These Ghosts Belong to Me

Smoke-like wisps in the Veil Nebula – Wikipedia

These ghosts belong to me.

All the pain and the pleasure.

No one else hears them

sees them

feels  them

as I do.

Pallid or

invisible and soundless

to others.

The colour of their eyes

rough/kind/happy/sad voices

time-wrung out

even for me.

But they are mine.

My fingertips still know

skin and hair and freckle.

Faulty memory holds weakened anger

unanswered questions

unresolved arguments

the echo of tears.

The lines on my face

remember the moments of joy

corners of mouths upturned

eyes mirth filled.

Tongue remembers the taste of

sharp delight.

These ghosts are mine.

Mine  to listen to

or not.

To hold close or push away.

When I too am

pale and voiceless

a ghost in another mind

will they still be there?





The horse is surprised to see you

here on the moon.

His lip is curled.

His eye rolls at you

and away.


have discovered his Secret.


If you promise not to tell, perhaps

he will not chase you and bite

your moon suit

and make you breathe space.

You can go home again and

walk in the air.


Walk past the fields and stroll

past the barns.

You will see the horses

and wonder

Have any of these been to the moon?


Have any of these been to the moon?


And then you might begin to look

at the cows

and the sheep and

all the rest.


It’s good to wonder, isn’t it?

Isn’t it?

Poetry For Prose

Have you ever given writing poetry a try?

Back in my pre-teen days I was really fond of writing song parodies (I blame Mad Magazine) and over the years, I’ve continued to write what I laughingly call poetry and song lyrics. I even had one of them made into a song, but then the composer changed it so much only the ‘hook’ was still recognizable as mine. I write haiku in both traditional (referencing the season obliquely) and non-traditional ways, dirty limericks (I won a contest once!), but often my poetry is an outgrowth of a line that came to me and demanded to be built upon (or around).

I’m not a good poet.

I was a pre-law major (with a minor in history) at uni and never took an advanced literature class. All I know about constructing poetry is what I have read on my own and I couldn’t tell a sonnet from a trimeric if my cliché depended on it.

But I still write poetry and for reasons other than because I want to.

I also do it because it’s a great exercise in humility -going through the process of writing a poem is eye-opening. Maybe like the first time you tried a short story and found the form is actually harder than writing a novel. Since most poems are shorter than a short story, your ability to edit really gets a work out. For another thing, writing poetry has taught me a lot about struggling to find just the right word and just the right phrase. And it’s taught me about brevity (mind you, I may not have learned this lesson well). Poetry gives great lessons in rhythm and precision. If you’ve never given it a try, think about doing so. In the meantime, read some poetry. It’s good stuff.

My Work In Progress

Here’s something I wrote in response to a challenge from a poet on #LitChat. I’m still working on it, so constructive critique is welcome:


At the park I sink down,
My head on my arm
Sunlight searing through me
Will to lose feeling
Food for ants
and roly-poly bugs

Dandelions will pierce
the brittle cloth of my shirt
sowing their seeds for future outrage
on desiccated flesh

I will be a temporary stain
a yellowed shadow on the green
person-shaped and worthy of remark
at last

Be still…



The grass is irritating

Indifferent teeth bite
without eating

Death denied mundanely through an itch

Sitting up I see,
though crushed
they wounded
Victory through defeat

No dandelions for me

I leave the park
carrying the marks of blades