Monday, December 22, 2014

Winter Solstice

Dead leaves, apple seeds, roots of darkness
Gather and wrap us in fleece
Our skin is wintering white of stars
Dead leaves, apple seeds, roots of darkness
Turn your cheek where sun stands still
Our eyes beg for sky glazing of leaves

~ Wishing you all Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays ~

Posted for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - OpenLinkMonday

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Where I'll find you

Finding Lightness

I search for you 
as snow recedes as milk stains on grass

you with the glint of dragon fire in your eyes
you with the naughty smirk on your lips

Carry me to where the forest 
is greening & lake is squirming with fish

Above the bare maple trees
I see the sun's marmalade cheeks

Even as grey clouds
billow as  fraying ribbons across sky   

There will be no winter blues for me
No rainy days to swallow bitter pills

I'll write on tea leaves
while drinking warm apple cider

I'll find lightness
in belly of winter, flint the shadows

with dawn fingers, 
and strike & strike at the core

That ember that leavens
bread & shapes my sandcastles to garden

That water that rises
above dry land & breaks into a storm-

I'll carry a black umbrella
creased with words & painting tubes-

Here, I'll wait for you
with a hundred blue balloons-  

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - For our last OpenLinkNight ~ Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all ~

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Breaking bread

While I carefully butter
the plumb belly of native bread
& sprinkle it with sugar,
his delicate fingers
would tear the bread into pieces
and dunk it in his warm coffee
like a wet tissue
Maybe it is out of habit
Or maybe it is to make it easier
for his dentures 
We are sliced apart
by more than 
a generation
a war
& my mother's elopement
Yet over the breakfast table 
In pajamas, grandpa and I
eat leisurely while shooing away the flies
waiting for our crumbs
Outside the sun rises
a yeast
browning the sugar fields
and settles between us
a bread
filling the spaces
what words couldn't

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - I am pleased to be your host for this last Poetics for 2014 
~  Thanks for the visit~

Sunday, December 14, 2014

To the muse

Grace @ Everyday Amazing

Here they come again
Puncturing your chest
With wires
To keep you from drowning

Your eyes are sallow glass
As your heartbeats
Go into an overdrive 
Grasping for pure oxygen
I admit
I lie to you

You are doing fine
When you say you cannot
Take it anymore
But your stubborn body
Holds on 
For more than 10 years
Defying the doctors who always 
Leave you with
Another knot
Another scar

I try to smooth over 
So you will talk to me
and listen to my journey 
See my knots, still untangled
See my scars, still fresh 
But you only hear yourself
In the couch bed
Insomniac, a depressed butterfly
The corners of the bedroom

*I wish to God I had made this world, this scurvy   
And disastrous place. I
Didn’t, I can’t bear it
Either, I don’t blame you, sleeping down there   
Face down in the unbelievable silk of spring,   
Muse of black sand,

I don’t blame you, I know
The place where you lie.
I admit everything. But look at me.*   
Mom is also slipping into the same darkness 
Come back to us
Dad with your belly laughter
or I will
Come down to you.

Title and lines are inspired from James Wright ~

Posted for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - We are getting inspiration from the words of James Wright
and Poets United - Thanks for the visit ~

Friday, December 12, 2014

Pink in my mind

Pink Lake Hillier, Western Austrailia

I change the snowdrops
with sunny skies & lush trees
Here, my mind is pink
Tiding of flamingo calls 
And my feet, greening with buds


I float away
My eyes tracing the sky 
The lake bears me soft
as mother's hand on my cheek
humming a half-lullaby

Posted for Imaginary Garden for Real Toads - Transforming Friday Hosted by Hannah
and Poetry Jam - Quiet Hosted by Peggy ~  I am trying to get back to my writing groove after a break ~  Thanks for the visit ~

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Queen of the night

Epiphyllum oxypetalum
Queen of the Night
Photo by M. Penaranda

in darkest of nights
my hands open to receive you-
burst forth as lightning
unfolding every jagged line bold-
you are beautifully made


when the sky is dry
her hands are water
when night is cold, 
her hands are catching fire opals-
mother, thread my hands with yours

and Poetry Jam:   Hands - Trying my hand in tanka form as its been some time since I wrote one ~  Thanks for the visit ~

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Haibun: Shark by the Lake

you are the radio star, whose dulcet voice enchants over the air.    you cast yourself a modern cultured man of the city with your progressive views on women and arts.   during a public event, when you noticed me out of all your young adoring fans, I felt like a winner being singled out by the city's brightest light.   

