Blue-Winged Birds






In these tired walls
blue-winged birds flutter
in their lament
calling us to task
for deeds done
for words divined
for neglect and abandonment

A sapphire feather
out the peephole
my breath moves it
to a safe place
calling into question
our duties to each other
how much guilt
do we bear

Double-winged dragonflies
never alight
but soar and plummet
stunt riders fearless
in a mindless pursuit
to mindfulness
misguided instinct
is all we have

When I listen to the blue-winged birds
I feel the heat
of this life
burn my insides
branding me
and to all the psychologists
who say it is pointless
I say fuck you

A long time ago I lost someone
when it happens again
as it will
the blue-winged birds
will turn scarlet with shame







it’s the lipstick, baby
a shade of pink
that doesn’t look good
on anyone
that’s why I wear it.

and the yellow, you ask
let me just say:
I’m not yellow in the sense
that you imply
I’m not afraid
of anything, or anyone.

it’s the pill, baby
a shade of yellow
that doesn’t look good
on anyone
that’s why I eat it.

it takes away the voices
like yours
that tell lies
about who I am.
but I know who I am
and who you’re not.

a color palette, baby
a jumble of tones
that doesn’t look good
on anyone
that’s why I mix, and match ‘em


For Magpie Tales… a new site I discovered. Come by, and read the other entries by noted poets and writers.

magpie tales statue stamp 185

Thanks for reading!



Fairgoers cheer for Sarah Palin Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Fairgoers cheer for Sarah Palin
Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images



The Age of Ignorance by Charles Simic


Many otherwise intelligent people
are stupid.
What does that make them?
Idiot savants?
They might be good at their job,
might even be good at parenting,
might go out of their way to aid a stranger.

They are otherwise good people,
while lacking any understanding
of the greater picture of their own interests.
They proceed in their daily lives
believing what they are told
by unscrupulous sources, bent
on manipulation.

Otherwise intelligent people
care only that they are viewed
as nice
as helpful
as caring.
They are all of these things.
And they are stupid.

Otherwise caring people
believe the lies they are spoon fed.
The information age is a misnomer.
Piece of cake, easy-peasy to seek the truth.
But these otherwise nice people don’t do it.
Because they are nice.
They wouldn’t do anything or believe anything
that seems uncaring.

It is the only way to get through the drudgery
of their lives
believing they are happy, caring people.
Many otherwise lovely, friendly, charismatic
people – are stupid.


The Age of Ignorance by Charles Simic

Everyone should be like me

To be clear, I’m the bad guy here.
Impatient. Something I inherited from my father.
But, I’m nice to her. I don’t want to be nice.
I force myself to take the high road.
I greet her. Hello, Gretchen.
She smiles, says, Hi, how are you?
She doesn’t remember my name.
We are in yoga class together
three times a week.
The class is not large.
I know everyone’s name.

Everyone should be like me.

Gretchen is vivacious.
She tells us stories of her exploits
in Mexico where she has a house.
She talks and talks meeting our eyes, wanting contact.
This happens in the ten to fifteen minutes before class.
A rectangle of sunlight crawls across the floor.
I wonder if she notices.
I wonder if it edges nearer warming to her story
or wishing to quiet her with a blinding brightness.

Gretchen doesn’t listen.
Or pretends not to listen.
I think she pretends.
The teacher corrects her, often.
No, Gretchen, the other leg forward.
No, Gretchen, we’re not doing the bind.
No, Gretchen, hips forward, not back.

One day she tells us she’s a recovered drug addict.
Her mother died when she was very young
sending her into a downward spiral.
I’m a terrible person.
I want to believe her, but I have my doubts.
She drives a BMW, and wears expensive
outfits, coordinated with care.
I can afford a BMW, but I don’t want one.

Everyone should be like me.

I could befriend her, ask questions she’d
be delighted to answer, dig up the real story.
How much does she understand about herself?
Does she know how she comes off to others?
I could find out. People tell me things.
Something in my face makes them want to open up.
I could discover the truth.
But, I don’t.

Everyone should be like me.






I drove by your house again,
saw your car in the driveway.
I thought
about ringing the bell.
Aren’t you proud of me?
I exhibited that self-control
you’re always touting.
I can do it. I can give you space.
It was tough not to knock, or ring, or shout.
I wanted to see that look
on your face.
That look that says, I’m afraid.
I know what you’re afraid of.
I’d banish that fear if you’d let me.
If only you’d let me
love you.

For Corey at Real Toads… we’re writing about love in all it’s glory and obsession…

On the Billboard


on the billboard
you cannot miss
I’ve seen that face before
who is it
a good-looking dude
maybe he’s nobody
just a good-looking dude
I wish he’d sing to me
I want to hear his voice
his language
I want to see how he moves
do his eyes light up
when he sees me
who am I kidding
he’s a cardboard cutout
a paper doll
I’ll prop him up
and I’ll do the singing
I’ll make promises
I will never keep
I’ll sing to him of shattered dreams
he has no choice
but to listen
he’s just a good-looking dude
after all
on a billboard


For Marian at Real Toads… who today offers inspiration with Laurie Anderson.


dirt scratched her knees
lodged under her nails
tiny pebbles, nearly invisible
or the dust of bones
for all she knew

she clawed at the earth
a small trowel
to keep her company
the longer it took to open
a chasm in this scented
loam, it smelled like spring
onions or maybe tomatoes
the longer he would live
not might live, but would live

this was her plan
to keep him alive in the same
sense as working by the hour
slow it down you’ll earn more
but she must not rest

if she gave up
he would give up
as long as she moved her hands
in this soil where lettuces
and cucumbers and beans
and peas and even strawberries
flourished in the summer

he would stay alive
at least until
the season changed

For Open Link with Real Toads (a day late :)) and for Grace at dverse. Join us.. or click and read the many gifted poets..