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This Poem

This poem will go to the end of the page no further no
matter if it says nothing worth thinking about or contain
wisdom to last for eternity. Fat chance that it’ll hold wisdom
written so early by me who have a thick head and
my usual stopped up nose. No, I don’t have anything
to say about life, love, truth, politics, the universe
nor about my bowels, or what I read yesterday.

Everything i...

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Storm Clouds

Storm clouds move in from the west
the stray cat sheltered eats from a bowl

I study how ballads and satires come to mean
more than words or rhyme

You can say a poet makes magic
a good poet serves a long apprenticeship
learning the tools of poetic craft

The etymology of ‘poem’ has a long history
from ‘to pile up, build, make’

Ancient poets admired for piling of words
and sounds an...

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School started yesterday

School started yesterday another year to watch
children entering the schoolyard on a journey
to new worlds, new friends, new knowledge,
on the path to the future to adulthood.

Blessings to the children whatever their progress,
talents, acquired skills.

The age-old progress from infancy to adulthood
is poignant with memories of the road followed
I remember bad events easily, etched deep...

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Bad Thoughts

Bad thoughts re politics, mass shootings, certain writers,
the South, Russia, Putin, the GOP, the history of women’s
suppression, the course of history including war, slavery,
holocausts, despotism, marauding, colonizing, conquering
conquistadors, racism, religious bigotry, sacrificial rites,
rape, violence, killing, rioting, lynching, mobs,
price gouging, bullying, snake oil dealers,

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A woman trudges home from the doctor’s office ruminating the news of another pregnancy. Four kids at home, all under five years. Maybe with luck they’ll burn the apartment down. She’s left knives lying around hoping for the best but there’s no more dog food for them to fight over. Her breasts would be down to her waist except her belly props them up, she thinks gratefully. “It’s important to be gr...

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The rules of writing are meant to be broken
the reader first shocked may throw the book
across the room or slam it down on the table
but later read again and read until the end
what is the writer saying the curious mind asks
and sees a glimmer of what? A truth never
before perceived the reader catches the meaning
an epiphany I never saw that but it’s right there
This writer and writing is ...

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A Warm Morning

A warm morning after a night full of sleep full of hope, plans
I feel young

It’s strange how my mood is affected by how my body feels.
A mystery: what is pain a message from a part of me
battling with an unseen enemy Doctors always ask
where does it hurt describe your pain on a scale
of 1 to 10 I seldom think of numbers when I’m
in pain, but ratings in life are popular I give
that song a...

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Oh, I’m a cynic this morning

Oh, I’m a cynic this morning
Wine, Women and Song for men,
Love and Religion for women or is it
Make War for men and
Make Babies for women?

The late 20th century mantras were
Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n Roll and
Make Love Not War. I rather like
Faith, Hope and Charity
pretty words embroidered on pillows

HATE are seldom seen on pillows
Big Brother Is Watching You hasn’...

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The Republic of Gilead Is Coming

(a rough draft of a political rant ... please disregard if you wish. Comments on improvement welcome)

The Republic of Gilead is coming
Roe v. Wade will be overturned
A fifty year old law will die one
More rift to tear this country apart

Marches are coming
Write your contact info on your body
Carry water, carry a cell phone, designate a contact buddy,
Dress comfortably.

Underground r...

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U.S. politics

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Reading two poetry manuals I realize I’m not
writing poems each morning if they are
they’re modern. Chaotic, without rhythm,
rhyme, alliteration, imagery more
like crabbing diary reports
on daily politics or my aches
My perceptions: petty paltry
nothing new nothing to write home
about I should follow steps offered
by Kowit, Lockward read with intent
the exemplar poems given
I’m lazy I p...

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Aunt Maxine is on Facebook airing dirty laundry ...


Today's daily whine has been canceled. I'll try for something nicer tomorrow. -- K.

