you will sit.
you sit.

what you don’t seem to understand
is that in your indecision
you have already chosen.

you sit.


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whose name was given as a sign of bigger things,
played with fire.

Did you ever wonder
how life would have been
if you’d run away, stayed hidden?

Instead you enlarged, puffed yourself up
with pride and pregnancy
and fiercely pushed out a usurper.

Oh, and how that boy doted on you.
The best, the best, only the best for you.
For you that boy would cut out his own heart.

And so,
when you unceremoniously passed,
your grief-stricken runt
nearly slaughtered the nation he’d formed.

For you.



This is a Mother’s Day poem, of sorts.
Nandi was the mother of Shaka kaSenzangakhona, a Zulu monarch who reigned from about 1816 – 1828.


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I retorted
fancy phrases,
clever comments,
insightful script.

I mentioned
sensational statements,
intriguing observations,
dubious declarations.

I squawked
astounding assurances,
perplexing pronouncements,
unusual utterances.

I bellowed
boisterous bulletins,
uninhibited intelligences,
tumultuous talk, talk, talk.

High on my own postulating
I pontificate
until I make myself sick
and play the part of the whale.

In the morning
I wake with a migraine
and an empty head,
spent words littering the room.

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