Night River Moon


I wish I had video, to show the cloud movement. Despite being beautiful, this doesn’t do it justice.


On this cooling night,
I step out on the porch
to see the parking moon
and running clouds;

the moon a stone in the river of clouds,
the telephone pole just a tree by its banks;

the river slows and turns to lake

and my blood pressure stream
slows and slacks.


Magical Night

magical night

Fire sprites and flame stars
leap and soar and sail
against the deepest blue
of dawning night,

     the darkest pastels on 
     textured flat—
     brush against it and
     your fingers will stain,
     clothes chalked dark-bright blue,

edged in charcoal smoke 
of nighttime clouds,
with spots of light
so unreal and yet so true;

the faeries are flying
and the only other light
is the child’s camera screen,
light from arms outstretched
and aimed,
the camera pointed at the 
flying fire in fiercest hope, unwavering belief,
the desire to catch magic and flare.

I saw this photo on my friend Crystal Thieringer’s blog and was instantly mesmerized. Strangely, it transported me back to a childhood memory of an unspecified book that contained a similar image. Or at least I think it contained such an image…such are the vagaries of childhood memory. In any case, this image resonated hard with me, and I knew it called out for a poem. I don’t think I’ve done it justice, but I may try again.

My thanks to Crystal and the little girl’s mother for permission to use the photo. Please visit Crystal’s original post for the story and context of the photo.

National Poetry Month–a reflection by Will Nixon

This clever acrostic poem showed up in my inbox this morning via, and I loved it immediately.  It pokes the bruise of common attitudes toward poetry.  It was worth a reblog today.

rattle logo

Will Nixon


Nobody’s fooled.
April is tax month, the month you take off your snow
Tires, the month moths rediscover your windows.
It was the cruelest month for Eliot, but he lived in England.
Night in the rain the salamanders crawl out to be slaughtered,
All of their pink meat road smorgasbord eaten by dawn.
Laughter sounds its most brutal in crows. No, [read the rest by clicking here]

Evening, Noted

Strolling with the beagle18616_10152806686832124_2674898096994161385_n
to catch the sunset clouds
that fill the skybowl,
smattered with color and gold;

parrots, cool wind, and a
fingernail moon;

the no-longer-kitten
who thinks he’s a dog
and walks with us and meows
beloved but forlorn;

a friend on the line
who is shaky and strong,
writing speeches through pain,
planting green amid ruin;

a friend on the line11357220_10152806548212124_8155273324396913693_o
who says, in her wit,
don’t submit to lesser gods,
say a prayer for aid;

the aid arrives
as sunset and gold,
parrots, cool wind, and a
fingernail moon.






Rainy Day Poem

Lounge Rain
After we hung up,
I drove to school in quiet,
listening to the regular rain:
the drops were fingers on drumskin,
swish of the tires a jazzy brush,
windshield wipers beat a muted cadence,
tempo and pacing shifting
around bends and under different clouds;
lowered light, a darkened sky,
and me, mellow and swaying slightly,
somewhere in between a dim-table drink
and driving in the far right lane,
which was not too flooded and, ironically, faster.

the scope of the day

the scope of the day

train wrecks and earthquakes,
tragedies minor and great,
and my students take a test
tomorrow to prove their worth, and mine;

rain is coming, or so they say,
and the dog’s rash is flaring
but I hope not for long;

my eyes are heavy
with stewing and sleep;
a lone cricket chirps,
now a second one joins,
a different tone
while my cracked heart skitters a beat;

i fall gratefully into my sheets,
the evening’s conversation playing
pleasantly behind my eyes,
and pray for quick sleep,
which i almost always receive.

Tears and Quiche

This prompt came, rather accidentally, from Valerie Collins, my Irish (oops) British Spanish writing friend.

May 2, 2015

Tears and Quiche

She writes and sobs,
salt mingling with ink
on the thick-lined page,
heart and memories mixing
in smudges and smears;

then emptied, cleansed,
she rises to cook;
courgettes with rosemary,
cheese and crust;
she tastes the mixture
for salt—ideal.

mrs-penning-to-mrs-hibbett-tearstained letter       zucchini quiche by taste of home