half eatenI’ve taken bites
from plenty of women
over the years
and I’m wise
enough to know
that I’ve been sampled

There were a couple
I tried to finish
but chocolate never
lasts and in time
turns bitter.

There’s no guide
printed inside the box.
Why settle for praline
when I’m allergic to nuts?

Only after being too old
to enjoy it, did I learn
to be a womanizer.

(from this month’s Living Poetry visual prompt.)


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I slept on the washing machine
soothing rhythms and water music
quiet chaotic thoughts
so I can dream a new world
catalog baby talk into words
classify objects into tools
lay these strange experiences
into a foundation
for a young mind

Until I turn two

(from this week’s Living Poetry Prompt.)


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Ignore GPS


You will be my navigator,
though you can’t read
an old fashioned map
and your sense of direction
is somewhat skewed.

Let’s get lost together.
Ride the back roads,
turn left on a whim,
buy lunch at a farm stand,
play mini golf in the rain.

If it weren’t for jobs
and an addiction to comfort
that comes with middle age
we’d just keep driving
until we ran out of road.

We don’t want to change homes.
We want to be changed
when we get home.

(From this week’s Living Poetry Prompt.)


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Peace and Ten Pounds

20171227_172448Happy New Year, dear readers. I’ve gotten in the habit of leaving work early on the last Wednesday of each month and visiting the Charles House Center for Community Eldercare. While I’m there, I read poetry and talk about both the words and the poets who wrote them.

I tend to pick a theme for each visit. Sometimes there’s a birthday of a famous poet to celebrate but this most recent Wednesday we celebrated something more obvious, the arriving new year. I read a couple of 19th century new year’s poems by Tennyson and Clare and then we did a deep into Auld Lang Syne which is an even older Scottish song that Robert Burns recorded and expanded. I read both the original in Scots Dialect and translated it into my American dialect.

To conclude each session, we write a poem together. I stand at a dry erase board and have them pitch me lines. It works quite well and we’ve come up with some very nice little poems this way. I’ve shared this month’s result below. Since all the poems I read to them were about saying good-bye to the old year, we decided to write a hopeful poem about our resolutions for 2018.

Peace and Ten Pounds

We make a defiant resolution,
once again, for peace.
We’ll brew a cup o’kindness
to share with our enemies,
open a book of hope
and lend it to our friends,
bake a whole plate of cookies,
just for ourselves
then resolve to lose ten pounds,
once again.

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lottery-winner-1427640-639x423(In response to this week’s Living Poetry Prompt.)

I play the lottery
for those hours or days
between buying the ticket
and learning the results.
Before the ping pong balls
are set a spinning
I am a potential winner,
deciding how to spend
or invest, pay off a car
or the mortgage,
vacation in Monte Carlo
or Macau.

Like an early romance,
anticipating each date,
each kiss, imagining
what glorious wonders
lie ahead. That hope
carries on like inertia
through the wedding
until the fated
numbers are drawn,
my flaws revealed
and Schrödinger’s cat
gets divorced.

Yet I keep playing
every week.

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America Lost

tattered-american-flag-1445282-640x480Like a chicken with its head
cut off, we keep running
around like it matters.
It’s time to lie down,
close the casket,
try not to pinch
our fingers.

Regardless of which corporations
made the axe or which politicians
wielded it, the head’s gone.
It’s not like we were using it anyway.

Generations of brain-damaged
high school jocks voting
against funding classrooms
certainly didn’t help.

Giving oil tycoons money
from the general fund
to burn the planet
certainly didn’t help.

Pretending corporations are people
that speak with dollars
instead of consume them
certainly didn’t help.

At least the gun nuts
haven’t killed us all
yet and we’ll soon be poor
enough that the wealthy
won’t consider us worth screwing.

If we’re lucky they’ll leave us alone
long enough that we can die
in bed instead of the gutter.

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Common Sense

penny-2-1240637-640x480This morning’s Living Poetry Monday Poetry Prompt was to write a “common sense” poem. Here’s what I produced.

Common Sense

We assume rational actors
take the political stage
after a thorough vetting
by the American media
and our registered voters

yet something’s gone awry
when a vast minority
consistently elect
blatant con men
and proven liars

to cut funding
from public schools
so future generations
have even less
common sense.


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VR Skeeball


VR Skeeball

The ball feels real,
the heft in my hand,
minor imperfections
in the texture
beneath my fingertips.

The clinks and clanks
of the machinery
sound authentic.

These hi-def graphics
are phenomenal.
I can even see waves
in the ocean beyond
the boardwalk.

My avatar wipes sweat
from his focused brow
in the dank arcade.

Fully immersed,
I can practically taste
this milkshake.

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Who needs a driver?

road-to-nowhere-1449440-638x467A couple of weeks ago, Living Poetry, represented by myself, Tara Lynne Groth and Anna Weaver, attended another Science Cafe at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. This one was all about the artificial intelligence needed for self-driving cars. They posted a video of the fascinating lecture where our poetry starts at about the 67 minute mark in but the presentation is well worth the hour spent.

Install an AI in my car tonight!

I’m ready to be chauffeured
home by sensors and algorithms.
I get my best ideas while driving
but I forget most before I park.

Imagine how much better a poet
I’d be if I could write while traveling
through lush landscapes or watching
the full moon rise behind the trees.

But could the act of driving
fuel my creativity
even more than wine?

I’ll leave that for the AIs
to determine as we approach
singularity together.



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old-t-v-1310765-639x726This morning’s Living Poetry Prompt was “television”. Here’s what I wrote.

Boob Tube

Why do they call it the boob tube?
Besides the obvious rhyming pair
there aren’t any naked boobs
at all. There’s plenty of jiggle
in bikinis or bras bared
for less than reasonable reasons
but I have to monitor pay cable
to see the female breast
in all her glories.

Perhaps boob is meant figuratively
given the men that appear on Sunday
morning news shows.



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