your silky voice
is summer's caress, i bloom
as night full of fireflies 

our second date is perfect  - dinner then coffee invite at your home by the lake.   i lean in for a sweet kiss, but what happens next is forever stitched in my memories.   you hit me, three times on the face with closed fists.    i fall on the ground with knees like water, but you are not done yet.   you put your hands on my throat to choke the wind from my lungs. your eyes are wild with desire.   violence is your opium rush.  doubts came, festering my confidence into silence. i felt like a loser for falling for your ego-sized games. 

your eyes, teeth are red
on my neck, your hands blacken - 
what animal are you?

This is the day I had looked forward to after 10 years.   You in the courtroom being charged by the police for sexual assault.  You have been fired from your job.  Your dark eyes are filled with worry.    An animal in the cage, caught and restrained by law and negative public opinion.   You hired a good defense lawyer to save you.  I read that she is the celebrity's shark, out to destroy all the witnesses, (including me).  No matter what the legal outcome will be next year, the real winners are the victims who are speaking out against the rape-culture mentality of our time.

above bony trees
hawk glides sleek as ivory sky-
I find my voice 

Jian Ghomeshi leaves College Park court with his lawyers on Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014 after being released on $100,000 bail. This image - the accused flanked by his lawyers, surrounded by police, who are in turn surrounded by media - was a striking and revealing one, writes Christopher Hume.

Background:    This is our local version of USA's Bill Crosby story.   However the man in spotlight, Jian Ghomeshi is a celebrated CBC radio star, accused of sexual violence against women (15 stories), without their consent.   In Canada there is no time limitation on sexual violence; you can still be charged & sued even after 10 or more years has passed. You can read more here and here~

For D'verse Poets Pub - For Mary's prompt of Winners and Losers ~  I have not been around due to my studies and on-going home renovations.    I have one more week to go before my exams, and the renovations should be done by then ~   Thanks for the visit ~

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rosebush, thin

bowed head, she is 
an old woman sinking to herself:  
thorns, stems, hips, perfume-
her bony fingers grasp
tight the last brown-burnt leaf

the soil is hard
stone-bed, mulched  
with twigs & pitted-black petals
milk-dust snow is a knife 
paring her delicate neck

the carbon air thins
hour by hour
knotting each pulse to static 
until only the roots
remain, meager as beggar's cup

My roses during springtime

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Make the abstract concrete ~  Hosted by Marina ~

I am writing less these days because I have to study for my upcoming exams ~  Thanks for dropping by ~

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Grant me my day

I search for myself
among the fallen leaves
bruised on rain-silted path

in stillness of afternoon sun
the field, a river serene
to all echoes of passing birds

death is the smell of wood
earth is red nest, spaded deep with

Grant me my day
to sip water from the sky
grass, sleeping trees, depths of

Title inspired by Salvatore Quasimodo (in part):

Grant Me My Day

(Dammi il mio giorno)

Grant me my day;
so I might yet search myself
for some dormant face of the years
that a hollow of water
returns in its transparency
and weep for love of myself.

Posted for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Sunday's Mini-challenge:    Salvatore Quasimodo and Poets United - Thanks for the visit ~

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The dead man's journal

Grace @ Everyday Amazing

The dead man sits on wooden bench, rained with fallen leaves.
He marvels how sky light ripples the leaves
to cantaloupe gold, to dusky orange, to flaming red.
How the colors speak to him:
music interlude, flare of sunset, smell of overripe fruits-
Today, right now
pierces his numbed bones
as if his skin is made of a thousand dragonfly wings.

He gets a small jar to capture the air & scent of autumn.
He wants to slice & label 
Today, right now
With BIG, BOLD letters.
But the night wind is faster
sweeping leaves to decay & rot, 
wrapping them with glaze of first snowdrop-

Even now
time does not stop nor linger
Even though tomorrow means nothing
to the dead man now  
He feels the weight of his feet, moving as caterpillar
during last of summer nights:   voracious, hungry 
for every leaf, for every color shading the grass

He pens in his journal:  
Today I am hungry
and I have never felt so alive

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - We are getting inspiration from The Book of Dead Man by Marvin Bell ~  Thanks for the visit ~

Saturday, November 1, 2014


By Fire Painter, Steve Spazuk

To fire painter

Draw me out of flames
Smoke streaking the air
Where there is darkness
Let your feather brush silvers

From out of soot & toxic air
Move your hand 
Etching my face, bones
To life until I am a bird

Singing at night 
Free of poisoned chemicals
Warbling of joy
To gentle moon

Note:  Steve Spazuk works are a reaction to the heavy use of pesticides in North America and the consequential poisoning of insect-eating birds.

