The Grace of Tears

Too many reasons, I confess.
I counted the cost. It’s dark
as Hell,

and         I doubted.

I plotted. I feared
no praise, no lessons gratis
for the lost.

Though blessed, I gambled
in this cold season.
                        I hardened,

in form and formalities.

                I thought
a complex poem might help
me: a villanelle—
                gratuitous stanzas,
              repetition, variation,
           drunk and dramatic,
something to show
                        and tell

a long laborious song,
a skill to buy and sell.

A golden calf,
                        when I
should have known
tears would do
just as well.

I fell.

My heart sank
                and swelled.

All grave vision
        and scope,
but nothing anyone
would recognize
as hope.

{The dVerse prompt that inspired this poem is drunk.}


Must morning devour me,
subdued in my bed, inarticulate,
after God’s sunrise voice
makes my murmured longing
soft, not vast?

My voice sinking soft
like powdered sugar on hot dough,

Must evening eat
my soft mind too, when
God’s sunset voice declares it?

{the dVerse prompt which inspired this quadrille is the word murmur}


Some small creatures, like moths,
are born the color of bark or dead leaves,
so they can eat or avoid being eaten.
How honest is that?

It’s no different
than the way a strategically placed mirror
can make a room seem bigger.
Or how deception and survival align
when I must smile and say I’m fine.

{the dVerse prompt which inspired this poem is the word mirror}

Pay Attention

The voice is ancient and familiar,
belonging to school days,
bouncing off the walls of the gym
like end-of-day announcements
from the principal,
or the bright ping
of a red, rubber four-square ball
entering your zone
when you’re looking the other way.

{Almost a quadrille. I’m counting the hyphenated words as a single word. I knowww …that’s breaking the rules a little, but it’s a poem not algebra, so I hope I’m forgiven. Inspired by a fun prompt from dVerse.}