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This morning the Lyon County Rodeo Days parade
will wind its way through hazy smoky Main Street
I won’t walk down to watch I’m worried
about Covid and crowds most years I don’t
go to events—the rodeo or fair
anyway the Dems have a meeting
on Zoom this morning that’s safe
less boring I might attend or just lurk
with my camera off we liberals must stick
close on the web to wrest this county

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My body and mind

The phone messages are piling up
from doctors’ offices I don’t
want to talk about my body
this early in the day
I want to write
verse study
old verbs
imperfect and perfect.

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Night Things

This smoke-filled evening eight faces nose
around trees and benches

Hunger outwitting fear quickly the seats
around the food dishes fill.

Dishes empty dusk darkens
the human disappears

The night again owned
by the night things and cats.

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Friday, July 30, 2021

I’m reading Lydia Davis’s The End of the Story
in which a woman describes an affair she had
with a younger man and the breakup
and her mental wobble as she tries to recover.

I empathize with her I was there, too, in my
30s I was disturbed for years afterwards
maybe before.

I’m unsure about my whole life.

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Writing Life

Some mornings when I write poetry I count syllables
the banal topic seeps down the page my banal
life is not earth-shaking, inspirational

What is inspirational? Traveling into space,
singing on stage, brain surgeons
making lots of money?

These things won’t happen. I continue to write
my life seeping down the page.

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The days flow like a slow moving stream
barely undistinguished from one
another I know I’m headed for death
still I want to do certain things
shake up these bones
have memories new ones
I’m making new
goals and old ones
rising from bed, words
written with care in this small notebook
counting syllables next may come meter,
alliteration, maybe rhyme, slanted,
assay a crucible of ideas th...

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My Plan

Up and awake this morning I have a plan
a Latin grammar is waiting at the library
waiting to be checked out studied
enlightening one student trying to understand
how the language works how the nouns decline
(how snobbish) how the verbs inflect (and inflict)
Latin is a confusing language for someone trying
to learn blindly like visiting the far side of the galaxy.

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I want to stand among the creators.

New ideas come from outsiders
those who see, feel, hear, smell, sense
a new path, out of the stale old and now.

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Laundry Day

A pandemic year’s worth of laundry
I rose at 4:54 a.m. squirted stain remover
ate breakfast (oatmeal with prunes)
lugged garbage bags of dirty clothes
to the car drove across town
to the laundromat stuffed huge machines
stuffed coins sprinkled soap.

Next I'll move the wet clothes to dryers stuff more coins.

The main thing I want to say is that in this chaos I'm
sitting masked writing...

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The paint by number picture

A painting hangs on the wall an image of a homestead cabin
in the early morning winter sun gray storm clouds
move across the sky.

Snow covers parts of the dirt road and distant hills
a lone rusty windmill and wooden water tank
stand to the rear of the cabin.

A porch shades an open door but no one
can be seen. No smoke rises from
the tin stovepipe on the roof.

A lonely image with ...

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The origin of my creativity

I can’t remember how or when I began
to think I could create something
new maybe I started with
imitating my mother
who sewed,
grew flowers.

I too began
to make new things
I could see that this was
how to live in the new world
to which I had entered I learned
how to live and to shape my life.

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I’m reading an R. A. Lafferty story
about the planet of bears nothing
is going right for the explorers
the bears steal snuff and food
that they’ve eaten I’m scared
the end will be worse and
the explorers won’t make
it out alive but we’ll see
when we reach it.

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I Apologize

I’m sorry for everything for each
snipe sass sneer cock of the eyebrow
smirk slammed door No shouted breath
held until my face turned
purple flailing arms
and legs my cries
for it

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you call me skinnybones I hide in the girls' room
you yell through the window playground burrs
traveling from past days to now embed
and engender new thoughts flinging
new taunts back to the past



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Tanka: The Worrier

Looming housework: dust, dirt, grime
Attack my eyes each
Day I peer here, there.
Get broom, mop, soap, dust rag more
Worry is tiring. Postpone.


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A First Poem

Today write a first poem
write a tanka, five
lines: seven five five
seven seven metaphor
let the sun sing and moon moan

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