Hazards of Naming

Posted April 20, 2015 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry

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11997 - Version 2

Hazards of Naming

There was always “Cerulean” waiting in the wings,
like a slice of sky not showing
through the clouds,
but smiling over that patch
of hillside a couple valleys away
whose grass looks always bright
when ours is grey.

Your sister (potentially) proffered “Poohboo,”
which we attributed to pre-
sibling rivalry.

“Yo” would be handy–
no introduction needed
on the street.

But Cerulean was the most serious contender,
which, I now admit,
may have scared you off,
you not wanting to be blue
your whole life, not even that pitch
of sea in sky, that ripple of sky
on water, that unshadowed shade that we imagine to surely wave
over that bit of hill whose shimmer
we bemoan, though we always say
we mean to hike over there someday, you know,
just to see.

Another draft poem for twentieth day April, 2015 National Poetry Month, not sure of the count, for Bjorn Rudberg’s prompt on With Real Toads to write about the meaning of our name.  I just couldn’t do that–sorry Bjorn–so hope this fits the bill–a middle name I thought of giving a son, if I had one, at one point in my life.  (Luckily for him and perhaps even more for me–I have two beloved daughters !)

Cerulean typically describes a small range of blues, rather than one single shade–though they all tend to a sky blue, sea blue; the above photo uses an ad from Winsor & Newton–no copyright infringement intended. 

Two Halves/Different Stories (And Poems)

Posted April 19, 2015 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry

Tags: , , , , , ,

Thinking in 2015 of How the Other Half Lives, 1890

In Jacob Riis’ photographs of New York tenements,
sleeping children clump together in rumples of
face and cloth whose softness against
roughed blocks, barred alleys, shocks
the eye,
and people, even back in the Gilded Age,
were outraged.

But now we live in a Gelded Age,
where no one wants to man up,
woman up,
to face poor children,
to acknowledge
that they too
are all of ours.

And instead of flashing a light on the
shame of their tenemented and un-
tenemented lives (for so many are homeless)
we try simply
to dole out punishment.

Cut cut, halve halve,
wholly making sure that the have-nots

The above is a draft poem for my prompt on With Real Toads to write about the idea of half.  This arose from my  Jacob Riis’ landmark book called How The Other Half Lives, about poverty in New York around the turn of the century.  Riis’ pictures are truly remarkable though heart-rending and led to actual reforms in New York City and other places.  Sad to say, the U.S. has now one of the highest rates of child poverty in the developed world, and change seems only headed  in a negative direction.

The below is another draft poem I wrote for this prompt.  Sorry for the number of draft poems–the pressure of April puts me in ferment, and I’d rather just get some of the half-done work out rather than stew about it, especially given pace of oncoming prompts.   

Another Half of It  (Unbearable)

The egg cannot
just say no.

It cannot, no more than the woman,
push away its attackers; has no recourse to ‘shut down’
the porous.

The woman might convulse, weep,
at last still,
still the egg cannot repulse
what burrows into
its not-throat,
nor immolate against
forced flagellation.



 Apparently, women who bear children from rape have in many U.S. states no right to cut off parental/visitation rights of a rapist father.  Additionally, although most states allow abortion in the cases of rape, new restrictions on abortion make it increasingly difficult for women to get an abortion in these instances because of difficulties in proving the rape within the short time period allotted for abortion. 

Dogged Rivalry

Posted April 18, 2015 by ManicDdaily
Categories: dog, poetry

Tags: , , , , ,

Sharing Computer

Dogged Rivalry

“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.” 
Terry Pratchett

She knew already she’d never be cool–
he didn’t have to tell her–though he did constantly–
that her saliva pooled mid-tongue
and that she drooled
at tongue–
though truly she drooled
at any food whose fat glistened
on a platter;
or for that matter, how plebian she was
to actually listen
for the Man, then wiggle in that low squiggle, literally em-bare-assing–(he said)
even when the Man didn’t
dish out meat, or – yawn -some dry-mouth

No, he did not need to insinuate
by moue–um–
for she knew–
from her tail that could never curvily fold
to that nose that was typically more or less cold,
but not, somehow, cool–
that she was in no way hip, hep, or any
kind of jewel-eyed cat, and that that
was simply that–

still, as the Man scratched her ear vigorously enough
to make her face tilt towards his hand
and one band of canines grin,
she somehow couldn’t care if he up there
watching from an arch in
the sofa where only the fabric
was scratched (and not, she thought,
his head) wished her dead,
if only he would someday please
just play.


A rather silly poem for Kerry O’ Connor’s prompt on With Real Toads to write something inspired by quotes from Terry Pratchett or Leonard Nimoy.  Terry Pratchett is one of my favorite authors ever, and has so many very inspiring quotes that have nothing to do with cats.  I was working on something more serious but finally felt maybe I’d had enough of seriousness by this 18th day of April. 

Really, it should be the dog on the computer for purposes of this poem, but the cat took over.  

Ps I have edited since first posting.  

National Haiku Day (Supposedly) in the middle of National Poetry Month!

Posted April 17, 2015 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , ,

National Haiku Day!

As I haiku up
the hill, every blade of grass
is a syllable.


There’s a tree disease
that looks like an O.C.D.
woodpecker.  Save us.


The stream in spring winds
wide, sings its own wind song,
maybe more a hum.


Here’s some haiku for Hannah Gosselin’s sweet prompt on haiku on With Real Toads for national haiku day (who knew?) as part of national poetry month.  This is its 17th day.  That is all I know!  Also that it is 2015.  And FRIDAY!!!!!

Have a happy, safe, healthy, blessed, poetic – but not of the melancholic variety of poetics–weekend!

