occupational hazards


Paul Whitener the Sycamore Tree

there’s value
in what’s written
in mother’s
edgy voice

of blunt space
of moonlit night
of sycamore tree

of turning away
of self-doubt
of turning towards
ready to die
over, and over again

as is best
as is done
by toying
with the edge

of brush,
of pen,
of small-town mouth,
of tongue to teeth,
of windpipes
saying hello


for Real Toads



i can throw words
out of balance

yet i’m small ~ yellow
a secret question

a stopway off its hinges
i grow a little more infinite

within human limits
~ my door’s hungry

mother says don’t eat
with your mouth open

mother says don’t talk
with your mouth full

but i’ve always
been otherwise ~ yellow

i wear a light sweater
now that it’s April

and the sun is peeking out
to see where i am next

absorbed in restraint, or
inventing a fire escape

25: NaPoWriMo and Real Toads