maybe you will, or maybe you won’t set foot
in Pam or Emma’s way of living in silos,
on top of machine-rolled alfalfa or hay bales

and maybe you will or maybe you won’t be afraid
of locusts, until you hold a carcass and crush it,
–for death can’t hold onto the front elm tree

and maybe mothers & grandmothers take up elbow room,
but if you think you’re too good for them, then 
maybe there’s a tornado with your name written on it

and it ain’t fictitious: the locust, the silos,
the alfalfa baled like hay, the tornado teeth,
they’re real; but maybe some parts aren’t

and maybe for better reasons, and good reasons,
and for the knowledge of light for that dark year
held up for her fierce wrestling pin and hold

upstairs in the blue room, no one was knowing
everyone’s voices would become lavender maybe,
each one of us pushed to the ground for good


for Real Toads

the wind sets us

which is the best kind
of place to be
for half-crazy
angels & saints,

& there’s no denying
the wind has ever failed
to give us fair & clear warning
you will be cold,

yet for all her openness
ever mad is the grass
& green is the call to commune
flattened out, face down
beside the jasmine vine
bursting with heady scent

& it sounds pretty good
don’t you think?
to have the weather
& sky be the only
weighty things on our backs

wind & air, —
are never too raw
nor is the way
we empty our shoes
of ourselves

but, if a brisk (or gentle) wind
ceased to stipple our cheeks,
or if the grass stopped tickling
the hollow of our souls,
well, i think i would certainly die
in devotion & in mind


for Real Toads
“We all go a little mad sometimes.” – Psycho

this weekend and every year

i love you secretly between shadow & soul
discard 4,400 innocents, “go kill yourself”
thanks to your love the earth lives in the body
evil explicitly gathers; it’s taking up cloud space
i love you directly without problems or pride
power and existence are one, and girls are written
i love you like 100 sonnets, so close that your hand is mine
stabbing, posting, damaging daughter/sister lives
i love you as the light of those flowers within themselves
and who can un-break the words; who’ll read them?


news mix with Neruda for Real Toads

#196 lean the broom

i’m not looking
at it anymore
i can let it be
this way with
women in writing,
with women in libraries
talking ceaselessly
with no red Sonya to
stiff-arm us to work,
work, work, work,
work, work, work
& besides,
my fingers
want to tap out
a skitter song
& jump start my legs
to running, yes running
–as they’ve always
known how


a focus poem for d’Verse

i know, we know

the hills & valleys
are closer to us now
that the sky is sinking
in a disastrous
operatic crescendo

of smoke,
orange and black
of helicopter wings
that chop it all back
so, — just maybe, the sky
is fighting to rise

but we know very little
about stopping a flame
once a careless
match comment starts it off

i add loose-leaf
paper to the pile:
a ball of purple wax,
(the wick buried now)
some sea shells,
and i wonder if i look back

will my chittering dirty cups
sit quiet in the sink as
sirens gallop all around?

will my straw house stand naked
& privately gape at the orange
fire of sun shrouded in gray
flannel jackets of smoke?

we know nothing of stopping
a flame, —
we just watch it burn


for Real Toads

the pink flower, or God knows


my ears get fooled by neighbors
and all the wrong that i hear
and my feet get sore from foxtails
those insidious small devils

and don’t you ever wonder
i mean, doesn’t it ever get to you
how He is still everywhere
and everything no matter what?

and i almost forgot without
this morning when i left
in a huff that i snapped
one picture of a pink mildness

i looked at it once, and now twice
and on the third time viewing
i finally saw its burnt edges

yet i think it cannot detract
from the multiplication of
sympathies He’s given me
in this very continuous moment

as i look and re-look at earth
in this very important flower
don’t you see a prayer?

don’t you see an instruction
to quiet self, to get out,
without the weight of ego
to be only soft and burning, —
an open-fisted body


for Real Toads &after Mary Oliver’s
When the Roses Speak, I Pay Attention

paper, rock, scissors

i kind of like it
when my dog’s fur
smells like corn chips
a familiar childhood
lunch bag wadded in a ball

and i can withstand my salty
grasshopper brothers
coming in for supper
with damp earth shirts
&sticky arms tattooed
from hurtling rocks
at the doberman pinschers

and when it thunders
&rains real simple, well
i kind of like that
shear smell too,
because it’s faint &remote

and not at once mud


for dVerse

i’ve eaten a cure

i’ve eaten a cure song

and let it drip down my hands

juice falling from my fingertips

(the password is pomegranate)

and without saying poem, or night

and without saying i love you (really)

and without knowing how flesh can swim

i bank on our desire to see that red ruby

sea (part)


for Real Toads