The picture is a picture of mine of a (seeming) disease that makes holes in trees.  This tree actually isn’t so afflicted–there are a couple that are truly riddled.  And it is a riddle–to me at least.  Any person who knows what it is, let me know!
I am sorry for any lateness in returning visits!  This has been a fairly hard work month for me.  Thanks for your patience. k.

Outsider Artist (Prosish!)

Posted April 16, 2015 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry

Tags: , , , , , ,


Outsider Artist

She said, “but you are from New York.”

He didn’t say anything, though his sharpie continued
to squeak: long stroke, short short/
short short again–maybe, she thought,
shading in–which brought with it
a deepening stench of acetone that he was probably not even smelling
since he usually breathed though his mouth, drawing–

short short stench stench LONG LONG–
but which she certainly smelled, only—
and now she had to be fair, it was really too sweet
to be called stench–

It was a smell in fact that made her feel almost blue
at the edges–not like the sharpie, which, this time, was a horrible
navy–but the teal of remembered nights, Fridays
when their folks would actually drive them somewhere, and
the minute they crossed the bridge her Dad would stop, her mom complain–
gasoline never the same in the City–they talked of price and lines,
but for her it was all about
exhaust–the smell of Jersey, vaporized spill and not
just taxi–

“So,” she said, “you can’t be from New York City and be
an outsider artist.”

“It’s just,” she clumped over to the window
since he still refused to look up, “a nonstarter,”

and the street poured in even through the couple of inches she pushed
with a sunlike-hum, a more-more roar, warming
her inner arms–

and he said (squeak squeak), “so what, if live
in New York?”

“City,” she added.

“City, he said, still staring
into the page.

“All what,” she said.

Then, slowly, he began to laugh, big,
his eyes as he stood from the steno pad throwing
green-gold flecks into the air
of all the inner drawings he could already feel
pushing against his finger tips,
and he flipped the page back as if the paper were just
one more set of his long, soft bangs, and shook each pant’s leg in its turn
as if his limbs too were part of that
pad (paper wasn’t important,
he’d been explaining for months),
“exactly,” he said–

And she, hating him who knew everything–everything he ever wanted to know
or didn’t care, said, “so?”

And he, smirking, said, “so, Watts.”

Only he said Watts not ‘what’, and she knew that was important
but not why, so kept her face blank as she could so he would not know
her not knowing–

and he said (so know-it-all)–”Watt’s Towers, to be precise, which is the absolute greatest outsider art installation ever built in this country and is what I think about all day, every day–and if that doesn’t make me an outsider artist–”

“You sleep all day,” she said.

“Same difference,” he grinned.

Yes, I know this is not a real poem!  It is broken into lines, but is really prose I have just written thinking about a novel I have been working on (off and on) for a bit.  I am linking it to Lolamouse’s prompt on visionary art With Real Toads.  It is my 16th writing–and I’ll call it a poem for these purposes–for April, 2015 National Poetry Month.  (I have a couple in progress that I may post late!)

Lolamouse posts cool pictures of visionary art from the Baltimore Museum, but I have gone with Watts Towers, by Simon Rodia, a great visionary artist, who built these very cool towers in his little yard.  The picture is courtesy of LA County Museum of Art,  and is supposed to be available for free use. 

So sorry to be late with commenting!  Good luck to all doing Napowrimo!  I’ll be around! 

U.S. of Hey (Also Bonus From Mitch McConnell)

Posted April 15, 2015 by ManicDdaily
Categories: news, poetry

Tags: , , , , , , ,


U.S. of Hey!

What you say
we build enough bombs
to blow the sky
That’ll save the world!

And how’s about we sell
a ton of tons!
Light a fire
under the economy!

Hell, we’re kind of an empire
(only, you know, the good kind)–
we can just give
a bunch away! What the hey!
(Especially to anyone sired–get it?–in oil!  Heh
(Even anyone just near

Wait a sec!
That guy might have bombs!
And oil!
Let’s bomb him!
That’ll sure keep us from war!

(Treaty, schmeaty!
Accord?  BORing!)

Oh yeah!  And for those of you
at home–did I mention all
the spare tanks?!

Here’s a quick one for the incomparable Hedgewitch’s very informative prompt on Real Toads to write about folly.   My 15th for April, this 2015 National Poetry Month.

Okay–and here’s one more:


From Mitch McConnell–Re Coal

Who cares that all of its processes
are vastly destructive
of the earth
when we can save bad jobs
in Kentucky where the poor people’s
ecosystem is already
irretrievably degraded, and they are well-used
to black lung?

Besides, the companies are paying me
a ton.


PS the above pic was taken in Kashmir in the Himalayas a few years ago, shows the soot on the snow, part of the process that causes the melting of glaciers.  (I’m sorry that it does not totally fit the post, but hey, it’s April!) 

Early April – Mountain Spring

Posted April 14, 2015 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , ,

Early April – Mountain Spring

We’re in that slip
of the year in which spring
looks briefly like fall
in the same way that a baby
looks like a little old man,
wizened and reddish at the tips (no matter
the ultimate leaf or skin)
as if illuminated by a light
that just catches edged reach.

The grass lies flat
in long stretches,
and it is hard to imagine,
walking its wilted sprawl,
all the growth going on;
harder to imagine how
if a season can seem like a baby
that is also an old man, we must seem
to that white light high in the sky just now–
the one that each of us is supposed
to see so close some day, come
what may.

Here we go–number 14!  For April, this 2015 National Poetry Month, posted for With Real Toads Tuesday Open Platform.   (Sadly, I am in the City right now, so this pic is from last April!)  k.



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