Posted for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - 55 Words - Hosted by MamaZen
Shared with Poets United

Thursday, October 30, 2014

One maple leaf

Grace @ Everyday Amazing

a leaf falls
into a bed of leaves
bruised-black, yellow-starched, pressed
wet on the city’s ground

perhaps one more leaf
will not matter to the harried pedestrians
or window cleaners high up on the buildings

perhaps it will only matter
to the street sweeper or the corner beggar
where 1 is more than a number
chalked on graffiti-broken walls  

I pick a red leaf  
on my palm it is flaming:
a dragon’s wing, a shooting star, a beating

above the buildings, 
our one red mapled-flag is flaring in the wind
it is raised in half-mast this week in respect
to two fallen soldiers  

red poppies will soon adorn our lapels.
I am grateful for this autumn sky, brushing
every single fallen leaf
with its glorious soul-print, loyal & true      

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Weapons for War

Picture credit:   Colossal

Before war
is the war
                      of words

That burns our mind
That changes our faces to birds 
                      of darkness

Before air
convulses to

& steeps the tongue
with arid bitter

Before space is a crypt
That strikes &

Until all the sky is fireball 
Until all the land is wasted ash

There is you & i
At opposite sides of
                      grain fields 

We hide snakes & poison 
under our cloaks 
We tally hate & splintered bones 
And boast of treasures 
as if its our right
as if its our prize 

Under the wind-broken tree,
We put on our costume & war paint
choosing our weapons carefully

We create our theater & drama:
                       Sounds of men dying
                       Sirens as the city rips to 
We did nothing to stave off
                       hate &
                       rumors of defense
We stood mute with 
                        no answers           
                        no resolutions

We are already at

Posted for:   D'verse Poets Pub - We are talking of war ~  Hosted by Gabriella ~

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Voyage of lost souls

The path of Lost Souls
Photography:   Brooke Shaden

in the dead of winter season
you build a trail
of paper boats
beside the dock of black ships

at night, when all is still
you set them sailing towards western sky
where the red moon waits

to run its silver-blue fingers
across its bows, like a violin player
threading silk strings with sweet air
of oblivion

i pause and watch you
waiting by Lethe, underworld river
this is your ritual
disguising tricks with musical flair
to tempt & slaughter my energy

under my red veil, 
i conceal my remaining possessions:
witch hazel oil, fire wand
& finally, my mother's crescent -shaped knife
which your rustic hands will gladly pay
for a feast
of my sacrifices

i have given up many things for this voyage - 
      my innocence to discover names of every truth
      my roots to hold one forbidden fruit   
      & taste its skin & seeds, for myself 

and i will not be deterred even if 
you say that I am  
      on the path of lost souls
      cusp between earth's deepest divide:  shadow & light
      a ghost on long dusty road

searching to find what she has lost


Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - OpenLinkNight - Hosted by Brian Miller
And Imaginary Garden for Real Toads - Get Listed for October - Ghost Stories

We are to used at least 3 words  from the wordlist from M:
fairy, portal, sacrifice, feast, smoke, winter, slaughter, spirit, veil, ritual, trick, disguise

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In the heat of local elections

Photography:   Joel Robison

We are pawns in this political game
moving to & fro, invisible faces
spinning left & right, our voices tamed

We are strings pulled by media blame  
running up & down, an endless chase   
Because we are pawns in this political game

We work dawn to night, trading our name
For grey, no black & white pieces
spinning left to right, our voices tamed

By street banners, which all look the same
We sweep aside real issues under the table  
Because we are pawns in this political game

Marching to orders, we claim
we are happy to live in this rich city, a place,          
spinning neither left nor right, our voices tamed

Tell me, black bird
which way is the voting booth ?
I am just a pawn in this political game
spinning round & round, my voice tamed

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub -  We are talking about news ~  Hosted by Mary ~ Thanks for the visit ~

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Mysterious Incident of Salmon during Autumn-time

October, Annual Sockeye Salmon Run, Adam's River, BC Canada 

This river is our primal mother
She beckons to us every year to spawn 
from Pacific Ocean, we hear her call like no other

