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#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 19–I Don’t Want Much


I Don’t Want Much

Remember me with love and laughter

and that will be enough hereafter

I hope my poems and prose live on

though I suppose it won’t matter to me when I’m gone

May descendents and students continue my fights

for compassion and justice and civil rights

and for all to have water, food, shelter and health

an end to greed and ridiculous wealth

May the young generations continue their stand

to save our planet, the oceans and land

to use clean resources for energy need

stop corporate welfare, corporate greed

May our country be blessed with young ethical leaders

And ditch all the current old crass bottom feeders

I guess what I’m really rooting for

Is an end to suffering, privilege, and war

I want so much it makes me dizzy

Kids, here’s the baton, you better get busy


Prompt: What I want

Form: Palindrome (which I didn’t use after I spent way too much time on it)

#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 18–The Fox and the Finch


The Fox and the Finch

Once upon a time

well, just the other day

an evil orange fox appeared in the land

his name I will not say

The fox proclaimed he was self-made

though his dad was filthy rich

he hired folks and never paid

he always found a glitch

And maybe he paid taxes

and maybe he did not

but something we can all surmise

he never paid a lot

He told the forest creatures

he was very, very wise

Those naïve beasts believed him

and listened to his lies

They made him king of everything

as he took their winter food

the fox was mean and vicious

he was rotten, he was lewd

He told them he was powerful

and by telling made it so

but the fox forgot to look up

so he never saw the crow

From his lookout overhead

Crow could see the fox’s ruse

he gathered all the forest birds

and told them the bad news

And the old crow knew enough was enough

He was a tough old bird

and he sent forth a tiny finch

to make his message heard

Please listen to that little finch

who landed on the lectern

so when 2020 comes around

that fox will feel the Bern


Prompt:  Once Upon a Time

Form: Fable

#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 17–Madness Reigns


Madness Reigns

If you look at Saudi Arabia they’re an ally grab them by the pussy 15-man hit squad on vacation tourists MBS rogue killers accompanied prince on his trip to US rush to judgment bone saw Jamal Khashoggi here we go again with, you know, guilty until proven innocent audio recordings premeditated torture interrogation gone wrong fingers cut off legal papers to get married tax cuts for rich beheaded if you want to live when you come back to Arabia, shut up headphones to listen to music while body dismembered I just cannot state strongly enough how totally dishonest much of the Media is Otaibi not seen in public  I like people that weren’t captured children in cages Duterte some very fine people tremendous purchaser yacht apartments hotels Bin Salman’s personal security detail no collusion painted walls toxic substances give them a handful of days more to complete so they get it right Kim Jong Un I don’t like losers Pocahontas We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh. And he was innocent all the way very, very large brain senior position in Saudi interior ministry Puerto Rico paper towels and it will change back fake news


Prompt: Madness Reigns   I started many rhymes but my sadness for the journalist and our world, my horror of the situation, and my loathing for the powerful with no moral compass wouldn’t let me.

#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 16–Catch Me When I Fall


Catch Me When I Fall

Catch me when I fall

Raise me when I’m down

Hear me when I call

Sometimes I play the clown

but I still cry inside

Raise me when I’m down

Grief rises with the tide

I yearn to stand up strong

but still I cry inside

I pretend I’m never wrong

Don’t let me turn to stone

I yearn to stand up strong

I don’t want to be alone

Is there still hope for love?

Don’t let me turn to stone

The moon burns cold above

Is there still hope for love?

