Saturday, February 26, 2011


When the hurricane hits,
the governor goes up in her helicopter
to see what is left of her state.
When a tornado touches down,
the mayor surveys the damage
and declares a state of emergency.

But no federal relief can mend
this disaster that used to be
a conversation.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Up Holstered

The old armchair slouches in the corner
like a gunslinger who knows the sherriff ain't around
and no one else goin' dare look him in the face.
Grizzled and worn, he's scarred in places
where the stuffin's been beaten out of him
a time or two.
His skin may sag, but he's firm where it counts.

Never done a day o' honest work,
but his reputation is earned
and he don't have to worry none
about folks questioning his place.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Love Letter

It was beautiful to talk to you tonight, 
to remember in your voice the reasons that I love you.
I told you things I didn't know I thought
until I said them,
and things I'd thought but been afraid to say.

I want to find a way to tell you, 
a way to let this truth from my heart
wander into your ears--
that you are the best, most beautiful woman in the world.

In you I've found someone who can speak to me purely,
someone with a soul brighter than starshine,
cleaner than dew.

So on this day when Valentines
are chosen, I must ask,

May I be yours?


Tumbling in the heat of weekly work,
My thoughts are teased away by blowing wind
And scatter who-knows-where into the breeze.

Moments that are left behind are bald and bare,
Steadily thinning to the point of threadlessness--
Hardly enough to wrap around myself.

Eventually I find where they collect,
Mashed together up against the screen
Of two o'clock p.m. on Saturday.

The weekend is the lint trap of my life.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fate of the Gringet

When swingle-soft the orlep dropped
in quel so lim and lawny
that every silthered wendrup spurled
into its chuv-warmed krommy,

that very eve, 'twixt nilfumtode
and bright Algrinna's dunning,
through orlep quel on feet bilel
five crubaden came running.

Their pindet toes with bluc below
spun fast and well apliffer.
No feathered axalema could
have stommed the groam-light swifter.

Gripped tight in her dungroothsome spurs
the lanxest crub held crimbley
a Gringet, braksafed in a skell
that blummed and glowed but dimly.

Bedeft the shuddling trees she raced,
yet in the dark behind her
a stravent jeening pierced the night
and shingered stones beside her.

A harbint-shadowed hulvakon
in furage gave them chase,
and now beneath the Yomin Falls
they saw its bulgoed face.

Three crubaden turned to this foe,
while two yet vattered on,
bearing the Gringet closer to
the great Valuminon.

When wetly gluddering tunches stilled
and skeens ceased echoing,
a wounded crub belumbered slow
and lozie from the stream.

'Tis said that with quellerience
he trojeled 'til he found,
beneath six days of orlep fall,
a skell upon the ground.

Crushed into filuvent dust,
its blum and glow long spent,
a single skine alone remained--
a tragic recompense.

Of crubaden there was no sign
but that the skine was thrust
beneath a sheltering beleg-root
grown o'er with nilomust.

He pulled it free with shullent arms,
and seven tearful eyes
saw that the broken skell was shaped
like blaive before moonrise.

Then swingle-soft the orlep dropped
in quel so lim and lawny
that every silthered wendrup spurled
into its chuv-warmed krommy.

As I'm sure you've guessed, this tale is written in the spirit of Lewis Carroll's masterpiece Jabberwocky, but with what I feel is a touch of Tolkein.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Oh no!

When I write, inspiration comes from different sources for different stories. For poems I usually start with a single line and let the rest aggregate around it. For stories it is frequently a character or a dialogue sketch. Other times I am excited by an idea for a magic system. But in almost every case I have difficulty assigning titles.

Usually, I write a piece first and then try to name what I've written. Sometimes that is easy, and sometimes the title is the hardest part of the piece. Only occasionally have I started a piece with the title firmly in place. One of those is my current work in progress, a short story about a cat that I have chosen to call "Luckless Douglas."

That is why, even though I haven't even finished the first draft, I was upset when I found this rather adorable picture book.

David Melling, you stole my rhyme!
Okay, it's not an exact match. I admit I'm being irrational here. Yes, you thought of it years before I did. But that's the point--I'm no longer as original as I thought.

Are there any other ___-less Douglas books out there?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Why I'm Smiling Today

 Through morning rain a wakeful light expands
diffuse and gentle as the soft'ning gray
that furrows rich and pregnant oe'r the day,
so confident in sure, capable hands.

The air alive with smells that dance and sway,
with sounds washed clean of dust and healed of scars,
contains the strength of seeds, of unseen stars,
the wealth of wind that breath alone can weigh.

There's music in the mist no tune can mar
and calls to mind the power of the sea
endowing with a calm fertility
each motion, thought, and moment that is ours.

Suffused with this same light, this air, this song
I can't but smile, and breathe, and hum along.