We swim upstream against the swift waters
circling mountains to age-old forests drawn
by this river, she is our primal mother

Here, the mule deers & black bears wander 
Here, bald eagles & ospreys fly high, we return
from Pacific Ocean, we hear her call like no other

Coloring our skin red & roboust as summer
Into her arms, we lay down our heads come dawn
This river is our primal mother

She, who nourishes our offspring under
wise eyes of cottonwood trees.  She, whom we lean on-
from Pacific Ocean, we hear her call like no other

Gathered in one kinship, my brothers & sisters
hear the same natal beat pushing us on 
To this river, our primal mother
from Pacific Ocean, we hear her call like no other

The Adams River run occurs every year, but every fourth year (called a "dominant" year), the numbers are much higher. 2010 was the most recent dominant run. According to Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Fraser River sockeye run of 2010 was the largest since 1913, numbering an estimated 34 million fish.

Posted for Imaginary Garden for Real Toads - Mini-Challenge by Kerry - In other words
and Poets United - Thanks for the visit ~ 

Photo credit:   here

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sun, moon

Sun Photography by Alan Friedman


Star, you're the faithful one
stirring our eyes to fire
shaping seeds to ripe fruits.
Speak to us as a sage: 
steadfast, calm, so we may
swaddle your heat through each
sky storm splitting the land


Moon Photography by Alan Friedman


Moon, cast your magic spell-
moonshine above the trees
milk pearled, dreamt  by poets
marveling you. Some nights 
myth turns you to a monk
meandering the space 
muting the sky, stone grey.    

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Pleiades - Thanks to Vandana Sharma for guest hosting ~

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Doodling with words

I doodle on edge of the noodle.   
A flower wears power then snitches on the boy.
The boy walks on paper hat, itchy as a tart.   
Where the clouds slips, I also lip sing aloud.
Latin in Manhattan, English is ticklish, like licorice. 
Maybe I should be eating a strudel instead.
Or canoodling with the whole caboodle. 

Instead I doodle oodles of wiggly lines
Curvy lines, vines, pines and nines
In the center is the sea of peas
Rushing, thrashing, blushing blue
Suffocating the dark is a spark
Grass grows underneath my teeth
Wheat is whey, milk is silky
Playing with words is swaying with birds.   

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Hosted by Bjorn Rudberg ~  A poem with no meaning but relies on sounds.

Picture credit:   here

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

If I were

If I were a word, I'll be always at the tip of your tongue

Warm as ripe red plums
On autumn season

Or perhaps melting ice cube
On summer night

If I were a word, I'll keep your memories as keys

Blazing as flames
On long cold winters

There will be no betrayals
As every seed will rise on first day of spring

If I were a word, I'll map the flight of geese & butterflies

Turning out of sight
To where the sun rides a unicycle over the blue ocean

If I were a word, I will boldly travel with my eyes closed
Forget gravity, fear & making mistakes

Listen to chatter of hummingbirds 
Billow where the wind goes

Towards you
Of infinite possibilities

Posted for:   Poetry Jam - If I Were
and Poets United Mid Week Motif - Exploring

Saturday, October 4, 2014

October rust

I am restless tonight while shadows are obsessed with shape of the lamp.

The moon wears raven mask and comes into my room with glass of water.

She sits and reads the book while 
I bury my emptiness in a lacquered box.

Language arrives with new set of colours - wheat, rust and nest of bones.  

Posted for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - 55 Words
and Poets United - Thanks for the visit ~

Friday, October 3, 2014

Shadows & light in the deepest cave

layer upon layer 
pearls grow white-cancer
boning every space
left empty by sea, and you

here, my words are granite


what the light touches
what the soil breathes under cave
become seed, forest
greening grey stones, every hurts-

here, my heart is a bird song

Posted for Imaginary Garden for Real Toads - Hannah's Challenge

Saturday, September 27, 2014

in midst of autumn

when maple trees catch fire
so do my words conspire
to gather as grey crows
piercing dry sky in throes

why are lands snarled at war
when none can square the score
as more heads will rot, roll
i wear black gown for fall

my hand holds a feather
soft, when sewn together
can be blue shawl of peace
when will we learn to cease

using faith as charade
as each leaf turns red jade

Wild Birds Burning
Photography by Brooke Shaden

Posted for OpenlinkNight of D'verse Poets Pub - Thanks for the visit ~