Catch me when I fall

Hear me when I call



Prompt:Catch Me When I Fall

Form: Terzanelle

#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 15–Old Umbrella


Old Umbrella

You survived two seasons

maybe three

The red umbrella I bought for this summer

box unopened

still cocoons in the garage

When poets arrived to write

beneath your shade

two ribs poked through

required this non-seamstress

to tuck with thick thread

uneven stitches, soon torn

unable to stop the inevitable

sag and flop

Yesterday, a tiny promise of rain

dampened my face as I sipped coffee

and wished for a deluge

today, autumn sun, feeble, but comforting

suppressed any desire for your services

Still you stand

no more a shield from earth’s elements

your familiar presence

completes my morning comrades

serene Buddha

steaming cup

flutter of pray flags

loving pup



#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 14–If I Were the Me


If I Were the Me

If I were the me

that I want to be

I’d travel the world and sing

Given the chance

I’d break into dance

‘cause I could do anything

I wouldn’t be shy

I’d find the right guy

but I’d be just as fine when alone

I’d lose all my fright

of driving at night

A sociable self-assured crone

I was a mouse

and he was a louse

and it happened a long time ago

When it came rushing back

I felt under attack

since I thought I had finally let go

A month of rhyme

may just be the time

I needed to rant and to rage

I’m ready to quit

to get rid of it

and emerge a mischievous sage


When I woke up this morning and was still lying in bed, I looked at my phone and saw the prompt. Luckily, I keep a notebook by the bed, because this silly little ditty poured out.


#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 13–If You Were Me


If You Were Me

How can you tell me not to judge

when you have never feared

imminent rape?

How can you say, “You will destroy his life” when

I have heard that anger before

from an abusive alcoholic man

declaring his innocence in a voice

the once again overpowered mine?

What about her life

her innocence

her truth

her bravery

when she knew it would

destroy her?

Do you wake, shake, sweat

as he returns again and again in your dreams?

Do you walk faster at night to your car

in the dark parking garage

look over your shoulder

each time you enter an elevator?

Have you posed for a picture with your students

in our country’s capital

with a senator you admired

then felt a hand where it didn’t belong

told yourself you imagined it

or he didn’t mean it

learned better later

My truth is my truth

I will shout it even as his courts

hold heavy fingers on Justice’s scales

empower and excuse rich white men

uphold the disenfranchisement

of We the People



Damn.  Poetry is a good way to work through anger, but I had no idea how much I needed to do this.

#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 12–YAG Operation on One Eye and the Second Noble Truth


YAG Operation on One Eye and the Second Noble Truth

Today a doctor

used a laser to return

sight to my hazy left eye

Now I see flowers

soup labels on the top shelf

blurred for many years

Doctor’s schedule full

right eye must wait for five months

Suffer in half sight


A Senryu.  Desire causes suffering, or I didn’t know what I was missing, but now…  A different last line might be: Half sight not 20-20.

#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 11–Wabi-Sabi



We softened gold to repair the cup

Rebuilt the wall with bigger stones

Life is wabi-sabi

After the fight we kissed and made up

Used tough thread to mend the seam

We softened gold to repair the cup

Quan Yin’s lost hand became a flower

You made me laugh to stop my moans

Rebuilt the wall with bigger stones

We danced when grief became too raw

Then turned our tears to playful song

Life is wabi-sabi

#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 10–Today

IMG_5884This morning the sun kissed a rainbow on my cup



Today sunlight slanted through the window to the prism glass of the china cabinet and turned to kiss my cup with a rainbow.  Today meditation mind emptied momentarily before memories of old loves skipped and fluttered, filled the void with laughter and longing.  Today Miriam Makeba’s Love Tastes Like Strawberries rode the sunbeam across the kitchen.  I wondered where it had been hiding since my youth, but Alexa found it and I danced and sang in the lonely house, tasted strawberries and love from long ago.  Today the vaporous sad ghosts said, “Get out of this dreary dwelling, take Tashi, she needs a walk. Laugh with the living.”  Today a cool breeze tempered the hot autumn sun. Anticipation boosted our journey to coffee and I climbed the hill with a hope-filled heart.  Today sunlit tables teemed, but silent students stared vacantly, barricaded by ear buds. Today we sauntered slowly back down the hill, less reluctant to reminisce with garrulous ghosts.



And a minute later there was only a memory.