Quadrille 60

I sing you “Alouette”
je te plumerai les yeux, bec, tête
plucked eyes, beak, head
happily stripped to gooseflesh
killing you with my beautiful French
our feathers like songs
we don’t understand
itching under our skin once we’re
hungry enough for love


For dVerse Quadrille

Haibun – 白夜 (“Midnight Sun”)

“At four in the morning my body bumped against the ceiling”
– Jim Harrison


Svenn taught me how to get coffee ready for when we were pulling on our boots to go milk the cows. First, start water boiling in the kettle, then tear open a bag of grounds and dump them in the rolling water. Wait a bit and pour, grounds and all, into a cup. “Kokekaffe” or cooked coffee is what he called it, as best as I could make out. We’d drink it hot and black along with a thick slice of bread spread with butter and salmon roe.

On the islands of Lofoton Norway, like anywhere above the Arctic circle, light is a season, not a daily thump and bump of day into night into day again. The summer sun rolls around the horizon like an infinitely slow roulette marble. Or the electron of a halo, shutter stopped.

At first, I thought I was forever done with night, that darkness was something I could shed and never regret. But after a bit, the constant light started making the cows and the dogs and even the humans a bit crazy. I had to tie a rag around my eyes to try and sleep, since light leaked in through the window blinds despite my best efforts. Eventually, even just knowing it was light outside was enough to keep me awake, sanity slowly leaching out the corners of my eyes. In the end, the only handhold to full blackout was to drink more and more of the Everclear we made in a still behind the barn. Svenn taught me how to do that too.

Who knew how much we crave darkness? How necessary for our shadows to lengthen, dissolve, and fill the sky.

Calls for light season
Hints of crazy spices gin –
Distilled summer sun



Day 27, 28 Days of Unreason
dVerse Poets Pub, Haibun Monday

Sign Post

I grew up on Jasmine –
which should make for a poet
or maybe a florist,
or at least why I have allergies

We moved to Florence
but alas I could not find
the statue of David
anywhere behind the shrubs

I guess that’s the way of it –
there were never any groves on Grove
or luminous promises
on Pearl

Though I’ve hung the signs
“Life” and “Death” overhead
I hope you will forgive
this shabby poet’s corner



For Tuesday Poetics

Quadrille 57

I slid my hand inside the rain
To feel how smooth and sparked
Under hushed grey cloth

It unzipped,
My fingers parting drops
Like brushing open
A dress of silk

That first blush of cool
Late in the evening
Clouds slipping off
Their sunsets



For dVerse Quadrille

Call Me Whale-Boy*

Call me whale-boy,
call me razor fluked,
call me sharp
in my harpoon-skin suit,
call me lungs
of tungsten steel –
you’ll need poems made of bathysphere
to hunt me down.

Lunging shark-breath,
I’m your Voodoo Sleighride
to the bottom of the sea,
blowhole Davy Jones’ locker
to smithereens,
chew the rotgut spleen.

Color me flensed, stripped,
and rendered,
blind faith with fatty acid,
my heart on fire
and burning for you now –
soul light in the tryworks.

All together now children
Repeat after me:

One fish.
Two fish.
Red fish.
Blue fish.



*Incorporating by reference the first line of Moby Dick: “Call me Ishmael”.
**Dr. Seuss, but you knew that.

For DVerse MTB